“COME WITH ME”

“Tell me, O thou whom my soul lovest, where thou feedest (feed your flocks), where thou makest thy flocks to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside ( veils herself) by the flocks of thy companions?” Solomon 1:7

She wants to follow him and him alone, she does not want to hang out with his fellow shepherd’s and appear as one of a more questionable reputation. She wants assurance that she is never mistaken as belonging to anyone other than him and in order to do that he must lead her to HIS secret places where he feeds his flock among the lilies which translates to with love and in the garden of all things beautiful. She can’t just go there, she must follow.

This is a tad different than Jesus commanding us to take up our cross and follow Him, still must be done but this is a following Him out of adoration and a soul drenching desire to know Him deeper and be with Him and to breath in His very breath of apples and to worship Him in the true beauty of His Holiness. Such as David “being AFTER God’s own heart” a scripture I take different than most, I feel that David was truly desirous of knowing and being part of the very heart of God. To have our spiritual senses awakened by the heavenly fragrance of aloes, cassia, and myrrh ( some may not believe this but others know it as fact but the logic defying of an anointing that you can literally smell) and no other will do because only one shepherd, the true shepherd, the undisputed King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Holy and beautiful Lamb Himself can lead us to that feeding ground and that resting  place where no matter what happens in the earthly realm we will be refreshed by the waters  of His rivers and rest ours souls in the secret place of the Most High. Day by day, night by night, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second. Each and every day, only one day at a time, rejoicing each day because it is a day that He has made and His mercy is new ever day.

He tells us so clearly to not think of the past, to forget the former things and leave them behind. Do not give thought to our tomorrow because we know not what it may hold but to LIVE in this day, HIS day because HE IS our ever present help and forever by our side. But we must want to go, we are saved, we are His but oh there is so much more!

  Psalm 110:3: ” THY PEOPLE SHALL BE WILLING ( VOLUNTEERS ) IN THE DAY OF THY POWER, IN THE BEAUTIES OF HOLINESS FROM THE WOMB OF THE MORNING: THOU HAST THE DEW OF THY YOUTH.”

A beautiful BIRTH OF THE MORNING AFTER THE DARK, DARK NIGHT. The gentle dew bringing refreshment, healing and making all things NEW AND FRESH ONCE AGAIN. All that is required of us is to desire it and to FOLLOW Him when He bids “COME”.

That simple. As His sheep, His servants, His maidens and all who love and worship Him.

Isaiah 35: 1-10: “Strengthen ye the weak (sinking) hands, and confirm (make strong) the feeble knees (help each other stand).

SAY to them that are of a fearful heart, BE STRONG, FEAR NOT; BEHOLD, YOUR GOD WILL COME WITH VENGENANCE, EVEN GOD WITH A RECOMPENSE AND SAVE YOU.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: 

For in the WILDERNESS shall waters break out and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons (jackals) where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes( even the places where the enemy has lie in wait for you, will now become blessed and fertile).

AND AN HIGHWAY SHALL BE THERE, AND A WAY (road), AND IT SHALL BE CALLED THE WAY OF HOLINESS;  THE UNCLEAN SHALL NOT PASS OVER IT: BUT IT SHALL BE FOR THOSE: THE WAYFARING ( those who walk THE road), THOUGH FOOLS, SHALL NOT ERR ( protected, even from themselves, that they WILL NOT GO ASTRAY) THEREIN.

No lion shall be found there, nor ANY ravenous beast shall go up thereon, IT shall not be found there; BUT  THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD SHALL WALK THERE: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: THEY SHALL OBTAIN JOY AND GLADNESS, AND SORROW AND SIGHING SHALL FLEE AWAY.” 

