“Twenty-two for Twenty Twenty Two”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6 NKJV

It’s that time again! The New Year and the sense of renewed hope that it brings.

And of course, we know it is truly nothing more than the changing of a calendar, the changing of the date from one year to the next, but it always offers a renewed sense of hope.

Hope for newness, hope that all old challenges to pass away and dark nights dawning now with hope of a brighter day.

And with all going on in the world and all the events we are watching play out before our very eyes as we will go forward in our study of all things apocalyptic, I did want to take a moment and send out a holiday wish and reminder that once you trust in Jesus, you have no need to fear these things.

Jesus wants us to be aware of the time, as he told us “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Luke 22:31

Also, as he commanded the disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16  

Some teachings, especially prophetic writings can be heavy and quite terrifying, but we have to be aware, for ourselves and also for those around us in whose lives we pray to be a light.

Now to start our New Year off right on God’s promise of this: Psalm 17:4: “Concerning the works of men, by the words of thy lips, I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.”

Twenty-two scriptures to hopefully encourage and prayerfully equip you with verses to remember as we take on the new season of unknown, knowing that the word of God never changes and while we never know what a year may bring, we do know that we have these promises and that is why we are to trust in Him and not be so concerned with it appears that we see.

#1. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, he it is that goth with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Deuteronomy 31:5

#2.”Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” Psalm 68:19

#3. ” The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their afflictions.” Psalm 34:17

#4.” Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” Psalm 33:18,19

#5. “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 faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23

#6.” Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he will exalt thee to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” Psalm 37:34

#7. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord; he is their strength in the time of trouble.”

#8.” God is our refuge and strength, and very present help in teh time of need.” Psalm 46:1

#9. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

#10.”And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM;…” Exodus 3:14

#11. ” Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was I am.” John 8:58

#12.“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish; but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

#13.”And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

#14.“Blessed are the poor in spirit; for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12

#15.“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

#16. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:23

#17.”Submit yourselves, therefore to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

#18, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

#19.”And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

#20.” There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4-6

#21,”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

#22.”For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Romans 1:17

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“The spirit of king Herod…Alive and Well Governing California.”

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and are to come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard theses things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet.

AND THOU BETHLEHEM, IN THE LAND OF JUDA, ART NOT THE LEAST AMONG THE PRINCES OF JUDA; FOR OUT OF THEE SHALL COME A GOVERNOR (ruler), THAT SHALL RULE (shepherd) MY PEOPLE ISRAEL. 

Then Herod, when he had privily (secretly) called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 

When they heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with his Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh,.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt.

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, OUT OF EGYPT HAVE I CALLED MY SON. 

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked (deceived), of the wise men, was exceeding wroth (angry), and sent forth, and slew (murdered) all the children (male babies) that were in Bethlehem, and in the coasts (districts) thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah) the prophet, saying, 

IN RAMA WAS THERE A VOICE HEARD, LAMENTATION (sorrowful wailing), AND WEEPING, AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHAEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, AND WOULD NOT BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT (all have been slaughtered).” Matthew 2:1-18 

Now that was a seriously evil, power hungry person, I really don’t know that by that point Herod was still even a person, I truly believe that they chose to cross so many lines that they willingly allow their bodies to be a dwelling for the demonic.

For the record the capitalization is not mine, the Bible capitalizes when it refers back to prophesies that are being fulfilled at the time of that writing.  It is heartbreaking even reading that passage, that he sent forth, sent forth to slaughter all the baby boys that he thought was a threat to his power.

A supposed power that drives humans mad once they really believe that with a stroke of their pen they have supreme power over life and death.

Bad, bad idea, no one other that God has that authority but like Herod, politicians today, in a blood thirsty attempt to hold onto their perceived power and prestige will and have sold their souls to the devil himself and will slaughter anything and anyone to please the crowd that holds their political purse strings.

