“Iron Mask”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

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

 

 

 

 

“Raised by wolves”

“And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers (had died) and there AROSE ANOTHER GENERATION after them, which KNEW NOT THE LORD, NOR YET THE WORK WHICH HE HAD DONE FOR ISRAEL.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and FOLLOWED other gods, of the gods OF THE PEOPLE THAT WERE ROUND ABOUT THEM, and bowed themselves unto them, and PROVOKED THE LORD TO ANGER.

AND THEY FORSOOK THE LORD, AND SERVED Baal and Ashtaroth (pagan Canaanite “deities”demons).” Judges 2:8-13

About my title… I actually like wolves, the furry animal ones and believe in supporting conservation of their habitats and their protection, so this is going to be about those OTHER wolves.

The spiritual ones and we all know that they are among us and they do try to fit in and fake you out as to their true identity but those are just one type of wolf, I want to talk to you about another.

Just plain old run of the mill wolves, ones who are just naturally exactly what they are. Never been saved, never even thought about it, just spend their lives doing whatever they want, whenever they want and usually not much of it is good.

Wolves run in packs, but they always have a leader,or leader ‘couple”, not always by being the strongest, but by taking care of the needs of the pack, knowing what the pack needs and making it happen and sometimes they will take in young pups to raise as their own and make them a member of the pack.

I am quite afraid this is the major problem so many Christians have in staying the course for Christ. If you had been “raised” up in the world by parents or a parent that did NOT serve God or teach you anything about God or exposed you to false religions, and you had grown up in  a home with drinking, partying, and all the things that come with that, while maybe socially acceptable, maybe even holding to some value system, still in no way has prepared you to live a life with behavior fitted according to the standard of God.

Kinda like, the old phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” more less, do as your parents, your friends, do as you have been taught. What about those little pups that are adopted into the pack?

Same deal, we respond as we have been taught. I do know that some things God just places in us at birth, that deep intuition knowing right from wrong and that little tugging that sets off the alarm that even when a wolf says something that is happening is okay, you know, by that feeling in your stomach that it really isn’t.

The Lord instills that in us that no matter where life takes us that we will long for more, we will know there is more than just this life, and we will one day break away from the pack and seek that which we have never known and have never been taught because one day we realize that just because the pack takes us in and raised us as their own, still DOES NOT MAKE US A WOLF.

Often when you announce your salvation people will seem genuinely happy for you and they will even congratulate you, encourage you, and wolves especially will sometimes confess they “probably need to get saved too” and this all seems good.

 BUT if you have been “raised by wolves” I promise you all they are doing is marking off your new territory as their new hunting ground and they will soon want you to get you back running with the pack.

And I have seen this far to many times, someone will get saved and soon  the old friends show up along with the old habits, and the old ways after God has delivered them from that bondage because you can’t be a lamb and run with wolves!

People end up back on drugs, back out in sin because they refuse to “lose their life” in order to find it and listen to the wrong people.

Matthew 16:24-26: ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

I understand this somewhat referred to the deaths of his followers BUT  I also believe He was also referring to the loss of our lifestyles, friends, and anything we have surrendered at the cross in order to serve Him. Denying ourselves is denying the will of the flesh and the desire to return to the behaviors and sin we were freed from.

2 Corinthians 5:17: ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE (creation) : OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; BEHOLD ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW.”

ALL NEW! Doesn’t get any better than that, every sin, every failure, every mistake covered by the blood and washed away FOREVER! And we’ve got to keep it that way!

You know the best defense against a wolf? STAND YOUR GROUND they want you running when they attack, so you have to stand your ground and they will back down and back off and you can’t let them keep hanging around.

Here’s the WORD on it, to go back to our starter verse, Judges chapter one deals with how the tribes were told to destroy the inhabitants out of the lands God had given them and the fact that many did not destroy them but rather kept company with them and they were soon visited by an angel of the Lord to be reminded of WHAT they had been told. 

