“Abiding in the field….”

Beautiful fields, prairie fields at the peak of the season flowing with wildflowers and butterflies.

Mown fields, lush green pastures as far as the eye can see just begging to be used as the ultimate reunion of love as two run toward each other to embrace.

Peaceful fields bordered by crystal clear flowing streams as sheep happily graze without a care in the world as their shepherd watches over them.

But there are other fields….  Fields of dry, brown grass withered by the scorch of the sun, patches of soil left exposed and cracked lacking the relief of gentle expected rains that did not come. Fallow field that require the tedious backbreaking work of removing all the stone and working that ground until it can produce once again.

With the changing seasons of this life WE ARE THOSE SHEEP and those laborers. And we find ourselves in many different fields.  The Prophet Jeremiah bought a filed for an inheritance, even though EVERYTHING was going to fall apart, this was the purchase of the FUTURE.

Jeremiah 32:14 : “Thus SAITH  the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take the evidences (deeds), this evidence (deed) of the purchase, BOTH WHICH IS SEALED, and THIS EVIDENCE WHICH IS OPEN; and put them in an EARTHEN VESSEL, that they may continue (last) many days. For thus SAITH the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; HOUSES AND VINEYARDS SHALL BE POSSESSED AGAIN IN THIS LAND.”

Ruth whose compassion and love for her grieving, widowed  Mother in Law who was now also childless would not allow her to abandon her and run back to Moab in search of a new husband, soon found herself in an unknown foreign field, being advised as to what she must do in order for them to survive. As she gleaned that field, working to take what had been left to feed those who were hungry, she unknowing caught the eye of the one who owned the field! 

Ruth 2:8,9: ” Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter?

GO NOT to glean in another field, NEITHER go from hence ( do not leave from here) BUT ABIDE HERE fast (close) by my maidens: LET THINE EYES BE ON THE FIELD THAT THEY DO REAP and go thou after them (follow them) : and have I not charged the young me that THEY SHOULD NOT TOUCH THEE? (they had been told to leave her alone and let her work )  and when thou art athirst (thirsty) GO UNTO THE VESSELS, and DRINK THAT WHICH THE YOUNG MEN HAVE DRAWN ( they were SUPPOSED to SHARE with her their water and allow her access to THEIR water jugs). 

Luke 2:8-20 ” And there were in the same country SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCKS BY NIGHT. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the GLORY OF THE LORD SHONE ROUND ABOUT THEM: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOUR, WHICH IS CHRIST THE LORD.  And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And SUDDENLY there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host PRAISING GOD, and saying, GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them INTO HEAVEN, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and SEE this thing which is come to pass, which the LORD HATH MADE KNOWN UNTO US.  and they came WITH HASTE, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when THEY HAD SEEN IT, THEY MADE IT KNOWN abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. BUT Mary kept all these things, and PONDERED THEM IN HER HEART. And the SHEPHERDS RETURNED, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

So that promised redemption, those open deeds, the things made known and crystal clear and those deeds that had been sealed, the birth of a King coming in a way no one could see, born in poverty to parents whose offering would be two turtle doves, the offering given by the poorest of the poor, those deeds to the inheritance of all of eternity had been kept in that earthen vessel which would be born of a virgin and in the lineage of another who obeyed the field command.

As God allowed love to blossom in that field between Ruth and Boaz, a love whose embrace led to the birth of their great-grandson  who would be King David whose bloodline would be honored in the ultimate fulfillment of those deeds, those promises of OWNERSHIP of a nation and the world that would come in that earthen vessel born in that humble manger in the body of Jesus Christ.

The shepherds who were doing their job watching over their sheep AT NIGHT (I’m not even getting it to that YET, oh, but it is coming) were rewarded by the proclamation of the news to ends all news given straight BY THE VOICES OUT OF HEAVEN ITSELF!

So about those fields, had Jeremiah took it upon himself to ignore the voice of the Lord and think well, why buy a place that will be toast?

