DWELLING PLACE

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them upon the face of the earth.” Amos 5:8

We know what could be said, I personally can never say it enough.
He is omnipotent and omnipresent, no matter where you are, He is with you. 
He is holy, beautiful, full and glory and majesty and yet having a gentleness and humility unlike anything of this world.

 He is the Lord and beside Him, there is no savior.
Jeremiah 23:23″Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

When he revealed himself to Saul, who was on his way to arrest all the Christians that he could round-up, Jesus told him it was useless to resist him, my question would be who could?

He then transformed Saul to his chosen vessel Paul, who would go preach the very gospel he had so adamantly fought against! With thirteen books of the New Testament having been authored by him.

Now that is a true transformation of mind and soul!
So many atrocities are committed in the name of God, but he is nowhere near of any it.
Jesus is gentle and merciful and does not condone beating children, animals or anyone.

He himself, suffered a horrific beating before His crucifixion, in our place, so why would He want us to beat others or be subjected to it?
Evil always pretends that it is for the cause of good, because Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

The Bible recalling work after work of the Lord  with the heavens, the earth, and the seas, and all of creation declaring His glory.
His will and purpose for us equating into that plan when we should be so small, so insignificant, but the God of the universe has called His followers, His friends!
The nations are as but a drop of water in a bucket to Him and yet He has called us his peculiar treasure.

Maybe that is why we are a peculiar treasure, that He would think of us and walk with Adam and Eve in the garden, and speak with Moses, first from a burning bush and then face to face, visit with Abraham and spend time with the disciples before returning to heaven and cry when we cry and hear us when we call and heaven comes down to visit earth.

No matter how we profess our love for Him, the truth of the matter and the secret to it all, is HIS love toward us!

A love so far beyond our human comprehension and defying all our human logic. And the best part is His word and His word will not return void, it will do what He sent it to do.
So no matter where you are on this earth, what persecution and ridicule that you may be suffering today, I want you to know He does love you and He sees all that you endure.
Hold onto to Him, don’t try to figure anything out on your own, give it all to Him and He will guide you in the way you need to go.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”   Proverbs 3:5-6

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth him out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken spirit and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”       Psalm 34:15, 17-19

“He that dwelleth  in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, HE IS my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence (trouble) that walketh in darkness; nor the destruction that wasteth
( lays waste) at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. For he shall give his angels charge over thee.”  Psalm 91:1-6,11

“Because thou hath made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation (dwelling place);” Psalm 91:9
The Lord’s answer follows:
“Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will deliver him:
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.”

Again him, being a generic term for all humans.  Literally living, breathing, being kept hidden from the adversary under the protective presence of all-powerful, all-knowing God.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me upon a rock. And now mine head shall be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle (presence) sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O, Lord when I cry with my voice: have mercy upon me and answer me.  When thou saidst Seek ye my face: my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”   Psalm 27:5-8

Life is never fair. Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust.

Trails and heartache come, but there is a presence of God, a place of safety, a place that assures you peace even in the midst of a storm raging all around you.
A reassurance that can only be found in  His everlasting arms, under the shadow of his wings.

If you need this today, all you have to do is ask Him, He does understand, He created you in the palm of His hand and yet those wings spread so far that He can cover the entire world with them.

That is who HE IS and that is one of the many reasons we love Him and worship Him and He never forces us to do any of it.

And ye will seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:13

My sincerest prayer for you today is that the Lord keep you, bless you and make his face shine upon you and give you peace, in the name above every name, Jesus of Nazareth.  AMEN

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. NBJ 2015
Revisited 2019

“Done Deal”

When Jesus chose to come to earth through the womb of a humble virgin and chose a stable as the destination for his arrival and He chose a poor carpenter as His earthly step-father, it would be to the confusion and confounding of those who awaited the Messiah to be born in splendor, in the finest of palaces with the proverbial golden spoon in His mouth.

And it worked quite nicely, He wanted those who came to Him to come to Him because HE IS not because of who thought THOUGHT Him to be. Only a true King could have such a test to reveal His true servants from those who just wanted His prestige. As we know even after hearing His very words spoken in their own ears, the Pharisees and Jews could still not grasp the thought that the loving, gentle, ORDINARY man could possibly be the Son of the one true God.