Judges 2:1-4: “And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said , I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I SAID I WILL NEVER BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU,

AND YE SHALL MAKE NO LEAGUE (treaty) WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THIS LAND; YE SHALL THROW DOWN THEIR ALTARS: BUT YE HAVE NOT OBEYED MY VOICE: WHY HAVE YOU DONE THIS?

WHEREFORE I ALSO SAID, I WILL NOT DRIVE THEM OUT FROM BEFORE YOU: BUT THEY SHALL BE AS THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, AND THEIR GODS SHALL BE A SNARE UNTO YOU.” 

Never heard it? Well, we have now, if we do not throw down those spiritual altars, you know all the things that have been more important than God, all the spiritual altars where God-given virtues have been sacrificed for the pleasures of this world. And have no relations with the “inhabitants” of the land of your past, because the will be allowed to become a thorn in your flesh and their “gods” of drugs, sex, and money will become a trap to you. So watch out for those wolves, they are real, and they are devious, never trust them, don’t listen when they start to howl and don’t back down when they growl, stand your ground and they will quit coming around!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

**I apologize for the repost but I am experiencing BSOD on desktop so bear with me and God bless your week!

 

AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

 

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

I raised thee up(awakened) under the apple tree:…”  Song of Solomon 7:5

The wilderness the daughters of God have been very acquainted with since the dawn of time.
Since the fall of man, the enemy has ensured that we would be considered no more than property and every day countless of us are raped, abused, forced into prostitution and in many countries we are still property at the complete mercy of often unmerciful husbands.

While in other corners of the world, unable to carry lineage names daughters are aborted and others sold into slavery.
Christianity of old.

Tainted by MEN also seemed to teach that women are inferior but the truth is far from that.
My biggest struggle in coming to Christ was this very topic, I was like, Why are women always the bad ones? Misguided teaching of confused or intentionally biased doctrine has kept many away and who could blame them?
Many modern women who have been left to support their children completely alone, who have struggled to pay their bills, put food on their tables, educate themselves and their children, just barely surviving through the world.

And if they happen into the wrong church they will hear that they are of a lesser value to God than their male counterparts. To “fit in” they will need to change everything about themselves and sit down and above all shut up.
Even after God had enlightened me to the truth and helped me understand his word, I still had trouble wrapping my head around a few things.
I did most of intense studying before my child was school aged, after everyone was asleep and my house cleaned, I would stay up and read until I could not function any longer.

One night I happened upon Judges 19 which in my opinion contains the most disturbing and gruesome story in the entire Bible.
It mirrors the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, ironically found in Genesis 19, when Lot had offered his virgin daughters to the deviant, demon possessed pagans, who were demanding he turn over his male visitors to them, “that they may know them” translated, so they could gang rape them.  

The Bible clear to point out that Lot offered these girls with a “do whatever you want to them” agreement to try to get them to take them instead of the male visitors.

To break Judges 19 down, a Levite had a concubine, it says she “played the harlot”.
I’m not sure how that worked since she was “kept” for that purpose, double standards of the day, which still equate in our culture as the difference between a guy being a “player” and a woman being a “slut”.

Another problem Jesus addressed when he came to earth, he wants two people married, period.
Enlightening them to their double standards when they wanted judgment against the adulterous woman, of course it takes two, but they seemed to have forgotten to bring her partner in this sin before the Lord, His answer to them translating to this, if they themselves had no sin, go ahead hit her.

Standing in front of a Holy God they couldn’t do it.

But at the time of Judges, men could have as many women as they wanted but it was never God’s plan.
To get on with the story, she went back to her father’s house, so he comes after her to talk her into coming back, finally she agreed, and after being detained several days they went on their way.

He refused to stay anywhere other than lands belonging to the tribes of Israel and insisted on traveling to a city of the tribe of Benjamin, they had nowhere to stay, so an old man invited them to stay with him, pleading that they not stay outside, soon just as with Sodom, there were men at his door demanding he turn over this man to them that they “may know him”.