And just when you think they have already crossed every conceivable line in human decency, they adopt a new law, a new cry, a new death warrant to be served on the unborn.

And again, and I am going to keep saying this, because it boggles my mind, sex is not  a requirement, such as breathing, there are countless, free, birth control methods available to everyone and there is always the just say NO option.

Is is really easier to slaughter a baby than to use contraception or hold off that fling until you can go purchase contraception?

And all of those screaming, protesting in their rage demanding these rights, so full of hatred never even realize that any institution that will have no regard for life will also not have any regard for their lives when they are no longer necessary for their agenda.

If they will allow the killing of babies, why would anyone else have a right to live? The sanctity of life is in the fact that all life is precious.

Once a civilization becomes completely uncivilized and starts killing its own members, that cavillation has crossed the line and there is no coming back from that.

Every species on earth reproduces for the sole purpose of ensuring the continuation of that species, and humans have proven themselves to be the most unintelligent beings in existence simply by killing off their own kind.

Even if one chooses not to believe in the truth of God the Creator, common sense should kick in with the realization that if you kill off your offspring, soon there will be no one left.

Right now, seniors are expected to outnumber children by 2035, and as they are passing more and more laws on the right to end life, euthanizing the elderly and all who in their opinion will no have “quality of life”, my guess is they will be speeding up that process also.

HOW can people not understand that they are literally killing themselves.

Are these babies, if allowed to be born going to take a bite of food from their mouths? Are these babies going to suck up all the oxygen and leave them all breathless?

Are these babies going to use fossil fuel and cause a climate change catastrophe?

Well, there is the movement all up in arms about earth’s supposed overpopulation, Sounds like a line out of Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” to me, everyone concerned about overpopulation, when oddly enough, they are part of that population overage.

But what it really comes down to is this, good old fashioned geocide, but these guys are so slick that they have convinced some to demand the right to be exterminated, no fighting it, no seeing it for what it is, it is extermination of their own species. 

And instead of fearing that, they have convinced the angry mob to go out and demand it!

So now Newsome has decided that it is not enough to allow the murder of the unborn in his state, not enough to pay for those murders, but now, now he himself, has sent forth, he has sent forth to all of America, that if needs be, he will offer up his state and the finances of his state to ensure their right to self-extermination. 

Herod didn’t have a thing on California, he would have congratulated the leaders, he would have reveled with them because it is that same spirit.

He was not going to allow any child to replace him as king, and these leaders will not allow the unwanted birth of a child to potentially oust them from their political thrones.

Truly mind numbing, casting that net as wide as all states in America, with travel provided, all abortion costs completely paid, with a reported thirty one billion possible in play.

Normally one would say, Pray for them that they would see the truth and repent.

But remember when the angry crowd called for the crucifixion of Jesus, they were so consumed with blood thirst that they called for the responsibility for the death of Jesus to be on them and their families.

And I tell ya, that is an awful lot of blood, as if the blood of the Californian aborted babies were not enough to be held in accountability to God for, now to willingly make themselves accountable for the blood of babies that they do not even govern.

But in this case, pray that people will take responsibility for their sexual behaviors, abstinence truly exists.

Pray they will become responsible for the fact that by engaging in intercourse that they could parent a child, a child who did not ask to be conceived and that they will take responsibility for that conception and raise and love that child, not exterminate it as if it were a common pest.

Pray for the unborn babies, pray that the mothers will chose adoption rather than extermination.

There is no difference in the geocidal exterminations of entire groups of people and the deliberate extermination of our own people.

We are given some very pivotal verses,

Galatians 6:5:“For every man shall bear his own burden.” 

This correlates with Romans 2:2-6: “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to the truth against them which commit such things.

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Or despisest  thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and longsuffering; not knowing the goodness of God leadeth to repentance?

But after (because of) thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 

WHO WILL RENDER  TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS;”

The wickedness of their hearts so great that they have fallen past normal emotions, in so much that have no shame or remorse for any action taken or allowed.

