“Change your clothes”

Sunday will be the first day of spring! Yay! But here it was actually warmer weeks ago and many of the beautiful trees flowered early and now old man winter is huffing and puffing and rain and wind are blowing and all those pretty blooms are looking anything but pretty.

Funny how the perception of a trees beauty is gauged by the covering of that tree, not what it looked like before or what it will in several months, but what it is NOW.

We aren’t that much different and I can never think of “changing” clothes without thinking about my Mother… most Mothers insist on clean underwear and socks but that never comes to mind with my Mom.

Growing up in the eighties.. fashion was seriously whatever you wanted it to be and styles ranged widely from elegant jumpsuits that were multipurpose to be worn many ways and as I called them “clown suits” I loved them. Others wore leather and styles that bordered medieval archery wear, and styles with satin, gauze, and loads of lace, fad after fad with every imaginable fabric stuffed in between.

I went through a phase (before I was liberated to clown suits and my beloved shoulder pads) that rotated between raiding my Dad’s church ties to polish off my look, and raiding my brothers printed tee shirts.

Now my parents both worked so me and my brother got ourselves off to school and I would ride the bus to school and then ride home with Mom because she worked close to the school and got off about thirty minutes later, so anyway she did not see me BEFORE I left the house only AFTER everyone else had, she has always been a big believer in looking ones best so I really should have seen it coming sooner… we were getting out of the car to go into the store one evening and  staring rather sternly at the extra-large tee-shirt and jeans I had donned, she says “Why are you wearing that?” Of course my shocked reply was “Because its comfortable” so she finally strongly suggests that if I don’t start wearing my own clothes and stop wearing my brothers shirts that I would not be in public with her.

So looking back I don’t know if this was a “sister moment” or a Mom asking a sister “Can you do something with your sister” moment but my sister who has always been beautiful and well dressed decided to give me a beautiful outfit, still miss that shirt!

Anyway it was black DRESS SLACKS and a black “almost” tee but the upper portion was almost like a velvety suede with an applique, also solid black.  As soon as I tried it on, I fell in love, and wore it to school and the most shocking thing happened that day… I could not believe how many compliments I got on those clothes and I actually FELT different, I felt FEMININE, I felt like a GIRL…WEIRD Right!???

I can truly say that I have never been the same, still have my sloppy moments  but I was given something that is priceless, a “change of clothes” that helped change me from a “tomboy” wearing make-up into becoming a young lady.

Something hit me at church Sunday night…  and God confirmed the thought when the story of the lady with the issue of blood was used, in a different context.

Sometimes we have to CHANGE our “garments” to touch His. Yeah.. that is much harder to explain outside of my head, but understanding it in my spirit.

What we wear SPIRITUALLY is of course even more important than what we cover our bodies with.

We wear our happiness as a beautiful sundress, we wear our joy as a brightly colored array reflecting from our very beings.

We wear peace as a blue flowing robe that reflects the sky and the sea and their endless blueness and beauty.

And we wear so many WRONG things and like my double shoulder pads and cinch belts of yesteryear, God above knows that I have worn more than my fair share of many of these:

We wear our pain, our sad countenance and eyes expressing the sorrow of our heart just as deadening and dreary as a funeral veil.

We wear our hurt and resentment as easily irritating, rough garments that scratch and chaff and make us quite nasty to be around.

We wear our guilt and our shame as a hideous smocks decorated with skulls and cross-bones and bio hazard symbols to ward others away as they carefully hide the most delicate of silk and linen underneath.

We also wear the unattractive and ill-fitting garments of anger, rage, pride, and arrogance, regret and remorse and every imaginable human condition.

Luke, chapter 8 tells us of a woman who knew all to well about the garments she was forced to wear, she was sick, very sick. Her condition made her life exceptionally miserable because she was under the law to stay on her sick-bed, she had an issue of blood, and that made her UNCLEAN and by that NO ONE could come into contact with her or they would also become unclean, so she spent ALL of her money on doctor, after doctor, and I’m sure remedy after remedy and her condition only WORSENED.

