Ever blooming….

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering THYSELF, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. If a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto (share with) him that teacheth in all good things.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:1-9

I love these verses but to start us off thinking about the beginning… if we see our brother or sister struggling, hurting, and sinking in the waters of their battle IT IS OUR JOB to help them up. IT IS OUR JOB to do whatever we can to help with those burdens, that behavior, or whatever trail or temptation they have come under.

And this verse is not to the world.. this verse is to THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL, He is telling us that THIS is our job, not just pray for them but to actually HELP them. 

Our next instruction in this is, for US to go to them in the SPIRIT of meekness, meaning gently and humbly and in no way pulling a “holier than thou” or “stronger than thou” attitude on them because we are to CONSIDER OURSELVES, our own well-being because even if we aren’t in a battle at the time, how we treat others during their battles can ACTUALLY BRING ABOUT A HORRIFIC BATTLE IN OUR OWN LIFE.

Bearing each others burdens instead of turning a blind eye and questioning their salvation and Christianity, their relationship to God, such as Jobs “friends” reacted the attack the devil waged against him. They BLAMED Job, belittling, accusing, and chastising him unmercifully, while arrogantly proclaiming their own self-righteousness.

Which completely explains the next verse, FALSELY believing that we have it all together and pride fully accusing others that their struggles are solely caused by their SHORTCOMINGS in spiritual things.

We must prove our own work, again knowing that God knows our hearts and our intentions whether others wish to misconstrue those intentions or not. It should be none of our concern because people are going to think what is in THEIR hearts to think anyway, and they are going to make those judgments against us based on again, what looks right and sounds right to THEM, not always what is the truth.

We just have to learn to let that go because we can’t change people only God has that power and they have to want that change. That is why we are also told in scripture: 

He that reproveth (tries to convince of truth) a scorner (SCOFFER) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh (admonish, scold) a wicked man getteth himself a blot (ONLY HARMS HIMSELF). Reprove NOT a scorner, LEST HE HATH THEE: rebuke a wise man and he will LOVE thee.” Proverbs 9:7,8

Pretty self-explanatory, when we try to talk to them about something for the good, they will only get mad and hate us and we in turn can become angry at them, thereby only hurting ourselves!  We are only to try reason with a WISE man because he will accept that reason and appreciate us for it.

I recently found myself in a situation because I had decided to not attend a funeral for a person who had really come against my family concerning our faith (or rather their perceived lack thereof ) during the terminal illness of my late brother. I could feel the vibes of hurt and “How can you be so cold” coming straight my way from someone after the fact.

And I truly thought about giving my reasoning but it was pointless to do so. The person who died had apologized, apologies had been accepted and even with that, for me to have went would have been tasteless and I think even more nerve wrecking for the loved ones and for me because the enemy would be very convincing to all that my intentions of being there were not for condolence purposes, because he died from the same disease that killed my brother. What could I have said if I had went? What could I have possibly done, when in my self I knew going to it would have only brought back the same old pain of holding my brother’s dead body asking myself questions that had been put in my head by the enemy. I had prayed and prayed and prayed and had faith and I know he died because it was his time, but it is hard to remember all that once something gets in your head deep enough. I also know that we can pray and pray and have faith and yet it does not always go the way we would want but it does not mean that God does not love us or that we have “caused” their death rather than their healing, because we are “faithless”. Bringing all that back up would help no one and even dealing with the thought only causes grief.

I have no joy in his death, my heart breaks for his family for what they have endured and the mourning that follows and I just thought the best thing to do was to do nothing, not even acknowledge it and not give any one a reason for my absence, and pray and hope that it was the right decision. Sometimes things are just better left alone.

And as much as I don’t want people hurt and mad at me, I am planting my own garden.. every day with what I say, what I do.. and how I treat others. We all are and we have to really think about what we would want to grow.

The garden of life holds many varieties of beautiful plants, our hopes, dreams, and goals that grow and take root. The beautiful flowers that are our family, friends, loved ones and pets, all different, all bringing different experiences, memories, and treasures to our life. The spices of joy, peace, happiness, even when mingled with the bitter still create our existence that will always be unique to us and our life. 

But of all that we plant and the one thing that should be ever blooming in the garden of our life is kindness. Kindness is free, it costs us nothing to share a smile and share a hug and in showing kindness we can bear one another’s burdens.

Kindness can break through even the most concrete walls that surround the most wounded soul, and kindness is the sunshine that melts away the frost covering even the most frozen heart.