Once we follow that path, that road, even though we may not be that smart at making our decisions we will not “err” because He will guide and keep us on that path, those ravenous beasts are the carnal attitudes and stumbling blocks that we must overcome because they WILL NOT be allowed there.  I feel His call today, as He called the disciples to follow, would be this:

Solomon 4:8: “COME WITH ME from Lebanon, my spouse, WITH ME  from Lebanon:  look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” 

  My prayer for all of us, His children the world over, in 2016: Dear Lord Jesus Father God, may we bask in your light and let your heavenly glow flow from us from us all and let us be the light in this pitch black world that you left us to be. May your Holy Fire fall on all as in the Day of Pentecost and let the Fire Baptism refine us as precious gold for the Kingdom. May the living waters from your throne proceed out of our bellies and flow even past orders of our own fallen nation and heal lands and seal those for the great and faithful day to come. Let the signs and wonders follow as you allowed for the disciples, let the miracles come as proof to those who do not believe. Let the great harvest of souls be reaped in the love of you and your mercy. Father, may our minds be renewed likened unto your yours and may our souls forever be entwined in oneness with you and bring swift justice upon the heads of the oppressors and allow your will to be done on earth and it is in heaven, Deliver all those who suffer from evil and bring us all into that glorious day when all nations shall bow before you and all shall worship at your feet, every eye shall see and every tongue shall confess that you are Lord and bring glory to the Father and let our eyes be fixed upon the great day when the words shall be proclaimed for all the universe, even the hosts of heaven “ THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KIGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER.” In the name above every name, Jesus of Nazareth, AMEN.

Φλογίζω / ΝΒΞ /12/21/2015 

 

NUMBERED

CHICKS LOG: STAR DATE: DECEMBER 27 2015.  Sentimentally looking for the  approaching 2016 and as most of us welcome a new year. One more shot to get right things that maybe did not go as planned. Another chance to make something right and do the work of the kingdom. A New Year filled with perhaps golden opportunities that may never come again.

We all know that with all the new beginnings also come new challenges and often new heartaches and then we tally up those numbers into lists of credits, debits, and accounts that may never be settled in our hearts. We take those numbers with losses high-lighted and throw them down at the feet of old man time, as we desire old acquaintance be forgot. And give to baby new year a clean slate and look to the future and hope the baby treats us a little kinder than the old dude did and that we all will have a better year.

As humans we ponder the events of the past year and we set goals and make resolutions for our hopes and dreams for the new one. I don’t make resolutions but I do have hopes, dreams, and goals.  I pondered all this yesterday as my pre-Christmas cold had returned with a bloody vengeance and my dripping nose had me feeling like the guy from the hot dog commercial when his kid asked him to cook something and the room starts spinning and “cook something” echoes repeatedly. But with me it was like “write something, write something” my nose won that battle but here I am today! 

My lessons from 2015 is simple, a reinforcement of the knowledge that God is sovereign, storms come, winds blow, life hurts and it hurts bad but Jesus is still walking that water with us. He will go with us to the end of this world IF we will allow Him.

 How we view our circumstances and how we allow it to work into our relationship with Him is completely up to us but it is the deciding factor of the numbers game that will either make us or completely break us. I have been to eight funerals this year, there have been more pass away but those are the ones I have made it to. My daughters best friend lost her Mom in June. One Church sister lost her Dad, another lost her husband and I watched my  own Dad preach two funerals, I watched him lose friends, church family, his niece and then this month his sister. My husband lost his Dad two weeks before my Aunt passed away. His death leaving his family absolutely devastated beyond words because his condition had improved and appeared that he was going to be fine.  Two of these had lost their lives after battles with cancer. Watching all the tears and seeing all the pain, and all those who suffer, especially with prayer requests being to pray for God to please let them not suffer. It can overwhelm everyone, everyone involved. Knowing the entire time that the ones who will be left behind truly need the prayers more.

This is where we all learn dependence on the Lord and I want to share a story that was told at my Aunt’s funeral. The man who preached it has been an Evangelist for over 40 years and his ties to our family are truly God sent, he and another preacher prayed faithfully with our family and my brother when he was terminal, they preached his funeral and in the midst of all those visits he told Mom and Dad that he had prayed the salvation prayer with my eldest brother, either the day he died or the day before. This was in 1973 and had been a torment to my family for years, but see even in the middle of the suffering and ordeal of losing one child, God gave them comfort about the salvation of another.

Silver linings in those dark clouds and rainbows in between the storms. Anyway, he preached my Aunt’s funeral and he is so humble and uses God’s word to comfort all who hear him. His wife had battled cancer for years and years, in the meantime a man had asked him to promise that if he passed away before him would he preach his funeral, and of course he agreed. The way it all went down was like this, the man passed and his wife lost her battle, he had to preach his friends funeral at 2:00 pm and his wife’s services were at 4:00 the same day. He shared that story with everyone as proof of God’s love and mercy even in the worst possible situation. The same God who carried him through would also carry those who asked him.

