“To Conquer Condemnation”

“And he shewed (showed) me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist (oppose) him. 

And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord doth rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this the branch which was plucked out of the fire?  

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.

And he answered and spake (spoke) unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with a change of raiment (rich robes).” Zechariah 3:1-4

Notice how the enemy, the adversary is standing right there to oppose this change that the Lord was making.  Even though his clothing was filthy, God was in the process of changing it all.

Often when we commit to Christ, the enemy, others, and often our own minds have a way of trying to convince that we have not really been changed, that we just thought we were saved, and then comes the list of past sins, failures, or mistakes since salvation flooding to our minds and it is such a lie form the enemy, just as in our verse above, he opposes God’s children at that point of salvation.

The Book of Revelation spells it out with crystal clarity.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

And prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:7-10

That pretty much tells all their is to tell about the severity and persistence of the enemies constant accusations against God’s people.

I know this often quite a stumbling block for many Christians, especially new ones.

So let’s look at where we all have been.

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe: for there is no difference. 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:22,23

Isaiah 64:6: ” But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags: and we do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

We have all sinned, we all make mistakes and that is the supreme beauty of Jesus, he forgives us, not only for what we did in the past, or even yesterday, but also has grace and forgiveness for today.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Once we are committed to him, nothing can ever separate us, except us.

It is vital to fight against the feeling of condemnation that tries to hinder you, because it does not belong to you!

“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Once we have accepted Christ, everything is washed completely away, we are made new and the past, in God’s view, no longer even exists and if God is so gracious to us, why can we not be gracious to ourselves and accept his wonderful gift of forgiveness?

Finally, I want to leave you with the verse to use to combat the enemy, and even others who may be trying to bring your salvation into question, it does not matter what you did yesterday or even today, if you repented and ask Jesus to forgive you that transgression is now under the blood and does no longer exists, so believe that and have comfort in that and when mistakes happen, get it under the blood and never look back at it again, and use this verse as your standing ground.

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

We are all works in progress, and even those who have been with the Lord fifty years, I am sure still have their moments of struggle and growth, we will never be perfect. He never asked us to be, He is perfect and he is the only one who will ever be.

Don’t let the joy and peace he wants you to have in him be stolen away by the trick of the enemy, just take it day by day.

Philippians 1:6; “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath began a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Christ.”

Bless you and have a great night!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“To Cover It All”

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of the disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

And he said unto them When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:1-4

I love the Lord’s prayer, I use the one from the Book of Matthew, it has just a tad different wording, exact same meaning. 

Before I was saved, I had bought a Bible, I was trying, and many of the words were like a foreign language until God opened it up to me after I was saved, but anyway, this particular Bible had a “helps” section, and one title was listed as, “Jesus’ ideal prayer” and it listed the one from Matthew.

And it has always had such a place in my heart, as I was seeking back then, I was terrified to pray aloud and had no idea what I was doing, and I would call my late sister and ask her to pray with me, and the first time I told her I was “trying to learn how to pray”, and of course she told me she’d love to pray together, she asked me what I wanted to pray, and I told her that this Bible suggested this prayer and she said that would be great, so we would pray the Lord’s prayer evening single evening for probably around a month and a half, and after I was filled with the Holy Ghost, she was my constant prayer partner and we always started out with that prayer.

I was one of those people that had prayed the sinner prayer countless of times but never felt saved, until I received the Holy Ghost, some of us have so much damage that He has to truly come to where we are and pick us up from it all before we quit believing the lies of the devil, and finally know that we are his.

And I had major damage and put the “heth” in heathen!

So, I want to give both, and if you don’t pray either one of these regularly, please memorize the one you feel more comfortable with and make it part of your daily prayer time, of course he hears us always and there is no “special” prayer but this is great to pray to just cover your day, because it literally covers all we need each day.

Matthew 6: 5-15: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 

Be ye not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore ye pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one):

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

The Lord  revealed to me over time that as we pray this, we are starting our prayer, first by acknowledging him, as our Father. we are then showing respect and reverence to his name.

Then we are asking his will be done in earth, as it already is in heaven, which I believe of course, is Earth, our world, but also, the earth that is us, as we made of the earth, as Adam was fashioned from the dust of the ground.

Then we ask for our daily provisions, all that we would need for our daily life, but I also believe this has the added meaning of the spiritual bread, the word of God that we need every single day to have peace, strength, and hope in Him.

Then of course we ask for forgiveness and commit in advance to forgiving others for trespasses that may be inflicted toward us that day.

And we ask to not enter into temptation, and remember this is what Jesus told the disciples to pray when he was about to be arrested, he told them to pray that they not enter into temptation, a time of testing, and then we pray to be delivered from the evil one, protection from the devil and his demonic forces and the evil human forces that he often works through.

Then we end it the way we started, with an acknowledgment of the sovereignty and omnipotence of God, and that his kingdom alone is the kingdom, and has all power and glory.

Thank you for joining me, I do hope this hasn’t been too much of things you already knew, but not everyone has heard these teachings and I know the difference in my life.

God bless you, love & peace till we meet again!

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2022/ Rev. Nina  Brown Johnson

 

“Never So Lost”

“Then drew (came) near unto him all the publicans (tax collectors) and sinners to hear him. 

And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth (welcomes) sinners and eateth with them. 

And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 

And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me: for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just (upright) persons which need no repentance.

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?

And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which was lost.

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:1-10

There is no comfort even close to the comfort in knowing that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and he will leave his flock and search the world over for that one little lamb.

And it does not matter to him, where that lamb has been, what that lamb has done, he doesn’t question the little, harshly berating it and asking, “What is wrong with you!? as we sometimes fear because of human reactions we have endured.

No, He just puts the little lamb on his shoulders, not even willing to further weary it through having to walk back over treacherous terrain, and carries on his own shoulders back to safety among his flock.

Rejoicing with his friends, in our case, truly with the angels of Heaven, themselves who are rejoicing because they know the truth, they know all about the devil and they see all the evil of this earth, they see the little lambs run away, often not because of something they themselves did, but more often what had been done to them, running always because they have been  deceived into falsely believing that God does not love them and God will not forgive them or that if God were real these things would not happen, not understanding that God does not cause these things and only God can undo the damage, giving beauty for ashes healing every hurt, making all things new.

If you are that little lamb today or if you are a little lamb that is struggling with doubts or troubles that are keeping you dangling on a spiritual ledge, please, talk to him, and just whisper his name, he knows where you are and he wants nothing more than to rescue you and I promise, he will never leave you and you will never be the same.

You are never so lost that you can’t be found by the one who created you!

Blessings & Love to you today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

 

 

“Consecrated and Commissioned”

“That thou mightest know the  certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea a certain priest named Zacharias, of the house of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

And they had no child, because Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years (old).

And it came to pass, that while he executed (served) the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

And 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 upon 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 joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall neither drink wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even 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 ready a people prepared for the Lord. 

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby (How) shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife is well stricken in years.

And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew (show) these  glad  tidings,

And behold, thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not be able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall  be fulfilled in their season.”  Luke 1:4-20

I wanted to stop for just a sec, and tell you something, this is a great example of why we shouldn’t always be so quick to beat ourselves up when we sometimes struggle with our own faith.

Dude here, had Gabriel, the angel Gabriel himself standing there, coming on divine assignment from God himself and still he questioned the good news that he had been given, but in his mind, he just struggled with he and Elisabeth’s age, but again gives us yet another wonderful example that age is nothing to God, and impossible is a strictly human word, a word that is not in God’s vocabulary.

As we read, because of his doubt, because he doubted an angel himself, he would be speechless until John was born.

Luke 18:27: “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

As it had been on my heart to do thirty days of the basics, the fundamental teachings and stories of Christ, because to be honest there are so many jacked up twisted versions of what they want to call the Gopsel being taught and spread that it horrifies me.

2 Peter 3:16: ” As also in all his epistles speaking in them these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned (untaught) and unstable wrest (twist) as they do also the other scriptures unto their own destruction.”

Two vital words there unlearned, which means untaught, and unstable. This is referencing those whom we have spoken of in posts past, that whether they even realize or even take it seriously, that by engaging the word of God and using his name and holding “services” completely unrepentant and in complete abomination to him is one of the most dangerous things any human being can do and if they go to far over that line, through their not even understanding his holiness, they could endanger their souls to the point of no forgiveness.

Who teaches us? God. God teaches us through his word and we now have access to even listen to the word being read, completely free online. it is so important to have a personal relationship with God so that he can  use that time to teach us what he would have us to know.

That is why we are taking a good look a John, the one God chose and consecrated  to come first to announce the arrival of the King.

A King must always have an introduction and a people must always know how to behave in the presence of a King.

John was given the Holy Ghost before he was born of his mother, think about that and think about all these abortions, John had already been given his very name, and sanctified and consecrated of the Lord, in the highest form before even leaving his mother’s womb.

I want to now share with you the rest of the story.

Luke 1:57_80: “Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

And his mother answered and said, Not so: but he shall be called John.

And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

And he asked for a writing table (tablet) and wrote his name is John. And they marvelled all. 

And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 

And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad (word spread) throughout all the hill country of Judea.

And all that heard them laid (kept) them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: for he hath visited and redeemed his people.

And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.  

That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.

To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant.

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham.

That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear. 

In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission(forgiveness) of their sins. 

Through the tender mercy of our God: whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us. 

To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  

And the child grew, and waxed (became) strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing to Israel.” 

We can see so clearly through this account the seriousness and holiness of God’s commissions.

His name, the command that he could not consume alcohol, the details of his commission all given to his father before he was even conceived! Now that is powerful and that is God!

We will look at the arrest and execution of John in a later one of our thirty posts.

But for now, I want to leave you with Jesus word’s concerning John, and the job he did and the hope for all who truly love him and keep his word in truth and integrity.

Luke 7:28: “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he is that is least in the kingdom of God is  greater than he.”

Thanks for reading, Love & peace till tomorrow!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

 

“Introduction to the King”

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophets, BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER BEFORE THY FACE, WHICH SHALL PREPARE THE WAY BEFORE THEE. 

THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. 

John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him.

And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of skin (leather belt) about his loins; and he did eat locust and wild honey.

And preached saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 

I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.

And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:1-15

As we begin our adventure into refreshing ourselves through some of the teaching of Jesus, I want to point something out.

One of the main issues today, that has led up to the false teachings that are rampant today leading millions, possibly billions down the wrong path as they have trusted the salvation of their souls to these “teachers” that are either intentionally, for gain, misleading them or having put themselves into a field that they are not qualified for.

To be qualified, you must have a true relationship with Christ, included having repented of sins and accepted his salvation.

If they themselves have never repented, how on earth can they lead others to repentance?

Of course, they teach that anything goes because they do not know the truth of the Gospel, nor do they know the danger that they put not only themselves but those who follow them in.

God is Holy, He changes that for no one.

So I want to give a little of John’s story from multiple Gospel accounts, this I believe is one of the major issues going on, no one can truly understand the word of God unless God reveals it to them by His Spirit, this is why Jesus, when asked by the disciples why he spoke in parables, answered this.

Mark 4:11-12:”And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.

And he said unto, Unto you it is given to know the mystery (secret, hidden truths) of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without (outside) all these things are done in parables.

THAT SEEING THEY MAY SEE, AND NOT PERECEIVE; AND HEARING THEY MAY HEAR. AND NOT UNDERSTAND; LEST AT ANY TIME THEY SHOULD BE CONVERTED, AND THEIR SINS SHOULD BE FORGIVEN THEM.” 

That is why so many will twist scripture and try to argue points when they do not have the complete understanding of what they are miscommunicating to others.

God had the Bible written in such a way, that we can read part of an account in one book and then need to read the rest of the story in one or several other books of the Bible, and some things from the Old Testament are revisited and further explained in the New Testament and vice versa.

That is why we are told to “righty divide the word of Truth”, it is not so easy that they can just pick a book (which they do) and then twist it into their own personal interruption. God has to give us that understanding and in order to have that understanding we have to be in him.

And as they would rather trust in their own “knowledge” and their own “understanding”, he lets them have it their way.

They have the praise of themselves, and of others who are being misled, but they have nothing of God.

Now that we got that out of the way!

I want to give a more detailed account of John, it is good to know these things for ourselves, and it gives us true insight concerning the beginning of Christ’s ministry and the purpose of it.

Luke 3:1-9: “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene.

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto john the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

And he came into all the country about (around) Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance from the remission of sins.  

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.

EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE BROUGHT LOW; AND THE CROOKED SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH WAYS SHALL BE MADE SMOOTH.

AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.

Then said he to the multitudes that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation (offspring) of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father (as an ancestor) for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”

I want to take an injection moment, before we continue, please notice that John was essentially dealing with the problem we have today.

They were arrogantly saying in their hearts that they did not need this salvation, because they were of the lineage of Abraham, trying to use lineage as an excuse for not having to take personal responsibility for the need of repentance.

And he literally called them the offspring of Vipers, snakes, serpents, taught in all things reprobate, never being warned by those who came before, that there was a wrath to be escaped.

He let them know that this was not about having worshippers or servants of the Lord, that God could create heirs for Abraham out of the very rocks if he so chose, that the need for salvation was not needed of God, but needed by them themselves, as that wrath would come and all not producing fruit of the spirit would be sawn down.

This got their attention! Most people want salvation, that is why it is up to us to let them know the truth.

Luke 3:10-22:”And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

He answered and saith unto them, He that hath two coats (tunics), let him impart (give) to him that hath none: and he that hath meat (food), let him do likewise.

Then came also the publicans (tax collectors) to be baptized, and said unto him, Master (Teacher), what shall we do?

And he said unto them, Exact (Collect) no more than that which is appointed you.

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (Do not intimidate or shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. 

And the people were in expectation, and all men mused (reasoned) in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ or not.

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water: but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner (barn);but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. 

And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. 

But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved (rebuked) by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils he had done.

Added this yet above all, that he shut John up in the prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened.

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said Thou art my beloved Son: in thee I am well pleased.”

We’ll get a little more into what went on with John and Herod in another post, but as you see John clearly taught what was acceptable to God. These things were not optional, neither are they optional today.

Lastly, we can see the importance of doing as God requires, as John preached and baptized, warning, and exhorting those who came to him and we see, even, Jesus, in obedience to God, doing the same,

Matthew 3: 13-15: “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and thou comest to me?  

And Jesus answering said to him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered (allowed) Him.”

John did not want to baptize Jesus, because he knew who Jesus was, (and is), he knew he needed Jesus to baptize him, but Jesus told him to do it, to allow it, because it was fitting, Jesus was an example for us and to us, that all righteous must be fulfilled.

If the Word himself kept Word, how do you suppose so many teach that it is negotiable and open to interpretation?  It’s not.

Love & Peace till tomorrow! Thanks for reading!

*Also, I am not shouting! Some scripture is capitalized as it is the Bible to denote it being recited from another passage.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

 

“Epitome of Unassuming Grace”

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre (tomb), and seeth the stone rolled taken away from the sepulchre. 

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple (John), and came to the sepulchre.

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the lines clothes lying, yet went him not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

And the napkin (face cloth), that was about 9around) his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together (folded) in a place by itself.

Then went in also, that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

For as yet, they knew (understood) not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 

Then the disciples went away again unto their own homes. 

But Mary stood without (outside) at the sepulchre weeping; and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre.

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been.

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back (around), and saw Jesus standing there, and knew not that it was Jesus.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seeketh thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto to him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence (carried him away), tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary, She turned herself, and saith unto him Rabboni, which is to say, Master (Teacher).

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

And when he had so said, he shewed (showed) unto them his hands, and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 

Then Jesus said to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 

And he when he had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit (forgive) they are remitted (forgiven) unto them: and whose soever sins  ye retain, they are retained.

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

The other disciple therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except (Unless) I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 

And after eight days again his disciples were within (inside), and Thomas was with themthen came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet they believe. 

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciple, which are not written in this book.

But these are written, that ye might (will) believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might (will) have life through his name.” John 20:1-31

Even with the millions, billions of words in our human language that could be used to describe Jesus, there are still none that would ever completely describe His grace.

The grace that He extends to us as we try to find our way, as our human thinking tries so unsuccessfully to understand the absolute miraculous

I love so much about the accounts above, they all suffered the same doubts, as all humans would, when faced with his death, a death that most witnessed with their own eyes, and as we are told, they had not at this time, understood, exactly what had been foretold to them.

It has often been asked why He revealed himself to Mary first, and I love what I believe to be the answer, and I love it because it is just such a perfect example of who He is.

Mary needed him the most,

Jesus sees us from day one, our entire life, all the pain, sorrow, and sufferings that many go through, and often some more so than others.

And some do seem to be stronger, while others carry wounds that in order to be healed require a touch so gentle, that it can only come from the Master’s hand.

I also love the verse taht tells us Jesus wept, he wept because Mary and Marth were crying, they were crying because there brother Lazarus died, but Jesus knew that He was going to resurrect Lazarus from the dead, He was crying because it broke his heart to see his daughter weep.

He wanted to comfort Mary and dry all those tears by letting her know that He indeed lived.

Notice also when He appeared to the disciples, he knew that they would be confused and afraid, the first word he says is peace, and while they did not ask for “proof”, He invited them to feel his hands and side.

He wanted them to be reassured in his peace.

And even though we quite often hassle Thomas in our day by calling him “Doubting Thomas”, many would have felt the same, again, knowing that Jesus had been crucified.

But Jesus knew what Thomas had said, and even more so He knew what Thomas needed in order to believe.

And at no time are we told in scripture that Jesus questioned them as to How could they not believe what they had been told, or that he in any way chastised them or belittled them for being human, and having doubt.

Quite the opposite, as scripture says this: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men (humans) liberally, and upbraideth not (without reproach)and it shall be given him.” James 1:5

That means wisdom and understanding of anything, any are, any question.

And that is with the promise that God will in no way make us feel silly, or chided for our need to understand or the need to have our faith strengthened.

Jesus is beautiful and Holy  and there are so many stories in the Bible about just that, His grace toward us, so many examples of letting humans speak their minds, asking for something, while he all the while knows the desire of their heart that they are getting around to asking.

Because for some reason as humans we feel like we have to convince him of the reasoning why we are asking for whatever it is we are asking, but this is not what he asks of us, he just asks us to ask him and believe,

He is so gracious, just as the verses above that He will give us whatever it is that we need to believe, and to strengthen our faith or any other obstacle that need eliminated so that we are not hindered in our walk with him.

Have faith in that today and whatever you need, He has more than enough grace to give it.

Thank you for reading. Love & peace to you till next time! Mention of which, please join me over the next thirty days, as it was on my heart to do a short post, each day, on His teachings.

Starting with this one, so we’ll take a refresher on the Word, straight from The Word’s words!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/Rev. N. Brown Johnson

“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

REVISITED 05/09/2021 & 05/07/22 Have a Blessed Mother’s Day!

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. 

“Our Brother’s Keeper”

“And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in a field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Able thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:8,9

This verse is the true spiritual answer of the nations, especially America, in response to the question of why Ukraine isn’t being given more support.

I, like most of you have only watched with horror for the past month as the Ukrainians are bombarded in every conceivable way as Russia continues its sadistic onslaught against them.

President Zelensky constantly pleading for help and it is great and I am thankful to God for the weapons that have been given them, but they need more, they need nations to fight with them and for them.

I, also like many the world over, respect him and have watched with amazement as he truly has reflected the absolute courage and leadership, and compassion for his people as  the great king David, those are the same qualities that we read of being what made King David such as great leader.

It is also no shock that the world has even declared it to be a “David versus Goliath” situation and that is so true, God places leaders exactly where he wants them and Putin, who is a literal Goliath with a side order of Pharaoh, met his match when taking on the Ukrainians because they were not just going to lay down and die and bow down to the beast.

Putin embodies qualities of Goliath, in the fact that he methodically moved troops closer and closer and yet denying with every breath that an invasion would be soon coming. The sheer size of his army and arsenal levied against such a smaller opponent.

You can literally see the comparison as you read a passage such as this, as Goliath mocked David’s youth and size and arrogantly overestimated his own.

“And when the Philistine looked about and saw David. he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.

And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and a spear, and with a shield: But I come to thee in the in the name of the of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” 1 Samuel 17:42-44

You know it’s the devil when the devil calls the other guy the devil. I want to give you a verse and go from there.

Revelation 13:11;” And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

All the world sees what is really going on and I admire those in Russia who have stood up, even at the risk of horrifying consequence, but there are truly those that really believe Putin is a good guy, that he is really doing a great work, sending troops off to war, ridding Ukraine of Nazis, and saving little children and the elderly virtually from another Holocaust.

I even heard one report of a Ukrainian man who unsuccessfully tried to tell his relative in Russia the truth of what what they were suffering, only to be met with a comment to the defense of Putin, in which the relative even referenced Putin as “a god”.

As if accusing a Jewish man who had family die in the Holocaust of being a Nazi wasn’t proof enough of who is really doing the talking that is coming out of Putin’s mouth, it became crystal clear when he decided to quote scripture, I must admit, I almost “fell out of my chair” with that one.

I absolutely could not believe the audacity and not to mention the fact that it just echoed the age old stunt of the devil trying to twist scripture to make himself sound right and mislead those who would listen, think about how he deceived Eve and think about his trying to tempt Jesus, he knows his scriptures, he knows them better than we do!

The whole world watching as apartments, hospitals, bombed and pregnant women injured, children killed, shelters fired on, people running for their lives and others unable to run, being forced to hide, with no water, no heat, their entire lives destroyed, the images are heart breaking.

One in particular that just shattered my heart, this tiny little boy, just walking with his little pack on his back, all alone in the the exodus of people. and he was just sobbing and sobbing, absolutely alone and I wish to God I could have teleported and got that child and hugged him and rescued him, and God only knows what happened to him or all the other children that has had to leave on their own.

Another image, an elderly man fleeing his house, with only what he could carry on his back, no shirt, just pants, and a hat and a jacket revealing his bare chest in the freezing cold, Where was he even to go? How would he even start over?

A pregnant lady on a stretcher being rescued only later for her and her unborn child to die, knowing that only six weeks ago this lady would have been doing what all of us do as expectant mothers, rejoicing, making everything beautiful, decorating with all the darling newborn items, planning for the greatest moment of her life, the moment of bringing another precious person into the world, those plans were destroyed by the Russian forces and Putin and his soldiers are covered in that blood.

And finally, the image of the young mother with her child in her arms wailing uncontrollably as they were being rescued and a young soldier was helping her, and as she sobbed, he turns his head and the look of compassion mingled with sorrowful hopelessness at what to do for her spoke volumes.