And when we sow in kindness and understanding to another, even when we ourselves can become stretched thin, we are sowing  into a garden that we will reap bountifully from, because when we need it the most, it will bloom, it will prosper, and we will reap abundantly of those good things, but only, only IF we have planted them into another’s life.

Romans 12:10: ” Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” as the saying goes, we never know what another is going through and we can use that opportunity to judge and harm or we can use that opportunity to encourage and lift up.

The choice is ours but the garden we plant is also ours and we are the ones that will be left with whatever takes root and grows there, so let’s plant with love, and mercy, understanding, and patience and only send out what we want to have returned to us.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed weekend!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

Love Is……

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the GIFT of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have ALL faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.

And though I bestow ALL my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me NOTHING.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love, love, sweet glorious love! We say it, we think it but just how often are we really showing it?

Think of it though He SPOKE with the heavenly languages, given through the gift of tongues, so that all could hear the word of God for themselves and though He even SPOKE the language of the heavenly host, the language of the angels, as marvelous and wonder striking as that, still without love, his voice would be nothing other than the sound of a common instrument.

Though he had the very gift of God MANIFESTED in his life, through prophecies could understand and relate even the darkest of parables, though he had faith to even pray the most insurmountable mountain down to the ground and call it dust, without love it is nothing.

And giving all he had and even his life, if it was without love, it would hold no value eternally and there would be no reward for any of those acts.

He was giving us a very valuable lesson here, we CAN be saved, we CAN be working in the kingdom, we CAN have the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit, and yet we can be so one minded, so religious, and so hard-hearted that it will not be effective and none of it will last eternally.

Doesn’t mean a person is not saved, just means they are not producing the most precious of fruit and without producing love, nothing else is going to grow. 

Love IS….  “Charity (love) suffereth long, and IS kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (love) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), it not puffed up (arrogant),

Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own (is not self-seeking), is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, edureth all things. Charity (love) NEVER fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1) 

So LOVE IS… forbearing, willing to tolerate a lot before blowing its top. LOVE IS kind, gentle, merciful, looking over things and looking through others to see the best and see the causes before passing judgment, giving of itself rather than to be given to, thinking of others before itself. 

 

LOVE IS not boastful, or proud,  it never reminds you of what all it has done for you, never thinks you owe it anything, never expects anything in return, love is never arrogant in thinking that it is number one, but always allowing the favored position to other, love gives a hand up not a knock down.

LOVE IS never rude, cocky, or bossy, or better than anyone or anything, never self-seeking and self-fulfilling, never self-willed.

LOVE IS not easily angered, chooses to see the good, even when it is aware of the bad.

LOVE IS never pleased with lies, and hypocrisy but is overjoyed with the truth.

Love walks along the paths of this life with us, walks through all the sorrow, all the sadness, and all the grief with us, and when we become to weary to walk, love will carry us to the end of that journey.

Love holds on,  ever clinging to the side of a mountain as everything around it starts to quake and tumble down, never giving up and never letting go. Love never fades, never dies, never gives itself credit, it always protects, always perseveres and NEVER, EVER FAILS. 

We gotta put this baby in reverse, to fully understand just why we need to know what love really is: 1 John 4:19: “ We love him because HE FIRST LOVED US.” 

We are not even capable of love in our own selves, we only love at all because HE LOVED US FIRST, and even then we are still not capable of the level of love that He has.

“Beloved, let us love another: for LOVE IS of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth NOT knoweth NOT God; for GOD IS LOVE.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be propitiation for our sins. Beloved, IF GOD SO LOVED US WE OUGHT ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” 1 John 4:7-11 

So is it love? Is it real, real love? Titus 3:1-4 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers (authority), to obey magistrates (obey laws of the land) to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious) but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men.

For WE OURSELVES WERE ALSO SOMETIMES foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (running wild doing whatever they pleased), living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED.”