So for TWELVE YEARS she spent her life, alone, sick, and outcast in her  condition. Now THAT is carrying a heavy burden, we’ll pick up her story: Luke 8:43-48: “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, NEITHER could be healed of any. Came BEHIND him and TOUCHED the border (hem) of HIS GARMENT: and IMMEDIATELY her issue of blood stanched (stopped).

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press (surround and crush) thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me; For I perceive that VIRTUE (POWER) IS GONE OUT OF ME.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all people for what cause she had touched him, and how SHE WAS HEALED IMMEDIATELY. And Jesus said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort (cheer) thy faith hath made thee whole (well) GO IN PEACE.

Mark 5:25-34  recounts her famous words, “If I MAY touch but (ONLY) his clothes, I SHALL BE WHOLE (well).”

Can you imagine the “clothes” she had worn every day for TWELVE years and the courage it took to “change” clothes in order to TOUCH His?

She had to change her garment of FEAR, the very real fear of being punished for breaking the law by even being there and put on a new covering of FAITH.

She had to change her garments of rejection, and ostracism for the beautiful two piece suit of acceptance and assurance. Removing the tight uncomfortable binder of medically impossible and allowing herself to be completed wrapped in  ALL things ARE possible with God.

And to NOT even be touched BY Him, or touch Him, but just to touch something that is touching Him, so matter how small it may seem, even the little things in life, right down to the to the tiniest seam, after all, that little seam holds it all together. (Dig that, for a little symbolism) We all pray and we all want Him to touch us, our health, our lives and there IS nothing wrong with that but.. maybe sometimes we need to just TOUCH Him.

Hebrews 4:15 a: “For we have not an high priest which cannot BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES.. ” OUR High Priest CAN be touched!

And when those heavy burdens, sickness, and toils and toll takings of life happen, and that SPIRIT of heaviness start to show on us like tattered, torn clothing we MUST be willing to change OUT OF THAT.

Isaiah 61:3: “To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for their ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.”

So shed the old crusty duds and  put on your new clothes and allow Him to cover you in a beautiful garment of praise!

Now to finish up my story, life is good in slacks, Dad finally quit having to come ask for his missing ties and looking back my brother bought me an “ALABAMA” tee-shirt all of my own,  ( I will post that in as soon as I dig the picture up.. good for a flashback laugh) now I’m thinking maybe a gentle way of saying, “Sis, please stay out of my clothes….. wear your own clothes”…  But I know one thing for sure the most beautiful garment we will ever wear is “broken” that is the garment that shines brilliantly and flows most beautifully, because it is most splendid and glorious once it has undergone repair.

Blessings and Love! Have a great week and a beautiful new spring!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

If you have never heard this PLEASE check it out!

 

Reaching the river

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:

For I HAD gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  WHY are thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul?  and why are thou disquieted (worried, nervous, anxious) in me? 

HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall YET praise him (give thanks) for the help of his countenance (His presence).

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I WILL REMEMBER THEE from the land of Jordan, and the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: ALL thy waves and thy billows ARE GONE OVER ME. Yet the Lord WILL command his lovingkindness  in the DAYTIME, and in the NIGHT his SONG shall be with me, And MY PRAYER unto the GOD OF MY LIFE.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? WHY art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

HOPE THOU IN GOD: FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, Who IS the health of my countenance and MY GOD.” Psalm 42:1-11

Every single one of us experience these seasons in life and sometimes we feel like they will never end. When you feel like you can almost hear your circumstances echoing “WHERE is your God?”

You KNOW that you HAVE served the Lord, you HAVE went into His house with joy and praise and yet… you know feel your soul bowed down, nervous, anxious and confused as those “enemies” of your peace still vehemently whisper in your ears… WHY are you going through THIS?

Where is your peace, your joy, and healing? Now to completely seem to jump topic.. I know there are those who have suffered and suffered with the same afflictions for what seems like forever and often we see a televised service or even go to  a revival service that is so charged that YOU KNOW healing and deliverance ARE there… but kinda like the man at the pool who needed a little help getting in the water… it seems something else happens before you get your turn in the prayer line and before you even got started the service ended.