And for Putin to stand there being cheered on, flags flying in his support, to say that no greater love than this to lay down his life for his friends is just sickening beyond words.

He can profess to be whatever he professes to be since he has evidently decided he is a “Christian” but whatever he professes does not change the fact of what is really inside of him.

He is as cold as Pharaoh and it mirrors him so much that I truly believe that his heart is so cold and so black that he is so delusional and arrogant that he is quite willing to take on the whole world.

And would just as soon every living thing on earth die as to retreat, every nation is so afraid of dealing with him that we do tap dances to make certain he does not misunderstand what we are saying, I really respected President Biden for not backtracking his controversial remarks, (that’s one of the only decisions that I agree with, other than him not going along ridiculous plan to defund the police)

Coddling Putin is in no way going to make him anyone’s friend, it only gives him that much more resolve to threaten and strike fear into the heart of the world.

Old Goliath antagonized Israel for forty days, it’s miracle grow for monster egos.

Even doing an amateur profile on him, just based on what the world sees of him, you see all you need to see, famous for dating models, posing bare-chested on his horse, playing with cheetahs, hanging out with Steven Segal and rich buddies, and add in the ultimate bad cop attitude  and it is quite clear what he wants to project.

Take that give it an insane amount of power and relentless control and throw some major nukes and it paints quite a chilling picture.

He can’t stop, he has Pharaoh syndrome, he himself won’t allow it, because it would mean admitting defeat, it would mean admitting that this war was a bad idea, and that is exactly why he has just become more aggressive and more brutal.

Pharaoh did not care what anyone thought or how anyone felt, or take one moment to consider mercy, he was cruel and heartless, calling for the slaughter of the babies and having Egypt built on the blood of the Hebrew slaves.

He really believed that he was a deity and answered to no one.

But oh, how wrong he was! As he was already merciless, God continued to harden his heart, he had the audacity to attempt to fight God himself, knowing all these plagues were coming on Egypt straight from Jehovah God.

When he did finally let the Hebrews go, that “He-Man” machismo kicked back in and he just had to pursue them to the Red Sea and we know how that ended, he and his army destroyed, drown in the Red Sea.

With the mindset much like Pharaoh, but to the infinite extreme at the end of it all, there will those who are so deceived that they will believe that they  can do battle with God himself.

Revelation 17:12-14:” And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power, and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is the Lord of lords, and  King of kings; and they that are with him are called, chosen, and faithful.”

I wanted to use the verses from Revelation to establish where all this is headed and the fact that Putin is just the warm up.

This war is unlike any other, the whole world is united in praying for Ukraine and they ask for those prayers as they fight with all they have and you can literally feel the urgency and the importance with those prayers, as the entire world watches.

No one wants World War three, but unfortunately, Putin doesn’t care what we want, he has his agenda and it is not a question of whether or not we will have World War, it is when we have it.

The things that are happening are just leading up to the inevitable. The Bible is written and what is to happen, will happen and there is no changing that.

The only thing we control is how it ends for us, we can be saved and escape the judgments and the horror of dealing with life as it all unfolds or be left here and refuse the mark of the beast, those who do not go in the rapture can only have eternal life by refusing the mark of the beast and dying for the faith, but they will live forever with the Lord, but those who deny Christ will face unimaginable judgment and eternal damnation.

I know that sounds harsh, but we are so out of time and time waits for no one,

Even laying aside the fact that we are in the end of days, we have no promise of tomorrow and any of us could die at any second, we have to be serious about eternity

In the meantime, I pray that things will change that those who fight to reinstate Godly laws back into the land that He has given us will win and that there may be a reprieve, but at the moment we are all still all about whether or not a dude can slap on a little lipstick and compete against ladies, at this rate, all sports will have to have weight classes, and specifics to make it fair again, but it is ridiculous.

So many states still having to hash it out of whether or not slaughtering babies is a great ideal and thankfully many states stepping up and fighting this atrocity.

Add to that our never-ending battle of whether or not, again, it is a fabulous idea to subject children to horrendous hormone therapy and sex change operations, yeah, they can call it, “gender reassignment” all they want but God himself choose the gender for us all.

I suppose, a country so powerful really couldn’t take a chance on giving in to the request of a no fly zone,.

How could we possibly take a chance and stick out our own necks to be our brother’s keeper, when we can give them just enough to say we have helped without having done all that is really in our power to do.

Like I said, no one wants to see major war, but it is not whether or not we fight, it’s just a question of when.

I haven’t written anything new since “Wars & Rumours of War…” , I have been revisiting posts that I felt would be encouraging during this time. To be honest, I have been having a Jeremiah moment, I am not in any way shape or form comparing myself with Jeremiah, but sympathize with his emotional state as he said this from Jeremiah 20:8 ” For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil…”

Unfortunately, that is about all there is to say concerning the state of our present world, but we must have hope in the world that is to come and to know that good really does win in the end!

All these things are leading up to the war that ends all wars, rather when the Lord puts an end to it.

Blessing to you until next time! keep praying and Keep Watching, and Keep believing for miracles for not only those in Ukraine but all in the midst of the battle today in these last days!

Φλογιζω NBJ/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2022

Sticks and Stones #2 “BLOOD BROTHERS”

“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” Mark 13:12

“For the son dishounerth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law:  A man’s enemies are the men born of his own house (a person’s own family)” Micah 7:6        

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is  born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17                                                        

Fair to say these are some serious warnings of ye olde family unit making frequent appearances at  The Drama Ville Dinner Theater.

Recorded in the Bible it started at the beginning, Genesis chapter 4, and it started with Cain the firstborn of Adam and Eve and of course the older brother to Abel.

Cain became jealous and angry because God accepted Abel’s offering but not his, Cain had offered what he wanted to offer not what was acceptable as an offering, instead of heeding God’s warning to him, he let his anger simmer and steep until it hit the boiling point.                                            

Genesis 4:8 ” And Cain talked with Able his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in a field, that Cain rose up against Able and slew him.” 

He talked him into going into the field with him, with the intention of killing him the entire time. Again leading me to believe that Able, like Joseph just did not have a clue to this secret hatred was until it was too late.                                                                                           

We know the story of Joseph and how he was one of two sons bore to his father Jacob by his choice wife Rachel and he was half-brother to the ten bore by Leah, the wife that he had been tricked into marrying.

Now maybe the bad blood was a direct result of that and who truly knows the effect that all the strife and hatred between these sister wives had on the ten as they grew up, who knows the discussions they may have heard and who knows if their ultimate hatred for Joseph was born out of their own feelings of inadequacy because we do know Joseph was the favorite son.

But we also know that it was because Joseph was not anything like them,he was like his mother, he was gentle and mild, it was because he was pleasant to his father.                                                                

Maybe it was just the sowing of the tares with the wheat. I really don’t think Joseph understood that his brothers seriously hated him, I believe that in his innocent thinking and his young age that he just did not get it and when he shared his dream, satan then used that to push them over the edge, he was just a teen-aged boy sharing what in his eyes was the coolest dream ever, we know that his Dad rebuked him for this because being older, wiser he knew that the others hated him.        

Genesis 37:18: “And when they saw him afar off,even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.”

He did not have a clue, but after they had thrown him in a pit to drown (only there was no water in the well ) they sat around laughing and eating lunch and then changed their mind and sold him as a slave, he finally, painfully, understood. 

Selling Joseph forewarned of the entire Hebrew nation being enslaved to Egypt and many today live enslaved in emotional prisons built by the hands of their family members and built on their spiritual blood  The Bible really doesn’t detail Jesse thoughts toward David but we can read between the lines, he is young, writes poetry, plays music, the creative type, so he is given the job of watching over the flock.                                                                    

David was not even considered by his father when Samuel called for the sons to presented and that just about said it all. And we know when push come to shove and all the men of Israel was cowering down before Goliath, Davids true character started shining through:

1 Samuel 17:26,28: “And David spake to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done unto the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why comest thou down hither?and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart; for thou hast come down that thou mayest see the battle”

Eliab’s entire personality revealed!

The oldest ones seem to have the biggest issues, the parable of the prodigal son even has this theme, the angry older brother. Always angry because they feel they did not get the attention they deserve. He was angry because he saw something in David that he knew he did not possess in himself, courage in the face of a giant.

He wanted to line David out and “put him in his place” in front of the other men as a show of bravado, he could still tell off little brother there.

Why are you here? Why were you born? Why do you have to be here anyway?

Sounds like some of the things many ears have heard. Who is watching your few sheep, just got to prove whatever the younger has watch over is not just quite as good or meaningful.

Now he has to let everyone know what he thinks about David with accusations of pride, (remember the accuser of the brethren, one of satan’s many name’s, well he loves nothing more than to accuse you through your brethren!) and of course he had to give a reason for good show.

And  I know  David put up with this on a regular basis, check out his answer: 1 Samuel 17:29; ” And David said,What have I now done? (what did I do now?) Is there not a cause?”

Breakdown, Cain was angry and jealous because of Abel’s offering being accepted by Father God. his only response for his action was “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In his eyes, his little brother was not his problem and when he was called on his deed, he only cared about saving his own neck.

God was with Joseph, Joseph named his firstborn son Ephraim, meaning “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction”  and giving us all hope in the fact that what is meant for harm God will use for good.

Joseph’s brother’s were angry and resentful over his relationship with their father.

But he forgave his brothers but the cosmic repercussion of it all still sent an entire race into slavery for over four hundred years.

We do see that David fared pretty well, one whom the whole group of the thought was no more than a singing pretty boy is still considered one of the most fierce warrior Kings to ever have existed and whatever became of his brother Eliab, I haven’t a clue, but David’s throne is forever established of God.

Goliath laughed at David, mocking him, mocking his size and asking did he come against him with sticks as if he were a dog, more or less, sticks were something to beat something else with, but in the giant’s eyes it was no match for him, but the stones, the stones could break him, because just as that stone guided by the hand of God himself took that giant to the ground enabling David to take off the laughing giant’s head with his own weapon, God is our rock and He always wins.

Maybe you have been or continue to go through these “family affairs”, but please hear me, just as with Cain and Joseph’s brothers, people can have far darker feelings toward us then we want to accept. It is hard to walk away from family member’s especially when subjected to the good old brainwashing like Eliab tried to use on David.

They will always blame you, they will always accuse you because Satan is the ultimate older brother, to the children of God, he was created first, we were created in God’s image, he is older than mankind and he is jealous and angry because you can have a relationship with the Father that is now lost to him forever.

Giants even bigger than Goliath can be born of these relationships,so see it for what it is. Please stay with me, next time I want to give a boatload of scripture, God’s word to help with these things and take the heads off some giants, we’ll start it with a little “Blood Transfusion”!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015 Original post date: 11/12/2015

REVISITED 11/17//2021, I wanted to revisited several of these posts, as I had originally written them to address the topic dysfunctional and toxic relationships and the dread it can make of holidays approaching.I will be revisiting this series over the course of this week, but several are linked below, which link to the others in that particular series.

I do pray if you are wrestling with this dilemma that these posts will be not only a comfort, but an encouragement to you. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and peace is exactly what he wants for you, so have your joy in a relationship with him and do not allow yourself to be treated as less than the precious life that he created you to be. Φλογιζω NBJ/2021 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

For more in this series, please check out these posts: Bad BloodSticks & StonesAnger DangerStrangle Hold                                                    

“Covered, higher than I…”

“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 my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

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.” Psalm 27:1-5

That is probably a very familiar passage and it is as powerful and as vital for our spiritual survival today as it was for David, when those words were inspired into his heart.

And our world today is truly darker because we are in the last days, the days that have been foretold, days concerning futuristic times that many scholars and theologians  have attempted to determine, the days whose events were once thought to be only symbolic because at that time the details seemed impossible.

Those who once could not fathom the image from Revelation chapter eleven, as the two witnesses of God lie dead in the street, how the entire world could see this image and how the entire world could be filled with glee over those deaths, but as that was impossible for those before us to understand as a literal event, we now know, due to technology that those before us could not even imagine, and we know that now thanks to the internet people the world over seeing images from the world over is nothing extraordinary, but an every day routine, all the events that we as humans have tried for years to rationalize as “symbolic” are just as they are proving to be, quite literal.

So for me, when I think of David, I take those words literal. He had haters, those who would have loved to have put him in the grave and then danced with glee on top it. He had battles, he felt loneliness and isolation, and I am sure there were times he felt misunderstood , even by those closest to him, especially when he chose to show mercy to those others felt were more deserving of being shown vengeance by the edge of a sword.

All the same emotions we experience today, different time, different battles but still the same old enemy, the enemy that had been whispering his lies since the day he had the serpent speak those twisted words into the ears and heart of Eve and that is the voice that still speaks hatred and hopelessness today, and that is his purpose, his plan, and his end goal.

It is not just about the world and how that world will be controlled, it is about you, and me, and ALL that are created in the image of God, which means all of us, it is personal, don’t you think he would have loved to have put an end to David?

How happy would he have been to have David order the execution of his son, the son who was determined to take his kingdom, rather than lament his death as David did. It is all the same old voice and he is not whispering anything new, he whispers the same words that have divided us since the fall of man, the words undoubtedly that he used to convince one third of the host of heaven to rebel against their creator and their God. 

I want to remind us all of the words of Jesus as he expounded on what we could expect as we near the end of days, end of the days of this present world but the beginnings of the blessed world eternal.

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and at what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?   

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man  deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye not be troubled: For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another.  

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because inquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:3-13

As Jesus warned us and all these things began with the disciples and the persecution of the  early churches and continue with the persecutions of Christians today, but with the spread of false religions and false prophets “preaching” a gospel that is NOT of the one true God, we also see that love, as I have written on many times, the common compassion one for another, as humans is being destroyed due to that hatred and sin that abounds now.

And there are those whose actions give you more than enough reason to feel anything except love toward them but when you think of this spiritually, as I once heard a preacher mention in regard to something someone else had said concerning how they were mistreated, the only “good” these people will ever know is in this world. If they do not repent, what kindness they know, what peace if any that will have, is what they have here, on this side of eternity.

As Jesus taught us love truly conquers all and love must be protected and if the enemy had his way he would steal every ounce of love in your heart today.  David did not write this when he was on “the mountain top”, he did not write this as he felt confident and victorious, he wrote this when he felt what we all feel at times, afraid, weak, discouraged, and alone.

And in those times he learned to look ahead, to look to the end of all things, he learned to ask, and to seek, to pray for the covering shelter of the Lord.

Only God knows what you may be feeling today or why you are feeling that way but I want to encourage you to “turn off” all the noises that trouble you and rest in the assurance that this world and all the trouble of it is nothing in sight of eternity and when there are things here that are beyond our control to ever change we can have hope knowing that those things will one day cease and love and mercy are forever and that wonderful “place” that God so often hid David He will hide you also, and that is your for the asking. 

Think of all the times you have heard the term “cover”, on movies, “Cover me, I’m going in”, Insurances that we are “covered by” someone “covering” a tab, the term has always meant to be taken care of, to be protected from an unknown attack, for someone to help us when we need that help. God is supreme at covering us, he covers us with his love and Jesus covered our souls by purchasing us with his blood. And there is no way that he is going to just leave you stranded, feeling beaten, lonely and afraid.

“The righteous cry and the Lord heareth and delivereth him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:17

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom will I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower,” Psalm 18:2

We can’t fight these things alone, God never intended us to, so use this as a model for your prayer and always know that no matter how down we get or alone we may feel that Jesus is and always will be the someone, the only one who is “higher than I”.

Psalm 61:1-4 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower  from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert (shelter) of thy wings.” 

Take him up on that covering shelter today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  REVISTED 11/07/2021

Personal best

“..And let us run WITH patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1(d)

There is nothing like the feeling we have when we first come to Christ and we have been forgiven of our sins and washed and everything is made new. I want to say one thing… keep that feeling!

The enemy has a funny little way of trying to come in and whisper things in our ears the moment we get saved and we often feel pressure from within ourselves asking “Now what?”

Salvation should not be a chore or performance based, the feeling like one wrong move and you’re going to hell.

It should be JOY, and JOY evermore. But as I said the enemy lies and when Jesus saves us,we ARE saved and we are NOT required to do anything other than keep God’s commandments and do OUR personal best in all things. We are all created differently and we all have different gifts, talents, and convictions.

The biggest trap of the enemy (and he will work this through people) is telling you that you should do this and you can’t do that and once that pressure start it will have you even second guessing if you are even saved. So do let it even start! And if you have not committed to Christ just yet, this maybe can answer a few questions to help you make that commitment.

Notice we are all called to run OUR own race, as Paul said he had finished his course (race) I can not run your race and you can’t run mine.  NO ONE will ever be able to complete the course God ordained for you.

It is one of a kind and that is why you have to be so careful AGAINST listening to the wrong voices, especially when you are “new” to the kingdom or “in the valley of decision” so I want to hit a couple of “stumbling blocks” and hopefully push them out of the way before you even happen up on them.

#1. God LOVES us, simply because HE DOES, nothing we have done, nothing we could ever do, nothing we could buy, nothing we could ever earn. He created us and He loves us. He WANTS us FOREVER with Him and once you have accepted Him and are saved He will not let anything separate you from Him, the ONLY way you can be separated is if you WANT TO BE.

Read Romans 8:28-39 for wonderful insight on just how strong the bond between us and God truly is. God said this:

Isaiah 49:15: ” Can a woman forget her sucking (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  yea, they may forget, YET I WILL NEVER FORGET THEE (you).”

Isaiah 46:4: “And EVEN to your old age I am he: and EVEN to hoar hairs (grey hair) WILL I CARRY YOU: I HAVE MADE, AND I WILL BEAR; EVEN WILL I CARRY, AND WILL DELIVER YOU.”

And Jesus said this: John 16:27: ” For the Father himself loveth you,because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” 

#2. Not a competition. The only person you “need” to be is YOURSELF!

Mark 10:38-40: “And John answered him, saying, Master, (teacher) we saw one casting out devils IN THY NAME, and he followed NOT us, and we forbad him BECAUSE he followed us not (told him that he could not do that because he was not with them).

And Jesus said, Forbid him NOT: for there is no man that can do a miracle in my name, that can lightly (soon afterward) speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part (side).” 

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

Luke 9:52-56: “And sent messengers before his face (Jesus sent), and they went, and entered into a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him (they would not allow him to stay there), because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? 

But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives BUT TO SAVE THEM. 

And they went to another village.” Doubt that James and John were good guys? Of course they were! But even good guys can unintentionally steer you wrong! The Samaritans hated the Jews and these people thought Jesus was going to Jerusalem for “religious” reasons, so they would not help him, if they only knew who they had refused!

But anyway, angry and offended, James and John ASKED him to GIVE THEM the power to torch these people, which is interesting too, He hadn’t given them that and they didn’t ask Him to do it himself, THEY wanted Him to allow them to do the job !

So maybe it wasn’t all about them “insulting” Jesus but maybe a little about the human response of “How dare they?”

And you will find sometimes when people are pushing you in a way you don’t feel you should go, it could be that it’s not about you, or the kingdom, it can sometimes be good old-fashioned control.

Just as they didn’t want anyone using Jesus name without being one of them and you see each time Jesus sets it straight. So remember your relationship is between you and God, no one else. as we are told in Philippians 2:12, to “work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling” that means for us to be serious and knowing that it is only between us and God. 

#3 Relax IN grace. Know that no one knows everything nor will we ever. God does not require of us the things we do not know. When we are saved,we are saved by grace and His grace covers us as we grow.

The more we grow, the more we are taught, then the more we are held responsible for, but God is kind, loving, and merciful and knows exactly what you are aware of, capable of, and most of all ready for.

To fight CONDEMNATION, that either someone else tries to make you feel or the enemy tries to bring, use this verse, because after you’re saved GOD WILL LET YOU KNOW IF SOMETHING IS WRONG, you will feel it.

1 John 3:20,21: ” For IF OUR HEART CONDEMN US; GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEART, AND KNOWETH ALL THINGS. Beloved, IF OUR HEART CONDEMNS US NOT, THEN HAVE WE CONFIDENCE TOWARD GOD.”

Of course for that one to apply, you must be saved. But basically what he is saying, is this, God lives in you and if your heart is not convicting you then you are not condemned BECAUSE God is greater than your heart and you would certainly be aware of His will. 

Once you have been saved, those SINS are washed away FOREVER, they no longer exist according to God.

Romans 8:1: “There is therefore NO NEW CONDEMNATION to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Which means, once saved, we are FREE, FREE, FREE! And God wants us to ENJOY that!

Be happy and joyous in knowing that you are saved, that you can go boldly before the throne of grace to ask for help whenever you need it, and to know that the King of the universe has now called you not only His friend, but His child and heir to all that heaven holds! 

Keeping His commandments and loving and honoring Him, He doesn’t ask us for much because He takes care of everything for us, so enjoy your run and know it’s not about placement, it is only about your personal best.

Love, Peace, & wishing you a great week! Till we meet again!

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017 / Revisited 2019/ Revisted 07/25/2021, Praying this will be a blessing to someone in that “valley of decision” today!

“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, reiterating 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, so that he could then just suddenly decide to throw you out to the wolves! Jesus does not work that way!

Have a blessed week! Love and peace till next time…  Praying it’ll be a blessing to you TODAY!!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / phlogizo360  2019   REVISITED 07/20/2021, Φλογιζω NBJ/2021

If you have never heard this, please check it out, (from YouTube)

“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 at the very least 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 if 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 now we are 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 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 something in our life that is important to us, 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.

To 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 do not go along with them for the ride.

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 07/18/2017 Revisited 07/25/2019 & 07/09/2021, I just like to “rerun” these old ones from time to time because God’s Word never changes! Thank you so much for reading and have a blessed week filled with love, peace, & the wonder of God in your life, with signs and miracles following, in Jesus Name!

“Daddy’s shoes… “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads.

It lives and it spreads mainly through the bonds, or rather broken bonds between fathers and children.

For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because of indifference toward his family, or is he juts truly at a loss, not knowing how to be a father, maybe having never been taught by his own, so he just  does not know what do so he does nothing.   

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

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

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

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage. I have said this “a hundred times” in these posts and probably will again, but think of Jesus, one of my favorite things about him, he COULD have destroyed the entire world rather than face crucifixion, but in his MERCY, he forgave those who demanded his death.

Rage is easy, swallowing “pride” and responding with mercy and forgiveness not quite as much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

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

 

“Fearfully, Wonderfully, &… Strategically”

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth  our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

And we know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.

For whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also calledthem he also justified; and whom he justifiedthem he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Who shall lay any thing to the charge (against) of God’s elect? It is God  that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, FOR THY SAKES, WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through that loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, ,nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.“Romans 8:24-39

That is probably very familiar scripture, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basic Gospel. Sermons we hear and then are replaced by thoughts and words of other sermons over time.

My daughter, like most kids, when she was little, loved Pooh Bear,of course she is all grown up now, but being a parent I still have a pretty good memory of lines from her favorite repeatedly watched cartoons, I actually still remember lines from shows that my niece was fascinated with, it just kinda gets stuck in our heads, but anyway of the cutest from Pooh was when they were on a great adventure and Tigger in rambunctious Tigger fashion pipes up and says, “You have to remind your remember-er” and cartoon or not, that is actually quite true.

The distance between the earthly realm and the heavenly realm can sometimes seem so vast that we can “forget” what we once knew so well.

When we are saved and everything is new and beautiful, freshly washed from sin and the newness of Christ shining brightly in our hearts, souls, and minds can over a period of time be overshadowed by the cares and troubles of this world, just as Jesus said in the parable of the seeds.

We can find ourselves questioning everything and I even imagine that when Paul wrote that, he had been through that battle himself, probably more than once, as he was imprisoned more often than he was free, as we know because of his refusal to stop preaching Christ and preach he did.

His life was a testimony of God changing the heart of he who once was the greatest persecutor of the first church to becoming one of the church’s greatest leaders that had ever been or would ever be.

And the fact that everyday, probably innumerable times a day, some of us quote or study, or share the words Paul wrote while in those dark places of his life is such a testament to not only the sovereignty of God over the plans he had for the life of Paul, but the sovereignty over the plans he has for all the lives he has created.

Maybe you feel today, like “Well, that was Paul.”, No, that was Paul, but that was also all Christ’s disciples, that was you, that was me, that is every human being God sends to this earth.

We ALL have a purpose, we all have a divine appointment, an appointment to accept Jesus and to know him in his resurrected glory and power working in us and in our lives, whether or not we keep that appointment is completely up to us.

And if we have not accepted Christ we can’t lay claim to the promises of the Bible because without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins, doesn’t mean that God does not have a beautiful plan for your life, just means that you choose follow your own plan and forgo the blessings and fellowship of your Creator, but you still exist because he created you whether you choose to acknowledge that or not.

And if you have chosen God and life is getting the way of your happiness with sorrow, sadness, or uncertainty, please don’t think for a second that it changes in any way, God sovereignty over your life or his plans for you.

That is why he had us given the beautiful words above, saying, surely these things come, but they will never separate you from him or from the love he has for you.

You were fearfully and wonderfully created, as all things are and were created for him and by him and for his pleasure, scripture tells us this quite clearly and your life is precious to him and your life. even though you may not feel it now, is very important to others and as the called of God, you  may feel that the best of life has passed by or there is nothing left to be had, but our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and his ways are not our ways. you may not have even yet began the journey he sent you here for.

You are here at this time, in this season, by divine will and following him, and surrendering to him, you will be strategically placed exactly where you were created to be for whatever purpose you were created for.

So don’t give up, keep pressing on, remembering that he will work it all for your good and don’t settle for anything less than God’s best for your life.

And if you have been believing for something and it has not come to pass yet or if you have a special promise in your heart from God that you are waiting on and your beginning to feel like if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s never gonna happen, read the stories of Abraham and Noah, and remember how long that the Hebrews waited for deliverance ,time is a condition only us humans have, God forever keeps his promises as long as we keep ourselves in him.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity)to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).” Jeremiah 29:11

That is his promise to his children and that promise is to you!

Have a blessed week! Praying God’s encouragement and peace will be yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“David, Bathsheba, & Putting it behind you”

Romans 3:23.-26:”For all have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God. Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.;

Whom God hath set forth to be a propriation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness; for the remission (passing over) of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the JUSTIFIER of of him which believeth in Jesus.”

We all dig Romans 3;23, it is one of the most comforting verses in the Bible, but when you go just a bit farther with it you can really see how we can use that verse to put the enemy and self condemnation to flight.

We all have sinned and sometimes we can fall off that boat as the saying goes but God’s grace is so perfectly described in that passage.

And we never want to be of those who abuse grace or rather their concept of it being a free ticket to sin at will, as often as you will, those people are not saved, they do not know Jesus, and if the refuse to see the truth and repent they will be in for a very sad awakening.

But this post is not about all that, we want to talk about the true covering of grace when we have fallen short, and we are very aware of it, be glad of that, when we feel conviction, when we feel remorse, and we feel repentance, that means we can still feel!

Let me remind you of a passage, Ephesians 4:17-24:”This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth (from this point forward) walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity (futility) of their mind. 

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (hardening) of their heart.

Who being PAST FEELING have given themselves over to lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in him.

That ye put off concerning the former converstaion (conduct) the old man, which was corrupt according to deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

And that ye put on a new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Lusts can be many things, sin can be many things and satan knows what buttons to push, if he can get us mad and we lose self control and say or do things that we later regret.

He can send temptation in many forms, alcohol, drugssex, or by getting you run with the wrong crowd, or an attraction or an affair with another person, which is what happened to King David, which we will get into in a bit, but it can literally be anything and the fact that we feel that remorse, that regret, that repentance means that our hearts are still toward God.

The devil loves nothing more that sending something your way and then raking you relentlessly over the coals after you have fallen into the trap that he set for that very reason. That is how he causes so many to needlesslessy forfeit their salvation.

A very wise child asked me once what was the difference between Judas, who betrayed Jesus and Peter who denied Jesus, the difference as this child could even see as they pondered their own question, is this, Peter repented.

Judas, who was never right with God and was even stealing from their money bag, and in his greed, allowed the devil to use him and sell Jesus’ very life for thirty pieces of silver and when the devil left him, and his conscience kicked in and kicked hard, he choose to commit suicide instead of asking forgiveness.

That is what I wanted to point out in that passage, the mind that is blinded to truth not only commits sin but does so with “greediness”, meaning they wallow in it, love it, can’t get enough because they can no longer feel conviction.

And that passage was written to remind us that we are to forego the old ways and allow God to make us new and that is by having our minds renewed in him, his love, and his mercy.

Think about this, Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy time seven, so how much more will he forgive us when we are truly sorry for whatever it is that we have done, which gets us to God’s faithfulness, 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And confession there is to God, you never have to tell your darkest secrets to any human, we are to have trusted prayer partners that we can confide in and talk to about anything we are having trouble with, but we are only required to confess to God, who already knows it anyway.

We have to admit our shortcomings so that we can be forgiven and healed, and with each hurdle we jump in life, the stronger we become and the faster we can run.

God uses everything to make us stronger for the kingdom and there is nothing that ever shocks God, he knows every single trip, stumble, or outright face plant that we will have to get back up from on our journeys but that’s the thing, he is always there and will always pick us back up

As you see it is pointed out in that passage that the new man is created after God and God said that David was a man after his own heart, which is why, I believe, it was on my heart to do this post with this story, David was after God’s heart but David was also human and David like all of us , messed up we all make mistakes and some are more severe than others, it is a good reminder that none are perfect and when we stumble or heaven forbid, even fall, we have to get up and go on.

Most have heard and if you have, please just bare with it, but if you haven’t, “listen” carefully.

“And it came to pass. after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children (people) of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah, But David tarried (stayed) still at Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in at eveningtide (evening) that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house; and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself, and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness (had already had her monthly cycle); and she returned unto her own house.

And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite, And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded (asked) of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.

And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat (gift of food) from the king.

But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.

And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house (Are you not on leave, why did you not go home)?

And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord, Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as my soul liveth, I will not do this thing.

And David said unto Uriah. Tarry (stay) here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.

And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk (got him drunk): and at even (evening) he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.

And it came to pass in the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest (fiercest) battle, and retire (retreat) ye from him, that he may be smitten (struck down) and die.

And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew the valiant men were.

And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died there also

The Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, And if it be taht the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee,Wherefore approached ye so nigh (why did you go so near) unto the city when ye dd fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?

Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

So the messenger went, and came and shewed (told) David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into a field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.

And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants, and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for sword devoureth one as well as another; make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.” 2 Samuel 11:1-25

Notice a recurring theme here? It came to pass, sin and progression of sin is often slow and insidious, David could have stopped this at any time, he should have been out in battle, he could have turned and walked back into his house when he saw her nude, He could have gotten the point to back off when he was told this was married and married to one of his own men.

He could have resisted the temptation to have her fetched, which was a bad deal because him being king they all had to do as he said, and the truest telling in it all was once he found out that she was pregnant he had Uriah brought back,making small talk and buttering him up, just hoping he would go home and sleep with his wife, and when that failed he tried the old get him drunk routine, but Uriah was too loyal for any of it.

And David, for all he was, all he had done, all his compassion, and all that he had been and his almost unparalleled devotion to the Lord, had in this season of his life turned but for second and that devotion had now became to himself, at this moment, all he cared about was what he wanted, he did not care about Bathsheba, that was lust, he did not care, at that moment about the baby, because his plan was that Uriah would think he had fathered the child, all David had on his mind was cleaning up the mess

So he sent one of his most loyal soldiers into battle carrying his own death warrant.

And good old Joab, he didn’t quite retreat as he had been told, and not only Uriah, but others also died, gave their lives in simitude of battle, but this battle was only carry out David’s deception.

Battles that God had been allowing them victories in, victories for their kingdom and now that battle was used as a weapon against one of their own, killing others in the process.

Joab even covering David’s back with his message of how the battle had went wrong, that they just got too close, dressing it up with old war stories to prove how things like this can happen, he made it quite the show, knowing in his heart and GOD knowing, that they only did this to get Uriah killed.

And David in reply that equates this sentiment, “Oh well, people die” and  go back and tell Joab it’s okay, don’t feel bad, just be safe next time.

They laid it on thick with this, talk about manipulation and deception…

I apologize that this is lengthy, but it is a complex story and rather than ask you to read the rest of it on your own, or make this a two part post, I’d rather give it to you here all in one post,

“And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.

And when her mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David, And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, the other poor,

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

But the poor man had nothing, save (except) one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat (food), and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared (refused) to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress (to slaughter) for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him,

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that has done this thing shall surely (deserves to) die.

And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 2 Samuel 11:26,27 & 2 Samuel 12:1-6

Sometimes we don’t even realize….

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art (You are) the man, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things (much more).

Wherefore hast thou (Why have you) despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and taken his wife to be thy wife, and hath slain him with the sword of Ammon.

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house, because thou hast despised me, and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil (adversity) against thee out of thine own house, and I will take wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour. and he shall lie with them in the sight of the sun.

For thou didst it secretly; but  I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord, and Nathan said unto David, The Lord hath also put away thy sin, thou shalt not die.” 2 samuel 12:7-13

That’s the lesson for us, David did not even realize how far he had gone because he was so caught up in it, but once he was enlightened by the prophet, he repented.

God forgave David, he still faced the consequences of his actions because of the severity in killing Uriah and taking his wife, and those who died with him in that battle.

But David pressed on, so if sin starts coming your way, don’t let it “come to pass”, stop it, right where it is, just stop right there and be quick to repent, turn away from temptations before they have a chance to turn you away from God and if you feeling remorseful, repent, go on, and don’t look back.

You know that baby died, but God blessed David and Bathsheba with another son Solomon, who had everything his heart could have desired, but still he fell into pagan worship, BUT repented and wrote one the most beautiful books in the Bible, Ecclesiastes, all about the lessons he had learned on that journey, and the most predominate is that, is this… God “makes everything beautiful in his time” and he does, So get up and go on,, put yesterday behind you and have joy in a brand new tomorrow!

Love & Peace till next time! thank you for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“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

REVISITED 05/09/2021 & 05/07/22 Have a Blessed Mother’s Day!

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. 

Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

I love funky terms, always endearing, always fun and one of my favorites is “messed up”, I love the fact that the slang phrase can mean virtually ANYTHING. 

According to dictionary.com it is adjective slang and “messed up” CAN literally mean ANY or ALL of the following: 

“Beaten up, looking disarrayed”

“Confused and unhappy”

“Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs”

We can be emotionally messed up, life can be messed up, or circumstances can just be messed up making you want to say, “Man, that is just messed up!”

And people often get “messed up” through the third meaning in hope of dulling the feeling of the first two.

And sometimes those who are seeking Jesus and a change in their life can be very easily swayed back out into sin and fall so easily into the trap of self-condemnation of feeling that they have “messed up”.

And you know, it is not even just falling into sin, it can be sometimes that we have turned left when we should have turned right, missed a truly golden opportunity by too hastily reaching out for plated brass that we mistook for twenty-four carat.

So many things in life can lead most of us to question, just how bad did we mess up.

But got some good news on that front, IF you are willing to ACCEPT it, BELIEVE it, and pick up your cross and try it again.

God IS faithful. God IS merciful. God wants nothing more than to dust us off when we have stumbled, give us a hug and tell us to try it again! 

Classic scripture here that everyone probably knows by heart but it is good to be reminded every now and again.

Jesus speaking, Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am NOT as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, OR EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN 

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican standing afar off,  would NOT lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST (beat on his chest)  SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. 

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified  rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; AND HIM THAT HUMBLETH HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED.”  

Ponder that, the Pharisee, in ear shot of the tax collector is telling God what all he has done and even taking pot shots at the moral character of the other man, in his “gratitude” speech, “thanking” God that he was so much BETTER than all those he named and EVEN better than the one who could not even look toward heaven because he was repentant.

He just asked for mercy and referred to himself as a sinner.He didn’t give a list of what GOD ALREADY KNEW, he just asked for mercy instead of judgment.

We are never given a list of his failures, mistakes, or how much he “messed up” but we are given all we need to hear in his own words the Pharisee spoke of  just how “messed up” the Pharisee was through pride and self-seeking, and self-righteousness expressed in his OWN words.

So there is a background to set up my main scriptures I really want to concentrate this post on.

Psalm 86:1-17: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul (life); for I am holy: O thou my God, SAVE thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For I cry unto thee DAILY (all day long). 

Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

For thou, Lord, art (are) good, AND READY TO FORGIVE; AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON THEE.

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL UPON THEE: FOR THOU WILT (will) ANSWER ME.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O lord, neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and SHALL glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest (you do) wondrous things: thou art God alone.  

Teach me thy way, O Lord,: I will walk in thy truth: UNITE  my heart (give me singleness of heart) to fear (have a reverence and awe for) thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

FOR GREAT IS THY MERCY TOWARD ME: AND THOU HAST DELIVERED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWEST HELL.

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 

BUT THOU, O LORD, ART (are)  A GOD FULL OF COMPASSION, AND GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY AND TRUTH. 

O TURN UNTO ME, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ME, give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

Shew (show) me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it. and be ashamed; BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN  (has helped) ME,AND COMFORTED ME.”

That was a prayer written by David, and you can really “hear” his desperation in that twice he asks the Lord, to HEAR, the first verse, “BOW down thine ear”, showing his humility by asking the Lord to come down to hear him.

The poor and needy reference spiritual state, David FELT pretty messed up, hurt and unhappy, fighting against his enemies, the word “assemblies” in verse fourteen, referencing those who hated him, literally meaning MOBS, mobs of angry, violent men who DID not know God and wanted David dead.

I love David and love reading about his life because he was so passionate. Everything he did he did wide open, all or nothing. When he soared, he soared and when he “messed up” it was crashing rock bottom.

And of course, the ONE thing he never swayed for one moment about was his absolute passion in his pursuit of the Lord.

He never once doubted the mercy and kindness of the Lord EVEN when he was painfully aware through his OWN  failings, his own shortcomings, and life altering lusts that HE WAS NEVER WORTHY OF THAT MERCY. Nor would he ever be. Neither are we, nor we will be.

So that’s the deal, we ARE messed up, life is messed up, and no matter how bad you may have messed up or how confused, unhappy, beaten down life has TEMPORARILY left you, keep holding on… knowing that no matter how messed up you may feel there is NO ONE so messed up that the mercy of God that cannot heal.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess (admit to God) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Find your peace in that. 

Have a beautiful week! Wishing you love & peace until next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018   /   Original post 06/30/2018 Revisited 01/08/2021 I do pray this will be an encouragement to you today!

If you’d like a little more food for thought on overcoming our flesh, check out “Trip Junkie”   and “Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off”

LOVE this song!

Original post 06/30/2018 Revisited 01/08/2021 I do pray this will be an encouragement to you today!

“Eleventh Hour…working till it’s too dark to work”

“And, behold,one came and said unto him, Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into eternal life, keep the commandments. 

He (the young man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,

HONOUR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER: and, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. 

The young man saith unto him, ALL these things I have kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But when the the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly (it is hard for a”rich” person to) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to enter to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Then said Jesus to the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who can be saved? 

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto the, With men this IS impossible; but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. 

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore (what do we get?)

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And EVERY ONE that hath forsaken houses, or brethren (family),or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (fields) for MY NAME’S SAKE, shall receive an hundredfold, AND shall have everlasting life.

But they that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19: 16-30

Hi! I hope that you and your families are well today and to my Brothers and Sisters the world over that are being troubled for the faith, God Bless you and know that you are never forgotten in prayers and that those rewards that the Lord had spoken of will be heaped in unimaginable treasures at your feet when the kingdom comes and never forget your promise that is given in Revelation 3:9, when the Lord says of your enemies,…behold, I WILL make them to come worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” And I just felt impressed to let you know that today before going on with the thought and teaching of this particular post.

As we read our passages for today, I wanted to stop just a tad shy of where I am ultimately headed with it so that we could “talk” a bit about what all is going on here and more importantly why. 

The young man in this story is such a mirror to many of us, he knows that there is “something else” that is needed in his relationship with God, he had to know, to feel that something was still “missing” as he wanted to ask Jesus, himself, what was missing, and as you notice, he was quick to confirm that he had keep all these commands since his childhood, he assured the Lord (who already knew) that he hadn’t violated any of those teachings but yet thought he may be missing some good deed, or some act of service that would ensure his entrance into that coming Kingdom.

Jesus knew what the issue was, it wasn’t what he was missing, it was what he could not give up and in my personal belief on this, I don’t think it had anything to do with the wealth, God wants to bless us, but it was that the wealth actually stood between him and God in the fact that he could not “give up” what he saw as a necessity, and “riches” can be many things and we can be “rich” in an area, such as friends, professions, we can be rich in an area that turning to Christ could actually cause a loss in that area, and often that is what we don’t want to give up.

And often we hear people give that, especially in the area of money, people who know that changes are needed to  serve God in Spirit and Truth and yet, the will settle for what they see in the present rather than believe Jesus for some much more, if they will only surrender whatever it is that stands in the way of the relationship that he wants to have with them.

And why would he bless that? Why would he approve of anything that keeps us away from him?

And if you notice in this story, the young man took it upon himself, to “go away, sorrowfully”, filled with sadness and grief because he himself was unwilling to follow Jesus with all he had, and this was not about money it was about faith, Jesus wanted him to trust in him, not in what he could see. And if you notice at no point did Jesus send him away, he sent himself away.

It is hard for our flesh to give up anything that we hold onto as security, never realizing that nothing, nothing is ever one hundred percent and the only, only thing in this universe that we can be completely secure in, the one thing that will never change is that security that Jesus was offering that young man and the security he offers us an dall we have to do is accept it as the completely free gift that it is and then give our life, one day at a time, to him, learning to trust in him each and every day.

This is why it is so impossible for man but so possible with God, it doesn’t matter about the “needle” or the camel, we can see what a great comparison that is, but God who is supernatural and works in the supernatural can bless us so that the scattered pieces of the puzzle that is our life without Jesus, pieces that should never logically fit together, will come together and create the most amazing beautiful picture that we have ever seen.

As we go on in our story we notice that Peter, after hearing that the young man being promised that all that money and wealth he was to give away to those who have nothing would then be transferred to store as riches waiting for him in the kingdom of heaven, wants to be assured that those who had already up those things would also be rewarded, and as Jesus answered him, notice some of the things, and people, and even “places” in life, represented as those lands, those “fields”that would need to be surrendered in order to allow room in our hearts and lives for such greater blessings.

But it has to be one hundred percent surrender to God, turning away from anything the separates us from him. Now to get on with our point I have again, as in post pasts dealt  a little with this before but I really, really want to drive this home. For this we’ll hop back to our passage and pick up on why Jesus was saying that the first would be last and last first. 

“For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder (landowner) which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went about the THIRD hour, and saw other standing idle in the marketplace.

And said unto them, GO ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the SIXTH hour and the NINTH hour, and did likewise.

And about the ELEVENTH hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, Why stand ye here all the idle (not doing anything)?

They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

So when even (evening) was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward. Call the labourers, and give them their hire (wages)beginning with the last unto the first.

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny (denarius), But when the first was came, they supposed that they should have received more; and the likewise received every man a penny.

And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house (grumbled against the landowner), Saying, These that have wrought (worked) but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and the heat of the day.

But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a penny? 

Take that that is thine (take what is yours) and go thy way; I WILL GIVE UNTO THIS LAST, EVEN AS UNTO THEE. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good (are you mad because I am good to all)?

SO THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST, AND THE FIRST LAST; FOR MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN.” Matthew 20:1-16

I want to elaborate on this last statement a little bit first, just as it was elaborated on to me once upon a time, by my late first Pastor, this does not mean that those who are called are not saved, they are,many are saved, it means that there are also those that are specifically chosen vessels for the purposes of the Lord.

And as I feel God has impressed me to understand and I feel impressed that he wants you to understand that just as the landowner went out and internationally found these chosen workers, and right about there you should be getting a reminder of the parable of Jesus as the Good Shepherd that He is, going out to find that ninety-ninth lamb.

If you will  notice, it was very specific times the landowner went out to find those workers that were chosen at that particular hour and now, at this moment, we are in the eleventh hour, probably pushing closer to just before midnight, and there is still much work to be done and in fact, the closer we get to Midnight the more strenuous and taxing that work will become because for one it is so dark, dark like never before in the field of this world and that enemy, the same who planted all those tares with the wheat has used every device available to him to booby trap the field and set in place his own workers to try to prevent that work from being done, but it will be done.

God is looking for those eleventh hour workers, he is intentionally seeking you out and whether or not you choose to stand idle in the marketplace or choose to do as he has commanded and go into that vineyard, and don’t be as the young man who couldn’t quite wrap his head around a life different than what he has been accustomed to decided that it would be better to just stay with what he knew and the “security” he had in those things.

