Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 19: Review of Benjamin Dixon’s book entitled Hearing God

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 19: Review of Benjamin Dixon’s book entitled Hearing God

I have waited a long time to review Benjamin Dixon’s (2014) book entitled Hearing God and in his own words he states “for those who know me, your response to seeing this book is likely ‘it’s about time’ (p. 15). My conviction is that hearing the voice of God is all about knowing God—having a personal relationship with him” (p. 20).

Dixon is a fire breathing preacher and by this statement I do not mean he belligerently belittles individuals with hell and damnation but rather provokes, stirs, and challenges listeners to pursue deeper connections with God. Dixon word’s are like a sledgehammer, blasting open shut doors of spiritual progression in one’s own Christian faith. Do not let his powerfully convicting words and charismatic personality confuse your views of his character. Dixon possesses a life of humility demonstrated in his own personal faith walk and service towards others. He is one of the few ministers I know willing to associate with the rejects, misfits, and outcasts of society because he loves them enough that he would use every effort at his disposal for them to know Jesus Christ through the Gospel message.

Dixon believes in praying for true revival not just more and more propheticon like conferences where people feel spiritually fuzzy feelings and change nothing internally about their character. True revival begins within our own personal walks with God when we are consumed with the fiery presence of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with people in community through radical love. When groups of individuals unite under this passion, whole cities and nations are transformed. That is the revival I seek and it is the only viable example that produces lasting results historically like the first and second great awakenings of the past centuries. Personally, I am tired of the Hollywood sensationalism of prophetic giftings and the role of prophet being placed upon an idolatrous pedestal of religiosity in the American church. Dixon’s words demolish this common stereotype of the prophetic and his newly released book Hearing God reinforces the ease by which God includes humanity in the supernatural ministry. Dixon’s words are an anchor for the church and demonstrate the simplicity of walking with God as Adam did in Genesis.

Hearing God is refreshing, inclusive, and applicable. Dixon dismantles the mystery behind the prophetic ministry in Christianity through the use of Biblically weighted Scriptural examples, personal experiences in ministering prophetically, and participatory ministry which values every member of the Body of Christ as presented by Paul in 1st Corinthians 12. Normal Christianity involves hearing God’s voice in our own lives and acting upon it; this concept is illustrated again and again in the Book of Acts.

Hearing God is divided into three parts filled with endnotes for the reader to research and verify for him or herself. Part One is entitled “The Foundation for Hearing from God” and consists of three chapters entitled A Real Relationship, Hearing God is for Everyone, and Hearing God and the Bible. Part Two is entitled “God’s Voice: Understanding What It Is and What It’s Not” with three more chapters entitled Understanding How God Speaks, Understanding Why God Speaks, and Hindrances to Hearing God. Part Three is entitled “God’s Voice: Discerning, Responding, and Pursuing” with the three final chapters entitled Discerning God’s Voice, Responding to God’s Voice, and Pursuing God’s Voice.

The whole book is fantastic! Having been a skeptical atheist before my conversion to Christianity, Dixon presents compelling Biblical evidence and personal examples to illustrate his point that God still speaks to Christians. My favorite sections of the book were his explanations of how God speaks to us and his personal examples of what this looks like when walked out in the three chapters of part two. In these sections Dixon provides a general list of how God speaks to us through the Bible, our conscience, thoughts, gut instincts (discernment), mental pictures, dreams, and visions. He then uses Biblical examples from characters such as the major and minor prophets of the Old Testament, Apostles, and other Christians in Acts to support this list.

What many ministers of the Gospel have failed to understand is that many young Christians, like myself, are experiencing these encounters of God on a regular basis but we have no mentors, leaders, or teachers willing to sit with us and help us understand the prophetic gifts that God has given to His church. We are told to read our Bibles or pray more when the Bible shows us again and again examples of these same experiences through the stories of the different characters. Dixon’s literary work provides encouragement and acceptance to those seeking questions about this experience and removing the mysticism that has snuffed out experiential Christianity.

