“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

 

 

Regeneration of Generations

” But YOU ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (special) people; that ye should shew (show) forth the praises of him WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.” 1 Peter 2:9

CHOSEN, how blessed is that term? Jesus himself in John 15:16a said this:Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU..”

There is a major difference between going after something for ourselves, of our will and our desires and being chosen for a very specific purpose. Notice this verse is for a chosen GENERATION, meaning a preordained, predestinate group  CHOSEN to be the polar opposite of what came before. 

To allow the Lord to break chains forged over many generations by those who came before us. A chosen generation that would turn back to the Lord, who would choose the paths of righteousness rather than the broken roads of abuse and alcoholism, and addictions. A generation willing to allow God to shape their lives and repair the breaches in the protective walls of salvation, and that would hear God’s voice calling them out of the darkness that has formed over the ages.

Darkness passed on from generation to generation, until that faithful day that God’s voice is heard and centuries of darkness and cursing, poverty, abuse, and sorrow will be transformed by His marvelous light.

 A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a generation called to be the messengers, priests to their families and peers on behalf of the heavenly King to tell of the goodness of God and the freedom He offers. And as Jesus tells us, we are CHOSEN for the job. Because through Him, with Him and by the power of His blood we can overcome and to have to be chosen indicates that of a certainty that job, that calling, is not going to be an easy task.

I knew a lady who once told me that she had been baptized as a child, but when she grew up, really late in life, she choose to be baptized again, not because she questioned her salvation but salvation was all she had ever known and wanted to do it as a token to her love of Jesus. I have always thought these people were so blessed, to grow up in the Lord, to be taught scriptures and know of God.

But I do think as “first generations” we can witness to those in the world and understand things that they face and struggle a little better, because we really do understand those feelings.

Now to understand the dynamics of some of those battles “first generations” endure, and it is a battle royal of endurance but I hope by the end of this, you will feel refreshed in your battle and the fire and need to continue and fight hell till the last breath.

Satan knows scripture, he knows every word ever written and he is as sly as he was when he beguiled Eve and he knows to corrupt the plant, to blight it, he would also blight the seed of that plant and so with his temptations and snares he pulls down a plant from the garden of the Lord knowing that he has destroyed the future also.

When God gave the Ten Commandments and the warnings of serving other gods, this verse really jumps out: Exodus 20:5: “Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the children unto the third and fourth generation of them who hate me.”

So for me, I think to cause this, the ancestors had to really, really turn against God in a most dreadful way, because He is so loving and merciful and to hate him would require such violation and paganism, I can’t fathom.

The hardest concept to wrap our heads around comes when we see Christians who seem to really never have problems while we struggle in areas that never even seem to come to their door, we wonder what is wrong with us? Why do we go through the things but they don’t.

All people have problems, but it is true that some do seem to face battles that are harder, fiercer, and sometimes even bizarre but here is the reason, YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT.

Satan wants you back in that darkness because he knows if he can defeat you, he will defeat EVEN MORE GENERATIONS that come from you. He doesn’t want you leading others to the light and liberty of God.

It is hard to be the “first” on a path, not having a strong spiritual foundation, and to try to understand what you’re doing, where you are going, or how your supposed to get there. And you can see this in the story of the Hebrews being brought of Egypt, most died in the wilderness because they had only known bondage and slavery and could never get into the mindset of true freedom, BUT the NEXT GENERATION went into that land NEVER knowing the horrors of Egypt.

“First Generationers” often feel overwhelmed because their issues are so numerous that it is a process because each issue must be dealt with one at a time or we would be like those who didn’t make it out of the wilderness, we could not handle the rest of our journey with the needed faith and trust life requires, because even coming out of Egypt, the roads ahead could still be sometimes rocky.

Exodus 23:29,30: “I WILL NOT drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee, By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, UNTIL thou be increased and inherit the land.” 

If everything were suddenly conquered, we would no longer build faith or trust and we would soon be destroyed by the vanities of our minds and leisure.

If you doubt that, read just how many times ancient Israel would prosper and then turn from the Lord thinking they had all they would ever need and how David became so complacent that he didn’t go into battle with his army but chose to have the affair with Bathsheba that brought anguish down on his GENERATION, and Solomon, who had all, peace, all prosperity still rebelled against God in taking pagan wives and worshiping with them.

No, you don’t want to trade in a perfectly good vehicle that may not look great to you right now but is taking you EXACTLY where you need to go for something that appears sharper, faster, but will in the end only drive you had head first into a bad accident. 

Recognize WHO you are and why you fight and why you CAN NEVER give up that fight. Psalm 22:30,31: “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (accounted of the Lord to the NEXT generation) They shall come, and declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born that he hath done this.”

PSALM 102:28: “The children of thy servants SHALL CONTINUE, and THEIR SEED (descendants) SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE THEE.” 

Isaiah 54:13: “And all thy children shall be taught if the Lord; and GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF THY CHILDREN.”

