Pole Dancing Journal 10 Mar 21

13 Mar

Working Dates: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 to Saturday, March 13, 2021

[18 pages of journal, thinking, exploring, listening, processing in the many waters …]

Anchored in the lectionary reading from Numbers 21:4-9 for 4 Lent 14 Mar 21

Pastor Julie Morris (09 Mar 21): Hi Kathryn – How about meeting next Tuesday, March 16 at 3:30 in the Mount Cross prayer garden?

Brat (09 Mar 21): sounds great!  Thanks!

James Goll: How to Respond to Your Feelings

Journal (10 Mar 21): I’m feeling so many emotions, how do I process them?

RevelationMedia (09 Mar 21): Christian had expected his burden to be taken away instantly as he arrived through the gate, but the gatekeeper informed him that this is just the beginning of his journey. Evangelist had promised that at the gate, Christian would be told what to do, not that he would be free of his burden there. So often we too can be impatient with the path of the Christian life.

Numbers 21:4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way.

Journal (10 Mar 21): Edom, according to Wikipedia, was the territory that Esau got.

Wikipedia: “The Hebrew word Edom means “red”, and the Hebrew Bible relates it to the name of its founder, Esau, the elder son of the Hebrew patriarch Isaac, because he was born “red all over”. As a young adult, he sold his birthright to his brother Jacob for “red pottage”. The Tanakh describes the Edomites as descendants of Esau.”

Journal (10 Mar 21): Ironic that I’m back full circle trying to make a connection with the Lutherans again.  The land of my birthright.  What am I circling around?

Bill Yount (in “Relevant” 01 Mar 21): Where the devil tries to take you out is where the Lord will often send you back with bragging rights saying, “I’m back!”

Anthony Robinson (01 Mar 21): Why? Is it because if we look at the problem head-on, chances are good that we will have to deal with it?

Brat: Since wisemen return home by a different route, and Martin Luther nailed the 95 Thesis to Catholic doors, then who goes to the Lutheran Church?

Don Hennessey: The question is not if she will go back to him, but rather how it is that many skilled offenders manage to get the woman to stay or come back.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): It is a homecoming scene. A memory deeper than memory, a familial instinct has drawn him there, to the dwelling place of his Father, to the place where his own story, just beginning to take shape, finds its larger context.[1] 

Pastor Julie Morris (09 Mar 21): Thanks for sharing your blog post. I look forward to hearing about your faith journey and conversation partners.

Prism Ministries (10 Mar 21): Have you ever had something miraculous happen to you? We tend to think of miracles as big things such as supernatural debt cancellation or getting healed from cancer. When these types of big things happen, they are incredible! And we should give God the glory. But too often we forget to remember the everyday miracles that God puts right in front of us.[2]

Faith Marie Baczko (08 Mar 21): God reminded me of this encounter as an indication of the initiation of the move He had begun, and of its significance to this present time. I saw that at the end of 2019, the army of God was released in preparation for what was about to occur in 2020; the clash and warfare that was coming between the light and darkness.[3]

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): There’s a reason Hell is traditionally depicted as an inferno. The horror of fire is meant to deter us from sinning. To burn forever in flames, who’s not afraid of that?

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): Plato argued that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. Truth, he believed, is the abstraction; ideas are more real than things. Things are particular; truth is universal. The Greek philosopher developed a vision of two worlds: a world of unchanging ideas and a world of changing physical objects. [4]

Prof. Lois Malcolm (in “The Sneeze” 03 Mar 21): In many of our interpersonal and societal conflicts, our need to be right often masks what is actually at work: a need to protect our egos and the interests of the groups that secure them. Regardless of whether we see ourselves as ethically or theologically “correct”—the fact remains. We habitually use the best that secular and religious wisdom has to offer to get what we want. Moreover, we intentionally remain oblivious to the ways our entrenched patterns of perceiving and responding to life keep us from truly understanding the people around us and using what we have to respond to their needs.

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): Everything upsets the hard left; everyone is a candidate for cancellation—second chances are always denied, without exception. [5]

Journal (10 Mar 21): Actually, I did try!  I went back several times to St. Patrick’s Episcopal in Thousand Oaks to try and reconcile, but they drove me out, the way all the people tried to drive Jesus out of Nazareth and off a cliff. (Luke 4:29) And the funny thing was, the situation with me was very similar to what Jesus had been talking about regarding Elijah and the widow.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): We cannot go back to what was, even if we have loved it more than anything, because things have changed, and we have changed, and the world needs something different from us now. 

Lance Wallnau (08 Mar 21): He told Abraham to leave his hometown—alone—but instead Abraham left with Lot and his entire family and entourage. Eventually the herdsmen of Lot and the herdsmen of Abraham were in strife and it caused problems for Abraham.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): We can get emotionally entangled and snared by the enemy when we feel obligated to compromise our beliefs for the sake of a relationship or association. We must guard our hearts and CUT THE TIES with anything that causes us to miss the grace of God. We can still walk in love towards those who disagree with us, while keeping a clear conscience with the Lord.[6]

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): “At the end of the age, the angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the furnace of fire.” – Matthew 13:49-50a (NRSV)

When Light Came In (08 Mar 21): It’s the ways they withheld financial information, the isolating, the manipulation, the intimidating that made it feel impossible to get free.

Brat: That’s exactly what happened to me!!

