“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