See, sometimes the one being fought is not even who the fight is really against. And a good tool to use, as cliché as it may sound, truly is counting blessings, make a list of what you came from and make a list of where you are now, you may just be very surprised.

Hold on to God’s promises and know that you fight and you have to fight for the rights of your parents, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren, and all that will come after you. You may be hurting now but your trust in the Lord will mean your child will NEVER know what is to hide terrified from a drunken or stoned parent, your child or grandchild will never know the shame and embarrassment of being mentally or verbally abused, the NEXT generation will never know the humiliation of poverty and the pain of hunger and there is no need for me to continue into the places many of you have suffered and tell you, NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN will you suffer those things and NEVER will your generations.

When God breaks chains, they ARE BROKEN unless we chose to chain ourselves and our families, and our futures  back to Satan’s whipping post. And God has CHOSEN you and He will little by little bring you through all the areas, past all the stumbling blocks set in your way. And He will restore and bless you but don’t give up when you are almost there. Here are some of His promises:

Psalm 22:24,25: ” For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; NEITHER hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” 

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him, your heart shall live forever.” Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

Isaiah 54: 14: “In righteousness (right standing with God) 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.”

Revelation 7:17: ” For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters; and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.”

Romans 10:11: “For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

We could go on and on with wonderful promises and God’s awesome encouragement of “Be not afraid nor be dismayed”, God is with us and for us and He will take you step by step. Just hold and remember all those who will someday be very glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have never heard this song, please take a minute and let it minister to your soul and let the power of God break the chains and break them forever!

 

“EXPOSURE”

 ISAIAH 7: 14,15:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Butter and honey SHALL HE EAT, that HE MAY KNOW TO REFUSE EVIL AND CHOOSE THE GOOD.”                                                                                                                       

As we know these scriptures reference Jesus, whom was given good things and treated gently and kindly so HE WOULD KNOW and NOT choose the wrongs paths.

This is a very good argument against spanking and physically harming children and the more common emotional isolation and emotional abuse with words and shame.

Jesus was given good things so he would REFUSE the bad. I belong to the thought group that the major influence on a person is their environment and that if you can change that environment their life can be completely made new. That is not to say that environment can alter God’s will, it can’t, He is still God and still keeps His divine hand over many lives, EVEN when those lives are in absolute disarray.

But the environment of their circumstances can lead that to being a longer process, with many, many obstacles to be overcame. The enemy reverses all things of God and it becomes offering you the bad choices to make you feel compensated in that it presents itself as the only good out there for you.

As you notice this IS in reference to his childhood, we don’t need a Freud wanna be to enlighten us here, that this the time period where snares are set and where we are enslaved through psychological bondage. It is always accomplished in innocent, fragile minds and souls because the enemy wants to ensure it will last a life time.

You can see this so clearly in gangs and cults, and even often in certain types of prostitution and always, always in cycles of domestic abuse and the repeated problem of “picking the wrong guy”, you can’t PICK that many wrong guys! And it is also true for guys who chose women who belittle and mentally emasculate them, they often have domineering mothers and all in all the exposure produces a picture worth a thousand words, and those words speak volumes in lives.

It is the deceptive homing device planted long ago in vulnerable psyches that attracts the wounded to them and sends an unspoken code to predatory forces that you will be a perfect victim. Anyone really believe the “sixth sense” stalkers and serial killers possess (possessed is more like it) in tracking their victims is an all natural evil attribute that they just happen to have been born with? Research it, if you can’t see the demonic force at play there, you will never see it.

So what about the billions and trillions who WERE not given the good and did not know how to refuse the bad, when they seriously believe that “not as bad as…” is the only option given them? If life had been exposure to  evil after evil after evil?

That life will be like an overexposed photo, the light areas will be blurred and washed out, kinda like light IS there only not clear or well-defined.  What we have been exposed to does have impact on whom we become, the choices we make, and the way we live our lives BUT IT DOES NOT DETERMINE WHO WE ARE in Christ. 

That is the greatest news of the Gospel, there is NO life so dark, so tortured, or so messed up that it can not be redeemed by the one who gave it, but it is ALL in the exposure.

If you are underexposed to the good things, love, gentleness and a caring environment of respect, all the dark images will become darker. When someone has been exposed to violence, abuse and mental terrorism that exposure manifests itself in attempts to fit in and belong, feel love, feel whole and feel accepted and a need to be “normal” it explains how young people can be lured into joining gangs with them being beaten nearly to death as an initiation into that “family” and young women can be lured with attention and a false sense of security by men into a life of prostitution.

For many it will manifest as one big ride on a roller coaster of self-destruction, sick to death, desperately knowing you need to get off, but not ever figuring out how to make it stop.

Seeing it yet?  It all an attempt to feel LOVE, real love, love that will give itself FOR YOU not ask you to sacrifice yourself for it. Acceptance that you are accepted FOR you, not who someone else told you that you were or that you had to be. Belonging to a FAMILY, a family that protects YOU and cares for you and does not require your blood as proof of allegiance.

Jesus said “…and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT you know what He is saying is this, LOSE your LIFE.