But heed that voice because we need the workers, we need them and we need them NOW, not next month, next year, whatever date you re waiting for, we have no promises of another day, but we have the promise of a “payday” and you can decide that yourself, do you want to barely make it in through the gate of heaven or do you want to make a DIFFERENCE on this earth and even if you do one thing that the Lord has put in your heart to do, and if it is only one task he has chosen you for in these last days, you will receive the same “reward” that is given to a person that may have dedicated their entire life to that same task. It is all about the obedience and answering the call, while he is calling, the landowner did NOT stay in that marketplace all day choosing people, they had to go while he offered the job.

I want to leave you with one last verse, it is the cross reference for these words, …”For many are called, but few are chosen.”

“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord WORKING with them, and CONFIRMING the word with signs following. A-men” 

The work will be done, make no mistake of that but lose out on your all into the vineyard of God, don’t lose out on the opportunity to take your predestined place as an eleventh hour worker, called into the field for the greatest time in human history, the opportunity to minister in whatever it is He has for you to do in his vineyard, some of the job are to preach His Word, lay hands on the sick (yes, I realize Covid still exists), flow in the gifts of miracles and healings, through the gift of faith pray down strongholds by intercession to God on behalf of those who can’t just yet, feed those who are hungry, clothe those who go bare, love those who cry, comfort those who grieve, so many jobs, so little time.

He has something, something unique for everyone one of us.

So I urge you today, don’t let either of these calls go unanswered, listen to that still small voice and confirm what that voice is saying through His Word and you will one day, maybe not here, but when “payday” comes, you will be so glad you did and you may not ever know what difference your obedience has made on this earth, but one day, that same “payday” you will and you will be so rich, so rick in joy, and peace that will be eternal, NEVER to be taken away from you, how could you possibly say no to that?

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina BrownJohnson

“Covered, higher than I…”

“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 my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

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.” Psalm 27:1-5

That is probably a very familiar passage and it is as powerful and as vital for our spiritual survival today as it was for David, when those words were inspired into his heart.

And our world today is truly darker because we are in the last days, the days that have been foretold, days concerning futuristic times that many scholars and theologians  have attempted to determine, the days whose events were once thought to be only symbolic because at that time the details seemed impossible.

Those who once could not fathom the image from Revelation chapter eleven, as the two witnesses of God lie dead in the street, how the entire world could see this image and how the entire world could be filled with glee over those deaths, but as that was impossible for those before us to understand as a literal event, we now know, due to technology that those before us could not even imagine, and we know that now thanks to the internet people the world over seeing images from the world over is nothing extraordinary, but an every day routine, all the events that we as humans have tried for years to rationalize as “symbolic” are just as they are proving to be, quite literal.

So for me, when I think of David, I take those words literal. He had haters, those who would have loved to have put him in the grave and then danced with glee on top it. He had battles, he felt loneliness and isolation, and I am sure there were times he felt misunderstood , even by those closest to him, especially when he chose to show mercy to those others felt were more deserving of being shown vengeance by the edge of a sword.

All the same emotions we experience today, different time, different battles but still the same old enemy, the enemy that had been whispering his lies since the day he had the serpent speak those twisted words into the ears and heart of Eve and that is the voice that still speaks hatred and hopelessness today, and that is his purpose, his plan, and his end goal.

It is not just about the world and how that world will be controlled, it is about you, and me, and ALL that are created in the image of God, which means all of us, it is personal, don’t you think he would have loved to have put an end to David?

How happy would he have been to have David order the execution of his son, the son who was determined to take his kingdom, rather than lament his death as David did. It is all the same old voice and he is not whispering anything new, he whispers the same words that have divided us since the fall of man, the words undoubtedly that he used to convince one third of the host of heaven to rebel against their creator and their God. 

I want to remind us all of the words of Jesus as he expounded on what we could expect as we near the end of days, end of the days of this present world but the beginnings of the blessed world eternal.

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and at what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?   

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man  deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye not be troubled: For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another.  

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because inquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:3-13

As Jesus warned us and all these things began with the disciples and the persecution of the  early churches and continue with the persecutions of Christians today, but with the spread of false religions and false prophets “preaching” a gospel that is NOT of the one true God, we also see that love, as I have written on many times, the common compassion one for another, as humans is being destroyed due to that hatred and sin that abounds now.

And there are those whose actions give you more than enough reason to feel anything except love toward them but when you think of this spiritually, as I once heard a preacher mention in regard to something someone else had said concerning how they were mistreated, the only “good” these people will ever know is in this world. If they do not repent, what kindness they know, what peace if any that will have, is what they have here, on this side of eternity.

As Jesus taught us love truly conquers all and love must be protected and if the enemy had his way he would steal every ounce of love in your heart today.  David did not write this when he was on “the mountain top”, he did not write this as he felt confident and victorious, he wrote this when he felt what we all feel at times, afraid, weak, discouraged, and alone.

And in those times he learned to look ahead, to look to the end of all things, he learned to ask, and to seek, to pray for the covering shelter of the Lord.

Only God knows what you may be feeling today or why you are feeling that way but I want to encourage you to “turn off” all the noises that trouble you and rest in the assurance that this world and all the trouble of it is nothing in sight of eternity and when there are things here that are beyond our control to ever change we can have hope knowing that those things will one day cease and love and mercy are forever and that wonderful “place” that God so often hid David He will hide you also, and that is your for the asking. 

Think of all the times you have heard the term “cover”, on movies, “Cover me, I’m going in”, Insurances that we are “covered by” someone “covering” a tab, the term has always meant to be taken care of, to be protected from an unknown attack, for someone to help us when we need that help. God is supreme at covering us, he covers us with his love and Jesus covered our souls by purchasing us with his blood. And there is no way that he is going to just leave you stranded, feeling beaten, lonely and afraid.

“The righteous cry and the Lord heareth and delivereth him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:17

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom will I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower,” Psalm 18:2

We can’t fight these things alone, God never intended us to, so use this as a model for your prayer and always know that no matter how down we get or alone we may feel that Jesus is and always will be the someone, the only one who is “higher than I”.

Psalm 61:1-4 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower  from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert (shelter) of thy wings.” 

Take him up on that covering shelter today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  REVISTED 11/07/2021

“Daddy’s shoes… “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads.

It lives and it spreads mainly through the bonds, or rather broken bonds between fathers and children.

For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because of indifference toward his family, or is he juts truly at a loss, not knowing how to be a father, maybe having never been taught by his own, so he just  does not know what do so he does nothing.   

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

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

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

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage. I have said this “a hundred times” in these posts and probably will again, but think of Jesus, one of my favorite things about him, he COULD have destroyed the entire world rather than face crucifixion, but in his MERCY, he forgave those who demanded his death.

Rage is easy, swallowing “pride” and responding with mercy and forgiveness not quite as much.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

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

 

“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

REVISTIED 05/09/2021

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. 

“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

 

“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

 

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

“All that hinders, all that binds,& the lies that trap the mind.”

“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 the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness more than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, lest his deeds be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” JOHN 3:18-20

How sad, how sad is it when there are people who TRULY, TRULY BELIEVE that God does indeed exist, that Jesus Christ IS indeed the perfect Lamb of God, who BELIEVE the Gospel and every single precious word of it and yet they chose not to accept that Gospel and choose not to accept salvation. How do we ever minister to them?

As in an earlier post, we know that Jesus compares it to children, who no matter how gentle the message, no matter how hot the flames of the fire of hell is preached, they still refuse to accept eternal life through Him, through in WHOM THEY DO BELIEVE. What is wrong with that picture?

Many are mind trapped the have really bought the lies that for whatever reason, the Gospel is good…..just NOT good for them.

Is it self-esteem, is it self punishment, is it a feeling of true hopelessness, worthlessness? What is it? I would love to ask that. Why turn down the greatest love and mercy ever known? Why not be free, truly free, free in happiness, free in peace, and free to live to live a life your never imagined? Maybe someone, the enemy, or maybe the biggest enemy of all, self has convinced you that you ARE condemned.

But the words above are the words of Jesus and HE IS the ultimate authority on ALL things and HE said “if you believe in Him, you ARE not condemned”.

And if you believe and accept Him, ROMANS 8:1, PROMISES, ” THERE is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them that which are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the spirit.”

Our righteousness (right standing with God) IS as filthy rags, we have all sinned, we are born into sin and people love to remind you of your past and there are always those who love to tell you that you will never make it trying to live for the Lord, but the Bible says “let God be true and every man a liar” there will NEVER be anything we can do to redeem ourselves.

There will never be anything that we can do to undo our mistakes. But the most foolish thing that we can ever do is to stand before the Lord and say to Him, “I know you would have saved me, but I just wasn’t worth it.”

NO ONE is worth it in themselves but we were ALL worth it to Him. It is not His will that any should perish and He gave His life so we would not have to give ours and the thought that we must “make our self ready” for salvation is not  aright thought.

God does not require us to do any of the changing, he requires us to LET HIM CHANGE US! And to analyze, think, plan, and weigh out the options of whether or not we can “give up” this or that and to hold out until we “can live it” is absolutely NOT of God and has nothing to do with true desire for salvation. These thoughts and persuasion are only there to keep us bond and hindered.

What if tomorrow never comes? What if the next breath is the second to your last? Would you accept Him then? What if, without a moment’s warning, half the things in Revelation start to come to pass? What if destruction comes, what if you find yourself on this earth, having missed the ONLY opportunity to flee the trails and tribulations of the last days, by not accepting Christ BEFORE those things come to pass, what happens then? And you STILL BELIEVE?

Well, no one knows the preordained moment of their death, but as sure as we are born, God ALREADY knows the date, hour, second, and millisecond of the moment we WILL leave this earth. We will not be allowed to come back and change our minds and ask for a do over. We are given ONE life here on this earth. “It is appointed ONCE unto man to die” and after that the judgment.

If you believe, then surely you have noticed all those things which are coming to pass, and knowing that you need to know that all that is written, all that has been foretold can happen in  a blink of an eye and even though you may live through the initial things, you will die for your faith, if you are to denounce the beast and refuse the mark.

So now, what hinders you? What is it that binds you?

HEBREWS 12:1″WHEREFORE seeing (since) that we are compassed (surrounded) about with such a great cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE (put down) EVERY WEIGHT (all those things that are hindering you) and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us RUN with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” 

Jesus said YOU are NOT condemned IF you believe in Him, so why on earth are you condemning yourself? ACCEPT His mercy, His peace, and His salvation while they may be accepted. Renew your mind in Him:

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5: “Casting down (tearing down, destroying) imaginations, and EVERY high thing that exalteth itself against (comes in place of) THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,  and bringing INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.” 

The knowledge that God does love you, God wants to save you, and stop believing the lies and your own thoughts that want to say otherwise and bring all those thought into Him and WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU and be obedient to the fact that His word is the final authority concerning your soul! And if God doesn’t want to send you to hell, why do you wanna send yourself there?

Also consider checking out this post:  “And you are?…”

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016  ***Re-post 5/25/2019*** This is a thought to a new series

 

 

Shepherding the black sheep

 

“Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?”

Familiar nursery rhyme there, but I got a new one, 🙂

“Baa Baa black sheep have you any where to graze?

No Sir, No sir, been quite spiritually famished,

finding myself in a bit of a daze,

Not an earthly shepherd will have me,

without guidance to help me find my way,

this grass has all dried up and turned into a helpless maze.”

How many can dig that feeling?

Of course, I’m sure the title makes this post quite obvious, it is about and for the “black sheep” and I can write this from more than enough experience at being one!

 Being a woman in ministryI can truly vouch for that.

We’ll look at the term itself, most know it to mean of course someone who for whatever reason is considered a disgrace to their family, church, group, whatever “flock” they were supposed to belong in.

But the good news there is that it also has an urban meaning, that being a black sheep  is caused by a person being a little too different.

Black sheep, I have learned, suffer what is treated as a “fatal flaw”, they tend to bleat and question while all the other lambs are busy munching they are busy looking over cliffs, seeing what is in that valley.

Black sheep run amok climbing up the mountains because they just know there is so much more if they could just reach the top. They question others, Why? How? and the deadliest question of all, Why not?

Runs people crazy when you have questions they don’t want to waste their time answering.

Maybe too different in their thoughts, their beliefs, their clothing, their style, and even their actions when they feel is worth fighting for, all this combined can make them seem to much like a hassle to for the shepherds to deal with.

Different makes others uncomfortable and for most sheep it is easier to concede to the thoughts and actions of the masses than to risk being labeled black and left stranded in a field of wolves alone.

And being different is NOT always bad and being black does NOT make them any less of a sheep. I also found that in certain places it was considered “good luck” for a shepherd to have at least one black sheep in his flock, of course we know there is NO such thing as luck.

And the other really neat thing is that they are considered LESS valuable because their black wool CAN NOT be dyed and there is some serious symbolism in that.

For all you Black sheep out there, take that as a compliment!

Think about that…their wool can not be dyed or changed, they don’t conform, they are what they are and they are what they were created to be… DIFFERENT!

But that is where the pain, hurt, and solitude comes in for so many people who either have been labeled “black sheep”, or have labeled themselves “black sheep” because they feel that way.

And to find out what becomes of lost sheep and black sheep, shepherd less sheep, we’ll look at Ezekiel 34:5: “And they were scattered because there is NO shepherd; and they became meat (food) to ALL the beast of the field, when they were scattered.” 

And I have written quite a bit about that over the years, because so many have told me that they just do not feel loved or cared for by the “church” world and many people do feel like they “just don’t belong”, they want to be in a church and they want fellowship, and they do love and try to serve God, but they have been in churches that they felt unwelcome because of their differences, such as how they dress, or shyness, or even feeling like others looked down on them because of financial differences and this problem has always been.

Many scriptures address these issues encouraging all to think of others and speak of dressing modestly and even considering jewelry and hairstyles, considering  others so that all would feel “equal” in all our conduct so that no one would feel left out when in the house of God.

Again this has been different people, different churches and denominations, so this is not “aimed” at any group, I just don’t think people realize HOW common it is and how badly we need to fix it.

So there are true black sheep and there are those who just FEEL like black sheep but either way, how are they supposed to be fed spiritually?

I kept hearing the term and as I said at the beginning I can certainly understand being one, so I started thinking that there must be OTHER sheep who are struggling finding “food” to keep them going up those mountains and through those valleys until they do truly happen upon the place of rest that the Lord had prepared for them to find all the while.

Ever think about that? We do all NEED to feel that we belong and I promise you DO belong when you belong to the Lord but sometimes the road to that place can be rocky, rough, and very lonely and if you are having problems finding a “leader”, have ever considered that God may be calling you to be one? 

Buildings cost a lot of money, basic utilities for buildings cost a lot of money, in order to have a traditional church, COSTS A LOT OF MONEY but you know, if you are feeling lead to so something, if you have thoughts and ideas and revelations on scripture that you want to share, if you have an outreach or a certain crisis group that you feel led to minister to, may I suggest that you keep doing what black sheep do best, be yourself and use those difference, those questions, those answers and instead of agonizing over not fitting in, just embrace that difference and share it with others who don’t fit in either.

Thanks to the internet and social media, (most absolutely free with endless possibilities) we can witness and minister to the world in multi ways and use every resource God has given to spread his word with those who don’t have a spot to “graze”.

And even ministering in music, if we have no talent of our own we have access to the greatest talents in music and when you think of all that, you don’t need a building, or a choir, or the latest gimmick to get them in the door.

If you feel God leading you and you have a call on your life, a heart for God, and the desire to feed His flock, and those of His flock that are often left unattended and uncared for, you ALREADY have ALL you need to fulfill that call.

God has given every single one of us a gift and in some cases multiple gifts (hoping to do a post on that soon) and His Spirit enables us to use those gifts for the Kingdom and His word also tells us that “without a vision, my people PERISH” and that is what often happens, no vision, no one to help us understand the path we need to take, and no one to help us find answers to our questions and people give up, they PERISH.

This post is to explain the new direction this blog will be going. I have been wrestling my own ministry and I have tried a few different things and wrestled keeping this blog, but finally decided embrace it differently.

So if you are a black sheep or just feel like a black sheep, please “stop by” on Sunday and Wednesday, my original post day when this all got started back in the day was Saturday, then I tried daily, and then I tried keeping up with two separate blogs, then I tried live social media, but it is hard to keep up with, but I believe in trying and trying 😉 until we find the niche.

So this is mainly going to be twice a week, hopefully teaching and prayerfully sharing hope, scripture, and love with ALL His sheep, but especially the “black” ones. I don’t claim to know anything, I don’t propose to have all the answers but I will share with you the Word of God and his love, his mercy, and all sheep will be equal!

We do have a shepherd, even when you may feel alone, you are not, when you need to talk and you need answers and no one is there or no one willing to be there, talk to YOUR Shepherd in heaven.

John 10:11: I AM the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

Because Jesus Christ loves all of us the same and He IS our Shepherd and maybe there are some that are not meant to have an earthly Shepherd, but know that no matter what you have a heavenly one and if He is calling you, I want to give you a some things to ponder.

Jesus broke every traditional mold ever held. And as I heard pointed once, John the Baptist did NOT follow in his fathers footsteps and become a priest.

He HAD been filled from his mother’s womb with the Holy Ghost and lived in the wilderness, others considering him a”wild man” and went on to preach and baptize which was until then unheard of. And we all know he was doing exactly  what he had been born to do, it just didn’t look quite like what everyone else was doing.

The disciples left all they knew to follow Jesus as their spirit within them KNEW that He was the one, no earthly ordination needed because God himself  had CHOSEN and ordained each and every one of them  before the foundations of the earth.

All who have went on to greater works did so by absolute faith in God for those greater works leaving all tradition and typical mindsets behind.

With NO expectation of what that work should look like or how it should come to pass.

They had NOTHING to base it on, it was all new and sometimes we need to not look at how others are things, but seek how God wants us to get things done.

Maybe that is the bright side to being “black”, if you are used to feeling isolated it will be easier to face those who are NOT going to like you, your ministry, or anything you touch, but they aren’t even who matter.

“Listen” to what Jesus said from John 8:16-20: “Ye have NOT chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (appointed) you, that you 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, 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. 

REMEMBER the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord, if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; IF they have kept my saying, they will keep your’s also.”

IF they hear him they will hear you.

So let them hear you, feed the black sheep, they must be fed even if the other black sheep are doing the feeding! 

Have a blessed night! Join me tomorrow and we’ll have a little lesson on love!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2018

 

 

Suited up

‘And I brethren, when I came to you, came NOT with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined NOT to know any thing among you save (except) Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

And I was with you IN weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

And my speech and my preaching was NOT with enticing (persuasive) words of man’s wisdom, BUT in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

That your faith should NOT stand in the wisdom of men, BUT IN THE POWER OF GOD.” Corinthians 2:1-5 

I love how Paul points out for us that he never bothered hiding his own personal weakness and his fears and that he never once let anyone believe that he had a life of rainbows and roses, quite the opposite and you know that is what made him such an inspiration, as I have often written about him and this post will probably be very similar to one past but it is on my heart, so that I will obey.

THE WISDOM OF MEN.

We got into that a few posts back, how this world and all that we are taught is completely contrary to GOD and to his teachings and his word. Just as we are taught to be proud and willful, self-sufficient, solve your own problems, and of course the one that has the sole (read that as “SOUL”) purpose of getting our heads so thick and our hearts so hardened that we refuse to accept the Gospel.

The world view teaching of “you made your bed, you lie in it” and that is what people buy into when the refuse forgiveness because they feel that they don’t deserve it, BUT no one deserved it! Not the sweetest little Grandma, not the most wonderful volunteer, not one who risked their lives saving others, not the best moral person who gives half of all they own to the homeless.

Not a one, because no one DESERVED the gift God gave us when he gave his only begotten Son as a sinless sacrifice to cover all the sins of all mankind. Because we are even BORN into sin, so no matter how good, how sweet, even how gentle, or kind we are, we STILL must be under the blood.

The blood is proof positive that we do indeed BELONG in the kingdom of God and we only belong there because Jesus wants us there and by cleansing us and changing us, from the blood that we are born into as our mother’s birth us, we undergo a second birth, born again, born of him and instead of covered in the blood from our mother’s wombs we are covered in the blood of the Lamb.

And that is a foreign idea compared to what we have been taught in this world. This is why we are so reminded all through scripture that it IS BY FAITH. And FAITH is simply BELIEVING.

And as I have often heard others in the past expound on the definition of faith, one thought stand out, we DO have faith, even carnally, we flip a switch we EXPECT a light to come on, we turn a key we EXPECT something to open, we take a course we EXPECT some sort of result. The same is true for eternal faith, only difference is that we have been conditioned to EXPECT these reactions for certain actions in the natural BUT we must LEARN to EXPECT reactions to our invisible faith. 

And God already told us that we are ALL given a measure of that faith. So we have it, we just have to learn to develop and exercise it and by doing so it will increase and we CAN believe for the impossible in a world that through conditioning limits us to only its human possibilities. And that is why we must learn to completely block the sound of the wisdom of men.

Meaning, there will always be someone who have a don’t for your do and a why you can’t when God says you can. There are always going to be those who give you one hundred reasons why you can not believe or expect  the outcome you are praying for.

Corinthians 3:18,19: “Let no man deceive himself; If any man among you seemeth to wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God…” 

So know that the only support we will get during times of standing in faith and believing for what may seem impossible, is the from other believers, this is also one reason I personally believe that it is also important to limit what information you give and who you give it to because if you are telling someone in the world or that just flat-out does not believe in God at all, and you tell them what you are having faith for or a special prayer you have, then they are only going to view that with contempt and negativity and satan loves nothing more than to send people to spew doubt all over your faith.

Sometimes people want as many as possible praying because they doubt their own faith but I’m telling you often it is better to be like the man who asked Jesus to “help mine unbelief” and just ask God to strengthen your faith, of course you grown faith like you grow patience and we know NOT to ask for patience because they only way we learn patience is by having our patience TESTED and so I always feel better praying for help instead of asking for more patience, because LIFE gives you more than enough problems that WILL exercise your patience WITHOUT asking for more. But again everyone has to pray HOW they feel lead.

So now to my main point, Now is a good time to thank you for your PATIENCE in my ramblings there 😉 Some of our toughest moments as soldiers of Christ come in the battle against the wisdom of this world.

For some reason when I think of standing against the wisdom of this world, I get the the story of David in my head, you know when Goliath was taunting Israel, and David asked WHO was this uncircumcised philistine that should DEFY the armies of the LIVING GOD.

