“Daddy’s shoes… “

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that choice is completely up to the father.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Virtuous”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

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

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

 

 

“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

“Bettin’ your Boots”

“My son IF thou be SURETY  FOR THY FRIEND, (vouch for, stand in guarantee for) IF thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger (“shook on it” made a deal with,) Thou art snared with (you are bound by) the words of THY mouth, thou art taken (trapped captive) with the words of THY mouth.” Proverbs 6:1,2

Now, I really can’t plead deep revelation for this post but inspiration came while having my usual breakfast of four cups black coffee to one big bowl of ice cream, now that’ll get ya goin.. or future health issues, not sure yet.. 🙂 but I’ll go with “get ya goin morning goodness”!

Anyway, me and sweetie usually watch morning news but this morning I put it on westerns for him, we have a pretty good deal, I walk by and he is watching something and brains are being splattered by Van Damme or Seagal, or someone being ran through with a sword, the stuff I lived for as former entertainment, and I can’t blame that one on my brothers, they’d be out playing and I would be stuck in front of the TV watching Robin Hood and the Musketeers, and I know if it is staring me in the face, I’ll sit down and end up watching it now and God does not want that, there is nothing productive for the Kingdom in filling our minds with violence, it only achieves the opposite.

But anyway, he would be watching, you know the “classics” but NOW, I’m like.. “OH! My goodness, WHAT are you watching! DON’T let THOSE words in my house, HONEY!” and so we tried closed captions and I walk by, ALWAYS at the right time… and be all “AH, they are STILL coming into my house, even without sound!” “Oh and the VIOLENCE!”

So we are now resigned to faith-based shows, home, family, and of course your old tried and true western’s, which I detested growing up but now how found a special nostalgic place in my heart for their “cleanliness” anyway.. any good western “worth its spit” has to have a good old-fashioned rigged card game set up by some ornery, good for nothin’ swindler, who aims to cheat all the hard-working ranch hands out of even their last hard-earned dime… and in this baby, even their boots.

My inspiration came when one of the main characters finally bought the PERFECT boots, they were grand and he wasn’t even the one WHO WAS gambling, it was his friend, “pardner”, uncle, something like that… you know someone whose OPINION would matter, someone who would have INFLUENCE over the actions of another.

And the one who was DOING the gambling and had lost all his money wanted TO BET the boots of the one who “didn’t even have a horse in that race” and after some slick talkin’ and the young one cottoned up to ‘im.

He LET him BET his boots.

And I thought, that is all kinds of crazy, and in real life, WHY would we ever do that? WHY would we let someone who is obviously not running their own life very well, drag us into their mess and USE what is ours to make even a bigger mess?

But you know what, we do it and we can do it and NOT even realize we are doing it.

Get some clarity going on here… the Bible teaches us to be good to everyone, to share, to care, to help, and to shoulder another’s burdens with them, Jesus taught us that if someone asks us to walk one mile that we SHOULD go the extra step and walk two miles with them.

BUT those teachings are about our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are in the household of the Lord. And I have friends right now who have helped me and my family out beyond anything we could have imagined during our recent medical issues and one friend in particular who opened a door that I desperately needed and I am forever grateful.

So I want to be clear that what I am referring to is this.. when people are in SIN and deceptive practices, you CAN NOT be part of that with them. God blesses us for helping others with upright causes, but HE WILL NEVER BLESS SIN,OR DECEPTION.

And sometimes there are people who are NOT what you may think and they are NOT who you may think they are and fond feelings for people and hearts of compassion and wanting to help another out can actually lead you into meeting up with “a snake in the grass” and sometimes “bettin’ your boots” and LOSING something that means everything to you.

That is why that scripture WARNS us that if we fall into that trap we will be SNARED by that trap.

No one likes trappers and no one wants trapped, so it is IMPORTANT to watch out for them so that you don’t put your foot in one.

So maybe today, you are in a situation that someone is asking you to so something or help them do something, or be part of something that you KNOW is not good, not right and maybe they are playing on your sympathy or threatening you with the loss of that relationship if you don’t ride that long, dusty trail with them.

But a true friend, someone who is REALLY worth your time, your compassion, your help would NEVER ask you to so something wrong or sacrifice something of yours for the sake of something they DESIRE or a scheme that they have hatched.

Love PROTECTS and love DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN, that means they would look out for you, not put a price on what you can do for them.

So watch out for it and I am sure the “gambler” who wants to lay bets PAID FOR BY YOU will get mad and have a “burr in his saddle” and maybe even “hit the dusty trail” and “ride on into the sunset” right on out of your life, let ’em ride!

No one needs users and God does NOT want His children used!

1 Timothy 5:22:…..NEITHER BE PARTAKER of (do NOT SHARE IN) OTHER MEN’S (people) SINS: KEEP THYSELF PURE.”

Of course in the show the buddy kept his word and got the dude’s boots back, because cowboys always kept their word.

