“You are precious to Him”

“But now saith the Lord, that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the Lord thy God, The Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 

Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable (innocent), and I have loved thee…” Isaiah 43:1-5a 

The magnificence of the Lord. Jesus loves us and is good to us not because of anything we do or could ever do.

Just as he creates us in our mother’s womb, he breathes life unto us and upon salvation gives us his overflowing presence, he calls us by name and he calls us not servants but brothers and sisters and he calls us his friends.

As he was with the Hebrews as he made a way of their escape through the Red Sea, As he lifted up Peter when he was afraid, and the Hebrew boys, not bowing down, and from the flames he protected them.

He is “I AM THAT I AM”, which means he is who is and he makes his own choices and has none above him nor any beside him and yet he gave all of Egypt in rescuing his people. 

Jeremiah 31:3: “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn thee.

He loves us simply because he is good, he is merciful, and he is Holy and when we repent and go on to know him, love him, and serve him in love, and worship him in truth and spirit, we become partakers of those wonderful promises he gave us through Isaiah.

Maybe you’re having a rough day, maybe the world, satan, or even self-doubt is making you feel  that you or even your life doesn’t matter at all.

But to God you do! He even said that we are precious in his sight!

How could it get any better than that? So if you if need a little encouragement today, remember these words: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

MOTHERS, THE BEJEWELMENT TO THE CROWN OF THE KING

**** FROM MY ARCHIVES but the love and sentiment that we all feel for this special day never changes, neither did this thought.***

Mothers, we are formed in their bodies, they feed us, diaper us, love us and nurture us. They dry our tears and relieve all our fears. They chase the boogey men away. Spend sleepless nights by our bedside when we are sick.  

Their love and patience pours over us as we spend hours crying through all the heartaches of puppy love and the growing pains that only a Mother’s comfort can see us through.
My own mother always had an awesome ability that allowed her even in the worst possible circumstance to see so beyond the crisis at hand and see a better time in the future.
And I have truly been through a thing or two, including having to file for a restraining order at the ripe old age of eighteen and my mother always reassured me of several things.
#1. Things always look brighter after a good night sleep. We often worry about bad things that never actually happen.
#2. No matter how bad that day may seem, one day we really do look back and whatever it was that almost broke us will seem like a nightmare that never really even happened.
#3. An old, old one which is true and will always be true, whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
You know she was right on all counts and she still is!
I always thought if I could even be half the woman she is I would do well. She is beautiful inside and out and has such a dignity and grace about her that is almost regal and loves Jesus more than life itself.
Mothers are like beautiful jewels, they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Each one exquisitely crafted by the Master’s hand.
Maybe your birth mother or maybe the mother God chose just for you by joining you together through adoption. 

