“Lest we forget…”

“At that time, Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan king of Babylon, sent letters, and a present unto Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things (treasures), the silver, and the gold, all the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour,and all that was found in his treasures, there was NOTHING in his house, NOR in ALL his dominion that Hezekiah shewed them not

Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? (what did they say and where are they from) And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.

And he (Isaiah) said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen, there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the lord, Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried away into Babylon, nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.” 2 Kings 20:13-17

That was quite a trap, notice the plural of letter, nothing like his good old friend or more to the point, those whom he was already trying to “play nice” with, the Babylonians checking him out seeing how he was doing because they knew he had not been well.

Quite true, so unwell if fact that God had just extended his life, but now with the attention he craved and desire to impress he had in fact invited in the very enemy that would devastate their nation and not only were they invited they were given the grand tour of everything, everything that was held precious, dear, and above all, even what should have been kept most secret, the armour was made known.

Can you only imagine the glee, the laughter in the hearts of the Babylonians once they knew every treasure, every ounce of substance, and most assuredly every possible defense that Hezekiah had?

And you know maybe he just felt like, well, it’s okay, their not really that dangerous, or maybe, he was like, well they may be ruthless conquers but that won’t be like that with me, after all if we can all be “on the same side” a few differences won’t matter. It DID matter and it has always mattered and it will ALWAYS matter.

Enemies are enemies even while pretending to care about you only to know what is there for the taking.

And honestly, social media has all but destroyed us and if we don’t wake up soon , we will be destroyed. We have become like Hezekiah, we have put our hearts and souls, those “precious things” on display for the entire world to see, people, thousands and in some cases millions of people seeing every area of our lives and what truly horrifies me, is as a nation, we are displaying all the hate, mistrust, indifference fighting against each other, in battles that can only be fought through God and that only God can change those darkened hearts.

Which is why we are so warned by Jesus, Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend (tear) you.”

There are countless scriptures on this, you can not reason with someone who has not been spiritually enlightened and they will only attack us farther, there is no changing minds that are blinded and darkened by the enemy and that does not mean to fail to speak for truth and justice. We also must very careful of the snares of lesser of two evils, there is evil, there is good and two wrongs don’t make a right and ends do not justify means.

We are to weigh every single action on the Word of God, not that we always meet this mark, not many of us do, I try and often fail to hit that mark myself, that is why are we human, but we must try and the reason this is so important is this, we can often while in pain and distress create alliances that will, like in the case of Hezekiah cost us more than we would ever willingly pay

We often forget during times of turmoil and unrest is the simple truth that while we are busy being each others enemies, real or perceived, that we collectively have common enemies, and satan has done such  a job with divide and conquer that even the most innocent word or miscommunication can have every word or action being viewed as an attack, we can not have thoughts, feelings, or opinions that differ without being labeled and individuality completely lost because we are categorized, stereotyping each other with the same typecast that we accuse others of, the names may be different but still the exact same action.

And now for what we are totaling forgetting, just as Hezekiah forgot, sure these guys may seem to support you at the moment and sometimes when you’ve been down that can seem like a welcome comfort but while we are showing the treasures of our house, we as Americans still have some serious enemies, and a little dose of reality right here, they do not care, they do not care that we are black, white, american Indian, Mexican-american, Asian American, Jewish, Christian, any documentation or no denomination or not even believe at all. Rich, poor, old, young, chick, guy, straight, or gay and I will tell you want they do care about, that in the enemies opinion,  whether we act like it or not, believe it or not, we are ALL the same

And to sound a little like an editor once answering a child’s letter addressing the existence of Claus, but our question is of not so whimsical a topic, YES AMERICA, YOU DO HAVE ENEMIES and while you are hating each other those enemies are watching and they do not care what you think, what you feel, they hate you because you are AMERICAN. 

We have all been hurt, wounded, and oppressed in one form or the other and I will never deny that and we still are, that is why we have ashes and thorns. ALL of us, people are just mean and there will be mean people in this world until Jesus Christ comes and cleans house which He soon to do, but in the mean time we need to remember a little something,we still have been blessed to live a nation that we are FREE, we can say whatever we want without the fear of retaliation and that does not mean we need to say everything we feel, because often what is said should have never been said at all.

The freedom we are taking for granted was given us from God and we need to appreciate that freedom and do a little less screaming and take a look around the world at what others endure, I can tell you a lot about the backlash and rejection being a pants clad, makeup wearing female preacher in the South will get ya, but I can be thankful knowing that even with the good ol’ boys wagging me down, that I am still free to do as God leads me and I have blessed sisters the world over that would be executed if they dared mention aloud the name of Jesus.

We are blessed to have our Bibles and our churches when our brothers and sisters risk dying for the choice to follow the Gospel. We are blessed to have water, food, or at least access to it when we are in need and many the world over a literally dying of starvation and the threat now is horrifying.

Wake up and realize who is really at work in our country because some of the truest words a human ever muttered were truly “UNITED we stand DIVIDED we fall” and none of this is going to stop the social media and the forces that would spread but it can stop at us, just stop, our job on this earth is to lead others to Jesus and His Kingdom is not of this world and there will be no peace on this earth until that Kingdom comes, but the peace, love, and light you choose to give to another in the midst of all these things will reflect that Kingdom. 

We are here and being here we need to appreciate what we have now and be mindful of those who would love to see us fall, because we do stand for freedom and we do have rights, rights that others in many countries would love to have and I will leave you with these words, God wants to take us all to that “good land”, God wants us to have peace, joy, and love in Him.

“For the Lord God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills.

And of the wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil,and honey;

A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 

Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statues,which I command thee this day.” Deuteronomy 8:7-11

Well, we know for a surety many, many already have and many others have sold out the Gospel for the candy version and we see the fruits of that and if we don’t get a grip on our current situation I am afraid will we also see those fruits and pray, pray that God will bless our land and that HIS truth will bring the changes that truly need to come.  All the things o this world will fade away and all the heartache and sorrow with that when Jesus wipes every tear away but heaven and hell are eternal, do’t let this world ever make lose sight of that.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

Groovin’ the Gauntlet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The prize we seek is NOT in this world.

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

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

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

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015 

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

“Daddy’s shoes… “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that choice is completely up to the father.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

VALOR VICTORIOUS

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are HIS promises to you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Justifying the end…

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

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

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

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

God means what He says and says what He means.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verses to remember:

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

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

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

Plead the blood, plead the blood!

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

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

That WAY leads to those WAYS.

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

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Have you heard?

“And it came to pass, that when Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? and they said unto him, WE HAVE NOT SO MUCH AS HEARD WHETHER THERE BE ANY HOLY GHOST.” ACTS 19:1,2

Now this is much like the scriptural fact that “How can you believe upon Him in whom you have not heard?” These men HAD been baptized into John’s baptism, by all rights they WERE saved but yet they were missing a crucial element to there salvation, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

And I KNOW all the arguments, I KNOW that there are more than enough that believe that this was only for the disciples and these moments in time. And I will not even go there because I have a better question for their answer. How can you KNOW that for certain, if you have NEVER experienced HIM?

Sure, if you have never  known a fact for yourself, YOU CAN SAY with self assured fervor that this is no longer given and BELIEVE in yourself to be right and yet be so completely wrong. 

The common knowledge is this, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that you are given at the exact breath that you accept Christ as your Savior.

The Holy Spirit leads us,and guides us, gently nudges us in the right direction and will flat out warn us to stumbling blocks or snares that the enemy has set, and will also convict us of our own self righteousness and unsavory behavior.

No disputing that anywhere. But there is so much more, much,much more and it seems that what was once sought after, prayed for, fasted for, has now has been left for the pages of a denominational history book.

That is a major problem. God has not changed. The gifts and callings have not changed. The fruit of the Spirit has not changed. He is the same God that called out Abraham, He is the same God that spoke to Moses, and performed every mighty act recorded from front to back in His Holy word. Ancient of Days, STILL THE SAME. And the Holy Ghost is STILL very much active, alive and quite well.  

The only change that came was to us and our desire of Him and we absolutely have to get back to those old paths from a generation ago because what we are going to lose is irreplaceable. THEY WILL NEVER KNOW IF THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF HIS EXISTENCE and that is a sad state, I have been saved for sixteen years and I could probably count on one hand the times this subject has been addressed that I have heard.

We need more than ever to teach on Him, preach on Him and pray that the gift that He blessed the Disciples with would come again, that at the laying on of the hands others would receive.

So if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, don’t hesitate, you will never know the true meaning of love, and the depth of the deepest peace until you know the Master of it all.

If you are saved and have never been filled with the Holy Ghost, Well, Now YOU HAVE HEARD!

Start praying, you pour your heart out to Him and He will do the rest and THEN your walk will be easier, YOU WILL BE RENEWED in ways you never, ever thought possible, and you will KNOW, and I do mean, without a shadow of a doubt the PRESENCE and overshadowing of Jesus, and everything will make sense and struggles that have held you in bondage will cease and you will never ever be the same!

 Φλογιζω

** Original post date: 01/30/2016**

Reverend Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω 2020/NBJ  

A little more food for thought… Love & peace till next time!

PLEASE WAKE UP !!!

If you only knew…

“Change your clothes”

“Designed, Resigned, & Refined”

Have a Blessed Pentecost!

“Virtuous”

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows?

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” Proverbs 31:1-3

Before I get to far into this, how about I tell ya what we are doing here?

One thing that has came from the “social isolation” is families spending time together, reconnecting, and being a part of one another’s lives that they normal would never be exposed to. 

Parents working from home, kids getting a bird’s eye view of just why it is their parents may be tired, sleepy, and even just a little grumpy after a day at the “office” and parents now have to ‘home school” their children are getting a glimpse of just how differently academic standards can change in  a generation and can quickly realize the stressful expectations modern education truly lays on the shoulders of students.

And the beauty in all this bustle is this…  families are also spending time together , doing dinner together, sharing household chores together, fending off boredom by entertaining themselves together, gardening and planting flowers together and all sharing in the responsibilities of protecting the family from the virus by acting very consciously together.

And of course this would in no way be ideal in a dysfunctional family or those who may be temporarily living in an abusive or emotionally controlled home because that is not love and in my belief, God would never want anyone  being treated abusively and God gives us his mercy, his courage to believe for a better day

That is why I say temporarily because He will take care of you but you also must be willing to make those first steps, letting him deal with the ashes and thorns so that you can  free yourself from that relationship or in certain cases that freedom comes as a circumstance has to change.

So now that’s enough links to cover the flip side of this coin, I want to talk about the wonderful opportunity that God has placed right in the middle of all this fear and worry and to do that we are going to hit verse by verse through Proverbs 31.

Thinking  a little about the meaning in each line and the importance of a mother’s  role in not only teaching her children but the express wisdom she imparts to her children and bear in my mind that often theses conversations in the Bible are between mothers and adult offspring. 

It is never too late as this verse begins by informing us that he is relaying the words of his mother, meaning he listened to her and those were kept in his heart and mind. She first gave him confirmation, triple confirmation, of their bond.

Her first warning to him was the dangers of being seduced away, by letting lust lead him into destruction, the cross references to these verses actually take you to the dangers of adultery and the danger of that day, when men had multiple wives, which was NEVER God’s intention, people often think because something is “in” the Bible that it means that whatever those mentioned were doing must have been okay with God, but NO!

The Bible is full of stories of people who were, well just that… people and the stories are in the Bible to let us know that God forgives and we are all kinda messed up but the people in those stories did all kinds of things that were never part of God’s plan, that is why Jesus came to save us.

So the Mama was warning her son to stay away for the traps and snares that would ruin him and in modern society celibacy until marriage is thought comical BUT God’s word is eternal and so are the reasons it was taught then and those reasons and the reasons given against affairs are as valid now.

It ruins lives, ruins families and that grass that was greener will fade and withered brown and once it has there will be no going back to what was once had.

God does repair but people are left with pain and regret that they must allow God to heal. 

Proverbs 31:4-6: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor princes to drink strong drink; 

Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment (justice)of any of the afflicted.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto him that be of  heavy (biter) heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

Now she is warning him to pitfall, that again is viewed almost comedic in modern culture.

But again, just as clearly defined and the reasons that God gives us to avoid alcohol is also clearly defined for our benefit an dour families benefit, and as Mama is explaining to him, as a ruler being intoxicated will cause he to forget what is right and will cause and lead to an absolute miscarriage of justice against those who desperately need help the most.

And that “strong drink” should be reserved for those on bed of death and wine only for those whose heart is full of sorrow, I think as spiritual, new wine, God making all things new, as God gives us spiritual wine, we are no longer poor, maybe materially but not spiritually. Jesus said ye are rich, rich in him and the Kingdom of God which is not of this world, but the next. Making his followers forget the misery that their lives once was.

Now she is ready to dispense her most sage advise for sons, for daughters, for all her children and her children’s children children, advice that would be for the ages… because after all it has survived ages.

“Open thy mouth, for the dumb (speechless)in the cause, of all such as appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the cause of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9

“She” is speaking her of the need and the responsibility to lift up our voice on behalf of others and following the golden rule and being diligent for all to do our part in speaking out when others can’t and seeing to needs when we see those needs.

And now the beauty and the truly remarkable attributes of being a woman, a wife, a mother and I can never do anything dealing with marriage without pointing out the fact that God loves women, and the old man made thoughts that women are subservient an dare objects to be owned, is just that man made. 

Men were to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the church, and he does not harm the church, he loved the church enough to die for us all.

God says in his words that marriage means this, two become one, so marriage is a union, not of one versus one, both of two producing a family unit that was intended to act as one, for the good and love of all.

Proverbs 31:10-12: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her, so that he hath no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Virtuous translates to wife of valor and meaning that her son would do well to find a woman of honesty, integrity and in doing so that her impact in their life would be greater than as if they possessed the world’s greatest riches.

Just as mothers desire that daughters marry men who will be good husbands in treating their wife and family well.

Not always the case, we now have many many virtuous women who have the roles of father, mother, provider, care giver, everything duty of parental guidance solely upon their shoulders as they take on the role of solitary family guide, in not way fair or right but it is now the norm and these ladies should be honored by us and in our society. the next verses are perfect for these leading ladies of life, navigating solely, sacrificing their own needs for their benefit of their children, parents, and communities.

They give so much and are often overlooked and given nothing in return, or so it seems… God sees it all, he sees their hurt, their worry, he sees the abuse they have suffered, he has seen the adultery on the behalf of the spouses that lead them to this solitary path. And these next verse surely apply to those who do it all while feeling that they are alone.

Proverbs 31:13_21:”She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willing with her hands. She is like the merchant’s ships: she bringeth food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) unto her household, and a portion unto her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit (earnings) of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengthen her arms.

She preceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She strectcheth (extends) her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She maketh herself coverings of  tapestry; her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.”

We’ve got a lot of mirroring going on in these verses.

This lady is a worker, she is seizing every opportunity for the betterment of her household, she is up working, as everyone else sleeps,  her light shines brightly even the dark night.

She is good to everyone, not just her family, she is good to her friends and she is especially good to those in need, even “reaching’ out to them to help them also.

She prepares for tomorrow as she has her family reading for coming season and mirror scarlet to having her family saved clothed under the blood of the Lamb, she herself wearing fine linen, her robe of righteousness given to her from God, and purple as she is the daughter of the King.

The next verses apply to the married ladies and the blessing that they bring to their husbands and family:

It reminds me so much of the wives of pastors, who are often the sweetest, kindest women who give so much of themselves for the church the love and are blessings to all they mingle with and again referencing all their hard work.

Proverbs 31:23-24: “Her husband is known to the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles (sashes) unto the merchants.” 

And now back to the virtue in virtuous, for all his daughters.

Proverbs 31:25-31: ” Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (well) but thou excellest them all. 

Favour  (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but  a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Women, daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, pastors, ministers, doctors, lawyers, food workers, factory workers, home school mama’s. librarians, college deans, every job imaginable and all the “domestic engineering” in between, bold, between, kind, and often unseen.

So on this special day,Bless all of you who are mothers as you impart these wisdom’s, as Lemuel mother did as you have this time with your children.

Know that as we ended with her works will praise her, your work time and love will bring multitudes of joy in the days ahead and your children will always remember what you have did for them and they will never forget.

Know this my friends, you may not be a mother yet, but maybe you “mother” those around you, sisters or brothers or maybe you even feel like you have to be a mother to your own parents, or you are a “den” mother caring for every stray that comes your way, no matter what “woman’ you are, maybe life has been hitting you so hard and you feel like no one sees, know one knows but I promise you, one does, His name is Jesus and HE is watching over you, every single step from above!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

This song has nothing to do with being virtuous, it is actually “Virtuoso” the reprise version and it is about the beauty of God and His sovereignty over our lives.

It is just one of my all time favorites and for some reason it had just been in my heart and my head for this post so it you have never heard it, please check it out. 

 

 

“Temporarily out of service”

“But thou when thou prayest. enter into thine closet (inner room)and when thou hast shut the door pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6   

Ah, life in our new found “social distancing” state, isolation can be a terrible terrible thing, causing people to feel trapped, isolated, and hopelessly, helplessly alone.

And especially those who count on the house of God for their renewal, and the joy of fellowship in worshipping and praising God together as the spiritual family He intended us to be.

It can be quite reminiscent of the recorded message often given when calling a telephone number that is in current state of dysfunct…”The number you have reached is temporarily out of service, please try your call again later.” sound familiar?

We have all heard this message in one version or another but all having same meaning we can’t connect to person that we are trying to call because of some issue with their phone, line, or connection. 

Sometimes it is a problem in our service, sometimes it is a problem with theirs but either way that call is not going through. 

With the current state of the world at the moment, with social distancing and churches still closed many feel that they are “temporarily out of service” again due to the inability to visit their place of worship and the inability to connect to their fellow believers. 

But you know it is just like Jesus said we are to pray in secret and we will be rewarded openly and there is nothing like being with fellow believers, your church family, those who have known you and walked the rough roads of life beside you, encouraging you and holding up in faith.

But God also desires a very personal relationship with him, one on one and this is in no way saying that you can’t have both, the wonderful fellowship of regular church service, we need that but at the moment with churches still closed due to the virus there is no group fellowship to be part of.

Now you could let this discourage you, depress you, and maybe even if you are not careful and diligent, it could cause you to get lukewarm and wishy washy once we are given the green light to safely gathering again.

But if you see this for what it is and what it could be for you spiritually, it also could be a wonderful time to make the best of a bad situation by spending some serious one on one time with Jesus, and He truly desires that for us.

So that is temporarily being out of service due to failure to connect for reasons beyond our control.

But there is also those who were “temporarily out of service” long before Corona slammed the doors shut, but for this group, I do pray that it is a wake up call, God does not give us the Holy Ghost and His gifts for us, again, let me say that again, if God has anointed you and given you a gift (and we are all given a gift, some multiple) and you have flowed in that gift and that calling, and you worked for the Kingdom in that calling that God has given, you are responsible to God for the fruit that should have been produced through those gifts and that calling and you will be held responsible for the lack of that production also.

This is reference to those who have worked in the kingdom and for whatever reason have just decided to “quit work” which is NOT an option in the Kingdom of God. So if you are new or not quite saved yet, please know that

I want to point out a little something Jesus said, should sound very, very familiar.

John 15:1,2: “I AM the true vine, and my father is the husbandman (vinedresser) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it bring forth more fruit.”

Another very specific example of “temporarily being out of service” can be found in this parable. Luke 14:42-48: “And the Lord said,  Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and be drunken;

The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him asunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

And that servant which knew the lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to the his will shall be beaten with many stripes. 

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. 

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be REQUIRED: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” 

This you have to take as  stripes in the spiritual sense, He is commending those whom have to the best of their ability been faithful to the work He has entrusted them with.

Secondly He is referring to those who don’t really believe or don’t really believe that He truly will return and use His name and His house for their profit, living it up while the others of that house suffer and are ostracized, criticized, and spiritually battered by the very one that has been made overseer of that house.

He is speaking to those who know the will of God and fail to prepare themselves, meaning living life as they desire rather than life as God commands, choosing to do it their way, when his is the ONLY way, and trading their calling and their gift for whatever Satan or they themselves have deemed more valuable.

Failure to  prepare means just that, it is completely self willed, not wanting to allow God to be Lord over everything and making the necessary adjustments in our life as God leads us onto the path he has chosen.

And finally with this passage He tells us with absolute crystal clarification that the ones who did things worthy of punishments, not knowing his will are spared the severity, while those who knew his will face the greatest consequence.

Again, because they have been given so much, meaning, the calling on their life and the gifts they were to use in the service of the Kingdom, to touch lives, bless others, and share His love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. 

Others that are not forced to be out of service are those who already were out of service, they know they need to be in church but “just aren’t feeling it” or have some other reason for not being in church, as this verse describes simply as the “manner of some” as we are warned to stay in church.

 Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”   

Different issues all causing us to be “temporarily out of service”.

Cell phones not so bad… dropped calls, no signals, out of data.

Landlines, a whole other world, with buzzing, clicking, echos, unable to make calls, unable to receive calls, and dig this, picking up interference from other peoples lines, all leading to the inability to make that connection.

Sometimes you don’t even realize just how bad that connection had been or just how much “noise” was bleeding into that line until that connection has been repaired.

So use this time, no matter the reason that you are “temporarily disconnected” from the world or from the church and connect to God through prayer, fasting, and praise and I always like to point out you can fast anything, it does not have to be food, you can give up anything for a period of time that you choose and dedicate that as a fast.

Pray to God, talk to him, one on one, tell him all that weighs on your heart and your mind and all that keeps you awake at night or robs the peace from your days, open your heart, mind, and above all your soul to him and as he touches you and refreshes you let that praise flow and it will cover you and it will lift the sorrows of this world.

Also if you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour, I would like to strongly encourage you to do so, if he has been dealing with your heart and leading you to him, please do not postpone the most important decision of your immortal life. God created us in his image, we will live forever.

Where we spend eternity is our decision, Jesus came as a sinless, spotless, sacrifice for ALL of us.

He does NOT ask where have you been, what have you done, all he says is COME, Come and rest your soul in him, lose the guilt, the shame, the hurt and find a brand new you, a you that even you will not recognize, and it is that simple.

If you feel that tug in your heart, please repeat this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, the spotless Lamb who came to take the sins of all the world and Jesus, I believe that you were born of a virgin, I believe you led a completely sinless life and died crucified to cover the sins of all mankind and you rose victorious from death on the third day and you will reign forever. Jesus I confess my sins to you, come into my heart, make me new, cleanse me in your precious blood, and fill me with your Holy Spirit, your love, your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen

It is very important, if prayed that prayer to share your faith with someone.

We are taught this, Hebrews 10:10: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

And please, please remember this, Jesus will NEVER remind you of your past, once you are saved, the MOMENT you ask, your sins are gone and they are gone FOREVER.

Jesus LOVES you and it is a love you can not understand UNTIL you have connected with him and I promise you will never be the same and you will never want to be the same!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“A little while, and again…”

“Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me; and, Because I go to my Father? 

They said therefore, What is this that he saith? A little while ? We cannot tell what he saith (understand what he is saying)

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 

A woman when she is in travail (labor) hath sorrow, because her hour is come; But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born is born into the world.” John 16:17-20 

Now when  Jesus spoke this to them he was referencing his death, that very soon they would no longer see him or be with him but that again, soon, they would surely see him again. 

That they would indeed over the days soon coming face sorrow, and dread being inexplicably confused as to how this could happen to him and not even beginning to be able to understand much less comprehend that this could be not only the will of God for Jesus to suffer and die on the cross but to fathom this is was his actual plan.

As Jesus encouraged them that as surely as those things would come, but again, in a little while, something so much sweeter, would also come, again.

That, again, those sands would slowly but surely sift their ways again through the hourglass of time and all those times of heartache and doubt would turn to unimaginable joy as those moments sifted through all the little whiles to fall perfectly into a single moment in time when He would resurrect leaving death conquered behind and had they known for but a second as He tried to warn them to this and to give them hope that it was again, a little while, would they have have begged him not to go?

Surely, but He would have answered them, No, as scripture tells us of Jesus, “…Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Just as Peter tried to to believe that there had to be another way, that this could not possibly be what was meant to be.

Curious it would be know the mental torment of the others or the one who ran away, not because they should have had regrets and second thoughts but you know that being human that they did.

Peter was going to fight against the arrest of Christ proving this as he cut off the servant of the high priest’s ear.  Jesus’ reprimand to him as he replaced the severed ear letting Peter know this was not the way that Jesus would have him go.

But soon the were scattered, alone, and scared, how often do you suppose over the period of those, what would had to have seemed never ending, three days the thoughts of “We should have hid him” or “We should have stayed” raced through their minds?

As we think about His words as he had tried to prepare them and assure them that this was the will of God. Jesus also encouraged them to the joy that would come after all the pain, he used the comparison of a mother in the process of giving birth.

As a mother I can truly attest to this, as I am sure the ladies reading very well can too.

There is nothing as beautiful, as wholesome, and as pure as when we are expecting, nothing as gentle or as precious.

And as we decorate in expectation with blues, purples, yellows, and greens. Adorning the walls with little boy blue, the cow jumping over the moon, rabbits, rainbows and everything in between, everything bright peaceful and clean, teddy bears, ribbons, and kittens gracing nurseries with cradles prepared for the new arrival as mobiles dance overhead.

The excitement, the joy, and the expectation are soon overshadowed as labor sets in and as the pain comes, thankfully, only a little at a time, but each contraction grower harder and lasting longer than the last.

There is an absolute knowing during the process of giving birth that you are helpless, there is nothing you can do to stop this and that you are either going through this process or you will die.

Only two choices and you have control of neither.

