“A little while, and again…”

“Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me; and, Because I go to my Father? 

They said therefore, What is this that he saith? A little while ? We cannot tell what he saith (understand what he is saying)

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 

A woman when she is in travail (labor) hath sorrow, because her hour is come; But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born is born into the world.” John 16:17-20 

Now when  Jesus spoke this to them he was referencing his death, that very soon they would no longer see him or be with him but that again, soon, they would surely see him again. 

That they would indeed over the days soon coming face sorrow, and dread being inexplicably confused as to how this could happen to him and not even beginning to be able to understand much less comprehend that this could be not only the will of God for Jesus to suffer and die on the cross but to fathom this is was his actual plan.

As Jesus encouraged them that as surely as those things would come, but again, in a little while, something so much sweeter, would also come, again.

That, again, those sands would slowly but surely sift their ways again through the hourglass of time and all those times of heartache and doubt would turn to unimaginable joy as those moments sifted through all the little whiles to fall perfectly into a single moment in time when He would resurrect leaving death conquered behind and had they known for but a second as He tried to warn them to this and to give them hope that it was again, a little while, would they have have begged him not to go?

Surely, but He would have answered them, No, as scripture tells us of Jesus, “…Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Just as Peter tried to to believe that there had to be another way, that this could not possibly be what was meant to be.

Curious it would be know the mental torment of the others or the one who ran away, not because they should have had regrets and second thoughts but you know that being human that they did.

Peter was going to fight against the arrest of Christ proving this as he cut off the servant of the high priest’s ear.  Jesus’ reprimand to him as he replaced the severed ear letting Peter know this was not the way that Jesus would have him go.

But soon the were scattered, alone, and scared, how often do you suppose over the period of those, what would had to have seemed never ending, three days the thoughts of “We should have hid him” or “We should have stayed” raced through their minds?

As we think about His words as he had tried to prepare them and assure them that this was the will of God. Jesus also encouraged them to the joy that would come after all the pain, he used the comparison of a mother in the process of giving birth.

As a mother I can truly attest to this, as I am sure the ladies reading very well can too.

There is nothing as beautiful, as wholesome, and as pure as when we are expecting, nothing as gentle or as precious.

And as we decorate in expectation with blues, purples, yellows, and greens. Adorning the walls with little boy blue, the cow jumping over the moon, rabbits, rainbows and everything in between, everything bright peaceful and clean, teddy bears, ribbons, and kittens gracing nurseries with cradles prepared for the new arrival as mobiles dance overhead.

The excitement, the joy, and the expectation are soon overshadowed as labor sets in and as the pain comes, thankfully, only a little at a time, but each contraction grower harder and lasting longer than the last.

There is an absolute knowing during the process of giving birth that you are helpless, there is nothing you can do to stop this and that you are either going through this process or you will die.

Only two choices and you have control of neither.

This is why, in my belief, Jesus chose this comparison to give us so that we would understand and that we would understand the differences, just as when Pharaoh demanded the Hebrew boys be killed at birth the midwives informed that him the Hebrew women gave birth fast and we know Jacob’s wife Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin and as we like to say here in the south women have “laid in labor” for days suffering desperately needing to be delivered of that child and yet the baby for whatever reason unable to come. Thank God we do have medical resources today that have saved the lives of countless mothers but still not all and the  birth still have to take place.

Paul in his writing referencing childbirth with the statement that she “shall be saved in childbearing” he is not referring to being saved spiritually he is referring to not dying in the process. 

Birth is painful, there are not words that can even come close to describing it, birth is bloody BUT birth brings about something so beautiful, so pure, innocent, and magnificently renewing that as Jesus said the anguish of that sorrow, the sorrow of needing to be delivered of that child, not the child needing delivered but the mother’s body needing to escape that dreadful travail is forgotten because immediately it is replaced by joy, a joy that mirrors the pain, as the pain is inexplicably indescroble SO IS that joy.

A  joy that completes you, a joy of looking into a tiny little face and as my late mother explained to me, the overwhelming feeling that this tiny little person that you have never met until this day you feel as though somehow you have known forever. 

Jesus referred to unsettling times and events that would take place before his return (painting the baby’s room a cheerful pink with that delicate wording) as the beginning of sorrows, which translates to birth pangs, we are in very, very uncertain times and everyone just wants life to get back to normal, but we are not going to ever experience the “normal” that once was but we can look forward, which requires looking past the pain, look forward to lives that can be even better, as families are reconnecting and many are taking time to actually realize what is truly important and cherishing those things that alone are worthy of being truly cherished and those who maybe have never given God, his existence or the afterlife a second thought may now be seriously pondering those questions.  And as far as churches it is coming down to who’s left standing. People are regaining their compassion for each other again and with compassion comes respect and a chance to love each other again forgoing the senseless hatred

Being in the same boat together now reminding us that we are all human, we all love, we all cry, we all experience the same feelings because we were all created in the same image and that and that was in His image. And that is the good you gotta hold on to,

And of course as He told us long long ago the  labor will be quite unpleasant to put it in the mildest “dreft” scented terms but once the deliverance has come there will be nothing that can even come close to the beauty of that glorious “baby” that will come.   

We are all praying and we have to continue to pray and pray that those”labor pains” those “sorrows” as Jesus warned us would one day come are covered by his mercy, and that what is to be brought forth through that process will birth fast.

God bless you and your loved ones during this season, praying that He will cover you and yours under the shadow of his wings and that through it all you will find a joy and a peace and a renewing of His Spirit with you that knowing that joy will see you through.

Φλογιζω Rev.Nina Brown Johnson / NBJ 2020

 

AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

 

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

I raised thee up(awakened) under the apple tree:…”  Song of Solomon 7:5

The wilderness the daughters of God have been very acquainted with since the dawn of time.
Since the fall of man, the enemy has ensured that we would be considered no more than property and every day countless of us are raped, abused, forced into prostitution and in many countries we are still property at the complete mercy of often unmerciful husbands.

While in other corners of the world, unable to carry lineage names daughters are aborted and others sold into slavery.
Christianity of old.

Tainted by MEN also seemed to teach that women are inferior but the truth is far from that.
My biggest struggle in coming to Christ was this very topic, I was like, Why are women always the bad ones? Misguided teaching of confused or intentionally biased doctrine has kept many away and who could blame them?
Many modern women who have been left to support their children completely alone, who have struggled to pay their bills, put food on their tables, educate themselves and their children, just barely surviving through the world.

And if they happen into the wrong church they will hear that they are of a lesser value to God than their male counterparts. To “fit in” they will need to change everything about themselves and sit down and above all shut up.
Even after God had enlightened me to the truth and helped me understand his word, I still had trouble wrapping my head around a few things.
I did most of intense studying before my child was school aged, after everyone was asleep and my house cleaned, I would stay up and read until I could not function any longer.

One night I happened upon Judges 19 which in my opinion contains the most disturbing and gruesome story in the entire Bible.
It mirrors the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, ironically found in Genesis 19, when Lot had offered his virgin daughters to the deviant, demon possessed pagans, who were demanding he turn over his male visitors to them, “that they may know them” translated, so they could gang rape them.  

The Bible clear to point out that Lot offered these girls with a “do whatever you want to them” agreement to try to get them to take them instead of the male visitors.

To break Judges 19 down, a Levite had a concubine, it says she “played the harlot”.
I’m not sure how that worked since she was “kept” for that purpose, double standards of the day, which still equate in our culture as the difference between a guy being a “player” and a woman being a “slut”.

Another problem Jesus addressed when he came to earth, he wants two people married, period.
Enlightening them to their double standards when they wanted judgment against the adulterous woman, of course it takes two, but they seemed to have forgotten to bring her partner in this sin before the Lord, His answer to them translating to this, if they themselves had no sin, go ahead hit her.

Standing in front of a Holy God they couldn’t do it.

But at the time of Judges, men could have as many women as they wanted but it was never God’s plan.
To get on with the story, she went back to her father’s house, so he comes after her to talk her into coming back, finally she agreed, and after being detained several days they went on their way.

