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.

“The patience of Job”

“And there was a day when his (Job’s) sons and his daughters were sitting and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. And THERE CAME  a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen WERE plowing, and the asses FEEDING beside them; And the Sabeans FELL upon them (attacked), and took them ALL away; yea, and they have SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE; 

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, there came ALSO ANOTHER, and said The fire of God IS fallen from heaven, and hath BURNED UP the sheep, AND the servants, and CONSUMED (destroyed) THEM: And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, The Chaldeans made (formed) out three bands, and FELL UPON (raided) the camels, and have carried the away, yea, and SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters WERE eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house; And, behold, THERE CAME a great wind from the wilderness, and SMOTE the four corners of the house, and IT FELL UPON THE YOUNG MEN AND THEY ARE DEAD; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.” JOB 1: 13-19

So many points in the story of Job, it is hard to know where to start and if you are feeling down, I suggest reading Job. It will make almost anyone rethink their own suffering.

What he went through was TRULY from satan himself, that is how the story began.  Job WAS a righteous man, he did everything he could to honor God on his behalf and even on the behalf of his children. God had blessed Job and Job WAS pleasing to God.

But to have been around for this onslaught of messengers, coming so closely together that one was YET giving Job bad news as another was standing there with more to report would have probably made it appear otherwise.

That IS often exactly what the enemy wants. Notice how all these things FELL, just as the enemy would like to see God’s chosen fall, and that was his plan in all these tragedies to make Job fall because of what had fallen on him. 

And he wanted Job to know it and to know it fast, as EVERY messenger repeated that they alone WERE escaped to tell what had taken place. And this story has been used many times, I have used it many times myself but I felt I needed to again because so often what is mistaken as “God” is actually an attack by the enemy and not understanding what is really going on leads people to discouragement and hopelessness, and leads them away from God rather than to him.

Again, that is why the devil does it. And at the time the story starts, a perfectly normal, delightful day, just like any other day, or it would have seemed, they were enjoying life, the family was close, having dinner being gathered together.

Even the animals were just having an average day, the ox were working, the donkeys eating, and suddenly the attack came, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys stolen away and those who had been in charge of their care, murdered. 

And as this was in the process of taking place, the “fire of God” had fallen, translates to “hot thunderbolts” which we would know as lightning, BUT we also know that THIS WAS NOT FROM GOD and can you only imagine what a lightning storm would appear as that could in an instant completely burn up SEVEN THOUSAND sheep and all those that tended them?

And at the same moment yet another rogue group divided into three groups attack and steal three thousand camels, again slaughtering those who tended them. And simultaneously as this is still being told, more bad news comes, a strange, monstrous wind had come actually hitting ALL sides of the brother’s house, caving it in and killing all of his children in one single attack. 

Unimaginable, but it is the first of what Job would endure and many times as attacks came, we to, fall into the trap of thinking that somehow we  are the problem, that we have done something wrong, or offended God, or these things would not happen but the truth is Job went through this because he belonged to God.

Now to back this train up a little bit it and see what was really going on here, this was a contest of the “powers”, God has ALL power, He is supreme and nothing in the universe has more power than Jehovah God, but Satan likes to think that he will be like God, but he is quite mistaken, however he is still NOT human and is very powerful and Job was a human caught in the middle of this show down.

Job 1:6-12: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came in among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (where did you come from?) Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

REMEMBER that the “devil goes about as a roaring lion SEEKING whom he MAY DEVOUR”}

 And the Lord said unto Satan, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB that there IS NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

The Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge (protection) about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance (possessions) are increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, ALL THAT HE HATH IS IN THY POWER (your hand) ; ONLY UPON HIMSELF (his physical body) PUT NOT FORTH THINE HAND, so Satan went forth from the presence of God.

Now, as I said I have written posts similar to this but this was on my heart to really get to this… Satan was looking for someone to destroy, someone he could bring down and what God asked him literally translates to asking had he set his heart on Job.

God pointed out the impeccable character of Job, for God to refer to a human as someone whose worship, and dedication to the Lord was like no one else on earth is a statement to end all statements.

So of course satan wanted to destroy him because he hates God and he hates anyone who loves God and he hates all humans anyway because God created us in His image.

So satan gets all cocky and says that Job ONLY loves and serves God because of what god had done for him, and that God protected him and blessed him and only because of this and that if God didn’t do all these things for job and would take his hand of protection from Job that Job would change his tune and curse God.

So God decided to allow satan to try to “prove his point” but actually God was proving His!

Job STILL loved God , Job STILL worshipped God and even losing EVERYTHING under horrific circumstances, so horrific that everyone knew these were not natural occurrences and a sequence of events such as these could only be orchestrated by supernatural forces. 

And of course Job thought he had offended God and Job’s “friends”were there to make sure he KNEW that he had, (of course we know they were wrong) but there are always people there to kick you when you’re down and tell you that “you brought it on yourself” or that something is cosmic retaliation for some failure you had along the way.

 AGAIN, God does NOT work that way! When you serve God, love God, and do your best to honor Him in your life, I promise bad things ARE not coming from Him and sometimes when we get down, we need to be reminded of that.

So this massive attack waged on every possible scale and at every possible angle, with the only  restriction being that he could not harm Job’s body, Job 1:22 ends it this way: ” In ALL this Job sinned NOT, NOR charged God foolishly.”

Job stayed faithful to the Lord, he did not fall and he certainly did not question God or blame God, or accuse God of being wrong. Think satan was happy about that?

Sometimes the fight is only half over… Job 2:1-8: “AGAIN there was a day  the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them and presented himself before the Lord.

And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence camest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

And STILL he holdeth fast his integrity, ALTHOUGH thou movest (incited) me against him, to destroy him WITHOUT a cause.

And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; BUT save his life.  So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and SMOTE Job with sore boils FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal (with) and SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.”

By this point Job wife even told him to just curse God and die, she was undoubtedly a mess herself with all that had happened and watching him suffer and maybe someone is telling you because of persecutions or attacks to give up on God that “it is not worth it” Don’t ever believe that!

Job was one of a kind and hopefully in comparison to the attack waged on him, your situation looks a little brighter.

But know IT IS WORTH IT and as Job WAS restored beyond measure because he stood the test that satan waged, you will be too. 

God protects us, God blesses us, and whatever valley we are allowed to walk through is going to lead to a beautiful mountain top.

And just like those ashes Job sat in, our ashes are turned, anything the enemy has destroyed, burned to ashes will be returned as pure beauty. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

The enemy wants you destroyed either way and God wants good for you and He alone IS your protection, your shield, and hedge, so going back, turning our backs on God IS never an option.

As Peter replied to Jesus when asked was he too going to leave, and his answer was WHERE could he go? Because Jesus alone has the word of life.

Seek God, pray, and surround yourself with others who will also pray for you and walk with you through whatever you are going through but know you won’t go in all alone, we NEED each other and HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON!

James 5:11: ” Behold, we count them happy (BLESSED) which ENDURE. ye have heard the PATIENCE (perseverance) OF JOB, and have seen the end of the Lord ( intended by the Lord) that THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL (COMPASSIONATE) AND OF TENDER MERCY.” 

So carefully think about your situations and recognize traps for what they are and remember that the Lord IS love and He is compassionate and things that are hurting you DO NOT come from Him but He is faithful to deliver you from those things if you wait in patience for that deliverance. 

Take a lesson from Job and DON’T be quick to question and never blame God, more people fall because of lies of the enemy in these areas that any other trick he has. he pulls the old “If God loved you, WHY did this happen?” routine, ALL attacks ARE from the enemy and then some things just happen, simply just part of being alive in this world. THIS life, this world IS NEVER gonna be perfect, IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE.

The next life, the resurrected life, the New Jerusalem life IS the perfect life where there will BE no death, sorrow, or sickness.

But too often people let the enemy convince them that because a tragedy happened HERE  that means God does not care, or does not love them but that IS not true and we are NEVER told in the Bible that being saved makes us exempt from being HUMAN, in HUMAN BODIES, and SUFFERING COMPLETELY HUMAN CONDITIONS AND OCCURRENCES.

Some things are just unfortunately part of THIS life, but that is YOUR PATIENCE and YOUR HOPE.

This life is not all there is!

This life is only temporary and our hope is NOT in this life.

But God will bless you, protect you, and bring good things into our lives but that still does not exempt us from the natural.

Don’t throw that eternal assurance away because of the lies of a force that wants nothing more than to take you to hell anyway!

Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope.

I hope this has encouraged you in someway and that you will find peace through the storm and that the storms soon comes to an end, but until then hold on because you have the blessed assurance that ALL storms do end!

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

Φλογιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date10/17/3017  REVISITED 10/20/2019 

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“He will forever be”

FOR EVER, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

Thy faithfulness IS  unto all generations; thou hast established the earth and it abideth. They continue unto this day ACCORDING to thine ordinances: for ALL are thy servants.” Psalm 119:89-91

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 THE 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.

1 John 1:5:  “THIS then IS the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God IS light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” 

This post is the absolute cumulative message of my entire ministry. If no thought were ever provoked, no scripture heart embedded, no sword ever given, not one seed planted, nothing watered, if every word fell upon deaf ears and blinded eyes, I do pray that this one will be received with spiritual hearing and the spiritual sight given to the saints.

I had asked the Lord once to allow me to just be, even to one person, the difference that the words of another had been to me. When I was seeking, as I always refer to it (and I have many times) “trying to be saved”, I would listen and listen to Christian programs and ministers and finally one hit something that stayed with me, a word that I desperately needed and a Bible story that I had NEVER ever heard, changed my life and gave me something I had not been able to find, HOPE.

The story was about Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed and the ram being caught in the thicket as the “replacement” sacrifice and the name JEHOVAH-JIREH because the Lord ALWAYS provides and He provided HIS OWN SON as sacrifice for our sin, my sin, your sin, the sin of the entire world, every sin ever committed or ever to be committed.