Although He did come as ordinary and unpretentious, No matter how it may have appeared we know that HE IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY! I am not so sure that we have moved quite far enough away from those thoughts that also easily sway our minds.

We often ignore that still. small voice because our ears are striving to hear a loud proclamation. Sometimes we are so enamored with the thought of having our worlds rocked that we completely miss the fact that the ground IS already shaking.

We can completely miss what is right in front of us, simply because it does not look like we had pictured it to look. It does not sound exactly as we thought it would and by holding onto to OUR thoughts we can miss out on a lot. Just as He said, His ways ARE higher than our ways and His thoughts ARE higher than are thoughts, it rests on forgetting what we ever thought in the first place and acknowledging His will.

I used this particular passage in a former now non-existent post, but I would like to revisit that SAME thought here, again. This is the amazing story of Peter being arrested, imprisoned, supernaturally  freed and those who WERE praying for his freedom, NOT BELIEVING when he literally showed up on their doorstep! We’ll pick up here:

ACTS 12:4-16: “And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions (squads of four) of soldiers, to keep him: intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

 Peter was therefore kept in prison: but PRAYER WAS MADE WITHOUT CEASING OF THE CHURCH UNTO GOD FOR HIM. And when Herod would have (was about to) bring him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping BETWEEN two soldiers, BOUND WITH TWO CHAINS and the keepers before the door kept the prison (guards were also at the door).

And, behold, the ANGEL of the Lord came upon him (stood by him), and  A LIGHT SHINED  IN THE PRISON: and he smote Peter on the side, and RAISED HIM UP, saying, Arise up quickly. and HIS CHAINS FEEL OFF FROM HIS HANDS.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put shoes on).  And so he did. And he saith unto him cast thy garment about thee, and FOLLOW ME. And he went out, and followed him: and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel (did not know for sure if it was real) but THOUGHT he saw a vision. 

When they were passed the first and the second ward (guard posts) they came unto the IRON GATE that leadeth into the city; which OPENED TO THEM of his own accord (opened WITHOUT ANY HUMAN HELP): and they went out, and passed through one street; and the angel departed from him.

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety (for certain), that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod,  and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

And when he had considered the thing, he CAME to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where MANY WERE GATHERED TOGETHER PRAYING.

And as Peter KNOCKED AT THE DOOR OF THE GATE, a damsel came to hearken (answer the door) named Rhoda. And  when she KNEW Peter’s voice, she opened NOT the gate for gladness (she was so happy that she actually FORGOT to open the door) but RAN IN, and told how Peter stood before the gate.

And THEY SAID UNTO HER, THOU ART MAD (OUT OF YOUR MIND). BUT she CONSTANTLY affirmed that it was even so (true). Then they said it is his angel.  But Peter CONTINUED KNOCKING: and WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THE DOOR, AND SAW HIM, THEY WERE ASTONISHED.”

So much there, here they are praying and praying, seeking and seeking and Rhoda knew that it was Peter, she recognized his voice but she is so happy and overjoyed that she just forgets to open it. When she tells the others they just simply DO NOT BELIEVE it. 

Now again, maybe if God has sent an old dude leaning on a staff, with a long gray flowing beard, shouting terms such as”Hearken, grand prayer warriors…” or sent thunder and lighting to flash as Peter approached, well maybe that was WHAT they thought they should receive as acknowledgment that their prayers had been heard.

But no, they got Rhoda, and what they told her, actually translates to, “YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND” so they are like, ” Well, that is just that crazy Rhoda,, making up stuff, just ignore her….you know she isn’t quite right in the head anyway.”

Cute side note, Rhoda must have not been too crazy, she did, after-all get an honorable mention in the book :)!

But even after all that praying they STILL REFUSED TO BELIEVE, and decided that it was his angel. If it does not make sense to our human minds, we must FIND an explanation for it, right?

Not sure why we do these things. Do we doubt that our prayers will be answered? Do we really believe that it just COULD NOT be THAT simple? When actually, IT IS that simple. Do we feel that we need more grandeur? And do we feel we need that for the glory of God… or is it for us?

