“Give it a Run for The Money and Keep on Truckin”

Guess I gotta give the low down ’bout that title, I am seriously missing my Sissy today, I actually miss her everyday but today has been exceptionally hard.

Probably because it’ my niece’s birthday, which was such a wonderful event for us all, she is an awesome person and like my own kid to me and her mother adored her, she adored both of her daughters, and the last words she spoke on this earth was for her to take care of her sister and that she loved her.

She was the voice of prayer and encouragement to accept my calling despite the odds against me, and it seems fitting to give nods to those who help us find our way, giving of themselves beyond any reasonable expectation, and she did, from praying for me constantly, to listening to my sermons, encouraging me not to be nervous and being the first reader of every post.

She would have dug this title.

We had our own language, she was a flower child, and she was star of my childhood, and my closet confidant for the remainder of her life.

But she was especially magical to me as a child, she was always so beautiful and so hip, in her jeans with peace sign patches and her super cool music that we would sing together and of course I was fascinated with her love life and spied out the window whenever she came home from a date,

Which usually followed with an “Ewww, you kissed him!”  when she came in, but she was wonderful and put up with me and loved me and grew up to be one of the greatest women of God anyone could have ever known, her last years marred by circumstance beyond her control, but she finished strong.

And even while she was dying, she was laughing and joking, much of it filmed by my daughter, which I don’t think I could ever bear to watch, but it was joy during heartache and for brief moments made us forget that these were our last moments.

We were using our age-old funk jive language that we spoke often, much to the disdain of others at times, who hadn’t a clue what on earth we were saying, but our whole family was like that, including my late brother, but when your family comes from mixed heritages with so many old sayings, and siblings whose formative years span multiple decades, you are bound to end up with some bodacious lingo.

“Run for the Money” means to give your actions everything you have to give and put and fight with everything you have inside of you against whatever stands in your way, basically “Don’t lay down and die”, another oldie but goodie, Keep on Truckin” means to just go on and keep going on and never stop.

So now that intro is out of the way and you can dig my groove with it, we’ll get deadly serious and flip this baby into Old English and go forth!

Galatians 6:9: ” And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if faint not.”

Our key words in that verse being if we faint not. Letting us know beyond a shadow of doubt that there are times that we feel so tired either physically or mentally or are so truly exhausted that we feel that we cannot go on and it is in those times that others will need you the most.

When you are tired and worn that is when someone else will need your strength to stand with them.

When you are grieving that is when someone else will need your comfort to bear their own storm.

When you feel your loneliest that is when someone else will need a friend.

When you are your sickest that is the moment someone else will need the prayer of faith for a miraculous healing.

We could go on and on with afflictions, but you can surmise it like this, whatever you’re struggling with, someone else needs the positive to your negative.

That is why it is written as “Let us not be weary”, when we feel like giving up the most is when we need to fight the hardest and then we reap what we have sown at a later time, when we need it the most.

Think of it as showing love, patience, and mercy to someone who never seems to show the same to you, if you continue to sow goodness, even when you feel least capable of it, you will then reap all of that beauty back to yourself, God’s goodness and mercy coming back home to you in the moment you need it most.

I have used this story in post past, but I am going to again, as we go through these thirty teachings to remember to help ward off the apostasy we hear today.

The Bible is full of wonderful accounts of this concept in action, but in my opinion, it is the greatest story of this teaching.

Acts 16: 16-34:“And it came to pass, as We went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met with us, which brought her masters much gain (lots of money) by soothsaying (fortune telling).

The same (she) followed Paul and Silas, and cried, saying, These men are servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 

And this did she many days but Paul being grieved (greatly annoyed), turned and said to the spirit, I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

And when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone (they could no longer make money from her), they caught (seized) Paul and Silas, and drew (dragged) them into the marketplace unto the rulers.

And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city. 

And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

And the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates rent (tore) off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging(ordering) the jailor to keep them safety(securely).

Who, having received such a charge (order), thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast (fastened their feet) in stocks.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them.

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed (chains feel off).

And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had fled. 

But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Then he called for a light, and sprang (ran) in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas.

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house (family also)

And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripesand was baptized, he and all of his straightway.

And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat (food) before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with his whole house (family).”

So much there, I am so glad we got that story into one of our thirty.

This is a great lesson on dealing with people who want to argue you with you about psychics, and all that jazz, this clearly states that she could foretell things because she was possessed by a demonic spirit that was responsible for that.