Picture perfect to Sodom, only lacking the presence of the angels that saved Lot’s daughters. So the old guy offers his daughter and the concubine, again with the agreement to whatever they wanted to them, just do not touch the man.

They refused, they still wanted the man, so the guy just takes the concubine and throws her out to them and they repeatedly gang rape her until the morning and then they let her go.

She makes it to the door of the house where she collapses, she just lies there helplessly until he gets up, opens the door and finds her and he actually tells her quite simply, to get up they have to get going, needless to say she is dead.
He dismembers her body into twelve parts and sends a part to each of the tribes and war is waged.
It wasn’t that they raped her or that she was dead that bothered him, it was because they destroyed his property.

I read this and I was alone with my shock and absolute horror and knowing the Lord, I just asked “Why, Why are we of so little value?”
These “men” would not even try to fend off these monsters, not even try to muster up an ounce of anything remotely resembling courage to fight for themselves.

Forget chivalry, or protection, an ounce of some sort of compassion, but to just offer these women as less than nothing and to do it to save themselves. I just could not understand it.

I do understand that at the time the thought of this being done to men was so unthinkable that they were desperate to prevent it. But they could have tried to prevent it for happening to any of them.

The God I know would never sanction this stuff or ever condone it and I was in tears, and it just hit me to keep reading, the bottom line is this, at the very end of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel: Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

This was never God!

He never put these things in men’s hearts and for years it was falsely taught and still is in many places.

Men still do what is right in their own eyes and only God can make them see the truth.
But it is time for the awakening of his daughters.

No matter what false beliefs that women have been brainwashed by, we have to let them know that this is not what Jesus is about.
He does not hate women and did not create us to be objects of amusement to fulfill the twisted lusts of men nor to be their gender indentured servants.

If we are ever to see those that are oppressed be saved and free, they have to know the truth about him and who he is and most of all who they are in him.

A forgotten child, much like David, when no one would even waste their time to call him to be presented before Samuel the Prophet, because in their eyes why would a prophet possibly want to speak with someone so unimportant and simple?

A forgotten child from the greatest of tribes, who just happened to be a woman, a sister to the twelve tribes of Israel, a forgotten child that no one bothers to mention because she was not as important as her brothers, or so they thought.

Dinah, the seventh child Leah bore to Jacob, a woman who also a thing or two about pain and substandard treatment, who had been raped and used as a bargaining chip which led to a mass slaughter.

Her bloodline STILL offering an inheritance. because she was one of the tribe.

The most prophetic beauty with Dinah is the meaning of her name, “JUDGEMENT.”

It is awakening time for the sisters, the beautiful, forgotten army who have a straight shot to the heart of the Father.

You are so strong, so powerful, and yet, you do not even know WHO YOU ARE in HIM, and so unaware of your predestined place in this end time end game.

You are the spiritual virgins and maidens forever following to proclaim the majesty, beauty, and holiness of the Kings of Kings.

It is the love and proclamations that Hannah, and Mary, and never forget Mary Magdalene, He came to her first because she needed him the most.

Take your place in the kingdom, it is not going to be accomplished with half an army.
The adoration and praises from hearts that have known sorrows and pain that men can never begin to understand.

A relationship to God who will bring justice for others on behalf of the cries of the souls of his daughters.
Unlike the time of Judges, unlike the women who are your sisters the world over, who are oppressed and in bondage. 

You have access to a King, the King, and The King over heaven, and earth, and the entire universe, He will plead their cause if you bring them before his throne in that secret prayer closet.
He will bring justice for those your tears flood the altar for, when you allow your soul to be awakened under that tree, awakened by a love so strong, so powerful, so consuming that you wear that love as a covering for the whole world to see.