Galatians 6:7: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

James 2:13: “For he shall have judgement without mercy, that hath shewed (shown) no mercy.”

Φλογιζω NBJ 12/14/ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“To be delivered”

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed (registered). (And the taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed (registered), every one onto his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, unto Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David;)

To be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there the days were accomplished (completed) that she should be delivered. 

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough), because there was no room for them in the Inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them (stood before 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, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to 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 and 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, good will toward men.” Luke 2: 1-14

I so started to drop that off at my title verse, “to be delivered”, but who could possibly drop off the Christmas story, no matter how many times you may have heard it or read it, so beautiful, the GREATEST event in human history, the GREATEST gift ever to be given, the story of the heralding of the angels to proclaim to the humblest of men, to go forth to welcome their true King.

No greater moment, even in the resurrection, as I had often felt was the greatest, but no, had we not been blessed with his miraculous birth, born to a young virgin peasant girl there would NEVER have been a resurrection lest he be born, as we do, coming into this earth as a precious infant.

The account of his birth is the very crux of our belief.

And I suppose that many would probably wonder why, why did God want to have His Son, His only Son born into this world to die?

And being God why could he have just not saved us all some other way, well, man fell, when Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden and sin was unleashed, all of mankind fell, we then were born into sin, actually brought into the world, a world of sin, and of course babies and children ARE pure, they are perfectly pure and absolutely blameless before God.

But as we grow and mature and are surrounded by the influences of this world of sin, we, just by nature, fall to that sin.

Sin had to be accounted for, to be atoned, as blood for blood, but even with the sacrifices of the Old Testament and all the laws, people never could quite “get God”, they could never wrap their heads around what exactly is was that he desired, so they often let that same old human nature dictate how they should interpret what was expected of them, often resulting in harshness and attitudes that were nothing at all that he desired for us or nothing at all as he expected us to treat one another.

“Listen” what God said concerning our “confusion” at what he desired for his people:

Hosea 6:6: “For I have desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” 

And now, “listen” as He expounds on this while He was on earth:

Matthew 9: 10-13: “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat (the table) in the house, behold, many publicans (tax collectors) and sinners CAME AND SAT DOWN WITH HIM and his disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with Publicans and sinners (How can your teacher eat with these undesirables?)

BUT when Jesus heard THAT, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

But go ye and LEARN what that meaneth, I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE: For I am NOT come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

He came out of sheer love and mercy, and SO many other reasons, He came sinless, spotless, and perfect, partly to teach us that sowing love and mercy one toward another IS his desire for us but the main objective was to save us and reconcile us to the Father by offering us through him rebirth, because  by the simple, uncontrollable on our part, act of just being born, we were born into sin and the only escape, the only way to be who he created us to be, was to be born spiritually in Him and as He died on the cross, the other aspect of our human condition was overcame, he by his birth as a “human” while yet being God, he could offer us that spiritual birth and with his horrific death he gave us through him the ability to overcome death as he had and by his Holy resurrection, we were given the tremendous honor of having His Spirit actually COME AND LIVE INSIDE OF US while we one day we will also be resurrected from our deaths.

What once was only to visited by one priest, now the actual presence of God Himself would live inside mortal bodies, with the temple now, as it was declared by the Apostles.

The temple of God is inside of His believers, and we are the church, each one of us, no matter where on this earth we are, we all together His church and one day all the troubles and sorrows of this world will, just as He promised, pass away and all things will become new, and we are promised things so marvelous that as it is written.

1 Corinthians 2:7-9″: “But now we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained (predetermined)BEFORE the world unto our glory.

Which none of the princes (rulers) of this world (age) knew; for had they known it, they would NOT have crucified the Lord of glory.

But as it is written, EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATH PREPARED FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM.”

And while we could discuss all the reasons he came, I want to give you one thought for this holiday, for this life, and for your everyday, HE CAME.