Want to talk to you about that before we finish our verses. The reason those services ARE charged is NOT where the services are held (although I do believe in “Holy” grounds) or even WHO is preaching them or who is singing.

The “charge” is the fact that these services are packed with people who have an EXPECTATION.. their FAITH dial is set to wide open flow and as we know “where two or three are GATHERED together” there HE IS in the midst, so when you have hundreds gathered BELIEVING and EXPECTING of course good things are going to take place. But again it is NOT person nor place, IT IS level of faith and belief in the fact that HE IS there.

But some things I believe happen in “different” settings, such as our personal prayer closets. That secret meeting place that is just between YOU and JESUS. that place of pouring your heart out, such as the verse above, pouring out your tears, your suffering, your fear and your insecurity and allowing His presence to wash over you and flood you in the billows and waves of His Holy Spirit.

As the verse above. he REASSURED HIMSELF that this fight was not over, THIS was NOT the end! His soul would STILL rejoice in the Lord and in His presence even though it looked quite hopeless at the moment.

Sometimes we are discouraged, sad, and troubled and WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I believe this happens sometimes.. not always.. so don’t get me wrong.. but when we feel like that longing and nothing major is going wrong in our lives.. I think it can be a longing to draw closer to the Lord.

But in either case, once he started to remember all the marvelous works that the Lord had already preformed, THOUGHTS changed, because PERCEPTION CAN BE A POWERFUL THING.

He remembered and he had HOPE. Hope because he knew the Lord would send His love and His goodness to him each day, because God’s mercy toward us is “renewed each day” and he knew that God would send the songs of Zion, the songs of hope and encouragement, faith, and peace to comfort him in even the darkest time.

And he learned the power of praying, and praying “without ceasing” to the God of LIFE, God who would give him new life and restore and repair all that had been broken and lead him to those crystal waters and refresh his parched soul.

In our verses, he asked “why” several times and we do not always understand why, but we must hold to that hope and to hold on to that prayer and pray and pray in the “secret place of the Most High” until we are restored, renewed, and refreshed in the times of trouble and doubt.

Seasons pass, troubles fade, and circumstances change so don’t give up your fight and don’t ever give up on God. Troubles come and troubles go, days get brighter and the sun will once again shine but if you give up in that dry, parched land, you will never feel joy and peace until you reach that river and allow Him to refresh you again.

Psalm 46:1-11 “God IS our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Therefore WE WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah 

THERE IS A RIVER, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder (in half); He burneth the chariots in the fire.

BE STILL, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge.”

Hope that jogged your memory! RUN into your prayer closet and don’t come out until you have been drenched! He does not need an audience, or a preacher, or the congregation to touch and heal you and often the most earth-shaking blessing come completely one on one, you just have to BELIEVE that He does hear you and BELIEVE that He will answer you and EXPECT Him to rock your world! Run, walk, or if you have to crawl but reach that river and let NOTHING hold you back!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

Ever blooming….

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering THYSELF, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. If a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto (share with) him that teacheth in all good things.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:1-9

I love these verses but to start us off thinking about the beginning… if we see our brother or sister struggling, hurting, and sinking in the waters of their battle IT IS OUR JOB to help them up. IT IS OUR JOB to do whatever we can to help with those burdens, that behavior, or whatever trail or temptation they have come under.

And this verse is not to the world.. this verse is to THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL, He is telling us that THIS is our job, not just pray for them but to actually HELP them. 

Our next instruction in this is, for US to go to them in the SPIRIT of meekness, meaning gently and humbly and in no way pulling a “holier than thou” or “stronger than thou” attitude on them because we are to CONSIDER OURSELVES, our own well-being because even if we aren’t in a battle at the time, how we treat others during their battles can ACTUALLY BRING ABOUT A HORRIFIC BATTLE IN OUR OWN LIFE.

Bearing each others burdens instead of turning a blind eye and questioning their salvation and Christianity, their relationship to God, such as Jobs “friends” reacted the attack the devil waged against him. They BLAMED Job, belittling, accusing, and chastising him unmercifully, while arrogantly proclaiming their own self-righteousness.