This is why, in my belief, Jesus chose this comparison to give us so that we would understand and that we would understand the differences, just as when Pharaoh demanded the Hebrew boys be killed at birth the midwives informed that him the Hebrew women gave birth fast and we know Jacob’s wife Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin and as we like to say here in the south women have “laid in labor” for days suffering desperately needing to be delivered of that child and yet the baby for whatever reason unable to come. Thank God we do have medical resources today that have saved the lives of countless mothers but still not all and the  birth still have to take place.

Paul in his writing referencing childbirth with the statement that she “shall be saved in childbearing” he is not referring to being saved spiritually he is referring to not dying in the process. 

Birth is painful, there are not words that can even come close to describing it, birth is bloody BUT birth brings about something so beautiful, so pure, innocent, and magnificently renewing that as Jesus said the anguish of that sorrow, the sorrow of needing to be delivered of that child, not the child needing delivered but the mother’s body needing to escape that dreadful travail is forgotten because immediately it is replaced by joy, a joy that mirrors the pain, as the pain is inexplicably indescroble SO IS that joy.

A  joy that completes you, a joy of looking into a tiny little face and as my late mother explained to me, the overwhelming feeling that this tiny little person that you have never met until this day you feel as though somehow you have known forever. 

Jesus referred to unsettling times and events that would take place before his return (painting the baby’s room a cheerful pink with that delicate wording) as the beginning of sorrows, which translates to birth pangs, we are in very, very uncertain times and everyone just wants life to get back to normal, but we are not going to ever experience the “normal” that once was but we can look forward, which requires looking past the pain, look forward to lives that can be even better, as families are reconnecting and many are taking time to actually realize what is truly important and cherishing those things that alone are worthy of being truly cherished and those who maybe have never given God, his existence or the afterlife a second thought may now be seriously pondering those questions.  And as far as churches it is coming down to who’s left standing. People are regaining their compassion for each other again and with compassion comes respect and a chance to love each other again forgoing the senseless hatred

Being in the same boat together now reminding us that we are all human, we all love, we all cry, we all experience the same feelings because we were all created in the same image and that and that was in His image. And that is the good you gotta hold on to,

And of course as He told us long long ago the  labor will be quite unpleasant to put it in the mildest “dreft” scented terms but once the deliverance has come there will be nothing that can even come close to the beauty of that glorious “baby” that will come.   

We are all praying and we have to continue to pray and pray that those”labor pains” those “sorrows” as Jesus warned us would one day come are covered by his mercy, and that what is to be brought forth through that process will birth fast.

God bless you and your loved ones during this season, praying that He will cover you and yours under the shadow of his wings and that through it all you will find a joy and a peace and a renewing of His Spirit with you that knowing that joy will see you through.

Φλογιζω Rev.Nina Brown Johnson / NBJ 2020

 

“Temple”

white and brown house

Photo by Arvid Knutsen on Pexels.com

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able.

For as ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you enving, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? WHO then is Paul, and WHO is Apollos, but ministers BY whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man?  1 Corinthians 3:1-4

GOOD MORNING! and if it is not Morning for you, then may I wish you a wonderful evening and blessed night. We are actually going to finish up with that passage in just a bit, but I wanted to stop and relay a few points, First Paul was expounding to them that it was time for him to speak with those who listened with a little more depth, things that they should be getting on a spiritual level, but they were still not quite ready.

We also deal with those that we are to minister to, sometimes a little too softly, not wanting to “choke” them with truths that can be very hard to swallow. But Paul had to enlighten them to the truths that all the envy and jealousy and one upmanship was just not going to get as behaviours for those in the Kingdom of God.

And I love the fact that he is pointing out so clearly, asking who is Apollos, even asking who, he himself was, as much as we honor them and rightfully so, they were still ministers that God had sent to led his people home.

As the old timers say ” No little “I”s and big “U”‘s and that is one thing I do very much believe is going to come out of this pandemic. Restrictions placed about and that many can no longer attend church because the church is not there to attend (Some serious symbolism in that)

So there will be none of the envy, strife, and divisions spoke of and there will be no favorite pastor, minister, preacher, or singer that helped spark those divisional fires that have helped consume the church from her original state, you can’t have one mind and one accord if there are minds present that are full of discord.

But now, the churches, like most everything else are closed and some are having “Parking Lot” and “Drive by” church which is an awesome ideal, reminiscent of the old tent revivals that we need to get back to.

People are going to be there because they want to be there not out of some weird sense of duty or family commitment but because they want the Word of God.  And Paul is saying that God has many “ministers” that God sends his Word and His offer of salvation through many different workers.

And I want you to think about something, if you are saved, you ARE sent and if you are not saved the moment you repent, you WILL BE sent, your life, your light, and above all your decision to accept Christ and proclaim, especially in this world of unbelief, your faith in God and your belief that not only is His Word true but also the truths of the life after this can, does, and will absolutely change the course of the lives of  those around you.

Back to our verses, shall we? 1 Corinthians 3: 5-16

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but GOD gave the increase.

SO then neither is he that planteth any thing , neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward for his labour.

For we are labourers (workers) together with God: Ye are God’s Husbandry (field) ye are God’s builders.

According to the grace of God which is given me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by (through) fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

Now Paul went on to set forth some warnings after that verse, but I want to use it to encourage you today.

You ARE the TEMPLE of God, your body is a CHURCH of God, when you have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of you you become the church on this earth!

How exciting is that? I know we are faced with a dreadful, dreadful time but during that time if you remember that God has a plan and purpose for you in these days. God does not make mistakes and he does nothing out of “season”  He could have chosen you to have been born hundreds of years, or even thousands of years ago, or He could have chosen to never send your soul to this earth, but He chose this time, this season for you because ye have work to do and only God knows that work that He predestined for you to accomplish for his Kingdom, BEFORE He laid the foundations of this earth.

And I want to give you those scripture also quickly, because this is meant to be heard by someone today. 

In THESE times, in THIS hour and THIS season that God has chosen for you, as bad as it all appears at the moment.

Romans: 8:28-30: ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are THE CALLED according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” 

So maybe you can’t get to a church but remember that you are the church.

And remember that God uses it all, all the bad, all that we do not understand, He will use it for the Kingdom. Let your light shine, do whatever God puts on your heart, reach out by card, letter, or phone to whoever he is bidding you to reach out to. Use this season to know Him more and deepen your relationship with him and if he leads you to, share that “meat” of his Word with others around you, we often do not want to hear the rougher stuff but we are coming down to the wire and we have much work to do.

Among all the pain and uncertainty we still have a great promise, the outpouring of God’s Spirit “upon all flesh” this began at Pentecost, but we have the promise of a great outpouring in the last days, so plant that seed, the word of God shown in love and mercy, kindness, water if that is your job, water those seeds that someone has already planted because you are one in  those action and ask God blessing on your “hands” as you work in his field, He will, he never sends us unprepared and He never send us alone.

You are His Temple, and you are His church, be it and just watch what grace, blessings, and miracles unfold!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Blessed Day

Palm Sunday 2 (2)

“After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, SALVATION TO OUR GOD WHICH SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God.

Saying, AMEN: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. AMEN”  Revelation 7: 9-12 

Just to know that joy that is yet to come! The sadness and terror of this world will one day fade away and those who have trusted the Lord Jesus WILL be in this innumerable number who stand actually before the throne of the living God, in the presence and fellowship with the angels and  the host of heaven.

We will be gathered together, those from every nation ever created upon the earth, every language which has ever been spoken with one common purpose to raise our palm branches in the kingdom of God, the Living God, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and praise Him Forever and Ever!

And I know what we face and I know the Word of God as to things which are to come but today let this be your hope

God gives us these words of future  so that these times will not overcome our faith because this world is not the end, but what seems like then the end of this world must come to bring in the birth of the world without end, and this is but a glimpse into that glorious world, so stay focused, because Jesus gave us a word to comfort us through all fear. 

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up , and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 

And he spake to them a parable;  Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see, and know of your own selves that summer is nigh at hand.

So likewise ye when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”  Luke 21:38-31 

If you have never accepted Jesu as your Saviour, please do not put it off another moment, what a  better time than today, what a more perfect day to give your heart to Him and to trust Him through these dark days.

We are in the last days and one day that trumpet will sound and those who know Christ will be spared many horrors during the tribulation days, those who are left here can be saved but it will be a very painful, dreadful time on earth and anyone left on earth will wish there were not. 

And I know there are those who refuse to accept God and there are those also who think, “Well I have heard that all of my life.”

Well that is why you have heard it, that is why Jesus and ALL He sent since the fall of man have preached it.

Because God wants people to be saved and you don’t have to change because He changes you, He does it all He just wants you to you be saved so that you will not be afraid and you will not be eternally lost and that’s it, all He asks is that you keep His Word and trust Him, and let Him save you. 

There could  be the thought that we are just all trying to scare people into salvation, no, my ministry has always leaned toward the apocalyptic, does not bring me joy, has brought me many tears knowing the things that will come to pass and that is why Jesus himself gave us those verse above, so that we would know, and be forewarned so that we could have his peace and guidance when all those things he spoke comes to pass.

If you get a moment please go back and read that chapter and also read Luke chapter seventeen or pull it up online and read it for yourself. Jesus only wants the best for you, me, and all of us but we have to accept that best from Him, He will not just come and takeover your life, you have to invite Him into your life.

And people would dare say, “You mean God would just let you be lost, forever?” if we refuse to accept what He is trying to give us, that is not Him letting us do anything, that is us refusing to live as God wants us to live, not willing to give up things that He will not allow for His children, and holding our thoughts, and desires higher than our respect toward God and that is idolatry, we are our own gods at that point and this attitude proves it.

And asking ‘What has he done for me?” same point, What have you did for God? Have you served God? have you even committed to God?

It is that mentality that has spread like wildfire actually convincing people that God should honor them not vice versa, God is Holy  and owes us nothing and yet gave us everything in giving Jesus to DIE for us and we still think we have some sort of right to ask “What has he done for us” that is something that has taken the world by storm and must be repented of.

If you know Him Trust Him, Praise Him and ” look” for Him in the midst of all the uncertainty.

If you don’t know Him, please do not wait another second, don’t throw away what you can not even understand, because we can understand none of this, none of the dynamics of what takes place when we except Jesus. 

And I am not afraid to admit that before I knew Jesus,I didn’t get it either and I did not understand why all these Christians “pick” on people trying to get them saved.

But the moment Jesus saved me, I was completely overwhelmed by just how truly senseless I had been to Him and completely blown away by His presence and completely humbles by the fact that He would save me and heartbroken at just how long I had waited, realizing how much different my life AND the lives of those around me could have been had I accepted Him sooner, so please don’t make that mistake.

Your salvation WILL be a light, a HOPE, and a BLESSING to ALL those around you. It is A  BLESSED DAY, let it be the day that we forever BlESS the Father’s heart for you! 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Hope through a long night”

 

Safely in Jesus

“Who against hope believed in hope…..” Romans 4:18

This verse portion means this, it was in reference to Abraham and Abraham BELIEVING the promise that God had made him and despite everything appearing hopeless in his situation.

He chose to believe God. I know tonight that the world is scary and things do look so very dark and we are surrounded with uncertainty and I felt someone needed to hear this, hope against hope, hope when it seems hopeless, this is the meaning of the scripture. 

Wherever you are finding yourself at this moment, whatever you are going through, do not lose hope. 

Believe in that hope that things will get better, that this is not the end, even when everything is wanting you to believe otherwise.

A wonderful verse to pray for comfort in times of trouble and restlessness caused by the fear of the what ifs and what will’s is this:

“I will both lay me down in peace,and sleep: for thou, Lord, only maketh me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Where ever you are the world over tonight, where it could actually be day, either way, I hope you have a blessed night and may God bless you with much brighter days on the way.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Stay”

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God .

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but by my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Then charged (commanded) he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

From that time forth began Jesus to shew (reveal) unto his disciples, how that he must  go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again on the third day.

Then Peter took him (took him aside), and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, (God be merciful unto you) Lord; this shall not be unto thee.”

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not (are not mindful of) the things that be of God.” Matthew 16:16-23

Very understandable that Peter would have this reaction once Jesus keyed them on on the fact that not only was he not going into hiding, but quite the opposite, he instead, would in deed stay the course, stay on the path that would lead him into Jerusalem and that he would not only be arrested and tortured by that he would also die and the words that they couldn’t quite “hear” were that he would rise on the third day. Peter couldn’t quite “hear” that victorious ending because the process that would lead to that victory was too dreadful for him hear and to dreadful for his “heart” to understand and Peter loved Jesus and he knew, as he had Jesus affirmed, that Jesus was indeed the promised one, the hope of all mankind sent from heaven itself to save us all and free us all and establish the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth.

Peter also knew that Jesus was blessed of God and carried a power clearly not of this world and that he was indeed exactly whom he claimed to be, the Son of the only living God.

So Peter could not understand, much less dare to believe that this things would befall Christ.

Also note that Jesus had just reaffirmed to Peter, and even to all of us who now read their exchange, one very important fact, Peter was blessed and yet a few passages down Jesus would have to rebuke, the line out and correct the thoughts of Peter, the one who was truly blessed of God but through his human understanding and love and compassion could express thoughts and ideals that were so contrary to the word and will of God that if Jesus could have (and he could not) have possibly been swayed by his friend into a different path, choosing a different course, it would not only negated and made void his entire ministry work and even his purpose for coming to earth but would have benefited the enemy, which is why Jesus pointed out clearly where this thought originated.

The devil would have loved this, if Jesus had changed paths, if he had “ran” that would have meant that there would have been no going back to Jerusalem, there would have been no arrest, there would have been no torture, no cross, and certainly no death upon that cross but also there would have been no way in the desert for those who are lost, there would have been no freedom for those in prisons of bodies, minds, and demonic bondage, there would be no healing bought by those stripes that he endured, there would be no peace for us all given to us because he hang on that cross, bearing our shame and sin and without his death there would be no salvation and certainly no hope for any of us because without his death which had to come, it had to happen, just as he said because it was the only way we could be restored unto him and his death was the only way to bring resurrection. 

We are experiencing a time in our world like nothing ever seen before, there have since the fall of man times of famine, peril, and plague but nothing that could be seen the world over, we as a people, globally connected as humankind, have found ourselves facing for the past weeks and continue to face with every day bringing uncertainty as numbers fall and rise and those that govern us try their very best to lead us and guide us safely as possible through a maze, that they themselves must also navigate, their own health and the health of their families and loved ones as vulnerable as for us all.

We are truly in this together as the virus has no prejudice, no politics, and it cannot be bought or sold, meaning the rich, the poor, anyone and everyone, it cares nothing of who we are or what we are because it only has one purpose to invade, to infect, and to spread.

And we are all faced with one very real and inevitable truth, ONLY God knows where this will stop or when it will end. And only God has the peace and the comfort that can protect our minds and our hearts and most of all our souls during this.

And only by focusing on what can come of it, even if it does not come for us, to be happy for those that can and will find fruits in the most horrendous, lowest, and darkest valleys. Families that once were the backbone of society and should be this was God’s plan, for families to be just that, a family, to stick together, be together, love one another and be bonded in that love but overtime and the “need” for both parents to work because governments have allowed inflation and prices to rise to the point that multiple incomes are often a necessity for families to survive, and this has came at a great price, the price of parents who really do not know their children and children who are missing out on a deeper relationship with the very people God chose to be the forefront of their lives, to teach them, guide them and love them.

And that is one thing that is going to come form this nightmare. A re connection of families, a re connection of what is truly important and time to get to know and really appreciate one another for who they truly are as a person not just the “title” they have in our lives.

And I want to give a couple of scripture to show just how important the family unit is in the opinion of God and this is one of the many reasons Jesus came to earth, he wants those relationships to built on love, respect, kindness, and above gentleness which are some of his attributes.

He doesn’t want families to built on iron fists, control, belittlement, and fear of retributions for making mistakes or “coming up short” in the view of over zealous parents.

And more than ever it is time to seek the Lord and it is good for people to have hope and encouragement but the only way we can access the promises of God is to serve God, and I mean truly serve God.

I do believe that that is something else that will become clear as we proceed through these times.

The true Gospel has has became so watered down that some really believe that the promises of God are just that, promises and that it requires nothing on our part but that is absolutely not true.

We must repent, we must be saved, and that means a conversion for our “old ways” into  a newness and a real relationship with Christ when also means keeping his commandments and keeping his word, all of that word, and then we are heirs to all his promises and can seek him, his shelter and his peace in these times.

God sent us his word as instruction to want he wanted to take place in the family unit.

Malachi 4:6: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statues and judgments.

Behold, I will send Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:  

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come a smite the with curse.”

This prophecy went down over John the Baptist, as we”listen’ to the words that were spoken to his father Zacharias by the angel Gabriel, as he foretold the conception, and birth and divine calling upon the life of John as John would preach the Lamb of God.

Luke 1:10-17: ” And as the whole multitude of the people were praying without (outside) at the time (hour) of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell on him.

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

And thou shalt have great joy and gladness; and many people shall rejoice at his birth.

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy ghost from his mother’s womb.

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make a people ready (PREPARED) for the Lord.” 

John preached a revolutionary new (to them) message, He was to introduce them to their God, not as they had perceived him to be, with fury and judgement, but a God that was love, gentleness, and forgiveness a God that they we meet as a Lamb, the perfect sacrifice but also showing humans, himself what exactly it is that he expects us to be and how he wants us to behave with each other. That is why he wanted the hearts of children to parents and parents to children, this is how the family of God works.

If you read this for the beginning you will notice so very important facts, Zacahrias was alone praying and offering incense but there were many, many outside the temple praying at the time he was to offer that incense. God’ s timing is as he, perfect, always perfect, and in the midst of every trail, torment, that comes upon this earth God is there. God knew all of these things would come, God told Noah to build the ark, God told Abraham that his descendants would go into bondage and God told Moses that he would deliver the children.

No one liked any of those circumstances but we can read about the miraculous hand of God in each account.

The only difference is today we have so much, so much to do, so much technology and the ability to know and see through the internet the devastation that has came that it has brought a new level of fear and uncertainty and it is hard to remember when faced with numbers, graphs, and charts one truth that is timeless, ageless,a and will never  ever change, GOD IS STILL THE SAME.

God has always been and God will always be. Thousands of years have came and gone, rulers, kings, powers, and kingdoms , but it is still the same Jehovah God that created it all.

So to get to the title and make an end of this post (you were beginning to wonder, Is it ever going to end? 🙂 weren’t you?) Just kidding, laughter is merry medicine.

But seriously, we will make it, holding on to God, that does not mean that we not suffer losses but it means we will make it, we will make it home.

We will make it by staying the course God has given us through his word. According to the handy dandy Wikipedia, this was probably an old nautical saying, and here it is as copied directly from the internet “encyclopedia”, (better known as Wikipedia), it means this: “Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism

And the flip side to staying the course was this, the vessel had the option to “cut and run” meaning to hurry off by cutting the ropes and cutting free of the anchor.

We must stay anchored.

Hebrews 6:10-19: “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister.

And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

For when God made promises to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiply I will multiply thee.

And so, after he had endured, he obtained the promise.  for men verily swear by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an an end of all strife. 

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.

That by two immutable (unchangeable) things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consultation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope THAT IS SET BEFORE US. WHICH HOPE WE HAVE AS AN ANCHOR OF THE SOUL, BOTH SURE AND STEADFAST, AND WITH ENTERETH INTO THAT WITHIN THE VEIL (Presence behind the veil).” 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

FEAR…

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

My original thought a week or so ago was that I wanted to write something for St Patrick’s Day and I would name is “Turning Green” and it would be about envy

But My, how things can change in a couple of weeks.

And I am quite sure everyone, everywhere at this moment in time as we are all being quarantined into our own little spots in the world. 

Schools closed, churches advised to close, many working from home, people stocking up food, stocking up supplies and what about all those who can’t?

The President telling us to keep our groups to the number ten. 

Ironically ten is the number of completion and in the end all the face masks and hand sanitizer in the world isn’t going to change the fact that we live on earth and earth is fragile, and we are fragile. 

Whether this was a man-made weapon gone wrong or if it is truly just a mutation of some otherwise harmless virus that somehow manged to evolve itself into a killing machine is completely irrelevant in the end, and yes I did just say that it is completely irrelevant.

In the grand scheme of things, we are human, humans die, no one wants to die but every single day of our lives we face death.

When we get out of bed everyday we face death.Even in the best of health we could die at any second, simply driving down the road we are usually listening to music or planning our day or our thoughts are on pressing things of the moment or future plans but nevertheless, we could potentially die with one wrong move of that vehicle or because of the wrong move of another.

The only difference is that now we are painfully AWARE the danger.

We are extremely aware, the news tells us that we could die, the internet tells that we could die and all that can be heard and seen tells, reaffirming the fact that we could all very well die.

And do know I am not in any way making light of any of it, i have study prophecy for years and there are certain things that are what they are and there are certain things that will be because the Bible has already been written.

Just as Jesus said concerning his own death after His resurrection, from Luke 24:44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were in written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

So we know what is written is written and it all has to come to pass just as God said that it would but God has hope and comfort in all things.

So I am not getting into that at the moment but it is good time to really reflect on the reality that there are some very scary, quite horrifying events that will take place on this earth.

The time of all those things are for God and God alone to know and be judge of but Jesus gave us very clear markers to know how far we have came on that path and he gave us those because he does not want us to be terrified and blindsided that those things would come and we would not know what was happening. 

And so we go on into this post, we are now as a people, not a nation, not a race, but all of humankind dealing with this one common enemy- the virus- whose name I have heard so much these past weeks that I don’t even want to use it.

But we now all have a common foe, and that foe is bringing global fear and the fear is the true enemy, not the virus.

Fear destroys, it kills, it steals, it takes your peace and your joy and even though you live, it steals your very life because if we are so terrified, consumed by the though of losing our lives how are really ever going to live?

So I want to “talk” to you about fear, perfectly normal to be afraid, David was very afraid when Saul was trying to kill him,  Peter was horrified and Daniel really did not want to be eaten alive but he knew he had to trust God, he knew this was a very real possibility and he knew that he would be thrown into the lions and he was but God delivered him.   

Jesus telling us to “Fear not, little flock…” is one of my favorite verses, that is God telling YOU, me, all that serve and love Him, the most simple of messages for us to not be afraid, a message we have heard often through lives from childhood as our Mothers, Fathers, and other adults reassured to not be afraid, letting us know that everything would be okay, and we trusted that.

Now think of this. that verse was spoken by the one who holds the universe in his hands and is surely will take care of you.

So please don’t look at this world, like an old friend used to tell me “Just don’t look down” keep your eyes focused on the good things, happy things and think about things that bring you joy and peace, this virus and this time of uncertainty and fear will not be forever but God and his eternal promises are forever.

So read his word and pray and pray for all those whoa re trapped in that  fear because fear is destructive and its affects can last well past the course of those things that bring that fear to us.

And may I please suggest that you read Psalm 91 and quote it and believe it over you, and your loved ones.

I want to also leave you with a though tonight, you know when God brought the plagues upon Eygpt and they were covered in absolute darkness the Hebrews, God’s people still had light in all their dwellings.  SAME GOD and the same God will take care of you and see us all through whatever this world holds and whatever is yet to unfold.

Praying God’s peace and love, blessings and most of all his perfect love, which casts out all fear for you and yours this season of life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

Angels, Roses, & True Love part 3 “Truest Love of All”

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you, that ye love one another. 

If the world hate you ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world,but I have CHOSEN you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”  John 15:9-18   

Love is the most misunderstood word in existence, and love in its truest sense is often left undiscovered.

When Jesus gave us these words, which he went on in verse twenty to remind us to, “REMEMBER the word that I have said unto you…” as He went on to warn them that we can never expect to be treated any differently than he was.

We are truly judged by the company we keep and often once you starting keeping company, as our old Southern sayings go, with Jesus, you will find out pretty fast who your real friends are, which in most cases, will then mean were. 

So often all of us at one time or another have been hit with the old routine of  “If you really loved me…” and you know that is the biggest trap the enemy has ever set. People who really love you will NEVER play that game, they will NEVER use the love that they know you have for them as a tool against you, to manipulate and control you or to coerce you into to bending to their will never caring at all about you or your feelings.

So that my friends is the state of the world, and just as Jesus said, the world, referring to those people, people who do not honor God or his teachings and sure do not want you to honor him, they will hate you. 

Being human will all need to feel love and we need acceptance and the enemy plays on those needs because he knows where our greatest weakness lies. That it why it is imperative to cultivate a relationship with Jesus and of course if you have never excepted salvation, that is where you must start.

Think about that, just as he told us, there is NO GREATER LOVE, the love of God, the one who created you, just as He told the Prophet Jeremiah… “BEFORE, I formed thee in the belly  I knew thee”…  and he knew you, me, and ever other person who was or ever will be created.

And His lovemercy, and grace will never fail, and He gives this freely, openly, honestly, no strings attached, no deals to be made.

He just gives and he gives from the moment He brings you into this world through all the ups, downs, of life until your golden years, He gives that hope, that choice, and that offer to open that door as He beckons for you to open your heart and as He also promises that even as time fades from us that He is there.

Isaiah 46:4: “And even to your old age I am he and even to your hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

Now those are the words of God Himself promising us that even to the end of everything, He will carry us, deliver us, and as He also promised in scripture elsewhere, He will never leave us or forsake us. THAT is Love.   

So you see no matter where you are, where you have been, no of it matters, God wants you right where you are, and maybe the enemy has told you that God has called to many times, or you have went to far or that your family, relationship, or circumstance disqualifies you from ever being able to serve God, again one of the biggest lies of all.