He refused to stay anywhere other than lands belonging to the tribes of Israel and insisted on traveling to a city of the tribe of Benjamin, they had nowhere to stay, so an old man invited them to stay with him, pleading that they not stay outside, soon just as with Sodom, there were men at his door demanding he turn over this man to them that they “may know him”.

Picture perfect to Sodom, only lacking the presence of the angels that saved Lot’s daughters. So the old guy offers his daughter and the concubine, again with the agreement to whatever they wanted to them, just do not touch the man.

They refused, they still wanted the man, so the guy just takes the concubine and throws her out to them and they repeatedly gang rape her until the morning and then they let her go.

She makes it to the door of the house where she collapses, she just lies there helplessly until he gets up, opens the door and finds her and he actually tells her quite simply, to get up they have to get going, needless to say she is dead.
He dismembers her body into twelve parts and sends a part to each of the tribes and war is waged.
It wasn’t that they raped her or that she was dead that bothered him, it was because they destroyed his property.

I read this and I was alone with my shock and absolute horror and knowing the Lord, I just asked “Why, Why are we of so little value?”
These “men” would not even try to fend off these monsters, not even try to muster up an ounce of anything remotely resembling courage to fight for themselves.

Forget chivalry, or protection, an ounce of some sort of compassion, but to just offer these women as less than nothing and to do it to save themselves. I just could not understand it.

I do understand that at the time the thought of this being done to men was so unthinkable that they were desperate to prevent it. But they could have tried to prevent it for happening to any of them.

The God I know would never sanction this stuff or ever condone it and I was in tears, and it just hit me to keep reading, the bottom line is this, at the very end of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel: Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

This was never God!

He never put these things in men’s hearts and for years it was falsely taught and still is in many places.

Men still do what is right in their own eyes and only God can make them see the truth.
But it is time for the awakening of his daughters.

No matter what false beliefs that women have been brainwashed by, we have to let them know that this is not what Jesus is about.
He does not hate women and did not create us to be objects of amusement to fulfill the twisted lusts of men nor to be their gender indentured servants.

If we are ever to see those that are oppressed be saved and free, they have to know the truth about him and who he is and most of all who they are in him.

A forgotten child, much like David, when no one would even waste their time to call him to be presented before Samuel the Prophet, because in their eyes why would a prophet possibly want to speak with someone so unimportant and simple?

A forgotten child from the greatest of tribes, who just happened to be a woman, a sister to the twelve tribes of Israel, a forgotten child that no one bothers to mention because she was not as important as her brothers, or so they thought.

Dinah, the seventh child Leah bore to Jacob, a woman who also a thing or two about pain and substandard treatment, who had been raped and used as a bargaining chip which led to a mass slaughter.

Her bloodline STILL offering an inheritance. because she was one of the tribe.

The most prophetic beauty with Dinah is the meaning of her name, “JUDGEMENT.”

It is awakening time for the sisters, the beautiful, forgotten army who have a straight shot to the heart of the Father.

You are so strong, so powerful, and yet, you do not even know WHO YOU ARE in HIM, and so unaware of your predestined place in this end time end game.

You are the spiritual virgins and maidens forever following to proclaim the majesty, beauty, and holiness of the Kings of Kings.

It is the love and proclamations that Hannah, and Mary, and never forget Mary Magdalene, He came to her first because she needed him the most.

Take your place in the kingdom, it is not going to be accomplished with half an army.
The adoration and praises from hearts that have known sorrows and pain that men can never begin to understand.

A relationship to God who will bring justice for others on behalf of the cries of the souls of his daughters.
Unlike the time of Judges, unlike the women who are your sisters the world over, who are oppressed and in bondage. 

You have access to a King, the King, and The King over heaven, and earth, and the entire universe, He will plead their cause if you bring them before his throne in that secret prayer closet.
He will bring justice for those your tears flood the altar for, when you allow your soul to be awakened under that tree, awakened by a love so strong, so powerful, so consuming that you wear that love as a covering for the whole world to see.

I AM the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns so is my love among the daughters. as the apple tree among the trees of wood so it my beloved among the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight his fruit was sweet to my taste.  He brought me into the banqueting house and his banner of me was LOVE”  Song of Solomon 2:1-4

Translated: KNOW HIM for who HE IS, allow his love to bloom in you, in spite of the valleys and thorns, breathe in his sweetness and lift you up out of those ashes and hide in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of his wings, taste the goodness of his salvation and let him bring you into his house of feasting and the love of Jehovah Nissi is his war flag over his daughters and the love is the secret to it all.

Φλογίζω / 02/05/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

For later posts in the realm of all things feminine, check these out:

Resurgence of Ruth

 “Misplaced pearls”

“Something needs to break”

“Grinding the ax” 1 “acknowledgement”

“Grinding the ax” 2… “Real Love?”

“Grinding the ax” #3 “Anger Danger”

“Grinding the ax” #4 “STRANGLE HOLD”

REVISTED:08/01/2019  I like to revisit these older posts, because sometimes we just need to be reminded of who Jesus REALLY is and who he has called us to be in him.

 

 

 

 

OUR Father

“I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called.

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. 

ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND IN YOU ALL.” EPHESIANS 4:1-6

And didn’t Jesus himself state this in John 10:30: “I and the Father ARE one”  I will never forget the moment of truth… MY moment of truth, I had not yet submitted to Christ, but I believed, probably much like many out there, you KNOW the truth but somehow you have bought into the lies that the truth does not apply to you because your too far gone… SUCH A LIE from Satan!

So at any rate, this was years and years and years… you get the point… ago and I was at my sister’s house and this sweet little old man came to the door, who just happened to be a Jehovah’s witness and as I tried my best to politely exit any further discussion he said, “Well, just let me ask you this, what IS God’s name?” and I thought, what on earth kind of question is that? He wants HIS name, I knew I was not easily getting out of the conversation. 

I think the feeling of terror was probably  something kinda like the half excited / half terror Peter felt when Jesus asked him, “But whom say ye that I am?” 

Jesus had ALREADY asked them WHO others said that he was, but he wanted them to say it out of their own mouths and confess their own belief on his identity. 

So I mustered up all my courage, because I had a very legitimate reason to fear… what if I answer this WRONG and OFFENDED God, I KNEW what was in my heart, I KNEW what my soul was screaming out BUT could I actually SAY it out loud? 

So I looked him dead in the eye and as fast as humanly possible I said, JESUS! His name IS Jesus! Of course he explained to me the reason HE felt I and others were completely wrong in that thinking, and that the correct answer is Jehovah, the conversation fortunately soon ended.

I understand the correct answer is Jehovah, the correct answer is also Jesus. God has many, many names but HE IS STILL ONE GOD as the Bible teaches us.

Everything else is just denominational or the lack thereof such as non-denominational. I often wonder if our mixed denominations or non-denominations hold us true to that calling that Paul advised us to “walk worthy of” and I know in the end it will not matter.

I know in the grand realm of things we will all be in for a few surprises, probably some serious surprises but as Paul taught us in that verse when you read between the lines, it may matter HERE more than we think.

We are to walk in love and in UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that is the forbearing part.

If we argue and dislike each other due to a difference in those beliefs when we ARE saved by the SAME God. We ARE given the gift of the Holy Ghost, again by the SAME and only God then that unity is going right out the door and we are grieving the Holy Spirit through our discord.

So why did Paul tie it so securely to our callings? I believe because we have to have that unity but that in all things we are to be reminded in that unity that we are still individuals.

Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth…”  

Mark 9:49,50: ” For EVERY ONE shall be salted with fire, and EVERY sacrifice salted with salt. Salt is good: but IF the salt has lost his saltiness, wherewith (with what) will ye season it? Have salt IN yourselves, and have peace one with another.”

And if we lose that individuality in not staying true to the calling that we have one hope of then we will become like tasteless salt.

He tells us to have that to be “worth our salt” to have that fire that he “seasoned” us with. It IS our passion to serve him, it is the joy and excitement that we were filled with at the moment of salvation and that desire to spread the word of his love and mercy to the world AS we received it, but if we are not careful, comprising that state of how we received, we fall into his next warning on the subject. 

Luke 14:34,35: “Salt is good: but if the salt have LOST his savour flavor) wherewith (with what)  shall it be seasoned? It is NEITHER fit for the land, NOR yet for the dunghill (rubbish heap) but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Pretty clear there isn’t it? Once we lose our “salt” our “fire” HOW would we ever get back what we have given or comprised away?