LOSE the thoughts that tell you are not worth love, your thoughts that nothing good will ever happen for you because you “don’t deserve” to be happy. These ARE NOT GOD’s thoughts toward you, they are programmed lies to keep you miserable and in bondage.

LOSE the friends and family that only weigh you down and constantly reaffirm all the negative views and hate filled words that have already been more than hammered into your soul.

LOSE the users and losers and those who only want you as the whipping boy to curse and run after when they are stoned or drunk.

LOSE everything that hurts, binds, disturbs, and hinders your growth, peace and happiness.

FIND a NEW LIFE that heals, delivers, brings peace and above all a love and an acceptance by one whose love can not even be described.

FIND a God that loves as a father, a REAL father, not the biological person that aided in conception, who was so vicious and vile that he was wished away.

FIND a God that will be closer than any friend, brother, or sister, that will be there through your tears and will never give you “told you so’s” or down you.

FIND a spiritual spouse whose love  is so strong that HE died FOR YOU not want you to risk your life. or kill, or  steal for him.

FIND a God in whose arms your weakness IS made strong, whose GENTLENESS will make you great.

Find a God whose peace, mercy and understanding are unsearchable, who WILL cast your sins, failures and mistakes as far as the east is to the west and wash your crimson sins white as snow and make YOU completely NEW again.

The best part with Jesus is that He loves us JUST FOR US! He does not care what we have done or where we are or how we got there, and He will heal every one of those wounds that lead you to those dark places, He just wants to help you and save you and help you get on with the life HE wants to give you. But as always I really wish He would just come down and take us over BUT He does not work that way, He will not force His will on you, But He IS always there, waiting for YOU to ask Him, as Jesus does stand at the door and knock at our hearts BUT the handle is on our side, He can’t come in if we will not let Him.

And maybe the enemy is bugging you out with well, what does she know, perched on her  religious high horse? Well, actually I am perched on my super groovy swivel stool and I am not religious, I am saved. I am saved from the hardest things to overcome, demonic exposures straight from hell, my own bloodline, and most of all myself. My readers have most of my story weaved throughout enough posts to piece together some things but I had a brother, he was my part-time babysitter when I would be alone with him but I lived in a home with him 24/7. He had issues, and was also quite gifted at drawing pentagrams ( if that gives you a little insight to exposures) I did not even know what they were until I got a lot older, so he had problems and he made sure I did too. Mental terrorism can be quite effective at producing wounds that last twenty-seven years and those wounds can lead a life of living in sin, working in sin and an overwhelming need to fit in, belong, and just be normal. But I harbor no ill will and God has truly taught me that people have problems because they have been exposed to things that have harmed their souls.

The “normal” part is always what gets us all we hide our pain and the shame (which should not be there) in constantly trying to prove  how normal we are. But with me I could never escape  the spiritual chase of it all and my life truly was just one trauma after another and making it past eighteen was a feat in itself, enough pressure, a failed marriage thanks to my refusal to convert to Catholicism and I ended up right where the devil had wanted all the time and it was the ONLY place I fit in.

The thing with wounds that have been untreated for so many years grow deeper and deeper but once we allow God to heal us they become scars, I could never show anyone my wounds and once God started leading me with my writing, I began to understand how important it is to not hide the scars because some times the wounded need to see the scars of those that have been healed. Without those scars I may not have what I have today and that is a relationship with the very one who created me. And EVERYONE has a story and we can always find others who have fared far worse and have made it out.

” And THEY overcame him (satan) BY the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY the WORD of their testimony”….. forget what you have been exposed to, do not allow it to determine your today and your tomorrow. It does not define who you are, reach out and give Him your all and BE who HE created you to be.

If you “lose” life as you know it, what have you lost?  Pain, sorrow, pressure? What will you find? Peace, love, and joy, I may always have a hurdle or two but I also have a peace and a reassurance that I have a God who really does love me, in spite of me and no matter who rejects me, ridicules me or just outright despises me I am still His child and I have a peace in it all that He never fails, if I hold His hand He will not let me fall.

This song was on my heart to go with this and I feel it is for someone, if you have never heard it, please listen and please surrender, it is the most beautiful experience you will ever know.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

 

I WILL…..

“I will bless the Lord at all times……” PSALM 34:1.

All times, times of joy because the joy of the Lord is our strength. Times of rejoicing when our souls have rejoiced in His presence and He has made us rejoice over our enemies.

Times of patient waiting because in waiting He will renew our strength and we will rise as eagles. Times of sickness because  He will “make” our sick bed and He is our healer.

In times of raging seas because He is the calm in the storm. In time of fleeing from the attacks and troubles of the world because He is our high tower.

In times of anguish because He is our High Priest who knows how our pain. In times of persecution, aggravation, and dealing with the condescending attitudes of others and it is ever so hard to not let our flesh just have at it and this is the time that I will…. because no one is worth our relationship with Christ and Jesus proves out all works in his time and it is in these moments that remembering that we will bless HIM in all things, even while others are trying to get under our skin and when we don’t understand what we see around us and how this all pans out:

Psalm 37: 1-13  : Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit ( roll off onto) thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness (right standing with God) as the light, and thy judgment (justice) as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man that bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath: fret not in any wise (any way) to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed) but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

For yet a little while, (in a little while), and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider (look for) his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.  The Lord shall laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming.