It is all seasons of this life and some years you will have to add every flower, every rainbow, and every sunny day, and most of all every single morning that He has allowed us breath, into that credit column to prove that all in all the good DOES outweigh the bad. IT IS ALL HOW YOU CRUNCH THOSE NUMBERS.

Mention of numbers, here’s some good ones. 

GODS LOVE AND CARE TOWARD US: 

MATTHEW 10:28-31:  “And fear NOT them which kill the body, but ARE NOT able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthling? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. BUT THE VERY HAIRS OF YOUR HEAD ARE NUMBERED. FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, ye are more valuable than many sparrows.”

GOD WATCHES OVER US:

PSALM 56:8: ” Thou tellest (counts or takes into account) my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are the not written in thy book?” 

JOB 14:16: For now thou NUMBEREST my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?”

LEARNING TO LEAN UPON THE SURE MERCIES OF GOD: 

PSALM 90:12,14: “So teach us to NUMBER our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may REJOICE AND BE GLAD ALL OUR DAYS.”

WISDOM FROM THE WORD:

ECCLESIASTES 12: 1-8:” REMEMBER now thy Creator IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH, WHILE THE EVIL (VEXATION, TROUBLES) DAYS COME NOT, NOR THE YEARS DRAW NIGH (while in your prime) when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (good days) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease (stand idle) because there are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened (grow dim), and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up the voice of the bird, and the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be AFRAID of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, BECAUSE MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG HOME (DIES, ETERNAL HOME),and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED, OR THE GOLDEN BOWL BE BROKEN, OR THE PITCHER BE BROKEN (SHATTERED) AT THE FOUNTAIN, OR THE WHEEL BROKEN AT THE CISTERN.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT. VANITY OF VANITIES, SAITH THE PREACHER; ALL IS VANITY.”

HOPE IN GOD:        ROMANS 8:36-39:    “As it is written, FOR THY SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, (NO) IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US. For I am persuaded, that neither DEATH, nor LIFE, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, WHICH IS in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23:   THIS I RECALL TO MY MIND,THEREFORE HAVE I HOPE. It is of the Lord’s mercies THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: GREAT IS THY FAITHFULLNESS.”

That is MY HOPE,   WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS when He allows us to laugh through the tears and leap while lame, and shout when we are so emotionally drained that we no longer have words and are just speechless. I see the rainbows and hear the birds and even through the bad we had a beautiful, new little family edition and my sister started a beautiful new chapter in life,  my friend Michelle and our husbands attended a spring formal with our daughters only weeks before her death and even with stage four cancer, she danced and those, those are the memories that will forever shine. My Aunt Evelyn will forever be in my heart, I will forever miss her and miss talking to her and miss her always being there with us but I know one day we will dance on those streets of gold. I know just as He did for Brother Joe, God will strengthen all who ask and I know in the end when all numbers come up God allows us to hold the winning hand. From my heart to yours, may you and your family have a Blessed New Year in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2015

 

TWO TURTLEDOVES

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so commanded of the angel BEFORE HE WAS CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB. and when the eight days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, EVERY MALE THAT OPENETH THE WOMB SHALL BE HOLY UNTO THE LORD;) And to OFFER a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.” Luke 2:21-24

 The book of Leviticus, chapter 12 deals with the laws after childbirth and the required offering of a lamb, but verse 8 says this: ” And if she NOT be able to bring a lamb, the she shall bring two turtles (doves), or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”

I always love to point out the fact that the offerings and giving of the first fruits helped support the priests, whose job WAS to care for the temple and the things of God, they and their families depended solely upon God for everything. But many things are twisted by the money preachers of today and Apostle Paul actually WORKED to earn his living. This pressure is felt stronger during the Holiday season than any time of the year. We are bombarded with commercials telling us what our loved ones simply must have to have and if we are short on cash, we can always charge it, of course with a nice healthy interest rate given to those who offer this little extra holiday cheer.

