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  • 2016 Orthopraxis Testimony | Olivia Liang

    Orthopraxis opened up my heart and allowed me to explore more of my faith. There were so many blessings throughout this journey: my perfectly and divinely curated Orthopraxis group, learning discipline in discipleship, and being able to grow with believers who truly understand me on a fundamental level. Two things really stood out to me during Orthopraxis: scripts & mantras and the Grand Narrative.

    One of the most impactful parts of Orthopraxis for me was discovering why I am the way that I am through personal ministry. I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for about 15 years, which is a huge chunk of my 23 years of life. After learning about scripts and mantras, I was able to pinpoint the cause of my attacks and start to speak truth over myself. I have not had an attack since starting Orthopraxis, and I don’t plan to have anymore. Learning about my scripts and mantras also made me more sensitive to the scripts of others, particularly those who have “hurt” me in my life. Understanding that everyone has scripts they are operating from has allowed me to view them and myself with more grace.

    Secondly, learning about the Grand/Meta-Narrative made me aware (embarrassingly, for the first time) of the Bible as a whole story with a beginning, middle, and an end. I was able to see my part in building God’s kingdom and own my authority as a daughter of the most Sovereign King.

    I know this is only the beginning. We are now at the base of the mountain and there is much more climbing to do, and it is definitely not going to be easy, but Orthopraxis has fueled me—it has filled my oxygen tank and I am ready to start climbing. I am equipped with the Truth, I have my team ready to push me, encourage me, edit me, and I myself have the determination to dive deeper into relationship with our Good Father.


    Olivia is an actress who has appeared in commercials and television shows. Since graduating from Orthopraxis, she has enrolled in Pneuma Advance and enjoys watching the Spirit move miraculously in her life. She currently attends Hacienda Heights Ekklesia.

  • 2016 Orthopraxis Testimony | Kevin MacDougall



    In the years between taking my faith seriously and coming regularly to Ekko, God was developing me in meaningful ways. I began to take sin seriously, I started sabbathing, I scratched the surface of engaging poverty. Those seven years felt like wandering into a gym and sampling each machine for a workout. Every week a new sermon, every month a new conviction, every two years a new paradigm. To be sure, I’m better for those years, and I’d be slow to trade them. That said, I have little muscle to speak of considering the time I’ve spent in this gym.

    Orthopraxis, for me, has been a call to listen to the personal trainer. It’s been a call to give myself to discipline in the basics.

    I read the Bible, but I need to read it regularly so God’s words whisper like lyrics.
    I pray, but I need to learn how to pray regularly so I can hear God move.
    I need to confront and uproot the fears and anxieties that keep sin on my doorstep.
    I need to partner with the Holy Spirit every day.

    I kind of wish it was more dramatic. But honestly, if I don’t switch out the daily rituals and practices that are the foundation of my lifestyle, then anything dramatic would simply be another year of wandering the gym.


    Kevin is a graduate of UC Irvine and is currently enrolled in a master's program for architecture at UCLA. He is engaged to the love of his life, Leslie, and they are set to be married next year. He is a part of Irvine #2 Ekklesia.

  • 2016 Orthopraxis Testimony | Stella Kim



    Everything about Orthopraxis impacted my life deeply. There is not a single aspect of Orthopraxis (the realignment of my truths, the dependence on and vulnerability with community, the demand for discipline) that did not impact me in a deep and much needed way. The whole process was really a process of healing, redemption, and restoration for me. I have shared with my group that this last year and a half (a journey that started with our family coming to Ekko last February) culminating with Orthopraxis has been such a testimony of God’s initiating and seeking after me. Our lives have changed so much for the better – our marriage, our parenting, our time management, our giving, our loving. He is speaking louder than ever and I can hear Him clearer than ever.

    I have always known God to be my Saviour, and learned I need to let Him be King—but He has really moved and shown Himself through Orthopraxis to be my Redeemer. Through the process of removing my false selves with my Ortho group, in covenant relationships, I was able to see my past for the first time through lenses I’ve never seen through before.

    My past made so much sense now.
    I make so much sense now.

    And through a process of confessing, grieving, praying, and receiving forgiveness, love and healing with my Ortho group, I have experienced redemption and restoration in a way I never ever imagined possible.

