Ever blooming….

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken (caught) in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering THYSELF, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. If a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto (share with) him that teacheth in all good things.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; and he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:1-9

I love these verses but to start us off thinking about the beginning… if we see our brother or sister struggling, hurting, and sinking in the waters of their battle IT IS OUR JOB to help them up. IT IS OUR JOB to do whatever we can to help with those burdens, that behavior, or whatever trail or temptation they have come under.

And this verse is not to the world.. this verse is to THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL, He is telling us that THIS is our job, not just pray for them but to actually HELP them. 

Our next instruction in this is, for US to go to them in the SPIRIT of meekness, meaning gently and humbly and in no way pulling a “holier than thou” or “stronger than thou” attitude on them because we are to CONSIDER OURSELVES, our own well-being because even if we aren’t in a battle at the time, how we treat others during their battles can ACTUALLY BRING ABOUT A HORRIFIC BATTLE IN OUR OWN LIFE.

Bearing each others burdens instead of turning a blind eye and questioning their salvation and Christianity, their relationship to God, such as Jobs “friends” reacted the attack the devil waged against him. They BLAMED Job, belittling, accusing, and chastising him unmercifully, while arrogantly proclaiming their own self-righteousness.

Which completely explains the next verse, FALSELY believing that we have it all together and pride fully accusing others that their struggles are solely caused by their SHORTCOMINGS in spiritual things.

We must prove our own work, again knowing that God knows our hearts and our intentions whether others wish to misconstrue those intentions or not. It should be none of our concern because people are going to think what is in THEIR hearts to think anyway, and they are going to make those judgments against us based on again, what looks right and sounds right to THEM, not always what is the truth.

We just have to learn to let that go because we can’t change people only God has that power and they have to want that change. That is why we are also told in scripture: 

He that reproveth (tries to convince of truth) a scorner (SCOFFER) getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh (admonish, scold) a wicked man getteth himself a blot (ONLY HARMS HIMSELF). Reprove NOT a scorner, LEST HE HATH THEE: rebuke a wise man and he will LOVE thee.” Proverbs 9:7,8

Pretty self-explanatory, when we try to talk to them about something for the good, they will only get mad and hate us and we in turn can become angry at them, thereby only hurting ourselves!  We are only to try reason with a WISE man because he will accept that reason and appreciate us for it.

I recently found myself in a situation because I had decided to not attend a funeral for a person who had really come against my family concerning our faith (or rather their perceived lack thereof ) during the terminal illness of my late brother. I could feel the vibes of hurt and “How can you be so cold” coming straight my way from someone after the fact.

And I truly thought about giving my reasoning but it was pointless to do so. The person who died had apologized, apologies had been accepted and even with that, for me to have went would have been tasteless and I think even more nerve wrecking for the loved ones and for me because the enemy would be very convincing to all that my intentions of being there were not for condolence purposes, because he died from the same disease that killed my brother. What could I have said if I had went? What could I have possibly done, when in my self I knew going to it would have only brought back the same old pain of holding my brother’s dead body asking myself questions that had been put in my head by the enemy. I had prayed and prayed and prayed and had faith and I know he died because it was his time, but it is hard to remember all that once something gets in your head deep enough. I also know that we can pray and pray and have faith and yet it does not always go the way we would want but it does not mean that God does not love us or that we have “caused” their death rather than their healing, because we are “faithless”. Bringing all that back up would help no one and even dealing with the thought only causes grief.

I have no joy in his death, my heart breaks for his family for what they have endured and the mourning that follows and I just thought the best thing to do was to do nothing, not even acknowledge it and not give any one a reason for my absence, and pray and hope that it was the right decision. Sometimes things are just better left alone.

And as much as I don’t want people hurt and mad at me, I am planting my own garden.. every day with what I say, what I do.. and how I treat others. We all are and we have to really think about what we would want to grow.

The garden of life holds many varieties of beautiful plants, our hopes, dreams, and goals that grow and take root. The beautiful flowers that are our family, friends, loved ones and pets, all different, all bringing different experiences, memories, and treasures to our life. The spices of joy, peace, happiness, even when mingled with the bitter still create our existence that will always be unique to us and our life. 