Do we just dislike the messenger and feel that we are worthy of a higher, more “spiritual” messenger?

You know, like waiting on a group of herald angels to break down the door and proclaim the answer you have been seeking when actually all that is needed is FOR SOMEONE JUST ANSWER THE DOOR! And acknowledge WHO is standing there! 

We can miss many wonderful events by our own refusal to let God be God and answer AS HE calls and not get so caught up in the delivery or manifestation of these events. Just as His humble arrival to this earth heralded the greatest event of all time.

What if the wise men had decided that the place the star led just didn’t look the part? The humble shepherds NEVER expected to hear an angelic chorus praising the birth of the Saviour… which IS EXACTLY WHY they were allowed to hear it!

Don’t lose out on a done deal just because you refuse to open the door.

From my archives. Original post date 2016.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Warding off the unworthiness

1 John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”

Why is it we can BELIEVE that Jesus Christ IS exactly who he claimed to be when he walked on earth, we can BELIEVE that he did indeed die in our place as the sacrifice for our sins and better yet, as John said, the SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD, and BELEIVE that he rose victorious from that death defeating even hell itself in that resurrection, but YET we can NOT seem to BELIEVE that those forgiven sins ALSO INCLUDE OURS? Why it that?

It is then enemy? Well, maybe a little, but he normally doesn’t have to prompt us into self-loathing because we all to often do it for him!

And I truly with everything in me feel like someone or maybe several are going through this torment right now and that is why I felt lead to do this. Once you ask Jesus for forgiveness and to save you, you ARE saved. And maybe you have messed up, but please be VERY reassured EVERY ONE messes up!

We will never be perfect, NEVER, he does not ask that we be perfect, he asks us to walk in his commandments and be quick to ask for that forgiveness when we do stumble.

The only perfect he requires is blamelessness, meaning do everything to the best of our ability, and getting back up and trying it again when we don’t quite make that grade.

But there is such a mind-set of “unworthiness” choosing to FORSAKE and WILLFULLY NOT ACCEPT forgiveness choosing rather to punish ourselves, when Jesus DIED for our punishment! WHY do that?

Just as Jesus used the debt parable, can you HONESTLY tell me that if you owed someone a million dollars and NO WAY to pay that back and that person suddenly OFFERED to write off that entire debt, that you would refuse?

So why suffer every single in emotional and spiritual torment when God is NOT asking you to do that? He will give peace and only he can and once we surrender to him that peace WILL come.

He is NOT putting you in remembrance of every wrong you have ever done, He is BECKONING you to COME to him and give him all that pain and regret so he can COMPLETELY destroy it.

That is what he does, he literally REMOVES all of that and it NO LONGER EXISTS. Just as tomorrow IS already dead, those past sin ARE already dead, you just have the guilt and regret that also must DIE in him.

Think about the explanation of baptism:

Romans 6: 3-11: ” Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO SHALL WE WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this that our old man (past sins) IS crucified with him, that the body of SIN might be DESTROYED that henceforth we SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.

For he that is dead IS free from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we BELIEVE that we shall also LIVE with him: 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; KNOWING THAT DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION (power) OVER HIM, FOR HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE:

BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD. Likewise reckon (consider) YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”

See that is the deal, NO ONE EXCEPT JESUS could die in our place for that forgives and in him our forgiven sin ARE dead, but in him the “new” us LIVES.

That is the mystery that CAN NOT be understood UNTIL you accept him, and I do not mean the “world” church that has NO repentance, I mean truly repent and truly accepting forgiveness.

And if you were not under real conviction and feeling true repentance you would not be wrestling with this issue, so that is also a blessed state (although it probably doesn’t feel that way right now.. one day it will) we can not save ourselves, we can never be “good enough”, we can never “live up to it” and we can never ever be concerned with the non sense of “waiting until we can live it” as the saying goes, you see from our verses WE CAN’T LIVE IT!