You know it may be considered socially unacceptable to call a doctor, lawyer, or teacher or whomever it may be that is belittling you and your faith, an”uncircumcised philistine” out loud but we could probably certainly think it while they are attempting to crush our hope with their worldly wisdom.

Try thinking that next time :), while you block out their rattling! It would certainly give your fight a boost! (So glad a church is NOT responsible for my writings! Don’t need a disclaimer that the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect blah, blah, you know like the infomercials) but I do seriously think that would be a good tactic to keep the right frame of mind.

Now that we got that took care of, I want to remind us all of our armour, again I have written a lot on it and I do not want to be repetitive so without dragging it out here is a basic refresher. It will REMIND us of the faith we stand in and in the POWER of our God. Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally my brethren, BE STRONG IN THE LORD, and IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.

Put on the WHOLE armour of God,that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. for we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of THE darkness of THIS WORLD, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you (take up) YOUR whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and HAVING DONE ALL TO STAND.

STAND therefore, having your lions girt about with the truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; and ABOVE ALL, TAKING THE SHIELD OF FAITH, wherewith ye shall be able to quench ALL the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD; Praying ALWAYS with ALL prayer, and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with ALL perseverance and supplication for ALL saints.

Notice with all list that he also told us to pray for all our brothers and sisters also as they battle and if you are new to this, your best asset is going to be a King James Study Bible, you will find a list of “go to” scriptures for virtually every need you have. They are usually found in the back and are such a blessing, because the WORD of GOD IS POWER and His word stands forever and IS the supreme weapon and NOTHING on earth and certainly nothing of hell can ever defeat one word of it. So get suited up and you WILL stand by the power of God and by faith in him!

Thanks for reading and whatever battle you are facing and whatever your special prayer is today, I pray that God blesses you and keep you and rewards your faith with victories from the realm of impossibility!

As always, love & peace to you till next time!

For a little more on these subjects: SHIELD & SWORD   BEHIND THE SHIELD PART 1

BEHIND THE SHIELD PART 2      Jehovah God IS THERE

and for the battle of losing a loved one      “With these words…” 

 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

An “A” for effort but “0” still equals nothing .

“PAUL, CALLED to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the WILL of God, and Sosthenes our brother.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, CALLED to be saints with ALL that are in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, both their’s and our’s. 

Grace be unto you, and peace from the God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 

That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance (speaking) and in all knowledge; 

Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you. 

So you come behind (fall short) in no gift; waiting for the coming (revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Who should also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God is faithful, by whom ye were CALLED into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,that ye all speak the same, (have a uniform testimony), and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that are contentions (quarrels) among you.

Now I this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and of Apollos; and of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus, and Gaius;

Lest (unless) any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

And I baptized also the household of Stephanas; besides (other than them), I know not whether I baptized any other. 

For Christ sent me NOT to baptize, but to preach the gospel, NOT with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect (considered void and meaningless). 

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written, I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND WILL BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath God not made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

For after the wisdom of God the world by wisdom KNEW NOT God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching  (the message preached) to SAVE them that believe.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

But we preach Jesus crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 

BUT unto them that are CALLED, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  

Because the foolishness of God IS wiser than men; and the weakness of God IS stronger than men.

For ye see (consider) YOUR CALLING, brethren, how that NOT many wise men after the flesh, NOT many mighty, NOT many noble are called.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-26 

The main thought running through this passage is that we ARE called.

I love how Paul pointed out all the “in fighting”, all the contentions, and strife.

Like how so many of us in the “church” NOT one church but as a world-wide universal belief in Christ, have so many different thoughts and arguments about those beliefs… who “should be allowed” to serve what office, and what’s worse who’s “going to hell” or not for not conforming to “traditional” roles, or certain denominations beliefs, but he is teaching us that this is wrong and that we are to believe this… Jesus Christ, sinless son of God, born of a virgin, crucified, dead, and resurrected. Sharing THAT testimony and winning others to Christ through HIM being lifted up, NOT by our “wisdom” and ALL the other arguments are just that, arguments and that has no place and will never have a place in the Kingdom of God.

We are also being taught here to always bear in mind the fact that Jesus saves us, Jesus sanctified us, and He confirms, even keeping us in the confirmation that we are His, until the very end, until we are welcomed into our eternal reward.

But what do we do with this confirmation?

What do we do when we fail to share that testimony of just what the cross has meant to us?

What happens when God has healed us, rescued us, and delivered us and yet we don’t want to share that for fear of looking “foolish” to the world?

We become much like the ten lepers, whom after Jesus had healed ALL of them, only one returned to give God glory. 

When we choose to fear the world or we choose to just “sit” on our gift or calling and make no effort whatsoever to nurture those gifts or pursue that calling and when we fail to help others on the path that God has chosen for them, we are doing NOTHING. And when our “service” to the Lord only consists of what is convenient or comfortable to us and for us, again we are doing NOTHING.

And when church becomes a place we can go IF we need something from God or do not have anything “better to do”, then it the worst kind of NOTHING. When we just don’t feel like serving God, { NOT due to illness, but meaning attitude of being apathetic, just don’t have time, just don’t care} well, Jesus did NOT FEEL LIKE BEING TORTURED AND MURDERED, but He loved us enough to do it.

And ONCE we have known the Lord, we no longer belong to ourselves, we have been, as the Bible tells us, “bought with a price” and that price was Jesus’ life.

And then we turn and “live out” the verse in which the Lord tells us that we have “sold ourselves” for nothing. And by doing NOTHING we are selling ourselves, our salvation, AND those whom we were to minister to and those to whom the gift God had given us should have impacted.

God sent that preaching, that calling, that gift to those who do believe, we know the world will NOT receive it, it is not sent to them and he already told us they will find it foolish.

We can have that friendship with the world, even after God has us warned of this with these words from James 4:4:..“Know ye not (do you not know?) that the friendship of (with) the world IS enmity with God? whosoever therefore will (wants to be)be a friend with the world IS THE ENEMY OF GOD.”  

Again, the “world” meaning putting a higher value on those things of sin and worldly pleasure, and putting the thoughts, opinions of others at a higher value than those of God.

This is a huge problem today with the refusal to speak AGAINST pagan beliefs and sin for fear of offending others. If you know God to be God than you KNOW that He is also the ONLY truth and the ONLY way to salvation.

And the argument of “others having their own beliefs”, but when you know those beliefs are completely contrary to the word of God and say NOTHING you are letting that person be falsely lead and by saying NOTHING you are letting them have  a false sense of security in those false beliefs.

The FIRST ploy the serpent played on Eve was LETTING her BELIEVE that he was her friend and that he was telling the truth, when we LET other BELIVE that we WOULD tell them the truth concerning the way to salvation but we fail to do so, then we become as much a danger to their soul and eternal life as the devil himself.

And all due to our choice of choosing NOTHING.

That does not mean you can not speak to someone or be kind to people but when those friendships and FEAR of ridicule prevents you from sharing the cross and the testimony of God, then that friendship is now of a higher value than your own salvation.

So we all have that choice, DO THE WILL OF GOD, as we are told here:

James 1:22: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your ownselves.” 

There is that deception again, it is very easy to deceive ourselves into choosing what we think or what we feel, but you know, when Jesus taught the disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer, a key to that prayer is ‘Thy will be DONE in earth,a s it is in heaven.” and that earth can also mean US, Adam was created from the dirt of the earth, and earth is this realm but WE are also that earth that must allow HIS will in us.

When all is said, and all is done, rewards given and totals tallied we can be assured of getting straight “A”‘s for effort and we can also be assured that no matter how it is calculated “zero” will always equal absolutely NOTHING.

I, for one want those “A”‘s! I changed the name a little and am trying a little something “different” as far as ministry goes, because I was challenged to the thought of what did I have? What could I do with whatever it is that God has allowed me to have to spread the Gospel of Christ, and fail or flop, if we give all we have and try our best, that is all he wants of us BUT we all have to try to we all need to start taking God and His word, His commands, His mercy, and His love and doing something with it.

Σαλπιζω Φλογιζω NBJ2018

Related: go-for-the-gold-but-please-hold-the-jade

To shun the Son

If you only knew…

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it IS that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:19

Pretty familiar story there, she stopped by the well and Jesus ran a quick perception test on her. Technically,  she “knew her place” as a Samaritan, and for the intent and opinion of “man” and she knew that the Jews (which Jesus was and still is) had a complete distaste and contempt for the Samaritans and would not want, let alone actually ask  for anything from her or her people.

So hopefully now that we are thinking in that vein, we’ll back this train up and backtrack to the beginning of the story. 

“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, ( Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.

And he must needs go (he needed to go) through Samaria.  Then he cometh to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave his son Joseph.

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied in his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water; Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat (food.) 

Then saith the woman unto him, How is it, that you being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” John 4:1-9 

That brings us up to speed on the starter verse.

So many in the Bible, story after story of those who were approached by what they would feel was an unapproachable God.

Think about it, He came and walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening while they still inhabited Eden.

My all time favorite (that I have probably used far too many times) but Genesis chapter 18 tells the story that so perfectly captured just how perfectly, and supremely gracious God is, when he and the angels came down to check out Sodom and Gomorrah and he wanted Abraham to feel “kept in the loop” as to what would soon happen and as Abraham knowing what went on in those cities and wanting to save the life of his nephew Lot who lived there, he started his “bargaining” with God, asking him “if they be fifty righteous found in the city” would God spare it? And each time God answered, “Yes.”

Each time Abraham asked God again, lowering the number because he knew how bad they were but desperately wanted to save Lot, so he went all the way down to twenty. And finally Genesis 18:32-33: “And he (Abraham) said, Oh let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure (perhaps)  ten shall be found there. 

And he (God) said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.  And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left off communing  (speaking with) Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place.”

All through the Bible, through miracles (like with Moses), through angelic visitations such as, Jacob, Joshua, Hagar, Manoah and his wife,  John’s father Zacharias, Mary, and many others. Through spoken encounters, and by dreams and visions to his prophets, ALL through the span of time, he has made himself to be approachable to us.

And it is up to us to be obedient to that approach.

I love the story of Elijah and the widow, (1 Kings 17:8-16), we are told that this takes place during the famine, a famine God had been sustaining Elijah through by having  ravens feed him and a brook provide water, but when the brook was allowed to dry, it meant it was time for Elijah to move on, comfortable or not, time to go, again obedience.

So God tells him where to go and that he had commanded a widow to take care of him, if you notice in that story, when he met the widow she was gathering sticks for a fire, so he asks for a drink, and as she is going to get him a drink,  he then called to her to ask for food, she tells him she has basically nothing but a tiny bit of flour and oil, and that she was going to prepare the last of their food and her and her son were going to eat it and then die.

So once he asked her to make his food first and then for her and her son, she agreed, I personally believe that was the moment when her obedience to the prompting of God in her heart brought forth a miraculous blessing from God from that obedience.

For her and her house, not to mention the prophet, God supernaturally sustained her and her house until the barren times were over.

But think of that, what if she had not been open to prompting of God in her spirit? God had told Elijah in advance taht she would take care of him and yet she told Elijah she was going to prepare food and die. God had already put the blessing their and god has already prepared her heart to act upon his will.

Now to the lady at the well, she is a good example of this, and I truly feel that many of us suffer from our OWN self-image issues, feeling that we would never be good enough are kinda like the lady at the well when Jesus approached her, her first response was shock, shocked that he would even speak to her and more shocked again, that he would ask anything of her, because the treatment she had received from his “people” had been anything but kind.

Sometimes I truly think many have a hard time coming to Christ and accepting salvation, not because of him or salvation itself but because of the ridicule and mistreatment they have suffered from others.

And wrestling with the “good enough-ism” when we will NEVER be good enough, nor are we expected to be, because HE IS more than good enough to cover all of our sins.

So maybe up to this point your life has held a kind of  “snap before you are snapped”, and “get them before they get you”, kinda philosophy because when you buy into the lies of satan and convince yourself, in your own pain, that “the God-stuff” and all that “Jesus loves me” business is just not real… or that he is not approachable for you, it is very easy to throw away your today, your future, and your eternity and for what?

He IS real, but how could you possibly KNOW the reality of an invisible being while your mind is trapped in a blinded, cynical world?

How can you possibly KNOW whether or not He does love you IF you have never opened the door and let him in long enough for him to tell you that he does?

Just like this lady, who didn’t begrudge the water she just couldn’t believe she was approached for it by someone whom she mistakenly believed hated her.

How many do you think prejudge God’s thoughts toward them?

Without ever understanding that we can NEVER even know his thoughts or understand his ways, because as the Bible teaches us “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts” and all the human attributes of grudges and prejudices that we ascribe to him, without KNOWING him are just wrong and are not even in his character.

Just as this lady THOUGHT she would be naturally misjudged and automatically hated, she did not have a clue WHO she was talking to. And so many today are falling to that same misguided mindset!

Jesus KNEW who she was! He KNOWS who you are, and He KNOWS who we all are!He went on to tell her all about her life and save her.

He KNEW what was going to have to happen to those sinful city’s when he spoke with Abraham and he KNEW exactly how many he would find there, and just like all the other references, and many others that could be used as examples, HE KNEW the answers BEFORE he asked the questions.

He is God, He knows all these things, he knows the beginnings, the endings, and all that goes in between.

He knows the number of the hairs on our heads and the moment that our hearts will beat the final beat.

And he is so different from us because he created us, not the other way around and even though he came to earth as human, he is still NOT a human.

And it in is that graciousness, beauty, and mercy that he does approach us in life, he sends his word, he sends his messengers, and even now in this present day, he STILL sends his angels, and he will send his own Spirit. 

And Psalm 19:3: “The heavens DECLARE the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”

All the heavens, all of creation bears proof of a magnificent Creator and despite all the intelligence insulting nonsense taught contrary to this truth, we are still are born with a need to reconnect and an internal knowledge in our hearts and our souls that scream out that there IS more to this existence and that there IS more to life than simply death!

Who would ever want to believe that there is nothing more?

IF THIS, these lives, blessed or not, rough or not, was ALL we would ever know as existence, no one should EVER get out of bed, they should lay there and simply give up because that would be the most morbid, depressing state!

Believing that there is no hope, no love. nothing eternal!

BUT there is so much more!

And until you know Jesus you will never understand what is it to truly be ALIVE.

Until you know him, his peace, his supernatural provision (which never ceases to amaze me in my own struggles) and most importantly his plan for your joy, you ARE missing everything.

And you are missing a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the absolute King of heaven and earth, who wants to heal you, deliver you, and let you know that no matter who you are, what you have done, or what others have said about you THAT he loves you and wants to show you things that the human mind cannot even begin to comprehend!

IF you only KNEW the one who can turn your night into day, scatters every demon, and breaks every chain, turn your ashes and tears to beauty and laughter.

He will rock your very soul and he will restore you and his mercy will turn your upside world perfectly upright.

IF you only KNEW who were missing… you wouldn’t miss out on him.

Young or old, black or white, all nations, all people, there ARE none who have not been approached and offered this blessed gift, the gift of Jesus Christ, we are not promised the next breath, but we ARE promised an eternal existence, either in heaven or in hell.

Like it or not we ARE forever, we WERE created to be eternal and eternal we WILL be. And maybe you still feel like, “crazy Jesus fanatics” (as we are often called), “think they know everything” but you know what, we ARE not fanatics.

Have you ever thought about this, everyone that witnesses Christ to you now, was once on the other side of that fence!

No one is born saved! We have all sinned, most of us also have thought once or twice about that “crazy Jesus fanatics” talking to us about God in our pasts!

But now the only separation between us is that we CHOSE to listen to them and took to heart the thought of “Hey, maybe there is more, maybe there is hope.”

And invited him into our life and accepted that salvation and now we thank him for those people who loved us enough to share the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. 

So as he stands knocking at the door of your heart, as creation bears witness to his majesty, and his messengers, and witnesses are sent to you, know this, HE IS approaching you, accept him, get to know him before you decide whether or not you need him in your life.

We are nothing without him, we will never know TRUE freedom, true joy, or true peace until we are connected back into the one who breathed our very life into us. Don’t miss out on that because you will have missed it all.

1 John 4:19: “WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”

Love & Peace till next time, have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

 

 

Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

I love funky terms, always endearing, always fun and one of my favorites is “messed up”, I love the fact that the slang phrase can mean virtually ANYTHING. 

According to dictionary.com it is adjective slang and “messed up” CAN literally mean ANY or ALL of the following: 

“Beaten up, looking disarrayed”

“Confused and unhappy”

“Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs”

We can be emotionally messed up, life can be messed up, or circumstances can just be messed up making you want to say, “Man, that is just messed up!”

And people often get “messed up” through the third meaning in hope of dulling the feeling of the first two.

And sometimes those who are seeking Jesus and a change in their life can be very easily swayed back out into sin and fall so easily into the trap of self-condemnation of feeling that they have “messed up”.

And you know, it is not even just falling into sin, it can be sometimes that we have turned left when we should have turned right, missed a truly golden opportunity by too hastily reaching out for plated brass that we mistook for twenty-four carat.

So many things in life can lead most of us to question, just how bad did we mess up.

But got some good news on that front, IF you are willing to ACCEPT it, BELIEVE it, and pick up your cross and try it again.

God IS faithful. God IS merciful. God wants nothing more than to dust us off when we have stumbled, give us a hug and tell us to try it again! 

Classic scripture here that everyone probably knows by heart but it is good to be reminded every now and again.

Jesus speaking, Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am NOT as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, OR EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN 

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican standing afar off,  would NOT lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST (beat on his chest)  SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. 

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified  rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; AND HIM THAT HUMBLETH HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED.”  

Ponder that, the Pharisee, in ear shot of the tax collector is telling God what all he has done and even taking pot shots at the moral character of the other man, in his “gratitude” speech, “thanking” God that he was so much BETTER than all those he named and EVEN better than the one who could not even look toward heaven because he was repentant.

He just asked for mercy and referred to himself as a sinner.He didn’t give a list of what GOD ALREADY KNEW, he just asked for mercy instead of judgment.

We are never given a list of his failures, mistakes, or how much he “messed up” but we are given all we need to hear in his own words the Pharisee spoke of  just how “messed up” the Pharisee was through pride and self-seeking, and self-righteousness expressed in his OWN words.

So there is a background to set up my main scriptures I really want to concentrate this post on.

Psalm 86:1-17: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul (life); for I am holy: O thou my God, SAVE thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For I cry unto thee DAILY (all day long). 

Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

For thou, Lord, art (are) good, AND READY TO FORGIVE; AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON THEE.

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL UPON THEE: FOR THOU WILT (will) ANSWER ME.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O lord, neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and SHALL glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest (you do) wondrous things: thou art God alone.  

Teach me thy way, O Lord,: I will walk in thy truth: UNITE  my heart (give me singleness of heart) to fear (have a reverence and awe for) thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

FOR GREAT IS THY MERCY TOWARD ME: AND THOU HAST DELIVERED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWEST HELL.

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 

BUT THOU, O LORD, ART (are)  A GOD FULL OF COMPASSION, AND GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY AND TRUTH. 

O TURN UNTO ME, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ME, give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

Shew (show) me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it. and be ashamed; BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN  (has helped) ME,AND COMFORTED ME.”

That was a prayer written by David, and you can really “hear” his desperation in that twice he asks the Lord, to HEAR, the first verse, “BOW down thine ear”, showing his humility by asking the Lord to come down to hear him.

The poor and needy reference spiritual state, David FELT pretty messed up, hurt and unhappy, fighting against his enemies, the word “assemblies” in verse fourteen, referencing those who hated him, literally meaning MOBS, mobs of angry, violent men who DID not know God and wanted David dead.

I love David and love reading about his life because he was so passionate. Everything he did he did wide open, all or nothing. When he soared, he soared and when he “messed up” it was crashing rock bottom.

And of course, the ONE thing he never swayed for one moment about was his absolute passion in his pursuit of the Lord.

He never once doubted the mercy and kindness of the Lord EVEN when he was painfully aware through his OWN  failings, his own shortcomings, and life altering lusts that HE WAS NEVER WORTHY OF THAT MERCY. Nor would he ever be. Neither are we, nor we will be.

So that’s the deal, we ARE messed up, life is messed up, and no matter how bad you may have messed up or how confused, unhappy, beaten down life has TEMPORARILY left you, keep holding on… knowing that no matter how messed up you may feel there is NO ONE so messed up that the mercy of God that cannot heal.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess (admit to God) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Find your peace in that. 

Have a beautiful week! Wishing you love & peace until next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018   /   Original post 06/30/2018 Revisited 01/08/2021 I do pray this will be an encouragement to you today!

If you’d like a little more food for thought on overcoming our flesh, check out “Trip Junkie”   and “Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off”

LOVE this song!

Original post 06/30/2018 Revisited 01/08/2021 I do pray this will be an encouragement to you today!

BEFORE

“Yea, BEFORE the day was I AM HE ; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work and who shall let (reverse) it?”  Isaiah 43:13

One of my favorite statement by the Lord. 

This is one of those double-edged sword statements because to be on the wrong side of that statement is a horrible fearful fate… but ahh, we are not talking about that in this post.

We are talking about how beautiful and truly overwhelming it truly is when we think about being on the right side of that statement.

BEFORE

BEFORE everything.

BEFORE anything.

BEFORE all that was created.

BEFORE the angels, the demons, or any other beings.

BEFORE the great void of darkness and the waters of earth were divided.

BEFORE day and night were called forth.

BEFORE the heavens were divided from the earth.

BEFORE the grass, trees, and every known and unknown vegetation this day. BEFORE the birds, animals, fish and man.

BEFORE it all the God of creation forever stands.

BEFORE the very creation of DAY, in HIS OWN WORDS, WAS I AM HE. 

And there is no power in heaven, in earth, under earth, no invention man kind can fathom or enough forces of hell that can stop, prevent, or deliver out of his hand.

And as he also said, he will do as he wishes and WHO could ever stop him or reverse, change, or destroy ANY work he has ordained or brought forth?!!!

INCLUDING his work of creating US! Completely, intentionally, ON PURPOSE with rhyme and reason, creating each one of us simply because he IS God and he WANTED us to exist! 

Complete with our Spirit, soul, heart, mind, and personality and all the unique traits that make us truly one of a kind!

Even when we are a little quirky, different, or such as myself, kinda flaky 🙂 no one will ever understand us like God, we have that uniqueness because our Father wanted us to be unique. 

God IS the master Creator… actually having created creation… ponder that…he created the very conception and act of creation itself, which is why all of us have a talent or special God-given skill, being created in HIS image, we also have that NEED to be creative.

