“Daddy’s shoes… “

“HEAR, ye little children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give unto you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 

For I was my father’s son, and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her (wisdom) not, and she shall preserve thee; love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. he shall give (place on) thine hand an ornament of grace: a crown of glory she shall deliver unto thee.

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught thee in the ways of wisdom; I have lead thee in right paths.

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

Take fast (firm) hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

AVOID IT, pass not it by (do not travel on it), turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall.

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 

But the path of the just is as a shining light,(bright light)  that shineth more(even brighter)  and more unto that perfect day. 

The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.

My son, attend to my words: incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Let them depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Put away from the a froward (deceitful) mouth,and perverse lips (a bad mouth) put far from thee.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established, Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4

Now that my dear friends, you could say is a crash course on Godly advice that was intended not only for believers but in my belief, also for parents to give to their own children and we now that the words from the mouths of parents or parental figures are also the words that truly shape us, make us or unfortunately break us.

That is nothing new and the hatred and lack of common concern one for another that has been passed from one generation seems to have only worsens with time.

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads, and it lives and it spreads mainly impart to the bonds, rather broken bonds between fathers and children. For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

There is nothing honorable or remotely masculine about any man that teaches hatred, violence, and batters  his family. And this was never God’s plan for any of it. He is kind, tender, and beautiful.

Jesus died for all of us, not once did he ask anyone to take his place on the cross, no one else could have, but this was the ultimate act of the Fathers love.

He loves us all and he loves us enough that he came to this earth and died for us.

How can anyone even try to convince another than anything other than respect and kindness toward others could ever ever be something God had designed?

It is not just teaching hatred and bigotry that has so damaged, it is not just the physical abuse that is destructive, it is also the the words and actions that make children feel rejected and unloved that leads to issues and especially in daughters  life long challenges that must be to overcome.

My daughter, like most children, found is so delightful as a toddler to “wear” her Dad’s shoes, it was the cutest thing, she’d wander over by the door, where the shoes were kept and suddenly, I see this huge grin and look down and both feet were standing in her Daddy’s shoes and then she would very careful try to walk in these “grown up” shoes.

Her tiny little feet having to lift the weight of those shoes in order to take each step and yet it was a joy to her, because we all have that need inside of us, to “walk” in our parents shoes. I am sure those of you who have children know exactly what I mean, the look of sheer joy that comes to the face of a child once they master a few steps in those shoes. And when you think of this spiritually, as fathers, a man’s shoes can be a delight for their little ones to grow into or they can be ill fitting and cause those children to stumble.

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because he is indifferent and just does not know what  do so he does nothing.   

Our verses above give perfect instruction on what to do, what to teach including teaching to AVOID the snares and destruction’s that we can easily fall into in life.

So to all of you Fathers on your special day, NEVER think it is too late! It is NEVER too late until you are dead! 

If you have maybe not been a great dad, talk to you child, even if that child is grown and if they will not listen, write them a letter, and try to make peace and TRY to rebuild that relationship and even if seems there is no hope, keep trying, because LOVE, LOVE conquers all and maybe you won’t see the results of that right off the bat, you may not even see the results before you leave this world BUT there will be results, healing and closure for your child. Knowing that you tried will impact their lives for good even if they NEVER get to the place of forgiveness that they are comfortable sharing those thoughts with you.

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage, rage is easy, swallowing “pride” not quite as much.

God blesses us in following his word in all areas of our life, and with that stand, STAND for what is right and speak for those who can’t, the Biblical truth concerning violence against women has always been very close to my heart, and I have always believed if men would call out men, concerning it, it would change, just as it is time for the police to police themselves and tear down that code of silence within the brotherhood that has lead to the tragedies we have now, when three stands by while one kills because they are ingrained with the doctrine that there are lines that must not be crossed.

Finally maybe you are reading this and you had a terrible,terrible father rest assured you do not have to mirror him and you do not have to make the same mistakes, you have a heavenly Father who will love you and teach you his ways and help you grow into who he created you to be.