We were never asked to live it! We were told to allow Jesus to take away our sins and DIE to our old life and LIVE IN HIM, because ONLY he can live it! And as far as feeling unworthy, churches are full of people who have felt the SAME feeling you are feeling, we have all wrestled it because we are all UNWORTHY, that is why we are told He ALONE is worthy!

We have to take our eyes of our OWN inadequacies and FOCUS on gratefulness for that the fact that He is far above adequate, His forgives goes beyond any word that could be used.

Think about Peter, after it hit him when Jesus had blessed them with a catch of fish so bountiful it was on the verge of sinking their ships.

Luke 5:8: “When Simon Peter SAW it, he FELL DOWN at Jesus’ knees, saying, DEPART FROM ME; FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN.” 

Does Peter really  sound like he FELT worthy to be in the presence of the Lord? NO, He is literally asking Jesus to LEAVE because of his own feeling of UNWORTHINESS!

And today if you are going through this, you are also, SERIOUSLY ASKING JESUS TO LEAVE WHEN HE HAS CAME TO YOU BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THERE FOR YOU!

Jesus went on to tell him, FEAR NOT and that has always been his message to all of us who seek him.

So remember today, we don’t have to worry about being worthy because there is only one who IS or will ever be WORTHY that is what he took the place for you and me.

And don’t worry about other people, there are always going to be “people” and there were plenty of people that hated Jesus, and refused to believe he was who he said he was.

And he taught us that “a servant can’t be above his master” so we can expect that, but you know, you are not setting out to please them or care if they believe you are NOT who you once were,

the only opinion WORTH caring about and the ONLY one who matters is the same one who alone is WORTHY!

Revelation 5:12a tells us this: “…WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGHT , AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.”   KNOW that those sins ARE gone, forever and PLEASE know you are not alone, HE LOVES YOU and He will give you peace once you just let go.

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

This is such a great song and it lets us know we ALL struggle, and it has been an encouragement to me, MANY times while I felt the old pain of unworthiness  but as this song says HE WILL COME TO YOU… LET HIM.

And the second song on this video is “Through the Fire” so please maybe listen to it also, because there is such healing in music and it prompts us to pour out our hearts.

 

“Feelin’ out the familiar footing”

Now this is something you probably do not hear everyday…or really any day, but I seriously got stuck to a board!

To explain this, first let me explain that for several months my family has had an issue with the DOT of our state and as you know this stands for Department of Transportation, but trust me in this case it has stood for Department of Tyranny, and that is a story that will probably become several future posts about what I have learned from all of it.

But for now I want to share a truly bizarre story and the spiritual thought I derived from it.

Around two months ago I was outside praying in certain areas because of the onset of what can only be referred to as state demanded carnage of private property for nothing more that a nice fat paycheck to those who are issued grant money for supposed “improvements” but again, we’ll get into that a little in the future.

But anyway, God taught me long ago that your answer is ALWAYS there when you are praying once he shows you how to read what you are seeing. So my husband and I were wandering around and I was praying about the whole heart breaking situation and I had been paying really close attention to everywhere I stepped because of the obvious dangers left in what could only be called an earthen war-zone, complete with an unmarked and completely unsecured twenty feet drop off  with NO containment whatsoever. 

So I want to stress, I KNEW to be careful and I THOUGHT I was BEING careful… that is until as I made my way to a little tree that has been home to a bird house for more years than I can remember, a place I had walked to hundreds and hundreds of times and suddenly I felt a familiar, but dreaded piercing in my left foot.

It took my brain but a second to register the fact that I had just managed to somehow step on a nail, so I quickly shifted ALL my weight to my right foot… only to drive a SECOND nail even deeper into that foot.

And at the point I literally just jumped completely out of both shoes (they were the slide on sneaker type) and I look and here are BOTH of my shoes actually stuck perfectly side by side to this board!

It was actually a piece of partial board and why on earth it had been laid there with nails driven through it is beyond me! Evidently someone had been doing some repairs and ripped it off and set it aside and completely forgot to move it.

So here is my husband who is as blown away by what just happened as I was and he is holding up this board and literally has to PULL my shoes free from the board and help get them back on me.

