“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

 

“Temple”

white and brown house

Photo by Arvid Knutsen on Pexels.com

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able.

For as ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you enving, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? WHO then is Paul, and WHO is Apollos, but ministers BY whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man?  1 Corinthians 3:1-4

GOOD MORNING! and if it is not Morning for you, then may I wish you a wonderful evening and blessed night. We are actually going to finish up with that passage in just a bit, but I wanted to stop and relay a few points, First Paul was expounding to them that it was time for him to speak with those who listened with a little more depth, things that they should be getting on a spiritual level, but they were still not quite ready.

We also deal with those that we are to minister to, sometimes a little too softly, not wanting to “choke” them with truths that can be very hard to swallow. But Paul had to enlighten them to the truths that all the envy and jealousy and one upmanship was just not going to get as behaviours for those in the Kingdom of God.

And I love the fact that he is pointing out so clearly, asking who is Apollos, even asking who, he himself was, as much as we honor them and rightfully so, they were still ministers that God had sent to led his people home.

As the old timers say ” No little “I”s and big “U”‘s and that is one thing I do very much believe is going to come out of this pandemic. Restrictions placed about and that many can no longer attend church because the church is not there to attend (Some serious symbolism in that)

So there will be none of the envy, strife, and divisions spoke of and there will be no favorite pastor, minister, preacher, or singer that helped spark those divisional fires that have helped consume the church from her original state, you can’t have one mind and one accord if there are minds present that are full of discord.

But now, the churches, like most everything else are closed and some are having “Parking Lot” and “Drive by” church which is an awesome ideal, reminiscent of the old tent revivals that we need to get back to.

People are going to be there because they want to be there not out of some weird sense of duty or family commitment but because they want the Word of God.  And Paul is saying that God has many “ministers” that God sends his Word and His offer of salvation through many different workers.

And I want you to think about something, if you are saved, you ARE sent and if you are not saved the moment you repent, you WILL BE sent, your life, your light, and above all your decision to accept Christ and proclaim, especially in this world of unbelief, your faith in God and your belief that not only is His Word true but also the truths of the life after this can, does, and will absolutely change the course of the lives of  those around you.

Back to our verses, shall we? 1 Corinthians 3: 5-16

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but GOD gave the increase.

SO then neither is he that planteth any thing , neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward for his labour.

For we are labourers (workers) together with God: Ye are God’s Husbandry (field) ye are God’s builders.

According to the grace of God which is given me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by (through) fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

Now Paul went on to set forth some warnings after that verse, but I want to use it to encourage you today.

You ARE the TEMPLE of God, your body is a CHURCH of God, when you have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of you you become the church on this earth!

How exciting is that? I know we are faced with a dreadful, dreadful time but during that time if you remember that God has a plan and purpose for you in these days. God does not make mistakes and he does nothing out of “season”  He could have chosen you to have been born hundreds of years, or even thousands of years ago, or He could have chosen to never send your soul to this earth, but He chose this time, this season for you because ye have work to do and only God knows that work that He predestined for you to accomplish for his Kingdom, BEFORE He laid the foundations of this earth.

And I want to give you those scripture also quickly, because this is meant to be heard by someone today. 

In THESE times, in THIS hour and THIS season that God has chosen for you, as bad as it all appears at the moment.

Romans: 8:28-30: ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are THE CALLED according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” 

So maybe you can’t get to a church but remember that you are the church.

And remember that God uses it all, all the bad, all that we do not understand, He will use it for the Kingdom. Let your light shine, do whatever God puts on your heart, reach out by card, letter, or phone to whoever he is bidding you to reach out to. Use this season to know Him more and deepen your relationship with him and if he leads you to, share that “meat” of his Word with others around you, we often do not want to hear the rougher stuff but we are coming down to the wire and we have much work to do.

Among all the pain and uncertainty we still have a great promise, the outpouring of God’s Spirit “upon all flesh” this began at Pentecost, but we have the promise of a great outpouring in the last days, so plant that seed, the word of God shown in love and mercy, kindness, water if that is your job, water those seeds that someone has already planted because you are one in  those action and ask God blessing on your “hands” as you work in his field, He will, he never sends us unprepared and He never send us alone.

You are His Temple, and you are His church, be it and just watch what grace, blessings, and miracles unfold!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Unbinding the Feet”

“How beautiful are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (good news), that publisheth (proclaims) peace; that bringeth good tidings of good (good things), that publisheth (proclaims) salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7

So much is said in scripture about the “feet” and we know that this means not only the feet of the Body of Christ, as we are taught through these verses:

1st Corinthians 12:14-27: “For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; Is is not therefore of the body?

And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; Is it therefore not of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing (how could it hear)? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling (how would it smell)?

But now, God hath set the members, every of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body (where would the body be)?

But now are they many members, yet but one body.

And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head unto the feet, I have no need of you. 

Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble (weak) are necessary.

And those members of the body, which we think are to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour: and our uncomely (unpresentable) parts have more abundant comeliness (modesty).

For our comely (presentable) parts have no need: but God hath tempered(composed) the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

That there should be no schism (division) in the body: but that the members should have the same care one for another. 

And whether (if) one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (individually). ”

There are many other mentions of the “feet” and so many beautiful scriptures concerning those, like Mary washing Jesus’ feet with her tears.

Jesus washing the disciples feet, much to the horror of Peter, he was viewing it carnally, his feet covered with dust and I am sure showing the years of wear of much walking and hard work, and he was embarrassed and downright horrified for Jesus to touch his feet.

Because again we try to “beautify” those things we consider “ugly” and try to twist those features into what is more “attractive” and more appealing. And this also happens spiritually. 

Broken, crippled feet are not going to be capable carrying the Gospel anywhere.

I am reminded of the stories of the now pretty much non-existent practice of foot binding.

So truly gruesome and disturbing, and yet somehow so perfect an explanation, such a mirror to exactly what many face spiritually.

First, this begins at a very early age, you could compare that to being a new convert, or you could compare it to be new in ministry, learning your calling.

But the feet are oiled and made as comfortable as possible, (some symbolism to be found there also) and once this has been accomplished, the toes one by one are literally broken and pushed sideways toward the middle of the foot, then the foot is also broken leaving only the big toe and the heel unbroken.

The feet are then bandaged tightly, ensuring all the broken bones are in their “correct” place to be reshaped.

Imagine the level of excruciating pain, even one toe, just being “stumped” or the pain of stepping on something sharp, imagine nine toes broken and both feet broken in the middle.

Also reminiscent of the verse that they “hurt his feet in fetters” referring to the enslavement of Joseph and the nails that were drove through the feet of Jesus. Spiritual feet are quite the same.

And this process, like the binding of spiritual feet is a long process, the feet being unwrapped, the bones re-broken, and wrapped again, even tighter and some trying to alleviate the pain would sneak and loosen the binding at the toes and when caught doing this, those performing the binding would quickly sew up the binding so that they had no way to loosen any part of these bindings.

And the entire “process” was for the purpose of making the “feet” more beautiful, more “acceptable” and to “conform” to the ideas of the time.

The shape of the foot was desired to resemble a lotus blossom, not ironically dedicated to pagan Buddhism.

What I can derive is that it started with concubines to the King and his twisted desire for a certain dance and suddenly, without these misshapen feet women were considered “less desirable” for marriage and so basically, if you wanted to fit in, be treated well, you allowed yourself to be subjected to this.

Sounds like ashes and thorns to me.  Each time the feet were unbound, re-broken, re-bandaged, while fluid and blood leaked out.

This was done in the name of “beauty”, sound beautiful to you? Ever feel like that in your Christian walk? 

You will be oiled, you will be comforted, you will be given beyond and above all you need providing that you keep those big ol’ feet  bound and conforming to the image of those that are acceptable.

And sure you eventually get past some of the pain and learn to walk, very slowly, not making any real strides, only the desired limited movement, but hey, you are still accepted.

“Feet” that were created to “run swiftly” bearing messages. “Feet” that were meant to “leap” as hinds feet converging on impossible mountains, “carrying” to those in the deep trenches the Gospel of freedom and deliverance.

And “feet” that were meant to “dance” for joy along side those that rejoice and as so many of the ladies whose natural feet were bound, those whose spiritual feet have been bound, find later that not only are they unable to leap, dance, much less run, they have now became absolutely crippled.

Good news/bad news, “Feet” can be unbound, but as with bringing back blood flow to anything that has been starved, it is going to hurt and it is going to hurt bad.

First you have to accept that they are your “feet” (take spiritually) and use this as a comfort verse, knowing that your calling, and your gift is what God wants you to have, whether that looks unattractive or unacceptable to anyone else, should be of no matter because we answer to God.

1st Corinthians 12;11,13 : “But ALL these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing (distributing) to every man severally (individually) AS HE WILL

For by ONE SPIRIT we are ALL baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have ALL been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.”

Understanding that gives us the courage and boldness to undertake that painful unbinding, and if someone only accepts part of you, or makes you feel that you belong… if you forfeit the very part of you that identifies you in Christ, then it is time to rethink those relationships and the price of those bound feet, they make look pretty fitting in to their delicate little shoes but underneath those wrappings is rot and decay and decay and infection that could one day end up in the blood.

Sometimes the feet will heal, they will always be scarred and much more will be involved as the undergo the “restoration” process but once you realized that you are being crippled, you can either continue to allow that process or you can take off those bandages, deal with patching up the wounds and maybe in time learn to walk again. In the physical binding reversal can takes years and as far as spiritually, we know Jesus heals all of our spiritual wounds, as in our armor. 

Ephesians 6:15: And your feet shod with the preparation of Gospel of peace.

We are Jesus’ children, daughters, and we make up the Bride of the Lamb.

And Jesus has some shoes of His choosing that He’d like His children to wear.

Song of Solomon 7:1a: “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O Princes daughter!…”

Psalm 45:13-15: “The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold (symbolic of the Word of God).

She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework (robes of many colors): the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

With gladness and rejoicing  SHALL THEY BE BROUGHT: they shall be brought into the king’s palace.

Jesus Christ, our King, our King who does not hurt us and only binds our wounds, not our “feet”.

Our “feet”that He has freed from snares, traps, and pits from the enemy. And we are taught that where His Spirit is there is freedom, so don’t let anyone or anything bind you and the calling He has placed on your life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

“All that hinders, all that binds,& the lies that trap the mind.”

“He that believeth on him IS NOT condemned: but he that believeth not IS condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.

  And this IS the condemnation, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness more than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, lest his deeds be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” JOHN 3:18-20

How sad, how sad is it when there are people who TRULY, TRULY BELIEVE that God does indeed exist, that Jesus Christ IS indeed the perfect Lamb of God, who BELIEVE the Gospel and every single precious word of it and yet they chose not to accept that Gospel and choose not to accept salvation. How do we ever minister to them?

As in an earlier post, we know that Jesus compares it to children, who no matter how gentle the message, no matter how hot the flames of the fire of hell is preached, they still refuse to accept eternal life through Him, through in WHOM THEY DO BELIEVE. What is wrong with that picture?

Many are mind trapped the have really bought the lies that for whatever reason, the Gospel is good…..just NOT good for them.

