“Daddy’s shoes… “

“HEAR, ye little children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give unto you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 

For I was my father’s son, and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her (wisdom) not, and she shall preserve thee; love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. he shall give (place on) thine hand an ornament of grace: a crown of glory she shall deliver unto thee.

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught thee in the ways of wisdom; I have lead thee in right paths.

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

Take fast (firm) hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

AVOID IT, pass not it by (do not travel on it), turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall.

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 

But the path of the just is as a shining light,(bright light)  that shineth more(even brighter)  and more unto that perfect day. 

The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.

My son, attend to my words: incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Let them depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Put away from the a froward (deceitful) mouth,and perverse lips (a bad mouth) put far from thee.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established, Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4

Now that my dear friends, you could say is a crash course on Godly advice that was intended not only for believers but in my belief, also for parents to give to their own children and we now that the words from the mouths of parents or parental figures are also the words that truly shape us, make us or unfortunately break us.

That is nothing new and the hatred and lack of common concern one for another that has been passed from one generation seems to have only worsens with time.

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads, and it lives and it spreads mainly impart to the bonds, rather broken bonds between fathers and children. For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

There is nothing honorable or remotely masculine about any man that teaches hatred, violence, and batters  his family. And this was never God’s plan for any of it. He is kind, tender, and beautiful.

Jesus died for all of us, not once did he ask anyone to take his place on the cross, no one else could have, but this was the ultimate act of the Fathers love.

He loves us all and he loves us enough that he came to this earth and died for us.

How can anyone even try to convince another than anything other than respect and kindness toward others could ever ever be something God had designed?

It is not just teaching hatred and bigotry that has so damaged, it is not just the physical abuse that is destructive, it is also the the words and actions that make children feel rejected and unloved that leads to issues and especially in daughters  life long challenges that must be to overcome.

My daughter, like most children, found is so delightful as a toddler to “wear” her Dad’s shoes, it was the cutest thing, she’d wander over by the door, where the shoes were kept and suddenly, I see this huge grin and look down and both feet were standing in her Daddy’s shoes and then she would very careful try to walk in these “grown up” shoes.

Her tiny little feet having to lift the weight of those shoes in order to take each step and yet it was a joy to her, because we all have that need inside of us, to “walk” in our parents shoes. I am sure those of you who have children know exactly what I mean, the look of sheer joy that comes to the face of a child once they master a few steps in those shoes. And when you think of this spiritually, as fathers, a man’s shoes can be a delight for their little ones to grow into or they can be ill fitting and cause those children to stumble.

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because he is indifferent and just does not know what  do so he does nothing.   

Our verses above give perfect instruction on what to do, what to teach including teaching to AVOID the snares and destruction’s that we can easily fall into in life.

So to all of you Fathers on your special day, NEVER think it is too late! It is NEVER too late until you are dead! 

If you have maybe not been a great dad, talk to you child, even if that child is grown and if they will not listen, write them a letter, and try to make peace and TRY to rebuild that relationship and even if seems there is no hope, keep trying, because LOVE, LOVE conquers all and maybe you won’t see the results of that right off the bat, you may not even see the results before you leave this world BUT there will be results, healing and closure for your child. Knowing that you tried will impact their lives for good even if they NEVER get to the place of forgiveness that they are comfortable sharing those thoughts with you.

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage, rage is easy, swallowing “pride” not quite as much.

God blesses us in following his word in all areas of our life, and with that stand, STAND for what is right and speak for those who can’t, the Biblical truth concerning violence against women has always been very close to my heart, and I have always believed if men would call out men, concerning it, it would change, just as it is time for the police to police themselves and tear down that code of silence within the brotherhood that has lead to the tragedies we have now, when three stands by while one kills because they are ingrained with the doctrine that there are lines that must not be crossed.

Finally maybe you are reading this and you had a terrible,terrible father rest assured you do not have to mirror him and you do not have to make the same mistakes, you have a heavenly Father who will love you and teach you his ways and help you grow into who he created you to be.

If you are reading this and you are a mother raising your kids alone and there is no way that their father is ever going to be the father they need, you can pray the blessing of God over your children and yourself, you NEED extra help when you are the mother and the father, the breadwinner, homemaker, and every job in between! 

Read this passage, memorize this passage, and PRAY verse five (in bold) over you and your children every day.

Psalm 68:1-5: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so  let the wicked perish before the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens, by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.  

A father of the fatherless, and a judge (DEFENDER) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

Finally, to my Brothers in Christ, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

May God bless you and your families and keep praying those blessings for your kids and all the kids who do not have a Godly father to ask those blessing of God for them.

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Sizing up the stumbling block”

And WHOSOEVER shall offend (PUT A STUMBLINGBLOCK IN THEIR PATH) one of these little ones that believe in me, IT IS BETTER FOR HIM (WOULD BE BETTER FOR THEM) THAT A MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK, AND HE WERE CAST INTO THE SEAMark 9:42 

“Then said he to his disciples, It is impossible but that offences (stumbling blocks) will come, (it IS impossible for offences NOT to come) but WOE UNTO HIM (those) WHOM THROUGH THEY COME!

IT WERE BETTER for him (would be better for those who set the stumbling blocks) that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and cast into the sea, THEN HE SHOULD OFFEND ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES. (CAUSE SOMEONE TO STUMBLE) LUKE 17:1,2

Stumbling block, quite an interesting word, always reminds me of setting a trap and chasing someone down a preplanned path in hope that they will fall across the wooden beam that had been placed there and carefully hidden under brush.