Personally, I believe the current global Christian Church is at a crossroads on their acceptance or rejection of the prophetic ministry and understanding correct teachings will become necessary in the coming future decades of Christianity if we are to accept the next revival movement of the Lord. This book provides a clear and logical spiritual cornerstone to Christians, like myself, seeking understanding of the prophetic without the shallow marketed emotionalism often damaging the reputable prophetic gifts. We need more teaching materials like Hearing God to strengthen and encourage Christian congregations. Above all else, this book challenges readers to pursue your relationship with God at a more intimate level.

You can support Dixon through prayer as he emphasizes this time and time again on his ministry site as THE most important support he can ever receive from people. Purchase his book and share his video teachings with others. Dixon’s calling is to equip the church with the revelation of walking in the prophetic ministry to engage the culture in marketplace ministry just like the Apostles did in early Christianity. He is also available to come and teach prophetic ministry classes to your congregation that you can adapt and replicate. In Dixon’s own words, contact him through social media or email if you would like to dialogue about the prophetic ministry. He gladly encourages this in his ministry! I look forward to the day in which the history of God’s movement in this generation is documented for the future church to learn from. May people look back at the ministry of Dixon and may this blog article serve as a transcribed reminder of what God has planned and what He fulfilled in the many ministries arising to answer this new move of revival!

Benjamin Dixon’s pages
Eleventh Hour Ministries: http://eleventhhourministries.org
Church Website: http://www.mc4s.org/about-us/pastors/ben-dixon.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/HearingGodByBenDixon or https://www.facebook.com/pages/11th-Hour-Ministries/99411582612
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ben-dixon/17/41/586
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvcuoqHARfHgE0t95i5_8KQ
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/76075782
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Hearing-God-Benjamin-Dixon/dp/1936554720/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?s=book&ie=UTF8&qid=1395771968&sr=1-1&keywords=hearing+god+by+benjamin+dixon

References
Author Ben Dixon on Hearing God, YouTube, 1:01, posted by egenpub, February 25, 2014. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVP9pt3gHSs (accessed March 27, 2014)
Ben Dixon – TBN interview about 11th Hour Ministries, YouTube, 21:03, posted by 11thHourMinistries, April 11, 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JBMuVzvcvY (accessed March 27, 2014)
Chinn, Kai. Ben Dixon’s Portrait. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152103252041948&set=t.1357149236&type=3&theater (accessed march 27, 2014)
Dixon, Benjamin. Hearing God. Chambensburg: eGen Co, 2014.
eGen Co Blog. http://www.egen.co/blog/2014/2/25/new-book-by-benjamin-dixon-hearing-god (accessed March 27, 2014)

Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 18: Painter Tina Johnson

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Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 18: Painter Tina Johnson

There is such a renaissance occurring in the Christian community, particularly in the areas of art and prophetic painting not seen since the works of the early church fathers. Every month I am excited to learn about other Christians across the world whom are using their artistic passions to preach the Gospel. However, I have longed for an opportunity to review a Christian painter as I have watched God use this medium in such supernatural ways to share His Gospel message with others. As divine connections would have it, the Holy Spirit has lead me to the works of Tina Johnson in Washington state. In her own words, Johnson describes herself as someone who needs art and went further on to explain how some artists must fulfill this need periodically in their life. As a writer, I can relate to her yearnings of art as I find myself compelled to write frequently myself. (This blog is one way I express my written medium).

Johnson’s interest in painting began in 1977 when she took a drawing class and had a good professor encourage her to pursue art. Johnson fell in love with painting. Her painting career endured many starts and stops as she placed her college ambitions on hold to start a family. Johnson’s passions resurfaced again and again through many experiences such as assisting her son’s third grade classroom and also opening an art school called Little Hand Prints. Many of her students went on to pursue art full time as Johnson spoke story after story about meeting parents of her pupils and discovering that she had contributed to igniting their passion for the arts.

But like many of the great Biblical characters of the past, Johnson has endured cycles of hardship that have molded her talent into the blossoming creations illustrated on the canvas. Throughout much of her life, Johnson suffered cycles of depression which were only further enhanced by the ending of a difficult marriage and watching her son suffer through an illness that ultimately ended in his suicide. For years, Johnson expressed that she suffered much self-condemnation over these incidents which led her into dark periods of depression.