Which completely explains the next verse, FALSELY believing that we have it all together and pride fully accusing others that their struggles are solely caused by their SHORTCOMINGS in spiritual things.

We must prove our own work, again knowing that God knows our hearts and our intentions whether others wish to misconstrue those intentions or not. It should be none of our concern because people are going to think what is in THEIR hearts to think anyway, and they are going to make those judgments against us based on again, what looks right and sounds right to THEM, not always what is the truth.

We just have to learn to let that go because we can’t change people only God has that power and they have to want that change. That is why we are also told in scripture: 

He that reproveth (tries to convince of truth) a scorner (SCOFFER) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh (admonish, scold) a wicked man getteth himself a blot (ONLY HARMS HIMSELF). Reprove NOT a scorner, LEST HE HATH THEE: rebuke a wise man and he will LOVE thee.” Proverbs 9:7,8

Pretty self-explanatory, when we try to talk to them about something for the good, they will only get mad and hate us and we in turn can become angry at them, thereby only hurting ourselves!  We are only to try reason with a WISE man because he will accept that reason and appreciate us for it.

I recently found myself in a situation because I had decided to not attend a funeral for a person who had really come against my family concerning our faith (or rather their perceived lack thereof ) during the terminal illness of my late brother. I could feel the vibes of hurt and “How can you be so cold” coming straight my way from someone after the fact.

And I truly thought about giving my reasoning but it was pointless to do so. The person who died had apologized, apologies had been accepted and even with that, for me to have went would have been tasteless and I think even more nerve wrecking for the loved ones and for me because the enemy would be very convincing to all that my intentions of being there were not for condolence purposes, because he died from the same disease that killed my brother. What could I have said if I had went? What could I have possibly done, when in my self I knew going to it would have only brought back the same old pain of holding my brother’s dead body asking myself questions that had been put in my head by the enemy. I had prayed and prayed and prayed and had faith and I know he died because it was his time, but it is hard to remember all that once something gets in your head deep enough. I also know that we can pray and pray and have faith and yet it does not always go the way we would want but it does not mean that God does not love us or that we have “caused” their death rather than their healing, because we are “faithless”. Bringing all that back up would help no one and even dealing with the thought only causes grief.

I have no joy in his death, my heart breaks for his family for what they have endured and the mourning that follows and I just thought the best thing to do was to do nothing, not even acknowledge it and not give any one a reason for my absence, and pray and hope that it was the right decision. Sometimes things are just better left alone.

And as much as I don’t want people hurt and mad at me, I am planting my own garden.. every day with what I say, what I do.. and how I treat others. We all are and we have to really think about what we would want to grow.

The garden of life holds many varieties of beautiful plants, our hopes, dreams, and goals that grow and take root. The beautiful flowers that are our family, friends, loved ones and pets, all different, all bringing different experiences, memories, and treasures to our life. The spices of joy, peace, happiness, even when mingled with the bitter still create our existence that will always be unique to us and our life. 

But of all that we plant and the one thing that should be ever blooming in the garden of our life is kindness. Kindness is free, it costs us nothing to share a smile and share a hug and in showing kindness we can bear one another’s burdens.

Kindness can break through even the most concrete walls that surround the most wounded soul, and kindness is the sunshine that melts away the frost covering even the most frozen heart.

And when we sow in kindness and understanding to another, even when we ourselves can become stretched thin, we are sowing  into a garden that we will reap bountifully from, because when we need it the most, it will bloom, it will prosper, and we will reap abundantly of those good things, but only, only IF we have planted them into another’s life.

Romans 12:10: ” Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” as the saying goes, we never know what another is going through and we can use that opportunity to judge and harm or we can use that opportunity to encourage and lift up.

The choice is ours but the garden we plant is also ours and we are the ones that will be left with whatever takes root and grows there, so let’s plant with love, and mercy, understanding, and patience and only send out what we want to have returned to us.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed weekend!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

“Shaking off shackles of shame”

I am really seriously trying to avoid the news, all news. World news, internet news, people relying the news I missed to me, because after the stories that are being reported everyday, it is truly hard for, I believe ANYONE not to become a wee bit disturbed by all of it. It started off with a page feed on my Facebook about a beast who had been sentenced to fifty-five years in prison and a twelve million dollar fine for his crime. I can’t even bring myself to get into the details of his reign of absolute horror.