But of all that we plant and the one thing that should be ever blooming in the garden of our life is kindness. Kindness is free, it costs us nothing to share a smile and share a hug and in showing kindness we can bear one another’s burdens.

Kindness can break through even the most concrete walls that surround the most wounded soul, and kindness is the sunshine that melts away the frost covering even the most frozen heart.

And when we sow in kindness and understanding to another, even when we ourselves can become stretched thin, we are sowing  into a garden that we will reap bountifully from, because when we need it the most, it will bloom, it will prosper, and we will reap abundantly of those good things, but only, only IF we have planted them into another’s life.

Romans 12:10: ” Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another.” as the saying goes, we never know what another is going through and we can use that opportunity to judge and harm or we can use that opportunity to encourage and lift up.

The choice is ours but the garden we plant is also ours and we are the ones that will be left with whatever takes root and grows there, so let’s plant with love, and mercy, understanding, and patience and only send out what we want to have returned to us.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed weekend!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

“Learning to just say… NOT SO!”

” And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, NOT SO; BUT HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED JOHN.” LUKE 1:59,60

Now the deal with this is that at that time sons were usually named by the father and after the father, but his name had come not from man but from God and knowing this, Elisabeth quickly spoke in the babies defense with NOT SO.

How often do we accept the names and titles wrongfully given to us and our children, not once arguing our own NOT SO! ?

I have written in the past about names and titles and the damage they can do but this was on my heart so strong concerning what does it do to our children, our families, and even us when do not loudly proclaim NOT SO at the wounding words and accusations of others? And what role will it play in ultimately fulfilling our destinies?

What if Zacharias and Elisabeth had disobeyed the voice of the angel of the Lord? What if they had chosen to name this child any name other than the commanded John? Well, we know of a certainty, “John the Baptist” would not have existed, all that was spoken, even in that time, among those who heard him and those who hated him, would never have been uttered and the destined place in the cosmic scheme of all things would have been void and John’s namesake message of GRACE might not have been so quickly proclaimed. 

Of course I know God is sovereign and God uses who He wants, when He wants, but I am just stirring your thoughts to the fact that this was PREDESTINED, PREORDAINED, and that I think many of us are fighting battles and fighting against that predestination by being caught up in names that we have accepted but God NEVER chose to call us or others. 

I can never think of names without thinking of the name of my sister, Ruby, who is my “sister-sister” natural sister and spiritual sister. When her name was in my Mom’s heart, it could have not been more perfect, she is beautiful inside and out, has so much compassion that she cries when others cry and missed her calling as a “Florence Nightingale” (notice the image of a loving nurse popped right up, ah.. the power of a name) due to care and nurture of the sick and wounded. And she truly has been a precious jewel placed in our family and we do thank God for her.

And I think especially of children, when labels are placed on them, especially when they HEAR these labels and all the negativity and self-doubt that those labels immediately cover them in and I do wonder what if, what if those labels change?

What if someone boldly stands and says, NOT SO! I wonder about times when people make accusations and spread gossip about others, especially, IN CHURCHES, often with the “But don’t mention it….” attached to it, ( I am meaning when people tell you the most awful things a person has done or supposedly still doing, and are attacking their character and accusing them to you, while wanting to stay anonymous, behind the others back with them not even aware they are being slandered) we are never to judge someone or listen to “charges” against them without first consulting that person to hear their side of the story, but often we choose to see the worst in others and become, judge, jury, and executioner without ever affording that person a “trail”.

And “as we judge, so shall we be judged” so we can be assured that somewhere along the way, someone will backbite, trash talk, and harm our reputation without us having the benefit of speaking on our behalf in the matter.

And in hindsight, which we all know it the greatest of all sight, I look with terrible, terrible regret at times when I should have stood on behalf of others and myself and screamed NOT SO!

Many “old timers warned of the ability to kill with words, to murder another’s reputation and in doing so we are in effect breaking the sixth  commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. Because we are killing them with the power of that untamable beast and yet we don’t want it mentioned….of course they SAY they do not want to “stir up” trouble, but trouble is exactly want they want stirred.