HE bore it all and the HOPE in that message, the HOPE that God really DOES see and He really DOES care and no matter what we have been through or are going through or the future holds.

Once I was saved and knew Him, something came flooding back to my mind, one of those moments of  “I wish I knew then what I know now”, I had a dream, and the Bible does say, if it was a dream, tell it as a dream because we have to be so careful ass to what we attribute the Lord’s name to, so anyway, I was probably around eleven, maybe twelve and I had the strangest dream, it was solid black, no color, no light, just solid blackness, and I heard a voice and the voice said, “I am the I am that is” and that was it.I woke up and I was so disturbed and troubled and told my family.

After I was saved I was praying and I was like God why didn’t you tell me that was you, and as quick as that went through my mind, it came back to my mind, that I HAD been told. Even the name of the person who told me came flooding back, I had this dream during like an afternoon nap and my brother had a friend who came right after I woke up and was telling my family and he said, “Maybe it was God.” and I was like “Why on earth would God be in darkness?” and wouldn’t God say He was God, and why would He talk to me? The friend went on to tell me that He referred to Himself as “I AM” in the Old Testament, anyway, I truly just didn’t think anymore of it until I got saved.

And I think we ALL do that sometimes when God is trying to get our attention in the world and we have our thoughts as to what these encounters would be like. I now have no question about it and it has been my ministry message mission.

I was only STILL stumped by one fact. WHY was it dark? Tried to figure that one out for years and I do believe I know now. IT IS DARK.

It was NOT this dark when I was saved, but everyday it gets darker and darker and we can all attest to the fact that there is things going on that no one would have ever believed would be allowed to be called Christian and atrocities committed so far beyond our comprehension that we should be grateful for the desensitization from some of it, or our minds would fry.

This world IS covered in darkness, peoples hearts are dark, their thoughts are dark and EVEN in the face of absolute darkness, ONE TRUTH remains, JESUS IS.

He IS the voice in the darkness, HIS IS the voice that will shout with the TRUMP of God, HIS IS the voice that in unison with His bride will send out that FINAL invitation of salvation before and it IS HIS voice of judgment the entire world will hear upon His return.

And for all the thoughts and sermons done on the marvelous works of old and His great overthrows of Pharaoh and all the hosts of enemies who troubled His chosen throughout the ages, we need to remember something, HE IS NOT ONLY THE GOD WHO WAS…HE IS THE GOD WHO STILL IS!

And though the world is much worse and we are much less sensitive to his “voice” because our ears can never get away from the noises, sounds, and confusions of this world, HE STILL IS and only in calling on WHO HE IS in these times are we going to see change and deliverance and I promise you, for every single trouble or situation, demon, or foe, there IS a scripture of “God IS….” to counter every attack and make His voice known even in the pit of blackness and we know that there has never been such a time as this for the night watchmen and all those who sit captive to that darkness.

We sometimes become temporarily “blinded” in that darkness and smoke of the enemies pit and we are so busy groping, trying to find our way through that, that we can fail to hear the voice calling out the direction back into the places of light and clarity. That is the importance of following Him, as He said we will have the LIGHT of LIFE, His light, the LIGHT we can share with others, as His light shines upon them also.

One thing will NEVER change, HE WAS. HE IS. AND HE WILL FOR EVER BE. “He is the I AM that Is”, I really want to drive that message home.

This world IS dark, He IS light, this world hurts, He IS comfort, This world is uncertain, He IS peace, This world is death, He IS the resurrection from the dead. This world will betray you, He IS the one who will never leave or forsake you.

And He IS Blessed forevermore. And HE IS the Blessing, the hope, the security of those in the darkness of this world.  HIS name IS the ointment poured forth and it IS HE who has risen with healing in His wings and it IS His name whose proclamation will make seas roar and mountains tremble and HIS name whose power sets the captive free and as you pray for those captives :

Psalm 124:6-8: “ BLESSED  be the Lord who hath NOT given us as prey to their teeth; Our soul IS escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; The snare IS broken, and we ARE escaped. Our help IS in the NAME of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

His name holds ALL power: John 17:4-6:  “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus saith them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 

As SOON then as HE HAD SAID UNTO THEM, I AM HE, they went backwards (drew back) and fell to the ground.”

Many times Jesus told them exactly who He WAS and IS. The book of John starts with the verse: “IN THE BEGINNING  WAS the Word, and the WORD WAS WITH GOD, and the WORD WAS GOD.”

Just in this one Book, not to mention the other books, He makes these statements, to the woman at the well, I that speak unto thee, am he.” When he came walking on the sea to the disciples, he said, “It is I, be not afraid.” He also stated, “For the bread of God IS he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” And as they asked for the bread He responded, ” I am  THE bread of life”  and again, “I am THAT bread of life” and  “I am the LIVING bread” 

So many statements it would be impossible to list them here, so we’ll wrap it up with the wrap up of the revelation, the disclosure of it all, and if you will notice in your Bible the word Revelation is capitalized in the first verse, meaning that this word is NOT just a title, it is so much more, it IS the revelation that Jesus had and gave of all that would be!

Revelation 1: 1-18: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew (show) his servants things which shortly (quickly) come to pass; and he sent and confirmed it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and THEY THAT HEAR the words of this prophecy, and KEEP those things which ARE WRITTEN therein: for the time is at hand.

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace for him which IS and which WAS and which IS TO COME: and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who IS the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.  And hath made us kings and priest unto God and his Father; TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER. A-MEN’.

BEHOLD HE COMETH WITH THE CLOUDS; AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, AND THEY ALSO WHICH PIERCED HIM: AND ALL KINDREDS OF THE EARTH SHALL WAIL BECAUSE OF HIM. Even so, A-men I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY. 

I John, who ALSO am your brother, and the companion in tribulation(persecutions), and IN the kingdom and patience (perseverance) of Jesus Christ, was in the isle of Patmos, for the word of God (banished for preaching) and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I was IN the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me, and BEING turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt (girded) around the paps (chest) with a golden girdle (band).

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned (were refined) in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars; and OUT of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and HIS COUNTENANCE WAS AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH. And when I saw him, I FELL AT HIS FEET as dead.

And HE LAID HIS RIGHT HAND UPON ME, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. A-men; and have the keys to hell and of death.”

It is hard not to notice that John, like Moses, WAS TURNED to pay attention to what God wanted to enlighten them too. And we also see that John suffered great persecutions because of the testimony and word of Christ, and he held to the promises of an eternal reward for that present suffering, which serves as a great reminder that if you want the promises of God on your life, you must be completely given to him, none of the candy coat business or seeking God when we need him, no, it has to be everything to Him.

And we end on the same note that we started, and as God spoke the very light into existence, He will speak it into this darkness of earth:

Revelation 22:12-16:And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward IS with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed ARE they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city. For without (outside) are dogs (depraved men, and sorcerers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (liars).

I Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto YOU these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Remember two things in life, when everything else fades away, HE IS and HE WILL FOR EVER BE.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017          Related posts:  Majesty    HE IS THE I AM     Undeniable  

Original post date: 07/05/2017*    Revisited  07/2019                                                                                         

“RESONATE”Crawling out of the cave #3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2016

original post:01/22/2016

If you only knew…

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it IS that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:19

Pretty familiar story there, she stopped by the well and Jesus ran a quick perception test on her. Technically,  she “knew her place” as a Samaritan, and for the intent and opinion of “man” and she knew that the Jews (which Jesus was and still is) had a complete distaste and contempt for the Samaritans and would not want, let alone actually ask  for anything from her or her people.

So hopefully now that we are thinking in that vein, we’ll back this train up and backtrack to the beginning of the story. 

“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, ( Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.

And he must needs go (he needed to go) through Samaria.  Then he cometh to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave his son Joseph.

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied in his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water; Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat (food.) 

Then saith the woman unto him, How is it, that you being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” John 4:1-9 

That brings us up to speed on the starter verse.

So many in the Bible, story after story of those who were approached by what they would feel was an unapproachable God.

Think about it, He came and walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening while they still inhabited Eden.

My all time favorite (that I have probably used far too many times) but Genesis chapter 18 tells the story that so perfectly captured just how perfectly, and supremely gracious God is, when he and the angels came down to check out Sodom and Gomorrah and he wanted Abraham to feel “kept in the loop” as to what would soon happen and as Abraham knowing what went on in those cities and wanting to save the life of his nephew Lot who lived there, he started his “bargaining” with God, asking him “if they be fifty righteous found in the city” would God spare it? And each time God answered, “Yes.”

Each time Abraham asked God again, lowering the number because he knew how bad they were but desperately wanted to save Lot, so he went all the way down to twenty. And finally Genesis 18:32-33: “And he (Abraham) said, Oh let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure (perhaps)  ten shall be found there. 

And he (God) said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.  And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left off communing  (speaking with) Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place.”

All through the Bible, through miracles (like with Moses), through angelic visitations such as, Jacob, Joshua, Hagar, Manoah and his wife,  John’s father Zacharias, Mary, and many others. Through spoken encounters, and by dreams and visions to his prophets, ALL through the span of time, he has made himself to be approachable to us.

And it is up to us to be obedient to that approach.

I love the story of Elijah and the widow, (1 Kings 17:8-16), we are told that this takes place during the famine, a famine God had been sustaining Elijah through by having  ravens feed him and a brook provide water, but when the brook was allowed to dry, it meant it was time for Elijah to move on, comfortable or not, time to go, again obedience.

So God tells him where to go and that he had commanded a widow to take care of him, if you notice in that story, when he met the widow she was gathering sticks for a fire, so he asks for a drink, and as she is going to get him a drink,  he then called to her to ask for food, she tells him she has basically nothing but a tiny bit of flour and oil, and that she was going to prepare the last of their food and her and her son were going to eat it and then die.

So once he asked her to make his food first and then for her and her son, she agreed, I personally believe that was the moment when her obedience to the prompting of God in her heart brought forth a miraculous blessing from God from that obedience.

