Groovin’ the Gauntlet

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18

The Gauntlet, the reality of the answer of the age old question, what is the meaning of life. That is the answer, not quite what you would think is it?

We are all souls with God, who is eternal, no beginning, no ending, self -existing and ever existent  until we are born to this earth.

As God told Jeremiah, first chapter- fifth verse: “BEFORE I formed thee in the BELLY, I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED (set apart) THEE, AND I ORDAINED (appointed)THEE A PROPHET UNTO NATIONS.

As with the names that were written BEFORE the earth was formed. Our souls just as they are eternal, were with Him until time for whatever the reason, to be born onto the gauntlet field of this world.

1st Ephesians 1:4: “According as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE the FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

So we are born, hit the ground and IT IS ON.

 The gauntlet is formed against us BEFORE we can even hit the ground running, because the enemy knows more about you than you do!

The gauntlet of the “tares”, the weeds the devil planted among the children, on one side and facing you on the other side the demonic forces of hell, so you start your run between the tongue wagging finger pointers running themselves, trying to set those stumbling blocks before you, every imaginable scheme will be hatched for their use as a weapon against you, just trying to knock you down with everything they’ve got.

So you are running as fast as you can trying to keep one eye on the course in front of you and one eye on the weapons coming after you but then you see on the other side of your course the demonic forces armed and ready with snares and traps set every step of the way and many, many archers with their bows poised and the fiery darts ready to rain down, the farther you make it the more they are gonna hit from both sides, the “holier than thous” just dying to see you fall so they can tell all their buddies they were right about you the whole time, the devil starts bringing out bigger and bigger giants, more and more archers and sends the storms chasing you.

Sound pretty unbelievable?  Ah, Jesus said “for this cause” He was born into the world.  His cause being to DIE on a cross, not only die but to be tortured, humiliated, and rejected, his gauntlet beginning with his forty days in the wilderness, which HE MADE IT THROUGH HIS FORTY DAYS, he remained completely spotless and sinless and us being human CAN never achieve that, BUT we are to strive and stay on that course.

Now add in just the reality of living, grief, sorrow, heartache, because it rains on the just and the unjust, EVERYONE WILL RUN THE GAUNTLET.

But those with Christ have an expected end to this course.

This is the reason we are commanded to NOT look to the right or to the left, and NEVER EVER LOOK BACK, only forward, if we don’t look to either side we can’t lose focus worrying about what is getting ready to hit us and WE ARE COMMANDED more than once to not look back, if you do you will see what is gaining on you and you will stumble over those blocks that has been placed before you.

Your entire reason for living is to bring glory to the Father and to help as many as you can run the gauntlet that has been set before them by the god of this world  (2nd Corinthians  4:4).

Paul was very apt in describing his gauntlet and we often feel that our burdens are heavy but I know for me, I gain so much encouragement from reading what they suffered and being blessed to read the end of their stories and how God used all those things to enlarge the Kingdom.

2 Corinthians 11:23-30 ” Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one (they thought it merciful to give 39 lashes as opposed to the 40 you were sentenced to, so at the time he wrote this Paul HAD RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 195 lashes) . 

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; journeys often, in perils of waters, IN PERILS BY THE BRETHREN, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, IN PERILS AMONG FALSE BRETHREN ( notice both groups listed, the ones who ARE your brethren that set those stumbling blocks and the FALSE brethren sent by the enemy). 

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings (sleeplessness) often, in hunger, in thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

BESIDES THOSE THINGS (other things) WHICH COME UPON ME DAILY, the care of all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended (MADE TO STUMBLE), and I burn ( BURN WITH INDIGNATION) not?

IF I must needs glory, I WILL GLORY OF THE THINGS WHICH CONCERN MINE INFIRMITIES.”

 What he was saying if he survived all these things and yet glorified God in all them through showing love to others, how could ANYONE complain of their own sufferings?

He learned the groove of the gauntlet,  he learned to accept it for what it is and go with it.    

 He knew that is had to be ran, to fight it just held him up and there was people whose lives would be changed, there were others to help.

His purpose was NOT to fight in retaliation those who manned his gauntlet but to show the love listed above, to grab onto those who had fallen or were wounded by fiery darts and pull them with him to the finish line.

Acts 16 tells us of the arrest of Paul and Silas for doing just that, praying for a possessed girl to be delivered, this enraging those who were using her possession to make money through fortune telling, they were beaten and thrown in prison.

Paul had learned to be content in ALL situations and learned to REJOICE in affliction because the more he suffered for the Gospel, the GREATER the POWER OF GOD rested upon him, so with excruciating lash wounds on their backs they STILL sang and praised God, this pleasing God who sent an earthquake and opened every cell, now they could have left, completely free and thought “Ha, Ha the jerks get what they deserve for beating us.”  

BUT when Paul saw that the jailer was going to commit suicide because they had all escaped, Paul called to him NOT TO harm himself that they were all there.

That is that love and the jailer and his entire family was saved because Paul knew how to play the gauntlet and HE DID EXACTLY what GOD WANTED HIM TOO.

Just as Jesus “who for the joy SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is sat down at the right hand of the Father.”

Those of Hebrews 11, who should give anyone hope and courage to press on.

Learn to groove that gauntlet, play it smoother than any jazz tune ever played.

The prize we seek is NOT in this world.

It is in the next and the true secret is what they knew, press on, press on, press on.

Pick yourself up, let the tears fly as you run, but RUN, RUN with everything you got and grab on to all you see who have fallen in their own race against the gauntlet, pull them, drag them whatever you have to do to help them to that finish line, but never ever look at those opposing you just look to the Author and Finisher of your faith.

He made it through His forty days and Forty nights and then He ran that gauntlet that hell itself had prepared and he died running it BUT HE ROSE and FOREVER SHALL REIGN!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015 

Original post date 12/04/15 revisited 07/01/2020 As you go through your day and your week, please remember that this world and the troubles of this world are temporary, just as our first verse assures us and in these awful days in which we live set yourself with one purpose and one goal and that goal is this, a reminder of what Jesus told us,NEVER LET THEM STEAL YOUR CROWN.

In Good Conscience…

“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God.” 1 John 3:20,21  The heart there speaking of conscience. 

I’ve been wrestling with exactly how to hit this point, I toyed with an elaborate play in my head… something out of a history book, you know an old dude in a wig with the forefathers stomping his foot and throwing his quill pen on the table and profoundly stating, “Gentlemen I can not in good conscience be a party to this senseless farce!’

But then again that may be from history, ah, you never know!

Anyway we are digging a good conscience, that little tugging inside that tells us something about the situation we are in or a direction that someone is trying to lead us in is just not quite right for us.

On the flip side of that you can have someone, even with good intentions,  attempting to herd you into a direction or condemn a decision you have made or are trying to make based on their personal feelings on the matter.

People can often try to lead or condemn us when our true Shepherd the only one who truly has the right to lead and truly the only one with the power to condemn has no plan or purpose for that action in your life.

That is why the verse is so powerful and so extremely important especially when we are in a valley of decision, because God IS greater and he is greater than our heart and if our heart is not condemning us that tells us that surely God being greater than that would let us know beyond any shadow of a doubt the true path we should take or the correct decision even if we chose to make a decision that another may not think is the best one if God gives peace with that then we know we can have that confidence of being in his will.

To give an example of the importance of listening to the “voice” of God we’ll go to one of the scariest stories in the Bible, or at least to me it is one of the scariest because it teaches us how easily a person can sway us away from the will of God,

“And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense,

And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord (at the command of the Lord), and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.

And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign the Lord hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent (split apart), and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

And it came to pass, When King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying Lay hold upon him. (seize him) and his hand, which he did put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

The altar was rent, and the ashed poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 13:1-5

I want to stop right there for a moment because we can establish right there so completely that there was no doubt possible that this man, who is referred to as a man OF God had been sent and purposed of God to do this work and God displayed his power against those who would try to stop him to further prove that this was indeed divinely ordained.

Now for the rest of the story.

“And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand  was restored him again, and became as it was before (healed).

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give the a reward.

And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

For so it was charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest .

So he went another way,and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

And their father said unto them, What way  went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass, and he rode thereon.

And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak, and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? and he said, I am.

Then he said unto him, Come home with me and eat bread.

And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

For  it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way thou camest,

He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water, BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.

So he went back with him an did eat bread in his house, and drink water.” 1 Kings 13:6-19

This story has a horrific ending,  if you have a moment, please finish it on your own, but needless to say the man of God dies because he listened to the wrong voice, he listened to the voice of a man, the voice that assured him that he himself also was a “prophet” and he listened to the “voice’ of an “angel” supposedly heard by the man.

And he listened to all these “voices” when he had already heard from the “voice” the word of God and for whatever reason chose to listen to the wrong voice after having received all the instruction he needed from the right one.

Not faulting him at all, this is why this is such a scary story, because it happened so easy and it is a great warning to us, that there are those for whatever reason would try to lead us completely out of the will of God or even snare and trap us just to try to cause us to stumble and  fall.

The overwhelming thread of this story is that he had had been told every single thing he needed to know about the man of God, including the command that God gave him against eating and drinking in that “place” and the direction in which he had been commanded to travel and he had all he needed to convince him into going “back” with him. So much symbolism going on there.

God is greater than your heart, if you know God and I mean truly know God, that you are a born again, spirit filled Bible believing person, you know what your heart is saying, and God is greater.

So if your heart is telling you a way that you should not go while someone else is saying that is the only way to go, take a note from your heart and know that God through his word has already told you how to go.

As said in 1 Corinthians, God is NOT the author of confusion but of PEACE. The God that saved you is the same God today and anything that takes your joy and your peace and bring confusion and strife into your mind and heart is NOT of him and anything contrary to his word and his teachings will never be his will for your life.

Thanks for reading! have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Bought & Sold” Riches Untold

Buying and selling, we are all so different when it comes to how we will spend our money and at what price we are willingly to sell what is ours. Some really don’t care what the price is, if they want and can afford it,then they will have it. While others tend to be more practical, and count up the cost and necessity before they make that purchase.

And what has this post to do with impulse buying? 

Absolutely nothing!!! It is actually about impulse selling!

Don’t hear that one every day.

I had been thinking about someone and they have been on the heart of many others and to be honest when I wrote Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off, I could see the persons face in my mind the entire time I was working on the prodigal.

God started putting a thought in my heart about inheritance and I wondered. We all know that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, so why did Satan just not kill Jesus BEFORE he fulfilled his destiny to die on the cross? Why did he try to BUY him by offering him FOOD, and POWER, and ALL the kingdoms of earth, and finally trying to make him question who he even was?

The answer is this, he could NOT kill him, and take his inheritance, his only option was to attempt to BUY it from him.

Let’s see where it started. GENESIS 25 details the story of Esau and Jacob, the sons of Issac, the were twins but not anything alike and Issac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Jacob was very cunning and thinking things through would have served Esau well, but..

GENESIS 29-34: ” And Jacob sod pottage (cooked stew): and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint (very hungry): And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (red).

And Jacob said, SELL ME THIS DAY THY BIRTHRIGHT. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die: and WHAT PROFIT SHALL THIS BIRTHRIGHT DO TO ME? 

And  Jacob said, Sware to me this day; and he sware unto him: and HE SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT UNTO JACOB.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage (stew) of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

Now part of the deal was done, GENESIS 27 Rebekah and Jacob tricked Issac, who was old and could not see well, into giving his verbal blessing of inheritance to Jacob who was PRETENDING to be Esau. When Esau came to be blessed he was met with the terrible truth of his actions:

GENESIS 27:30-35: ” And it came to pass, as SOON as Issac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of Isaac his father (had just left), that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison , that thy soul MAY BLESS ME. And Isaac his father said unto him, WHO ART THOU? And he said, I am thy son, THY FIRSTBORN Esau. 

And Isaac TREMBLED very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all BEFORE thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 

And when Esau HEARD THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE CRIED WITH A GREAT AND EXCEEDING BITTER CRY, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

And he  (Isaac) said, THY BROTHER CAME WITH SUBTILITY ( DECEIT) AND HATH TAKEN AWAY THY BLESSING.”  Now that is scary!Just think of what Jacob inherited, remember his name would soon be changed to ISRAEL, the father of THE tribes of the nation of GOD, that will also set as tribes in New Jerusalem. An INHERITANCE of worth that is STILL ACCUMULATING thousands, and thousands of years LATER!!!

Now back to Jesus, so why didn’t the enemy just kill him? HE COULDN’T! HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OF GOD TO DO SO! 

Remember God gave Satan reign over the circumstances in Job’s life, with the exception that HE COULD NOT KILL HIM. Only God has power over life and death, and there are many scriptures attesting to that fact. This is the SAME reason that Satan has bought off so many who were predestined to the kingdom of God.

The very chosen, elect of God who are selling their birthright FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As the scripture goes “they have sold themselves for nought” like Esau, not even taking time to think about what they are doing, SELLING IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR FLESH FOR THE PRESENT DAY, QUESTIONING WHAT GOOD IS IT DOING THEM ANYWAY, never thinking about the fact that it takes time for accounts to mature and interest to grow! 

ROMANS 8:29-30,33: ”   For WHOM HE did FOREKNOW, HE also DID PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among MANY brethren.

Morever, whom HE did PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: and who HE CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED, them he also glorified.

WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s ELECT? IT IS  GOD that justifieth.

Just as God told Jeremiah “BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE: AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.”  JEREMIAH 1:5

He was not a special case, as Romans tells us, we WERE with God and the gifts He has placed in us WERE given BEFORE we were even born! The CALLING was placed on our life BEFORE we ever existed in the earthy realm! This is why scripture also states in ROMANS 12:29: “FOR the GIFTS and CALLING of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).”

Whatever gift God has given you, whether it is to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, if it is the gift of miracles to pray blinded eyes open, deaf ears to hear, or even the prayer of faith to raise the dead. The gift of tongues and prophecy, the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge.

The callings as pastors, preachers, teachers, helpers, givers. Whatever those are ARE FOREVER. And you can choose to sell them out to the highest bidder but you will never escape the knowledge and the hurt when you discover the true price of what he had given you! Run, go right on, run,run as fast as you can,  YOU WILL NEVER OUTRUN GOD. 

