“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!

 

 

 

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

“RESONATE”Crawling out of the cave #3

“Where the WORD OF A KING IS, THERE IS POWER: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?” Ecclesiastes 8:4

We know the word of God, His voice brought Elijah out of the cave, even though he did not change his mind about leaving his earthly ministry. David kept his sanity and held onto to what he had been promised while waiting out in the cave. When we sometimes find ourselves in caves, either of our own choice or being forced to flee due to circumstance. We are surrounded by hard stone, darkness, and discouragement. It is then that we must be open to that still, small voice that spoke with Elijah, we have to hold onto the word as David did, remembering those words and encouraging our own souls with them.

God will never leave us and He will never forsake us and scripture teaches that no matter where we make our bed or find ourselves, even in the deepest hell, HE KNOWS right where we are. 

Psalm 102:2 “Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.” 

So listen to His words as they resonate inside that cave and let his promises lift your heart until as David put it “theses calamities be overpast”  because the cave may be dark but once you make it outside that sun will shine on you again, bad days don’t last forever and with rain comes rainbows.

Isaiah 55:11: “So SHALL MY WORD be that goeth forth from my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (unfulfilled), but IT WILL ACCOMPLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” 

Isaiah 55: 14-16: In righteousness shalt thou be established, thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. BEHOLD, ( old English for listen closely and watch) THEY SHALL SURELY GATHER TOGETHER ( your enemies) BUT NOT BY ME (God did not send them against you) WHOSOEVER SHALL GATHER TOGETHER AGAINST THEE SHALL FALL FOR THY SAKE. BEHOLD, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST THEE SHALL PROSPER; AND EVERY TOUNGE THAT SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUGDMENT THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF (from) ME, SAITH THE LORD.

That is GOD telling us that we ARE His and our right standing is OF HIM, but that they will come and we will be talked about but that NONE OF IT IS FROM HIM and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT ALL.

Psalm 107:1-10,18-20: ” O Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them OUT of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then THEY CRIED UNTO THE LORD IN THEIR TROUBLE, and HE DELIVERED THEM OUT OF ALL THEIR DISTRESSES. And HE LED them forth BY THE RIGHT WAY, that they might go to  a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. SUCH AS SIT IN DARKNESS AND IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH, BEING BOUND IN AFFLICATION. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat (too down to even eat); they draw near unto the gates of death. THEN they cry unto the Lord IN their trouble, and HE SAVETH THEM OUT OF THEIR DISTRESSES. HE SENT HIS WORD, AND HEALED THEM, AND DELIVERED THEM FROM THEIR DESTRUCTION.

So let his word resonate in you today let the “reason” in that resonation of the word  fill your heart, your mind, your soul. Find YOUR scripture and quote it and keep quoting it.

Psalm 17:4 ” Concerning the works of men, BY THE WORD OF THY LIPS I HAVE KEPT ME FROM THE PATHS OF THE DESTROYER.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2016

original post:01/22/2016

“Sneaking out of the sheep-pen”

“Verily I say unto you, He that entereth in not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the sheep door IS the shepherd of the sheep.

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.

And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood NOT what things they were which he spake unto them.

Then said Jesus unto them againVerily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 

ALL that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in,  he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The thief cometh not, by 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.” John 10:1-10

When you think about these verses, they not only apply to trying to get into the kingdom “the wrong way” but they also apply to the things that come in and try to lead us astray. 

All the little things, or sometimes pretty big things that act just as those little foxes that destroy the vine, as mentioned in the book of Solomon.

And as worded to perfection in Proverbs 14:12,13: “There IS a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the END thereof ARE the ways of death. 

Even in laughter the heart IS sorrowful;  and the END of the mirth (amusement) IS heaviness (grief).”

During our struggles and during dark times while we are waiting to hear that voice calling us to a greener, better place it can be easy to be lulled and tempted into listening to and potentially fatally following those that “climb up” offering a quick secret exit from the sheep pen that we are just itching to escape from especially when they feel they maybe they have been forgotten by the shepherd and they just know that the grass is greener on the outside.