For her and her house, not to mention the prophet, God supernaturally sustained her and her house until the barren times were over.

But think of that, what if she had not been open to prompting of God in her spirit? God had told Elijah in advance taht she would take care of him and yet she told Elijah she was going to prepare food and die. God had already put the blessing their and god has already prepared her heart to act upon his will.

Now to the lady at the well, she is a good example of this, and I truly feel that many of us suffer from our OWN self-image issues, feeling that we would never be good enough are kinda like the lady at the well when Jesus approached her, her first response was shock, shocked that he would even speak to her and more shocked again, that he would ask anything of her, because the treatment she had received from his “people” had been anything but kind.

Sometimes I truly think many have a hard time coming to Christ and accepting salvation, not because of him or salvation itself but because of the ridicule and mistreatment they have suffered from others.

And wrestling with the “good enough-ism” when we will NEVER be good enough, nor are we expected to be, because HE IS more than good enough to cover all of our sins.

So maybe up to this point your life has held a kind of  “snap before you are snapped”, and “get them before they get you”, kinda philosophy because when you buy into the lies of satan and convince yourself, in your own pain, that “the God-stuff” and all that “Jesus loves me” business is just not real… or that he is not approachable for you, it is very easy to throw away your today, your future, and your eternity and for what?

He IS real, but how could you possibly KNOW the reality of an invisible being while your mind is trapped in a blinded, cynical world?

How can you possibly KNOW whether or not He does love you IF you have never opened the door and let him in long enough for him to tell you that he does?

Just like this lady, who didn’t begrudge the water she just couldn’t believe she was approached for it by someone whom she mistakenly believed hated her.

How many do you think prejudge God’s thoughts toward them?

Without ever understanding that we can NEVER even know his thoughts or understand his ways, because as the Bible teaches us “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts” and all the human attributes of grudges and prejudices that we ascribe to him, without KNOWING him are just wrong and are not even in his character.

Just as this lady THOUGHT she would be naturally misjudged and automatically hated, she did not have a clue WHO she was talking to. And so many today are falling to that same misguided mindset!

Jesus KNEW who she was! He KNOWS who you are, and He KNOWS who we all are!He went on to tell her all about her life and save her.

He KNEW what was going to have to happen to those sinful city’s when he spoke with Abraham and he KNEW exactly how many he would find there, and just like all the other references, and many others that could be used as examples, HE KNEW the answers BEFORE he asked the questions.

He is God, He knows all these things, he knows the beginnings, the endings, and all that goes in between.

He knows the number of the hairs on our heads and the moment that our hearts will beat the final beat.

And he is so different from us because he created us, not the other way around and even though he came to earth as human, he is still NOT a human.

And it in is that graciousness, beauty, and mercy that he does approach us in life, he sends his word, he sends his messengers, and even now in this present day, he STILL sends his angels, and he will send his own Spirit. 

And Psalm 19:3: “The heavens DECLARE the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”

All the heavens, all of creation bears proof of a magnificent Creator and despite all the intelligence insulting nonsense taught contrary to this truth, we are still are born with a need to reconnect and an internal knowledge in our hearts and our souls that scream out that there IS more to this existence and that there IS more to life than simply death!

Who would ever want to believe that there is nothing more?

IF THIS, these lives, blessed or not, rough or not, was ALL we would ever know as existence, no one should EVER get out of bed, they should lay there and simply give up because that would be the most morbid, depressing state!

Believing that there is no hope, no love. nothing eternal!

BUT there is so much more!

And until you know Jesus you will never understand what is it to truly be ALIVE.

Until you know him, his peace, his supernatural provision (which never ceases to amaze me in my own struggles) and most importantly his plan for your joy, you ARE missing everything.

And you are missing a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the absolute King of heaven and earth, who wants to heal you, deliver you, and let you know that no matter who you are, what you have done, or what others have said about you THAT he loves you and wants to show you things that the human mind cannot even begin to comprehend!

IF you only KNEW the one who can turn your night into day, scatters every demon, and breaks every chain, turn your ashes and tears to beauty and laughter.

He will rock your very soul and he will restore you and his mercy will turn your upside world perfectly upright.

IF you only KNEW who were missing… you wouldn’t miss out on him.

Young or old, black or white, all nations, all people, there ARE none who have not been approached and offered this blessed gift, the gift of Jesus Christ, we are not promised the next breath, but we ARE promised an eternal existence, either in heaven or in hell.

Like it or not we ARE forever, we WERE created to be eternal and eternal we WILL be. And maybe you still feel like, “crazy Jesus fanatics” (as we are often called), “think they know everything” but you know what, we ARE not fanatics.

Have you ever thought about this, everyone that witnesses Christ to you now, was once on the other side of that fence!

No one is born saved! We have all sinned, most of us also have thought once or twice about that “crazy Jesus fanatics” talking to us about God in our pasts!

But now the only separation between us is that we CHOSE to listen to them and took to heart the thought of “Hey, maybe there is more, maybe there is hope.”

And invited him into our life and accepted that salvation and now we thank him for those people who loved us enough to share the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. 

So as he stands knocking at the door of your heart, as creation bears witness to his majesty, and his messengers, and witnesses are sent to you, know this, HE IS approaching you, accept him, get to know him before you decide whether or not you need him in your life.

We are nothing without him, we will never know TRUE freedom, true joy, or true peace until we are connected back into the one who breathed our very life into us. Don’t miss out on that because you will have missed it all.

1 John 4:19: “WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”

Love & Peace till next time, have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

 

 

Warding off the unworthiness

1 John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”

Why is it we can BELIEVE that Jesus Christ IS exactly who he claimed to be when he walked on earth, we can BELIEVE that he did indeed die in our place as the sacrifice for our sins and better yet, as John said, the SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD, and BELEIVE that he rose victorious from that death defeating even hell itself in that resurrection, but YET we can NOT seem to BELIEVE that those forgiven sins ALSO INCLUDE OURS? Why it that?

It is then enemy? Well, maybe a little, but he normally doesn’t have to prompt us into self-loathing because we all to often do it for him!

And I truly with everything in me feel like someone or maybe several are going through this torment right now and that is why I felt lead to do this. Once you ask Jesus for forgiveness and to save you, you ARE saved. And maybe you have messed up, but please be VERY reassured EVERY ONE messes up!

We will never be perfect, NEVER, he does not ask that we be perfect, he asks us to walk in his commandments and be quick to ask for that forgiveness when we do stumble.

The only perfect he requires is blamelessness, meaning do everything to the best of our ability, and getting back up and trying it again when we don’t quite make that grade.

But there is such a mind-set of “unworthiness” choosing to FORSAKE and WILLFULLY NOT ACCEPT forgiveness choosing rather to punish ourselves, when Jesus DIED for our punishment! WHY do that?

Just as Jesus used the debt parable, can you HONESTLY tell me that if you owed someone a million dollars and NO WAY to pay that back and that person suddenly OFFERED to write off that entire debt, that you would refuse?

So why suffer every single in emotional and spiritual torment when God is NOT asking you to do that? He will give peace and only he can and once we surrender to him that peace WILL come.

He is NOT putting you in remembrance of every wrong you have ever done, He is BECKONING you to COME to him and give him all that pain and regret so he can COMPLETELY destroy it.

That is what he does, he literally REMOVES all of that and it NO LONGER EXISTS. Just as tomorrow IS already dead, those past sin ARE already dead, you just have the guilt and regret that also must DIE in him.

Think about the explanation of baptism:

Romans 6: 3-11: ” Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO SHALL WE WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this that our old man (past sins) IS crucified with him, that the body of SIN might be DESTROYED that henceforth we SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.

For he that is dead IS free from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we BELIEVE that we shall also LIVE with him: 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; KNOWING THAT DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION (power) OVER HIM, FOR HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE:

BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD. Likewise reckon (consider) YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”

See that is the deal, NO ONE EXCEPT JESUS could die in our place for that forgives and in him our forgiven sin ARE dead, but in him the “new” us LIVES.

That is the mystery that CAN NOT be understood UNTIL you accept him, and I do not mean the “world” church that has NO repentance, I mean truly repent and truly accepting forgiveness.

And if you were not under real conviction and feeling true repentance you would not be wrestling with this issue, so that is also a blessed state (although it probably doesn’t feel that way right now.. one day it will) we can not save ourselves, we can never be “good enough”, we can never “live up to it” and we can never ever be concerned with the non sense of “waiting until we can live it” as the saying goes, you see from our verses WE CAN’T LIVE IT!

We were never asked to live it! We were told to allow Jesus to take away our sins and DIE to our old life and LIVE IN HIM, because ONLY he can live it! And as far as feeling unworthy, churches are full of people who have felt the SAME feeling you are feeling, we have all wrestled it because we are all UNWORTHY, that is why we are told He ALONE is worthy!

We have to take our eyes of our OWN inadequacies and FOCUS on gratefulness for that the fact that He is far above adequate, His forgives goes beyond any word that could be used.

Think about Peter, after it hit him when Jesus had blessed them with a catch of fish so bountiful it was on the verge of sinking their ships.

Luke 5:8: “When Simon Peter SAW it, he FELL DOWN at Jesus’ knees, saying, DEPART FROM ME; FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN.” 

Does Peter really  sound like he FELT worthy to be in the presence of the Lord? NO, He is literally asking Jesus to LEAVE because of his own feeling of UNWORTHINESS!

And today if you are going through this, you are also, SERIOUSLY ASKING JESUS TO LEAVE WHEN HE HAS CAME TO YOU BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THERE FOR YOU!

Jesus went on to tell him, FEAR NOT and that has always been his message to all of us who seek him.

So remember today, we don’t have to worry about being worthy because there is only one who IS or will ever be WORTHY that is what he took the place for you and me.

And don’t worry about other people, there are always going to be “people” and there were plenty of people that hated Jesus, and refused to believe he was who he said he was.