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): Because although we often focus on the intensely prophetic nature of his actions—turning over the tables, critiquing the economics of the sacrificial system—I think there is also a deep poignancy to be found here. This is a personal moment as much as it is a public one, because we must remember that, for Jesus, this is not just a religious power center, a building filled with strangers whom he wants to knock down a peg or two. It is, as he plainly says, his Father’s house. He has, after much time away, come back home.

Mary Pezzulo (05 Mar 21): It’s been pointed out by many people that they’re not very consistent about cancel culture being a bad thing. Conservative Christians are always canceling things they disapprove of. One commentator on social media put it especially well: Please don’t talk to me about cancel culture. I was a Christian child of the 90s. We stopped listening to Sandy Patty & Amy Grant, stopped watching Disney, & avoided Proctor and Gamble products. Christians perfected cancel culture. They just don’t like it when the tables turn.

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): It was a world-changing day when humans discovered fire. It’ll be a world-ending day when we’re no longer afraid of it. It’s a soul-damning day when God calls, desperate from a conflagration, and we whistle blithely in the blistering wind.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): So let’s do it. With some trepidation, perhaps, maybe even a tear or two, but also with hope, and determination, and curiosity, and above all, a trust in the Lord, our Lord, who knows what he is doing, even when that thing seems dramatic and strange and hard to us.

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): We are witnessing a cultural sea change where wrong-thinking Americans are rendered castaways. With transgressions aplenty, the guilty are forever unforgiven.

Brat: But I did forgive them and was tried in …

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): The Fires of Hell

Luke 4:23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

Brat Question (in “My Father’s House” 04 Mar 21): “How would brilliant minds treat a patient with acute Apathy?”

[Received Silence.]

Rite of Holy Baptism:

Question: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?

Answer: I do.

RevelationMedia (04 Mar 21): iBIBLE Behind-the-Scenes | Seventy Times Seven

Brat: And that distinctly feels like taking my forgiveness for granted.  Can you imagine how that makes Jesus feel to have one of His little ones abused and then taken for granted just as He was?

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (07 Mar 21): For it is that emptiness that allows the Infinite to enter.

Rabbi YY Jacobson (04 Mar 21): When G-d Learned Not to Take His People for Granted

Prism Ministries (10 Mar 21): We miss getting in a car accident by just inches, or, we gain the courage to try something new. Important plans fall into place or a butterfly flutters across our path – these are small miracles that we tend to take for granted. The Bible says that not one sparrow falls without God knowing about it. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” -Matthew 10:29

American Friends of Magen David Adom (11 Mar 21): Sacred Work Not Taken for Granted

Brat (12 Mar 21): Grabbing onto a key thread to show that you’re following the conversation is not necessarily helping our sacred relationship.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

Brat: Oh.  Sorry.

RevelationMedia (09 Mar 21): Dodging the attacks of the demons, Christian took off running again toward the Gate. It is precisely in the moment that Christian saw the Gate that he was under the most persistent and obvious attack from the evil forces. His situation seemed the most hopeless when his goal was in sight.

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): Question: Did your life, your marriage, your career, your family, work out the way you dreamt it would?

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): What has been is not always what can continue to be. This is as true for us now as it was then. This is true for you and for me in our own lives, and it is true for us as a community, as a society, as a planet. 

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): The story is told of a famous child psychologist who spent many hours constructing a new driveway at his home. Just after he smoothed the surface of the freshly poured concrete, his small children chased a ball across the driveway, leaving deep footprints. The man yelled after them with a torrent of angry words. His shocked wife said, “You’re a psychologist who’s supposed to love children.”

Lance Wallnau (08 Mar 21): Do you know that your design is actually perfect for your purpose? This means that God was intentional in the way that He knit you together. Potential is determined by design. Your potential is intricately woven into your design and your design is crafted according to your PURPOSE.

Brat: I don’t trust Potential anymore.

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): The fuming man shouted, “I love children in the abstract, not in the concrete!”

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Our “gut” may need some healing before we can trust it for guidance and decisions. But it’s *never* wrong in alerting us to moments that deserve our attention. Fear, sadness, anxiety, ambivalence, rejection… those are real feelings that can point us to real reasons for them.

David Israel (11 Mar 21): It appears that everybody involved in relations with Israel on the Arab side has been jittery recently.

Rick Joyner (09 Mar 21): As the conditions in the world become more unstable, the anxiety is growing dramatically with almost everyone. The Lord even warned that times were coming when men’s hearts would fail just because of the fear. As His priests and messengers during this time we must be growing in the opposite spirit—the peace, joy, and love that He says His disciples will be known by. 

Brat: I know He said that, but this has not been my experience with His priests.  At what point does “fake it ‘til you make it” integrate into compassionate integrity?

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): When G-d sees a physical human being, filled with struggle and anxiety, stretching out his hand to help a person in need or engaging in a mitzvah, G-d turns to the billions of angels filling the heavens, and says: “Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than that (11)[7]?”