Maybe He chose your Grandmother or Aunt as the defining maternal hand to guide you, love you, teach you, and above all nurture you in Him.
Nevertheless we all know there is no one, no one like our Mother.
The relationship between Mary and Jesus is such a beautiful example of this one of a kind bond.
We know the story, Mary the blessed virgin, to whom an angel came to proclaim that she would give birth to the Son of the Almighty God, who had in fact created her.
Without a doubt she was scared to death, how do you conceive without a mate? An answer which came when she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost.
How do you knowingly carry the Son of God inside your body?
How do you tell your future husband and your family that this is true and it really happened to you?
How do you travel ninety miles on a donkey and give birth in a stable surrounded by his beautiful animal creations knowing this child is the one to save all of creation?
How do you accept the gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh brought from far away lands by wise men on bended knee who
have been led there by a star to pay honor and tribute to the King of all Kings?
How do react when the shepherds come to worship him, relaying that the message of  his arrival had been proclaimed to them by the host of heaven who proceeded to sing praises to the glory of God in the Highest as heaven came down and kissed earth?
How do you give the offering of the poorest of poor when dedicating him, never, ever worrying about providing for him?
How do you hear a prophecy from one who had been promised he would not see death until he beheld the face of this promised child, when that prophecy is that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also”?
As this child grows and maternal instincts take over, as he is held, loved, learns to crawl, walk and says his first words, has his first bumps and bruises and one day decides to stay behind and talk with the elders rather than join the caravan his family travelled with.
How do you understand, when you ask why he did this and he asks you “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?”, I will tell you how, he was her baby, even though he was divine, she knew he was God’s son but she was human and she was his mother and like all of us, that was her baby and as she watched him grow, he became what he was. Her son whom she loved more than life itself.
Fast forward twenty-one years after pondering what did he mean by this, as he begins his ministry and watching his miracles (she had to know he held this power because she asked him to do something for her friends at the wedding when he turned the water into wine, which was his first public display of this power) she watched as her own people hated him and threatened his life, she watched as his ministry grew.
She knew of his arrest and public torture and finally seeing him bloody, beaten beyond recognition and carrying a wooden beam to his execution, his battered body falling under the weight of it. And unable to go to him, to hold him, to touch his face, to tell him everything would be okay and this was still her baby and there was nothing in the universe she could do to stop it because it was the piercing of her soul. There would be no words to describe her sorrow.
How could her beautiful son who hung nailed to a cross, nearing death look down and want to be sure his mother would be cared for before dying, because he was her firstborn son.
John 19:25-27 “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, (John) he saith unto his mother Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” 
They seriously wrote the book, the ultimate story of love between a mother and child,and a wonderful example to us about the love and respect we should have for own mothers.
I hope all have a blessed Mother’s Day and if you have lost your Mother, rejoice in knowing just as Jesus and Mary we reunited and are together forever and ever, you will be also. And if  you know a lady who maybe has lost her children or they are “too busy” for her, please, please consider “adopting” her for Mother’s Day. A card, flowers or just a visit can change her world. Because loneliness is one “disease” we can cure! Remember Jesus said if you do it for one of his little one’s (saints) you’ve done it for him!
Because He is the King and these ladies are precious, precious jewels that help make up his Majestic crown! They are precious to him!
Φλογίζω 2014

Majesty

He, who created the heavens and the earth. He who created the stars and flung them out into the universe calling each by name.

One special star destined to one day lead the wise travelers to the manger in which he was laid.
He visited the earth, which he had held in his hand, walking the dust-covered roads as a mortal man.
Shining his marvelous light into even the darkest night.  His very name, being as an ointment poured forth caused mountains to fall, waves to roar and demons to flee.

When  soldiers came to arrest him, he answered, “I AM HE” his spoken identity so powerful that it sent them falling to the ground.
Nations destroyed by his hand, kings brought to their knees, the mighty of the earth brought to absolute nothingness.

He, who sent plagues, hail, blackness, and death upon all of Egypt for the sake of his chosen. Yet the maidens and virgins, love struck forever follow to proclaim him in all his glory as the majestic King.
His garment perfumed with aloes, cassia, and myrrh symbolic of his purity, healing, and humility and a beautiful heart of servitude.

Hannah and Mary exalting him with almost identical prayers, because in his mercy and grace he had made them to rejoice and he who is Holy had done unto them mighty things.

The voice that spoke into existence the universe, the heavens, the earth and seas and all that was, is or ever will be.
The voice that thunders in the heavens and sounds of many waters, that same voice in a still small way gave courage to the discouraged prophet, that same voice reassured a distraught father that his daughter was not dead but only asleep.

The voice that cried out to his father in the garden that the cup might pass from him, the voice that cried out from the cross it is finished, will one day proclaim that it is done.
“He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him and hath prospered?

Which removeth the mountains, and they know it not; which overturned them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the seas.” Job 9:4-8

Commanding the waters and rivers to not overpass boundaries which he has set.
Commanding the wind and waves that they should cease, walking upon the sea he had created, stretching forth his hand to a frightened Peter, so he could lift him up yet again.

Those hands, that fashioned Adam from clay, that forms us in our mother’s womb, those hands forever reaching out as they as they touched and healed, opened blinded eyes, gave hearing to deaf ears, made the lame leap for joy and freed the prisoners of demonic forces on earth.