There you have it, Paul stating what we all have been but AFTER all that the love and kindness of Jesus showed us all EXACTLY what LOVE IS!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

PARKING LOT PERPLEXITY- PONDERING PERCEPTION

I spend an unnatural amount of time in the parking lot of a local store.
That sounds like some kind of bizarre plea for help doesn’t it?
“Hi, I’m Nina and I like to spend my free time in this parking lot”!
Wouldn’t make me too many new friends but I have a really good reason for being outside rather than inside, and since we all have issues, this is one of mine, I could easily play the part of the lady in the commercial, you know the one where she is bowling and this cute little pink thing with big blue eyes keeps trying to drag her off to the restroom, finally she angrily declares “No! I am seeing my doctor!”.
Well, me and my bladder just hang out rather than suffer the nuisance and annoyance of having to find a restroom every three hundred feet.
That is my personal secret revealed for the day.
 Disturbing? Probably! Too much information? Surely! Needed to be divulged in order to write this post? Most definitely!
I had to tell you that so that you wouldn’t think I am just all kinds of weird (those who know me are now falling over laughing hysterically thinking BUT YOU ARE WEIRD!)
That point aside. I have learned a lot sitting there and watching shoppers and I always think about them and what their life is like and if they look weary, tired, or hurting, I always say a little prayer for them.
 I watch people interact with their kids and I watch the elderly go in and I wonder do they have enough food money.
And amazingly enough the majority of my posts have been birthed there, most of my series titles and scriptures have been jotted down while sitting in that parking lot and the death of “Eagle” hit me there and I sat and cried scribbling it all down as my family returned to try to understand why on earth I was crying.
So I think I have a special kind relationship with that place and the most astounding thought that I have taken from it is this, WE AS HUMANS, AS A MAJORITY SUFFER FROM THE TOTAL LACK OF PERCEPTION!
My view varies based on parking, and across the street in one direction is what was once upon a more prosperous time THE motel of the town, it has since became not quite so much so.
I think it is mainly rented out as housing and often I watch those that live there come and go from the grocery store.
One evening a couple had just came out and were trying to cross the road they were dressed very modestly and NO ONE would stop to offer them to cross the road and the more I watched, I could only think that maybe if they were dressed to the nines or in fine clothing, or were well-known people, like I don’t know a mayor, or doctor or someone of the sort, people would be glad to let them cross, but no, drivers felt it not worth their time to show kindness to this couple.
The other side facing the store, right in front of it, I have had the grandest of all pondering.
There is a local man,seen by many, but I am sure known by few if any.
He is for the most part mute, he is so sweet and the kindness oozes out of him, he is an older man and lives in an assisted living home just a tad to the side of the grocery, and he can communicate IF you are willing to listen with your HEART and not depend so much on ears.
So Me and Pinky, (the cartoon bladder) are once again sitting there ( because I had determined I AM NOT going to the bathroom AGAIN ) and the sweet man is out there and we wave at each other and he flashes me that sweet smile and there are several shopping carts haphazardly left here and there on the walk, so he gets them one by one and takes them back in the store and puts them in their place, he comes back and picks up some loose trash and throws it away, he then steps just inside the store to a little rack where I am so sure are the “Thrifty Nickel” or something to that effect, it is little papers that people run ads for anything imaginable to sale, I think they are actually free BUT if not some witty, knowledgeable store employee SHOULD KNOW THE PRICE ( but I guess that depends on who is trying to ask! )
He holds it up and shows it to a bag boy, who just looks zombified at the paper, as if it is a mysterious sphere floating down before him and shrugs and walks off, then the man turns to a cashier, who is obviously also brain-dead to the universal code language
 ( HELLO if you are holding it up, you want to know the price) and she brushes him off also, and he just puts it down, that beautiful smile has now faded and he walks silently away to the place he calls home.
So between pinky pulling my arm and these two geniuses I am growing a wee angry.
 Curlylocks is still outside after having ran away to avoid the man’s unspoken question,( never bothering to notice that the carts had been taken care of for HIM ) so I call him to my window and as gently and clearly as possible I said “He is asking you how much that paper is.” 
Curlylocks looks at me, by this point I have come to believe the dude may not really be a bag boy but is actually zombie doing a rather bad impersonation of a bag boy, he just says”Umm, I don’t know” and I just say “Okay” . 
By this point, I really kinda wanted to slap him upside his head and say “You know Sonny, you ain’t through living and one day that might just be you!”
Then I wanted to slap my own self! Why did I not just drag pinky out of the vehicle, tell the sweet man to hold on one minute, go buy the paper, give to him! I COULD HAVE DONE THAT!!!!
So now we have three geniuses! What is wrong with us as a society?
Why can we not hear what others are saying, even if they have no words?
Why do we hold to the old cop-out that if they needed anything THEY would ask, if they had a problem they would tell someone.