Jesus loves you and He died on the cross to save you, and it is  never too late until you take your last breathe, He will save you, all you have to do is ask him into your heart, because He will not just force you  accept him,  or force you to accept the greatest gift of all, His love the only true love, and a love that will never fail.

And as I leave you, I want to leave you with this question why spend life never knowing what you can not know until you have accepted it?

I know that was a tongue twister, meaning this, never dismiss the thought of the existence of God or the relationship that is waiting for you, a relationship of peace and love, and truly knowing God, until you have at least sought Him.

Before I was saved I did not understand that either.

I always thought of God as just out in Heaven, we could pray to him and I believed in Him but never understood what it meant to know His presence and no one can know that or understand that until they are saved.

This is how it works… you believe, you ask and then you know.

He is not in the business of proving Himself to us before we believe, we believe and then He reveals Himself to us. that is the part the world that he referred to is missing, and they do hate him or rather the belief in Him, because their hearts are so darkened and their minds so blinded that they do not believe in anything, they live in the moment, never believing that there is more.

Falsely thinking that this world, this life is all that there is, and as the Bible teaches us, if we only had hope in this life, and our only confidence was in the things of this world we would be miserable.

He proved how much He loves us, enough to die for us, and there is no greater nor will there ever be a greater love than that of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for reading, sorry that I was running so late with this series that was supposed to be for Valentine’s Day, but God knows everything and His timing is perfect so I hope in some way this will bless you TODAY!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Series posts: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

 

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

“The wilderness and the solitary (desert) place shall be glad for them: and the desert shall blossom as the rose.

It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and signing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon,  they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. Say unto them that are of a fearful heart (are afraid), Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then the lame man shall leap as a hart (a deer), and the tongue of the dumb (mute) shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool and thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of dragons (jackals),where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

And an highway shall be there, and a way (road), And it shall be called The way of Holiness;  the unclean shall not pass over it: but is shall be for those; the wayfaring men (those who walk the road), though fools, shall not err therein (will not go astray).

No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed of the Lord shall walk there

And the ransomed  of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; the shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.   Isaiah 35

Well to get started, Happy leap day, Happy leap year, Happy Sadie Hawkins Day! That is a lot for a day that only comes every four years!

It is cold and snowy in my part of the world, looked quite like a post card this morning, absolutely gorgeous with snow covering every branch of every tree and glittering down sparkling as the sun tried to shine through.

And it is a beautiful refreshing change from this time yesterday, as I was feeling a little ” Bob crackit-ish” having just came out of a nineteen hour power outage caused by a fallen tree…ah the joys of electric heat. 

And things can and do change fast sometimes, like the old saying, “What a difference a day can make.”

Like our passage above, I know that seemed excessive, an entire chapter, but it is needed. God often works in our lives the same way, one day is catastrophic, your entire world crashing around you, such as in the first verse, a spiritual wilderness, a barren deserted land in which you feel that you have found yourself helplessness alone.

Then Jesus comes in and lets us know that He is already there, He is in that place with you and for you, and in those places of solitude is the very place that God often uses to bring that gladness and joy of his presence to us.

This is why the desert can be “glad” for us, and why it can be a place, starting out with feelings of lonely abandonment and quickly becoming a beautiful fruited land in where find a renewing and strengthening of your personal relationship with God.

A place in which you learn complete trust and complete surrender while gaining faith and complete confidence in his power over your life and the blessed knowledge that he is doing something wonderful in you despite what everything around you may be saying to the contrary.

And the blooming of that rose, a rose not only blooming but blossoming into perfection out of the parched dry ground.

A rose that would seem doomed to never in bud given the hardness of the soil in which it is planted but once those sweet waters come bringing the glory and joy of the land over that land, everything will change.

Wasn’t Shakespeare’s famous line that told even by any name a rose would smell just as sweet?

Ah, but I do beg to differ…

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

And talk about beautiful fragrances…

“Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (more than any other), All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia…” Psalm 45: 7, 8 (a) 

No name greater, no fragrance sweeter than our God, the only true rose, the only rose whose love does bloom in us, even in the middle of a desert and who is the lily producing a beautiful sweet fragrance covering and replacing the smell of the awful ash left by what had once consumed our life.

That sweet aroma  of that lily, whose beauty shines forth even from among the painful thorns as we go through the valleys of this world, as all the “dragons”, all that would hurt and hinder are made silent and renewing, as that fresh grass growing starts to take place. So you see, you can’t stop, you can not give up, because where you are today can change in twinkling of an eye. The place of the desert that you may feel will engulf you may very well be the place you look back on one day with a higher knowledge and understanding that if it had not been for that desert you may have never be given the only truly perfect rose.  

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour (aroma).”  Ephesians 5:1,2

Nothing, absolutely nothing that can be sweeter or any rose more beautiful than Jesus.

Trust him, just TRUST him.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

For series posts, please click links:

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

 

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about the that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7

I really had a rough time thinking about this one. There are so many stories in the Bible of the interactions between those of us on earth and the host of heaven, who are sent to us, I believe, more often than we could ever imagine.

And it is truly hard to write for six years dealing in the same subject matter and not get redundant, and redundant I do not wish to be, so this post with be heavy laden with golden links that can be clicked on for more posts concerning heaven meeting earth.

But we have all experienced those moments in life, usually near fatal accidents that somehow, miraculously we were spared and stories upon stories that can have only one explanation divine intervention carried out by servants of the most Divine.

We can get into the mindset of this by recalling the stories of old.

One my personal favorites the angel that visited Hagar not once but TWICE.

Daniel whose life was spared through his faith in God as God sent an angel to “shut the mouths of the lions” which I believe this meant that the lions were calmed and lulled they knew the angel was there as we know from the story of the beaten donkey  , the donkey that kept stopping because she saw what her evil rider could not… the angel whose compassion toward that donkey almost brought an even earlier end to Balaam. 

The angel Gabriel proclaiming blessed news to Mary, and again angels coming to proclaim to simple shepherds that that blessed promise had been fulfilled.

Other births had been foretold as those of the angelic realm paid visits also to Samson’s parents, his mother first and then at the prayer of Manoah, God sent the angel again to clarify how this child should be raised.

Not to mention Zacahrias, the father of John the Baptist was also visited by Gabriel as he performed his duties in the temple. 

There are stories of encounter after encounter with everything from bring prophecy and good news, to warning of danger ahead and assurance that the future will be brighter as in Hagar’s case.

An angel fed Elijah when he was so discouraged he could no longer continue. Jacob wrestled with the angel before becoming Israel, Joshua was given comfort meeting the captain of the host that were for them.

Stories of the Lord sending his angels to fight against those that were to strong for his children to fight and opening the eyes of the servant of Elisha to allow him to see just how many were really there for that fight if needed. Other times he sent them forth in judgment  to destroy those that sought to destroy his chosen or defiled his temple.

They announced his birth, his resurrection, and spoke to the disciples at his ascension assuring them that he would indeed return just as he went away and they will continue to watch over us and do his will until that day. 

So when I think of God and I think of love it is very difficult to not think of the angels and his beauty, grace,and kindness in sending them to watch over us and when I think of all the times in life all of us could have encountered an angel and not have ever even known is even more amazing to me! 

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:1-2

Our gentle warning to always respond in love (I fail this one often!) and a bigger warning that we should always be very careful how we treat others because we can actually be talking with an angel.

I want to point out something here, if you were to ever encounter an angel posing as human to check your true usage of the golden rule  you would probably never even know that you had but just know that an angel would never test you on anything contrary to the word of God.

They would never request anything of you that is wrong or illegal or immoral. And they are NEVER to be worshiped. 

“And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings (words) of this book: WORSHIP GOD.Revelation 22:8,9

I love “angels”. I have angels on almost anything you can imagine and love giving Christmas cards with scriptures of “Glad Tidings” and art work of the same.

When we think of  all the beautiful cards with truly inspirational sayings and thoughts of love and peace with gorgeous illustrations of what we perceive the angels to be, lets always bear in mind one thing.

These thoughts and sentiments that we have came to cherish are actually a reflection of the love God has sent to us, the only difference is his angels ARE real!

So I want to give you some of that good news, the words from God concerning those of the heavenly host that he does in deed give “charge over you” to watch over you, comfort you, protect you, and be there in the loneliest, most barren place of hopelessness .

Much like the place Hagar  found herself in, through no fault of her own and just when she thought EVERYTHING was hopeless and she truly believed that she and much worse her son were going to die in that wilderness, God sent his angel with not only words of comfort, words of hope, and the PROMISE of a future for her son but also he miraculously sent them water so that they could physical continue on that journey.

God know all of our needs emotional, spiritual, and physical and he addressed all these for Hagar, taking care first of the emotional, then the spiritual, by giving her reassurance delivered no less than through an angel, and then her physical need was met.

And he does the same for us, we just have to believe and be open and mindful that even when we feel alone and it looks like there is no one on our side, Jesus is and he sends his angels as proof of that.

John was told to not worship them because they are workers together with us for the kingdom of God. Which is so important to say in a world that wants to worship everything except the one true God and always be careful of media posts and sites that touting messages from angels or connect with your angels.

We don’t connect with them… God sends them to us, they are ever present.

There is always the question that if God is real and angels are real why does bad things happen? 

That is explained quite simply as being on this earth, being human, God never promised this earth would be easy, it is not our eternal home, we are not  in the realm of immortality and the pain and heartache felt by one is surely felt by another.

And the best way to be mindful of that, especially when we are going through particularly painful seasons is remembering a very crucial lesson, Jesus was Mary’s   firstborn son and he was also God in human form and will for ever be and Jesus who was the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God DIED for us so that we could live.

The Bible is also full of stories of heartache and blessings given for the generations by those near the end of their own.

The apostles Peter and Paul both writing of the deaths that were soon to come and yet both of these men spared, miraculously rescued by the angels and not just once.

Peter after having been arrested and chained between two guards had this encounter as recorded in Acts 12:7-10: “And, behold, the angel  of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and a light shined in the prison: and he smote (tapped) Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly, And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put on your shoes), so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but he thought that he saw a vision.

When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto an iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them on his own accord (meaning the gate miraculously opened): and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”

Paul as he was in the midst of the storm while a prisoner on a seemingly doomed ship, had the to speak of his encounter and what they must do to survive:

Acts 27:22-26: “And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (the ship would be destroyed).

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast (run aground) upon a certain island.”

The angel reminding Paul, bringing God’s words and promises over his life back to his mind, assuring him that no matter how dark  it was not quite time.

It was not yet time for them to go to that eternal home but when the time started to come they knew and they never questioned God’s love for them.

The one common thread that weaves it all together is this, it is only temporary and the entire reason for our faith is believing that there is so much better, in the life yet to come.

Lets actually just quickly look at what they both said concerning their inevitable deaths.

Paul wrote this ending his directions to Timothy concerning what he must do to be a successful minister for the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Timothy 4:6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.”

And Peter, also giving instructions as his last words before saying this:

2 Peter 1:13-15: “Yea, I think it meet (is right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus has shown me.

Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (death) to have these things in remembrance always.”

How could they have such comfort and such peace? Because they knew, they had the Lord and they knew had the angelic host and we never alone. 

They are with us from birth, through childhood, just as Jesus said concerning the children when he gave this warning from Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

When we have ran amok, wasting our inheritance like the prodigal sons and daughters that we are, hanging out with the wrong people and as messed up.as we are he still loves us.He still watches over us and still his angels watch over us and Jesus said this about the moment that they are observing as we come into the truth.

Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeneth.”

These are they who cease not to praise the Lord and there are those who are night and day around the throne and the only time we are told they are silent is just before judgment is began against earth. They are with you in life and they will be with us in death as again Jesus relays the story of Lazarus.

Luke 16:22: ” And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man died and was buried.”

Quite a contrast the rich man died and was buried (we know that he also lifted up his eyes in hell, never have accepted salvation)  but Lazarus carried by the angels.

Start to finish, God send us his messengers and when we have doubt and fears, loneliness and grief we should always rest in that comfort, as they have been with us silently and invisibly here, one day we will be with them there, we also we be part of that host of heaven but until then rest assured knowing that they are always around!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev Nina Brown Johnson

Posts in series: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the  most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is  my refuge and my fortress: my God in whom I will trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome (deadly) pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust(take refuge); his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (shield).

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in the darkness; nor for the destruction that wastesth (lays waste) at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only wit thine eyes shalt thou behold the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come thy dwelling. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:1-11 

Most familiar passage of scripture there, most know it and if you don’t, what a more fabulous time to learn it! And what a better time of the year, i am just a wee late on this but love should be celebrated every single day!

Not just once a year, but every single day. And I am not talking about carnal love, or the romantic love of a married couple, but the true healing balm that softens even the hardest heart and seals even the deepest spiritual wounds.

The love that is best understood by carefully reading and spiritually dividing his Word an this passage is an excellent place to start.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in in few words,

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

That Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Wherefore I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifest wisdom of God.

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you which is my glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

That he would grant you according to to riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded IN love, may be able to comprehend (understand) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:2-19 

Part of the lesson the be learned from this scripture is this, the “mystery” of God, that had perplexed humans since the dawn of time, is not quite a mystery after all. Humans have a need to understand, to know, even to believe in something s much more than ourselves.

Love itself testifies to this because we know that love can not die and God created us with that very desire to know to understand something so much greater, but in that we have through time searched for these answers in so many wrong places.

Never understanding the simplicity of the truth, and being human we want to attribute our human thinking and logic to a divine force that can not be reduced to our human mentality.

This is why Jesus came to earth, everything that thought and everything that attributed to God was quite skewed, He wasn’t all about fire and brimstone, punishment and death, and the ability to hand down the sentence of eternal damnation, which all those have their place, but he came here for one reason and one reason only to save us and save us not with punishment and terror but to save us, and to save us with thew most misunderstood yet greatest attribute of His divinity, His LOVE.

I do hope you will join me for the remainder of this series, lord will, we will look at how that love which does truly surpass anything our mortal minds can comprehend, goes so far beyond and yet touches us every single day and just as our customs of angels, roses, and never ending love stories,but the real love story was written by the greatest author of all and that story has no end and that rose never fades and that love never dies or grows cold but lives forever, eternally in a story yet to be told.

And here is your final verse for our intro,

Romans 5:8: “But God commended(demonstrates) his love toward us, in, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Join me next time! Have a blessed week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω NBJ 2020

 

 

 

Precious Valentines

“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.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:16-21

That passage of scripture I do believe, contains the most popular verse in all of human history “For God so loved the world…

Love.

Love is the “secret” to it all.

God created us out of that love, the same love that allowed Jesus to be tortured and die an excruciating death on the cross for us and the same love that will one day raise us up eternally to rest forever in that love.

I can’t let Valentines’ Day come yet once again without thanking God for that love. Romans 5:8: “But God commenedeth (demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

It is and always has been my absolute favorite holiday, I love all the legends and folk lore associated with it, martyrdom and self sacrifice in the name of Christian love.

I know Christmas and Easter should be and they are the most Holy of days BUT think of this, the day that celebrates the greatest and most cherished of all emotions, the one day set aside to celebrate love itself should be also be set aside to celebrate love HIMSELF.

And of course I am not talking about the worldly take on it either, I am talking about celebrating in him and sharing his love with all that you can on one very special day.

Take time out from the chocolate hearts you may buy, the flowers you may send, and the enamored love songs that you may dedicate to the love of your life.

Visit someone, call someone, or just do something for someone else who is hurting or widowed to bring a smile to their face and the touch of God to their heart.

Of all the paper hearts and valentines greetings passed as school children, all the boxes of candy given and received over a lifetime, every gift that we may have received, even ever so carefully planned and thought out to glorious perfection would still one day in retrospect concerning what is truly precious, what is truly eternal and all will pale in comparison to the true gift of the love God.

And that love, HIS love, shared from one heart to another, one word spoken in due season to cheer and encourage a heart that may completely breaking.

As Jesus described those who come to the light, their desire is to do the will of God and show forth HIS love, and kindness.

So give those cards, send those flowers, cook that dinner, and eat the chocolates and be those happy guys and gals but don’t forget to thank and send your love to the truest heart, the most precious of all, the one who loved enough to die and who in the greatest demonstration of the eternity of that love rose.

And in honour of him be willing to give of yourself, give your heart the most precious valentine that you could ever give to someone else.

From my heart to yours… HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Φλογιζω360 NBJ 2019

Revisited 02/09/2020

 

“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Revisited 02/07/2020 

 

A change of heart….

“And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” JEREMIAH 24:7 

A few days and it will be Valentines Day, always, always has been one of my favorites, I was born a helpless romance junkie and think it should be a crime for anyone to not celebrate the one day set aside to celebrate the greatest of all gifts… LOVE.

And I do NOT mean it in the context of the world standards with their absolutely perverse notion of what love even means, although this time of the year it is hard to escape, especially this year with all the hype about the new even more twisted sequel to a certain movie.. but enough of that

Funny how we humans can dress up the devil and sell him as your best friend.

Know a little something about dressed up  “old friends” lately too, you know the ones who keep coming and coming to torment you, yet according to them they are your FRIEND. 

But it does prove a point..

Satan will try, he doesn’t care if it has been twenty years, thirty years, whatever, he never gives up and that is why we have to always be on guard and the biggest threat to your salvation is always gonna be your “old friends” and maybe that little throw in there will help someone who may be having “a blast from the past” that the enemy has sent to knock the wind out of your sails.

Remember what Jesus said “Let the dead bury the dead” go on with your life.

Back to love.. real love… the best part of any good romance movie is when the love question comes and one says to the other “If you could only look into my heart…” and we know the correct mushy Hallmark ending to that sentence is “you would KNOW just how much I love you” and all the other mushy love stuff.

So I want you in honor of true spirit of Valentines Day to answer me a question.. well actually you will be answering it to you, since I am obviously pretty far outta earshot… If someone were to look deep into your HEART, what would they see?

Would they see tattered, torn, broken, and left feeling forsaken by friends, and family? 

Would they see all the damage, stress, and strain of the trails you have been through in your life and all the rips and shreds left by lost loves and lost loved ones?

Would they see regret,and remorse,and guilt so severe over things you can not change that have left you with the inability to forgive YOURSELF?

Would they see wounds and scars from a life time of deceptions and many bad decisions?

Would they see sorrow, grief, and pain and  the worry over the tragedies of others?

The true beauty in having a “damaged” heart is that only a heart that has known true agony can fully give itself to others and most of all to God because only He can revive, renew, and repair all that we think is eternally lost and only he can take a heart too afraid to be loved or show love and make it overflow with the purest of love, to flow out so strong that it can even flow onto those you think are incapable of love and convert them. 

That is why He tells us that He will GIVE us a heart to KNOW Him, but we must come to Him with our whole heart.

And in doing this we have to admit what we see and be willing to trade in our hearts of stone, hardened through life, hardened against faith, hardened in unbelief because of the things we have suffered, and we have the argument that our wounds are too deep, too much water under the bridge and we can’t give our lives to Christ because we just “can’t live it” right now, but that is such self-deception! 

We only have to give Him those stone hearts and let Him tell us what He sees. 

Ezekiel 36:26,27: “A NEW HEART also WILL I GIVE YOU, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I WILL TAKE AWAY THE STONY HEART out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statues, and ye shall keep judgments, and do them.”

He does the work! He gives US the new heart and once He gives us His spirit, HE leads us, guides us, and CAUSES us to walk in His paths!

There is NOTHING that we can do for ourselves! And I for one thank God for that, I personally could have never “fixed” myself, no one or not the greatest team of any super brains on earth could have “fixed” me and you know what?

They can’t fix anyone else either!

Only Jesus, because we have to have a heart transplant that only ONE physician in the universe knows how to perform!

So if you are looking and not liking what you see, and be honest, that is the groovy thing with this blog, NO ONE knows you while you are reading it!

I don’t know it, your friends don’t know it and NO ONE sees you, so you can be honest, right there where you are, LOOK… what do you see?

Joel 2:12,13: “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, TURN ye even TO ME with ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; And rend (tear open) your heart, and not your garments.

And TURN unto the Lord your God; For HE IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL, SLOW TO ANGER, AND OF GREAT KINDNESS…..

I promise you, you can trust Him with ALL your heart and I also promise you, if you could only look into the Father’s heart, you would truly see just how much He ALREADY LOVES YOU!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date 02/10/2017 

 

In Good Conscience…

“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God.” 1 John 3:20,21  The heart there speaking of conscience. 

I’ve been wrestling with exactly how to hit this point, I toyed with an elaborate play in my head… something out of a history book, you know an old dude in a wig with the forefathers stomping his foot and throwing his quill pen on the table and profoundly stating, “Gentlemen I can not in good conscience be a party to this senseless farce!’

But then again that may be from history, ah, you never know!

Anyway we are digging a good conscience, that little tugging inside that tells us something about the situation we are in or a direction that someone is trying to lead us in is just not quite right for us.

On the flip side of that you can have someone, even with good intentions,  attempting to herd you into a direction or condemn a decision you have made or are trying to make based on their personal feelings on the matter.

People can often try to lead or condemn us when our true Shepherd the only one who truly has the right to lead and truly the only one with the power to condemn has no plan or purpose for that action in your life.

That is why the verse is so powerful and so extremely important especially when we are in a valley of decision, because God IS greater and he is greater than our heart and if our heart is not condemning us that tells us that surely God being greater than that would let us know beyond any shadow of a doubt the true path we should take or the correct decision even if we chose to make a decision that another may not think is the best one if God gives peace with that then we know we can have that confidence of being in his will.

To give an example of the importance of listening to the “voice” of God we’ll go to one of the scariest stories in the Bible, or at least to me it is one of the scariest because it teaches us how easily a person can sway us away from the will of God,

“And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense,

And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord (at the command of the Lord), and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.

And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign the Lord hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent (split apart), and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

And it came to pass, When King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying Lay hold upon him. (seize him) and his hand, which he did put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

The altar was rent, and the ashed poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 13:1-5

I want to stop right there for a moment because we can establish right there so completely that there was no doubt possible that this man, who is referred to as a man OF God had been sent and purposed of God to do this work and God displayed his power against those who would try to stop him to further prove that this was indeed divinely ordained.

Now for the rest of the story.

“And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand  was restored him again, and became as it was before (healed).

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give the a reward.

And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

For so it was charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest .

So he went another way,and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

And their father said unto them, What way  went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass, and he rode thereon.

And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak, and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? and he said, I am.

Then he said unto him, Come home with me and eat bread.

And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

For  it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way thou camest,

He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water, BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.

So he went back with him an did eat bread in his house, and drink water.” 1 Kings 13:6-19

This story has a horrific ending,  if you have a moment, please finish it on your own, but needless to say the man of God dies because he listened to the wrong voice, he listened to the voice of a man, the voice that assured him that he himself also was a “prophet” and he listened to the “voice’ of an “angel” supposedly heard by the man.

And he listened to all these “voices” when he had already heard from the “voice” the word of God and for whatever reason chose to listen to the wrong voice after having received all the instruction he needed from the right one.

Not faulting him at all, this is why this is such a scary story, because it happened so easy and it is a great warning to us, that there are those for whatever reason would try to lead us completely out of the will of God or even snare and trap us just to try to cause us to stumble and  fall.

The overwhelming thread of this story is that he had had been told every single thing he needed to know about the man of God, including the command that God gave him against eating and drinking in that “place” and the direction in which he had been commanded to travel and he had all he needed to convince him into going “back” with him. So much symbolism going on there.

God is greater than your heart, if you know God and I mean truly know God, that you are a born again, spirit filled Bible believing person, you know what your heart is saying, and God is greater.

So if your heart is telling you a way that you should not go while someone else is saying that is the only way to go, take a note from your heart and know that God through his word has already told you how to go.

As said in 1 Corinthians, God is NOT the author of confusion but of PEACE. The God that saved you is the same God today and anything that takes your joy and your peace and bring confusion and strife into your mind and heart is NOT of him and anything contrary to his word and his teachings will never be his will for your life.

Thanks for reading! have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“2020 Constant in continuance”

“As he spoke these words, many believed in him,  If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed: and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31,32   

Going to be going back to those passages in just a bit, but I wanted to stop there and talk about that truth, His truth, the truth that this entire season is supposed to celebrate. Jesus arriving on earth as a perfectly innocent babe, just as Jesus always was and still is and will forever be.

That is the truth that He brought to us, his beauty, his humility, and most of His grace.

A grace to so compassionate and so extensive that instead of destroying us in judgment against our sins, He chose to save us, save us from sin, save us from the devil, and most of all save us from ourselves. 

That is what I have always found so astounding and so amazing, not that everything about God and His majesty isn’t astounding, it is because He is supernatural while we are just barely natural!

But how a being who could speak everything that we know as the universe into existence, could separate the heaven from the earth and the heavens from the heavens and fling the starts, planets, sun, and moon into an endless space.

Created innumerable species on such a scale from the largest of beasts to the tiny little daphnia, who being only 0.01-0.20 inches in size has a beautiful little features including a perfect little heart that can be seen beating through its translucent body under a microscope, so tiny that this does not hurt them in anyway.

The SAME God who created the mammoths, the whales, also created the tiny little humming birds, the incredible assortment of color changing and electrically charge sea creatures and right down to the microscopic communities of absolute GOD GIVEN life.

And every single one with hundreds of types and varieties within their species, all intelligent, beautiful, and with uniquely their own social orders.

The birds who are especially brilliant with their dances of courtship and the bower-birds, the males building beautifully designed masterpieces of found art to impress potential mates, while other males seriously stake out his joint waiting for a chance to destroy it so that he can take out his competition for those potential mates.

And the male red birds who sing sweet songs as their “lady” birds set patiently on the eggs that will be their new family.

And all these much better parents and partners than their human counter parts on any given day.

And we could go on forever with example after example across the board of God’s creation.

