A postmodern journey of faith...


Assaulted in Spirit...

too much...waaaay too much....
too much...waaaay too much....

I've just spent the last hour or so watching Christian TV. Yeah. Good stuff... TCT.tv, Jim Bakker (he's baaack), and some guy named Kerney Thomas who likes to scream and speak in "tongues."

Ok, so I speak in tongues too...but not like that. And not to you. The Bible says that a few intelligible words are more valuable than 10,000 in tongues. And I just have to vent for a minute about this Thomas guy. He had a clip on his show where he was supposedly praying for healing for a woman. The end result, from her lips, was that she got a "Word" from God through Thomas, and it was just what she needed to hear. Just prior to the clip, he talked of how he was doing this show at "about 3 in the morning somewhere" and how he felt impressed to pray right during that clip. When the clip ended, we cut to Thomas kneeling over the "hope chest" of prayer requests, praying in "tongues." He acted startled and stopped "praying," mumbling something about thinking the clip was longer and how he just had to pray right then.

Give me a break, Thomas. You didn't film this at 3 AM. Not only that, but you weren't praying through that clip which ended sooner than expected. And your wife refers to you as "the man of God"? Uh huh. I like to think of myself as a man of God, but never would my wife refer to me in that way to another person. Why? Because, I don't need a title. I need a life of integrity...honesty...forthrightness. Yeah. Good stuff like that.

Or Bakker, who I have now lost all respect for...again. He was doing so well. Now he's back on TV, hawking his wares and capitalizing on end-times paranoia.

The TCT show wasn't bad, just really disconnected from the reality of where people are at. A missionary-pastor from the Philippines was on. The host of the show seemed more preoccupied with embarrassing the guy with accolades and asking his wife how "good" he was than with discussing anything of any real redeeming value.

Ok, the rant is over...

Let's get some things straight. I am a Spirit-filled believer, according to the Biblical definition. I can't honestly consider myself a Pentecostal any longer, because I do not buy into the doctrine of subsequence. I've questioned it for a long time, and recently have come to the decision that it is not scriptural (at least not without some theological gymnastics). This works, as I'm very soon to be a *former* Assemblies of God pastor. I don't have a problem with the A/G--I just don't fit very will with their way of doing church.

And I could be wrong, but that's another story (with apologies to the venerable Dr. Stanley Horton).

So, I'm Spirit-filled. I'm saved. I can speak in tongues--real tongues. And I've experienced other gifts of the Spirit, so I know they're real (besides, the Bible says so...I'm not a "cessationist," either).

Gary Best, the national director of The Vineyard in Canada, has recently written a book entitled "Naturally Supernatural." It encapsulates the way I believe Jesus intended for this stuff to work pretty well. The title says it all. It doesn't have to be wierd to be real. In fact, if it's wierd, it's probably not real.

Sorry, Kerney.

But I can see why the world wants little to do with Christians, even less to do with Conservatives, and less still to do with "Spirit-filled" people. I've had my senses assaulted with so much flesh tonight that it makes me sick. I'm sorry if this comes across as bitter or angry, but...

WE'RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT! Honest! I don't even own a prayer handkerchief.


Tired, frustrated, scared...and excited!

We're moving to Urbana!

I'm probably the most tired I've been for awhile...but I'm exhilarated. I'm hurting a little too bad to sleep, so I thought I'd blog while the Aleve kicks in.

Nevermind. Can't find Aleve.

We attended our first service at The Vineyard Church in Urbana, IL on Sunday. We knew as soon as we walked in that we were home. It is church as I've always dreamed that church could be. I'm a little dismayed that I've not been able to be a part of bringing such a place into being, but my models have all been lousy, I guess. Time to reinvent... We really felt like we had God's leading going into this, and we had it confirmed on Sunday. I almost burst into tears during the first song.

We had a great time with our friends here, the Beaty's, on Monday. Tuesday, we met with the senior pastor of The Vineyard, and had a great lunch. We talked about the various options available to us. As of today, here's the plan:
- Move here.
- Get work and housing.
- Settle in for about 6 months and just chill...become a part of the life of the church.
- Look at other options: school
- Consider enrollment in VBI and/or Vineyard Internship
- Minister, all the while. That's why we're here.

That seems pretty simplistic, yes. But we're certain that God is taking us here. I have some hesitations, but those are mostly situational and in my flesh. Being real: that doesn't change the fact that I'm scared spitless about some stuff. Time to grow up, Tory.

We looked at houses today...found a nice one in Farmer City (yeah, great name). BUT...too far away from Urbana and not exactly what my wife is looking for.

I just pulled up Decree's MySpace, and I'm listening to demos...that I did not produce. And it has me thinking about the future...

What do I want to do?
- Young adult ministry. Prolly some rough stuff.
- Take in some messed up teens. Yeah, really.
- Write, record, and produce music. Worship and other stuff. Some of my own stuff.
- Spend time with my family.
- Get a job I don't despise.
- Make a difference.
- Be happy.
- Please God. That's the ultimate.

It's time for me to go to bed. I'm really not feeling any better...and it's way too late. Go do a MySpace add for Decree. I produced their first record.

I miss that stuff. I need the right job, Lord...so I can do that stuff again.

And I need to be happy. And excited about life. That's coming...it is.