“Virtuous”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

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

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

 

 

“You are precious to Him”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

BEFORE

“Yea, BEFORE the day was I AM HE ; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work and who shall let (reverse) it?”  Isaiah 43:13

One of my favorite statement by the Lord. 

This is one of those double-edged sword statements because to be on the wrong side of that statement is a horrible fearful fate… but ahh, we are not talking about that in this post.

We are talking about how beautiful and truly overwhelming it truly is when we think about being on the right side of that statement.

BEFORE

BEFORE everything.

BEFORE anything.

BEFORE all that was created.

BEFORE the angels, the demons, or any other beings.

BEFORE the great void of darkness and the waters of earth were divided.

BEFORE day and night were called forth.

BEFORE the heavens were divided from the earth.

BEFORE the grass, trees, and every known and unknown vegetation this day. BEFORE the birds, animals, fish and man.

BEFORE it all the God of creation forever stands.

BEFORE the very creation of DAY, in HIS OWN WORDS, WAS I AM HE. 

And there is no power in heaven, in earth, under earth, no invention man kind can fathom or enough forces of hell that can stop, prevent, or deliver out of his hand.

And as he also said, he will do as he wishes and WHO could ever stop him or reverse, change, or destroy ANY work he has ordained or brought forth?!!!

INCLUDING his work of creating US! Completely, intentionally, ON PURPOSE with rhyme and reason, creating each one of us simply because he IS God and he WANTED us to exist! 

Complete with our Spirit, soul, heart, mind, and personality and all the unique traits that make us truly one of a kind!

Even when we are a little quirky, different, or such as myself, kinda flaky 🙂 no one will ever understand us like God, we have that uniqueness because our Father wanted us to be unique. 

God IS the master Creator… actually having created creation… ponder that…he created the very conception and act of creation itself, which is why all of us have a talent or special God-given skill, being created in HIS image, we also have that NEED to be creative.

Think about it the next time that you are in your “zone, whether it is art, music, wood-working, beauty, cooking, the activity that brings you immense joy in expressing your creativity, REMEMBER that the joy and satisfaction that you feel during that “labor of love” can not even be compared to the joy and love the absolute Creator of the universe took in creating YOU!

Revelation 4:11 b: “…for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

Am I the only person that finds that terribly exciting? 

Well, if you are not excited, I hope that by the end of this post you will be!

If everyone person on this earth could get past the lies of this world, the ridiculous demands of society that command us to be cookie cutter cutouts of the latest fashion trend or the brain washed servants to sin that think and say exactly as those who pervert the truth of creation and the Gospel so wish us to.

Oh what a refreshment that would be!

You know we can not control what others think of us or say about us, but when we fail to accept how and why we are created just as we are actually INSULTING God!

Now, I think people really need to be careful with the Bible and  be certain they read before and after scriptures and study the ENTIRE teaching because failure to do so often leads to teachings that are completely out of context, SO bearing that, the scriptures are pertaining to repentance and restoration, but the verses I want to highlight is the danger  of “questioning” that we as humans often do, when we “question” our this, that, or the other thing we do not like about ourselves when held to the current “standard” and we can understand through these verses his ABSOLUTE power, authority, and love for us, IF we accept that and submit into his will, forgetting our own.

Isaiah 45:1-18: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden (held), to subdue nation before him; and I will loose the loins (armour) of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates (double doors); and the gates shall not be shut;

 I WILL GO BEFORE THEE, and make the crooked places straight : I will break into pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder (half) the bars of iron:

 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, THE LORD, WHICH CALLETH THEE BY THY NAME am God of Israel For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect (chosen). 

I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though  thou hast not known me.  I, am the Lord, and there is none else, there is  no god beside me: I girded (clothed and armoured), though thou hast not known me: 

That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (till sunset), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the lord do ALL these things. 

Drop down, (rain down) ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open , and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I THE LORD HAVE CREATED IT.

Woe unto him that striveth (argues) WITH his Maker!  Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.

Shall the clay SAY to him that fashioned (molded) it, WHAT makes thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? for something you actually made to say to you that you no longer have any power over that creation)

Woe unto him that saith unto his father, WHAT begettest thou? or to the woman (mother) WHAT hast thou brought forth (given birth to)?

Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his MAKER, Ask of me thing concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.  

I have MADE the earth, and CREATED man upon it: I, even MY HANDS, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded,  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward (not money nor gain), saith the Lord of hosts.

Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God (meaning no god OTHER than the ONE true God, Jehovah).

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded (disgraced), all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. 

But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

For thus saith the Lord that CREATED the heavens; God himself that FORMED the earth and MADE it; he hath established it, he hath CREATED it NOT IN VAIN, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” 

I love that God is clearly pointing out the fact that even THOUGH they have not known him, he still very much knows them!

And isn’t that just like us sometimes, especially those who refuse to acknowledge God as they are in truth the work that declares the craftsman no longer has hands to alter the work he has created.

There is such beauty and such peace, and blessed assurance beyond human comprehension in the realization and acceptance of our place in his master plan. And that place is simply this, accepting ourselves as his creation, accepting his will, and resting in that he ALWAYS goes before because before “the day”, before the foundations of the earth were even created, THERE WAS AND THERE IS AND THERE WILL FOREVER BE, I AM.

Rest in this, have hope in this, know who you are in this:

Deuteronomy 31:8: ” Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, HE IT IS THAT DOTH GO WITH THEE; HE WILL NOT FAIL THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.” 

As the redeemed of the Lord, we sometimes need reminded of WHO goes BEFORE us every single day of our lives. 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

 

“PREPARED” part#3 “Would-be wedding crashers washed inside out”

WHOSOEVER believeth that Jesus IS  the Christ IS BORN OF GOD:  and every one that loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

For this IS the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are NOT grievous (burdensome).

For WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD:

And THIS is the VICTORY that OVERCOMETH the world, EVEN OUR FAITH.  

WHO is he that overcometh the world, but (except) he that believeth that Jesus IS the Son of God?

This IS he that came by WATER and BLOOD, even, JESUS CHRIST; NOT BY WATER ONLY, BUT BY WATER AND BLOOD.

AND IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT BEARETH WITNESS (proves in agreement), BECAUSE THE SPIRIT IS TRUTH.

FOR THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR RECORD IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE. 

AND ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, THE SPIRIT, AND THE WATER, AND THE BLOOD: AND THESE THREE AGREE IN ONE (as one)1 John 5:8

As strange a comparison that it may be, our human natures are not that different from delicate clothing that comes with a laundry label stating, “Turn garment INSIDE OUT before washing” and for most of us, we seek salvation when our lives have been “turned inside out”, when everything falls apart just like those improperly washed garments. 

This was once the first and foremost thought of the Gospel, the cleansing power of Jesus Christ and the fact that it is vital and non-negotiable. WE MUST BE WASHED and we don’t need me “preaching” over and over to know that the “common” societal view of “the church” and the leniency concerning sin and acceptable service to the true God is truly in need of a good scrubbing!

I UNDERSTAND the thought process of it, I UNDERSTAND not wanting to push people or make others feel “judged” but seriously, if you are saved, didn’t you at one time feel the CONVICTION of the Holy Spirit LEADING you to that water to be washed and cleansed by the blood from all your SINS?  There is NO middle ground concerning this. 

In the Book of Matthew, chapter twenty-four, Jesus tells us the parable of the Wedding feast, He is telling us that the Kingdom of heaven is like a great wedding feast and those who were invited (the Jews of that day) just blew off the invitation, they MADE THEIR EXCUSES as to why they could not come, and he even said this, But they MADE LIGHT of it, and WENT THEIR WAYS… Does that sound familiar?

Have you talked with someone and witnessed to them about Jesus? Gently warning them about all the changes of the world events and that no one know WHEN he will return but that he surely will, and have them “make light of it”, just blow it off, like nothing, like time is under their command? “Nothing new under the sun”…same rotten attitude.

He goes on in the parable to tell of the anger and wrath of the King who had invited them to the wedding of his Son, because not only had they scoffed at his invitation they attacked and murdered his servants that he had sent to them delivering “those invitations” on his behalf.