Is it self-esteem, is it self punishment, is it a feeling of true hopelessness, worthlessness? What is it? I would love to ask that. Why turn down the greatest love and mercy ever known? Why not be free, truly free, free in happiness, free in peace, and free to live to live a life your never imagined? Maybe someone, the enemy, or maybe the biggest enemy of all, self has convinced you that you ARE condemned.

But the words above are the words of Jesus and HE IS the ultimate authority on ALL things and HE said “if you believe in Him, you ARE not condemned”.

And if you believe and accept Him, ROMANS 8:1, PROMISES, ” THERE is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them that which are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the spirit.”

Our righteousness (right standing with God) IS as filthy rags, we have all sinned, we are born into sin and people love to remind you of your past and there are always those who love to tell you that you will never make it trying to live for the Lord, but the Bible says “let God be true and every man a liar” there will NEVER be anything we can do to redeem ourselves.

There will never be anything that we can do to undo our mistakes. But the most foolish thing that we can ever do is to stand before the Lord and say to Him, “I know you would have saved me, but I just wasn’t worth it.”

NO ONE is worth it in themselves but we were ALL worth it to Him. It is not His will that any should perish and He gave His life so we would not have to give ours and the thought that we must “make our self ready” for salvation is not  aright thought.

God does not require us to do any of the changing, he requires us to LET HIM CHANGE US! And to analyze, think, plan, and weigh out the options of whether or not we can “give up” this or that and to hold out until we “can live it” is absolutely NOT of God and has nothing to do with true desire for salvation. These thoughts and persuasion are only there to keep us bond and hindered.

What if tomorrow never comes? What if the next breath is the second to your last? Would you accept Him then? What if, without a moment’s warning, half the things in Revelation start to come to pass? What if destruction comes, what if you find yourself on this earth, having missed the ONLY opportunity to flee the trails and tribulations of the last days, by not accepting Christ BEFORE those things come to pass, what happens then? And you STILL BELIEVE?

Well, no one knows the preordained moment of their death, but as sure as we are born, God ALREADY knows the date, hour, second, and millisecond of the moment we WILL leave this earth. We will not be allowed to come back and change our minds and ask for a do over. We are given ONE life here on this earth. “It is appointed ONCE unto man to die” and after that the judgment.

If you believe, then surely you have noticed all those things which are coming to pass, and knowing that you need to know that all that is written, all that has been foretold can happen in  a blink of an eye and even though you may live through the initial things, you will die for your faith, if you are to denounce the beast and refuse the mark.

So now, what hinders you? What is it that binds you?

HEBREWS 12:1″WHEREFORE seeing (since) that we are compassed (surrounded) about with such a great cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE (put down) EVERY WEIGHT (all those things that are hindering you) and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us RUN with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” 

Jesus said YOU are NOT condemned IF you believe in Him, so why on earth are you condemning yourself? ACCEPT His mercy, His peace, and His salvation while they may be accepted. Renew your mind in Him:

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5: “Casting down (tearing down, destroying) imaginations, and EVERY high thing that exalteth itself against (comes in place of) THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,  and bringing INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.” 

The knowledge that God does love you, God wants to save you, and stop believing the lies and your own thoughts that want to say otherwise and bring all those thought into Him and WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU and be obedient to the fact that His word is the final authority concerning your soul! And if God doesn’t want to send you to hell, why do you wanna send yourself there?

Also consider checking out this post:  “And you are?…”

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016  ***Re-post 5/25/2019*** This is a thought to a new series

 

 

POLICE STATE

This is from my archives. It is several years old and had been unpublished for awhile. But after seeing the news article and footage of the sixteen year old from West Virginia that was subjected to absolute brutality after evading police, I decided to add this back to my site. Can’t be said enough.

  As John preached repentance and many of certain professions came to inquire what would be required of them to perform the duties of their livelihood and still enter the kingdom of heaven, and this was his reply to the “peacekeepers” of the day:

  LUKE 3:14: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (intimidate, shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

Now, I really did not particularly relish the task of trying to tackle this subject. As it is in that mysterious list of topics that are really hard to deal with in a church environment and can bring about emotions in either direction to the extreme but it needed addressed because it is rising up out of our culture at an alarming rate more and more every day.

 Police brutality, harassment, and intimidation in our nation is quickly becoming a boiling pot and is in danger of boiling completely over and burning us all as a nation.

I am neutral. I can see BOTH sides with completely equal clarity. This has always been a problem, always, just as John in the Bible was pointing out the same issues that we still wrestle today because there is corruption in all walks of life and in ALL professions but recently in light of news story after news story showing brutality upon brutality is becoming a breaking point for our society.

And it is not just a black problem or a white problem, it has no cultural root, it is a broken people problem. My first encounter with law enforcement was being around four years old awoken by a flashlight shining on my face, policemen were at our house looking for my oldest brother. Now fast forward just a tad, December 3, 1973 he and two more boys happened upon a vehicle that had been left unattended and someone thought hopping in it and taking it for a ride would be the thing to do.

The Police chase that followed would bring a bloody end to an eighteen year old life. The real issue my family had problems understanding is how could he jump behind a wheel and drive speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour in a straight shift, when he did not know how to drive one, or how his head injuries were so traumatic that his scalp ended up on a guard rail.

Guess he was a fast learner and uninjured passengers must have just got lucky. By the time he had been painted as a speeding maniac that endangered the lives of all travelers, the grieving family really didn’t ask the questions until years later.

But THEY said he was driving so….. we could go on with a list of 1970’s “justice” in the South but I think you can suffice it to say that my family never hung out a welcome sign for them. and they were only to be viewed with fear, and mistrust.

BUT I did say I was neutral didn’t I?  Okay, when I was eighteen while babysitting my nieces we were broken in on by their father who was pretty determined to take them and after having the phone taken, being pinned to a counter and threatened and “cussed” till hades wouldn’t have me, I can honestly tell you my opinion changed and the only hope that I and those children had was the knowledge that THEY were on their way and THEY would save us and by the point that I had been let go and was sitting on the couch near the window he had come through, I could see four policemen slowly moving toward the door and I can with everything in me tell you that I have never been so relieved to see anyone in all my life. 

And I realized whatever THEY are, not all of them are bad. As with what my family experienced, so many others have had these awful encounters and they have questions without answers and justice seems only a dream for some but if we continue the culture of hatred and indifference toward law enforcement we will only breed more hatred and violence. I still have friends that are in law enforcement and there are some that are great people, who truly have a heart to help, serve, and protect others and they are who we as the church need to focus on.

Bad apples are ruining the entire bushel.  Environment can be a powerful, powerful force and you may have a person who started out with the best of intentions and enough time and enough pressure can turn that person into whom they never intended to be.

As a profession, law enforcement has some extremely disturbing statistics, suicide rates of around seventeen percent usually before ten years service and the highest rates between forty to forty-four years of age with the highest rate being in officers with over twenty years service, high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and with domestic violence rates double that of the national average.

For the record those are actually older statistics, so now to ask how does this happen? Well, think of this, if you went to your job every day knowing that you may not make it home, that every shift may be your last. If the average person viewed you with hatred and suspicion often being fought, cursed, and spit on and weave into that seeing victims of violence and car accidents leaving bodies bloody, mangled and often dismembered, working suicides complete with brains splattered against walls, delivering news to families that loved ones have been killed. Often working double shifts with very little rest and often with an extra job to just to make ends meet. Now internalize all those things you have just seen because you are required to be “strong” and conceal your emotions. Do this day after day, you would soon  find that there is nothing normal about it. No human can handle that kind of stress without God and no human can handle that type of job stress and not be affected in some way.

“Be ye not overcome by evil BUT overcome evil with good” that verse tells us that all humans at one point or another can be overcame by the evils around them. I will NEVER by any means whatsoever say that those who are just evil do not exist. I think I have shown proof that I do understand families who are angry and protest and want justice, I do understand because whether my brother had issues or not, eighteen is too young for a life to end because of a stupid joy ride. But I also understand the risk we take as a society, if we do not remember that those in this profession are not merely “they” or “them” but are actually individuals just as we as Christians are individuals and that they do hurt and that they are souls that can break and help the cause of good to overcome the evil and that those who are of honor will have courage to stand against those who do not.

 The truth is there will be no peace on this earth until the return of Jesus Christ and without men and women who are willing to stand between those who wish to harm and those who would be harmed we would be truly in anarchy. And as time draws closer, the world gets crazier we will need good ones more than ever. 

I know people pray for their safety but we also need to pray that God will watch over those who do walk in integrity and keep them in integrity and that they will always treat others with the same respect that they desire and pray He will send them help with those burdens and that they will not be overcame by the evil they see and face. That they will look at others also as human and not become jaded and view everyone as rampant criminals. And that the mere notion of keeping peace requires excessive violence will no longer be held and for the termination of the ideology that the ends can justify the means and as concerning those who are brutal and miscarry justice, well you know the prayer, the same one you pray over it all “Deliver us from evil.” 

Jesus Christ is the one true law giver, and judge. He will render to all as they have sown and Vengeance is His.

I wrote this on behalf of victims,and their families, and true justice. His story, like the stories of so many others deserved to be told and in his case justice was NOT served, it was miscarried.   May he rest in peace.

Roger

Roger McKinley Brown 08/13/1955-12/03/1973

 

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016

Post note: I did lose one FB friend with this… which is not too bad, but that does prove a point that if people are so unwilling to believe that law enforcement or ANY other professional group are above reproach, that explains the problem with this issue. There are bad people in ALL walks of life a “one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel” and if we can’t even discuss an issue, we will never have healing and peace in our society.

Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

I love funky terms, always endearing, always fun and one of my favorites is “messed up”, I love the fact that the slang phrase can mean virtually ANYTHING. 

According to dictionary.com it is adjective slang and “messed up” CAN literally mean ANY or ALL of the following: 

“Beaten up, looking disarrayed”

“Confused and unhappy”

“Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs”

We can be emotionally messed up, life can be messed up, or circumstances can just be messed up making you want to say, “Man, that is just messed up!”

And people often get “messed up” through the third meaning in hope of dulling the feeling of the first two.

And sometimes those who are seeking Jesus and a change in their life can be very easily swayed back out into sin and fall so easily into the trap of self-condemnation of feeling that they have “messed up”.

And you know, it is not even just falling into sin, it can be sometimes that we have turned left when we should have turned right, missed a truly golden opportunity by too hastily reaching out for plated brass that we mistook for twenty-four carat.

So many things in life can lead most of us to question, just how bad did we mess up.

But got some good news on that front, IF you are willing to ACCEPT it, BELIEVE it, and pick up your cross and try it again.

God IS faithful. God IS merciful. God wants nothing more than to dust us off when we have stumbled, give us a hug and tell us to try it again! 

Classic scripture here that everyone probably knows by heart but it is good to be reminded every now and again.

Jesus speaking, Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am NOT as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, OR EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN 

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican standing afar off,  would NOT lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST (beat on his chest)  SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. 

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified  rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; AND HIM THAT HUMBLETH HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED.”  

Ponder that, the Pharisee, in ear shot of the tax collector is telling God what all he has done and even taking pot shots at the moral character of the other man, in his “gratitude” speech, “thanking” God that he was so much BETTER than all those he named and EVEN better than the one who could not even look toward heaven because he was repentant.