A hard battle to fight. Jesus who left all of heaven, left his throne surrounded by his host of heavenly followers, the angels who came to the shepherds that fateful, divine night surrounded by the glow of heaven itself still could not resist proclaiming his glory for all the world to hear. He chose parents who were poor, who were unable to offer a lamb on his behalf  because he would be THE LAMB.

The two turtle-dove would be as HIS atonement and as HIS being offered as a sacrifice for OUR sins. The dove forever being symbolic of peace and the presence of the Holy spirit and in the humbleness of the meekest of offerings, the King of the absolute universe whose kingdom will be paved with streets of pure gold, gates of precious pearl, walls of jasper and stones of unfathomable worth and again the meekest offering of the poorest of the poor. Not much to do with super centers and gift wrap there, is there?

Don’t let your joy this season be measured by an invisible force of marketing, don’t stress about the perfect gifts, meager budget, planning the perfect party. The Bible commands us to not despise the times of small things and the smallest gift of all, a tiny newborn baby WAS and IS the ONLY PERFECT GIFT!

Original post: 12/2015

Φλογιζω NBJ/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 12/14/2019

“Abiding in the field….”

*Archived*

Beautiful fields, prairie fields at the peak of the season flowing with wildflowers and butterflies.

Mown fields, lush green pastures as far as the eye can see just begging to be used as the ultimate reunion of love as two run toward each other to embrace.

Peaceful fields bordered by crystal clear flowing streams as sheep happily graze without a care in the world as their shepherd watches over them.

But there are other fields….  Fields of dry, brown grass withered by the scorch of the sun, patches of soil left exposed and cracked lacking the relief of gentle expected rains that did not come. Fallow field that require the tedious backbreaking work of removing all the stone and working that ground until it can produce once again.

With the changing seasons of this life WE ARE THOSE SHEEP and those laborers. And we find ourselves in many different fields.  The Prophet Jeremiah bought a filed for an inheritance, even though EVERYTHING was going to fall apart, this was the purchase of the FUTURE.

Jeremiah 32:14 : “Thus SAITH  the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take the evidences (deeds), this evidence (deed) of the purchase, BOTH WHICH IS SEALED, and THIS EVIDENCE WHICH IS OPEN; and put them in an EARTHEN VESSEL, that they may continue (last) many days. For thus SAITH the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; HOUSES AND VINEYARDS SHALL BE POSSESSED AGAIN IN THIS LAND.”

Ruth whose compassion and love for her grieving, widowed  Mother in Law who was now also childless would not allow her to abandon her and run back to Moab in search of a new husband, soon found herself in an unknown foreign field, being advised as to what she must do in order for them to survive. As she gleaned that field, working to take what had been left to feed those who were hungry, she unknowing caught the eye of the one who owned the field! 

Ruth 2:8,9: ” Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? GO NOT to glean in another field, NEITHER go from hence ( do not leave from here) BUT ABIDE HERE fast (close) by my maidens: LET THINE EYES BE ON THE FIELD THAT THEY DO REAP and go thou after them (follow them) :

and have I not charged the young me that THEY SHOULD NOT TOUCH THEE? (they had been told to leave her alone and let her work )  and when thou art athirst (thirsty) GO UNTO THE VESSELS, and DRINK THAT WHICH THE YOUNG MEN HAVE DRAWN ( they were SUPPOSED to SHARE with her their water and allow her access to THEIR water jugs). 

Luke 2:8-20 ” And there were in the same country SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCKS BY NIGHT. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the GLORY OF THE LORD SHONE ROUND ABOUT THEM: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOUR, WHICH IS CHRIST THE LORD.  And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And SUDDENLY there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host PRAISING GOD, and saying, GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them INTO HEAVEN, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and SEE this thing which is come to pass, which the LORD HATH MADE KNOWN UNTO US.  and they came WITH HASTE, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when THEY HAD SEEN IT, THEY MADE IT KNOWN abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. BUT Mary kept all these things, and PONDERED THEM IN HER HEART. And the SHEPHERDS RETURNED, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

So that promised redemption, those open deeds, the things made known and crystal clear and those deeds that had been sealed, the birth of a King coming in a way no one could see, born in poverty to parents whose offering would be two turtle doves, the offering given by the poorest of the poor, those deeds to the inheritance of all of eternity had been kept in that earthen vessel which would be born of a virgin and in the lineage of another who obeyed the field command.