And if it’s “flavor” is lost, it is then rendered ABSOLUTELY useless, completely and utterly USELESS. As he told us in the verse from Mark, we should have salt ( keeping our individuality in him) and thereby have that peace with one another.

The peace comes form having peace with God and peace in knowing that we are walking “worthy” of that calling. 

Maybe this accounts for some of the falling away in churches while the “secular candy coat churches” are growing like wild.

If we are dried like “caked up” salt why would anyone want to listen to us? Why would God anoint us?  So you may be wondering what this has to do with Father’s Day?

Well, I had never actually written for Father’s Day because I do tend to try to keep it “multi-denominational friendly” but I am going to have to quit that.

And seeing that OUR father, IS the FATHER OF US ALL, regardless of whether you believe that the Trinity consists of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as separate (and that IS absolutely true) or if you take the scripture “These THREE ARE ONE” literally (they are and I do)  and that “Jesus IS Lord” and “The Lord IS God”, you know we ARE all correct, that is why in that DAY his NAME SHALL BE ONE. 

And believe me I know there are people on “both sides” of the fence that would like to string me up for that statement BUT it is true!

I also know there are those who think I worry too much about it BUT Jesus told us to have “salt” in ourselves, if we don’t trust what we feel in our hearts as he deals with us then we are already salt less.

We are warned in the Bible to take heed when we THINK we stand, lest we fall.

Because we can become a little to sure that OUR interpretation of scriptures IS the ONLY interpretation, which again, is WRONG.

Jesus NEVER left us to tell other believers what denomination or his “sheep fold” they belong to.

Only he has that authority as he said John 10:16: ” And OTHER sheep I have, which are NOT of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd.” 

But now for us to all walk in those calling, walking with passion and purpose as we celebrate Father’s day for our earthly  Father’s, remembering to give honor and praise to our heavenly Father, who truly is the Father of us all! 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ what a more appropriate time could there be?

John 14:5-21: “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whiter thou goest: and how can we know the way?  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 (show) us the Father, and it sufficeth us (will satisfy us). Jesus saith unto him, Have I  been so long time with you, and YET thou hast not know me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, then she 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 is 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 might be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing 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 CAN NOT receive, BECAUSE it seeth him not, NEITHER knoweth 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 SEE ME: BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. 

AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST (reveal) myself to him.”

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

 

MOTHERS, THE BEJEWELMENT TO THE CROWN OF THE KING

**** FROM MY ARCHIVES but the love and sentiment that we all feel for this special day never changes, neither did this thought.***

Mothers, we are formed in their bodies, they feed us, diaper us, love us and nurture us. They dry our tears and relieve all our fears. They chase the boogey men away. Spend sleepless nights by our bedside when we are sick.  

Their love and patience pours over us as we spend hours crying through all the heartaches of puppy love and the growing pains that only a Mother’s comfort can see us through.
My own mother always had an awesome ability that allowed her even in the worst possible circumstance to see so beyond the crisis at hand and see a better time in the future.
And I have truly been through a thing or two, including having to file for a restraining order at the ripe old age of eighteen and my mother always reassured me of several things.
#1. Things always look brighter after a good night sleep. We often worry about bad things that never actually happen.
#2. No matter how bad that day may seem, one day we really do look back and whatever it was that almost broke us will seem like a nightmare that never really even happened.
#3. An old, old one which is true and will always be true, whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
You know she was right on all counts and she still is!
I always thought if I could even be half the woman she is I would do well. She is beautiful inside and out and has such a dignity and grace about her that is almost regal and loves Jesus more than life itself.
Mothers are like beautiful jewels, they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Each one exquisitely crafted by the Master’s hand.
Maybe your birth mother or maybe the mother God chose just for you by joining you together through adoption. 

Maybe He chose your Grandmother or Aunt as the defining maternal hand to guide you, love you, teach you, and above all nurture you in Him.
Nevertheless we all know there is no one, no one like our Mother.
The relationship between Mary and Jesus is such a beautiful example of this one of a kind bond.
We know the story, Mary the blessed virgin, to whom an angel came to proclaim that she would give birth to the Son of the Almighty God, who had in fact created her.
Without a doubt she was scared to death, how do you conceive without a mate? An answer which came when she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost.
How do you knowingly carry the Son of God inside your body?
How do you tell your future husband and your family that this is true and it really happened to you?
How do you travel ninety miles on a donkey and give birth in a stable surrounded by his beautiful animal creations knowing this child is the one to save all of creation?
How do you accept the gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh brought from far away lands by wise men on bended knee who
have been led there by a star to pay honor and tribute to the King of all Kings?
How do react when the shepherds come to worship him, relaying that the message of  his arrival had been proclaimed to them by the host of heaven who proceeded to sing praises to the glory of God in the Highest as heaven came down and kissed earth?
How do you give the offering of the poorest of poor when dedicating him, never, ever worrying about providing for him?
How do you hear a prophecy from one who had been promised he would not see death until he beheld the face of this promised child, when that prophecy is that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also”?
As this child grows and maternal instincts take over, as he is held, loved, learns to crawl, walk and says his first words, has his first bumps and bruises and one day decides to stay behind and talk with the elders rather than join the caravan his family traveled with.
How do you understand, when you ask why he did this and he asks you “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?”, I will tell you how, he was her baby, even though he was divine, she knew he was God’s son but she was human and she was his mother and like all of us, that was her baby and as she watched him grow, he became what he was. Her son whom she loved more than life itself.
Fast forward twenty-one years after pondering what did he mean by this, as he begins his ministry and watching his miracles (she had to know he held this power because she asked him to do something for her friends at the wedding when he turned the water into wine, which was his first public display of this power) she watched as her own people hated him and threatened his life, she watched as his ministry grew.
She knew of his arrest and public torture and finally seeing him bloody, beaten beyond recognition and carrying a wooden beam to his execution, his battered body falling under the weight of it. And unable to go to him, to hold him, to touch his face, to tell him everything would be okay and this was still her baby and there was nothing in the universe she could do to stop it because it was the piercing of her soul. There would be no words to describe her sorrow.
How could her beautiful son who hung nailed to a cross, nearing death look down and want to be sure his mother would be cared for before dying, because he was her firstborn son.
John 19:25-27 “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, (John) he saith unto his mother Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” 
They seriously wrote the book, the ultimate story of love between a mother and child,and a wonderful example to us about the love and respect we should have for own mothers.
I hope all have a blessed Mother’s Day and if you have lost your Mother, rejoice in knowing just as Jesus and Mary we reunited and are together forever and ever, you will be also. And if  you know a lady who maybe has lost her children or they are “too busy” for her, please, please consider “adopting” her for Mother’s Day. A card, flowers or just a visit can change her world. Because loneliness is one “disease” we can cure!

Remember Jesus said if you do it for one of his little one’s (saints) you’ve done it for him!
Because He is the King and these ladies are precious, precious jewels that help make up his Majestic crown! They are precious to him!
Φλογίζω 2014

Majesty

He, who created the heavens and the earth. He who created the stars and flung them out into the universe calling each by name.

One special star destined to one day lead the wise travelers to the manger in which he was laid.
He visited the earth, which he had held in his hand, walking the dust-covered roads as a mortal man.
Shining his marvelous light into even the darkest night.  His very name, being as an ointment poured forth caused mountains to fall, waves to roar and demons to flee.

When  soldiers came to arrest him, he answered, “I AM HE” his spoken identity so powerful that it sent them falling to the ground.
Nations destroyed by his hand, kings brought to their knees, the mighty of the earth brought to absolute nothingness.

He, who sent plagues, hail, blackness, and death upon all of Egypt for the sake of his chosen. Yet the maidens and virgins, love struck forever follow to proclaim him in all his glory as the majestic King.
His garment perfumed with aloes, cassia, and myrrh symbolic of his purity, healing, and humility and a beautiful heart of servitude.