But life is not a television show and cowboys may not always have their buddies backs and those snakes in the grass can really bite into your life spreading fangfuls of pure poison and the worst part.. you don’t always get your boots backs, usually those babies are lost and they are lost forever, so keep them on your own feet!

Enough said?

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Original post 2017 Revisited 07/25/2019 

“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!

 W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry can 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

LOVE this song!

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

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

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

“PRECONCEPTION”

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter (murder) AGAINST the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired (asked) of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound (arrested) unto Jerusalem.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and SUDDENLY there SHINED ROUND ABOUT HIM A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN: and he FELL to the earth, and HEARD a voice saying into him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said WHO ART THOU, LORD? and the Lord said, I am Jesus who thou persecutest: it is hard to kick against the pricks. (pricks meaning goads, it all meant that was USELESS for Saul to even attempt to resist the Lord)

And he TREMBLING and ASTONISHED said, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and IT SHALL be told thee what thou must do.

And the men with journeyed with him stood speechless, HEARING a voice, but SEEING NO MAN. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  And he was there three days WITHOUT SIGHT, and NEITHER DID EAT OR DRINK.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; AND TO HIM SAID THE LORD IN A VISION, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he may receive his sight.

THEN Ananias answered, Lord, I have HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL (harm) HE HATH DONE to thy saints at Jerusalem: And he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.

BUT the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.” Acts 9: 1-16

Now got some serious events going on right there, as we know it as “the conversion of Saul/Paul” God was taking a man whom had made his LIFE all about persecuting Christians and at that time to even bind women and drag them off was especially despicable but what Saul did, he did one hundred percent, and gave it all he had to give.

And the beauty is that his TRUE PREDESTINATION was a total 360 and the cause he so hated would be the cause that he would ultimately and WILLING GIVE HIS LIFE in favor of!

And once his spiritual eyes were OPENED to the Lord, he did not even try to fight it because he knew he had BEEN WRONG and that he was now had. The other insight into all things human with this, is that Saul, whose entire being would be changed, EVEN his name, as he would now journey roads that led to so much greater than Damascus, roads that could only be navigated in his PREORDAINED, DESTINATION of walking those roads no longer as Saul the Enforcer, but as Paul the Apostle and truly remarkably, while Saul was YET blinded, and horrified, in complete darkness, God ALREADY told Ananias His own divine plan for Paul’s mission!

So see, Ananias, even though he was TERRIFIED of Saul, knew the work Paul would do BEFORE Paul even knew! So we are going in this post to the land of preconceptions, you know, that nasty little place that we arrive at when we decide a persons worth based on what we HEAR, just as Ananias had HEARD all these things about Saul, and while these things HAD BEEN TRUE after GOD CHANGED PAUL, they no longer held any merit and often we judge others based on pre-Christ lives and ancient history and how are we benefitting them, witnessing to them, or furthering the Kingdom of God by doing this?

pre·con·cep·tion
[ˌprēkənˈsepSH(ə)n]

NOUN
preconceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun)
a preconceived idea or prejudice.

(from Oxford Dictionary)

I had the most strange encounter, I had recently met a person and pick up no weird vibes or maliciousness coming from them and it happened that another person, I had never met, strikes up a conversation and we start talking and they bring up this other person and that I should know them and they proceed to tell me in about three minutes the entire life history of the other, and of course, the good, the bad, and the most of all the horrific.

And of course I am trying to figure out, in my head, why on earth did they feel the need to tell me all that?

I often remember something the “old-timers” always preached.. that we CAN KILL A PERSON with our words, we KILL their reputation, we KILL their testimony by CHOOSING to share every single detail of their lives NEEDLESSLY and usually those details are never of any good they may have done, BUT all the bad, all the mistakes, and the WORST possible “proofs of character” or rather proof of LACK thereof.

And as I questioned all this, in my heart, the sovereignty of God and goodness of Him came shining through as I actually overheard a conversation between the person “in question” and another, and they were actually talking about GOD, and they used a scripture that they said had helped them through a situation. And all that was said, was all I needed to hear because I know as a minister, that the wording they chose is only chosen by people who truly believe.

So anyway, I pondered the whole deal, and I was like, what was THAT all about?

And I came up with this conclusion, of course sometimes we are WARNED in life, BUT what if, sometimes, we are told things to make us fear another SO THAT WE WILL NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL, things told us so that we will be so guarded and not give a person even a moment, the benefit of doubt and to prevent us from even trying to see WHO they are in Christ, whether of not, they even ARE in Christ YET.