And in all the splendor, all of the magnificent display of His creations, He came to save but one of all the kinds he created. the only species that ever questioned his existence, the only species that ever dared think itself quite so high, the only species that needed  a Saviour!

You can “see” this uniquely human attitude as we return to our scriptures, now bear in mind that these guys are actually saying this to God, the very one who created them!

And yet they question him.

John 8:33-43:”They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, (descendants), and we were NEVER in bondage to any man: HOW sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 

Jesus answered them,  Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever (forever). If the Son shall therefore make ye free, ye shall be free indeed.

I know that ye are Abraham’s seed: but ye seek to kill me, because my WORD has no place in you.

I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.  

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father, Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Ye do the deeds of your father.  Then said they unto him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.”  

They couldn’t hear, even though they probably had perfect hearing they still could not hear the word, even with the Living Word standing right in front of them.

And in our world today it is so easy to get side tracked to get out of focus with the truth of God’s word, as Jesus so simply stated as this, John 8:47: “He that is of God heareth God’s words…” 

And that is not even about hearing the literal voice of God (which I am not disputing that some do) He means His written word, his commandments, his teachings and all that he had others write to us when giving us the Bible as our handbook to survival of this world.

2 Corinthians 3:1-17: “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

Forasmuch as ye manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 

And such trust we have through Christ to God-ward: 

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. 

Who also hath made us ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather (more) glorious?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

For if that which was done (passing) away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.  

Seeing then that we have such hope we use great plainness of speech:

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.

But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

Nevertheless when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. NOW the Lord IS that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord IS, there IS Liberty.”

So basically what he was saying with much of that is this, as Moses face actually shone from being in the presence of God, and that glory was there even though the Mosaic law called for strict punishment and when the law of Christ comes into our heart how much more is that glory because the glory of that is the promise and hope of ETERNAL freedom!

And if you have Jesus and have his word and keep his word as he told us multiple, multiple times then we will have that promise.

Not much for him to ask, is it? And why doers he ask? For the same reason he warns and advises on any other subject… it is for us, for our GOOD. 

Psalm 119:11: “THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MINE HEART, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE.” 

Lack of his word leads to sin and as his word tells us “sin leads to death” and death without him leads to an eternity no one wants to think of. 

So continue in him, in his word, and take him for his word and enjoy the goodness, mercy, and grace that he came to this earth to give us. 

What better way to start our new year in him, a fresh commitment to staying in his word and true to the simplicity of his word, not mega ministers not theories or thoughts but JESUS, and his word at face value, just as he intended, one of the many reasons he came, prophet after prophet he sent, but then he came and he told us HIMSELF!

Think of that as we go into 2020…

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019/ REV. Nina BrownJohnson

 

 

“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  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 of all places a manger, 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 knew 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 not of this world,  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, this mortal bodies are nothing compared to the glorious resurrection to come, a resurrection 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

 

Golden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω για παντα  / NBJ 2015/ original post date: 12/02/2015/ repost 12/20/2019 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

TWO TURTLEDOVES

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

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

I always love to point out the fact that the offerings and giving of the first fruits helped support the priests, whose job WAS to care for the temple and the things of God, they and their families depended solely upon God for everything. But many things are twisted by the money preachers of today and Apostle Paul actually WORKED to earn his living.

This pressure is felt stronger during the Holiday season than any time of the year. We are bombarded with commercials telling us what our loved ones simply must have to have and if we are short on cash, we can always charge it, of course with a nice healthy interest rate given to those who offer this little extra holiday cheer.

A hard battle to fight. Jesus who left all of heaven, left his throne surrounded by his host of heavenly followers, the angels who came to the shepherds that fateful, divine night surrounded by the glow of heaven itself still could not resist proclaiming his glory for all the world to hear.

He chose parents who were poor, who were unable to offer a lamb on his behalf  because he would be THE LAMB.

The two turtle-dove would be as HIS atonement and as HIS being offered as a sacrifice for OUR sins.

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

Don’t let your joy this season be measured by an invisible force of marketing, don’t stress about the perfect gifts, meager budget, planning the perfect party.

The Bible commands us to not despise the times of small things and the smallest gift of all, a tiny newborn baby WAS and IS the ONLY PERFECT GIFT!

Original post: 12/2015

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

“Abiding in the field….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ruth 2:8,9: ” Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter?

GO NOT to glean in another field, NEITHER go from hence ( do not leave from here) BUT ABIDE HERE fast (close) by my maidens: LET THINE EYES BE ON THE FIELD THAT THEY DO REAP and go thou after them (follow them) : and have I not charged the young me that THEY SHOULD NOT TOUCH THEE? (they had been told to leave her alone and let her work )  and when thou art athirst (thirsty) GO UNTO THE VESSELS, and DRINK THAT WHICH THE YOUNG MEN HAVE DRAWN ( they were SUPPOSED to SHARE with her their water and allow her access to THEIR water jugs). 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revisited 12/07/2019

 

 

 

“STAR”

 

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

That wondrous star that led the kings to the Messiah. Think how many times they were probably discouraged by those around them as they sought out the most ancient of signs from the most ancient of prophecies.

But they were being drawn by the divinely magnetic force of the universe, the same divine force that placed that heavenly light in the sky for all to see, but only these three understood the significance of it all, but the “pay off” for them, in the form of all the hopes, dreams, and diligence being rewarded as they were among the first allowed to worship the King.

How could they help but rejoice? And they rejoice they did, and that joy would have truly been beyond comprehension.  I am sure many go through that process of seeking, as Abram sought for a city whose builder and maker is God, many others sought out the path predestined and purposed deep inside their hearts long before birth, even placed there BEFORE the foundations of the world. The longing of their souls driving them to seek deeper and deeper into the knowledge and treasures of God as the world around breathes “delusional” and “brainwashed by religion.”

And as the “Christ” in Christmas grows harder to recognize in this world, even in churches with many now no longer holding “traditional” services, but these days were always honored for very good reason.  They are referred to as THE HOLIDAYS in reference to celebrating the HOLY DAYS. With all that goes on around us and all who try their best to discourage us that we are seeking pipe dreams and fairy tales, it is ever pressing to remember what the wise men sought.

I know it can be argued and argued as to the origins of the holiday season, but a couple of things remain true, the day was adopted as the celebration of the birth of Christ, the greatest event spanning time, universe, and all that is or ever will be.

When God overshadowed Mary with His glory, majesty, and everything that He is and placed in her the seed of Himself because humans had been tainted at the fall of Adam and even though we had been created in His image. The health, longevity, peace that God had intended they enjoy would now  through two people, at the badgering, beguiling voice of the serpent had now become tainted and polluted with sickness, sin, and death and the beautiful mercy and grace that should have been in us turned to wickedness and violence as the seed of the enemy was introduced into the human equation.

So on this beautiful, blessed night that heaven would kiss the earth and angels would proclaim the lullaby to end all lullabies mingled with humans HEARING the songs of heaven itself as they sang “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST”, the breach was repaired by the same means by which it had been destroyed when the absolute Holy of Holiest came through a vessel of purity and would allow the spiritual birth of a new kind, first fruits of the Father and of the Son, and those to be of the Kingdom yet to come.

Secular shows with their ideal of “comedic” nods to the nativity that actually are blasphemous, songs written in churches long ago as praise and glory now have parodied lyrics and among the parties, gifts, and feasting of our present day, the shepherds who stood in awe, the  angels whose heavenly appearance and song would have melted even the hardest heart, the obedient but ever rewarded wise men, and the glorious star who shone with incredible splendor are being quickly forgotten and are no longer welcomed in our popular society.

So as Christmas approaches think about that star, think about what has been seeded inside of YOU as a believer, think about what YOU can bring to the King in adoration and worship to Him when He has opened YOUR treasures, (secret there, HE IS the one who has given you the gifts that you give back to the Kingdom) His Royal gold, pure, tried and true word of God. His Myrrh, purification for our souls and His dying that IN HIM we live. His frankincense in intercession for all the world and all those created by Him and for Him.

And that glorious star that burns ever so brightly STILL today if you will only choose to see it. His glory that still visits earth, His glory that will ONE day be revealed to all. “ARISE, shine; for thy light IS come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” ISAIAH 60:1

Let HIS light SHINE on you and through you this season and all year. Remember it is about LOVE, COMPASSION, MERCY, and CHARITY to our fellow-man, not necessarily fellow family members.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more (brighter and brighter) unto the perfect day.” PROVERBS 4:18

As we KNOW HE IS that light that leads us as it led the others over two thousand years ago. And it will lead us into the ways of the Lord and it will lead us into that truly perfect day.

REVELATION 21:22-25: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO NEED of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, and THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: For there shall be NO NIGHT THERE.”

Don’t let the world steal your Christmas cheer with all the materialism that Christmas should cost a fortune, and if you can not afford the latest this or that, your family will be disappointed. Remember gifts are from the heart and the true price for Christmas was not paid for until Calvary and that was a gift none of us could have afforded to purchase.

Reports show that depression is at its height and the greatest numbers of suicides occur during the holidays, why? Because we have bought the lies of a Norman Rockwell family Christmas and lost sight of the TRUE meaning, we have made it a celebration for US and completely forgot about HIM. And I am not talking about people who have recently lost loved ones or been through some other horrific event, this is in reference to seasonal depression because we allow commercials and story books to convince us of the illusion of a holiday that nothing could ever measure up to.

No celebration in this world will ever live up to the true JOY and the true MEANING of REJOICING EXCEEDING, they were REJOICING in finding HIM! Shouldn’t we also? Once you have experienced the glory of the Lord in person and beheld the King in all HIS Majesty, and stood in His presence, (well, for the period that you are ABLE to stand) there WILL NEVER BE any event or reason to seek anything other than HIM.

So keep your head up, your ears deaf to the whispers of the merchants, your eyes turned away from all the “must have” gifts of the season and please, by all means FOLLOW THAT STAR!

May the Lord Bless you with a wonderful Christmas season filled with His love, mercy, grace and that His peace will be with you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ original post date 2016, revisited 12/01/2019

 

Related posts: Two turtledoves     Abiding in the fields     Hope        Golden      Mothers Love

 

Thanksgiving

Psalm 136:16-26: TO HIM which led his people THROUGH THE WILDERNESS: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.

TO HIM which smote great kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And slew famous kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER :  Sihon king of the Amorites: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And Og the king of Bashan: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And gave their land for an heritage  (the land of the wicked kings to the children of God): FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. Who remembered us in our low estate: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: AND HATH REDEEMED US FROM OUR ENEMIES: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. WHO GIVETH FOOD TO ALL FLESH: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE GOD OF HEAVEN: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER! 

11/26/2015 revisited 11/24/2019

“Kidron calling”

“And when Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron (Kidron) where there was a garden, into which he entered, he and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither (met there) with his disciples.” John 18:1,2 

Picking this to tie in with my last post. this scripture took place at the time of the arrest of Jesus, after he had given the disciples warning that they should watch and pray that they would not enter into temptation.

Now is a good time to point out that as Jesus went forth into this place, He was on His way to his arrest, torture, humiliation, and ultimate crucifixion.

ALL this laid just beyond the crossing over that brook BUT this was also the path of His divine purpose for coming to this earth, as He answered Pilate… To this end was I born, and for this cause I came into the world,  and the enemy, just like Judas in this passage, always knows where we go for comfort and just where to find us in a crisis, and that is when he hits us with all he has and it’s like that button, he knows how and exactly where to do the most damage.

But FIRST I really want to point out that Jesus is an exception to all the rules. He is God and when He came here in human form as a sacrifice for all of us, He did so completely sinless.

He NEVER committed sin or even thought a wrong thought, so it was NEVER a question of falling with Him, as it is for us. BUT as He also told us that The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. and we are to follow His lead in how He handled every situation and circumstance in life and even in the face of death.

And there is so much for us to learn in crossing over our own brook “Kidron” and if we are called, we are going to have to cross that brook.

We can a learn that from David’s story 2 Samuel chapters fifteen and sixteen, to give the background on it, this WAS due to David falling into temptation, because of his affair with Bathsheba and the essential “hit” he put on his own solider Uriah in an attempt to cover his tracks, he had been told that the sword would NEVER leave his house, so even though he had repented and reconciled to God he was still under that judgment and this story took place as he was fleeing from his son who WAS one of the evils that would arise from his own house against him.

If possible please read these chapters to get the jest of this story because I am just using a few verses to get to this point, but it is a story I have used many times to make many different points and so much can be learned on some many level from David’s ordeal.

I am starting scripture coming into the part of the story when most had turned against David and it actually says that Absalom “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” and as he prepared to overtake his father’s throne, David and those whose were faithful to him were forced to flee and this is where decisions were being made.

2 Samuel 15: 21-23 : “And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there shall thy servant be.

And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that was with him.

And ALL the country wept with a loud voice,and all the people passed over,the king himself passed over the brook Kidron (CALLED),and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.”

What really jumps out at me is the similarity between Ittai’s pledge of allegiance to David and Peter’s words to Jesus and one of the literal meanings given for Kidron is “CALLED” and as you go on with that story, David was hit so hard just in these few chapters, this ONE instance of a PERIOD in his life, he was chased, cursed, hated but he was learning something, and you got to remember WHO David was and what he had ALREADY learned from the Lord.

By this point in his life, he had been in battle after battle, fought Goliath, survived Saul’s hatred and had been anointed three times to be king and David knew what is was to be afraid and he knew what it was to desperately seek God, he knew what is was to  trust and he knew what is was to encourage himself when he felt a million miles away. But by the point this all came into play against him he had gotten a little out of practice keeping those things he had learned fresh in his mind and most importantly fresh in his heart.

As he and all his people passed over the brook and they all went toward the WAY of the wilderness, his flesh began to die, when he just accepted the things being thrown at him without cursing back or flying into a rage and wanting to retaliate, when he just kept on crossing the brook of the called his enemies were defeated and his throne rightfully restored.

Not to say that there wasn’t PAIN, serious, serious pain, as all these crossings were made with tears and sorrow.

Over the past few weeks I have thought so much about what Jesus told Peter, when He said The Spirit truly is ready but the flesh is weak  and I have come to believe of the many lessons we learn from that scripture that the biggest, hardest lesson to grasp is this, that our spirit, the part of us that loves God, longs for His presence and wants nothing more than to please Him and be in His will can BE completely given over to Him but our human side can still have a lot of catching up to do, it can be very weak and must be strengthened BEFORE we can enter into those places that He wants us to travel.

And when you think of it, imagine Peter and ALL the disciples, hanging out with Jesus day and night, being in the midst of Him and the miracles and Him giving them that authority over demons and diseases BUT He was right there with them or at least they knew He was close by and would come to the rescue just like He did when He rebuked their lack of faith and taught them the need for fasting and prayer when they could not cast the demon out of the young boy and the father had to bring him to Jesus Himself. (Matthew 17:14-21)

So how much harder would it be for them when they had to have the faith to believe for these and greater works in His name and believe for that power to come when they asked in His name when He would no longer be by their side on this earth?

He was not only their teacher, He was also their best friend and even though they knew who He was and is, and they saw with their own eyes miracles and resurrections of the dead, nothing could ever have prepared them for the transitions between heaven and earth that would take place.

Their spirits were ready, that is why He gave them the extra comfort of adding TRULY when He told them but the “flesh” part, the human side had to be strengthened or otherwise their minds could have never withstood the transition that they also would have to make on that journey with Him.

Think about that… ALL of this was new, it was new to EVERYONE and if you put yourself in their shoes at the time and ask how would they react when they would no longer see Him or touch Him in the physical realm but be aware of His invisible presence and would actually feel Him in their souls.

NOTHING could have ever prepared them for that, it is not a shock that they stood “gazing up” when He went back to heaven, they were trying to reason it all in their heads when it cannot be reasoned and they would have to learn how to navigate their lives and fulfilling His call on their lives in a way they could have never possibly imagined.

And when the pain, the sorrow and the persecution would come that flesh would have to be under submission to the spirit or else that flesh would cost callings and how that submission comes is in one word…acceptance… and I’ll leave that right there for now.

Thank you for reading and thanks for all your prayers!

God Bless you with a wonderful week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018 /  Repost 11/16/2019

 

“Designed, Resigned, & Refined”

“And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the living moving creature that hath life (abound with an abundance of living creatures), and fowl that may fly above the earth (let birds fly) in the open firmament of heaven (across the expanse of heaven).

And God created great whales (sea creatures), and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast after his kind; and God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness :and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, an dover every creeping thing that creepth upon the earth.

So God CREATED man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:19-27

And according to our computer brain friend “Cortana” the absolute definition of DESIGNED, goes a little something like this: Planned OR conceived in detail for a SPECIFIC purpose.” 

I always like to add the correct definitions so that there is no confusion as to the interpretations of meanings, so this is not just my personal understandings of these words. 

So we know God created it all, He created heaven and earth, all living beings, he created and he then created us in his own image, in his likeness, and then he gave us earth so that we could also have a space to  tend, cultivate, and express our own creativity that he had given us.

ALL that he required of humans was to take care of the earth and all of the creations he had given us charge over in kindness, love, and mercy.

And we also know how that story went when the serpent tempted Eve and with thought what had been created in perfection became polluted through sin and would require being refined and made pure once again.

That purification process painful and sure but the only way to to open our hearts to the truth that life is a process and only he knows the path that we should take and the way in which we should go.

RESIGNED: “Having ACCEPTED something unpleasant that one cannot do anything about.”   This world, this life, and things that are just that of that, which has always been the main focus of my ministry, trying my best to encourage anyone who will listen that through God you can and  will overcome.

As David so profoundly stated…”Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” the ever present snares and dangers that may lurk unseen in the shadows of the most human of fears, the fear of death and the fear of the unknown and his allowing his light to shine into that darkness and erase those fears.

Psalm 27:1-3,5: “The Lord IS my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord IS the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me (surrounded by enemies), my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.”

What was that confidence that David had? ” For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.” 

Resigned to the will of God, to trust him even when you don’t understand. 

Isaiah 43:1,2: “But now thus saith, the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee O Israel, Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine (you belong to me).

When thou passest through the waters I WILL be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall NOT overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt NOT be burned; neither shall the flame kindle (ignite) upon thee.”

Trust, when we become aware that we can’t get ourselves out of those caves and the we have no control over our enemies, and we can’t stop the flood, that is when God’s promises are remembered in our hearts.

Reassuring us that process of refinement is underway, and how we see this process…

Psalm 66:8-12:”O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise be heard: Which  holdeth our soul  in life (among the living), and suffereth not our feet to be moved (keeps us from falling).

For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined), as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water : BUT THOU BROUGHTEST US OUT into a wealthy (abundant) place.”

Finally, REFINED:  “with impurities OR unwanted elements having been REMOVED.”

Deuteronomy 4:20: “But the Lord hath TAKEN you, and brought you forth OUT of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.” 

What the Lord says about it: Isaiah 48:10: “Behold, I have REFINED thee, but NOT (as) with silver; I have CHOSEN  thee in a furnace OF affliction.”

Embrace the three fold process.

1 Peter 1:3-9: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

For an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth NOT away, reserved in heaven for you

Who ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH unto salvation ready to be REVEALED in the last day.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, THOUGH now  for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness(distresses) through manifold temptations (various trials) 

That the trial (genuineness) of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.

Whom having NOT seen, ye love, in whom, though ye see him NOT, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

This has been said thousands and thousands of times, but I am going to say it again, Jesus will never ever lead you anywhere that he has not already been.

Leaving you with Job 23:10: “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried (refined) me, I shall come forth as gold.”

 Love & peace to you and yours till next time, Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019/ REV. Nina BrownJohnson

 

 

BEACON

“Holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run my race in vain, neither laboured I in vain.” Philippians: 2:16

I was on my way home a few days ago and I passed by a church that I have passed  by probably thousands of times by now and I have often just truly marveled at its presence and beauty. Beauty that everyone NOTICES because this particular church looks likes something from a Hallmark movie.

It kinda meets you at the top of a steep, curvy road and suddenly there it is, absolutely beautiful with the backdrop of nothing but sky, it’s beautiful steeple adorned with the cross that just seems to almost kiss the sky as a beacon for tired and weary travelers as if to say “You are almost there” and once you have “topped” that little hill you then see green fields and gorgeous mountains and valleys in the backdrop and it is spectacular.

I always admire it but for some reason the other day, it just hit me, what a BEACON, what a sign of HOPE that is! The little church in the middle of nowhere, and the beautiful, unassuming, simple little cross speaking the most profound and ageless message of the of all time.

Holding forth in all of its simplistic but profound beauty the simple truth that we all need here on this earth.

The message so simple and that so often gets completely lost in all our debates and our deep philosophical studying of scriptures and theology as we vainly believe we need to understand something so much deeper that has already been revealed and revealed in such perfection that it is said “Even a child can understand” and we can lose sight of all that truly matters.

Jesus Christ. his birth, his life, his death, and his glorious resurrection and his soon coming reign on this earth.

That is the word to be held forth and as we know, “preaching of the cross IS foolishness to them that perish.”

But that scripture never said that by that token we should stop preaching it.

And believe me, I am not downing anyone here or their preaching, thoughts, or ministry.

I have had my share of carefully dotting every “I” and crossing every “T” for fear of ridicule and backlash from  those whom all in ministry suffer, “fruit inspectors” as my brother calls them, and we are to truly “know a tree by the fruit it bears” but there are times  when there are those who just want to core your apple and jerk out your seeds ONLY because they want to find anything possible to accuse you to the Lord and to “prove” to themselves that they were “right about you” and you were never “what you are supposed to be anyway” and you all know this because I know most of you have been through it.

Really doesn’t matter where it comes from as long as we make sure that it goes!

“Foolishness” to the world or not the cross MUST be preached, in the beauty, the simplicity, the pain, the sorrow, and above all the victory that the cross represents.

It also represents the love of the Holiest of beings, the Father of all of creation, who looked down in MERCY at those he had created watching them as they kick, punch, fight, and do every manner of evil and violence one toward another and in his supreme love, which goes so far beyond our human comprehension that we NOT even capable of understanding it he pitied us.

He knew we just did not get it, we just did not understand his plan and as the sin from the garden held hostage us all, Jesus came to this earth, in the most humble  way.

The virgin mother , the star and the shepherds and the host of heaven proclaiming his magnificent majesty as the king came to save his people that the Father had given from before the foundations of this world.

And God loved and still LOVES us that much!

So yeah, The Cross is STILL foolishness to them that perish, but it will STILL save them from perishing.

The Word is STILL life to those who hear it.

The Seed  IS still to be sown into hearts and lives that will one day gladly cultivate it.

He came, He lived as the perfect sinless Son of God and he dies as the spotless Lamb and one day He will return and He will reign for ever and ever as Sovereign King ETERNAL!

So “be” that little church, “be” that beacon a person who has been fighting battles that are all uphill as the troubles of this world so desperately needs to see

As you hold out that word of life, think about the awesomeness of this:

Psalm 89:9,10: “ALL the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord; and glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things; thou art God alone.”

That word is already settled in heaven, just hold it forth and share it and wait patiently because it just a moment of time and in that twinkling of an eye that word shall come to pass, that is our hope and our comfort, it will ALWAYS come to pass!

Have a blessed week! Thanks for reading! Love & Peace till next time! Sister Nina

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

I love this song

 

 

“The patience of Job”

“And there was a day when his (Job’s) sons and his daughters were sitting and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. And THERE CAME  a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen WERE plowing, and the asses FEEDING beside them; And the Sabeans FELL upon them (attacked), and took them ALL away; yea, and they have SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE; 

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, there came ALSO ANOTHER, and said The fire of God IS fallen from heaven, and hath BURNED UP the sheep, AND the servants, and CONSUMED (destroyed) THEM: And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, The Chaldeans made (formed) out three bands, and FELL UPON (raided) the camels, and have carried the away, yea, and SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters WERE eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house; And, behold, THERE CAME a great wind from the wilderness, and SMOTE the four corners of the house, and IT FELL UPON THE YOUNG MEN AND THEY ARE DEAD; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.” JOB 1: 13-19

So many points in the story of Job, it is hard to know where to start and if you are feeling down, I suggest reading Job. It will make almost anyone rethink their own suffering.

What he went through was TRULY from satan himself, that is how the story began.  Job WAS a righteous man, he did everything he could to honor God on his behalf and even on the behalf of his children. God had blessed Job and Job WAS pleasing to God.

But to have been around for this onslaught of messengers, coming so closely together that one was YET giving Job bad news as another was standing there with more to report would have probably made it appear otherwise.

That IS often exactly what the enemy wants. Notice how all these things FELL, just as the enemy would like to see God’s chosen fall, and that was his plan in all these tragedies to make Job fall because of what had fallen on him. 

And he wanted Job to know it and to know it fast, as EVERY messenger repeated that they alone WERE escaped to tell what had taken place. And this story has been used many times, I have used it many times myself but I felt I needed to again because so often what is mistaken as “God” is actually an attack by the enemy and not understanding what is really going on leads people to discouragement and hopelessness, and leads them away from God rather than to him.

Again, that is why the devil does it. And at the time the story starts, a perfectly normal, delightful day, just like any other day, or it would have seemed, they were enjoying life, the family was close, having dinner being gathered together.

Even the animals were just having an average day, the ox were working, the donkeys eating, and suddenly the attack came, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys stolen away and those who had been in charge of their care, murdered. 

And as this was in the process of taking place, the “fire of God” had fallen, translates to “hot thunderbolts” which we would know as lightning, BUT we also know that THIS WAS NOT FROM GOD and can you only imagine what a lightning storm would appear as that could in an instant completely burn up SEVEN THOUSAND sheep and all those that tended them?