What if Ruth had decided that another field with kinder maidens would be more enjoyable?

What if the young men tried to run Ruth away and hoarded all the water that she was dependent on to strengthen her during gleaning?

What if the shepherds had not abided by their flock? They would have NEVER heard from heaven!

Mary kept it and pondered it, she knew who her baby was and that was enough for her.

Whatever field you find yourself in today, please stay there, if it is beautiful and fertile, let the Lord lead you and bless that beautiful place and season in your life, don’t doubt it, run through that field and embrace!

If you find yourself being urged to “purchase” what appears dead or hopeless, heed the voice of the Lord, only He knows His plans and He alone will bring life back to what APPEARS hopeless.

If your field is stone and you have worked until your back breaks and your hands bleed and you have cried so many tears that you can’t even remember the last time you smiled, DON’T GIVE UP!

I promise when that last stone is ripped from the ground and that soil is soft and  God sends those refreshing rains of spring, what you have sown also watered by all those tears is going to spring up into a harvest so plentiful and beautiful that you will rejoice and thank Him for giving you the strength to not give up.

Shepherds take heed that stay by your sheep DURING THIS NIGHT, and don’t let the water boys hoard that which is meant to be shared with those God has sent to glean the leftovers FROM YOUR FIELD and never cease to hear the voice of that heavenly host praising God, they beheld His glory but I promise you, we who are faithful will also behold Him and it will be a glory unlike any that has been as of yet but we have to be listening in our field.

HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and me and my little fire baby Φλογιζω will stay in our field and you stay in yours, you will never regret it!

Φλογίζω / NBJ 2015 Original post date: 12/12/2015

Revisited 12/07/2019

 

 

 

“The patience of Job”

“And there was a day when his (Job’s) sons and his daughters were sitting and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. And THERE CAME  a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen WERE plowing, and the asses FEEDING beside them; And the Sabeans FELL upon them (attacked), and took them ALL away; yea, and they have SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE; 

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, there came ALSO ANOTHER, and said The fire of God IS fallen from heaven, and hath BURNED UP the sheep, AND the servants, and CONSUMED (destroyed) THEM: And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, The Chaldeans made (formed) out three bands, and FELL UPON (raided) the camels, and have carried the away, yea, and SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters WERE eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house; And, behold, THERE CAME a great wind from the wilderness, and SMOTE the four corners of the house, and IT FELL UPON THE YOUNG MEN AND THEY ARE DEAD; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.” JOB 1: 13-19

So many points in the story of Job, it is hard to know where to start and if you are feeling down, I suggest reading Job. It will make almost anyone rethink their own suffering.

What he went through was TRULY from satan himself, that is how the story began.  Job WAS a righteous man, he did everything he could to honor God on his behalf and even on the behalf of his children. God had blessed Job and Job WAS pleasing to God.

But to have been around for this onslaught of messengers, coming so closely together that one was YET giving Job bad news as another was standing there with more to report would have probably made it appear otherwise.

That IS often exactly what the enemy wants. Notice how all these things FELL, just as the enemy would like to see God’s chosen fall, and that was his plan in all these tragedies to make Job fall because of what had fallen on him. 

And he wanted Job to know it and to know it fast, as EVERY messenger repeated that they alone WERE escaped to tell what had taken place. And this story has been used many times, I have used it many times myself but I felt I needed to again because so often what is mistaken as “God” is actually an attack by the enemy and not understanding what is really going on leads people to discouragement and hopelessness, and leads them away from God rather than to him.

Again, that is why the devil does it. And at the time the story starts, a perfectly normal, delightful day, just like any other day, or it would have seemed, they were enjoying life, the family was close, having dinner being gathered together.

Even the animals were just having an average day, the ox were working, the donkeys eating, and suddenly the attack came, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys stolen away and those who had been in charge of their care, murdered. 