And he taught us that “a servant can’t be above his master” so we can expect that, but you know, you are not setting out to please them or care if they believe you are NOT who you once were,

the only opinion WORTH caring about and the ONLY one who matters is the same one who alone is WORTHY!

Revelation 5:12a tells us this: “…WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGHT , AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.”   KNOW that those sins ARE gone, forever and PLEASE know you are not alone, HE LOVES YOU and He will give you peace once you just let go.

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

This is such a great song and it lets us know we ALL struggle, and it has been an encouragement to me, MANY times while I felt the old pain of unworthiness  but as this song says HE WILL COME TO YOU… LET HIM.

And the second song on this video is “Through the Fire” so please maybe listen to it also, because there is such healing in music and it prompts us to pour out our hearts.

 

“With these words…”

“But I would not have you to be ignorant (unaware) brethren, concerning them which are asleep (have passed away) that we sorrow NOT, even as others which have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, EVEN SO THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP (have died) IN JESUS WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM.

For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, that they which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep (the living will NOT make it to heaven before the dead in Christ). 

FOR THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, AND WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD; AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST.

THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS, TO MEET CHRIST IN THE AIR;

AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORDWHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 

No sorrow on earth can rival the agony that the death of a loved one. Since the fall of Adam which brought the curse of death upon all mankind, it has been our worst fear and greatest enemy.

Psalm 23:4: ” Yea, though I walk THROUGH the shadow of the valley of death….”

This earth, this life, this place IS the valley of the shadow of death.

Death ever looming, its shadow trying to obstruct us from the light, ever stalking, ever to be feared, though God does not want that.

Death at any age is tragedy. Losing a mother or father at eighty years old is just as a devastating loss as it is for the person who lost a parent that had been in the prime of life. We love our parents, we are formed from them and taught by them, and even people who have had “bad” parents still suffer the hurt at the loss of that parent because the parent/child bond is inseverable.

Just as many parents have stated during troubling times with their grown children, “You ALWAYS love your children.” and in turn people stating that even though their parents were not good parents “They are still (my) parents” ( I put that in quotes because I am using examples, I am NOT referring to my own parents, whom I love dearly).

So the loss is tragic no matter the age, for us it is much harder to see children lose a parent but still, even a sixty year old losing a Mom or Dad IS still at that moment a child in their grief.

A loss of a sibling comes with its own agony, as I understand very well. A brother or sister is a friend, a playmate, a companion, a person you can laugh with, be scared, with, and most of all be yourself with, they are made of you and you are made of them, same blood, same DNA, a competitiveness that will sometimes fight one another but a love and bond that would fight someone else over them, and once you have lost them, everything thing your life had been up to that loss will never be the same.

I had been planning on doing this several weeks ago but hadn’t quite made it, So today as I write this it is my brother’s sixth anniversary with Jesus and you can read that story at the link below.

I wrote it not only as a memorial and to deal with my own pain but I felt like my family’s story could help someone else get through times of absolute heartache, and trying to hold onto God in faith as we were having to let go of him.

When I think of grief and think of how much others have suffered through loss, I always think of the story the slaughter of the male babies when Herod had sent his soldiers out in an attempt to kill Jesus as a baby.

Herod ordered the slaughter of EVERY male child under the age of two and here is the scripture that sums it up:

Matthew 2:17,18: “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah) the prophet, saying,

IN RAMA WAS THERE A VOICE HEARD, LAMENTATION,(wails of sorrow and mourning) AND WEEPING, AND GREAT MOURNING,

RACHEL (symbolic of the entire city) WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, AND WOULD NOT BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT.”

I can not even fathom the horror of that loss and that verse that she would not be comforted means she could not. I still can not bear that story because I can not imagine the slaughter of all these babies or the anguish that these mothers suffered.

And again, your child is your child and as we do view it much worse to lose a little child, still to  another that has lost her son in his prime it is just as devastating because again, to her that child will always be her child.

We believe and have faith and we struggle with how and why, when we suffer loss and I will absolutely admit that more than once I reminded the Lord that I loved my brother just as much as Mary and Martha loved Lazarus. But the resurrection of Lazarus was to show the glory of God and God spared my brother’s life when he coded and allowed him more time to be saved and accept salvation.

And imagine Mary as she watched her son beaten beyond  recognition, bloody, hurting, and staggering under the weight of that cross, and being there when they nailed him to that cross and having heard the screams of the people, “Crucify him” and THIS was HER  BABY.

Thirty three years old and even God, but for Mary at that cross, THIS WAS HER BABY and it fulfilled the prophecy that she had been given, Luke 2:35: “(Yea, a sword shall PIERCE thy own soul also) ….” And as that spear pierced through his side into his heart, the piercing of her soul would have been unbearable had all of heaven itself not strengthened her.

Death does pierce our souls and the are no words that will ever take that hurt away but there is comfort through the Word of God.

You must also be careful of this world, there are those who prey on the bereaved. Proclaiming themselves as “mediums” and “psychics” and for fee and the risk of one’s soul if trapped by their deception.

They pretend to speak to loved ones and some through WITCHCRAFT and divination (read Acts:16:16-19 for ONE example, there are many others) they offer to “communicate” with the deceased, but this is a lie.

It is  lie from satan and they are communicating with demonic forces and they can tell you all that you WANT to hear but it is not true and it is not from God.

Others worry and seek an alternative way to heaven, seeking comfort about the eternal fate of that loved one whose salvation they are unsure of, seeking hope, hope from a hopeless source.

Touching that subject I want to say this, find your peace in Jesus Christ and this does require you to be saved.

I want to be careful how I say this, because when God calls we must answer and I never want to encourage anyone to wait until they are on their deathbed to ask for forgiveness, BUT I personally believe that unless a person has just absolutely turned on God and been turned from God, that in those last moments of life, He does give them a final opportunity to accept him, because He is very merciful and as the Bible says “it is NOT his will that ANY should perish” but they are required to accept him but I do believe He asks, and “Whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” and of course the classic, the thief on the cross, TO DAY, that VERY day in paradise with the Lord.

So what I want to do is give some verses that I hope will be of comfort and blessed assurance, because death is a part of life and it will never be any easier but it IS NOT forever. It IS NOT the end and I will start it with my favorite,

2 Corinthians 5:8:” We ARE confident, I say, and willing rather TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.”

And as the Lord was telling what happened when Lazarus died:

Luke 16:22: “And it came to pass, that , that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man died, and was buried.” 

One died and was carried by the very angels of heaven and the other died and was simply buried later to open his eyes in hell. But that is not what this one is about but I couldn’t leave that alone because of false teachings that the grave is hell. 

Psalm 116:15: “PRECIOUS in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

Jesus takes the pain out of the crossing and He takes control over the grave and it has no more power and those who have died in Him, do LIVE and will LIVE FOREVER.

1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”  

Jesus said, Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” Which takes us to:

Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away ALL tears from their eyes, and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN; for the former things are passed away.”

And let’s take a look at one more that Solomon had written, he had been so blessed, then he fell off the boat by worshipping false God’s with his pagan wives, but then HE RETURNED to God and held the most inspired of the wisdom he had been given from God.

As he reflected on his life and the years he had wasted and all the years he could not bring back, as he knew death would someday come because it comes to us all. Not because God doesn’t love us, God loves us very much, but God knows the number of our days on this earth before we even arrive here.

This IS not our home, This IS NOT the end. This IS only for a little while and then we will LIVE again.

All this is about death, it is poetic and it is deep, it is beautifully written and it has what we all need, HOPE.

Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7: “Remember now thy Creator, in thy days of thy youth ( think about God while you are young), while the evil days come not, NOR the years draw nigh (aging sets in), when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.

While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be NOT darkened, NOR the clouds return after the rain.

In the days when the keeper of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look out of the windows be darkened.

And the doors shall shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and DESIRE (will to do anything) SHALL FAIL; BECAUSE MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG (eternal) HOME, AND THE MOURNERS GO ABOUT THE STREETS;

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. { descriptive of different ages and seasons people die} THEN SHALL THE DUST RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS: AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT.” 

Death comes at many times, many seasons, and in many ways BUT we all suffer the effects the same but we have eternal hope in knowing this that even though those that are gone on can not come, we can go be with them.

King David had fathered a baby with Bathsheba, and he had fasted and prayed WHILE the baby was still alive, and this was backward to what people did in those days and when asked why, this is his answer, PLEASE think about what he is saying:

2 Samuel 12:22,23: ” And he said,  WHILE THE CHILD WAS YET ALIVE, I FASTED AND WEPT; for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

 But now he is dead, wherefore (why) should I fast? CAN I BRING HIM BACK AGAIN? I SHALL GO TO HIM, BUT HE SHALL NOT COME BACK TO ME.”

David knew that he would certainly be with his child.

And that is what we must remember and even if you do not know the state of your loved one’s soul when they passed, please, again don’t let the enemy lie to you.

God is a merciful and just God and you don’t even think anything else. Keep your eyes on heaven and on the hope eternal as our starting scripture stated,the souls which are with Jesus will be reunited with resurrected glorified bodies (and yes, he can make them again if needed) and together with those alive, gathered from earth, will meet in the air and it will be FOR EVER. 

Please have peace and comfort in that and as you seek God, He will give you peace and He will give you comfort, and often He gives us answers and THESE are the words, HIS WORD that we will find that comfort in.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017

This is my family’s story: https://baresoulphlogizo.com/2015/05/07/good-bye-roxie-smith/

 

 

“The patience of Job”

“And there was a day when his (Job’s) sons and his daughters were sitting and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. And THERE CAME  a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen WERE plowing, and the asses FEEDING beside them; And the Sabeans FELL upon them (attacked), and took them ALL away; yea, and they have SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE; 

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, there came ALSO ANOTHER, and said The fire of God IS fallen from heaven, and hath BURNED UP the sheep, AND the servants, and CONSUMED (destroyed) THEM: And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, The Chaldeans made (formed) out three bands, and FELL UPON (raided) the camels, and have carried the away, yea, and SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters WERE eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house; And, behold, THERE CAME a great wind from the wilderness, and SMOTE the four corners of the house, and IT FELL UPON THE YOUNG MEN AND THEY ARE DEAD; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.” JOB 1: 13-19

So many points in the story of Job, it is hard to know where to start and if you are feeling down, I suggest reading Job. It will make almost anyone rethink their own suffering.