It seriously made me rethink my anti-death penalty stance. I have never understood how we can be against abortion and yet justify the killing of someone else, but, then again I seriously do not believe the person is human. He is demon possessed, which led me to the question about the demons begging Jesus not to send them to the abyss, to send them into the swine, then the pigs ran into a river and drown. So either way, it ended that story.

But I know that God holds ALL justice and couldn’t help but notice in the case of Ariel Castro and a few others how fast that justice comes. My soul screams justice and deliverance for the oppressed, wounded, and hurt and yet if that is not carefully tempered with the word of God, the need for seeing that justice come to pass can quite easily turn into a bad case of running a marathon with scissors and that will help no one.

So with a weeks worth of murder, mayhem, and just sick twisted cruelty which also included a story of a Tennessee man who was the caregiver of his seventy-nine year old cancer stricken mother, decided for some reason that it would be a great idea to beat her to death, a four-month old baby dying after being given Benadryl at daycare, a man arrested for “disciplining” his children with a stun gun, more police dead, a beautiful dog who appeared on someones porch that had his teeth filed down and his tongue cut out, evidently used a dog fighting bait dog ( YES, the end time reign of plagues and judgment on these monsters is starting to sound right on cue, once upon a time I could not understand why the Lord would send such terror, oh believe me, I now understand clearly) more senseless attacks, including one at a club hosting a teen party, ending a twelve-year-old life and I know heaven itself is weeping at the sight of all these things.

 Those subjects I can not touch because what am I going to say, that will even be hopeful or thought-provoking?

It all ends with the scripture in which God tells us that those who show mercy will be shown mercy and those who have shown no mercy will be given judgement without mercy, so the full force of an angry, Holy God pouring out on peoples heads needs no human intervention or explanation.

The story I did choose to go with, that we can all pray about and think about is this one. Most have seen it or heard about it, my husband enlightened me to it while reading his CNN news feed.

A mother (?) decided to embarrass, beat, terrorize, and humiliate her sixteen year old daughter live on Facebook. Here is this woman in a cami top and tight pink shorts up to her butt, slapping and verbally bashing her daughter for what she had posted online, while having someone else film her beating this child.

Like, Hello? What are you wearing yourself there? Queen Mother?

This poor child is trying to cover her face from the hits and this goes on for five minutes and then this person (and I use that term very loosely) takes the camera, FIXES HER HAIR, and tells everyone to send it viral.

Pretty obvious to know what that was all about, get some attention by beating her kid and acting like she is so bad.

Love to see her live feed taking on someone who hits back! This girl was left in the corner whimpering as her mother(?) proudly proclaims that there would be more posts to come.

My heart broke for this girl and my heart breaks for the sadness of just how many are treated like this by those who are supposed to encourage them and protect them and help them deal in the right way with the changes in their lives and all the peer pressure they endure.

What really kills me is the mindless idiots that are complimenting her and saying god bless her, I did not capitalize that because GOD WOULD NEVER,EVER BLESS THAT!

They like to try to change Him and His thoughts to fit in with their own sick behaviour, as a justification attempt.

Jesus whom allowed himself to be humiliated, stripped, and ridiculed SO WE WOULD NOT BE.

Jesus who taught us to turn the other cheek, not to attack a grown up who attacks us first.

Jesus who said that it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and drowned AS TO HURT ONE OF HIS LITTLE ONES.

Jesus who lined all the naysayers out when Mary cried at His feet and when the woman accused of adultery was brought to Him.

And now they want to insist that He is okay with slapping around on your kid or anyone else or even animals for that matter.

They DO NOT KNOW HIM nor do they know anything about Him.

But they will soon discover His thoughts on the subject for themselves and in the meantime they will reap what they have sown and be judged by their own judgment so maybe someone can live feed us them being beaten and talked to like trash.

Well, I am obviously getting dangerously close to running with those scissors on this but these people really bring out something unpleasant in many of us and I know I am not the only one that is enraged by it.