Think about it the next time that you are in your “zone, whether it is art, music, wood-working, beauty, cooking, the activity that brings you immense joy in expressing your creativity, REMEMBER that the joy and satisfaction that you feel during that “labor of love” can not even be compared to the joy and love the absolute Creator of the universe took in creating YOU!

Revelation 4:11 b: “…for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

Am I the only person that finds that terribly exciting? 

Well, if you are not excited, I hope that by the end of this post you will be!

If everyone person on this earth could get past the lies of this world, the ridiculous demands of society that command us to be cookie cutter cutouts of the latest fashion trend or the brain washed servants to sin that think and say exactly as those who pervert the truth of creation and the Gospel so wish us to.

Oh what a refreshment that would be!

You know we can not control what others think of us or say about us, but when we fail to accept how and why we are created just as we are actually INSULTING God!

Now, I think people really need to be careful with the Bible and  be certain they read before and after scriptures and study the ENTIRE teaching because failure to do so often leads to teachings that are completely out of context, SO bearing that, the scriptures are pertaining to repentance and restoration, but the verses I want to highlight is the danger  of “questioning” that we as humans often do, when we “question” our this, that, or the other thing we do not like about ourselves when held to the current “standard” and we can understand through these verses his ABSOLUTE power, authority, and love for us, IF we accept that and submit into his will, forgetting our own.

Isaiah 45:1-18: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden (held), to subdue nation before him; and I will loose the loins (armour) of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates (double doors); and the gates shall not be shut;

 I WILL GO BEFORE THEE, and make the crooked places straight : I will break into pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder (half) the bars of iron:

 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, THE LORD, WHICH CALLETH THEE BY THY NAME am God of Israel For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect (chosen). 

I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though  thou hast not known me.  I, am the Lord, and there is none else, there is  no god beside me: I girded (clothed and armoured), though thou hast not known me: 

That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (till sunset), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the lord do ALL these things. 

Drop down, (rain down) ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open , and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I THE LORD HAVE CREATED IT.

Woe unto him that striveth (argues) WITH his Maker!  Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.

Shall the clay SAY to him that fashioned (molded) it, WHAT makes thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? for something you actually made to say to you that you no longer have any power over that creation)

Woe unto him that saith unto his father, WHAT begettest thou? or to the woman (mother) WHAT hast thou brought forth (given birth to)?

Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his MAKER, Ask of me thing concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.  

I have MADE the earth, and CREATED man upon it: I, even MY HANDS, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded,  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward (not money nor gain), saith the Lord of hosts.

Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God (meaning no god OTHER than the ONE true God, Jehovah).

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded (disgraced), all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. 

But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

For thus saith the Lord that CREATED the heavens; God himself that FORMED the earth and MADE it; he hath established it, he hath CREATED it NOT IN VAIN, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” 

I love that God is clearly pointing out the fact that even THOUGH they have not known him, he still very much knows them!

And isn’t that just like us sometimes, especially those who refuse to acknowledge God as they are in truth the work that declares the craftsman no longer has hands to alter the work he has created.

There is such beauty and such peace, and blessed assurance beyond human comprehension in the realization and acceptance of our place in his master plan. And that place is simply this, accepting ourselves as his creation, accepting his will, and resting in that he ALWAYS goes before because before “the day”, before the foundations of the earth were even created, THERE WAS AND THERE IS AND THERE WILL FOREVER BE, I AM.

Rest in this, have hope in this, know who you are in this:

Deuteronomy 31:8: ” Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, HE IT IS THAT DOTH GO WITH THEE; HE WILL NOT FAIL THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.” 

As the redeemed of the Lord, we sometimes need reminded of WHO goes BEFORE us every single day of our lives. 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

 

“Waning under the weight of waiting”

Now that title is quite a mouthful, try saying it fast three times, could be a pretty good tongue twister 🙂 but I am hoping it’ll make for a much better thought provoker!

Hebrews 12:1a: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…”

Used this scripture before, we all have I am sure, but for the moment I want to concentrate on what a weight waiting can be.

Ever think about it? When people or even our own selves come up with every known imaginable reason why we can not serve God or why we can’t accomplish his will or why we can’t live for him… just now, maybe in the future but now we can’t because we are waiting, waiting on some magical, mystical desire to take place or we are waiting on someone else to “come in” then we’ll “get right” with the Lord.

How could ANYTHING of this world be more important than your soul?

How? Never mind the demons, and the spiritual world that surrounds our natural world every single day and if it were not for God’s divine protection do you think you would be so safe from all the traps and snare that are laid for your feet?

Never mind the lack of peace, never mind the constant struggles inside your mind because “to him that knoweth to do good and do it not, it is a sin” completely IGNORING all those things for a moment, how does anyone take the comfort that their eternal soul is secure out of the daily equation, in seemingly “never-minding” that we are never once promised that we have all the time in the world to WAIT while allowing the weight of all those earthly hindrances to steal day after day while we have no promise of the next day. 

It is ALL of the world, the world that scripture warns us and warns us to stay out of. The world can mean many different struggles for different people.

It is not always about money, but it all equates the same. ANYTHING we place above God or the service and ANYTHING that prevents us from following him with our whole hearts and lives completely surrendered to him.

That is why we are told that WE must LAY ASIDE all these weights.

God does not place that weight on us… the world does and we have to be willing to refuse to carry it and we can’t blame that one on God. 

This is one Jesus’ warnings on the subject.

Luke 12:15-20: ” And he said unto them, Take heed, and BEWARE of covetousness: for a man’s life consiseth not in the abundance of things he possesseth. 

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 my fruits?”

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits and my goods. and I will say unto my soul,  Soul, thou hast much 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?”  

He went on to encourage us to lay up those treasures in heaven because the concerns and desires of this world that became as weights will drag us down. And this is also so clear in his parable of the sower and the seed, AGAIN warning us about this world and getting caught up in it rather that the things of God.

Matthew 13:3-9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured  them up;

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them:

But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  

Do you recognize all the different human conditions going on here?

Think about it, the way side, just going through life, not caring one way or another and those are absolutely devoured because no one is caring if they make it or not.

The stony places in hardened hearts and unrepentant, unyielding, stubborn, and prideful.

Too “shallow” to make the long haul, all for it until the going gets tough and then they gotta get going… their own way, AWAY from God. 

And the thorns of this world, the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, and injustice, all those things that prick, mar, and scar.

BUT Jesus told us this in his word, Song of Solomon 2:1,2: “I AM the rose of Sharon, and  the lily of the valleys. 

As the lily AMONG the thorns SO IS my love among the daughters.”

 For every single human condition there is a relief and cure in God’s word, IF we will seek it and have faith to believe it.

That faith and assurance, NOT in ourselves or our abilities but faith that He is and He will fulfil all his promises to us IF we do what his word tells us to do.

That is that good ground that he cultivates for his seed and to bring forth HIS fruit. And as he told us to “hear if we have ears to hear” meaning if our heart is set on him and our thoughts on things eternal to HEAR him.  

Continuing, Matthew 13:18-23: Hear  ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hearth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it  not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth (snatches) away that which WAS sown in his heart. This is which received seed by the way side. 

But he that received the seed into stony places,  the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while:  for when tribulation OR persecution ariseth BECAUSE of the word, by and by he is offended. 

He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word : And the CARE OF THIS WORLD, and the deceitfulness of riches, CHOKE THE WORD,  and he becometh unfruitful. 

But he that received seed in the good ground IS he that heareth the word, and understandeth it;  which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Those “places” those weights. those are the things that prevent our growth, prevent us from bearing fruit and will certainly crush that precious seed planted by the Lord himself and eventually even crush us under them.

God never told us to wait on this world or to wait for things in this world to change.

We are to FOLLOW HIM and WAIT for him, not this world and we can never carry that weight. We were never meant to.

The only one who can is the only one who already holds it ALL in the middle of his nail scarred hand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

 

Light scent…

  John 12:35,36: “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. WHILE ye have light, BELIEVE in the light, THAT YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT. These things spake Jesus, and departed and did hide himself from them.”  

 I love scented candles, and even more, I love a gift my sister gave me several years ago, a lighted wax warmer, you know it is basically a really pretty decorative pot that has a light bulb that heats scented wax, providing a beautiful aroma along with a gorgeous soft glow. 

It is as beautiful as a candle and much safer because it is electric rather than actual flame, but if the bulb gets loosened or the cord happens to get frayed, it can be more time-consuming to repair than just relighting a candle. But it is more than worth the effort to experience the result.

Sometimes we can be like the heated scented wax burners, you know our “bulbs” become loose and we flicker on and off and just can’t get that wax melted enough to produce a beautiful scent.

The word flicker is actually defined as this, “to UNPREDICTABLY  FLASH on and off at RANDOM” you never know whether it will give light or disappoint you with darkness.

If it were completely burned out, you would know to replace the bulb, but when it flashes at “will” burning brightly for a moment and suddenly reverting back to utter darkness it can be a problem with the lamp itself.

I think this happens sometimes with the Christian “lamps”,  the”lights of the kingdom” we have “problems” with OUR own connection.

Think about it, all we really are physical “outlets” if you will, for the greatest power source in the universe, and what power!

The power of the Spirit of the Living God, the power so great that it lights the world, the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars.

Imagine if we, each of us, would just obediently let that LIGHT shine, that light that he commanded should SHINE through us into the world. 

The Lord counsels us to our folly concerning many things in Isaiah chapter fifty-eight, but I want to use one verse in particular to prove out just HOW BRIGHTLY he wants our shine to be.

Isaiah 58:8-10: ” THEN shall THY LIGHT BREAK FORTH AS THE MORNING (SPLITTING darkness), and thine health (healing) shall spring forth speedily: and righteousness shall go before thee; The glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward (rear guard). 

Then thou shalt call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, HERE AM I, if thou take away from the midst of thee THE YOKE, the putting forth of the the finger (accusing one another) and speaking vanity (WICKEDNESS);

And IF thou draw out thy soul (offer help. extend a hand) to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; THEN  SHALL THY LIGHT RISE IN OBSCURITY, AND THY DARKNESS WILL BE AS NOON DAY.”

So you see ALL these good things we receive are a blessed result of allowing that LIGHT, light so bright that EVEN at it’s very darkest would be is STILL as bright as noon day.

And as we also note, the human, fleshy issues are “defective flaws” in our own lamps, NOT a problem with the main power source, so it is never a question of “just can’t get a prayer through” it is question of check our own lamp for weak spots in our “cords” because there is NO weakness coming from the source.

The biggest cause of becoming a dull, dimming, and flickering light and loss of “power” can be explained with Ecclesiastes 10:1: “Dead flies cause the ointment of apothecary (perfume) to send forth a STINKING savour (HORRID odor): SO DOTH A LITTLE FOLLY HIM THAT HATH A REPUTATION FOR WISDOM AND HONOUR.”

And what that means is this, for a person who IS known as a representative of the kingdom of Christ, and as a light and are respected FOR their wisdom and reputation for doing “the right thing”, honoring God and playing by the rules to suddenly switch seats and let the flesh have its way either with actions, or words, or downright willful sin, whatever the means, it becomes equivalent to having traded off a beautiful aroma for a rotting, maggot invested stench.

Notice the word LITTLE, it can happen fast and it can happen very easily.

And we have ALL said and done things in our Christian walk that we regret, or at least I know I have.

And it IS so imperative to admit when we have hurt another with our words or our actions and be quick to ask them for forgiveness and to make a sincere effort through prayer and fasting to overcome that issue within ourselves that is causing the problem.

For many it can be temper, pain, participating in inappropriate activities, even inappropriate jokes and movies because God sees our every move and hears our every word.

We can easily fall into that folly through something as simple as us “having a bad day” and running with that loaded emotional gun, keeping the anger and just waiting for “one more person to say one more word” before we lose it and unleash the venomous poison of our mouths and thoughts.

And it is those days that we have to seek the Lord all the more, because once the enemy gets “your dander up” he is not letting up until you take it to the Lord and let it go.

Again, not picking on anyone, been more than guilty enough myself of having days of “spirit versus flesh” and finding all too true that the “flesh is weak” and it that weakness becoming too strong in anger and self-will to even listen to the little voice that tells us to calm it down and get a grip. 

We have to let go of foolishness such as false pride and stubbornness, God HATES these attitudes and He will help us overcome them IF we are sincere and if we refuse that help we will be left with the “pride cometh before a fall” repair. 

The greatest tragedy is when others have looked for guidance and hope and that spoken “wisdom” in us and they see flesh and all the the same attitudes of the “world”, they then become discouraged, disheartened, and twice hard to be won to the Kingdom.

If the light they see is not constant, burning bright in good times and completely out in the bad, if they see the flickering, and wavering, what are they seeing any different from what they see in the world?

If the light seems to brighten and dim at will, randomly deciding what is shown in light and what undesirable behavior is to be hidden in the darkness Then does that light not run the risk of having the source of that light “hidden” from itself?

As Jesus “hid” himself from them after he had warned them to WALK in that light WHILE they had that light, and to BELIEVE in that light so that they would also be children of light, should we not also carefully consider his warning for our present day?

Our biggest issue with this in this present time is the “war with the world”, we have so caved into the thoughts and ideologies of this world that we have weakened our own beliefs of the Gospel to the point that even the “church” as a world body has lowered the standards that were never negotiable, to the point that scripture can be twisted to fit any “belief” desired whether or not that belief is of a sound Godly doctrine . 

If it is to change, we must change our own thinking.

We will only be responsible for our lives and by that same token WE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR LIVES!

We will have no recourse in telling the Lord one day that “everyone else was doing it to” or that “the church down the road taught…”

No, He gave us his word and his word we live by, He gave his Spirit to lead us and to guide and when we are continually walking in the flesh and sin, with no desire to repent or change and far worse, NOT EVEN seeing why we need to change.

We are to be lights and no one is going to find their way off a darkened path by using a lamp that has a burned out light bulb!

Today IS a NEW day, and God’s will, tomorrow will be a NEW day.

Let us all remember that each and every day and REMEMBER who we are called to be, lights offering up the fragrant scent of prayer and of praise to Him and letting all we do be done in hope of glorifying His name.

Ephesians 5:1,2,7-16: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ hath also loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to god for a sweet-smelling savour (a beautiful aroma). 

Be not ye therefore partakers with them  (darkness of sin of this world) For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but NOW are ye LIGHT IN THE LORD: WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT:

( For the fruit of the Spirit IS in all goodness and righteousness and truth)

PROVING what IS ACCEPTABLE unto the Lord.

And have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 

For it is a shame to even to SPEAK of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the LIGHT: for whatsoever doth make manifest IS LIGHT.” 

1 Thessalonians 5:5: “YE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT, AND CHILDREN OF THE DAY: We are NOT of the night, NOR of darkness.”

 Matthew 5: 14-16: “Ye ARE the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) , but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto ALL that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The choice is ours and it is time to make the right one, CHOOSE to be that light, even if you weren’t yesterday, or last month, or even last year, CHOOSE today to be that light for Him.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Εξυπνιζω NB 2018

Martha, Mary & Ms. Medicority

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain woman named Martha received (WELCOMED) him INTO her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about (DISTRACTED WITH) much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath LEFT me to SERVE alone? Bid (TELL) her therefore that she help me. 

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about MANY things: But one thing is NEEDFUL: and Mary hath CHOSEN that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42 

Am I the only one that ever struggles with being BOTH of these ladies? I think probably not… but I want us to all think about the fact that even Martha’s, and Mary’s and their male counter parts, such as the disciples who questioned WHICH of them would be the GREATEST!

The prodigals brother who begrudged the dinner held in honor of the return of whom he viewed as “the slacker”.

The laborer’s who worked all day and were wroth that the “night shift” earned the same wage as they. 

Sometimes that battle is not with others, although that is quite common … but sometimes the biggest battle is WITHIN us. 

What I love with this story is that Martha WELCOMED him and clearly wanted him there and loved him and wanted ALL those who came to HER house to see HIM to receive that’s same warm welcome.

And almost EVERY single mention of Martha is the same… she is SERVING, working… working… working… no time to sit at his feet as her sister so often did. So we know from  this story that she was starting to get maybe just a little annoyed by this fact, there sat Mary and WHAT was doing? 

How could she just sit there just  ENJOYING the presence of the Lord, while Martha worked herself  to exhaustion is the question she pondered.

And we know she felt this, and when you really think about the fact that she was TALKING to Jesus, the God of the universe in human form, who was IN her house, and she is ASKING him, does he seriously not care that her sister won’t help and demanding that he MAKE her help! 

And as Jesus told her that Mary chose what was NEEDED, not only the most blessed, profitable, and pleasurable BUT actually NEEDED.

Martha DID want, I am sure her house to be clean, the guests served proper food, and every one to leave happy and eager to return, BUT in the process of this, she MISSED the good part, just as Jesus said.

She HAD him in her home, she had his presence surrounding all that was hers and but the WORK, the JOB, making sure that everything was done to perfection robbed her of enjoying that joy.

And I’m not picking on her, I wrestle with the “Martha” in me everyday, never enough time to do what needs to be done and trying to bring forth that fruit of the work of the kingdom with such ridiculous expectations that is often gets undone due to the sheer magnitude of unrealistic expectancy of the finished product! You know so tired from the preparation that you no longer have enough energy to cook the meal?  

And as far as us feeling that we have been let down or have no support with our work, we gotta ask ourselves this, when we get angry or resentful at others, were they actually ever SUPPOSED to be “helping” or did we juts expect them to?

Did we really even NEED help, or did we just WANT help to make the job a little easier? We can all sometimes hobo that train of thought, IF him, her, they would just “help” us with our work.

But in reality God calls us individually and sure they were sent two by two, but if God hasn’t called you into your calling as one of two, than obviously, whether it feels right, feels fair or not, it is just you., and with his SPIRIT, you and Him count as that two. 

And as she questioned the Lord as to whether or not he realized her plight, did she ever QUESTION her own thinking, that she was spending so much time worrying about the work that she completely forgot the greatest guest.

Do we sometimes get so caught up concentrating on the job that we forget that the God of the universe IS in the house?

During my little “break” I had realized that, I was so worried about this that, these dudes, who cares, who doesn’t, who could “help” me and who won’t, trying to run a separate blog just for ladies and this one which can be a whole lotta fire and brimstone, and I finally came to the conclusion that I was spending so much time being a “Martha” worrying over every little detail and trying way to hard to please imaginary people who would never be pleased anyway, and “proving” to myself and the world that I am called to do this, that I was completely FORGETTING who was in MY house! 

So what if I don’t write every single week, what if I don’t make much sense? What if every word isn’t correctly spelled and the grammar police are on my trail for run on sentences and bad jargon? I have been BLESSED to sit at the feet of my King, if I will CHOSE that good part! 

As I said I don’t think I am alone, I think many of us run the risk of burn out, as we begin feeling a pressure that Jesus NEVER put on us and if we don’t act quickly when we start to feel that burn out. We all start out as a “Mary” when we first encounter the Lord, helplessly enamored, learning everything we can and just basking in His presence and as time goes as we let that pressure mount as we take our roles as a Martha and begin our kingdom “service”. 

Unfortunately, we can become worn to the point as Martha, and become Ms. Mediocrity (or Mr.) when it is no longer about the fascination of just how real He is, or even about working in the kingdom, but that we allow ourselves to become so hum-drum and mentally dull from the “work” that we completely lose fact that we are blessed in precious moments that are not guaranteed to last forever.

Just as I wonder, Did Martha ever think in hind sight, about all the time she had spent worrying and fretting, regretting every troubled moment, considering that Jesus was shortly thereafter crucified, ENDING His earthly visits to her home.

Knowing all the time she could have spent just enjoying Him, as the Bible tells us concerning our own salvation, ” SEEK the Lord WHILE he may be found”.

I am not saying that we will lose our salvation, but I am saying, at least for myself, as was brought to my own realization, that sometimes we spend so much time TRYING to be Martha, that we forget that we NEED to be Mary and when we CAN NEVER be both, and no one should ever want to be Ms. Mediocrity!

Φλογίζω NB 2018

Love this artist and this new song is awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Feelin’ out the familiar footing”

Now this is something you probably do not hear everyday…or really any day, but I seriously got stuck to a board!

To explain this, first let me explain that for several months my family has had an issue with the DOT of our state and as you know this stands for Department of Transportation, but trust me in this case it has stood for Department of Tyranny, and that is a story that will probably become several future posts about what I have learned from all of it.

But for now I want to share a truly bizarre story and the spiritual thought I derived from it.

Around two months ago I was outside praying in certain areas because of the onset of what can only be referred to as state demanded carnage of private property for nothing more that a nice fat paycheck to those who are issued grant money for supposed “improvements” but again, we’ll get into that a little in the future.

But anyway, God taught me long ago that your answer is ALWAYS there when you are praying once he shows you how to read what you are seeing. So my husband and I were wandering around and I was praying about the whole heart breaking situation and I had been paying really close attention to everywhere I stepped because of the obvious dangers left in what could only be called an earthen war-zone, complete with an unmarked and completely unsecured twenty feet drop off  with NO containment whatsoever. 

So I want to stress, I KNEW to be careful and I THOUGHT I was BEING careful… that is until as I made my way to a little tree that has been home to a bird house for more years than I can remember, a place I had walked to hundreds and hundreds of times and suddenly I felt a familiar, but dreaded piercing in my left foot.

It took my brain but a second to register the fact that I had just managed to somehow step on a nail, so I quickly shifted ALL my weight to my right foot… only to drive a SECOND nail even deeper into that foot.

And at the point I literally just jumped completely out of both shoes (they were the slide on sneaker type) and I look and here are BOTH of my shoes actually stuck perfectly side by side to this board!

It was actually a piece of partial board and why on earth it had been laid there with nails driven through it is beyond me! Evidently someone had been doing some repairs and ripped it off and set it aside and completely forgot to move it.

So here is my husband who is as blown away by what just happened as I was and he is holding up this board and literally has to PULL my shoes free from the board and help get them back on me.

Of course he moved the board so no one else would step on it. The thing with this was the familiarity of that spot, a place, like I said, I have been and been, so much so that I DID NOT EVEN BOTHER LOOKING FOR DANGER and there is some symbolism in that.

Needless to say, this was very painful, the second much worse because I was trying to “get away” from the nail sticking into the first foot and by putting all my weight down on the second nail that I did not know was there, it went even deeper and STILL has not healed completely.

But I finished what I set out to do, painful or not, got home, soaked both feet in Epsom salts and applied antibiotic cream and band aids and the truly AMAZING aspect to this story is this, I fully expected to get up the next morning and have to hobble and hop for a week and to my absolute amazement, my feet were NOT even sore.

