What we don’t know is quite phenomenal. Did Paul ever know why his thorn couldn’t have been removed and still leave him to do greater works? I think his calling was entirely fulfilled, as can be said for most sincere followers of Jesus. We can imagine what we could do with more money, better health, etc., but that’s a bottom-up approach. A better approach? Get a good, clear glimpse of Jesus and then hold onto it for dear life because that’s when life really becomes dear, healings happen, just the right funds for just the right purposes … happen.
BLACK LIVES MATTER”
(by Dr. Robin Starbuck)
What does this really mean?
May I start by telling you what it doesn’t mean?
It doesn’t imply, or mean, “Only” black lives matter …
No one has ever said such a thing!
It means that a very real prejudice
Having been around for a very, very long time
Even antedating biblical times
Has come of age
And is ripe for complete annihilation
– total healing – once and for all.
Further obfuscation is no longer acceptable.
No more innuendo
No more pretense
No more lies
Perfect healing and nothing less
It’s about time.
Imagine a sumptuous dinner being held
Everybody has partaken and is nearly full
Then someone enters who had been detained
Through no fault of his own
And announces, “I’m hungry.”
Should we preach to him?
Fight with him?
Ignore him or
SHOULD WE FEED EVERYBODY AGAIN
WHO HAS JUST EATEN . . .
IN ORDER TO INCLUDE HIM?
Isn’t it time to just feed him?
John Lennon once said that his song Imagine wasn’t a denial of God or heaven, but an invitation to quit thinking with division.
Politics and religion pit us against each other instead of living from the fundamental truth that separation is a lie.
Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace..
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—”
Colossians 1:21-22 NIV
Did you make a mistake already today? Think unloving thoughts? Wallow in self-pity? Look down upon anyone? Dwell in fear and doubt a lil bit? Already?? Today? . YOU GOTTA LEARN TO FORGET IT !!!!!
IT’S NOTHING !!! . NO THING, MIND, NOR POWER !!! . ZILCH !!! . ZIP !!! ZERO !!!!! . You can even say to that ‘mistake’ that ‘you’ made: HAH !! Grace has just used you for a major Victory!!
DONALD TRUMP GAVE ME A MIRACLE !!
I had been troubled for years about the ever-increasing influx of Chinese tour busses pulling in and out and parking right next to the Dag Hammarskjold Park. They’re so noisy and congesting and poor little Robin was being terribly distracted!
FINALLY, I prayed to be guided in my feelings and their expressions. I heard this in my spirit: “Think about the people!” (Now, Papa knows that I have always been an incurable people-lover.) What people? We’re all so inconvenienced. What people do you mean, I queried. There was silence. In my spirit. Stone, cold silence. Then, I got it!! The Chinese people!! A flood of liquid love poured out all over me and, when I looked up I saw a whole busload of them taking pictures of THE TRUMP WORLD TOWER !! (picture below). Without losing a beat, I said to them “Tsugi na Daitorio!” (“Our next president!)
Every Chinese person in the group smiled and laughed and made me their new BFF (best friend forever)!! I don’t know what in the world I found so irksome before, but I do know that love always wins!
Suffering is the wrong word: striving is not right either. But there is a deeper place you can go to – a higher realm, a further revelation, that people who have paid a great price get to see, not through human effort but through revisiting their own moments of upheaval and re-evaluating them.
See what had happened, through Jesus’ eyes – your real eyes! Did you take that opportunity all the way to where miracles abound? That challenge was and is your open door to greater and ever greater revelation and experience. Humility will take you a l-o-o-o-ng way!
How long have you been completely committed? With no flipping back and forth, in and out? Do you now think you’re the last word in … everything? Go back to that place where you were vulnerable. God is waiting for you there.
We live in a world where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.
I hate Russian nesting dolls. They’re so full of themselves..
It just occurred to me that the geniuses who invented religion must be the selfsame men who wrote many of our children’s stories:
Jack feel down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.
Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma was eaten by the big bad wolf who was then fixing to have her for dessert.
Another wolf with a big appetite huffed and puffed and blew his prey’s house in.
The itsy bitsy spider got washed away.
And on and on ad nauseum.
Some guy waved to me and then walked up and said, “Sorry, I thought you were someone else.” I said, “I am.”
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
I’m known all over the world for my exaggerations.
Random Fact of the Day: Letting the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.
Just watching a cat-in-the-bag commercial. It was really quite convincing. Good for carrying and transporting kitty without causing stress and discomfort. Great for feeding, clipping, grooming. I almost bought one … and then I remembered … I don’t have a cat.