And at the same moment yet another rogue group divided into three groups attack and steal three thousand camels, again slaughtering those who tended them. And simultaneously as this is still being told, more bad news comes, a strange, monstrous wind had come actually hitting ALL sides of the brother’s house, caving it in and killing all of his children in one single attack. 

Unimaginable, but it is the first of what Job would endure and many times as attacks came, we to, fall into the trap of thinking that somehow we  are the problem, that we have done something wrong, or offended God, or these things would not happen but the truth is Job went through this because he belonged to God.

Now to back this train up a little bit it and see what was really going on here, this was a contest of the “powers”, God has ALL power, He is supreme and nothing in the universe has more power than Jehovah God, but Satan likes to think that he will be like God, but he is quite mistaken, however he is still NOT human and is very powerful and Job was a human caught in the middle of this show down.

Job 1:6-12: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came in among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (where did you come from?) Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

REMEMBER that the “devil goes about as a roaring lion SEEKING whom he MAY DEVOUR”}

 And the Lord said unto Satan, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB that there IS NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

The Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge (protection) about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance (possessions) are increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, ALL THAT HE HATH IS IN THY POWER (your hand) ; ONLY UPON HIMSELF (his physical body) PUT NOT FORTH THINE HAND, so Satan went forth from the presence of God.

Now, as I said I have written posts similar to this but this was on my heart to really get to this… Satan was looking for someone to destroy, someone he could bring down and what God asked him literally translates to asking had he set his heart on Job.

God pointed out the impeccable character of Job, for God to refer to a human as someone whose worship, and dedication to the Lord was like no one else on earth is a statement to end all statements.

So of course satan wanted to destroy him because he hates God and he hates anyone who loves God and he hates all humans anyway because God created us in His image.

So satan gets all cocky and says that Job ONLY loves and serves God because of what god had done for him, and that God protected him and blessed him and only because of this and that if God didn’t do all these things for job and would take his hand of protection from Job that Job would change his tune and curse God.

So God decided to allow satan to try to “prove his point” but actually God was proving His!

Job STILL loved God , Job STILL worshipped God and even losing EVERYTHING under horrific circumstances, so horrific that everyone knew these were not natural occurrences and a sequence of events such as these could only be orchestrated by supernatural forces. 

And of course Job thought he had offended God and Job’s “friends”were there to make sure he KNEW that he had, (of course we know they were wrong) but there are always people there to kick you when you’re down and tell you that “you brought it on yourself” or that something is cosmic retaliation for some failure you had along the way.

 AGAIN, God does NOT work that way! When you serve God, love God, and do your best to honor Him in your life, I promise bad things ARE not coming from Him and sometimes when we get down, we need to be reminded of that.

So this massive attack waged on every possible scale and at every possible angle, with the only  restriction being that he could not harm Job’s body, Job 1:22 ends it this way: ” In ALL this Job sinned NOT, NOR charged God foolishly.”

Job stayed faithful to the Lord, he did not fall and he certainly did not question God or blame God, or accuse God of being wrong. Think satan was happy about that?

Sometimes the fight is only half over… Job 2:1-8: “AGAIN there was a day  the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them and presented himself before the Lord.

And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence camest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

And STILL he holdeth fast his integrity, ALTHOUGH thou movest (incited) me against him, to destroy him WITHOUT a cause.

And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; BUT save his life.  So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and SMOTE Job with sore boils FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal (with) and SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.”

By this point Job wife even told him to just curse God and die, she was undoubtedly a mess herself with all that had happened and watching him suffer and maybe someone is telling you because of persecutions or attacks to give up on God that “it is not worth it” Don’t ever believe that!

Job was one of a kind and hopefully in comparison to the attack waged on him, your situation looks a little brighter.

But know IT IS WORTH IT and as Job WAS restored beyond measure because he stood the test that satan waged, you will be too. 

God protects us, God blesses us, and whatever valley we are allowed to walk through is going to lead to a beautiful mountain top.

And just like those ashes Job sat in, our ashes are turned, anything the enemy has destroyed, burned to ashes will be returned as pure beauty. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

The enemy wants you destroyed either way and God wants good for you and He alone IS your protection, your shield, and hedge, so going back, turning our backs on God IS never an option.

As Peter replied to Jesus when asked was he too going to leave, and his answer was WHERE could he go? Because Jesus alone has the word of life.

Seek God, pray, and surround yourself with others who will also pray for you and walk with you through whatever you are going through but know you won’t go in all alone, we NEED each other and HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON!

James 5:11: ” Behold, we count them happy (BLESSED) which ENDURE. ye have heard the PATIENCE (perseverance) OF JOB, and have seen the end of the Lord ( intended by the Lord) that THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL (COMPASSIONATE) AND OF TENDER MERCY.” 

So carefully think about your situations and recognize traps for what they are and remember that the Lord IS love and He is compassionate and things that are hurting you DO NOT come from Him but He is faithful to deliver you from those things if you wait in patience for that deliverance. 

Take a lesson from Job and DON’T be quick to question and never blame God, more people fall because of lies of the enemy in these areas that any other trick he has. he pulls the old “If God loved you, WHY did this happen?” routine, ALL attacks ARE from the enemy and then some things just happen, simply just part of being alive in this world. THIS life, this world IS NEVER gonna be perfect, IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE.

The next life, the resurrected life, the New Jerusalem life IS the perfect life where there will BE no death, sorrow, or sickness.

But too often people let the enemy convince them that because a tragedy happened HERE  that means God does not care, or does not love them but that IS not true and we are NEVER told in the Bible that being saved makes us exempt from being HUMAN, in HUMAN BODIES, and SUFFERING COMPLETELY HUMAN CONDITIONS AND OCCURRENCES.

Some things are just unfortunately part of THIS life, but that is YOUR PATIENCE and YOUR HOPE.

This life is not all there is!

This life is only temporary and our hope is NOT in this life.

But God will bless you, protect you, and bring good things into our lives but that still does not exempt us from the natural.

Don’t throw that eternal assurance away because of the lies of a force that wants nothing more than to take you to hell anyway!

Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope.

I hope this has encouraged you in someway and that you will find peace through the storm and that the storms soon comes to an end, but until then hold on because you have the blessed assurance that ALL storms do end!

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

Φλογιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date10/17/3017  REVISITED 10/20/2019 

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Patient reminder”

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.” James 1:4

All the things that could be said of the need of patience, the most notable of all, “patience is a virtue”, and it truly is but there is so much more to such a simple thought.

And to get to that thought, we’ll back up on this passage a little bit.

“Listen” to his greeting carefully, as we go to James 1:1-3: “James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails):  Knowing THIS, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.”

And that patience that comes from those “tests” and  that trying and stretching of your faith, think of the saying “…would try the patience of a saint.” 

Jesus stressed this to us many times, even telling us “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

James was in a sense telling us that those tough breaks, rocky roads, and crooked paths that we navigate in life, those “tests” are to be all counted as joy, and all that comes with being human, being alive, and are often simply “part of life” all those things are to be not so much as viewed as still images, each shot overwhelming in sight but more to be considered into the big picture of growing, developing, and becoming the men and women that God created us to be. And that is that perfection that will come from all that “trying”. 

The definition of perfection in Christ does NOT mean our definition of perfection, to be one hundred percent, to have absolutely no need of improvement.

From far from it, the spiritual  definition of perfection is to allow ourselves to be conformed to the will of God, to be “blameless”, meaning keeping a level head and clear thoughts even in the midst of times that are anything but peaceful. And notice that it is the “perfect” work that brings that “perfection” about.

Our true hope, as believers is not even IN this world, it is not in this life, it is in the eternal, a thought that seems silly to those who do not believe, but as a child of God, you know the truth, but during “trying” times it is so easy to lose sight of those things we can not see, that blessed assurance that there is so much more to our beings than living and dying.

And we can’t lose that hope, Hebrews 11: 34(c)-36: “…knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (possession). Cast not away (Don’t throw it away) therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

So whatever you are “waiting” for, whatever you are believing for in your life and in your walk with Christ, keep waiting and keep believing.

And if does not turn out exactly as you had envisioned, never think that somehow means that God does not love you or that you are completely off base, life does indeed have  away of working out completely different that we would have ever imagined but nothing is ever surprising to God.

Don’t give up on your hopes, dreams, and desires of your ministerial heart.

Puzzles are nothing more than oddly shaped pieces scattered about until it is patiently and carefully put together to reveal a beautiful complex image and life is much the same and the reason some of those “pieces” are so oddly cut will remain a mystery on this earth and we will not have those answers until the day they are revealed by Jesus himself when he wipes every tear away.

But I will tell you this, the definition of patience is this:”the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

That my friends speaks for itself. I’ll leave you with the words of our favorite David. Psalm 25:13-14: ” I had fainted, (I would have given up) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living

Wait (wait in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage (try you best to be positive), and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019

 

“Iron Mask”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get the up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for  him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead  those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11

I love Dumas, I love the Musketeers, I love the sword fights , I love the Chivalry, justice, honor, and especially mercy in mercy out policies that were a must for his heroes and use them a lot in my writing.

But my all time favorite is “The Man in the Iron Mask”, and the intrigue behind the actual person behind that legend. But my thought with it comes from a line from the movie version, my total favorite version of the movie is the one from the seventies starring Richard Chamberlain, I was ten and thought he was the most handsome man on earth, whom I was totally going to marry one day when I grew up 🙂

But anyway in the newer version after the foiled coup the good guy is captured again and as he makes his pleas to his sadistic psychotic brother to just kill him instead of putting him back in that mask and to which his evil twin rants and screams with no mercy.

And as strange a comparison that this may be it just reminds me of how the enemy and even ourselves can try to put us back into the iron mask that that God has delivered us from.

The mask that we either were fitted when we were bound by the shackles of that are sometimes just part of being born into this world, just as Jesus always taught us, and this world is full of evil and only through accepting his salvation , and his peace, can we allow his grace to guide our lives and above resting in the assurance that through him we can overcome and live for him so that we will with  him.

The mask that we sometimes find ourselves in when we are faced with difficulties so far beyond our control and pain that we just can’t deal with so we try our best to hide the hurt, the grief and function through life, at work at home or sometimes even at church. When we try our best to smile and “go on” when secretly inside, behind that mask we really just want to lay down and cry.

But God and life has a way of bringing us out of that because we tend to see “hiding” our emotions, “working past the pain” somehow as “protecting” ourselves, our hearts, when it truth it is the opposite of that, it is not about being “courageous” it is actually about fear and not so much as being brave but rather our human fear of being broken.

Jesus specializes in broken, in fact we have to be broken, broken from our thinking and our false sense of self reliance so that we can accept him and him he desires for us, which is to live a life authored and finished by him.

Trusting him in everything and trusting him in our pain and trials and being who he has created us to be and that can require moments and times of revealing our vulnerabilities to others around us and most of us are not ever entirely comfortable with that. And that uncomfortableness leads to fear and fear makes us want to hide.

2nd Timothy 1:7,8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel with me according to the power of God.”

God gave us liberty through his salvation, because as Jesus told us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And that truth is knowing in his word and knowing in him that this world and the suffering, pain, and sorrows is just a little while as Paul had described a “thorn in his flesh”, that the messenger of Satan had come to buffet (beat) him, as Paul went on to explain what translates to this, if he never went through troubles or faced difficulties or things he could not handle he would have became cold and exalted, and he would have never been effective as a representative of Christ.

 But because Paul did not hid from us (his future readers) or from those around him, his troubles and his pain, and most of all his vulnerabilities, he effectively allowed the power of God to manifest in his life and that power to effect others.

I want to remind us all again with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For this thing I besought (PLEADED with) the Lord thrice (on three separate occasions) that it might depart form me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. 

Most gladly therefore will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Of course was by no means saying he loved trouble or going through all the turmoil that he did, but he is saying, to us, that by embracing the things he had no control over and seeing them in a different light and doing as we were commanded and “counting it all joy” that he discovered the true meaning of Christ with him and he and all around him saw the evidence of God’s power on his life.

And he wrote these words, and Jesus had him record these words to give hope and encouragement to those of the time, those who came before us and us now.

When God stripped away the “mask” of Saul, as Saul persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church through violence, hatred, and self righteous, he became Paul and the power of God gave him the ability to show the vulnerability of his true face, the man God had created him to be and God removing that hard, unyielding, “iron” covering  allowed him to effectively minister to others through the revealing of his own struggles.

This was the “pleasure” he took in that, he knew God would prove strong and he knew that this would encourage others to embrace who they were and embrace the Gospel for the truth that it is.

Jesus brought us out of darkness into his glorious light so that we could be light and once that light has broken those “iron masks” that use we hid behind, we must be very careful to not allow the devil, the world, and most of all, our own flesh to cover us again with that unyielding iron.

Embrace who you are, embrace all the struggles of life that have made you who you are, don’t ever feel like you have to be “strong” and don’t ever let anyone make you feel “weak” for being vulnerable, because we you are at your breaking point or if you have already broke that it when you are shielded, covered, and surrounded by the absolute glory and absolute power of the only, living, Holy God and this is why scripture refers to God making our face to shine, in doing so you will shine his light to others giving them hope and courage to embrace the freedom to take off their own masks.

John 8:36: “IF the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And your freedom will inspire others.

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is  that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face (uncovered, bare face) beholding as in a glass (as looking in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You can see from these verses that God is telling us that as we are saved we are changed through his Spirit giving us freedom as we are being processed, changed, through the process of life, and all the difficulties that come with that are actually being used for our good to transforms us as God desires. 

We have to consciously remember his word and  keep that word on our mind and apply that word to our hearts, for example when Jesus said that He would never forsake us, that means  he will never forsake us.

When the Bible promises that no weapon formed against will prosper, that means that no scheme or plot has power to destroy you, it may feel like you are going to be, but you will not be, because God sees  with the eyes of eternity. And we must apply his promises to our lives every single day.

If we fail to do that, we can easily get off course and forget what we once knew.

We go to James 1:23-25: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (looking in a mirror).

For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (glances in the mirror, leaves and forgets what kind of man he even is).

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (freedom), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man is blessed in his deed.”

God gave us two views of  the same issue, we can look honestly or we can give it a quick glance  a note that we are after all, “just human” and go our way and completely forgetting who God called us to be and forgetting his promises and just give up and be quickly lead into the temptation of not particularly liking “what” we see staring back at us and putting ourselves back into a mask that God  had already removed. And that is not his desire or his purpose for any of us.

So today I want to encourage you to BE who God says you are. And LIVE how he told you to live, and this one is a hard one, when everyone around you is fitting in and hiding their faces behind the masks they feel comfortable in, let Jesus shine through you and let the pain, the scars, be visible because someone else NEEDS to see them.

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

If you have never heard this please do, I believe it will bless you, probably make you cry but those tears are precious to God!

 

 

 

 

EL ROI….. The well in our wilderness

“And Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, PUTTING IT ON HER SHOULDER, and the child and sent her away: and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” Genesis 21:14
                                      
I can only imagine the torturous thoughts that played out in Hagar’s mind as she attempted to take her child and embark on what she believed would be their death march to die a slow agonizing death of dehydration and starvation, if they were able to survive the wild animals.
Yet again, this was Sarah’s plan, she was quite a character and could have taught Samson a thing or two about manipulation and self-righteousness.
She is probably the gene donor responsible for the cattiness, jealousy, and vanity that have plagued women’s relationships one to another since the dawn of time, much more so than anything we inherited from Eve.
How had it come to this? That question surely  flooded her mind, I am sure there were many, many times that she wanted to see both of them suffer, as they had made her suffer.

And now, as he put the bread and water on her shoulder, sending her and the child he was responsible for out into a formidable land to make their way back to Egypt, he was laying the entire burden of the enormous mess on her shoulders to be born alone.
But she WAS NOT alone, she only felt that way. She had been down this road before, as a servant subjected to Sarah’s insane idea to force her to bear a child to Abraham, once accomplished Sarah’s jealousy kicked in and she mistreated Hagar, Abraham refused to intervene, BUT God let Hagar know that it was THE CRIES OF HER HEART that he heard, not necessarily Sarah’s.

 Genesis 16:7-14 tells us: “And the ANGEL of the Lord FOUND her  by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.  And he said, HAGAR, SARAI’S MAID, whence cometh thou? and whither wilt thou go? and she said I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply THY seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael (God hears) BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THY  AFFLICTION.  And he will be as a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.

And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God (EL ROI) seest me: for she said, have I also looked after (saw) him that seest me? wherefore THE WELL was called Beerlahairoi (well of one who lives and sees me); behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”
She did as she had been told, even submitting to the humiliation of giving birth to her son while sitting on Sarah’s knees to appease Sarah’s misguided  belief  that somehow this would really make the child hers.

But now they had Isaac and the very child they had forced her to bear and then taken from her, they have now given back, as if he were an unwanted pet replaced by one of a more valued breed and have sent them both on their way to an unknown fate.

But one thing Hagar was not aware of , this plan, although it had come from the mouth of Sarah, who didn’t care if they both died she just wanted them out of her face, God had given permission for this to happen and it WOULD NOW BE USED FOR HER GOOD.

God was going to use this, as He does all things, to her benefit, as when the angel told her to go back, this was a wilderness walk that she had to take, regardless of the pain and the injustice, this walk WOULD NOT LEAD TO THE DESTRUCTION OF HER AND ISHMAEL, BUT IT WOULD LEAD TO THEIR FREEDOM.
She would never again be slave to Abraham or Sarah and her maker would in fact now be her husband and a father to her son, who was now fatherless. And just as her son was rejected by his own people and sent to Egypt, there would be another son called forth out of Egypt only to face the same rejection by his kindred.
But when all we can see is the wilderness in front of us, the hunger, the thirst and the fear of what is waiting down that road starts to set in, we forget the promises we have been given, what the angel has spoken and sometimes we need to be reminded.
Genesis 21:15-21 “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs, And she went, and sat down over against (across) him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she had said Let me not see the death of the child. and she sat over against him and lift up her voice and wept.

AND GOD HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LAD; and the ANGEL OF THE LORD CALLED OUT TO HAGAR OUT OF HEAVEN, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? ( THIS TIME HE DID NOT CALL HER SARAI’S MAID) fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad, WHERE HE IS.

Arise, lift up the lad, hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and SHE SAW A WELL OF WATER; and she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of  Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.”
I know the wilderness is a rough place, I don’t like it myself.
But you know had God not led Hagar on that journey and she had not agreed to trust Him on that trip she would have never realized the power and intimacy of God on her and her son’s life, remember the second time all she could do was cry, God heard Ismael’s prayers, HEAVEN ITSELF ANSWERED!  

She would have never known freedom. Just as Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness, and successfully resisted the devil and John the Baptist was prepared for his work and grew strong in the wilderness, it grows us.
There are required traits that we only acquire  in the wilderness, those barren, desolate places, sparse pastures that barely keep us alive, the side paths that are so lonely, we feel like tears are our only companion.
It is in those places, the wilderness, the deserts, the almost uninhabitable lands that the roses bloom and the fountains of living water burst forth out of that parched ground.
If you never had to go there, you would never know the sweetest of that water or the scent of a rose so strong and determined to live that it grew up through sand , pushing the rocks past, as the blazing sun-scorched down on it.

So don’t fight it, don’t even try to resist it, just take that trip with EL ROI, because He does live and He does see and He wants you to know you can depend solely on him, you may be like Hagar, alone in the middle of nowhere feeling like everything you love is about to die, have faith, He sees and He will show up and He will bless that which you thought was hopeless and prosper it and make it something so mighty it will beyond your wildest dreams.
Once you have been given these waters, you will never fear the wilderness quite so much again, I’m sure you won’t be excited to visit there again, but take along an empty suitcase, I promise you will return with a souvenir so rare, so priceless that you will never part with it.
Apostle Paul said “he glorified in his affliction” because he knew the sweet Holy spirit would rest on him and that was worth the brier scratches, the harder the enemy hit him, the greater the power of God would bathe him.
Go, you will be glad you did!
Original Post: 09/05/2014. all rights reserved. Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015/ revisited 09/22/2019

Truly beautiful song.. As close as I could find to the thought of this post! Love and Peace!

                                

“He’s got ya…”

“Then the eleven disciples went way into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to all things whatsoever I have commanded you; 

And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. A-men,”  Matthew 28:16-20  

I am sure that you are very familiar with those verses, and I have used them many times myself over the years.

And when my thoughts for this post were hitting, I had actually thought about a television commercial. And I know how strange that may sound, and it wasn’t about the product or service offered, it was about the support

A trainer is encouraging a person by telling her “I got you” and that has always just reminded me of how Jesus encourages us, that when storms that we had expected to cease somehow still swirl all around us and the battles that we have entered into full of hope, faith, and determination assured that victory will come and we can find ourselves doubting, questioning as that battle seems to go on endlessly in an exhausting dead heat. 

We often wonder and question, much like the disciples that found themselves doubting. just like Thomas when he had doubted that Jesus rose from the dead. And they found themselves in the place that he had destined them to be, the place they were told to go.

That is the deal with the doubt and uncertainty that comes at us when life goes upside down, the first thought the enemy brings to us is, “IF”, IF you were where you should be with the Lord, none of this would be happening.” 

Has that ever went through your mind?

I am sure, if we would be honest, this has went through many minds. Because that is how the enemy uses doubt and it is one of his more powerful weapons, and that is how you have to view, nothing more, nothing less. 

As I have “preached” many times in this little blog, reintegrating Romans 8:38,39 NO ONE and NOTHING can ever separate us from God so the enemy uses doubt to cause us to separate ourselves from God through the false belief that somehow we are out of his will when nothing in our lives feels like it could possibly be his will. 

It causes us to THINK…RETHINK… and finally OVERTHINK  everything that we have been taught about the Word of God and about God and make us completely question our relationship with him. So don’t!

Try out a new weapon of your own. Change your battleplan.

Jesus promised us many things but it ultimately up us to believe those promises and sometimes we have to look at things differently, because how we view a situation or an expected outcome is not always how he views it and when those things go a way not of our choosing NEVER means that he does not love and NEVER means that he has suddenly changed his mind and DECIDED to go against his own word and forsake us. He will NEVER do that.

And once we understand that we can see truly step back away from  our battles and see the truth that we can’t fight life and we certainly can not fight death but we can have peace in knowing that he is the ONLY one who holds our tomorrow and the only reason we can get through today.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven, and returneth not thither (it does not go back up), but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void (empty, without fruit) but it shall ACCOPMLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I send it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace…” Isaiah 55:8-11a 

Trust him, remember his promises and don’t let doubt steal that joy, joy that you need, joy that is your strength, the joy OF the Lord, joy not in this world but the joy in knowing that the God of the universe loves you! 

He’s “got” you and he is NEVER going to let you go and know that it is in that joy in him, joy in soul, not to be confused with being joyous in this world, it is hard to be cheerful when your heart is broken, so no, it is not cheerful joy, it is the joy in salvation and the promise of eternity.

And that is the joy that will bring you out of the wilderness and lead you forth out of that battle in his peace.

“RESTORE unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit.” Psalm 51:12 

For something to be restored it had to have already be possessed, And when we start our journey with Jesus we are full of that joy, the joy that comes with the realization that his grace and mercy had spared our through our days of darkness and sin.  

Then as we mature in him and life comes as life does we find ourselves in that doubt… forgetting that joy.

He never changes, he accepts and loves us just as much as he did the day we accepted his salvation, the change lies within us. that why he tells us of his thoughts and our thoughts, and I have been very guilty of this myself, we have our thoughts of what should happen on earth but he gave us promises NOT of this earth an dour true hope and salvation are not of this earth.

Being human we want all the promises fulfilled here(and some are) but our hope is supposed to rest in the ETERNAL outcome. And that is your joy, that is your hope, that EVERY single morning while you are in this world, on this earth, HIS mercy is renewed every single morning and His mercy endures FOREVER. NOTHING will ever change that, nothing.  Get in your prayer closet and spend time with him in the Holy Ghost, let heaven bless earth remember those words that will NEVER return to him unfruitful… I AM WITH YOU ALWAY… 

And He’s got ya! He did not create you, love you, and save you just to throw you out to the wolves!

Have a blessed week! Love and peace till next time…

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / phlogizo360  2019

“Keeping it Holy”

“And the glory of the Lord came into the house (the temple) by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward (which faces) the east. So the Spirit took (lifted) me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” Ezekiel 43:4,5

I want to stop there for a second, most of this post will be from the Book of Ezekiel and it will be kinda dealing with the glory of the Lord but it will be mainly dealing with what stands BETWEEN us the “church” as a whole, NOT one particular church or group or denomination, but the entire innumerable group of believers who will make up the Bride of Christ.

So please don’t take it as attacking anyone or ANY church. I think sometimes people take my writing the wrong way and mistakenly believe it is referring to their church or them but that is NOT the case. It is in reference to the “Bride of Christ” and what must be done as she is prepared to meet her King. Now that that is out of the way, Onward shall we?

The reason I wanted to stop there is to point out a couple of things before we get into the  what God told Ezekiel. If you notice the gate, and this is truly a gate but also keep in mind the spiritual “gate” for Isaiah 60:18a: “…thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”

And when we notice that the translators of the Bible capitalized Praise, that tells us that this is a special usage, it is the name that what is to be used to get you through that gate. That is the moment when the Spirit took him, lifted him, up and revealed the manifested Glory of God to him, and we are no different.

We are never just going to walk into that glory, we are never going to just find ourselves in the midst of the Holy presence of the living God without acknowledging who He is and what he requires, Which now gets us to the flip side of the post and as you read it, remember we compare Israel to us, the church is but an ingrafted branch and Israel is our spiritual “motherland”, so what applied to her does indeed apply to us.

