“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

Personal best

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

From archives because sometimes we all need to be reminded.

“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