And even as Mary was to be delivered, delivered of her child, that is often so overlooked in life, we always refer it to as “delivering the baby” but the baby is not delivered, WE ARE delivered of the baby and it, like life, it is quite the same as heartaches, grief, hurt and wounds caused by family or friends, setbacks, and disappointments, so many things that, especially now, in our new upheaval of modern life of solitude and uncertainty, we NEED delivered from, we need delivered from all that pain and all that anxiety that eats away at our peace and leaves us feeling hopeless that anything will ever be the same again.

And as much as I wish, even in my own life, that I had a “reset” button and no matter how much I wish I had that same button for friends that I know are hurting so bad and so deep, that we could reset to times past that were brighter, happier, I know that we can’t.

This is the deliverance that Jesus came to give us, He wants to deliver you from all that hurts you, scares you, or causes you pain and tears and truly as it is written in the Book of Revelation, in that great day He will wipe away every tear, but I know that He also wants to wipe away those tears today.

He wants to give you peace, peace in that knowing sometimes everything will not be okay but peace in that He is with us in everything, and He can overshadow you with His Holy presence and bring calm to the most troubled heart, soul, or mind.

THIS is why He came. He came because He loves you and He loves you so much in fact that even before your born into this world.

He knew you would need Him, and He left heaven, can you imagine, leaving the most glorious existence to come to a place where the majority will hate you, trouble you, accuse you, and ultimately torture and crucify you?

Oh, how much love, we could never, ever deserve such a love, we don’t deserve it, could never be worthy of it but He does not do it because we deserve it or will ever, so why did He do it? You want the truth?

He does it simply because He loves YOU that much, whether you love Him back or not, whether you never even accept Him, He still LOVES you and He still would have come here and died for you.

And this world, this world is not the end, this world is not even worth your thoughts because the next world is where all treasures are stored and where goodness lies, and it will be forever, please don’t lose sight of that.

I have used this passage many times, but I felt impressed that it needed to be in this post today.

Please read it slowly, ponder every line, and ponder how it has applied to your life and applies to your life today and give him all of your troubles, all of your words, it doesn’t have to be a prayer read straight from the Book, nor does it need to be another’s words.

He created you, He knows your thoughts and all that your heart NEEDS to say to Him, but He is not going to make you say it, He just doesn’t force Himself on us.

Just talk to Him, just as if you could see Him right there next to you, as he promised he will be our mother, sister, brother, anything we need He is and when we can’t understand, and know that we may never, it is perfectly okay to tell him that too, but as we talk to him, one on one, we soon learn that that things will change as he delivers us from all those things and we begin to feel his peace in the midst of it all.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. 

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 

A time to love, a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace;

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the trava il (task) which God hath given the sons of men to be exercised in it (to be occupied with). 

He hath made everything beautiful in HIS time…

Let him bless you and allow His deliverance to come today!

Φλογιζω NBJ original post date: 12/20/2020

Revisited 12/21/2021, I know we have had many a reposted post this month dealing with the Christmas story, but we can study God’s word and go over the same passage countless times and he will always show us something new, and this was what was on my heart to do!

Lord’s will, new post will publish 12/26/2021

May I be the first to wish you a beautiful Christmas, in Him and a brighter year ahead!

 

“A Heart to Hear the Hope…”

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 

He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing that I know not a man (am a virgin)?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:31-35

Nothing, nothing like the story of the conception and birth of Jesus Christ! Nothing like reading how the angels appeared and praised God as the proclaimed the greatest message ever delivered on this earth!

Remember that message? Luke 2:8-15: ” And there were 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 so afraid (terrified).

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, 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, and good 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.”

I know we go over that and over that, but we should!

It is worth remembering every single day! Especially on those days when you may not feel like there is anyone who knows your heart or what you may be going through! God sent his best, his SON, Himself to this earth and he came in the sweetest, most humble way because that is who he is.

