Archives for June 2016

Austin Artist Robin Hunt Memorial Service


We attended the Memorial Service for our friend and Great Austin Artist Robin Hunt on Saturday, June 11, 2016, This little video is our reminder of this dear persons life and achievements.

Austin Kindness: Brad Love

This is No. 2 in our Austin Kindness Series

Brad Love discusses his experience of Kindness.

Creation Stories

Hill Country News Faith Roundtable Article 2016-05-25

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By Chuck Robison

All of us wrestle with the Big 5 Questions most of our lives. They are: 1. Who are we? 2. Where did we come from? 3. Why are we here? 4. Where are we going? and, 5. What time is it?

Every society, religion, and civilization has its own creation story, each designed to make sense as an answer to question 2. There is no need to seek the literal truth of our own Judeo, Muslim, Christian creation story. It is all made up. There was never a Garden of Eden, we never fell from anywhere and the entire history of mankind, going back at least a million years, has been about evolving out of the primordial muck and into the less than perfect beings we are today.

However, the creation story that we Jews and we Christians and we Muslims share has very specific powerful value, especially in today’s world. We three are religious cousins and our fights and squabbles are put into perspective when we read the first sentence of our common creation story:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The message is very clear. We did not create this. We had nothing to do with this creation. Our Universe can be described as a Great Thought, which God had in a moment, and we are but the result. All artists can determine how their art is expressed, used and by whom. God created all of this, including each of us, and He can determine how He wants to use us.

Asking this Roundtable’s question tempts us to buy into the confounding resurgence of American Anti-Intellectualism. All of sudden, it is very common to hear Americans deny science, history, and even humanity’s great intellectual achievements to focus instead on “stories” that are supposed to make us feel better. We now casually deny science and common sense when we proudly proclaim “there is no environmental crisis. Even if there is, man did not cause it.” However, the very God, the higher Divine Mind behind all of this, will not allow us to get away with this “story” much longer.

We do well to study just the first sentence of our Creation Story until the day comes when we fully understand that we are the creatures and God is the creator. He made the rules and He decides the outcome. And this part is not a made up story, it is the law.

Where there is no Vision….

Hill Country News Faith Article 2016-05-13

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By Chuck Robison

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” This selection from Proverbs 29:18 is worth your consideration at this very strange time in our lives.

At best we are living in a world of competing nightmare visions. Each and every one of them is generated by fear. It is almost impossible to resist engaging in at least one of them some of the time. Sixty-four years ago, you would have had a very difficult time convincing most of the people who survived a global war, that there would ever be a religious war. Today we are marching toward that Global Religious War, without much critical thought. We have been led and taught to believe Muslims want to kill all non-believers; Jews want to destroy virtually all of their neighbors, who are also their genetic cousins, and Christians in America are praying for the World War so that Jesus will come back.

There is nothing happy or uplifting in these visions. Believe it or not, God did not hand down these visions from on high with a demand that we pray and work to fulfill them. But here we are. We cannot afford drinkable water in many of our ancient cities; we lust to carry guns in anyplace we wish, including our local churches; and just to make it interesting, we cannot feed a significant percentage of children in our country, nor can poor families afford a place to live.
And now, we have chosen to squander our national treasure by spending more than one trillion dollars to ‘upgrade’ our nuclear weapons. We are being led to believe that using our tax money to solve our own citizen’s problems is creating a give-away-society.

If there was ever a moment when our faiths were needed to shine a Holy Light on our lives, this is it.

Here is why. All of the Big Three World Religions and all of the others believe that treating each other as we ourselves would like to be treated is at the core of a spiritual life. That is buttressed by the global spiritual law that we cannot escape doing to ourselves as we do to others, because we are all ONE.

The people who we have let program us to create the weapons which will ultimately destroy our world want us to always believe we are not one and that it is always us against someone else, who we call the enemy.

War and our large military establishments exist solely to kill people and war resembles a huge fire as it spreads. We are free to change our minds about all of this. As the Dali Lama recently said, “If we are going to stop the murder of other human beings and war in general, we need to shake ourselves awake from the brain washing that we have created for ourselves over the past six decades.”

Imagine what would happen if every human being on this planet refused to participate in this vision of global war! Money would be freed up to help all 8 billion of us live lives of productivity and dignity. One trillion dollars would clothe, feed, heal, house and educate every person on Earth.

Today we are faced with choosing leaders who cannot imagine this outcome. So that leaves us to lead. We are the salt of the earth. It is up to us to move past those who lead us to war and bend our swords into plow shares and discover we were not made to kill each other, but to lift each other up from the fire of war into the fresh air of a spiritual transformation actually taking place right now on Earth.

We are the ones who must create and demonstrate a new vision for humanity, and to hell with those who want to keep burning people up like cheap firewood.

Without such a powerful Holy Vision, we really will perish.