Just as Ananias had to be reassured by the Lord, sometimes we need to ask God to reassure us, we have no business in the pasts of others, we WERE NOT in their past but if God has placed us on the same path, in their present, even for  a moment, we owe them the same respect and opportunity to “prove” their character as we ourselves desire.

Because as the Bible so eloquently states in Romans 3:22,23:

EVEN the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH of JESUS CHRIST unto ALL and upon ALL that BELIEVE: for THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: For ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME (fall) SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

That is the deal, MAYBE God wants us to try to see others AS He sees them, He SEES them as what they CAN be, what He created them to be, in the spiritual work that He predestined and when He forgives, He FORGIVES and FORGETS and He never considers those sins again, so why should we?

Why are we allowed to hold against others actions that we had no stake in or right to accuse now? And if we do CHOOSE to hold those negative thoughts, attitudes, and PRECONCEPTIONS about them, then WE could very well be the ones who cause them to stumble and cause them to stay who they once were rather than being lights and encouraging them to have faith and embrace who they can become in Christ!

And again, I want to STRESS that if you KNOW a person to be in danger through another person, or that they are ABSOLUTELY going to cause harm, BY ALL MEANS warn whoever is in that path, and I want to STRESS, I personally DO NOT BELIEVE we have to be buddies with people who have wrecked our lives, we do have to forgive but we are not required to hang out with them.

BUT please really, really consider what NEEDS to be said about  a person or their past BEFORE saying it, and ask YOURSELF this question, IF that IS who they STILL are, or WHO they STILL want to be, would they NOT STILL BE THERE IN THAT SAME PLACE, SITUATION, OR LIFESTYLE? 

People DO NOT change until THEY WANT to change and we NEED to be discreet in our disclosures (UNLESS, they are warranted) and LET them change!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed week, Love & Peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

“Bettin’ your Boots”

“My son IF thou be SURETY  FOR THY FRIEND, (vouch for, stand in guarantee for) IF thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger (“shook on it” made a deal with,) Thou art snared with (you are bound by) the words of THY mouth, thou art taken (trapped captive) with the words of THY mouth.” Proverbs 6:1,2

Now, I really can’t plead deep revelation for this post but inspiration came while having my usual breakfast of four cups black coffee to one big bowl of ice cream, now that’ll get ya goin.. or future health issues, not sure yet.. 🙂 but I’ll go with “get ya goin morning goodness”!

Anyway, me and sweetie usually watch morning news but this morning I put it on westerns for him, we have a pretty good deal, I walk by and he is watching something and brains are being splattered by Van Damme or Seagal, or someone being ran through with a sword, the stuff I lived for as former entertainment, and I can’t blame that one on my brothers, they’d be out playing and I would be stuck in front of the TV watching Robin Hood and the Musketeers, and I know if it is staring me in the face, I’ll sit down and end up watching it now and God does not want that, there is nothing productive for the Kingdom in filling our minds with violence, it only achieves the opposite.

But anyway, he would be watching, you know the “classics” but NOW, I’m like.. “OH! My goodness, WHAT are you watching! DON’T let THOSE words in my house, HONEY!” and so we tried closed captions and I walk by, ALWAYS at the right time… and be all “AH, they are STILL coming into my house, even without sound!” “Oh and the VIOLENCE!”

So we 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 cotton to ‘im, he LET him BET his boots.

And I thought, that is all kinds of crazy, and in real life, WHY would we ever do that? WHY would we let someone who is obviously not running their own life very well, drag us into their mess and USE what is ours to make even a bigger mess?

But you know what, we do it and we can do it and NOT even realize we are doing it.

Get some clarity going on here… the Bible teaches us to be good to everyone, to share, to care, to help, and to shoulder another’s burdens with them, Jesus taught us that if someone asks us to walk one mile that we SHOULD go the extra step and walk two miles with them.

BUT those teachings are about our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are in the household of the Lord. And I have friends right now who have helped me and my family out beyond anything we could have imagined during our recent medical issues and one friend in particular who opened a door that I desperately needed and I am forever grateful.

So I want to be clear that what I am referring to is this.. when people are in SIN and deceptive practices, you CAN NOT be part of that with them. God blesses us for helping others with upright causes, but HE WILL NEVER BLESS SIN,OR DECEPTION.

And sometimes there are people who are NOT what you may think and they are NOT who you may think they are and fond feelings for people and hearts of compassion and wanting to help another out can actually lead you into meeting up with “a snake in the grass” and sometimes “bettin’ your boots” and LOSING something that means everything to you.

That is why that scripture WARNS us that if we fall into that trap we will be SNARED by that trap.

No one likes trappers and no one wants trapped, so it is IMPORTANT to watch out for them so that you don’t put your foot in one.