And as those who scoffed and made light, there were also those who tried to “crash” the wedding, ones who, even though they WERE invited, THEY REFUSED HIS INVITATION and decided at the last possible moment to attend, NOT bathed and not appropriately dressed, when HAVE to be clothed in “HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS” that has always been one of my favorites verses, because it is such a  comfort “OUR righteousness IS as FILTHY RAGS”, that is the BEST we can do as humans!

That is WHY it is so COMFORTING! We can never “clean ourselves up” but GOD gives us his cleansing water and the robe of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and NO ONE is getting into the wedding without that.

Back to our scriptures, so those who were originally invited REFUSED, the servants were sent back out.

Matthew 22:8-14” Then saith he to his servants, the wedding IS ready, but they which were bidden (invited) were NOT worthy.

GO ye therefore into the highways, and AS MANY AS YE SHALL FIND, BID (invite) TO THE MARRIAGE. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together ALL as many as they found, BOTH BAD AND GOOD: and the wedding was furnished (filled) with guests.

And when the king CAME in to see the guests, he saw there a man WHICH HAD NOT ON A WEDDING GARMENT:

And he saith unto him, FRIEND, HOW CAMEST THOU IN HITHER NOT HAVING A WEDDING GARMENT? AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and TAKE HIM AWAY, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen.”  

I have read this and used this passage numerous times but one thing kinda jumped out a me today, his servants just kinda GATHERED, good and bad, which of course ALL were bidden but I am not so sure that the servants really “prepared” those the found, I think they were more interested in just rounding them up.

When the man was asked HOW did he get in without the REQUIRED “garment”, he was SPEECHLESS. Not knowing how to answer, what to answer, so he just did not answer.

Did he even KNOW that there were requirements? It really seems that he didn’t have a CLUE as to what was EXPECTED of him or what should be EXPECTED by him if  he chose “crashing” over his invitation.

And for the king to ask him HOW he came to even be there UNPREPARED, does seem like some of that falls on the servants failure to explain “the fine print” on those invitations.  Nicodemus could have been close to an almost wedding crasher, he WAS NOT but he first came to Jesus by night, in secret, he BELIEVED but he wasn’t PREPARED to admit that at that particular moment, and that is our other battle, you must CONFESS him as your Lord.

Romans 10:10: “For with the heart man BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth COFFESSION is made unto salvation.” That is the wedding crasher mentality, they secretly think the marriage is a great idea, that the groom is an awesome guy, they just ddon’t want ANYONE else to know how they really feel.

Which is WHY Jesus said this, Luke 9:26“For WHOSOEVER shall be ASHAMED of me and of my words, OF HIM SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE ASHAMED, WHEN HE SHALL COME IN HIS OWN GLORY, AND IN HIS  FATHER’S, AND OF THE HOLY ANGELS.”  

It is not negotiable, back to his answer to Nicodemus, John 3:3-8: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT (unless) A MAN BE BORN AGAIN (from above) HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT (unless) A MAN (human)BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

That which IS born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which IS born of the Spirit IS spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes), and thou heareth the SOUND thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth (can’t tell its direction either way) SO IS EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT.” 

That is THE message, that IS the most pressing task before any of us in this moment, they must be prepared and they MUST be born again! We MUST be washed by him!  Remember when he washed the disciples feet?

John 13:5-7: “After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash his disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet (are you washing my feet)? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest NOT now; but thou shalt know hereafter (do not understand now but will later) Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt NEVER wash my feet, Jesus answered him, IF I WASH THEE NOT, THOU HAST NO PART WITH ME.” 

We go back again to WHOSOEVER will, WHOSOEVER will COME and take that water, but we have to let these invited guests know that they have to TAKE the water, they HAVE to be WASHED and they have to be WASHED INSIDE OUT!

Love and peace till next time and join me for part#4

For series posts:Prepared Part #1 Preparing for the wedding of a King

Prepared Part#2 Oxygen to Fire

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω  NB 2018

 

“PREPARED” Part#2 oxygen to fire

And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused (questioned) in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER;

BUT ONE MIGHTER THAN I COMETH, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE:

Whose fan(winnowing fan) is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor (threshing floor), and will gather the wheat into his garner (barn); but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” Luke 3:15-17  

I want to remind of you of a little of John’s own journey to the Kingdom, he had been filled with the Holy Ghost while still inside his mother’s womb, he had also spent his life up to the point of his ministry in preparation for that ministry and everything he did was unheard of in his time.