Of course he moved the board so no one else would step on it. The thing with this was the familiarity of that spot, a place, like I said, I have been and been, so much so that I DID NOT EVEN BOTHER LOOKING FOR DANGER and there is some symbolism in that.

Needless to say, this was very painful, the second much worse because I was trying to “get away” from the nail sticking into the first foot and by putting all my weight down on the second nail that I did not know was there, it went even deeper and STILL has not healed completely.

But I finished what I set out to do, painful or not, got home, soaked both feet in Epsom salts and applied antibiotic cream and band aids and the truly AMAZING aspect to this story is this, I fully expected to get up the next morning and have to hobble and hop for a week and to my absolute amazement, my feet were NOT even sore.

I know that is hard to believe but honestly had it not been for changing the band aids out each day I would have not known I had ever hurt them. And I KNOW that was GOD!

It had to be God, no other explanation, it hurt and it hurt bad just trying to walk back home after I did and I threw my shoes away because the nail hole and blood in the worse of the two made me quite sure I did not want to wear them ever again!

And I really chalked it up to an attack waged that God intervened in. But I could not get past the fact of how “familiar” that little bird house spot was to me.

Had it been any other place I would have done exactly as I had been during the rest of my walk, I would have LOOKED, I would have WATCHED, and I would have been CAREFUL before I took that first step and assuredly CAREFUL before I took the second!

And as I pondered it, I could truly see so many similarities between my physical pain caused by familiarity and some of the spiritual pain we all suffer sometimes because of  spiritual and emotional familiarity.

#1.We are often trapped, snare, or wounded in the areas that are our comfort zones and we fail to consider that those are perfect areas for the enemy to hide those nails he wants us to become impaled to because he knows we will be so comfortable walking through those places that we will not even bothering to think of the hidden dangers that may await us.

#2. Once we are shocked by that unforeseen piercing we have just  endured, such as when a friend betrays you or a companion suddenly parts ways with you, or unexpectedly terminated from a job that you had counted on for future security, so many things can surprise us in those places, causing us to misjudge, act too quickly, and often in attempt to lessen that initial pain, we will fall to a second snare causing us even greater hurt and damage.

#3. Becoming STUCK, sometimes those snares, traps, and double whammies can leave us simply UNABLE to move, spiritual becoming STUCK in our despair and unable to free ourselves and losing our “shoes” that we need to complete the journey.

#4. It IS those times in life that we MUST stand still, right where we are and it is in THOSE times that the Lord in His mercy and goodness, and grace pulls us free and shods our feet once AGAIN as we go on to minister, preach, witness, testify, and sets us afresh on that path that He has blessed and He heals us as He sends our “feet” forth for His kingdom.

#5. Lastly, snares, traps, and pitfalls will come, whether strategically placed in your way by the enemy tp prevent something he does not want you to accomplish or if it is just simply due to our own lack of observation but one thing is for sure, Jesus will NEVER leave us and He will ALWAYS rescue us and He will NEVER leave us stuck dead in the road on our road for Him!

Psalm 138: ” I WILL praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.

WILL worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truthfor thy hast magnified THY WORD above all thy name. In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strenghthenedst me with strength in my soul. 

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O Lord, when they hear the words of my mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.

Though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect (regard) unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.

THOUGH I WALK IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE, THOU WILT (will) REVIVE ME:

THOU SHALT STRETCH FORTH THINE HAND AGAINST THE WRATH OF MINE ENEMIES AND THY RIGHT HAND SHALL SAVE ME.

The Lord WILL perfect (complete) that which concerneth me: THY MERCY, O LORD, ENDURETH FOR EVER: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

So if you happen to step on a nail any time soon. just remember it could always be worse,  you could have  stepped on two! 🙂

Thanks for reading, Love and peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω Εξυπνιζω

LOVE this song!

 

 

“In Him”

John 14: 6-20: ” Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the father that DWELLETH in me, he doeth the works.

BELIEVE me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, THAT HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER; EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH;

Whom the world CANNOT receive, because it seeth him NOT, neither knoweth him: BUT YE KNOW HIM; for HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me:

BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. And at that day YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.”  

