Hannah cried…

“Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

And he had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other was Peninnah; And Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children.

And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto  the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hopni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord were there.

And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all sons and daughters, portions; But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion (double portion); for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut her womb. 

And her adversary provoked her sore, for to make her fret (constantly harassed her just to make her miserable), because the Lord had shut up her womb.

And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.  Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest (thou(Why are you crying?), and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore (wept greatly in anguish).

And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou will indeed look upon the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child (baby boy), then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head (a Nazarite vow). 

And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth (watched her mouth carefully).

Now Hannah, she spake in her heart: only her lips moved but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord

Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial (wicked woman of pagan deity); for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto (so far).”1 Samuel 1:1-16

We’ll pick it back up from there in a little bit. You know, I wonder sometimes, Should I rename this Blog, something like, “Fun with Old English”, just kidding, I do fear sometimes that it gets tiresome trying to read all of my translation notes that are woven in with the scriptures, but we do need the clarification and I have shared this before so if you already knew this, just look over me, but I ADORE Old English, before I was saved it was really hard for me to grasp very much of it,  people who were trying to encourage me would share a verse with me and suggest I read it, then I’d read a passage and I’d be like, What on earth language is this?! But once I was saved it was like God just flipped a switch in my brain and now it’s like reading a newspaper and I am so thankful to him for that.

And I have actually written a post past using this story, but it was on my heart for today, so if you are not familiar with this one, please stay with me, even though it starts out with a lineage breakdown of Elkanah, it is really more about his two wives and how God in his mercy had turned the sorrow of Hannah, sorrow that was constantly mocked by Peninnah, into a beautiful blessing in the face of her enemy.

BUT for the record, God NEVER meant for men to have multiple wives, that is a completely man-made concept.

One guy did it and everyone else soon followed suit, as humans have a tendency to do, if everyone else is doing it, it must be okay…. whether it really is or not, right?

So as Hannah shared her husband with his Peninnah, who was mother to multiple children, Hannah herself was barren and even though her husband favored her over Peninnah, she still desperately longed for a child, Peninnah knowing this used it as a constant torment over Hannah. and at this time as the went to worship Peninnah had yet again lorded her fertility over Hannah, so  much so that Hannah was in such sorrow that she did not even eat, she could also have possibly been fasting, but often sorrow is so debilitating, that it even steals your appetite,  ever been there? Most have, so distraught, can’t eat, can’t sleep, can do nothing except cry.

Her husband encourages her and then she prays, to make known all her heart and soul before God and as she is crying and pouring out her heart she is doing it silently and Eli, the priest is watching her, and this is so true as people often look at us and read things into our behavior that are just right, things that are so off base, I can’t help but to think especially in ministry, because with this story Eli was the priest but yet completed wrong about Hannah. 

So as she is crying and pouring out her soul, and doing so silently, praying so quietly that he could only see her lips moving, he automatically assumes that she is drunk and berates her, asking her when is she going to stop drinking! Eli had been missing a lot when you get into the study of it, his sons that are mentioned with him were running amok and committing some seriously wicked things, his refusal to remove them from the temple, led to his own removal as priest.

And we learn from that that even though some one may be in ministry, they are not infallible, this is why so many suffer from “church hurt”, when they have been absolutely misjudged by those who do not have the right to judge in the first place.

Hannah was quick to let him know that she was not drunk, she was in sorrow, grief, despair.

She was being real, she was not there out of her duty to come worship, to be with her husband, to do as she was required, she was there to bear her heart, relinquish all her pain and to ask the Lord to give her a child, a child that she would then in turn give right back to him, for his service.

“Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 

And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

And  they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah; and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her (she conceived).

Wherefore it came to pass, when time was come after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord. .” 1 Samuel 1:17-20

Hannah did not go back until she had weaned Samuel, as she had vowed him to the Lord’s service, we’ll pick it back up there.

“And they slew a bullock and she brought the child to Eli.

And she said, As my soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath given me my petition that I asked of him.