He just asked for mercy and referred to himself as a sinner.He didn’t give a list of what GOD ALREADY KNEW, he just asked for mercy instead of judgment.

We are never given a list of his failures, mistakes, or how much he “messed up” but we are given all we need to hear in his own words the Pharisee spoke of  just how “messed up” the Pharisee was through pride and self-seeking, and self-righteousness expressed in his OWN words.

So there is a background to set up my main scriptures I really want to concentrate this post on.

Psalm 86:1-17: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul (life); for I am holy: O thou my God, SAVE thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For I cry unto thee DAILY (all day long). 

Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

For thou, Lord, art (are) good, AND READY TO FORGIVE; AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON THEE.

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL UPON THEE: FOR THOU WILT (will) ANSWER ME.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O lord, neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and SHALL glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest (you do) wondrous things: thou art God alone.  

Teach me thy way, O Lord,: I will walk in thy truth: UNITE  my heart (give me singleness of heart) to fear (have a reverence and awe for) thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

FOR GREAT IS THY MERCY TOWARD ME: AND THOU HAST DELIVERED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWEST HELL.

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 

BUT THOU, O LORD, ART (are)  A GOD FULL OF COMPASSION, AND GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY AND TRUTH. 

O TURN UNTO ME, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ME, give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

Shew (show) me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it. and be ashamed; BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN  (has helped) ME,AND COMFORTED ME.”

That was a prayer written by David, and you can really “hear” his desperation in that twice he asks the Lord, to HEAR, the first verse, “BOW down thine ear”, showing his humility by asking the Lord to come down to hear him.

The poor and needy reference spiritual state, David FELT pretty messed up, hurt and unhappy, fighting against his enemies, the word “assemblies” in verse fourteen, referencing those who hated him, literally meaning MOBS, mobs of angry, violent men who DID not know God and wanted David dead.

I love David and love reading about his life because he was so passionate. Everything he did he did wide open, all or nothing. When he soared, he soared and when he “messed up” it was crashing rock bottom.

And of course, the ONE thing he never swayed for one moment about was his absolute passion in his pursuit of the Lord.

He never once doubted the mercy and kindness of the Lord EVEN when he was painfully aware through his OWN  failings, his own shortcomings, and life altering lusts that HE WAS NEVER WORTHY OF THAT MERCY. Nor would he ever be. Neither are we, nor we will be.

So that’s the deal, we ARE messed up, life is messed up, and no matter how bad you may have messed up or how confused, unhappy, beaten down life has TEMPORARILY left you, keep holding on… knowing that no matter how messed up you may feel there is NO ONE so messed up that the mercy of God that cannot heal.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess (admit to God) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Find your peace in that. 

Have a beautiful week! Wishing you love & peace until next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

LOVE this song!

If you’d like a little more food for thought on overcoming our flesh, check out “Trip Junkie”   and “Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off”

“Waning under the weight of waiting”

Now that title is quite a mouthful, try saying it fast three times, could be a pretty good tongue twister 🙂 but I am hoping it’ll make for a much better thought provoker!

Hebrews 12:1a: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…”

Used this scripture before, we all have I am sure, but for the moment I want to concentrate on what a weight waiting can be.

Ever think about it? When people or even our own selves come up with every known imaginable reason why we can not serve God or why we can’t accomplish his will or why we can’t live for him… just now, maybe in the future but now we can’t because we are waiting, waiting on some magical, mystical desire to take place or we are waiting on someone else to “come in” then we’ll “get right” with the Lord.

How could ANYTHING of this world be more important than your soul?

How? Never mind the demons, and the spiritual world that surrounds our natural world every single day and if it were not for God’s divine protection do you think you would be so safe from all the traps and snare that are laid for your feet?

Never mind the lack of peace, never mind the constant struggles inside your mind because “to him that knoweth to do good and do it not, it is a sin” completely IGNORING all those things for a moment, how does anyone take the comfort that their eternal soul is secure out of the daily equation, in seemingly “never-minding” that we are never once promised that we have all the time in the world to WAIT while allowing the weight of all those earthly hindrances to steal day after day while we have no promise of the next day. 

It is ALL of the world, the world that scripture warns us and warns us to stay out of. The world can mean many different struggles for different people.

It is not always about money, but it all equates the same. ANYTHING we place above God or the service and ANYTHING that prevents us from following him with our whole hearts and lives completely surrendered to him.

That is why we are told that WE must LAY ASIDE all these weights.

God does not place that weight on us… the world does and we have to be willing to refuse to carry it and we can’t blame that one on God. 

This is one Jesus’ warnings on the subject.

Luke 12:15-20: ” And he said unto them, Take heed, and BEWARE of covetousness: for a man’s life consiseth not in the abundance of things he possesseth. 

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?”

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits and my goods. and I will say unto my soul,  Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”  

He went on to encourage us to lay up those treasures in heaven because the concerns and desires of this world that became as weights will drag us down. And this is also so clear in his parable of the sower and the seed, AGAIN warning us about this world and getting caught up in it rather that the things of God.

Matthew 13:3-9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured  them up;

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them:

But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  

Do you recognize all the different human conditions going on here?

Think about it, the way side, just going through life, not caring one way or another and those are absolutely devoured because no one is caring if they make it or not.

The stony places in hardened hearts and unrepentant, unyielding, stubborn, and prideful.

Too “shallow” to make the long haul, all for it until the going gets tough and then they gotta get going… their own way, AWAY from God. 

And the thorns of this world, the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, and injustice, all those things that prick, mar, and scar.

BUT Jesus told us this in his word, Song of Solomon 2:1,2: “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.”

 For every single human condition there is a relief and cure in God’s word, IF we will seek it and have faith to believe it.

That faith and assurance, NOT in ourselves or our abilities but faith that He is and He will fulfil all his promises to us IF we do what his word tells us to do.

That is that good ground that he cultivates for his seed and to bring forth HIS fruit. And as he told us to “hear if we have ears to hear” meaning if our heart is set on him and our thoughts on things eternal to HEAR him.  

Continuing, Matthew 13:18-23: Hear  ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hearth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it  not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth (snatches) away that which WAS sown in his heart. This is which received seed by the way side. 

But he that received the seed into stony places,  the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while:  for when tribulation OR persecution ariseth BECAUSE of the word, by and by he is offended. 

He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word : And the CARE OF THIS WORLD, and the deceitfulness of riches, CHOKE THE WORD,  and he becometh unfruitful. 

But he that received seed in the good ground IS he that heareth the word, and understandeth it;  which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Those “places” those weights. those are the things that prevent our growth, prevent us from bearing fruit and will certainly crush that precious seed planted by the Lord himself and eventually even crush us under them.

God never told us to wait on this world or to wait for things in this world to change.

We are to FOLLOW HIM and WAIT for him, not this world and we can never carry that weight. We were never meant to.

The only one who can is the only one who already holds it ALL in the middle of his nail scarred hand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

 

Cultivating a passion for compassion

To the word… shall we? Luke 7:11-16: “It came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people (a large crowd). Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people (large crowd) of the city was with her.

And when the Lord SAW her, HE HAD COMPASSION ON HER, and said unto her, Weep not.  And he came and TOUCHED the bier  (open coffin): and they that bare him  (carried the coffin)  STOOD STILL.

And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that WAS dead SAT UP, and began to speak. And he (Jesus) delivered him to his mother.

And there came a fear on all (fear seized them all): and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet has RISEN among us; and that GOD HATH VISITED HIS PEOPLE.” 

I know the look of this writing format is not the greatest but it is kinda tricky to say it in my head and expect everyone to read it with the points I would so stress vocally… so we instead get this big bold words to hit the preferred points.

Going be, hopefully ‘talking’ about compassion or rather the lack thereof. I will admit I get very angry, very easily with the stories of people who do things that are just so mean and sometimes hearing peoples thoughts, takes, and advice in dealing with everything from children to pets and sometimes I just want to scream, “WHAT is wrong with you people?!” 

I still think the “wrong” part is what helped usher in the falling away of the church, especially taught in the old days, teaching against women and that everyone and everything was to be brought “into submission” through hitting and brow beating, that church shaming keep the flock in check, when actually it ran them out, and the Bible teaches us that love “discreetly” covers matters.

The old school-house rules of teachers actually calling bullied kids “tattle-tales” instead of defending them. So it is not to be a shock that people who “grow up” under these teaching and in homes with these thoughts often (NOT ALWAYS) cling to those same destructive mentality as adults.

Doubt it? Well how babies do you think are born as white supremacists, or born  with any other natural inclination to hatred and violence, or to hold any other poisonous prejudiced belief.  NONE, we are created completely equal, with no hate, or distrust toward anyone.

Infants do not even have to capacity to hate. Anger itself is supposed to be three to six months of age and shame around thirty-six months, but hatred is its own monster and usually it is taught or birthed from a neglectful, abusive environment.

So if a person has never been taught love, compassion, and mercy how can we expect them to show it? And it is so easy for us to give into our own hatred and disgust (which IS still wrong, I fully admit I wrestle with it in many instances) because we can’t understand how people can not see that there is a better way. Compassion which is one the most precious attributes of the Lord, among his innumerable is the most often overlooked, and avoided of them all. So much with hell and brimstone, which I also preach, and do not feel is preached nearly enough,  but it has to be in context with the conviction spirit drawing people, convicting them of their need of salvation.

Only God can bring true conviction, saving conviction, conviction that will bring change as he himself cautioned all to “TURN from their WICKED ways”.

ALL of us who are truly of the body of Christ have felt that conviction, we were made fully aware of our ways and how truly wicked and sinful our lives had been, that is what gets through to us.

We can never do that, we don’t “get people saved” we can make people feel shame, fear, guilt, (which is again, all WRONG) and try to “get them saved” and only make them feel like dirt and view us as “judgy” hypocrites, causing them to run even farther away…which is what brought us to this post!

People can only be told so many times that what they say is sinful, what they think is sinful, what they wear… AGAIN sinful before they just finally give up.

What we THE WORLD needs is compassion, we NEED a revival of compassion. I have said this before and probably will again, but the most missed point of all time has been COMPASSION, Jesus IS compassion and I love the story from Luke, because NO ONE had to ask him to do this, NO ONE told him about this lady or her son, of course being God, I am sure He knew, but for our recorded information NO ONE else brought this to his attention. We are told that he SAW her, he SAW her pain, he SAW that this was her only child, he SAW her widowhood and being God, He SEES it all.

And he had COMPASSION, which literally means a mixture of love and sorrow for the plight of another, suffering that feeling WITH them. And that is what we miss and the world misses.

When we see each other hurting, even someone we don’t know well, or even at all, as Christians, that compassion Jesus had SHOULD rise up in us also, just as the man in our verse ROSE and just as Jesus ROSE in victory.

Compassion has the power to do that. COMPASSION is the love and mercy of God coming into a dark situation and RAISING UP a completely different standard and changing the outcome for all concerned.

And just as hatred is taught, compassion can be taught also, when you offer others a “different” way of dealing with something that see as a problem and others can learn compassion from how you treat them. It is part of being that light Jesus left us to be and why he gave us these wonderful teachings:

Luke 6:31-37: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also them likewise. For if ye love ONLY them that love you, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also love those that love those that love them.