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

The voice that spoke into existence the universe, the heavens, the earth and seas and all that was, is or ever will be.
The voice that thunders in the heavens and sounds of many waters, that same voice in a still small way gave courage to the discouraged prophet, that same voice reassured a distraught father that his daughter was not dead but only asleep.

The voice that cried out to his father in the garden that the cup might pass from him, the voice that cried out from the cross it is finished, will one day proclaim that it is done.
“He (God) is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him and hath prospered?

Which removeth the mountains, and they know it not; which overturned them in his anger. Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble.

Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.
Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the seas.” Job 9:4-8

Commanding the waters and rivers to not overpass boundaries which he has set.
Commanding the wind and waves that they should cease, walking upon the sea he had created, stretching forth his hand to a frightened Peter, so he could lift him up yet again.

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

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

The Feet that graced his gardens in Heaven and walked his palace floor, the feet Mary had washed with her tears and dried with her hair.
Those feet were then placed one atop the other and nailed completely through.
Those feet will soon one day stand atop Mt Olives, the mountains unable to bear the presence of their creator, will split helplessly into.

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

That breath gave itself over unto death on the cross because it was the price to be paid, that he might save us.
The angels of heaven proclaim his praise, the beasts around the throne never cease to cry “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and yet, he chose to call us friends.

John announced that he baptized with water but that a greater would come and baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost.

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

An image that no process  or technology  known to man, even to this day can reproduce.
John, trying to convey all the works he did after his resurrection before his ascension, finally conceded to this:

“And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books which should be written.” Amen.” John 21:25

As so beautifully written in Solomon, This is our beloved. Maybe that is why the angels keep it simple, “Praise Ye, Jehovah!”

The Lord himself stating “Ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.

I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:10-12

“To whom then will ye liken me or to whom shall I be equal? saith the Holy One” 
 Isaiah 40:25

“To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me that we may be like.”
Isaiah 46:5

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

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

Φλογίζω  Original Post Date : May 03, 2014 FOWC/Avenue .All Rights Reserved N. Brown Johnson / Baresoulphlogizo 2015

Letting grace reign…

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery (hidden truth); (as I wrote afore time (before) in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the grace of God given unto me by the effectual (effective) working of HIS power. 

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; 

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God. 

According to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we boldness and access with confidence by the faith in him.

Wherefore I desire that you faint not (do not lose heart) at my tribulations for you, which is for your glory.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family of earth is named.

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. 

That Christ might dwell in your hearts BY faith; that ye being ROOTED and GROUNDED in love

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth (surpasses) knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above ALL that we ask OR think, according to the POWER that WORKETH IN US,

Unto him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3

You know so many words and thoughts can come to mind when we think the word “grace” and one that always comes to my mind is the title, “His Grace” and as our King eternal, Jesus is the very essence of grace.

I would even dare go so far as to say, He IS grace, as HE IS love, HE IS mercy, HE IS humility, beauty, and gentleness and rightfully so because HE IS divine. Which is why He is capable of showering us with a love that goes beyond our realm of human understanding.

A love that we do not even possess the knowledge to fathom, BUT we can certainly rest in that love and He invites us to do so.

The title “His Grace” alludes to goodwill, compassion, elegance, and the display of mercy to all that will approach His throne and ask for that mercy.

Our human understanding of grace versus the reality of grace is what often becomes the problem for us.

For many it is so hard to simply accept the salvation and forgiveness of sin that mercy and grace offers FREELY, because we with human thoughts think there must be some “kind of catch” something to MAKE US WORTHY.

When truly we are NEVER worthy, never will be worthy, it is simply HE IS WORTHY and His mercy provides that blood covering for us.

Romans 5 speaks of the fall of man, you know, the basics, the serpent tempted Eve, Eve tempted Adam, and all three were punished and ALL of mankind from that point forward was BORN into sin.

Now, I know it is often asked, why did the actions of those three fall on us all, or why didn’t God just make a new earth, think about this, ALL who are and were, and will be were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

We were already set in motion, to be in existence and as far as the new earth, it will be, when it comes down in the fulfillment of the prophecy of John.  

And these things must be taken on faith and he could have destroyed ALL of them in the garden, but nothing would exist as we know and I personally believe that also includes us.

I want to give a few verses that explain that mystery of that through the fall of Adam, humans were condemned but by the grace through Jesus, all who will, can be forgiven through the acceptance of that grace.

Romans 5:17-21: ” For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,Jesus Christ. 

Therefore as by the offense of one (false step)  judgment came upon ALL to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (one righteous act) the free gift came upon all men justified into life.

Moreover the law entered that the offence (sin) might abound, But WHERE sinned abounded, GRACE did much more abound.

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

There is also your proof of that “legal mentality” that either through others, or the devil, or even our own minds, tries so hard to discourage us from excepting His Grace.

But grace always goes above and beyond all level that sin has attained.

Just as in all things God goes above and beyond all we could ever even think, His mercy and grace to forgive our sins is absolutely no exception to His rule. And the flip side to the thoughts of grace is this, as we need to always be mindful of that grace, accept that grace, and don’t be telling the Lord “Oh, I don’t deserve forgiveness”, or “I haven’t been that bad.”

It is NEVER about deserving anything and it is also NEVER about being good enough, it is all about His free gift and the truth of this, by not accepting His free gift, we are essentially telling Him that we are our own salvation and there is no such thing, we can not save ourselves and all our refusal and rejection of Him really says is that we are so prideful and self-willed  that we would rather chance being lost eternally and forever condemned because of those sins, as to humble ourselves into the hands of God.

More good advice from Galatians 2:21: ” I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (died for nothing).”

And that is what we are saying when refuse that grace. 

Now equally as big a problem, those who take that grace and then use it as a “pass” to do whatever they wish. James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.” When we “know better”, when we know that actions are wrong, we will be guilty of that wrong. One of the most disturbing things I have heard people say, that they would do something in anger, that they knew was wrong, “And ask God to forgive” them “for it later.”

HE does NOT work that way, if we sin, we must ask forgiveness but we can’t willfully sin and then expect Him to forgive us.

These attitudes jump, one says it another says and then it sounds like a good ideal and we have so many false teachings in our world today,  the Groovy Gurus, and the Old Goat & candy coats  spreading so much false doctrine of  Gumdrops, Lollipops, & Candy-Coated Christianity that we now have a major case of Sugar Decay to try to repair.

Think about it today, think about what grace means to you and remember these words from Ephesians 2:8: “For BY grace, are ye saved through faith…”

It is not my grace. It is not your grace. It is His grace and for that we should always be mindful, thankful, and most of all, GRATEFUL.

Peace& Love till next time!Thanks for reading & God bless you!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

JESUS…shining forth

“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” Luke 2:32,33 And WE also marvel the things spoken about him and by Him. And without further ado, we surely must do… this Christmas Story.

I know it has been told, retold, analyzed, and theorized and I write on some aspect of it every single year.

And of all the stories of Christmases of old, time-honored traditions, or new customs, nothing will ever be as profound or as beautiful, holy, and humble as that splendid night that heaven came down and God’s glorious face shone in brilliance through a new-born babe.  

We’ll take a trip through various books of the Bible and let the scriptures recount this blessed event. 

The Promise: Isaiah 42:1-7: ” Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment (justice) to the Gentiles.

He shall not cry, nor lift up his voice (speak loudly), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed he shall not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment (justice) in the earth; and the isles (coast lands) shall wait for his law.

Thus saith God, the Lord that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein;

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from prison, and to them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

The Proof: Isaiah 7:14: ” Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God With Us).” 

Picking this passage up after the angel Gabriel had proclaimed John the Baptist’s forthcoming birth to Zacharias, the reference to the sixth month in this first verse is concerning that, basically John was Jesus’ natural cousins and they were six months between their conceptions.

The announcement: Luke 1:26-37:”And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God forth from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.

To a virgin, espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said Hail, (REJOICE) that thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (pondered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.

And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest (most High). and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then Mary said unto the angel, How can this be, seeing I know not a man (am a virgin)?

And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing (one) which is born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 

For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, the lineage of King David, and the earthly father, who really needed to know.

Matthew 1:17-25:” So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the carrying away in to Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise (as follows): When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together,(before marriage or any relations) she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a publick example (accuse, humiliate and have her stoned)  was minded to put her away privately (thought of secretly ending it).