PSALM 139:7,8: “Whither (where) shall I go FROM thy spirit? or whither (where) shall I FLEE from thy presence?  If I ascend UP into heaven, THOU ART THERE: If I MAKE MY BED IN HELL, BEHOLD, THOU ART THERE.”

No matter where you go, what you do, HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE and you will not escape either fulfilling that purpose or being held accountable for your failure to do so.  Satan can not just take your birthright, However God did say that His spirit will not always strive with man and I do believe that there does come times of reprobation and we will not get into that here. God places that hedge of protection around you, He protects what is His and as it is written “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” the enemy can not just take over you life, you have to sell out your life and your birthright as a child of the King to him.

And you will never have any idea what that is or what that is truly worth until you live for the Lord and maybe even then, just like what came to pass with Jacob and Esau, the full value will go on accumulating AFTER your work on earth is finished.

So please think of what you are selling and don’t sell your eternal destiny for any thing the enemy can offer, he is ONLY TRYING TO BUY YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT WITH GOD’S HAND ON YOU, HE CAN NOT DEFEAT YOU and HE KNOW WHAT YOUR WORK BLESSED OF GOD WILL COST HIS KINGDOM!

The regret Esau had was endless, HEBREWS 12:16,17: “Lest there be any fornicator or profane (godless) person, as Esau, WHO FOR ONE MORSEL OF MEAT (FOOD) SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

FOR YE KNOW THAT AFTERWARD, when he WOULD HAVE INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was REJECTED: for he found NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE, though HE SOUGHT IT CAREFULLY WITH TEARS.”  

Even though he had regret upon regret, and he tried and he cried, and he tried some more but there was no way he could go back and change what had been done, there was “no place” he could find in this situation to change what had already been done and what he lost was the headship over all Israel and I am sure the bad aftertaste of that stew lingered for a lifetime! Think about it! Love and peace till next time!

Original post from 2016

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 2016

 

“Bought & Sold” Riches Untold

Buying and selling, we are all so different when it comes to how we will spend our money and at what price we are willingly to sell what is ours. Some really don’t care what the price is, if they want and can afford it,then they will have it. While others tend to be more practical, and count up the cost and necessity before they make that purchase.

And what has this post to do with impulse buying? 

Absolutely nothing!!! It is actually about impulse selling!

Don’t hear that one every day.

I had been thinking about someone and they have been on the heart of many others and to be honest when I wrote Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off, I could see the persons face in my mind the entire time I was working on the prodigal.

God started putting a thought in my heart about inheritance and I wondered. We all know that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, so why did Satan just not kill Jesus BEFORE he fulfilled his destiny to die on the cross? Why did he try to BUY him by offering him FOOD, and POWER, and ALL the kingdoms of earth, and finally trying to make him question who he even was?

The answer is this, he could NOT kill him, and take his inheritance, his only option was to attempt to BUY it from him.

Let’s see where it started. GENESIS 25 details the story of Esau and Jacob, the sons of Issac, the were twins but not anything alike and Issac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Jacob was very cunning and thinking things through would have served Esau well, but..

GENESIS 29-34: ” And Jacob sod pottage (cooked stew): and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint (very hungry): And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (red).

And Jacob said, SELL ME THIS DAY THY BIRTHRIGHT. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die: and WHAT PROFIT SHALL THIS BIRTHRIGHT DO TO ME? 

And  Jacob said, Sware to me this day; and he sware unto him: and HE SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT UNTO JACOB.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage (stew) of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

Now part of the deal was done, GENESIS 27 Rebekah and Jacob tricked Issac, who was old and could not see well, into giving his verbal blessing of inheritance to Jacob who was PRETENDING to be Esau. When Esau came to be blessed he was met with the terrible truth of his actions:

GENESIS 27:30-35: ” And it came to pass, as SOON as Issac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of Isaac his father (had just left), that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison , that thy soul MAY BLESS ME. And Isaac his father said unto him, WHO ART THOU? And he said, I am thy son, THY FIRSTBORN Esau. 

And Isaac TREMBLED very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all BEFORE thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 

And when Esau HEARD THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE CRIED WITH A GREAT AND EXCEEDING BITTER CRY, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

And he  (Isaac) said, THY BROTHER CAME WITH SUBTILITY ( DECEIT) AND HATH TAKEN AWAY THY BLESSING.”  Now that is scary!Just think of what Jacob inherited, remember his name would soon be changed to ISRAEL, the father of THE tribes of the nation of GOD, that will also set as tribes in New Jerusalem. An INHERITANCE of worth that is STILL ACCUMULATING thousands, and thousands of years LATER!!!

Now back to Jesus, so why didn’t the enemy just kill him? HE COULDN’T! HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OF GOD TO DO SO! 

Remember God gave Satan reign over the circumstances in Job’s life, with the exception that HE COULD NOT KILL HIM. Only God has power over life and death, and there are many scriptures attesting to that fact. This is the SAME reason that Satan has bought off so many who were predestined to the kingdom of God.

The very chosen, elect of God who are selling their birthright FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As the scripture goes “they have sold themselves for nought” like Esau, not even taking time to think about what they are doing, SELLING IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR FLESH FOR THE PRESENT DAY, QUESTIONING WHAT GOOD IS IT DOING THEM ANYWAY, never thinking about the fact that it takes time for accounts to mature and interest to grow! 

ROMANS 8:29-30,33: ”   For WHOM HE did FOREKNOW, HE also DID PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among MANY brethren.

Morever, whom HE did PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: and who HE CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED, them he also glorified.

WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s ELECT? IT IS  GOD that justifieth.

Just as God told Jeremiah “BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE: AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.”  JEREMIAH 1:5

He was not a special case, as Romans tells us, we WERE with God and the gifts He has placed in us WERE given BEFORE we were even born! The CALLING was placed on our life BEFORE we ever existed in the earthy realm! This is why scripture also states in ROMANS 12:29: “FOR the GIFTS and CALLING of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).”

Whatever gift God has given you, whether it is to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, if it is the gift of miracles to pray blinded eyes open, deaf ears to hear, or even the prayer of faith to raise the dead. The gift of tongues and prophecy, the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge.

The callings as pastors, preachers, teachers, helpers, givers. Whatever those are ARE FOREVER. And you can choose to sell them out to the highest bidder but you will never escape the knowledge and the hurt when you discover the true price of what he had given you! Run, go right on, run,run as fast as you can,  YOU WILL NEVER OUTRUN GOD. 

PSALM 139:7,8: “Whither (where) shall I go FROM thy spirit? or whither (where) shall I FLEE from thy presence?  If I ascend UP into heaven, THOU ART THERE: If I MAKE MY BED IN HELL, BEHOLD, THOU ART THERE.”

No matter where you go, what you do, HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE and you will not escape either fulfilling that purpose or being held accountable for your failure to do so.  Satan can not just take your birthright, However God did say that His spirit will not always strive with man and I do believe that there does come times of reprobation and we will not get into that here. God places that hedge of protection around you, He protects what is His and as it is written “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” the enemy can not just take over you life, you have to sell out your life and your birthright as a child of the King to him.

And you will never have any idea what that is or what that is truly worth until you live for the Lord and maybe even then, just like what came to pass with Jacob and Esau, the full value will go on accumulating AFTER your work on earth is finished.

So please think of what you are selling and don’t sell your eternal destiny for any thing the enemy can offer, he is ONLY TRYING TO BUY YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT WITH GOD’S HAND ON YOU, HE CAN NOT DEFEAT YOU and HE KNOW WHAT YOUR WORK BLESSED OF GOD WILL COST HIS KINGDOM!

The regret Esau had was endless, HEBREWS 12:16,17: “Lest there be any fornicator or profane (godless) person, as Esau, WHO FOR ONE MORSEL OF MEAT (FOOD) SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

FOR YE KNOW THAT AFTERWARD, when he WOULD HAVE INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was REJECTED: for he found NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE, though HE SOUGHT IT CAREFULLY WITH TEARS.”  

Even though he had regret upon regret, and he tried and he cried, and he tried some more but there was no way he could go back and change what had been done, there was “no place” he could find in this situation to change what had already been done and what he lost was the headship over all Israel and I am sure the bad aftertaste of that stew lingered for a lifetime! Think about it! Love and peace till next time!

Original post from 2016

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 2016

 

Parental Guidance Highly Suggested

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heartand thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Trying to determine true statics on kids and Christianity is like the proverbial needle in the haystack.

But it is very fair to say considering the verse above that it doesn’t really matter what school stats would suggest because this is parental responsibility.

According to the history on it, “Sunday school” was started in Britain as a way of not only helping the street children, but also teaching them about God and educating them.

And in our country schools used mainly the word of God as a teaching tools for reading and writing.

Many of our early leaders WERE self-taught, the Bible being the number one book used for that purpose.

So it is not a shocker that schools of yesteryear were safe learning place that parents could entrust their children to, of course you have to take the corporal punishment out of that equation, I for one absolutely do not agree with hitting or spanking, or any form of physical violence as a method of discipline or learning “incentive”.

But they were something else in the old days as far as the term “strong disciplinarians” could go.

My mother has horror stories of the days when children were paddled for not knowing their multiplication table. And as she said, if you miss one you were sure to miss another. It is just absolutely wrong for anyone other than a parent to have that kind of authority over a child.

But we have as a society  given entirely too much power to influence the minds and more importantly the SOULS of our children to the “world” schools, and even religious organizations.

As we know when prayer and the teachings of God were removed form public schools replaced with Darwinism and the absolute intelligence insulting nonsense of the big bang and evolution, we invited the moral downfall of society as we knew it.

And at the end of the day it is up to each one of us to take back that power, that back that authority that we have blindly given others BECAUSE God only gave that authority to parents.

I have heard people remark after being called out about saying or doing things that are not right in front of their children, only to reply that “They hear worse at school” and everyone could argue the filth that they see on television and movies and even argue that at some point they “will be exposed to it anyway” but here is the deal, EVEN if they hear bad language at school, they should NOT hear it at home. EVEN if they have saw filth on television, you have to ask, WHO is monitoring that television? WHO is watching over what they are watching, witnessing, and being exposed to?

Remember PG for PARENTAL GUIDANCE? That is NOT just for television. God expects us to use our PG authority in all areas of our children’s lives and even if children are grown adults, they are STILL your children. 

No matter what mistakes have been made in the past, the present and future can be changed for the better by enacting that parental guidance in our own lives, by being the example that God intended for us to be.

And as long as we have breath in these bodies, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE! That is why God told US to teach our own children, of course we can not protect the from the world and the things in the world but at the end of the day, what are taught by parents and family will outweigh those other influences.

And of course people can fall in with the “wrong crowd” and go completely “hog wild” as the saying goes, kinda reminiscent of the Prodigal son there, but have hope in this.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he WILL NOT depart from it.”

Most of us have been guilty of running amok in our youth, (some of us seriously amok) but there is so much comfort in knowing that God ALWAYS has His eyes on us AND our children.

That is why it is so important for those who are new to Christ to STAY in Christ because we are PROMISED our households and our families to a thousand generations, we are NOT saved just for the sake of being saved.

As part of that salvation, we are to lead others to Him, that His light may also shine into their lives also and  that light radiates and it touches so many others, which is why when one family member accepts Christ usually the others soon follow.

It ONLY takes one person to STAND up and declare faith in Jesus to influence many generations.

Think about it as we start a New Year, if you have a school aged child KNOW who is teaching them and what they are being taught and do not be afraid to speak AGAINST those things that are against God because you are actually the one with the GREATER influence.

And if you doubt that, think of it in the negative, think about all the people who belong to hate groups BECAUSE they were BORN into hate groups and we ARE products of our environment and once that environment changes WE CAN CHANGE ALSO.

This kinda goes with my “when in Rome” thought, it has been on my heart and mind so much that THIS has to change. Take back your place in the family and take back your heritage in the Lord.

Psalm 127:3,4: ” Lo, (OT for pay attention) Children ARE an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of thy womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

We ARE blessed with children. We ARE entrusted of God with those children and they are HIS and we are privileged with the task of nurturing their hearts, their souls, and their minds and guide them on their journey into adulthood but even more so in discovering  WHO HE CREATED THEM TO BE.

And the greatest reflection that will show in them is WHO we understand HE created US to be.

So as you make your resolutions for this New Year, think about what you want for your family, if you don’t have kids, think about maybe another family member. We all struggle, we all need help at different times in life, and we can all be a light, and especially as parents, be that parental guide for your child, no matter how young or old they are because you lead and they will follow, maybe not in a split second, but stay on the Lord’s path and they will… just as scripture tells us, NOT depart from that way.

So be that example this year, even when you don’t feel like being an example.. BE ONE.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2018

 

“In Him”

John 14: 6-20: ” Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the father that DWELLETH in me, he doeth the works.

BELIEVE me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, THAT HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER; EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH;

Whom the world CANNOT receive, because it seeth him NOT, neither knoweth him: BUT YE KNOW HIM; for HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me:

BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. And at that day YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.”  

It feels good to write.. I really was wondering if maybe I had forgotten how to type and I am pretty sure over the last two weeks there have been countless times that I have felt like I had lost my ability to even think.

But I have learned truly “IN HIM” we all know, or should know that NOTHING is of us or in our human ability and if we think that we are truly mistaken because the only abilities we even have is what HE has given us.

But over the course of time since my last post so much has happened, has CHANGED and all of it out of my control and I have been set on a path my “brown recluse” self would have NEVER chosen BUT I know that I am absolutely NOT alone and if this is the path, my Father is truly walking by my side.. with maybe many moments of actually gently nudging me as I dig in my heels in one spot pleading with Him, that maybe that is just not where I want to go.

But somehow in my spirit, I have that reassurance that if He is leading me there, and leading me through the unwelcome changes than OBVIOUSLY, I NEED TO GO THERE and that comfort, the comfort of knowing HE IS IN ME and as long as I try my best and stay IN HIM, it will ALL somehow be alright and trust and know that I really DON’T have a clue, HE KNEW IT ALL…. AND HE KNEW IT BEFORE I EXISTED HERE and there is such a blessed FREEDOM in that.