And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank (credit) have ye? for SINNERS also lend to SINNERS, to receive as much again.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again (in return); and your reward shall be great, and YE SHALL BE THE CHILDREN OF THE HIGHEST: FOR HE IS KIND UNTO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL.

BE YE THEREFORE MERCIFUL, AS YOUR FATHER ALSO IS MERCIFUL. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive and ye shall be forgiven.”

And we know exactly WHO is speaking to here, he differentiated “the church” from “the sinners” so we would have no doubt who he was speaking to. He is speaking to us, his entire “church” and as he pointed out THE traits and actions are what proves us as his children!

And He IS merciful, and He IS kind and in being those things it CHANGES hearts. Back to the innocence babies, when a child has never been shown compassion or taught compassion, or raised with half-truths, never taught tenderness, gentleness, or mercy they can not be expected to just spontaneously produce these traits.

At some point the Lord has to have it shown to them, thus teaching that better way. And with everything we learn, it requires time, patience, and two willing hearts, one giving and one receiving and there is nothing greater we can give than the love of Christ and nothing greater we can show aside his enduring, endless mercy, as the Bible tells us “His compassions faileth not” meaning his compassion is never-ending. 

And he EXPECTS us to be a reflective of himself, we NEED to start checking that reflection and if we find that we are lacking, we need to pray for his compassion, and mercy to RISE inside of us. 

Pray that he would give us spiritual eyes to see what he wants us to see in others.

Pray that he would give us spiritual ears to hear the very cry of wounded souls that are often hidden behind outwardly angry appearances.

Pray that our spiritual hearts are open to his leading and prompting by his Holy Spirit to minister to those needs and show us the time to give that ministration when it would be received.

Pray that the compassion of this world would be stirred, that the spirit of love, mercy, and meekness would take hold of hearts thought to be so cold they would never warm.

Pray that those cold stones learn a better way and then, my friend, that love will spread and that love will save!

Would you be interested to know the MEANING of Nain, which was the name of the city Jesus ENTERED into and RESURRECTED the widow’s son? 

Nain means BEAUTIFUL PLEASANTNESS!!!  Now don’t you want others to also know that through mercy and compassion, we are INVITED to ENTER into that BEAUTIFUL PLEASANTNESS with him?!!!

Cover yourself in it! Wear it for the whole world to see!

Colossians 3:12-16: “PUT ON therefore, AS THE ELECT OF GOD, HOLY AND BELOVED, BOWELS (tender mercies) OF MERCIES, KINDNESS, HUMBLENESS OF MIND, MEEKNESS, AND LONGSUFFERING;

Forbearing (bearing with) one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

And ABOVE ALL THESE THINGS , PUT ON CHARITY, (love)  WHICH IS THE BOND OF PERFECTNESS. And LET the PEACE of GOD RULE YOUR HEARTS, to which also ye are called in one body and BE YE THANKFUL.

Let the WORD of Christ DWELL in you richly in ALL wisdom; TEACHING and ADMONISHING (warn gently) ONE ANOTHER…”

Thanks for reading! Love and peace to you and yours this upcoming week!  God bless you!

Εξυπνιζω Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

Love this song, still moves me to tears, beautiful, beautiful lyrics!

 

 

 

“Taking up serpents…”

First off, I must admit that I have about three posts I need to write to explain my six-week hiatus and my name change ‘Splaining the name thing…. But I really have to do this today because I think it may be “on time” for some and I definitely don’t want to wait until it is too late to give maybe a little different prospective on a probably quite taboo and deadly subject ( in more ways than one) but nevertheless  a very real subject  inside some denominations of the Christian faith.

“Snake handling” or “taking up serpents” mainly associated with Pentecostal and Holiness churches, but I do want to STRESS the majority of churches in these groups do NOT practice this.

I have glimpsed television shows dealing with this and I stay far away from those shows and now there is a new video on social media that was filmed during just such a service in a neighboring state.

It worries me, it worries me for several reasons.

The clip I watched showed multiple people filming this so it is really hard to know just how broad an audience it will hit. I truly do not understand the need to film this because the subject is so hard for many to understand and I personally believe it would be far more beneficial filming and sharing a service of healing and miracles.

And seriously if one has the kind of faith to lift up a Copperhead or rattlesnake and not be bitten and die, they should have the kind of faith to believe the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, because the miraculous and the signs and wonders are for those who DO NOT BELIEVE, so that they will see and know that no power other than the power of a sovereign God could have brought forth these truly supernatural occurrences.

I fear most the door which is opened for those who do not understand to mock and ridicule and unknowingly endanger their souls in doing so, usually others will be dancing in the Spirit, or speaking in tongues and contrary to denominational arguments as to whether these manifestation are still active in our present day, the real danger lies in the fact that if those who have never read the book of Acts or know anything at all of the Bible or Jesus, and are not even laughing about the snakes, decides to mock the dancing, or some other aspect of a service, it endangers their souls, through something that they should have never viewed unless the were present.

Because we can be forgiven for ANYTHING EXCEPT mocking the Holy Spirit.

When we do not understand we have no way to gauge exactly what we are seeing other than our OWN human mind and for those who do not know Christ, this can be even more dangerous.

I for one believe in the sanctity of ALL life, and do not believe in hitting or killing and I know Jesus to be a beautiful GENTLE creator and I really feel sorry for the snakes which have to be terrified but I also know better than to bash their beliefs because they are worshiping God they way they understand it to be and they do this as an exercise in faith.

Just as a boxer might push themselves to new limits everyday while preparing for an upcoming match.

This is how they build their faith that God will protect them.

So for those who may not know, we’ll look at the verses and origins of this and I’ll give you my take on my personal thoughts,again those are mine, EVERYONE has their own relationship with the Lord, and that IS what we MUST be mindful of. Okay, where does this practice come from?

Have to get back to the garden for that one, most know the story of Adam, Eve, and the serpent that seduced her through her own desires for supposed “knowledge” right into absolute disobedience to God. And as God gave divine judgments against ALL three of them.

Genesis 3:14,15: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because THOU hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beats of the field; upon thy belly thou shalt go, and dust shall be thou eat all the days of thy life.

And I WILL PUT ENMITY (hostility) BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; AND IT (he) SHALL BRUISE THY HEAD, AND THOU SHALT BRUISE HIS HEEL.”  

So the long-held hatred between humans and snakes can be easily explained and symbolically many older demonstrations hold this to a more drastic level than many of us do today, because as we understand it, all females suffer terribly during childbirth and I personally believe the serpent had legs at this time, but nevertheless we know snakes now can only move on their bellies, and are absolutely the most dreaded and hated among all creation.

This gives us the reason behind the symbolism of power to subdue them. Many other scriptures deal with the subject, but we’ll try to stick with the subject at hand.

So further proof of this, can be found in the fact that power over the serpent was one of the signs God gave Moses to show that his commission was truly divine.

 Exodus 4:1-5: “And Moses answered and said, But behold, they will NOT believe me, NOR hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath NOT appeared unto thee.

And the Lord said unto him, What is in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he (the Lord) said, Cast (throw) it down on the ground, and he cast it down it on the ground, AND IT BECAME A SERPENT: and Moses fled from before it. 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail ( reach down and pick it up by the tail) And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and IT BECAME A ROD IN HIS HAND:

THAT THEY MAY BELIEVE THAT THE LORD GOD OF OUR FATHERS, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB, HATH APPEARED UNTO THEE..” 

Exodus chapter seven also tells us of this same rod being turned again to the serpent which consumed the serpents of Pharaoh’s magicians. God sent mighty wonders through Moses that the Egyptians AND the Hebrews would know, see, and BELIEVE in the power of Jehovah God.

Again, Numbers chapter twenty-one tells us of people speaking AGAINST God and His servant, prompting God’s anger which he displayed by sending fiery serpents upon the people, when the people repented and came to Moses, God instructed to make a brass serpent and those bitten who be healed when the gazed upon it. 

We understand that to be the forerunner verse to John 3:14,15:“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Now to bring it New Testament, when Jesus gave the great commission, he spoke also of the signs and wonders, those unexplained events that could only be explained by a very real belief in the power and glory of Almighty God.

Mark 16:15-18: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).

And THESE SIGNS shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall thy cast out devils (demons) ; they shall speak with new tongues;

THEY SHALL TAKE UP SERPENTS: AND IF THEY DRINK ANY DEADLY THING, IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 

I personally believe in miracles, I have seen miracles and there have been times I could not understand why something didn’t end with a miracle and then I remembered something, miracles ARE for a sign and only God dictates when that is required, as believers we are already told to “walk by faith” and that is His requirement.

The miracles, He sends as He wishes, not necessarily as we desire. although I believe in asking and asking!

So this is how I interrupt this, not saying I am right, not saying you have to agree, but saying PLEASE do not encourage others in something they do not understand because Paul also told us that we are babes we must have milk, not solid food.

Of course I paraphrased that, but it translates to this, we grow little by little in the things of God and trying to chew meat when we haven’t teeth will only choke us to death.  so taking up serpents, we are told we will tread upon them, in the sense of the demonic forces we deal with that are constantly  striking at our heels in hopes of making us stumble. Jesus gave us power through His name over those.

Now what if the enemy tries to kill you BEFORE your time and others are just knowing that you have done something to “deserve” it?

Acts 28:3-6: “And when Paul had gathered  a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, THERE CAME A VIPER OUT OF THE HEAT, AND FASTENED ON (sunk in his fangs and held onto) HIS HAND. 

And when the barbarians SAW the VENOMOUS BEAST HANG ONTO HIS HAND, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth him not to live. 

And HE SHOOK OFF THE BEAST (creature) INTO THE FIRE, AND FELT NO HARM.

Howbeit, thy looked (expected) WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SWOLLEN, OR FALLEN DEAD SUDDENLY: but  AFTER THEY HAD LOOKED A GREAT WHILE, AND SAW NO HARM COME TO HIM, THEY CHANGED THEIR MINDS…..”  

Deadly “poison” by accident, or by the devils assault, or by simple basic necessity:

Exodus 15:23-25: ” And when they came to Marah, they COULD NOT DRINK of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

And the people murmured against Moses, saying, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? And he cried unto the Lord; and the Lord shewed (showed) him a tree, which he was to cast into the waters, AND THE WATERS WERE MADE SWEET…”   

2 Kings 2:19-22: “And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth ( it is a nice place as you see) but THE WATER IS NAUGHT (bad), and the ground is barren.

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt therein, and said, THUS SAITH THE LORD, I HAVE HEALED THESE WATERS; THERE SHALL NOT BE FROM THENCE ANY MORE DEATH OR BARREN LAND.

SO THE WATERS WERE HEALED UNTO THIS DAY, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.”

2 Kings 4:38-41: “And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth (famine) in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, set on a great pot, and seethe pottage (soup) for the sons of the prophets.

And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered wild gourds, his lap full, ( as many as he could carry), and came and shred them INTO the pot of pottage: for they knew them not. So they poured out for the men to eat.

And it came to pass, AS THEY WERE EATING OF THE POTTAGE, THAT THEY CRIED OUT, AND SAID, O THOU MAN OF GOD, THERE IS DEATH IN THIS POT. And they could NOT eat thereof. 