As Proverbs tells us, that “escape”can seem right, that “escape” can seem inviting, exciting, and even joyful but the END will be death and even in the laughter and in times of what the world may call “living it up”, the heart will be full of sorrow, having ran too far away to hear the voice of the shepherd (who IS still calling), sorrow of having left the flock to dwell with strangers, notice the mirth, meaning amusement, sheep running amok in search of amusement and preoccupation suddenly finding themselves no longer amused but filled with the sorrow of death, longing for their Shepherd and a pasture that they have forgotten their way back to.

Doesn’t sound quite worth it, does it?

So what do you do while you are waiting, waiting for the Shepherd to come through the door and lead you to a better place, greener pasture, clearer streams?

Take a thought from James.

James 1:-4: ” My brethren,count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (many trials) KNOWING  THIS that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience. 

But LET patience have her perfect work, that when ye may be perfect and entire (complete) wanting (lacking) nothing.”

Ever think about that abundant life? Does it mean abundance of riches, abundance of friends, abundance in the fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams?

Or could it maybe apply a little more to things we don’t often equate with the word abundance?

That testing, that waiting in patience will have the perfection in your life, in your faith, and in your trust and relationship with God.

You will have an abundance of that patience which will produce an abundance of peace, peace that only comes from knowing the Shepherd is never going to be that far away and knowing that your joy, when it comes, will be real joy, heart and soul.

And an abundance of faith that he will always lead us to better pastures, maybe not as fast as we’d like but when we allow patience to work we will have all we could ever need, and all that we could ever desire in the abundance of the spiritual things.

Be patient in whatever you may be going through, don’t assume the grass will greener and try to “sneak out” of your sheep pen.

Don’t let anything else “sneak in” and try to lead you out because only one can lead you the right way and he knows the beautiful plans that he has for you.

Have a beautiful week! 

Φλογιζω NB 2018

 

Martha, Mary & Ms. Medicority

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain woman named Martha received (WELCOMED) him INTO her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about (DISTRACTED WITH) much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath LEFT me to SERVE alone? Bid (TELL) her therefore that she help me. 

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about MANY things: But one thing is NEEDFUL: and Mary hath CHOSEN that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42 

Am I the only one that ever struggles with being BOTH of these ladies? I think probably not… but I want us to all think about the fact that even Martha’s, and Mary’s and their male counter parts, such as the disciples who questioned WHICH of them would be the GREATEST!

The prodigals brother who begrudged the dinner held in honor of the return of whom he viewed as “the slacker”.

The laborer’s who worked all day and were wroth that the “night shift” earned the same wage as they. 

Sometimes that battle is not with others, although that is quite common … but sometimes the biggest battle is WITHIN us. 

What I love with this story is that Martha WELCOMED him and clearly wanted him there and loved him and wanted ALL those who came to HER house to see HIM to receive that’s same warm welcome.

And almost EVERY single mention of Martha is the same… she is SERVING, working… working… working… no time to sit at his feet as her sister so often did. So we know from  this story that she was starting to get maybe just a little annoyed by this fact, there sat Mary and WHAT was doing? 

How could she just sit there just  ENJOYING the presence of the Lord, while Martha worked herself  to exhaustion is the question she pondered.

And we know she felt this, and when you really think about the fact that she was TALKING to Jesus, the God of the universe in human form, who was IN her house, and she is ASKING him, does he seriously not care that her sister won’t help and demanding that he MAKE her help! 

And as Jesus told her that Mary chose what was NEEDED, not only the most blessed, profitable, and pleasurable BUT actually NEEDED.

Martha DID want, I am sure her house to be clean, the guests served proper food, and every one to leave happy and eager to return, BUT in the process of this, she MISSED the good part, just as Jesus said.