After weeks of my husband’s “surprise” heart condition sinking in and really not wanting to be a widow anytime soon, I was already emotionally drained but we have a great church family who have stuck by us and offered so much encouragement and support and prayed faithfully, in times that I had more questions than answers, I do not question God, I often question MYSELF, MY ABILITY TO HANDLE WHAT I ALREADY KNOW I CAN’T HANDLE, and that is where the title came from. I don’t have to handle anything if God is doing all the handling!

He had his heart repaired using two types of stents, the one hundred percentage blockage was actually bypassed, which I KNOW was also God, because during the initial catheterization, the first recommendation was to be transferred for open heart surgery, and God changed this two more times and of course he is still in his resting period for a few more days and still has a road ahead but I know in this God gave us so much mercy and favor.

On about four hours sleep over a period of three days, I was blessed with a new job, my caller ID had the call listed about ten minutes BEFORE we came home from the hospital stay and this is was for a job that I have NEVER did, NO EXPERIENCE in EVER and I’m sure being physically tired and emotionally drained does NOT make for the world’s best trainee, but God has blessed me so much with my boss who is understanding beyond anything a person could ever ask.

And all the changes for our family and our lifestyle would not even stop there! I have done other things over the last two weeks that I have not done in close to twenty years!

And I truly wondered with a six-day work schedule, trying make sure I can hit one of the two Sunday church services, and my housework, family and other things, if I am even going to ever keep up phlogizo, and after several “archive” sticky posts, it feels great to actually write and hopefully after this “update” on the “widow-maker” one I will get back to my “normal” work.. and we all laugh hysterically because “normal” is not quite the word to describe my blog.

 He has reminded me so much lately, at one point during this that I was so tired and sleep deprived that I was physically at the point of shaking, just absolutely exhausted, and He touched me and honestly I woke up the next morning feeling so refreshed and with a peace in just KNOWING as crazy as life had suddenly become, all the uncertainty I felt was not uncertainty to Him and THIS is HIS plan, HIS way that IS so much higher than mine!  Through HIM and IN HIM we can do whatever life requires of us. And here are some beautiful reminders of that:

Psalm 90:1,2: “Lord thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”

Psalm 57:1: “Be merciful unto me, O God: be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadows of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”

Psalm 46:1,2: “God IS our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT help in the time of trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

Psalm 48:14: ” For God IS our God FOR EVER AND EVER: AND HE WILL BE OUR GUIDE EVEN UNTO DEATH.”  Psalm 50:15: ” And call upon me in the day of trouble, I WILL deliver thee.”

Psalm 28:7: ” The Lord IS my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I AM HELPED: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth: and with my song will I praise him.”

Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God IS my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH IS my strength and my song; he IS also become my salvation.”

Deuteronomy 33: 27 (a) ” The ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE AND UNDER ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS….” And my favorite:

Ruth 2:12:(b)..”under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

IN HIM.. is there a more splendid place we could ever be?

Thanks for the prayers, love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

I love these lyrics and  this song! Music has such perfect timing..

 

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

 

 

“How shall I come….”

“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train (skirts of garment) filled the temple, Above it stood the seraphims (a type of angel) each one had six wings; with twain (two) he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: The whole earth is full of his glory. And the post of the door moved at the voice of him who cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone (surely to be destroyed) because I am a man of unclean lips; for mine eye have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5

Now, ever think this is the SAME God we tend to get a little too chummy with when we choose to attribute to Him purely human qualities, attitudes, and thoughts?

Please do not get me wrong, this is sincerely designed to just be a little thought-provoking not to hit people over the head with the heretic stick! So please, hear me out.  There is no need for me to point out what a fight the true church is having… between dealing with Satan and the forces of hell, spiritual wickedness in our high places, and the onslaught of the candy coats who completely trash God’s word in favor of  humanism, with their doctrine of “if it feels good, it must be good” leading people into destruction and yet PROMISING them they are saved, when any true Bible reader KNOWS it says otherwise.

I think somewhere along the way, another philosophy has also manifested itself, the thought that God can be on OUR level again, do not get me wrong, we NEED the personal relationship with Him and we have to have that, the oneness, closeness, and togetherness but when we start to view Him as our BBF we may be getting a little TOO chummy.

HE IS our best friend, but HE IS HOLY. He is STILL God over heaven and earth, HE IS still a supernatural BEING while we are well.. just beings! Yes, even though He did say He has called us friends and WE ARE, I still think there is a major need to turn back into reverence and Holiness.

I am a huge advocate of POURING your heart out, your innermost fears, thoughts, and all that you are to Him and will ALWAYS stand by that and teach that but we must always remember there is a fine line between allowing Him to heal us and console us and taking Him for GRANTED.

Once we gain that assurance, that love, and that place of being completely engulfed in His presence, we can be very easily swayed in OUR thinking that we can become lax and write off the wrong behaviors as simply thinking “He understands”.  With a calling on you life and His gifts bestowed on you for the use of edifying the church.. I would not automatically assume that He is just going to understand your failure to use any of it.

Notice the first thing that happened to Isaiah, horrifying fear BECAUSE in the presence of the glory of the Lord, he immediately felt conviction for his sin, as he said a man of “unclean “lips and in that presence he knew the possibly that he could be completely destroyed.

One of our biggest issues of today, a lax in the fear of the Lord’s Holiness. Again this is not to beat or badger, it is to prompt thinking, the Glory is coming, NOTHING is stopping that, it is actually already here but whether or not one will be able to stand in it is another question.

Isaiah 6:6,7: ” Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from of the altar; And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath TOUCHED thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged (atoned for, covered).”

So think about THAT, Isaiah had RECEIVED A VISIT FROM THE LORD, allowed to see into the heavenly places, allowed to see THE ABSOLUTE GLORY of the Lord so strong, it became as smoke and YET, AFTER this, he had to undergo the cleansing fire of God, to “clean up” his mouth and consecrate it, in order to receive his commission from the Lord.

That fire that we are often so fearful of approaching, because often we as humans are comfortable right where we are in our salvation, if many were to be honest they simply do not want to undergo the purification process because it can be very “painful” and once we have accepted that process we are then required and bound to a higher level of responsibility.

As I have said before and will probably say again..and again.. I believe this is why there are people God will bestow multi-gifts and talents upon, NOT because they are special but because THEY ARE WILLING and His work will be done.

Think about the statement Jesus made.. “Many are called but few are chosen” as a very new Christian, my first pastor explained this to me and he was a wonderful man of God, whose advice that early in my walk, forever holds impact for me, many ARE called, they ARE saved but FEW ARE chosen.. chosen vessels…

Think of Paul, when Jesus said that he was “A chosen vessel”, now think about a vessel.. what is that?

A vessel IS a COMPLETELY EMPTY CONTAINER, it has NOTHING of itself.. it does not plan its own use…it does not have an agenda.. it does not REFUSE to be used… it only has ONE purpose.. TO BE FILLED with whatever IS CHOSEN BY THE MAKER OF THAT VESSEL.

The reason it is FEW is due to the refusal to be “emptied” and allow Him, through the Holy Spirit, to do whatever He wants.

Like Isaiah, we must be willing once He has presented us with that glory to allow Him to purify, sanctify, and burn everything that hinders out of us until we are a suitable vessel, and then the callings and gifts can be manifested AS HE WILLS.

Now to “word-out” that THIS is a “Christian” condition. Luke 12:43-48 deals with the parable of the servants, the servants are left with the tasks given by the Lord and instead of doing as they have been commanded, they party, drink, and BEAT the others because the think they will not get caught because they think he is not coming back, and this is the clincher;

“And that servant which KNEW his lord’s will, and PREPARED NOT HIMSELF, NEITHER DID ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, shall be beaten with MANY stripes,

BUT HE THAT KNEW NOT, and did commit such things, shall be beaten with FEW stripes, FOR UNTO WHOMSOEVER MUCH IS GIVEN, OF HIM, SHALL BE MUCH REQUIRED; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”

The operative word’s there, KNEW and prepared NOT, and then greater mercy shown to the one who did not know. 

James 3:1: “My brethren, be not many masters (let not many of you be teachers) knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation (stricter judgment).”

That really needs no explanation.. bad news for the candy coats and prosperity teachers though! We are responsible for EVERY word we have taught in His name.

And the final one, that I think maybe was going on in Isaiah’s  thoughts, he HAD to know because it was what terrified him as far as things he could fall under.

James 4:17: “Therefore, TO HIM THAT KNOWETH TO DO GOOD, AND DOETH IT NOT, TO HIM IT IS SIN.”

That is about as close as it can cut, so the choice is ours but please NEVER take for granted the Lord, his goodness, His mercy, and HOW INCREDIBLY BLESSED it is to be chosen of Him and never forget we are still accounted, as those servants, for doing those jobs, or failing to do those jobs.

The job has been given, the rest is up to us but the final reward/reprimand is up to Him, don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise, that is a human thought! The glory of the Lord to be revealed as never before and it is HIS glory, our job is to JUST LET HIM DO HIS WILL THROUGH WILLING VESSELS.

“Wherewith (HOW) shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?

SHALL I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?

 WILL the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?

SHALL I give my firstborn for my transgressions, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; And what doth the Lord require of thee, But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:6-8

Reverence and Respect HIS HOLINESS! Submit yourself, ALL of yourself HUMBLY unto Him!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

 

 

Am I too late?

Most have experienced the pain of waiting too late. Too late in making a decision and living with that regret for years or sometimes life. Being late to an event or the fear that maybe you have already arrived too late and lost out on something you had long looked forward to, or feel that if you could only go back and change this or do that, everything would be different.

I feel like this goes on in the kingdom pretty often, people feel like they have waited too long in moving out into their calling, or they were hurt and rejected once they did step out, I promise you that is just part of the deal, you step out for the Lord you’re gonna be hurt AND rejected but take it for the compliment that it is! The enemy is NOT going to waste his time (because he knows it is short) fighting people for fun, he fights what he knows is a threat.

So they feel like they maybe they were mistaken about even being called, (another trick from the enemy) they feel they can’t “go back” to “that” church or “those” people because there is just “too much water under the bridge.”

Have you ever thought of it this way, maybe the WATER under that bridge is exactly what the enemy is trying to keep you out of! Maybe you think you missed your calling, waited too long, and too much time has passes, too many struggles have ensued… Got some good news on that story, what if you discovered one day that it was ALL part of the plan for your life to get you EXACTLY where you need to be spiritually in order to go EXACTLY where God wants to take you?

We’ve got two situations going here so we will hit the both, It is NEVER too late! Until you are dead and in the ground then it is too late to pursue the call of God on your life no matter if it was given fifty years ago because: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).” Romans 11:29

Which means God is NEVER going to say, “Oh sorry, I really did not mean to give you that, let me just take that back.” NO it means He has given them for ever and ever.

And for whatever reason the have been unused I want you to be encouraged, get back up, get back on that boat, do not care who likes you, who doesn’t and do the will of your Father because it is Him that we answer to and sometimes, we are required to swallow our pride for the kingdom because pride does not belong in the kingdom and God ALWAYS deals with those who come against you and your calling, but if you hide it and refuse to use it, what reason would he have to exonerate you from your enemies, and prove them wrong?

Now to prove it is not too late, remember in Revelation when Jesus is warning and encouraging the churches as to what he expects of them, He is speaking to the church of Ephesus, who left their first love, I just want to use part of this verse, because these people WERE saved, their WERE known to Him, “Remember therefore from whence (where) thou art fallen, and repent, and DO THY FIRST WORKS; Revelation 2;5 (1)

So He is telling them DO your FIRST works. I want to get this out-of-the-way, I know there could be the argument against this, because of the verse “called in one hope of your calling” but if you do not accept your ONE hope on this earth to do your job, and use your calling, you sure aren’t going to need it in heaven or New Jerusalem because everyone there will already be saved.

So if you are reading this, rest assured it is NOT too late! I do want to warn you of a common snare with this, once “people” find out you are called, many of them can not wait to give advice and tell you what you should do” it is YOUR job from the Lord, HE will put in your heart or give to you by prophecy what you should do. Don’t need it please don’t listen to it unless you want to ask your Pastor, or prayer partner their thoughts on the best way to go about something, but please don’t let anyone influence you in your work for God, He calls us all differently.

Situation two, we’ll call, “You are growing, growing, growing” Think about David, do you realize that David was anointed THREE times, anointed means to be separated for a specific purpose, the first time He was only about fifteen years old, and this was done privately, only in the presence of his family,

1 Samuel 16:13:” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day FORWARD…….”

From this point on, the spirit of God was with him, and even though he had ALREADY been anointed to be King, the time was not yet, and when he was sent to Saul, it was NOT as his replacement but as his harpist!

His next task would be to fight the mighty giant Goliath and I don’t even think David was even thinking about his future or the job he was already in training for, when he ran AT Goliath it was in confidence of the Lord, that no one was going to threaten and enslave the people of the Living God, and at NO point did he tell Goliath “I come to you as the future King” He told him that he came in “NAME of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel”.

He then went on to endure Saul’s insane jealously, hiding and fearing for his life, battling bloody battle upon battle, growing and growing into who he had been created to be.

He is anointed a second time, 2 Samuel 2:4,”And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah….” this time is publicly with his countrymen.

And on he goes… growing and growing, battling and battling, “friend” and foe, learning to deal with situations and all the qualities he would NEED, imperative to his success and survival. He has been anointed privately, publicly, and now he will be anointed and accepted by the elders as King over all of Israel.

“So all the elders of Israel came to the king, to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.” 2 Samuel 5;3,4

The fulfillment of that promise unfolded over the period of his life that he was fourteen, fifteen years old until he was thirty, and even NOW part of the divine purpose for the throne of David is STILL unfolding and will be until the return of Christ!

How much do you think he matured and grew and learned and developed over those fifteen odd years? What if he had given up half way through and decided to “rethink” what had been told to him at that private anointing?

David was successful in that long journey because he never lost focus of the big picture, and allowed himself to be exactly what Go wanted, a vessel and David knew that no army, no power, nothing of this earth could defeat God or stop His divine will for Israel and this is what keep David going… and going.. it was NEVER easy and I am sure he experienced many moments of absolute sorrow during those dark times but he always held on and we must also!

Do not give up on your calling! I love the story of Nehemiah and it has been encouragement many times for me personally, I actually have it written and taped in the front of my Bible, along with many other verses, we NEED this encouragement.