Then those beautiful outstretched hands were bound and brutally nailed to a cross.

The Feet that graced his gardens in Heaven and walked his palace floor, the feet Mary had washed with her tears and dried with her hair.
Those feet were then placed one atop the other and nailed completely through.
Those feet will soon one day stand atop Mt Olives, the mountains unable to bear the presence of their creator, will split helplessly into.

The breath, so powerful that at the creation of Adam, it held the ability to bring even dust to life.

That breath gave itself over unto death on the cross because it was the price to be paid, that he might save us.
The angels of heaven proclaim his praise, the beasts around the throne never cease to cry “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and yet, he chose to call us friends.

John announced that he baptized with water but that a greater would come and baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost.

Jesus himself, stating he had a baptism to be baptized with.
All the power of the universe manifesting at his resurrection, re-entering his dead body with enough force and heat to burn his image into the highly controversial shroud, which also bore the proof over one hundred lash wounds that had torn his flesh to shreds.

An image that no process  or technology  known to man, even to this day can reproduce.
John, trying to convey all the works he did after his resurrection before his ascension, finally conceded to this:

“And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books which should be written.” Amen.” John 21:25

As so beautifully written in Solomon, This is our beloved. Maybe that is why the angels keep it simple, “Praise Ye, Jehovah!”

The Lord himself stating “Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.

I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:10-12

“To whom then will ye liken me or to whom shall I be equal? saith the Holy One” 
 Isaiah 40:25

“To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me that we may be like.”
Isaiah 46:5

So I like all that came before me, am at a loss for words, there are truly not enough words in any language, or enough books in the entire world that could ever fully describe his beauty, his complexity, his mercy or his grace.

If I may echo his words, who could be compared? Bar none in his perfection, splendor, and majesty he truly stands absolutely alone.

Φλογίζω  Original Post Date : May 03, 2014 FOWC/Avenue .All Rights Reserved N. Brown Johnson / Baresoulphlogizo 2015

“Change your clothes”

Sunday will be the first day of spring! Yay! But here it was actually warmer weeks ago and many of the beautiful trees flowered early and now old man winter is huffing and puffing and rain and wind are blowing and all those pretty blooms are looking anything but pretty.

Funny how the perception of a trees beauty is gauged by the covering of that tree, not what it looked like before or what it will in several months, but what it is NOW.

We aren’t that much different and I can never think of “changing” clothes without thinking about my Mother… most Mothers insist on clean underwear and socks but that never comes to mind with my Mom.

Growing up in the eighties.. fashion was seriously whatever you wanted it to be and styles ranged widely from elegant jumpsuits that were multipurpose to be worn many ways and as I called them “clown suits” I loved them. Others wore leather and styles that bordered medieval archery wear, and styles with satin, gauze, and loads of lace, fad after fad with every imaginable fabric stuffed in between.

I went through a phase (before I was liberated to clown suits and my beloved shoulder pads) that rotated between raiding my Dad’s church ties to polish off my look, and raiding my brothers printed tee shirts.

Now my parents both worked so me and my brother got ourselves off to school and I would ride the bus to school and then ride home with Mom because she worked close to the school and got off about thirty minutes later, so anyway she did not see me BEFORE I left the house only AFTER everyone else had, she has always been a big believer in looking ones best so I really should have seen it coming sooner… we were getting out of the car to go into the store one evening and  staring rather sternly at the extra-large tee-shirt and jeans I had donned, she says “Why are you wearing that?” Of course my shocked reply was “Because its comfortable” so she finally strongly suggests that if I don’t start wearing my own clothes and stop wearing my brothers shirts that I would not be in public with her.

So looking back I don’t know if this was a “sister moment” or a Mom asking a sister “Can you do something with your sister” moment but my sister who has always been beautiful and well dressed decided to give me a beautiful outfit, still miss that shirt!