He was so different and taught so differently that those who heard him wondered who he could possibly be.

And also those of the enemy who HOPED that he was not who they were afraid he might be. (Now that was almost a tongue twister!)

We are told that the people were expecting, they were in that mind-set, no one knew exactly what to expect but they knew something major was on the horizon. 

Imagine what thoughts were going through their minds when John answered them that he was NOT even worthy to touch the shoes of the one that they should be expecting and imagine the confusion and fear they must have surely felt when he informed them that they would receive a holy baptisma baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.

Do you think they understood any of this? Maybe some, the Lord certainly could have quickened hearts to that understanding, but most would have been a little fearful, at the very least by these statements.

The Holy Ghost is who takes us from death into life, it is God changing us by truly giving us HIS Spirit, that is why we should never get caught up in the “waiting until we can live it” deception that prevents so many from accepting Jesus.

We CAN’T change and we CAN’T live it, that is why He gives us His Spirit because he strengthens us from the inside out, so that we can overcome all those things that are impossible for humans, and thankfully, that includes overcoming death and hell, as HE OVERCAME THEM for us.

And it is as that water that the Spirit and bride are urging “whosoever will” to come, to take that water freely. We must have that, we must have the Spirit of God or we will not enter into his kingdom.

Romans 8:8-11:”So they that ARE in the flesh CAN NOT please God. But ye are NOT in the flesh, BUT in the SPIRIT, IF SO BE THATTHE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS (lives) IN YOU.

NOW IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS.

AND IF CHRIST BE IN YOU, THE BODY IS DEAD BECAUSE OF SIN; BUT THE SPIRIT IS LIFE BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

BUT IF THE SPIRIT OF HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD DWELL IN YOU, HE THAT RAISED UP CHRIST FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN (give life to) YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY THE SPIRIT THAT DWELLTH IN YOU.”

It is as that “fan” John spoke of, that winnowing fan that IS used to blow the chaff away from the wheat, it frees the wheat from the dirt and useless particles that get stuck to it in the growing process (again, some serious symbolism in that also).

Now think about the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2:1-4: ” And the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were ALL with ONE ACCORD (purpose of mind)  IN ONE PLACE. AND SUDDENDLY THERE CAME A SOUND FROM HEAVEN AS OF A MIGHTY RUSHING WIND, AND IT FILLED ALL THE HOUSE WHERE THEY WERE SITTING. 

AND THERE APPEARED UNTO THEM CLOVEN (divided) TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE, AND IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM. AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND BEGAN TO SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES (languages) AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE.”

Once again we are seeing the need for that unity, but more for the point of this subject, we see that the Spirit came SUDDENLY and a sound as rushing wind and the fire sitting upon them, them being filled with His Holy Ghost and His fire.

As his blood washes us as we are forgiven for our sins, all these work as part of the process that cleans the “wheat “from all the things of the world and purifies us for the kingdom. 

Fire is usually associated with pain and destruction but with God, who IS a consuming fire, it is part of our hearts being purified, “as gold in a furnace” and as fire consumed the offerings that had been accepted. And think about the very life force that God breathed into us, perfect temperature but once that life is over we grow stone cold and we also need that spiritual fire in our souls to be fully “alive” in Him. 

All believers are given the Holy Spirit to lead them and guide them once they accept Christ but the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in so essential and such a completely different experience, just as that experience was described in the Book of Acts.

ALL these WERE saved, but God endued them with this power, HIS power to bring forth those miracles and signs that birthed the early church. I do truly understand that the teachings that this was only for that period of time, but I promise you, that teaching is quite mistaken and we NEED a revival of the fire baptism and the Holy Ghost NOW more than we ever have in history.

HIS anointing is what will break those yokes of bondage and it is what allows believers to “live” out their faith, they have assurance, assurance that they have FELT that there truly is so much more than this world.