If you are reading this and you are a mother raising your kids alone and there is no way that their father is ever going to be the father they need, you can pray the blessing of God over your children and yourself, you NEED extra help when you are the mother and the father, the breadwinner, homemaker, and every job in between! 

Read this passage, memorize this passage, and PRAY verse five (in bold) over you and your children every day.

Psalm 68:1-5: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so  let the wicked perish before the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens, by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.  

A father of the fatherless, and a judge (DEFENDER) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

Finally, to my Brothers in Christ, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

May God bless you and your families and keep praying those blessings for your kids and all the kids who do not have a Godly father to ask those blessing of God for them.

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

VALOR VICTORIOUS

 

The truest test of bravery comes not by being the strongest,the most well-trained, or sharpest shooter on the field.
The results of the true test of bravery comes through what would appear the weakest and least prepared of soldiers.

And we know all about judging books by covers or rather the warning not too, all know the story of Samuel being sent to Jesse, to complete the task of anointing a new king, and we know that in the family opinion, David’s kingly attribute’s were so, how shall we say… um, lacking, nada, zilch, not even gonna happen, that they didn’t even bother to call him in.

BUT it was this boy, who had that little something extra, tucked away so deep on the inside that NO ONE could even see it, but he would be chosen, because GOD saw it, because God had placed it there.

Gideon, another who FEARFULLY HID from his enemies to get food for his family, and even when he was angelically informed that the enemies demise was gonna be his job, he NEEDED reassurance that this was GOD’S ideal not his, (I had actually heard Gideon referred to as a “sissy” by a Bible teacher once, I’m like, bite your tongue!)
Gideon was WISE, he could have died by the hand of his enemies and been fine, but to fall into the hands of  the Living God is a very different, very terrifying fate!

Mary, the consummate story of having a table prepared in the presence of your enemies!
She KNEW what these guys thought of her, BUT she had to go into the HOUSE OF HER ENEMY and pour out her soul, (IN THEIR PRESENCE) and wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry them with her hair, which at this time, hair was considered a lady’s glory and to use it is in such a display of absolute humility (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH HUMILIATION!) was unheard of, but oh, what had been laid out on that table!

There are so many today, who just do not know YET, the full power of what is living right there inside of you, that courage to pour yourself out, the courage to share your pain and sorrows and lay down at the master’s feet for all the world to see.
Sometimes our spiritual battles could be best compared to wounded creatures, when they are hurt and so desperately need treatment and those who try to intervene are met with growls and a display of teeth. Sometimes those wounds are so painful that we don’t want anyone seeing them or “touching” them, BUT it is in those wounds and allowing the healing of them that true valor and courage are shown to others.

Sometimes in the church world there can be a lack of empathy, I once heard a man years and years ago say something, and I am not bashing him, I actually like him and I know this was based on sheer lack of empathy, it in was in context of joy, and he made the reference of giving the devil too much credit and that a lady had said he just didn’t know what the devil had put her through, his answer was don’t give credit to the devil.

He had no idea what she may have been through, people have often suffered abuses that they are just not comfortable telling a roomful of people and it could have been something that he could not have possibly understood.

Standing in faith with her and praying for her when she was too weak to stand alone would have served much better than reprimanding her for feeling.

And this guaranteed no one else who was listening would ever chance showing their pain for fear of being rejected as “weak”.
I also love another oldie, really prevalent with the old school crew (And yes, I love them too, just using examples here), about people “coming in looking like they’ve been sucking on lemons” and “How can God’s people lack joy?”

And I know that I have looked like “Lemon girl”one more than one occasion during my walk with Christ, but God knows when we are hurt and in my personal opinion pretending is lying and of course I do NOT mean like pretending to be superheros or whatever when we are children but I mean pretending we are fine when we are not knowing that God knows we are not fine is an unfair request that no one should ever make of us.
It is not that they lack joy, obviously if they have survived thus far, they have a better foundation with God, then some would think.

There are snares, traps, and schemes from then enemy BUT sometimes people have problems and wounds that TAKE TIME TO HEAL!