As Herod sought to have all the baby boys slaughtered in hope of destroying this one child, a child that could not be destroyed because his time “had not yet come” and hell knew, the devil knew what that child meant to this world, which is exactly why they wanted him killed.

It wasn’t Herod’s insane jealously over what he felt was a threat to his throne, that may have been the seed that satan planted in his mind to have him go to such atrocious and heart-breaking lengths, but it was the greater plan to destroy one of the greatest gifts (among the innumerable) that Christ brought to this earth.

So what was really born on that night as the world carried on, all gathered to be taxed, all having a place to stay with warmth and as Mary gave birth and laid her baby in a manger, of all places, the world did not notice and had they known who this child was there would have been those that would have gladly given her their room and their bed, bed like so many of us now no one had a clue as to what was really being born that night.

We can sometime fail to GO and to SEE what God wants us to too, once the “angels” have gone away, meaning, it can be so easy when we are new, fresh, and just washed in the blood of the Lamb, but time and life being life can make us jaded and we can quickly forget the very truths that we were once so grateful to find.

Hope, hope was born that day into this world, hope, not like the world had known but living, breathing, and crying in the still of the night.

Hope whose hand, if we will faithfully hold, and give it the proper place and respect in our lives can never be truly stolen away because the hope that came into this world with the Birth of Christ is hope, as himself, is is not of this world, as as is not subject to any thing in this world.

Not emotion, not death, not powers, politics, not anyone “hating on ya” nothing can steal that, if you don’t let it!

Christ came to save us through his teachings, his example, his miraculous, birth, his horrific death, and above all his magnificent, glorious resurrection from that death. He lived out his very teaching that we “are in the world but not of the world” and that for his believers that not a hair on our head would perish EVEN through death and that was the hope he gave us.

Hope that this life is not it, it is nothing, these mortal bodies are nothing compared to the glorious resurrection to come, a resurrection with a new body, a body that will never get tired, grow old, become sick, never to die again, resurrected into the world without end.

A world where he will be fully known as who he is and he will reign forever.

FOREVER. PERIOD.

He gives us hope in this life but the hope his birth brought was a much greater hope, it is the hope in him for eternity, this is one of the ways the Bible puts it:

1 Corinthians 15:17-22: “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they which are fallen asleep in Christ (have died believing salvation) are perished.

If in THIS life ONLY we have hope in Christ, we of all men are most miserable (pitiable).

But now Christ IS risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept (have died). For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made ALIVE.”

Is there any greater hope? I think not!

Have a blessed holiday, full of love to him, mercy and truth and the hope that he brought, and that hope is not in this world, it is not in yesterday, tomorrow, or even today, that hope is IN him and him alone and in the promise of the world after this world, the world which is yet to come and all the yesterday and tomorrows and today’s it will bring.

That is your hope, just as Paul said, if we have hope in Christ just in our present time, we are pitiful, and would be truly hopeless!

Our hope is to be in him now and for the future, so far into that future that we may be among those resurrected from the graves and that changes the perspective about the true importance of today or any day.

Don’t get me wrong with that our days are important to God and how we live is very important to him, but don’t let your hope “rest” in these temporal days, let your hope SHINE, let the hope of eternity which Jesus let your life be as that star was for us and for the wise men, shine for him, there are yet greater things to come!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Thanks for reading!  Reverend Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω NBJ 2019   Revisited 12/21/2021 Have a blessed Christmas and a New Year, may it be filled with hope, love, and the never-ending peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

“That men may know that thou whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18

 

“Abiding in the field….”

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.”

And we’ll go to another Bible account and visit Ruth, a lady who found herself in a “foreign” field and how that field held blessing beyond anything she could have imagined for her life at that time.

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 unknowingly 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). 

We’ll keep the advise Ruth had heeded in mind and we will journey on through the Bible and pay a visit to those who were also were also diligently minding the tasks of their field.

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 destroyed?