Me to Pastor Julie Morris (08 Mar 21): When God called me, I said, “No.”  I didn’t want the job, thank You very much.  I knew what religious leaders did to prophets, and they did to Elijah what they wanted because they didn’t recognize him. (Mt 17:12) Even with the Anchoress part, I had to struggle to wrap my heart/mind around the idea that a church would want to wall me in and I’d have to depend on outsiders to support me.  (Ummm … Trust issues.)  I wasn’t too thrilled about that on top of prophetic abuse.  Plus, I hadn’t met anyone with a dual calling before, so it seemed terribly unfair that I should be yoked with two of them.  I confess that I perfected the Jonah Pout for a while.  So, that discernment process with God took extra time.  But I also needed large chunks of time to be with God ‘to sit before the immense mystery and presence of God and report back with honesty to the world.’ (Love that!)

Prof. Jennifer V. Pietz (08 Mar 21): Faithful God, thank you that your love sustains us on the long journey of faith. Help us to trust your saving presence and provision, even in the midst of our darkest hours. Amen.

When Light Came In (08 Mar 21): Instead of “why did you stay?” let’s ask “how did they make that your only option?”

Brat: They made it my only option by the unilaterally-enforced Silence.  There was nowhere else to go, just as Peter also experienced that there was nowhere else to go and said as much to Jesus. (John 6:68)

Lance Wallnau (08 Mar 21): Because God provides for His purposes, the most challenging or frustrating places of our lives often involve the mistakes we made. We’ve all done it. A wrong turn, delay, an unwise choice. But God factors in grace for these areas we’ve been blind to or stumbled over.

Brat: Nothing personal. And Jesus continues in His response to Peter by bringing up betrayal. (John 6:70) It wasn’t personal with Pergamum either. Who needs a white stone when you’ve already tripped over one in your blindness?

Chabad U (11 Mar 21): I am for my beloved, and my beloved is…fighting me?

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): Our sages knew how to compress profound philosophical ideas in concise and seemingly simple phrases. “G-d promised that He would not enter into the heavenly Jerusalem until he did not enter into the earthly Jerusalem (2)[8].” This was the Rabbis’ way of dismissing the dramatic conclusion of Platonic Idealism.

Revelation 21:I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

Israel365 News (11 Mar 21): Israel Turns Away Jordanian Royalty from Temple Mount: Jordan Exacts Vengeance

Jewish Press (11 Mar 21): Jordan Refuses Netanyahu Overflight; His UAE visit was cancelled

Brat: MORE Cancel Culture?

Sophia Valentina Buller (03 Mar 21): “Lord, uncancel culture the Truth!!”

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Trusting our gut is the goal, but not always the start of our healing.

Me to Jo regarding my upcoming meeting with Pastor Julie Morris (12 Mar 21): This [meeting] is good, necessary, and nerve-wracking.  I have never had success in my dealings with clergy, so I have to make an anchored decision not to carry old wounds into a new relationship.  I am trying to not be needy in my needs.

Jo (12 Mar 21): It’s always hard to remember to bring the gift and not the shame.

Me: Well said.

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): We may not be able to trust our intuition with decisions, but we can trust it to know when it’s time to stop and listen to our needs.

Hannah James: Every time a woman listens to her intuition and acts accordingly… she is leading.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): And yes, we can and we should honor the past for all that it has done for us, for its beautiful gifts, for its lessons, and we can preserve the wisdom of our ancestors and the life-giving pieces of the traditions we have been given, and then… we have to let the rest go.

Journal (10 Mar 21): I let my mind both rest and wander at the outskirts of “Edom,” a red land.  Dad likes to watch Westerns, and the thought came to mind about “Indian givers.”  In my journey, gifts were given and then they tried to take them back or minimize them, but the spiritual gifts of God and His call are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29)

Lance Wallnau (08 Mar 21): You come preprogrammed with all the gifts, talents, aptitudes and abilities necessary to engage your life purpose.

Wikipedia: “Indian giver is a pejorative American expression used to describe a person who gives a “gift” and later wants it back, or who expects something of equivalent worth in return for the item. It is based on cultural misunderstandings that took place between early European settlers and the Indigenous people with whom they traded. Often the Europeans would view an exchange of items as gifting stemming from a sense of entitlement to gifts, believing they owed nothing in return to the Natives who were generous with them, while the Indigenous people saw the exchange as a form of trade or equal exchange, so had differing expectations of their guests. The phrase is still in colloquial use to describe a negative act or shady business dealings. It is a form of disrespect and is offensive to people of indigenous backgrounds.”

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): Meanwhile, toxic darkness descends in turns around the world, from Australia to Brazil to California. Countless creatures flee towards extinction. Flames siphon life-assuring oxygen from the air. Politicians and profiteers steal indigenous peoples’ agency and place, dignity and livelihood. Unique ecosystems vanish, unrecoverable.

Jewish Journal (06 Mar 21): The Raging of Cancel Culture is a Threat to Us All

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): You can’t go home again, no. Not even Jesus. Not in the exact same way as before. Too much has changed. But also, there is too much that must still be done. No time to wallow in what is lost. Life persists. And so our histories must be reckoned with, not recaptured. 

Journal (10 Mar 21): Speaking of differing expectations, Fr. David was consumed by the word “EXPECTATIONS” to the point where it crippled him and the congregation.

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: Fear of the unknown; fear of the other; fear of failure; fear of death—nothing causes spiritual and emotional paralysis more effectively than fear. It corrodes faith, cuts off our pathways for giving and receiving grace and mercy, and if it is left untreated long enough, it gives way to hatred, recalcitrance, hardness of heart and soul, and leads ultimately to death.

Brat: You are describing much of what happened, and there was nothing that I could do or say to ease their fears.  My love wasn’t enough.  That deterioration happened at all levels. I still had to report what God told me to say. 