Did pretty well on the scavenger hunt. Shot three scavengers.
I have tried to know absolutely nothing about a great many things, and so far I have succeeded fairly well.
They call cat people crazy but they’re not the ones outside at 5AM putting fresh dog poop into little baggies.
I had a rough night. I dreamt I was a muffler on a car. I woke up exhausted.
For every action there is an unequal and opposite overreaction. – Newton’s law of the Internet
Funny..I don’t remember being absent-minded…
I’m convinced that every time a sock goes missing from the dryer, it comes back as an extra tupperware lid.
Duct tape doesn’t fix stupidity, but it definitely muffles the sound.
USING YOUR SPIRITUAL SENSES
Jul 19, 2016
The gift of discerning of spirits is one of the more perplexing spiritual gifts, so let’s clarify some language about seeing in the spirit.
No believer has the “gift of seeing in the spirit” because there is no such thing. The gift that is actually functioning when someone says that he or she is seeing in the spirit is the gift of discerning of spirits.
Discerning of spirits is a true gift of the Holy Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12. Seeing in the spirit is just one way that discerning of spirits functions. Seers are those that typically function in a high level of discerning of spirits, usually through spiritual sight.
Discerning of Spirits
The gift of discerning of spirits is a communication gift through which the Holy Spirit makes us aware of our spiritual atmosphere and environment around us. The main way that this functions is through our five spiritual senses that God placed within each of us. To understand how we function in discerning of spirits, we must understand our spiritual senses. Most people only realize that they have five physical senses. The truth is that we have three sets of five senses.
Science has demonstrated that the physical body has five senses that enable us to interact with the environment: taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. In addition to your five physical senses, every person has five senses in their soul and five senses in their spirit.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Scripture has many verses that show that we are a three-part being consisting of a spirit, soul, and body.
Experience and culture dictate our own individual reactions to taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight through our soul. For example, smell brings back memories. If I were to give flowers to one individual, it may bring back good memories like flowers from a wedding, but if I gave the same flowers to another person, it may bring back bad memories from a funeral. This is not a physical reaction to the flowers or their smell; it is a reaction from the individual soul.
If two people are walking together and they cross the path of a dog, one individual may like dogs and begin to pet the dog; however, the second person may be afraid and begin to feel uncomfortable. This is also a response from the individual soul senses. The way we see the world, and the way we hear others, is affected by the condition of our soul. Also, the willingness to touch certain things like a snake may be easy for some or terrifying for others, depending on the condition of the soul. Even the taste of some foods will bring varied responses from different people.
The human soul has senses just like the physical body. Each category of senses has a realm that it interacts with. The physical senses interact with the physical realm, the soul senses interact with the interpersonal realm. And the spirit has senses that interact with the spiritual realm.
The author, Dr. Harold Eberle, offers great insight regarding our spiritual senses:
“Just as we have five senses that provide us with information about the physical world, we also have senses in touch with the spiritual world. The spiritual senses are just as important as the physical senses. Unfortunately, most of us have not developed our spiritual senses.
Many Christians do not even believe they have any spiritual senses. I like to ask them, “Has the devil ever tempted you?” Of course, they answer yes. Then I like to say, “Well, how did you hear the devil? You could not hear him if you did not have spiritual ears.” It is sad, but many people have more faith that the devil talks to us than that God talks to us. In reality, the Bible makes it clear that we all have spiritual eyes and ears.
When Elisha prayed for his servant, he did not pray for God to give him eyes, but he prayed that God would open up his eyes (see 2 Kings 6:17). In Ephesians 1:18, Paul did not pray for the saints to receive eyes, but for God to open the eyes of their hearts. We already have spiritual eyes and ears. What we need is to have them opened. We need to become sensitive.”
It is a fact that we have senses in our spirit through which we interact with the spirit realm. When the gift of discerning of spirits is functioning, it is through these spiritual senses that we receive communication.
In human communication, the two main senses we use most often for relating information are sound and sight. Communication in the natural is received through listening, as well as through body language and facial expressions. God also communicates through the other three senses (taste, touch, and smell), but most of the time He will speak through seeing and hearing. Because the spiritual senses of taste, smell, and touch are the least understood, the following examples show how, on occasion, God may speak to us through these senses.
Communication in the natural is received through listening, as well as through body language and facial expressions.
And He said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He gave me the scroll to eat. Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.” – Ezekiel 3:1-3
If we suddenly taste something sweet, sour, or salty, but the taste is not a result of anything we have physically had to eat or drink, we should ask the Lord if He is trying to speak to us. On occasion, in the Old Testament, God spoke to His prophets through experiences with spiritual taste.