Powershift Era

Hill Country News Opinion Article 2016-04-13

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By Chuck Robison

Yogi Berra said “When you come to a fork In the road……….take it”. We have reached the fork in the road for the whole world. In his 1990 book, Powershift, Alvin Toffler said: “For this is the dawn of the Powershift Era. We live at a moment when the entire structure of power that held the world together is now disintegrating. A radically different structure of power is taking form. And this is happening at every level of human society.” Things are changing, like it or not.

Our prophets of doom are all revved up for a coming catastrophe. Almost everyone you know has a private list of all the things that are wrong. Just to sweeten the load, we have divided ourselves into at least two major camps that have lost the ability to speak to each other. We have somehow created the most fearful time in our known history.

This fear-full, self-fulfilling prophesy does not take into account Free Will, the first law of the Universe. We are free at any time to change our minds and change our lives at superluminal speeds. Ask someone you know who decided on the deepest level to reject cancer’s power and experienced a sudden and permanent remission. In giving us Free Will, God gave us the moment-by-moment choice to express the deepest of our longings, and he built us so that our deepest longings are also his Will.

The opportunity encountered at this fork is that many of us are accepting the call to change our minds and rise above all the fear and negativity and see, explore and help others experience a bigger picture. This means living above the level where separations appear real, rising all the way up to where we see only one. ONE is EVERYTHING. Science seems to be seeing it most often. The very atoms that form the stars are the same atoms that form our bodies.

From this viewpoint we can derive a very simple rule: If something creates separation, it is moving in the wrong direction. If it creates inclusion, it moves us closer to God, our deepest desires and to each other. Consciousness is knowing we are One and, because we are one with all, we cannot, on the deepest level, kill, eliminate or remove anyone or anything from the One, which is eternal. Loving our brother as ourselves is not just a good idea, it is the law.

Recently the Dali Lama said: “My religion is Kindness. No labels, no doctrines, no rituals, no exclusions of any kind, no holy causes, just this: be kind to each other.” The Master Jesus said it, as has every other Master whoever lived: Do to everyone, as you would have him or her do to you. This is the positive side of the fork in the road we are approaching.

Now imagine what would happen if enough of us decided that Kindness really was the Great Way. Imagine a world without war, with enough food and water for all 7 billion of us. Imagine free energy, free education, free health care, housing for everyone. And each person with a true voice in the outcome. If we really believed in our universal Oneness, we would have no fear that someone could kill us. Having just celebrated Easter, we Christians have already professed to believe death is not real.

Will this change ever occur? Yes. The fork in the road is here for that purpose. There is evidence that other civilizations, long lost, took actions that led to their destruction, and they got there by using their Free Will. We, with our 30,000 nuclear bombs and drones, could finish off the whole world in less than 24 hours. You would really have to stretch the truth to believe that is what a loving God wants as an expression of His Will.

So the fork we can choose to take is the fork that leads to union with each other and with the whole universe. Is that Pie in the Sky? Yes! Apple Pie! Will we make the right choice? Yes! Who will lead us there? You and I will. Every time we choose Oneness over separation, we move ourselves one step closer to the union of Oneness that is our heart’s desire. The teachings of the Buddha can be summed up in three words: “Come and See.” Take that fork.

Name a time you struggled with your faith and why. 

Hill Country News Faith Roundtable 2016-02-18

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By Chuck Robison

The concept of Faith Struggles is almost universal. From the plots of many of the Bible stories to the scripts of this season’s great movies, Faith is usually implied and often stated.

Based on what I have learned on this spiritual journey; faith is a minute-by-minute issue. For me, it frequently goes like this: I know what I want or need for myself or others and I ask God for it. I also tell God truthfully that I am willing to do as He directs me. And my prayer includes one caveat: “Please God, tell me what you want me to do in a way that I can not possibly misunderstand.”

And then I wait. I know that God works on His own time system and I am willing to wait, up until a certain point. Then I want answers. This is the moment of struggle for me. Faith says ‘God knows best’ and my desires will be addressed.’ But my time clock says this must happen now and I frequently act on my own advice rather than wait on God’s promised answers.

Usually nothing really bad happens and I go about my life, but I cannot be certain that the outcome would have been better if I had waited in faith for God’s direction.

For me the test and the message is that God is in control and it is a risk to play God with my own life or the lives of others. The other part of the risk is that God’s plan and His promises are far more powerful than I can imagine and by trying to play God, I automatically take myself out of the plans God has for me.

I am much happier when God prevails in my life.

To or For?

Hill Country News, 2016-02-10

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By Chuck Robison

One of the real privileges of being a Pastor is the opportunity that some people afford me to see into their hearts and souls.