As God allowed love to blossom in that field between Ruth and Boaz, a love whose embrace led to the birth of their great-grandson  who would be King David whose bloodline would be honored in the ultimate fulfillment of those deeds, those promises of OWNERSHIP of a nation and the world that would come in that earthen vessel born in that humble manger in the body of Jesus Christ.

The shepherds who were doing their job watching over their sheep AT NIGHT (I’m not even getting it to that YET, oh, but it is coming) were rewarded by the proclamation of the news to ends all news given straight BY THE VOICES OUT OF HEAVEN ITSELF!

So about those fields, had Jeremiah took it upon himself to ignore the voice of the Lord and think well, why buy a place that will be toast?

What if Ruth had decided that another field with kinder maidens would be more enjoyable?

What if the young men tried to run Ruth away and hoarded all the water that she was dependent on to strengthen her during gleaning?

What if the shepherds had not abided by their flock? They would have NEVER heard from heaven!

Mary kept it and pondered it, she knew who her baby was and that was enough for her.

Whatever field you find yourself in today, please stay there, if it is beautiful and fertile, let the Lord lead you and bless that beautiful place and season in your life, don’t doubt it, run through that field and embrace!

If you find yourself being urged to “purchase” what appears dead or hopeless, heed the voice of the Lord, only He knows His plans and He alone will bring life back to what APPEARS hopeless.

If your field is stone and you have worked until your back breaks and your hands bleed and you have cried so many tears that you can’t even remember the last time you smiled, DON’T GIVE UP!

I promise when that last stone is ripped from the ground and that soil is soft and  God sends those refreshing rains of spring, what you have sown also watered by all those tears is going to spring up into a harvest so plentiful and beautiful that you will rejoice and thank Him for giving you the strength to not give up.

Shepherds take heed that stay by your sheep DURING THIS NIGHT, and don’t let the water boys hoard that which is meant to be shared with those God has sent to glean the leftovers FROM YOUR FIELD and never cease to hear the voice of that heavenly host praising God, they beheld His glory but I promise you, we who are faithful will also behold Him and it will be a glory unlike any that has been as of yet but we have to be listening in our field.

HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and me and my little fire baby Φλογιζω will stay in our field and you stay in yours, you will never regret it!

Φλογίζω / NBJ 2015 Original post date: 12/12/2015

Revisited 12/07/2019

 

 

 

Groovin’ the Gauntlet

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18

The Gauntlet, the reality of the answer of the age old question, what is the meaning of life. That is the answer, not quite what you would think is it?

We are all souls with God, who is eternal, no beginning, no ending, self -existing and ever existent  until we are born to this earth.

As God told Jeremiah, first chapter- fifth verse: “BEFORE I formed thee in the BELLY, I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED (set apart) THEE, AND I ORDAINED (appointed)THEE A PROPHET UNTO NATIONS.

As with the names that were written BEFORE the earth was formed. Our souls just as they are eternal, were with Him until time for whatever the reason, to be born onto the gauntlet field of this world.

1st Ephesians 1:4: “According as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE the FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

So we are born, hit the ground and IT IS ON.

 The gauntlet is formed against us BEFORE we can even hit the ground running, because the enemy knows more about you than you do!

The gauntlet of the “tares”, the weeds the devil planted among the children, on one side and facing you on the other side the demonic forces of hell, so you start your run between the tongue wagging finger pointers running themselves, trying to set those stumbling blocks before you, every imaginable scheme will be hatched for their use as a weapon against you, just trying to knock you down with everything they’ve got.

So you are running as fast as you can trying to keep one eye on the course in front of you and one eye on the weapons coming after you but then you see on the other side of your course the demonic forces armed and ready with snares and traps set every step of the way and many, many archers with their bows poised and the fiery darts ready to rain down, the farther you make it the more they are gonna hit from both sides, the “holier than thous” just dying to see you fall so they can tell all their buddies they were right about you the whole time, the devil starts bringing out bigger and bigger giants, more and more archers and sends the storms chasing you.