    At Sync last year, we had to write the story of our lives on music sheets, and I titled mine “Beauty from Ashes” as I looked upon all the death and destruction that littered the past decades of my life in dreary and dark notes. I titled it painfully and prayerfully hoping that somehow these ashes could be turned into beauty one day. I can truly say that the day has come! Everything that was once dead and secret and horrific was turned into beauty when the beautiful light of my Ortho sisters’ love hit those notes. Today’s music measures are now filled with hope, redemption, restoration and the gift of no more shame! I will remember Ortho for the rest of my life as a turning point in my climb up the mountain—I found footing and gripping for my feet and hands because I was surrounded by the love of my Ortho sisters who helped me heal. And now I am impassioned to bring healing to others.


    Stella is married to the love of her life, Danny, and has two beautiful girls Gracie and Ava. She works in the health care field under business development and is set to join Ekko as a member in November 2016.

  • 2016 Orthopraxis Testimony | Kevin Kim

    The biggest impact that Orthopraxis had on me was that it helped me develop an actual relationship with God. I realized that when I attended church in the past or when I was jumping from church to church, I didn’t really understand what developing a relationship meant. I was just a consumer—just listening and walking out of the service feeling better about myself. I never digested the word or put into practice what I learned.

    When I first took Orthopraxis, that was the season I was in. My heart and my mind were not open to receive. After Orthopraxis, I left church and fell straight back into my previous lifestyle. I did whatever pleased me and acted unfaithfully to God. In my mind, as long as I didn’t hurt others, God would understand. Taking Orthopraxis the second time around helped me develop a relationship that is centered on God.

    I was able to strengthen that relationship through prayer and worship. I had times of solitude so that I could listen, communicate and understand God.
    I was able to appreciate all the blessing that he’s provided me and understand that all this is his will and not time. I’m learning to accept authority and under that not all authority is bad in nature. There is good authority that can help you become more obedient with God and lead you in the path of righteousness. I’m learning that building a covenant relationship is to love, be faithful, trustworthy, loyal and being with God. It’s accepting his rules and principles and applying them to your daily lives.

    All in all, Orthopraxis has changed my outlook on how I see my relationship with my family, friends and my significant other. The biggest impact has been to my relationship with my significant other. We are communicating better, loving one another more in line with God’s vision, and understanding each other more and more with every passing day.


    Kevin works for the County of Los Angeles for the Department of Water and Power (DWP). He is engaged to the love of his life, Tiffany, and they plan to get married next year.

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Sharon Baek

    I still clearly recall my hesitations and slight dread during the Orthopraxis sign-ups when various people would constantly badger me if I was going to sign up and inquiring why I was not. My hesitations were a mixture of pre-conceived notions of Bible studies, the long commitment, and my unwillingness to change my own set ways (which is often a sign when one needs it the most).

    I can honestly say that I am in disbelief that four months have already come and gone. This invested time with wonderful girls has helped uncover my own disturbingly intrinsic nature, while instilling an ingrained hunger to seek more with hope in the future. I recommend Orthopraxis to anyone who is unclear about one’s direction and purpose in life or who desires to understand one’s identity in relation to God. Despite growing up in a church, I personally did not understand the first thing of establishing a relationship with God, let alone who He really is and His unfailing character. Through Ortho, I have received much clarity, and yet I am brimming with even more questions to know more.

    As they say, Ortho provides the basic foundation to start the beginning of one’s lifelong journey with Christ rather than finding a means to an end. One of the biggest lessons I have gained from Ortho is my desire to work on my relationship with Godnot out of a religious burden, but out of a more clear understanding of who He is and my identity as a person. This recognition has also translated into other various roles in life as a friend, daughter, sister, and coworker, which I now pursue with more enthusiasm and intention. A glimpse of His goodness and understanding my role in Christ has left me unable to go back so easily to my own selfish ways and I cannot help but re-prioritize my life to make space for God and others.


    Sharon loves to learn new languages, petting animals without actually owning them, and watching shows/videos on food that she never ends up making. She lives in San Diego and is a member of Orvine Ekklesia.

     

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Grace Cho

    Orthopraxis for me has been a time where the Lord gently but firmly took me aside from everything to have a heart to heart. A heart to heart stating that it’s really time to “let go”… to let go of control, to let go of false identities, to let go and walk in complete trust and faith with Him.