This took place  as Nehemiah set about to rebuild the wall and the enemies came forth to STOP THE WORK and I love this verse, Nehemiah 6:9; “ For they ALL made us AFRAID, saying, their hands SHALL BE WEAKENED FROM (because of) the work, that it not be done. NOW THEREFORE, O GOD, STRENGHTEN MY HANDS.”

This is a great verse to remember when “people” are telling you that “it” is impossible to accomplish what GOD SAID you could and trying to discourage you with the thought that the work is too hard and you can not possibly finish it.

Maybe what you think is a little too late could actually be right on time,”Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is NOT unto death, BUT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he heard therefore that he was sick, HE ABODE (stayed) TWO DAYS STILL IN THE SAME PLACE WHERE HE WAS. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again.

His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou hither again? ( why are you going back)  Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in a day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

These things said he; and afterward he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; But I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death; but they thought he had spoken of taking rest in sleep.

Then said Jesus unto them, plainly, LAZARUS IS DEAD. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, TO THE INTENT THAT YOU MIGHT BELIEVE;……John 11:1-15  most know the rest of the story.. the sisters go on to tell Him, if He had only been there, their brother would still be alive.

We often think about our pain in what we go through, but it was NOT easy for Jesus to allow them to go through this sorrow and everyone is crying and now HE IS crying also, and I ALWAYS have to point this out because it just tells you WHO HE IS, He KNEW that in matter of moments Lazarus would be very much alive, it just broke His heart seeing them hurt, it does break His heart to see His children cry, NEVER doubt that.

“Jesus said, Take ye away the stone, Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh; for HE HATH BEEN DEAD FOUR DAYS. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, IF THOU WOULDEST BELIEVE, THOU SHOULDEST SEE THE GLORY OF GOD?” John 11:39,40

As we know from the verses, He LOVED them, but Lazarus was allowed to die so the GLORY would be revealed. But it was not the END of Lazarus’s  story and EVEN four days dead was still not too late!  Just as He said, it was that the GLORY OF GOD WOULD BE REVEALED AND THAT THEY WOULD BELEIVE!

It may look dead, doesn’t mean it is dead! May just not be as late as you think it is after all! So if you find yourself asking.. “Am I too late?”, have faith.. it all may just be right on time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

 

 

 

Love Is……

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the GIFT of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have ALL faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.

And though I bestow ALL my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me NOTHING.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love, love, sweet glorious love! We say it, we think it but just how often are we really showing it?

Think of it though He SPOKE with the heavenly languages, given through the gift of tongues, so that all could hear the word of God for themselves and though He even SPOKE the language of the heavenly host, the language of the angels, as marvelous and wonder striking as that, still without love, his voice would be nothing other than the sound of a common instrument.

Though he had the very gift of God MANIFESTED in his life, through prophecies could understand and relate even the darkest of parables, though he had faith to even pray the most insurmountable mountain down to the ground and call it dust, without love it is nothing.

And giving all he had and even his life, if it was without love, it would hold no value eternally and there would be no reward for any of those acts.

He was giving us a very valuable lesson here, we CAN be saved, we CAN be working in the kingdom, we CAN have the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit, and yet we can be so one minded, so religious, and so hard-hearted that it will not be effective and none of it will last eternally.

Doesn’t mean a person is not saved, just means they are not producing the most precious of fruit and without producing love, nothing else is going to grow. 

Love IS….  “Charity (love) suffereth long, and IS kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (love) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), it not puffed up (arrogant),

Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own (is not self-seeking), is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, edureth all things. Charity (love) NEVER fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1) 

So LOVE IS… forbearing, willing to tolerate a lot before blowing its top. LOVE IS kind, gentle, merciful, looking over things and looking through others to see the best and see the causes before passing judgment, giving of itself rather than to be given to, thinking of others before itself. 

 

LOVE IS not boastful, or proud,  it never reminds you of what all it has done for you, never thinks you owe it anything, never expects anything in return, love is never arrogant in thinking that it is number one, but always allowing the favored position to other, love gives a hand up not a knock down.

LOVE IS never rude, cocky, or bossy, or better than anyone or anything, never self-seeking and self-fulfilling, never self-willed.

LOVE IS not easily angered, chooses to see the good, even when it is aware of the bad.

LOVE IS never pleased with lies, and hypocrisy but is overjoyed with the truth.

Love walks along the paths of this life with us, walks through all the sorrow, all the sadness, and all the grief with us, and when we become to weary to walk, love will carry us to the end of that journey.

Love holds on,  ever clinging to the side of a mountain as everything around it starts to quake and tumble down, never giving up and never letting go. Love never fades, never dies, never gives itself credit, it always protects, always perseveres and NEVER, EVER FAILS. 

We gotta put this baby in reverse, to fully understand just why we need to know what love really is: 1 John 4:19: “ We love him because HE FIRST LOVED US.” 

We are not even capable of love in our own selves, we only love at all because HE LOVED US FIRST, and even then we are still not capable of the level of love that He has.

“Beloved, let us love another: for LOVE IS of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth NOT knoweth NOT God; for GOD IS LOVE.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be propitiation for our sins. Beloved, IF GOD SO LOVED US WE OUGHT ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” 1 John 4:7-11 

So is it love? Is it real, real love? Titus 3:1-4 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers (authority), to obey magistrates (obey laws of the land) to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious) but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men.

For WE OURSELVES WERE ALSO SOMETIMES foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (running wild doing whatever they pleased), living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED.”

There you have it, Paul stating what we all have been but AFTER all that the love and kindness of Jesus showed us all EXACTLY what LOVE IS!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

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!

 

Funny thing about forgiveness

Dig this. Picture yourself in a hospital waiting patiently on a loved one to emerge from the ER, a person is brought in bloody and beaten and as they wait to be seen and being prompted by sympathy mingled with curiosity, you strike up a conversation, the person goes on to tell you the horrific story of what they had just endured and finally they end by pointing to another person, that sits handcuffed, staring angrily at the floor as a policeman stands watch over them, the person goes on to nonchalantly say, “But it’s okay, I just have to get well now because we have a trip planned for next week.”

We would have serious questions, wouldn’t we? We would want to know why someone could be hurt so badly and yet in the next breath treat the other person as their BFF. And we would question the sanity in putting themselves in that situation yet again.

So why do we, as Christians put so much undue pressure on ourselves in the area of forgiveness? And No, don’t get all mad at me BEFORE you hear me out. I KNOW Jesus said that if we do not forgive God will not forgive us.

BUT forgiveness can be a funny, funny thing. Too often people are pressured into the statement of “I forgive them” but deep down inside what is really going on? God SEES it all, He sees our hearts, He sees our pain and He sees the hurt someone else has caused us AND He also sees the exact moment that we WILL forgive, TRULY forgive that person and the funny thing is, we usually don’t even know it ourselves until it has already happened.

But we when feel that we NEED to SAY we forgive for the sake of forgiving all that really happens is words have come out of our mouth but that dagger is still lodged in our heart. That is not freedom and we should never feel that we have to put on a “brave” church face and hide what is slowly killing us inside, because God already knows and even when you feel pressured by others to feel, think, and act a certain way, God wants the real you, tears, pain, and all because that is what He works with.

He wants you to have joy, and peace and sometimes that requires getting our feet bloody and scratched up walking through briers to find the true path. PROVERBS 18:14 : ” The spirit of a man (person) will sustain his infirmity (sustain them through sickness) but a wounded (broken) spirit WHO CAN BEAR?”

NO ONE, no one can bear it. I know there are those who have achieved that level of oneness that sticks and stones truly don’t break their bones, that they can truly rejoice in persecutions and truly bless those who hurt them but this is for the other 99.999% hurting in the world, feeling like they are not quite where they should be in the kingdom because they keep fighting the same battle with this giant.

Let me show you two sides to this coin. ROMANS 12:17-21: ” Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. IF it be possible AS MUCH AS LIETH IN YOU , live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.

Therefore IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: FOR IN DOING SO THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD. Be not OVERCOME with evil, but OVERCOME evil with good.” 

Notice this verse said ENEMY, never said a person who is just misunderstood. No, we have real enemies, and because we are all wired differently, we are told, IF, IF it is possible AS much as we are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally capable of to live peacefully with ALL people.

IF we can and if not, “RESIST the devil and he WILL flee from you” “Give NO PLACE to the devil” and there is nothing scriptural requiring us to us to be ran over and over and used as a doormat and proclaiming long-suffering when JESUS came and died on the cross to GIVE YOU LIFE and LIFE more abundantly!

Sometimes we just get so chummy with the giants that we fail to see what they really are. IF he’s hungry feed him, IF he is thirsty, water him, and the reason for this is that they hated Jesus “without a cause”, when He came in mercy, and goodness, completely sinless, NEVER harming anyone, they HATED Him.

So when you are faced with your enemy and you show kindness rather than hate, God will use that when He brings them under judgment and conviction for their actions against you. The treatment you have suffered will be brought back to their mind and they will have no excuse, no reason, not one example of what YOU have done to hurt them, that they can give to the Lord in explanation of their behavior.

And that can lead to repentance and at the end of the day, if you asked yourself this question, if you COULD see that person eternally, condemned to the fire of hell, forever and ever, to be tormented without end, would you REALLY want that to happen to them? No, mercy rises up and that is where true forgiveness begins.

The flip side is this, what if your enemy is of the “church”, well, like my old favorite, not all that glitters is gold, a lot of it is a hefty coat of glitter covering up some seriously tarnished metal that needs a good cleaning, but anyway, they will be hindered in their own journey UNTIL they make it right with you, they may run on for a while but when the time comes and it gets down to the nitty-gritty in the area of their gifts and calling in the Lord, this will happen:

MATTHEW 5:23,24: ” Therefore, if thou bringest thy gift to the altar, and THERE rememberest that thy brother HATH OUGHT AGAINST THEE; LEAVE there thy gift before the altar, and GO THY WAY; FIRST be reconciled to thy brother, and THEN COME AND OFFER THY GIFT.”

Jesus will remind them at that moment, no one can say that if you have been hurt that deep or that offended that they do not know they caused it. He will remind them and then they can choose to obey God in making things right or they can leave that gift THERE unused at the altar, but it will not be accepted until they do as He commanded. And that is for ALL of us.

So, we have covered the bases on the why, and the how’s, either way, your pain has not been overlooked by the one who sees all and in both instances, enemy of frenemy, they will be dealt with but hopefully for the good and for a higher purpose.

Now to get through the waiting period. LUKE 23:33,34:” And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the two malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.”

Forgive them because the price of their actions would be incalculably beyond what they could ever imagine. And the blood HE SHED, is the blood of the lamb by which we now overcome, and the testimony of what the shedding of that blood has purchased for us is the good by which evil IS overcame. 

Unaddressed issues and hurt will ruin our hearts, our spirits, and destroy us from the inside out that is why Satan sends so much of it, but I want you to know this, do not beat yourself up if you are having trouble letting go of something.

Do not allow the enemy or others to tell you how you should feel or how you fast you should overcome, a lot of people are really good at giving advice, and it is mighty easy to judge when they have never been in those same shoes, and those people you need to avoid like the plague! If they are gonna talk to me with advice from the first pew, they’d better have some scars to show me or they can just talk to someone else, because you do not overcome unless you have had something to overcome.

May sound harsh, but too many are hurt, wounded, and left out in the field to die because they are made to feel like if they have problems, or can’t smile every waking moment, or make one mistake that they are not kingdom material and if they have overcoming that must be done on that journey they will be viewed as outcasts. Who did Jesus come to save again? The hurt, the wounded, the lost, something went seriously wrong along the doctrinal lines with that thinking when people are shamed for feeling, lost, hurt, abandoned.

Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and ALL these things shall be added unto you.”

Trust Jesus, pray honestly, openly, He knows your hurt and He is a great listener, part of healing is talking about it and “getting it off our chests”, there is such freedom in that alone, and be honest, ASK him to take away the anger, the hurt, and allow you to overcome by His blood and pray for that person WHEN you feel led, when it can be a sincere, honest prayer, ASK God to allow you to SEE the troubled soul BEHIND the person that has hurt you and you will be amazed what can happen once God turns on the compassion from Him inside of you.

And then just try to “live peaceably”, forget what happened, try to not think about and one day you will be shocked when you discover “it” is simply not there anymore, you can be faced with the one who hurt you and have absolutely no apprehension or hurt, or anger because part of that righteousness of God, as you SEEK Him, is the overcoming in areas that we can never overcome alone. Trust, Trust, Trust.

MATTHEW 29,31: ” Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them SHALL NOT FALL ON THE GROUND WITHOUT YOUR FATHER.” “FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, YE ARE OF MORE VALUE THAN MANY SPARROWS. Be honest with Him and He will not let you fall!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

 

“Now I lay me down….”

Very familiar children’s prayer there, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

Classic, many versions of it but still the same meaning. Even as children we are often painfully aware of the frailty of this life. And we seek that assurance from God, really more like NEED that assurance that even, heaven forbid death should come to call unbeknownst to us that even then we are covered by Jesus love and care.

As I always say, I was not raised in church, but God made sure I knew that prayer and knowing Jesus as I do now, I can never think back to those nights of laying there reciting that prayer, without a warmness in my heart and an awe of how sweet Jesus is toward us. We go through the same thing every night, I’d say it and then I’d start to list all my family, in order, and my pets, and then I’d get all hung up naming everyone else, and finally reach the conclusion of “could He please just Bless everybody, ALL the people and ALL the animals all over the WHOLE world.

This memory, along with many others, which unknown to me at the time of occurrences had actually been “divine appointments” along my path, came flooding back to mind after I was saved and I thought what an awesome God, to listen.. and listen.. and listen… as I was on and on, ever adding to my list of “and Bless.”

If anyone ever needs a character reveal concerning God and His willingness to listen and care about what we care about, just backtrack through the conversation between Him and Abraham, GENESIS 18:20-32 When God came and spoke to Abraham about the judgment coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham picked a number that if God could find such and such number would he spare them. Abraham kept lowering the numbers in hopes hat God would not destroy Sodom, his nephew Lot lived there and Abraham knew how bad it was but he still had to plead for Lot’s life, so God KNOWING the real question Abraham had, still patiently let Lot ask Him until he had the assurance he needed.