What he went through was TRULY from satan himself, that is how the story began.  Job WAS a righteous man, he did everything he could to honor God on his behalf and even on the behalf of his children. God had blessed Job and Job WAS pleasing to God.

But to have been around for this onslaught of messengers, coming so closely together that one was YET giving Job bad news as another was standing there with more to report would have probably made it appear otherwise.

That IS often exactly what the enemy wants. Notice how all these thing FELL, just as the enemy would like to see God’s chosen fall, and that was his plan in all these tragedies to make Job fall because of what had fallen on him. 

And he wanted Job to know it and to know it fast, as EVERY messenger repeated that they alone WERE escaped to tell what had taken place. And this story has been used many times, I have used it many times myself but I felt I needed to again because so often what is mistaken as “God” is actually an attack by the enemy and not understanding what is really going on leads people to discouragement and hopelessness, and leads them away from God rather than to him.

Again, that is why the devil does it. And at the time the story starts, a perfectly normal, delightful day, just like any other day, or it would have seemed, they were enjoying life, the family was close, having dinner being gathered together.

Even the animals were just having an average day, the ox were working, the donkeys eating, and suddenly the attack came, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys stolen away and those who had been in charge of their care, murdered. 

And as this was in the process of taking place, the “fire of God” had fallen, translates to “hot thunderbolts” which we would know as lightning, BUT we also know that THIS WAS NOT FROM GOD and can you only imagine what a lightning storm would appear as that could in an instant completely burn up SEVEN THOUSAND sheep and all those that tended them?

And at the same moment yet another rogue group divided into three groups attack and steal three thousand camels, again slaughtering those who tended them. And simultaneously as this is still being told, more bad news comes, a strange, monstrous wind had come actually hitting ALL sides of the brother’s house, caving it in and killing all of his children in one single attack. 

Unimaginable, but it is the first of what Job would endure and many times as attacks came, we to, fall into the trap of thinking that somehow we  are the problem, that we have done something wrong, or offended God, or these things would not happen but the truth is Job went through this because he belonged to God.

Now to back this train up a little bit it and see what was really going on here, this was a contest of the “powers”, God has ALL power, He is supreme and nothing in the universe has more power than Jehovah God, but Satan likes to think that he will be like God, but he is quite mistaken, however he is still NOT human and is very powerful and Job was a human caught in the middle of this show down.

Job 1:6-12: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came in among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (where did you come from?) Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

REMEMBER that the “devil goes about as a roaring lion SEEKING whom he MAY DEVOUR”}

 And the Lord said unto Satan, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB that there IS NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

The Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge (protection) about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance (possessions) are increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, ALL THAT HE HATH IS IN THY POWER (your hand) ; ONLY UPON HIMSELF (his physical body) PUT NOT FORTH THINE HAND, so Satan went forth from the presence of God.

Now, as I said I have written posts similar to this but this was on my heart to really get to this… Satan was looking for someone to destroy, someone he could bring down and what God asked him literally translates to asking had he set his heart on Job.

God pointed out the impeccable character of Job, for God to refer to a human as someone whose worship, and dedication to the Lord was like no one else on earth is a statement to end all statements.

So of course satan wanted to destroy him because he hates God and he hates anyone who loves God and he hates all humans anyway because God created us in His image.

So satan gets all cocky and says that Job ONLY loves and serves God because of what god had done for him, and that god protected him and blessed him and only because of this and that if God didn’t do all these things for job and would take his hand of protection from Job that Job would change his tune and curse God.

So God decided to allow satan to try to “prove his point” but actually God was proving His!

Job STILL loved God , Job STILL worshipped God and even losing EVERYTHING under horrific circumstances, so horrific that everyone knew these were not natural occurrences and a sequence of events such as these could only be orchestrated by supernatural forces. 

And of course Job thought he had offended God and Job’s “friends”were there to make sure he KNEW that he had, (of course we know they were wrong) but there are always people there to kick you when you’re down and tell you that “you brought it on yourself” or that something is cosmic retaliation for some failure you had along the way.

 AGAIN, God does NOT work that way! When you serve God, love God, and do your best to honor Him in your life, I promise bad things ARE not coming from Him and sometimes when we get down, we need to be reminded of that.

So this massive attack waged on every possible scale and at every possible angle, with the only  restriction being that he could not harm Job’s body, Job 1:22 ends it this way: ” In ALL this Job sinned NOT, NOR charged God foolishly.”

Job stayed faithful to the Lord, he did not fall and he certainly did not question God or blame God, or accuse God of being wrong. Think satan was happy about that?

Sometimes the fight is only half over… Job 2:1-8: “AGAIN there was a day  the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them and presented himself before the Lord.

And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence camest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

And STILL he holdeth fast his integrity, ALTHOUGH thou movest (incited) me against him, to destroy him WITHOUT a cause.

And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; BUT save his life.  So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and SMOTE Job with sore boils FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal (with) and SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.”

By this point Job wife even told him to just curse God and die, she was undoubtedly a mess herself with all that had happened and watching him suffer and maybe someone is telling you because of persecutions or attacks to give up on God that “it is not worth it” Don’t ever believe that!

Job was one of a kind and hopefully in comparison to the attack waged on him, your situation looks a little brighter.

But know IT IS WORTH IT and as Job WAS restored beyond measure because he stood the test that satan waged, you will be too. 

God protects us, God blesses us, and whatever valley we are allowed to walk through is going to lead to a beautiful mountain top.

And just like those ashes Job sat in, our ashes are turned, anything the enemy has destroyed, burned to ashes will be returned as pure beauty. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

The enemy wants you destroyed either way and God wants good for you and He alone IS your protection, your shield, and hedge, so going back, turning our backs on God IS never an option.

As Peter replied to Jesus when asked was he too going to leave, and his answer was WHERE could he go? Because Jesus alone has the word of life.

Seek God, pray, and surround yourself with others who will also pray for you and walk with you through whatever you are going through but know you won’t go in all alone, we NEED each other and HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON!

James 5:11: ” Behold, we count them happy (BLESSED) which ENDURE. ye have heard the PATIENCE (perseverance) OF JOB, and have seen the end of the Lord ( intended by the Lord) that THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL (COMPASSIONATE) AND OF TENDER MERCY.” 

So carefully think about your situations and recognize traps for what they are and remember that the Lord IS love and He is compassionate and things that are hurting you DO NOT come from Him but He is faithful to deliver you from those things if you wait in patience for that deliverance. 

Take a lesson from Job and DON’T be quick to question and never blame God, more people fall because of lies of the enemy in these areas that any other trick he has. he pulls the old “If God loved you, WHY did this happen?” routine, ALL attacks ARE from the enemy and then some things just happen, simply just part of being alive in this world. THIS life, this world IS NEVER gonna be perfect, IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE.

The next life, the resurrected life, the New Jerusalem life IS the perfect life where there will BE no death, sorrow, or sickness.

But too often people let the enemy convince them that because a tragedy happened HERE  that means God does not care, or does not love them but that IS not true and we are NEVER told in the Bible that being saved makes us exempt from being HUMAN, in HUMAN BODIES, and SUFFERING COMPLETELY HUMAN CONDITIONS AND OCCURRENCES.

Some things are just unfortunately part of THIS life, but that is YOUR PATIENCE and YOUR HOPE.

This life is not all there is!

This life is only temporary and our hope is NOT in this life.

But God will bless you, protect you, and bring good things into our lives but that still does not exempt us from the natural.

Don’t throw that eternal assurance away because of the lies of a force that wants nothing more than to take you to hell anyway!

Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope.

I hope this has encouraged you in someway and that you will find peace through the storm and that the storms soon comes to an end, but until then hold on because you have the blessed assurance that ALL storms do end!

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

Φλογιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date10/17/3017  REVISITED 10/20/2019 

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“WILL FOREVER BE”

FOR EVER, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

Thy faithfulness IS  unto all generations; thou hast established the earth and it abideth. They continue unto this day ACCORDING to thine ordinances: for ALL are thy servants.” Psalm 119:89-91

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 THE 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.

1 John 1:5:  “THIS then IS the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God IS light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” 

This post is the absolute cumulative message of my entire ministry. If no thought were ever provoked, no scripture heart embedded, no sword ever given, not one seed planted, nothing watered, if every word fell upon deaf ears and blinded eyes, I do pray that this one will be received with spiritual hearing and the spiritual sight given to the saints.

I had asked the Lord once to allow me to just be, even to one person, the difference that the words of another had been to me. When I was seeking, as I always refer to it (and I have many times) “trying to be saved”, I would listen and listen to Christian programs and ministers and finally one hit something that stayed with me, a word that I desperately needed and a Bible story that I had NEVER ever heard, changed my life and gave me something I had not been able to find, HOPE.

The story was about Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed and the ram being caught in the thicket as the “replacement” sacrifice and the name JEHOVAH-JIREH because the Lord ALWAYS provides and He provided HIS OWN SON as sacrifice for our sin, my sin, your sin, the sin of the entire world, every sin ever committed or ever to be committed.

HE bore it all and the HOPE in that message, the HOPE that God really DOES see and He really DOES care and no matter what we have been through or are going through or the future holds.

Once I was saved and knew Him, something came flooding back to my mind, one of those moments of  “I wish I knew then what I know now”, I had a dream, and the Bible does say, if it was a dream, tell it as a dream because we have to be so careful ass to what we attribute the Lord’s name to, so anyway, I was probably around eleven, maybe twelve and I had the strangest dream, it was solid black, no color, no light, just solid blackness, and I heard a voice and the voice said, “I am the I am that is” and that was it.I woke up and I was so disturbed and troubled and told my family.