Anyway it was black DRESS SLACKS and a black “almost” tee but the upper portion was almost like a velvety suede with an applique, also solid black.  As soon as I tried it on, I fell in love, and wore it to school and the most shocking thing happened that day… I could not believe how many compliments I got on those clothes and I actually FELT different, I felt FEMININE, I felt like a GIRL…WEIRD Right!???

I can truly say that I have never been the same, still have my sloppy moments  but I was given something that is priceless, a “change of clothes” that helped change me from a “tomboy” wearing make-up into becoming a young lady.

Something hit me at church Sunday night…  and God confirmed the thought when the story of the lady with the issue of blood was used, in a different context.

Sometimes we have to CHANGE our “garments” to touch His. Yeah.. that is much harder to explain outside of my head, but understanding it in my spirit.

What we wear SPIRITUALLY is of course even more important than what we cover our bodies with.

We wear our happiness as a beautiful sundress, we wear our joy as a brightly colored array reflecting from our very beings.

We wear peace as a blue flowing robe that reflects the sky and the sea and their endless blueness and beauty.

And we wear so many WRONG things and like my double shoulder pads and cinch belts of yesteryear, God above knows that I have worn more than my fair share of many of these:

We wear our pain, our sad countenance and eyes expressing the sorrow of our heart just as deadening and dreary as a funeral veil.

We wear our hurt and resentment as easily irritating, rough garments that scratch and chaff and make us quite nasty to be around.

We wear our guilt and our shame as a hideous smocks decorated with skulls and cross-bones and bio hazard symbols to ward others away as they carefully hide the most delicate of silk and linen underneath.

We also wear the unattractive and ill-fitting garments of anger, rage, pride, and arrogance, regret and remorse and every imaginable human condition.

Luke, chapter 8 tells us of a woman who knew all to well about the garments she was forced to wear, she was sick, very sick. Her condition made her life exceptionally miserable because she was under the law to stay on her sick-bed, she had an issue of blood, and that made her UNCLEAN and by that NO ONE could come into contact with her or they would also become unclean, so she spent ALL of her money on doctor, after doctor, and I’m sure remedy after remedy and her condition only WORSENED.

So for TWELVE YEARS she spent her life, alone, sick, and outcast in her  condition. Now THAT is carrying a heavy burden, we’ll pick up her story: Luke 8:43-48: “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, NEITHER could be healed of any. Came BEHIND him and TOUCHED the border (hem) of HIS GARMENT: and IMMEDIATELY her issue of blood stanched (stopped).

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press (surround and crush) thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me; For I perceive that VIRTUE (POWER) IS GONE OUT OF ME.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all people for what cause she had touched him, and how SHE WAS HEALED IMMEDIATELY. And Jesus said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort (cheer) thy faith hath made thee whole (well) GO IN PEACE.

Mark 5:25-34  recounts her famous words, “If I MAY touch but (ONLY) his clothes, I SHALL BE WHOLE (well).”

Can you imagine the “clothes” she had worn every day for TWELVE years and the courage it took to “change” clothes in order to TOUCH His?

She had to change her garment of FEAR, the very real fear of being punished for breaking the law by even being there and put on a new covering of FAITH.

She had to change her garments of rejection, and ostracism for the beautiful two piece suit of acceptance and assurance. Removing the tight uncomfortable binder of medically impossible and allowing herself to be completed wrapped in  ALL things ARE possible with God.

And to NOT even be touched BY Him, or touch Him, but just to touch something that is touching Him, so matter how small it may seem, even the little things in life, right down to the to the tiniest seam, after all, that little seam holds it all together. (Dig that, for a little symbolism) We all pray and we all want Him to touch us, our health, our lives and there IS nothing wrong with that but.. maybe sometimes we need to just TOUCH Him.

Hebrews 4:15 a: “For we have not an high priest which cannot BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES.. ” OUR High Priest CAN be touched!

And when those heavy burdens, sickness, and toils and toll takings of life happen, and that SPIRIT of heaviness start to show on us like tattered, torn clothing we MUST be willing to change OUT OF THAT.

Isaiah 61:3: “To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for their ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.”