I know that as the scripture states when someone is saved and comes back into the household of God, that the ANGELS IN HEAVEN REJOICE, they are so happy that they REJOICE at our salvation. I know the tears that they surely cry as they watch the senseless cruelty on earth.

They cry as humans and animals and all the living are being hurt and wounded. And I also know this is the reason for the thirty minutes of silence which will happen in heaven as the Lord prepares His judgment and return upon earth.

They are praying and weeping for US, they are weeping for the hurt, and oppressed. They are praying for those who have been stubborn, prideful, and self-willed to admit that they need a Saviour. They are praying about the blood of the innocent that covers the earth and the price that blood will cause the wicked to pay.

But to deal with it as humans, while on this earth requires understanding and faith in God.

The beating is really the lesser of the damage done here, the shame, the humiliation  that was caused and the painful memories that will last that child a lifetime and without divine intervention the pain trying to deal with that damage will cost her.

Shame, even the word is unpleasant, we have all felt shame, that feeling that starts in your stomach and somehow covers your face as if to show the world that you are lesser than they. That you have messed up and now you are fit to be placed in the village stocks for the villagers to gaze upon and throw things at.

It is MORE than any emotion, it is a snare that Satan uses to cover his victims, think about the term often used “shame ON you”.

Shame is worn and once the initial episode of that shame has been forgotten by those that “put it on you” that shame IS STILL THERE, it is in your mind and affects everything you do.

Because our first instinct is try get it off of us. To hide it, so no one will see “it” that we can function and be accepted while deep down inside, we are still covered in humiliation and hurt, which can also turn to some serious rage. If you doubt that, think about stories of bullied teens and abused children who have finally took all that they can take and become violent.

And as much as I hate to quote anything from the world, it can best be summed up with some lyrics from an old rock song, “till you end up like a dog that has been beat too much, and spend half your life just trying to cover it up”. That is what shame does and it DOES NOT belong to us.

It is a snare like all the other traps that try to convince you that you can never “belong” to the kingdom of God, when actually you DO belong.

That is why all these things have been set against you, to try to prevent you from knowing your identity in Christ.

When I started feeling prompted in my writing ministry to share certain things about my own pain, it was hard, because none of us want to feel like people will run from us or that we are “damaged”.

The the biggest lie told to us by the enemy or our human “enemies”, (the ones who intentionally make us feel embarrassed and ashamed) is that because we have been mistreated that somehow it is our fault, that we caused it.

The truth is evil ALWAYS calls itself good and it always pretends to be right and that is why these particular things damage our spirit and only God can remove it.

But once God gave me reassurance that even if it helped one person overcome and to know it is really, really okay that He has seen it all anyway and that He is never going to look us with the contempt we may have been subjected to, but He looks us with mercy and love and ONLY HE can take away the reproach of shame.

There is nothing, nothing we can do, no drugs, no drinking, and there is not enough therapy in the world to take off what can only removed on  spiritual level.

I have painfully learned that being saved was only my beginning, I spent almost thirty years trying to forget and just live with a broken soul, and discovered that once I allowed Jesus to take care of that, when I allowed Him to “look” at all that was broken, smashed, and chained up in shame that it would be the beginning of a process of healing, dealing with all those unpleasant emotions that still, made me who I am, exactly who He knew I would be.

Not always good, but still, me.

We are over-comers by our testimony and the hardest for me to ever overcome, which He had to divinely get me through was having been held over a fire with the threat of being burned alive, I tell you when you’re a little kid, there is nothing that will define your self-worth quite like that.

I am sure that once knowing that, many found my fire symbol very disturbing, believe me I asked myself that question, but you know what? For me, the fire is VICTORY. The whole deal with that was this, I was specifically told that “the devil comes and takes “bad” people to hell” and you are threw in a fire, so I spent most of my life really, really believing that the devil CONTROLS who goes to hell and that I was pretty much all ready done for.

So imagine when I received the baptism of fire and learned through scripture that “GOD IS a consuming fire”.

Satan NEVER controlled hell or fire, he is cold as ice and WILL BE IN HELL, Hell is RESERVED FOR HIM AND HIS ANGELS!