This could never be discussed without a trip to the Old Testament and going down that tortuously, long hard road that Joseph trod. From the verse, in which his Mother, gives him, HIS name:

GENESIS 30:24: “And she called his name, Joseph; and said the Lord shall add to me another son.” To the naming of HIS sons;

GENESIS 41:51,52: ” And Joseph called the name of the firstborn MANASSEH  (fortified), for God, said he, hath made me FORGET ALL MY TOIL, and ALL my father’s house.

And the name of the second called he EPHRAIM(fruitful),; for God hath CAUSE ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION.”

And we can travel that road reading his story until words would be fulfilled about his very bones over four hundred years later:

EXODUS 13:19: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he (Joseph) had straightly sworn (placed under a solemn oath) the children of Israel, saying, GOD WILL SURELY VISIT YOU; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”

So Joseph’s namesake “add to” surely was fulfilled, but what about all the names and titles he had to have faith to ignore on that road? Hated by his brothers because of their jealously, he endured, that time equivalent to “brat”, “pet”, and “Daddy’s boy”, and suffered by their hands, now we add  “rejected”, “abused” “hated to death”, Finally “slave” falsely accused and imprisoned, he would have been labeled “rapist” and after those he helped remembered him no more, and as two years went by, he could have easily been labeled “forgotten and forsaken” but he NEVER allowed these labels to adhere to him and he held onto FAITH, that these names, these “titles”, these labels were NOT SO!

Can you imagine the pain, not only of the hurt and anguish he felt at the realization that they did indeed HATE him, but to be ripped away from all he had ever known and loved? But as God brought him out and brought him up, he chose to name his children,  “fortified” strengthen and protected, causing him to FORGET ALL his father’s house, all he suffered and unfortunately the pain of the loss of all he loved.

And “fruitful”, because he said GOD HAD MADE HIM FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF HIS AFFLICTION. Many, many times he could have just laid it down, he could have lost hope and gave into to voices calling lies over him, and walked out on his destiny, but he chose to BELEIVE in his heart that these heartaches and struggles were only for a little while and when the enemies tried to convince him otherwise, he would remember in his heart what his father had taught, he would rest in his God and know all the lies and false labels had no power over him.

So I want to ask you today, what labels have been applied to you? What labels have been falsely attached to your family, your children? What words, names, and titles do you need to ask the Lord to tear down and break the yoke of those strangling, binding words today, because they HAVE POWER, but GOD HAS MORE!

But God gives us freewill and we must CHOOSE what voice we will hear and what we are willing to accept and we must have courage through the word of God to CHOOSE to hear what HE says about us.

As the Bible states, “Let God be true, and every man a liar”  DO NOT allow others to label you and for the love of God, never let the label children or the elderly while they are in “earshot”, what we hear, we tend to believe and if WE BELEIVE OTHERS THINK US BAD,SICK, OR MENTALLY UNSTABLE , okay, guess what? BAD, SICK, and MENTALLY UNSTABLE WE SHALL BE!

But if YOU choose to say to that person (or yourself) NOT SO! And offer instead to that person a word of hope, healing, or encouragement, and peace, that can change their mindset and MAYBE change the final outcome of that life. Find scripture and use them.

Afraid? “He hath not given us a SPIRIT of fear, but of a SOUND MIND”

Sick? “HE IS risen with healing in his wings”

Tired? COME UNTO ME…..I WILL GIVE THEE REST.”

Every single problem we can have, THERE IS  a word for that problem, use a reference Bible, go online and search scriptures for…… and use them, when everything and everyone around you says you are defeated…. NOT SO! “We ARE MORE THAN CONQUERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US.”

Think about it today, don’t look back years from now when damage is done ( I do hold to the belief that THERE IS NO DAMAGE THAT GOD CAN NOT UNDO, but if it can be avoided, it will save much heartache) and wish you had said NOT SO! to thoughts, labels, titles, and the voices of others, regardless of WHOSE MOUTHS those wrong voices are coming out of! God and GOD ALONE holds your past, present, and future and HE IS the author and finisher of your faith.

He started you, he wrote your story and HE IS more than able to take a tragic beginning and compose into it the world’s most triumphant work! What HE starts in all of us, HE WILL finish. So again, please, please please, (see I really, really pleaded with you) DO NOT ACCEPT ANYONES thoughts, labels, and TRASH, just say, satan (they are his agents) THAT”S JUST NOT SO!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016