I AM the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns so is my love among the daughters. as the apple tree among the trees of wood so it my beloved among the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight his fruit was sweet to my taste.  He brought me into the banqueting house and his banner of me was LOVE”  Song of Solomon 2:1-4

Translated: KNOW HIM for who HE IS, allow his love to bloom in you, in spite of the valleys and thorns, breathe in his sweetness and lift you up out of those ashes and hide in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of his wings, taste the goodness of his salvation and let him bring you into his house of feasting and the love of Jehovah Nissi is his war flag over his daughters and the love is the secret to it all.

Φλογίζω / 02/05/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

For later posts in the realm of all things feminine, check these out:

Resurgence of Ruth

 “Misplaced pearls”

“Something needs to break”

“Grinding the ax” 1 “acknowledgement”

“Grinding the ax” 2… “Real Love?”

“Grinding the ax” #3 “Anger Danger”

“Grinding the ax” #4 “STRANGLE HOLD”

REVISTED:08/01/2019  I like to revisit these older posts, because sometimes we just need to be reminded of who Jesus REALLY is and who he has called us to be in him.

 

 

 

 

“Bettin’ your Boots”

“My son IF thou be SURETY  FOR THY FRIEND, (vouch for, stand in guarantee for) IF thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger (“shook on it” made a deal with,) Thou art snared with (you are bound by) the words of THY mouth, thou art taken (trapped captive) with the words of THY mouth.” Proverbs 6:1,2

Now, I really can’t plead deep revelation for this post but inspiration came while having my usual breakfast of four cups black coffee to one big bowl of ice cream, now that’ll get ya goin.. or future health issues, not sure yet.. 🙂 but I’ll go with “get ya goin morning goodness”!

Anyway, me and sweetie usually watch morning news but this morning I put it on westerns for him, we have a pretty good deal, I walk by and he is watching something and brains are being splattered by Van Damme or Seagal, or someone being ran through with a sword, the stuff I lived for as former entertainment, and I can’t blame that one on my brothers, they’d be out playing and I would be stuck in front of the TV watching Robin Hood and the Musketeers, and I know if it is staring me in the face, I’ll sit down and end up watching it now and God does not want that, there is nothing productive for the Kingdom in filling our minds with violence, it only achieves the opposite.

But anyway, he would be watching, you know the “classics” but NOW, I’m like.. “OH! My goodness, WHAT are you watching! DON’T let THOSE words in my house, HONEY!” and so we tried closed captions and I walk by, ALWAYS at the right time… and be all “AH, they are STILL coming into my house, even without sound!” “Oh and the VIOLENCE!”

So we are now resigned to faith-based shows, home, family, and of course your old tried and true western’s, which I detested growing up but now how found a special nostalgic place in my heart for their “cleanliness” anyway.. any good western “worth its spit” has to have a good old-fashioned rigged card game set up by some ornery, good for nothin’ swindler, who aims to cheat all the hard-working ranch hands out of even their last hard-earned dime… and in this baby, even their boots.

My inspiration came when one of the main characters finally bought the PERFECT boots, they were grand and he wasn’t even the one WHO WAS gambling, it was his friend, “pardner”, uncle, something like that… you know someone whose OPINION would matter, someone who would have INFLUENCE over the actions of another.

And the one who was DOING the gambling and had lost all his money wanted TO BET the boots of the one who “didn’t even have a horse in that race” and after some slick talkin’ and the young one cottoned up to ‘im.

He LET him BET his boots.

And I thought, that is all kinds of crazy, and in real life, WHY would we ever do that? WHY would we let someone who is obviously not running their own life very well, drag us into their mess and USE what is ours to make even a bigger mess?

But you know what, we do it and we can do it and NOT even realize we are doing it.

Get some clarity going on here… the Bible teaches us to be good to everyone, to share, to care, to help, and to shoulder another’s burdens with them, Jesus taught us that if someone asks us to walk one mile that we SHOULD go the extra step and walk two miles with them.