Sound pretty unbelievable?  Ah, Jesus said “for this cause” He was born into the world.  His cause being to DIE on a cross, not only die but to be tortured, humiliated, and rejected, his gauntlet beginning with his forty days in the wilderness, which HE MADE IT THROUGH HIS FORTY DAYS, he remained completely spotless and sinless and us being human CAN never achieve that, BUT we are to strive and stay on that course.

Now add in just the reality of living, grief, sorrow, heartache, because it rains on the just and the unjust, EVERYONE WILL RUN THE GAUNTLET.

But those with Christ have an expected end to this course.

This is the reason we are commanded to NOT look to the right or to the left, and NEVER EVER LOOK BACK, only forward, if we don’t look to either side we can’t lose focus worrying about what is getting ready to hit us and WE ARE COMMANDED more than once to not look back, if you do you will see what is gaining on you and you will stumble over those blocks that has been placed before you.

Your entire reason for living is to bring glory to the Father and to help as many as you can run the gauntlet that has been set before them by the god of this world  (2nd Corinthians  4:4).

Paul was very apt in describing his gauntlet and we often feel that our burdens are heavy but I know for me, I gain so much encouragement from reading what they suffered and being blessed to read the end of their stories and how God used all those things to enlarge the Kingdom.

2 Corinthians 11:23-30 ” Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one (they thought it merciful to give 39 lashes as opposed to the 40 you were sentenced to, so at the time he wrote this Paul HAD RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 195 lashes) . 

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; journeys often, in perils of waters, IN PERILS BY THE BRETHREN, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, IN PERILS AMONG FALSE BRETHREN ( notice both groups listed, the ones who ARE your brethren that set those stumbling blocks and the FALSE brethren sent by the enemy). 

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings (sleeplessness) often, in hunger, in thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

BESIDES THOSE THINGS (other things) WHICH COME UPON ME DAILY, the care of all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended (MADE TO STUMBLE), and I burn ( BURN WITH INDIGNATION) not?

IF I must needs glory, I WILL GLORY OF THE THINGS WHICH CONCERN MINE INFIRMITIES.”

 What he was saying if he survived all these things and yet glorified God in all them through showing love to others, how could ANYONE complain of their own sufferings?

He learned the groove of the gauntlet,  he learned to accept it for what it is and go with it.    

 He knew that is had to be ran, to fight it just held him up and there was people whose lives would be changed, there were others to help.

His purpose was NOT to fight in retaliation those who manned his gauntlet but to show the love listed above, to grab onto those who had fallen or were wounded by fiery darts and pull them with him to the finish line.

Acts 16 tells us of the arrest of Paul and Silas for doing just that, praying for a possessed girl to be delivered, this enraging those who were using her possession to make money through fortune telling, they were beaten and thrown in prison.

Paul had learned to be content in ALL situations and learned to REJOICE in affliction because the more he suffered for the Gospel, the GREATER the POWER OF GOD rested upon him, so with excruciating lash wounds on their backs they STILL sang and praised God, this pleasing God who sent an earthquake and opened every cell, now they could have left, completely free and thought “Ha, Ha the jerks get what they deserve for beating us.”  

BUT when Paul saw that the jailer was going to commit suicide because they had all escaped, Paul called to him NOT TO harm himself that they were all there.

That is that love and the jailer and his entire family was saved because Paul knew how to play the gauntlet and HE DID EXACTLY what GOD WANTED HIM TOO.

Just as Jesus “who for the joy SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is sat down at the right hand of the Father.”

Those of Hebrews 11, who should give anyone hope and courage to press on.

Learn to groove that gauntlet, play it smoother than any jazz tune ever played.

The prize we seek is NOT in this world.

It is in the next and the true secret is what they knew, press on, press on, press on.

Pick yourself up, let the tears fly as you run, but RUN, RUN with everything you got and grab on to all you see who have fallen in their own race against the gauntlet, pull them, drag them whatever you have to do to help them to that finish line, but never ever look at those opposing you just look to the Author and Finisher of your faith.