After I was saved I was praying and I was like God why didn’t you tell me that was you, and as quick as that went through my mind, it came back to my mind, that I HAD been told. Even the name of the person who told me came flooding back, I had this dream during like an afternoon nap and my brother had a friend who came right after I woke up and was telling my family and he said, “Maybe it was God.” and I was like “Why on earth would God be in darkness?” and wouldn’t God say He was God, and why would He talk to me? The friend went on to tell me that He referred to Himself as “I AM” in the Old Testament, anyway, I truly just didn’t think anymore of it until I got saved.

And I think we ALL do that sometimes when God is trying to get our attention in the world and we have our thoughts as to what these encounters would be like. I now have no question about it and it has been my ministry message mission.

I was only STILL stumped by one fact. WHY was it dark? Tried to figure that one out for years and I do believe I know now. IT IS DARK.

It was NOT this dark when I was saved, but everyday it gets darker and darker and we can all attest to the fact that there is things going on that no one would have ever believed would be allowed to be called Christian and atrocities committed so far beyond our comprehension that we should be grateful for the desensitization from some of it, or our minds would fry.

This world IS covered in darkness, peoples hearts are dark, their thoughts are dark and EVEN in the face of absolute darkness, ONE TRUTH remains, JESUS IS.

He IS the voice in the darkness, HIS IS the voice that will shout with the TRUMP of God, HIS IS the voice that in unison with His bride will send out that FINAL invitation of salvation before and it IS HIS voice of judgment the entire world will hear upon His return.

And for all the thoughts and sermons done on the marvelous works of old and His great overthrows of Pharaoh and all the hosts of enemies who troubled His chosen throughout the ages, we need to remember something, HE IS NOT ONLY THE GOD WHO WAS…HE IS THE GOD WHO STILL IS!

And though the world is much worse and we are much less sensitive to his “voice” because our ears can never get away from the noises, sounds, and confusions of this world, HE STILL IS and only in calling on WHO HE IS in these times are we going to see change and deliverance and I promise you, for every single trouble or situation, demon, or foe, there IS a scripture of “God IS….” to counter every attack and make His voice known even in the pit of blackness and we know that there has never been such a time as this for the night watchmen and all those who sit captive to that darkness.

We sometimes become temporarily “blinded” in that darkness and smoke of the enemies pit and we are so busy groping, trying to find our way through that, that we can fail to hear the voice calling out the direction back into the places of light and clarity. That is the importance of following Him, as He said we will have the LIGHT of LIFE, His light, the LIGHT we can share with others, as His light shines upon them also.

One thing will NEVER change, HE WAS. HE IS. AND HE WILL FOR EVER BE. “He is the I AM that Is”, I really want to drive that message home.

This world IS dark, He IS light, this world hurts, He IS comfort, This world is uncertain, He IS peace, This world is death, He IS the resurrection from the dead. This world will betray you, He IS the one who will never leave or forsake you.

And He IS Blessed forevermore. And HE IS the Blessing, the hope, the security of those in the darkness of this world.  HIS name IS the ointment poured forth and it IS HE who has risen with healing in His wings and it IS His name whose proclamation will make seas roar and mountains tremble and HIS name whose power sets the captive free and as you pray for those captives :

Psalm 124:6-8: “ BLESSED  be the Lord who hath NOT given us as prey to their teeth; Our soul IS escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; The snare IS broken, and we ARE escaped. Our help IS in the NAME of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

His name holds ALL power: John 17:4-6:  “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus saith them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 

As SOON then as HE HAD SAID UNTO THEM, I AM HE, they went backwards (drew back) and fell to the ground.”

Many times Jesus told them exactly who He WAS and IS. The book of John starts with the verse: “IN THE BEGINNING  WAS the Word, and the WORD WAS WITH GOD, and the WORD WAS GOD.”

Just in this one Book, not to mention the other books, He makes these statements, to the woman at the well, I that speak unto thee, am he.” When he came walking on the sea to the disciples, he said, “It is I, be not afraid.” He also stated, “For the bread of God IS he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” And as they asked for the bread He responded, ” I am  THE bread of life”  and again, “I am THAT bread of life” and  “I am the LIVING bread” 

So many statements it would be impossible to list them here, so we’ll wrap it up with the wrap up of the revelation, the disclosure of it all, and if you will notice in your Bible the word Revelation is capitalized in the first verse, meaning that this word is NOT just a title, it is so much more, it IS the revelation that Jesus had and gave of all that would be!

Revelation 1: 1-18: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew (show) his servants things which shortly (quickly) come to pass; and he sent and confirmed it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and THEY THAT HEAR the words of this prophecy, and KEEP those things which ARE WRITTEN therein: for the time is at hand.

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace for him which IS and which WAS and which IS TO COME: and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who IS the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.  And hath made us kings and priest unto God and his Father; TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER. A-MEN’.

BEHOLD HE COMETH WITH THE CLOUDS; AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, AND THEY ALSO WHICH PIERCED HIM: AND ALL KINDREDS OF THE EARTH SHALL WAIL BECAUSE OF HIM. Even so, A-men I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY. 

I John, who ALSO am your brother, and the companion in tribulation(persecutions), and IN the kingdom and patience (perseverance) of Jesus Christ, was in the isle of Patmos, for the word of God (banished for preaching) and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I was IN the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me, and BEING turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt (girded) around the paps (chest) with a golden girdle (band).

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned (were refined) in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars; and OUT of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and HIS COUNTENANCE WAS AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH. And when I saw him, I FELL AT HIS FEET as dead.

And HE LAID HIS RIGHT HAND UPON ME, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. A-men; and have the keys to hell and of death.”

It is hard not to notice that John, like Moses, WAS TURNED to pay attention to what God wanted to enlighten them too. And we also see that John suffered great persecutions because of the testimony and word of Christ, and he held to the promises of an eternal reward for that present suffering, which serves as a great reminder that if you want the promises of God on your life, you must be completely given to him, none of the candy coat business or seeking God when we need him, no, it has to be everything to Him.

And we end on the same note that we started, and as God spoke the very light into existence, He will speak it into this darkness of earth:

Revelation 22:12-16:And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward IS with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed ARE they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city. For without (outside) are dogs (depraved men, and sorcerers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (liars).

I Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto YOU these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Remember two things in life, if everything else fades away, HE IS and HE WILL FOR EVER BE.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017          Related posts:  Majesty    HE IS THE I AM     Undeniable  

Original post date: 07/05/2017*    Revisited  07/25/2019

                                                                                         

“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

 

“Learning to just say… NOT SO!”

” And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, NOT SO; BUT HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED JOHN.” LUKE 1:59,60

Now the deal with this is that at that time sons were usually named by the father and after the father, but his name had come not from man but from God and knowing this, Elisabeth quickly spoke in the babies defense with NOT SO.

How often do we accept the names and titles wrongfully given to us and our children, not once arguing our own NOT SO! ?

I have written in the past about names and titles and the damage they can do but this was on my heart so strong concerning what does it do to our children, our families, and even us when do not loudly proclaim NOT SO at the wounding words and accusations of others? And what role will it play in ultimately fulfilling our destinies?

What if Zacharias and Elisabeth had disobeyed the voice of the angel of the Lord? What if they had chosen to name this child any name other than the commanded John? Well, we know of a certainty, “John the Baptist” would not have existed, all that was spoken, even in that time, among those who heard him and those who hated him, would never have been uttered and the destined place in the cosmic scheme of all things would have been void and John’s namesake message of GRACE might not have been so quickly proclaimed. 

Of course I know God is sovereign and God uses who He wants, when He wants, but I am just stirring your thoughts to the fact that this was PREDESTINED, PREORDAINED, and that I think many of us are fighting battles and fighting against that predestination by being caught up in names that we have accepted but God NEVER chose to call us or others. 

I can never think of names without thinking of the name of my sister, Ruby, who is my “sister-sister” natural sister and spiritual sister. When her name was in my Mom’s heart, it could have not been more perfect, she is beautiful inside and out, has so much compassion that she cries when others cry and missed her calling as a “Florence Nightingale” (notice the image of a loving nurse popped right up, ah.. the power of a name) due to care and nurture of the sick and wounded. And she truly has been a precious jewel placed in our family and we do thank God for her.

And I think especially of children, when labels are placed on them, especially when they HEAR these labels and all the negativity and self-doubt that those labels immediately cover them in and I do wonder what if, what if those labels change?

What if someone boldly stands and says, NOT SO! I wonder about times when people make accusations and spread gossip about others, especially, IN CHURCHES, often with the “But don’t mention it….” attached to it, ( I am meaning when people tell you the most awful things a person has done or supposedly still doing, and are attacking their character and accusing them to you, while wanting to stay anonymous, behind the others back with them not even aware they are being slandered) we are never to judge someone or listen to “charges” against them without first consulting that person to hear their side of the story, but often we choose to see the worst in others and become, judge, jury, and executioner without ever affording that person a “trail”.

And “as we judge, so shall we be judged” so we can be assured that somewhere along the way, someone will backbite, trash talk, and harm our reputation without us having the benefit of speaking on our behalf in the matter.

And in hindsight, which we all know it the greatest of all sight, I look with terrible, terrible regret at times when I should have stood on behalf of others and myself and screamed NOT SO!

Many “old timers warned of the ability to kill with words, to murder another’s reputation and in doing so we are in effect breaking the sixth  commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. Because we are killing them with the power of that untamable beast and yet we don’t want it mentioned….of course they SAY they do not want to “stir up” trouble, but trouble is exactly want they want stirred.

This could never be discussed without a trip to the Old Testament and going down that tortuously, long hard road that Joseph trod. From the verse, in which his Mother, gives him, HIS name:

GENESIS 30:24: “And she called his name, Joseph; and said the Lord shall add to me another son.” To the naming of HIS sons;

GENESIS 41:51,52: ” And Joseph called the name of the firstborn MANASSEH  (fortified), for God, said he, hath made me FORGET ALL MY TOIL, and ALL my father’s house.