I heard a minister say the coolest thing ever once, I am quoting him, because I do not have his name or otherwise I would give it, but he said when you ask someone how they are and they reply “fine” this usually means “Fractured, Injured, Neurotic, and Empty”!
But that pressure to be whole, groovy, problem free Christians doesn’t really send out a safety beacon to those who don’t necessarily feel that  same way!
I am sincerely happy for the ones who have it together and have reached that place we strive to, the place of perfect love, blessing your enemies, joying in persecutions and WE TRULY MUST attempt to reach that, but for those who haven’t and those in the world, struggling to keep their heads up out of the water, another warrior is sometimes needed to stand with them in that battle.
Broken, broken people will have no connection to others who profess to never, ever have a care in the world, or have never made a mistake and treat others tears with disgust.
True courage and true valor are found in the honesty of someone admitting they are not perfect, that they struggle but that they never surrender in that battle and THAT is what acts as that beacon of hope, the love and light of Jesus, shining through that once broken vessel, for the world to see, his light reflecting through as rays of hope on the black, deathly violent waging sea of this world.

David, through the NAME of the Lord (which was HIS high tower) defeated a GIANT that EVERYONE ELSE dared not tangle with, what is often forgotten about this story, THEY PLANNED TO TAKE ALL ISRAEL AS SLAVES!
So this wasn’t just a victory for David, it was God using him to prevent the enslavement of them all!

Gideon’ sword backed by the SWORD of the Lord defeated the enemies that had held them virtual prisoners in their own land, God even subtracting the army numbers down to three hundred to ensure to ALL who fought this battle!

Mary, who was quite accustomed to being treated like an object was completely vindicated when Jesus HEARD THE THOUGHTS in Simon’s head concerning her and lined him out at Simon’s own dinner, in front of all his guests, that HE KNEW WHO SHE WAS!

And Mary never would have been invited to the dinner table of a Pharisee but blessed she never left the table of the Lord, she went on to follow him and she was the first he appeared to after his resurrection.  

Simon was half right, only out of context with his judgmental thinking, JESUS DID KNOW exactly who it was touching Him, it was his messed up, wounded daughter who came to be healed, He knew Mary’s soul, something none of us can ever know about another.
So be strong, be of good courage, don’t be afraid to show others all your scars from the wounds Jesus has healed, let them see and then they won’t be so afraid to let Him see theirs because HE WANTS TO HEAL THEM but they have to be willing to let Him look at all those bloody places in their souls.

Revelation 2:7: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Revelation 2:11: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

Revelation 2:17: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

Revelation 2:26: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.”

Revelation 3:5: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

Revelation 3:12: “Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

Revelation 3:21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

These are HIS promises to you!

All things made new, all the labels gone, new names, and forever be in the presence of Him!
He also told us to “Let NO MAN take your crown” (scriptural meaning humans, male or female) that let’s you know you gotta fight!
So how do you do that?
You fight with courage, and valor, and vigor just like Mary and the others and NOT care who sees, or what they think and you worship your God!

And as others try to give you a hard time, remember this verse, this is who is really attacking you:

Revelation 12:10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and of  the power of his Christ: FOR THE ACCUSER of our brethren is cast down, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT.”

When someone tries to remind you of your past, you remind yourself  who they are really speaking for, they are accusing you because they are filled with him and do you best to just let God fight that battle for you.
Take this sword, keep it and your mind sharp to the power of it:

Revelation 12:11
“And THEY OVERCAME HIM (devil) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY; AND THAT THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES UNTO THE DEATH.”

The union between heaven and earth, first the surrendering into His blood and then your own testimony of what the blood of the Lamb has changed in your life and not loving your “friends” or lifestyle, or worldly image more!
Ponder it today and so many of you, are here for this time on earth, to be THAT light on behalf of Jesus. 

Let NO ONE stop you, and never lose your crown or your guts!
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. nbj 2015 ***Archive post, original post date 08/05/2015*** Revisited 05/13/19 & 06/14/20

 

Justifying the end…

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12 

Old, old saying that we are all probably quite familiar with…”The end justify the means.” And we all know that this pretty much is saying that when you have a purpose or achieved goal that nothing, nothing is off limits or out of bounds in achieving that desired end result.