Three times we are reminded to “fret not” which means to just not let it get to us, obviously if the Lord had it written three times that is a good indication that these are going to be situations and attitudes of others that are really going to try our patience in not getting angry or rather not keeping that anger. And to not be jealous or resentful of how it seems that they constantly prosper and get by with it and are never called out on it. But as you see we are trust, delight in Him, rest, and wait on his judgment. And in ALL times bless Him and He will bless you and no one can take that away.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2016

 

“Feelin’ faint….”

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for IN DUE SEASON we shall reap, IF we FAINT NOT ( do not LOSE HEART ). ” GALATIANS 6:9

  We hear that verse often but have you really thought about it? Well doing, trying to do good for the kingdom, weariness, tired and worn out. In due season ( God’s pre appointed time) WE WILL reap that good harvest. IF we faint not, that is strong wording that tells us that there will be times we feel like it is going nowhere and times that we do feel like giving up and times we feel we can’t  go on.

A perfect story for this can be found in  2 King 4:8-37, I will highlight the story but please, if you are feeling this, please read it.

A lady and her husband had befriended Elisha the Prophet and they would have him eat and rest at their home during his journeys. One day they decided to build a little spot for him so he could just stay there when he passed by. Elisha wanted to his appreciation and do something nice for her. So his servant suggested a child since she was barren and her husband was old, this would mean once he passed she would be completely alone.

We’ll pick it up at verses 15-20: “And he ( Elisha to his servant) said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. And he said, about THIS SEASON, according to the time of life (about the same time next year) thou shalt embrace a son. And she said Nay, my lord, thou man of God, Do not lie unto thine handmaid. { It wasn’t that she did not believe him, it was that the news was so wonderful that she couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and wanted to know it was real and that he was serious}

And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. And when the child was grown, IT FELL ON A DAY, that he WENT OUT TO HIS FATHER TO THE REAPERS. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he (the father) said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and THEN DIED.”

So now the Mama having been almost afraid to believe for something so wonderful, has just watched her dream die. The child just old enough on the day “it fell” the time that had been slated for him to GO TO HIS FATHERS FIELD TO JOIN THE REAPERS IN BRINGING IN THE HARVEST and with an attack to “his head”, ( the symbolism there is this, the wars waged in our present day is often attacks of worry, fear, and dread) and now he is dead before he even began work in the harvest.

The story goes on, as the mother takes her son and places him in Elisha’s bed and closes the door, she then asks or a young man to be sent with her to go see the Prophet. When her husband asks what is the occasion, she simply replies “It shall be well”, meaning, everything is okay, it is well. Once Elisha sees her in the distance, he sends his servant to meet her with the question, “Is it well?” on all accounts. And again she answered the servant, “It is well”.

But once she gets to Elisha, she grabs his feet and he is very troubled because he knew nothing about this, because God had not revealed it to him. (Proof positive that  real Prophets ONLY know what God reveals to them and have no special insight they can control at will, a good thing to remember with “prophets” who supposed to have all the answers to everyone’s questions and are always eager to be asked) So then she tells him everything, complete with the sorrow of  her feeling that she had been given what she had not asked for only to have it taken away. So he sends his servant with his staff to place upon the son, with instructions not to speak to anyone for any reason, even if they spoke first. Don’t answer them back or respond at all.

So she told no one that her son had died, Elisha told his servant not to speak to anyone so it was between them and the Lord. When you have a bad situation already, the last thing you need is people making it worse and no matter how much faith you are trying to muster there are always those who will come by and give one thousand scenarios to confirm your worst fears. So the servant does as he was told, to no avail, so the child was not revived. Because whether he had Elisha’s staff or not, the anointing of God would have to be present to do the reviving.  

Picking back up at verse 32-37: “And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore and shut the door upon them twain (just them) and PRAYED unto the Lord. And he went up and laid upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child, and the flesh of the child waxed (grew) warm. (transference).

Then he returned, and WALKED IN THE HOUSE TO AND FRO;  And went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, AND THE CHILD OPENED HIS EYES

And he called Gehazi ( his servant) and said, Call the Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.”

God will keep his promises and His harvest will be reaped. Even death has no dominion and can not stop the work or the call of God on lives and just as the symbolic truth to this story is this, that even sometimes before you even get started the forces of hell are there to prevent your work but it will come even if it has to be resurrected from the dead. Maybe you feel that way today, that dreams are lost, hopes are shattered, and all you had believed for is lying there lifeless. Don’t give up, don’t talk to doubters along the way, sometimes the less people know about our battles the better off we are.