But I am sure it sounded scary for them when John preached it but as John was sent to prepare hearts of that time, and maybe it still sounds scary to those who have never surrendered to Him. But it is not painful but certainly can be felt, it is beautiful as God would never harm his children. 

I am sure all this and the apocalypse and earthy reign are all terrifying also to those we are being sent to this day. Never think it doesn’t scare me, something would be truly messed up if a person did not fear it but if you serve Christ, he doesn’t want you to be afraid, only READY. 

But refusing to tell them or to even acknowledge that all these events will and must come to pass is really not accomplishing anything.

And this is why Jesus warned us to pay close attention and not let these things come “upon us aware”

They are not getting saved, they are not being prepared, any ever question why so many repented under John?

Maybe because he actually DID preach things yet to come. We let so many things interfere with our responsibilities to Christ and to the kingdom.

So many mega churches packed with thousands and thousands of people and yet content NOT knowing whether or not these people have truly accepted Christ. Content that just by being there “it will sink in” and they will be saved, but what is it doesn’t just “sink in”.

What if they are taking for granted that since no one is saying otherwise they MUST be okay. Because if their souls was in danger, surely someone would say something, wouldn’t they? The Bible asks us a very good question, “HOW can they hear without a preacher?”

But our problem now is How can they repent if the preachers refuse to preach?

This REFUSAL to preach hell, brimstone, and repentance is what has brought us to the era of  “pagan palaces” that are calling themselves true churches of God and allowing absolute abominations to God in condoning, allowing, and outright celebrating practices that are anything but Godly.

We always want “the other guy” to say something, do something, stand for something and in the end NO ONE IS STANDING FOR ANYTHING. 

So with the LAST commission of the Gospel the Bible gives, we are ALL being told EXACTLY what we are to do.

Because just as he sent those before to lessen that fear and encourage them and warn them to salvation, as the bride of Christ we also are sent with a very clear message.

Let’s review it one more time, Revelation 22:17: “The Spirit AND the bride, say, COME. And LET him THAT HEARETH, say, COME. And LET him that is athirst (seeking), COME. And WHOSOEVER will LET him TAKE OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY.”

As far back as the fall of Adam, God has said “COME”, the Bible even says of Jesus, “the Lamb who was slain before  the foundations of the world”  deliverance and salvation are a constant thread through the Old Testament, in preparing the world for that reconciliation back to God in its truest sense.

Jesus encouraged ALL to come to him, The comforter was sent, so we KNOW the Spirit wants people saved. As the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, we had better want people saved.

Our voice individually and as a collective church body the world over, should be in unison with the Spirit, in our prayers and in beckoning COME. Notice also, it is not just one denomination, or group, or nationality.

To the best of my ability and understanding, in the Book of Revelation chapters two and three combined, seven times  in his message to the seven churches, Jesus tells us this, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

This explains why often we hear a message and then hear a similar message somewhere else or on television, because we are ALL one church and it is ONE Spirit over us.

So with our verse, the Spirit is the first voice and joined with the bride have both given the invitation.

The second  group is those who have heard what the Spirit has said and they are also to “send out that wedding invitation” to tell them simply, COME. 

The third group is those who are seeking, maybe they have been “on the fence off the fence”, unsure as to what they really believe, but thirsty, desiring something that will give them refreshing relief, they are told to COME. Meaning seek no more, come will you may.

And the fourth group is a net that spans all of the earth, WHOSOEVER will, rich, poor, young, old, former pagan cult member, former atheist, WHOSOEVER

Anyone! Anyone who has chosen to believe and accept Christ and the water of life FREELY as the wedding bells begin to toll.

It is salvation, free and clear, point-blank. 

Next time, Lord will, part #3, we’ll look a little closer at that water, we’ll discuss the behavior expected form those invited and most importantly the wardrobe the King has  provided and commanded the guests to wear!

For complete series: Prepared Part #1 Preparing for the wedding of a King

Prepared Part #3 Would be wedding crashers washed inside out

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

“PREPARED” part #1, preparing for the wedding of a King

And the Spirit and the bride say, COME. And LET him that HEARETH say, COME. And LET him that is athirst COME and take of the WATER OF LIFE freely.” Revelation 22:17 

This is quite an invitation and what I love about this verse, it that it IS an invitation.