    Before Orthopraxis, I convinced myself that by this point in my life, I had to have everything put together and figured out. I went through my season of healing, of spiritual revelations and growth so now I have to be put all together. This thought of “I’m good” prevented me from seeing how I had been measuring my worth through the accomplishments and titles I had been given. Perhaps I didn’t want to admit how attached I had become to my titles and accomplishments because in my eyes everything was for God. My job was in ministry, it was to serve God’s people, to help bring people to His kingdom and glory to God. My job entailed for me to help others come to find their identity and self worth in God and not in the things the world tells us to identify with. So of course in my eyes I thought I knew who I was in the Lord.

    It wasn’t until I had moved to California, where I had to leave all my titles and accomplishments behind, did I began to admit that I had placed my worth in the wrong things. It was during one of the last lectures Pastor Bryan gave that I fully admitted that I had placed my worth and identity in the titles I had once held. That lecture helped me begin to see that God didn’t just want to change the circumstance I was in, a life full of titles but He also wanted to change my heart and attitude towards living a life of being still and in His presence. He has invited me to finally take this time of “transition” to pray and prepare myself for all the new adventures He has in store for me.


    Grace is married to the love of her life, Alex, and the mother of her joyful three-month-old Josiah. She works at LePort Montessori as the Operations Coordinator, enjoys K-Pop, and dreaming about God's heart for orphans. She is a member of Anaheim Ekklesia.
  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Jane H. Kim

    “Christianity is NOT a religion of escapism, but a religion of responsibility.”
    Pastor Bryan Kim

    Going through Orthopraxis changed the way I value my walk with God. For so many years, I called myself a Christian, but it really wasn’t until I finished Orthopraxis that I truly understood what it looked like to walk with Him and what it meant to submit to Him. I always thought that I lived a “good Christian life” but at the same time, I knew that something was missing. I was always frustrated with my spiritual life because I never found myself where I wanted to be with God.

    A few weeks into Orthopraxis, I learned that it was because I didn’t allow God’s authority to reign in my life. Being so close to my family, it felt so natural to obey my parents but I realized that I forgot to leave room for God’s authority. Coming to this realization was hard but it marks the beginning of my journey in becoming an adult and a more mature child of God.

    One of the things I loved most about Orthopraxis was the raw material that the Ekko leaders used to stretch our minds and open our hearts to invite our Father to do life with us. For the first time in a long I time, I felt the courage to walk beside Him. I wouldn’t say that Orthopraxis gave me all the answers to walking with Christ, but rather it provided me with a spiritual guideline. It’s now my responsibility to use this guideline to live like Christ.

    Through Orthopraxis,
    I was reminded of how powerful He is.

    I was reminded of His heart for His creations.
    I was reminded of the responsibilities I have been given as a child of God and that I am to use the gifts that He gave me to help carry the burdens of the Church.

    I continue to pray for courage and strength for this journey that lies ahead. He is so good and God Almighty! I pray to always remember that.


    Jane works as a merchandise coordinator for a denim apparel company. She enjoys DIY projects, the great outdoors, especially through camping, and spending quality time with family and friends. She is a member of Hacienda Heights Ekklesia.

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Sung Kim

    Orthopraxis as a whole was great on many levels—the retreat, the lectures, our small group times and the readings. The most impactful and important weeks for me was the retreat when we learned about metanarrative, and the week on scripts. It was helpful to begin with the larger picture of God’s story and slowly zoom in to how our own stories fold into His. The week on scripts/mantras was liberating and it unraveled a lot of things I always knew about myself but never intentionally worked on. It was profound because it made me think about my family, my culture, and how all my experiences shaped the person I was. It was a turning point for our group because we started to share our struggles and become a little more transparent. I think we began to learn how we could love one another in the areas each person needed it the most.

    Besides the rich material, the one thing that impacted me the most was the community of brothers in my group. I didn’t realize the degree of my independent nature before Orthopraxis. I realized that I liked my independence and had a hard time asking others for help. My childhood, adolescence, and previous ministry created circumstances where I had to be independent. I think this created in me a sense that I always had to do things alone. I knew it in my head I could not do things alone, but having these brothers week after week in my life made me realize that pride had swelled up in me. I could no longer go the path of a lone-ranger. This would lead me to my own death.