Just as it was well, it was kept between her, Elisha, and the Lord. Remember HE NEVER FAILS.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016

 

 

“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

NUMBERED

CHICKS LOG: STAR DATE: DECEMBER 27 2015.  Sentimentally looking for the  approaching 2016 and as most of us welcome a new year. One more shot to get right things that maybe did not go as planned. Another chance to make something right and do the work of the kingdom. A New Year filled with perhaps golden opportunities that may never come again.

We all know that with all the new beginnings also come new challenges and often new heartaches and then we tally up those numbers into lists of credits, debits, and accounts that may never be settled in our hearts. We take those numbers with losses high-lighted and throw them down at the feet of old man time, as we desire old acquaintance be forgot. And give to baby new year a clean slate and look to the future and hope the baby treats us a little kinder than the old dude did and that we all will have a better year.

As humans we ponder the events of the past year and we set goals and make resolutions for our hopes and dreams for the new one. I don’t make resolutions but I do have hopes, dreams, and goals.  I pondered all this yesterday as my pre-Christmas cold had returned with a bloody vengeance and my dripping nose had me feeling like the guy from the hot dog commercial when his kid asked him to cook something and the room starts spinning and “cook something” echoes repeatedly. But with me it was like “write something, write something” my nose won that battle but here I am today! 

My lessons from 2015 is simple, a reinforcement of the knowledge that God is sovereign, storms come, winds blow, life hurts and it hurts bad but Jesus is still walking that water with us. He will go with us to the end of this world IF we will allow Him.

 How we view our circumstances and how we allow it to work into our relationship with Him is completely up to us but it is the deciding factor of the numbers game that will either make us or completely break us. I have been to eight funerals this year, there have been more pass away but those are the ones I have made it to. My daughters best friend lost her Mom in June. One Church sister lost her Dad, another lost her husband and I watched my  own Dad preach two funerals, I watched him lose friends, church family, his niece and then this month his sister. My husband lost his Dad two weeks before my Aunt passed away. His death leaving his family absolutely devastated beyond words because his condition had improved and appeared that he was going to be fine.  Two of these had lost their lives after battles with cancer. Watching all the tears and seeing all the pain, and all those who suffer, especially with prayer requests being to pray for God to please let them not suffer. It can overwhelm everyone, everyone involved. Knowing the entire time that the ones who will be left behind truly need the prayers more.

This is where we all learn dependence on the Lord and I want to share a story that was told at my Aunt’s funeral. The man who preached it has been an Evangelist for over 40 years and his ties to our family are truly God sent, he and another preacher prayed faithfully with our family and my brother when he was terminal, they preached his funeral and in the midst of all those visits he told Mom and Dad that he had prayed the salvation prayer with my eldest brother, either the day he died or the day before. This was in 1973 and had been a torment to my family for years, but see even in the middle of the suffering and ordeal of losing one child, God gave them comfort about the salvation of another.

Silver linings in those dark clouds and rainbows in between the storms. Anyway, he preached my Aunt’s funeral and he is so humble and uses God’s word to comfort all who hear him. His wife had battled cancer for years and years, in the meantime a man had asked him to promise that if he passed away before him would he preach his funeral, and of course he agreed. The way it all went down was like this, the man passed and his wife lost her battle, he had to preach his friends funeral at 2:00 pm and his wife’s services were at 4:00 the same day. He shared that story with everyone as proof of God’s love and mercy even in the worst possible situation. The same God who carried him through would also carry those who asked him.

It is all seasons of this life and some years you will have to add every flower, every rainbow, and every sunny day, and most of all every single morning that He has allowed us breath, into that credit column to prove that all in all the good DOES outweigh the bad. IT IS ALL HOW YOU CRUNCH THOSE NUMBERS.

Mention of numbers, here’s some good ones. 

GODS LOVE AND CARE TOWARD US: 

MATTHEW 10:28-31:  “And fear NOT them which kill the body, but ARE NOT able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthling? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. BUT THE VERY HAIRS OF YOUR HEAD ARE NUMBERED. FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, ye are more valuable than many sparrows.”

GOD WATCHES OVER US:

PSALM 56:8: ” Thou tellest (counts or takes into account) my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are the not written in thy book?” 

JOB 14:16: For now thou NUMBEREST my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?”

LEARNING TO LEAN UPON THE SURE MERCIES OF GOD: 

PSALM 90:12,14: “So teach us to NUMBER our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may REJOICE AND BE GLAD ALL OUR DAYS.”

WISDOM FROM THE WORD:

ECCLESIASTES 12: 1-8:” REMEMBER now thy Creator IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH, WHILE THE EVIL (VEXATION, TROUBLES) DAYS COME NOT, NOR THE YEARS DRAW NIGH (while in your prime) when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (good days) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease (stand idle) because there are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened (grow dim), and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up the voice of the bird, and the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be AFRAID of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, BECAUSE MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG HOME (DIES, ETERNAL HOME),and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED, OR THE GOLDEN BOWL BE BROKEN, OR THE PITCHER BE BROKEN (SHATTERED) AT THE FOUNTAIN, OR THE WHEEL BROKEN AT THE CISTERN.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT. VANITY OF VANITIES, SAITH THE PREACHER; ALL IS VANITY.”