But he (Elisha) said, THEN BRING MEAL. And he cats it into the pot: and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. AND THERE WAS NO HARM (nothing harmful) IN THE POT.”

I hope this may have helped understand these traditions and the importance of whether we ourselves embrace them or not, we should be truly careful of what we say about them.

Thanks for reading!

Love & Peace, GOOD TO BE BACK!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

 

Parental Guidance Highly Suggested

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one God. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heartand thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Trying to determine true statics on kids and Christianity is like the proverbial needle in the haystack.

But it is very fair to say considering the verse above that it doesn’t really matter what school stats would suggest because this is parental responsibility.

According to the history on it, “Sunday school” was started in Britain as a way of not only helping the street children, but also teaching them about God and educating them.

And in our country schools used mainly the word of God as a teaching tools for reading and writing.

Many of our early leaders WERE self-taught, the Bible being the number one book used for that purpose.

So it is not a shocker that schools of yesteryear were safe learning place that parents could entrust their children to, of course you have to take the corporal punishment out of that equation, I for one absolutely do not agree with hitting or spanking, or any form of physical violence as a method of discipline or learning “incentive”.

But they were something else in the old days as far as the term “strong disciplinarians” could go.

My mother has horror stories of the days when children were paddled for not knowing their multiplication table. And as she said, if you miss one you were sure to miss another. It is just absolutely wrong for anyone other than a parent to have that kind of authority over a child.

But we have as a society  given entirely too much power to influence the minds and more importantly the SOULS of our children to the “world” schools, and even religious organizations.

As we know when prayer and the teachings of God were removed form public schools replaced with Darwinism and the absolute intelligence insulting nonsense of the big bang and evolution, we invited the moral downfall of society as we knew it.

And at the end of the day it is up to each one of us to take back that power, that back that authority that we have blindly given others BECAUSE God only gave that authority to parents.

I have heard people remark after being called out about saying or doing things that are not right in front of their children, only to reply that “They hear worse at school” and everyone could argue the filth that they see on television and movies and even argue that at some point they “will be exposed to it anyway” but here is the deal, EVEN if they hear bad language at school, they should NOT hear it at home. EVEN if they have saw filth on television, you have to ask, WHO is monitoring that television? WHO is watching over what they are watching, witnessing, and being exposed to?

Remember PG for PARENTAL GUIDANCE? That is NOT just for television. God expects us to use our PG authority in all areas of our children’s lives and even if children are grown adults, they are STILL your children. 

No matter what mistakes have been made in the past, the present and future can be changed for the better by enacting that parental guidance in our own lives, by being the example that God intended for us to be.

And as long as we have breath in these bodies, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE! That is why God told US to teach our own children, of course we can not protect the from the world and the things in the world but at the end of the day, what are taught by parents and family will outweigh those other influences.

And of course people can fall in with the “wrong crowd” and go completely “hog wild” as the saying goes, kinda reminiscent of the Prodigal son there, but have hope in this.

Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he WILL NOT depart from it.”

Most of us have been guilty of running amok in our youth, (some of us seriously amok) but there is so much comfort in knowing that God ALWAYS has His eyes on us AND our children.

That is why it is so important for those who are new to Christ to STAY in Christ because we are PROMISED our households and our families to a thousand generations, we are NOT saved just for the sake of being saved.

As part of that salvation, we are to lead others to Him, that His light may also shine into their lives also and  that light radiates and it touches so many others, which is why when one family member accepts Christ usually the others soon follow.

It ONLY takes one person to STAND up and declare faith in Jesus to influence many generations.

Think about it as we start a New Year, if you have a school aged child KNOW who is teaching them and what they are being taught and do not be afraid to speak AGAINST those things that are against God because you are actually the one with the GREATER influence.

And if you doubt that, think of it in the negative, think about all the people who belong to hate groups BECAUSE they were BORN into hate groups and we ARE products of our environment and once that environment changes WE CAN CHANGE ALSO.

This kinda goes with my “when in Rome” thought, it has been on my heart and mind so much that THIS has to change. Take back your place in the family and take back your heritage in the Lord.

Psalm 127:3,4: ” Lo, (OT for pay attention) Children ARE an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of thy womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

We ARE blessed with children. We ARE entrusted of God with those children and they are HIS and we are privileged with the task of nurturing their hearts, their souls, and their minds and guide them on their journey into adulthood but even more so in discovering  WHO HE CREATED THEM TO BE.

And the greatest reflection that will show in them is WHO we understand HE created US to be.

So as you make your resolutions for this New Year, think about what you want for your family, if you don’t have kids, think about maybe another family member. We all struggle, we all need help at different times in life, and we can all be a light, and especially as parents, be that parental guide for your child, no matter how young or old they are because you lead and they will follow, maybe not in a split second, but stay on the Lord’s path and they will… just as scripture tells us, NOT depart from that way.

So be that example this year, even when you don’t feel like being an example.. BE ONE.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2018

 

Turning down the Tide-Pod teasing temptation…

“In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea. And saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias( Isaiah), saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.

And the same John had his raiment (clothing) of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle (belt) about his loins (around his waist); and his meat (food) was locusts and wild honey. 

Then went out to him, Jerusalem, and all of Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to (for) his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, WHO hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 

Bring forth therefore fruits meet (worthy of) repentance

And THINK NOT to yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT GOD IS ABLE OF THESE STONES TO RAISE UP CHILDREN UNTO ABRAHAM.

And NOW the ax IS laid unto the root of the trees, THEREFORE EVERY TREE WHICH BRINGETH FORTH NOT GOOD FRUIT IS HEWN DOWN, AND CAST INTO THE FIRE.” Matthew 3:1-10

You know John was an expert on the wilderness and I can only imagine WHAT would have been said about John IF God had saved his ministry until our present day. Can you only imagine the late night monologues, and the endless stream of John jokes and memes on social stream?

There would be a virtual field day ridiculing EVERY thing about him. His clothes, his food, his wilderness way.

But most of those of John’s day had a couple of qualities that this world severely lacks, FEAR OF THE LORD and good old-fashioned TACT. 

There isn’t much difference in those addressed between the two spans of time… VIPERS… all that can be said.. POISONOUS BITING BEASTS who lay wait to attack WHATEVER moves or comes their way.

And just as John warned those vipers of his day, I think those present vipers may do well to take heed.

Clearly as John made mention that they should not THINK to themselves that they have some special “escape clause” that allowed them to do whatever they wished or behave anyway they wanted, and made them exempt from the wrath of God BECAUSE they were Abraham’s descendants.

It seems that even believers can get a little to chummy with the world and FORGET that GOD does NOT need us for His kingdom, WE ARE ACTUALLY THE ONES IN NEED.

So maybe you are wondering what on earth am I talking about?

I am talking about all this insane laughter over people EATING tide pods and the Tide pods are ONLY a drop in the bucket!

People will MAKE FUN of anything and make bad tasteless jokes about ANYTHING! Whether or not grown people are doing this, still does not change the fact that INNOCENT children have been harmed by accidentally ingesting these and there IS nothing funny about that and if anyone thinks it is remotely humorous than they are demonically possessed because only true evil could find this funny.

And when “church goers” get on board with it and call people “stupid’ and “ignorant” that will make them accountable for THEIR words because Jesus told us this concerning calling people these “names”

Matthew 5:22:

 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:

and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca (empty head) shall be in danger of the council: 

but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” 

Think that clarifies His opinion on it.

God help us, it is no  shock that the word is in the state it is in, it is not a shock that it is not going to get any better, actually it will get a lot worse BEFORE it gets better.

And as long as we keep “liking” “sharing” and giving a “thumb up” to this junk we ARE running our OWN risk of running the risks Jesus warned us of.

So think really carefully before you post, share, or repeat. Think carefully before you make a joke about anything or anyone because if it is something that hurts others or is an act that has caused another hurt, whether you are joking or not, you are still promoting that.

And believe it or don’t but we will be responsible for BEARING fruit and if we spent a little more time on cultivating the gardens of the Kingdom we’d have a lot less time to spend helping spread the trash of this world.

Σαλπιζω NB 2018

W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry

“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? and WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,  I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. the baptism of John, whence (where) was it? from heaven or of men? 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say from heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell (do not know). And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” Matthew 21:23-27
This is one of those extremely comforting Bible stories that remind us that Jesus Christ IS our High Priest who DOES understand every single thing we go through.
I really detest the fact that I have to use this blog to address this issue that I am growing quite tired of addressing and we will deal with that at the end of this post.
I am one of those “lucky” ladies who have to privilege of removing my own (WP) followers.

Satan does like to send some “live “ones my way.
And occasionally the OTHER “live” ones are sent this way also.

So between the freak-show Casanova wannabe’s who seem to NOT notice the title REVEREND and think I might be up for some..something and dealing with the “Good ol’ boy’s ministerial club” THIS sure can be a whole lotta fun!
I tried unsuccessfully last night to leave about a fifteen hundred word comment on a fellow bloggers post, he had recently started to follow my blog and after I read some of his work, there was no secret about how he felt about “females” in ministry, so I was just going to give him a different point of view but unfortunately when I hit “post comment” I was met with “invalid security entry” and eventually just removed him from following me for the second time, being that anti-female, I know if they are reading it is for the wrong reason.

So rather than write all of it again, “explaining” “FEMALES” in ministry, I decided to just “once and for all it here and just send this out to anyone else who wants to argue the point.

A point I am NOT going to argue. I WILL say my peace because I am sick to my death of it and THIS IS MY BLOG, I didn’t go looking for their churches, so if they want to come here, and read my posts in some sort of hope of finding “heretical” proof as fodder to kindle the fire as they tie all of us “female folk” to the stake for “preaching without a Paulinist license” well, they may just have another thing coming.

This is NOT just for me, I WANTED to do this for ALL the women whom Christ HAS CALLED, who are going through or have been through this gauntlet of the “brotherhood” and for those whose wounds received while running that gauntlet has left them laying in ashes, I want to encourage you, my sisters, GET BACK UP!
Women in ministry… stands for THIS… Wounded, Ostracized, Maligned, Estranged, Negated.

I will share the “high-lights” of my ministerial journey and I am sure many of you have been there and many more I hope to encourage, because it IS not just you, it is par for running the course set before us.

Of course NO ONE tells us this upfront, because after others discover that we have been called, the “wounding” starts.
When I was first saved, I was so scared and shy that when they called on me to testify I would actually shake and dreaded being called on to read a scripture because I was absolutely terrified and quite content to sit there and listen.

But soon I started being awoken in the dead of night with an overwhelming need to read the Bible, as I try to be so clear about my past, I had been an absolute heathen and knew only what I had studied with my Dad while growing up.
And soon this became more of an obsession and I took my study Bible to work and studied every possible chance I had, I could not put it down.
After I became a mother, I would take care of my baby, and at that time my husband was gone about twelve hours a day and of course my family visited us a lot, but my point is this, I would take care of my baby, who soon became a toddler, on onward, clean my house, take of my pets, do ALL that life requires and then after my family had fallen asleep, I would spend the rest of the night studying the Bible until four or five am and get up the next day and do it ALL over again.
So it does irk me pretty badly when these guys who have had the PRIVILEGE of mothers and wives “taking care of them” and had the PRIVILEGE of seminary school and classes to learn what I, and many other ladies had to absolutely sacrifice to learn and I am NOT complaining and I am NOT begrudging and I thank Jesus EVERY DAY for the precious gift that HE has given me to be a MESSENGER of HIS Word.

