“Virtuous”

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows?

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” Proverbs 31:1-3

Before I get to far into this, how about I tell ya what we are doing here?

One thing that has came from the “social isolation” is families spending time together, reconnecting, and being a part of one another’s lives that they normal would never be exposed to. 

Parents working from home, kids getting a bird’s eye view of just why it is their parents may be tired, sleepy, and even just a little grumpy after a day at the “office” and parents now have to ‘home school” their children are getting a glimpse of just how differently academic standards can change in  a generation and can quickly realize the stressful expectations modern education truly lays on the shoulders of students.

And the beauty in all this bustle is this…  families are also spending time together , doing dinner together, sharing household chores together, fending off boredom by entertaining themselves together, gardening and planting flowers together and all sharing in the responsibilities of protecting the family from the virus by acting very consciously together.

And of course this would in no way be ideal in a dysfunctional family or those who may be temporarily living in an abusive or emotionally controlled home because that is not love and in my belief, God would never want anyone  being treated abusively and God gives us his mercy, his courage to believe for a better day

That is why I say temporarily because He will take care of you but you also must be willing to make those first steps, letting him deal with the ashes and thorns so that you can  free yourself from that relationship or in certain cases that freedom comes as a circumstance has to change.

So now that’s enough links to cover the flip side of this coin, I want to talk about the wonderful opportunity that God has placed right in the middle of all this fear and worry and to do that we are going to hit verse by verse through Proverbs 31.

Thinking  a little about the meaning in each line and the importance of a mother’s  role in not only teaching her children but the express wisdom she imparts to her children and bear in my mind that often theses conversations in the Bible are between mothers and adult offspring. 

It is never too late as this verse begins by informing us that he is relaying the words of his mother, meaning he listened to her and those were kept in his heart and mind. She first gave him confirmation, triple confirmation, of their bond.

Her first warning to him was the dangers of being seduced away, by letting lust lead him into destruction, the cross references to these verses actually take you to the dangers of adultery and the danger of that day, when men had multiple wives, which was NEVER God’s intention, people often think because something is “in” the Bible that it means that whatever those mentioned were doing must have been okay with God, but NO!

The Bible is full of stories of people who were, well just that… people and the stories are in the Bible to let us know that God forgives and we are all kinda messed up but the people in those stories did all kinds of things that were never part of God’s plan, that is why Jesus came to save us.

So the Mama was warning her son to stay away for the traps and snares that would ruin him and in modern society celibacy until marriage is thought comical BUT God’s word is eternal and so are the reasons it was taught then and those reasons and the reasons given against affairs are as valid now.

It ruins lives, ruins families and that grass that was greener will fade and withered brown and once it has there will be no going back to what was once had.

God does repair but people are left with pain and regret that they must allow God to heal. 

Proverbs 31:4-6: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor princes to drink strong drink; 

Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment (justice)of any of the afflicted.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto him that be of  heavy (biter) heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

Now she is warning him to pitfall, that again is viewed almost comedic in modern culture.

But again, just as clearly defined and the reasons that God gives us to avoid alcohol is also clearly defined for our benefit an dour families benefit, and as Mama is explaining to him, as a ruler being intoxicated will cause he to forget what is right and will cause and lead to an absolute miscarriage of justice against those who desperately need help the most.

And that “strong drink” should be reserved for those on bed of death and wine only for those whose heart is full of sorrow, I think as spiritual, new wine, God making all things new, as God gives us spiritual wine, we are no longer poor, maybe materially but not spiritually. Jesus said ye are rich, rich in him and the Kingdom of God which is not of this world, but the next. Making his followers forget the misery that their lives once was.

Now she is ready to dispense her most sage advise for sons, for daughters, for all her children and her children’s children children, advice that would be for the ages… because after all it has survived ages.

“Open thy mouth, for the dumb (speechless)in the cause, of all such as appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the cause of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9

“She” is speaking her of the need and the responsibility to lift up our voice on behalf of others and following the golden rule and being diligent for all to do our part in speaking out when others can’t and seeing to needs when we see those needs.