HOPE IN GOD:        ROMANS 8:36-39:    “As it is written, FOR THY SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, (NO) IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US. For I am persuaded, that neither DEATH, nor LIFE, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, WHICH IS in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23:   THIS I RECALL TO MY MIND,THEREFORE HAVE I HOPE. It is of the Lord’s mercies THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: GREAT IS THY FAITHFULLNESS.”

That is MY HOPE,   WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS when He allows us to laugh through the tears and leap while lame, and shout when we are so emotionally drained that we no longer have words and are just speechless. I see the rainbows and hear the birds and even through the bad we had a beautiful, new little family edition and my sister started a beautiful new chapter in life,  my friend Michelle and our husbands attended a spring formal with our daughters only weeks before her death and even with stage four cancer, she danced and those, those are the memories that will forever shine. My Aunt Evelyn will forever be in my heart, I will forever miss her and miss talking to her and miss her always being there with us but I know one day we will dance on those streets of gold. I know just as He did for Brother Joe, God will strengthen all who ask and I know in the end when all numbers come up God allows us to hold the winning hand. From my heart to yours, may you and your family have a Blessed New Year in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2015

 

UNDER THE JUNIPER TREE

I have over the last few months heard two different Pastors completely unaware  of  each other’s sermons preach  almost verbatim, on Elijah the Prophet or more to the point of  what happened with Elijah?
I often became irritated hearing others smirk that Elijah the Prophet of God became “scared of a woman”, first off that is so sexist, people with that attitude should never have the audacity to stand behind a pulpit and that answers what has happened to the churches. But the two I referred to are NOTHING like that and are men of God.
A LOT  happened with Elijah, the great mystery it would seem is how a man used of God, performing miracles, even the prayer granted of resurrection of the dead, and prayed fire down from Heaven to torch his enemies, laughed in the faces of false prophets, yet again praying down “proof” in the fire whose flames even licked up water, with his personal prayer of “If I be a man of God….”
It really had nothing to do with Jezebel, she was just the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. He had fought and fought and he just simply became tired and discouraged and he was tired of running and having no one who could relate to or understand him and the clincher, he felt completely ineffective and that he had failed miserably to do the job God had called him to do.
1 Kings 19, I’ll hit and miss verse for sake of reading, but please read it for yourself and let the Lord lead you in your conclusion.
Verses four through eight, after he has just been informed that Jezebel is gunning for him, he’s left his servant behind, because as we know all wilderness journeys must be taken solo.

“But he himself went a day’s into the wilderness, and came and sat down UNDER A JUNIPER TREE AND HE  REQUESTED FOR HIMSELF THAT HE MIGHT DIE;AND SAID, IT IS ENOUGH; NOW, O LORD, TAKE AWAY MY LIFE; FOR I AM NOT BETTER THAN MY FATHERS.

And he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an ANGEL touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, AND LAID HIM DOWN AGAIN.

The ANGEL of the Lord came again the SECOND time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; BECAUSE THE JOURNEY IS TOO GREAT FOR THEE. And he arose, and did eat and drink, AND WENT IN THE STRENGTH  OF THAT MEAT (FOOD) FOR FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS unto Horeb the mount of God.”
Ah, the wilderness, even if you leave them all behind, God will never leave you alone there, and he will supply every need you have for every step that you take and these are the places where heaven interacts with earth.
Ever notice how God used a raven, a woman who her and her son was on the brink of starvation and an angel from heaven to feed the Prophet, maybe because no one else would have listened.
He finally ends up in the ever mysterious cave, the word of God came unto him and asked, “What doest thou do here, Elijah?” and Elijah gives him his list of reasons, verse ten
“And he said, I have been very jealous (zealous) for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away.” Then the Lord told him to go stand on the mountain before him, the Lord passed by and a great wind split the mountains and shattered the rocks, and then came an earthquake, and then a fire, but the Lord was not in any of these. Then after the fire a still small voice, verse thirteen, the SECOND time, “And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And , behold, there came a voice unto him, and said , What doest thou here, Elijah?” Elijah answered exactly as he had the first time.
God never rebuked Elijah, he instructed him as to his next assignments including anointing Elisha to be his replacement.

God did let him know that he did have others who served faithfully and not all had become pagan, once he had done all God required, he did indeed go home:
2nd Kings 2:11: “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted (separated) them both asunder: and Elijah went up by the whirlwind into heaven.”
Now Elijah went to get the rest he needed and Elisha got double the power of the anointing of God that Elijah had.
So powerful in fact that a dead body just touching his bones came back to life.
You may think well, Elijah never finished his job, well no, he didn’t BUT HE WILL when he is sent back with one of his own, Moses.

Revelation 11:3,4&6 “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These two are the two olive trees and two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. THESE HAVE POWER (AUTHORITY) TO SHUT UP HEAVEN, THAT IT NOT RAIN IN THE DAYS OF THEIR PROPHECY: AND HAVE POWER (AUTHORITY) OVER THE WATERS TO TURN THEM TO BLOOD, AND TO SMITE THE EARTH WITH ALL PLAGUES, AS OFTEN AS THEY WILL.”
Just as they appeared with Jesus at his transfiguration.