I know that is hard to believe but honestly had it not been for changing the band aids out each day I would have not known I had ever hurt them. And I KNOW that was GOD!

It had to be God, no other explanation, it hurt and it hurt bad just trying to walk back home after I did and I threw my shoes away because the nail hole and blood in the worse of the two made me quite sure I did not want to wear them ever again!

And I really chalked it up to an attack waged that God intervened in. But I could not get past the fact of how “familiar” that little bird house spot was to me.

Had it been any other place I would have done exactly as I had been during the rest of my walk, I would have LOOKED, I would have WATCHED, and I would have been CAREFUL before I took that first step and assuredly CAREFUL before I took the second!

And as I pondered it, I could truly see so many similarities between my physical pain caused by familiarity and some of the spiritual pain we all suffer sometimes because of  spiritual and emotional familiarity.

#1.We are often trapped, snare, or wounded in the areas that are our comfort zones and we fail to consider that those are perfect areas for the enemy to hide those nails he wants us to become impaled to because he knows we will be so comfortable walking through those places that we will not even bothering to think of the hidden dangers that may await us.

#2. Once we are shocked by that unforeseen piercing we have just  endured, such as when a friend betrays you or a companion suddenly parts ways with you, or unexpectedly terminated from a job that you had counted on for future security, so many things can surprise us in those places, causing us to misjudge, act too quickly, and often in attempt to lessen that initial pain, we will fall to a second snare causing us even greater hurt and damage.

#3. Becoming STUCK, sometimes those snares, traps, and double whammies can leave us simply UNABLE to move, spiritual becoming STUCK in our despair and unable to free ourselves and losing our “shoes” that we need to complete the journey.

#4. It IS those times in life that we MUST stand still, right where we are and it is in THOSE times that the Lord in His mercy and goodness, and grace pulls us free and shods our feet once AGAIN as we go on to minister, preach, witness, testify, and sets us afresh on that path that He has blessed and He heals us as He sends our “feet” forth for His kingdom.

#5. Lastly, snares, traps, and pitfalls will come, whether strategically placed in your way by the enemy tp prevent something he does not want you to accomplish or if it is just simply due to our own lack of observation but one thing is for sure, Jesus will NEVER leave us and He will ALWAYS rescue us and He will NEVER leave us stuck dead in the road on our road for Him!

Psalm 138: ” I WILL praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

WILL worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truthfor thy hast magnified THY WORD above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strenghthenedst me with strength in my soul. 

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of my mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect (regard) unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

THOUGH I WALK IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE, THOU WILT (will) REVIVE ME:

THOU SHALT STRETCH FORTH THINE HAND AGAINST THE WRATH OF MINE ENEMIES AND THY RIGHT HAND SHALL SAVE ME.

The Lord WILL perfect (complete) that which concerneth me: THY MERCY, O LORD, ENDURETH FOR EVER: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

So if you happen to step on a nail any time soon. just remember it could always be worse,  you could have  stepped on two! 🙂

Thanks for reading, Love and peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω Εξυπνιζω

LOVE this song!

 

 

Parental guidance #2 “KNOW them”

1 Thessalonians 5:12: “And we beseech you, (urgently, fervently, implore) brethren , to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish (instruct) you; 

Now of course if you are going to study the Bible, it is imperative that you read ALL verses before, after, and cross-reference to get the full meanings.

And another secret to it all it that often part of a thought or an account of something will be in one book and the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would have said, it to be found somewhere else.

Some can even go between the Old Testament and the New Testament, which is a killer for those who want to argue that the Old Testament is archaic and we do not have to live by any of it now… not quite true.

The other reason I believe that God had it arranged this way it to actually fulfill part of what He said as recorded in Matthew 13:13: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” 

He went on to expound on what had been written by the Prophet Isaiah as to the reasoning behind this. And this arrangement becomes quite a formidable foe to those who attempt to twist the word of God and use HIS own scripture to seemingly contradict itself.

Years ago I was watching a “History” show on Sodom and Gomorrah ( I KNOW better but sometimes I just do it to see how far out they can go) and the thing with this particular take was that they were NOT disputing the destruction of Sodom, they WERE disputing the REASON it was destroyed.

So the “expert” reads the Old Testament account and concludes that the Bible NEVER states that the destruction was due to sexual immorality.

BUT actually the Bible DOES state it only it is found in the NEW Testament and in the Book of Jude. And unfortunately the untold MILLIONS of people who watched this show and took the “expert” opinion on the subject viewed this as the Gospel and were now given even MORE free range to sin at will with no expected Divine repercussions for that sin.

And THAT is the ONLY reason so much as been done on the subject over the last twenty years. it is NOT to promote the kingdom it is to attempt to pacify those who believe and know that God does truly exist but still want to hang onto sinful lifestyles, and these “experts” have done a marvelous job of it!

Which why there are so many false, pagan churches today who claim the name of Jesus Christ but would not know Him if He “walked into the room” actually as soon as He started to teach repentance, hell, and judgment, just as He DID while He walked earth, He would be escorted to the door, accused of sedition and running off the congregation… HEY, doesn’t THAT sound rather familiar?

And the leaders would quickly apologize to those who had been OFFENDED by those hurtful words regarding the REQUIRED standards of KINGDOM living.

Something else sounds quite familiar also…  when Jesus spoke into confirmation more words prophesied of old and as with THAT generation, they ring ever so true AGAIN in ours…

Matthew 15:7-9: “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” 

Now THAT is an expert opinion on the subject!!!

Notice HE did say that they WORSHIPPED Him but because it was not worship of the heart and it was NOT of His teaching BUT of man’s own thoughts TAUGHT as doctrine, that worship WAS and STILL IS in vain.

Making it absolutely WORTHLESS.

So now that we have that covered. KNOWING those who labor among you, KNOWING their LIVES, how they live AT home, HOW they treat their families and friends. That is a kind of knowing that we need NOW more than ever.

I truly believe that there is a shift that God wants for the “church” we NEED to turn back to Him in the type of service and worship that He intended.

Seek those “old paths” as the Bible instructs of us. I still fail to completely understand why there was ever a need felt to “fix” something that was NEVER broken.

I am talking about “youth groups” and before you get all mad at me and stop reading… Just WAIT and HEAR me out!

I am NOT talking about kids services provided by ONE church with ONE pastor who is over the ENTIRE FLOCK and KNOWS what they are being taught and more so WHO is teaching them. I am talking about the “youth” craze and culture of huge conferences of music and “worship” by travelling “youth leaders” and organizations that kids and teens are being herded off to.

I had a conversation with a person who had a horrible experience at a youth conference, most chilling thing was what they said about it, that “parents NEED to go with their kids and see what is going on and what is being taught.” 

With parents and I personally believe half the time church leaders THEMSELVES knowing NOTHING about these people other than rave reviews and mass numbers of attendance Satan has really ran a gambit with that one too, so much has become about the NUMBERS not the souls.

Anyone remember David getting into some serious trouble with God for NUMBERING Israel? 

It is NOT the quantity it is the QUALITY. We ARE to be rearing up a generation for the Lord, to take over ministry reins and why do we want to trust those babies to people and DOCTRINES that may NOT even be the same truths that we as a family hold?

And I will admit it can be quite groovy when a parent who does NOT attend church sends their kid’s to summer Bible school, but tell you a little secret.. that child is LEARNING the most important lessons of life from YOU.

You want them saved the best thing you can do is accept Christ yourself. Parents who also treat church as a secondary life choice, you know go when it is convenient or there isn’t something else planned are also setting their children up to have this same attitude, when the Lord said that He would “spew” us out of His mouth for being lukewarm.

And people who “discipline” children during church, I will admit that I have left services because of this, the me in me wants to shake the parents and tell them to try hitting someone who hits back.

Sorry, it is the truth.. if all a kid knows the house of God to be is a place where you must sit and be a soldier or else get spanked WHY on earth would they want to go there when they grow up and NEED to feel safe and loved during tough seasons of life?

No. all they will associate it with is discipline and as Paul said “When I was a CHILD, I THOUGHT AS A CHILD” and Jesus LOVES those babies!

As parents we have ALL made mistakes, I have made A LOT and I am sure most everyone has too but these are things we can CHANGE!

We know that we are in the “great falling away” we also know that we are PROMISED the last day outpouring, so we also KNOW that these two have to meet in the middle.

As the old song says… “Give me that OLD TIME religion.. it WAS good enough for Momma, it is good enough for me…”

Get back to basics, worship TOGETHER as a FAMILY as God intended.

And if you have been blessed to be called as an overseer of a flock remember a little something GOD CALLED YOU OVER THAT FLOCK, HE DID NOT TELL YOU TO HIRE IT OUT.

TAKE YOUR FAMILY BACK IN 2018!

Εξυπνιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2018

Part one /  Parental Guidance Highly Suggested

 

“Not for sale”

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

It has been truly awesome to watch the steady uprising of women who are tired of being chased around the proverbial desks. Those who have grown weary of the sexual harassment and unwelcome comments that have plagued women since the dawn of our time outside the garden.

I love how all have drawn courage from the others and rising one by one, proclaiming that they are simply not taking it any more. It has produced  a beautiful domino effect, as we watch powerful male after powerful male fall one on top the other. And that is TRUE feminism.

But we still have battles to fight, and roads to pave, because although we are TO BE considered “equal” on the surface while LIVING daily lives in a sub-culture of the under current of  being “fair game” in the workplace and honestly, many other places, we know we still have  along way to go.

We had only skimmed the surface and NOW we are dragging  the net and hauling all the predators out of our waters.

As a little girl I grew up during the feminist movement and I do realize that was a privilege because societal chains were being broken as many celebrities began using their star power to influence those just like me, the younger generation with their messages of equality sans ownership.

And as an American, I KNOW how blessed we are.

I know that in many countries our sisters live under the rule of men and even younger male relatives that they must “ask permission” of before making any decisions. The have NO rights, NO rights for freedom, NO rights for themselves, and no legal recourse whatsoever, and feel that they have NO way out, and often they don’t.

So we are blessed, we have the right to make our voices be heard. We have the rights to truly pursue those things that our constitution PROMISED us.

We have the right to seek legal remedy (though that has often been a bad one-sided joke, favoring the male) but fortunately that also is changing.. for the better. And we are blessed among nations in having those rights, that have been won through hard-fought battles.

Now time has come and the most basic of battles is being fought. But you know, as far as we have come, we are never going to get to where we need to go until we realize WHO we are.

I really think what happened along the way is that as we fought for those rights and became a prominent force outside of the home and as more women chose not to marry and the enemy spoon fed us the line of sexual freedom, it left us as vulnerable prey to the wolves of the world because the were NO clear-cut rules.

Only now they can use the “misunderstanding” plea. The is no way to EVER misunderstand someone’s unwanted, unwelcome attention. There is NO way to misunderstand lewd comments and gestures.

But for years, decades, eons, women had felt forced to tolerate this behavior as “part of life”, part of being in a “man’s world”. God never intended this as part of life, nor did He ever intend this to be a man’s world.

We ARE all created equal, at birth we ARE equal, and in God, as scripture states, “….There IS NEITHER male nor female; for ye are ALL one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

We have allowed OURSELVES to be silenced, no one did that to us, we feel for that trick and now, finally awakening has come but we also need to awake to the truth. The truth of Jesus Christ.

The truth that all the beautiful reasoning’s of the heart and soul of the woman IS there because we were created by a beautiful Holy God who chose to place those things inside of in identifying us, as just that, womankind.

Different, because we are CREATED to be different and to ever buy into the lie that we are to just “grin and bear it” and accept behavior that hurt us, degrade us, and humiliate us as just “part of life” has been a greater tragedy that any prejudice shown us.

And while accepting this pack of lies that in order to play on an equal field we have to allow ourselves to be covered and in filth and mud from the other players, we have also bought into the biggest of those lies against us, that God is a woman-hater who is responsible for arranging the players on that field.

We have been guilty of selling ourselves for “nought”, which means nothing. We have accepted this offer for our “rights” that still keep us bound in chains of substandard humanism.

When Christ died to make us FREE, He came that we might not only have life but have it more abundantly and our freedom WAS purchased by Him in His blood.

Not given to us by any man or demanded through the court ordered through passage of laws. But given through Him and His death on the cross. He said, that we WILL know THAT truth and THAT truth WILL make us free.

NOW is the time, the time, as all this comes to light, as this “discussion” (I fail to see what there is to discuss, when “keep your hands off and your nasty thoughts to yourself ” should be evident and go without saying in ANY workplace) but as the discussion is finally taking place, it is prime time to also win women back to Christ through the TRUE Gospel.

Which is love, mercy, kindness, and best of all ABSOLUTE equality, protection and justice for us, and for all who have been oppressed. Embrace it! Whatever you ministry is, or if you have just felt led and not actually started a ministry yet. Pray about it and do it!

Take every opportunity given during this time of awaking, as women awake to the realization that we do not have to suffer this and we can change the world for our daughters and our daughters daughters, if time stands.

Through the example of only one person standing against any injustice, others are encouraged and inspired, and strengthened to also make that stand.

Wherever He has placed you today, use that place to stand and show others the truth and wisdom, and power in the word of God and encourage them to STOP selling themselves for nothing and to NEVER sell out their identity in God.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017

 

“Something needs to break”

“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat (at the dinner table), there came a woman having an alabaster box (flask) of ointment of spikenard,very precious (costly); and she brake the box and poured it on his head.” Mark 14:3

Before we begin, I do want to take one more opportunity to absolutely STRESS that these teaching CAN NOT be viewed with the carnal mind.

We live in the world and the world associates love, longing, and the desire to have ones soul entwined as something sensual and carnal but dealing with the teaching of Christ and the Church as His Bride and the love and extremely intimate relationship that He desires IS spiritual, IT IS the love of your soul, which is why it can not be viewed or studied without salvation and the understanding that all things have to be compared spiritually.

And there are so many sites dedicated to nothing more than what they consider “apostasy” and they assert that if someone has had an experience different from their own that they are obviously a heretic, and many denominations conclude that the outpouring of the Spirit, and the gifts, and especially tongues and prophecies were only for the time of the disciples, mainly during the writing of the book of Acts.

BUT they are wrong and the Bible even teaches us that there are different manifestations of the Spirit and I for one declare what I KNOW to be true and maybe they just need to pray to experience these things BEFORE they malign others. SO there is my disclaimer!

EVERYTHING is symbolic and ALL the teachings of the Bible APPLY to us now. God had it written through His Holy Revelation as a guidebook for all the generations that would come after its completion.

NOTHING else is needed and if anyone believes that those teachings are outdated or for certain times then how would He want us to navigate our way now? That is the trouble with that argument.

It DOES apply and the symbolism, once He has taught you to “read” it is where the answers to many of our questions are found. So on that note, let’s get going!

In our verse, she FOUND him, she made a CONSCIOUS effort to seek him, she did not wait for “fate” to allow her a chance meeting. We have to get out of the thinking that what we seek will “just happen” and “if it is meant to be it will” that may be all well and good, but  David PROCLAIMED in Psalm 27:8:

When thou saidst, SEEK YE MY FACE, MY HEART SAID UNTO THEE, THY FACE, LORD, WILL I SEEK.”

Song of Solomon 3:1-4: “By NIGHT on my bed I SOUGHT HIM WHOM MY SOUL LOVETH, I sought him, but I found him not.

I WILL RISE now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I WILL SEEK HIM WHOM MY SOUL LOVETH; I sought him but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth?

It was but a LITTLE that I passed from them, but I FOUND HIM WHOM MY SOUL LOVETH; I HELD HIM, AND WOULD NOT LET HIM GO….

We are encouraged through theses verses and MANY more to SEEK, so IF we are already saved, WHY would we be told to SEEK?

Because there IS more, for David was to be promoted from shepherd boy to thrice anointed King, whose throne WILL stand forever.

I am sure the disciples would have been saved once they did indeed accept Christ as the Messiah, BUT it was when they heeded His words “FOLLOW ME” that their discipleship was enacted.

And our lady the church, in the above verses from Solomon, had SEARCHED and SEARCHED, and could NOT even sleep because her heart longed and searched for the ONE she knew that her soul must find.

And as those verse point out, finding him was NOT easy, she HAD TO RISE UP and move OUT of her comfort zone.

The “watchmen” evidently thought she was a little far out considering they ‘found” her, leading us to think that they questioned what on earth was she doing. But she told them, asking them Where is he? They were obviously of no help since we are told that shortly after she did find him and would not lose what she had found.

And that is about where Mary of Bethany found herself, she HAD sought and she found him at the dinner table and in her desperation, she did “pass by the watchmen” those that held the dinner that she had not been invited to, she CAME ANYWAY.

And that is sometimes what it takes to get some alabaster breaking, the willingness to not care what anyone else thinks of you or your worship of the Lord, how crazy they think you are or what a fanatic they accuse of being.

The ONLY thing she brought with her was her alabaster flask, alabaster in its purest form is snow white (dig, the symbolism) but it the iron it is exposed to that produces the faded color and “veining” but it remains translucent, and it’s softness it what makes it so delicate and easily carved and with enough water it will dissolve but under the wrong conditions it will become hard as any other rock.

Can you see “US”, our feminine state in the alabaster?

He does create us pure as snow, but enough hardness, hurt, and “iron” of this life will dull that white turning it as burnt amber with all the fine lines and cracks from those things that have almost broken us, forming the veining throughout the piece but it still retains its translucency, still allowing light to pass through, even in its darkened state, and while not a perfect image, what the vessel truly holds can still be somewhat seen through the marred surface.

We ARE the alabaster vessels, and the hardness will soften and vanish completely away once that “vessel” is washed over by  “living” waters.

Her flask held spikenard, still heralded as an anointing oil, but the secret to this is the flowers of the plant is comes from, the flowers are pink and bell-shaped, beautiful and fragrant, again super feminine, just like we like to be, we want to feel our best, feel feminine, and as the plant “wears” it’s pretty pink bells, so do we.

BUT what we see on the surface is NOT always a reflection of what lies underneath and this plants has some serious roots.

How about our roots? What lies beneath our surfaces, what is so deep, so horrid, so hidden, that we can not even bring ourselves to dig it up?

But to get this oil, you have to deal with the roots, and it is funny, if the roots are stored they are prone to bacteria and infection, they also have the ability to shoot off and grow more roots, (troubles) and it to get the oil the roots must be CRUSHED. Destroying the root BUT producing something so beautiful in return.

In our story it was EXPENSIVE, worth around a years wages, so in our spirits what is the worth of our OWN alabaster boxes?

What caused the fading, veining, and cracks? What was the price paid for everything contained in that vessel?

Tears, heartaches, betrayals, and mistakes, coercions, and outright attacks. Was that price so high that, like some of us, that the vessel is all you even have left? If you know there are things to be dealt with, roots that cost you your peace, joy, and happiness, cracks in that alabaster that has left you feeling worthless and unloved, or cheated and betrayed, or wounds of loss that seem to have destroyed any hope for your present, much less hope of a future. SEEK HIM.

Jeremiah 29:13 :”And ye SHALL seek me, and FIND me, when YOU SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART.”

Find him, take your vessel and BREAK IT, scripture says: Isaiah 53:5…..”the CHASTISEMENT of OUR PEACE was UPON HIM;…”

He GIVES us HIS peace when we are willing to break and allow everything in us to be poured out and if you are have trouble with things that just won’t seem to go away and fighting the same emotional battles over and over again, give it to Him because He wants to make you new but you have to let Him, and take the vessel of your heart, your soul, to him, your will, your fears, take it ALL,  it has to break, and those roots must be crushed, there is no other way.

True freedom is given at the feet of Jesus, your enemies can not touch you, your past can not haunt you, and those roots, once crushed will never sprout up again!

Εξυπιζω NBJ 2017

Don’t blink..

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put (add) your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices,and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices; 

But this THING I commanded them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and WALK ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 

But they hearkened not (did not listen), nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and  in the imagination (stubbornness) of  their evil heart, and went BACKWARD, and not forward.” Jeremiah 7: 21-24 

I have been brushing up on the book of Jeremiah in a whole new light, I will share it as a blog page in my “page” section” Juggling Jeremiah and encourage any who are interested in end time prophecy to check it out and study it also.

But back to my point, I have been just a wee afraid that we are on borrowed time… actually I KNOW we are.

And hate the new president or not, we were STILL blessed with answered prayer. Many, many churches and families were having special prayer meetings just for the sole purpose of praying about the last American presidential election.

And I truly believe had it not gone the way it went we would have had some major trouble with certain “mother” land. But I am concerned that if we fail to make the most of this season, when we are absolute liberty to express our christian beliefs and use every resource given us to evangelize and spread the good news of the Gospel that a time will come, and is already quite still looming on the horizon when those original freedoms that were just so recently hard-fought to regain could be at even a greater risk than what we have known.

I don’t think anyone is naive enough to believe that the anti-God counter-culture that rose up under the prior administration has just vanished, conceded defeat, threw in the towel and retired from the ring.. forever. Not even close.. Au contraire… they are recouping, regrouping, and regaining momentum to fight another day.

A battle that many will not even see coming and if you blink you may just miss it before it rises up in a whole new kind of power. I’m not even going to get into the socialist, anti-God, anti-American thoughts and actions that ALMOST split our country into but we do all know that hatred in the name of tolerance, which is such an oxymoron in itself, spread like wild, group against group, hatred and violence spewing persona against person, no one to blame and YET everyone blamed one another.

But we all know as a truth “history is apt to repeat itself” if we forget that history.

And it has for a season tempered down a little and it is in this season that whatever difference is to be made, must be made.

We can’t be taking it easy, resting on our lees, when we have to keep fighting the good fight and keep fighting to keep the rights that were becoming so sketchy and shaky as we saw the white house go rainbow, traditional marriage “go south” and bakers fined hundred of thousands of dollars for refusing to bake cakes to celebrate what they hold as absolute abominations to God, and truly it would be no different from baking cakes honoring Satanic worship, pagan deity, or anything they hold personally offensive and morally wrong… however had they refused to bake a cake honoring, celebrating, or encouraging dog-fighting, or elder abuse, or even slavery the whole world would have been behind them cheering them on in the defiant stand for those PERSONAL beliefs.

Yeah.. as long as those beliefs CONDONE their behaviors or condemn the “unsavory” and SOCIALLY UNACCEPTABLE behaviors that they PERSONALLY find despicable.

Funny how it works out that way! Good old socialism and how dare you refer to a transgender person by other that what they PREFER? That’ll get you a fast trip on the money tree express to lawsuit city.