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God With Us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden (told) him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not (did NOT have relations with her) till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

The birth of the King to end all kings:  Luke 2:1-21:”And it came to pass in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed(registered),every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went into Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house of David)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth  her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough) because there was no room for them at the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 And lo,the angel of the Lord came upon them (stood before them),and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid (terrified).

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And SUDDENLY there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made know abroad (told EVERYONE) the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all that heard it wondered (MARVELED) at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished (completed) for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel BEFORE he was conceived in the womb.”

Our God, our hope, our promise, our peace, life and light eternal: Isaiah 9:2-6: “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.

Thou hast multiplied the nations, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the days of the Midian. For every battle of the warrior is as confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but this shall be with burning and fuel of (for) fire. 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

May His beautiful light shine on you and yours and His peace be yours this Christmas and as His Kingdom, may His peace upon you be never-ending.

MERRY  CHRISTMAS!!!     For “Posts of Christmas past” Check out: “STAR”   “GOLDEN”   “Abiding in the field”   “Two Turtledoves”

 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

 

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

 

 

OUR Father

“I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called.

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. 

ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, 

ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND IN YOU ALL.” EPHESIANS 4:1-6

And didn’t Jesus himself state this in John 10:30: “I and the Father ARE one”  I will never forget the moment of truth… MY moment of truth, I had not yet submitted to Christ, but I believed, probably much like many out there, you KNOW the truth but somehow you have bought into the lies that the truth does not apply to you because your too far gone… SUCH A LIE from Satan!

So at any rate, this was years and years and years… you get the point… ago and I was at my sister’s house and this sweet little old man came to the door, who just happened to be a Jehovah’s witness and as I tried my best to politely exit any further discussion he said, “Well, just let me ask you this, what IS God’s name?” and I thought, what on earth kind of question is that? He wants HIS name, I knew I was not easily getting out of the conversation. 

I think the feeling of terror was probably  something kinda like the half excited / half terror Peter felt when Jesus asked him, “But whom say ye that I am?” 

Jesus had ALREADY asked them WHO others said that he was, but he wanted them to say it out of their own mouths and confess their own belief on his identity. 

So I mustered up all my courage, because I had a very legitimate reason to fear… what if I answer this WRONG and OFFENDED God, I KNEW what was in my heart, I KNEW what my soul was screaming out BUT could I actually SAY it out loud? 

So I looked him dead in the eye and as fast as humanly possible I said, JESUS! His name IS Jesus! Of course he explained to me the reason HE felt I and others were completely wrong in that thinking, and that the correct answer is Jehovah, the conversation fortunately soon ended.

I understand the correct answer is Jehovah, the correct answer is also Jesus. God has many, many names but HE IS STILL ONE GOD as the Bible teaches us.

Everything else is just denominational or the lack thereof such as non-denominational. I often wonder if our mixed denominations or non-denominations hold us true to that calling that Paul advised us to “walk worthy of” and I know in the end it will not matter.

I know in the grand realm of things we will all be in for a few surprises, probably some serious surprises but as Paul taught us in that verse when you read between the lines, it may matter HERE more than we think.

We are to walk in love and in UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that is the forbearing part.

If we argue and dislike each other due to a difference in those beliefs when we ARE saved by the SAME God. We ARE given the gift of the Holy Ghost, again by the SAME and only God then that unity is going right out the door and we are grieving the Holy Spirit through our discord.

So why did Paul tie it so securely to our callings? I believe because we have to have that unity but that in all things we are to be reminded in that unity that we are still individuals.

Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth…”  

Mark 9:49,50: ” For EVERY ONE shall be salted with fire, and EVERY sacrifice salted with salt. Salt is good: but IF the salt has lost his saltiness, wherewith (with what) will ye season it? Have salt IN yourselves, and have peace one with another.”

And if we lose that individuality in not staying true to the calling that we have one hope of then we will become like tasteless salt.

He tells us to have that to be “worth our salt” to have that fire that he “seasoned” us with. It IS our passion to serve him, it is the joy and excitement that we were filled with at the moment of salvation and that desire to spread the word of his love and mercy to the world AS we received it, but if we are not careful, comprising that state of how we received, we fall into his next warning on the subject. 

Luke 14:34,35: “Salt is good: but if the salt have LOST his savour flavor) wherewith (with what)  shall it be seasoned? It is NEITHER fit for the land, NOR yet for the dunghill (rubbish heap) but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Pretty clear there isn’t it? Once we lose our “salt” our “fire” HOW would we ever get back what we have given or comprised away?

And if it’s “flavor” is lost, it is then rendered ABSOLUTELY useless, completely and utterly USELESS. As he told us in the verse from Mark, we should have salt ( keeping our individuality in him) and thereby have that peace with one another.

The peace comes form having peace with God and peace in knowing that we are walking “worthy” of that calling. 

Maybe this accounts for some of the falling away in churches while the “secular candy coat churches” are growing like wild.

If we are dried like “caked up” salt why would anyone want to listen to us? Why would God anoint us?  So you may be wondering what this has to do with Father’s Day?

Well, I had never actually written for Father’s Day because I do tend to try to keep it “multi-denominationally friendly” but I am going to have to quit that.

And seeing that OUR father, IS the FATHER OF US ALL, regardless of whether you believe that the Trinity consists of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as separate (and that IS absolutely true) or if you take the scripture “These THREE ARE ONE” literally (they are and I do)  and that “Jesus IS Lord” and “The Lord IS God”, you know we ARE all correct, that is why in that DAY his NAME SHALL BE ONE. 

And believe me I know there are people on “both sides” of the fence that would like to string me up for that statement BUT it is true!

I also know there are those who think I worry too much about it BUT Jesus told us to have “salt” in ourselves, if we don’t trust what we feel in our hearts as he deals with us then we are already salt less.

We are warned in the Bible to take heed when we THINK we stand, lest we fall.

Because we can become a little to sure that OUR interpretation of scriptures IS the ONLY interpretation, which again, is WRONG.

Jesus NEVER left us to tell other believers what denomination or his “sheep fold” they belong to.

Only he has that authority as he said John 10:16: ” And OTHER sheep I have, which are NOT of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd.” 

But now for us to all walk in those calling, walking with passion and purpose as we celebrate Father’s day for our earthly  Father’s, remembering to give honor and praise to our heavenly Father, who truly is the Father of us all! 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ what a more appropriate time could there be?

John 14:5-21: “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whiter thou goest: and how can we know the way?  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 (show) us the Father, and it sufficeth us (will satisfy us). Jesus saith unto him, Have I  been so long time with you, and YET thou hast not know me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, then she 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 is 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 might be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing 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 CAN NOT receive, BECAUSE it seeth him not, NEITHER knoweth 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 SEE ME: BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. 

AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST (reveal) myself to him.”

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

 

“PREPARED” part#3 “Would-be wedding crashers washed inside out”

WHOSOEVER believeth that Jesus IS  the Christ IS BORN OF GOD:  and every one that loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

For this IS the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are NOT grievous (burdensome).

For WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD:

And THIS is the VICTORY that OVERCOMETH the world, EVEN OUR FAITH.  

WHO is he that overcometh the world, but (except) he that believeth that Jesus IS the Son of God?

This IS he that came by WATER and BLOOD, even, JESUS CHRIST; NOT BY WATER ONLY, BUT BY WATER AND BLOOD.

AND IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT BEARETH WITNESS (proves in agreement), BECAUSE THE SPIRIT IS TRUTH.

FOR THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR RECORD IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE. 

AND ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, THE SPIRIT, AND THE WATER, AND THE BLOOD: AND THESE THREE AGREE IN ONE (as one)1 John 5:8

As strange a comparison that it may be, our human natures are not that different from delicate clothing that comes with a laundry label stating, “Turn garment INSIDE OUT before washing” and for most of us, we seek salvation when our lives have been “turned inside out”, when everything falls apart just like those improperly washed garments. 

This was once the first and foremost thought of the Gospel, the cleansing power of Jesus Christ and the fact that it is vital and non-negotiable. WE MUST BE WASHED and we don’t need me “preaching” over and over to know that the “common” societal view of “the church” and the leniency concerning sin and acceptable service to the true God is truly in need of a good scrubbing!