So maybe today, you are in a situation that someone is asking you to so something or help them do something, or be part of something that you KNOW is not good, not right and maybe they are playing on your sympathy or threatening you with the loss of that relationship if you 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 2017 Revisited 07/25/2019 

” Untitled &Unbiased “

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in thine power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27

We tend to think of this in terms of financial help and “works” but have you ever thought about it as in spiritual help? Helping one another through their trials, sorrows, and troubles?

Helping them with the ministries and helping them stand steadfast in the calling of the Lord on their life? Stretching out a hand if they are about to slip, or helping pull them back up after they’ve almost tumbled over a spiritual cliff?

It seems the struggles are so much tougher, the sickness and diseases that have hit those of the kingdom with an absolute vengeance are taking their toll and so many.. oh so many are fighting every moment just to hang on.

Maybe everyone is at a loss as to what to do for another… fear of their help or advice would be rejected.. or truly just not knowing.

But if you know those who are struggling and you want to do something, the Bible has our answers and this is how it goes, as the early church was encouraged through the words of their fellow servants, shouldn’t we use this as our example and encourage one another?

Colossians 1:2-12: “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse; Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, PRAYING ALWAYS FOR YOU. 

SINCE we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day you heard it, and KNEW the grace of God in truth.

As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ. Who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, SINCE the day we heard it, DO NOT CEASE TO PRAY FOR YOU, and to DESIRE THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING; THAT YE MIGHT WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD UNTO ALL PLEASING, BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK, AND INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD;

STRENGHTENED WITH ALL MIGHT, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER, UNTO ALL PATIENCE AND LONGSUFFERING WITH JOYFULLNESS; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

God has had this on my heart so much lately.. we HAVE to be workers together, we may NOT all have the same beliefs, the same doctrinal system but as it is written when “one hurts we ALL hurt”  and we all need to encourage others along the way and sometimes that means putting down our own personal comfort shields and reaching out to others who may or may not like us or approve of us but if they may just NEED something we can offer, it is still our responsibility to reach out, whether they accept it us or even if they tell us to get “out of their face”, as long as we have tried, we have fulfilled what is required of us.

I had to put my “money where my mouth is” awhile back.. I was visiting a revival and there is an older couple, awesome sweet people, and I have had a lot of personal hurt due to #1. I am female. #2. I am female in a certain “neck of the world” that hasn’t caught up as much as they think they have, with the biased gender based thinking of 1802 and even when we try not to let words and attitudes hinder us.. sometimes they still get lodged in the back of our minds and lie in wait.. until the situation arises that they can remind us that because we are not the right sex, color, or denomination that our PRAYERS are not welcome.

Anyway I was behind this couple and the more I sat there the more it was on my heart to pray for him and I know they have a different background and I just kept hearing that doubt.. “men pray for men.. women pray for women”.. and I just kept wrestling inside of myself and I finally determined that if it was God’s will, it would be fine because I WAS NOT going to go home and spend the rest of my life knowing that I was supposed to pray for him and had refused to even obey what was on heart for FEAR of rejection.

Had they known my calling they may have looked at me not quite so friendly and that is what hit me… we are who we are in God and others are who they are in God.. we don’t always have to make a point of it and can be the body as one. So it hit me to ask his wife first and then we both asked him if it would be okay to pray for him and it all worked out well.

I think this is really how the enemy has divided and separated the churches and flocks, and as long as we ourselves, separate ourselves we will only stay stagnant and will never fulfill the true divine plan God has for our lives and for others.

For the record, MOST believers don’t have the segregated attitudes, and I have a great church family now, but once it has been put in our thinking.. it is there until we overcome it through God and His word.. which says we ought to obey HIM rather than man.

So in our verses we have just that.. believers ENCOURAGING other believers and PRAYING for them and PRAYING for their ministries and that God would BLESS them in their walk with him.

They SINCERELY wanted the new Christians to SUCCEED in the Lord and be filled with joy. They weren’t taking pot shots at the them because they thought they were ‘different”.

They based their entire dealings with them on the facts that they WERE God’s children also and that they WERE filled with His love. I wonder how often we really look at each other this way?

They DID NOT withhold what was good… as it was their inheritance just as much as it belonged to Paul and Timothy and it is high time we all take heart of that.. we will work as a team or our work will profit nothing at all. If you can help someone.. help them.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

“GO AHEAD! KNOCK IT OFF……

Dare, dared, and double-dog dared! How many have heard those words as kids? Probably more times than you care to remember.  The origins of  kids daring each other to knock pieces of wood, or blocks and other objects of their shoulders as a test of bravado and “courage”.

I can never even think of the phrase with out semi-fond memories of growing up. I say semi because they are fond memories but I know at those moments my blood angrily boiled hot enough to fry an egg and if looks could have killed, that heat would have laser beamed straight out of me and torched some teenaged boys.. but again… what are brothers for?