This is a wedding that had not happened because although they ARE speaking as one they are named SEPERATELY so what am I even talking about? So glad you asked:)!

We all know that marriage in all cultures is considered a covenanted  process, a beautiful celebration with the families giving their very best to provide for that wedding, depending on your location and beliefs, either the grooms family or the brides family but either way, ALL cultures hold marriage with the same honor, reverence, and life long commitment. 

No shock that the enemy has chosen marriage, TRUE marriage as God intended between a male and a female as his hottest battle ground. If he can pervert the very DEFINITION of marriage, he can attempt to confuse and twist one of the MAJOR end time teachings of the New Testament.

As Paul said, the great MYSTERY that IS Christ, His bride, which IS the church and the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which the absolute culmination of ALL things that have ever been since He spoke everything into creation, ALL that has been and ALL that will EVER be will be merged into oneness at that wedding.

Just as he came to the garden and walked and talked with Adam, just as he came down and spoke with Abram, as he let Moses just glimpse his glory, just as he spoke through the prophets, giving each a little insight into his WORLD, his beauty and his majesty, that they could NEVER effectively put into words.

He came down as a baby and even in that humble beginning, His great glory and majesty could not be concealed. The angels HAD to worship, they had to ANNOUNCE the arrival. 

Offerings in the form of gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh HAD to be brought before him because ALL kings and ALL nations WILL bow before him. People of ALL nations, languages, and tribes WILL bring their offerings of praise before him in that day. In that day our WORLDS will become ONE.

Prophecy had been given since the dawn of time to ease humans into this, all the prophecies as they eagerly awaited his arrival on earth as Messiah. Thousands of years, with prophets FULFILLING the words of OTHER prophets, which tells us a little of what level of preparation was needed. Think of John the Baptist, who fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah and Malachi.

John 1:15-23:   “John bare witness of him and cried, saying, THIS IS HE OF WHOM I SPAKE, He that cometh after me is preferred before me. And of his fullness have ALL received, and grace FOR grace.

For the law was given by Moses, but GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.

No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath DECLARED him.

And THIS is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am NOT the Christ.

And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elisas? {they knew the prophecy but Jesus said that John WAS the foretold voice fulfilling this prophecy} And he said, I am NOT. Art thou that prophet? And he answered and said, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? THAT WE MAY GIVE AN ANSWER TO THEM THAT SENT US, What sayest thou of thyself?

He said, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD, as SAID the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).” 

They could HEAR “the voice” that just did not want to “hear” they did not want to acknowledge the time they were entering, just as those today have “sent” their messengers in attempt to tear down the Gospel of Christ, hoping to silence THE VOICE that WILL NOT SILENCED, that VOICE shall bellow from the very mountain tops.

So just what DID Isaiah say? Isaiah 40:3-5:”  The VOICE of him that crieth in the wilderness, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE STRAIGHT IN THE DESERT A HIGHWAY FOR OUR GOD.

EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE EXALTED (lifted up)  AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE MADE LOW : AND THE CROOKED PLACES SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH PLACES PLAIN  (smoothed out): 

AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHALL BE REVEALED, AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER: FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.

WHY? Why WAS and IS a preparation needed?

Well, think about those verses, this was to prepare people for an encounter with God.

In preparing for this preparation, EVEN the angel Gabriel was SENT to Zacharias, to proclaim that he and his aged wife would have a child, a chosen child and even that there were to name him John, which literally means “grace” and given John’s commission BEFORE he was even conceived in Elisabeth’s womb. 

And this was that commission, the words of the angel Gabriel as recorded in Luke 1:17:AND HE SHALL GO FORTH IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIAS, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, AND THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST; TO MAKE READY A PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE LORD.”

How do you prepare people to the fact that their worlds are about to be rocked by the arrival of one, who will have the ability to miraculously heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, cause those bound by paralysis to rise and not only walk, but run and leap because of the joy he also placed in their recovered souls.

One who will SPEAK to the storms and command them to cease. SPEAK to demons and they should fall at his feet and  tremble in terror of him.

That he would have the ability to look through us, into our very souls and perceive EVERY single thought of not only our conscious mind but also our soul and heart.