As with our prayer and the pleas of Abraham, we ALL need that assurance that somehow, no matter what our eyes see, or our ears hear, no matter the terror of the report and even if we are slain in the night, our reassurance rests in the eternal hands of a sovereign King, who still reigns and has victory over all we face or all we will ever face. 

And it is funny for me, not in the funny ha ha way, but funny in the oh how ironic way, that I could still have that same prayer and yet have the call to forewarn to repentance or face the unquestionably horrific judgment from that SAME God, that will one day cover the earth. How do you shine light in pitch darkness, how do you speak judgment tempered with unmerited, unwavering mercy? How do you proclaim that this way is rough but it will lead you home, because there is ONLY one way, out of the shadow of death in this life. There it is, our fear, our cause to stumble, the one thing, we as humans, get so hung up on, death. It is assured, as you are born, certainly you shall die, unless of course you are in the number who will be raptured, but to be effective and to be in those places of peace God wants us to walk in we must be willing to just embrace the walk on that path and know it really will be well in the end.

So I wanted to do this to maybe get you thinking about some of these things, as the “divine appointments” times I believe God steps in peoples lives, into their paths when they are lost, circumstances that once you are saved you will look back and KNOW that He was always there, always waiting and watching over your soul until the day that realization comes and you give your life to Him.

Tearing down the fear of death, breaking down the strongholds of the what-ifs, and the terror of the unknown is needed now more than ever because we live in a scary, scary world and I am so sorry to say, it is only going to get scarier and the only, ONLY peace we truly have is the peace of the Lord and it is imperative for this generation to find that peace, to embrace that peace.

We are praying and waiting for that last great harvest, but the reality is this, with much wisdom comes great sorrow, out of severe persecution comes signs, wonders, miracles and that great revival.

As we seek the last great harvest spoken of by the Prophet Joel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, we may need to also consider under what circumstances this will come and I’ll leave it at that for a moment.

Jesus said we must come to Him as a “little child”, I believe this means in the FAITH and ASSURANCE we have as childlike in Him, KNOWING as that little bedtime prayer states “if” we die before we “awake”, so our peace is knowing that either through the grave or through the rapture, we are covered. 

The world is scary but Jesus said that we are His, we are not of the world, He has kept us. So here is some food for thought. God has kept us; 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 faithfulness.”

Facing real or perceived dangers, sickness, or persecutions, take comfort from the words of our “go to” guys Peter and Paul, who are examples of Christians sufferings and faith that moved mountains and the thoughts they left us with as their times approached, thoughts to persuade to fight for our calling in the Lord and run after those things God set before us in the knowledge that this life is temporal, just a vapor, to fight for our life eternal but to not fear and to have confidence in God through all things, even when that requires the laying down of this life.

2 PETER 10-16: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail (stumble):

For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of THESE THINGS, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet (fitting) as long as I am in this tabernacle (his body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I put off this my tabernacle ( that he would soon be executed) even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able AFTER my decease to have these things ALWAYS in remembrance.

For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” 

His last desire was that we all remain in remembrance and go forth for the kingdom, even in his writing, that us, AFTER his death, centuries later, WOULD be stirred by his words. We ARE stirred by his words.

Apostle Paul when his time drew near left us with astounding words for OUR day, 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 :

I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

PREACH THE WORD, BE INSTANT (ready) IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WTH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE.

For the TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WILL NO LONGER ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (Gospel truth): but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( chase after those who will tell them whatever they want to hear); And shall TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables (follow after lies and false doctrine).

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY. For I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, (his execution drew nigh) and THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE (death) IS AT HAND.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING.

As they took courage and boldness in laying themselves down, it is time for us to lay ourselves down, lay down the fear, lay down the rejections, and take that courage and childlike faith and lay down everything that hinders us in these last days.

 ISAIAH 33:15-20: ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment (justice) shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

And the WORK of righteousness SHALL BE PEACE; and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (safe) dwellings, and in quite resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; nd the city shall be low (brought low in humiliation) in a low place.

BLESSED ARE YE THAT SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” 

That is our hope, even though the world will fall by judgment God gives us reassurance that all will be well, and our commission to sow His seed and sow every opportunity we have, in all areas, beside all waters and send those feet forward. 

So today, rest in that reassurance, lay down in His peace, knowing the ultimate promise of His reassurance, come what may, death, grave, or caught away, that trumpet will surely sound and these words throughout eternity WILL resound: 

REVELATION 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”       AMEN

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

To shun the Son….

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that HAVE NOT SEEN, AND YET HAVE BELIEVED.” JOHN 20:29 

Faith, Faith is a funny thing and sometimes we can have faith to move a mountain and then sometimes our faith errs more on the side of the mountain moving us. But we do have it, whether we always use it or not it is very much there. God told us that to all believers we are given the measure of faith and to some, even the gift of faith.

Even in our lost pre Christ days, we still have faith in things working at certain way, and cause and effect of all situations , things that are without question as, just being and working as they should and no one has to tell us otherwise. But when it comes to the Kingdom and believing for the afterlife, it gets tangled, many have no problem with the reality that as magnificent as it is, they were formed inside the womb, they grew, and bodies and minds faced amazing changes, and all taken for granted as a bald, toothless, helpless person soon started to walk, talk and explore the world and they believe this happens because it has been proven over and over as each child is born.

They could easily believe in Jesus because they had seen Him, they walked with Him, ate with Him, learned from Him and now were witness to absolute living proof that He had indeed raised from the dead. I truly believe that we are born with a knowledge deep inside of us that there is so much more than this life and even those who don’t want to seek the Lord still end up spending their lives seeking something, anything to fill that void. they seek false religions, seek paganism, humanism, and the never-ending search for alien life forms:

2TIMOTHY 3:7 “ EVER LEARNING, and NEVER able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH.”

As those who profess to be wise, boy, we could list some doozies right there, reputable for their “brilliant” minds and lead countless people straight to hell because they detest God and want everyone else too also and have done a great job convincing the secular world that not only does he not exist, but that those who believe are of a Neanderthal  intelligence.

And yet, Jesus said that we are BLESSED. Starting with those who are crushed, afflicted, and wounded in their souls:

BLESSED are the poor in spirit; for their’s IS the kingdom of heaven.

BLESSED are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

BLESSED are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

BLESSED are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

BLESSED are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

BLESSED are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

BLESSED are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

BLESSED are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.

BLESSED are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. REJOICE, and be exceedingly glad: for GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”                                                                                             MATTHEW 5:3-12

Notice our rewards ARE in heaven, in the afterlife in which we must believe and as my last post, I know that there are those who do believe and yet refuse to accept Christ. Whatever reason, if it is just peer pressure from friends or spouses, that the world will just not think your cool anymore, you’ll be laughed at or mocked.

Well , He said when you “lose your life” for His sake, you WILL find it. When you are ready to give up the fake friends and false bravado and humble yourself into the hand of a mighty God, then, and only THEN you WILL begin to live as you were created to, and that life WILL be eternal and all the Blessing of God WILL come upon you and your life.

What most people fail to realize is this, we ALL influence someone, there is always someone who watches how you live your life and the decisions you make WILL affect them. If you choose Life eternal, how many more could you bring unto that life? If they saw the change in you and your acknowledgment of God, how can that affect THEIR eternity?

And if you refuse eternal life, you are exchanging that blessed state for an eternal cursing and again all who follow you and your ways will be more inclined to that path of destruction also.

And being a “Closet Believer” is the equivalent to being an unbeliever, Jesus said you are not condemned because you do believe but yet in not acknowledging Him to those in your life, then it like being married to a person and hiding them from your family and friends as if you are ashamed of your association with them. Being ashamed of a person means that you acknowledge them as that person you just don’t want anyone else to know that you know them.

Which is what makes it clear that in this verse, Jesus was SPEAKING to those who DO BELIEVE in HIM: 

LUKE 9:25,26: ” For what is a man advantaged (benefitted) if he gain the whole world, and lose himself (be destroyed), or be cast away (lost)? For WHOSOEVER SHALL BE ASHAMED OF ME AND OF MY WORDS, OF HIM SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE ASHAMED OF, WHEN HE SHALL COME INTO HIS OWN GLORY, AND IN HIS FATHER’S, AND OF THE HOLY ANGELS.”

So if we deny Him here on this earth, if we are too proud, too stubborn to admit we need Him, even though we believe in him, it will be counted as nothing. Because we have chosen to deny Him in front of our peers, He will then deny us in the presence of the host of heaven itself and as He said, what will it profit then? What will anyone give in exchange for their own soul? At that time there will be no more opportunities to make it right.

So you see, BELIEVING is not quite enough, even the “devils” believe in one God and tremble”. They BELEIVE because they know He exists but they are still going to hell because they knew the judgment of God and chose to rebel against Him. It is like “having a form of godliness and DENYING the power thereof.”

  Like all who are saved from the least to the greatest among disciples and all the saints, NO ONE is of a higher standing than another in the eyes of God, and just as Nicodemus came to Him by night, so many in our world today want to do the same, come to Him under the cover of the night, come to Him in secret with the plea, “I believe, but I can’t let others know” a sad cop-out.

Well, there is only one way: ROMANS 10:9-11:

” That if THOU SHALT CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH THE LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED. FOR WITH THE HEART MAN(HUMANS) BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION. For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Pretty point on there, we must first believe in our hearts through faith that HE IS and we must then confess that belief openly and willingly, and then at His coming we will not be ashamed. So we all have a choice, surrender while there is time, call on Him while He is nigh, answer the door as He knocks on our hearts, (and for the record, if you are straddling this fence and putting off until tomorrow the decision for Christ, when you are not guaranteed a tomorrow to make that decision, I want you to know, if He has allowed this to come to you, you have consented by reading it, you are bound by it, you will never be able to stand before the Lord and plead blissful ignorance to these things, “to know to do good, and do it not, is a sin unto you”, heed this carefully) You have been presented with YOUR choices, accept Him, and His Word, His Blessing, or reject Him and His blessings and keep the world, shun the Son, but know that one day, it will be you that He will shun.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Swimming Practice”

Like most, I have been spending many evenings during this big nasty heat wave checking out the Olympics. Last night an American broke a world record and of course won gold.

What was fascinating is that if you walked in late during the race it would have appeared that she was actually BEHIND the others because she was using a new strategy that gave her a lead. She and her coach had spent time reviewing footage of the style and techniques used by another Olympic great and evidently the extra “studying” paid off quite nicely. An action plan I think we could all benefit from in the kingdom.

2 TIMOTHY 2: 14,16: ” Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they STRIVE NOT about words to no profit, but to the subverting (ruin) of the hearers. 

STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings (worthless talk) for they WILL increase unto MORE UNGODLINESS.” 

My new favorite song is “What you want” I posted with my last post, the reason for this is the simple truth of too many leaders and not enough followers in the Kingdom.

Everyone IS a leader, everyone HAS a title, and YET the GIFTS are not flowing, because we can’t choose our titles and our jobs, it has to be WHAT GOD HAS CHOSEN. And often what GOD wants is NOT exactly what we had in mind!

The other problem is that no one wants to complete the course of spiritual “schooling”these ministries require. And I DON’T mean Seminary! And of course there are those who KNOW everything anyway, and they are right and everyone else is wrong. Those I think are quite hopeless.

One who has stepped on my toes time after time leaps to mind, I had made a suggestion, something I knew WAS NOT of my own thinking, because I had been under such an anointing when the thought came, and it took so much courage to make the suggestion AND I have never REGRETTED anything so much in my life.

They absolutely lined me out and even accused me of wanting to do something BECAUSE other churches did it! And I took a bath in spiritual reproach coming off this person and after much prayer, trying to figure out why on earth they got so angry, I KNEW the reason they became so angry was NOT the suggestion. IT WAS because the suggestion CAME FROM ME and they felt SUPERIOR and was actually INSULTED that I would DARE suggest anything to THEM.

And it did create enough static to shut down the work I felt God had me in that place and at that time to do. But God is a good God and this is where “being approved” come into play. Maybe someone has hurt you or discouraged you, or like me, you ALMOST become  convinced that somehow you jumped the gun, when actually sometimes we need to re-evaluate who we truly are “workers together” with in the kingdom.

I think sometimes we view people differently than they really are and God has to let us see, what we do not want to see, so we will move on into the direction HE WANTS. But again God is God and He will never leave us twisting in the wind, if it is of Him, IT WILL COME TO PASS.

It was so funny, close to a YEAR later, I was still receiving page notifications from this particular place, and you can imagine when one popped up that they were having a “special” service incorporating the very thing, I had been spiritually keel-hauled over!  It took every single ounce of restraint I have to not comment on it, to the effect of “Sounds familiar, thought for sure I asked about that… Well good luck with that… but next time you may want to try it when THAT DOOR is open!”

But I didn’t and I don’t know it could have went great but…. People like that, because this one has a way of offending the anointing, and I say that because IT IS NOT MINE, it belongs to God and when people demand things such as gender based laying on of hands, it pretty much sums up to this. If whoever is doing the laying on, IS NOT the one God chooses, well all they are doing is “praying” their own will over that person and without the power of God performing those things, IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

But I see a future change in that also because God has a way of teaching people humility and correcting their own biases. I truly believe the day will come when that person needs something major from God and it will not come they way they THINK it should and the will be required to learn the fine art of humility.

But that is where we are running into obstacles, too many people with THEIR agenda, and way too many leaders who still should be learning how to follow. One comes to mind that needs to get themselves right before they play Pied Piper, but since that is the game they are playing… where did those children go in that story again? Oh yeah, right..  the story ended with no one EVER knew where they ended up.

IT is not a game, you can’t just decide that you are this or you are that and jump head first in the pool to drown because you will drown a lot of others with you, when you get into the deep end and find out you really don’t know how to swim as well as you THOUGHT you could, because that lesson was one you bothered not to show up for!

 No one WILL EVER know “everything” we ARE to be workers together and together means just that. one mind one accord working for the good of the kingdom, not a race to see who’s best and who can reach that finish line with the greatest moves.