I ALWAYS, always think of the one who I have always had a rather strained relationship with, and even now we still get on each others nerves to the point that we are not “friends” on social media, but I love him and I know he loves me and pray always for him and I know a little secret… those very attributes that make him “hard to deal with” now will be the very same attribute’s that flipped over for the work of the Lord will be used to make him quite a formidable warrior for the kingdom.

He is just so tenacious and unyielding in his determination that he never backs down… sometimes good.. not so good much when used to initiate  a chilling challenge of “I DARE YOU….” and he had that way about him, that after an hour of listening to “I dare you” having the ante upped to a “double-dog dare” with the way he could wrinkle his nose up and take a superior tone and end with the final insult of “And if you don’t you’re a sissy!” That always did the trick, why it was the challenge of all challenges to be called a sissy, especially if you ARE a girl, is beyond me but proof of the acceptance of the dare had to come and usually produce a good ruckus that would end up with more of Mom’s whatnot’s destroyed and having conveniently just disappeared unnoticed by us whenever we were asked about their whereabouts.

Everyone has played that as a kid, but you know sometimes we play that as adults and we go through life, and especially Kingdom life with these enormous chips on our shoulders and just emanate “Go ahead.. knock it off.. I DARE YOU!”

Not picking on people, I have had enough chips on my own shoulders over the years that all I needed was for them to materialize into the tortilla variety, add a good dip and I’d been a walking fiesta.

But in the Kingdom our fight comes, after we have lost a tad of that “salvation glow”, when the world is all beautiful and all church people are great happy people and reality sets in and you discover that sometimes under all that pretty sparkle, your brothers and sisters are still HUMAN and are quite capable of hurting you, belittling you, and most of all disappointing you because their spirituality has been completed OVER magnified in OUR eyes and the shocking  fact that not all will be supportive and not all will welcome you, and not all will ACCEPT the calling of your life.

Bring on the chips… loading down our shoulders with the burden of “proving” ourselves to people who can not be convinced of anything unless the Lord convinces them and even then they have to open often closed minds.

God does not put that on our shoulders, satan can not even be blamed, but the truth is WE place our own chips and WE are the only ones who can successfully knock them off and keep them off. We know that judgment must begin at God’s house and keeping that in mind:

1 CORINTHIANS 4:31 “For if we judge ourselves, WE SHOULD NOT BE JUDGED”.

Our problem is that we get all caught up on who doesn’t like us, or take us seriously, or outright persecutes us and for many we just decide “Fine, you don’t like me, I don’t care” and for some, the superiority boat brings in a whole load, due to callings, titles, and positions. And when people DECIDE that for some reason the office, the position makes them somehow superior to the flock or other members of the flock, and the authority is twisted into something used to strangle rather than to free, and refuse instruction simply because “chippers” think they are beyond that need or that they are superior to the ones God sends it through, WE ALL are in major trouble.

We will NEVER quit learning and we ALL need to grow and when stubbornness and pride comes in the only option left is for us to be pulled down from off that high horse and our feet put back on solid ground to be taught again the things we thought we knew so well.

We can go through that process or we can choose a WISER less painful process, realize, recognize, and remove. If we do self inventory, and surely we can admit things to OURSELVES, recognize what our “problem” is and through God’s word find the remedy for that and remove those chips from our own shoulders.

God wants meekness and humility in His church and He will not work contrary to this and I think sometimes the work is hindered by attitudes especially between the sexes and the secret to this may be not necessarily in the opening of the closed mind but in the ACCEPTANCE of that unfavorable opinion of us by someone’s and just go on and do the work we have been called to do.

What if so and so does not like us, what if blah-blah thinks you are a pagan heretic? What if they want to think they know so much about YOU when you and most of God knows the truth that they are wrong in their thoughts toward you.

NOW What if God placed you in that spot, in that place, for a specific work or specifically for a word or a prayer for SOMEONE ELSE who has no knowledge and no bearing of the static in the air?

Are you going to disobey God and hold onto that chip because so and so is staring you down? Let ’em stare! John & Jane Doe have their  own chips to deal with, you just worry about taking care of yours!

What if everyone knocked off their chips and just SUBMITTED one mind, one accord to the Lord and to the good of the kingdom? What if TITLES were forgotten during prayer times, what if you didn’t get all macho when someone suggests a different thought? What if it didn’t boil your blood and turn your eyes to laser beams when you wrongfully take things as a “CHALLENGE” to “YOUR AUTHORITY”.

Looks different doesn’t it, some people would rather drive over a cliff than stop and ask for directions and these attitudes ARE NOT of God. These are the reasons that the body is deathly sick and “falling off” to nothing.

In the upper room when the Holy Ghost came down, I am sure NO ONE was declaring their titles or arguing about THEIR SUPERIOR relationship to the Lord, (though some had wanted dibs earlier) Peter wasn’t proclaiming that he is the greatest, Mary wasn’t shouting that she saw him first, they were gathered ONE mind seeking God for His glory and His kingdom.