I UNDERSTAND the thought process of it, I UNDERSTAND not wanting to push people or make others feel “judged” but seriously, if you are saved, didn’t you at one time feel the CONVICTION of the Holy Spirit LEADING you to that water to be washed and cleansed by the blood from all your SINS?  There is NO middle ground concerning this. 

In the Book of Matthew, chapter twenty-four, Jesus tells us the parable of the Wedding feast, He is telling us that the Kingdom of heaven is like a great wedding feast and those who were invited (the Jews of that day) just blew off the invitation, they MADE THEIR EXCUSES as to why they could not come, and he even said this, But they MADE LIGHT of it, and WENT THEIR WAYS… Does that sound familiar?

Have you talked with someone and witnessed to them about Jesus? Gently warning them about all the changes of the world events and that no one know WHEN he will return but that he surely will, and have them “make light of it”, just blow it off, like nothing, like time is under their command? “Nothing new under the sun”…same rotten attitude.

He goes on in the parable to tell of the anger and wrath of the King who had invited them to the wedding of his Son, because not only had they scoffed at his invitation they attacked and murdered his servants that he had sent to them delivering “those invitations” on his behalf.

And as those who scoffed and made light, there were also those who tried to “crash” the wedding, ones who, even though they WERE invited, THEY REFUSED HIS INVITATION and decided at the last possible moment to attend, NOT bathed and not appropriately dressed, when HAVE to be clothed in “HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS” that has always been one of my favorites verses, because it is such a  comfort “OUR righteousness IS as FILTHY RAGS”, that is the BEST we can do as humans!

That is WHY it is so COMFORTING! We can never “clean ourselves up” but GOD gives us his cleansing water and the robe of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and NO ONE is getting into the wedding without that.

Back to our scriptures, so those who were originally invited REFUSED, the servants were sent back out.

Matthew 22:8-14” Then saith he to his servants, the wedding IS ready, but they which were bidden (invited) were NOT worthy.

GO ye therefore into the highways, and AS MANY AS YE SHALL FIND, BID (invite) TO THE MARRIAGE. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together ALL as many as they found, BOTH BAD AND GOOD: and the wedding was furnished (filled) with guests.

And when the king CAME in to see the guests, he saw there a man WHICH HAD NOT ON A WEDDING GARMENT:

And he saith unto him, FRIEND, HOW CAMEST THOU IN HITHER NOT HAVING A WEDDING GARMENT? AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and TAKE HIM AWAY, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen.”  

I have read this and used this passage numerous times but one thing kinda jumped out a me today, his servants just kinda GATHERED, good and bad, which of course ALL were bidden but I am not so sure that the servants really “prepared” those the found, I think they were more interested in just rounding them up.

When the man was asked HOW did he get in without the REQUIRED “garment”, he was SPEECHLESS. Not knowing how to answer, what to answer, so he just did not answer.

Did he even KNOW that there were requirements? It really seems that he didn’t have a CLUE as to what was EXPECTED of him or what should be EXPECTED by him if  he chose “crashing” over his invitation.

And for the king to ask him HOW he came to even be there UNPREPARED, does seem like some of that falls on the servants failure to explain “the fine print” on those invitations.  Nicodemus could have been close to an almost wedding crasher, he WAS NOT but he first came to Jesus by night, in secret, he BELIEVED but he wasn’t PREPARED to admit that at that particular moment, and that is our other battle, you must CONFESS him as your Lord.

Romans 10:10: “For with the heart man BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth COFFESSION is made unto salvation.” That is the wedding crasher mentality, they secretly think the marriage is a great idea, that the groom is an awesome guy, they just ddon’t want ANYONE else to know how they really feel.

Which is WHY Jesus said this, Luke 9:26“For WHOSOEVER shall be ASHAMED of me and of my words, OF HIM SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE ASHAMED, WHEN HE SHALL COME IN HIS OWN GLORY, AND IN HIS  FATHER’S, AND OF THE HOLY ANGELS.”  

It is not negotiable, back to his answer to Nicodemus, John 3:3-8: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT (unless) A MAN BE BORN AGAIN (from above) HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT (unless) A MAN (human)BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

That which IS born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which IS born of the Spirit IS spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes), and thou heareth the SOUND thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth (can’t tell its direction either way) SO IS EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT.” 

That is THE message, that IS the most pressing task before any of us in this moment, they must be prepared and they MUST be born again! We MUST be washed by him!  Remember when he washed the disciples feet?

John 13:5-7: “After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash his disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet (are you washing my feet)? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest NOT now; but thou shalt know hereafter (do not understand now but will later) Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt NEVER wash my feet, Jesus answered him, IF I WASH THEE NOT, THOU HAST NO PART WITH ME.” 

We go back again to WHOSOEVER will, WHOSOEVER will COME and take that water, but we have to let these invited guests know that they have to TAKE the water, they HAVE to be WASHED and they have to be WASHED INSIDE OUT!

Love and peace till next time and join me for part#4

For series posts:Prepared Part #1 Preparing for the wedding of a King

Prepared Part#2 Oxygen to Fire

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω  NB 2018

 

“In Him”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

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

 

“In the den”

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion (reason to accuse) against this Daniel, except (unless) we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents (overseers) and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not (does not change). Wherefore king Darius signed the writing (written decree) and the decree. Now when Daniel knew the writing had been signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber (room) toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime ( as he had been doing before this). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Then they came near and spake before (spoke to) the king concerning the king’s decree. Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee (except you), O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?  

The king answered and said, This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth (changes) not.

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore (greatly) displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statue which the king established may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast (tossed) him into the den of lions, Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serve continually, HE WILL DELIVER THEE.

And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet (signet ring), and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel (that they could not accuse the king of changing the order).

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of  musick (musical instruments) brought before him: and his sleep went (fled) from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable (pained) voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel, SERVANT OF THE LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD whom thou servest continually, ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).

Then the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up OUT of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him (he was completely unharmed)  BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIS GOD.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them (overpowered them) and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den (before they ever hit the bottom of the den).

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree. That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND STEADFAST FOR EVER, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END. HE DELIVERETH (delivers) AND RESCUETH (rescues), AND HE WORKETH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH, who hath DELIVERED Daniel FROM THE POWER OF THE LIONS.” Daniel 6:5-27

Love this story, how could anyone not? I especially love the terms of his enemies referring to him as “this” Daniel and “that” Daniel. We are all at some point a “this” Daniel or a “that” Daniel. The this that the enemy desperately wants out of the way and the that that the enemy thinks he has out of the way.

We are all faced with those lions of life and we are all faced with circumstances we just really do not want to be in. And those roaring lions which Jesus so described the devil as are quite intimidating sometimes as they seek to devour us because those roars that we hear in the distance proves to warn us of impending doom and certain destruction can be more horrifying than the final bone crushing bite.

 Those are the times that we need a friend to be outside that den, Darius could NOT go back on his own decree and he could NOT find any way of getting around the fact that Daniel had no choice other than go into that den, He could NOT actually go inside the den and face the lions with Daniel but what he COULD do is SPEAK and REASSURE Daniel that His God WOULD DELIVER HIM.

He COULD fast and pray all night on behalf of Daniel. Everyone needs a friend but we all especially need a friend when you are in a lion’s den and you know that even though you must hear those roars and face the fear of them head on, face to face, knowing someone else is outside the den having faith and keeping vigil can give courage and hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

I snagged a verse from the sermon at church Sunday night to carry my family through a little something…. it is just part of the verse but so powerful when you let it sink in…  and I want to share it for anyone who is facing uncertainty:

Romans 4:18: ” Who AGAINST HOPE (contrary to) BELIEVED IN HOPE…..”

That is even the face of hopelessness, with absolutely NO REASON to hope, to STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE. And Daniel BELIEVED in that hope, even though he was already slated for slaughter, HE BELIEVED IN THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE BY HIS GOD.

Daniel believed God would deliver him and his friend king Darius believed God would deliver him and we need to also to BELIEVE that today more than ever.