And as this was in the process of taking place, the “fire of God” had fallen, translates to “hot thunderbolts” which we would know as lightning, BUT we also know that THIS WAS NOT FROM GOD and can you only imagine what a lightning storm would appear as that could in an instant completely burn up SEVEN THOUSAND sheep and all those that tended them?

And at the same moment yet another rogue group divided into three groups attack and steal three thousand camels, again slaughtering those who tended them. And simultaneously as this is still being told, more bad news comes, a strange, monstrous wind had come actually hitting ALL sides of the brother’s house, caving it in and killing all of his children in one single attack. 

Unimaginable, but it is the first of what Job would endure and many times as attacks came, we to, fall into the trap of thinking that somehow we  are the problem, that we have done something wrong, or offended God, or these things would not happen but the truth is Job went through this because he belonged to God.

Now to back this train up a little bit it and see what was really going on here, this was a contest of the “powers”, God has ALL power, He is supreme and nothing in the universe has more power than Jehovah God, but Satan likes to think that he will be like God, but he is quite mistaken, however he is still NOT human and is very powerful and Job was a human caught in the middle of this show down.

Job 1:6-12: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came in among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (where did you come from?) Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

REMEMBER that the “devil goes about as a roaring lion SEEKING whom he MAY DEVOUR”}

 And the Lord said unto Satan, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB that there IS NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

The Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge (protection) about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance (possessions) are increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, ALL THAT HE HATH IS IN THY POWER (your hand) ; ONLY UPON HIMSELF (his physical body) PUT NOT FORTH THINE HAND, so Satan went forth from the presence of God.

Now, as I said I have written posts similar to this but this was on my heart to really get to this… Satan was looking for someone to destroy, someone he could bring down and what God asked him literally translates to asking had he set his heart on Job.

God pointed out the impeccable character of Job, for God to refer to a human as someone whose worship, and dedication to the Lord was like no one else on earth is a statement to end all statements.

So of course satan wanted to destroy him because he hates God and he hates anyone who loves God and he hates all humans anyway because God created us in His image.

So satan gets all cocky and says that Job ONLY loves and serves God because of what god had done for him, and that God protected him and blessed him and only because of this and that if God didn’t do all these things for job and would take his hand of protection from Job that Job would change his tune and curse God.

So God decided to allow satan to try to “prove his point” but actually God was proving His!

Job STILL loved God , Job STILL worshipped God and even losing EVERYTHING under horrific circumstances, so horrific that everyone knew these were not natural occurrences and a sequence of events such as these could only be orchestrated by supernatural forces. 

And of course Job thought he had offended God and Job’s “friends”were there to make sure he KNEW that he had, (of course we know they were wrong) but there are always people there to kick you when you’re down and tell you that “you brought it on yourself” or that something is cosmic retaliation for some failure you had along the way.

 AGAIN, God does NOT work that way! When you serve God, love God, and do your best to honor Him in your life, I promise bad things ARE not coming from Him and sometimes when we get down, we need to be reminded of that.

So this massive attack waged on every possible scale and at every possible angle, with the only  restriction being that he could not harm Job’s body, Job 1:22 ends it this way: ” In ALL this Job sinned NOT, NOR charged God foolishly.”

Job stayed faithful to the Lord, he did not fall and he certainly did not question God or blame God, or accuse God of being wrong. Think satan was happy about that?

Sometimes the fight is only half over… Job 2:1-8: “AGAIN there was a day  the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them and presented himself before the Lord.

And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence camest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

And STILL he holdeth fast his integrity, ALTHOUGH thou movest (incited) me against him, to destroy him WITHOUT a cause.

And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; BUT save his life.  So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and SMOTE Job with sore boils FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal (with) and SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.”

By this point Job wife even told him to just curse God and die, she was undoubtedly a mess herself with all that had happened and watching him suffer and maybe someone is telling you because of persecutions or attacks to give up on God that “it is not worth it” Don’t ever believe that!

Job was one of a kind and hopefully in comparison to the attack waged on him, your situation looks a little brighter.