And I know MANY other WOMEN who have been through this same “course of training” and what really bothers me the most is when CERTAIN guys and ESPECIALLY certain denominations teach that somehow WOMEN would do all this to somehow gain power to USURP some magical authority over them.
Look dudes, DON’T even kid yourselves! I have no desire to be anything OVER a man, I want to minister to the ones God has sent me to and as far as the old “men pray for men, women for women go” that kind of thinking does not even belong in a church!

If anyone is thinking this way.. instead of worrying about who is laying hands on who, they really need to hit the altars and get their mind right.

My first pastor was an absolute awesome man of God and was the first to invite a “lady” to minister at that particular church, which was one time and after he passed away the new pastor also “ALLOWED” (wow, what a term..) another lady to minister, as soon as she stepped foot behind the podium, one entire pew of the congregation got up and left.

She happens to be a dear friend and just having SEEN this was such an encouragement to me in my later years, because at this time, I had NOT been technically called.
But in such grace and beauty she APPEARED unscathed, she ministered a beautiful candle-light sermon (A candle which I STILL have to this day, and I am also sure she also financed all the candles, holders, and tiny flashlights for the children, because that is another aspect to being female, YOU pay for your own ministry) But she did not show one tear, but I KNOW how deep that cut had to have been and how deep that scar has to go this day.

BUT she STOOD, she stood just as Steven stood as they stoned him, she STOOD just Paul stood when he took lash after lash, repeatedly and on more than one occasion.

She stood just as Mary stood when they laughed in her face when she announced Jesus’ resurrection, to which I have never read one APOLOGY given to Mary for outright accusing her of being a mentally deranged liar.

And we have NEVER discussed how she was wounded, ostracized, maligned, estranged, and negated.

My favorite one is negated, it means “rendered worthless as a truth” and she probably never had a clue what her stand would mean for the rest of us BUT God did.

And others who have been ostracized by their own fathers, maligned and estranged for BEING a vessel of God and choosing to OBEY God at the price of having their own father’s DESPISE them and think they are heretics on their way to hell.

I have listened to them tell their stories as ENCOURAGEMENT to those of us who would SOON travel that road, stories told their tears and heartache, bearing evidence that those wounds and those tears would only cease existence once wiped away by the Saviors hand in New Jerusalem.

But I was blessed on that count, I have a very supportive father, who has had his fair share of discussion on the subject with those not so inclined.

And my late uncle, whose influence is one of the reasons why I choose to carry my maiden name into ministry.

He was who encouraged me to be bold and to tackle the really difficult subjects that I usually work with and his encouragement to NEVER see myself as a WOMAN but as what GOD called me to be.

And when God opened the door for me to start writing a blog, he had actually prayed with me the day BEFORE I wrote my very first post.

I was so excited and also TERRIFIED, because the particular church had an impeccable reputation and I was scared to death to even try to articulate the word of God under their name after having spent a lot of television time listening to the sermons of the pastor years earlier, it was hard to stand in that group.

But I tried and I did my best and I pulled back a lot, things that now under my own ministry, I am “free” to say without the fear of “bringing reproach” on another ministry.

And it is my uncle’s sweet face and gentle voice calling me “little girl” and encouraging me EVERY single time I feel the anointing fire rise up in me to tackle a subject that I KNOW is just going to garner a little fuel to the destructive fire of hatred and misogyny that burns against me.

As I go a little farther, I could really use that encouragement as I go through my own story, so I’ll probably add his beautiful face in this post.
But on with it when I personally was called there were only THREE people in the entire church that knew, including myself.

By this time things had changed and there was still ONE preacher whose family had always been part of the church and somehow one night the subject of female ministers was brought up at which he was quick to pull out the scriptural big guns of SILENCE.

To which I asked from my pew, in a new-found boldness, “What if God ANOINTS a woman?” to which my question was met with a glare and when his appointment time rolled around again it was a”being tied to the whipping post” extravaganza.

This actually had answered a prayer for me, I had technically received my “hands on and prophecy” calling through another minister, who mainly ministered in another state and came by appointment, and this entire time, he felt that I was being disobedient to that calling by not doing anything to proceed forward.
And I was always thinking, “You just do not have a clue what I am up against” and he didn’t, he had never seen this, because the majority of the congregation all held the same belief, we just WANTED to enjoy God and the gender of the messengers was of no importance ONLY the anointing of that messenger.
And I had prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to please tell him that I was not being disobedient, I just did not know what on earth I was supposed to do in the situation that I was in.

God worked out so that he did come to church on the other “ministers” night and heard EXACTLY what I had to deal with, and he sat there that night, every ounce of color completely drained out of his face, (not to mention mine) as we ALL were thoroughly beaten with the “twisted” classic verses from the Books of Timothy and Titus, and left with the resounding voice from the pulpit that WOMEN ARE TO BE SILENT IN CHURCH and ANY woman who preaches is NOT of God.

What really broke my heart about this was that one night (when Sir Silence WAS NOT there) a tiny little girl had asked for prayer because she wanted “to be a preacher like her late Pa-paw when she grew up” and we had all prayed and asked the Lord’s anointing on her life and then three weeks later, that same child is HEARING this.
But for me, those scriptures WERE NOTHING NEW, I had spent many nights crying and praying, asking the Lord, HOW, how on earth could I possibly do this? HOW when Paul’s teaching said ABSOLUTELY NOT?
Does anyone think, really BELIEVE that women in ministry DO NOT KNOW THESE SCRIPTURES?
We probably know them much better because we have had to tearfully WEIGH them against the SPIRIT OF GOD calling and prayerfully consider HOW THEY ARE BOTH ACCURATE.

To understand this, you HAVE to understand that the Bible is made up of WRITTEN accounts and Paul’s teachings are MAINLY LETTERS to individuals and churches AT THAT TIME.

Of course it IS the inspired WORD OF GOD, but as Paul said in the infamous 1 Timothy 2:12: ” But I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach, nor to usurp (have) authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

Now we have a couple of things going on here. Paul WAS persecuted, just like the persecutions WE are suffering. He wrote quite a bit about it.

ALL the disciples went through it because what they were called of God to do what did not line up in the elders and leaders EYES of what scripture taught.
They were not allowing for the supreme authority of God over human action.

Remember when Mary questioned “How can THIS be?” and Gabriel replied that “With God NOTHING shall be impossible.”

Paul also used the word I, he DID NOT say that “The LORD suffers not”…. the history on this is that he was under such persecution from a group of Jewish women, who were basically coming in and teaching AGAINST the Gospel, that HE forbade women to speak and that they had to ask their husbands whatever they needed to know AT HOME, because they were TO BE SILENT during his teachings.

So since that time you have this scripture being ran wild with and used a power tool against wives and women when PAUL also SAID this:

Galatians 3:28: ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST.”
And what I find most HYPOCRITICAL about guys who carry this doctrine is the fact that say that it is perfectly “okay” for women to teach OTHER women and children… and it is “okay” for them to sing, answer phones at church… all sorts of activities INVOLVING THE USE OF ONE’S VOICE… and YET they argue the SILENCE scriptures.

That is a complete contradiction.
Using THAT same scripture… at NO time did he make allowance for these activities!
Did he boys? SILENCE MEANS SILENCE.
And this really tells the tale.. it is not about being scriptural pure and right.
It IS about good ol’ time honored male dominance.

Of course we are “permitted” (WOW, again what a word) to speak when we are making your phone calls, having church sales, teaching those women and children that you don’t want to have to deal with… rather convenient.

It is also the fear of their own shortcomings. It is their own need for church house superiority when we know that in the true body of Christ, HUMAN SUPERIORITY does NOT exist!

So I want to ask those who seem to think we would subject ourselves to this torment and hatred if our callings were NOT from God just for the purpose of somehow having “authority over a man” a few questions.
I want to ask WHAT was receiving your calling like?
Did you have the privilege to have your pastor proudly announce to the entire church that “Brother—– has been called to preach”?
Did everyone shake your hand and congratulate you?
Did your Mom and Grandmother cry tears of joy?
Did you receive calls of congratulations of fellow clergymen and invites to discuss thoughts on scripture?

I am SURE you did!

Let me tell you what it is like for US.

Our callings are kept on the down low and often we are under such pressure from those who say they are unbiased but secretly are, that we have to check and recheck every single word, scripture, and reference or face the “correction” by our peers which only “proves’ we shouldn’t be “doing a man’s job” anyway.

I have been under a couple of pastor’s and the one that shocked me the most was this little slip, I HAD the appointment and so he opens service and went rather long and brought me up with these UNFORGETTABLE words, “Well, I BAKED the cake, now Sister Nina is going to FROST it.”
Yeah, it was nice to know my sermon was PREJUDGED TO BE FLUFF.

And that is just about how seriously we usually get taken.
I did get some good feed back and a cute comment from one person who had noticed the remark.

And let those congratulatory hand shakes turn to looks of disgust and the reproach by fathers, coupled with the fear of people you GENUINELY like, turning on you because they now think your “of the devil” and no longer want anything to do with you.

And if you complain about the inequality, somehow it becomes YOUR job to go talk to Sir Silence and CONVINCE him of your argument because the church is NOT going to tangle with him, but if YOU can get HIM to CHANGE HIS MIND, that will be groovy.

It took FOUR years to finally get my ordination, a paper that means nothing to many but meant everything to me, for me it was PROOF that this is God’s will and I had asked God that.

And YES, my mother cried and my sister cried BUT they were crying because they KNEW what I had endured for that “piece of paper”.

A paper that must be renewed yearly and a separate “paper” allowing certification from my state to perform legal marriages that does not even HAVE a female option, it is pre-printed with the word HIS and HE before the name space that is filled out.

Now this is a state that has LEGAL homosexual marriage BUT not a form with a he/her for ministers names.
It gets better, this will be a bit graphic, but I’m not going to hide the attacks of the enemy due to my own discomfort, congratulatory calls.. yeah.. the very night after I received my calling, my telephone rang, I answered it and was promptly met with a man’s voice which said ” Will you———, to translate a little differently from his actual words… “perform certain oral services on a certain appendage”, now that one I could not even bring myself to even try to relay to my husband.

I have also received very select pm messages asking sexual questions, I would have been happy to discuss the Word and discuss SERIOUS concerns but as a servant of God, I KNEW the motivation behind it was NOT for the Gospel.
And my latest, shortly after starting the new “ladies”blog, I gained a “follower” whose profile held nothing back as far as intent nor his very graphic descriptions of what he felt were his “attributes”, that one I did let my husband read before removing him, because I have finally reached the point that I am no longer shocked, I understand that satan feels the need remind me of his feelings about my worth, and all I could truly say to this one was “Seriously?”
TELL ME, male ministers have to deal with this!?

I do realize we ALL are fought but you guys do not have a clue as to the weapons used against us.