It feels good to write.. I really was wondering if maybe I had forgotten how to type and I am pretty sure over the last two weeks there have been countless times that I have felt like I had lost my ability to even think.

But I have learned truly “IN HIM” we all know, or should know that NOTHING is of us or in our human ability and if we think that we are truly mistaken because the only abilities we even have is what HE has given us.

But over the course of time since my last post so much has happened, has CHANGED and all of it out of my control and I have been set on a path my “brown recluse” self would have NEVER chosen BUT I know that I am absolutely NOT alone and if this is the path, my Father is truly walking by my side.. with maybe many moments of actually gently nudging me as I dig in my heels in one spot pleading with Him, that maybe that is just not where I want to go.

But somehow in my spirit, I have that reassurance that if He is leading me there, and leading me through the unwelcome changes than OBVIOUSLY, I NEED TO GO THERE and that comfort, the comfort of knowing HE IS IN ME and as long as I try my best and stay IN HIM, it will ALL somehow be alright and trust and know that I really DON’T have a clue, HE KNEW IT ALL…. AND HE KNEW IT BEFORE I EXISTED HERE and there is such a blessed FREEDOM in that.

After weeks of my husband’s “surprise” heart condition sinking in and really not wanting to be a widow anytime soon, I was already emotionally drained but we have a great church family who have stuck by us and offered so much encouragement and support and prayed faithfully, in times that I had more questions than answers, I do not question God, I often question MYSELF, MY ABILITY TO HANDLE WHAT I ALREADY KNOW I CAN’T HANDLE, and that is where the title came from. I don’t have to handle anything if God is doing all the handling!

He had his heart repaired using two types of stents, the one hundred percentage blockage was actually bypassed, which I KNOW was also God, because during the initial catheterization, the first recommendation was to be transferred for open heart surgery, and God changed this two more times and of course he is still in his resting period for a few more days and still has a road ahead but I know in this God gave us so much mercy and favor.

On about four hours sleep over a period of three days, I was blessed with a new job, my caller ID had the call listed about ten minutes BEFORE we came home from the hospital stay and this is was for a job that I have NEVER did, NO EXPERIENCE in EVER and I’m sure being physically tired and emotionally drained does NOT make for the world’s best trainee, but God has blessed me so much with my boss who is understanding beyond anything a person could ever ask.

And all the changes for our family and our lifestyle would not even stop there! I have done other things over the last two weeks that I have not done in close to twenty years!

And I truly wondered with a six-day work schedule, trying make sure I can hit one of the two Sunday church services, and my housework, family and other things, if I am even going to ever keep up phlogizo, and after several “archive” sticky posts, it feels great to actually write and hopefully after this “update” on the “widow-maker” one I will get back to my “normal” work.. and we all laugh hysterically because “normal” is not quite the word to describe my blog.

 He has reminded me so much lately, at one point during this that I was so tired and sleep deprived that I was physically at the point of shaking, just absolutely exhausted, and He touched me and honestly I woke up the next morning feeling so refreshed and with a peace in just KNOWING as crazy as life had suddenly become, all the uncertainty I felt was not uncertainty to Him and THIS is HIS plan, HIS way that IS so much higher than mine!  Through HIM and IN HIM we can do whatever life requires of us. And here are some beautiful reminders of that:

Psalm 90:1,2: “Lord thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”

Psalm 57:1: “Be merciful unto me, O God: be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadows of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”

Psalm 46:1,2: “God IS our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT help in the time of trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

Psalm 48:14: ” For God IS our God FOR EVER AND EVER: AND HE WILL BE OUR GUIDE EVEN UNTO DEATH.”  Psalm 50:15: ” And call upon me in the day of trouble, I WILL deliver thee.”

Psalm 28:7: ” The Lord IS my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I AM HELPED: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth: and with my song will I praise him.”

Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God IS my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH IS my strength and my song; he IS also become my salvation.”

Deuteronomy 33: 27 (a) ” The ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE AND UNDER ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS….” And my favorite:

Ruth 2:12:(b)..”under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

IN HIM.. is there a more splendid place we could ever be?

Thanks for the prayers, love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

I love these lyrics and  this song! Music has such perfect timing..