But know IT IS WORTH IT and as Job WAS restored beyond measure because he stood the test that satan waged, you will be too. 

God protects us, God blesses us, and whatever valley we are allowed to walk through is going to lead to a beautiful mountain top.

And just like those ashes Job sat in, our ashes are turned, anything the enemy has destroyed, burned to ashes will be returned as pure beauty. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

The enemy wants you destroyed either way and God wants good for you and He alone IS your protection, your shield, and hedge, so going back, turning our backs on God IS never an option.

As Peter replied to Jesus when asked was he too going to leave, and his answer was WHERE could he go? Because Jesus alone has the word of life.

Seek God, pray, and surround yourself with others who will also pray for you and walk with you through whatever you are going through but know you won’t go in all alone, we NEED each other and HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON!

James 5:11: ” Behold, we count them happy (BLESSED) which ENDURE. ye have heard the PATIENCE (perseverance) OF JOB, and have seen the end of the Lord ( intended by the Lord) that THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL (COMPASSIONATE) AND OF TENDER MERCY.” 

So carefully think about your situations and recognize traps for what they are and remember that the Lord IS love and He is compassionate and things that are hurting you DO NOT come from Him but He is faithful to deliver you from those things if you wait in patience for that deliverance. 

Take a lesson from Job and DON’T be quick to question and never blame God, more people fall because of lies of the enemy in these areas that any other trick he has. he pulls the old “If God loved you, WHY did this happen?” routine, ALL attacks ARE from the enemy and then some things just happen, simply just part of being alive in this world. THIS life, this world IS NEVER gonna be perfect, IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE.

The next life, the resurrected life, the New Jerusalem life IS the perfect life where there will BE no death, sorrow, or sickness.

But too often people let the enemy convince them that because a tragedy happened HERE  that means God does not care, or does not love them but that IS not true and we are NEVER told in the Bible that being saved makes us exempt from being HUMAN, in HUMAN BODIES, and SUFFERING COMPLETELY HUMAN CONDITIONS AND OCCURRENCES.

Some things are just unfortunately part of THIS life, but that is YOUR PATIENCE and YOUR HOPE.

This life is not all there is!

This life is only temporary and our hope is NOT in this life.

But God will bless you, protect you, and bring good things into our lives but that still does not exempt us from the natural.

Don’t throw that eternal assurance away because of the lies of a force that wants nothing more than to take you to hell anyway!

Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope.

I hope this has encouraged you in someway and that you will find peace through the storm and that the storms soon comes to an end, but until then hold on because you have the blessed assurance that ALL storms do end!

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

Φλογιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date10/17/3017  REVISITED 10/20/2019 

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Patient reminder”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the Lord bless and keep you this week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019

 

Tallying of time

 

“To EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time to EVERY PURPOSE under the heaven:

A time to be born (to bear), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and  a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; and a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (repair); a time to keep silence, and  a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit (gain) hath he that worketh in that in that wherein he laboureth? ” Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

That ending verse being reminiscent of what was spoken by Jesus in Mark 8:36,38:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Maybe going  a little in reverse.. but I want to take that scripture first. Jesus warned also in another parable of the man who had EVERYTHING and chose to concentrate on building his earthy empire even bigger WHILE neglecting the fact that these things are temporary. Check it out, Luke 12:16-20:

 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying,  The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow (store) my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) my fruits (crops) and my goods.

And I will say unto my soul, Soul, thou hast much good goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” 

Work and excelling in the world and chosen professions mean very little in the grand realm. Of course God wants us to do well but we can never use any worldly successes as a key toward entering the kingdom of heaven.

Likewise we can not use our worldly cares and obligations to make us exempt from fulfilling our duties to that kingdom. Jesus Christ and His kingdom and the ASSURANCE that we have made every preparation required of us for the “storage “of our soul in Him is to be the number one priority. 