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): In this tortured exercise in national-abasement, diversity and equity can be achieved only after a bloodbath of America’s moral failings. The intersectional mantra of inclusiveness specializes in excluding those who challenge the premises of an oppressor paradigm. Assigning blame is the first order of business in this new national ethic of purging without absolution. Unlike the 1950s, the catchphrase for this era is not “naming names” but deleting them.

Brat: I often felt “deleted”, stonewalled, and gaslighted.

Faith Marie Baczko (08 Mar 21): We cannot be like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who could not discern the times and what was right before them. Jesus said to them: “… You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): Rather than simply looking to the next prophetic revelation for insight, we should start by simply looking at what’s right in front of our eyes. Sometimes we just don’t take a second look to consider that something may be amiss. We have forgotten how to ASK QUESTIONS. Self-discovery is the greatest teacher and we can help one another by simply asking the right questions that might lead us to the truth.

Vicki Kemper (09 Mar 21): Do we lift from the back or bend at the knees? Do we put down our burdens when we get tired, or do we insist on taking them all the way? Do we carry the load all alone, or do we ask for help? Do we go all “they’re not heavy, they’re my sibling” in our best cheerful-martyr voice? Do we keep inviting others to “lean on us,” or do we set healthy boundaries?

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): I am afraid it’s much worse than we realized. Our nation is terminally divided, and unlike the Civil War, this time it is not but one single issue that separate us. This is a deeper division, one that transcends even politics. It is a foundational fight, a culture war writ large, a disagreement without end.

Journal (12 Mar 21): That being said, I see Belonging as my birthright, but I have belonged nowhere, for a prophet is not welcome in her own hometown. (Luke 4:24) This was a “foundational fight,” even though the bigger picture brought the best news — that God has already done His work, kept His promises, and fulfilled the prophecies in the Book of Revelation.  Included within my sense of Belonging is sanctuary.  I saw it as sanctuary within the Sanctuary.  The bishop was supposed to give sanctuary as I thought he saw and understood the bigger picture, too.  But instead, I was cut off from the Church for ten years.  As a result, I leaned harder into hearing what the Spirit was saying to the Churches, as well as what the Churches were hearing, which was not always the same thing.  This was ‘a culture war writ large.’ Hence, I’ve had varied conversation partners.  With it brought ‘disagreement without end.’

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): In our personal lives, these two Sanctuaries reflect the two lives most of us must deal with throughout our years. Each of us owns his or her heavenly “Sanctuary,” envisioned atop a summit of spiritual and psychological serenity and representing a vision and dream for a life and marriage aglow with love, passion, and endless joy. This is the ideal home, the ideal family, the ideal marriage. Then we have our earthly Sanctuary, a life often filled with trials, challenges, battles, and setbacks, and yet one in which we attempt to create a space for G-d amidst a tumultuous heart and a stressful life.

When Light Came In (08 Mar 21): It’s the broken and weak social concepts of women and children that led to their thinking it was going to go unnoticed.

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): Just who are the arbiters who create these ever-expanding blacklists? It’s not the clergy, theologians, or ethicists. We are being reprimanded and our children brainwashed by self-righteous schoolmarms, social media mobs and millions of anonymous Twitter trolls, all with mischief and malice in their hearts and too much time on their hands.

Brat: [Slow exhale…] 

Was that a hissssss…?

Put the snake on a pole?

I was a schoolmarm for nine years; I post a social media blog; my friend Cynthia just shared encouragement from Instagram that may have come from an anonymous Twitter troll to her friend before she shared with me (but I doubt it), and millions of us on unemployment have too much time on our hands, but some of us are finding constructive ways to use it (though it profits us nothing.)

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: Now, at this point, some of us may be thinking, “Well that was a little harsh, God. Those snakes bit people, and some folks even died!” But we must leaven our reading of Scripture with a bit of theological imagination.

Lance Wallnau (08 Mar 21):

Strife comes with the stuff we added that God didn’t give us…look at Ishmael. Yet, Abraham is our founding father of faith who still succeeded and was called the friend of God!

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): We all have our personal preferences and sacred cows that, unknowingly, become filters in our ability to discern. Whether its our belief in the Rapture, our dislike of a particular leader, or certain doctrinal assumptions, we need to EXAMINE OUR BELIEFS before reaching any final conclusion about a matter. Not all our presumptions apply and some even limit our ability to see a different conclusion.  

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Trauma leaves us running, hiding, numbing, or trying to pacify others before caring for ourselves.

Elijah List (12 Mar 21): Spring special: get 2 complimentary keto cookbooks

Numbers 21:5 The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: If you listen carefully, you’ll catch the level of absurdity underpinning their whining. “There is no food and water,” they moan in one breath, and then, “we detest this miserable food,” they carp in the next breath. In response, God punishes them for their insolence and sedition by sending venomous snakes into the encampment.

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Generational dysfunction, systemic injustice or poverty leave us with narrower views of what’s possible.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): So the question for us today, here, at the edge of whatever awaits us next, is this: What is it that we need to clear out of our lives? What is it that we need to let go of, in order to make space for what will be? What is holding us back from the next chapter in our story, in Trinity’s story, in America’s story, in the human story–what is holding us back from the chapter of the story where we go out once more and meet the world in its pain and its promise and rediscover the beauty and the healing and the freedom that Jesus can offer? What must be put to rest in order to do that? What are we waiting for?