Picking it back up, Ezekiel 43:6-10:”And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house (temple); and the man stood by me.

And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, the place where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom (spiritual idolatry), nor by the carcases of their kings in  their high places.

In the setting of their threshold by thresholds and their post by posts, and (with only) the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.

Now let them put away (STOP IT) their whoredom (idolatry), and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of the for ever

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.”

Basically what he is saying is that humans have intermingled their own “temples” setting up “houses” built of the wicked carnal imaginations of their own hearts and minds and self-will and the spiritual idolatry of their kings and they have purposely “set” these abominations next to the holy “buildings” of the Lord as he said, which only a wall separating the truth from the lie and the true holiest from detestable sacrilege.

This was ancient Israel’s problem among the many warnings that God sent down to them, And this is now “our” problem and as we continue to ignore warnings and more warnings and continue to let the devil set up his counterfeit teachings beside the true teachings of God and even falsely under the name of God, just as God said that they not of him. This is what he told Ezekiel to show them.

Ezekiel 43:11: ” And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew (make known to them) the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in therefore, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”  What God is saying here is that once Ezekiel puts all these things out to them that IF they will repent and consider all the issues that he points out and stop it, then his ways will be revealed to them. But not as long as they are allowing paganism and false doctrine to “set up” housekeeping next to his house.

Remember as believers we are temples of the Lord, so this can apply allowing thoughts, attitudes, and sins, inside of us and still expect God to dwell with us.

And for the bigger picture – the church, and what is going on now and has been and unfortunately will be until the reign of Christ on earth is THIS as God described it for Ezekiel, and he is referring to allowing sin and unholiness into his house and even more so allowing those who have never even committed to Jesus or even repented (referred to an uncircumcised in heart) to hold office and do service in the house of God.

God expects holiness, he expects sanctification, and everyone is and should be welcome at his house BUT to work in his house, perform in house, and especially stand behind his pulpit requires consecration to the Lord because those areas ARE holy ground and by allowing  what should not be, those “posts’ that God referenced earlier get set up in the house, side by side with his true teaching and the purpose of it is to confuse those whom God wishes to save.

It is hard to convince a person that they need to repent when others are teaching that there is no such thing, that “we just go to heaven when we die” and that is just no so. You have to have the Son.

Ezekiel 44:5-8 :”And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well (take note) and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears( pay attention to) all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof and mark well the entering in of the house (who may enter the temple), with every going forth of the sanctuary (and all who go out).

And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all (let us have NO MORE of) your abominations.

In that ye have BROUGHT into my sanctuary strangers (foreign to God), uncircumcised in heart (unrepentant), and uncircumcised in flesh (spiritually this would be still living carnally), to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, where ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they broken my covenant BECAUSE of YOUR abominations.

And ye have NOT kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have SET keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for YOURSELVES.”  

And this is clearly what he is referring to, those things and people that are set up as his ministers and servants in his house that are not even dedicated much less consecrated to him. His word tells us that he sets up the church as he desires and gives charge, the job, as he wills and he is telling us here that his wishes are being completely ignored so man can set up his own agenda with his own workers.

And God will NOT give his glory unto another and he will not bless what is not his and he will not allow his house to be profaned and this is why his glory will depart from those houses.

So be very careful and do as the Bible says, which is to KNOW them that labour among you, KNOW them, know their life and more importantly their relationship with God and the foundation of that relationship with him before you trust them with your flock and vice versa, KNOW who you are listening to, KNOW what they believe and know how they live before trusting them with your soul.

Believe it or not when you are guided by another and you listen to them and their preaching and take their advice you are trusting them with your soul, which is why you have to have your own relationship with God and know his word for yourself because if it sounds too good to be true it is. And right now society can’t leave well enough alone.

They don’t want to just say that they do not belong to God, instead they want to lay claim to the promise but yet not repent or follow his rules because yes, there are rules to live for God and as he said without holiness no man shall see him. And that is that, that is his requirement and he loves us and he does make it easy and he does welcome everyone but NO ONE will insult or make light of or profane his Holiness without facing the consequence.

So keep it in mind, and keep it real, and above do everything in your power to keep making sure that those that influence you and your life and those who you may even have to answer for (such as those in ministry) are the real deal and they are keepin’ it holy, you may become less popular and be hated and called intolerant but when it all comes down in the end we all still only answer for us and we still will ultimately only answer to him.

Love & peace till next time!

Phlogizo/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2019

I love this song and yesterday I happened up on this performance and if you have never saw this please take a moment to watch it. Incredibly anointed!

 

 

Just a quick thought..

“Unless the Lord had been on my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

When I said, My foot slippeth; they mercy, O Lord, held me up.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me they comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:17-19

If this post is a little out of whack from my usual groove, bear with me. My desktop is still DOA with BSOD and this thought hit me so deep that I knew I had to write it…so we are “tablet-ing” it my friends, and it keeps trying to correct my words and feel I have the right to add “ing” as I please, whether it is grammatically correct or not🐱

So here we go! When we go through so many changing seasons in life it is so easy and so human to feel overwhelmed and often alone.

Not really alone as in being alone, but alone in our thoughts, what path to choose, what step to take, and sometimes even in the midst of truly life altering events, we can even find ourselves asking ourselves who we even are, now that changes have assured that we will never be quiet who we once were.

That’s the power of this verse.

My “thoughts” used in the verse translates to “anxious thoughts”, and the greatest revelation in this is that Jehovah God KNOWS our thoughts before we EVEN think them!

He knows every worry, every hurt, and every single time that we feel overwhelmed. He knew before the foundation of the world and before time on earth even ever began, He knew what we would feel TODAY.

And He knew what we were going to feel yesterday and tomorrow.

“For his eyes are are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.” Job 34:21

Also, Job 31:4: “Doth he not see my ways, and count all my steps.”

Which is not asking in exasperation, “Doesn’t God see what I’m going through?” It is a proclamation that God does see and he is very aware of our pain and walks every step with us.

So remember in the multitude of your thoughts that you are in his thoughts and this is who’s thoughts you are in….

Psalm 145: 8-10,18,19

“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion;slow to anger, and of great mercy.

The Lord is good to all;and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All they works shall praise thee,O Lord; and they saints shall bless thee.”

“The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he will also hear their cry, and he will save them.”

That is some serious comfort! This world is only for a short time but we are eternal and our God is forever and our peace is only found is resting in the knowledge of his sovereignty, so I leave you with this:

Psalm 144:15:“Happy is that people that is in such a case (state): yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”  

Have a blessed week!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson Phlogizo360/2019

Love. this song!

 

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

Tallying of time

 

“To EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time to EVERY PURPOSE under the heaven:

A time to be born (to bear), 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; and 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 (gain), 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 (repair); a time to keep silence, and  a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit (gain) hath he that worketh in that in that wherein he laboureth? ” Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

That ending verse being reminiscent of what was spoken by Jesus in Mark 8:36,38:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Maybe going  a little in reverse.. but I want to take that scripture first. Jesus warned also in another parable of the man who had EVERYTHING and chose to concentrate on building his earthy empire even bigger WHILE neglecting the fact that these things are temporary. Check it out, Luke 12:16-20:

 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying,  The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow (store) my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) my fruits (crops) and my goods.

And I will say unto my soul, Soul, thou hast much good goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” 

Work and excelling in the world and chosen professions mean very little in the grand realm. Of course God wants us to do well but we can never use any worldly successes as a key toward entering the kingdom of heaven.

Likewise we can not use our worldly cares and obligations to make us exempt from fulfilling our duties to that kingdom. Jesus Christ and His kingdom and the ASSURANCE that we have made every preparation required of us for the “storage “of our soul in Him is to be the number one priority. 

And this is not even about “work”or”works” it is about the preciousness of time and the ever ticking clock counting DOWN our time on this world. Many, who are at the end of their lives, through terminal illness often say the same chilling words… “wasted time” a celebrity who recently passed had told his family this.

Why do we have to be out of time to realize how blessed we are for EVERY day that we have.  And why do so many wait and wait… and wait… REFUSING to accept salvation, BELIEVING in God, but also falsely believing that they have “all the time in the world” when we are NOT promised tomorrow or even the next breath.

Which is why God told us in His word, “SEEK ye the Lord WHILE he may be found.” And others, while saved and have the promise of ETERNAL salvation forget the promise of the goodness we receive in THIS world when we do go after the things of God and forsake all that hinders us in serving Him.

Mark 10: 29,30: “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, and sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake,and the gospel’s,

But HE SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDREDFOLD NOW IN THIS TIME, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, WITH PERSECUTIONS; AND IN THE WORLD TO COME ETERNAL LIFE.”

 People get so hung up on what they are LOSING that they don’t realize that they are NOT LOSING ANYTHING except a life that is running out, and maybe people who are hindering and harming their life and they have been given an opportunity to GAIN one hundred times over in joy, family, by being brought into the extended family of Christ, and spiritual riches and blessings that they could not even begin to imagine.

But like contestants on a bad game show they are willing to settle for the not so great consolation prize that is available to all participants in the game of life, when that prize could have been traded up for a grand prize of cosmic proportions.

And in the end, time wasted, time that no one is getting back. Time that could have been used to lighten another’s burden. Time that could have been spent making someone smile and in cheering up their lives you will find that you cheer up your own.

Everyone suffers, everyone goes through heartache. It IS seasons and times on earth, it IS the purpose of earth. But the surest way to overcome our own pain is by lessening the pain of another.

We overcome the darkness that tries to enclose on us through sadness, grief, illness by doing unto others and shining a candle into someone else’s dark world. This is why the Lord said that all these things come WITH persecutions. As long as we are in this world, we will have sorrow, we will have rain, we will have storms, and giants to face.

As we are TOLD that ALL of these things are for a TIME.

A TIME to die and LET things die.

A TIME to pull up and change our plans.

A TIME to kill, things that are just not working by walking away from those things.

A TIME to break down and destroy spiritual strongholds.

A TIME cast away stones. A TIME to be serious, be stern, be somber.

A TIME TO LOSE. A SEASON OF WEEPING and MOURNING, sorrow and tears.

A TIME to tear apart, hate, and be silent.

BUT with all these painful trying times of this world, we have these precious times and seasons of promise.

A TIME for birth of something new, a birth of new fruits, new joys, new endeavors.

A TIME to plant,and sow in hope of a good harvest, love, kindness, friendships.

A TIME build again, gather stones, spiritual altars of praise and worship.

A TIME to laugh, dance, and embrace.

A TIME of healing, repair, and restorations.

A TIME to speak in love, peace, and prosperity.

BUT in it ALL, It IS life and it is the life unto which we ALL have been appointed. God’s word also says that without a vision His people would perish.

I do practice what I preach and I have many regrets, regrets of wishing I had talked more to this one or should have done that differently but that IS also part of life.

And as the year comes to an end I challenge everyone to take stock and for all of us to ask ourselves, if we knew, like the man in Jesus’s parable, that our time was EVEN shorter than we thought (because in reality, IT always IS) what could we have done differently?

How many times would we have made ourselves press upward rather than giving into the downing spirits of this world?

How many times could we find that ever elusive silver lining and just how bright and majestic would that rainbow had been IF we could have seen it through the downpour of our tears?

And as His word also promises that IN HIS TIME… He makes ALL things beautiful, ask ourselves have we really traded in all those ashes for the beauty that STILL lies ahead or have we given ourselves up already dying to a past that can never been brought back, holding onto memories, that while joyful and precious have taken such precedence over our present that we are deadened to exploring the possibilities of making new ones.

When we live in an emotionally downward state, and God knows there are many reasons, WORTHWHILE reasons that cause this to happen, but when it happens, we are becoming oblivious to the joy that STILL surrounds us in the form of all those we love. Time is precious, don’t forget that and LIVE everyday like it was your last. TIME is a gift, IT is precious and given to us from God and we have to stop KILLING time because like it or not TIME itself is already killing us.

God Bless you in your upcoming week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017    

Original. Post 11/2017

“Bought & Sold” Riches Untold

Buying and selling, we are all so different when it comes to how we will spend our money and at what price we are willingly to sell what is ours. Some really don’t care what the price is, if they want and can afford it,then they will have it. While others tend to be more practical, and count up the cost and necessity before they make that purchase.

And what has this post to do with impulse buying? 

Absolutely nothing!!! It is actually about impulse selling!

Don’t hear that one every day.

I had been thinking about someone and they have been on the heart of many others and to be honest when I wrote Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off, I could see the persons face in my mind the entire time I was working on the prodigal.

God started putting a thought in my heart about inheritance and I wondered. We all know that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, so why did Satan just not kill Jesus BEFORE he fulfilled his destiny to die on the cross? Why did he try to BUY him by offering him FOOD, and POWER, and ALL the kingdoms of earth, and finally trying to make him question who he even was?

The answer is this, he could NOT kill him, and take his inheritance, his only option was to attempt to BUY it from him.

Let’s see where it started. GENESIS 25 details the story of Esau and Jacob, the sons of Issac, the were twins but not anything alike and Issac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Jacob was very cunning and thinking things through would have served Esau well, but..

GENESIS 29-34: ” And Jacob sod pottage (cooked stew): and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint (very hungry): And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (red).

And Jacob said, SELL ME THIS DAY THY BIRTHRIGHT. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die: and WHAT PROFIT SHALL THIS BIRTHRIGHT DO TO ME? 

And  Jacob said, Sware to me this day; and he sware unto him: and HE SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT UNTO JACOB.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage (stew) of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

Now part of the deal was done, GENESIS 27 Rebekah and Jacob tricked Issac, who was old and could not see well, into giving his verbal blessing of inheritance to Jacob who was PRETENDING to be Esau. When Esau came to be blessed he was met with the terrible truth of his actions:

GENESIS 27:30-35: ” And it came to pass, as SOON as Issac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of Isaac his father (had just left), that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison , that thy soul MAY BLESS ME. And Isaac his father said unto him, WHO ART THOU? And he said, I am thy son, THY FIRSTBORN Esau. 

And Isaac TREMBLED very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all BEFORE thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 

And when Esau HEARD THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE CRIED WITH A GREAT AND EXCEEDING BITTER CRY, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

And he  (Isaac) said, THY BROTHER CAME WITH SUBTILITY ( DECEIT) AND HATH TAKEN AWAY THY BLESSING.”  Now that is scary!Just think of what Jacob inherited, remember his name would soon be changed to ISRAEL, the father of THE tribes of the nation of GOD, that will also set as tribes in New Jerusalem. An INHERITANCE of worth that is STILL ACCUMULATING thousands, and thousands of years LATER!!!

Now back to Jesus, so why didn’t the enemy just kill him? HE COULDN’T! HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OF GOD TO DO SO! 

Remember God gave Satan reign over the circumstances in Job’s life, with the exception that HE COULD NOT KILL HIM. Only God has power over life and death, and there are many scriptures attesting to that fact. This is the SAME reason that Satan has bought off so many who were predestined to the kingdom of God.

The very chosen, elect of God who are selling their birthright FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As the scripture goes “they have sold themselves for nought” like Esau, not even taking time to think about what they are doing, SELLING IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR FLESH FOR THE PRESENT DAY, QUESTIONING WHAT GOOD IS IT DOING THEM ANYWAY, never thinking about the fact that it takes time for accounts to mature and interest to grow! 

ROMANS 8:29-30,33: ”   For WHOM HE did FOREKNOW, HE also DID PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among MANY brethren.

Morever, whom HE did PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: and who HE CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED, them he also glorified.

WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s ELECT? IT IS  GOD that justifieth.

Just as God told Jeremiah “BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE: AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.”  JEREMIAH 1:5

He was not a special case, as Romans tells us, we WERE with God and the gifts He has placed in us WERE given BEFORE we were even born! The CALLING was placed on our life BEFORE we ever existed in the earthy realm! This is why scripture also states in ROMANS 12:29: “FOR the GIFTS and CALLING of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).”

Whatever gift God has given you, whether it is to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, if it is the gift of miracles to pray blinded eyes open, deaf ears to hear, or even the prayer of faith to raise the dead. The gift of tongues and prophecy, the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge.

The callings as pastors, preachers, teachers, helpers, givers. Whatever those are ARE FOREVER. And you can choose to sell them out to the highest bidder but you will never escape the knowledge and the hurt when you discover the true price of what he had given you! Run, go right on, run,run as fast as you can,  YOU WILL NEVER OUTRUN GOD. 

PSALM 139:7,8: “Whither (where) shall I go FROM thy spirit? or whither (where) shall I FLEE from thy presence?  If I ascend UP into heaven, THOU ART THERE: If I MAKE MY BED IN HELL, BEHOLD, THOU ART THERE.”

No matter where you go, what you do, HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE and you will not escape either fulfilling that purpose or being held accountable for your failure to do so.  Satan can not just take your birthright, However God did say that His spirit will not always strive with man and I do believe that there does come times of reprobation and we will not get into that here. God places that hedge of protection around you, He protects what is His and as it is written “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” the enemy can not just take over you life, you have to sell out your life and your birthright as a child of the King to him.

And you will never have any idea what that is or what that is truly worth until you live for the Lord and maybe even then, just like what came to pass with Jacob and Esau, the full value will go on accumulating AFTER your work on earth is finished.

So please think of what you are selling and don’t sell your eternal destiny for any thing the enemy can offer, he is ONLY TRYING TO BUY YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT WITH GOD’S HAND ON YOU, HE CAN NOT DEFEAT YOU and HE KNOW WHAT YOUR WORK BLESSED OF GOD WILL COST HIS KINGDOM!

The regret Esau had was endless, HEBREWS 12:16,17: “Lest there be any fornicator or profane (godless) person, as Esau, WHO FOR ONE MORSEL OF MEAT (FOOD) SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

FOR YE KNOW THAT AFTERWARD, when he WOULD HAVE INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was REJECTED: for he found NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE, though HE SOUGHT IT CAREFULLY WITH TEARS.”  

Even though he had regret upon regret, and he tried and he cried, and he tried some more but there was no way he could go back and change what had been done, there was “no place” he could find in this situation to change what had already been done and what he lost was the headship over all Israel and I am sure the bad aftertaste of that stew lingered for a lifetime! Think about it! Love and peace till next time!

Original post from 2016

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 2016

 

“Raised by wolves”

“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers (had died) and there AROSE ANOTHER GENERATION after them, which KNEW NOT THE LORD, NOR YET THE WORK WHICH HE HAD DONE FOR ISRAEL.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and FOLLOWED other gods, of the gods OF THE PEOPLE THAT WERE ROUND ABOUT THEM, and bowed themselves unto them, and PROVOKED THE LORD TO ANGER.

AND THEY FORSOOK THE LORD, AND SERVED Baal and Ashtaroth (pagan Canaanite “deities”demons).” Judges 2:8-13

About my title… I actually like wolves, the furry animal ones and believe in supporting conservation of their habitats and their protection, so this is going to be about those OTHER wolves.

The spiritual ones and we all know that they are among us and they do try to fit in and fake you out as to their true identity but those are just one type of wolf, I want to talk to you about another.

Just plain old run of the mill wolves, ones who are just naturally exactly what they are. Never been saved, never even thought about it, just spend their lives doing whatever they want, whenever they want and usually not much of it is good.

Wolves run in packs, but they always have a leader,or leader ‘couple”, not always by being the strongest, but by taking care of the needs of the pack, knowing what the pack needs and making it happen and sometimes they will take in young pups to raise as their own and make them a member of the pack.

I am quite afraid this is the major problem so many Christians have in staying the course for Christ. If you had been “raised” up in the world by parents or a parent that did NOT serve God or teach you anything about God or exposed you to false religions, and you had grown up in  a home with drinking, partying, and all the things that come with that, while maybe socially acceptable, maybe even holding to some value system, still in no way has prepared you to live a life with behavior fitted according to the standard of God.

Kinda like, the old phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” more less, do as your parents, your friends, do as you have been taught. What about those little pups that are adopted into the pack?

Same deal, we respond as we have been taught. I do know that some things God just places in us at birth, that deep intuition knowing right from wrong and that little tugging that sets off the alarm that even when a wolf says something that is happening is okay, you know, by that feeling in your stomach that it really isn’t.

The Lord instills that in us that no matter where life takes us that we will long for more, we will know there is more than just this life, and we will one day break away from the pack and seek that which we have never known and have never been taught because one day we realize that just because the pack takes us in and raised us as their own, still DOES NOT MAKE US A WOLF.

Often when you announce your salvation people will seem genuinely happy for you and they will even congratulate you, encourage you, and wolves especially will sometimes confess they “probably need to get saved too” and this all seems good.

 BUT if you have been “raised by wolves” I promise you all they are doing is marking off your new territory as their new hunting ground and they will soon want you to get you back running with the pack.

And I have seen this far to many times, someone will get saved and soon  the old friends show up along with the old habits, and the old ways after God has delivered them from that bondage because you can’t be a lamb and run with wolves!

People end up back on drugs, back out in sin because they refuse to “lose their life” in order to find it and listen to the wrong people.

Matthew 16:24-26: ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

I understand this somewhat referred to the deaths of his followers BUT  I also believe He was also referring to the loss of our lifestyles, friends, and anything we have surrendered at the cross in order to serve Him. Denying ourselves is denying the will of the flesh and the desire to return to the behaviors and sin we were freed from.

2 Corinthians 5:17: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE (creation) : OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”

ALL NEW! Doesn’t get any better than that, every sin, every failure, every mistake covered by the blood and washed away FOREVER! And we’ve got to keep it that way!

You know the best defense against a wolf? STAND YOUR GROUND they want you running when they attack, so you have to stand your ground and they will back down and back off and you can’t let them keep hanging around.

Here’s the WORD on it, to go back to our starter verse, Judges chapter one deals with how the tribes were told to destroy the inhabitants out of the lands God had given them and the fact that many did not destroy them but rather kept company with them and they were soon visited by an angel of the Lord to be reminded of WHAT they had been told. 

Judges 2:1-4: “And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said , I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I SAID I WILL NEVER BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU,

AND YE SHALL MAKE NO LEAGUE (treaty) WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THIS LAND; YE SHALL THROW DOWN THEIR ALTARS: BUT YE HAVE NOT OBEYED MY VOICE: WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS?

WHEREFORE I ALSO SAID, I WILL NOT DRIVE THEM OUT FROM BEFORE YOU: BUT THEY SHALL BE AS THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, AND THEIR GODS SHALL BE A SNARE UNTO YOU.” 

Never heard it? Well, we have now, if we do not throw down those spiritual altars, you know all the things that have been more important than God, all the spiritual altars where God-given virtues have been sacrificed for the pleasures of this world. And have no relations with the “inhabitants” of the land of your past, because the will be allowed to become a thorn in your flesh and their “gods” of drugs, sex, and money will become a trap to you. So watch out for those wolves, they are real, and they are devious, never trust them, don’t listen when they start to howl and don’t back down when they growl, stand your ground and they will quit coming around!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

**I apologize for the repost but I am experiencing BSOD on desktop so bear with me and God bless your week!

 

“Misplaced pearls”

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”And of course that was Jesus speaking in John 10:10

And you may be wondering just what that has to do with pearls… EVERYTHING! Pearls ARE precious, most of us own a strand,we wear them on important occasions, and days we just want to dress up a little but there is something so secret, so beautiful, so feminine that many of us love the feeling of wearing a strand of  beautiful pearls with our favorite pair of jeans.

WHY? What on earth could be so different about these perfect little orbs that sets them so far apart from other “jewels” that may be considered EVEN more beautiful like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, or even jade and all stones semi-precious?

Could it because of the association pearls have ALWAYS been associated with PURITY and INNOCENCE?

Forever the choice jewelry of BRIDES everywhere and do you remember reading that I did write that this entire blog is stir up and awaken us to the realization that we are part of a soon to take place wedding?

THE WEDDING OF THE AGES, with the KING OF THE UNIVERSE AS THE GROOM, COMPLETE WITH A TRULY ANGELIC CHOIR, AND THE HOST OF HEAVEN AS HIS WEDDING PARTY! 

Revelation 20:9: “And he said unto me, Write, BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB.And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

And we are encouraged throughout the Bible to be prepared, to have on our “wedding garments” as John saw:

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, PREPARED as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

And at this wedding we ALL get to wear our pearls! But sometimes we misplace them, or the “thief” comes and truly steals them, hides them from us, or just rips the strand apart and they plunge to the ground, whirling in  a hundred directions and landing a thousand miles apart and we are left with the task of trying to recover every single pearl and restring the entire necklace.

But you know, we are not that talented because our true pearls were master crafted and ONLY He can put that necklace together again.

One of the ways pearls have been worn over the ages is a symbol of mourning because the little seed pearls look like tear drops and pearls were chosen by brides as a representation of purity, chastity, innocence, beauty, and mostly importantly for here, NEW BEGINNINGS.

Spiritually we are BORN with those beautiful pearls AS a gift from our Father when He created us.

And THOSE pearls ARE our innocence, our purity, and our beauty in Him. But LIFE and the enemy have  a way of sneaking in and either getting us to take off those pearls and lay them aside and sometimes in moments of repeatedly putting them on, only to decide to take them back off, we end up misplacing them.

And sometimes we have taken them off, laid them down on a nightstand and the enemy has stolen them, hid them, and laughed as we beg for them back.. all the while telling us that had we really wanted them we would have never been in that bed anyway and now we don’t deserve them back.

And I think the hardest would be when you did not take them off, the enemy came with destruction and ripped them off your neck and being left absolutely helpless trying to gather them through your tears as they roll across the floor.

Can you see it? Can you see the innocence and the purity that the enemy HAS stolen, killed, and destroyed concerning the sisters and daughters IN the world and those who are SAVED and STILL struggle with surrendering completely to God for fear of what the enemy has LIED to them about?  