He made it through His forty days and Forty nights and then He ran that gauntlet that hell itself had prepared and he died running it BUT HE ROSE and FOREVER SHALL REIGN!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015 

Original post date 12/04/15 revisited 07/01/2020 As you go through your day and your week, please remember that this world and the troubles of this world are temporary, just as our first verse assures us and in these awful days in which we live set yourself with one purpose and one goal and that goal is this, a reminder of what Jesus told us,NEVER LET THEM STEAL YOUR CROWN.

Golden

Golden apples, golden pomegranates, figs, nuts and not to be forgotten the beautiful gilded roses and sprigs of heather that since the Victorian era have added their lovely soft holiday glow to many Christmas trees.

I myself, a die hard Victorian trapped in a modern world with a strong opinion base and more than willing to verbally express those opinions would have no doubt been confined to the solitude of a servants quarter someplace.

So I am thankful I can now have the best of both worlds, but that does bring back a few school memories, now looking back, maybe that strong opinion and big mouth could explain more than one solitary confinement detention, but that is neither here nor there.

Golden apples, can’t make it through the holiday without a least a couple and every time I see one I am reminded of one of my favorite verses: Proverbs 25:11″A word fitly spoken (SPOKEN AT THE RIGHT TIME) is like APPLES OF GOLD in pictures (settings) of silver.”

Think of how beautiful that would truly be, the little snapshot above of my golden apple on my little Victorian tree can give a glimpse of just how the light reflects from that gold, it captures each twinkle and presents a warm, soft glow. Imagine the light reflected from a true golden apple glided by the process of the fire of the word of God. The tradition of Christmas apples can be kinda shaky depending on your research but we know that the only research we need is the symbolism found in the word of God. God refers to his children as the apple of his eye, (meaning pupil, but yet something extremely precious and of irreplaceable value.)

Song of Solomon has countless references to this ,when Jesus announces “I AM the rose of Sharon, AND the lily of the valley” describing his great love and calls her into his presence and she replies Song of Solomon 2:3:

“As the apple tree among the trees of wood, SO IS my beloved among the sons, I sat down UNDER HIS SHADOW with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” The apple tree bearing nourishing, beautiful, sweet fruit that no other tree could compare too. She goes on to plead to be comforted with apples, as she now had fallen completely in love wishing only to be refreshed and fed in His Presence, his very breath being as the fragrance of apples. Need we say more about apples?

Now for the gold, pure, valuable, beautiful, and reflective and adds worth to anything it touches. Through his fire He will refine his servants” as silver is refined” and try his servants “as gold is tried” his saints are processed as gold, with all the impurities being fired away until all that remains is pure and fire tested, purity tested to prove that they are tried and true.

His word as the setting of those refreshing, encouraging, nourishing “apples”.

Psalm 12:6:”The WORDS of the Lord ARE PURE WORDS; AS SILVER TRIED IN THE FURNACE OF EARTH, purified seven times.” Jesus will send a word in season to those who are weary, we need refreshing, we need encouragement and we live in a world where everyone wants to kick you when your down and people seem to have issues with being loyal friends to more than one person at a time. Sometimes these golden apples, words of encouragement or gentle warning words of wisdom are never delivered by the messengers but they are needed:

Proverbs 25:12,13:”As an earring of gold, and an ornament (adornment) of fine gold, so is a wise reprover  upon an obedient ear. As the cold of SNOW in TIME OF HARVEST, So IS a faithful messenger to them that send him: For he refreshest  the soul of his masters.”

We may not always hear the words that we necessarily want to hear but it refreshes us to the Lord and refreshes us to our path and to that process of our spirits being refined and tried to the purification of God’s golden standard.

Apples in due season, season of if we faint not, seasons of sorrow, seasons of loss, season of discouragement there is nothing finer than apples of gold and the refreshment  brought to weary souls is truly golden.

If you have a scripture or thought that just keeps burning in your soul about someone else, don’t sit on that, pray about it and share it.

Unless it is revealed by the Lord we never know what is going on inside of another soul, they may be so weary that they are in danger of falling, they may be so hurt and wounded that they don’t know where to turn or they could be in danger of heading down the wrong path or have something going on inside that they need to get in check to finish that purification process, you never know but if God continues to stir you heart you need to heed that and don’t keep all the pretty golden apples to yourself, they were meant to be shared!

Φλογίζω για παντα  / NBJ 2015/ original post date: 12/02/2015/ repost 12/20/2019