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): God will often offend our minds to get to our hearts. Jesus did it all the time. God may bring us a message of truth through someone we outwardly deem unworthy or even incapable. We must LAY DOWN ANY OFFENSE or fleshly judgment to search deeper for the truth being revealed. Avoid knee-jerk reactions and consider the possibilities!

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): To be woke is to be at war with anyone who doesn’t fanatically toe your line.

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Compensatory behaviors and addictions distract us from hearing our instincts and internal wisdom.

Hannah James: Every time a woman makes a choice that serves her highest good … she is leading.

RevelationMedia (09 Mar 21): God will never leave us without direction, help, and protection when we ask Him for it. Even when the path seems the most fraught with danger, our King will continually provide for our every need.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): Any truth must be verified by two or three independent witnesses. This not only brings greater clarity to the matter, but increased integrity in the message. But, this will only happen when we DO OUR HOMEWORK. We can’t just “Google it” anymore – it’s going to take some independent and critical thinking to find the answers.

When Light Came In (08 Mar 21): We need to stop asking what made the victim vulnerable to abuse and start asking how we can create a society that holds abusers accountable.

Me: Amen!

When Light Came In (09 Mar 21): Spoken like one who has a system-changing calling!

Me: [Big grin.] Thank you so much!

Joe Joe Dawson (11 Mar 21): How do we position ourselves so that God can use us and accelerate His purpose for us? I once personally asked the Lord how I could flow with His favor upon my life. As I was praying, the Lord gave me a vision of a bright red funnel. The Lord reminded me of when the oil in a car is changed, the person uses a funnel so that not one drop of the oil is wasted. Many times, oil represents the Holy Spirit and anointing. I believe that the Lord is calling us to create Godly systems and structures in every area of our lives to act as a funnel so that not one drop of the anointing God has given us will go to waste.

Pastor Julie Morris (09 Mar 21) [echo]: Thanks for sharing your blog post. I look forward to hearing about your faith journey and conversation partners.

Hannah James: Every time you do what’s best for you, even when it’s hard, even when it’s painful, even when it means starting all over, you are leading.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): And you know that old saying, “you can’t go home again”? Well, sometimes you can, technically, but the problem is that either the home has changed so much—or you have—that you feel disoriented, like a stranger wandering into the story that used to be your own, but that doesn’t quite fit anymore. 

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (08 Mar 21): For six days, as you speak words to others outside of yourself, so the Creator generates a universe in which each creature senses itself to be outside of Him.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): WE DON’T LIKE THE PACKAGING

Brat: These roundtable discussions are too long?

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: Although there is little hope that this unfamiliar and bizarre tale will make it into the Vacation Bible School curriculum anytime soon, at its heart is a universal truth: there is no venom quite so deadly as fear.

Numbers 21:6 Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died.

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): She cried out to him, “Woe, what has become of me? I look like the Angel of Death himself! Would you still marry such an ugly person?”

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (09 Mar 21): “If only the Jewish People would keep two Shabbats [inner and outer] as they should be kept, immediately they would be redeemed.” (Shabbat 118a)

Brat: The Jews do keep the Sabbath.  It’s the servants and foreigners who are doing the work. (Ex 20:10)

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): WE DON’T GET GOOD COUNSEL

Lance Wallnau (08 Mar 21): There is no blanket promise in the Bible that all things work together for everyone…but there is a promise of everything working out for those who are seeking to please the Lord and are conscientious about fulfilling His purpose.

Verse of the Day (13 Mar 21): Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Prof. Jennifer V. Pietz (12 Mar 21): God of justice, expose the forces in our lives and world that do not align with your loving purposes. May the light of Christ lead us in your ways. Amen.

Joe Joe Dawson (11 Mar 21): Speed Up

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): I want to share 8 different roadblocks that I believe might be keeping some stuck and unable to see the path ahead. Consider your own process to see if any of these roadblocks might be hampering your own vision for the future.

Charisma (11 Mar 21): The Plumb Line: 8 Signs of Toxic, Dream-Killing Friends

RevelationMedia (09 Mar 21): In order to deter Christian from arriving safely at the Gate, the Supervisors revealed themselves in their true form: as demons. Attempting to attack Christian and to scare him off of the path, they encircled him. He took a fall down the side of a hill, and realized that the Gate was straight ahead! 

Rick Joyner (09 Mar 21): It would be better to have all of the demons opposing us rather than have God oppose us. For this reason, we should fear becoming proud more than we fear any demon. What treasure on earth could be more valuable than the grace of God?[9] 

Prism Ministries (12 Mar 21): Jesus loves us before we change. Jesus loves us if we never change. He invites us to experience the fullness of His love by giving up our sinful desires, but His love remains the same. Is there someone you could love unconditionally today?[10]

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): Not many of us, apparently. Sinners are hardly an endangered species. It’s Hell that’s in trouble. These days, a lot of Christians just don’t buy it. We can’t believe Jesus wants us to live moral lives based on fear. How could a truly loving God consign us to eternal fire? Hell may exist, we joke, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s there.

Brat: How did we get from unconditional love to Plato’s invention of hell?  Plato lived ~350 years before Jesus Christ was even born!