Jesus IS the RESTORER, He wants nothing more than to RESTORE every single part of us. We are the ones who have the problem actually LETTING Him do that because we are often so afraid to let Him see what needs shown, EVEN though He already sees it, He already knows it.

You can be saved and still be holding on to something so deep, so painful that whether you know it or not really does IMPACT everything about your life, your happiness, and your joy. And to have true fulfillment in who He created you to be and who He wants you to be on this earth, you have to ask yourself, Where are those pearls?

And if NONE of this applies to you, that is great and just pray for the 99.9% that it does apply to.

Virginity or rather the loss thereof.. which is usually, in our present world the real point that starts so many women down the spiral to places He never intended His daughters to walk because that is something so precious and was only EVER meant to be shared in a holy union and that is why so many women have felt disillusioned, lost, and instead of feeling loved, have been left feeling completely empty and this sets them up to repeat this over and over again because so many feel like once that have started this path, the can never go back BUT I promise you can get off that path any time you choose.

Our society has brain washed women into giving themselves completely away simply because the world tells them that is what they are supposed to do.

Satan IS a liar and the father of lies, you will never find “love” in anything the world has to offer and sex is just satan’s completely carnal counter to what God had intended to be beautiful and it will never make you feel anything, when it is all said and done, than worse than you did before it happened.

Virginity is an absolute blessed state. So taking that obvious “loss” off the table. Pearls can be lost and damaged by our relationships to our father’s, fathers are supposed to protect us, nurture us and not everyone has that relationship or if you have had a father who is just emotionally distant, you are losing the pearls of security knowing that someone is looking out for you and that there is someone who will love you unconditionally and dry all your tears.

Maybe you had a great childhood and a wonderful Dad but marriage was the misplacement of your pearls.

If trust is broken when you have given someone your heart, your life, every part of all you are and it is supposed to be forever and either he turns out to be a jerk or worse a cheating batterer, because those two go hand in hand, well that is a recipe for a whole different disaster.

So, if as you have read this, you are feeling tears swell up just a little, I want to challenge you, we all KNOW our hearts, we all KNOW our hurts, wounds, and raging resentments, write them down, in your own private time, write them down, every single thing as far back as you can go that has hurt you, made you question your self-worth, and especially things that have made you feel like you have lost “yourself” and of course it is going to hurt and it will probably hurt like no tomorrow. 

Don’t be surprised if you see things that you never noticed, times where people were manipulating you and you never realized, times that you can see in retrospect that led to bad decisions and self-destructive behavior later on.

If you worry someone will find your innermost secrets, burn it or shred it in  a million pieces and flush it when you are through.

But it is necessary because it frees you and helps you recognize things for what they really are.

Wounds, memories, and mistakes that DO NOT define who you are, and we have to acknowledge these areas in order to TRULY give it all to Christ.

He is a perfect gentleman and He wants to help you and make all things new and HE DOES already KNOW every single detail of your life BUT He will not force His way into your life, but wants you to come to Him, KNOWING that He does NOT judge you and will NOT be asking WHY on earth did you do that?

Nor will He ask, WHAT were you thinking? He is nothing like anything most have been taught and I promise once you start “searching” for those pearls and being honest about “where” your life, in your past they had been misplaced or “where” they were stolen or THOUGHT destroyed by an event that you HAD NO CONTROL over.

HE CAN MAKE IT ALL NEW, I can not stress that enough, And I promise once that “alabaster” starts to crack, you will know, you will probably feel like your cracking too, but we HAVE to break to be made new and HE WILL NEVER LET YOU BREAK BEYOND REPAIR, so do not be afraid, LET HIM hold you and wipe away every tear and place upon your neck an even more precious strand, whose cost is beyond measure, and this new strand will never be misplaced again.

Join me next time and we’ll check out some alabaster!

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017

Love this song! And this IS what you need to know!

*Authors note* This series originally posted on “Alabaster Breaking”, my sister site, that no longer exists. I found it very difficult to maintain both sites and just transferred those posts to this, my main site. Thank you

AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

 

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

I raised thee up(awakened) under the apple tree:…”  Song of Solomon 7:5

The wilderness the daughters of God have been very acquainted with since the dawn of time.
Since the fall of man, the enemy has ensured that we would be considered no more than property and every day countless of us are raped, abused, forced into prostitution and in many countries we are still property at the complete mercy of often unmerciful husbands.

While in other corners of the world, unable to carry lineage names daughters are aborted and others sold into slavery.
Christianity of old.

Tainted by MEN also seemed to teach that women are inferior but the truth is far from that.
My biggest struggle in coming to Christ was this very topic, I was like, Why are women always the bad ones? Misguided teaching of confused or intentionally biased doctrine has kept many away and who could blame them?
Many modern women who have been left to support their children completely alone, who have struggled to pay their bills, put food on their tables, educate themselves and their children, just barely surviving through the world.

And if they happen into the wrong church they will hear that they are of a lesser value to God than their male counterparts. To “fit in” they will need to change everything about themselves and sit down and above all shut up.
Even after God had enlightened me to the truth and helped me understand his word, I still had trouble wrapping my head around a few things.
I did most of intense studying before my child was school aged, after everyone was asleep and my house cleaned, I would stay up and read until I could not function any longer.

One night I happened upon Judges 19 which in my opinion contains the most disturbing and gruesome story in the entire Bible.
It mirrors the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, ironically found in Genesis 19, when Lot had offered his virgin daughters to the deviant, demon possessed pagans, who were demanding he turn over his male visitors to them, “that they may know them” translated, so they could gang rape them.  

The Bible clear to point out that Lot offered these girls with a “do whatever you want to them” agreement to try to get them to take them instead of the male visitors.

To break Judges 19 down, a Levite had a concubine, it says she “played the harlot”.
I’m not sure how that worked since she was “kept” for that purpose, double standards of the day, which still equate in our culture as the difference between a guy being a “player” and a woman being a “slut”.

Another problem Jesus addressed when he came to earth, he wants two people married, period.
Enlightening them to their double standards when they wanted judgment against the adulterous woman, of course it takes two, but they seemed to have forgotten to bring her partner in this sin before the Lord, His answer to them translating to this, if they themselves had no sin, go ahead hit her.

Standing in front of a Holy God they couldn’t do it.

But at the time of Judges, men could have as many women as they wanted but it was never God’s plan.
To get on with the story, she went back to her father’s house, so he comes after her to talk her into coming back, finally she agreed, and after being detained several days they went on their way.

He refused to stay anywhere other than lands belonging to the tribes of Israel and insisted on traveling to a city of the tribe of Benjamin, they had nowhere to stay, so an old man invited them to stay with him, pleading that they not stay outside, soon just as with Sodom, there were men at his door demanding he turn over this man to them that they “may know him”.

Picture perfect to Sodom, only lacking the presence of the angels that saved Lot’s daughters. So the old guy offers his daughter and the concubine, again with the agreement to whatever they wanted to them, just do not touch the man.

They refused, they still wanted the man, so the guy just takes the concubine and throws her out to them and they repeatedly gang rape her until the morning and then they let her go.

She makes it to the door of the house where she collapses, she just lies there helplessly until he gets up, opens the door and finds her and he actually tells her quite simply, to get up they have to get going, needless to say she is dead.
He dismembers her body into twelve parts and sends a part to each of the tribes and war is waged.
It wasn’t that they raped her or that she was dead that bothered him, it was because they destroyed his property.

I read this and I was alone with my shock and absolute horror and knowing the Lord, I just asked “Why, Why are we of so little value?”
These “men” would not even try to fend off these monsters, not even try to muster up an ounce of anything remotely resembling courage to fight for themselves.

Forget chivalry, or protection, an ounce of some sort of compassion, but to just offer these women as less than nothing and to do it to save themselves. I just could not understand it.

I do understand that at the time the thought of this being done to men was so unthinkable that they were desperate to prevent it. But they could have tried to prevent it for happening to any of them.

The God I know would never sanction this stuff or ever condone it and I was in tears, and it just hit me to keep reading, the bottom line is this, at the very end of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel: Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

This was never God!

He never put these things in men’s hearts and for years it was falsely taught and still is in many places.

Men still do what is right in their own eyes and only God can make them see the truth.
But it is time for the awakening of his daughters.

No matter what false beliefs that women have been brainwashed by, we have to let them know that this is not what Jesus is about.
He does not hate women and did not create us to be objects of amusement to fulfill the twisted lusts of men nor to be their gender indentured servants.

If we are ever to see those that are oppressed be saved and free, they have to know the truth about him and who he is and most of all who they are in him.

A forgotten child, much like David, when no one would even waste their time to call him to be presented before Samuel the Prophet, because in their eyes why would a prophet possibly want to speak with someone so unimportant and simple?

A forgotten child from the greatest of tribes, who just happened to be a woman, a sister to the twelve tribes of Israel, a forgotten child that no one bothers to mention because she was not as important as her brothers, or so they thought.

Dinah, the seventh child Leah bore to Jacob, a woman who also a thing or two about pain and substandard treatment, who had been raped and used as a bargaining chip which led to a mass slaughter.

Her bloodline STILL offering an inheritance. because she was one of the tribe.

The most prophetic beauty with Dinah is the meaning of her name, “JUDGEMENT.”

It is awakening time for the sisters, the beautiful, forgotten army who have a straight shot to the heart of the Father.

You are so strong, so powerful, and yet, you do not even know WHO YOU ARE in HIM, and so unaware of your predestined place in this end time end game.

You are the spiritual virgins and maidens forever following to proclaim the majesty, beauty, and holiness of the Kings of Kings.

It is the love and proclamations that Hannah, and Mary, and never forget Mary Magdalene, He came to her first because she needed him the most.

Take your place in the kingdom, it is not going to be accomplished with half an army.
The adoration and praises from hearts that have known sorrows and pain that men can never begin to understand.

A relationship to God who will bring justice for others on behalf of the cries of the souls of his daughters.
Unlike the time of Judges, unlike the women who are your sisters the world over, who are oppressed and in bondage. 

You have access to a King, the King, and The King over heaven, and earth, and the entire universe, He will plead their cause if you bring them before his throne in that secret prayer closet.
He will bring justice for those your tears flood the altar for, when you allow your soul to be awakened under that tree, awakened by a love so strong, so powerful, so consuming that you wear that love as a covering for the whole world to see.

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. as the apple tree among the trees of wood so it my beloved among the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight his fruit was sweet to my taste.  He brought me into the banqueting house and his banner of me was LOVE”  Song of Solomon 2:1-4

Translated: KNOW HIM for who HE IS, allow his love to bloom in you, in spite of the valleys and thorns, breathe in his sweetness and lift you up out of those ashes and hide in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of his wings, taste the goodness of his salvation and let him bring you into his house of feasting and the love of Jehovah Nissi is his war flag over his daughters and the love is the secret to it all.

Φλογίζω / 02/05/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

For later posts in the realm of all things feminine, check these out:

Resurgence of Ruth

 “Misplaced pearls”

“Something needs to break”

“Grinding the ax” 1 “acknowledgement”

“Grinding the ax” 2… “Real Love?”

“Grinding the ax” #3 “Anger Danger”

“Grinding the ax” #4 “STRANGLE HOLD”

REVISTED:08/01/2019  I like to revisit these older posts, because sometimes we just need to be reminded of who Jesus REALLY is and who he has called us to be in him.

 

 

 

 

Desensitized…much?

By Rev. Nina BrownJohnson

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

Put away from thee a forward (deceitful) mouth, and perverse lips 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 thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:23-27

I heard something on the radio, it was just chitter chatter asking listeners their feelings on “automated” restaurant pick ups. The thought being to place their orders on line and then just come to an awaiting box and pick up their order, never having to interact in any way with an actual human, and so many were excited, expressing that they would be thrilled with this, thrilled with the ability to avoid the usual “small talk” that was exchanged while checking out.

I thought, “Man, desensitized, MUCH?”

No one should have to have any qualms when admitting that through the onslaught of technology, we have gone backward socially.

Oh, I know it is called social media, but really how SOCIAL, are those medias?  One meaning of the word social is this, the need for companionship.

But now we have all these outlets to express every single thought that comes to mind, and often being hard “read”, emotion in what is written,leaves many comments and remarks automatically received on the defensive.

While other comments and remarks are meant to be attacks, no hold barred attacks on every single thing about our lives, like thorns  how we look, how we talk, feel, walk, or think and it is so readily spewed forth because it is so easy for our words to cut like knives and attack and bully others when they are often people we do not know, nor will ever meet and certainly will most likely ever have to justify our remarks to face to face.

And it has created a society that often holds absolutely no accountability. And the hatered and bad ideas expressed by others often spread like the venoumous poison that it is, just as the Bible tells us “Be ye NOT partakers of another mans (persons) sin.”

Anyone notice the story about the lady with the flu licking ice cream in Walmart and putting it back, posting that to social media, with what she evidently thought was a cutesy hash tag and encouraging others to do the same?

Well, some did and now we will all pay more for products to be sealed and we will think twice every time we dive into something purchased sans seal.

And for what? Her cheap shot to get some attention while risking making God only knows who deathly ill, because in some cases if those with certain medical conditions had came into contact with her germs they really would have faced life threatening maybe even fatal consequences.

And I could give you a staggering list of scenarios across the board of copy cat instances that harm people and animals or are just degrading, such as sticking cheese to babies for “fun”.

Does anyone not notice that these are not typical “grown-up” behaviors?

And phones are now the most important sole possession of many, or should I say, single most soul possession.

Possession, could be worded as obsession which speaks for itself.

Especially when you consider very carefully, that parents are being warned to put their phones in the backseat with their babies to avoid forgetting the baby because they will remember the phone and while grabbing the phone they will then notice the baby that must be removed from the vehicle.

Now, tell me that you do not find something desperately wrong in a society that will remember an inanimate object while forgetting a living being?

And I am not picking on people, and I am not making light of it and we all forget sometimes, but the numbers of kids that have died in this way, just this year, is horrifying and it just disturbs me to no end that people will go for the phone as a safety net, not to mention the “don’t forget your kid” apps.

And it can be clocked over the period of decades that desensitization started slowly and with pure stealth started creeping into human hearts.

We have now seen so much on television and through movies, murder after murder, robberies, torture, rapes, kidnappings, you name it, most have seen it.

People cursing and using vulgarity like a first language, this was once shunned, but now it seems that spouting “F” this and “F” that and the host of every other crude, lewd, and absolutely rude term is common every day usage.

Abortions and pride in those abortions is now foremost as most imitating these behaviors are imitating those who they “admire”  and if “they” do it, it must be right.

Now we need the added “social” ease of depending on technology to purchase our groceries, goods, and takeout’s and never have to deal with one of those ghastly humans that we may have to actually talk to.

And I think those are fabulous programs for those who actually may need them, but just to avoid human interaction…

Please don’t buy into to more desensitization’s because it is getting to the point that you will not even miss human contact and that should be terrifying.

BTW, some of the adjectives and verbs  according to online dictionaries defining desensitized, speak loud and clear, check it: “numbed, senseless, stunned, anesthetized, drugged, dazed, insensible, cold-blooded, compassionless, merciless, heartless, stony, dead, deadened,” and the Mc Daddy, which is: “Having or showing a LACK of sympathy or tender FEELINGS.”

So… that speaks for itself, but here is the verse that explains the condition this will lead to: “Having the UNDERSTANDING darkenedbeing alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them (being totally unware), because of the blindness (hardening) of their heart; Who being PAST feeling” Ephesians 4:18,19a

We are quite capable of reaching the point that we are past feeling, no longer have an ounce of compassion, or caring, or even common, human sympathy toward another.

As 1 Timothy 2:2b describes what eventually happens to the conscience, “seared with an hot iron.”

Which gets you right back to being deadened, as described in 2 Timothy 3:3a, Without NATURAL affection…”

Meaning even basic common decency has gone out the door.

And people can really give themselves over and refuse the word of the Lord to the point that they become reprobated, they have crossed the line, to the point of no return, which is the beginning of the walk to Armageddon, and you can already smell the smoke rising.

I know the better part of the world laughs hysterically at us for trying to give the warnings that God left us to give, and are like, “Yeah, seriously some angel dude coming out of a bottomless pit…”

Well, yeah, seriously, and Jesus Christ and the whole Host of Heaven coming down out of the sky, {let that sink in} and then you come back and account for me the beginning of your soul, tell me your memories of being in your mother’s womb, tell me the moment your soul was created and until then, don’t be so sure you know everything, because those points alone, prove that you do not.

And in the meantime, don’t write off humans and human interaction, because we are human and we need those interactions, because once you take the human out of the equation, all you are left with is inhumane.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

Smoke Rising

“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon (DESTRUCTION) but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon (DESTROYER).” Revelation 9:11  

How much hatred are we witnessing at the moment? We are now fighting, killing, hurting each other for NOTHING more than political VIEWS and PERSONAL choices and there is the secret.. VIEWS and CHOICES, and ALL under the umbrella of PEACE and free speech and rights and yet in those “peaceful” protests, things become nasty, and things become deadly and tempers flare fast becoming fury, whose fiery fuel now ignites what were once dying coals of hatred and prejudice and the smoke of his soon rising bellows up out of that pit.

The greatest deception of all is that any of this is in the name of peace.

There are groups I especially detest.. with an absolute passion, ones who think they they are “supreme” and groups who feel that somehow they are superior to any other living being, they learn that hate and it is passed on from generation to generation and the spread like the disease that hatred truly is.

BUT I understand that the line between assertion and aggression is a line rarely negotiated well by humans and a line that without divine guidance, and direction will lead to DESTRUCTION.

We have crossed the line as society in saying that we want peace and we want our rights respected, and even DEMAND that, but we can not demand respect and we can never force anyone to agree with us or change their heart of hate, only God can do that and once we are met, not with an understanding compassion for our views, but rather met with hatred and violence and counter-protest, no matter the subject, then that rejection to our demanded rights will only intensify and breed MORE hatred.

And that is EXACTLY what the enemy wants, that is the precise design of plan.

This teaching SHOULD apply to everyone, Christian or not, Jesus said in part of His teaching in Matthew 7:6 …..Cast not your pearls before swine, lest thy trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you and what that means is precious things and things of wisdom and if you throw them out in front of a brute beast who has no caring about them OR their worth, all that will happen is those pearls will be trampled, driven into the mud by their rushing hooves and then they will attack you.

They DON’T suddenly have a change of heart or see a different point of view, they still only trample, tear, and DESTROY.

This verse cross references to Proverbs 9:7,8: “He that reproveth a scorner (scoffer) getteth to HIMSELF shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot ( ONLY HARMS HIMSELF)

Reprove NOT a scorner, lest HE HATE THEE:

Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”

As you see if we try to change the thinking of someone who is dead set in those thoughts and have no DESIRE to change because they think that they are right and everyone else is the problem, they will only hate us and attack us further.

ONLY someone who is ALREADY wise can be reasoned with and no amount of reasoning is going to take place in the middle of a riot with mob mentality because you can not separate people long enough to ever discern WHO may be open to a different view.

And I can guarantee you that no changes are going to take place in the minds of those already angry and belligerent, this is why “anger RESTS in the bosom of fools”, anger makes us crazy, and it makes us do and say things we may not otherwise, therefore allowing IT to make “fools” of us.

And when we allow the hate and wickedness of others to spew out onto us in turn CAUSING us to equally HATE them, that destruction is par for the course and satan is a mastermind at taking something in the name of justice and using it to produce the SAME effect in people whose hearts were ONCE in the right place.

But HATE IS HATE, WHETHER WE HAVE A “RIGHT” TO HATE OR NOT.

At the end of the day it is still the same emotion and it still leads to destruction for everyone involved. no matter whose side they are or were on.

Ephesians 2:2,3: “Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course (age) of his world, ACCORDING TO THE POWER OF THE PRINCE OF THE AIR, the SPIRIT that NOW WORKETH  IN (works through) THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE: (Children referring NOT to actual children, but those who belong to, or “born” of disobedience to God’s word)

Among whom also we ALL HAD our conversation (conducted ourselves) in TIMES PAST in the lusts of our flesh and OF THE MIND: and were BY NATURE children of WRATH, EVEN as others.” 

The prince of the air he is referring to, that works in all this hate IS the same old devil, that Jesus told us, without doubt came only to DESTROY. 

And we are doing the job for him and maybe we need to take stock as humans, so we really have to ALWAYS be right?

Are our views the ONLY views? Are there things we say that we really don’t have to say? There are times to stand, but there are also times we can fall into the trap of “lusts”, desires of OUR MIND to be right, and even when we ARE right we still need God’s word as guidance:

Matthew 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.

Point blank, children of God or children of disobedience and wrath (anger) but we ARE the children of “who”, better thought of as “what” we yield ourselves to and what we have allowed to be birthed in us and we know that hate is taught.

Babies are born perfectly innocent, perfectly equal, but hate can also be spawned by becoming a little to “close” to what we view as hate in others.

Deadly territory  and well worth guarding yourself against. God will reign victorious and until His return there will be no peace on this earth, but you can have peace through Him in your life. 

You can do much more good by using that peace and PRAYING for the compassion of the “haters’ to be stirred and that God would open their eyes to truth, than you can ever do by exchanging angry words with them, because all this is accomplishing is ushering in what WILL be loosed from that pit.

As hatred starts rising from hearts, and minds as  a small puff of black smoke, darkening, and choking as it grows bigger and bigger, forming itself more until it forms wings that will wrap around mankind and this world in the last days darkening hearts, and souls and who do we blame then?

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω nbj 2017

Related subjects: Police State  &    Sex & Violence

 

 

Original post: 08/20/2017 Revisited for series 07/28/2019

“Bettin’ your Boots”

“My son IF thou be SURETY  FOR THY FRIEND, (vouch for, stand in guarantee for) IF thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger (“shook on it” made a deal with,) Thou art snared with (you are bound by) the words of THY mouth, thou art taken (trapped captive) with the words of THY mouth.” Proverbs 6:1,2

Now, I really can’t plead deep revelation for this post but inspiration came while having my usual breakfast of four cups black coffee to one big bowl of ice cream, now that’ll get ya goin.. or future health issues, not sure yet.. 🙂 but I’ll go with “get ya goin morning goodness”!

Anyway, me and sweetie usually watch morning news but this morning I put it on westerns for him, we have a pretty good deal, I walk by and he is watching something and brains are being splattered by Van Damme or Seagal, or someone being ran through with a sword, the stuff I lived for as former entertainment, and I can’t blame that one on my brothers, they’d be out playing and I would be stuck in front of the TV watching Robin Hood and the Musketeers, and I know if it is staring me in the face, I’ll sit down and end up watching it now and God does not want that, there is nothing productive for the Kingdom in filling our minds with violence, it only achieves the opposite.

But anyway, he would be watching, you know the “classics” but NOW, I’m like.. “OH! My goodness, WHAT are you watching! DON’T let THOSE words in my house, HONEY!” and so we tried closed captions and I walk by, ALWAYS at the right time… and be all “AH, they are STILL coming into my house, even without sound!” “Oh and the VIOLENCE!”

So we are now resigned to faith-based shows, home, family, and of course your old tried and true western’s, which I detested growing up but now how found a special nostalgic place in my heart for their “cleanliness” anyway.. any good western “worth its spit” has to have a good old-fashioned rigged card game set up by some ornery, good for nothin’ swindler, who aims to cheat all the hard-working ranch hands out of even their last hard-earned dime… and in this baby, even their boots.

My inspiration came when one of the main characters finally bought the PERFECT boots, they were grand and he wasn’t even the one WHO WAS gambling, it was his friend, “pardner”, uncle, something like that… you know someone whose OPINION would matter, someone who would have INFLUENCE over the actions of another.

And the one who was DOING the gambling and had lost all his money wanted TO BET the boots of the one who “didn’t even have a horse in that race” and after some slick talkin’ and the young one cottoned up to ‘im.

He LET him BET his boots.

And I thought, that is all kinds of crazy, and in real life, WHY would we ever do that? WHY would we let someone who is obviously not running their own life very well, drag us into their mess and USE what is ours to make even a bigger mess?

But you know what, we do it and we can do it and NOT even realize we are doing it.

Get some clarity going on here… the Bible teaches us to be good to everyone, to share, to care, to help, and to shoulder another’s burdens with them, Jesus taught us that if someone asks us to walk one mile that we SHOULD go the extra step and walk two miles with them.

BUT those teachings are about our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are in the household of the Lord. And I have friends right now who have helped me and my family out beyond anything we could have imagined during our recent medical issues and one friend in particular who opened a door that I desperately needed and I am forever grateful.

So I want to be clear that what I am referring to is this.. when people are in SIN and deceptive practices, you CAN NOT be part of that with them. God blesses us for helping others with upright causes, but HE WILL NEVER BLESS SIN,OR DECEPTION.

And sometimes there are people who are NOT what you may think and they are NOT who you may think they are and fond feelings for people and hearts of compassion and wanting to help another out can actually lead you into meeting up with “a snake in the grass” and sometimes “bettin’ your boots” and LOSING something that means everything to you.

That is why that scripture WARNS us that if we fall into that trap we will be SNARED by that trap.

No one likes trappers and no one wants trapped, so it is IMPORTANT to watch out for them so that you don’t put your foot in one.

So maybe today, you are in a situation that someone is asking you to so something or help them do something, or be part of something that you KNOW is not good, not right and maybe they are playing on your sympathy or threatening you with the loss of that relationship if you don’t ride that long, dusty trail with them.

But a true friend, someone who is REALLY worth your time, your compassion, your help would NEVER ask you to so something wrong or sacrifice something of yours for the sake of something they DESIRE or a scheme that they have hatched.

Love PROTECTS and love DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN, that means they would look out for you, not put a price on what you can do for them.