BUT those teachings are about our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are in the household of the Lord. And I have friends right now who have helped me and my family out beyond anything we could have imagined during our recent medical issues and one friend in particular who opened a door that I desperately needed and I am forever grateful.

So I want to be clear that what I am referring to is this.. when people are in SIN and deceptive practices, you CAN NOT be part of that with them. God blesses us for helping others with upright causes, but HE WILL NEVER BLESS SIN,OR DECEPTION.

And sometimes there are people who are NOT what you may think and they are NOT who you may think they are and fond feelings for people and hearts of compassion and wanting to help another out can actually lead you into meeting up with “a snake in the grass” and sometimes “bettin’ your boots” and LOSING something that means everything to you.

That is why that scripture WARNS us that if we fall into that trap we will be SNARED by that trap.

No one likes trappers and no one wants trapped, so it is IMPORTANT to watch out for them so that you don’t put your foot in one.

So maybe today, you are in a situation that someone is asking you to so something or help them do something, or be part of something that you KNOW is not good, not right and maybe they are playing on your sympathy or threatening you with the loss of that relationship if you don’t ride that long, dusty trail with them.

But a true friend, someone who is REALLY worth your time, your compassion, your help would NEVER ask you to so something wrong or sacrifice something of yours for the sake of something they DESIRE or a scheme that they have hatched.

Love PROTECTS and love DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN, that means they would look out for you, not put a price on what you can do for them.

So watch out for it and I am sure the “gambler” who wants to lay bets PAID FOR BY YOU will get mad and have a “burr in his saddle” and maybe even “hit the dusty trail” and “ride on into the sunset” right on out of your life, let ’em ride!

No one needs users and God does NOT want His children used!

1 Timothy 5:22:…..NEITHER BE PARTAKER of (do NOT SHARE IN) OTHER MEN’S (people) SINS: KEEP THYSELF PURE.”

Of course in the show the buddy kept his word and got the dude’s boots back, because cowboys always kept their word.

But life is not a television show and cowboys may not always have their buddies backs and those snakes in the grass can really bite into your life spreading fangfuls of pure poison and the worst part.. you don’t always get your boots backs, usually those babies are lost and they are lost forever, so keep them on your own feet!

Enough said?

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Original post 2017 Revisited 07/25/2019 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am SURE you did!

Let me tell you what it is like for US.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   Monroe Brown

Φλογιζω, Σαλπιζω, Εξυπνιζω, NBJ 2018

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

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

“In the pits?”

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings (steps). And he hath put a new song in my mouth, EVEN praise unto our God;  MANY SHALL SEE ITand fear (BELIEVE) and SHALL TRUST IN THE LORD.” Psalm 40:2,3

Nothing quite like being “down in the pits” spiritual pits, life pits, stress and aggravation pits, the path we walk can often be riddled with pit after pit carefully placed there by the enemy and those who are our earthly enemies to trip, trap, and send us tumbling down into that pit and the funny thing with pits is this, you are going to never free yourself from a pit.

No one can climb their way out of a pit, nothing to hold onto, nothing to hoist them upward, nothing to stand on. Just trapped, with only one way out, straight up.

And sometimes we we are in a pits we must be very very careful when it comes to how we get out of that thing, what may look like a rescue line thrown down into that pit, a blessing, even guised as an answered prayer can actually be an even bigger snare that once you are freed leaves you running headfirst into an even more sinister trap.

Which explains the necessity of seeking with our soul rather than thinking with our head, logic is not always what it appears. I’m gonna give you to examples of two men of God, two pits, two “rescues and then you’ll dig where I’m coming from about it.

Most know the story of Joseph, he was the son of Jacob and Jacob loved him dearly, because he loved his mother dearly and Joseph had the nature of his mother, he was gentle and kind and his father favored him and this caused some serious jealousy, resentment, and hate spewed at him from his brothers.