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): It is hard to describe how deeply this idea of Plato impacted Western thought and civilization. For one, it taught that truth can be found only in universalism, not in the particulars of reality. The more universal a culture is the closer to truth it comes. Truth is abstract, perfect, uniform.

Prof. Jennifer V. Pietz (12 Mar 21): Our gospel reading speaks not only of divine love, but also of divine judgment—a topic that many of us would rather ignore. But these two aspects of God’s activity are not as contradictory as they may first appear. Because Jesus embodies God’s love and offers God’s life to a dying world, to reject Jesus is to cut oneself off from the very source of life and remain in the realm of death. This separation from God is what it means to experience judgment.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (08 Mar 21): But on Shabbat, if you will only stop to listen, to perceive and to know, you will discover a universe as it is found within the mind of its Creator.

Hannah James: Every time a woman slows down when everyone is telling her to do more… she is leading.

Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): Perhaps this is why G-d chose the second, and not the first, Sanctuary as His abode. On the surface, the Sanctuary in heaven is far more beautiful and perfect than the Sanctuary on earth. The truth is, however, that beauty and depth exist in our attempt to introduce a spark of idealism in a spiritual wasteland that a palace built in heaven can never duplicate.

Charisma (12 Mar 21): Are you living a Spirit-filled life?

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: Alas, as every preacher knows, the more familiar a text is, the more difficult it can be to preach on! Sometimes, it seems that everything that can be said about a text already has been said—and by someone who said it better than I can! Nowhere is this more clearly the case than with John 3:16. Martin Luther infamously called this verse, “The Gospel in a nutshell,” and for better or worse, it has been emblazoned on billboards and bumper stickers, sewn into throw pillows and baseball caps, and it has even appeared tattooed into the skin of more than a few actors and athletes.

Prism Ministries (12 Mar 21): What does it mean to have unconditional love and acceptance for others? The world seems to do a good job. The song “Born This Way”, a statement of unconditional acceptance by Lady Gaga rose to the top of the Billboard Music Chart’s #1 spot for several weeks. But as Christians, even though we are called to love others, we seem to have failed miserably. This is evident in the world’s view of us as hypocritical and judgmental, nothing more than a political action group trying to push our agenda.

Prof. Jennifer V. Pietz (12 Mar 21): The good news is that Jesus offers true life freely and equally to all people; the light he shines brings judgment upon all forms of darkness that would rob us of this life. God’s love is too great to allow hatred, violence, selfishness, and divisiveness to go unchecked. Divine judgment of these realities is, in the end, a reflection of divine love.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): He is preparing us for GOOD WORKS ahead! I pray we can remove these roadblocks so that, together, we can see clearly the path before us and prepare a highway for our God.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): Nostalgia will not save us. It will not save us in the church, it will not save us in this country; it will not save your life or mine. Try as we might (and God knows I often try) we cannot live on memories or longings for what used to be, for the ways things were, even the way things were a year ago. The pre-pandemic world is gone. The “before” time—the time when we did not know all that we know now—that time is gone. We have seen too much now. We can’t go home again. 

Faith Marie Baczko (08 Mar 21): At salvation, God gives us all of Himself but does not necessarily receive all of us! In our own repentance, we are then positioned to repent for the sins of the land, to remove the enemy’s platform and defenses. We can then attack with Holy Ghost bombs of the Word of God, specifically released by the Lord to hit the target, and possessing the power to destroy the strongholds. The enemy cannot attack where the Blood has removed their right to attack!

RevelationMedia (09 Mar 21): It is important to realize that the powers of evil could not actually prevent Christian from reaching the Gate. They did, however, do their best to scare him off of the path. In the same way, evil powers cannot impede our journey on the Lord’s path, but they can serve to dissuade, tempt, and use fear, doubt, and pride to keep us from pursuing the Lord’s path. The book of James says: …

Hannah James: Every time a woman says no when it’s uncomfortable to do so… she is leading.

Numbers 21:7 The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Faith Marie Baczko (08 Mar 21): God has set His Ekklesia on Earth to be a threat to every crooked, governing system. Sons of God are a Christ-sent apostolic company—an apostolic representation of Christ on Earth. We are supernatural, eternal beings, born again of the Holy Spirit. We are God’s Kingdom enforcers representing His rulership on Earth. Our position is to be seated with Christ, moving and having our being together in Him. We have been made kings and priests before God. Remember, kings rule! As the Ekklesia, we are to be on the offensive, as we have been called to conquer and occupy until He comes. Fraud, theft and deception are apparently the order of the day, and so far they have gotten away with it. However, Scripture says that the thief will have to return seven-fold what has been stolen!

Apostle Doctor Christian Harfouche (in “My Father’s House” 04 Mar 21): Do you know that the only reason the enemy attacks you is to steal the Word? Lay hands on yourself and say, “If I’m going to be just like Jesus, it’s going to be because of the Word. The Word of God is going to change me into His image.” The enemy knows that, and he knows you are well on your way to another realm in the Holy Ghost.[11]

Brat (07 Mar 21): Yes, I know the reason for the attacks is to steal the Word.  And the prophets repeatedly asked Elisha before Elijah’s ascension, “Do you know that…” (2 Kings 2).  A husband and wife who have lovingly looked into each other’s eyes for decades may resemble each other, but they do not become each other.  I do not become Jesus by gazing in His eyes.  Reverence for God is a protective membrane against pride, laying hands on oneself, and self-fulling prophecy, even though you have a reputation for being alive.  Satan is a thief, but Jesus also said He would come as a thief. (Revelation 3:3) It takes a thief to catch a thief. (Revelation 16:15)

Rite of Holy Baptism:

Question: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces
of wickedness that rebel against God?