So watch out for it and I am sure the “gambler” who wants to lay bets PAID FOR BY YOU will get mad and have a “burr in his saddle” and maybe even “hit the dusty trail” and “ride on into the sunset” right on out of your life, let ’em ride!

No one needs users and God does NOT want His children used!

1 Timothy 5:22:…..NEITHER BE PARTAKER of (do NOT SHARE IN) OTHER MEN’S (people) SINS: KEEP THYSELF PURE.”

Of course in the show the buddy kept his word and got the dude’s boots back, because cowboys always kept their word.

But life is not a television show and cowboys may not always have their buddies backs and those snakes in the grass can really bite into your life spreading fangfuls of pure poison and the worst part.. you don’t always get your boots backs, usually those babies are lost and they are lost forever, so keep them on your own feet!

Enough said?

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Original post 2017 Revisited 07/25/2019 

“He will forever be”

FOR EVER, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

Thy faithfulness IS  unto all generations; thou hast established the earth and it abideth. They continue unto this day ACCORDING to thine ordinances: for ALL are thy servants.” Psalm 119:89-91

Isaiah 9:2: “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.”

John 8:12: “THEN spake JESUS AGAIN unto them, saying, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the LIGHT OF LIFE.

1 John 1:5:  “THIS then IS the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God IS light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” 

This post is the absolute cumulative message of my entire ministry. If no thought were ever provoked, no scripture heart embedded, no sword ever given, not one seed planted, nothing watered, if every word fell upon deaf ears and blinded eyes, I do pray that this one will be received with spiritual hearing and the spiritual sight given to the saints.

I had asked the Lord once to allow me to just be, even to one person, the difference that the words of another had been to me. When I was seeking, as I always refer to it (and I have many times) “trying to be saved”, I would listen and listen to Christian programs and ministers and finally one hit something that stayed with me, a word that I desperately needed and a Bible story that I had NEVER ever heard, changed my life and gave me something I had not been able to find, HOPE.

The story was about Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed and the ram being caught in the thicket as the “replacement” sacrifice and the name JEHOVAH-JIREH because the Lord ALWAYS provides and He provided HIS OWN SON as sacrifice for our sin, my sin, your sin, the sin of the entire world, every sin ever committed or ever to be committed.

HE bore it all and the HOPE in that message, the HOPE that God really DOES see and He really DOES care and no matter what we have been through or are going through or the future holds.

Once I was saved and knew Him, something came flooding back to my mind, one of those moments of  “I wish I knew then what I know now”, I had a dream, and the Bible does say, if it was a dream, tell it as a dream because we have to be so careful ass to what we attribute the Lord’s name to, so anyway, I was probably around eleven, maybe twelve and I had the strangest dream, it was solid black, no color, no light, just solid blackness, and I heard a voice and the voice said, “I am the I am that is” and that was it.I woke up and I was so disturbed and troubled and told my family.

After I was saved I was praying and I was like God why didn’t you tell me that was you, and as quick as that went through my mind, it came back to my mind, that I HAD been told. Even the name of the person who told me came flooding back, I had this dream during like an afternoon nap and my brother had a friend who came right after I woke up and was telling my family and he said, “Maybe it was God.” and I was like “Why on earth would God be in darkness?” and wouldn’t God say He was God, and why would He talk to me? The friend went on to tell me that He referred to Himself as “I AM” in the Old Testament, anyway, I truly just didn’t think anymore of it until I got saved.

And I think we ALL do that sometimes when God is trying to get our attention in the world and we have our thoughts as to what these encounters would be like. I now have no question about it and it has been my ministry message mission.

I was only STILL stumped by one fact. WHY was it dark? Tried to figure that one out for years and I do believe I know now. IT IS DARK.

It was NOT this dark when I was saved, but everyday it gets darker and darker and we can all attest to the fact that there is things going on that no one would have ever believed would be allowed to be called Christian and atrocities committed so far beyond our comprehension that we should be grateful for the desensitization from some of it, or our minds would fry.

This world IS covered in darkness, peoples hearts are dark, their thoughts are dark and EVEN in the face of absolute darkness, ONE TRUTH remains, JESUS IS.

He IS the voice in the darkness, HIS IS the voice that will shout with the TRUMP of God, HIS IS the voice that in unison with His bride will send out that FINAL invitation of salvation before and it IS HIS voice of judgment the entire world will hear upon His return.

And for all the thoughts and sermons done on the marvelous works of old and His great overthrows of Pharaoh and all the hosts of enemies who troubled His chosen throughout the ages, we need to remember something, HE IS NOT ONLY THE GOD WHO WAS…HE IS THE GOD WHO STILL IS!

And though the world is much worse and we are much less sensitive to his “voice” because our ears can never get away from the noises, sounds, and confusions of this world, HE STILL IS and only in calling on WHO HE IS in these times are we going to see change and deliverance and I promise you, for every single trouble or situation, demon, or foe, there IS a scripture of “God IS….” to counter every attack and make His voice known even in the pit of blackness and we know that there has never been such a time as this for the night watchmen and all those who sit captive to that darkness.

We sometimes become temporarily “blinded” in that darkness and smoke of the enemies pit and we are so busy groping, trying to find our way through that, that we can fail to hear the voice calling out the direction back into the places of light and clarity. That is the importance of following Him, as He said we will have the LIGHT of LIFE, His light, the LIGHT we can share with others, as His light shines upon them also.

One thing will NEVER change, HE WAS. HE IS. AND HE WILL FOR EVER BE. “He is the I AM that Is”, I really want to drive that message home.

This world IS dark, He IS light, this world hurts, He IS comfort, This world is uncertain, He IS peace, This world is death, He IS the resurrection from the dead. This world will betray you, He IS the one who will never leave or forsake you.

And He IS Blessed forevermore. And HE IS the Blessing, the hope, the security of those in the darkness of this world.  HIS name IS the ointment poured forth and it IS HE who has risen with healing in His wings and it IS His name whose proclamation will make seas roar and mountains tremble and HIS name whose power sets the captive free and as you pray for those captives :

Psalm 124:6-8: “ BLESSED  be the Lord who hath NOT given us as prey to their teeth; Our soul IS escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; The snare IS broken, and we ARE escaped. Our help IS in the NAME of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

His name holds ALL power: John 17:4-6:  “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus saith them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 

As SOON then as HE HAD SAID UNTO THEM, I AM HE, they went backwards (drew back) and fell to the ground.”

Many times Jesus told them exactly who He WAS and IS. The book of John starts with the verse: “IN THE BEGINNING  WAS the Word, and the WORD WAS WITH GOD, and the WORD WAS GOD.”

Just in this one Book, not to mention the other books, He makes these statements, to the woman at the well, I that speak unto thee, am he.” When he came walking on the sea to the disciples, he said, “It is I, be not afraid.” He also stated, “For the bread of God IS he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” And as they asked for the bread He responded, ” I am  THE bread of life”  and again, “I am THAT bread of life” and  “I am the LIVING bread” 

So many statements it would be impossible to list them here, so we’ll wrap it up with the wrap up of the revelation, the disclosure of it all, and if you will notice in your Bible the word Revelation is capitalized in the first verse, meaning that this word is NOT just a title, it is so much more, it IS the revelation that Jesus had and gave of all that would be!

Revelation 1: 1-18: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew (show) his servants things which shortly (quickly) come to pass; and he sent and confirmed it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and THEY THAT HEAR the words of this prophecy, and KEEP those things which ARE WRITTEN therein: for the time is at hand.

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace for him which IS and which WAS and which IS TO COME: and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who IS the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.  And hath made us kings and priest unto God and his Father; TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER. A-MEN’.

BEHOLD HE COMETH WITH THE CLOUDS; AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, AND THEY ALSO WHICH PIERCED HIM: AND ALL KINDREDS OF THE EARTH SHALL WAIL BECAUSE OF HIM. Even so, A-men I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY. 

I John, who ALSO am your brother, and the companion in tribulation(persecutions), and IN the kingdom and patience (perseverance) of Jesus Christ, was in the isle of Patmos, for the word of God (banished for preaching) and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I was IN the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me, and BEING turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt (girded) around the paps (chest) with a golden girdle (band).

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned (were refined) in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars; and OUT of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and HIS COUNTENANCE WAS AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH. And when I saw him, I FELL AT HIS FEET as dead.

And HE LAID HIS RIGHT HAND UPON ME, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. A-men; and have the keys to hell and of death.”

It is hard not to notice that John, like Moses, WAS TURNED to pay attention to what God wanted to enlighten them too. And we also see that John suffered great persecutions because of the testimony and word of Christ, and he held to the promises of an eternal reward for that present suffering, which serves as a great reminder that if you want the promises of God on your life, you must be completely given to him, none of the candy coat business or seeking God when we need him, no, it has to be everything to Him.

And we end on the same note that we started, and as God spoke the very light into existence, He will speak it into this darkness of earth:

Revelation 22:12-16:And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward IS with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed ARE they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city. For without (outside) are dogs (depraved men, and sorcerers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (liars).

I Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto YOU these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Remember two things in life, when everything else fades away, HE IS and HE WILL FOR EVER BE.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017          Related posts:  Majesty    HE IS THE I AM     Undeniable  

Original post date: 07/05/2017*    Revisited  07/2019                                                                                         

When in Rome…

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 

According as his DIVINE POWER hath GIVEN unto us ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness, THROUGH the knowledge of him that HATH CALLED US TO GLORY AND VIRTUE.

Whereby ARE GIVEN unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption THAT IS IN THE WORLD through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4 

Lovin’ the old saying…”When in Rome… you know… “do as the Romans.” But I want to give you a slightly different take on it as we go into a new year.

We all know that when the clock strikes midnight, December 31st, no magic star-dust will be falling from the sky, we also know that Cinderella’s dress really doesn’t mystically transform back into soot covered, tattered rags.

But most do hold it as time is called on the stop watch of old and a new countdown is set for the future.

Which is why I always just go with it. I believe in HOPE and my HOPE is in the Lord but I will take a little extra encouragement wherever I can find it!

So here we go.. “When in Rome REMEMBER that while everyone was doing as everyone else.. Rome FELL!

Let’s check out our scriptures. Our starter verse greets us with the blessing of praying that grace and peace be multiplied to us! But we are quickly REMINDED that the multiplication of THAT grace and THAT peace comes IN the knowledge of God.

What is the knowledge of God? I personally believe that it would be keeping Him first and foremost in our hearts and our minds and most of all our EVERYDAY lives. Now that is NOT always easy!

But we know that he also PROMISED that he would “keep in PERFECT peace” those who keep their minds on Him. Making time every day to read at least one scripture or devotional. If you do not have morning time to read for yourself, sign up for daily verse emails (my husband reads his aloud for our family) and even social medias have many pages that offer this.

Another great way to stay spiritually fed while multi-tasking is to consider CD’s or electronic devices that you can listen to while driving, cleaning, or while doing almost anything.

It is also great to listen to good, Bible based preaching BUT it is so important to get the actual WRITTEN WORD of God in your Spirit. When we get the Word of God on the “tables of our heart” God uses that to reveal to us what He is saying to us PERSONALLY, not just as it had been revealed to one of His ministers.

I am in no way kicking that, that is His intention by having those who are called to preach the Gospel. But sometimes He will reveal a certain take on a scripture just for you for a certain season or particular battle.

Think about His statement from John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

We  have to have His word in us so that it can be brought back to our remembrance because we have can no memory of that which we have not learned. this is one of those when in Rome areas, we can not rest our knowledge of Christ solely upon what is being taught to us.

We know that currently the world is full of false teaching concerning God and especially concerning holiness and acceptable behaviors.  This gets us into our verse dealing with the fact that we have BEEN CALLED OUT of this world.

We are no longer partakers of the world and the sins and snares thereof. A life that we could not free ourselves from BUT a life in which we are called into.

A life that has been GIVEN by absolute DIVINE power that allows to overcome those snares and traps to live inside that realm of virtue and the blessed state of His glory shining on our lives, in the midst of even the darkness of this world.

And these are those promises, that we are called out and called into Him and that through him and His promises that we will escape the lusts of this world that corrupts us.

Think about the word lust.. not the just the sexual sense. The sexual sense is actually the LEAST of the lusts we have to battle. it simply means DESIRE and think of all the desires our flesh has to battle… daily.

The desire of life, the desire of work, the desire to excel in whatever we have chosen. The desire for monetary gains, the desire for popularity, the desire to be liked, loved, needed, or even the desire to be pretty, articulate, even the desire to be “desirable” NOT in the lustful sense but in the attractive sense.

Even the desire to be competitive, the desire to get even, the desire to be “one up” on a foe.  ANYTHING, any emotion, any thought, ANYTHING has the potential to BECOME lustful if not carefully checked against the word of God. 

That was the trouble with the  ancient Romans. They actually took their ideas for their society from the Greeks. They just made everything BIGGER and BETTER than what the Greeks had. The Greeks worshipped twelve “gods’ so the Romans added two and worshipped fourteen.

They built their society based on the thoughts and ideas stolen from the Greeks and as we all know became the world power of the day.

But we also know when it fell.. “great was the fall” and will never again rise to its former stature. We, as a society, take our cues from the media and entertainment, and most horrifically the voice that cries the loudest.

Often thoughts and ideas of a very small group of people become force-fed into mainstream population by the media and soon EVERYONE is EXPECTED to conform to that thought or image, when it is not actually even the popular thought.

It is time to relinquish the societal control that we allow to dictate our lives, thoughts, and desires BACK to God so that we can TRULY be conformed to His will, HIS purpose and most of all HIS divine nature.

So “destroy” that influence over your life in the coming new year. basically, if it does not honor God, do not give it honor by allowing whatever that force is to influence your life. If you are doing or seeing anything that you could not see or do with Jesus beside you.. then simply do not allow that to have any place in your thoughts, life, or family.

Check out what He told the Hebrews, Deuteronomy 7:2-6: “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them, thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they WILL turn away thy son FROM FOLLOWING ME, that they may serve other gods, so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

But thus (here’s how) ye shall deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

For thou ART (you are) AN HOLY (set apart) PEOPLE UNTO GOD; THE LORD THY GOD HATH CHOSEN THEE TO BE A SPECIAL PEOPLE (treasure) UNTO HIMSELF, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth.”

As you see THIS is the word of God. HE IS telling us through it that just as the Hebrews were to NOT to have any dealings whatsoever ever with those who were their enemies that we are to NOT have any dealings whatsoever with those things today that ARE our SPIRITUAL enemies.

And notice that He did INCLUDE our children and what we allow to influence them and HE told us in no uncertain terms that exposure to these enemies would lead to REBELLION against Him. That we are to DESTROY those things out of our lives BECAUSE He has called us as His. And fortunately for us, it is much easier NOW to remove those spiritual enemies by making our choices based on His teachings.

So don’t let this world influence your life, you influence the world by living your life for Him!

Finally a couple of quick notes… WHY did Cinderella’s shoes NOT change when everything else did in that fairy-tale? Anyone else ever wonder about that 🙂 ?

Also if you are reading internationally, please know that this title and reference to the old saying and ancient Rome in NO WAY reflects my feelings toward Rome… or Romans, this has been completely symbolic.

Rome is a beautiful place that I would love to visit one day!

And I also wanted to thank you all again from the bottom of my heart for reading this past year and it is my sincerest prayer that you be blessed with new revelations, new joy, and the happiness and peace that can only be found in a true personal relationship with our Lord and Creator Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Amen!

Original post date: 12/28/2017 But sometimes it is good to be reminded.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Psalm119: A Study Guide

The languages of the earth. Beautiful, flowing languages, beautiful words and every word built upon letters, symbols. Alphabets forming to create logic, express, emotion, and for us, just as the moment Moses came down with the Ten Commandments…words given us to know the will of God and to know the requirements for staying inside that will.

The I AM in Hebrew, The Alpha and Omega in the Greek, to fit perfectly together to become, I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, which was, and which is to come the Almighty.” Revelation1:8

John1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

And the sheer force of the word of Jesus living in us, “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones.” Jeremiah 20:9

Revealing ALL that is within us, “For the word of God is quick (ALIVE) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing, even to the dividing asunder (splitting in half) of the soul and the spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a diviner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

So what about a middle “ground” between the Hebrew and the Greek, a PERFECT guidebook, a “crash” course, if you will, in the Word of God, the power of that word, and how to apply it to our everyday life.

A guidebook of quick verses, verses easily remembered by using the “Alphabet of the Alpha and Omega”.

The “alphabet” he designed for ALL of his children, and one easily understood and learned regardless of their native tongues.

It is true in the soon coming future, in the eternal reign of Jesus Christ, we will all have one language, which I personally believe will be Hebrew, but for now, we know that every dot, every “begat”, and every single detailed description and lineage lines were intentionally written as His Spirit moved upon those who he used to pen it.

It is the little details that we often completely overlook, until he intrigues us by letting a certain word or certain name seem to leap from the pages, igniting our curiosity, to answer the old age question, “Why?”

Soon followed by the classics, “Who?”, “What?”, “When?” and then we seek answers to those mysteries.

Nothing in the Bible compares to the mystery that is Psalm one hundred and nineteen! It contains one hundred and seventy-six verses which are divided into stanzas, each stanza represented by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

To unfold this wonderful mystery you will need a copy of the King James Bible, and double check it. Some versions of the New King James Bible still contain the Hebrew but many versions have removed it altogether, but it is impossible to miss because it has the Hebrew character and the name of that character dividing the verses, such as the first group is ” א ALEPH” and it consists of verses one through eight.

So I hope you are digging my groove on it, and I hope you will check it out for yourself, and if you already knew this, disregard it, this is for everyone else who may not.

And of course I can’t give you all one hundred and seventy-six verses, so I wanted to highlight it for you.

The literal “ABC’s” of the word of God and the power it holds. I give you one from each letter, followed by the verse reference number.

א ALEPH  “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” Psalm119:1

“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”  Psalm119:2

ב BETH “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” Psalm 119:10

“I will delight myself in thy statues: I will not forget thy word.” Psalm119:16

ג GIMEL “Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.” Psalm119:17

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Psalm 119:18

ד DALETH “My soul cleaveth unto dust: quicken (REVIVE) thou me according to thy word.” Psalm 119:25

“I will run in the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” Psalm 119:32

ה  HE “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken (REVIVE) me in the way.” Psalm 119:37

“Behold, I have longed after thy precepts, quicken (REVIVE) me in thy righteousness.” Psalm 119:40

ו  VAU  “Let thy mercies come also unto me, O,Lord even thy salvation according to thy word.” Psalm 119:41

ז  ZAIN “This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me (given me life).” Psalm 119:50

“I have remembered thy judgments of old, O, Lord, and have comforted myself.” Psalm 119:52

“Thy statues have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” Psalm 119:54

“I have remembered thy name, O, Lord, in the night, and I have kept thy law.” Psalm 119:55

ח  CHETH “Thou art my portion, O, Lord; I have said that I would keep thy word.” Psalm 119:57

ט  TETH “The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.’ Psalm 119:72

י   JOD  “Thy hands have fashioned (created) me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.” Psalm 119:73

ך  CAPH “Quicken (REVIVE) me after thy lovingkindness: so shall I keep thy commandments.” Psalm 119:88

ל   LAMED “For ever, O, Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89

ם   MEM “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Psalm 119:103

נ   NUN “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

“I am afflicted very much: quicken (REVIVE) me, O, Lord, according to thy word.” Psalm 119:107

ע  AIN “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.” Psalm 119:125

ף  PE   “Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Psalm 119:133

“Make thy face to shine on thy servant; and teach me thy statues.” Psalm 119:135

צ  TZADDI “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” Psalm 119:140

ק  KOPH  “Hear my voice according to thy lovingkindness: O, Lord, quicken (REVIVE) me according to thy judgments.” Psalm119:149

ר  RESH   ‘Plead my cause, and deliver me; quicken (REVIVE) me according to thy word.” Psalm 119:154

“Great are thy tender mercies, O, Lord, quicken (REVIVE) me according to thy judgments.” Psalm 119:156

“Consider how I love thy precepts, quicken (REVIVE) me, O, Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.” Psalm119:159

ש  SCHIN  “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them (cause them to stumble).” Psalm 119:174

ת  TAU “I have longed for thy salvation, O, Lord and thy law is my delight.” Psalm119:174

The POWERFUL, LIVING word of the eternal God, Jehovah.

And in his word you will find comfort, healing, blessings, and hope. And in these passages you will see a common thread. REVIVAL, the reviving of our minds, our souls, and our hearts and that is something we can all use!

Originally posted FOWC 08//08/2014 Revisited and revamped 07/19/2019

Φλογίζω NBJ 2019

Praying this will give you comfort in whatever storm you may be going through or help you focus on the clearing skies if you are just coming out of one. So, Love & Peace till next time! Have a blessed week! And as always THANK YOU for stopping by and giving me a moment out of your day!

Something else that may be of interest: THE WORD

“Nudging the Neo-Nicolaitanes”

“I am he that liveth, and was dead: and behold I am alive for evermore., Amen. and have the keys of hell and of death.

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things  which shall be hereafter (take place).

The mystery (a hidden truth) of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks (lampstands). 

The seven stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:18-20  

About those messengers, messengers whose job is to relay these messages from God’s word.

All of his warning and his encouragement and I have pointed this out and will continue to, but I love the fact that Jesus gives the good news and the encouragement when addressing the churches then the warnings of what must change or consequences will come.

Consequences such as having those candlesticks removed from his precense.

And he is telling us what has went on, what is currently going on, and what is on the way. So what happened?

Why do we live in such a day that there are teachings so contrary to the Word of God, that once upon a time, no one would have dared to pervert the Word of God, or purposely distort scriptures to fit their own frame, making them appear to mean something in complete opposition to his teachings.

Satan has crept in with the nonsense that in order to “convert” people to Christ, that Christ must be “presented” as a desirable influence in lives and that he is so interested in their acceptance of him, that the majority of his word is now suddenly in our modern age completely void. That his commandment are merely an option, that is open to their interpretation and to the convenience of those commandments in their life.

That Jesus is okay with anything we want to do, any way we want to live, that his is so desperate for us to worship him that he will allow us to walk all over his word, that all that matters to him is that our flesh is happy and accepted.  How insulting is that?

People are not only insulting him, but insulting and negating everything he did on the cross, and the most horrifying of all, absolutely insulting his Holiness by teaching and believing that somehow humanism is of a higher regard than divine authority.

NONE of that is correct!  It could not be any farther from the truth.

And to address the common argument that that these teachings are by the disciples (this is an especially lacking argument considering that the Bible actually says this: 2 Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old (any) time by the will of man: but holy men OF God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

And that is our major obstacle right now, those who wish to dispute the Bible and pick and choose verses and interpret those verses based on human thinking, God has to give the understanding of those verses and there are many aspects to different stories and those stories and teaching are purposefully distributed through many different books and chapters. 

Which is why the Bible asks this in Romans 10:14,15: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And HOW shall they preach, except they be SENT…?”

The field is so open now that any one can say anything and people listen and never question are these teachers SENT?

Are they really of God? If anyone teaches anything contrary to the written word of God, they are not of God.

Just as the stories in the Bible such a Balaam, a false prophet, whom God overruled and forced him to carry out divine will in not allowing him to curse Israel but made him to bless Israel.

Just because titles are prophet, teacher, minister, whatever, doesn’t mean that they are sent from Jehovah God. There are countless scriptures dealing with the false teachers and God actually tells us to “mark” false prophets, meaning that they will come and when they make proclamation that do not come to pass, take note and know that God did nots end them and do not listen to them any further.

Actually, just let me give you that because this is, in my opinion, one of the biggest downfalls today, listening to the wrong voices.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 : “When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shat not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any that maketh his son or is daughter to pass through the fire (sacrificed to an idol), or that useth divination (physics), or an observer of the times, (fortune telling), or and enchanter, or a witch, (sorcery), {BTW, no such thing as white “magic” it is all black} Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits (medium), or a wizard, or a necromancer (“channeling” the dead).

For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord: And because of these abominations the Lord God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect (blameless) with the Lord thy God.

For these nations, which thou shalt possess (dispossess), hearkened unto (listened to and followed) observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord God hath not suffered thee so to do (appointed you to do these things).”

Now here is why, picking up at Deuteronomy 18:15,16: “The Lord God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren,like unto me: unto him thou shalt hearken;

According to all that thou desirest of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see his great fire any more, that I die not.”

And what God was saying here is that they did not want to hear him or see him because they were afraid because they knew by the greatness of his power that he had no equal, and he is telling that that he would send one, like him, just as he confirmed when Jesus was transfigured (Matthew 17:1-9) and they heard the voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” 

Now for God telling us to hear this Prophet, which we know is referencing Jesus Christ and he also warns us to be cautious when listening to others, even though they may say that they are speaking on his behalf.

Deuteronomy 18:18-18: ” I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I command him. 

And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto my words, which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him (meaning he will hold those who do listen to Jesus accountable).

But the prophet which shall PRESUME to speak in a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 

And if thou shat say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath NOT spoken? 

When  a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow NOTnor come to pass (if it doesn’t happen) that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him.” 

Okay now, we know that God sent Jesus, and Jesus is the final word on all subjects. I want to take you back to Revelation, when Jesus is addressing the churches. Think about this, he IS talking to the churches, these are those who are in his house and he is telling us what has to go, what has to change, as we get these “houses” in order for the soon approaching end day.  

SEVERAL times in these messages he mentions Nicolitanes, he mentions his hatred for their actions and he also mentions Balaam and Jezebel and the “children” of Jezebel, children here meaning those who do as she did, not literally children.  I will just be highlighting a few of these seven churches.

Revelation 2:12-16