And unfortunately certain of our brothers of the cloth ARE the greatest weapons in satan’s arsenal against us!
And those discussions of scripture, well, the most memorable of mine were with a guy who is absolutely as hard-core as it gets, his wife did not wear pants, drive, nor was she allowed to have ANY money whatsoever, or any knowledge of their finances, and any contact I HAD to have with him became a ” sword fight” of scripture to try to “test” my knowledge of the Bible.
It also consisted of the age-old “make-up wearing JEZEBEL” that tempts men to lust, to which I finally shut him up with, “Jesus knows I wear make-up, I wear it for me, and I’ll wear it like a clown if I want to.”

And Jesus taught that the responsibility for lust fell upon the one feeling it.
But my most favorite questions he asked as he was “agreeing with women “preachers” is this gem… “Do you know WHY God called women?” .. I couldn’t WAIT to hear this one.. so I asked “Why?” to which he replied “Because MEN wouldn’t do THEIR job’s.”

Hmm. is that it? Considering the scriptures stating that we “are pre-ordained, predestined, and CALLED BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD”

I would truly think that HE already knew what gender that He would create us to be.
But who am I to argue the WISDOM OF MAN?!!!

When I feared truly falling into disobedience I reached out to another pastor who is of the same belief system, and he had just announced one members call, and so after church, I BOLDLY (it took every ounce of courage I had) asked him, what was his thoughts on female ministers, he was QUICK to inform that “he was NOT recruiting” so I told him that was no big deal, I wasn’t asking for that, I just wanted to know if he thought it was acceptable with God.
He goes on to tell me that he grew up with women and personally had no problem with it BUT that his congregation would never “go for it”.
The irony in this was that this particular pastor is black with an all white (or at that time) congregation and my being a white woman asking a black man to advise me with my calling our chat was truly the equivalent of something that might have been said between our ancestors …You know, like “I am okay with you… I actually HAVE black friends.. but I can’t let my white friends know that.”

That was another time I was so hurt and embarrassed that I had even asked that I told no one for YEARS.
I truly DID NOT even want him to “take me in”, I honestly, at the time was seeking spiritual guidance, someone to help me understand what I was called to do and how to go about that and be in the will of God.

But God is so good and soon reconfirmed many things to me and sent me to a church where I was viewed as a PERSON, not male or female and opened up a path for me.
But I did have to leave everything I knew and walk by faith, not knowing if those doors would be slammed and the constant voices back and forth of “your going to hell because women are to be silent” versus “You must obey the Lord.. REGARDLESS.”

I know this has been long, but it has been necessary, because as I said GOD GAVE ME MY MINISTRY and I will not allow those who would read my work as fuel to further reproach and tear apart women ministers to continue to do so without a little warning, “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHETS NO HARM”

This ministry is for ANYONE who wishes to stop by and hopefully study the Word of God with me and know that GOD DOES LOVE THEM!
And I would also take a moment to THANK all my TRUE brothers in the Lord, there is a world full of awesome, God-fearing men out there who do not hold these misogynistic beliefs toward us.

So I think it suffices to say, I have taken my stripes and if you are a woman going through this, please KEEP praying, keep STUDYING, and be ATTENTIVE to every door the Lord opens and don’t be afraid to move on when he allows one to close

At the height of my struggle with it, I had a dream, in this dream I was walking in this building that had all these little side rooms, and they looked like little hospital chapel rooms, they all had wood-paneled walls, and I kept walking and saw one room with an older man standing and praying, and it was like I knew I was SUPPOSED to go in there, and I said “I can’t go in there, it’s all old guys” and it was just like “GO”, so I went in and the gentleman just looked at me for a moment and not saying a word went back to praying, so I started praying too and woke up.

I took that as comfort but I assure you it has not been easy.

And I want to give YOU the verse that the Lord allowed me to stand on and STILL stand on today.
REMEMBER those who were persecuted and falsely called evil BEFORE you.
REMEMBER what Jesus said when they were CONSTANTLY ACCUSING HIM.

Matthew 10:24-27: ” The disciple is not above his master, nor servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master (teacher) and the servant as his lord,

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (a devil)  how much more shall they call them of his house?

Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye from the housetops.”

I will admit this was one I was stuck on for a while… the Lord kept taking me to it very early on and I was not even getting it and then one day……
It means this IF and they DID call Him a devil FOR doing right, as His servants, we will ALSO be treated badly.
But He tells us NOT to be afraid, but to PREACH what He gives us from the “housetops” meaning LOUDLY, BOLDLY, and FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR!
When they try to shut you up and discourage you, REMEMBER this verse, from when they also tried to shut up Peter and FORBADE the apostle to preach Jesus:
Acts 5:29:” Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God RATHER than men.”
This is one God had a person give me BEFORE I even understood the true ramifications of it:
2 Timothy 2:3,4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth (battle) entangleth himself with the affairs of THIS life; that HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER.”
That one I actually have written on my Bible case.
And this one I have written on apiece of paper in the front cover of my Bible, MEMORIZE it and quote it over yourself.
It is ALSO written by Paul, whom they love to argue, read some of the things Paul went through and how often he was persecuted for ALSO carrying the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:10: ” But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM; AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN…..”
I apologize again for the length of this but there is no way to highlight a seventeen year journey using five hundred words or less 🙂 and I truly pray this helps even one you to stand your ground and stay your path, because I for one would rather men hate me than to stand before God and know that I failed Him in what He sent me here to do.
I love all of you and God bless you for reading and I appreciate it truly!
And I promise no matter how tough it looks, TRUST HIM and He will show you the doors that He opened BEFORE you were even created!

Dedicated to my beautiful uncle… till we meet again on those golden streets…

   Monroe Brown

Φλογιζω, Σαλπιζω, Εξυπνιζω, NBJ 2018

This beautiful song got me through many nights of tears: Shared from YouTube:

For a little more about women and the Word, please check out: AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

“PRECONCEPTION”

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter (murder) AGAINST the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired (asked) of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound (arrested) unto Jerusalem.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and SUDDENLY there SHINED ROUND ABOUT HIM A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN: and he FELL to the earth, and HEARD a voice saying into him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said WHO ART THOU, LORD? and the Lord said, I am Jesus who thou persecutest: it is hard to kick against the pricks. (pricks meaning goads, it all meant that was USELESS for Saul to even attempt to resist the Lord)

And he TREMBLING and ASTONISHED said, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and IT SHALL be told thee what thou must do.

And the men with journeyed with him stood speechless, HEARING a voice, but SEEING NO MAN. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  And he was there three days WITHOUT SIGHT, and NEITHER DID EAT OR DRINK.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; AND TO HIM SAID THE LORD IN A VISION, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he may receive his sight.

THEN Ananias answered, Lord, I have HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL (harm) HE HATH DONE to thy saints at Jerusalem: And he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.

BUT the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.” Acts 9: 1-16

Now got some serious events going on right there, as we know it as “the conversion of Saul/Paul” God was taking a man whom had made his LIFE all about persecuting Christians and at that time to even bind women and drag them off was especially despicable but what Saul did, he did one hundred percent, and gave it all he had to give.

And the beauty is that his TRUE PREDESTINATION was a total 360 and the cause he so hated would be the cause that he would ultimately and WILLING GIVE HIS LIFE in favor of!

And once his spiritual eyes were OPENED to the Lord, he did not even try to fight it because he knew he had BEEN WRONG and that he was now had. The other insight into all things human with this, is that Saul, whose entire being would be changed, EVEN his name, as he would now journey roads that led to so much greater than Damascus, roads that could only be navigated in his PREORDAINED, DESTINATION of walking those roads no longer as Saul the Enforcer, but as Paul the Apostle and truly remarkably, while Saul was YET blinded, and horrified, in complete darkness, God ALREADY told Ananias His own divine plan for Paul’s mission!

So see, Ananias, even though he was TERRIFIED of Saul, knew the work Paul would do BEFORE Paul even knew! So we are going in this post to the land of preconceptions, you know, that nasty little place that we arrive at when we decide a persons worth based on what we HEAR, just as Ananias had HEARD all these things about Saul, and while these things HAD BEEN TRUE after GOD CHANGED PAUL, they no longer held any merit and often we judge others based on pre-Christ lives and ancient history and how are we benefitting them, witnessing to them, or furthering the Kingdom of God by doing this?

pre·con·cep·tion
[ˌprēkənˈsepSH(ə)n]

NOUN
preconceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun)
a preconceived idea or prejudice.

(from Oxford Dictionary)

I had the most strange encounter, I had recently met a person and pick up no weird vibes or maliciousness coming from them and it happened that another person, I had never met, strikes up a conversation and we start talking and they bring up this other person and that I should know them and they proceed to tell me in about three minutes the entire life history of the other, and of course, the good, the bad, and the most of all the horrific.

And of course I am trying to figure out, in my head, why on earth did they feel the need to tell me all that?

I often remember something the “old-timers” always preached.. that we CAN KILL A PERSON with our words, we KILL their reputation, we KILL their testimony by CHOOSING to share every single detail of their lives NEEDLESSLY and usually those details are never of any good they may have done, BUT all the bad, all the mistakes, and the WORST possible “proofs of character” or rather proof of LACK thereof.

And as I questioned all this, in my heart, the sovereignty of God and goodness of Him came shining through as I actually overheard a conversation between the person “in question” and another, and they were actually talking about GOD, and they used a scripture that they said had helped them through a situation. And all that was said, was all I needed to hear because I know as a minister, that the wording they chose is only chosen by people who truly believe.

So anyway, I pondered the whole deal, and I was like, what was THAT all about?

And I came up with this conclusion, of course sometimes we are WARNED in life, BUT what if, sometimes, we are told things to make us fear another SO THAT WE WILL NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL, things told us so that we will be so guarded and not give a person even a moment, the benefit of doubt and to prevent us from even trying to see WHO they are in Christ, whether of not, they even ARE in Christ YET.

Just as Ananias had to be reassured by the Lord, sometimes we need to ask God to reassure us, we have no business in the pasts of others, we WERE NOT in their past but if God has placed us on the same path, in their present, even for  a moment, we owe them the same respect and opportunity to “prove” their character as we ourselves desire.

Because as the Bible so eloquently states in Romans 3:22,23:

EVEN the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH of JESUS CHRIST unto ALL and upon ALL that BELIEVE: for THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: For ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME (fall) SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

That is the deal, MAYBE God wants us to try to see others AS He sees them, He SEES them as what they CAN be, what He created them to be, in the spiritual work that He predestined and when He forgives, He FORGIVES and FORGETS and He never considers those sins again, so why should we?

Why are we allowed to hold against others actions that we had no stake in or right to accuse now? And if we do CHOOSE to hold those negative thoughts, attitudes, and PRECONCEPTIONS about them, then WE could very well be the ones who cause them to stumble and cause them to stay who they once were rather than being lights and encouraging them to have faith and embrace who they can become in Christ!

And again, I want to STRESS that if you KNOW a person to be in danger through another person, or that they are ABSOLUTELY going to cause harm, BY ALL MEANS warn whoever is in that path, and I want to STRESS, I personally DO NOT BELIEVE we have to be buddies with people who have wrecked our lives, we do have to forgive but we are not required to hang out with them.