The words mentioned in our verse, words if they are not seasoned, if they are not tempered by the spirit of God WILL RUIN others. Words spoken without the power of God and the timing of God are just that words and they only cater more and more to worthless, human vanity, which is why we now have so many claiming to be representatives of Christ, who are so far AWAY from the truth that the have deceived THEIR own mind by THEIR OWN words into their own damnation and are committing things that are true abominations to God and yet believe they have punched ticket straight to heaven.

Truly believing within themselves that they can just proclaim and claim every chosen blessing from the book and yet ignore all scripture that provides the BREAD for that sandwich they are attempting to eat. And we know if they are to still be fed with milk THEY WILL choke to death on the meat of God’s true Holy doctrine.

And the problem is ALL the others who follow after them, never questioning, never allowing their conscious to feel conviction that leads to repentance and again we know this leads to having their conscious seared with a hot iron.

How did we ever become so vain and high-minded that we can “choose” our gifts, choose our callings? When God CHOOSES for us! We have no word in these matters. None, read the Bible, read those who tried to argue out of these calls.

Abraham LEARNED to follow God. Moses LEARNED to listen to God and spent real time in His presence, so much time, that his face shined to the point that he had to cover it because it SCARED the Hebrews.  Maybe learning to flow in the gifts and presence of God will cause people to be uncomfortable around you.. maybe that is a hold up, but do you really want to please God or would you rather fit it?

Your never going to fit in under the anointing of God, a friend to the world (and this does also mean candy coat fake Christians) will make you an enemy to God.

 John the Baptist dwelled in the wilderness. Apostle Paul studied THREE years and also participated in the vow of the Nazarite. And we all know Peter’s trails, struggles and most of all his overcoming all these things. Peter was learning, being educated in the disposition required to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. We ALSO KNOW the end of that story, Peter, in dying to himself, and making the kingdom of heaven HIS Goal became so filled with the power of God that not only were prayer cloths taken from him, to heal diseases and cast out devils BUT that the sick were brought outside his home that EVEN THE SHADOW OF HIM PASSING BY might heal them.

STUDY, study the word, study the history, STUDY an elder, one that you know for certain, lives, breathes and sleeps for the kingdom. We have problems with that also, and we should never follow anyone if we do not know their life, know HOW they live in their own home, outside of a church house. Jesus IS our example, but just as the lady mentioned earlier, there is no harm in learning how an elder has “made” it, how they coped, how they gained strength and use that as part of our training manual.

Never be discouraged,of course, it will come, there will always be those who try to make you give up, and often they are the ones who you really believe will encourage you the most, when I first started training in ministry, my Pastor gave me some excellent advice, he told me that it was NOT “those” out there that we had to worry about, as far as picking apart your every word and saying mean hurtful things, it was those inside the church, and those in the family, they are often the ones who will discourage us the most. I found that to be true.

God places His call upon you and His gifts inside of you, but after that it is up to YOU, to nurture those gifts. Remember when God asked Moses why was he crying to Him, He had ALREADY given Moses what he would be equipped with, it was up to Him to have faith and use that gift. The Anointing does not come easy, nor does it come cheap. You will give up some things, and probably a few people, your desires and your flesh and it will cost you, time, and some trips to that refining furnace, and it will require diligence, and it will require PATIENCE.

ROMANS 12:7: ” Or Ministry, let us WAIT on our ministering…” nothing, nothing is going to happen outside the perfect timing of God, and we can not go off all half cocked and try to rush what can not be rushed. God works in His time and when that time is right, no matter how many have hurt or discouraged you, that time will not be stopped.  The ONLY person who can destroy the call on your life is YOU!

ISAIAH 43:13:” Yea, BEFORE the day was I AM he; and THERE IS NONE THAT CAN DELIVER OUT OF MY HAND: I WILL WORK, AND WHO SHALL LET IT ( who shall REVERSE His work)?

NO ONE, NO ONE overrules the preordained plan of God. They can try but they will only succeed, IF YOU let them. And to pursue the call you may as well learn to fight now, because THERE will never be a time when the fight for that calling will cease. As a soldier you are required to fight UNTIL the Captain calls you off the field, which in this army is when you leave this world.

 REVELATION 3:7:  “And to the angel (messenger) of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that IS holy, he that IS true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH.”  

 Don’t worry if your technique looks backward to your teammates, Don’t worry if sometimes, it looks like your not even swimming in the right direction, because in due time the Captain will perfect your moves. Just wait for HIS guidance, Keep learning, keep studying, never give in and never give up and never let anyone keep you from that finish line!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Is ONCE really ever enough?

“Shall NOT”

PSALM 23:1: “The lord IS my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT

 Our world, our messed up, ripped up, tore up from the floor up world that we all must call home, at least for a little while, as those clay feet of the mighty world has began to crack and crumble under the heavy weights of sin that has been hard and unyielding to the oppressed as the bronze and iron it has been forged of.

As we all have witnessed the news of the Orlando nightclub massacre, it is just another reminder of this truth. Those feet are made of clay and these weights they will not withstand and as we are told we will either be built upon the rock that is Jesus Christ or we will be washed away as the sand gives way under the blowing winds and crashing waves.

Even as you watch these things come to pass, as Jesus said that they would, we still can’t help but to be overwhelmed with the sadness and senselessness of the actions of those who are agents of the hate that is as old as the world itself, the hate that tried to even spread itself through the heavens and has not be cast down upon the earth. That hate IS not going to cease, it WILL only grow worse.

REVELATION 12:12(b) “WOE unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  For the devil is come down upon you, HAVING GREAT WRATH (ANGER) FOR HE KNOWTEH HE HATH BUT A SHORT TIME.

Watching an especially poignant first hand account of a victim who had survived by hiding in a bathroom, tearing flowing and sorrow beyond sorrow as he told of those outside the door that they could not let in, those who died outside that door, the account of one woman who hid under dead bodies and we know that ONLY, ONLY God can heal this kind of hurt, this kind of sorrow and these lives will never be the same.

But it is a wake up call for US ALL that time does truly draw nigh and we are not promised the next breath and every moment of that time should be spent sharing the Gospel, the TRUE Gospel, not watered down candy coated fluff that has no real staying power and no real sustenance when it comes to dealing with tribulation, remember Jesus said that IN THIS WORLD we will have tribulation. 

The only way out for any of us IS the Gospel. The only way to survive these days without being desensitized by all the horror we see, or our human minds trying to process those things which can not be processed leaving us cold, numb, and defeated. As one who was given a divine intervention when death came to call, I do understand and I also understand that in these atrocities God will heal, make new, and free people into Himself and that they will understand the mercy they were given and will show it to others.

But it time to get serious and to really seek the Kingdom of God, LIVE by HIS word, not the candy coats code of conduct which is an abomination to God, but He will save those who are sincere and will show them the true way, and that is His way.

This was something He dropped in my spirit concerning a situation, well, actually a couple of situations, in my own journey and that one long waged battle in the war would be taken care of the very next day, and it was. And the thought became so profound in my spirit that I want to share it.

IT is how we will make it in these days, as Jesus told us that in “Patience possess ye your souls” that is to wait, and wait, and keep waiting in faith and perseverance knowing that ALL things will work together, and as He told us in the book of Revelation, that some WILL DIE but NOT ONE HAIR SHALL PERISH.

He is telling us just how serious we are to be, in all things and it is wonderful to have a good time, free our minds, let loose or whatever but THAT TIME IS OVER for the church, it is now time to watch and pray that not only us but that others, those who are lost and those who are being misguided, that ALL of us may be accounted worthy to stand in that soon coming day.

So if we remember nothing else, remember every day that as His children we shall not want and our prayer should be “we shall not”. “The Lord is my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT.” Period. It stops and it stops right there, so what does that mean? It means want or lack any good thing or any thing WE NEED to finish the race before us.

Because HE IS the shepherd and the secret of the joy of the Lord is OUR strength, but what about the joy He HAS when His children act right and His lambs choose to follow His paths and the paths He set before them.

His Joy in “enter in my good and faithful servant” the joy as a Father when his children ARE a reflection of His values and represent His family in honor and integrity, kindness, and mercy. We will be happy and we will be filled with joy when we make bringing joy to Him our first priority.

NEHEMIAH 8:10: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED: for this day is HOLY unto our Lord: NEITHER be ye sorry,for the JOY OF THE LORD is YOUR STRENGTH.

JOHN 16:24: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”

 JOHN 17:13: “And now I come to thee; and these things I speak IN THE WORLD, that THEY MIGHT HAVE MY JOY FULFILLED IN THEMSELVES.” 

Jesus PRAYED this and He prayed it while facing His death, as Hebrews 12:2 tells us it was FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM, joy that WOULD later come, joy that would ONLY come through obedience in the midst of tribulation, terror, and suffering. We SHALL NOT want for that joy.

We live in the “shadow of the VALLEY of death, always, death is always an ever present possibility and times of terror and fear make us painfully aware of that fact.

ISAIAH 9:2: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: THEY that DWELL in the land of the SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM HATH A GREAT LIGHT SHINED.”  

JOHN:8:12: ” Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world: he that followeth me SHALL NOT walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” In the blackest of nights we SHALL NOT WANT for the light.  

When fear comes calling, classic PSALM 91:5-7: “Thou SHALT NOT be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrows that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday; A thousand shall fall at thy side; and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”

When the winds blow and the floods rage: ISAIAH 43:2: ” WHEN thou passest through the waters, I WILL be with thee, and through the rivers, they SHALL NOT overflow thee, WHEN thou walkest through the fire, thou SHALL NOT  be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

Notice, there is no if there, it is not a question of whether these things come, it is WHEN they come.

 Looking for those things which are to come, you SHALL NOT lose your hope, your faith and your confidence in the Lord.

PSALM 16:5-9 ” The Lord IS the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage (inheritance).

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins (heart) also instructs me  IN THE NIGHT SEASONS.  I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I SHALL NOT be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall also rest (dwell securely) in hope.” Don’t give up the fight, whatever you need you SHALL NOT lack, SIN SHALL NOT reign and my all time favorite, the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail! Have a blessed week! 

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Bought & Sold” Riches Untold

Buying and selling, we are all so different when it comes to how we will spend our money and at what price we are willingly to sell what is ours. Some really don’t care what the price is, if they want and can afford it,then they will have it. While others tend to be more practical, and count up the cost and necessity before they make that purchase.

And what has this post to do with impulse buying? Absolutely nothing!!! It is actually about impulse selling!

Don’t hear that one every day. I had been thinking about someone and they have been on the heart of many others and to be honest when I wrote Prodigals, Prophets & Puttin’ it off, I could see the persons face in my mind the entire time I was working on the prodigal.

God started putting a thought in my heart about inheritance and I wondered. We all know that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, so why did Satan just not kill Jesus BEFORE he fulfilled his destiny to die on the cross? Why did he try to BUY him by offering him FOOD, and POWER, and ALL the kingdoms of earth, and finally trying to make him question who he even was?

The answer is this, he could NOT kill him, and take his inheritance, his only option was to attempt to BUY it from him.

Let’s see where it started. GENESIS 25 details the story of Esau and Jacob, the sons of Issac, the were twins but not anything alike and Issac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Jacob was very cunning and thinking things through would have served Esau well, but..

GENESIS 29-34: ” And Jacob sod pottage (cooked stew): and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint (very hungry): And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (red).

And Jacob said, SELL ME THIS DAY THY BIRTHRIGHT. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die: and WHAT PROFIT SHALL THIS BIRTHRIGHT DO TO ME? 

And  Jacob said, Sware to me this day; and he sware unto him: and HE SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT UNTO JACOB.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage (stew) of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

Now part of the deal was done, GENESIS 27 Rebekah and Jacob tricked Issac, who was old and could not see well, into giving his verbal blessing of inheritance to Jacob who was PRETENDING to be Esau. When Esau came to be blessed he was met with the terrible truth of his actions:

GENESIS 27:30-35: ” And it came to pass, as SOON as Issac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of Isaac his father (had just left), that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison , that thy soul MAY BLESS ME. And Isaac his father said unto him, WHO ART THOU? And he said, I am thy son, THY FIRSTBORN Esau. 

And Isaac TREMBLED very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all BEFORE thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 

And when Esau HEARD THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE CRIED WITH A GREAT AND EXCEEDING BITTER CRY, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

And he  (Isaac) said, THY BROTHER CAME WITH SUBTILITY ( DECEIT) AND HATH TAKEN AWAY THY BLESSING.”  Now that is scary!Just think of what Jacob inherited, remember his name would soon be changed to ISRAEL, the father of THE tribes of the nation of GOD, that will also set as tribes in New Jerusalem. An INHERITANCE of worth that is STILL ACCUMULATING thousands, and thousands of years LATER!!!

Now back to Jesus, so why didn’t the enemy just kill him? HE COULDN’T! HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OF GOD TO DO SO! 

Remember God gave Satan reign over the circumstances in Job’s life, with the exception that HE COULD NOT KILL HIM. Only God has power over life and death, and there are many scriptures attesting to that fact. This is the SAME reason that Satan has bought off so many who were predestined to the kingdom of God.

The very chosen, elect of God who are selling their birthright FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As the scripture goes “they have sold themselves for nought” like Esau, not even taking time to think about what they are doing, SELLING IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR FLESH FOR THE PRESENT DAY, QUESTIONING WHAT GOOD IS IT DOING THEM ANYWAY, never thinking about the fact that it takes time for accounts to mature and interest to grow! 

ROMANS 8:29-30,33: ”   For WHOM HE did FOREKNOW, HE also DID PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among MANY brethren.

Morever, whom HE did PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: and who HE CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED, them he also glorified.

WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s ELECT? IT IS  GOD that justifieth.

Just as God told Jeremiah “BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE: AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.”  JEREMIAH 1:5

He was not a special case, as Romans tells us, we WERE with God and the gifts He has placed in us WERE given BEFORE we were even born! The CALLING was placed on our life BEFORE we ever existed in the earthy realm! This is why scripture also states in ROMANS 12:29: “FOR the GIFTS and CALLING of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).”

Whatever gift God has given you, whether it is to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, if it is the gift of miracles to pray blinded eyes open, deaf ears to hear, or even the prayer of faith to raise the dead. The gift of tongues and prophecy, the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge.

The callings as pastors, preachers, teachers, helpers, givers. Whatever those are ARE FOREVER. And you can choose to sell them out to the highest bidder but you will never escape the knowledge and the hurt when you discover the true price of what he had given you! Run, go right on, run,run as fast as you can,  YOU WILL NEVER OUTRUN GOD. 