She HAD him in her home, she had his presence surrounding all that was hers and but the WORK, the JOB, making sure that everything was done to perfection robbed her of enjoying that joy.

And I’m not picking on her, I wrestle with the “Martha” in me everyday, never enough time to do what needs to be done and trying to bring forth that fruit of the work of the kingdom with such ridiculous expectations that is often gets undone due to the sheer magnitude of unrealistic expectancy of the finished product! You know so tired from the preparation that you no longer have enough energy to cook the meal?  

And as far as us feeling that we have been let down or have no support with our work, we gotta ask ourselves this, when we get angry or resentful at others, were they actually ever SUPPOSED to be “helping” or did we juts expect them to?

Did we really even NEED help, or did we just WANT help to make the job a little easier? We can all sometimes hobo that train of thought, IF him, her, they would just “help” us with our work.

But in reality God calls us individually and sure they were sent two by two, but if God hasn’t called you into your calling as one of two, than obviously, whether it feels right, feels fair or not, it is just you., and with his SPIRIT, you and Him count as that two. 

And as she questioned the Lord as to whether or not he realized her plight, did she ever QUESTION her own thinking, that she was spending so much time worrying about the work that she completely forgot the greatest guest.

Do we sometimes get so caught up concentrating on the job that we forget that the God of the universe IS in the house?

During my little “break” I had realized that, I was so worried about this that, these dudes, who cares, who doesn’t, who could “help” me and who won’t, trying to run a separate blog just for ladies and this one which can be a whole lotta fire and brimstone, and I finally came to the conclusion that I was spending so much time being a “Martha” worrying over every little detail and trying way to hard to please imaginary people who would never be pleased anyway, and “proving” to myself and the world that I am called to do this, that I was completely FORGETTING who was in MY house! 

So what if I don’t write every single week, what if I don’t make much sense? What if every word isn’t correctly spelled and the grammar police are on my trail for run on sentences and bad jargon? I have been BLESSED to sit at the feet of my King, if I will CHOSE that good part! 

As I said I don’t think I am alone, I think many of us run the risk of burn out, as we begin feeling a pressure that Jesus NEVER put on us and if we don’t act quickly when we start to feel that burn out. We all start out as a “Mary” when we first encounter the Lord, helplessly enamored, learning everything we can and just basking in His presence and as time goes as we let that pressure mount as we take our roles as a Martha and begin our kingdom “service”. 

Unfortunately, we can become worn to the point as Martha, and become Ms. Mediocrity (or Mr.) when it is no longer about the fascination of just how real He is, or even about working in the kingdom, but that we allow ourselves to become so hum-drum and mentally dull from the “work” that we completely lose fact that we are blessed in precious moments that are not guaranteed to last forever.

Just as I wonder, Did Martha ever think in hind sight, about all the time she had spent worrying and fretting, regretting every troubled moment, considering that Jesus was shortly thereafter crucified, ENDING His earthly visits to her home.

Knowing all the time she could have spent just enjoying Him, as the Bible tells us concerning our own salvation, ” SEEK the Lord WHILE he may be found”.

I am not saying that we will lose our salvation, but I am saying, at least for myself, as was brought to my own realization, that sometimes we spend so much time TRYING to be Martha, that we forget that we NEED to be Mary and when we CAN NEVER be both, and no one should ever want to be Ms. Mediocrity!

Φλογίζω NB 2018

Love this artist and this new song is awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

BELIEVE

“And not long after there AROSE against it a tempestuous wind, called Eurocyldon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear (head) up into the wind, we let her drive ( BE DRIVEN).

And running under (under the shelter of) a certain island which is called Claudia, we had much work to come by the boats ( to secure the ship’s skiff); Which when they had taken up (taken it on board), they used helps (cables) undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall (run aground) into the quick sands, strake sail, and SO WERE DRIVEN.

And being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when NEITHER sun nor stars in MANY days appeared, and no small tempest lay (beat) on us, ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS TAKEN AWAY.