The sick did not care who prayed, they just wanted to be healed, those tormented by devils didn’t care how relief came, only that it would come because the Holy Ghost coming through ANY of His chosen vessels would send the tormentors away, those spiritually starved did not care who thought what about who, all they knew was that without that “food” they would perish. Those dying of thirst did not care where the water originated only that it was given.

That is the thing, all these chips, all these grudges, all these challenges of superiority only matter to those who hold them. The only people hurt are those we are called to minister to and we have let down our jobs, we have let down the kingdom and we’d better not let down God.

So even if someone hates you and you know they think you’re a bad joke, chin it up and DO what GOD has you there to do. If we humble ourselves God will do the rest, it really is like the power/gentleness of the Lord I am always referring back to, HE KNEW what He Is, He really did not need anyone’s approval and affirmation as PROOF.

He went on and ministered to those He was sent to and we have to get to that point that we just do our jobs for the Lord and if we know that something about us “irks” someone else, just try to ACCEPT it and go on and whether you are right or they are right or if everyone is half right, is not going to matter one bit when the souls are tallied and we are told that more should have been won.

And vice versa when you are tempted to just revel in the fact that someone does have  a problem with you and you make sure to point out all the things that they disapprove of (in their opinion of you) all you are doing is further daring them to knock that chip off in challenge to “knock your block off” and proves nothing other than a dire need for spiritual maturity and if we can’t deal with people you can see, we will never successfully battle spiritual bullies we can’t see.

1 CORINTHIANS 8:2(c) ” Knowledge puffeth up (becomes prideful and arrogant) but charity (love) edifieth (builds up).”

So are we building up or are we tearing down? I love to use Paul’s writings because I think he spans it all, he was a cruel church persecutor, who detested all followers of Christ and then once his eyes were opened to the truth, God used him as a voice on virtually ANY subject we can stumble through or find ourselves tangled up in.

What I LOVE most about Paul is that he never heralded himself as better than those he ministered too and he said as far as the “sinners” he was one their chief! He never lost sight of who he was and who he had been and the fact that without Christ he was nothing and yet, God used him to give us most of the New Testament and hope, and courage, and insight into a better way of thinking, he had chips he had to knock off and I know this from verses that he speaks of NOT doing the things he wanted to do and doing the things he did not necessarily want to do, and DYING to his flesh, every single day.

And when it came to pulling attitudes, whether it be callings or power tripping, Paul whose calling and gifts are without dispute, CHOOSE submission:

1 CORINTHIANS 9:12-27 ” If others be partakers of this power (authority) over you, are we not rather ( even more)?  Nevertheless we have not used this power (authority); But suffer (endure) all things, Lest we HINDER the gospel of Christ.

Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait (serve) at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so hath the Lord ordained (commanded) that they which preach the gospel SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL.

But I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were (would be) better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorifying void.

For though I preach the gospel,  I HAVE NOTHING TO GLORY OF IT; for NECESSITY is laid upon me; yea, WOE IS UNTO ME, IF I PREACH NOT THE GOSPEL!

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, a dispensation (stewardship) of the gospel is committed (entrusted) to me. What is my reward then? Verily that when I preach the gospel, I may make (present) the gospel of Christ without charge (preached for free), that I ABUSE NOT MY POWER (authority) in the gospel.

For though I be free from all men, YET HAVE I MADE MYSELF SERVANT UNTO ALL, THAT I MIGHT GAIN (win)THE MORE.  And unto the Jews I BECAME AS A JEW, that I MIGHT GAIN THE JEWS;

TO THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW, AS UNDER THE LAW, THAT I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW .

To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without the laws to God, but under the law to Christ) That I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT LAW.

To THE WEAK BECAME I AS WEAK; I AM MADE (have become) ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN, THAT I BY ALL MEANS MIGHT SAVE SOME. 

And THIS I DO FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE, that I might be partakers thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for a prize) IS TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS (has self-control).

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (non-perishable). I therefore so run, NOT AS Uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS WHEN I HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF BE A CASTAWAY (disqualified).” So if Paul realized That the gospel WAS NOT HIS to glory in and that he was privileged to just be part of the movement of God, not taking money, not taking advantage by running down the flocks but becoming ALL things to all men, and winning THEM as his reward, he also acknowledged no special position, he knew that he could fall.. shouldn’t we also?

Bury the hatchets… chuck the chips….  go ahead KNOCK IT OFF! You will be glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

“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 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

 

 

Bow Shot

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 Pretty strong statement, one shot, one chance through this life. We go through life with our eyes focused so closely on the task at hand or the current crisis that we fail to see the big picture.