To put it mildly, his older brothers were really some rude, crude, and loud dudes whose hearts were in no way right. And if you have never read the story of Joseph, PLEASE read it, but for now we will pick it up here, when he has been sent out by his father to feed them (boy, you could get into some symbolism with that, maybe we will one day)

Genesis: 37:18-29: “And when they saw him AFAR off, even before he came near unto them, THEY CONSPIRED AGAINST HIM TO SLAY HIM. And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into SOME pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what shall become of his dreams.

 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, Let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid (rescue) him out of their hands, to deliver him (take him) to his father again.

And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethre, that they strip Joseph out of his coat, his of many colors that was on him; And they took him and cast him into  a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

And THEY SAT DOWN TO EAT BREAD : and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and behold, a company (group) of Ishmaelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his death?

Come, and let us SELL him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and THEY DREW (pulled him up) AND LIFTED JOSEPH UP OUT OF THE PIT, AND SOLD JOSEPH FOR TWENTY PIECES OF SILVER: AND THEY BROUGHT JOSEPH INTO EGYPT.

 And Reuben RETURNED UNTO THE PIT; AND BEHOLD, JOSEPH WAS NOT IN THE PIT; and he rent (tore) his clothes.” 

Man, now that was some bad blood.

Let’s see what we got going on here, well they hated him and they were so enraged and jealous that their Dad had made a special tunic for Joseph and God had blessed Joseph with a dream and that just really added fuel to the fire. And notice that they were already plotting his murder and had decided his fate before he even reached them.

To get into a little spiritual insight here, think about what they said about “seeing what becomes of his dreams” people will secretly hate you and want nothing more, often because of sheer jealousy (which IS a spirit BTW) and want nothing more than to destroy your hopes and “dreams”.

Let’s talk about Reuben, He KNEW this was wrong, he COULD have stopped this, but he DIDN’T because he would not stand up for what was right, he wanted to do it on the down low.

He planned to go back and rescue Joseph and take him back home, but through his cowardice he talked them out of killing Joseph only to have him thrown into a pit from which he would be drawn up only to go into slavery.

Reuben could’ve, should’ve but didn’t and that made him just as guilty as his brothers.

This pit was in the “wilderness”, we all know what that means, wilderness, scary places that we have never been nor know anything about and certainly don’t know how we will survive there.

And to top it all off they feel so good about what they have done to their brother they sit down and eat while he is terrified in a pit trying to figure out why on earth they hate him. Then the greed kicks in and they decide a little profit is better than blood on their hands as if this were really  a lesser sin, talk about self-deception!

I am sure Joseph felt relief being pulled up out that pit, even not knowing what fate would await him, but just getting out of it and his “freedom” from the pit gained his brothers twenty pieces of silver but in the spirit world prophetically purchased the future slavery of the Hebrews by the Egyptians, the land into which Joseph was sold.

Let no one ever deceive you, every action has consequence and often those consequences linger and they linger for generations. 

Jeremiah is known as the prophet of doom, he had a job and he had to do his job and absolutely at no time was anyone happy about anything that came out of Jeremiah’s mouth.

But Jeremiah was blessed and he was a prophet of God and as they could hate he and they could try to kill him, they could never silence or kill the Word of God which came forth from him.

He went through so much that he even wished for a second that he had not been born, he proclaimed that he would no longer speak nor make mention of God’s name… but oh that fire, who can stop that fire?

God would raise His Spirit up and Jeremiah would once again regain focus. We are coming in on the story where they are mad, so mad because he has once again advised them with words they do not want to hear, and the saddest reality with the Book of Jeremiah is the same reality we have now, they could have listened, they could have obeyed God, but they didn’t.

Just like Reuben, a bad case of Could’ve, Should’ve but Didn’t. Had they repented and turned from their evil ways, God would have turned his wrath and spared them, let’s see how that went.

Jeremiah 38:1-13, 38: ” Then Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashur, the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken unto all the people, saying,

Thus saith the Lord, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey (prize) and shall live.