And now the beauty and the truly remarkable attributes of being a woman, a wife, a mother and I can never do anything dealing with marriage without pointing out the fact that God loves women, and the old man made thoughts that women are subservient an dare objects to be owned, is just that man made. 

Men were to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the church, and he does not harm the church, he loved the church enough to die for us all.

God says in his words that marriage means this, two become one, so marriage is a union, not of one versus one, both of two producing a family unit that was intended to act as one, for the good and love of all.

Proverbs 31:10-12: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her, so that he hath no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Virtuous translates to wife of valor and meaning that her son would do well to find a woman of honesty, integrity and in doing so that her impact in their life would be greater than as if they possessed the world’s greatest riches.

Just as mothers desire that daughters marry men who will be good husbands in treating their wife and family well.

Not always the case, we now have many many virtuous women who have the roles of father, mother, provider, care giver, everything duty of parental guidance solely upon their shoulders as they take on the role of solitary family guide, in not way fair or right but it is now the norm and these ladies should be honored by us and in our society. the next verses are perfect for these leading ladies of life, navigating solely, sacrificing their own needs for their benefit of their children, parents, and communities.

They give so much and are often overlooked and given nothing in return, or so it seems… God sees it all, he sees their hurt, their worry, he sees the abuse they have suffered, he has seen the adultery on the behalf of the spouses that lead them to this solitary path. And these next verse surely apply to those who do it all while feeling that they are alone.

Proverbs 31:13_21:”She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willing with her hands. She is like the merchant’s ships: she bringeth food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) unto her household, and a portion unto her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit (earnings) of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengthen her arms.

She preceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She strectcheth (extends) her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She maketh herself coverings of  tapestry; her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.”

We’ve got a lot of mirroring going on in these verses.

This lady is a worker, she is seizing every opportunity for the betterment of her household, she is up working, as everyone else sleeps,  her light shines brightly even the dark night.

She is good to everyone, not just her family, she is good to her friends and she is especially good to those in need, even “reaching’ out to them to help them also.

She prepares for tomorrow as she has her family reading for coming season and mirror scarlet to having her family saved clothed under the blood of the Lamb, she herself wearing fine linen, her robe of righteousness given to her from God, and purple as she is the daughter of the King.

The next verses apply to the married ladies and the blessing that they bring to their husbands and family:

It reminds me so much of the wives of pastors, who are often the sweetest, kindest women who give so much of themselves for the church the love and are blessings to all they mingle with and again referencing all their hard work.

Proverbs 31:23-24: “Her husband is known to the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles (sashes) unto the merchants.” 

And now back to the virtue in virtuous, for all his daughters.

Proverbs 31:25-31: ” Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (well) but thou excellest them all. 

Favour  (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but  a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Women, daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, pastors, ministers, doctors, lawyers, food workers, factory workers, home school mama’s. librarians, college deans, every job imaginable and all the “domestic engineering” in between, bold, between, kind, and often unseen.

So on this special day, Bless all of you who are mothers as you impart these wisdom’s, as Lemuel mother did as you have this time with your children.

Know that as we ended with her works will praise her, your work time and love will bring multitudes of joy in the days ahead and your children will always remember what you have did for them and they will never forget.

Know this my friends, you may not be a mother yet, but maybe you “mother” those around you, sisters or brothers or maybe you even feel like you have to be a mother to your own parents, or you are a “den” mother caring for every stray that comes your way, no matter what “woman’ you are, maybe life has been hitting you so hard and you feel like no one sees, know one knows but I promise you, one does, His name is Jesus and HE is watching over you, every single step from above!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

REVISTIED 05/09/2021

This song has nothing to do with being virtuous, it is actually “Virtuoso” the reprise version and it is about the beauty of God and His sovereignty over our lives.

It is just one of my all time favorites and for some reason it had just been in my heart and my head for this post so it you have never heard it, please check it out. 