After serving Christ many years and receiving my calling I couldn’t help but notice something, if the enemy made certain that I would be terrified of it and believe that he controlled it, than obviously there was a reason he wanted to make sure I would never, ever go near it.

Once I realized that, I KNEW the fire is to be embraced, not earthly fire, but the fire of God because I know, I know who really controls it and I know WHO pulled me out of it and WHOSE arms held me and let my soul know without a doubt that I never had to be afraid of that awful place again.

This is good to remember when you deal with what has been set a stumbling block in your path, there is a definite reason he chooses what he chooses to attempt to destroy you and usually you will find it is tied into the calling that GOD PLACED ON YOUR LIFE BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN. 

Read that for yourself in Romans 8:29,30, you will see things in a different light.

Shame comes “on us” in many forms, words and actions of others, being mocked and laughed at because of our looks or clothes,or our speech, it can come many ways but it comes and it is the most dangerous snare of them all.

So whatever you may have been hurt by, shamed with, and are still trying to overcome I want to encourage you.

Jesus CAN take it completely away, the memory may hurt but that feeling, the shame WILL be completely erased from your mind, your soul, and your life.  I believe that if I could show you just a little of my “shame” you can surely show yours to Jesus.

You NEVER have to tell a human anything but you can share your most painful wound with Him and I promise, once you do, He will heal you and remove those heavy chains from your soul.

He does NOT laugh at you, your pain or your humiliations. Actually this is what the word says about Him.

ISAIAH: 50:6 ” I GAVE my back to the smitters (those who struck), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:

I HID NOT MY FACE FROM SHAME AND SPITTING.” He suffered THIS to remove it from us! Trust Him, let Him take it away.

PSALM 25:2,3: “O my God,  I TRUST IN THEE LET ME NOT BE ASHAMED: let not mines enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait upon thee be ashamed: let them that be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause.”

PHILIPPIANS 1:20: ” According to my earnest expectations and MY HOPE, that IN NOTHING I SHALL BE ASHAMED…”

 1 PETER 4:16: ” But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him  NOT BE ASHAMED;  but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

JOEL 2:26,27: “And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.

and ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND NONE ELSE: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.”

ISAIAH 25:8: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God WILL WIPE AWAY TEARS FROM OFF ALL FACES; AND THE REBUKE (embarrassment and shame) OF HIS PEOPLE SHALL HE TAKE AWAY FROM OFF ALL THE EARTH: FOR THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.”

So many other wonderful scriptures of God’s love and mercy, and His cleansing power that truly washes it all away.

So today if you are struggling with these issues, turn to Him, REMEMBER the scripture said he did not hide His face from it and you have His promise that He will never embarrass or hurt you.

Please pray that eyes will be opened, that people will realize this is NOT the way to prove anything.

Pray that those who are mortified with shame, which literally means unable to move, crippled by that shame will be touched of the Lord to leap as never before and pray that the ears who are only hearing harsh, damning words will hear the soft whisper so much greater that they ARE loved, they are accepted and that they are NEVER ever to be ashamed.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

I chose this song because of the testimony of the lead singer. so powerful and so free.

BEHIND THE SHIELD PART 2

“We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God. We will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil all thy petitions. Now Know I that the Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear (answer) him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of HIS RIGHT HAND. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but WE WILL REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. SAVE, LORD; LET THE KING HEAR US WHEN WE CALL.” PSALM 20:5-9

Dealing with our subject, the protective shield of God and his right hand that forever holds us when we feel like we are going to fall. Dealing with submission, first God never designed us to submit to evil people.

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” and “Never GIVE PLACE to the devil” are to me, proof positive of this. I use those verses often because they are so clear and point blank and they are not followed with a clause stating that this is void if you are in a relationship with the person that the devil is using to torment you.

But once you come into the faith, your relationship with GOD trumps ALL other relationships and if you stay together  in the marriage, the believer will sanctify the unbeliever. However if they are mean and nasty to you, here is your answer: 

1 CORITHIANS 7:15: “BUT, IF THE UNBELIEVING DEPART,(LEAVES) LET HIM DEPART. A BROTHER OR SISTER IS NOT UNDER BONDAGE IN SUCH CASES: BUT GOD HATH CALLED US TO PEACE.”    