That mentality is quite common in the world and even encouraged and it can be a task for new converts or even old seat warmers to remember when fighting the temptation to steer away from the Word of God and choose “other alternatives” when achieving what they feel is something that must take place or the end result of a situation that they have been faced with and it is very easy to be swayed into believing that whatever it takes God will be okay with because he loves us but when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven that God has commanded that his people “come out and be separate” and the false doctrine doctrine teaching of that anything and everything is okay with God is an absolute lie.

The world may have changed but God’s standards have not nor will they ever and what He said 2000 years ago is just as true today.

God means what He says and says what He means.

When God saves us, cleanses us and delivers us we are so new, so alive, so clean and there is nothing like the initial feeling of having the sins of a lifetime washed away and being made new  in Christ, but again that is initially.

And as Scripture also teaches us we are babes in Christ, but the time comes for those babes to grow and just as we grow in the natural, growing spiritually involves many ups and downs and the growing process can be at times very painful.

We do not learn to trust God unless we are faced with a situation that seems so hopeless and helpless that our only option is that we must trust God.

We do not learn to walk in faith unless we are suddenly met with a darkened path that can only be walked by faith.

And we will never ever develop the kind of patience that Jesus referred to when he told us that in it we will possess our souls, unless that patience is tried.

Our souls can never understand true peace unless until we have understood true exhaustion.

These are Christian growing pains, because we must grow in Christ and that is a process, day by day, year by year, we grow in Christ and as we grow and the time comes, just a baby bird must learn how to stand up in his nest before he will ever take flight.

We as Christians are allowed to learn “to stand” just as we grow from babies to toddler and before we can ever walk must less run we have to learn how to stand. 

I have noticed more in the recent years than ever, is by convincing Christians that somehow we can still hold fast to the beleif that the end will justify the means.

And that is not saying God leaves us, he never ever leaves us and he is always there to help us and as we start swaying, stumbling, almost falling as we try to stand He is the father who gently takes our hands and steady’s us again.

And this is the place where so many stumble and take hold of the wrong hand and often during these times rather than knowing  that God is there is can be easier to allow the enemy to convince us that if we are to stand we will need to do whatever it takes to stand on our own.

That is NOT God’s idea on how we are to handle anything.

Often through our upbringing and society we can easily fall back into the old mindset and completely forget the truth that we once knew and soon enough struggles will come and then we must decide are we going to revert back to the old way of thinking, listening to the wrong voices of handling life or do we take God at His word.

The best description of this growing process, it’s purpose, and the ease of not quite grasping it can be found in 2 Peter 1:2-9: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to (by) glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature HAVING ESCAPED the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to you faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love). 

For if these things be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is short sighted), and hath FORGOTTEN that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.”

So you can see this for the process that it is and it is a process, little by little, step by step as God transforms us(as scripture says, by the renewing of our MINDS) to become the en and women he created us to be in Him.

And we must have these attributes. But we are human, we will stumble, we will struggle but again if we accept the fact that this IS part of that process and quit believing the lies of the enemy that tell us that if we were were really “where we should be…” that is the biggest lie of all, we re never where we should be or otherwise we’d be out of here!

This is the same issue that Jesus had with the Pharisees and all the “perfect” people that ostracized those he came to save and he hate it!

And we are often harder on ourselves than the enemy or others could ever be and we have to stop this and accept, really accept Jesus, his forgiveness and get on with our work for the Kingdom while we still have time to work.

Once those doors are shut is is over, once our lives are completed there will be no second chances to come back to earth and complete the job he had given us to do. Remember those treasures you are storing up, remember those crowns that you will be given to lay at the feet of the King?

But above all remember those whose lives you WILL NOT touch and remember the difference that you DID NOT make.

And as harsh as that may sound, it is a very good incentive to us when we think outside of the box of our own head and look at the bigger picture which is why Peter tells us so clearly that we need these attributes, and note that he does not at anytime lay down a number of days, months, years that we should achieve any of these attributes or the total culmination of them all because there is no time frame.

Just that we are to build upon these and we acquire them through the need and dependence upon them to finally reach our true goal- the true “end justification” which is LOVE, love as Christ wants us to love.