So shed the old crusty duds and  put on your new clothes and allow Him to cover you in a beautiful garment of praise!

Now to finish up my story, life is good in slacks, Dad finally quit having to come ask for his missing ties and looking back my brother bought me an “ALABAMA” tee-shirt all of my own,  ( I will post that in as soon as I dig the picture up.. good for a flashback laugh) now I’m thinking maybe a gentle way of saying, “Sis, please stay out of my clothes….. wear your own clothes”…  But I know one thing for sure the most beautiful garment we will ever wear is “broken” that is the garment that shines brilliantly and flows most beautifully, because it is most splendid and glorious once it has undergone repair.

Blessings and Love! Have a great week and a beautiful new spring!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

If you have never heard this PLEASE check it out!

 

The voice of Simon

“And one of the Pharisee desired (asked) him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisees house, and set down to meat (dinner). And behold, a woman a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster box (jar) of ointment. And stood at his feet, behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them away with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment (oil).

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake WITHIN himself, saying This man, IF he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman THIS IS that toucheth  him; For SHE IS A SINNER.

And JESUS answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee, and he said, Master (Teacher) say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed him five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both, Tell me therefore, which will love him most?

Simon answered  and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most, and he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven: for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, THE SAME LOVETH LITTLE.” LUKE 7:36-47

The courage it took for Mary to walk into that room, she knew exactly what they all thought and Pharisees, oh what we could say about Simon, what if Jesus had taken him to school and told him every single sin he had committed? But Jesus does not work that way, but Pharisees do.

He really nailed them when he referred to them as white washed tombs FULL of dead men’s bones, they will gag at a gnat and SWALLOW a camel. These are they who openly thank God that they are “not like that tax collector” over there.

These are they who claim they know Him and their smug religious superiority allows them to look down on and constantly backbite and trash talk others, because after all how could HE SAVE such sinners as they know people to have been or be?

They are “raging waves foaming out of their OWN SHAME” and whether you are a new Christian or have been on the frontlines for the Lord for a while, you have, or will, or are experiencing the voice of Simon.

Male or female, religious snobbery and arrogance knows no gender or social status and if they can’t see to their standards what the Lord has done in you, then obviously IN THEIR OPINION, it has not been done, AND THEY WANT TO MAKE BLOODY SURE THAT YOU KNOW THAT AND THAT YOU ARE NEVER UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU WILL EVER OUT RUN YOUR PAST!

That is what Simon wanted and his voice must be silenced in all of our ears, because when you know Jesus, you KNOW His voice! “But he that entereth in by the door IS the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he CALLETH HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME, AND HE LEADETH THEM OUT.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. And A STRANGER THEY WILL NOT FOLLOW, BUT WILL FLEE FROM HIM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF THE STRANGER.” JOHN 10:2-5

Jesus is giving us comfort that yes, others voices may call, other voices will try to persuade us to follow, but WE know HIS voice, His voice is Gentle, encouraging, and always, always leading us AWAY from our past. The voices of the strangers want to lead you back into a life of lies, and bondage, a life of misery, and hopelessness, just like Simon, he didn’t care if Mary was saved, as far as he cared she could split hell wide open, in HIS EYES he was pure as fallen snow and her.. well, not so much. 

Now with the courage it took her to seek Jesus WHERE he may be found, cry at His feet with an audience of haters staring her down, she had it rough, and if you want to be saved and this is what it is going to require, openly acknowledging and worshipping the Lord in an atmosphere of contempt, may I encourage you to do it!

Just as He shut Simon up, He will shut up those who discourage you. Sometimes the Pharisees will try to hunt us down in on our own turf, barge their way into your personal worship space with the Lord, as the devil is the “accuser of the brethren, (God’s children) and ACCUSES them night and day before the Lord”, it is so imperative to not let it get to you, go right on with the Lord and that puts the ball in HIS court and I guarantee you, when He gets through with them it will be as when the Egyptian’s were GLAD to see the Hebrews go because the plagues of God and His hand had been so strong against them.

We can not change any situation but God will, IF we stay out of it, and do not try to fix it ourselves or speak on our own behalf, if you notice with that, Mary never said a word, not one word, JESUS spoke on her behalf, HE IS our lawgiver, our judge, our refuge, and our strength and HE WILL DEFEND HIS CHOSEN.

And I know that can be hard when your being hassled and your flesh really wants to cut loose, go completely off, and all kinds of crazy on the “Simons”, but once we have made that mistake, we have extracted our own vengeance, when we should have chosen God’s because His vengeance is perfection.

We’ve covered them there, and here, but what about when you are desperately seeking God and trying to find your way? Most dangerous place of all and a hotbed of “Simons” the place that after salvation, we can get a little lax in “opening up” to Him and His will, and waiting too long to answer “His call” growing cold and lukewarm, realizing the mistake, dying to yourself, and start your “search”.

” I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped (dripped) with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened up to my beloved; but he had withdrawn himself, and was gone; my soul failed when he spake (heart went out in longing); I sought for him; but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

The watchmen that went about the city found me, and they smote (struck) me, and they WOUNDED me; the keepers of the walls TOOK AWAY my veil from me.” SONG OF SOLOMON 4:5-7

Now that is some damage, the kind of damages, “Simons” can cause, if you listen to them and do not stay close to God and KNOW who you are in Him, no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise, even while taking “your veil”, like Simon tried, by arguing who you are or were. Little harder to bounce back from that, but it this story, she bounces back with a new determination to show the world His love.

So now we know what we don’t want to listen too, please let me give you a couple of sharp swords of the word to help in your battle:

#1. HIS VOICE, HIS VOICE, HIS VOICE! “FEAR NOT; for thou shalt NOT be ashamed: Neither be thou confounded (disgraced); for thou shalt NOT be put to shame: for thou shalt FORGET the shame of thy youth… ISAIAH 54:4

#2. “In righteousness thou shalt be ESTABLISHED; thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt NOT fear: and from terror; for it shalt NOT come near thee. Behold, THEY shall surely gather together (come against you) but NOT BY ME (God does NOT send them) WHOSOEVER SHALL GATHER AGAINST THEE SHALL FALL FOR THY SAKE. ISAIAH 54:14,15

#3. NO weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and EVERY tongue that SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUDGMENT (bad mouthing you) THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME.” ISAIAH 54:17 

Great comfort because Jesus casts all our sins and transgression into the “sea of forgetfulness” and NEVER remembers them again, and “as far as the east is to the west” those sins are from his mind and that is how far they should be from your mind also. I know days are just days, but with the new year we can consider it the perfect time to tell all the old “Simons” to be forgot and listen NO MORE to their voices.

But challenge ourselves in the new year to listen to the voice of our Shepherd, who will tell you that you ARE new, you ARE clean, and those filthy rags that were your righteousness have now been exchanged for the glorious garment of HIS righteousness which covers you completely in HIs love, His protection, and under the shadow of His mighty wings!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have been hurt by words and people who just keep trying to remind you of your past, and keep trying to convince you that you have no future, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to this song, I STILL can not hear this song without crying because it has been so perfect for my heart and my walk and many, many trips with the “Simons” that have tried to make me doubt Jesus, but I KNOW Jesus, and I know from “miles and miles away LOVE saw (me)there and stretched out His hand to save (me) across the lonely ocean of (my) tears and he’ll walk upon the waves to save (me) if that’s what it takes” If you’ve been going through this, Please just listen to the voice of Jesus, because no one else died for you and no one else can save you and love you as He does! Simons looking for me can find me at the feet of the only one whose thoughts matter to me.

 

 

Golden

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

I myself, a die hard Victorian trapped in a modern world with a strong opinion base and more than willing to verbally express those opinions would have no doubt been confined to the solitude of a servants quarter someplace. So I am thankful I can now have the best of both worlds, but that does bring back a few school memories, now looking back, maybe that strong opinion and big mouth could explain more than one solitary confinement detention, but that is neither here nor there.

Golden apples, can’t make it through the holiday without a least a couple and every time I see one I am reminded of one of my favorite verses: Proverbs 25:11″A word fitly spoken (SPOKEN AT THE RIGHT TIME) is like APPLES OF GOLD in pictures (settings) of silver.” Think of how beautiful that would truly be, the little snapshot above of my golden apple on my little Victorian tree can give a glimpse of just how the light reflects from that gold, it captures each twinkle and presents a warm, soft glow. Imagine the light reflected from a true golden apple glided by the process of the fire of the word of God. The tradition of Christmas apples can be kinda shaky depending on your research but we know that the only research we need is the symbolism found in the word of God. God refers to his children as the apple of his eye, (meaning pupil, but yet something extremely precious and of irreplaceable value.)

Song of Solomon has countless references to this ,when Jesus announces “I AM the rose of Sharon, AND the lily of the valley” describing his great love and calls her into his presence and she replies Song of Solomon 2:3:

“As the apple tree among the trees of wood, SO IS my beloved among the sons, I sat down UNDER HIS SHADOW with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” The apple tree bearing nourishing, beautiful, sweet fruit that no other tree could compare too. She goes on to plead to be comforted with apples, as she now had fallen completely in love wishing only to be refreshed and fed in His Presence, his very breath being as the fragrance of apples. Need we say more about apples?

Now for the gold, pure, valuable, beautiful, and reflective and adds worth to anything it touches. Through his fire He will refine his servants” as silver is refined” and try his servants “as gold is tried” his saints are processed as gold, with all the impurities being fired away until all that remains is pure and fire tested, purity tested to prove that they are tried and true. His word as the setting of those refreshing, encouraging, nourishing “apples”.

Psalm 12:6:”The WORDS of the Lord ARE PURE WORDS; AS SILVER TRIED IN THE FURNANCE OF EARTH, purified seven times.” Jesus will send a word in season to those who are weary, we need refreshing, we need encouragement and we live in a world where everyone wants to kick you when your down and people seem to have issues with being loyal friends to more than one person at a time. Sometimes these golden apples, words of encouragement or gentle warning words of wisdom are never delivered by the messengers but they are needed:

Proverbs 25:12,13:”As an earring of gold, and an ornament (adornment) of fine gold, so is a wise reprover  upon an obedient ear. As the cold of SNOW in TIME OF HARVEST, So IS a faithful messenger to them that send him: For he refreshest  the soul of his masters.”

We may not always hear the words that we necessarily want to hear but it refreshes us to the Lord and refreshes us to our path and to that process of our spirits being refined and tried to the purification of God’s golden standard. Apples in due season, season of if we faint not, seasons of sorrow, seasons of loss, season of discouragement there is nothing finer than apples of gold and the refreshment  brought to weary souls is truly golden. If you have a scripture or thought that just keeps burning in your soul about someone else, don’t sit on that, pray about it and share it. Unless it is revealed by the Lord we never know what is going on inside of another soul, they may be so weary that they are in danger of falling, they may be so hurt and wounded that they don’t know where to turn or they could be in danger of heading down the wrong path or have something going on inside that they need to get in check to finish that purification process, you never know but if God continues to stir you heart you need to heed that and don’t keep all the pretty golden apples to yourself, they were meant to be shared!

Φλογίζω για παντα  / NBJ 2015

 

MOTHERS, THE BEJEWELMENT TO THE CROWN OF THE KING

**** FROM MY ARCHIVES but the love and sentiment that we all feel for this special day never changes, neither did this thought.***

Mothers, we are formed in their bodies, they feed us, diaper us, love us and nurture us. They dry our tears and relieve all our fears. They chase the boogey men away. Spend sleepless nights by our bedside when we are sick.  

Their love and patience pours over us as we spend hours crying through all the heartaches of puppy love and the growing pains that only a Mother’s comfort can see us through.
My own mother always had an awesome ability that allowed her even in the worst possible circumstance to see so beyond the crisis at hand and see a better time in the future.
And I have truly been through a thing or two, including having to file for a restraining order at the ripe old age of eighteen and my mother always reassured me of several things.
#1. Things always look brighter after a good night sleep. We often worry about bad things that never actually happen.
#2. No matter how bad that day may seem, one day we really do look back and whatever it was that almost broke us will seem like a nightmare that never really even happened.
#3. An old, old one which is true and will always be true, whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
You know she was right on all counts and she still is!
I always thought if I could even be half the woman she is I would do well. She is beautiful inside and out and has such a dignity and grace about her that is almost regal and loves Jesus more than life itself.
Mothers are like beautiful jewels, they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Each one exquisitely crafted by the Master’s hand.
Maybe your birth mother or maybe the mother God chose just for you by joining you together through adoption. 

Maybe He chose your Grandmother or Aunt as the defining maternal hand to guide you, love you, teach you, and above all nurture you in Him.
Nevertheless we all know there is no one, no one like our Mother.
The relationship between Mary and Jesus is such a beautiful example of this one of a kind bond.
We know the story, Mary the blessed virgin, to whom an angel came to proclaim that she would give birth to the Son of the Almighty God, who had in fact created her.
Without a doubt she was scared to death, how do you conceive without a mate? An answer which came when she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost.
How do you knowingly carry the Son of God inside your body?
How do you tell your future husband and your family that this is true and it really happened to you?
How do you travel ninety miles on a donkey and give birth in a stable surrounded by his beautiful animal creations knowing this child is the one to save all of creation?
How do you accept the gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh brought from far away lands by wise men on bended knee who
have been led there by a star to pay honor and tribute to the King of all Kings?
How do react when the shepherds come to worship him, relaying that the message of  his arrival had been proclaimed to them by the host of heaven who proceeded to sing praises to the glory of God in the Highest as heaven came down and kissed earth?
How do you give the offering of the poorest of poor when dedicating him, never, ever worrying about providing for him?
How do you hear a prophecy from one who had been promised he would not see death until he beheld the face of this promised child, when that prophecy is that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also”?
As this child grows and maternal instincts take over, as he is held, loved, learns to crawl, walk and says his first words, has his first bumps and bruises and one day decides to stay behind and talk with the elders rather than join the caravan his family travelled with.
How do you understand, when you ask why he did this and he asks you “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?”, I will tell you how, he was her baby, even though he was divine, she knew he was God’s son but she was human and she was his mother and like all of us, that was her baby and as she watched him grow, he became what he was. Her son whom she loved more than life itself.
Fast forward twenty-one years after pondering what did he mean by this, as he begins his ministry and watching his miracles (she had to know he held this power because she asked him to do something for her friends at the wedding when he turned the water into wine, which was his first public display of this power) she watched as her own people hated him and threatened his life, she watched as his ministry grew.
She knew of his arrest and public torture and finally seeing him bloody, beaten beyond recognition and carrying a wooden beam to his execution, his battered body falling under the weight of it. And unable to go to him, to hold him, to touch his face, to tell him everything would be okay and this was still her baby and there was nothing in the universe she could do to stop it because it was the piercing of her soul. There would be no words to describe her sorrow.
How could her beautiful son who hung nailed to a cross, nearing death look down and want to be sure his mother would be cared for before dying, because he was her firstborn son.
John 19:25-27 “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, (John) he saith unto his mother Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” 
They seriously wrote the book, the ultimate story of love between a mother and child,and a wonderful example to us about the love and respect we should have for own mothers.
I hope all have a blessed Mother’s Day and if you have lost your Mother, rejoice in knowing just as Jesus and Mary we reunited and are together forever and ever, you will be also. And if  you know a lady who maybe has lost her children or they are “too busy” for her, please, please consider “adopting” her for Mother’s Day. A card, flowers or just a visit can change her world. Because loneliness is one “disease” we can cure! Remember Jesus said if you do it for one of his little one’s (saints) you’ve done it for him!
Because He is the King and these ladies are precious, precious jewels that help make up his Majestic crown! They are precious to him!
Φλογίζω 2014