Character & Gifting: Lessons From Our Eastern Brethren

Character & Gifting: Lessons From Our Eastern Brethren

Born into an Eastern Orthodox family on Cyprus, Kyriacos C. Markides adopted an agnostic view of God and spirituality in the 1970’s while at college in the USA. After years of scientific materialism, he begin a journey that took him through Hindu spirituality and transcendental meditation before returning to Eastern Orthodoxy. Being a professor of sociology (University of Maine), Markides documented and published various segments of his spiritual journey including his chats with various healers and mystics on the edges of Eastern Orthodoxy. The focus on this book, The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality, is Markides discovery of Eastern Orthodox spirituality as seen through a monastic lens. The book starts off with Markides seeking to visit the monks living on Mount Athos in Greece. Christian monks and hermits have lived on this mountain for over 1,800 years with the single focus of pursuing God. The importance of this mountain in Eastern Orthodoxy can be seen through the  nickname the “Holy Mountain.” Sadly, Markides was unable to visit Mount Athos at the beginning of the book. Rather his journey took him back to Cyprus where a former monk of the mountain recently became the abbot of a monastery. Throughout the rest of the book, Markides and his monastic guide, Father Maximos, constantly refer back to Mount Athos and the traditions of the mountain. The book ends with Markides finally reaching Mount Athos only to find that the monks had taken a vow of silence during the time period he had chosen to visit. Hence the name of the book. The concepts recorded within the pages of the book...
Defining Healing: A Review of Rick Richardson’s book “Experiencing Healing Prayer”

Defining Healing: A Review of Rick Richardson’s book “Experiencing Healing Prayer”

The book “Experiencing Healing Prayer” was written out of Rick Richardson’s experience as an Anglican priest helping people find healing for the soul. Rick’s own personal journey in inner healing started when he told a friend about a recurring dream about a man coming at him with a knife. His friend suggested that they pray about Rick’s relationship with the gentleman in his dream.  When they did this, Rick experienced “the healing touch of God and the blazing light of his wisdom” (page 13). That day marked a turning moment in Rick’s life as it was the start of a journey helping others experiences the healing power of Jesus. The book’s seventeen chapters can be broken into seven major sections with each part focused on a different subtopic of soul healing. The first section (Ch. 1-3) serves as an introduction to inner soul healing. From there the remaining chapters are split among the six signposts Rick proposes as guides “along the way on the healing journey” (page 33). The first signpost or second selection of the book (Ch. 4-6) is focused on God’s presence and hearing “God’s still small voice” (page 46). The third selection (Ch. 7) talks about gender identity and replaying our “diseased images and memoires” with “healed and transformed images” (page 89). Chapters 8-9 make up the fourth selection or third signpost with an emphasis renouncing unreal identities and embracing an identity rooted in Jesus. The fifth selection (Ch. 10-14) tries to get to the “roots of pain and problems, not just the fruits or symptoms” (page 12). This is quickly followed by the sixth selection...

Doing the Stuff explainED by John Wimber

Someone created an AWESOME animated video to highlight the teaching of John Wimber. Give it a watch, it is really cool. (note: make sure you skip the ad in front of the video…it is for some alternative religion healer guy who doesn’t look to be following Jesus. Just so you...
“Go Ahead – Pray This Prayer. Your Life Will Never be Dull Again.”

“Go Ahead – Pray This Prayer. Your Life Will Never be Dull Again.”

The following text was written by Steve & Cindy Nicholson, Evanston Vineyard pastors, for the recently released Come Holy Spirit” booklet  published by the Vineyard USA. “’Come, Holy Spirit.’ We remember the first time those words were used by us as a conscious invitation to the Spirit to come, with an expectation that we might see evidences of the Spirit’s presence. It was at our young church’s annual dinner-come-slide-show-come worship celebration. Everyone was standing. There was a deep, unnerving, very long silence. Then in the cavernous acoustics of a church gym, the sound of a metal folding chair flipping over and the unmistakable wail of a man whose emotional pain had just gotten uncorked by God. More flipping chairs, more crying, laughing, shouting, people shaking, people ending up under folding chairs, and all through the room, such a sense of purposefulness to it all, of God doing things and saying things, as though we had finally opened the door and let Him in. Which we had! ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ did not originate with John Wimber. We are merely the latest generation to embrace it. It has its roots back in the earliest prayers of the first Church Fathers and Mothers, the first generation after the apostles to carry the flame of the gospel forward. This prayer is not just some oddity of 21st century Western Christianity. It is part and parcel of Trinitarian theology, a beloved prayer of every generation of believers before us. You are in very good company when you pray, ‘Come, Holy Spirit.’ ‘Come, Holy Spirit’ is a direct, bold request for the Spirit to do...
The Third Person of the Trinity

The Third Person of the Trinity

The following text is an excerpt from the recently released “Come Holy Spirit” booklet published by the Vineyard USA. Who Is The Holy Spirit? Who is the Holy Spirit? In many churches you will hear messages on God as Father, and God as the Son. But how often will you hear a message about God as the Holy Spirit? The truth is that the Holy Spirit may be the least understood Person of what church history calls the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Vineyard story is driven by the reality that God eagerly desires us to experience his presence. The presence of God is expressed by the Spirit of God, and it is the experience of the presence of God that empowers us to do the work Jesus has called us to do in the world. Recognizing The Person Of The Spirit We are committed to being “functionally Trinitarian” in all our church activities, recognizing that the presence of the Holy Spirit among us means everything to the church Jesus is building.  Recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and communities, we are softened in our desire to become “change (coins) in God’s pocket” (John Wimber) – people ready to be spent by the Lord and led by the Spirit into any act of kingdom service he desires. According to church history, the Holy Spirit is God, and as such, shapes our lives as God indwells us, by his Spirit through the work of Christ (Col. 1:27). In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is called by many...