But after a long abstinence (from food) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm (disaster) and loss.

And NOW I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  For there stood by me this night, the angel of God, WHOSE I AM, and WHOM I SERVE, saying, FEAR NOT, Paul; THOU MUST BE BROUGHT BEFORE CEASAR: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer (take heart): For I BELIEVE GOD, that it SHALL BE even as IT WAS TOLD ME.” Acts 27:14-25

Now, Paul was a prisoner on this ship that was caught in this massive storm a storm who had a name, Eurocyldon, which pretty much means wind stirring up waves. Many are in the midst of storms, the storm in your life that IS stirring those waves up against you as they try to blow you completely off course. I am also quite sure your storm also has a name, as they always do.

The storm of despair, the storm of sickness, the storm of recurring circumstances, the storm of financial woes, whatever the storm you are going through, it is the name of your worst enemy at the moment.

But here is where we are going to take a turn in this storm business. I know so many of God’s children who just keep getting hit, over and over. I write quite a bit about it and I truly hope this will be of encouragement.

First off, they did not try to control the ship during the storm, there are just things in life that no matter how much we wish we could, we simply have no control over some things and in the grand realm of all things, we really have no control over anything, so they let the ship BE driven and just simply tried to hold on.

Secondly, they lightened the ship, tossing off every thing that was not vital to survival, often, that is what storms do in our lives, they have a way of making us realize what is truly important and what we can and can not live without.

Finally, as the storm STILL beat down in the darkness, ALL hope SEEMED lost and they really thought they were all going to die. Paul had seen this coming and warned all that they should not go but go they did, after reminding them of fact so that they WOULD now take his next statements with seriousness, he tells them to cheer up, because even though the ship will be lost, they would live.

An angel had appeared to him to comfort him with a VERY POWERFUL fact, Paul WOULD go to Caesar, so NO storm, NO action on earth COULD PREVENT WHAT GOD HAD SPOKEN, and you know what? IT STILL CAN’T!

So I want to stir up your thinking a little, get you concentrating on the blue skies and smooth sailing that are just beyond this latest barrage of woe.  As children of God, we have the promises of God on our lives and I want to you to think about the word God has given to you FOR your life, a word of knowledge or a word of prophecy of His plans for your future and your work and if at all possible make a list of the things that God has spoken over you and KNOW that as long as you have “unfinished” business for the Kingdom, or a direct promise from God concerning something yet to take place, you are under “NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER” umbrella, if you will. 

Just as in another scripture Apostle Paul wrote of a great and effectual “door” the Lord had for him, but that there were MANY adversaries to try to prevent him from entering that door. The battle you have faced could very well be the same set-up. I am not saying that it always is, but when you read God’s word, you clearly see it is not always easy to stand against the “wiles of the devil” but we are encouraged to STAND. 

Let me give you a few more examples of Paul being encouraged through the dark nights by being reassured that he still had work to be accomplished.

“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be NOT afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I AM WITH THEE, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9,10

Jesus gave Paul comfort that he would not let anyone hurt him because Paul would preach to many and he stayed there for a year and six months after the Lord gave him this reassurance.

And again as his life was being threatened, the Lord appeared, as this was reference to the work he would do.

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so MUST thou bear witness also in Rome.” Acts 23:11

God always encouraged Paul by assuring him that he would be okay because he had a job to do and just as our starting verses, PAUL SAID ALL THAT NEEDS SAID when he said “I BELIEVE GOD”

He believed because he believed what had been told him on behalf of God.

Believe, Believe, Believe… “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter IS dead; trouble NOT the MASTER. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, FEAR NOT: BELEIVE ONLY, and she SHALL be made whole.” Luke 8:49,50

Just as death had no right to Jairus’ daughter when Jesus said she could not be taken, nothing has any right over you unless the Lord allows that right and as long as you have a word, a hope, and a confidence of His promises you can rest assured, it is not over until He says it is over.

May God Bless and encourage you! Love and Peace until next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017