And God help anyone who would accidentally saw the wrong thing or be confused in their true intent with a comment or thought expressed, or heaven forbid their own PERSONAL OPINION.

Ahh.. I remember the days when we actually had our opinions and people were ENCOURAGED to form their own opinions.

Now we are to CONFORM to the supposed popular opinion.. which is THEIR opinion or face their wrath of “love, peace, and tolerance” of being called names and accused of hate crimes.

Romans 12:2:” And be ye NOT conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may PROVE what IS that good, and ACCEPTABLE, and perfect ( BLAMELESS) WILL OF GOD.” 

So don’t get too comfortable just yet, don’t start taking it easy and keeping your voice to yourself because there is still that horizon, and there is still that “champion” to be sent, just as Goliath was sent forth as the champion for the Hebrews to fight against or become slaves to their enemies.

A new “champion” is rising with a whole new agenda to “preach” against, an agenda that if not dealt with in a Godly way, taken serious and rectified, as it was intended.. for freedom, that agenda will be used to usher in a much darker one than anything we have yet seen.

So remember what God told us, to obey HIS laws and GO FORWARD, do not go backward and do not take the easy path of retreat being fully prepared for a battle truly determines the outcome of that battle and sometimes in being well prepared a battle can even be avoided.

Stand your ground and stay strong in the Word and in God, be ready at all times as the word tell us to be “instant in season and out of season.” don’t forget where we have been because we sure don’t want to go back.

Σαλπιζω NLB 2018

Parental guidance #2 “KNOW them”

1 Thessalonians 5:12: “And we beseech you, (urgently, fervently, implore) brethren , to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish (instruct) you; 

Now of course if you are going to study the Bible, it is imperative that you read ALL verses before, after, and cross-reference to get the full meanings.

And another secret to it all it that often part of a thought or an account of something will be in one book and the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would have said, it to be found somewhere else.

Some can even go between the Old Testament and the New Testament, which is a killer for those who want to argue that the Old Testament is archaic and we do not have to live by any of it now… not quite true.

The other reason I believe that God had it arranged this way it to actually fulfill part of what He said as recorded in Matthew 13:13: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” 

He went on to expound on what had been written by the Prophet Isaiah as to the reasoning behind this. And this arrangement becomes quite a formidable foe to those who attempt to twist the word of God and use HIS own scripture to seemingly contradict itself.

Years ago I was watching a “History” show on Sodom and Gomorrah ( I KNOW better but sometimes I just do it to see how far out they can go) and the thing with this particular take was that they were NOT disputing the destruction of Sodom, they WERE disputing the REASON it was destroyed.

So the “expert” reads the Old Testament account and concludes that the Bible NEVER states that the destruction was due to sexual immorality.

BUT actually the Bible DOES state it only it is found in the NEW Testament and in the Book of Jude. And unfortunately the untold MILLIONS of people who watched this show and took the “expert” opinion on the subject viewed this as the Gospel and were now given even MORE free range to sin at will with no expected Divine repercussions for that sin.

And THAT is the ONLY reason so much as been done on the subject over the last twenty years. it is NOT to promote the kingdom it is to attempt to pacify those who believe and know that God does truly exist but still want to hang onto sinful lifestyles, and these “experts” have done a marvelous job of it!

Which why there are so many false, pagan churches today who claim the name of Jesus Christ but would not know Him if He “walked into the room” actually as soon as He started to teach repentance, hell, and judgment, just as He DID while He walked earth, He would be escorted to the door, accused of sedition and running off the congregation… HEY, doesn’t THAT sound rather familiar?

And the leaders would quickly apologize to those who had been OFFENDED by those hurtful words regarding the REQUIRED standards of KINGDOM living.

Something else sounds quite familiar also…  when Jesus spoke into confirmation more words prophesied of old and as with THAT generation, they ring ever so true AGAIN in ours…

Matthew 15:7-9: “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” 

Now THAT is an expert opinion on the subject!!!

Notice HE did say that they WORSHIPPED Him but because it was not worship of the heart and it was NOT of His teaching BUT of man’s own thoughts TAUGHT as doctrine, that worship WAS and STILL IS in vain.

Making it absolutely WORTHLESS.

So now that we have that covered. KNOWING those who labor among you, KNOWING their LIVES, how they live AT home, HOW they treat their families and friends. That is a kind of knowing that we need NOW more than ever.

I truly believe that there is a shift that God wants for the “church” we NEED to turn back to Him in the type of service and worship that He intended.

Seek those “old paths” as the Bible instructs of us. I still fail to completely understand why there was ever a need felt to “fix” something that was NEVER broken.

I am talking about “youth groups” and before you get all mad at me and stop reading… Just WAIT and HEAR me out!

I am NOT talking about kids services provided by ONE church with ONE pastor who is over the ENTIRE FLOCK and KNOWS what they are being taught and more so WHO is teaching them. I am talking about the “youth” craze and culture of huge conferences of music and “worship” by travelling “youth leaders” and organizations that kids and teens are being herded off to.

I had a conversation with a person who had a horrible experience at a youth conference, most chilling thing was what they said about it, that “parents NEED to go with their kids and see what is going on and what is being taught.” 

With parents and I personally believe half the time church leaders THEMSELVES knowing NOTHING about these people other than rave reviews and mass numbers of attendance Satan has really ran a gambit with that one too, so much has become about the NUMBERS not the souls.

Anyone remember David getting into some serious trouble with God for NUMBERING Israel? 

It is NOT the quantity it is the QUALITY. We ARE to be rearing up a generation for the Lord, to take over ministry reins and why do we want to trust those babies to people and DOCTRINES that may NOT even be the same truths that we as a family hold?

And I will admit it can be quite groovy when a parent who does NOT attend church sends their kid’s to summer Bible school, but tell you a little secret.. that child is LEARNING the most important lessons of life from YOU.

You want them saved the best thing you can do is accept Christ yourself. Parents who also treat church as a secondary life choice, you know go when it is convenient or there isn’t something else planned are also setting their children up to have this same attitude, when the Lord said that He would “spew” us out of His mouth for being lukewarm.

And people who “discipline” children during church, I will admit that I have left services because of this, the me in me wants to shake the parents and tell them to try hitting someone who hits back.

Sorry, it is the truth.. if all a kid knows the house of God to be is a place where you must sit and be a soldier or else get spanked WHY on earth would they want to go there when they grow up and NEED to feel safe and loved during tough seasons of life?

No. all they will associate it with is discipline and as Paul said “When I was a CHILD, I THOUGHT AS A CHILD” and Jesus LOVES those babies!

As parents we have ALL made mistakes, I have made A LOT and I am sure most everyone has too but these are things we can CHANGE!

We know that we are in the “great falling away” we also know that we are PROMISED the last day outpouring, so we also KNOW that these two have to meet in the middle.

As the old song says… “Give me that OLD TIME religion.. it WAS good enough for Momma, it is good enough for me…”

Get back to basics, worship TOGETHER as a FAMILY as God intended.

And if you have been blessed to be called as an overseer of a flock remember a little something GOD CALLED YOU OVER THAT FLOCK, HE DID NOT TELL YOU TO HIRE IT OUT.

TAKE YOUR FAMILY BACK IN 2018!

Εξυπνιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2018

Part one /  Parental Guidance Highly Suggested

 

“Not for sale”

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

It has been truly awesome to watch the steady uprising of women who are tired of being chased around the proverbial desks. Those who have grown weary of the sexual harassment and unwelcome comments that have plagued women since the dawn of our time outside the garden.

I love how all have drawn courage from the others and rising one by one, proclaiming that they are simply not taking it any more. It has produced  a beautiful domino effect, as we watch powerful male after powerful male fall one on top the other. And that is TRUE feminism.

But we still have battles to fight, and roads to pave, because although we are TO BE considered “equal” on the surface while LIVING daily lives in a sub-culture of the under current of  being “fair game” in the workplace and honestly, many other places, we know we still have  along way to go.

We had only skimmed the surface and NOW we are dragging  the net and hauling all the predators out of our waters.

As a little girl I grew up during the feminist movement and I do realize that was a privilege because societal chains were being broken as many celebrities began using their star power to influence those just like me, the younger generation with their messages of equality sans ownership.

And as an American, I KNOW how blessed we are.

I know that in many countries our sisters live under the rule of men and even younger male relatives that they must “ask permission” of before making any decisions. The have NO rights, NO rights for freedom, NO rights for themselves, and no legal recourse whatsoever, and feel that they have NO way out, and often they don’t.

So we are blessed, we have the right to make our voices be heard. We have the rights to truly pursue those things that our constitution PROMISED us.

We have the right to seek legal remedy (though that has often been a bad one-sided joke, favoring the male) but fortunately that also is changing.. for the better. And we are blessed among nations in having those rights, that have been won through hard-fought battles.

Now time has come and the most basic of battles is being fought. But you know, as far as we have come, we are never going to get to where we need to go until we realize WHO we are.

I really think what happened along the way is that as we fought for those rights and became a prominent force outside of the home and as more women chose not to marry and the enemy spoon fed us the line of sexual freedom, it left us as vulnerable prey to the wolves of the world because the were NO clear-cut rules.

Only now they can use the “misunderstanding” plea. The is no way to EVER misunderstand someone’s unwanted, unwelcome attention. There is NO way to misunderstand lewd comments and gestures.

But for years, decades, eons, women had felt forced to tolerate this behavior as “part of life”, part of being in a “man’s world”. God never intended this as part of life, nor did He ever intend this to be a man’s world.

We ARE all created equal, at birth we ARE equal, and in God, as scripture states, “….There IS NEITHER male nor female; for ye are ALL one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

We have allowed OURSELVES to be silenced, no one did that to us, we feel for that trick and now, finally awakening has come but we also need to awake to the truth. The truth of Jesus Christ.

The truth that all the beautiful reasoning’s of the heart and soul of the woman IS there because we were created by a beautiful Holy God who chose to place those things inside of in identifying us, as just that, womankind.

Different, because we are CREATED to be different and to ever buy into the lie that we are to just “grin and bear it” and accept behavior that hurt us, degrade us, and humiliate us as just “part of life” has been a greater tragedy that any prejudice shown us.

And while accepting this pack of lies that in order to play on an equal field we have to allow ourselves to be covered and in filth and mud from the other players, we have also bought into the biggest of those lies against us, that God is a woman-hater who is responsible for arranging the players on that field.

We have been guilty of selling ourselves for “nought”, which means nothing. We have accepted this offer for our “rights” that still keep us bound in chains of substandard humanism.

When Christ died to make us FREE, He came that we might not only have life but have it more abundantly and our freedom WAS purchased by Him in His blood.

Not given to us by any man or demanded through the court ordered through passage of laws. But given through Him and His death on the cross. He said, that we WILL know THAT truth and THAT truth WILL make us free.

NOW is the time, the time, as all this comes to light, as this “discussion” (I fail to see what there is to discuss, when “keep your hands off and your nasty thoughts to yourself ” should be evident and go without saying in ANY workplace) but as the discussion is finally taking place, it is prime time to also win women back to Christ through the TRUE Gospel.

Which is love, mercy, kindness, and best of all ABSOLUTE equality, protection and justice for us, and for all who have been oppressed. Embrace it! Whatever you ministry is, or if you have just felt led and not actually started a ministry yet. Pray about it and do it!

Take every opportunity given during this time of awaking, as women awake to the realization that we do not have to suffer this and we can change the world for our daughters and our daughters daughters, if time stands.

Through the example of only one person standing against any injustice, others are encouraged and inspired, and strengthened to also make that stand.

Wherever He has placed you today, use that place to stand and show others the truth and wisdom, and power in the word of God and encourage them to STOP selling themselves for nothing and to NEVER sell out their identity in God.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017

 

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

“Feelin’ Fifty”

To background our starter verses, this takes place at the time that the Lord and two angels came down to tell Abraham of cries of Sodom and that based on the findings there, the certain destruction, these verse are after they had eaten.

Genesis 18:9-18: “And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life, and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. 

And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.  Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women (she had passed the age of childbearing).

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed (grown) old shall I have pleasure, my lord (a term often used in Old English, not to be confused as subservient) being old also?

And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore (why) did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of surety bear a child, which am old? IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?

At the TIME APPOINTED I will return unto thee, ACCORDING TO THE TIME OF LIFE, and sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. and he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.”

Now let’s go to another angelic visitation, Gabriel had been sent to inform Zacharias that he would soon be a father, and let’s hear how Zacharias took the news:

Luke 1:18,19: “And Zacharias said UNTO the angel, Whereby (how) shall I KNOW this? For I am an old man, and my wife well stricken (advanced) in years.

And the angel answering said unto him,I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings (this good news), And behold,: thou shalt be dumb (mute), and not be able to speak, unto the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, WHICH SHALL BE FULFILLED IN THEIR SEASON.” 

Now we go down a few verses after Gabriel has given Mary the wonderful news of Jesus’ birth, Verse 36,37:

And Behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, WHO WAS CALLED BARREN. FOR WITH GOD NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE.”  

I can not help but to stop for a moment and say a couple of things, first, how awesome would it to have been to have the Lord and two angels for dinner and how awesome is that Gabriel even told Mary that Elisabeth was six months pregnant?

We fail to realize just how close heaven is entwined with earth and that may sometimes be a good thing because I don’t know that our human minds could take constantly being aware of the spirit world that surrounds us. And even those with discernment experience times that it is hard to “bounce back” from some of the “things” they encounter.

And that is NOT my subject today, this and the following post will be a little lightening up the way to a more serious “breaking point” but first we have to figure out WHERE we are and HOW we got there, and realize that we may NOT be as “off course” as we have thought!

AGING, oh what a cute jingle that could be.. “OH, OH, OH, I am A.G.I.N.G., A.G.I.N.G. and I don’t know what is happening to me!!!

Sound good? well, you’d have to hear me sing it to get the tune and since I am definitely NOT a songstress you are really better off singing it yourself 😉 now to be serious.

Let’s talk about menopause, wrinkles, and the hard cold reality, as for me, “the Old Brown mare ain’t what she used to be” and all the aches and pains trying to get out of bed let me know that EVERYDAY!

Of course, I have degenerative scoliosis, and two vertebrae in my neck that had already fused together at twenty, so some of the aches and pains are not new and the Lord has helped me so much that actually I have less problems with my spine than I did in my twenties but the hips, knees, and shoulders are a different story.

And every symptom of the “M” word sends me into an emotional battle royale with the imagery coming to mind being quite like a Clint Eastwood western, complete with the theme song for “The good, the bad, and the ugly”, it is high noon and it is me versus the inevitable “M” staring me down saying with a bad western accent, “Mam it’s time, your gonna have to surrender that right to bear children now” and I spit, strike a yoga pose and and say “Look, Big “M” you ain’t taking me today!”

Wow, my mind is a scary place!  I have no intention of having more children, it is just knowing that I can. And I have managed to completely convince myself that I was actually born with these wrinkles on my forehead! And I really don’t think “neck scarf” will ever have the same meaning for me since I developing one made of actual skin!

Turning fifty made me think a little harder about things, like what do I want to be when I grow up?

AND then I thought, wow, I am half a century old and maybe should have thought a few things out a little better while making life decisions! BUT I thank God for another year and I know how blessed I am to have every single day that I have because it is of God’s mercy, so please don’t take my comedic take on it wrong! I AM thankful for another day to age!

Why do so many of us as teens wish our lives away, just waiting for the day we turn the infamous eighteen? Me and my friend Genia have spent quite a bit of time pondering this, we have been friends forever and now we are like, what were we thinking?

We were thinking that life would be so much better, so much easier once we made our decisions and plotted our own course in the wide open world. SO WRONG, marriage, the worries of motherhood,work, bills, life, heartache, health issues.

Those choices we were so gung-ho to make now bear the realization that if we fail to make the right one consequences will be paid and most of all the awful, awful changes that come when we inevitably lose loved ones and are are faced with the horror that our lives will truly NEVER be the same because loss CHANGES everything.

So, I don’t know about other ladies but I know for me, personally, my biggest struggle is this, I view menopause as another change that brings AN END to part of my life, and I don’t want the change in my life because I have had too many changes already and I have came to understand through loss after loss of friends, church family, my cherished uncle whom I absolutely adored and aunts, and most of all my Brother Donnie and having countless family members having battled cancer and other diseases and the recent health issues my husband has had, I realized that is it NOT always seasons of life.

Sometimes it actually comes down to natural occurrences encountered as WE age.

Years go by, time fades but we are who we are and none of us usually FEEL our age but that does not change the time on that clock.

I don’t think I really even realized any of this until I was FACED with my husbands illness and going through the foggiest summer season that I remember.

I had been driving forty minutes to work and having to drive home after dark in this horrid fog, and I live in the mountains and for most of the travel you have a bank on one side and  over into”treeville”straight DOWN crash potential on the other and the first night I was honestly in tears and I was like “Lord, I CAN’T do this” and the OVERWHELMING feeling of loneliness and just truly being ALONE in this fog, in the dark and I thought, if I can’t see my way home what will I do? Who will I call?

I had ALWAYS called my brother. My brother had ALWAYS been there for me and anyone else who needed him and we were neighbors, and I think as I was overwhelmed by the dark and the fog, I was actually overwhelmed by the fact that he was no longer there for me to call.

Which became not as much about needing help but being  painfully reminded THAT HE IS NO LONGER HERE nor will he be again, those days ARE gone and nothing I will ever do can make them come back.

I had to do this countless of times, and it seemed each fog was worse than the one before, one night in particular when I could see the fog from work, covering the mountains, then even the parking lot at work fogged over and I was in tears before I even left but God always put someone in our life, and I worked with a wonderful Christian lady named Melanie, and we would talk about the Lord and could just feel His presence and I had asked her to please pray that I could get home, and my Mom and my sister would pray every time they saw the fog start, but by the time I made it to the top, the fog had lifted and there were actually stars out and there was just something about the feeling of reaching the clear top that is just indescribable.

But fog after fog, time after time, every time me telling God the same thing, and every time God would comfort me and get me home.

Sometimes I think we are faced with the dark and with the fog, not that God brings it, but that He allows us to go through it so we WILL know that he is there and he makes us stronger as we FACE the changes age and years inevitably bring about.

And that IS the thing, it is ALL in our heads, and of course our aching bodies, and greying heads try to sway us to believe otherwise.

And I believe that is why Sarah laughed. I don’t believe it was a “ha-ha never gonna happen” laugh, I believe it was a “oh, my goodness, could it really be” laugh. I love the fact that she “laughed within herself” but God still heard it as he HEARS our hearts and there is so much comfort in knowing that.

The word surety in those verses would be like guarantee, which is why I think her laughter was more of the mind blown this is too good to be true but it is true giggle that we get when we are given the greatest news possible, and if this were the “wrong” kind of laughter, I don’t believe they would have named their son Isaac, it means laughter, it meant JOYOUS laughter.

Zacharias  was muted so he could not one more time proclaim that he and Elisabeth were just too old to be having a child.

ALL these verses have the common theme, HUMANS thinking that they are just too old to receive what has been promised to them by an AGELESS, TIMELESS CREATOR WHO HAS NO BEGINNING AND NO ENDING.

Once we think of it in that aspect, it is quite comical that we DECIDE when we are too old!

So Sarah, who lived to be one hundred and twenty-seven years old, and Elisabeth, and even Samson’s mother were all WELL PAST their prime or even the prime of the post prime, but God MADE things new, new births, completely new lifestyles, such as being a first time mother at ninety years old!

If you will notice also, ALL the things WERE to be FULFILLED IN THEIR SEASON. God KNOWS His plans for us, just as the Bible tells us.

God Himself asked, “IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?” 

Gabriel proclaimed, “FOR WITH GOD NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE.”  

NOTHING is impossible for Him and NOTHING is too hard for Him and IN THAT WE TRUST!

And I think that is really what ails us all deep down inside, it really isn’t the aging itself it is the uncertainty of what those years will hold, but God is good.

And just as with Moses, he was still in good health, the Bible states that “his eyes were not dim” but when it was time to for him to die, God had to tell him it was time.

We are promised the “renewing of the dew of our youth”, I believe it is from the inside out, doesn’t mean we will not show some wear and tear but it means because our soul has prospered in Him and in His word that we will have vitality, joy, and health.

Paul said he knew in whom he had believed and that he was persuaded  that he would keep those things he had committed unto him AGAINST that day, and that day can be different days for us other than the obvious day of our death.

It can be the days we fear, the days we dread, and in committing THOSE things unto the Lord, He then CAN make them NEW and those things we had feared will not even come into mind again.

I like to think that when I lose that battle, that I know will eventually be lost, I hope to be like the old saying and just go peacefully and gracefully because I KNOW another appointed time will come, a season will change, and SOMETHING GOOD will be in that golden age!

Εξυπιζω NBJ 2017  Laughter is merry medicine and I simply could not resist!

 

“Something needs to break”

“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat (at the dinner table), there came a woman having an alabaster box (flask) of ointment of spikenard,very precious (costly); and she brake the box and poured it on his head.” Mark 14:3

Before we begin, I do want to take one more opportunity to absolutely STRESS that these teaching CAN NOT be viewed with the carnal mind.

We live in the world and the world associates love, longing, and the desire to have ones soul entwined as something sensual and carnal but dealing with the teaching of Christ and the Church as His Bride and the love and extremely intimate relationship that He desires IS spiritual, IT IS the love of your soul, which is why it can not be viewed or studied without salvation and the understanding that all things have to be compared spiritually.

And there are so many sites dedicated to nothing more than what they consider “apostasy” and they assert that if someone has had an experience different from their own that they are obviously a heretic, and many denominations conclude that the outpouring of the Spirit, and the gifts, and especially tongues and prophecies were only for the time of the disciples, mainly during the writing of the book of Acts.

BUT they are wrong and the Bible even teaches us that there are different manifestations of the Spirit and I for one declare what I KNOW to be true and maybe they just need to pray to experience these things BEFORE they malign others. SO there is my disclaimer!

EVERYTHING is symbolic and ALL the teachings of the Bible APPLY to us now. God had it written through His Holy Revelation as a guidebook for all the generations that would come after its completion.

NOTHING else is needed and if anyone believes that those teachings are outdated or for certain times then how would He want us to navigate our way now? That is the trouble with that argument.

It DOES apply and the symbolism, once He has taught you to “read” it is where the answers to many of our questions are found. So on that note, let’s get going!

In our verse, she FOUND him, she made a CONSCIOUS effort to seek him, she did not wait for “fate” to allow her a chance meeting. We have to get out of the thinking that what we seek will “just happen” and “if it is meant t