PSALM 139:7,8: “Whither (where) shall I go FROM thy spirit? or whither (where) shall I FLEE from thy presence?  If I ascend UP into heaven, THOU ART THERE: If I MAKE MY BED IN HELL, BEHOLD, THOU ART THERE.”

No matter where you go, what you do, HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE and you will not escape either fulfilling that purpose or being held accountable for your failure to do so.  Satan can not just take your birthright, However God did say that His spirit will not always strive with man and I do believe that there does come times of reprobation and we will not get into that here. God places that hedge of protection around you, He protects what is His and as it is written “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” the enemy can not just take over you life, you have to sell out your life and your birthright as a child of the King to him.

And you will never have any idea what that is or what that is truly worth until you live for the Lord and maybe even then, just like what came to pass with Jacob and Esau, the full value will go on accumulating AFTER your work on earth is finished.

So please think of what you are selling and don’t sell your eternal destiny for any thing the enemy can offer, he is ONLY TRYING TO BUY YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT WITH GOD’S HAND ON YOU, HE CAN NOT DEFEAT YOU and HE KNOW WHAT YOUR WORK BLESSED OF GOD WILL COST HIS KINGDOM!

The regret Esau had was endless, HEBREWS 12:16,17: “Lest there be any fornicator or profane (godless) person, as Esau, WHO FOR ONE MORSEL OF MEAT (FOOD) SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

FOR YE KNOW THAT AFTERWARD, when he WOULD HAVE INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was REJECTED: for he found NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE, though HE SOUGHT IT CAREFULLY WITH TEARS.”  

Even though he had regret upon regret, and he tried and he cried, and he tried some more but there was no way he could go back and change what had been done, there was “no place” he could find in this situation to change what had already been done and what he lost was the headship over all Israel and I am sure the bad aftertaste of that stew lingered for a lifetime! Think about it! Love and peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 2016

Originally posted 2016

“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

 

Watching your two-step……

“Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, and many there be which go in thereat (through it): Because strait is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” MATTHEW 7:13,14 

 The spiritual dance of stepping into the will of God and His call upon the life of every believer. The true test in this is trying to always move two steps forward while being careful to not slide the three steps back. During times of testing, crisis, and uncertainty we can quickly give up on trying to learn the new step and be easily swayed into sashaying back to that same old waltz with the world that we have grown accustomed to. We are creatures of habit and sometimes slow learners.

 But we never dance alone and often we don’t realize that there are others who watch us and our moves, and sometimes our faulty footwork can not only harm them, it can ultimately destroy them.

Pressure from the world, Pressure from the enemy (constantly reminding us that we may fail) and the most dreadful one, pressure from our self. Pressure that tells us we must get this right, that we have one shot and it is over. This “performance” pressure does not come from the Lord. HE IS merciful and HE IS patient, even if we are quite challenged with the tempo and have two left feet. 

 I want to give a few examples of why it is imperative to wait on the Lord, go forward but be careful to not let our flesh and need to excel “outrun” Him and His desires to teach us those steps himself. Because if we do, we will run head on into disobedience and that carries a hefty price that no one can afford.

Lesson #1 TRUST NO OTHER INSTRUCTOR:  

1 KINGS 13 tells, what to me is one of the scariest stories in the entire book, and of course, I’ll have to highlight, but if you have a moment please read it. God had called forth a Prophet, who is just referred to as “The man of God”  He had sent him by His word and with signs to “cry” against a pagan altar at Bethel. After Jeroboam had asked him to pray to the Lord on his behalf he invited him to dinner, and that is where we will pick it up:

1 KINGS 13:7-9: “And the King said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the King, if thou wilt give me half thine house, I WILL NOT go I with thee, NEITHER will I eat bread nor drink water IN THIS PLACE; FOR so WAS IT CHARGED ME (COMMANDED TO ME) BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, SAYING, EAT NO BREAD, NOR DRINK WATER, NOR TURN AGAIN BY THE SAME WAY THAT THOU CAMEST.”

So the story goes on and the man did as he had been commanded and went another way. Meanwhile, there dwelt “an old Prophet” whose sons had came and relayed the entire story to him. The old man asked the sons which direction the prophet travelled in and pursued after him.

Now, this is what I really want to point out in this story: verses 14-17: “And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under and oak { not going forward}: and said unto him, Art thou (are you) the man of God that camest from Bethel? { if he were legit he should have KNOWN} and he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

And he said, I MAY NOT RETURN WITH THEE, NOR GO IN WITH THEE; NEITHER WILL I EAT BREAD NOR DRINK WATER WITH THEE IN THIS PLACE: for it was said to me BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, THOU SHALT EAT NO BREAD NOR DRINK WATER THERE, NOR TURN AGAIN TO GO BY THE WAT THOU CAMEST { NO GOING BACKWARD}.

Now for the deception, the “old” prophet speaking, verse 18-26:” He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an ANGEL spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water: BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.”  

So  he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord  came unto the prophet that brought him back:  And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, THUS SAYETH THE LORD, FORASMUCH AS THOU HAST DISOBEYED THE MOUTH OF THE LORD, AND HAST NOT KEPT THE COMMANDEMENT WHICH THE LORD GOD COMMANDED THEE. But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase  shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers ( your corpse will not come to the tomb).

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, (so you will know) for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, A LION MET HIM BY THE WAY (ON THE ROAD), AND SLEW (KILLED) HIM, AND HIS CARCASE WAS CAST IN THE WAY, AND THE ASS STOOD BY IT, THE LION ALSO STOOD BY THE CARCASE.    

AND behold men passed by, and saw the carcase cast (laying) in the way, and the Lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt (lived). And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It IS THE MAN OF GOD, WHO WAS DISOBEDIENT UNTO THE WORD OF THE LORD: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him.”

#2 DANCING A LITTLE TOO FAST….

JUDGES 11:29-31: ” Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

And Jephthah VOWED A VOW unto the lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, THEN IT SHALL BE THAT WHATSOEVER COMETH FORTH OF THE DOORS OF MY HOUSE TO MEET ME WHEN I RETURN IN PEACE FROM THE CHILDREN OF AMMON, SHALL SURELY BE THE LORD’S, AND I WILL OFFER IT UP FOR A BURNT OFFERING.”

As our story continues he has an awesome victory but as we pick it up with verses 34,35 we will see that his OWN words ensnared him to a terrible price:

” And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, HIS DAUGHTER came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: she was his ONLY child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent (tore) his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter!  Thou hast brought me very low, and art one of them that trouble me: FOR I HAVE OPENED MY MOUTH (GIVEN MY WORD) UNTO THE LORD, AND I CANNOT GO BACK. (go back on it).”        

Now, by that scripture, God WAS already with him and God did not ask him to make this vow. But sometimes people can fall into the trap of questioning their relationship with God and feel that they must “bargain” with him to gain victory. God only asks that we trust him to lead us and guide us. He NEVER asks for us to bargain anything with him for his goodness toward us. The Bible states God “maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it” of course that means fruitful in many things and he does not hurt us in doing so.

#3 NEVER TRY TO OUTDANCE THE MASTER:

Saul, Saul, Saul, an endless volume of books could be written dealing with King Saul. One of whom, yet again, Israel was warned about. They wanted a King because everyone else had a king, God was like, I AM your King and they were like no, we want a king like they have. So even after being warned by Samuel the prophet about just how bad this guy was gonna be, they still wanted him, he was tall, striking and looked like a king to them, what if had a few undesirable personality traits?

So we know that he was a bad king and very disobedient to God in always doing it his way and doing his own thing and so the time comes when God had commanded that all who practiced witchcraft be destroyed out of the land and of course, Saul being Saul did not live up to this command. God grew tired of all of it and took his spirit away from Saul and had David anointed as his successor. As Saul’s sanity vanished farther and farther away as he was filled with hatred and jealousy, he would commit one final act that would also hurt those who were innocent and cost the lives of his sons.

  1 SAMUEL 28, to break it down, the Lord was no longer with Saul and Samuel had died, so instead of accepting his state, Saul full of self will took one more shot at trying to out maneuver the master, with yet again more disobedience.

1 SAMUEL 28:7 ” Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit (psychic, medium) that I may go and enquire of her. And his servants said unto him, Behold there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.”

So here he is, disguising himself, as if he can really sneak this one by an all seeing God, and he goes to this witch, who points out that KING SAUL has called for the death of them all, and realizes that he IS Saul. He reassures that no harm will come to her, but little does he know the harm that is coming to him and his entire house. He calls for Samuel, God ALLOWS one final message: verse 16-19 :

Then said Samuel, WHEREFORE THEN DOST THOU (WHY DO YOU) ASK OF ME, SEEING THE LORD IS DEPARTED FROM THEE, AND IS BECOME THINE ENEMY? 

Because thou OBEYEDST NOT the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

MOREVER the Lord will deliver Israel  with thee INTO THE hand of the Philistines:  and TO MORROW SHALT THOU AND THY SONS BE WITH ME { Saul and his sons would be dead by the next day}…..”

1 SAMUEL 11  recounts the battle, verse 6: “ So Saul DIED, and HIS THREE SONS, and HIS ARMOURBEARER, and ALL HIS MEN, THAT SAME DAY TOGETHER.”

All of this tells us some simple truths that we need to always keep hold of, God is faithful. God calls us, and you do not have to beg Him your job. He equips us as we need equipping, with whatever we need to do our work for the Kingdom and to follow Him and do His will we need only to TRUST. He opens doors in HIS TIME and when he opens them no one can shut those doors.

So be patient and walk as He has called you and wait on those answers, don’t be tempted to run ahead or go sliding back, you will miss the entire dance and all the wonderful moves he wants to teach you! 

PROVERBS 3: 5, 6: “ TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL THINE HEART: AND LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.”

Φλογίζω Εαλπιζω NB 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Groovin’ the Gauntlet

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18

The Gauntlet, the reality of the answer of the age old question, what is the meaning of life. That is the answer, not quite what you would think is it?

We are all souls with God, who is eternal, no beginning, no ending, self -existing and ever existent  until we are born to this earth.

As God told Jeremiah, first chapter- fifth verse: “BEFORE I formed thee in the BELLY, I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED (set apart) THEE, AND I ORDAINED (appointed)THEE A PROPHET UNTO NATIONS.

As with the names that were written BEFORE the earth was formed. Our souls just as they are eternal, were with Him until time for whatever the reason, to be born onto the gauntlet field of this world.

1st Ephesians 1:4: “According as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE the FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

So we are born, hit the ground and IT IS ON.

 The gauntlet is formed against us BEFORE we can even hit the ground running, because the enemy knows more about you than you do!

The gauntlet of the “tares”, the weeds the devil planted among the children, on one side and facing you on the other side the demonic forces of hell, so you start your run between the tongue wagging finger pointers running themselves, trying to set those stumbling blocks before you, every imaginable scheme will be hatched for their use as a weapon against you, just trying to knock you down with everything they’ve got.

So you are running as fast as you can trying to keep one eye on the course in front of you and one eye on the weapons coming after you but then you see on the other side of your course the demonic forces armed and ready with snares and traps set every step of the way and many, many archers with their bows poised and the fiery darts ready to rain down, the farther you make it the more they are gonna hit from both sides, the “holier than thous” just dying to see you fall so they can tell all their buddies they were right about you the whole time, the devil starts bringing out bigger and bigger giants, more and more archers and sends the storms chasing you.

Sound pretty unbelievable?  Ah, Jesus said “for this cause” He was born into the world.  His cause being to DIE on a cross, not only die but to be tortured, humiliated, and rejected, his gauntlet beginning with his forty days in the wilderness, which HE MADE IT THROUGH HIS FORTY DAYS, he remained completely spotless and sinless and us being human CAN never achieve that, BUT we are to strive and stay on that course.

Now add in just the reality of living, grief, sorrow, heartache, because it rains on the just and the unjust, EVERYONE WILL RUN THE GAUNTLET.

But those with Christ have an expected end to this course.

This is the reason we are commanded to NOT look to the right or to the left, and NEVER EVER LOOK BACK, only forward, if we don’t look to either side we can’t lose focus worrying about what is getting ready to hit us and WE ARE COMMANDED more than once to not look back, if you do you will see what is gaining on you and you will stumble over those blocks that has been placed before you.

Your entire reason for living is to bring glory to the Father and to help as many as you can run the gauntlet that has been set before them by the god of this world  (2nd Corinthians  4:4).

Paul was very apt in describing his gauntlet and we often feel that our burdens are heavy but I know for me, I gain so much encouragement from reading what they suffered and being blessed to read the end of their stories and how God used all those things to enlarge the Kingdom.

2 Corinthians 11:23-30 ” Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one (they thought it merciful to give 39 lashes as opposed to the 40 you were sentenced to, so at the time he wrote this Paul HAD RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 195 lashes) . 

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; journeys often, in perils of waters, IN PERILS BY THE BRETHREN, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, IN PERILS AMONG FALSE BRETHREN ( notice both groups listed, the ones who ARE your brethren that set those stumbling blocks and the FALSE brethren sent by the enemy). 

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings (sleeplessness) often, in hunger, in thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

BESIDES THOSE THINGS (other things) WHICH COME UPON ME DAILY, the care of all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended (MADE TO STUMBLE), and I burn ( BURN WITH INDIGNATION) not?

IF I must needs glory, I WILL GLORY OF THE THINGS WHICH CONCERN MINE INFIRMITIES.”

 What he was saying if he survived all these things and yet glorified God in all them through showing love to others, how could ANYONE complain of their own sufferings?

He learned the groove of the gauntlet,  he learned to accept it for what it is and go with it.    

 He knew that is had to be ran, to fight it just held him up and there was people whose lives would be changed, there were others to help.

His purpose was NOT to fight in retaliation those who manned his gauntlet but to show the love listed above, to grab onto those who had fallen or were wounded by fiery darts and pull them with him to the finish line.

Acts 16 tells us of the arrest of Paul and Silas for doing just that, praying for a possessed girl to be delivered, this enraging those who were using her possession to make money through fortune telling, they were beaten and thrown in prison.

