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 It is several years old and had been unpublished for awhile.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