But the true beauty of the story is that Paul and Silas, after being beaten, literally striped for doing something good, praying to the Lord to release this girl from the demonic grip and being chained down with their feet even in stocks. I can’t imagine what pain they endured. When we think how painful a cut or scratch can be as they burn if anything touches and you can imagine how dark, damp, and nasty the prison would have been and confined, unable to move in that pain.

But they prayed and the praised and God, who inhabits the praises of his people, sent an earthquake in response, that not only were they heard, but everyone also who heard them, would be freed.

There is so much symbolism in that, as to the light we can shine to others, they were all prisoners there, but Paul and Silas were spiritually free and that freedom brought the light of God to them all.

Paul’s compassion from the Lord being so great in him, that he did not wish to see the jailor commit suicide, and this love is not human, this love was not because Paul was a great guy, or the master of forgiveness, No, this love came because Jesus lived in Paul.

And with that love and compassion shown through their own pain, the jailor was saved and all of his family, in one moment, in one fateful night.

So how important is it to keep on doing what we are supposed to do, to keep on loving in the face of hate, to keep on forbearing in faith? I think the answer is already there.

We will never know how a single word, or a single action can affect eternity, but we know that it does, even the actions that may seem the smallest can have the most influential eternal impact and give the fight all you have to give and once you have given that, look inside and give a little more!

God will give us everything we need to accomplish everything he has purposed to be achieved in our lives and when you feel like you got it the least is when you have it the most.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2022/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

            Ruby Faye Brown

Majesty

He, who created the heavens and the earth.

He who created the stars and flung them out into the universe calling each by name.
One special star destined to one day lead the wise travelers to the manger in which he was laid.

He visited the earth, which he had held in his hand, walking the dust-covered roads as a mortal man.
Shining his marvelous light into even the darkest night. 

His very name, being as an ointment poured forth caused mountains to fall, waves to roar and demons to flee.

When  soldiers came to arrest him, he answered, “I AM HE”   

His spoken identity so powerful that it sent them falling to the ground.
Nations destroyed by his hand, kings brought to their knees, the mighty of the earth brought to absolute nothingness.
He, who sent plagues, hail, blackness, and death upon all of Egypt for the sake of his chosen.

Yet the maidens and virgins, love struck forever follow to proclaim him in all his glory as the majestic King.
His garments perfumed with aloes, cassia, and myrrh symbolic of his purity, healing, and humility and a beautiful heart of servitude.

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

The voice that spoke into existence the universe, the heavens, the earth and seas and all that was, is or ever will be.

The voice that thunders in the heavens and sounds of many waters, that same voice in a still small way gave courage to the discouraged prophet, that same voice reassured a distraught father that his daughter was not dead but only asleep.

The voice that cried out to his father in the garden that the cup might pass from him, the voice that cried out from the cross it is finished, will one day proclaim that it is done.

Job 9:4-8  “He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him and hath prospered?

Which removeth the mountains, and they know it not; which overturned them in his anger.

Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the seas.”

Commanding the waters and rivers to not overpass boundaries which he has set.

Commanding the wind and waves that they should cease, walking upon the sea he had created, stretching forth his hand to Peter  his frightened  friend, reaching out so that  he could lift him up yet again.

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

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

The Feet that graced his gardens in Heaven and walked his palace floor, the feet Mary had washed with her tears and dried with her hair.
Those feet were then placed one atop the other and nailed completely through.

Those feet will soon one day stand atop Mt Olives, the mountains unable to bear the presence of their creator, will split helplessly into.

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

That breath gave itself over unto death on the cross because it was the price to be paid, that he might save us.

The angels of heaven proclaim his praise, the beasts around the throne never cease to cry “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and yet, he chose to call us friends.

John announced that he baptized with water but that a greater would come and baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost. Jesus himself, stating he had a baptism to be baptized with.

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

An image that no process  or technology  known to man, even to this day can reproduce.

John, trying to convey all the works he did after his resurrection before his ascension, finally conceded to this, as recorded in John 21:25   “And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books which should be written. Amen.” 

As so beautifully written in Solomon, This is our beloved.

Maybe that is why the angels keep it simple,  proclaiming only, “Praise Ye, Jehovah!”

The Lord himself stating in  Isaiah chapter 43 verses 10-12,  “Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he;

before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.

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

And again in Isaiah  chapter 40 verse 25 “To whom then will ye liken me or to whom shall I be equal? saith the Holy One” 
 
Also Isaiah chapter 46 verse 5″To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me that we may be like.”

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

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