This usually happens during times of crisis or pain. Quite often people present themselves to me as the poor victim of some serious wrong or terrible occurrence that has brought them only sorrow. It is my opportunity to help that person grow from the experience, and I grow too. Having given this service over a period of 49 years, I observe something important that happens in these times of true crisis.

Like most people, I think of myself as a human being with a body and a history of hard lessons. Many times it seemed like every time I turned around something else painful and destructive would happen to me. And I saw the same pattern in others.

So I asked why and here is the answer that currently works for me. The problem is in who we believe we are. As long as we continue to believe we are human beings living in a human body, often believing we are sinners first, and living almost on probation, praying that we make it under the wire into heaven, then life is full of traps and snares. Bad stuff happens to us a lot of the time. And there is very little we can do about it, one way or another.

So if that has been your experience recently, you may be saying to yourself. ‘Surely, there must be a better way!’ And there is!

The better way is to re-define how you describe yourself. There is a world of difference between being a human being and being an eternal soul. God didn’t make no junk and each of us is carefully crafted to be an eternal being and we need never worry about going to heaven…..we’re already there. God did not make us to throw us away, and he will forever work to help us grow and surpass all our prior mistakes.

As souls, we come to this life to learn eternal spiritual lessons that can only be experienced here on earth. Our purpose for living is to learn the lessons our souls need in order to progress in the upward spiral of God’s Universe.

Now if you can entertain this idea of who you really are and why you are here, you are ready to learn the big secret about your life. On the soul level things do not happen to us, they happen for us.

Look back on your life, at some of the toughest times, and you will see whatever was so painful, was also the moment when you grew and became wiser than you had ever been.

These things, and some have been terrible beyond belief, have been the very things that caused you to grow in the most powerful lessons of your life.

God is not cruel, but he does craft individual lessons for each of us that will help us grow to the next level.

So, of course, like everything else, it’s your choice, and no one can make it for you. But I can promise you one thing. When you give up being a victim to whom things keep happening and discover you are a soul who the whole universe is supporting in your growth, your life will change.

It’s called the Big Picture and as it comes into focus life begins to make more sense, and fear has less and less room to affect you.

Try it. What If It Really Works?

What do you think God thinks about the existence of so many Christian denominations?

Hill Country News Faith Roundtable 2015-12-30

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By Chuck Robison

Clearly, the question posed in this Roundtable was chosen as a means to encourage us to demonstrate that God has a sense of humor. So here goes.

During my tenure at the United Nations in New York from 1990 to 2000, I was given the remarkable opportunity to view and work with members of all the world’s religions. What a blessing! I was able to see and experience the things all the religions have in common, and also the things that create divisions in and between our religions.

This Roundtable question is not just about Christians, because it also reveals similar dynamics in all the religions. Our religions are made up of and have been modified by leaders and adherents from the beginning. It seems like division is more characteristic of our religions than is Unity.

These divisions are created as a result of two distinct processes at work in the religions of our day: The search for Purity and the obsessive Need to Control.

The search for purity is behind most of the theological arguments that result in yet another division. In my church, Presbyterian, and perhaps yours, the period from 1975 to 2015 has been characterized by forcing people to believe the company line about the place of Gays in the church. Until recently, that place has been at the back of the church….way back. Whole churches, even ones right here in Williamson County, have divided over allowing Gays in or forcing them out. Those seeking purity have wanted the Gays put back in the closet, as if there had not always been Gay leaders and participants in all the religions.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Control Freaks see their religion as a way to force people to believe and act according to approved trains of thought. Here again, every time there is a division, it is caused by someone’s sense that they are entitled to tell people how to act and what to believe.

There are people reading this article, right now, who were taught, fifty years ago, that we were then at a stage where there would be no more religious wars. SURPRISE, they were wrong.

Today, we are in the middle of a Global Religious War, and we are all skating close to the edge of a Lightning Nuclear War……after which, in just 24 hours, much of what we think of as our civilization will no longer exist. There will be no winner, only losers, and that includes, especially, those in religious leadership positions who are seeking to control the world. And, my friends, that includes Christian Religious Leaders.

Just to be sure you know who is pure and in control, our religious leaders carefully point out that God is coming to punish us and to take the good guys off planet while it happens. The result of all this is that in churches right here leaders are helping their followers pray for the coming destruction so that Jesus can come back.

The curious part is that The Christ never left. He has steadfastly stood by his promise to be with us until the end of the Age.

These warrior class Church leaders are out there belying what they teach by also teaching exclusivity, hatred, and some form of proof that God hates the same people they do and is going to judge the bad guys and the good guys.

Above all of this, God must be at least amused. There are now 8 Billion of us and God has repeatedly said that he sees no divisions among us. We are all spiritual beings experiencing a human life for the sole purpose of helping our souls grow to a higher level.

So, I would suggest before you start down the path of division, you might consider that we really are, all of us, in this together. Sooner or later, we will be called upon to experience, manifest and demonstrate that we are all one. And the likelihood that demonstration will be based on the quirks of all the religions is almost not thinkable.