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 & * 12/04/2020 & Revisited 12/17/2021, 

JESUS…shining forth

“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” Luke 2:32,33 And WE also marvel the things spoken about him and by Him. And without further ado, we surely must do… this Christmas Story.

I know it has been told, retold, analyzed, and theorized and I write on some aspect of it every single year.

And of all the stories of Christmases of old, time-honored traditions, or new customs, nothing will ever be as profound or as beautiful, holy, and humble as that splendid night that heaven came down and God’s glorious face shone in brilliance through a new-born babe.  

We’ll take a trip through various books of the Bible and let the scriptures recount this blessed event. 

The Promise: Isaiah 42:1-7: ” Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment (justice) to the Gentiles.

He shall not cry, nor lift up his voice (speak loudly), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed he shall not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment (justice) in the earth; and the isles (coast lands) shall wait for his law.

Thus saith God, the Lord that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein;

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from prison, and to them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

The Proof: Isaiah 7:14: ” Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God With Us).” 

Picking this passage up after the angel Gabriel had proclaimed John the Baptist’s forthcoming birth to Zacharias, the reference to the sixth month in this first verse is concerning that, basically John was Jesus’ natural cousins and they were six months between their conceptions.

The announcement: Luke 1:26-37:”And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God forth from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.

To a virgin, espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said Hail, (REJOICE) that thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (pondered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.

And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest (most High). and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then Mary said unto the angel, How can this be, seeing I know not a man (am a virgin)?

And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 

For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, the lineage of King David, and the earthly father, who really needed to know.

Matthew 1:17-25:” So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the carrying away in to Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise (as follows): When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together,(before marriage or any relations) she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a publick example (accuse, humiliate and have her stoned)  was minded to put her away privately (thought of secretly ending it).

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God With Us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden (told) him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not (did NOT have relations with her) till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

The birth of the King to end all kings:  Luke 2:1-21:”And it came to pass in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed(registered),every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went into Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house of David)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth  her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough) because there was no room for them at the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 And lo,the angel of the Lord came upon them (stood before them),and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid (terrified).

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to 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, GOOD 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 know abroad (told EVERYONE) the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all that heard it wondered (MARVELED) 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 the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished (completed) for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel BEFORE he was conceived in the womb.”

Our God, our hope, our promise, our peace, life and light eternal: Isaiah 9:2-6: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, UPON THEM HATH THE LIGHT SHINED.

Thou hast multiplied the nations, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the days of the Midian. For every battle of the warrior is as confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but this shall be with burning and fuel of (for) fire. 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

May His beautiful light shine on you and yours and His peace be yours this Christmas and as His Kingdom, may His peace upon you be never-ending.

MERRY  CHRISTMAS!!!     For “Posts of Christmas past” Check out: “STAR”   “GOLDEN”   “Abiding in the field”   “Two Turtledoves”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018  REVISITED 12/14/2021 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Angel’s Sang” revisited

“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 behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to 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, and good will toward men.” Luke 2:9-14

Oh to have been there that fateful night! To have heard the voices of the heavenly host proclaiming the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s.

To see and hear those of heaven who worshipped Him through the eons of time around His heavenly throne and now to have come to the earth to praise Him here!

His praise can not be stifled and His praise is eternal and that night heaven kissed earth and for a single thread in time the two became one.

And oh to have been in that field, the shepherds who had always been considered the least, now being the first, as Christ would later describe His kingdom as one in which the “least are the greatest and the greatest the least”.

Those considered the least among their fellow servants of the day now receiving a royal invitation hand delivered by a divine messenger to come see, see the newborn King.

An invitation to worship Him, who owns heaven, owns earth, and all that dwell therein, now born into humanity in the most humble of circumstance, the members of the animal kingdom He had created now being privileged to being the living audience to that birth.

Can you imagine the stillness, the quietness in that stable?

Can you imagine the wonder, the awe, the serenity and peace at the very birth of the Prince of Peace?