And this is not even about “work”or”works” it is about the preciousness of time and the ever ticking clock counting DOWN our time on this world. Many, who are at the end of their lives, through terminal illness often say the same chilling words… “wasted time” a celebrity who recently passed had told his family this.

Why do we have to be out of time to realize how blessed we are for EVERY day that we have.  And why do so many wait and wait… and wait… REFUSING to accept salvation, BELIEVING in God, but also falsely believing that they have “all the time in the world” when we are NOT promised tomorrow or even the next breath.

Which is why God told us in His word, “SEEK ye the Lord WHILE he may be found.” And others, while saved and have the promise of ETERNAL salvation forget the promise of the goodness we receive in THIS world when we do go after the things of God and forsake all that hinders us in serving Him.

Mark 10: 29,30: “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, and sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake,and the gospel’s,

But HE SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDREDFOLD NOW IN THIS TIME, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, WITH PERSECUTIONS; AND IN THE WORLD TO COME ETERNAL LIFE.”

 People get so hung up on what they are LOSING that they don’t realize that they are NOT LOSING ANYTHING except a life that is running out, and maybe people who are hindering and harming their life and they have been given an opportunity to GAIN one hundred times over in joy, family, by being brought into the extended family of Christ, and spiritual riches and blessings that they could not even begin to imagine.

But like contestants on a bad game show they are willing to settle for the not so great consolation prize that is available to all participants in the game of life, when that prize could have been traded up for a grand prize of cosmic proportions.

And in the end, time wasted, time that no one is getting back. Time that could have been used to lighten another’s burden. Time that could have been spent making someone smile and in cheering up their lives you will find that you cheer up your own.

Everyone suffers, everyone goes through heartache. It IS seasons and times on earth, it IS the purpose of earth. But the surest way to overcome our own pain is by lessening the pain of another.

We overcome the darkness that tries to enclose on us through sadness, grief, illness by doing unto others and shining a candle into someone else’s dark world. This is why the Lord said that all these things come WITH persecutions. As long as we are in this world, we will have sorrow, we will have rain, we will have storms, and giants to face.

As we are TOLD that ALL of these things are for a TIME.

A TIME to die and LET things die.

A TIME to pull up and change our plans.

A TIME to kill, things that are just not working by walking away from those things.

A TIME to break down and destroy spiritual strongholds.

A TIME cast away stones. A TIME to be serious, be stern, be somber.

A TIME TO LOSE. A SEASON OF WEEPING and MOURNING, sorrow and tears.

A TIME to tear apart, hate, and be silent.

BUT with all these painful trying times of this world, we have these precious times and seasons of promise.

A TIME for birth of something new, a birth of new fruits, new joys, new endeavors.

A TIME to plant,and sow in hope of a good harvest, love, kindness, friendships.

A TIME build again, gather stones, spiritual altars of praise and worship.

A TIME to laugh, dance, and embrace.

A TIME of healing, repair, and restorations.

A TIME to speak in love, peace, and prosperity.

BUT in it ALL, It IS life and it is the life unto which we ALL have been appointed. God’s word also says that without a vision His people would perish.

I do practice what I preach and I have many regrets, regrets of wishing I had talked more to this one or should have done that differently but that IS also part of life.

And as the year comes to an end I challenge everyone to take stock and for all of us to ask ourselves, if we knew, like the man in Jesus’s parable, that our time was EVEN shorter than we thought (because in reality, IT always IS) what could we have done differently?

How many times would we have made ourselves press upward rather than giving into the downing spirits of this world?

How many times could we find that ever elusive silver lining and just how bright and majestic would that rainbow had been IF we could have seen it through the downpour of our tears?

And as His word also promises that IN HIS TIME… He makes ALL things beautiful, ask ourselves have we really traded in all those ashes for the beauty that STILL lies ahead or have we given ourselves up already dying to a past that can never been brought back, holding onto memories, that while joyful and precious have taken such precedence over our present that we are deadened to exploring the possibilities of making new ones.