We live, we die and the one shot we have is the time in between, every failure, every mistake but also every accomplishment, and every single victory is all embodied in “ONCE”. 

We will not have works in the grave, we will not have works in New Jerusalem and in hell there will be no chance of salvation ever again.  “Works without faith IS dead”, we can all do something, some type of “work”, we can all give, but when we need to do a work that is not quite so easy, that will require blood, sweat, and lots of tears, when we will set out on a course that is going to cost us something that is when it starts being set apart, and when a sacrifice is required and especially when it is a sacrifice of that work itself. 

Whatever we have been born to accomplish is to be accomplished on this earth. One shot to make a difference and live our lives in complete trust and faith to one so much higher than any earthly happening whether it be good or bad. Learning true trust is not that easy, we all say we TRUST God, we sing about trusting God, and have motivational agreements that we trust, but do we really? 

Trust IS faith and faith IS trust, you can not have one without the other, faith IS trusting God with the most precious of things, EVEN when it looks like we might lose but we have to trust Him enough to surrender even those things that we have fought so hard to nurture and protect, our hopes, our dreams, and sometimes our spiritual “babies” and lay them on the altar.

  Genesis 22 tells of Abrahams grueling test of faith, several days journey to what he thought would be the sacrifice of his son whom he loved more than life itself, the death of  his promised child, a child whose promised birth had been the fulfillment of the purpose of his own life,  the father of nations.

Genesis 22:4: Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off”  he had lots of time to think,  and dread, journeying up that mountain for what he believed would be the death of that child.  

Genesis 21 tells of the story of Hagar and Ismael, Sarai’s servant and the child she bore for Abraham because of Sarai’s  messed up attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise for Abraham. By this point Sarah wanted them out of her life and God knowing all things told Abraham to go ahead and send them away, now Hagar finds herself in the wilderness with nothing trying to find her way back to Egypt with the son she was demanded to bear for an heir and he is now considered nothing and no longer welcome, but he was her baby and she loved him and could not bear to watch him die:

Genesis 21:16: “And she went, and sat her down over against him (across from) A good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child, And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept.” 

Exodus 2  tell that when  Pharaoh had called for the slaughter of the Hebrew baby boys, Jochebed placed her baby Moses in an ark made undoubtedly countless tears and set him adrift with unquenchable faith.

Exodus 2:4 “And his sister stood afar off, to wit (know) what would become of him.” What they all had in common is this, these were their natural children, children whom they loved with every fiber in their being. Each time these things were “afar off’ it was a process of waiting, and watching and knowing that they had to TRUST GOD IN FAITH.

Abraham KNEW what God had promised, Hebrews 11:17: ” BY FAITH Abraham, when he was tried (tested) offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” As we know an angel stopped Abraham and God sent a ram as a sacrifice and we all learned that God will provide for us all that we need to be obedient to Him.

Jochebed’s baby was spared from those who given a chance would surely kill him, not only would he not die but she would nurse him and love him and tend his needs and no longer have to hide him and fear for his life. And he would go on to be used of God to lead his people out of bondage, drew from the water one day leading his people to freedom through parted waters.

God had heard Hagar’s cries when she was pregnant and sent an angel to comfort her and she had been obedient to God’s voice returning to Sarai and surrendering her child and now unable to bear watching him die in the wilderness, she had separated herself from him, crying out and now God heard the cries of the child himself and God sent the angel yet again and sprang up a well in their wilderness. They all had to learn faith and trust, to trust God with what was most precious to them, and sometimes we must trust God with all the things that are precious to us and when the enemy is coming after those things or there are those who wish to dash those hopes, smash those dreams,  and outright kill those spiritual babies then we have to just lay them down on the altar and just get a bow shot away and KNOW, and TRUST that HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH, that HE IS FAITHFUL , HE does see our sorrow and hear our cries and that HE WILL DELIVER.

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2015

  

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 MANS ENEMIES ARE THE MEN OF HIS OWN HOUSE”  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 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 Able.Cain became jealous and angry because God accepted Able’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 Able’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   

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

COUNTING WRONG

ARCHIVED* Original post 03/08/2015

My favorite all time quote is from Ronald Reagan in response to Muammar Qaddafi’s far out plans of taking on America, “He counted on America to be passive and he counted wrong”.

This was inadvertently brought back to mind last night. It is par for the course over the last few weeks and it seemed perfect for today’s topic.
The enemy, and sometimes other people seem to believe they can put you in, what is their perception of your place, and you will passively stay there but just as Libya soon learned the meaning of those infamous words, there are times that we have to stand up for ourselves or be trampled into the ground.
To be honest my first day out in this new adventure I almost gave up. I had the awesome privilege of receiving enough, how shall we say, unwanted drama through social media that I seriously questioned whether the good would outweigh the bad.