Throughout this period in her life, Johnson considered herself a Christian but never understood the concept of grace; when she finally understood God’s grace, Johnson stated that her depression left her for good. She no longer felt that God was mad at her. Romans chapters 4 and 5 were a comfort to her in that Paul states where there is no law, there is no sin, and that because of Jesus’ fulfillment of atoning for sin on the cross, the Christian is under grace. “God covers up the part that doesn’t work so we can see the beauty He does in our lives.”

Discussion also occurred about God’s creative nature, too. Johnson believes wisdom and creativity are intertwined with each other and she used an example of this by citing the story of Exodus 25, which is the first time wisdom is mentioned in the Old Testament. Supernatural wisdom was imparted to the Israelites by the Holy Spirit to design and build the required temple items for the tabernacle. Johnson likens her painting techniques and inspirations to this passage and stated “when I paint, the wisdom of God is flowing through me” to describe how the Holy Spirit connects with her during the painting process.

A common saying in our society is a picture is worth a thousand words and after viewing Johnson’s painting portfolio above, I had trouble contemplating the right words to write in describing her artistic abilities. Each painting reflects the different passions of her artwork filled with oil and acrylic painted colors such as vibrant blues, rosy reds, textured greens, precious whites, and charcoal blacks.

The first two paintings in her portfolio were murals located in her living room in her house. I first noticed them when we met for the interview and was quite excited to hear about them. During the interview, Johnson had spoken how she enjoys painting murals and that the elephant was her favorite. Both the elephant and the two giraffes made me feel as though I had stepped into the plains of Africa. They are incredibly lifelike and display Johnson’s talent to create and replicate the realism of her objects she paints.

After the murals, two portraits are displayed that she had just recently completed for a client of her two children. Oil paints were used and demonstrate the wondrous and vibrant colors of this technique. Johnson also showed me the photos she was using and I was in awe at how accurately she had transposed the realism from these photos into the paintings. The shower tiles in the boys photos portrayed the grit of the tile sealant as well as different shades of greens reflecting the texture of damp shower tiles and steam from the heat of the water. Johnson stated that this painting also reminded her of worship in that we stand transparent before God and can freely offer up our gaze at the wonders of His majesty.

The next series of photos were of many different types of flowers and bottles. Many of these paintings were completed using oil paints on some and acrylics on others. I tend to paint a bit myself and I always enjoy the vibrancy of acrylics. Johnson’s objects chosen for the paintings contrasted so many different spectrums of the color wheel in such balanced ways. I loved the pinks of the roses, variations in colors of the leaves, and the many different colored bottles. Johnson’s techniques allow the viewer to identify the textures of all her mediums in her work. You can feel the smoothness of the bottles and the delicacy of the stems of the flowers as you gaze at these paintings.

You can support Johnson through prayer, sharing this blog article with others, and contacting her for painting opportunities. Johnson hopes to pursue painting as a full time career and can do murals, portraits, and many other requests. Let this final statement from Johnson inspire my readers to pursue a creative ministry call: “Everyone has enough talent to become an artist!”

Tina Johnson’s page
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005843255220&fref=ts
Email: larae7011@gmail.com

References
Johnson, Tina, interview by Barry Irwin Brophy, February 2014.
Tina Johnson’s Painting Portfolio, YouTube, 1:29, posted by Barry Brophy, March 17, 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pslycKKZJwY (accessed March 17, 2014)

Indiegogo Campaign to Fund Novel That Fights Human Trafficking

Blogger, Artist, & Author Barry Irwin Brophy

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Help me fund my novel project to fight human trafficking

Thank you for taking the time to review my campaign page. I am a Christian author and blogger named Barry Irwin Brophy inviting you to help combat human trafficking through fiction. The project I am requesting funds for is to publish a novel I have written called A Woman’s Choice that follows the broken life of a rescued human trafficked victim named Katrina originally taken from Albania. Since her captivity, she has fallen into a life of drug addiction and promiscuity leading her to homelessness and a crude job as a bikini barista to fuel her addiction. She discovers she is pregnant and must decide whether to keep or terminate the pregnancy. Her choice in this matter begins a search for the meaning of life and what role Christianity plays in understanding the purpose of life and suffering. Throughout the…

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