They are far from finished! So morale of this story, never kick a person when they are down, until you walk a mile in their shoes, don’t even open your mouth.
“Drop down, ye heavens…..

Reverend Nina Brown Johnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

COUNTING WRONG

ARCHIVED* Original post 03/08/2015

My favorite all time quote is from Ronald Reagan in response to Muammar Qaddafi’s far out plans of taking on America, “He counted on America to be passive and he counted wrong”.

This was inadvertently brought back to mind last night. It is par for the course over the last few weeks and it seemed perfect for today’s topic.
The enemy, and sometimes other people seem to believe they can put you in, what is their perception of your place, and you will passively stay there but just as Libya soon learned the meaning of those infamous words, there are times that we have to stand up for ourselves or be trampled into the ground.
To be honest my first day out in this new adventure I almost gave up. I had the awesome privilege of receiving enough, how shall we say, unwanted drama through social media that I seriously questioned whether the good would outweigh the bad.

These were the very waters I had tried to avoid having to tread because I knew I’d have to fight some battles that I would have preferred to sit out.
Bad on my part, that is why Satan throws stuff like this at us, he knows what buttons to push to shut us up, back us off, and set us down.
I truly thought once about deleting it all and trying another route, but you know what, God did not create me to be a coward, sure, as the old saying goes they can kill you but they can’t eat you!

Well, I actually guess they could but hopefully you would at least taste bad!!

God sent me wonderful encouragement through others with his word and uplifting thoughts they shared that were right on time.
Once God’s spirit started rising up in me and I grew a better backbone, I decided that I will not let anyone take from me what God gave.

 I can take the remarks about the pants, I can deal with the old school belief that if you wear make-up you’re a quote unquote Jezebel, I can deal with the boys only club of ministry society.

What I can’t deal with is anyone touching my anointing and that is where the fight will get bloody.
If you are battling oppression in any form today, I want to hopefully encourage us all with this list of people who stood up to not just THE ENEMY but to all those who wished to interfere with the preordained work of God.
The Pharaoh counted on taking Abraham’s wife for his harem, but when God himself appeared to this pagan in a dream letting him know assuredly that he was a good as dead because she belonged to another.

As he counted up the gifts he gave trying to gain favor as he sent them on their way, he realized when he had accessed just how easily he thought she could be obtained, he found out with the loss of his riches that he had counted wrong.
Joseph’s brothers counted on destroying him, but upon discovering his new identity as second in power over all of Egypt they learned they had counted wrong.
Pharaoh counted on killing off the Hebrew sons, but with God’s sovereign plan the one baby he missed, that would grow up in his own house would bring about Egypt’s downfall. When he counted babies, he counted wrong.
Pharaoh counted on continuing to enslave the Hebrews after being commanded  from God to free them, finally having been hit with nine plagues, he conceded that he may have counted wrong.
Pharaoh counted on the Red Sea to allow his armies passage, but he and his host all drown there, and for his last time he counted wrong.
Korah counted on overthrowing Moses. Then the ground opened up and swallowed all that pertained to him.  Guess he too counted wrong.
Balak counted on hiring Balaam to curse Israel. 

Only to discover his plan had been intercepted by a Holy God and now only blessing could be spoken, yep, counted wrong.
Balaam counting on getting by disobeying God, and beating a donkey, once his eyes had been opened to the angel who informed him that he would have gladly killed him, not even aware how close he came to death and he surely regretted that he counted wrong!
Depraved men counted on forcibly taking and sexually assaulting Lot’s angelic house guests, only to blinded through the door and the entire place destroyed from the face of the earth, they had counted wrong.
Philistines counted on enjoying their “Let’s torture Samson” party,
as party sayings go, he really brought the house down, counting on torturing God ‘s anointed for the fun of it, thousands at that party had counted wrong.
Sisera, the enemy of Israel counted on a nice warm resting place when Jael took him in, had he lived through her nailing his head to the floor, well he would have known when he counted her as a friend, he counted wrong.
Goliath laughed hysterically at David’s small size counting on taking this boy down. God’s guided stone sending this beast to the ground and when his head came off, all of his army knew when they counted on destroying Israel that they counted wrong.
Absalom who counted on overthrowing his father, soon found himself suspended from a tree branch, caught by his beautiful hair. I’m sure before being ran through by the sword, he knew he counted wrong.
Nebuchadnezzar counted on torching the three Hebrew boys, once he saw not only were they fireproof but also not alone, to his horror he realized he counted wrong.
Haman counted on hanging Mordecai and killing all the Jews, after a chat between the King and Esther lead him to his gallows, those who had encouraged him in his plan knew they all had counted wrong.
Belshazzar counted on using vessels of the Lord as stem ware  for his pagan party, his death warrant was soon written upon his wall,
that’s what happens when you count wrong and attempt to defile a vessel, any vessel that is consecrated unto God.
Darius’ overseers counted on ridding themselves of Daniel by turning him lion food, but once morning came and Daniel was still very much alive, they themselves were thrown in the den, these are men who counted wrong, once again.
Satan and the armies of hell counted on taking all power once they had Jesus dead, but to their surprise he tore down their stronghold taking the keys to their kingdom, all the sting of death, overcoming the grave by resurrecting from his death.