    What I needed the most was for God’s people to speak into my life… God’s people to call out the things that needed to be put to death, but also for God’s people to resurrect the visions and dreams that had laid dormant… visions and dreams that I had voluntarily put on hold for the various reasons of discouragement, lack of faith, and burnout. As I approached the end of Orthopraxis, I found myself ready to dream again. This time, with God’s people.


    Sung does event/project management and database reporting/management for a nonprofit in West Los Angeles. He enjoys brewing good cups of coffee, reading good books, playing basketball, and long walks on the beach. He is a member of Los Angeles Ekklesia.

     

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Mindy Lee

    What started out as my search for a home church, with Orthopraxis ended up being something far greater. It led me to the discovery and realization that we have so much more to learn about who God is and what He desires and what our roles, as His followers, really entails. I think all of us know the dangers, as well as easiness, of falling into the routineness of Christian life. However, what I have come to recognize in the past couple weeks while going through Orthopraxis is how much we have been neglecting the beautiful things God’s given and is giving to us because of our numbness.

    With Orthopraxis, I learned that even the “basics” of Christianity was something I did not actually fully know or understand. Something so fundamental, like where I am to end up after death by following Him, or the depth of what my relationship with Him really means, has been misconstrued in the years by man’s interpretations of what we believe are His desires. Because of this, it has become that much easier for us to not truly live up to the people God meant and desired for us to be.

    I was once again reaffirmed in my belief that living in this world as a Christian really is probably the most difficult way to live; however, I was also taught that God’s love, desire, and mercy towards us is so much grander than we can ever begin to comprehend and that is more than enough to try to live for Him. Greater than all my hurts, my insecurities, my thoughts, my desires, my pains, is His unconditional love and never-ending hope for me to return to Him no matter how many times I may screw up or run away.

    Above even all these realizations and healings through the readings and the lectures, I can honestly say that the greatest gift God gave to me through Orthopraxis was actually my Orthopraxis group. The community God provided me just through my Orthopraxis girls alone has honestly been the greatest blessing throughout this whole experience, as God used them to break down my heart that had hardened in the past few years.

    Though I entered Orthopraxis with the desire to find community, I realize now that I had built up a wall around my heart, so high that even I found it difficult to penetrate through myself. What I didn’t know is that God had different plans for me. With every week that passed, God wore down this wall, brick my brick, and somewhere along the line, the wall was torn down. I’m so thankful to have had these girls placed in my life and even with the fear that this may not entirely happen, I can and want to say that our journey is not over, even with Orthopraxis coming to an end, and these girls have and will be playing a great role in my life and future.


    Mindy works as a director of C2 Education, which provides academic and college counseling with supplemental education to students K-12. She enjoys singing, crafting, Netflixing (yes, that's a verb), and searching for adventure. She is a member of Fullerton Ekklesia.

     

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | David Kim

    Somehow, I missed the fine print with regards to Orthopraxis: "The Art of Discipleship." Art is funny in the sense that the final outcome of any artistic endeavor is what a viewer gets to see and hopefully, admires. But for the artist, the process in his or her mind never truly ends.

    All that to say, even though Ortho is over—it really isn't over. I have friends now—Tony, John, and Pastor TJ—who have shown love and care through their words and actions and who I can count on going forward in my journey with God. I don't want to stop learning and growing and these brothers are going to help, mold, and challenge me through the discipleship process.

    Orthopraxis gently—and sometimes not so gently—reminded me that discipleship is a lifelong thing. It made me revisit my past and really examine even my current state through one particularly difficult-to-swallow lens: the adult lens. That's right. I admit that somehow through my years as a Christian, that I never really grew up. I spoke like an adult, looked like an adult, and mimicked adult behavior but in many ways, I never became one. Looking backand with the help of PB's supernatural insight—I still, in a hard to reach spot in my heart, believed the lie that I was undeserving. In essence, I stayed a child and as a result, my relationships with family and friends (and even my pastors) were off.

    I'm thankful for Orthopraxis.
    I've learned I'm not a finished work.
    God continues to work on me through His people and His word.
    Because He loves me and sees that much value in me.

    I forgot to mention that a true artist, deep down inside, loves his work even when others don’t.

    “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."
    -Genesis 1:31


    David currently works as a tutor, and his vocational credo is to "maximize others to realize their potential." He is married to the amazing love of his life, Rebecca, and has two beautiful children, Judah and Kate. He enjoys basketball and making viral family v-logs. He is a member of Brea Ekklesia.