BUT please really, really consider what NEEDS to be said about  a person or their past BEFORE saying it, and ask YOURSELF this question, IF that IS who they STILL are, or WHO they STILL want to be, would they NOT STILL BE THERE IN THAT SAME PLACE, SITUATION, OR LIFESTYLE? 

People DO NOT change until THEY WANT to change and we NEED to be discreet in our disclosures (UNLESS, they are warranted) and LET them change!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed week, Love & Peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

“All that hinders, all that binds,& the lies that trap the mind.”

“He that believeth on him IS NOT condemned: but he that believeth not IS condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.

  And this IS the condemnation, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness more than the light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, lest his deeds be reproved (exposed). But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” JOHN 3:18-20

How sad, how sad is it when there are people who TRULY, TRULY BELIEVE that God does indeed exist, that Jesus Christ IS indeed the perfect Lamb of God, who BELIEVE the Gospel and every single precious word of it and yet they chose not to accept that Gospel and choose not to accept salvation. How do we ever minister to them?

As in an earlier post, we know that Jesus compares it to children, who no matter how gentle the message, no matter how hot the flames of the fire of hell is preached, they still refuse to accept eternal life through Him, through in WHOM THEY DO BELIEVE. What is wrong with that picture?

Many are mind trapped the have really bought the lies that for whatever reason, the Gospel is good…..just NOT good for them.

Is it self-esteem, is it self punishment, is it a feeling of true hopelessness, worthlessness? What is it? I would love to ask that. Why turn down the greatest love and mercy ever known? Why not be free, truly free, free in happiness, free in peace, and free to live to live a life your never imagined? Maybe someone, the enemy, or maybe the biggest enemy of all, self has convinced you that you ARE condemned.

But the words above are the words of Jesus and HE IS the ultimate authority on ALL things and HE said “if you believe in Him, you ARE not condemned”.

And if you believe and accept Him, ROMANS 8:1, PROMISES, ” THERE is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them that which are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the spirit.”

Our righteousness (right standing with God) IS as filthy rags, we have all sinned, we are born into sin and people love to remind you of your past and there are always those who love to tell you that you will never make it trying to live for the Lord, but the Bible says “let God be true and every man a liar” there will NEVER be anything we can do to redeem ourselves.

There will never be anything that we can do to undo our mistakes. But the most foolish thing that we can ever do is to stand before the Lord and “Say I know you would have saved me, but I just wasn’t worth it.” NO ONE is worth it in themselves but we were ALL worth it to Him. It is not His will that any should perish and He gave His life so we would not have to give ours and the thought that we must “make our self ready” for salvation is not  aright thought.

God does not require us to do any of the changing, he requires us to LET HIM CHANGE US! And to analyze, think, plan, and weigh out the options of whether or not we can “give up” this or that and to hold out until we “can live it” is absolutely NOT of God and has nothing to do with true desire for salvation. These thoughts and persuasion are only there to keep us bond and hindered.

What if tomorrow never comes? What if the next breath is the second to your last? Would you accept Him then? What if, without a moment’s warning, half the things in Revelation start to come to pass? What if destruction comes, what if you find yourself on this earth, having missed the ONLY opportunity to flee the trails and tribulations of the last days, by not accepting Christ BEFORE those things come to pass, what happens then? And you STILL BELIEVE?

Well, no one knows the preordained moment of their death, but as sure as we are born, God ALREADY knows the date, hour, second, and millisecond of the moment we WILL leave this earth. We will not be allowed to come back and change our minds and ask for a do over. We are given ONE life here on this earth. “It is appointed ONCE unto man to die” and after that the judgment.

If you believe, then surely you have noticed all those things which are coming to pass, and knowing that you need to know that all that is written, all that has been foretold can happen in  a blink of an eye and even though you may live through the initial things, you will die for your faith, if you are to denounce the beast and refuse the mark.

So now, what hinders you? What is it that binds you? HEBREWS 12:1″WHEREFORE seeing (since) that we are compassed (surrounded) about with such a great cloud of witnesses, LET US LAY ASIDE (put down) EVERY WEIGHT (all those things that are hindering you) and the sin which doth so easily beset (ensnare) us, and let us RUN with patience (perseverance) the race that is set before us.” 

Jesus said YOU are NOT condemned IF you believe in Him, so why on earth are you condemning yourself? ACCEPT His mercy, His peace, and His salvation while they may be accepted. Renew your mind in Him:

2 CORINTHIANS 10:5: “Casting down (tearing down, destroying) imaginations, and EVERY high thing that exalteth itself against (comes in place of) THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD,  and bringing INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.” 

The knowledge that God does love you, God wants to save you, and stop believing the lies and your own thoughts that want to say otherwise and bring all those thought into Him and WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT YOU and be obedient to the fact that His word is the final authority concerning your soul! And if God doesn’t want to send you to hell, why do you wanna send yourself there?

Also consider checking out this post:  “And you are?…”

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016  ***Re-post 5/25/2019*** This is a thought to a new series

 

 

Sticks and Stones #2 “BLOOD BROTHERS”

“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” Mark 13:12

“For the son dishounerth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law:  A MANS ENEMIES ARE THE MEN OF HIS OWN HOUSE”  Micah 7:6        

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is BORN FOR ADVERSITY.” Proverbs 17:17                                                        

Fair to say these are some serious warnings of ye olde family unit making frequent appearances at Drama Ville dinner theater.

Recorded in the Bible it started at the beginning, Genesis chapter 4, and it started with Cain the firstborn of Adam and Eve and of course the older brother to Able.Cain became jealous and angry because God accepted Able’s offering but not his, Cain had offered what HE wanted to offer NOT what was acceptable as an offering, instead of heeding God’s warning to him, he let his anger simmer and steep until it hit the boiling point.                                            

Genesis 4:8 ” And Cain talked with Able his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in a field, that Cain rose up against Able and slew him.” 

He talked him into going into the field with him, with the intention of killing him the entire time. Again leading me to believe that Able, like Joseph just did not have a clue to this secret hatred was until it was too late.                                                                                            

We know the story of Joseph and how he was one of two sons bore to his father Jacob by his choice wife Rachel and he was half-brother to the ten bore by Leah, the wife that he had been tricked into marrying.

Now maybe the bad blood was a direct result of that and who truly knows the effect that all the strife and hatred between these sister wives had on the ten as they grew up, who knows the discussions they may have heard and who knows if their ultimate hatred for Joseph was born out of their own feelings of inadequacy because we do know Joseph was the favorite son.

But we also know that it was because Joseph was not anything like them,he was like his mother, he was gentle and mild, it was because he was pleasant to his father.                                                                

Maybe it was just the sowing of the tares with the wheat. I really don’t think Joseph understood that his brothers seriously hated him, I believe that in his innocent thinking and his young age that he just did not get it and when he shared his dream, satan then used that to push them over the edge, he was just a teen-aged boy sharing what in his eyes was the coolest dream ever, we know that his Dad rebuked him for this because being older, wiser he knew that the others hated him.        

Genesis 37:18: “And when they saw him afar off,even before he came near unto them, THEY CONSPIRED AGAINST HIM TO SLAY HIM”   

He did not have a clue, but after they had thrown him in a pit to drown (only there was no water in the well ) they sat around laughing and eating lunch and then changed their mind and sold him as a slave, he finally, painfully, understood.                                                                                                                                                                                 Selling Joseph forewarned of the entire Hebrew nation being enslaved to Egypt and many today live enslaved in emotional prisons built by the hands of their family members and built on their spiritual blood  The Bible really doesn’t detail Jesse thoughts toward David but we can read between the lines, he is young, writes poetry, plays music, the creative type, so he is given the job of watching over the flock.                                                                    

David was not even considered by his father when Samuel called for the sons to presented and that just about said it all. And we know when push come to shove and all the men of Israel was cowering down before Goliath, Davids true character started shining through:

1 Samuel 17:26,28: “And David spake to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done unto the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why comest thou down hither?and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart; for thou hast come down that thou mayest see the battle”

Eliab’s entire personality revealed!

The oldest ones seem to have the biggest issues, the parable of the prodigal son even has this theme, the angry older brother. Always angry because they feel they did not get the attention they deserve. He was angry because he saw something in David that he knew he did not possess in himself, courage in the face of a giant.

He wanted to line David out and “put him in his place” in front of the other men as a show of bravado, he could still tell off little brother there.

Why are you here? Why were you born? Why do you have to be here anyway?

Sounds like some of the things many ears have heard. Who is watching your FEW sheep, just got to prove whatever the younger has watch over is not just quite as good or meaningful.

Now he has to let everyone know what he thinks about David with accusations of pride, (remember the accuser of the brethren, one of satan’s many name’s, well he loves nothing more than to accuse you through your brethren!) and of course he had to give a reason for good show.

And  I know  David put up with this on a regular basis, check out his answer: 1 Samuel 17:29; ” And David said,What have I NOW DONE? (what did I do now?) Is there not a cause?”

Breakdown, Cain was angry and jealous because of Able’s offering being accepted by Father God. his only response for his action was “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In his eyes, his little brother was not his problem and when he was called on his deed, he only cared about saving his own neck.

God was with Joseph, Joseph named his firstborn son Ephraim, meaning “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction”  and giving us all hope in the fact that what is meant for harm God will use for good.

Joseph’s brother’s were angry and resentful over his relationship with their father.

But he forgave his brothers but the cosmic repercussion of it all still sent an entire race into slavery for over four hundred years.

We do see that David fared pretty well, one whom the whole group of the thought was no more than a singing pretty boy is still considered one of the most fierce warrior Kings to ever have existed and whatever became of his brother Eliab, I haven’t a clue, but David’s throne is forever established of God.

Goliath laughed at David, mocking him, mocking his size and asking did he come against him with sticks as if he were a dog, more or less, sticks were something to beat something else with, but in the giant’s eyes it was no match for him, but the stones, the stones could break him, because just as that stone guided by the hand of God himself took that giant to the ground enabling David to take off the laughing giant’s head with his own weapon, God IS OUR ROCK and He always wins.

Maybe you have been or continue to go through these “family affairs”, but please hear me, just as with Cain and Joseph’s brothers, people can have far darker feelings toward us then we want to accept. It is hard to walk away from family member’s especially when subjected to the good old brainwashing like Eliab tried to use on David.

They will always blame you, they will always accuse you because Satan IS the ultimate older brother, to the children of God, he was created first, we were created in God’s image, he is older than mankind and he is jealous and angry because you can have a relationship with the Father that is now lost to him forever.

Giants even bigger than Goliath can be born of these relationships,so see it for what it is. Please stay with me, next time I want to give a boatload of scripture, God’s word to help with these things and take the heads off some giants, we’ll start it with a little “Blood Transfusion”!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015   

For more in this series, please check out these posts: Bad BloodSticks & StonesAnger DangerStrangle Hold                                                    

AMONG THE THORNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Four Eyes”,

“Dumb”,

“Stupid”,

“Wimp”,

“Fat”,

“Bone rack”,

“Flat chest”,

” Slut”,

“Idiot”,

“Cry Baby”,

“Should have never been born”,

“Never will amount to anything”.

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

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

Part 1 ASHES

ASHES

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]