Shepherds who once there, beheld the face of a tiny, tender, vulnerable  infant whose body held the very power that created the universe,and all that was, is, and ever will be.

That gentle, tender state of infancy only being a reflection of the mercy, humility, love, and forgiveness that His birth brought to us.

To have heard the song the angels sang, those whose praise can never be still, they knew what had been given to us and if you listen with your heart, you can hear them still.

There is always the questioning, waged only out of disbelief, as to the actual calendar date, but what does it matter? Seriously, Epiphany could have been more accurate, some of the teaching based in Jewish seasons, times, and feasts could also be.  I would love to know, we would all love to know, but we don’t and the day chosen and set aside is the day we have.

But what does it truly matter when His birth just as His resurrection is MORE than worth celebrating every single day.

As a child “was given unto us” and that child grew, that child ministered, that child healed, and taught, and that child gave His life for us all, and that child resurrected in supreme glory!

The praises sang that night, I am sure also rang out through heaven when that stone rolled away and He rose in absolute victory over death, hell, and the grave! And as He one day returns to this earth with the voice of the archangel, heaven will be heard again and in that day, the fulfillment of His kingdom on earth, we WILL have peace on earth and good will toward all men.

So as Thanksgiving has came to a close and we are in the Christmas season, a season that has become so secular that now instead of joy and peace at the thought of the Savior’s birth, we have become so stressed, so pressured that many enter into a complete seasonal depression.

It was NEVER intended to be about the gifts, the only gift that matters IS the gift WE WERE ALREADY GIVEN.

It is not about the perfect party, the perfect family dinner.

All that is just more of this world’s smoke screen to divert hearts and souls from the TRUE meaning of this night and no one needs me to tell them that.

And we can ALL fall to that pressure, and I know most of us have. 

We do WANT everything to be PERFECT, but perfect ONLY exists in Jesus Christ Himself. It does not exist in our realm and we should not TRY to make it exist. Because it makes Christmas about us, our families, and our plans and no so much about Him.

Just as Christ’s very name is removed from the word Christmas itself, being replaced by “x” they have taken what was intended as “the Mass of Christ” and created  “Mass of X” generic, fill in the blank, name it what you will pagan festivity that we all are victim to today.

As nativity figurines are a rare find on store shelves and Norman Rockwell’ s sleigh ride to church scenes are steadily being replaced by television commercials of “visions of drunken office parties infiltrating our heads”.  

“Parson Brown” of the old beloved lyric now being replaced by a “circus clown” and who can bear hearing the sorrow of one “meeting his old lover in a grocery store” drinking beer and realizing her life was a joke and they had nothing in common..

HOW is that NOT depressing? And a host of secular “christmas” songs that, I for one, would be on the floor crying, if I listened too long.

And if we listen too long, at the voice of this world screaming over and over that “these ARE” the “must have” looks, fashions, gifts, and tableware of “THE” season, they WILL drown out that voices of long ago and they WILL drown out the sweet songs of the heavenly host and drain us of every ounce of joy that God WANTS us to have while celebrating the birth of His Son!

Turn them off and tune them out this holiday season, keep the wonder in our hearts of the greatest gift of all, let the glory of the Lord shine around you this holiday season and let those songs of the angels fill our hearts and add one of our own.. “Jesus Christ crucified and the angels sing Holy”…. let HIM hear us singing it too!

Love & Peace till next time!

*Title and  some content from original post 12/12/2014*Εξυπνιζω  NBJ 2017/ ***REVISITED 12/09/2021/ Φλογιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 

Video shared from YouTube

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 & 12/04/2021

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 you’re 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, seasons of if we faint not, seasons of sorrow, seasons of loss, seasons 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 & 12/01/2021  Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

*** I do apologize that this references a photo of my tress that is no longer on this post, I will try my best to get it added asap, Thank you so much for reading! Have a blessed day!