The Dali Lama, put it best, when he said: “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; and the philosophy is kindness.” Jesus also said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The Real Light of the World

Christmas Article for Hill Country News 2015

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By Chuck Robison

Christmas: a wonderful story that has been told, retold and modified for 2000 years. So much so that it is now mostly a creative record of something that is valuable for its spiritual content, but not for its historical accuracy.

Notice something: the whole story happens in the dark, at night, on one of the longest darkest nights of every year. From the beginning, our ancestors marked the Winter Solstice as the time when the Sun was at its’ weakest and most distant. And throughout all history, the return of the Sun from the Winter Solstice has been a sign that new life is coming.

No one today doubts that the Sun is the light by which the world experiences itself. Until recently, Jesus’ claim that He was the Light of the World was basically a poetic title but that is over. Scientists have recently taken the first photographs of light as it happens and at its own speed on a quantum level. This remarkable scientific feat helps us begin to understand that light has energy, mass and speed………in short it is a powerful force.

I am a Red Letter Christian….my understanding of my faith is based on the available recorded words and teaching of The Christ, as found in the first four books of the New Testament. Those words describe the workings of secret spiritual laws and powers, of which light is one of the most important.

Over the past thirty years I have thought a lot about The Christ as light. Just as our Sun can cause all manner of things, God’s Son can bring a new understanding, a flash of brilliant light to the lives we live on the dark side. The world changes when one has seen the light…..and so does the viewer.

Over the next week ask yourself this question: Do you really feel comfortable living your life in fear? We are so accustomed to living in darkness and fear, that when we discover that the light dissolves all fear on a spiritual as well as on a physical level, we do not believe it. The Angels know what our lives are like and that is why whenever they first appear to anyone, they announce, “Fear Not”.

Right now, people all over the world are trying to create fear as a means to control us. We have now gone as far as believing that the fear we are constantly led into by people and forces who know that our fear is our most real, natural and destructive force are politicians, media people, military commanders, mad scientists and yes, even a lot of church folks as well.

But The Light of the World comes now and like a child, fearless and believing in his goodness and yours as well, says: FEAR NOT for I am with you in all places and at all times and my work is to light a clear path for you for every step of your life.

And Lo, this Christmas, we will have a full Moon to light the night sky to remind us that God’s love, even when reflected by other people, as the Moon reflects the Sun’s light, is reason enough to follow the path The Christ is creating for each of us. Peace is the one thing that all 8 billion of us want more than anything else. The Christ, the Light of the World, arrives in the dark to light our way to that peace. Give Him your fear and accept His Peace. Use the next 48 hours to experience pure and simple peace. What If It Really Works?

Faith Roundtable

Can religion and science co-exist, or are these standards of belief ultimately irreconcilable?

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By Chuck Robison

Organized Religion has every reason to fear and to resist modern science. Religion is focused on the past: the history of the Bible and the history of the church. Science is looking to a more informed future. Religion wants to demonize science and science successfully ignores religion.

The sad part is that science is now verifying the deepest spiritual truths, the place where it all comes together, with fact and theory. There is every reason for science and religion to move forward together, but fear, basically, keeps them apart.

Here are some examples:

Religion is historically against the concept of evolution because it connects us with other species from the past. But science takes that same information and sees that in humans, there is a target for our evolution. And that target is a new, evolved human named Homo Luminous, Man filled with Light. This is what religion says is our goal, the New Man, but we miss seeing the target of evolution because we fear where we may have come from. We simply refuse to see our connection to monkeys. But nowhere is it written that God is prohibited from using whatever process He wishes to reach his goals.

Science says we are all one, and shows, at the quantum level, the connections are remarkable and universal. Bell’s theorem shows that when two particles are joined in a field they will spin always in the same direction regardless of the space between them or attempts to reverse the spin of one. But somehow the religions see this as a threat, while at the same time declaring that in the field of The Christ, we are all one.

Advanced scientists today understand that new science is more like magic and miracles than it is like the old Newtonian Physics. Our religions have accepted the speed of light as a standard but when we introduce Super Luminal speed as being even faster than light, that seems like useless magic. But this newly understood speed makes it possible for truly instantaneous communications with all other beings anywhere in our Universe.

It was Einstein who said that both Science and Religion are climbing the same mountain and will some day reach the pinnacle and will shake hands. That time has come. With it comes the realization that, as James R. Lowell’s words for the hymn, ‘Once to Every Man and Nation’, so clearly state: “Time makes ancient good uncouth.”

Like it or not, we are in a New Age, by whatever name, and new rules and new insights are being introduced and established and they unite Religion and Science in ways that make what seemed like ancient truth to be uncouth.

You could not wish for a more exciting time to be alive!