Therefore also have I lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord, And he worshipped the Lord there.

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn (strength) is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over (smiles at) mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee; neither is there any rock like our God.” 1 Samuel 18: 25-28, 1 Samuel 19:1,2

For as much as she had been tormented by Peninnah, Hannah really did have the “last laugh” God blessed her not only with Samuel but five more children after him and that child she had prayed so earnestly for, Samuel, well he replaced Eli and went on to be a great servant to the Lord, including anointing David as King, two books of the Bible now bear his name.

In the grand scheme of things, neither of these ladies could have possibly known in their lifetime that thousands of years there would be discussions of their behaviors, we are left knowing the cruel mistreatment of Hannah by Peninnah, but given the victorious story of Hannah as hope, so reflective of the  magnificent plan of God that we can not even begin to understand.

The take away from all of this is simply this, do not give up no matter where you are in your journey or how far off course you feel taht you may be, God’s plan is always perfect and sometimes those paths and roads that led us there can feel like we have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way when in fact you could be exactly where you need to be to fulfil the plan for your life.

Think of this, what if Hannah had not barren, what if she had many children, what if she had never asked for Samuel, what if she had never prayed, what if she had never vowed him to the Lord?

What if this a perfect account of the perfect timing of the Lord, timing to fulfill his will to send a little boy who would become Samuel the Prophet to this earth, through a mother who had through her own pain and sorrow opened her heart and surrender to him to allow for that perfect will.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

WHITER THAN SNOW

 

Now that we’ve admitted that not very many can lay claim to the titles of “Patty Purity” or “Captain Celibate” and in reality it would be more along the lines of ” A Randy Dandy” or “Backstreet Barbie” but there is hope, so much hope!
The moment that we realize our sins, mistakes and failures, when true conviction comes and suddenly our minds and spirits are faced with the realization of what miserable creatures we really are. Once that takes hold, real change soon follows and the spiritual “brain damage” due to “sin”trifugal force of this world is both reversible and completely curable.
But it requires a most awesome physician, Jesus is that physician.

He heals mind, spirit, body, and soul.
He is the great potter, taking the old, marred and cracked vessels, gently re-firing them, he then shapes those lifeless, lumps of clay into  beautiful, new creations that don’t even resemble the broken mess they  once were.
Each one a vessel strong and new that can now hold the goodness of his spirit and also has the strength to withstand the wear and tear of this world.
He takes minds that were completely broken and renews them to such clarity that his very mind can now be in us.
He takes all the shame, guilt and pain, and he casts it into his sea of forgetfulness, never again to be remembered by him.
As he flung the stars into the sky at creation, he flings all those sins as far as the east is to the west.
“COME NOW, AND LET US REASON TOGETHER, SAITH THE LORD; THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY BE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL.” Isaiah 1:18
He doesn’t care where you have been, or what you did while you were there, he died to save us from all of that. He knew our sins would be worthy of a price that we could not afford to pay. He only cares about where you are going and wants to help you every step of the way, His promises are “Yes” and “Amen”. He has never been up there with a chalkboard, keeping score, just waiting to send you to hell and he will do everything within his power  to keep you from going there. BUT WE HAVE TO ACCEPT HIM.
Most make their fatal mistake in believing the lie that Satan tells them, that they have gone too far that God would never accept them now or that they have to be able to change themselves.
Number one, if a person had gone too far to be saved, then conviction, or a conscious knowledge of the need for salvation would never enter their mind!
Number two, WE CAN NEVER, NEVER, EVER CHANGE OURSELVES! So put that to rest right away. That is why we must be washed in the blood of the Lamb, He changes us!
You will not even think the same or have the desires you once had. He allows us to be able to live a life holy and pleasing to him through the indwelling of his Holy Spirit, which leads us and guides, gently nudging us in our spirit as to what we should do and most importantly what not to do.
Think of  “Rahab, the Harlot” her name being referenced in many sermons, she is actually referred to in the Bible as “The Harlot” but because of her kindness to the servants of God and her desire to repent, the Lord saved her and her family while everyone else there were destroyed.
Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus cast seven demons out of went on follow him faithfully, never looking back but pressing forward and she was the first that he appeared to upon resurrection.
And how can we forget our favorite trip junkie Samson, who after a lifetime of running wild and doing his own thing, finally, this great warrior of God, saw the light.
God never belittled any of these or countless others, who were as prodigal sons and daughters that once they realized they were wallowing with pigs, they longed for home and the Father eagerly welcomed them back in.
He cleansed them, healed them, answered their prayers and never once put the burden of their sin on their own shoulders, now that is why he gave his life.
How did they receive God’s mercy, peace, and forgiveness? They confessed their sin to him, asked for forgiveness and never looked back.
Remember, you never have to tell a church house full of people your darkest secrets, and you certainly are not required to tell it to any man, you are only required to ask Jesus, and Jesus alone to forgive you of your sins.
So whatever you’ve been through, leave it right there, get yourself to the cross and let his precious holy blood wash you whiter than snow.
Original Post Date:11/29/2014. All rights reserved.  Φλογίζω/ Nina BrownJohnson 2015