Know that if you are in the den God has someone ALREADY positioned outside on your behalf having faith on your behalf, keeping vigil through that night and if you are outside don’t forget to keep vigil for another whose faith my be wavering for fear that those lions could devour at a moments notice.  Darius made the new decree that ALL should tremble before the LIVING GOD. 

Darius also twice referred to Daniel as having served the Lord continually, continually striving to that standard of God, as we lift our lives up into the hands of God and into His care and the standard He has established, He will in turn lift up a defense, his war banner, on our behalf against our enemies, whether spiritual, physical sickness, or emotional or financial burdens, that we are His and He does fight on our behalf, as in that verse, He will work wonders in heaven and in earth.

Isaiah 59:19: “So shall they FEAR the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun, WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD (banner) AGAINST HIM.

 Peace and love till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 

This song is really too peppy for this post.. but I do love it and it is really upbeat and I don’t know what the deal is with the name but the lyrics say it all!

AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

 

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?

I raised thee up(awakened) under the apple tree:…”  Song of Solomon 7:5

The wilderness the daughters of God have been very acquainted with since the dawn of time.
Since the fall of man, the enemy has ensured that we would be considered no more than property and every day countless of us are raped, abused, forced into prostitution and in many countries we are still property at the complete mercy of often unmerciful husbands.

While in other corners of the world, unable to carry lineage names daughters are aborted and others sold into slavery.
Christianity of old. Tainted by MEN also seemed to teach that women are inferior but the truth is far from that.
My biggest struggle in coming to Christ was this very topic, I was like, Why are women always the bad ones? Misguided teaching of confused or intentionally biased doctrine has kept many away and who could blame them?
Many modern women who have been left to support their children completely alone, who have struggled to pay their bills, put food on their tables, educate themselves and their children ,just barely surviving through the world.

And if they happen into the wrong church they will hear that they are of a lesser value to God than their male counterparts. To “fit in” they will need to change everything about themselves and sit down and above all shut up.
Even after God had enlightened me to the truth and helped me understand his word, I still had trouble wrapping my head around a few things.
I did most of intense studying before my child was school aged, after everyone was asleep and my house cleaned, I would stay up and read until I could not function any longer.

One night I happened upon Judges 19 which in my opinion contains the most disturbing and gruesome story in the entire Bible.
It mirrors the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, ironically found in Genesis 19, when Lot had offered his virgin daughters to the deviant, demon possessed pagans, who were demanding he turn over his male visitors to them, “that they may know them” translated, so they could gang rape them.  

The Bible clear to point out that Lot offered these girls with a “do whatever you want to them” agreement to try to get them to take them instead of the male visitors.

To break Judges 19 down, a Levite had a concubine, it says she “played the harlot”.
I’m not sure how that worked since she was “kept” for that purpose, double standards of the day, which still equate in our culture as the difference between a guy being a “player” and a woman being a “slut”.

Another problem Jesus addressed when he came to earth, he wants two people married, period.
Enlightening them to their double standards when they wanted judgment against the adulterous woman, of course it takes two, but they seemed to have forgotten to bring her partner in this sin before the Lord, His answer to them translating to this, if they themselves had no sin, go ahead hit her.

Standing in front of a Holy God they couldn’t do it.

But at the time of Judges, men could have as many women as they wanted but it was never God’s plan.
To get on with the story, she went back to her father’s house, so he comes after her to talk her into coming back, finally she agreed, and after being detained several days they went on their way.

He refused to stay anywhere other than lands belonging to the tribes of Israel and insisted on traveling to a city of the tribe of Benjamin, they had nowhere to stay, so an old man invited them to stay with him, pleading that they not stay outside, soon just as with Sodom, there were men at his door demanding he turn over this man to them that they “may know him”.

Picture perfect to Sodom, only lacking the presence of the angels that saved Lot’s daughters. So the old guy offers his daughter and the concubine, again with the agreement to whatever they wanted to them, just do not touch the man.

They refused, they still wanted the man, so the guy just takes the concubine and throws her out to them and they repeatedly gang rape her until the morning and then they let her go.

She makes it to the door of the house where she collapses, she just lies there helplessly until he gets up, opens the door and finds her and he actually tells her quite simply, to get up they have to get going, needless to say she is dead.
He dismembers her body into twelve parts and sends a part to each of the tribes and war is waged.
It wasn’t that they raped her or that she was dead that bothered him, it was because they destroyed his property.

I read this and I was alone with my shock and absolute horror and knowing the Lord, I just asked “Why, Why are we of so little value?”
These “men” would not even try to fend off these monsters, not even try to muster up an ounce of anything remotely resembling courage to fight for themselves.

Forget chivalry, or protection, an ounce of some sort of compassion, but to just offer these women as less than nothing and to do it to save themselves. I just could not understand it.

I do understand that at the time the thought of this being done to men was so unthinkable that they were desperate to prevent it. But they could have tried to prevent it for happening to any of them.

The God I know would never sanction this stuff or ever condone it and I was in tears, and it just hit me to keep reading, the bottom line is this, at the very end of Judges, “In those days there was no king in Israel: Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

This was never God!

He never put these things in men’s hearts and for years it was falsely taught and still is in many places.

Men still do what is right in their own eyes and only God can make them see the truth.
But it is time for the awakening of his daughters.

No matter what false beliefs that women have been brainwashed by, we have to let them know that this is not what Jesus is about.
He does not hate women and did not create us to be objects of amusement to fulfill the twisted lusts of men nor to be their gender indentured servants.

If we are ever to see those that are oppressed be saved and free, they have to know the truth about him and who he is and most of all who they are in him.

A forgotten child, much like David, when no one would even waste their time to call him to be presented before Samuel the Prophet, because in their eyes why would a prophet possibly want to speak with someone so unimportant and simple?

A forgotten child from the greatest of tribes, who just happened to be a woman, a sister to the twelve tribes of Israel, a forgotten child that no one bothers to mention because she was not as important as her brothers, or so they thought.

Dinah, the seventh child Leah bore to Jacob, a woman who also a thing or two about pain and substandard treatment, who had been raped and used as a bargaining chip which led to a mass slaughter.

Her bloodline STILL offering an inheritance. because she was one of the tribe.

The most prophetic beauty with Dinah is the meaning of her name, “JUDGEMENT.”

It is awakening time for the sisters, the beautiful, forgotten army who have a straight shot to the heart of the Father.

You are so strong, so powerful, and yet, you do not even know WHO YOU ARE in HIM, and so unaware of your predestined place in this end time end game.

You are the spiritual virgins and maidens forever following to proclaim the majesty, beauty, and holiness of the Kings of Kings.

It is the love and proclamations that Hannah, and Mary, and never forget Mary Magdalene, He came to her first because she needed him the most.

Take your place in the kingdom, it is not going to be accomplished with half an army.
The adoration and praises from hearts that have known sorrows and pain that men can never begin to understand.

A relationship to God who will bring justice for others on behalf of the cries of the souls of his daughters.
Unlike the time of Judges, unlike the women who are your sisters the world over, who are oppressed and in bondage. 

You have access to a King, the King, and The King over heaven, and earth, and the entire universe, He will plead their cause if you bring them before his throne in that secret prayer closet.
He will bring justice for those your tears flood the altar for, when you allow your soul to be awakened under that tree, awakened by a love so strong, so powerful, so consuming that you wear that love as a covering for the whole world to see.

I AM the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among the thorns so is my love among the daughters. as the apple tree among the trees of wood so it my beloved among the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight his fruit was sweet to my taste.  He brought me into the banqueting house and his banner of me was LOVE”  Song of Solomon 2:1-4

Translated: KNOW HIM for who HE IS, allow his love to bloom in you, in spite of the valleys and thorns, breathe in his sweetness and lift you up out of those ashes and hide in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of his wings, taste the goodness of his salvation and let him bring you into his house of feasting and the love of Jehovah Nissi is his war flag over his daughters and the love is the secret to it all.

Φλογίζω / 02/05/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

For later posts in the realm of all things feminine, check these out:

Resurgence of Ruth

 “Misplaced pearls”

“Something needs to break”

“Grinding the ax” 1 “acknowledgement”

“Grinding the ax” 2… “Real Love?”