 Operative word there, PEACE, remember Jesus tells us to take upon us His yoke which IS light and EASY to bear. HE IS the Prince of Peace, so why would he want you tied to someone who never lets you see a moment of it?

Why women have always been persecuted in these ways is for one reason and one reason only, if you have been hurt, wounded, and abused and your trust has been  destroyed by men, how can you possibly submit your soul Jesus, who is male?  

Even the word submission has negative conations in our world. It is viewed as weakness, or ineptness, or giving up. But in the spirit world it is a BEAUTIFUL thing. Remember “God is NOT A MAN” Jesus came here as a man, but He is not a man. And “it is IMPOSSIBLE” for him to lie” what He says He means. When He says HE WILL give you peace and life more abundantly, and joy UNSPEAKABLE, HE REALLY MEANS IT.

“He maketh rich (In spiritual things) and adds NO SORROW with it.” HE IS beautiful, merciful, kind, and  when you come to Him in prayer, He will NEVER ask you “where have been?” or “why on earth did you do that?” He will NEVER remind you of your sins, failures, or mistakes. BUT, here it is, YOU have to be willing to TRUST HIM, and that is what true submission is.

You have to be willing to lay down your own thoughts, your fears, and your problems at HIS feet. The hardest part is letting Him see your soul, all of your soul, every hurt, every scar, and every single wound that you have tried to hide. All your tears, because in the world we are brainwashed with “never let them see you cry”, this is BACKWARD to the word of God, even Jesus wept.

I promise once that surrender takes place and you really, really let Him in, you will know love unlike anything you have ever imagined or could feel from a human. You will understand things you never understood. And you will KNOW the King of Kings and the absolute Lord of Lords and the power of His resurrection.

This is the place where you and HIM become one and words can never describe Him, or His presence and the most astounding attribute IS HIS GENTLENESS and overwhelming meekness. You will understand just who fights for you, that fierce protection of that banner of His love that waves over you and your soul being shrouded under the shadow of the Almighty and there aren’t enough mortal men on earth or demons from hell that can penetrate HIS shield over your soul or touch His power in any way.

The hardest thing to surrender is our pain but just remember something, His pain was put on public display, that crown of thorns piercing into Him as the thoughts the enemy sends pierces our minds. He was savagely beaten ( I always have to point this out because it was so profound to me, but according to scripture, it relays this way, had you known Jesus and saw Him everyday, once they were through with him He had been beaten so badly that you would NOT have been able to recognize Him) He was stripped completely nude and NAILED to a cross. He understands pain, He understands humiliation. And He will never hurt or humiliate us.

In the meantime, if you are in a bad situation or trying to overcome one, I want to give you some scriptures to help you:

The Lord IS on my side; I will not fear: What can man do unto me? PSALM 118:6

” When I cry unto the thee, then shall mine enemies be turned back: This I know for GOD IS with me.” Psalm 56:9

“What shall we the say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” ROMANS 8:31 (Actually you should just read all of ROMANS 8, it will give you a whole new prospective on how God feels about His children.)

In GOD have I put my TRUST: I will NOT be afraid what man can do unto me.”    PSALM 56:11

” The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and DELIVERETH THEM OUT OF ALL THEIR TROUBLES. THE LORD IS NIGH ( NEAR, CLOSE TOO) UNTO THEM THATARE OF A BROKEN HEART; AND SAVETH SUCH AS BE OF A CONTRITE (CRUSHED) SPIRIT. Many ARE the afflictions of the righteous: BUT the lord delivereth him out of them all.” PSALM 34:17-19

Seek HIM, and HIS will for your life and don’t settle for less and HE will in his time send you a mate that will treat you the way you deserve and most importantly one suited for marriage to a daughter of the King!

Φλογίζω-εξυπνιζω/ ΝΒ 2016

If you have never heard this please listen. This is one of the best description possible.

 

 

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

This gallery contains 1 photo.

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 […]