Sunday, January 3, 2010


When I returned to the storefront church the next week after my initiation into speaking in tongues, there was a young man with a guitar strung over his shoulder. While he talked, I was preoccupied with an inner conversation with God. Suddenly the man stopped, pointed at me and began to reveal the exact dialogue I was having between myself and God. Then he gave me God’s response to the question I had been asking.

My mind began spinning. How did he read my mind?

Then, inviting me to come to him, he lightly touched my forehead.

And that is when this psychologist discovered himself on the floor.

I had no idea how I got there. I could hear myself calling out: “I love you Jesus!” Then I laughed uproariously because I also had this thought of some colleague walking by and looking through that storefront window. It did not happen; yet what a hoot!

But that was just the beginning. The leader said, “Get him off the floor and bring him up here. Brother the power of God is all over you. Lay your hands on these people!” At that moment an energy poured through me. I felt like what Popeye demonstrated when he downed his can of spinach and his fists turned into power drivers.

Barely touching people, sometimes just pointing at them, I watched them go down like bowling balls. My knees began to buckle from the surges, and then I felt my wonderful wife, arms wrapped around me, holding me up. Finally, overcome from all the excitement, I had to sit down.

At that point, my rational mind kicked back in. “What is this? Suggestion? Maybe, hyperventilation?” As a psychologist, I had studied and practiced hypnosis. “Is this all this is?”

As I sat there, I looked down beside my chair at a young man who had crashed face down on the floor. The scientist came out in me. The man started to get up, at first on all fours. Making sure he could not see what I was doing, I sneakily put my hand about a foot above his back. If he could not see what I was doing, then it wasn’t hypnosis.

Ka Bam! He slammed to the floor as power shot through me again. He tried to rise and I sneaked my hand above him again. He was pinned to the floor as if an elephant had his foot on him.

This was not hypnosis!

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Friday, January 1, 2010


Generally when we psychologists want to explain behavior, we fall back on our understanding of simple things like animals. It has long been noted for example, that an animal’s behavior can be accounted for by observing its response to the consequences of its behavior. Animals repeat a behavior which is followed by a positive consequence and cease behavior which is followed by a negative consequence, or by no consequence at all. We believe the same can be said for humans. Thus, when we see someone do something, we examine the consequences resulting from his or her behavior in order to understand why the person repeats that behavior.

This principle of positive and negative consequences to behavior can be applied to many things, including how and why we learn to speak a language, any language. For example, my mother recorded in her diary what occurred when as a baby. I made my first meaningless (to me) sounds: “ma ma” and “da da.” The whole world exploded in positive consequences.

“He said mama!” “No, he said daddy,” my parents exclaimed. Naturally, like babies all over the world, I kept making these sounds, and like fathers and mothers everywhere, my parents provided me with interesting and stimulating consequences. So I learned my native tongue by mouthing meaningless sounds coming up out of me which were followed by positive results.

Now, as an adult, when I made meaningless sounds arising from the region of my heart, God, suddenly and completely unexpectedly, showered positive consequences upon me. So, I learned my new tongue the same way I learned my native tongue, watching God reward my sounds.

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