“Grinding the ax” #3 “Anger Danger”

“Grinding the ax” #4 “STRANGLE HOLD”

REVISTED:08/01/2019 Because sometimes we just need to be reminded of who Jesus REALLY is and who he has called us to be in him.

 

 

 

 

MOTHERS, THE BEJEWELMENT TO THE CROWN OF THE KING

**** FROM MY ARCHIVES but the love and sentiment that we all feel for this special day never changes, neither did this thought.***

Mothers, we are formed in their bodies, they feed us, diaper us, love us and nurture us. They dry our tears and relieve all our fears. They chase the boogey men away. Spend sleepless nights by our bedside when we are sick.  

Their love and patience pours over us as we spend hours crying through all the heartaches of puppy love and the growing pains that only a Mother’s comfort can see us through.
My own mother always had an awesome ability that allowed her even in the worst possible circumstance to see so beyond the crisis at hand and see a better time in the future.
And I have truly been through a thing or two, including having to file for a restraining order at the ripe old age of eighteen and my mother always reassured me of several things.
#1. Things always look brighter after a good night sleep. We often worry about bad things that never actually happen.
#2. No matter how bad that day may seem, one day we really do look back and whatever it was that almost broke us will seem like a nightmare that never really even happened.
#3. An old, old one which is true and will always be true, whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.
You know she was right on all counts and she still is!
I always thought if I could even be half the woman she is I would do well. She is beautiful inside and out and has such a dignity and grace about her that is almost regal and loves Jesus more than life itself.
Mothers are like beautiful jewels, they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Each one exquisitely crafted by the Master’s hand.
Maybe your birth mother or maybe the mother God chose just for you by joining you together through adoption. 

Maybe He chose your Grandmother or Aunt as the defining maternal hand to guide you, love you, teach you, and above all nurture you in Him.
Nevertheless we all know there is no one, no one like our Mother.
The relationship between Mary and Jesus is such a beautiful example of this one of a kind bond.
We know the story, Mary the blessed virgin, to whom an angel came to proclaim that she would give birth to the Son of the Almighty God, who had in fact created her.
Without a doubt she was scared to death, how do you conceive without a mate? An answer which came when she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost.
How do you knowingly carry the Son of God inside your body?
How do you tell your future husband and your family that this is true and it really happened to you?
How do you travel ninety miles on a donkey and give birth in a stable surrounded by his beautiful animal creations knowing this child is the one to save all of creation?
How do you accept the gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh brought from far away lands by wise men on bended knee who
have been led there by a star to pay honor and tribute to the King of all Kings?
How do react when the shepherds come to worship him, relaying that the message of  his arrival had been proclaimed to them by the host of heaven who proceeded to sing praises to the glory of God in the Highest as heaven came down and kissed earth?
How do you give the offering of the poorest of poor when dedicating him, never, ever worrying about providing for him?
How do you hear a prophecy from one who had been promised he would not see death until he beheld the face of this promised child, when that prophecy is that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also”?
As this child grows and maternal instincts take over, as he is held, loved, learns to crawl, walk and says his first words, has his first bumps and bruises and one day decides to stay behind and talk with the elders rather than join the caravan his family travelled with.
How do you understand, when you ask why he did this and he asks you “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?”, I will tell you how, he was her baby, even though he was divine, she knew he was God’s son but she was human and she was his mother and like all of us, that was her baby and as she watched him grow, he became what he was. Her son whom she loved more than life itself.
Fast forward twenty-one years after pondering what did he mean by this, as he begins his ministry and watching his miracles (she had to know he held this power because she asked him to do something for her friends at the wedding when he turned the water into wine, which was his first public display of this power) she watched as her own people hated him and threatened his life, she watched as his ministry grew.
She knew of his arrest and public torture and finally seeing him bloody, beaten beyond recognition and carrying a wooden beam to his execution, his battered body falling under the weight of it. And unable to go to him, to hold him, to touch his face, to tell him everything would be okay and this was still her baby and there was nothing in the universe she could do to stop it because it was the piercing of her soul. There would be no words to describe her sorrow.
How could her beautiful son who hung nailed to a cross, nearing death look down and want to be sure his mother would be cared for before dying, because he was her firstborn son.
John 19:25-27 “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, (John) he saith unto his mother Woman, behold thy son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.” 
They seriously wrote the book, the ultimate story of love between a mother and child,and a wonderful example to us about the love and respect we should have for own mothers.
I hope all have a blessed Mother’s Day and if you have lost your Mother, rejoice in knowing just as Jesus and Mary we reunited and are together forever and ever, you will be also. And if  you know a lady who maybe has lost her children or they are “too busy” for her, please, please consider “adopting” her for Mother’s Day. A card, flowers or just a visit can change her world. Because loneliness is one “disease” we can cure! Remember Jesus said if you do it for one of his little one’s (saints) you’ve done it for him!
Because He is the King and these ladies are precious, precious jewels that help make up his Majestic crown! They are precious to him!
Φλογίζω 2014

LETTING MY HAIR DOWN

The old adage “to thine own self , be true” how about “To thy God, be true”? Denominations are a funny little matter, and in the end they will be of no matter!
We are taught, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” and my favorite, “And in THAT day, His name shall be one” and as the Lord himself said he had “other sheep not of this fold that I must bring also”. I do believe denominations mainly exist to help people in areas of common thoughts and fellowship.
When I was a new convert I never even wanted to visit another church or to be anywhere other than my home church. But God’s plan’s often lead us on journeys that without him we would have never had the courage to take.
He has people and events strategically aligned, but we have to make that move to be where he wants us when he wants us to arrive there.
I have been blessed with an extended church family, I spend most of my worship time between a non denominational church and a Holiness church, and I was ordained by the Pentecostals.
If someone had told me this years ago I would have told them they’d lost their mind! But God does work everything for the good and I have been blessed with friendships that if I had disobeyed God and listened to my own fear, and refused to follow what I felt He was leading me to do, I would have lost out on so much!
It was unnerving at first, to leave everything I had known and the first pastor he put me under in my “training” is Trinity Holiness and I wrestled and wrestled and finally I told him one day that I am apostolic and he just laughed and said “Well, I knew that” and we laughed and made a deal that we would never try to convert each other! Everything I worried about as problems, God has always shown me that they are only problems if I want them to be!
So most of my work tends to be multi denominational, but I make it a point to never deny my personal beliefs because for me to deny what I am is denying the very one who created me.

But after a while the lines blur and God’s word is for everyone and there is “no  private interpretation ” but sometimes I do just want to let my hair down “sing” His praises as WHO HE IS!
So from this point forward there will be no multi-denominational writing nor living, without a sense of identity, without a true sense of who He is and who we are in him, no one is living without him anyway!
So it will now be offered from a strict vantage point of who HE IS, and for me, HE IS THE I AM THAT IS.
Kinda like this:  Jesus, Jehovah God!  He is God!  He was God yesterday, He is God today and He will be God tomorrow!
And forever and ever He will reign!
” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.”
“All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made”
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.”  John 1:1,3,10&14

 

“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.”   Revelation 1:8

 
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen that ye may know and believe me, and understand THAT I AM HE: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
I, even I am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.”
“I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, SAITH THE LORD, THAT I AM GOD.”   Isaiah 43:10-12

 

 

“Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of Hosts; I AM the first, and I AM the last; and BESIDE ME THERE IS NO GOD.

And who, I as, shall call, and declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and these things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye even are my witnesses, Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”  Isaiah 44:6-8

 
I AM THE LORD, AND THERE IS NONE ELSE, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That thou may know from the rising of the sun,and from the west, that there is none beside me.

I am the Lord and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the Lord do all these things, Drop down (rain down) ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.”   Isaiah 45:5-8
“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM; and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM sent me unto you.”  Exodus 3:14

 And finally, my dears…John 8:5

“And JESUS saith unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM.”

 

All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

AMONG THE THORNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Four Eyes”,

“Dumb”,

“Stupid”,

“Wimp”,

“Fat”,

“Bone rack”,

“Flat chest”,

” Slut”,

“Idiot”,

“Cry Baby”,

“Should have never been born”,

“Never will amount to anything”.

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

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

Part 1 ASHES

Majesty

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