Essentials of Prophecy

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This is the second of what I originally envisioned as a series. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t think of a way to keep it going. I like this one okay but it suffers from two problems. One, the gift of prophecy or prophetic word isn’t really something that’s “mainstream” like worship is. In order to really get the jokes you’d have to be around a group that does this sort of thing. Second, it’s a bit more mean-spirited than I intended. 

Recently some churches have begun to utilize the gift of prophetic utterances in their services. Of course, the old guard still believes that God will only speak to humans through the written Word of God and nothing else. Though if you corner them they will also admit that God will occasionally speak through other books like Hey God, Are You There? It’s Me Margaret, The Cat in the Hat, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Needlepoint. Aside from this group, more and more churches are using prophetic gifts – though at the cost of other spiritual gifts like “parking lot attendant” and “nursery worker.”

You may find yourself lost and confused in this new “spirit-filled” environment. “How do I fit in?” you’ll ask. First, put down the snake. State law requires that you have no more than five teeth – at a maximum – in order to religiously fondle snakes. But worry not, contained within this document are some helpful tips for prophecy. Soon you’ll be spouting prophetic word like a champ, nay, like Benny Hinn even.

If you’re new to this type of ministry you will start out at the “amateur” level. It is best to keep your prophecies as vague as possible in order to maintain the highest accuracy rate. If you’re not sure what to say, try something general like, “You know, I think God really loves you” or “I feel like the Lord is saying that today is Tuesday. Yes… it’s definitely Tuesday.” However, don’t use the latter unless it actually is Tuesday. By using these techniques you can appear spiritual and gifted even you have no more prophetic gifting than the average dirty sock.

Another thing to remember is that any and all things you picture in your head are important and have meaning – even if you don’t know what that meaning is. Therefore, the use of an overly descriptive vision with no interpretation whatsoever is a fantastic start to prophetic word. If you’re having trouble, try something like the following:

“I saw a vision of you. You were riding a dinosaur, but he was sort of teal-colored and he had a pirate hat on. You were singing that song that goes, ‘We Built This City on Rock n’ Roll.’ Oh, who is that by? Do you know what song I’m talking about? Anyway, the dinosaur was smoking a cigar. But I felt like the Lord told me that this wasn’t a Cuban cigar it was a Swisher Sweet. I don’t know what it means but that’s what I saw.”

Be warned that if you use something like this the recipient of such a prophecy may respond with the ancient biblical practice of punching you square in the throat.

Once you have gained enough prophetic experience points, you will “level up” to “Professional Prophet.” If you’re unclear as to how many experience points you have, ask your nearest Dungeon Master. At the “pro” level you are allowed to be very specific. In fact, you must act like your prophecy comes straight from the Lord’s mouth. Make sure to begin every sentence with “Thus sayeth the Lord” or some other grand pronouncement. This will remind your hearers that what you are saying is actually from the Lord and not just some crazy-ass thought you had while sitting on the toilet.

Navigating the waters of the Spirit is difficult and not for the faint of heart. So if you plan on prophesying, use these tips to help you get the “edge” you need. Because, at the end of the day, it’s all about how you look… yeah, that’s it…

Essentials of Worship

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Let’s start the resurrection of this blog with an old classic. I have yet to meet a person that doesn’t like this. I’m still proud of it though I think it could use some additional editing.

Church worship has changed since I was a lad. It used to be that the only types of songs holy enough to sing before God were hymns and certain praise choruses. When the songs were sung it was imperative, in order to appear holy toward God, that they were sung with as little life and emotion as possible. After all, we would not want to offend God with our filthy, dirty emotions. Now a new breed of worship has sprung up in the church. It involves lot of instruments, singers, back-up singers, choirs, trumpet sections, dancing girls, laser light shows, fire-breathing alligator men… you name it. If you have room to cram it on stage – it’s good! We’re allowed to be more expressive with our worship. Gushy shows of emotion are encouraged, as are physical forms of praise.

Do not be fooled, however, as the rules for worship are still as strict as they were back in my day when we had to walk uphill both ways through seven feet of snow fighting off grizzly bears just to go to school. For instance, when worshipping worshippers should make sure their brows are furrowed to demonstrate a deep concern and reverence for God. Those who have trouble with this facial expression should pretend they have been constipated for a week and their only hope of relief is to get out one good bowel movement – that face is the one that should be used. Also, they should make sure their eyes are closed because, as our Lord once said, “Thou must keepest thine eyes closed whilest one worshippeth, for if thou dost not, thou shalt go straight to hell… no stopping on the way. Do not passeth ‘Go,’ do not collecteth $200.” At some point, with eyes closed and concern etched upon the face, the worshipper should shake their head “no” at some point. The reason for this is unclear, but apparently, God seems to like it because people keep doing it.

Now if you find yourself in one of these new fangled churches it is usually required that you raise your hands at some point to demonstrate maximum spirituality. There are various methods for the raising of hands but the classic and most accepted form is the “Scary Bear” method. This requires one raise his hands all the way above the head outstretched with palms out — as if he were trying to ward off a scary bear in the woods. You may also wave your hands back and forth to more accurately simulate the scaring off of said bear. This form is most widely used by men but can also be used by women provided they fill out the correct paper work in triplicate and fax it to God. The form most favored by women is the “Please Hand Me Down That Loaf of Italian Bread.” This is where the worshipper extends their arms out, slightly bent, with palms up, as if they were receiving a loaf of bread from someone upstairs. While women can use either the “Italian Bread” form or the “Scary Bear” form, men can only use the “Scary Bear.” Any detraction from this rule means the man is gay. Now there are many variations on both of these forms – the “Air traffic Controller,” the “Mime in a Box,” and the “Spider-Man” are just a few. Any form can be used provided it doesn’t stray too far from the original motions and doesn’t look too weird. After all, if we let this emotional hullabaloo get out of hand we’ll be fondling snakes and drinking Drain-O before you can say “Junior G. McCormick.”

Finally, the use of dance has become popular in some churches. It’s interesting that the word “dance” when translated from the original Greek and Hebrew actually means one of the three following things: “jump up and down in one place,” “sway back and forth,” or “prance around like a hippie at Woodstock.” Men should stick to jumping up and down and swaying, but never ever prance around like a hippie. It is also important to disregard any rhythm the current song may have because as many studies have shown — rhythmic dancing makes you pregnant.

Following these simple rules for worship you can be sure that you get the most out of your worship experience because that’s what it’s all about… how you feel. Or something…