And the name of the second called he EPHRAIM(fruitful),; for God hath CAUSE ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION.”

And we can travel that road reading his story until words would be fulfilled about his very bones over four hundred years later:

EXODUS 13:19: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he (Joseph) had straightly sworn (placed under a solemn oath) the children of Israel, saying, GOD WILL SURELY VISIT YOU; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”

So Joseph’s namesake “add to” surely was fulfilled, but what about all the names and titles he had to have faith to ignore on that road? Hated by his brothers because of their jealously, he endured, that time equivalent to “brat”, “pet”, and “Daddy’s boy”, and suffered by their hands, now we add  “rejected”, “abused” “hated to death”, Finally “slave” falsely accused and imprisoned, he would have been labeled “rapist” and after those he helped remembered him no more, and as two years went by, he could have easily been labeled “forgotten and forsaken” but he NEVER allowed these labels to adhere to him and he held onto FAITH, that these names, these “titles”, these labels were NOT SO!

Can you imagine the pain, not only of the hurt and anguish he felt at the realization that they did indeed HATE him, but to be ripped away from all he had ever known and loved? But as God brought him out and brought him up, he chose to name his children,  “fortified” strengthen and protected, causing him to FORGET ALL his father’s house, all he suffered and unfortunately the pain of the loss of all he loved.

And “fruitful”, because he said GOD HAD MADE HIM FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF HIS AFFLICTION. Many, many times he could have just laid it down, he could have lost hope and gave into to voices calling lies over him, and walked out on his destiny, but he chose to BELEIVE in his heart that these heartaches and struggles were only for a little while and when the enemies tried to convince him otherwise, he would remember in his heart what his father had taught, he would rest in his God and know all the lies and false labels had no power over him.

So I want to ask you today, what labels have been applied to you? What labels have been falsely attached to your family, your children? What words, names, and titles do you need to ask the Lord to tear down and break the yoke of those strangling, binding words today, because they HAVE POWER, but GOD HAS MORE!

But God gives us freewill and we must CHOOSE what voice we will hear and what we are willing to accept and we must have courage through the word of God to CHOOSE to hear what HE says about us.

As the Bible states, “Let God be true, and every man a liar”  DO NOT allow others to label you and for the love of God, never let the label children or the elderly while they are in “earshot”, what we hear, we tend to believe and if WE BELEIVE OTHERS THINK US BAD,SICK, OR MENTALLY UNSTABLE , okay, guess what? BAD, SICK, and MENTALLY UNSTABLE WE SHALL BE!

But if YOU choose to say to that person (or yourself) NOT SO! And offer instead to that person a word of hope, healing, or encouragement, and peace, that can change their mindset and MAYBE change the final outcome of that life. Find scripture and use them.

Afraid? “He hath not given us a SPIRIT of fear, but of a SOUND MIND”

Sick? “HE IS risen with healing in his wings”

Tired? COME UNTO ME…..I WILL GIVE THEE REST.”

Every single problem we can have, THERE IS  a word for that problem, use a reference Bible, go online and search scriptures for…… and use them, when everything and everyone around you says you are defeated…. NOT SO! “We ARE MORE THAN CONQUERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US.”

Think about it today, don’t look back years from now when damage is done ( I do hold to the belief that THERE IS NO DAMAGE THAT GOD CAN NOT UNDO, but if it can be avoided, it will save much heartache) and wish you had said NOT SO! to thoughts, labels, titles, and the voices of others, regardless of WHOSE MOUTHS those wrong voices are coming out of! God and GOD ALONE holds your past, present, and future and HE IS the author and finisher of your faith.

He started you, he wrote your story and HE IS more than able to take a tragic beginning and compose into it the world’s most triumphant work! What HE starts in all of us, HE WILL finish. So again, please, please please, (see I really, really pleaded with you) DO NOT ACCEPT ANYONES thoughts, labels, and TRASH, just say, satan (they are his agents) THAT”S JUST NOT SO!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“RESONATE”Crawling out of the cave #3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2016

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.

Sticks and Stones #3 “Blood Transfusion”

Family night at Ye Olde Drama Ville Theater is never a one-act play and no one wants tickets to that dreadful show anyway. The script is just too predictable, the outcome a certainty, someone is always gonna go away hurt while another revels in their glory of being alpha male, while everyone stands by as helpless “extras” with nothing they can do, nothing they can say, just waiting it out until the dramatic star chooses to go away.

 Angry at the aggressor and too sympathetic in wanting to tend the wounds of the victim, sometimes it only feeds the persons feelings of helplessness and personal anger for what they feel as personal weakness in “not standing up for themselves”, I said FEEL because reacting on the aggressors level IS NEVER WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

But in reality the reason most don’t argue back is because they FEAR what they, themselves may be capable of if they allow those pent-up emotions to burst out in a blinding fury and it is one step across that invisible line to becoming the very thing that has tormented them.  

But if you have in times past, fell  into that trap, don’t beat yourself up, the Bible says for us to “live peaceably with all men, as much as LIETH WITHIN YOU“, keeping peace as best as we can, but sometimes we don’t quite hit the mark when we are under attack. 

Proverbs 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity: but A WOUNDED SPIRIT WHO CAN BEAR?”                  

Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”                                  

Proverbs 12:18: “There is that ( one whospeaketh LIKE THE PIERCING OF A SWORD.”                                        

Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance but by SORROW of THE HEART THE SPIRIT IS BROKEN.”  

This repetitive play will without a doubt leave someones heart pierced and their very spirit broken. The good news is you are not required of the Lord to continue to play the starring role, as the enemy and sometimes other family members would try to sway you into believing. The bad news, because it is the truth that is more hard to hear is this, IT IS UP TO YOU TO QUIT THE TROOP AND FIRE THE DIRECTOR.

 In “Blood Brothers” we discussed some biblical brothers and how a couple of them, in my opinion, did not even realize that the others really did hate them. We all want family approval, it is inborn need to belong and be accepted by our siblings and the most painful enlightenment that we will ever go through is coming to terms with the fact that they truly do not like us as a person and that there is nothing within our mortal grasp that will change that.                                                                

Often we do not understand why the Lord doesn’t just change these things on our behalf, but the truth in that is again God ONLY deals in FREE WILL and he will not go above what a person asks of him and even though we want them to change so that we can have a good, healthy, loving relationship with them, as God intended, if they don’t see a problem and have no remorse or repentance and no desire to change, then that is their free will and God will not go above that.     

Jesus said that they hated him without a cause and a servant cannot be above his master, if they hated him they will hate you.                                       The secret is in emulating his behavior, when you bless those that curse and pray for them, they have no accusation against you, as you have only been kind to them, when the Holy Spirit begins to deal with their heart and their actions start coming back to mind, they can find no justification through your behavior toward them to explain to God their own actions. God then uses this to bring about repentance, true remorse for their actions so they then may be saved and that is our goal.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Now digging the blood transfusion, when we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are covered by his blood, we are made partakers with his blood and become new creatures, adopted through that blood into the household of God himself.

WE BECOME HEIRS AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST and even though we still have an earthy family, our main family is heavenly and the only dinner we have to be sure to make an appearance at is the wedding supper of the Lamb!                  

Just as Abram had to leave his family in order to fulfill God’s purpose, sometimes we also have to “forget those things which are behind and press toward the mark of that high calling”. When we must “leave” (emotionally) our families or friends it is then, that the word of God promises us that God will pick us up, Jesus said he will be our mother, brother, sister, whatever family position that is broken and empty, JESUS HIMSELF WILL FILL THAT VOID, HE IS a friend that will stick closer than a brother.                                      

So accept that transfusion freely, be diligent, when you find your mind running through the past, replace those thoughts with scripture and things of God, And lean on your church family for support.                                                                        

Before I had even be called I had been in  a battle, a fierce unbelievable battle and I went to church and heard words that I still cling to today, a brother had been singing and he stopped, this guy is on the quite side as far as speaking and I think that made it hit home even more, but he said that we should always remember no matter what we are going through or how alone we feel that someone else is either going through the same thing or has already been through it.                                              

We often look at others as “perfect” people who haven’t a care in the world and that freak show stuff just happens to us but you will never find a Christian who does not have a testimony that will nine times out of ten leave you in tears, it is part of the overcoming we all must endure, the very reason your church family is a major factor in walking away from relationships you just don’t need in your life and being accepted by Christ is the only acceptance we need.                                              

But NEVER give up on them, pray for them, and as I said before once you give that gentle answer back when they are attacking you, just walk away, you have to, and when you have been in a very terrible argument and maybe threats have been made or your feelings are just really hurt, here are some scriptures that I believe will help, but again lean on your church family, talk to your Pastor or trusted prayer partners, pray together, there is strength in that but please don’t jeopardize your personal safety by continuing in it.

Psalm 56:3,4: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. IN GOD will I praise his word, IN GOD I HAVE PUT MY TRUST; I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT FLESH (people) CAN DO UNTO ME.”                                                                            

Psalm 118:6 :”The Lord IS ON MY SIDE; I WILL NOT FEAR: What can man do unto me.”                                          

 Psalm 56:9 : “WHEN I CRY UNTO THEE, then shall my enemies turn back: This I know, FOR GOD IS WITH ME.”        

Romans 8:31:”What shall we then say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?”                    

Psalm 56:8 :”Thou tellest ( you know) my wanderings; Put thou my tears unto thy bottle: are they not written in thy book?”   God sees and keeps record of our pain, one day all the tears that we have shed, that He is very aware of will be returned to us in PURE JOY !  

 James 1:2,3:”MY BRETHREN (brothers and sisters of Apostle Paul through Christ) COUNT IT ALL JOY when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails) KNOWING this, that the trying of ( relying on) your faith worketh (produces) patience.”                                                                                                                                                                                  

Just say no, just walk away, don’t play the game and don’ star in that role!                                