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us, spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. – 2 Corinthians 2:14
In the spring of 2005, I was helping Randy Clark and Leif Hetland at one of their book tables in Nashville, Tennessee, when a large angel appeared at the end of the table by Leif ’s books, and a stir began among the people. To my knowledge, no one else was able to see what I was seeing, yet they could smell the change. I saw the angel pulling out small vials of heavenly fragrances, each one being very distinct. He pulled them from his belt and wafted them in the air. There was the scent of perfect cinnamon; then after about two minutes, a fresh scent would be put out. The scents were drastically different from one another: from the scent of cinnamon to wild flowers to baby oil and then to various spices. This continued through about 12 different smells, and by the end of 30 minutes there were about 30 people crowded together on the tips of their toes smelling the air and sharing in the experience.
As Jesus was on His way, the crowds almost crushed Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched Me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against You.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched Me; I know that power has gone out from Me.” – Luke 8:43-46
This is a great example of the difference between physical touch and spiritual touch. According to this story, Jesus was almost physically crushed, but when someone reached out and drew healing power out from His spirit, He declared that someone had touched Him, speaking spiritually, of course.
My friend Benjamin Valence and I had a spiritual experience together a few years ago. Ben wrote out the experience in his own words as he remembers it (notice how the senses of touch and smell were both operating).
I reached out my hands and began to feel what was there.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Jonathan and I were sitting in his kitchen talking about things of the spirit when we stepped into some activation. As we were talking about angels and things of the unseen realm, Jonathan suddenly told me there was something in front of me (in the spirit) on the table and that I should reach out my hands to feel what it was. To most this might seem a little weird, but he and I had been operating in discerning of spirits for quite a while, so I didn’t hesitate. I reached out my hands and began to feel what was there; I could make out something that felt like a large bowl. It felt as real as if I was feeling a bowl in the natural realm. As I was telling Jonathan what I felt, he would confirm it by seeing in the spirit what I was touching. He would then ask me what else I felt, always trying to get me to reach a little deeper. As I felt out the bowl Jon asked me to feel inside of it, and as I reached into the bowl I could literally feel a hot liquid on my hand. After realizing I could feel heat coming from the bowl when I placed my hands inside it, I tried putting my face over it. As soon as I did, my face became hot, and I began to sweat; it was incredible. After a while of playing with the bowl, Jon told me that it was oil and asked me to pick it up and to pour it over my head. As soon as I reached for the bowl and began to tilt it over my head, Jon and I looked at each other, and as if repeating each other’s words said, “Did you smell that?” At the same moment we both smelled the scent of oil fill the room. Excitement boiled inside me as I raised the bowl over my head and began to pour it out. I could actually feel the oil running down over my head and heat coming from the substance. I will never forget the feeling of the oil running over me as if consuming my senses. I felt peace, joy, and love of the Father washing over me. I will never forget that day.
Focus on the Lord
Once I started to share what I was able to see, people were very hungry to have similar experiences and would ask me how they could begin to see. Since God had sovereignly given me this gift that I had not sought out, I didn’t know what to tell them, until I found a key in Matthew 5:8.
I understood impartation through the laying on of hands; therefore I would pray for impartation to anyone interested, but I was only seeing a fraction of people receive the gifting. Over the last several years, the Lord has taught me some principles that have opened the door for more people to be able to activate their faith for the gift of discerning of spirits. The first one that I want to share is the principle of Matthew 5:8, which was the first insight the Lord gave me: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).
How pure does a person have to be to see God? I believe that the answer is in asking the right question, “What is meant by purity?” The vast majority of believers hold the word pure as a moral standard that is unattainable. Jesus was speaking of purity as a key to seeing God and I believe He told us this because it is attainable.
To illustrate the meaning of pure, take gold as an example. When gold has been truly purified, it has had all the other elements removed from it. This process causes all the dross and impurities to come to the surface so it can be skimmed away. In the end, it produces gold that is one single element. Our hearts are sometimes cluttered with the dross of life, and we must remove all the distractions so we can focus our whole heart on God.
For us to have a “pure” heart, our heart must be focused. If we are to “see God,” then the one element our heart contains must be a focus on the Lord.
When we focus our hearts on the Lord, we are aimed to come into the experience of seeing God. The verse is clearer if we read it this way, “Happy are those who focus their heart on God, for they will actually see God.”