Why do we not listen with our hearts and be led by the spirit? When we look someone in the eye and that little tug inside of us tells us they have a need, why do we not ask? 
Why do we not care? Why will not go even an inch outside our zone to help another person?
How many chances have been missed to impact a life other than our own?
This did not happen in a parking lot but I have pondered it more than once, because it leaps to mind when I think of these things, so it belongs here.
My family has a friend that grew up with my parents, she is a wonderful woman and has dedicated her life to two people, Jesus, and raising her little grand-daughter, she is in her seventies and she called one evening and needed help, her back was hurting really badly and thought it was caused by her stomach, so me and my Dad took her to the ER, she was left for hours in a freezing cold room, when we did go back to see her, she said she was freezing so I asked for a blanket for her (which should have been offered ) and she told us that she had a broken back.
She had been doing yard work that week and had somehow slipped or something and didn’t think much of it but had actually broken her back.
She told me she needed to go the restroom and had mentioned that the nurses had been really rude to her, so I told her I’d go get someone.
Now this is around five in the morning, we had been there all night, ( They are in process of transferring her to another hospital better equipped for her injury) so I go to the desk, there’s the doctor and three of four nurses sitting around and I ask could someone please come help her to the bathroom, This young nurse just looks at me and says “Well, I’ve took her several times” (Yeah, there is obviously a limit on times one may need to go) I said “Well, she needs to go”  she just looks at the doctor and rolls her eyes and he said “Take her” she gets up, her nasty little attitude plain to see and I said “You do know that HER BACK IS BROKEN don’t you?”
She just looks at me and like nothing and almost smugly says “Yeah, I know” and it took everything in me not to say “Well, here’s the deal, one day this is going to come back and bite you so hard in your prissy little butt, one day you will be in her shoes.” 
But as a child of the Lord’s, I held my peace but it was hard, she was so smug, so smirky, so absolutely uncaring and cold that I truly would not want to be in her shoes, if that is how she chooses to treat wounded people she should have never became a nurse, she should not be allowed to care for a rock.
But it does beg the question, what happened to us? When did we grow so insensitive, so lacking as a society?
Well, I am sure it happened as we fell as a nation from the grace of God and without his presence and guidance THAT IS what happens to society and it is the biblical fulfillment of what is to become of people.
“Without natural affection”, lacking any common decency or courtesy, much less compassion toward our fellow human.
BUT more so as Christians we ARE to be the LIGHT in the darkness.
WE are to shine into this world and be different and to do that and to not fall victim to the infectious lack of caring and love growing cold, we must be aware of what is inside of us.
Jesus IS the master of perception! And of course HE IS WHO HE IS but as his children WE CAN PRAY for HIS PERCEPTION to be awake and alive in us.
People really didn’t have to tell him much,when he walked this earth he was so in tune to people he took it straight to the heart, he didn’t make them pour out their secrets, or wait till they begged for help, he addressed the problem and assured help was on the spot.
More often the people who need help the most are the ones who are LEAST likely to ask.
NO ONE WANTS TO FEEL EMBARRASSED  and shame has NO PLACE but satan sends it and if you are lead of God to help in a charitable way, keep it secret! 
AS much as you possibly can, again because NO ONE wants to feel embarrassed and calling attention to their plight and what you did to help will only embarrass them and make them feel worse than they would have if you had left them alone.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms (charitable deeds) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee as thee hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men, Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”          Matthew 6:1,2
So we never want to come off that way! Here’s what we want:
“But when thou doest thine alms, LET NOT THY LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT THY RIGHT HAND DOETH: that thine alms MAY BE IN SECRET: and THE FATHER SEETH IN SECRET HIMSELF SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY”   Matthew 6:3,4
“Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank (credit) have ye?
for sinners also do even the same.
And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, TO RECEIVE AS MUCH AGAIN.                 Luke 6:30-34
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father  also IS merciful.”
“GIVE, and it SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YE METE (use)  withal it will be measured BACK UNTO YOU again.”                               Luke 6:36,38
So lets all do better, let’s make eye contact, pray for that perception and TAKE CHANCES and ASK when we feel someone has a need and remember this isn’t always about money, it can be many things, even just someone who will listen for a moment and a little help getting something off a store shelf.
And if they say “No, Thanks” what have you lost???? You have offered and God is still very pleased with that!
 But let’s please not continue to look through people as if they aren’t even there and never, ever over them, like what happened with the sweet man, when his disability was such a burden to others that they would not even TRY to understand him, and someone other than you and me sees it.

He sees it all, so let’s make sure what he sees is us being the best we can be.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/ NBJ 2015