“Proverbs 23:24,25: “MAKE NO FRIENDSHIP WITH AN ANGRY MAN; AND WITH A FURIOUS MAN THOU SHALT NOT GO (STAY AWAY FROM THEM) LEST THOU LEARN HIS WAYS AND GET A SNARE TO THY SOUL.”                          

Anger will “jump” and it is like an infectious disease and it is contagious and you do not want to catch it.                                

2 Samuel 22:47,49:“The Lord liveth, and blessed be MY ROCK; and exalted be the God of THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION.  And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”                                                                                                

 Psalm 140:1,4: “DELIVER ME O LORD, from the evil man: Preserve me from the violent man: KEEP ME from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from the violent man, WHO HAS PURPOSED TO OVERTHROW MY GOINGS (SETS STUMBLING BLOCKS BEFORE US).”                                                                                                         

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 ALSO IS BECOME MY SALVATION.”                                                                                 

It is my sincerest prayer that for all who may be in holiday dread because of theses things will find comfort in God’s word, remember as you study these for yourself, use a reference Bible that will lead you to other scriptures dealing with the same subject.

God often uses this to lead us to other scripture, which will be perfect for whatever our battle is at that present time and it is in the quite times that God will speak to you through his word and send you comfort and peace.                              

Remember Jesus said for us to be of good cheer, because he had overcome the world and sometimes for us, we must overcome those we actually hold dear. May God bless you and keep you and give you true peace this season.                    

Φλογιζω NBJ 2015                  For more in this series, please check out the following posts: Bad BloodBlood BrothersAnger DangerStrangle Hold   

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                            

“ASCENSION PART3 / CLIMB”

Song of Solomon 4:6: “Until the day break, and the shadows flee, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense.”
Mountain climbing, some saying simply “because it is there” but that really doesn’t get it in the spirit world now does it?
That verse tells us a couple of things, we are going somewhere, to the mountain of myrrh, where we will die to our flesh and shed all the excess junk we are carrying on this trip, because the higher we climb the more junk and baggage we will toss to lighten the load and make it easier to climb.
The hill of frankincense, the place of effective spiritual intercession is our goal and we have determined that we will get there and we will stay there until day breaks over the spirit world and the shadows of death and hell flee away.
The myrrh is a mountain and the hill is frankincense because the hardest part of dying to our own flesh and coming to the place of purification that we can stand in that place of prayer, it is NOT about being a great person or most “spiritual” it is about having a heart for God.
As David said, the one thing he would seek after to inquire in the temple and worship God in the beauty of HIS holiness, (not ours) once that is accomplished the intercession isn’t quite daunting a task.
It takes a determination, a very wise man once chatted with me about a very simple biblical truth, “many are called but few are chosen” many are saved and are happy right where they are and that is perfectly okay, but God is looking for those who seek more, who are aware of the needs of others and KNOW there are greater works to be done in these precious, blessed last days.
They have the heart as Isaiah’s which echoes “Here am I Lord, send me” and those will be his chosen vessels to accomplish the works and bring in the harvest.
There are nine spiritual gifts, and I do believe there will be people who the Lord flows these gifts through on an as needed basis.
So many have chosen not to seek the gifts God has given them, but the work still has to get done and I do believe it will be by a multi-tasking army.
So some may start climbing that mountain and decide it is a little too steep and the trip is just not worth it, and ask “How do we even know anything is up there anyway?”
Some may have to stop on the way and reach down to help another back up and there may be times that we are carrying each other until strength returns.
You have to know why you want to climb that mountain, I determined long ago that I’d climb the bloody thing or I would die on the way up, because I know my motivation, I know my prayers to the only one who holds it all in his nail scarred hands, when I just want to tell him just how much I can’t do this, how I just simply cannot go one more step, I remember, I remember he was completely stripped, beaten beyond recognition and brutally nailed to a cross and displayed for the whole world to ridicule and he did it because he had a mountain to climb, the hill of the ultimate intercession, a hill named Calvary, the intercession to save all of mankind, and the only way for him to do that was to climb that hill.
Then I remember, he forever holds me, I have no strength in me, but through him I can do all things, and I ask myself what am I climbing for anyway?
I climb on behalf of every child that lives in horror and abuse, I climb for every animal tortured, I climb for every victim of ethnic cleansing after seeing the hollow soul stripped eyes on CNN of the genocidal rape victims of the Taliban, I climb for every elderly person that lives at the complete mercy of others in nursing homes and privately.
I climb out of my pain, the awareness that there are stripe scars on my soul so deep that they are my cross to be borne, and a very personal vendetta against hell itself, to see it brought to its knees and maybe the chance to scream a list of “things that are just not nice to do to people” at Satan when Jesus casts him and his angels into an eternal fire of hell.
If you could see this mountain in the spirit world, I think you would have to compare it to stairs, the light of that place being the soft glow of lamplight and a single file journey, an ascension upward of prayers, starting with the gathering censers of incense ( prayers of the saints) and as they persist, maybe feeling like they aren’t getting anywhere at first, oh, but it is, as they climb higher and higher, a change takes place, that cumbersome clothing will become robes, symbolic of the covering of the righteousness of God.

The censers of incense will become the effectual, fervent spoken prayer of the righteous offered up in the presence of God unlike anything some of them have ever known.
The Holy Spirit leads us, the Holy Ghost overtakes us, and while you know all that, there is a manifestation of his presence, just as when he came to the disciples and Paul, you may not see him but you will know he is standing right there.
On that mountain top, or after the ascension of those spiritual “stairs”, however you choose to relate to it, it will be “Ask and it shall be given” And if this is your desire, get your motivation, remember those you “climb” for, keep climbing till you reach the top.

Psalm 65:4:“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts; we will be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even thy holy temple.”

Psalm 12:7: “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, NOW WILL I ARISE, saith the Lord: I WILL set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.”
Remember why you climb, and climb.

Φλογίζω/original post:01/17/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

Ascension Part1 Night watchmen     Ascension part 2 Intercession

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

Soldier Up!!!

Have you ever cried yourself to sleep? Your mind so exhausted and your heart so troubled and broken that you end up lulled into some sort of almost hypnotic state of sub consciousness?
Unlike our sleeping beauty from Song of Songs, there is another kind of sleep.
the sleep, I believe the Disciples suffered from, a sleep born from the repeated attacks waged against the soul of every believer.
The literal, Biblical “wearing out” of the saints.
Sometimes we do become shell-shocked warriors in the unseen battle between heaven and hell,
as we constantly war with the principalities of the air and their embodied counterparts on earth.
Elijah the Prophet, whom at his request God had sent fire down from heaven, even he became so discouraged that his soul desire was for God to just take him home.
John the Baptist, whose very life was to fulfill the prophecy that the Lord would send Elijah the Prophet before him, and John came in the spirit of Elijah.
Remember this is the man who was so spirit filled that he had leapt for joy in his mother’s womb. He was considered a wild man and he was never afraid to proclaim the kingdom of God. It never bothered him who may be offended by his preaching or just who would have to be told off. Jesus himself referred to John as the GREATEST prophet ever born.
Yet, even he, after being locked away by Herod started to hear that little voice of doubt whispered by the enemy telling him that just maybe, he had been wrong about everything.
But the Lord is always faithful. He sent Elijah an angel to comfort him.
To John he sent back his word that erased every doubt and fear the enemy had tried to place in him.
Jesus in his agony prayed three times that the cup might pass from him, his answer came as his sweat turned to drops of blood, signifying that he would indeed die, upon receiving his answer angels appeared to strengthen him for the horror that lie ahead.
So many today have suffered things so unbearable, ordeals so hard to fathom, that others can not even begin to understand.
Know this, if you have been through a season in life that has weakened you so much that you feel you can’t take another step or shed even one more tear, and you are so tired, tired of even trying to fight any longer.
You love the Lord and want to serve him but you are just so shell-shocked you can’t get out of that trench.
Want to give you some hope, no matter how alone you feel your not, I promise you there is a God that loves you and those tears are precious to him.
Just as he himself had to be strengthened to endure what he went through, he wants to strengthen you.
Even though this is technically a repost, I know this is for someone and whoever you are,  you know it too and I promise you he is there and as he promised he will never leave you or forsake you and the only reason you are standing even now is because he is holding you.
“There hath no temptation (trial)taken you but as such that is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Translating, it means as long as we are on this earth, various troubles, death, and heartache will come to us all but he will never let it be more than your soul can bear.
And with it all he will strengthen you and see you through.
Even when we feel like we can’t handle it, through his spirit he allows us to.
“Wherefore seeing that we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witness, let us lay aside EVERY WEIGHT and the sin which doth so easily best us, and RUN with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
See, the weight of those heavy, heavy burdens the pain, the heartache, that we try to carry alone, if we are not careful and be sure to give those burdens to the Lord, they will unwittingly lead to sin. We have to lay down, at his feet, at the cross all those things we carry that make us unable to run that race. We have to lighten the load before we are able to even take that first step.
Paul a man well acquainted with suffering and persecution wrote this, ” For I reckon the sufferings of this world are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“For our light affliction WHICH IS FOR A MOMENT worketh in us a far more exceeding and ETERNAL weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen TEMPORAL but the things which are not seen are ETERNAL.”
2 Corinthians 4:17,18
The things that trouble you will pass, the weight of those burdens will lift.
The burdens of this earth eventually lighten, they are temporary but holding onto your faith, keeping your eyes on the prize will one day produce an excellent weight (sheer amount) of glory eternally.
Don’t quit, Don’t give up and above all NEVER SURRENDER.
Let me leave you with Matthew 11:28 the words of our beautiful Lord, who is your ever-present him in the time of trouble.
“COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.”
Please take these words, sharpen your spiritual sword and endure hardness as a good soldier and make your Captain proud! He’s counting on you!
 Original post date 11/30/2013 post

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