Answer: I renounce them.

Rabbi YY Jacobson (10 Mar 21): Sometimes You Got to Be a Thief; How to Deal With Negative Self-Talk[12]

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (09 Mar 21): Keep both Shabbats [inner and outer] and you will find yourself redeemed.[13]

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): Maybe Hell is due for a revival, at least as a bracing metaphor—although even hellfire seems too pale an image for what we deserve, we who disbelieve metaphorical flames while remaining oddly indifferent to real ones.

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: As we continue on our Lenten journey, there may be no more important time for us to take account of the ways in which each of us are afflicted by the venom of fear. Only when the Hebrew people brought that which they feared most into full view, were they made whole.

Numbers 21:8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.”

When Light Came In (08 Mar 21): Asking the right — or most helpful — questions is how we get to the core of “how did this happen?” and “how do we prevent it from happening again?”

Journal (10 Mar 21): A spirit of Entitlement ravaged the Church (which ironically had the gift of hospitality!) and turned what was beautiful into a raped pole dancer.

When Light Came In (08 Mar 21): It’s the things they assumed about their own value, power, position, ability to control the world that led to their behaviors.

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): The old mindsets. The old assumptions. The old prejudices. The old fears. The old lies. They don’t serve anymore. We have to be strong enough, together, to figure out how to be the Christians that the world needs now. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what Jesus has driven us out into this present moment to do.

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): Deliver us, O God, from the fires of Hell.

Simcha-Shmuel Treister: For there are no wars in the world and no ruler [of a nation] is uprooted from his place in his kingdom, until the Heavenly Armies and the stars of the other Heavens [except those of Israel], all wage their battles and disputes each with the other. Then these four ofanim [angelic forces] stand over [those below] in the four directions of the physical world.

Revelation 7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 

Brat: We’ve seen this.  And besides, haven’t we been talking about the cancel culture?

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (08 Mar 21): “For six days G-d speaks heaven and earth into being.  On the seventh day, He relapses into thought.”[14]

Revelation 7:Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (09 Mar 21): So we stop, pore over the holy, mystical teachings of our masters, contemplate deeply their words, and wrap ourselves in prayer, in communion with the Knower of all Thoughts.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): We know that we each only see in part, but when’s the last time we took the time to get additional counsel before making a final determination? Growing in maturity means learning from those we might even disagree with, if it means GETTING A LARGER PERSPECTIVE and shoring up our weaknesses. We will become stronger when all the parts are working together towards the same goal.

Rick Joyner (09 Mar 21): Ultimate maturity in Christ is a life that is dead to our own desires and wants, and focused entirely on what The Lord wants to do in us and through us. Jesus told us how to get to this place when He said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25).

Me to Pastor Julie Morris (08 Mar 21): With some maturity, now I can say in truth that having the two vocations side-by-side [Anchoress + Prophet] do complement each other within my soul.  The challenge has been surviving the outside looking in, because no one wants their status quo disrupted when they see no value in it.  The irony is that the outside goes through the same process as the anchoress, even if they don’t recognize it.  Then the prophet puts words to the process.

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Real may not be the *same* as our instincts in the moment, but it’s legitimate and valid and worth exploring.

Revelation 7:“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

Chabad U (11 Mar 21): It’s a tale as old as time, and here in 2021 it’s not getting any easier, but with the right insights, thoughts, and understanding our relationships can be more stable, meaningful, and fulfilling than ever before.

Mary Pezzulo (05 Mar 21): “Cancel culture” never really existed in the first place. We all belong to cultures, and our cultures cancel certain things they think are inappropriate for their audiences.  That’s unavoidable. The question is whether the judgement you’ve made is a good one.[15]

Mary Luti (10 Mar 21): Even eternity in Hell seems too light a sentence for us who’ve convinced ourselves that firestorms happen only far away, and who don’t mind that things burn as long as it’s not us.

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): Not surprisingly, it all comes down to a wall. Not the one imagined for our southern border or that now suddenly surrounds the Capitol. It is a much more unscalable wall, separating Americans from each other and from the founding ideals of their nation.

Daniel Pontious: Hitting the Wall!

Revelation 21:15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls.

Rick Joyner (09 Mar 21): A basic characteristic by which we can recognize mature Christians is that they are God-focused instead of self-focused, or world-focused. When troubles come their first reaction is not to think of themselves, but how The Lord wants to use them in this situation. Perhaps the ultimate mature Christian life is defined by Galatians 2:20: “it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” 

Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): Not in your Father’s house, perhaps, but on holy ground, nonetheless. The ground upon which we are standing.

Daniel Pontious: Every Runner who runs in a race starts out really strong in the beginning, but there often comes a point in the race (especially the long ones) where everything in you wants to quit. This spot in the race is called “Hitting the Wall!”

RevelationMedia (09 Mar 21): “Help!” Christian screamed, “Help!” He remembered the wise advice of Help after he pulled him from the swamp: “Help, in some form or another, is never far away.” This humility is key: Christian did not believe that he could avoid or conquer these evil powers all alone. In the same way, we are called to approach God for our every need. If we feel that we are being led astray, or feel that we are under attack, we must call on Him for help.