It is a process, because even though you may have faith but if you do not have self control what could happen with that faith?

Maybe you have brotherly kindness and can be helpful to those in need and maybe your heart goes out to them and you are lead in someway to reach out to them and perform some sort of act of service but you lack diligence, your heart may reach out but you will not be able to complete the task, without diligence we see nothing through.

And he tells us at the end that IF we lack these things we are SHORT SIGHTED, we cannot see far off. meaning we can not see the end, the ETERNAL outcome and it is then that we are tempted into playing the game of “The end justifies the means” because we are searching for that quick fix.

Another set back to modernism of the church, we can not lie, or avoid the truth or pretend to like those who our hearts are filed with unresolved hurt against, we can not do any of these things out of any agenda because it is still sin and using it as a ‘”Means to an end” is also a sin.

Again part of that growing process, but as we grow in Christ and we CHOOSE to follow a plan that is at the very least questionable in comparison to the Word of God on handling that subject and while that little voice inside is telling us this is not quite right and we reason within ourselves that it is not that big of a deal and reassure ourselves with our own reasoning… it is sin.

Honesty, whether that honesty seems good or bad to others, God requires honesty, and as James 4:17 states “Therefore to him that KNOWETH to do good and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.”

We are not bound by what we do not know,and if we do not understand the things that we should not do and do them, God will let us know in our hearts or by a word of exhortation that we should not do those things, He will ensure we get the message, because He loves us, and that love is unconditional and He wants us to have the life of peace and joy,a life that was purchased by him for us, a life that was paid for in his agony, his blood and his life and when we choose our own path we are devaluing his sacrifice.

If we are to be part of the outpouring of the last days, which we know that we are in, and we truly want to see his Kingdom come we have to get these “little foxes” under control and out of our lives. We all struggle, we all have questions about our identity from time to time, that it normal and God promises are so pure and so perfect, we are PROMISED that he will never leave us, no one loves us like Jesus and no one ever will!

He wants us to succeed and if that means picking us up and dusting us off and giving us a hug every fifteen minutes we are on this earth HE WILL.

He is gentle, kind, and merciful beyond human comprehension and he does not expect us to be anything other than who he created us to be and to keep his commandments, love and honor him and do the best that we personally are capable of doing. 

But in that we also must be willing to choose the correct path and the correct response to the things that life throws our way, it is often said concerning parenting to “choose your battles wisely” and I do believe many fights in battles that were never theirs for the fighting, such as staying in situations out of pride, not wanting to be the “one who gave in” when it would be more wise to walk away

Remember that God wants us to come to him with all that weighs you down, he wants you to bring to him every problem that you can’t solve because in truth we can’t solve anything and we often make things much worse and God will come to our rescue when we ask but often we are left with damages that we should have never had to incur.

Know this, that if you have to pray one hundred times a day that God hears every single pray and he honors humility and truth and when we say God I can’t…. that is exactly when he will let you know that even so, HE CAN and he is not interested in what you can do for yourself he is interested in you trusting him. 

Verses to remember:

1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath NO temptation taken you but such is COMMON to man; But GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will NEVER suffer (permit) you to be tempted (tested) above that which ye are able;  but will with the temptation ALSO make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it.”

It comes to everyone and God will NEVER allow it to destroy you IF you take his way out. But if you choose to follow your own path, you can not blame God because God gives us FREE WILL, the choice is ours.

Romans 6:14: “For sin SHALL NOT ave dominion (rule) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Plead the blood, plead the blood!

Revelation 12:11: “And they OVERCAME him (the enemy) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and by the word of their testimony; and that they loved not their lives unto death.”

To wrap up, we must be our guard, sometimes that path will seem  right but it can lead to the ways of death, spiritually speaking, a little this or a little that, “this one time” is only minute in our reasoning and sin leads to more sins, that is why our beginning verse starts singular, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” and becomes plural. 

That WAY leads to those WAYS.

So stay on guard and never con yourself or letting anyone else con you into believing that we will ever justify our own on way, only God can justify us and games… God does not play!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson