“Bountiful Benefits”

Psalm 119:17-24 GIMEL:  “Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

I am a stranger in the earth; hide not thy commandments from me.

My soul breaketh for (is crushed with) the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

Princes also did sit and speak against me; but thy servant did mediate in thy statutes. 

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”   

The joys of serving the Lord are beyond measure, but often in the midst of persecution or a season of lack we may not also feel blessed or feel like the chosen that we are. Which is why this verse reminds us that his testimonies are our delight and they are our “counselors”, helping us and giving us direction especially in the face of our enemies who ridicule and accuse us and God wants us to focus on Him, not on their actions especially when it seems like that have it “made” in life and it appears that they just run on forever being cruel, wicked, and unkind but God tells us often in his word that he sees all of this and even though it may appear that they are somehow rewarded, in reality if they do not change this life will be only life they have because they will be condemned to an eternal hell and in that thought you will actually feel sorry for them and here is his word on how to deal with that.

Psalm 37:1-18: “Fret not (do not be concerned with) thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and wither as the green herb.

TRUST IN THE LORD, and do good; so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

DELIGHT THYSELF ALSO IN THE LORD; AND HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART. 

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment (justice) as noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any wise (way) to do evil.

For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed); but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth .

For yet a little while, and the wicked shall NOT be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plotteh against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

The Lord shall laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming.

The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and the needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation (conduct).

Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 

For the arms (forces of control) of the wicked shall be broken; but the Lord UPHOLDETH the righteous.

THE LORD KNOWETH THE DAYS OF THE UPRIGHT; AND THEIR INHERITANCE SHALL BE FOR EVER.”

 

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Hidden”

Psalm 119:9-16: BETH “Wherewithal (how) shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord teach me thy statutes.

With my lips have I declared all thy judgments of thy mouth I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

I will mediate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in they statues; I will not forget thy word.”

The cleansing power of the Word of God, we are saved through faith in Jesus and confession of salvation and he forgives ALL our sins, never to be remembered again.

He washed us in his own blood, changing the filthy rags of our own righteousness to a covering of his perfect righteousness, all for the asking, all we must do is believe and ask him! As we study his word, he speaks to us through that word, he speaks of his love for us, his mercy toward us, and the promises of those words, he also fills our hearts with that word, as this scripture reminds us:

“But this man ( Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

From henceforth (now on) expecting (waiting) till his enemies be made his footstool. for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before. 

THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS AND IN THEIR MINDS WILL I WRITE THEM; AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES (lawless deeds) WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.  

Now where there remission (forgiveness) of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiness by the blood of Jesus.

By a NEW and LIVING way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.

And having an high priest over the house of God.

Let us draw near (to God) with a true heart in FULL ASSURANCE of faith of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering;(FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED)” Hebrews 10:12-23

As we had been encouraged to let the mind of Christ be in us, we understand in these passages why that is us needful for us, as God is even telling us that he will put his word in our hearts and his laws in our minds when we are saved so that we can understand his will for our lives and so that through his word we can resist this word, the devil, and all the pit falls and make our way homeward to New  Jerusalem. And this is his promise concerning what will happen for you when you get those words in in your heart and in your mind, he will bring those back at the very moment you need them!

He will supernaturally “drop” that verse in your thoughts or a particular Bible story will come to ind to let you know how to proceed, what to read or how to pray for someone else.

Whatever you need it will be there. 

John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I said unto you.”

Have a blessed day! and hide his word in your heart, hold onto those promises and rest in His peace! We will soon His glory like never before!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“Assurance…Guaranteed”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN  SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH;

I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (my command to PERSEVERE) , I also will keep the from the hour of temptation (trial), which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD, to try (test) them that dwell upon the earth.

Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:8-11

Jesus gave us these words as comfort and assurance, Jesus as he taught us in the Gospel Luke 21;19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” And what is patience? It means perseverance, it means to hold on and to look not at this world or what is around you.

But to look ahead, forward, so much so in fact that you are looking toward heaven and the life that ONLY begins when this earthly life ends.

For those who have been with loved ones who were afflicted with terminal illness, you may understand this well, often those in Christ are prepared for their journey to meet Jesus, while us the family are distraught and heart broken,never desiring to be separated form those we love, but God in his blessed compassion gives them peace, peace that allows them to look ahead and not see it as the death of this life but as the rebirth of an eternal life with no sorrow, no pain, no suffering, no want, no lack, no hunger, and no thirst.

But a life that will be FOREVER in the presence of Jehovah God, Jesus, the host of heavenly angels and loved ones that have already arrived in that heavenly location.

He gives peace to make that crossing as he himself prayed from the cross, Luke 23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT; and having said this, he gave up the ghost (he breathed his last).

Stephen, the martyr, echoed those words as he was stoned because the truth he proclaimed convicted and angered the evil crowd, they felt is easier to kill him that to admit their own evil trespasses.

Acts 7:54-69: ” When they heard these things, they were cut (furious) to the heart, and they gnashed on (at) him with their teeth. 

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and SAW the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

And he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man, standing at the right hand of God. And they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord (attacked him as one mob). 

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

And they stoned Stephen, calling (as Stephen called on God), and saying, LORD JESUS, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (please don’t hold this them).

And when he had said this, he fell asleep (died). 

As Jesus referenced the church in Philadelphia, it is noteworthy to mention to key facts, this church would have been at Turkey during Bible times but the name literally means “brotherly love” and in my belief, it can be even as with denominations, we can belong to a”church” meaning that sheepfold, and not necessarily be in that exact geological location, just as we are brothers and sisters in Christ the world over, even though we may NEVER meet each other in this life, we will in the next, because the Kingdom of God is comprised of his children from “all nations, and kindreds (tribes), and people, and tongues, (languages)”

Jesus also gave us that blessed hope in knowing that perseverance is the key, and perseverance means “do not give up, no matter what, do not give up” and as he also warned to let anyone take your “crown’, just as he also promised to keep you from all the terrible,terrible things that are coming to this world, he did not at any time say how he would keep you. It could be through the rapture, of the saints, or it could be as with Stephen, and so many others, who have died in Christ and for the Word of Christ.

His promise is all that even matters, and his promise is that you will be protected and preserved, and what I feel is one of the most awesome promises,a promise that will be fulfilled not only to those who have already suffered persecution and death through the ages, but for a blessed promise to those who are suffering now for the word of Christ and their choice to serve the one true God, the maker of heaven and earth, who will NEVER leave you or forsake you, I want to remind you of this, what will one day happen as Christ is REINTRODUCED to this earth. 

Revelation 6:9-17: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain (murdered) for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and AVENGE our blood on them that dwell on earth?

And white robes were given unto every one of them, and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season (while), UNTIL their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be (will be) killed as they were, should be fulfilled (happens).

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo,  there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs (drops it’s late fruit) when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

And THE HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL WHEN IT IS ROLLED TOGETHER (the sky split apart); and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens (caves) and in the rocks of the mountains;

And said to the mountains and rocks, FALL ON US, AND HIDE US FROM THE FACE OF HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to abide (stand) in it?” 

This is what Jesus referenced when he said this in Luke 21:27: “And then shall THEY see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” 

This is not just those who believe or just a wake up call for those who don’t, this will be the entire earth beholding their creator, and those who rejoice at his return, his children who know him as he is, lovely, beautiful, holy, and kind, gentle, and forgiving and mercy divine.

Those who have prayed for deliverance shouting for joy that that deliverance has come, mirrored to those who have hated him, hated the good, and fought and martyred the faithful, hated his chosen Israel and tried to take and destroy his chosen city of Jerusalem, either way we shall all see him and see him in his glory.

Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds,  and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and ALL the kindreds of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Which fulfills the promise in Philippians that even those who pierced him will see him, this is because ALL, those in heaven, those in erath, and those under earth.

ALL from ALL time will see him.

And all who have hated him, his word, and all who have hated you because you are his child and you bear his word, will suddenly be faced with him and his return, and the beauty is this, they can hate us, they can kill us but they will NEVER kill Jesus again, they will NEVER stop the Gospel, and once they are faced with the horrifying realization that He is indeed real, as they watch the sky itself LITERALLY open up to reveal Jesus and the host of heaven that none of us can even begin to fathom and I believe many will repent at that moment but those who have hated and made their threats and their claims and tormented and killed his people will know assuredly one thing, there is nothing, absolutely nothing in their power that will stop Him or His will and all those with their great threats of annihilation will now be begging to die rather than face Almighty God.

It’s easy to oppress other humans but not quite going to get it when trying to oppress the one WHO CREATED HUMANS including them.

As God had promised by his word that this will take place, Romans 14:11: For it IS written, AS I LIVE, SAITH THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.” 

I don’t even propose to know what you face today but I do believe that God wants you to rest in him and just hold on, hold on to the PROMISE that he has given you and that the God who will strike terror in their hearts at his return is the same God who will also hold you close comfort you, and dry every tear and he will, in that day, make your enemies to know that you are loved by him, the very beloved of him.

Finally keep your mind on this and this hope, REMEMBERING in your own mind the hope Jesus kept in his, as this passage encourages us to think as Jesus thought as his Father’s promises allowed him to keep focused on the joy ahead.

Philippians 2:5-11: “Let THIS MIND be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

But made himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;

And being found in fashion (appearance), he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, OF THINGS (those) IN HEAVEN, AND THINGS (those) IN EARTH, AND THINGS (those) UNDER THE EARTH;

AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS (admit and acknowledge)THAT JESUS CHRIST IS  LORD, TO THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.”  

God bless you today and just keeping looking up, help is on His way.

Also please take a moment to listen to this song posted below,  I believe it will bless you today.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

PREPARED Part 4… what you are really being prepared FOR

“And IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED, WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?” 1 Peter 4:18

This verse should be the sound of the alarm bells ringing on that ticking clock of the return of Christ that should be a wake up call to all.

“Sinners or saints, young or old, black or white, meaning your views are dead set and you see no other “colors” in between.  Even green or grey,  just trying your best to find the way, meaning, whether we are newbies, “green” in the Gospel or have the “grey head” of wisdom from years in His service, we all should hear the terrifying WARNING of that verse. 

My sister and I have discussed this in great detail over the years. If you really dissect this verse, it really ASKS us to think long and hard about the very simple truth that IF the righteous, those who have exchanged the “filthy rags of their own righteousness” for the PERFECT covering of the righteousness of God himself stated  Isaiah 54:17(b) “…And their righteousness IS of me, saith the Lord.”

There is NO righteousness outside the righteousness of God. It is not possible for any human, or any other pagan belief system to offer righteousness to us. 

Our righteousness will only be found through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and in the washing of our souls in His blood. This verse tells us that bearing ALL that, if we do the VERY BEST we can do, we will still SCARCELY be saved, which means just barely making it in.

And yes, I do realize there is a whole doctrine of once in grace, always in grace. I realize even more painfully the current movement is “Repentance? What repentance?” 

What I personally believe this line to mean is this, even though we ARE saved and our salvation is ASSURED (Romans 8:35-39) BUT being human and subject to all things human, all the snares of trying to live “holy” in an incredibly unholy world.

A world that not only encourages every kind of imaginable sin, but CELEBRATES those sins and even alienates others for NOT participating in those sins. The deception IS so strong, just as Jesus warned us of the false Christs, and false prophets.

Matthew 24:24: “For there SHALL arise false Christs, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.”

False teachers and false prophets that lie and deceive those who want a “commandment free” RELIGION and choose deception over true SALVATION. And he is warning us that this deception is so meticulously convincing that IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIS DIVINE INTERVENTION, HIS VERY CHOSEN WOULD BE DECEIVED! HE WILL NOT ALLOW US TO BE DECEIVED… UNLESS WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE.

Which also brings in two more verses. Matthew 16:24: ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, IF any man will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Notice the denial, denial of all the desires and whims of the flesh and of this world. Taking up that cross, having “crucified our flesh DAILY” through the renewing of our minds in his word, and following in HIS footsteps and HIS teachings and CHOOSE to be led by God, who does truly KNOW everything rather than a world who likes to think they KNOW more than even God, who CREATED it all, including them!

Forsaking ALL their high browed arguments against God, and against the very laws and commandments he himself designed FOR OUR OWN GOOD, and against the truth of his existence, trusting in their genetic frailty and decay because they simply REFUSE to acknowledge that their pompous minds could be wrong and that their souls could actually be subject unto a higher being, and that there could be a standard that they will be measured against.

And it is just easier for them to DENY his existence rather than to ADMIT their guilt.

Even though there is no “escape clause” in the Bible excusing us from the penalty of eternal hell and damnation because of our unbelief, quite the opposite, gotta have FAITH in him and in his existence. 

Hebrews 11:5: “But without faith it is impossible to please him;  for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

These pressures and these forces that make it so hard for US, that we SCARCELY slide by their traps, the traps of the temptations to sin, the traps of false doctrines whispered in our ears and bombarding us by television and media.

I, for one, think we need to stay away from even listening to these lies, I know others may “study” other “religions” but in doing so, they are opening themselves up to the “doctrine of devils” and allowing those polluted thoughts inside their minds, we are told specifically that all these teachings are AGAINST God and this will get you on the wrong side of the boat, fast.

James 4:4: ” Ye adulterers, and adulteresses, know ye not that THE FRIENDSHIP OF (with) THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL (wants to) BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD (makes himself the enemy of God).”

All the nonsense of learning each other and fellowship of “tolerance” is just more of Satan’s deceptions. God never said to hate others or mistreat them because of differences BUT his word tells us to STAY AWAY from all of it.

NONE of us EVER grow so much or climb so high that we are above temptation, snares and traps, as long as we are human and on this earth we can, do and will stumble, that is why we are told SCARCELY, but we repent, get up, go on and TRY it again!

One of the innumerable beauties of Christ is that HE IS faithful to forgive us, over and over, and over, when our hearts are sincere, his grace is endless. 

But for those who do err and teach sin and absolute contempt for his commandments and yet proclaim salvation to all whether they repent or accept Christ or not that somehow they are under a magical umbrella, teaching the complete OPPOSITE of repentance and salvation.

Matthew 15:8,9: “THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEARTS IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” 

He warned us right there! We are warned many times of the deception, that they WILL use his name, they WILL shout to the whole world that he is great, all this comes from their lips but in their heart, remember, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so IS he”, so their HEART, the truth of their belief is far, far from God or the things of his kingdom.

I believe that the false teachers DO NOT even believe in his existence.

I truly do not think anyone could believe in him and not fear teaching the things they teach. They teach the things people want to hear, to give them a false sense of eternal security never converting them to that actual security, in order to gain financially and in popularity. 

Sometimes it is hard to win people to the Lord, but truthfully, I think some of the greatest words we will ever hear in doing so, is these “I don’t want to be a hypocrite”, when someone acknowledges that they are not interested in serving the Lord, and that they FEAR the Lord and do not want to allow others to believe that they are while still unrepentant, that PROVES that there is HOPE for that person!

As long as they BELIEVE that HE IS, there is hope, as Jesus also told us, John 3:18-20“He that believeth on him is NOT condemned, BUT he that BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

And THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT, NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed).” 

This ANSWERS Peter’s question, WHERE will they stand at his coming? WHERE will the ungodly, those who deny, ridicule, and scoff at God, his statues, and his very existence?

WHERE will the sinners, I know everyone hates that word now, used to make people THINK, now just makes them angry, HOW dare anyone CALL THEM A SINNER?

That is a big one right there! Self-willed and prideful, lust of life, refusal to acknowledge that we could POSSIBLY do wrong!

We do not need to beat people over the head but when they are running the “reprobate risk” we need to give the a wake up call.

Sin is sin, and well, certain things ARE sin, you do those things, guess what, makes you a sinner! We have ALL been sinners! We ALL STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN!

That is part of SCARCELY! ME, you, EVERYONE fights sin! 

Again JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, THE MESSIAH, said THIS, point-blank, period, no ifs, no ands, and no buts. THIS is THE LIST of those who will NOT be allowed in his kingdom.

Revelation 21:5-8: “And HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE said, Behold, I make ALL things new, and he said unto me, Write: FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL.

And HE said unto me, It is done, I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I will give unto him that is athirst of the  fountain of the water of life FREELY. 

He that OVERCOMETH shall inherit all things: I WILL BE HIS GOD, and he shall be my son.

BUT THE FEARFUL (cowards), AND THE UNBELIEVING, AND THE ABOMINABLE (despicable, obnoxious, etc.), AND MURDERERS, AND WHOREMONGERS (sexually immoral), AND SORCERERS, (psychics, witchcraft, etc.), AND IDOLATERS (putting EVERYTHING before God), AND ALL LIARS, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WITH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

These are the words of Jesus, It is NOT written in red because John was writing to us what Jesus spoke to him, and we KNOW this is indeed Christ by His reference of Alpha and Omega.

Just to be so clear of WHOSE words these are, and the words of Christ are written in red, so Revelation 1:8: ” I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the beginning and the ending, SAITH THE LORD, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY.” 

He reveals his complete identity in this verse, HE IS the beginning of all things, HE IS the end of all things, HE IS everything in between.

He WAS, John:1-17In the beginning WAS the Word, the Word WAS with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD. 

The same was in the beginning with God. ALL things were MADE by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made.

IN HIM WAS LIFE; And the life WAS the light of men. AND THE LIGHT SHINETH INTO DARKNESS; AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. 

THAT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He WAS in the world, and the world WAS made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME;

WHICH WERE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld his glory, the glory, as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This WAS he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me IS preferred BEFORE me; FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME.” 

All that Jesus had said of himself. 

Humans can not look on the face of God, when Jesus came here, he came AS the Son of God, HE IS the Son of God, HE IS the Word, which did truly dwell among us and at his resurrection we were given the gift of that resurrection power which allowed the death of our flesh and spiritual birth in him because he actually DWELLS in us through the Holy Ghost.

But HE IS also God, which is why he referred to himself as IS and IS YET TO COME, meaning his return to earth and his kingdom that will be very much ON earth, precisely in what is now Jerusalem, soon to be NEW Jerusalem.

And as far as his Word, which HE IS, he left us all we need to know in the pages of his Holy Word, The Bible.

STUDY it for yourself, or get the audio version of the King James and listen to it. DO NOT take others words as his word, we are in such a time of deception and there IS only one way to heaven and the return to New Jerusalem and assurance of eternal life, and that IS through Jesus Christ.

1 john 2:22-23: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is an anti-Christ that denieth the Father and the Son.

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath NOT the Father: [but] HE THAT HATH ACKNOWLEDETH THE SON HATH THE FATHER ALSO.”

We have to have Jesus and we have to have his salvation and his forgiveness, and we will not have to ask ourselves WHERE shall we appear, when this world hears something similar to those spoken by the Lord in the Book of Amos, when they are told to “prepare to meet thy God”.

He’s coming back, ready or not, and we better be prepared to meet him.

Love & peace to ya, till next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

Posts in this series: PREPARED Part #1

PREPARED Part#2

PREPARED Part #3

More of the deceptions being taught about hell: RESERVATIONS FOR HELL

Original post series 2018/ Revisited 08/14/2020

“Stay”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We must stay anchored.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“STAR”

 

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

That wondrous star that led the kings to the Messiah. Think how many times they were probably discouraged by those around them as they sought out the most ancient of signs from the most ancient of prophecies.

But they were being drawn by the divinely magnetic force of the universe, the same divine force that placed that heavenly light in the sky for all to see, but only these three understood the significance of it all, but the “pay off” for them, in the form of all the hopes, dreams, and diligence being rewarded as they were among the first allowed to worship the King.

How could they help but rejoice? And they rejoice they did, and that joy would have truly been beyond comprehension.  I am sure many go through that process of seeking, as Abram sought for a city whose builder and maker is God, many others sought out the path predestined and purposed deep inside their hearts long before birth, even placed there BEFORE the foundations of the world. The longing of their souls driving them to seek deeper and deeper into the knowledge and treasures of God as the world around breathes “delusional” and “brainwashed by religion.”

And as the “Christ” in Christmas grows harder to recognize in this world, even in churches with many now no longer holding “traditional” services, but these days were always honored for very good reason.  They are referred to as THE HOLIDAYS in reference to celebrating the HOLY DAYS. With all that goes on around us and all who try their best to discourage us that we are seeking pipe dreams and fairy tales, it is ever pressing to remember what the wise men sought.

I know it can be argued and argued as to the origins of the holiday season, but a couple of things remain true, the day was adopted as the celebration of the birth of Christ, the greatest event spanning time, universe, and all that is or ever will be.

When God overshadowed Mary with His glory, majesty, and everything that He is and placed in her the seed of Himself because humans had been tainted at the fall of Adam and even though we had been created in His image. The health, longevity, peace that God had intended they enjoy would now  through two people, at the badgering, beguiling voice of the serpent had now become tainted and polluted with sickness, sin, and death and the beautiful mercy and grace that should have been in us turned to wickedness and violence as the seed of the enemy was introduced into the human equation.

So on this beautiful, blessed night that heaven would kiss the earth and angels would proclaim the lullaby to end all lullabies mingled with humans HEARING the songs of heaven itself as they sang “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST”, the breach was repaired by the same means by which it had been destroyed when the absolute Holy of Holiest came through a vessel of purity and would allow the spiritual birth of a new kind, first fruits of the Father and of the Son, and those to be of the Kingdom yet to come.

Secular shows with their ideal of “comedic” nods to the nativity that actually are blasphemous, songs written in churches long ago as praise and glory now have parodied lyrics and among the parties, gifts, and feasting of our present day, the shepherds who stood in awe, the  angels whose heavenly appearance and song would have melted even the hardest heart, the obedient but ever rewarded wise men, and the glorious star who shone with incredible splendor are being quickly forgotten and are no longer welcomed in our popular society.

So as Christmas approaches think about that star, think about what has been seeded inside of YOU as a believer, think about what YOU can bring to the King in adoration and worship to Him when He has opened YOUR treasures, (secret there, HE IS the one who has given you the gifts that you give back to the Kingdom) His Royal gold, pure, tried and true word of God. His Myrrh, purification for our souls and His dying that IN HIM we live. His frankincense in intercession for all the world and all those created by Him and for Him.

And that glorious star that burns ever so brightly STILL today if you will only choose to see it. His glory that still visits earth, His glory that will ONE day be revealed to all. “ARISE, shine; for thy light IS come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” ISAIAH 60:1

Let HIS light SHINE on you and through you this season and all year. Remember it is about LOVE, COMPASSION, MERCY, and CHARITY to our fellow-man, not necessarily fellow family members.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more (brighter and brighter) unto the perfect day.” PROVERBS 4:18

As we KNOW HE IS that light that leads us as it led the others over two thousand years ago. And it will lead us into the ways of the Lord and it will lead us into that truly perfect day.

REVELATION 21:22-25: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO NEED of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, and THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: For there shall be NO NIGHT THERE.”

Don’t let the world steal your Christmas cheer with all the materialism that Christmas should cost a fortune, and if you can not afford the latest this or that, your family will be disappointed. Remember gifts are from the heart and the true price for Christmas was not paid for until Calvary and that was a gift none of us could have afforded to purchase.

Reports show that depression is at its height and the greatest numbers of suicides occur during the holidays, why? Because we have bought the lies of a Norman Rockwell family Christmas and lost sight of the TRUE meaning, we have made it a celebration for US and completely forgot about HIM. And I am not talking about people who have recently lost loved ones or been through some other horrific event, this is in reference to seasonal depression because we allow commercials and story books to convince us of the illusion of a holiday that nothing could ever measure up to.

No celebration in this world will ever live up to the true JOY and the true MEANING of REJOICING EXCEEDING, they were REJOICING in finding HIM! Shouldn’t we also? Once you have experienced the glory of the Lord in person and beheld the King in all HIS Majesty, and stood in His presence, (well, for the period that you are ABLE to stand) there WILL NEVER BE any event or reason to seek anything other than HIM.

So keep your head up, your ears deaf to the whispers of the merchants, your eyes turned away from all the “must have” gifts of the season and please, by all means FOLLOW THAT STAR!

May the Lord Bless you with a wonderful Christmas season filled with His love, mercy, grace and that His peace will be with you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ original post date 2016, revisited 12/01/2019

 

Related posts: Two turtledoves     Abiding in the fields     Hope        Golden      Mothers Love

 

“Patient reminder”

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.” James 1:4

All the things that could be said of the need of patience, the most notable of all, “patience is a virtue”, and it truly is but there is so much more to such a simple thought.

And to get to that thought, we’ll back up on this passage a little bit.

“Listen” to his greeting carefully, as we go to James 1:1-3: “James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails):  Knowing THIS, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.”

And that patience that comes from those “tests” and  that trying and stretching of your faith, think of the saying “…would try the patience of a saint.” 

Jesus stressed this to us many times, even telling us “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

James was in a sense telling us that those tough breaks, rocky roads, and crooked paths that we navigate in life, those “tests” are to be all counted as joy, and all that comes with being human, being alive, and are often simply “part of life” all those things are to be not so much as viewed as still images, each shot overwhelming in sight but more to be considered into the big picture of growing, developing, and becoming the men and women that God created us to be. And that is that perfection that will come from all that “trying”. 

The definition of perfection in Christ does NOT mean our definition of perfection, to be one hundred percent, to have absolutely no need of improvement.

From far from it, the spiritual  definition of perfection is to allow ourselves to be conformed to the will of God, to be “blameless”, meaning keeping a level head and clear thoughts even in the midst of times that are anything but peaceful. And notice that it is the “perfect” work that brings that “perfection” about.

Our true hope, as believers is not even IN this world, it is not in this life, it is in the eternal, a thought that seems silly to those who do not believe, but as a child of God, you know the truth, but during “trying” times it is so easy to lose sight of those things we can not see, that blessed assurance that there is so much more to our beings than living and dying.

And we can’t lose that hope, Hebrews 11: 34(c)-36: “…knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (possession). Cast not away (Don’t throw it away) therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

So whatever you are “waiting” for, whatever you are believing for in your life and in your walk with Christ, keep waiting and keep believing.

And if does not turn out exactly as you had envisioned, never think that somehow means that God does not love you or that you are completely off base, life does indeed have  away of working out completely different that we would have ever imagined but nothing is ever surprising to God.

Don’t give up on your hopes, dreams, and desires of your ministerial heart.

Puzzles are nothing more than oddly shaped pieces scattered about until it is patiently and carefully put together to reveal a beautiful complex image and life is much the same and the reason some of those “pieces” are so oddly cut will remain a mystery on this earth and we will not have those answers until the day they are revealed by Jesus himself when he wipes every tear away.

But I will tell you this, the definition of patience is this:”the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

That my friends speaks for itself. I’ll leave you with the words of our favorite David. Psalm 25:13-14: ” I had fainted, (I would have given up) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living

Wait (wait in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage (try you best to be positive), and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019

 

“Iron Mask”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get the up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for  him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead  those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11

I love Dumas, I love the Musketeers, I love the sword fights , I love the Chivalry, justice, honor, and especially mercy in mercy out policies that were a must for his heroes and use them a lot in my writing.

But my all time favorite is “The Man in the Iron Mask”, and the intrigue behind the actual person behind that legend. But my thought with it comes from a line from the movie version, my total favorite version of the movie is the one from the seventies starring Richard Chamberlain, I was ten and thought he was the most handsome man on earth, whom I was totally going to marry one day when I grew up 🙂

But anyway in the newer version after the foiled coup the good guy is captured again and as he makes his pleas to his sadistic psychotic brother to just kill him instead of putting him back in that mask and to which his evil twin rants and screams with no mercy.

And as strange a comparison that this may be it just reminds me of how the enemy and even ourselves can try to put us back into the iron mask that that God has delivered us from.

The mask that we either were fitted when we were bound by the shackles of that are sometimes just part of being born into this world, just as Jesus always taught us, and this world is full of evil and only through accepting his salvation , and his peace, can we allow his grace to guide our lives and above resting in the assurance that through him we can overcome and live for him so that we will with  him.

The mask that we sometimes find ourselves in when we are faced with difficulties so far beyond our control and pain that we just can’t deal with so we try our best to hide the hurt, the grief and function through life, at work at home or sometimes even at church. When we try our best to smile and “go on” when secretly inside, behind that mask we really just want to lay down and cry.

But God and life has a way of bringing us out of that because we tend to see “hiding” our emotions, “working past the pain” somehow as “protecting” ourselves, our hearts, when it truth it is the opposite of that, it is not about being “courageous” it is actually about fear and not so much as being brave but rather our human fear of being broken.

Jesus specializes in broken, in fact we have to be broken, broken from our thinking and our false sense of self reliance so that we can accept him and him he desires for us, which is to live a life authored and finished by him.

Trusting him in everything and trusting him in our pain and trials and being who he has created us to be and that can require moments and times of revealing our vulnerabilities to others around us and most of us are not ever entirely comfortable with that. And that uncomfortableness leads to fear and fear makes us want to hide.

2nd Timothy 1:7,8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel with me according to the power of God.”

God gave us liberty through his salvation, because as Jesus told us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And that truth is knowing in his word and knowing in him that this world and the suffering, pain, and sorrows is just a little while as Paul had described a “thorn in his flesh”, that the messenger of Satan had come to buffet (beat) him, as Paul went on to explain what translates to this, if he never went through troubles or faced difficulties or things he could not handle he would have became cold and exalted, and he would have never been effective as a representative of Christ.

 But because Paul did not hid from us (his future readers) or from those around him, his troubles and his pain, and most of all his vulnerabilities, he effectively allowed the power of God to manifest in his life and that power to effect others.

I want to remind us all again with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For this thing I besought (PLEADED with) the Lord thrice (on three separate occasions) that it might depart form me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. 

Most gladly therefore will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Of course was by no means saying he loved trouble or going through all the turmoil that he did, but he is saying, to us, that by embracing the things he had no control over and seeing them in a different light and doing as we were commanded and “counting it all joy” that he discovered the true meaning of Christ with him and he and all around him saw the evidence of God’s power on his life.

And he wrote these words, and Jesus had him record these words to give hope and encouragement to those of the time, those who came before us and us now.

When God stripped away the “mask” of Saul, as Saul persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church through violence, hatred, and self righteous, he became Paul and the power of God gave him the ability to show the vulnerability of his true face, the man God had created him to be and God removing that hard, unyielding, “iron” covering  allowed him to effectively minister to others through the revealing of his own struggles.

This was the “pleasure” he took in that, he knew God would prove strong and he knew that this would encourage others to embrace who they were and embrace the Gospel for the truth that it is.

Jesus brought us out of darkness into his glorious light so that we could be light and once that light has broken those “iron masks” that use we hid behind, we must be very careful to not allow the devil, the world, and most of all, our own flesh to cover us again with that unyielding iron.

Embrace who you are, embrace all the struggles of life that have made you who you are, don’t ever feel like you have to be “strong” and don’t ever let anyone make you feel “weak” for being vulnerable, because we you are at your breaking point or if you have already broke that it when you are shielded, covered, and surrounded by the absolute glory and absolute power of the only, living, Holy God and this is why scripture refers to God making our face to shine, in doing so you will shine his light to others giving them hope and courage to embrace the freedom to take off their own masks.

John 8:36: “IF the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And your freedom will inspire others.

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is  that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face (uncovered, bare face) beholding as in a glass (as looking in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You can see from these verses that God is telling us that as we are saved we are changed through his Spirit giving us freedom as we are being processed, changed, through the process of life, and all the difficulties that come with that are actually being used for our good to transforms us as God desires. 

We have to consciously remember his word and  keep that word on our mind and apply that word to our hearts, for example when Jesus said that He would never forsake us, that means  he will never forsake us.

When the Bible promises that no weapon formed against will prosper, that means that no scheme or plot has power to destroy you, it may feel like you are going to be, but you will not be, because God sees  with the eyes of eternity. And we must apply his promises to our lives every single day.

If we fail to do that, we can easily get off course and forget what we once knew.

We go to James 1:23-25: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (looking in a mirror).

For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (glances in the mirror, leaves and forgets what kind of man he even is).

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (freedom), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man is blessed in his deed.”

God gave us two views of  the same issue, we can look honestly or we can give it a quick glance  a note that we are after all, “just human” and go our way and completely forgetting who God called us to be and forgetting his promises and just give up and be quickly lead into the temptation of not particularly liking “what” we see staring back at us and putting ourselves back into a mask that God  had already removed. And that is not his desire or his purpose for any of us.

So today I want to encourage you to BE who God says you are. And LIVE how he told you to live, and this one is a hard one, when everyone around you is fitting in and hiding their faces behind the masks they feel comfortable in, let Jesus shine through you and let the pain, the scars, be visible because someone else NEEDS to see them.

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

If you have never heard this please do, I believe it will bless you, probably make you cry but those tears are precious to God!

 

 

 

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

“CAVES” Part 2 “Cavin’ with Dave”

“He that is our God IS the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.” Psalm68:20

As the Lord asked Elijah what he was doing, and Elijah answered, the Lord called him out of the cave, where He then showed a magnificent display of His power, I believe to try to snap Elijah out of it with the remembrance of WHO was truly on his side. He spoke to Elijah in a quite soft voice asking him again (1 Kings 19:13) ” What are you doing here?” Elijah again word for word gave him his reason and it is so clear the main reason he became discouraged was the solitude. He became so distraught and discouraged that he could no longer see the majesty, the power that would slay his enemy.

He KNEW  it he just lost his ability to continue the fight. You will notice with these passages that God asked TWICE and after that he gave Elijah instruction for turning over his assignment to Elisha. God will not override our wills, it was not his idea for Elijah’s work to come to this end and He showed extreme mercy in how He dealt with him.

This can be proven through the account of Jonah, who just bucked on God and decided he just was not doing what God had commanded him to do and after he found himself in the belly of as he put it “hell”. He found it to be in his best interest to do as he had been asked and even by the end of the book he was still all mad at God and I have never found anything else on what finally became of him.

So you can see there was a complete difference in what was going on in these guys by the difference of how God dealt with them.  As we all know Elijah did not die, he was taken and in my personal opinion, just a little rest, a little reprieve until time to come back to this earth as one of the two witnesses described in Revelation. His work has not been completed. It does prove mercy toward our messed up worn out human minds and half broken spirits. and that we can make OWN ON DECISION to “die” in the cave.

David also did some caving, like Elijah he felt mortal fear. the very real threat of King Saul trying to kill him. Whereas I think Elijah just didn’t want to deal with Jezebel, I think he was tired of fighting the whole bunch. {Complete unrelated side note here, I do love what Jesus said about Jezebel in the book of Revelation, He refers to her as “That woman, Jezebel” and notes that He gave even her a chance to repent, she just evidently did not accept it. Worth thinking about when the devil tries to tell people that they have been too “bad” to be saved.}

Back to David, here he is, he has already BEEN anointed to be King over Israel but as it looks now, if he dares show his face, he will never be King because Saul is very intent on “making a memory outta him.”  Now the funny thing about caves is that sometimes what your hiding from can end up in that cave with you!

 1 Samuel24:3 : ” And he (King Saul) came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a CAVE; and Saul went in to cover his feet ( attend his needs): and DAVID AND HIS MEN REMAINED IN THE SIDES OF THE CAVE.” Now David’s men were ecstatic and told him this was a divine appointment to take out his enemy but David saw it an a chance to sow some mercy and trust the Lord and would not kill Saul. Instead he cut off a piece of his clothing to prove to Saul just how close he had been and that if he wished him harm he could have nailed him right there. But even in doing that he felt guilty, because vengeance IS God’s and sometimes that is hard for us to remember but David passed this one.

  Now, how he got through his cave experience, he REMEMBERED what God tried to make Elijah see and he thought upon these things and this was his daily bread. This is some of what he actually wrote while in the cave.

Psalm 57: 1-3  “BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME, O GOD, BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME:  for MY SOUL TRUSTETH IN THEE:  yea, IN THE SHADOW OF THY WINGS WILL I MAKE MY REFUGE, UNTIL these calamities be overpast (passed by). I WILL cry unto God most high: unto God that performeth all things for me. HE SHALL SEND FROM HEAVEN, AND SAVE ME FROM THE REPROACH OF HIM THAT WOULD SWALLOW ME UP. SELAH. GOD SHALL SEND FORTH HIS MERCY AND TRUTH.” 

His strongest assets were that he KNEW the power of prayer and praise. Even though we view him as someone who was so close to God (and he was) who could kill lions and bears (and he did) and someone who could hit a giant head on and take that head, someone who walked in the anointing and presence of God, but still he was exactly what we are, HUMAN and he also became afraid, troubled, and discouraged but here is his cry, let it be ours:

Psalm 55:1-8: “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not thyself from my supplication. attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn (wander) in my complaint, and make a noise; BECAUSE of the VOICE OF MY ENEMY, BECAUSE of THE OPPRESSION OF THE WICKED: for thy cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. MY HEART IS SORE PAINED WITHIN ME: AND THE TERRORS OF DEATH ARE FALLEN UPON ME, FEARFULNESS AND TREMBLING ARE COME UPON ME, AND HORROR HATH OVERWHELMED ME. And I said, oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I FLY AWAY AND BE AT REST. LO, THEN WOULD I WANDER FAR OFF, AND REMAIN IN THE WILDERNESS. SELAH. I WOULD HASTEN (SPEED UP) MY ESCAPE FROM THE WINDY STORM AND THE TEMPEST.”

Yeah, KING DAVID, the mighty warrior to end all warriors, who throne IS established FOREVER, whose words written in his place of anguish still shine as a mighty light THOUSANDS of years later.

He was scared, he was tired, and he very much wanted to run away to escape all these things and NEVER return again. Sometimes so do we. Next time we will listen closely and try to hear the words of the KING OF KINGS as HIS voice resonates into our own caves, as He calls us out, our souls feeding on the bread of life, His word and His promises. 

Φλογίζω NBJ 2016

Original post date: 01/16/2016 *Revisited 06/27/2019*

 

CRAWLING OUT OF THE CAVE #1

“But he answered and said, It is written MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” Matthew 4:4

Not only as Christians but just as humans we go through many seasons in life and all these seasonal changes can often leave us  disillusioned, drained, despondent and the most dreaded and deadly of the “D” words, discouraged. It rains on the just and the unjust and that is THE “go to” scripture for all who are weary and when winds blow and the devil wants to convince us that if we were right we wouldn’t be going through this.

But again we all know that he IS the liar of all liars and everyone born upon this earth will suffer heartache whether they choose to follow Jesus or not. As a watchman who no longer has a tower and now sits perched upon a precariously wobbly wall only hoping that the shouts reach the ears of those for which they are intended, I can more than ever relate to all of the above. 

January 2015 my Dad was hospitalized and it really did not look like he was going to make it, before going to visit him one morning I got prayer and I had never before nor have I since received a word at that particular church. Of course my nerves were a whole new level of shot and after the service a man came back and told me that when they had been praying he had received a word for me, and it was that 2015 WOULD BE a good year for me, I knew by the delivery of the message and the eyes of the messenger, that it translated to this, there would be NO time during the coming year that it would FEEL good and that NO MATTER what IT looked like or how trying it became that somehow in the spiritual realm it would be working for a greater purpose and all in all in the book that God keeps of all our lives that it would be recorded as a positive.

I think we tend to look at prophecy sometimes as we wish to see it and not so much as what GOD IS TRYING TO TELL US!

It is often something we may not want to hear but had we not known it we have lost hope and the dreaded “D” word would lead us straight back out into the world under bondage to the other “D” word.

I thank God for the word he sent me, it kept my eyes focused through an extremely painful year. My Dad had also received a word at the worst of his illness that his work was not quite finished and had he not received that, he may have not had the will to go on.

But still sometimes enough wind, enough rain, and just enough cold from feelings of disconnection can turn us to cave dwellers. We like to believe it is a place of shelter, a place of rest, and most of all a surrounding to block out all those nasty attacks and the only way they can get us is head on and we will be able to see that coming.

Right? Well, no, Not quite, caves are very dark, isolated, and filled with bones of whatever had made it a prior shelter and never made it back out, and your not going to get much rest if you have to always keep watch for fear of what is going to come through that “door”.

Elijah tried it, 1st Kings 19, God had already done mighty, mighty works through Elijah, really think about seeing this with your own eyes, FIRE FALLING FROM HEAVEN, PROVISIONS THAT WOULD NOT FAIL, A HUMAN FED BY  RAVENS,THE DEAD RAISED TO LIFE. And yet even he, who had absolutely NO DOUBT anywhere in him concerning the power of God. He ran for his life, he had became so weary that he just wanted it all over and just wanted to go home.

God always patient and merciful sent an angel to feed him and strengthen him, showing us as always God knows right where we are, even when he did not send us in that direction and even though he continued on his emotionally self propelled journey God provided for him. Once he made it through the forty day journey and found the refuge of his cave the Lord asked very point blank “WHAT DOEST THOU HERE ELIJAH?”  After Elijah gave his reasoning to the Lord GOD CALLED HIM OUT OF THE CAVE.

Now God gave a rather majestic display of His power and might over all the universe, and sometimes we also could use a refresher course.   ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH.

Psalm 97:1-6 “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation (FOUNDATION) of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. HIS lightnings enlightened the world: THE EARTH SAW, AND TREMBLED. THE HILLS MELTED LIKE WAX AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD OF THE WHOLE EARTH. THE HEAVENS DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THE PEOPLE SEE HIS GLORY.”

 

ISAIAH 45-5-7 “ I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: THAT THEY MAY KNOW FROM THE RISING OF THE SUN, AND FROM THE WEST, THAT THERE IS NONE BESIDE ME. I AM THE LORD, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE. I FORM THE LIGHT, AND CREATE DARKNESS: I MAKE PEACE, AND CREATE EVIL (CALAMITY): I THE LORD DO THESE THINGS.” 

ISAIAH 54:16  “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument (weapon) for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.” 

This is the power that created the universe. The voice that spoke everything into existence. The one who named the stars and flung the into existence. The sun and moon will cower in His presence and the very mountains will flee from before Him. Heaven is His throne and earth is but His footstool.

And all nations and people will bow before Him and the same small voice who spoke to Elijah is still that same voice that speaks to us today. He is calling us out of the caves and His word is the way.

Please join me next time, Lord’s will, and we’ll look at David’s caving and follow up with that voice and the word of his promises that will help us see a brighter day OUTSIDE of the cave.

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2016

Original post date: 01/14/2016 to read the remainder of this series, please check out: “CAVES” Part 2 “Cavin’ with Dave”

“RESONATE”Crawling out of the cave #3

Personal best

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

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

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

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

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

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

So maybe it wasn’t all about them “insulting” Jesus but maybe a little about the human response of “How dare they?” And you will find sometimes when people are pushing you in a way you don’t feel you should go, it could be that it’s not about you, or the kingdom, it can sometimes be good old-fashioned control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

From archives because sometimes we all need to be reminded.

PREPARED Part 4… what you are really being prepared FOR

“And IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED, WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?” 1 Peter 4:18

This verse should be the sound of the alarm bells ringing on that ticking clock of the return of Christ that should be a wake up call to all.

“Sinners or saints, young or old, black or white, meaning your views are dead set and you see no other “colors” in between.  Even green or grey,  just trying your best to find the way, meaning, whether we are newbies, “green” in the Gospel or have the “grey head” of wisdom from years in His service, we all should hear the terrifying WARNING of that verse. 

My sister and I have discussed this in great detail over the years. If you really dissect this verse, it really ASKS us to think long and hard about the very simple truth that IF the righteous, those who have exchanged the “filthy rags of their own righteousness” for the PERFECT covering of the righteousness of God himself stated  Isaiah 54:17(b) “…And their righteousness IS of me, saith the Lord.”

There is NO righteousness outside the righteousness of God. It is not possible for any human, or any other pagan belief system to offer righteousness to us. 

Our righteousness will only be found through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and in the washing of our souls in His blood. This verse tells us that bearing ALL that, if we do the VERY BEST we can do, we will still SCARCELY be saved, which means just barely making it in.

And yes, I do realize there is a whole doctrine of once in grace, always in grace. I realize even more painfully the current movement is “Repentance? What repentance?” 

What I personally believe this line to mean is this, even though we ARE saved and our salvation is ASSURED (Romans 8:35-39) BUT being human and subject to all things human, all the snares of trying to live “holy” in an incredibly unholy world.

A world that not only encourages every kind of imaginable sin, but CELEBRATES those sins and even alienates others for NOT participating in those sins. The deception IS so strong, just as Jesus warned us of the false Christs, and false prophets.

Matthew 24:24: “For there SHALL arise false Christs, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.”

False teachers and false prophets that lie and deceive those who want a “commandment free” RELIGION and choose deception over true SALVATION. And he is warning us that this deception is so meticulously convincing that IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIS DIVINE INTERVENTION, HIS VERY CHOSEN WOULD BE DECEIVED! HE WILL NOT ALLOW US TO BE DECEIVED… UNLESS WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE.

Which also brings in two more verses. Matthew 16:24: ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, IF any man will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Notice the denial, denial of all the desires and whims of the flesh and of this world. Taking up that cross, having “crucified our flesh DAILY” through the renewing of our minds in his word, and following in HIS footsteps and HIS teachings and CHOOSE to be led by God, who does truly KNOW everything rather than a world who likes to think they KNOW more than even God, who CREATED it all, including them!

Forsaking ALL their high browed arguments against God, and against the very laws and commandments he himself designed FOR OUR OWN GOOD, and against the truth of his existence, trusting in their genetic frailty and decay because they simply REFUSE to acknowledge that their pompous minds could be wrong and that their souls could actually be subject unto a higher being, and that there could be a standard that they will be measured against.

And it is just easier for them to DENY his existence rather than to ADMIT their guilt.

Even though there is no “escape clause” in the Bible excusing us from the penalty of eternal hell and damnation because of our unbelief, quite the opposite, gotta have FAITH in him and in his existence. 

Hebrews 11:5: “But without faith it is impossible to please him;  for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

These pressures and these forces that make it so hard for US, that we SCARCELY slide by their traps, the traps of the temptations to sin, the traps of false doctrines whispered in our ears and bombarding us by television and media.

I, for one, think we need to stay away from even listening to these lies, I know others may “study” other “religions” but in doing so, they are opening themselves up to the “doctrine of devils” and allowing those polluted thoughts inside their minds, we are told specifically that all these teachings are AGAINST God and this will get you on the wrong side of the boat, fast.

James 4:4: ” Ye adulterers, and adulteresses, know ye not that THE FRIENDSHIP OF (with) THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL (wants to) BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD (makes himself the enemy of God).”

All the nonsense of learning each other and fellowship of “tolerance” is just more of Satan’s deceptions. God never said to hate others or mistreat them because of differences BUT his word tells us to STAY AWAY from all of it.

NONE of us EVER grow so much or climb so high that we are above temptation, snares and traps, as long as we are human and on this earth we can, do and will stumble, that is why we are told SCARCELY, but we repent, get up, go on and TRY it again!

One of the innumerable beauties of Christ is that HE IS faithful to forgive us, over and over, and over, when our hearts are sincere, his grace is endless. 

But for those who do err and teach sin and absolute contempt for his commandments and yet proclaim salvation to all whether they repent or accept Christ or not that somehow they are under a magical umbrella, teaching the complete OPPOSITE of repentance and salvation.

Matthew 15:8,9: “THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEARTS IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” 

He warned us right there! We are warned many times of the deception, that they WILL use his name, they WILL shout to the whole world that he is great, all this comes from their lips but in their heart, remember, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so IS he”, so their HEART, the truth of their belief is far, far from God or the things of his kingdom.

I believe that the false teachers DO NOT even believe in his existence.

I truly do not think anyone could believe in him and not fear teaching the things they teach. They teach the things people want to hear, to give them a false sense of eternal security never converting them to that actual security, in order to gain financially and in popularity. 

Sometimes it is hard to win people to the Lord, but truthfully, I think some of the greatest words we will ever hear in doing so, is these “I don’t want to be a hypocrite”, when someone acknowledges that they are not interested in serving the Lord, and that they FEAR the Lord and do not want to allow others to believe that they are while still unrepentant, that PROVES that there is HOPE for that person!

As long as they BELIEVE that HE IS, there is hope, as Jesus also told us, John 3:18-20“He that believeth on him is NOT condemned, BUT he that BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

And THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT, NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed).” 

This ANSWERS Peter’s question, WHERE will they stand at his coming? WHERE will the ungodly, those who deny, ridicule, and scoff at God, his statues, and his very existence?

WHERE will the sinners, I know everyone hates that word now, used to make people THINK, now just makes them angry, HOW dare anyone CALL THEM A SINNER?

That is a big one right there! Self-willed and prideful, lust of life, refusal to acknowledge that we could POSSIBLY do wrong!

We do not need to beat people over the head but when they are running the “reprobate risk” we need to give the a wake up call.

Sin is sin, and well, certain things ARE sin, you do those things, guess what, makes you a sinner! We have ALL been sinners! We ALL STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN!

That is part of SCARCELY! ME, you, EVERYONE fights sin! 

Again JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, THE MESSIAH, said THIS, point-blank, period, no ifs, no ands, and no buts. THIS is THE LIST of those who will NOT be allowed in his kingdom.

Revelation 21:5-8: “And HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE said, Behold, I make ALL things new, and he said unto me, Write: FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL.

And HE said unto me, It is done, I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I will give unto him that is athirst of the  fountain of the water of life FREELY. 

He that OVERCOMETH shall inherit all things: I WILL BE HIS GOD, and he shall be my son.

BUT THE FEARFUL (cowards), AND THE UNBELIEVING, AND THE ABOMINABLE (despicable, obnoxious, etc.), AND MURDERERS, AND WHOREMONGERS (sexually immoral), AND SORCERERS, (psychics, witchcraft, etc.), AND IDOLATERS (putting EVERYTHING before God), AND ALL LIARS, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WITH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

These are the words of Jesus, It is NOT written in red because John was writing to us what Jesus spoke to him, and we KNOW this is indeed Christ by His reference of Alpha and Omega.

Just to be so clear of WHOSE words these are, and the words of Christ are written in red, so Revelation 1:8: ” I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the beginning and the ending, SAITH THE LORD, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY.” 

He reveals his complete identity in this verse, HE IS the beginning of all things, HE IS the end of all things, HE IS everything in between.

He WAS, John:1-17In the beginning WAS the Word, the Word WAS with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD. 

The same was in the beginning with God. ALL things were MADE by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made.

IN HIM WAS LIFE; And the life WAS the light of men. AND THE LIGHT SHINETH INTO DARKNESS; AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. 

THAT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He WAS in the world, and the world WAS made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME;

WHICH WERE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld his glory, the glory, as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This WAS he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me IS preferred BEFORE me; FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME.” 

All that Jesus had said of himself. 

Humans can not look on the face of God, when Jesus came here, he came AS the Son of God, HE IS the Son of God, HE IS the Word, which did truly dwell among us and at his resurrection we were given the gift of that resurrection power which allowed the death of our flesh and spiritual birth in him because he actually DWELLS in us through the Holy Ghost.

But HE IS also God, which is why he referred to himself as IS and IS YET TO COME, meaning his return to earth and his kingdom that will be very much ON earth, precisely in what is now Jerusalem, soon to be NEW Jerusalem.

And as far as his Word, which HE IS, he left us all we need to know in the pages of his Holy Word, The Bible.

STUDY it for yourself, or get the audio version of the King James and listen to it. DO NOT take others words as his word, we are in such a time of deception and there IS only one way to heaven and the return to New Jerusalem and assurance of eternal life, and that IS through Jesus Christ.

1 john 2:22-23: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is an anti-Christ that denieth the Father and the Son.

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath NOT the Father: [but] HE THAT HATH ACKNOWLEDETH THE SON HATH THE FATHER ALSO.”

We have to have Jesus and we have to have his salvation and his forgiveness, and we will not have to ask ourselves WHERE shall we appear, when this world hears something similar to those spoken by the Lord in the Book of Amos, when they are told to “prepare to meet thy God”.

He’s coming back, ready or not, and we better be prepared to meet him.

Love & peace to ya, till next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

Posts in this series: PREPARED Part #1

PREPARED Part#2

PREPARED Part #3

More of the deception of hell: RESERVATIONS FOR HELL

Original post series 2018/ Revisited 08/14/2020

Warding off the unworthiness

1 John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”

Why is it we can BELIEVE that Jesus Christ IS exactly who he claimed to be when he walked on earth, we can BELIEVE that he did indeed die in our place as the sacrifice for our sins and better yet, as John said, the SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD, and BELEIVE that he rose victorious from that death defeating even hell itself in that resurrection, but YET we can NOT seem to BELIEVE that those forgiven sins ALSO INCLUDE OURS? Why it that?

It is then enemy? Well, maybe a little, but he normally doesn’t have to prompt us into self-loathing because we all to often do it for him!

And I truly with everything in me feel like someone or maybe several are going through this torment right now and that is why I felt lead to do this. Once you ask Jesus for forgiveness and to save you, you ARE saved. And maybe you have messed up, but please be VERY reassured EVERY ONE messes up!

We will never be perfect, NEVER, he does not ask that we be perfect, he asks us to walk in his commandments and be quick to ask for that forgiveness when we do stumble.

The only perfect he requires is blamelessness, meaning do everything to the best of our ability, and getting back up and trying it again when we don’t quite make that grade.

But there is such a mind-set of “unworthiness” choosing to FORSAKE and WILLFULLY NOT ACCEPT forgiveness choosing rather to punish ourselves, when Jesus DIED for our punishment! WHY do that?

Just as Jesus used the debt parable, can you HONESTLY tell me that if you owed someone a million dollars and NO WAY to pay that back and that person suddenly OFFERED to write off that entire debt, that you would refuse?

So why suffer every single in emotional and spiritual torment when God is NOT asking you to do that? He will give peace and only he can and once we surrender to him that peace WILL come.

He is NOT putting you in remembrance of every wrong you have ever done, He is BECKONING you to COME to him and give him all that pain and regret so he can COMPLETELY destroy it.

That is what he does, he literally REMOVES all of that and it NO LONGER EXISTS. Just as tomorrow IS already dead, those past sin ARE already dead, you just have the guilt and regret that also must DIE in him.

Think about the explanation of baptism:

Romans 6: 3-11: ” Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO SHALL WE WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this that our old man (past sins) IS crucified with him, that the body of SIN might be DESTROYED that henceforth we SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.

For he that is dead IS free from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we BELIEVE that we shall also LIVE with him: 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; KNOWING THAT DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION (power) OVER HIM, FOR HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE:

BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD. Likewise reckon (consider) YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”

See that is the deal, NO ONE EXCEPT JESUS could die in our place for that forgives and in him our forgiven sin ARE dead, but in him the “new” us LIVES.

That is the mystery that CAN NOT be understood UNTIL you accept him, and I do not mean the “world” church that has NO repentance, I mean truly repent and truly accepting forgiveness.

And if you were not under real conviction and feeling true repentance you would not be wrestling with this issue, so that is also a blessed state (although it probably doesn’t feel that way right now.. one day it will) we can not save ourselves, we can never be “good enough”, we can never “live up to it” and we can never ever be concerned with the non sense of “waiting until we can live it” as the saying goes, you see from our verses WE CAN’T LIVE IT!

We were never asked to live it! We were told to allow Jesus to take away our sins and DIE to our old life and LIVE IN HIM, because ONLY he can live it! And as far as feeling unworthy, churches are full of people who have felt the SAME feeling you are feeling, we have all wrestled it because we are all UNWORTHY, that is why we are told He ALONE is worthy!

We have to take our eyes of our OWN inadequacies and FOCUS on gratefulness for that the fact that He is far above adequate, His forgives goes beyond any word that could be used.

Think about Peter, after it hit him when Jesus had blessed them with a catch of fish so bountiful it was on the verge of sinking their ships.

Luke 5:8: “When Simon Peter SAW it, he FELL DOWN at Jesus’ knees, saying, DEPART FROM ME; FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN.” 

Does Peter really  sound like he FELT worthy to be in the presence of the Lord? NO, He is literally asking Jesus to LEAVE because of his own feeling of UNWORTHINESS!

And today if you are going through this, you are also, SERIOUSLY ASKING JESUS TO LEAVE WHEN HE HAS CAME TO YOU BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THERE FOR YOU!

Jesus went on to tell him, FEAR NOT and that has always been his message to all of us who seek him.

So remember today, we don’t have to worry about being worthy because there is only one who IS or will ever be WORTHY that is what he took the place for you and me.

And don’t worry about other people, there are always going to be “people” and there were plenty of people that hated Jesus, and refused to believe he was who he said he was.

And he taught us that “a servant can’t be above his master” so we can expect that, but you know, you are not setting out to please them or care if they believe you are NOT who you once were,

the only opinion WORTH caring about and the ONLY one who matters is the same one who alone is WORTHY!

Revelation 5:12a tells us this: “…WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGHT , AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.”   KNOW that those sins ARE gone, forever and PLEASE know you are not alone, HE LOVES YOU and He will give you peace once you just let go.

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

This is such a great song and it lets us know we ALL struggle, and it has been an encouragement to me, MANY times while I felt the old pain of unworthiness  but as this song says HE WILL COME TO YOU… LET HIM.

And the second song on this video is “Through the Fire” so please maybe listen to it also, because there is such healing in music and it prompts us to pour out our hearts.

 

“Feelin’ out the familiar footing”

Now this is something you probably do not hear everyday…or really any day, but I seriously got stuck to a board!

To explain this, first let me explain that for several months my family has had an issue with the DOT of our state and as you know this stands for Department of Transportation, but trust me in this case it has stood for Department of Tyranny, and that is a story that will probably become several future posts about what I have learned from all of it.

But for now I want to share a truly bizarre story and the spiritual thought I derived from it.

Around two months ago I was outside praying in certain areas because of the onset of what can only be referred to as state demanded carnage of private property for nothing more that a nice fat paycheck to those who are issued grant money for supposed “improvements” but again, we’ll get into that a little in the future.

But anyway, God taught me long ago that your answer is ALWAYS there when you are praying once he shows you how to read what you are seeing. So my husband and I were wandering around and I was praying about the whole heart breaking situation and I had been paying really close attention to everywhere I stepped because of the obvious dangers left in what could only be called an earthen war-zone, complete with an unmarked and completely unsecured twenty feet drop off  with NO containment whatsoever. 

So I want to stress, I KNEW to be careful and I THOUGHT I was BEING careful… that is until as I made my way to a little tree that has been home to a bird house for more years than I can remember, a place I had walked to hundreds and hundreds of times and suddenly I felt a familiar, but dreaded piercing in my left foot.

It took my brain but a second to register the fact that I had just managed to somehow step on a nail, so I quickly shifted ALL my weight to my right foot… only to drive a SECOND nail even deeper into that foot.

And at the point I literally just jumped completely out of both shoes (they were the slide on sneaker type) and I look and here are BOTH of my shoes actually stuck perfectly side by side to this board!

It was actually a piece of partial board and why on earth it had been laid there with nails driven through it is beyond me! Evidently someone had been doing some repairs and ripped it off and set it aside and completely forgot to move it.

So here is my husband who is as blown away by what just happened as I was and he is holding up this board and literally has to PULL my shoes free from the board and help get them back on me.

Of course he moved the board so no one else would step on it. The thing with this was the familiarity of that spot, a place, like I said, I have been and been, so much so that I DID NOT EVEN BOTHER LOOKING FOR DANGER and there is some symbolism in that.

Needless to say, this was very painful, the second much worse because I was trying to “get away” from the nail sticking into the first foot and by putting all my weight down on the second nail that I did not know was there, it went even deeper and STILL has not healed completely.

But I finished what I set out to do, painful or not, got home, soaked both feet in Epsom salts and applied antibiotic cream and band aids and the truly AMAZING aspect to this story is this, I fully expected to get up the next morning and have to hobble and hop for a week and to my absolute amazement, my feet were NOT even sore.

I know that is hard to believe but honestly had it not been for changing the band aids out each day I would have not known I had ever hurt them. And I KNOW that was GOD!

It had to be God, no other explanation, it hurt and it hurt bad just trying to walk back home after I did and I threw my shoes away because the nail hole and blood in the worse of the two made me quite sure I did not want to wear them ever again!

And I really chalked it up to an attack waged that God intervened in. But I could not get past the fact of how “familiar” that little bird house spot was to me.

Had it been any other place I would have done exactly as I had been during the rest of my walk, I would have LOOKED, I would have WATCHED, and I would have been CAREFUL before I took that first step and assuredly CAREFUL before I took the second!

And as I pondered it, I could truly see so many similarities between my physical pain caused by familiarity and some of the spiritual pain we all suffer sometimes because of  spiritual and emotional familiarity.

#1.We are often trapped, snare, or wounded in the areas that are our comfort zones and we fail to consider that those are perfect areas for the enemy to hide those nails he wants us to become impaled to because he knows we will be so comfortable walking through those places that we will not even bothering to think of the hidden dangers that may await us.

#2. Once we are shocked by that unforeseen piercing we have just  endured, such as when a friend betrays you or a companion suddenly parts ways with you, or unexpectedly terminated from a job that you had counted on for future security, so many things can surprise us in those places, causing us to misjudge, act too quickly, and often in attempt to lessen that initial pain, we will fall to a second snare causing us even greater hurt and damage.

#3. Becoming STUCK, sometimes those snares, traps, and double whammies can leave us simply UNABLE to move, spiritual becoming STUCK in our despair and unable to free ourselves and losing our “shoes” that we need to complete the journey.

#4. It IS those times in life that we MUST stand still, right where we are and it is in THOSE times that the Lord in His mercy and goodness, and grace pulls us free and shods our feet once AGAIN as we go on to minister, preach, witness, testify, and sets us afresh on that path that He has blessed and He heals us as He sends our “feet” forth for His kingdom.

#5. Lastly, snares, traps, and pitfalls will come, whether strategically placed in your way by the enemy tp prevent something he does not want you to accomplish or if it is just simply due to our own lack of observation but one thing is for sure, Jesus will NEVER leave us and He will ALWAYS rescue us and He will NEVER leave us stuck dead in the road on our road for Him!

Psalm 138: ” I WILL praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

WILL worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truthfor thy hast magnified THY WORD above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strenghthenedst me with strength in my soul. 

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of my mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect (regard) unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

THOUGH I WALK IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE, THOU WILT (will) REVIVE ME:

THOU SHALT STRETCH FORTH THINE HAND AGAINST THE WRATH OF MINE ENEMIES AND THY RIGHT HAND SHALL SAVE ME.

The Lord WILL perfect (complete) that which concerneth me: THY MERCY, O LORD, ENDURETH FOR EVER: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

So if you happen to step on a nail any time soon. just remember it could always be worse,  you could have  stepped on two! 🙂

Thanks for reading, Love and peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω Εξυπνιζω

LOVE this song!

 

 

W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry

“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? and WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,  I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. the baptism of John, whence (where) was it? from heaven or of men? 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say from heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell (do not know). And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” Matthew 21:23-27
This is one of those extremely comforting Bible stories that remind us that Jesus Christ IS our High Priest who DOES understand every single thing we go through.
I really detest the fact that I have to use this blog to address this issue that I am growing quite tired of addressing and we will deal with that at the end of this post.
I am one of those “lucky” ladies who have to privilege of removing my own (WP) followers.

Satan does like to send some “live “ones my way.
And occasionally the OTHER “live” ones are sent this way also.

So between the freak-show Casanova wannabe’s who seem to NOT notice the title REVEREND and think I might be up for some..something and dealing with the “Good ol’ boy’s ministerial club” THIS sure can be a whole lotta fun!
I tried unsuccessfully last night to leave about a fifteen hundred word comment on a fellow bloggers post, he had recently started to follow my blog and after I read some of his work, there was no secret about how he felt about “females” in ministry, so I was just going to give him a different point of view but unfortunately when I hit “post comment” I was met with “invalid security entry” and eventually just removed him from following me for the second time, being that anti-female, I know if they are reading it is for the wrong reason.

So rather than write all of it again, “explaining” “FEMALES” in ministry, I decided to just “once and for all it here and just send this out to anyone else who wants to argue the point.

A point I am NOT going to argue. I WILL say my peace because I am sick to my death of it and THIS IS MY BLOG, I didn’t go looking for their churches, so if they want to come here, and read my posts in some sort of hope of finding “heretical” proof as fodder to kindle the fire as they tie all of us “female folk” to the stake for “preaching without a Paulinist license” well, they may just have another thing coming.

This is NOT just for me, I WANTED to do this for ALL the women whom Christ HAS CALLED, who are going through or have been through this gauntlet of the “brotherhood” and for those whose wounds received while running that gauntlet has left them laying in ashes, I want to encourage you, my sisters, GET BACK UP!
Women in ministry… stands for THIS… Wounded, Ostracized, Maligned, Estranged, Negated.

I will share the “high-lights” of my ministerial journey and I am sure many of you have been there and many more I hope to encourage, because it IS not just you, it is par for running the course set before us.

Of course NO ONE tells us this upfront, because after others discover that we have been called, the “wounding” starts.
When I was first saved, I was so scared and shy that when they called on me to testify I would actually shake and dreaded being called on to read a scripture because I was absolutely terrified and quite content to sit there and listen.

But soon I started being awoken in the dead of night with an overwhelming need to read the Bible, as I try to be so clear about my past, I had been an absolute heathen and knew only what I had studied with my Dad while growing up.
And soon this became more of an obsession and I took my study Bible to work and studied every possible chance I had, I could not put it down.
After I became a mother, I would take care of my baby, and at that time my husband was gone about twelve hours a day and of course my family visited us a lot, but my point is this, I would take care of my baby, who soon became a toddler, on onward, clean my house, take of my pets, do ALL that life requires and then after my family had fallen asleep, I would spend the rest of the night studying the Bible until four or five am and get up the next day and do it ALL over again.
So it does irk me pretty badly when these guys who have had the PRIVILEGE of mothers and wives “taking care of them” and had the PRIVILEGE of seminary school and classes to learn what I, and many other ladies had to absolutely sacrifice to learn and I am NOT complaining and I am NOT begrudging and I thank Jesus EVERY DAY for the precious gift that HE has given me to be a MESSENGER of HIS Word.

And I know MANY other WOMEN who have been through this same “course of training” and what really bothers me the most is when CERTAIN guys and ESPECIALLY certain denominations teach that somehow WOMEN would do all this to somehow gain power to USURP some magical authority over them.
Look dudes, DON’T even kid yourselves! I have no desire to be anything OVER a man, I want to minister to the ones God has sent me to and as far as the old “men pray for men, women for women go” that kind of thinking does not even belong in a church!

If anyone is thinking this way.. instead of worrying about who is laying hands on who, they really need to hit the altars and get their mind right.

My first pastor was an absolute awesome man of God and was the first to invite a “lady” to minister at that particular church, which was one time and after he passed away the new pastor also “ALLOWED” (wow, what a term..) another lady to minister, as soon as she stepped foot behind the podium, one entire pew of the congregation got up and left.

She happens to be a dear friend and just having SEEN this was such an encouragement to me in my later years, because at this time, I had NOT been technically called.
But in such grace and beauty she APPEARED unscathed, she ministered a beautiful candle-light sermon (A candle which I STILL have to this day, and I am also sure she also financed all the candles, holders, and tiny flashlights for the children, because that is another aspect to being female, YOU pay for your own ministry) But she did not show one tear, but I KNOW how deep that cut had to have been and how deep that scar has to go this day.

BUT she STOOD, she stood just as Steven stood as they stoned him, she STOOD just Paul stood when he took lash after lash, repeatedly and on more than one occasion.

She stood just as Mary stood when they laughed in her face when she announced Jesus’ resurrection, to which I have never read one APOLOGY given to Mary for outright accusing her of being a mentally deranged liar.

And we have NEVER discussed how she was wounded, ostracized, maligned, estranged, and negated.

My favorite one is negated, it means “rendered worthless as a truth” and she probably never had a clue what her stand would mean for the rest of us BUT God did.

And others who have been ostracized by their own fathers, maligned and estranged for BEING a vessel of God and choosing to OBEY God at the price of having their own father’s DESPISE them and think they are heretics on their way to hell.

I have listened to them tell their stories as ENCOURAGEMENT to those of us who would SOON travel that road, stories told their tears and heartache, bearing evidence that those wounds and those tears would only cease existence once wiped away by the Saviors hand in New Jerusalem.

But I was blessed on that count, I have a very supportive father, who has had his fair share of discussion on the subject with those not so inclined.

And my late uncle, whose influence is one of the reasons why I choose to carry my maiden name into ministry.

He was who encouraged me to be bold and to tackle the really difficult subjects that I usually work with and his encouragement to NEVER see myself as a WOMAN but as what GOD called me to be.

And when God opened the door for me to start writing a blog, he had actually prayed with me the day BEFORE I wrote my very first post.

I was so excited and also TERRIFIED, because the particular church had an impeccable reputation and I was scared to death to even try to articulate the word of God under their name after having spent a lot of television time listening to the sermons of the pastor years earlier, it was hard to stand in that group.

But I tried and I did my best and I pulled back a lot, things that now under my own ministry, I am “free” to say without the fear of “bringing reproach” on another ministry.

And it is my uncle’s sweet face and gentle voice calling me “little girl” and encouraging me EVERY single time I feel the anointing fire rise up in me to tackle a subject that I KNOW is just going to garner a little fuel to the destructive fire of hatred and misogyny that burns against me.

As I go a little farther, I could really use that encouragement as I go through my own story, so I’ll probably add his beautiful face in this post.
But on with it when I personally was called there were only THREE people in the entire church that knew, including myself.

By this time things had changed and there was still ONE preacher whose family had always been part of the church and somehow one night the subject of female ministers was brought up at which he was quick to pull out the scriptural big guns of SILENCE.

To which I asked from my pew, in a new-found boldness, “What if God ANOINTS a woman?” to which my question was met with a glare and when his appointment time rolled around again it was a”being tied to the whipping post” extravaganza.

This actually had answered a prayer for me, I had technically received my “hands on and prophecy” calling through another minister, who mainly ministered in another state and came by appointment, and this entire time, he felt that I was being disobedient to that calling by not doing anything to proceed forward.
And I was always thinking, “You just do not have a clue what I am up against” and he didn’t, he had never seen this, because the majority of the congregation all held the same belief, we just WANTED to enjoy God and the gender of the messengers was of no importance ONLY the anointing of that messenger.
And I had prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to please tell him that I was not being disobedient, I just did not know what on earth I was supposed to do in the situation that I was in.

God worked out so that he did come to church on the other “ministers” night and heard EXACTLY what I had to deal with, and he sat there that night, every ounce of color completely drained out of his face, (not to mention mine) as we ALL were thoroughly beaten with the “twisted” classic verses from the Books of Timothy and Titus, and left with the resounding voice from the pulpit that WOMEN ARE TO BE SILENT IN CHURCH and ANY woman who preaches is NOT of God.

What really broke my heart about this was that one night (when Sir Silence WAS NOT there) a tiny little girl had asked for prayer because she wanted “to be a preacher like her late Pa-paw when she grew up” and we had all prayed and asked the Lord’s anointing on her life and then three weeks later, that same child is HEARING this.
But for me, those scriptures WERE NOTHING NEW, I had spent many nights crying and praying, asking the Lord, HOW, how on earth could I possibly do this? HOW when Paul’s teaching said ABSOLUTELY NOT?
Does anyone think, really BELIEVE that women in ministry DO NOT KNOW THESE SCRIPTURES?
We probably know them much better because we have had to tearfully WEIGH them against the SPIRIT OF GOD calling and prayerfully consider HOW THEY ARE BOTH ACCURATE.

To understand this, you HAVE to understand that the Bible is made up of WRITTEN accounts and Paul’s teachings are MAINLY LETTERS to individuals and churches AT THAT TIME.

Of course it IS the inspired WORD OF GOD, but as Paul said in the infamous 1 Timothy 2:12: ” But I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach, nor to usurp (have) authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

Now we have a couple of things going on here. Paul WAS persecuted, just like the persecutions WE are suffering. He wrote quite a bit about it.

ALL the disciples went through it because what they were called of God to do what did not line up in the elders and leaders EYES of what scripture taught.
They were not allowing for the supreme authority of God over human action.

Remember when Mary questioned “How can THIS be?” and Gabriel replied that “With God NOTHING shall be impossible.”

Paul also used the word I, he DID NOT say that “The LORD suffers not”…. the history on this is that he was under such persecution from a group of Jewish women, who were basically coming in and teaching AGAINST the Gospel, that HE forbade women to speak and that they had to ask their husbands whatever they needed to know AT HOME, because they were TO BE SILENT during his teachings.

So since that time you have this scripture being ran wild with and used a power tool against wives and women when PAUL also SAID this:

Galatians 3:28: ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST.”
And what I find most HYPOCRITICAL about guys who carry this doctrine is the fact that say that it is perfectly “okay” for women to teach OTHER women and children… and it is “okay” for them to sing, answer phones at church… all sorts of activities INVOLVING THE USE OF ONE’S VOICE… and YET they argue the SILENCE scriptures.

That is a complete contradiction.
Using THAT same scripture… at NO time did he make allowance for these activities!
Did he boys? SILENCE MEANS SILENCE.
And this really tells the tale.. it is not about being scriptural pure and right.
It IS about good ol’ time honored male dominance.

Of course we are “permitted” (WOW, again what a word) to speak when we are making your phone calls, having church sales, teaching those women and children that you don’t want to have to deal with… rather convenient.

It is also the fear of their own shortcomings. It is their own need for church house superiority when we know that in the true body of Christ, HUMAN SUPERIORITY does NOT exist!

So I want to ask those who seem to think we would subject ourselves to this torment and hatred if our callings were NOT from God just for the purpose of somehow having “authority over a man” a few questions.
I want to ask WHAT was receiving your calling like?
Did you have the privilege to have your pastor proudly announce to the entire church that “Brother—– has been called to preach”?
Did everyone shake your hand and congratulate you?
Did your Mom and Grandmother cry tears of joy?
Did you receive calls of congratulations of fellow clergymen and invites to discuss thoughts on scripture?

I am SURE you did!

Let me tell you what it is like for US.

Our callings are kept on the down low and often we are under such pressure from those who say they are unbiased but secretly are, that we have to check and recheck every single word, scripture, and reference or face the “correction” by our peers which only “proves’ we shouldn’t be “doing a man’s job” anyway.

I have been under a couple of pastor’s and the one that shocked me the most was this little slip, I HAD the appointment and so he opens service and went rather long and brought me up with these UNFORGETTABLE words, “Well, I BAKED the cake, now Sister Nina is going to FROST it.”
Yeah, it was nice to know my sermon was PREJUDGED TO BE FLUFF.

And that is just about how seriously we usually get taken.
I did get some good feed back and a cute comment from one person who had noticed the remark.

And let those congratulatory hand shakes turn to looks of disgust and the reproach by fathers, coupled with the fear of people you GENUINELY like, turning on you because they now think your “of the devil” and no longer want anything to do with you.

And if you complain about the inequality, somehow it becomes YOUR job to go talk to Sir Silence and CONVINCE him of your argument because the church is NOT going to tangle with him, but if YOU can get HIM to CHANGE HIS MIND, that will be groovy.

It took FOUR years to finally get my ordination, a paper that means nothing to many but meant everything to me, for me it was PROOF that this is God’s will and I had asked God that.

And YES, my mother cried and my sister cried BUT they were crying because they KNEW what I had endured for that “piece of paper”.

A paper that must be renewed yearly and a separate “paper” allowing certification from my state to perform legal marriages that does not even HAVE a female option, it is pre-printed with the word HIS and HE before the name space that is filled out.

Now this is a state that has LEGAL homosexual marriage BUT not a form with a he/her for ministers names.
It gets better, this will be a bit graphic, but I’m not going to hide the attacks of the enemy due to my own discomfort, congratulatory calls.. yeah.. the very night after I received my calling, my telephone rang, I answered it and was promptly met with a man’s voice which said ” Will you———, to translate a little differently from his actual words… “perform certain oral services on a certain appendage”, now that one I could not even bring myself to even try to relay to my husband.

I have also received very select pm messages asking sexual questions, I would have been happy to discuss the Word and discuss SERIOUS concerns but as a servant of God, I KNEW the motivation behind it was NOT for the Gospel.
And my latest, shortly after starting the new “ladies”blog, I gained a “follower” whose profile held nothing back as far as intent nor his very graphic descriptions of what he felt were his “attributes”, that one I did let my husband read before removing him, because I have finally reached the point that I am no longer shocked, I understand that satan feels the need remind me of his feelings about my worth, and all I could truly say to this one was “Seriously?”
TELL ME, male ministers have to deal with this!?

I do realize we ALL are fought but you guys do not have a clue as to the weapons used against us.

And unfortunately certain of our brothers of the cloth ARE the greatest weapons in satan’s arsenal against us!
And those discussions of scripture, well, the most memorable of mine were with a guy who is absolutely as hard-core as it gets, his wife did not wear pants, drive, nor was she allowed to have ANY money whatsoever, or any knowledge of their finances, and any contact I HAD to have with him became a ” sword fight” of scripture to try to “test” my knowledge of the Bible.
It also consisted of the age-old “make-up wearing JEZEBEL” that tempts men to lust, to which I finally shut him up with, “Jesus knows I wear make-up, I wear it for me, and I’ll wear it like a clown if I want to.”

And Jesus taught that the responsibility for lust fell upon the one feeling it.
But my most favorite questions he asked as he was “agreeing with women “preachers” is this gem… “Do you know WHY God called women?” .. I couldn’t WAIT to hear this one.. so I asked “Why?” to which he replied “Because MEN wouldn’t do THEIR job’s.”

Hmm. is that it? Considering the scriptures stating that we “are pre-ordained, predestined, and CALLED BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD”

I would truly think that HE already knew what gender that He would create us to be.
But who am I to argue the WISDOM OF MAN?!!!

When I feared truly falling into disobedience I reached out to another pastor who is of the same belief system, and he had just announced one members call, and so after church, I BOLDLY (it took every ounce of courage I had) asked him, what was his thoughts on female ministers, he was QUICK to inform that “he was NOT recruiting” so I told him that was no big deal, I wasn’t asking for that, I just wanted to know if he thought it was acceptable with God.
He goes on to tell me that he grew up with women and personally had no problem with it BUT that his congregation would never “go for it”.
The irony in this was that this particular pastor is black with an all white (or at that time) congregation and my being a white woman asking a black man to advise me with my calling our chat was truly the equivalent of something that might have been said between our ancestors …You know, like “I am okay with you… I actually HAVE black friends.. but I can’t let my white friends know that.”

That was another time I was so hurt and embarrassed that I had even asked that I told no one for YEARS.
I truly DID NOT even want him to “take me in”, I honestly, at the time was seeking spiritual guidance, someone to help me understand what I was called to do and how to go about that and be in the will of God.

But God is so good and soon reconfirmed many things to me and sent me to a church where I was viewed as a PERSON, not male or female and opened up a path for me.
But I did have to leave everything I knew and walk by faith, not knowing if those doors would be slammed and the constant voices back and forth of “your going to hell because women are to be silent” versus “You must obey the Lord.. REGARDLESS.”

I know this has been long, but it has been necessary, because as I said GOD GAVE ME MY MINISTRY and I will not allow those who would read my work as fuel to further reproach and tear apart women ministers to continue to do so without a little warning, “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHETS NO HARM”

This ministry is for ANYONE who wishes to stop by and hopefully study the Word of God with me and know that GOD DOES LOVE THEM!
And I would also take a moment to THANK all my TRUE brothers in the Lord, there is a world full of awesome, God-fearing men out there who do not hold these misogynistic beliefs toward us.

So I think it suffices to say, I have taken my stripes and if you are a woman going through this, please KEEP praying, keep STUDYING, and be ATTENTIVE to every door the Lord opens and don’t be afraid to move on when he allows one to close

At the height of my struggle with it, I had a dream, in this dream I was walking in this building that had all these little side rooms, and they looked like little hospital chapel rooms, they all had wood-paneled walls, and I kept walking and saw one room with an older man standing and praying, and it was like I knew I was SUPPOSED to go in there, and I said “I can’t go in there, it’s all old guys” and it was just like “GO”, so I went in and the gentleman just looked at me for a moment and not saying a word went back to praying, so I started praying too and woke up.

I took that as comfort but I assure you it has not been easy.

And I want to give YOU the verse that the Lord allowed me to stand on and STILL stand on today.
REMEMBER those who were persecuted and falsely called evil BEFORE you.
REMEMBER what Jesus said when they were CONSTANTLY ACCUSING HIM.

Matthew 10:24-27: ” The disciple is not above his master, nor servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master (teacher) and the servant as his lord,

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (a devil)  how much more shall they call them of his house?

Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye from the housetops.”

I will admit this was one I was stuck on for a while… the Lord kept taking me to it very early on and I was not even getting it and then one day……
It means this IF and they DID call Him a devil FOR doing right, as His servants, we will ALSO be treated badly.
But He tells us NOT to be afraid, but to PREACH what He gives us from the “housetops” meaning LOUDLY, BOLDLY, and FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR!
When they try to shut you up and discourage you, REMEMBER this verse, from when they also tried to shut up Peter and FORBADE the apostle to preach Jesus:
Acts 5:29:” Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God RATHER than men.”
This is one God had a person give me BEFORE I even understood the true ramifications of it:
2 Timothy 2:3,4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth (battle) entangleth himself with the affairs of THIS life; that HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER.”
That one I actually have written on my Bible case.
And this one I have written on apiece of paper in the front cover of my Bible, MEMORIZE it and quote it over yourself.
It is ALSO written by Paul, whom they love to argue, read some of the things Paul went through and how often he was persecuted for ALSO carrying the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:10: ” But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM; AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN…..”
I apologize again for the length of this but there is no way to highlight a seventeen year journey using five hundred words or less 🙂 and I truly pray this helps even one you to stand your ground and stay your path, because I for one would rather men hate me than to stand before God and know that I failed Him in what He sent me here to do.
I love all of you and God bless you for reading and I appreciate it truly!
And I promise no matter how tough it looks, TRUST HIM and He will show you the doors that He opened BEFORE you were even created!

Dedicated to my beautiful uncle… till we meet again on those golden streets…

   Monroe Brown

Φλογιζω, Σαλπιζω, Εξυπνιζω, NBJ 2018

This beautiful song got me through many nights of tears: Shared from YouTube:

For a little more about women and the Word, please check out: AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

My year in review.. in the rearview

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen….” we all know that one by heart. And I BELIEVE IT!

I have BELIEVED it and I HAVE BELIEVED since I was saved March 13,2000, but actually I BELIEVED it before I was saved because sometimes life deals us hands with odd stacked so high that there is no way of winning without pulling that mysterious ace out of the hole and often we have forgotten exactly where that ace is hidden. 

Still digging on the New Years Eve card game with my parents last night. They love it and I know some people may think card playing is wrong but if you are not betting on it, it is no different from checkers, or chess, or video games in my opinion.

It was actually a wonderful evening. We always ring it in with my Mom and Dad and last night was exceptional, we watched some great Gospel signing, praying, we ate and then had our game of Spades, watched a Christmas pageant, watched the ball drop, blew ours horns and prayed the New Year in on speaker phone with my Sister. 

But anyway they are the sweetest people and every single New Years Eve is even more of a blessing because we are all together. We still always miss my brother Donnie, we always spent New Years Eve’s together at their house before he passed but death does one thing for a certainty, it reminds us, very painfully of just how precious each one of those moments of that countdown really are, and precious they are.

And we had been blessed to be gifted with a restaurant gift certificate as a family Christmas gift, so Mom taught it would be a good night to use that, so while my family was gone to pick up dinner, me and Dad listened to a Gospel music program and his shoulders have been hurting really bad over the last few weeks, so anyway I just felt like we should pray.

We prayed and just had the sweetest presence of the Lord, the kind of presence that just leaves you with tears of awe in His mercy, grace, and the fact that we as humans are so small and should be so insignificant, BUT He loves us so much that EVERY need we have IS important to Him. To know and be made aware that in the midst of an entire universe of heartache, trouble, and toil, a world full of problems and troubles much greater than our own, HE WILL take the time to hear us and touch us and let us know that HE IS still very much there.

And sometimes so beautiful about sharing tears of joy and awe with my eighty-four year old Dad that still amazes me. Couldn’t stand the man until I was nineteen, to say we had a troubled relationship would have been the understatement of the century. But when I had some problems we began to get close and actually talk to each other and he eventually ended up being the person who prayed with me when I got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost and once that took place I understood completely why we had always had such and argumentative, strained relationship.

God has plans for our lives and Satan knows who to put at each others throats. So maybe the person who always fights and argues with you is the person who you have already been predestined to win to the Lord.

He always said that me and my sister were “like daylight and dark” and I was always dark. I was also okay with him saying that because I knew that it was absolutely the truth. She was sweet and mild and I really was exceptionally vocal with my thoughts and feelings and extremely strong opinions and looking back I truly wish I would have been my supportive toward him rather than resent and rebel.

Funny things happen in life, when we are young and “flying” down that highway thinking we are Sammy Hagar signing, “I can’t drive fifty-five” raging through life at break neck speeds while we don’t even know where we are headed and we are going so fast that whatever image that rear view mirror is capturing becomes just a blur.

But add a little age, a few seasons, and a strong desire to become an old sage one day, things change… as we slow down we can see… we see what that mirror is trying to show us and it shows us life, moments, glimpse, memories, that are so close to passing up by and that we become so painfully aware that a day will come when we will long for those things that were once behind to be in view just once more.

And as the Bible tells us to “FORGET those things that are behind” we know we must stay the course and enjoy every second of the ride we have left.But it does hurt to think of the things we could have done so differently and how that would have affected lives for the better. And this year that is my deal.. to SLOW way down and look carefully at WHAT I am seeing.

As I went outside and I pondered and I thanked the Lord for the wonderful Christmas our family had… with loved ones that we had not seen in a long time and children running, playing and Mom glowing seeing her family together and I thanked him for my great-niece who lives a very busy life quite far away, and as she came to visit just a few days before making my parents day.

I thanked Him for what He has done for my family and my husband’s health and sending blessed help with burdens that few even know about and He has blessed in way that have just blown my mind and in ways and through people whose kindness  has been beyond measure.

And I have had to learn so much about MYSELF and face fears and deal with things I did not THINK I was quite prepared to deal with and it all, even though I FELT surrendered and I felt like I TRUSTED God, I have had learned lessons in trusting Him with the prospect of widowhood, as much as I have had times of wanting to choke my husband over our twenty plus years, I NEVER had to FACE head on the fact that I may lose him.

I had no CLUE what was going on inside of his body because he has always been the “strong” knight in shining armor.

I NEVER had to cope had in hand with my daughter FACING these fears together as she had to deal with the possibility of losing her Dad, while STILL coping with the grief of losing her uncle who was like a second Dad to her. We were side by side for the entire ordeal all the tests, the horror of being met with the dry erase drawing of his blockages, the doctor informer her that this is now in her medical history also, which another later told her that again, and I told him really fast that she is a teenager and they just needed to stop it, and thankfully nothing else was said. She had enough worry without them scaring her about her own health at that particular moment. And we stayed with him and sleep in his hospital room and it was all so surreal, so sudden but we saw the hand of God at every turn.

And all the daily issues that came along for the ride, other family issues, worries, and snares and TRYING to fix a few things my way only to realize some things may never change and some of our inner wounds are so deep that we may NEVER be able to get past certain hurdles.

I am speaking of myself there and the fact that I have just truly had to admit to myself that i went through what I went through over twenty years ago but I don’t know that I will ever feel safe in certain working conditions again and I don’t know that I can ever go “back” to the comfort of never worrying about looking over my shoulder, not because there is now a need to, but simply because we can never undo what has been done.

And I have had to painfully accept that, I love people, I love working in public but I know deep down inside that I may be able to swing it for a few weeks but I am never going to be the same and a work environment of  large windows and public service is not going to be a thing again.

So I have had to learn a whole NEW level of trust and as I thought about all these things and ALL He has done and the ways He has made in absolute wilderness a beautiful thought came to mind… “GREATER WORKS THAN THESE…” and I am so holding to that verse, for me, for you, for this entire world! GREATER…. and TRUST and FAITH are the doors that lead to those greater works.

When we ARE helpless, ARE hopeless, and ARE without remedy as the scripture I clung to, “Who AGAINST hope BELIEVED in hope”…. that is when those doors open to GREATER because we KNOW, we have been TAUGHT that even though we KNOW it, we REALLY see it put to the test, that He is not going to let us fall through those cracks, He is not going to let the world swallow us up, and He will NEVER leave us comfortless.

And most of us have been wounded in life and wounds leave scars, and some things may  NEVER be completely “alright” and make us feel like we will never be able to cope or handle certain things ( and maybe we can’t) and make us question our ability to stand one more second and even feel “flaked out” or as my daughter said when she was little.. about a horse on a cartoon, “not all there, up there”

The past year I WAS a mess, I WAS freaked, I WAS scared, and I WAS fogged over but HE NEVER WAS!

He is NEVER a mess or blindsided by what befalls our human states, HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and like the old Gospel hymn and the words of Paul.. when I am weak HE IS STRONG and for all of my fears He gives faith and for all of my tears, He has given me peace and in that awe IS the Joy of resting in HIS STRENGTH and sometimes in life we just need to be reminded of that!

Thanks for reading and I pray you are having a blessed beginning to a beautiful New Year!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

I have loved this song for years and I hope you love it too!

Personal best

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

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

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

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

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

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

So maybe it wasn’t all about them “insulting” Jesus but maybe a little about the human response of “How dare they?” And you will find sometimes when people are pushing you in a way you don’t feel you should go, it could be that it’s not about you, or the kingdom, it can sometimes be good old-fashioned control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

“In Him”

John 14: 6-20: ” Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the father that DWELLETH in me, he doeth the works.

BELIEVE me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, THAT HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER; EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH;

Whom the world CANNOT receive, because it seeth him NOT, neither knoweth him: BUT YE KNOW HIM; for HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me:

BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. And at that day YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.”  

It feels good to write.. I really was wondering if maybe I had forgotten how to type and I am pretty sure over the last two weeks there have been countless times that I have felt like I had lost my ability to even think.

But I have learned truly “IN HIM” we all know, or should know that NOTHING is of us or in our human ability and if we think that we are truly mistaken because the only abilities we even have is what HE has given us.

But over the course of time since my last post so much has happened, has CHANGED and all of it out of my control and I have been set on a path my “brown recluse” self would have NEVER chosen BUT I know that I am absolutely NOT alone and if this is the path, my Father is truly walking by my side.. with maybe many moments of actually gently nudging me as I dig in my heels in one spot pleading with Him, that maybe that is just not where I want to go.

But somehow in my spirit, I have that reassurance that if He is leading me there, and leading me through the unwelcome changes than OBVIOUSLY, I NEED TO GO THERE and that comfort, the comfort of knowing HE IS IN ME and as long as I try my best and stay IN HIM, it will ALL somehow be alright and trust and know that I really DON’T have a clue, HE KNEW IT ALL…. AND HE KNEW IT BEFORE I EXISTED HERE and there is such a blessed FREEDOM in that.

After weeks of my husband’s “surprise” heart condition sinking in and really not wanting to be a widow anytime soon, I was already emotionally drained but we have a great church family who have stuck by us and offered so much encouragement and support and prayed faithfully, in times that I had more questions than answers, I do not question God, I often question MYSELF, MY ABILITY TO HANDLE WHAT I ALREADY KNOW I CAN’T HANDLE, and that is where the title came from. I don’t have to handle anything if God is doing all the handling!

He had his heart repaired using two types of stents, the one hundred percentage blockage was actually bypassed, which I KNOW was also God, because during the initial catheterization, the first recommendation was to be transferred for open heart surgery, and God changed this two more times and of course he is still in his resting period for a few more days and still has a road ahead but I know in this God gave us so much mercy and favor.

On about four hours sleep over a period of three days, I was blessed with a new job, my caller ID had the call listed about ten minutes BEFORE we came home from the hospital stay and this is was for a job that I have NEVER did, NO EXPERIENCE in EVER and I’m sure being physically tired and emotionally drained does NOT make for the world’s best trainee, but God has blessed me so much with my boss who is understanding beyond anything a person could ever ask.

And all the changes for our family and our lifestyle would not even stop there! I have done other things over the last two weeks that I have not done in close to twenty years!

And I truly wondered with a six-day work schedule, trying make sure I can hit one of the two Sunday church services, and my housework, family and other things, if I am even going to ever keep up phlogizo, and after several “archive” sticky posts, it feels great to actually write and hopefully after this “update” on the “widow-maker” one I will get back to my “normal” work.. and we all laugh hysterically because “normal” is not quite the word to describe my blog.

 He has reminded me so much lately, at one point during this that I was so tired and sleep deprived that I was physically at the point of shaking, just absolutely exhausted, and He touched me and honestly I woke up the next morning feeling so refreshed and with a peace in just KNOWING as crazy as life had suddenly become, all the uncertainty I felt was not uncertainty to Him and THIS is HIS plan, HIS way that IS so much higher than mine!  Through HIM and IN HIM we can do whatever life requires of us. And here are some beautiful reminders of that:

Psalm 90:1,2: “Lord thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”

Psalm 57:1: “Be merciful unto me, O God: be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadows of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”

Psalm 46:1,2: “God IS our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT help in the time of trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

Psalm 48:14: ” For God IS our God FOR EVER AND EVER: AND HE WILL BE OUR GUIDE EVEN UNTO DEATH.”  Psalm 50:15: ” And call upon me in the day of trouble, I WILL deliver thee.”

Psalm 28:7: ” The Lord IS my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I AM HELPED: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth: and with my song will I praise him.”

Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God IS my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH IS my strength and my song; he IS also become my salvation.”

Deuteronomy 33: 27 (a) ” The ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE AND UNDER ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS….” And my favorite:

Ruth 2:12:(b)..”under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

IN HIM.. is there a more splendid place we could ever be?

Thanks for the prayers, love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

I love these lyrics and  this song! Music has such perfect timing..

 

“In the den”

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion (reason to accuse) against this Daniel, except (unless) we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents (overseers) and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not (does not change). Wherefore king Darius signed the writing (written decree) and the decree. Now when Daniel knew the writing had been signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber (room) toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime ( as he had been doing before this). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Then they came near and spake before (spoke to) the king concerning the king’s decree. Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee (except you), O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?  

The king answered and said, This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth (changes) not.

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore (greatly) displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statue which the king established may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast (tossed) him into the den of lions, Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serve continually, HE WILL DELIVER THEE.

And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet (signet ring), and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel (that they could not accuse the king of changing the order).

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of  musick (musical instruments) brought before him: and his sleep went (fled) from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable (pained) voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel, SERVANT OF THE LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD whom thou servest continually, ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).

Then the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up OUT of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him (he was completely unharmed)  BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIS GOD.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them (overpowered them) and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den (before they ever hit the bottom of the den).

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree. That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND STEADFAST FOR EVER, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END. HE DELIVERETH (delivers) AND RESCUETH (rescues), AND HE WORKETH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH, who hath DELIVERED Daniel FROM THE POWER OF THE LIONS.” Daniel 6:5-27

Love this story, how could anyone not? I especially love the terms of his enemies referring to him as “this” Daniel and “that” Daniel. We are all at some point a “this” Daniel or a “that” Daniel. The this that the enemy desperately wants out of the way and the that that the enemy thinks he has out of the way.

We are all faced with those lions of life and we are all faced with circumstances we just really do not want to be in. And those roaring lions which Jesus so described the devil as are quite intimidating sometimes as they seek to devour us because those roars that we hear in the distance proves to warn us of impending doom and certain destruction can be more horrifying than the final bone crushing bite.

 Those are the times that we need a friend to be outside that den, Darius could NOT go back on his own decree and he could NOT find any way of getting around the fact that Daniel had no choice other than go into that den, He could NOT actually go inside the den and face the lions with Daniel but what he COULD do is SPEAK and REASSURE Daniel that His God WOULD DELIVER HIM.

He COULD fast and pray all night on behalf of Daniel. Everyone needs a friend but we all especially need a friend when you are in a lion’s den and you know that even though you must hear those roars and face the fear of them head on, face to face, knowing someone else is outside the den having faith and keeping vigil can give courage and hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

I snagged a verse from the sermon at church Sunday night to carry my family through a little something…. it is just part of the verse but so powerful when you let it sink in…  and I want to share it for anyone who is facing uncertainty:

Romans 4:18: ” Who AGAINST HOPE (contrary to) BELIEVED IN HOPE…..”

That is even the face of hopelessness, with absolutely NO REASON to hope, to STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE. And Daniel BELIEVED in that hope, even though he was already slated for slaughter, HE BELIEVED IN THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE BY HIS GOD.

Daniel believed God would deliver him and his friend king Darius believed God would deliver him and we need to also to BELIEVE that today more than ever.

Know that if you are in the den God has someone ALREADY positioned outside on your behalf having faith on your behalf, keeping vigil through that night and if you are outside don’t forget to keep vigil for another whose faith my be wavering for fear that those lions could devour at a moments notice.  Darius made the new decree that ALL should tremble before the LIVING GOD. 

Darius also twice referred to Daniel as having served the Lord continually, continually striving to that standard of God, as we lift our lives up into the hands of God and into His care and the standard He has established, He will in turn lift up a defense, his war banner, on our behalf against our enemies, whether spiritual, physical sickness, or emotional or financial burdens, that we are His and He does fight on our behalf, as in that verse, He will work wonders in heaven and in earth.

Isaiah 59:19: “So shall they FEAR the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun, WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD (banner) AGAINST HIM.

 Peace and love till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 

This song is really too peppy for this post.. but I do love it and it is really upbeat and I don’t know what the deal is with the name but the lyrics say it all!

Taken

“Until the day in which he was taken up , after that  through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed (presented) himself alive after his passion (suffering) by many infallible (unmistakable) proofs, being seen of the forty days, and speaking to them of things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

And being assembled together with them, commanded that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but WAIT for the PROMISE of the Father,  which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

For john truly baptized with water; be ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (not many days from now).

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou (will you) at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel? 

And he said unto them, It is NOT for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. (authority) BUT ye shall receive power after when the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received (covered) him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly TOWARD heaven, behold, two men stood BY THEM in white apparel;

Which also said, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? THIS SAME JESUS, WHICH IS TAKEN FROM UP FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.” Acts 1:2-11

Undoubtedly the scariest subject for most humans, the second coming, the rapture, and all the horror that shall befall earth in the end days. God has done some seriously major work in me.. If I were not me, I would not believe that I am the same person who was so horrified by these events and even being a believer and eagerly awaiting His return, I would still be in terror if it were not His hand and His grace over me.

And for most it is very fearful to think about it, much less talk about these events. As I say, I did not grow up in church, but I know I was blessed to receive serious divine intervention, but my Dad was in and out of church and my Mom had been raised in church but as a family, the snares of the enemy had run roughshod over what could have been and we were left with what was.

So even though my Dad tried, he did not have the support of a family to help him stay the course and as a family, his often stern behavior did not make us want to go running to service with him. And that is not a blame thing.. that is reality.. we ALL need a support system and as Christians, we are to shine a light to our unsaved family members.

We all NEED each other, if we are going to make it home. But all is well now and when I was saved it was my sister and Him that came and prayed with me when I received the Holy Ghost and we were baptized (well his second) on the same day, so we all try to help one another stay the course and we have been blessed in that.

Back to my point, even though I was not in church with my Dad, we would read together often, and I thank God so much NOW for the blessing I was being given at the time that I did not even realize was anything other than doing what I was asked, a good lesson in NEVER taking for granted something that may seem common, it may be so much more, that will one day actually CHANGE your present and certainly impact your FUTURE and your divine destiny.

I was about thirteen and we had been reading and I still had his Bible in my room and for some reason i just went to the book of Revelation and I always had this thing, that I really, really “got” Jesus but reading the stories of the Old Testament, GOD ABSOLUTELY SCARED ME TO DEATH!

And once I read some of Revelation, I just looked out of my window and it was just this overwhelming feeling of “it is already here” and I just was horrified and I just put the Bible away and tried to block it out. And so when I tell people that I really REALLY understand how scary it can be, I really do!

That is why we need the Holy Ghost, only He can enlighten us to things so far BEYOND our comprehension and only He can ease those fears of the future, and only He can show us the necessity in these things and help us understand that the fulfillment of all scriptures is NOT the END but it is rather THE BEGINNING.

Scriptural references in comparison to childbirth as absolute right on the mark because labor IS sorrow, labor IS painful, and birth IS a very bloody process BUT once that child is born, the JOY, PEACE, and CONTENTMENT is well worth every single moment of it.

And rather than fear scaring people about the return and the tribulation, we must begin to TEACH on these things so they will be ready, as He is coming for a “bride who hath made herself ready” and view it as the beautiful birth of the “firstfruits” of a kind” and look forward to that expected end and not be so caught up in anticipating and dreading the pain. 

Romans 8:19-23: “For THE EARNEST EXPECTATION of the creature (creation) WAITED for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (decay),not willing BUT BY REASON OF HIM WHO HATH SUBJECTED the same IN HOPE.

Because the creature (creation) ITSELF shall BE DELIVERED from THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION (futility) INTO GLORIOUS LIBERTY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD.

For we know that the whole creation GROANETH AND TRAVAILETH (suffers birth pangs) TOGETHER until now.

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan, within ourselves, WAITING (EAGERLY AWAITING) FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT (be sure to understand) the REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY.” 

So to be certain that as the Bible tells us, ALL these things MUST come to pass before that Glorious and wondrous day. And Jesus told us many times, so shouldn’t we also tell others? And then also tell them about what also comes NEXT?

Matthew 24:30,31:  “And THEN shall appear the SIGN of the Son of man in heaven: and THEN shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall SEE the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and shall GATHER together his elect  (chosen ones)  from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

 Mark 14:61,62 : ” But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and he said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

 And Jesus said, I AM and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” 

Luke 21:27,28:  “THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things come to pass, THEN look UP, and LIFT up your heads; for YOUR REDEMPTION draweth nigh.” 

That redemption that ALL of creation longs for and we are to eagerly await. So don’t be afraid, just believe, and rejoice in knowing that in that day, as He said, ALL things will be made new!

I did not want to get repetitive.. so there is a list below of much more on the rapture and the signs Jesus spoke of, and that we’ll get us ready for the final part of this on His earthly reign and what a beautiful, beautiful time that will be!

 

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

For more teachings on end time please read: 

   ANCIENT, BUT NOT ALIEN / The deception

   ARRHYTHMIA (HEART SERIES PART 1)

   HEART FAILURE ( HEART SERIES PART 2)

   FLAT LINED ( HEART SERIES PART 3)

   CARDIAC SHOCK (HEART SERIES PART 4)

 

 

“Kingdom of Christ” Part 1 *Responsibility*

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME (are now) THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.” Revelation 11:15 

Since the dawn of our existence, our most confusing and heavily debated aspect of Christianity has been death, the “rapture”, Heaven, hell, and the second coming of Jesus Christ to earth and “where” exactly it is that believers will go.

In honor of Holy week, I wanted to do something a little different and I know for me personally, I have never heard very much teaching on these subjects, so I will hopefully take the next few posts and prayerfully do just that.

And as today is Palm Sunday and there has already been attacks against our Egyptian brothers and sisters in Christ as they worshipped this morning and many gave their lives for that worship and now have become more in the list of Martyrs that do have a special place of honour under the altar of the throne of God.

And as we get deeper into this series, Lord will, I will give you scriptures to back up every word that I write, it is imperative that we keep ever fresh on our hearts and minds, “setting our affections on things above” WHOM we serve and why we serve Him and most importantly that even though at the present moment, satan is the “god” of this world, the day soon approaches when ALL things WILL be fulfilled and Jesus Christ will take His rightful position as KING OF THIS EARTH.

Many have always heard, get saved and go to heaven when you die.. well that is partially true and we will deal that later in our series. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, we are give ABSOLUTE promises from God, that we ARE HIS, that nothing can change that:

“And I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE: and THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, NEITHER SHALL ANY MAN PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY HAND. My Father, which gave them me IS GREATER THAN ALL; and NO MAN is able to pluck them out of my Fathers hand. I and my Father ARE ONE.” John 10:28-30 

We CAN NOT be taken from Him unless we are WILLING to be taken:

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye ARE SEALED unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

So we know that our souls are sealed by HIS Holy Spirit, and as we do not grieve Him by turning our backs on Him, and committing acts that we KNOW are sinful, never asking Him for forgiveness, and taking the good gift of His SPIRIT and His SALVATION as a light thing and taking it FOR GRANTED and arguing against one another when all time is at hand:

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, (basic discussion) let us go on to perfection (maturity): not laying AGAIN the foundation of repentance from DEAD works, and of faith toward God, Of the DOCTRINE of baptisms, and of the laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this WE WILL DO, IF GOD PERMIT.

For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were ONCE enlightened, and HAVE TASTED OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT, and WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST, and HAVE TASTED THE GOOD WORD OF GOD, AND THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME.

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the SON of God afresh (again), and put him to an open shame.

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft (often) upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet (useful) for them by whom it is dressed (cultivated) receiveth blessing from God:  But that which beareth (brings forth) thorns and briers IS rejected, and is nigh unto cursing (being cursed); whose end is to be burned.

BUT beloved, WE ARE PERSUADED (confident about) BETTER THINGS OF YOU, and THINGS THAT ACCOMPANY SALVATION, thus we speak.” Hebrews 6:1-9

Proof positive that we HAVE been given the greatest gift receivable, as being vessels INDWELT by the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD!

How much greater a gift could we receive? We are also taught the extreme NEED for us to honor, and cherish, and protect the gift we have been given. As we see the mirror to the scripture, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”, we are warned and comforted by the fact that, better is thought of us, that we will not be guilty of this. So once we have accepted Christ, we MUST understand, and accept the responsibility that comes with it. 

As scripture also states, “We are bought with a price” therefore we are no longer our own, and understanding that will help us understand what is expected of us.

This is His prayer before His crucifixion, and through it we can understand better WHO WE ARE in HIM and WHO He expects us to be and so much encouragement knowing, that just as He prayed this prayer almost two-thousand years ago, HE STILL PRAYS FOR US today!

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also might glorify thee: As thou hast given him power (authority) over ALL flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And THIS IS LIFE ETERNAL, that they might KNOW THEE, THE ONLY TRUE GOD, AND JESUS CHRIST, WHOM THOU HAST SENT.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me (alongside) with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE THE WORLD WAS. I have manifested (revealed)  thy name  unto the men (humans) which thou gavest me OUT OF THE WORLD: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD.

Now they have KNOWN that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  FOR I HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEM THE WORDS WHICH THOU GAVEST ME; and they have received them, and have KNOWN surely that I came out from thee, and THEY HAVE BELEIVED that thou didst SEND ME.

I PRAY FOR THEM; I pray NOT for the world, BUT for  THEM which thou hast given me; FOR THY ARE THINE (yours).And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I AM glorified in them.

And NOW I AM no more in the world, but these ARE in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, KEEP THROUGH THINE OWN NAME those whom thou hast given me, THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, AS WE ARE.

While I was with them in the world, I KEPT THEM IN THY NAME: those that thou gavest me I HAVE KEPT, and NONE of them is lost (destroyed) , but (except for) the son of perdition (destruction) {referencing Judas Iscariot} that the SCRIPTURES MIGHT (would) BE FULFILLED.

And now I come to thee; and THESE THINGS I SPEAK IN THE WORLD,that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them thy word; AND THE WORLD HATED THEM, because THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD.

I pray NOT that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (evil one). They ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, EVEN AS I AM NOT OF THE WORLD. 

SANCTIFY THEM THROUGH THY TRUTH; THY WORD IS TRUTH. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither Pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be ONE: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US: THAT THE WORLD MAY BELEIVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE.

I IN THEM, AND THOU IN ME, THAT THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE; that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, BE WITH ME WHERE I AM; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou hast loved me BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD.

O righteous father, THE WORLD HATH NOT KNOWN THEE, but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: THAT THE LOVE WHEREWITH THOU HAST LOVED ME MAY BE IN THEM, AND I IN THEM.”  John 17

So now we understand our relationship to Him and that our allegiance is NOT to this world, because we are NOT of the world but of the Kingdom of God., and the Kingdom of Christ which is YET to come!

 Please join me for part two when we will look at the invitation and just where we are invited to.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

This will be our song… pay special attention to the ending… beautiful worship!

 

“STAR”

 

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

That wondrous star that led the kings to the Messiah. Think how many times they were probably discouraged by those around them as they sought out the most ancient of signs from the most ancient of prophecies.

But they were being drawn by the divinely magnetic force of the universe, the same divine force that placed that heavenly light in the sky for all to see, but only these three understood the significance of it all, but the “pay off” for them, in the form of all the hopes, dreams, and diligence being rewarded as they were among the first allowed to worship the King.

How could they help but rejoice? And they rejoice they did, and that joy would have truly been beyond comprehension.  I am sure many go through that process of seeking, as Abram sought for a city whose builder and maker is God, many others sought out the path predestined and purposed deep inside their hearts long before birth, even placed there BEFORE the foundations of the world. The longing of their souls driving them to seek deeper and deeper into the knowledge and treasures of God as the world around breathes “delusional” and “brainwashed by religion.”

And as the “Christ” in Christmas grows harder to recognize in this world, even in churches with many now no longer holding “traditional” services, but these days were always honored for very good reason.  They are referred to as THE HOLIDAYS in reference to celebrating the HOLY DAYS. With all that goes on around us and all who try their best to discourage us that we are seeking pipe dreams and fairy tales, it is ever pressing to remember what the wise men sought.

I know it can be argued and argued as to the origins of the holiday season, but a couple of things remain true, the day was adopted as the celebration of the birth of Christ, the greatest event spanning time, universe, and all that is or ever will be.

When God overshadowed Mary with His glory, majesty, and everything that He is and placed in her the seed of Himself because humans had been tainted at the fall of Adam and even though we had been created in His image. The health, longevity, peace that God had intended they enjoy would now  through two people, at the badgering, beguiling voice of the serpent had now become tainted and polluted with sickness, sin, and death and the beautiful mercy and grace that should have been in us turned to wickedness and violence as the seed of the enemy was introduced into the human equation.

So on this beautiful, blessed night that heaven would kiss the earth and angels would proclaim the lullaby to end all lullabies mingled with humans HEARING the songs of heaven itself as they sang “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST”, the breach was repaired by the same means by which it had been destroyed when the absolute Holy of Holiest came through a vessel of purity and would allow the spiritual birth of a new kind, first fruits of the Father and of the Son, and those to be of the Kingdom yet to come.

Secular shows with their ideal of “comedic” nods to the nativity that actually are blasphemous, songs written in churches long ago as praise and glory now have parodied lyrics and among the parties, gifts, and feasting of our present day, the shepherds who stood in awe, the  angels whose heavenly appearance and song would have melted even the hardest heart, the obedient but ever rewarded wise men, and the glorious star who shone with incredible splendor are being quickly forgotten and are no longer welcomed in our popular society.

So as Christmas approaches think about that star, think about what has been seeded inside of YOU as a believer, think about what YOU can bring to the King in adoration and worship to Him when He has opened YOUR treasures, (secret there, HE IS the one who has given you the gifts that you give back to the Kingdom) His Royal gold, pure, tried and true word of God. His Myrrh, purification for our souls and His dying that IN HIM we live. His frankincense in intercession for all the world and all those created by Him and for Him.

And that glorious star that burns ever so brightly STILL today if you will only choose to see it. His glory that still visits earth, His glory that will ONE day be revealed to all. “ARISE, shine; for thy light IS come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” ISAIAH 60:1

Let HIS light SHINE on you and through you this season and all year. Remember it is about LOVE, COMPASSION, MERCY, and CHARITY to our fellow-man, not necessarily fellow family members.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more (brighter and brighter) unto the perfect day.” PROVERBS 4:18

As we KNOW HE IS that light that leads us as it led the others over two thousand years ago. And it will lead us into the ways of the Lord and it will lead us into that truly perfect day.

REVELATION 21:22-25: “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO NEED of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, and THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: For there shall be NO NIGHT THERE.”

Don’t let the world steal your Christmas cheer with all the materialism that Christmas should cost a fortune, and if you can not afford the latest this or that, your family will be disappointed. Remember gifts are from the heart and the true price for Christmas was not paid for until Calvary and that was a gift none of us could have afforded to purchase.

Reports show that depression is at its height and the greatest numbers of suicides occur during the holidays, why? Because we have bought the lies of a Norman Rockwell family Christmas and lost sight of the TRUE meaning, we have made it a celebration for US and completely forgot about HIM. And I am not talking about people who have recently lost loved ones or been through some other horrific event, this is in reference to seasonal depression because we allow commercials and story books to convince us of the illusion of a holiday that nothing could ever measure up to.

No celebration in this world will ever live up to the true JOY and the true MEANING of REJOICING EXCEEDING, they were REJOICING in finding HIM! Shouldn’t we also? Once you have experienced the glory of the Lord in person and beheld the King in all HIS Majesty, and stood in His presence, (well, for the period that you are ABLE to stand) there WILL NEVER BE any event or reason to seek anything other than HIM.

So keep your head up, your ears deaf to the whispers of the merchants, your eyes turned away from all the “must have” gifts of the season and please, by all means FOLLOW THAT STAR!

May the Lord Bless you with a wonderful Christmas season filled with His love, mercy, grace and that His peace will be with you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ original post date 2016, revisited 12/01/2019

 

Related posts: Two turtledoves     Abiding in the fields     Hope        Golden      Mothers Love

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

“CAVES” Part 2 “Cavin’ with Dave”

“He that is our God IS the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.” Psalm68:20

As the Lord asked Elijah what he was doing, and Elijah answered, the Lord called him out of the cave, where He then showed a magnificent display of His power, I believe to try to snap Elijah out of it with the remembrance of WHO was truly on his side. He spoke to Elijah in a quite soft voice asking him again (1 Kings 19:13) ” What are you doing here?” Elijah again word for word gave him his reason and it is so clear the main reason he became discouraged was the solitude. He became so distraught and discouraged that he could no longer see the majesty, the power that would slay his enemy.

He KNEW  it he just lost his ability to continue the fight. You will notice with these passages that God asked TWICE and after that he gave Elijah instruction for turning over his assignment to Elisha. God will not override our wills, it was not his idea for Elijah’s work to come to this end and He showed extreme mercy in how He dealt with him.

This can be proven through the account of Jonah, who just bucked on God and decided he just was not doing what God had commanded him to do and after he found himself in the belly of as he put it “hell”. He found it to be in his best interest to do as he had been asked and even by the end of the book he was still all mad at God and I have never found anything else on what finally became of him.

So you can see there was a complete difference in what was going on in these guys by the difference of how God dealt with them.  As we all know Elijah did not die, he was taken and in my personal opinion, just a little rest, a little reprieve until time to come back to this earth as one of the two witnesses described in Revelation. His work has not been completed. It does prove mercy toward our messed up worn out human minds and half broken spirits. and that we can make OWN ON DECISION to “die” in the cave.

David also did some caving, like Elijah he felt mortal fear. the very real threat of King Saul trying to kill him. Whereas I think Elijah just didn’t want to deal with Jezebel, I think he was tired of fighting the whole bunch. {Complete unrelated side note here, I do love what Jesus said about Jezebel in the book of Revelation, He refers to her as “That woman, Jezebel” and notes that He gave even her a chance to repent, she just evidently did not accept it. Worth thinking about when the devil tries to tell people that they have been too “bad” to be saved.}

Back to David, here he is, he has already BEEN anointed to be King over Israel but as it looks now, if he dares show his face, he will never be King because Saul is very intent on “making a memory outta him.”  Now the funny thing about caves is that sometimes what your hiding from can end up in that cave with you!

 1 Samuel24:3 : ” And he (King Saul) came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a CAVE; and Saul went in to cover his feet ( attend his needs): and DAVID AND HIS MEN REMAINED IN THE SIDES OF THE CAVE.” Now David’s men were ecstatic and told him this was a divine appointment to take out his enemy but David saw it an a chance to sow some mercy and trust the Lord and would not kill Saul. Instead he cut off a piece of his clothing to prove to Saul just how close he had been and that if he wished him harm he could have nailed him right there. But even in doing that he felt guilty, because vengeance IS God’s and sometimes that is hard for us to remember but David passed this one.

  Now, how he got through his cave experience, he REMEMBERED what God tried to make Elijah see and he thought upon these things and this was his daily bread. This is some of what he actually wrote while in the cave.

Psalm 57: 1-3  “BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME, O GOD, BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME:  for MY SOUL TRUSTETH IN THEE:  yea, IN THE SHADOW OF THY WINGS WILL I MAKE MY REFUGE, UNTIL these calamities be overpast (passed by). I WILL cry unto God most high: unto God that performeth all things for me. HE SHALL SEND FROM HEAVEN, AND SAVE ME FROM THE REPROACH OF HIM THAT WOULD SWALLOW ME UP. SELAH. GOD SHALL SEND FORTH HIS MERCY AND TRUTH.” 

His strongest assets were that he KNEW the power of prayer and praise. Even though we view him as someone who was so close to God (and he was) who could kill lions and bears (and he did) and someone who could hit a giant head on and take that head, someone who walked in the anointing and presence of God, but still he was exactly what we are, HUMAN and he also became afraid, troubled, and discouraged but here is his cry, let it be ours:

Psalm 55:1-8: “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not thyself from my supplication. attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn (wander) in my complaint, and make a noise; BECAUSE of the VOICE OF MY ENEMY, BECAUSE of THE OPPRESSION OF THE WICKED: for thy cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. MY HEART IS SORE PAINED WITHIN ME: AND THE TERRORS OF DEATH ARE FALLEN UPON ME, FEARFULNESS AND TREMBLING ARE COME UPON ME, AND HORROR HATH OVERWHELMED ME. And I said, oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I FLY AWAY AND BE AT REST. LO, THEN WOULD I WANDER FAR OFF, AND REMAIN IN THE WILDERNESS. SELAH. I WOULD HASTEN (SPEED UP) MY ESCAPE FROM THE WINDY STORM AND THE TEMPEST.”

Yeah, KING DAVID, the mighty warrior to end all warriors, who throne IS established FOREVER, whose words written in his place of anguish still shine as a mighty light THOUSANDS of years later.

He was scared, he was tired, and he very much wanted to run away to escape all these things and NEVER return again. Sometimes so do we. Next time we will listen closely and try to hear the words of the KING OF KINGS as HIS voice resonates into our own caves, as He calls us out, our souls feeding on the bread of life, His word and His promises. 

Φλογίζω NBJ 2016

Original post date: 01/16/2016 *Revisited 06/27/2019*

 

ASCENSION PART 1 “NIGHT WATCHMEN”

The sun may be shining, but it is night. The birds may be singing but it is night. For most, everything may appear well-lit and crystal clear but in the spirit world it is night.
For the addict who is one hit away from the mouth of hell, it is night. For the prostitute who is one trick away from the wrong John, who will be the devil incarnate come to assure her entrance into hell, it is night.
For the bullied teenager who is one razor blade away from ending it all, it is night. For those widowed and alone, whose loneliness eats away at their souls more viciously than any cancer, it is night.
For those persecuted and imprisoned for their beliefs or simply for the sick pleasure of the forces of hell, still the brightest of days with the greatest, blinding magnification of the sun is the suffocating blackness of the  most darkest of nights.
Night Watchmen, those hired to protect and oversee the goods and properties of their employer.
These particular watchmen actually being the biblical laborers hired in at that vital eleventh hour, because as dusk starts closing in, that harvest must not only be gathered, it must also be protected from the beasts of the field that attack to destroy it, even while the laborers work exhaustively to gather it.
As it is the eleventh hour, this work must be done in complete unity, all while following one light that will light their way through the rows, showing both the ready crops and revealing the awaiting dangers.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
These are the night watchmen of the Lord, they stand in the night hours when destruction and mischief are most common, and sin tries to take cover under the darkness of night.
While the rest of the world “sleeps”, these are they who will keep vigil, pray down strong holds, plead the blood of the Lamb over ones they have never even known and through intercessory prayer they will make a difference between life and death. They will through that prayer under the unified anointing of God will stand in the gap and make up the hedge around those who are unable to do it for themselves.
Their petitions before the throne of grace will break chains of abuse and addictions and the anointing of God will break the chains of abuse and addictions.
“BEHOLD, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.” Psalm 134:1
Watchmen know who they are, and Night watchmen even more so.

Be vigilant, do not get discouraged and know that the power of the anointing of the secret prayers you pray alone are known of God, “who sees in secret, and will reward you openly”.

Ask that your prayers be accepted in agreement of unity with all those who are called as you are.
Know this also that as this is the last Psalm in the “Songs of Degrees” (steps, stairs) and just as being “compassed about with songs in the night”, this is going somewhere, it is blessed and it is beginning of the “prayers of the saints.”
Φλογίζω/ Original Post:01/01/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson

Please consider reading the remainder in this series, the links are below.

ASCENSION Part 2 INTERCESSION

ASCENSION Part 3 CLIMB

AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

Resurgence of Ruth/