When we live in an emotionally downward state, and God knows there are many reasons, WORTHWHILE reasons that cause this to happen, but when it happens, we are becoming oblivious to the joy that STILL surrounds us in the form of all those we love. Time is precious, don’t forget that and LIVE everyday like it was your last. TIME is a gift, IT is precious and given to us from God and we have to stop KILLING time because like it or not TIME itself is already killing us.

God Bless you in your upcoming week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017    

Original. Post 11/2017

“Misplaced pearls”

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”And of course that was Jesus speaking in John 10:10

And you may be wondering just what that has to do with pearls… EVERYTHING! Pearls ARE precious, most of us own a strand,we wear them on important occasions, and days we just want to dress up a little but there is something so secret, so beautiful, so feminine that many of us love the feeling of wearing a strand of  beautiful pearls with our favorite pair of jeans.

WHY? What on earth could be so different about these perfect little orbs that sets them so far apart from other “jewels” that may be considered EVEN more beautiful like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, or even jade and all stones semi-precious?

Could it because of the association pearls have ALWAYS been associated with PURITY and INNOCENCE?

Forever the choice jewelry of BRIDES everywhere and do you remember reading that I did write that this entire blog is stir up and awaken us to the realization that we are part of a soon to take place wedding?

THE WEDDING OF THE AGES, with the KING OF THE UNIVERSE AS THE GROOM, COMPLETE WITH A TRULY ANGELIC CHOIR, AND THE HOST OF HEAVEN AS HIS WEDDING PARTY! 

Revelation 20:9: “And he said unto me, Write, BLESSED ARE THEY WHICH ARE CALLED UNTO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB.And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”

And we are encouraged throughout the Bible to be prepared, to have on our “wedding garments” as John saw:

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, PREPARED as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

And at this wedding we ALL get to wear our pearls! But sometimes we misplace them, or the “thief” comes and truly steals them, hides them from us, or just rips the strand apart and they plunge to the ground, whirling in  a hundred directions and landing a thousand miles apart and we are left with the task of trying to recover every single pearl and restring the entire necklace.

But you know, we are not that talented because our true pearls were master crafted and ONLY He can put that necklace together again.

One of the ways pearls have been worn over the ages is a symbol of mourning because the little seed pearls look like tear drops and pearls were chosen by brides as a representation of purity, chastity, innocence, beauty, and mostly importantly for here, NEW BEGINNINGS.

Spiritually we are BORN with those beautiful pearls AS a gift from our Father when He created us.

And THOSE pearls ARE our innocence, our purity, and our beauty in Him. But LIFE and the enemy have  a way of sneaking in and either getting us to take off those pearls and lay them aside and sometimes in moments of repeatedly putting them on, only to decide to take them back off, we end up misplacing them.

And sometimes we have taken them off, laid them down on a nightstand and the enemy has stolen them, hid them, and laughed as we beg for them back.. all the while telling us that had we really wanted them we would have never been in that bed anyway and now we don’t deserve them back.

And I think the hardest would be when you did not take them off, the enemy came with destruction and ripped them off your neck and being left absolutely helpless trying to gather them through your tears as they roll across the floor.

Can you see it? Can you see the innocence and the purity that the enemy HAS stolen, killed, and destroyed concerning the sisters and daughters IN the world and those who are SAVED and STILL struggle with surrendering completely to God for fear of what the enemy has LIED to them about?  

Jesus IS the RESTORER, He wants nothing more than to RESTORE every single part of us. We are the ones who have the problem actually LETTING Him do that because we are often so afraid to let Him see what needs shown, EVEN though He already sees it, He already knows it.

You can be saved and still be holding on to something so deep, so painful that whether you know it or not really does IMPACT everything about your life, your happiness, and your joy. And to have true fulfillment in who He created you to be and who He wants you to be on this earth, you have to ask yourself, Where are those pearls?

And if NONE of this applies to you, that is great and just pray for the 99.9% that it does apply to.