Simcha-Shmuel Treister: These [holy] messengers oppose them so they will have no power over those who study Torah, as it is said “For He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They shall carry you up in their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone“. (Psalms 91:11-12)

Faith Marie Baczko (08 Mar 21): We are about to see God, again, do unusual signs and wonders that will see the defeat of His enemies. I believe God is now saying, for 2021, that it is time to refocus and it is time to get back in the fight! Intercession for the exposure and uncovering of sin is being answered. Intercession for walls to come down is beginning to bear fruit, and we are beginning to see signs of the enemy’s walls of protection beginning to crumble. God is about to release His mighty and unusual acts on the earth as His people continue to press into prayer. It is time to find your rank and get back into position.

Joe Joe Dawson (11 Mar 21): How can God accelerate you if you have not done your part to position yourself? Do not waste any more time! Whenever God wants to do something new, He positions us for the right reason and season. Positioning is key to the manifestation of the Kingdom. If you want to see the promises of God poured out in your life, make sure you are in position for them to manifest. Understanding the positioning of God is vital for you to fulfill the Kingdom assignments God has for you.

Revelation 7:Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (09 Mar 21): As a bride is whisked away from the rest of the world to be only to her beloved and no one else, so Shabbat carries us out of a mundane life on earth into the arms of the divine.

Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): Go through, go through the gates; prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones; lift up a signal over the peoples. (Isaiah 62:10)

Simcha-Shmuel Treister: That “stone” is “the stone that causes stumbling and a rock that is a stumbling block” (Is. 8:14)whereas the other is called “a tested stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation(Isaiah 28:16)the “Rock of Israel”. These stand one opposed to the other.

Mary Pezzulo (05 Mar 21): The Christians are claiming this is “cancel culture,” and that cancel culture is exclusively a bad thing.

Brat (21 Feb 21): Maybe Pergamum’s ‘white stone’ (Revelation 2:17) is actually redeeming Stephen and Paul (Acts 7) and making room for Stephen Ministries?  I’m convinced the Seven Churches need that kind of deep healing.

But it seems like I keep bringing this up every Lent.

Numbers 21:9 So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: In fact, the statue worked so well that it became a kind of cultural icon among the Hebrew people. The statue was passed from one generation to the next until, centuries later, it winds up in the temple in Jerusalem. By then, it had garnered both a name (Nehushtan) and a cult-like following, which prompts King Hezekiah to have it destroyed. (2 Kings 18:4)[16]

Brat: This also fits the Pergamum profile.  Besides, isn’t the serpent on the pole the medical profession’s symbol?

When Light Came In (11 Mar 21): Healing ourselves includes restoration of instincts, intuition and identity. We begin where we are, accept that, and move forward. Little steps in the direction of self-awareness and empowerment. Redemption of the best parts of us.

Chabad U (11 Mar 21): The keys to a happier more meaningful relationship.

Brat: Too bad that every time I’ve written to the rabbis at Ascent, they’ve responded “Remove me from your list,” and all the other rabbis I wrote remained absolutely Silent.  But they lived.  It’s not too far of a stretch to see they could be associated with the Church of Philly (Revelation 3:9) I have always loved them anyway.

Mary Pezzulo (05 Mar 21): And that’s exactly right.

Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): What’s even worse is losing sight of what’s on the other side.


[1] Rev. Phil Hooper (07 Mar 21): Can’t Go Home Again: A Sermon – By Another Road

[2] Prism Ministries (10 Mar 21): Everyday Miracles (prismministries.org)

[3] Faith Marie Baczko (08 Mar 21): The ElijahList – Prophetic Words and Prophecies (#25141)

[4] Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): https://www.theyeshiva.net/jewish/926/athens-vs-jerusalem

[5] Prof. Thane Rosenbaum (07 Mar 21): The Raging of Cancel Culture is a Threat to Us All (jewishjournal.com)

[6] Wanda Alger (08 Mar 21): ROADBLOCKS TO AWAKENING AND DISCERNING TRUTH – wandaalger.me

[7] Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): 11) See Midrash Rabah on the verse Hayosheves Baganim (Song of Songs).

[8] Rabbi YY Jacobson (28 Feb 11): 2) Talmud Taanis 5a. Zohar Vayikra 15b.

[9] Rick Joyner (09 Mar 21): The Weapon of Peace | MorningStar Ministries

[10] Prism Ministries (12 Mar 21): Unconditional (prismministries.org)

[11] Christian Harfouche (22 June 2016): Soaring Above Your Circumstances | Christian Harfouche Ministries (globalrevival.com)

[12] Rabbi YY Jacobson (10 Mar 21): Sometimes You Got to Be a Thief | Lecture to the South African Community | TheYeshiva.net

[13] Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (09 Mar 21): Inner Shabbat – Daily Dose of Wisdom (chabad.org)

[14] Rabbi Tzvi Freeman (08 Mar 21): Shabbat and the Divine Mind – Daily Dose of Wisdom (chabad.org)

[15] Mary Pezzulo (05 Mar 21): Hypocrisy, Dr. Seuss, and the Red Herring of Cancel Culture | Mary Pezzulo (patheos.com)

[16] The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly: 4th Sunday in Lent(B): God So Loves the World – Modern μετανοια (modernmetanoia.org)

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