Faith and the Empty Chair
The following story is a favorite of mine. It is a great illustration of what it means to focus your heart on Jesus using the eyes of your imagination.
A man’s daughter had asked the local minister to come and pray with her father. When the minister arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows. An empty chair sat beside his bed. The minister assumed that the old man had been informed of his impending visit. “I guess you were expecting me,” he said. “No, who are you?” said the father. “I’m the new minister at your church,” he replied. “When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up.”
“Oh yeah, the chair,” said the bedridden man. “Would you mind closing the door?” Puzzled, the minister shut the door. “I have never told anyone this, not even my daughter,” said the man. “But all of my life I have never known how to pray. At church I used to hear the preacher talk about prayer, but it went right over my head.”
It’s not spooky because He promised, “I’ll be with you always.”
“I abandoned any attempt at prayer,” the old man continued, “until one day about four years ago my best friend said to me, ‘Joe, prayer is just a simple matter of having a conversation with Jesus. Here is what I suggest. Sit down in a chair; place an empty chair in front of you, and, in faith, see Jesus in the chair. It’s not spooky because He promised, “I’ll be with you always.” Then just speak to Him and listen in the same way you’re doing with me right now.’”
“So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much that I do it a couple of hours every day. I’m careful though. If my daughter saw me talking to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown or send me off to the funny farm.”
The minister was deeply moved by the story and encouraged the old man to continue on the journey. Then he prayed with him and returned to the church building. Two nights later the daughter called to tell the minister that her daddy had died that afternoon. “Did he die in peace?” he asked.
“Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock, he called me over to his bedside, told me he loved me, and kissed me on the cheek. When I got back from the store an hour later, I found him dead. But there was something strange about his death. Apparently, just before Daddy died, he leaned over and rested his head on the chair beside the bed. What do you make of that?” The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said, “I wish we all could go that way.”
For the exercise, we are going to talk to Jesus like the old man in the story did. Take a moment to stop and close your eyes, then with your imagination, picture Jesus.
Now engage in a conversation with Him. If you cannot think of anything to say, you can always start by thanking Him for the things He has done in your life. For example, salvation, physical healing, emotional freedom, baptism in the Holy Spirit, financial blessing, reconciliation with others, divine favor, deliverance, and the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Do not forget to listen to the Lord speaking back to you.
The Lord’s prayer is not a new covenant prayer for the new creation. This is simply because it’s an answered and fulfilled prayer after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The disciples of Jesus wanted to Him teach them how to pray just like John did for his disciples. This prayer is a fulfilled prayer because :
1. Our Father is currently living in us and not only in heaven. Jesus and the father have come to make their home in us.
2. His kingdom has already come and it’s in us. It’s called the New Covenant. God’s kingdom is within us.
3. His will has been done on earth as it is in heaven. His will was for Jesus to die and establish the new covenant in His blood and abolish the old covenant . He has taken away the old and established the new.
4. God has given us our daily bread, Jesus Christ (the bread of life) who was broken for us on the cross. The true manner has been given to us.
5. God in Christ has forgiven us all our trespasses not because we forgave those who trespassed against us but because Jesus shed His blood for the eternal remission of our sins.
6. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever is “To us is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. This is because God has shared His kingdom, power and glory with His sons and daughters forever.
You can still choose to pray this prayer but just know that it has been fulfilled by the cross.
O. M. G. !!! . Ten seconds ago I was thinking that I’m not sure that all this uncertainty, all this challenging of my former beliefs, all this taking a stand when almost everyone is against me …. maybe I’ve got to go back and … (please forgive me for the word I’m about to use) … compromise. Why don’t I just take the easy way out and go with the flow? Remember “integrity”, Robin? Most of all we need to remember that – G – O – D – is all-power, all-presence, all-knowing AND He is -w-i-t-h-i-n- us!
Many times in our understanding we would rather be certain, even if we are wrong, than we would to enter the cloud of not knowing and be expected to simply trust his love. Yet in order to ever grow beyond our present experience, we must be willing to grow through the seeming terror of letting go of one belief, and learn to trust His love to interpret everything! In that transition we learn we are not defined by a theological system, but happily governed by an unshakable relationship.
July 15, 2014
You know, Kathleen and Chuck, people just want and need to have everything wrapped up for them so nice and tidy. They sometimes demand it and follow to the letter whoever will deliver this package. They don’t have an inkling of the fact that it cannot be all neatly wrapped up. For a more nearly accurate view of the immensity of God, try marrying quantum physics with Newtonian physics – just for starters!!!