REVISTED and linked 06/27/2021 NBJ 2021

“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. she 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 forward (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.

It lives and it spreads mainly through the bonds, or 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 of indifference toward his family, or is he juts truly at a loss, not knowing how to be a father, maybe having never been taught by his own, so he 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. I have said this “a hundred times” in these posts and probably will again, but think of Jesus, one of my favorite things about him, he COULD have destroyed the entire world rather than face crucifixion, but in his MERCY, he forgave those who demanded his death.

Rage is easy, swallowing “pride” and responding with mercy and forgiveness 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

REVISTED 06/16/2021  Happy Father’s Day once again my friends! Have a blessed day!

 

“Leaning into the lilies”

Luke 12:22-32: “And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for (Do not worry about) your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

The life is more than meat (food) and the body is more than raiment (clothing) .

Consider (Ponder) the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which have neither storehouse, nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

And which of you with taking thought (by worrying) can add to his stature one cubit?

If ye then be not able to do that which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (clothed) as one of these.

If God then so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

And seek ye not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be of doubtful (anxious) mind.

For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth you have need of these things.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things will be added unto you.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” 

This is one of those getting back to basic teachings, you know Jesus gave us so many examples here of the things we see everyday just by looking outside, we see all of the birds,, ever busy, especially this time of the year, building their nests, raising their babies, teaching them all that they need to survive, and part of that is searching daily for their food that God supplies them with, and as Jesus said they don’t store it up but it is always there.

And the beautiful flowers, shrubs, trees, all of of creation, so beautiful, yet so different and complex, each creation strikingly beautiful in form and fragrance, I personally love the fact that even rose petals when separated are all shaped as hearts, and every leaf bears the veins that we can even see in our skin, and nothing in human fashion, even with the wealthiest budget, such as Solomon possessed can never create a covering for us as gorgeous as God created for the flowers, and yet they do absolutely nothing to achieve this, just grow and be what they are created to be.

That is what he is driving home to us with this passage, it is not as much about want, as it is about worry and trust, two states of being that are polar opposites.

We all worry, we all struggle, and sometimes we all feel helpless, alone, even when we may not be alone, we feel wounded, hurt, and unsure of the future or if even we have a future.

And for many, especially with all the turmoil of societal unrest, financial collapse, and Covid fear and isolation over the past few years has taken its toll on all of us, in one form or another, adults, children, black, white, all races, if your human you have felt one aspect for it or another.

That’s what Jesus wanted us to be reassured of with this passage, we can not change anything by thinking about it, by rolling it over and over in our minds, by staying up all night wrestling with what the future holds.

It only steals our peace, and God gives us peace, even in the middle of these things, he will give us peace, he assured us in this passage that he will take care of his children, period.

No maybe, no command to “pray harder and hope for the best”, simply HE WILL, that is why he posed the question asking us, could make ourselves taller simply by thinking about it, worrying about it, No, we can’t.