These were the very waters I had tried to avoid having to tread because I knew I’d have to fight some battles that I would have preferred to sit out.
Bad on my part, that is why Satan throws stuff like this at us, he knows what buttons to push to shut us up, back us off, and set us down.
I truly thought once about deleting it all and trying another route, but you know what, God did not create me to be a coward, sure, as the old saying goes they can kill you but they can’t eat you!

Well, I actually guess they could but hopefully you would at least taste bad!!

God sent me wonderful encouragement through others with his word and uplifting thoughts they shared that were right on time.
Once God’s spirit started rising up in me and I grew a better backbone, I decided that I will not let anyone take from me what God gave.

 I can take the remarks about the pants, I can deal with the old school belief that if you wear make-up you’re a quote unquote Jezebel, I can deal with the boys only club of ministry society.

What I can’t deal with is anyone touching my anointing and that is where the fight will get bloody.
If you are battling oppression in any form today, I want to hopefully encourage us all with this list of people who stood up to not just THE ENEMY but to all those who wished to interfere with the preordained work of God.
The Pharaoh counted on taking Abraham’s wife for his harem, but when God himself appeared to this pagan in a dream letting him know assuredly that he was a good as dead because she belonged to another.

As he counted up the gifts he gave trying to gain favor as he sent them on their way, he realized when he had accessed just how easily he thought she could be obtained, he found out with the loss of his riches that he had counted wrong.
Joseph’s brothers counted on destroying him, but upon discovering his new identity as second in power over all of Egypt they learned they had counted wrong.
Pharaoh counted on killing off the Hebrew sons, but with God’s sovereign plan the one baby he missed, that would grow up in his own house would bring about Egypt’s downfall. When he counted babies, he counted wrong.
Pharaoh counted on continuing to enslave the Hebrews after being commanded  from God to free them, finally having been hit with nine plagues, he conceded that he may have counted wrong.
Pharaoh counted on the Red Sea to allow his armies passage, but he and his host all drown there, and for his last time he counted wrong.
Korah counted on overthrowing Moses. Then the ground opened up and swallowed all that pertained to him.  Guess he too counted wrong.
Balak counted on hiring Balaam to curse Israel. 

Only to discover his plan had been intercepted by a Holy God and now only blessing could be spoken, yep, counted wrong.
Balaam counting on getting by disobeying God, and beating a donkey, once his eyes had been opened to the angel who informed him that he would have gladly killed him, not even aware how close he came to death and he surely regretted that he counted wrong!
Depraved men counted on forcibly taking and sexually assaulting Lot’s angelic house guests, only to blinded through the door and the entire place destroyed from the face of the earth, they had counted wrong.
Philistines counted on enjoying their “Let’s torture Samson” party,
as party sayings go, he really brought the house down, counting on torturing God ‘s anointed for the fun of it, thousands at that party had counted wrong.
Sisera, the enemy of Israel counted on a nice warm resting place when Jael took him in, had he lived through her nailing his head to the floor, well he would have known when he counted her as a friend, he counted wrong.
Goliath laughed hysterically at David’s small size counting on taking this boy down. God’s guided stone sending this beast to the ground and when his head came off, all of his army knew when they counted on destroying Israel that they counted wrong.
Absalom who counted on overthrowing his father, soon found himself suspended from a tree branch, caught by his beautiful hair. I’m sure before being ran through by the sword, he knew he counted wrong.
Nebuchadnezzar counted on torching the three Hebrew boys, once he saw not only were they fireproof but also not alone, to his horror he realized he counted wrong.
Haman counted on hanging Mordecai and killing all the Jews, after a chat between the King and Esther lead him to his gallows, those who had encouraged him in his plan knew they all had counted wrong.
Belshazzar counted on using vessels of the Lord as stem ware  for his pagan party, his death warrant was soon written upon his wall,
that’s what happens when you count wrong and attempt to defile a vessel, any vessel that is consecrated unto God.
Darius’ overseers counted on ridding themselves of Daniel by turning him lion food, but once morning came and Daniel was still very much alive, they themselves were thrown in the den, these are men who counted wrong, once again.
Satan and the armies of hell counted on taking all power once they had Jesus dead, but to their surprise he tore down their stronghold taking the keys to their kingdom, all the sting of death, overcoming the grave by resurrecting from his death.

They counted on defeating him and there will never again be doubt of just how badly they counted and they counted wrong.

We could go on for days, but I hope this encourages someone.
We do get discouraged, but when that happens give it to the Lord, let him raise up his spirit in you.
Think of it as spiritual wrestling, you may down but never let them make it to the three count.
                               You may be growing weak and losing strength fast and your enemies may think you’ve been counted out but with God as your Captain you can let them know really fast, if they really believe your out of the match and down for the count then obviously they have very badly counted wrong.

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. Reverend Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

ASHES

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Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]