Paul had learned to be content in ALL situations and learned to REJOICE in affliction because the more he suffered for the Gospel, the GREATER the POWER OF GOD rested upon him, so with excruciating lash wounds on their backs they STILL sang and praised God, this pleasing God who sent an earthquake and opened every cell, now they could have left, completely free and thought “Ha, Ha the jerks get what they deserve for beating us.”  

BUT when Paul saw that the jailer was going to commit suicide because they had all escaped, Paul called to him NOT TO harm himself that they were all there.

That is that love and the jailer and his entire family was saved because Paul knew how to play the gauntlet and HE DID EXACTLY what GOD WANTED HIM TOO.

Just as Jesus “who for the joy SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is sat down at the right hand of the Father.”

Those of Hebrews 11, who should give anyone hope and courage to press on.

Learn to groove that gauntlet, play it smoother than any jazz tune ever played.

The prize we seek is NOT in this world.

It is in the next and the true secret is what they knew, press on, press on, press on.

Pick yourself up, let the tears fly as you run, but RUN, RUN with everything you got and grab on to all you see who have fallen in their own race against the gauntlet, pull them, drag them whatever you have to do to help them to that finish line, but never ever look at those opposing you just look to the Author and Finisher of your faith.

He made it through His forty days and Forty nights and then He ran that gauntlet that hell itself had prepared and he died running it BUT HE ROSE and FOREVER SHALL REIGN!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015 

Original post date 12/04/15 revisited 07/01/2020 As you go through your day and your week, please remember that this world and the troubles of this world are temporary, just as our first verse assures us and in these awful days in which we live set yourself with one purpose and one goal and that goal is this, a reminder of what Jesus told us,NEVER LET THEM STEAL YOUR CROWN.

Bow Shot

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 Pretty strong statement, one shot, one chance through this life. We go through life with our eyes focused so closely on the task at hand or the current crisis that we fail to see the big picture.

We live, we die and the one shot we have is the time in between, every failure, every mistake but also every accomplishment, and every single victory is all embodied in “ONCE”. 

We will not have works in the grave, we will not have works in New Jerusalem and in hell there will be no chance of salvation ever again.  “Works without faith IS dead”, we can all do something, some type of “work”, we can all give, but when we need to do a work that is not quite so easy, that will require blood, sweat, and lots of tears, when we will set out on a course that is going to cost us something that is when it starts being set apart, and when a sacrifice is required and especially when it is a sacrifice of that work itself. 

Whatever we have been born to accomplish is to be accomplished on this earth. One shot to make a difference and live our lives in complete trust and faith to one so much higher than any earthly happening whether it be good or bad. Learning true trust is not that easy, we all say we TRUST God, we sing about trusting God, and have motivational agreements that we trust, but do we really? 

Trust IS faith and faith IS trust, you can not have one without the other, faith IS trusting God with the most precious of things, EVEN when it looks like we might lose but we have to trust Him enough to surrender even those things that we have fought so hard to nurture and protect, our hopes, our dreams, and sometimes our spiritual “babies” and lay them on the altar.

  Genesis 22 tells of Abrahams grueling test of faith, several days journey to what he thought would be the sacrifice of his son whom he loved more than life itself, the death of  his promised child, a child whose promised birth had been the fulfillment of the purpose of his own life,  the father of nations.

Genesis 22:4: Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off”  he had lots of time to think,  and dread, journeying up that mountain for what he believed would be the death of that child.  

Genesis 21 tells of the story of Hagar and Ismael, Sarai’s servant and the child she bore for Abraham because of Sarai’s  messed up attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise for Abraham. By this point Sarah wanted them out of her life and God knowing all things told Abraham to go ahead and send them away, now Hagar finds herself in the wilderness with nothing trying to find her way back to Egypt with the son she was demanded to bear for an heir and he is now considered nothing and no longer welcome, but he was her baby and she loved him and could not bear to watch him die:

Genesis 21:16: “And she went, and sat her down over against him (across from) A good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child, And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept.” 

Exodus 2  tell that when  Pharaoh had called for the slaughter of the Hebrew baby boys, Jochebed placed her baby Moses in an ark made undoubtedly countless tears and set him adrift with unquenchable faith.

Exodus 2:4 “And his sister stood afar off, to wit (know) what would become of him.” What they all had in common is this, these were their natural children, children whom they loved with every fiber in their being. Each time these things were “afar off’ it was a process of waiting, and watching and knowing that they had to TRUST GOD IN FAITH.

Abraham KNEW what God had promised, Hebrews 11:17: ” BY FAITH Abraham, when he was tried (tested) offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” As we know an angel stopped Abraham and God sent a ram as a sacrifice and we all learned that God will provide for us all that we need to be obedient to Him.

Jochebed’s baby was spared from those who given a chance would surely kill him, not only would he not die but she would nurse him and love him and tend his needs and no longer have to hide him and fear for his life. And he would go on to be used of God to lead his people out of bondage, drew from the water one day leading his people to freedom through parted waters.

God had heard Hagar’s cries when she was pregnant and sent an angel to comfort her and she had been obedient to God’s voice returning to Sarai and surrendering her child and now unable to bear watching him die in the wilderness, she had separated herself from him, crying out and now God heard the cries of the child himself and God sent the angel yet again and sprang up a well in their wilderness. They all had to learn faith and trust, to trust God with what was most precious to them, and sometimes we must trust God with all the things that are precious to us and when the enemy is coming after those things or there are those who wish to dash those hopes, smash those dreams,  and outright kill those spiritual babies then we have to just lay them down on the altar and just get a bow shot away and KNOW, and TRUST that HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH, that HE IS FAITHFUL , HE does see our sorrow and hear our cries and that HE WILL DELIVER.

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2015

  

NOT just any port in a storm….

We’re heading back to the spot just before Jesus lead Peter back into the boat.
Last time, we discussed how Peter had battled through a dark tempestuous night out in the middle of the wide open sea, at a time when it was truly man versus nature, without any of the modern nautical equipment around today and at the height of his terror, Jesus came to the rescue, but Peter’s new-found bravery as he walked with the Lord on water, was short-lived thanks to that terrorizing gusting wind.
We also have Jesus by our side in our storms and yet all of us have those moments when that wind blows just a little too hard and that fear of its howl is immobilizing and like Peter we freeze and those waves start dragging us under till we cry “LORD! SAVE ME!” 
So what about the time between those moments?
When the winds blow and howl and scream in our ears so loud that the voice that we had just heard so strong, as Peter did when he heard the Lord say “Come” we now question. Is it really HIS voice we hear over the sound of the storm. 
We are so deafened by the storm by this point that we are not really sure of anything and we just want to freeze in that fear of the unknown and uncertainty, and if allowed to IT WILL drown us right where we are.
We never even realize that we are so close to being back in the safety of that boat and the end of that storm.
Riding out storms can devastate even the strongest of sailors, it will knock the wind out of your sails, shiver your timbers and if you are not paying very close attention it will make you head to “any port in a storm” the nearest, closest spot available to you to dock that boat and get out of that storm.
Once your there you could turn from being an honorable first mate to becoming a scurvy sea dog, because all the “hail” and high water can make people do funny things.
When the going gets rough our flesh wants comfort, we want safety, we want this to end and to know all is accounted for and that our losses are minimal.
As Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We want  to run to the safest spot and into the nearest boat,  BUT the problem with this is that Jesus DID NOT led Peter back to any old boat, it was the boat that he was SUPPOSED to be in
Jesus has ALL POWER, he could have just materialized a different boat, he could have translated them to shore.
HE DIDN’T because Peter had to go through that storm and get back IN the SAME boat he just got out of, BEFORE THE STORM WOULD STOP!
Now you could ask WHY????? But ask yourself, and we really have to speculate on this, but how many times do you think Peter drew courage and renewed faith by remembering that journey?
I love to point out the fact that Peter carried out his commission from Jesus under the brunt of KNOWING HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED at the end of his mission.
We all know that he, like all the disciples were persecuted, beaten, and tormented all while the power of God poured from them, miracles, healing, and leading the lost to Christ.
COULD Peter have went on to carry this out faithfully had he not took that walk and GOT back in that boat?
Had he not let Jesus help him overcome all that fear and let Jesus lead him back to the boat that you know he would not have wanted to be back in, had he not overcame it through Christ, would he have ever had the faith and courage to know that death would not be the winner in the end?
Could he have had the courage to go to that cross at the end of his life?
I will leave that for you to answer, but Jesus was teaching Peter in that storm.
Jesus does not send storms on us but when we are allowed to continue through one, IT IS because he wants us to have victory, true victory, not a cop-out running from it kind of thing, but true taking the head off a giant victory in that area of our life.
Anyone can run, he will not allow us to run, He created to “having done all to stand” “STAND.”
Our “boats” are no different from Peter’s and sometimes we feel like whoo-hoo I’m finally outta that boat! 
Only to discover we got to get back in it if we are to see the storm end.
So to help us hear the right voice and find the way back to our boat till that storm ends, we’ll use our compass:

Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance MY SONG IN THE NIGHT: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search”
Now the wonderful thing about the Psalms are that they ARE SONGS!

Such as:  Psalm 69 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim (set to The Lilies), A Psalm of David.

” SAVE me, O God; for the WATERS are come in unto my soul (neck).
I SINK in the DEEP mire, WHERE THERE IS NO STANDING: I AM come into DEEP WATERS, where the FLOODS OVERFLOW ME.
I am weary (worn out) of my CRYING; my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I WAIT FOR MY GOD.”

“DELIVER ME out of the mire, and LET ME NOT SINK: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and OUT OF THE DEEP WATERS.
Let NOT the WATERFLOOD OVERFLOW ME, neither let the DEEP SWALLOW ME UP, and let not the pit shut up her mouth on me.”
                      Psalm 69:1-3,14,15

Just as Peter answered Jesus, when asked if he to would leave him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life.”
Jesus is the voice and the one port in our storm, get back in the boat, the storm will end and this storm may very well be the catapult to a level of faith you never would have imagined possible or a deeper relationship with the Lord that you can not fathom, but of a surety, one day, remembering this storm, and the quieting of it WILL BE YOUR SONG in another night and this storm will be proof positive that night too will end, the wind will cease and morning will yet again come.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/NBJ 2015

 

The Gateway

“Then said he unto them. Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth  forth out of his treasures things old and new.” Matthew 13:52.
 
Song of Solomon 7:13 “The mandrakes give a good smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee. O my beloved.”
  Treasures and fruits new and old, just how old? A revival of signs, wonders and miracles that have not been see since the days of the apostles, How new? A kind of the fire and oneness with God that has never been seen, remember he promises a new thing, and the earth will be filled with his glory. How will this happen? Psalm 102:17-22 “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord(19)For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth;(20) To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;(21) To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem;(22) When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms serve the Lord.”  Such as in Acts chapter 2, when the disciples and others on the day of Pentecost, in one mind one accord, suddenly the likeness of cloven tongues of fire sat upon each of them, being filled with the Holy Ghost , It was a game changer , then the miracles came, healings came, demons fled and thousands were saved. That is why we are encouraged to seek the old paths.
 This will be one agenda , an expectation and desire to see our God take his rightful place as King over Earth.
 How do we get there? “One thing have I desired of the Lord ,that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple”Psalm27:4
David also proclaimed that he set his face as a flint to know the Lord and have such a desire that nothing else would ever compare. Psalm24:3-9 “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?(4)He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul into vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.(5) He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.(6)This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah(7) Lift up your heads, O ye Gates; and be ye lifted up ,ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in.(8) Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.(9) Lift up your heads , O ye gates; even lift the up ,ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 Where is this place? Isaiah 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation and thy gates Praise.”
Psalm84:4 “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will still be praising thee. Selah.” You are that foretold generation and we have been blessed to be chosen to be invited to that place, and given the secret to the opening of those gates.
 What happens once those gates have been opened and his glory and his presence is revealed. “For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before the nations.” Isaiah 61:11.
Above all, Jesus tells us if he is lifted up he will draw all people to him, we lift him up by showing our love and the fullness of joy in him, enter into HIS courts with praise, I don’t think that necessarily means just church, it could also be his presence, when we lift him up this is the effect it will have on those who see, Psalm 45:15-17 “With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought(16) Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. (17) I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall people praise thee for ever and ever.”
Nina BrownJohnson///Φλογιζω/FOWC/ 02/04/2014

 

"Wanna Be"

Cute term, can be kinda offensive, but I promise I will prove why in the case we all should want to be “wannabes”!
The Church of Philadelphia, Revelation 3:7-13 is one of a kind. This church an universal symbol of love ,mercy,compassion, I believe is the one composed of all nations, all kindred, all tongues. So what do they have?
 Love as in “A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another as I have loved you, ye also love one another.“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another”                                             John 13:34&35,
Proverbs10:12 “Hatred stirreth up strife: but love covereth all sins.” Love “Beareth all things, beleiveth all things, hopes all things ,endureth all things” 1 Corinthians13:7 
 How about mercy?
“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that shewed no mercy: and mercy rejoiceth against  judgment.”                                                              James2:13 
“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy”      Matthew 5:7.
 Compassion? Galatians6:1&2 “BRETHREN, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
All the things He is to us, His mercy that is renewed every morning, his banner of love over us serving notice on the Hell that we are his and his unfailing compassion that understands all we go through and cries with us. All that he is and all he wants us to be, not judge, jury and executioner, It is not his will that any shall perish.
Seven times we are told “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”  Now “listen” closely….
“And to the angel (messenger) of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith HE THAT IS HOLY, HE THAT IS TRUE, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH;
I KNOW THY WORKS: BEHOLD I HAVE SET BEFORE THEE AN OPEN DOOR, AND NO MAN CAN SHUT IT FOR THOU HAST A LITTLE STRENGHT, AND HAST KEPT MY WORD, AND HAST KEPT MY NAME.
BECAUSE THOU HAST KEPT THE WORD OF MY PATIENCE (command to persevere) I ALSO WILL KEEP THE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPATION (trial) WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD TO TRY (test) THEM THAT DWELL UPON EARTH”    Revelation 3:7,8,10
My personal favorite,
Isaiah26:20&21 “Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: Hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” With promises like that we all should wanna be in this blessed number!
Nina BrownJohnson / εν Φλογιζω FOWC/ 02/11/2014

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

ASHES

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Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]