Virginity or rather the loss thereof.. which is usually, in our present world the real point that starts so many women down the spiral to places He never intended His daughters to walk because that is something so precious and was only EVER meant to be shared in a holy union and that is why so many women have felt disillusioned, lost, and instead of feeling loved, have been left feeling completely empty and this sets them up to repeat this over and over again because so many feel like once that have started this path, the can never go back BUT I promise you can get off that path any time you choose.

Our society has brain washed women into giving themselves completely away simply because the world tells them that is what they are supposed to do.

Satan IS a liar and the father of lies, you will never find “love” in anything the world has to offer and sex is just satan’s completely carnal counter to what God had intended to be beautiful and it will never make you feel anything, when it is all said and done, than worse than you did before it happened.

Virginity is an absolute blessed state. So taking that obvious “loss” off the table. Pearls can be lost and damaged by our relationships to our father’s, fathers are supposed to protect us, nurture us and not everyone has that relationship or if you have had a father who is just emotionally distant, you are losing the pearls of security knowing that someone is looking out for you and that there is someone who will love you unconditionally and dry all your tears.

Maybe you had a great childhood and a wonderful Dad but marriage was the misplacement of your pearls.

If trust is broken when you have given someone your heart, your life, every part of all you are and it is supposed to be forever and either he turns out to be a jerk or worse a cheating batterer, because those two go hand in hand, well that is a recipe for a whole different disaster.

So, if as you have read this, you are feeling tears swell up just a little, I want to challenge you, we all KNOW our hearts, we all KNOW our hurts, wounds, and raging resentments, write them down, in your own private time, write them down, every single thing as far back as you can go that has hurt you, made you question your self-worth, and especially things that have made you feel like you have lost “yourself” and of course it is going to hurt and it will probably hurt like no tomorrow. 

Don’t be surprised if you see things that you never noticed, times where people were manipulating you and you never realized, times that you can see in retrospect that led to bad decisions and self-destructive behavior later on.

If you worry someone will find your innermost secrets, burn it or shred it in  a million pieces and flush it when you are through.

But it is necessary because it frees you and helps you recognize things for what they really are.

Wounds, memories, and mistakes that DO NOT define who you are, and we have to acknowledge these areas in order to TRULY give it all to Christ.

He is a perfect gentleman and He wants to help you and make all things new and HE DOES already KNOW every single detail of your life BUT He will not force His way into your life, but wants you to come to Him, KNOWING that He does NOT judge you and will NOT be asking WHY on earth did you do that?

Nor will He ask, WHAT were you thinking? He is nothing like anything most have been taught and I promise once you start “searching” for those pearls and being honest about “where” your life, in your past they had been misplaced or “where” they were stolen or THOUGHT destroyed by an event that you HAD NO CONTROL over.

HE CAN MAKE IT ALL NEW, I can not stress that enough, And I promise once that “alabaster” starts to crack, you will know, you will probably feel like your cracking too, but we HAVE to break to be made new and HE WILL NEVER LET YOU BREAK BEYOND REPAIR, so do not be afraid, LET HIM hold you and wipe away every tear and place upon your neck an even more precious strand, whose cost is beyond measure, and this new strand will never be misplaced again.

Join me next time and we’ll check out some alabaster!

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017

Love this song! And this IS what you need to know!

*Authors note* This series originally posted on “Alabaster Breaking”, my sister site, that no longer exists. I found it very difficult to maintain both sites and just transferred those posts to this, my main site. Thank you

EAGLE

There once was a beautiful, beautiful eagle. He was a very, very old eagle and came from a long line that had watched the birth of a nation and the determination of people to break free from tyranny.

Eagle knew the story of how a people left homes, riches, and all they have ever known to take a journey completely by faith.

Faith that would lead them to a plentiful land free from the persecution they suffered and  for freedom, freedom to worship the one true, creator God .