One who would have such a gentleness and absolute tenderness that he would verbally defend women against the spoken and unspoken hatred and judgment of others, healing them not with touch of his hand but with his LOVE, giving them access to his very heart.

One who cried in sorrow with those who grieved. One who would walk on water and be transfigured into his glorious light before the very eyes of a select few, as he spoke with Moses and Elijah.

That he would not only raise the dead but that his own dead body would raise up (some symbolism in that, the resurrection his church NOW desperately needs).

HOW do you prepare people for that? Just as the Hebrews were  SCARED absolutely to death of him at Mount Sinai, they did not want to talk to him, they pleaded with Moses to be a go between.

As scared as they were, even SEEING his mercy, glory, and protection. How much more terrified would people have been had they NOT been prepared by these prophecies of what they should expect.

Now, as our scripture from Revelation tells us, those VOICES are to be heard and the first voice mentioned IS the voices speaking TOGETHER the SPIRIT and the bride speaking in complete unison.

God dealt with me several years ago, about the need for that surrender by his church a submission that would truly allow that merging, it is an old post, from 2014 and revised in 2015, but if you have a moment, please read it and it will help in understanding this one: Click here> merge,

I really believe that we have come into that unison, those who have sought have found and I also believe that the “invitations” are already being delivered.

I believe it is that close.

So I want you to look at a couple of things in that verse, okay, they are technically still separate, BUT they are speaking as ONE so that separation is merely location.

Remember with the Jewish grooms of the Old Testament, the groom RETURNS for his bride, there is NO question about their relationship ONLY the FINAL PREPARATIONS to be made so that she can join him.

So next time, I’ll get into our starter verse and we’ll look at that “wedding invitation” a little closer and decipher our “duties” in getting other PREPARED for the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.

And no longer is it just an “invitation”, it is that they should be WASHED, clean,”clothed” and ready to enter into the doors. And NOTHING will EVER fully prepare THIS WORLD to meet its maker, who will not be visiting for walks in the cool of the evening or teaching chosen disciples but WILL take his place AMONG his people and for that I am not sure they could ever be completely prepared.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

Other posts in this series:

Prepared Part #2 Oxygen to Fire

Prepared Part #3 Would-be wedding crashers washed inside out

PREPARED Part #4

 

Building your “Hope Chest”

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up your for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 

During Christmas my family visited a local museum, we were there for the “festival of trees” which can only be described as tree extravaganza which local churches, various groups, and I think maybe some individuals decorating over eighty trees.

And every single one of them was truly magnificent,each with a theme or message, or both. And although a small “museum” it does hold a few treasures, one in particular was a sixteenth century (if memory recalls correctly) Italian “hope chest” that  had belonged to some of the former “mansion” owners whose family home of yesteryear has now became a historical landmark. 

The tradition of “hope chests” is quite the Victorian lure. The custom of young women collecting special treasures neatly stored away in the “hope” that one day all their romantic dreams and aspirations will come true.

This has been a custom in many areas the world over, many different names for these vessels of hope, but still in THE same hope.

And of course this isn’t so much a custom now in America as it once was, and a custom whose purity and beauty has been tarnished in many parts of the world due to the violence associated with the “dowry” concept, when those dowries haven’t been considered quite enough.

That is truly a disturbing and sickening thought that I did want to address, just to be clear that I am NOT would I ever condone this treatment of women, because these are two VERY different concepts.

A “hope chest” is WILLINGLY kept by the lady and a DOWRY is forcibly demanded by a groom.

But we do want to talk about hope! Anyone been needing a little hope? Or how about A LOT of hope? I will admit that my “hope chest” had been growing a wee sparse over the last year or so, more to the so… you know?

I write a lot about discouragement, battles, and storms and the ONLY way we learn about these things is by experiencing them. That is never fun and especially when we are so aware of the Lord, His goodness, mercy, and presence and YET we find ourselves in a “battle-royale” chest deep in water fearing every moment will be our last before we finally just become so tired and worn out and lose the strength to keep our heads above that water and in doing so… we would drown.

Ah, but hope… when hope finally does come shining through there is the new found expectation that soon everything will change.