“Virtuous”

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows?

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” Proverbs 31:1-3

Before I get to far into this, how about I tell ya what we are doing here?

One thing that has came from the “social isolation” is families spending time together, reconnecting, and being a part of one another’s lives that they normal would never be exposed to. 

Parents working from home, kids getting a bird’s eye view of just why it is their parents may be tired, sleepy, and even just a little grumpy after a day at the “office” and parents now have to ‘home school” their children are getting a glimpse of just how differently academic standards can change in  a generation and can quickly realize the stressful expectations modern education truly lays on the shoulders of students.

And the beauty in all this bustle is this…  families are also spending time together , doing dinner together, sharing household chores together, fending off boredom by entertaining themselves together, gardening and planting flowers together and all sharing in the responsibilities of protecting the family from the virus by acting very consciously together.

And of course this would in no way be ideal in a dysfunctional family or those who may be temporarily living in an abusive or emotionally controlled home because that is not love and in my belief, God would never want anyone  being treated abusively and God gives us his mercy, his courage to believe for a better day

That is why I say temporarily because He will take care of you but you also must be willing to make those first steps, letting him deal with the ashes and thorns so that you can  free yourself from that relationship or in certain cases that freedom comes as a circumstance has to change.

So now that’s enough links to cover the flip side of this coin, I want to talk about the wonderful opportunity that God has placed right in the middle of all this fear and worry and to do that we are going to hit verse by verse through Proverbs 31.

Thinking  a little about the meaning in each line and the importance of a mother’s  role in not only teaching her children but the express wisdom she imparts to her children and bear in my mind that often theses conversations in the Bible are between mothers and adult offspring. 

It is never too late as this verse begins by informing us that he is relaying the words of his mother, meaning he listened to her and those were kept in his heart and mind. She first gave him confirmation, triple confirmation, of their bond.

Her first warning to him was the dangers of being seduced away, by letting lust lead him into destruction, the cross references to these verses actually take you to the dangers of adultery and the danger of that day, when men had multiple wives, which was NEVER God’s intention, people often think because something is “in” the Bible that it means that whatever those mentioned were doing must have been okay with God, but NO!

The Bible is full of stories of people who were, well just that… people and the stories are in the Bible to let us know that God forgives and we are all kinda messed up but the people in those stories did all kinds of things that were never part of God’s plan, that is why Jesus came to save us.

So the Mama was warning her son to stay away for the traps and snares that would ruin him and in modern society celibacy until marriage is thought comical BUT God’s word is eternal and so are the reasons it was taught then and those reasons and the reasons given against affairs are as valid now.

It ruins lives, ruins families and that grass that was greener will fade and withered brown and once it has there will be no going back to what was once had.

God does repair but people are left with pain and regret that they must allow God to heal. 

Proverbs 31:4-6: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor princes to drink strong drink; 

Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment (justice)of any of the afflicted.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto him that be of  heavy (biter) heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

Now she is warning him to pitfall, that again is viewed almost comedic in modern culture.

But again, just as clearly defined and the reasons that God gives us to avoid alcohol is also clearly defined for our benefit an dour families benefit, and as Mama is explaining to him, as a ruler being intoxicated will cause he to forget what is right and will cause and lead to an absolute miscarriage of justice against those who desperately need help the most.

And that “strong drink” should be reserved for those on bed of death and wine only for those whose heart is full of sorrow, I think as spiritual, new wine, God making all things new, as God gives us spiritual wine, we are no longer poor, maybe materially but not spiritually. Jesus said ye are rich, rich in him and the Kingdom of God which is not of this world, but the next. Making his followers forget the misery that their lives once was.

Now she is ready to dispense her most sage advise for sons, for daughters, for all her children and her children’s children children, advice that would be for the ages… because after all it has survived ages.

“Open thy mouth, for the dumb (speechless)in the cause, of all such as appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the cause of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9

“She” is speaking her of the need and the responsibility to lift up our voice on behalf of others and following the golden rule and being diligent for all to do our part in speaking out when others can’t and seeing to needs when we see those needs.