Many died on this journey and many more after their arrival, but God had given them land that a plague had left empty. And as time went he blessed them in all they did and they kept his commandments and worshipped him openly. Over time the apron strings of the mother country would prove that a battle would indeed need fought before true, true freedom would be won.

Eagle watched our forefathers as they tried at first to keep peace with their overlords and he watched as one by one stood up and proclaimed this land would be for liberty and it should be for all.

His favorite of these men would be Patrick Henry, a voice among the great voices who shaped our land. He heard him say words such as  “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take but as for me give me liberty or give me death.”

He watched as tea poured into the harbor  and cries of  “The British are coming!” bellowed through the land. He watched as bloody soldiers fought to the death and gunpowder flooded the air and the sound of cannons echoed. And he watched as they pressed on, pressed on in their battle, because they would be free or they would die but they would never surrender.

He watched as this great battle came to a close and America proclaimed her freedom, freedom from her overlords and she would now shine as beacon to the whole world.

Eagle was honored as he was chosen to be her great symbol, brave, strong, powerful, and above all free.

He would be given olives branches, that he would always extend peace and he would reserve his great force as a last resort.

He would be given arrows, that he would use that force if necessary to defend his liberty and his people.

He would be given his shield to protect him and all he stood for and his main stand was “Death to tyranny”.

Eagle watched as the constitution was written and signed and he thought upon the words of his friend Patrick Henry, ” The constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

And Eagle soared, high in the sky, the sun warming him and flying higher and higher playfully trying to catch the ever elusive rainbow that the Creator had placed in the sky, a symbol of his glory and promise and Eagle knew that near the rainbow he would always be safe.

And he watched on, as struggles, trails, and heartaches came to the great land brought through evil men who had crept in there.

His feathers tattered a few times as freedom for those enslaved had to be won, pitting brother against brother and splitting the country in half.

He was ruffled as leader after leader rose and new troubles were unveiled, but storms would always pass and he would again gain his ground, liberty, bravery, and justice were on his wings.

Then suddenly it started growing dark, darker and darker as the new generations forgot their heritage and lost the wisdom held by the fathers, Eagle was reminded again of these words, “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains” that were long ago spoken by Patrick Henry.

He listened as laws were changed, comprises made, and the peace that had been so hard-fought for was pandered away by making truces with those who hate us.

He listened as prayer to the creator was taken away, he heard as they mocked and profaned the Son of God’s holy name.

He looked on with horror as the holy laws, the ten commandments of God were ridiculed and taken away.

He looked on as a people who once had been free now were told what they may and may not do.

He looked down and saw streets lined with half naked  people, and parades, and mocking’s of the crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of God, reminding him again the warning of his friend, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason people of other faiths have been offered asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

Horror for his people took hold as the sky darkened and grew black and a strong wind violently blew and whipped around him, in the darkness his path was unclear and the battering winds against his wings knocked him off-balance, as he tried to regain flight something caught his eye, it was a rainbow!

 If he could just get to the protection of the rainbow he would be safe and regain his strength. But as he flew closer to hide under the protection of safety of the Creator, he realized this was  not the real rainbow, but a piece of fabric blowing in the great wind, and as it caught him, he became tangled, his olive branches and shield crashed to the ground, his arrows broke in the struggle to regain flight and Eagle fought with all he had but to no avail, He crashed helplessly to the ground.

As his heart beat faded, and drawing his last breath, as his eyes grew dim, he caught sight of shimmering in the field, it was the soft, amber glow of a fire burning and as Eagle’s life continued to slowly fade, he felt comfort, because he was sure that in that fire, he heard in the distance, that old funeral song, that old faithful hymn, that he remembered from the battlefields and the old camp meetings……. 

” Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord, 

  He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,

  He hath loosed the lightning of his terrible swift sword,

His truth is marching on… 

  Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

 Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,  

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,

His truth is marching on………..”

N. BrownJohnson 2015/ All rights reserved.

Original post date: July 4, 2015 Revisited July 3, 2019

Majesty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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