He then asks us if we can’t do that then why worry about anything else? He assured us to fear not, because he knows every single thing we face and he will never let us down.

The lilies are used very often in scripture, they represent purity, love and peace and they teach us that the way to counteract worry, despair, and hopelessness is by resting “among the lilies”.

Seeking the presence of God each and every time your mind is attacked by negative emotions, and dreads, and the good ol’ doubts that the enemy sends in hope of causing you to lose faith for what you are believing for and to ultimately attempt to make you lose your faith in God.

One of my favorite passages that I have used in many a post, that describes that spiritual place that Christ calls us to when we have had about all of this world that we can take, when we feel like we can’t even lift our heads or go one step farther, he knows, he really does  know, he understands and that is why he gives us these promises.

Song of Solomon 2:1-2: “I AM  the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters.”

That is the Lord, the I AM that is and will forever be, these are not just words, or a mortal making this promise, this is God, the Almighty, King of the universe, and King Eternal, and Creator of absolutely everything that is making this promise,

What he is saying in this passage is that He is the beauty, the sweet smelling fragrance that we will find on the toughest mountain we have to climb or in the lowest valley we find ourselves in because in this world his love and caring is for us as a lily among the thorns, the one beautiful constant that will never change.

He knows the pain of this world is as those thorns, he was here, he walked earth as a human, experiencing all the things we do, tested on all points, but remaining completely sinless, he was tortured and crucified, and he understands those thorns of this life that seem to forever be piercing and puncturing, remember what he told us from John 16:33: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

When the Bible uses the term “might”, that “ye might’, it means that you can and you will if you accept the promise that he is speaking, he will not force anything on us, but if we want it it is there simply for the asking. There is no question of whether or not he will give us what is offered, it is just a question of whether or not we might accept it . So what he is saying that in him you can have peace, if you choose that peace in him.

“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. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love, Stay (sustain) me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick with love. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” Song of Solomon 2:3-6 

Think of relaxing on a hot summer day being completely sheltered, hidden away from the scorching heat of the sun, resting yourself under the shade of a beautiful fruit laden apple tree, your senses bathed in the overwhelming fragrance of fresh apples, the sweetest fruit being that peace found there. Isaiah 4:6:”And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow (shade) in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert (shelter) from the storm and from rain.”

The banqueting house, a place of abundance anything you could want or desire, a spiritual feast, as you think of scriptures such as, Revelation 19:9:”Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb ” and Psalm 23:5:”Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies”

Exodus 17:15: “And Moses  built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi (The Lord is my banner).  God’s banner of love over us love,  it his battle cry, the protection and love, and care he has for us, his banner is over us as he gave his life for us because of that love, remember, ” For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

Being “fed”, comforted with the spiritual things, nourishing our souls, Proverbs 25:11: ” A word fitting spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” God’s word at the right time more precious than gold and the finest silver.

As his “left” hand gently holds up our weary heads, comforting us until we regain strength, Psalm 3:3: ” But thou. O Lord, art a shield for (around) me; and the lifter up of mine head (the one who lifts up my head).

All the while being held safe and protected by the “right” hand of God that does surround us, Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; For I AM with thee: be not dismayed; for I AM thy God;  I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  The reassurance that would be echoed when he spoke “Fear not, little flock…”

So today, if your heart is heavy, and believe me, I understand, take a lesson from the lilies and lean into the everlasting arms that are there for you, seek his presence through prayer, worship, and praise, and sometimes all we can do is cry, he hears your words through every tear, lean into those lilies and trust just as they do and let him feed you with peace and goodness, his mercy and grace and I promise from your heart that sorrow, worry and sadness will be erased.

Song of Solomon 6:3: “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth (feeds his flock) among the lilies.”

Blessing and peace to you & yours till next time! Thank you so much for reading and I pray that you are encouraged in some way.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

If you have a moment heck this out, one of the most beautiful songs ever written.