Why Is Magic No Longer Done in England?

Ep4

“To a simple question, sir. In the past, magic was done as a matter of course. It… it was as much a part of this country as the rain. Then 300 years ago it died, seemingly overnight. We wish to know… why magic has fallen from its once great state. We wish to know why is there no more magic done in England?”

I don’t know why, but for as long as I can remember I have really enjoyed Charles Dickens-like stories set in old England; Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Christmas Story,etc… I’m also a sucker for Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress and Gulliver’s Travels .

I recently stumbled across a BBC miniseries aired on Netflix. It’s based on a best-selling novel by Susanna Clark- “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.”

The story opens where the book does: in the fall of 1806 on a meeting of the men of the Learned Society of York Magicians. They have gathered as they do on the third Wednesday of every month “to read each other long dull papers about the history of English magic” (Note it is a discussion about magic, not practicing magic!).

But a Mr. Segundus, much younger and more earnest than the rest, interrupts. He has recently begun to wonder, he questions, “Why the great feats of magic that I read about remain in the pages of my books and are not seen on the street or on the battlefield… In short, gentlemen, I wish to know: Why is magic no longer done in England?”

(Derisive laughter erupts from the other attendees)

“It is a long question, Mr… Segundus.

Magicians study magic, the history of magic. We do not perform it. You don’t expect an astronomer to create stars, eh?

(They all chuckle)

Or a botanist to invent new flowers, eh?

(They all laugh)

It is a child’s question, I appreciate, but no-one else… Classical magic, sir, is not a thing for the gentlemen of this society. Nor any… gentleman. I do hope that you have not been trying to cast spells, sir.”

(They all laugh)

As I was watching this conversation unfold, it seemed as if God was stirring in my heart that the same things could be said about the church today!

What Does Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Say About the Church?

I couldn’t help but think of the “conversations” (more arguments actually) currently going on in the church…

* Miraculous spiritual gifts TODAY for every believer vs cessation of same (They have gathered as they do on the third Wednesday of every month “to read each other long dull papers about the history of English magic” (Note it is a discussion about magic, not practicing magic!).        It’s actually a PROMISE that Jesus made. John 14:12-14

 
* Resistance to the 7 Mountain Maindate (spheres of cultural influence) and bringing the Kingdom of God into the marketplace (Why do the great feats of magic that I read about remain in the pages of my books and are not seen on the street or on the battlefield?)

 
* The requirement to be “apprenticed” by so-called “experts”…when the apprentice may have greater gifts than the “teacher;” and without biases and ulterior motives that “experts” have (In the story, Mr. Gilbert Norrell is a self-proclaimed “practising magician” …”The greatest magician of the age” and owner of the most extensive library on the subject. While Jonathan Strange naturally practices magic, both in greater degree and in the battlefield to help England’s war effort; without “knowing” how he’s doing it!?)

 
* Opposition of the current established leadership to new ways, ideas and leaders- to extent of being enemies of the new move of God. Gilbert Norrell desires to make himself the judge, jury, and executioner of any kind of magic that he disagrees or disapproves of- under the guise that he wishes to make magic “respectable.” ”Sometimes the greatest opposition to what God wants to do next comes from those who were on the cutting edge of what God did last.” R.T. Kendall

In the story of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, amidst the chaos and destruction that he himself instigated, Mr. Norrell sees the error of his ways and helps Jonathan Strange; even embracing the new found ways. Let us hope that the same will be true for the church- that the “old guard” will not not only help the new leaders, but also embrace the new move of God…glorifying Him TOGETHER!

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Ketubah Today!

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Whether you’re just recently engaged or married for 40 years, this could be one of the most important things you could do as a couple!

Borrowing concepts from an ancient Jewish legal document, couples today could have healthier and less stressful relationships.

I believe that couples could avoid many of their problems if they would openly and honestly DISCUSS and DOCUMENT their EXPECTATIONS for one another. These expectations should probably be revisited and amended as time goes on and people’s needs and expectations change.

The Ketubah is a staple in the Jewish wedding ceremony, but many couples today don’t even know what it is! The earliest extant ketubah dates from circa 440 BC found in Egypt and written on papyrus

I believe if the concept could be modified to serve as a relationship tool today, the Ketubah’s primary objective would to be a means of communication and loving accountability with one another.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Separately, the couple should make a list of expectation TOPICS that are important to THEM. For example:
* Provision
* Relationship
* Sex
* Family
* Individual professional goals
* Etc…

Once you both have the List of Topics, you can separately write what your expectations are for each topic. If one person puts little or no value on a particular topic that the other does, no expectation NEED be written. It would not be uncommon for each person to have differing expectations and/or priorities. It is more important to KNOW, HONOR and RESPECT them, then for them to share them or desire them too.

Now that both of you have your expectations for the List of Topics, it is time to come together and share them.

This should be done in a “date-night” atmosphere…with the understanding that these are not edicts or demands, but simply what each of you deems important and expects. The quote, “Seek to understand before asking to be understood” would be appropriate here. The discussion should be limited to sharing expectations, NOT how well the expectations have been met to date.

Hopefully, the sharing will be done without conflict. If, however, things get contentious, it would be a good time to end the discussion, and look at another time to resume talking; possibly with a trusted third-party “mediator.”

In a perfect world, the couple would then be prepared with a list of expectations that they could be intentional in making sure are met for the other. Notice I said for the other…like the 5 Love Languages, they may not be important to us, but they are important to the other person. To truly feel loved and appreciated, it needs to be conveyed in THEIR “language,” not ours. (We tend to show love to others in the way we feel loved, irregardless of whether they feel loved by the things we do). The same is true with expectations.

Since we live in a fallen world, and none of us is perfect, there is a chance that an expectation might not be met. The couple now has a written list of things they both understood are important to, and expected from, the other to refer to.

WHAT TO DO IF EXPECTATIONS AREN’T MET:

In the event that one or the other refuses to live up to an expectation, they now can follow the Biblical steps of rectifying the situation, found in Matthew 18:15-17…

* If your husband or wife doesn’t live up to an agreed upon expectation, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
* if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
* If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector*. (This means you would LOVE them with the intent of redeeming, restoring, and healing the relationship…but with an unwilling partner-and possibly from a distance)

THE HISTORY OF KETUBAH:

The traditional and historical ketubah is a binding legal document, which catalogs a husband’s obligations to his wife, such as providing his wife with food, clothing, and conjugal rights, which are inseparable from marriage. It includes the husband’s guarantees to pay a certain sum in the event of divorce, and inheritance rights obligatory upon his heirs in case he dies before his wife. It is really the religious equivalent to the contemporary pre-nuptial agreement of secular civil law.

It was not a mutual agreement; the wife agrees only to accept the husband’s proposal of marriage. It is assuredly not a bill of sale; the man does not purchase the bride. In fact, the ketubah represents the witnesses rather than husband or wife. Through this instrument they attest to the groom’s actions, promises, and statements, and to the bride’s willing acceptance of the marriage proposal.

POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF KETUBAH IN SCRIPTURE:

 “If your brother or sister sins [doesn’t live up to agreed upon expectation], go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’  If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17 [edited for purposes of our discussion]

*HOW TO TREAT ENEMIES, PAGANS AND TAX COLLECTORS ACCORDING TO JESUS:

““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:43-48‬ ‭

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Accept, Approve, Appreciate SOMEONE today!

Rather than reading a blog post, please take 15 minutes to watch this video (have some Kleenex ready)…and then validate someone today!

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5 Whys…

imageHave you ever faced an issue or problem, and for the life of you, couldn’t figure it out?  I think this tool might help…

The 5 Whys is a technique used in engineering, but has almost universal application-especially when human factors or interaction are involved.

By repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five is a good rule of thumb), you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Very often the ostensible reason for a problem will lead you to another question. Although this technique is called “5 Whys,” you may find that you will need to ask the question fewer or more times than five before you find the issue related to a problem.

How to Complete the 5 Whys…

  1. Write down the specific problem. Writing the issue helps you formalize the problem and describe it completely. It also helps a team focus on the same problem.
  2. Ask “Why” the problem happens and write the answer down below the problem.
  3. If the answer you just provided doesn’t identify the root cause of the problem that you wrote down in Step 1, ask “Why” again and write that answer down.
  4. Loop back to step 3 until the team is in agreement that the problem’s root cause is identified. Again, this may take fewer or more times than five “Whys.”

EXAMPLE…

Problem Statement: You are on your way home from work and your car stops in the middle of the road.

1. Why did your car stop?
– Because it ran out of gas.

2. Why did it run out of gas?
– Because I didn’t buy any gas on my way to work.

3. Why didn’t you buy any gas this morning?
– Because I didn’t have any money.

4. Why didn’t you have any money?
– Because I lost it all last night in a poker game.

5. Why did you lose your money in last night’s poker game?
– Because I’m not very good at “bluffing” when I don’t have a good hand.

Quote to remember:

“If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the ABC of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems.”  ~Edward Hodnett

Please leave a Comment if this tool helps you!  Consider leaving an example to help others…

 

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Judging…

 

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I have to admit that I’m a recovering “judger”… I’m sad to admit that for many years I became very good at spotting and pointing out other people’s sins and shortcomings. Until one day I heard a quote that started me on my road to recovery:

“Any idiot can find the faults in another person, it takes a genius to see the greatness in them.”

Needless to say, it IS difficult to see the greatness in some people. It takes effort; perhaps that’s why few people look for it!?

It truly seems easier to find the flaws in others.

Even if it is “natural” to judge others, rarely, if ever, does any good come from it.

In the final analysis, we are ALL imperfect. We all have flaws…imperfections!

So when we do judge others to condemn them or belittle them, we are only:

“Imperfect people judging other imperfect people for being imperfect differently.”

Shane Willard shared an interesting story that really drove home this point in a powerful way.

Many of us have heard of the “Seven Deadly Sins”… you may have heard the term, but not know what is on the list. So here is the list:

* hubristic pride,
* greed,
* lust,
* malicious envy,
* gluttony and
* sloth.

Surprisingly, this list is not found in the Bible (although the words can certainly be found in Scripture)*

Any way… Just keep this in mind for when I attempt to make a point later…OK?

Shane recounts a man frantically approaching him at a conference where he was the keynote speaker. The man was grossly overweight- obese.

The overweight man approached him agitatedly asking loudly, “Shane, what are we going to do about those homosexuals?!”

Shane ran to the window and yelled, “Where?!?”

The overweight man asked, “What are you talking about?”

Shane told him, “The way you were talking, I thought the building was being attacked by spear-wielding homosexuals!”

“No…no! Don’t be silly!” Replied the overweight man. “But seriously, what are we going to do about the homosexuals?”

Shane asked him, “What should we do about the gluttons?”

Shocked, the overweight man said, “What did you just say?”

Shane replied, “I didn’t stutter… what should we do about the gluttons in the church.

The overweight man sheepishly walked away….

While we must exercise godly judgment to identify problems in people’s lives, it should only be done with the intent to help rectify the situation; or heal, redeem, and restore them. Any other form of judgement is destructive.

Perhaps that is why Jesus warned us about judging?

“Judge not…” Matthew 7:1

And again in Romans 14:4…

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”

There’s wisdom in the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” album, we’re ALL somebody’s servant:

“Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord…But you’re gonna have to serve somebody…”

Should we leave the judging to the Owner(s)…and do the work of a genius and look for greatness in others… what do you say?!

 
***ADDITIONAL READING***
The list of Seven Deadly Sins may have been complied by men called The Desert Fathers as early as the third century (271 AD). However, history clearly shows the list was compiled.

The Bible does list seven things God hates and detests. Here are those verses:

“There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
* haughty eyes,
* a lying tongue,
* hands that shed innocent blood,
* a heart that devises wicked schemes,
* feet that are quick to rush into evil,
* a false witness who pours out lies and
* a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Proverbs 6:16-19

I have to tell you that I do not believe God has “weights” or “points” on sin or wrong doing; they all separate us from Him equally. (for the purposes of brevity and staying on point, I’ll leave that here. But if you’d like, I’d be willing to write more on that subject)

The point being… IF God DID have a weighted list, I think we’d all agree that those listed above would head the list.

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Praying for God’s Favor

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I really respect and admire Graham Cooke. I have learned so much from his books, conferences and blog articles.

Because of his interactions with the Lord in prayer and daily life, I have to confess I’m jealous of Graham Cooke’s relationship with God. But I can LEARN from him since he does have such a cool way of interacting with the Lord and he freely shares those experiences!

I was taught that I should only learn from people who have results in the area I would like to have. So if I do what they do, I’ll have what they have!

See if you learn what I learned about “prayer” and “favor” from this experience Graham had a number of years ago.

Before going into full-time vocational ministry, Graham Cooke was a landscape specialist. Faced with little work and an angry potential customer who had already spent tens of thousands of dollars on his garden because it had an underground stream. Four drainage companies and all that money spent had produced no cure. A large section of an immaculate lawn was wet, boggy and an unsightly mess.

Graham approached the owner… thoroughly disillusioned, impatient and angry, the landowner showed him the scale of the problem. Tension was thick in the air. “Well,” he demanded. “What can you do that others can’t?”

“I’ll pray about it,” Graham said. “I bet no one has done that.” Streams of profanity ensued. It was the only job on the horizon; Graham took it.

In Graham’s own words:
“Cue for meaningful dialogue with a certain King. Silence. I’m not put off by God’s silent routine. I know he loves me. He accepts that I’m weird, I know that He is not normal. He is a talker, so silence is mostly an invitation to sit, ask questions and ponder.

Waiting on the Lord is a very restful activity. On this occasion He and I were trying to out-peace one another. I won because the Prince of Peace is a resident in me.

In the silence I heard: “If you cannot change it, make a feature out of it.”

The Holy Spirit loves puzzles. Water is the thing that can’t be changed, therefore water is the answer.

I built a water garden. Beautiful pond with lilies, an island, a bridge and a pergola. A bench, swinging seat, lots of flowers. Perfect. Added thousands to the property value. The homeowner threw a huge party, invited me, recounted the story of me praying and got me lots of work. FAVOR!”

The take away for me…
Even Graham Cooke faces SILENCE from God at times while praying! But what I appreciate is his ATTITUDE about the silence!! Graham sees it as an opportunity to “sit, ask questions, and ponder!?”

I love the way he tries to “out peace” the Lord. He’s not intimidated, hurt, or put off by God’s silence- he sees it as more of a loving challenge!

He KNOWS God wants to talk to him, so he sees it as an invitation for RELATIONSHIP!

As kind of a bonus take away is how bold Graham was about letting his potential customer know he didn’t have an answer, but his God DID- and he’d need to pray to get the knowledge he needed! Perhaps that boldness of faith invites God’s favor?!?

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My personal “Life on Life Initiative”… 

What if we combined Leadership & Professional Development with Spiritual Truths that create Next Generation WORLD CHANGERS?!?


There’s a whole generation of young people who need to hear the good news of the Kingdom of God, understand the spiritual power they possess because of their faith in Jesus Christ, and the need for them to impact the world around them, especially in the market place, with their gifts, talents and passions for the glory of God!

I believe that “Define, Learn, Do” applies to every area of life… Well, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has the fruit I’d like to duplicate in what God’s called me to do next…

Working with YWAM for these 6 months will provide me the foundation, connections and valuable tools to address this incredible need- both in the United States and globally!!

I’ve pasted information about this 6 month project below so you can read more about the scope and importance of what I plan on doing.

As you can imagine, there are incredible expenses associated with a project like this… If you’d like to make a donation simply click this link: PayPal.me/RichardKroll   (Paste in web browser if link doesn’t automatically connect you)

I promise to keep you updated with all the details as things unfold!

If you have ANY questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly…I welcome the opportunity to talk to you personally!

THANK YOU for your prayers, encouragement and support!!!

~Richard Kroll Jr.
—————————–

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION…

The VISION of this Fire & Fragrance Discipleship Training School:

As Fire and Fragrance the desire is to see a whole generation walking in an unapologetic fire for the presence of God, worship, and intercession, and from this place of personal intimacy with Jesus, become the very fragrance of Christ to the lost. The Fire and Fragrance Discipleship Training School (DTS) is designed to raise up men and women who prioritize the presence of God as the source of everything they do and launch them into the nations to partner with and plant communities that carry this same value. We believe that through intimate communion and whole-hearted obedience we will see the power of God displayed and have effective outreaches with long-lasting fruit! Imagine communities all over the world – closed countries, slums, refugee camps, orphanages, urban centers, university campuses and remote villages – walking in a dynamic marriage of prayer and missions. Such communities have shaped history, and we want to see it happen again!

TRAINING PHASE:
During the first three months of training I will be taught by mothers, fathers, and leaders from across the body of Christ. All the speakers have tremendous experience in the subjects they teach on, and therefore have the authority to impart what they carry with power. In addition to incredible training in the classroom, we will have extended times of worship and intercession and evenings devoted to ministry time. Finally, we will hit the streets of Kona allowing the gifts of the Spirit and the love of God to flow into practical service, evangelism and discipleship. Training topics include: The character and nature of God, hearing God’s voice, how to study and communicate God’s Word effectively, Biblical worldview, intercession and spiritual warfare, worship and prayer, restoration of the heart and mind, fellowship with the Holy Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit, revival and reformation, missions and evangelism.

OUTREACH PHASE:
After the intensive time of training, we will launch out across the world to apply everything we have learned! Stirring up young believers in India, gathering the masses to pray for the sick and preach the gospel in Nepal or awakening prayer and worship on universities in South Africa, every outreach is an adventure! On outreach we will partner with local ministries and churches to walk out this marriage of prayer and missions. In a spirit of humility and boldness we will stir up these regions with fresh faith for what God desires to do!

While the actual location for my Outreach won’t be determined until the training convenes, past Out Reaches have been to India, Nepal, South Africa and New Zealand.

SCRIPTURES:

“Not that I’m looking for handouts, although I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity… but just importantly, I desire that the fruit from this partnership be credited to your heavenly account.” Philippians 4:17 (MSG)

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:7-15

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