They counted on defeating him and there will never again be doubt of just how badly they counted and they counted wrong.

We could go on for days, but I hope this encourages someone.
We do get discouraged, but when that happens give it to the Lord, let him raise up his spirit in you.
Think of it as spiritual wrestling, you may down but never let them make it to the three count.
                               You may be growing weak and losing strength fast and your enemies may think you’ve been counted out but with God as your Captain you can let them know really fast, if they really believe your out of the match and down for the count then obviously they have very badly counted wrong.

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. Reverend Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

AMONG THE THORNS

“As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters” Song of Solomon 2:2
The beautiful spiritual garden of the Lord, filled with every plant and flower to be imagined and the plot he has chosen for you to grow in.

You have been created in the image of God, the enemy knows this and he knows the value of the true beauty which you possess. He despises it, so he plants his briers in your life to rip and shred that image until there is nothing left but bloody, twisted, painful wounds.

Thorns, the gnarled twisted vines that entangle us and who we believe ourselves to be.

Their razor-sharp points piercing our souls, preventing our movement in either direction for fear of their sharp sting. If left to grow they will completely take over our souls.

Proverbs 12:18(a): “There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword.” 

We go through some pretty rough stuff in this life but often the real damage to us is not caused by physical sufferings but rather through words.

Words are so powerful, that is why Jesus is referred to as “THE WORD”, He spoke everything into existence and the enemy loves nothing more than to battle you with his own perverted, twisted, destructive words.

As the Bible states, those words stab our hearts, souls and spirit to a greater degree than any dagger ever might, because these cuts go straight to the heart.

“Four Eyes”,

“Dumb”,

“Stupid”,

“Wimp”,

“Fat”,

“Bone rack”,

“Flat chest”,

” Slut”,

“Idiot”,

“Cry Baby”,

“Should have never been born”,

“Never will amount to anything”.

Of course, they are always offered to us with the all too familiar, “YOUR…” which automatically red flags our minds which have been programmed to the values of this world and our social need to conform to default to self-blame.

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it?

These words are so powerful and carry so much force that even not being spewed hatefully at us, they still affect our emotions.

Words piercing our souls, and so many young men and women in our world today have listened to those words and the thorns that accompanied them are now strangling everything a Holy, loving Father has created them to be.

Society has set levels of supposed beauty and social conduct that are both impossible to achieve and disgraceful.
We have all been there at one point or another in life, maybe you are there now and the effects of these words can linger for life.

Self destruct mode takes over when those thorns have convinced us that rather than rid ourselves of them, that we must instead change ourselves to accommodate their presence.

IF we were prettier, more handsome, bigger busted, more muscular, slimmer, sexier, had better skin, whiter teeth, had more friends or could get that perfect date.
Maybe we could fit if… we drank more, tried the cool drugs, give our virtue away to everyone who asked, losing a little of our soul each time, joy, self-esteem and self-worth being strangled out, while depression, guilt and shame moves insidiously and comfortably into their spot.

Achieve one goal and a new one will be set because that score board is rigged and it forever changes to keep the players on the field right where the enemy wants them.

If it is so grand, why do so many celebrities commit suicide and die from drug overdoses?
Their souls have become so covered by thorns even all the money, fame and power can’ take the pain away, they are so miserable inside that they can no longer survive the torment of living.

These thorns manifest themselves in many, many ways the most common alcoholism, drug addictions, pornography and gambling addictions, cutting and eating disorders and host of self-destructive behaviors.

We, as Christians must get our heads out of fairy land and see what is really taking place in the lives of those Christ sent us to minister to and start acknowledging that these problems are very real and offer help to the untold number of teens and adults that suffer alone in silence, fearing that they will be farther ridiculed if their secrets are out.

We have to teach them that is okay to talk about these things and that there is help and most of all there is hope.
The realization has to come that THERE IS NO STANDARD!

We are fearfully and wonderfully  created, completely on purpose by someone who loves and does not make mistakes.

He wants us all to feel beautiful from the inside out and most of that our true value will be found in Him.

That we would understand that true beauty comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and personalities.

Just as roses, daisies and orchids are completely different and yet all equally as stunning.
His love is as the lily, the beautiful precious thing, completely surrounded by those thorns.
His love and His love alone is the only force that can cut all the thorns away and allow us to grow in that beautiful garden, being ourselves, just exactly who he intended us to be.

Hold on to God, give him all your pain and trust him because “HE IS THE ROSE OF SHARON AND THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS” and you are beautiful in Him!
Original Post Date:06/06/2014 

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

Part 1 ASHES