Jesus told us about storing up our treasures, treasures not kept on this earth but in our “hope chests” which are located in the heavenly realms and safety kept for us there awaiting our arrival for that beautiful and glorious day when we as the Bride of Christ will open those precious chests and enjoy those treasures with the King Eternal. 

The things of this life and all the worry and strife are but for a moment and our true hope, as the Bible so often comforts our concerns about IS eternal.

The things we “store” up on this earth can often unknowing be nothing more than negative rags and the ruined garments of hurt, envy, resentment, while a true hope chest should contain at least one beautiful new dress, as in our case.. that beautiful wedding garment provided by Christ.

But when our chests are filled to brim from the storing of the wrong items of this world, we have no more room to store those beautiful treasures that should be stored there.

And that is when junk has to be removed from that trunk and GOOD things put it.

Knowing that there IS nothing on this earth or of this world that can separate you from God as we are told in Romans 8.

Knowing that no matter what life, the devil, or all of hell tries to set in your path as a roadblock or hindrance, that God will USE that very thing as a catapult for YOUR good, also Romans 8.

Knowing that your sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb and will NEVER be remembered of God EVER and that your name is in the Lambs Book of Life and the TRUTH of your future and your eternal destiny can NOT  be controlled by the enemy, people, or circumstance, that it can ONLY be affected by how YOU choose to proceed.

As the old saying goes… “No one can take us out of the Lamb’s Book EXCEPT us” and we can only do that but choosing to give up and surrender, turn back and go back and stay there.

Because if we do slip (and WE all do), when we do stumble, which is par for the course, (you ain’t gonna run a race without falling a couple of times) God IS faithful to pick us back up ,we repent and GO ON.

These thoughts and mindsets ARE the materials, the wood, if you will, that builds our wonderful heavenly storage “chests” and all the pieces are held together and fastened by hope.

The greatest of all hope, the hope and assurance that we are saved!

We start this mindset by REMEMBERING these things and MEDITATING on the truth of the promises given us through the Word of God, which IS our guide through this life. 

Philippians 4: 4-8: REJOICE in the Lord alway: and AGAIN I say, REJOICE. Let your moderation (gentleness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 

Be careful for nothing (try to NOT be anxious or uneasy about ANYTHING); but in every thing BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE KNOWN UNTO GOD

And the PEACE of God, which passeth all understanding (goes beyond anything we can imagine), SHALL KEEP YOUR MINDS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

Finally brethren, whatsoever things ARE true, whatsoever things ARE honest, whatsoever things ARE just, whatsoever things ARE pure, whatsoever things ARE lovely, whatsoever things ARE of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” 

Keeping our minds on the good things, lovely and pure that are worthwhile bringing praise and honor to our Father.

And keeping our hearts and thoughts ( and I promise I KNOW how hard this can be) steadfast where they should be, but this is the effect will be peace in your heart and soul.

Colossians 3:1-4: “If ye then be risen with Christ, SEEK those things with ARE above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, (to the world) and your life is hid with Christ in God. WHEN CHRIST WHO IS OUR LIFE, SHALL APPEAR, THEN SHALL YE ALSO APPEAR WITH HIM IN GLORY.”

Now that IS exciting! And that IS hope!

So if your going through a rough patch or many rough patches,take comfort knowing that you are not alone, and the strength you gain by overcoming this bad season in your own life while continuing the work storing your own treasures will be a comforting story and testimony that you will share to give someone else courage to keep building their own hope chest.

But know that we are never alone, God IS always with us and you can guarantee that other brothers and sisters in Christ are having their battles also, so you are not alone, start “rearranging” your hope chest, I started rearranging my own.

And if you are in a good season and your storms have passed use this fresh peaceful season to decorate your treasure box with the beauty of praise and worship, the lilies and roses thrown at the feet of the King!

Thanks for reading! Love & Peace till next time!

May God bless you and all you set your heart to do for His mighty Kingdom. I pray your HOPE in Jesus Christ builds your faith into a masterpiece.

Φλογιζω NLB 2018

If you need a little stirring to REMEMBER that hope, close your eyes and listen to this song!  (shared from Youtube)