It actually comes from a Hebrew word that when translated into the Greek is “skandalon”, which in turns translates into our modern English word SCANDAL.

What a better way to ruin a persons reputation, self-esteem, and life as they know it that to create a scandal about them, and of course completely behind their back.

Jesus is talking about those who would intentionally cause his children to fall and be hurt as they try to walk on their path with Him. As we see He is not fan of it and is very point-blank in what His judgment is concerning the vengeance that will be suffered at His hand by those who would do this.

The Bible has so many wonderful scriptures on how we are to treat others, such as “love your neighbor as yourself” “carry each others burdens”, and even if we see someone struggling in a temptation, we are to help that person, without them being ostracized,  belittled and  or creating a SCANDAL about them.  

And to reject, ridicule someone and to publicize any ones failure is punishable by falling into the SAME snare and that is indeed Bible.

What about someone who SAYS that they love a person and secretly bad mouths them and tells others that they are a bad influence and goes over and above anything normal to keep their physical person interjected between this person and their friends with the constant pretense that they are “protecting” them, even demanding that the other person not be spoken too or included in any way and yet, they LOVE them.

What if the ostracized person is a teen? Nothing like bullying, even better when the bully is a grown up or at least is according to their age?

Just as satan invites himself into places that he is not welcome, just as when he stopped by in the Book of Job, as the sons were worshipping God, just to see whom he may devour.

That’s why he sends people to create scandals, to separate the lambs from the flock, when they are hurt, and shunned, he convinces them that they are a bad person and that everyone hates them, left abandoned by the flock, he then can move in for the kill, laying waste the path that God  had preordained them to walk in His Kingdom.

No shocker that Jesus’ judgment is that it would be better for the one who causes it to be drowned  than to meet with the fate that he will deal to them.

But God is faithful and he keeps our mouths shut and sends us help and His reassurance that vengeance is His and we are in no way to repay evil for evil. But when it comes from someone who pretends to be all good and all love, and  tries to set it up as though everyone else is just crazy, well, God had someone pray for me and these are the scriptures I was given when I was recently dealing with a situation: 

Proverbs 26:21-28:  As COALS are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so IS a CONTENTIOUS MAN (PERSON) TO KINDLE STRIFE. The WORDS of a TALEBEARER ARE as WOUNDS, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

BURNING LIPS and a WICKED HEART ARE LIKE  a potsherd covered with silver dross.

He that HATETH, DISSEMBLETH (DISGUISES) WITH HIS LIPS, AND LAYING UP DECEIT WITHIN HIM;

When he speaketh FAIR (TRIES TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THEY LOVE YOU), BELIEVE HIM NOT: FOR THERE ARE SEVEN ABOMINATIONS IN HIS HEART.

WHOSE HATRED IS COVERED BY DECEIT, HIS WICKEDNESS SHALL BE SHOWN BEFORE THE WHOLE CONGREGATION.

WHOSO DIGGETH A PIT SHALL FALL INTO THEREIN: AND HE THAT ROLLETH A STONE, IT WILL RETURN (ROLL BACK ON) UPON HIM. 

A LYING TONGUE  HATETH  THOSE THAT ARE AFFLICTED (CRUSHED) BY IT; AND A FLATTERING MOUTH WORKETH RUIN.”

Pretty good advice, they will fall into their own pit, so if you know someone who is tempted to spread rumors, gossip, and just try to ruin someone else, here is some more Biblical advice to share with them, that may make them think twice:

ROMANS 14:13 : “Let us NOT therefore JUDGE one another any more: BUT JUDGE THIS rather, THAT NO MAN PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK OR AN OCCASION  TO FALL IN HIS BROTHERS WAY.”

And if you are being bullied or suspect someone else is, as in my situation, pray about and keep praying till you get your answer, it is hard especially for kids to talk about and God WILL let you know. I promise.

Never cover for a bully, they ARE NOT your friend and their only desire is to hurt you and see you miserable, whatever their motive may be. And as our scripture shows when they say the love you and have your best interest in mind, DON’T  BELIEVE THEM. Real friends may have to tell us something sometimes for our own good that we may not want to hear, but they do it with love and they never hover over us and control us and every move that we make.

Love is NOT harsh and Love will NEVER hurt you or say mean, unkind things about you. Love will never spread rumors, or tell lies to control your friendships. That is Not love.

That is the devil and as the T Mac’s song goes, he needs to  “Go on, get his junk out of here” NO ONE NEEDS IT and NO ONE WANTS IT. Talk to someone who you can trust or call a help number. Don’t spend another second being the victim of someone’s insecurities.

So you really have to size up the stumbling block, if  it something small, maybe  you can solve by just cutting off all contact with the bully, try to avoid them if at all possible and when it is not possible always have another person with you, maybe give up social media for a while or close out an account and reopen using maybe your middle name or initials that the bully would not be aware of, and limit contact with anyone who could give them information about you but ALWAYS let a friend or trusted person KNOW what you are doing and why. That protects you.

 If is a really big stumbling block and they are threatening you or ruining your reputation, it may be necessary to take legal action, there is no shame in that, that is why we have laws in place to protect us and I know, I’ve had to stand up to an abusive boyfriend kind of bully as a very young woman, I know it is scary and it is hard but you will be glad you did, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. People who threaten you count on that fear to keep you held there, don’t give them that. And if you know someone who is being bullied, you be strong for them and help them and let others know what is going on so that they can get help. Remember when you are afraid TRUST in HIM. Love and peace to you in Jesus’ name.

N. Brown Johnson 2016