Thus saith the Lord, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.

 Therefore the princes SAID unto the king, We beseech thee, LET THIS MAN BE PUT TO DEATH; for thus he weakeneth the hands of (is discouraging) the men of war which remain in this city, and the hands of  all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt (harm).

  Then Zedekiah the king said, Behold, He is in your hand: for the king is not he that can do any thing against you.

THEN THEY TOOK JEREMIAH, AND CAST HIM INTO THE DUNGEON of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, THAT WAS IN THE COURT OF THE PRISON: AND LET DOWN JEREMIAH WITH CORDS, AND IN THE DUNGEON THERE WAS NO WATER, BUT MIRE: SO JEREMIAH SUNK IN THE MIRE.

NOW WHEN EBEDMELECH THE ETHIOPIAN, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin;

Ebedmelech went forth out of the king’s house, and SPAKE unto the king, saying, My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he like (likely) to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city.

Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and TAKE UP JEREMIAH THE PROPHET OUT OF THE DUNGEON BEFORE HE DIE.

So Ebedmelech  took the men with him, and went into the the house of the king under the treasury, and TOOK THENCE OLD CAST CLOUTS (old clothes) AND ROTTEN RAGS, AND LET THEM DOWN BY CORDS INTO THE DUNGEON TO JEREMIAH.

AND EBEDMELECH THE ETHIOPIAN SAID UNTO JEREMIAH, PUT NOW THESE OLD CAST CLOUTS AND ROTTEN RAGS UNDER THINE ARMHOLES (armpits) AND JEREMIAH DID SO.

SO THEY DREW UP JEREMIAH WITH CORDS (ropes) AND TOOK HIM UP OUT OF THE DUNGEON: AND JEREMIAH REMAINED IN THE COURT OF THE PRISON.

So Jeremiah abode in the court of the prison UNTIL the day that Jerusalem was taken and he was there when Jerusalem was taken.” 

As with Reuben, the king could’ve stopped this, Jeremiah was a prophet and the king knew this, so he should’ve stopped this but just like Reuben, he didn’t. 

But Ebedmelech had compassion, and courage and he could, he knew he should and he did!

And a eunuch and his use of old clothes and rotten rags is also very interesting because sometimes we can be pulled up out of pits by some very unexpected people using some very humble things, things that may not look so rescue worthy, maybe not quite what we were thinking of but yet perfect for the job of rescuing us and making the pull up a little less painful.

Notice neither of these pits had water, Joseph’s was empty and Jeremiah sunk up as he also would be “stuck” in bondage until Jerusalem was taken. Both were “free” from the pits,but they still were not quite “home free” and in life certain things can look good, they can look like a way out, people can seem to be your friends and be coming to “save” you out of the pit and in truth only be saving you because it will profit them something.

So you have to be careful when you reach up to hold onto that rope that has been dropped down to you and make certain it is the one that will lead to true freedom. Pay close attention to who is on the other end of it.

And if you know someone is in danger of “being thrown into a pit”, meaning someone cooking up plans against them, or if you see someone already “in a pit”, PLEASE don’t EVER allow yourself to be the one who SHOULD’VE, COULD’VE, BUT DIDN’T!

Because only God can truly deliver, only God can reach down that far and pull us up, only God can release us from being “stuck” in that miry clay of bondage and suffering and only God can set our feet on that firm foundation, on that solid rock. And only God can put a NEW song in our mouth and once others see us come UP OUT OF A PIT OF CERTAIN DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, A PIT OF NO RETURN, AS OUR SCRIPTURE TELLS US, THEY SEE IT, THEY THEN BELIEVE, THEY THEN TRUST GOD BECAUSE THEY HAVE SEEN THE PIT WE HAVE BEEN DELIVERED FROM! 

Blessing, Love & Peace till next, keep your eyes on the prize! Love Sister Nina

Φλογιζω NBJ 2017