And now the beauty and the truly remarkable attributes of being a woman, a wife, a mother and I can never do anything dealing with marriage without pointing out the fact that God loves women, and the old man made thoughts that women are subservient an dare objects to be owned, is just that man made. 

Men were to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the church, and he does not harm the church, he loved the church enough to die for us all.

God says in his words that marriage means this, two become one, so marriage is a union, not of one versus one, both of two producing a family unit that was intended to act as one, for the good and love of all.

Proverbs 31:10-12: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her, so that he hath no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Virtuous translates to wife of valor and meaning that her son would do well to find a woman of honesty, integrity and in doing so that her impact in their life would be greater than as if they possessed the world’s greatest riches.

Just as mothers desire that daughters marry men who will be good husbands in treating their wife and family well.

Not always the case, we now have many many virtuous women who have the roles of father, mother, provider, care giver, everything duty of parental guidance solely upon their shoulders as they take on the role of solitary family guide, in not way fair or right but it is now the norm and these ladies should be honored by us and in our society. the next verses are perfect for these leading ladies of life, navigating solely, sacrificing their own needs for their benefit of their children, parents, and communities.

They give so much and are often overlooked and given nothing in return, or so it seems… God sees it all, he sees their hurt, their worry, he sees the abuse they have suffered, he has seen the adultery on the behalf of the spouses that lead them to this solitary path. And these next verse surely apply to those who do it all while feeling that they are alone.

Proverbs 31:13_21:”She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willing with her hands. She is like the merchant’s ships: she bringeth food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) unto her household, and a portion unto her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit (earnings) of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengthen her arms.

She preceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She strectcheth (extends) her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She maketh herself coverings of  tapestry; her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.”

We’ve got a lot of mirroring going on in these verses.

This lady is a worker, she is seizing every opportunity for the betterment of her household, she is up working, as everyone else sleeps,  her light shines brightly even the dark night.

She is good to everyone, not just her family, she is good to her friends and she is especially good to those in need, even “reaching’ out to them to help them also.

She prepares for tomorrow as she has her family reading for coming season and mirror scarlet to having her family saved clothed under the blood of the Lamb, she herself wearing fine linen, her robe of righteousness given to her from God, and purple as she is the daughter of the King.

The next verses apply to the married ladies and the blessing that they bring to their husbands and family:

It reminds me so much of the wives of pastors, who are often the sweetest, kindest women who give so much of themselves for the church the love and are blessings to all they mingle with and again referencing all their hard work.

Proverbs 31:23-24: “Her husband is known to the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles (sashes) unto the merchants.” 

And now back to the virtue in virtuous, for all his daughters.

Proverbs 31:25-31: ” Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (well) but thou excellest them all. 

Favour  (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but  a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Women, daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, pastors, ministers, doctors, lawyers, food workers, factory workers, home school mama’s. librarians, college deans, every job imaginable and all the “domestic engineering” in between, bold, between, kind, and often unseen.

So on this special day, Bless all of you who are mothers as you impart these wisdom’s, as Lemuel mother did as you have this time with your children.

Know that as we ended with her works will praise her, your work time and love will bring multitudes of joy in the days ahead and your children will always remember what you have did for them and they will never forget.

Know this my friends, you may not be a mother yet, but maybe you “mother” those around you, sisters or brothers or maybe you even feel like you have to be a mother to your own parents, or you are a “den” mother caring for every stray that comes your way, no matter what “woman’ you are, maybe life has been hitting you so hard and you feel like no one sees, know one knows but I promise you, one does, His name is Jesus and HE is watching over you, every single step from above!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

REVISTIED 05/09/2021

This song has nothing to do with being virtuous, it is actually “Virtuoso” the reprise version and it is about the beauty of God and His sovereignty over our lives.

It is just one of my all time favorites and for some reason it had just been in my heart and my head for this post so it you have never heard it, please check it out. 

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

“Change your clothes”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

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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