 

“RESULTS NOT TYPICAL”

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.

Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the END of THAT mirth is heaviness (grief).” PROVERBS 14: 12,13

I just love the infomercials and TV ads that have someone giving a glowing product review, they are so happy, so confident, and persuasive that THIS product will be just great for YOU!

Crow’s feet? They gotcha covered, wrinkle cream guaranteed to take off at least TWENTY YEARS! Back pain? they have a miracle cure, so secret, that even the medical field doesn’t know about it yet!  In debt? Well, now you too can be debt free and own three homes, a beach house and your own jet, IF you call RIGHT NOW and order their secret guide to making money!

The best part, that I love, is that at the very, very bottom in tiny little letters, usually in a color designed to fade into the background, are these words “RESULTS NOT TYPICAL” Your results may vary”.

So you got someone, glowing, staring the camera dead in the eye and confessing to you that the ware they are touting WILL FOREVER CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Yes, it will, you will be poorer for the product price and the varied results could end in nasty, little side effects you’d never bargained for or noticed in that same fine print.

Same deal in the world that we live in, the world that serves two purposes, natural world and the unseen spirit world that surrounds us at all times and never was a painter as talented in painting us those beautiful picture as the devil himself.

Our walks can be quite grueling, and our crosses can grow sometimes heavy and the swaying of those voices that whisper, “Come, this way is easier” can sometimes overshadow the voice of the Lord, as He encourages us that is just a little farther up that hill, have faith, have courage, and press on.  But those opposing voices will say, “No, We KNOW a secret path, an EASY way, a BETTER way to success, happiness, and the fulfilment of ALL your dreams and desires.” That voice, just as the ad voices comes with its own disclaimer. Because the results they promise will not be typical, only you will not find that out, until it is just a little too late.

Notice, with our verse, The WAY seems right, seems genuine, that “friend” or even self-proclaimed “mentor” that has your best interest in mind, as they control every aspect of your life, where you go, who you can be friends with, what you wear, what you eat and make decisions for you, they are only looking out for what’s best for YOU, right?

And when their thoughts and desires for your life overtake your own, well that is just part of the process, right? Wrong and wrong! That road may seem like a clear path with least resistance to get you to the happy Neverland waiting at the end but it is just a fairytale and you should not expect the results that you have been lulled into believing!

Nothing worth anything in this life will ever come easy and the Kingdom of God is the most precious of all will NEVER, EVER come to you without hades to fight! They can promise you the world but the world you will be left with after having lost all those you care for and lost everything that ever meant anything to you, will be a world full of tears and sorrow, and bridges so burned that you will never be able to cross those in hopes of going back where you belong!

The problem is with us and who can be blamed for wanting things a little easier? But again, nothing worth having is going to come easy and the greatest test of faith is endurance. No one can argue the endurance Jesus possessed, no home, not much rest, not a moment’s peace from the mouths of his enemies and in his darkness night, not one friend to stand by Him.

But He made it, He made it because He knew that He fought for something bigger than Himself, He fought for the salvation of us all. He could have quit at any moment, He could have called heaven to earth and destroyed all His enemies, He could have completely annihilated earth and created Himself a new one, but He chose to save what He had already created and He knew the path He took was the absolute of hardest and He knew that death, a terrible death was waiting at the end of that road, He never shed one tear for Himself, His tears were for the broken hearts of His friends and tears of unrepentant Jerusalem, who could not even see at the time that they were visited by the very one they awaited.

What right do we have to complain again? What do we have to complain about in comparison to His struggles? Seeing as the servants can never be above the master, why do feel that we must have it all and have it given on, as it were, a silver charger? (dig that?) We may fly very high and grasp that fabled brass ring but our laughter in that moment will be only a miserable smile to hide a heart-broken. As our verse also states, EVEN with the laughter the heart is BROKEN. Why? Because we have sold out ourselves, our friends, our families and most of all, OUR SELF RESPECT and DIGNITY  by not reading that fine print. Forgetting the path “less trod” and running headlong into that wide open field of destruction.

Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter ye in at (narrow) the strait  gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat:

Because STRAIT IS the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) IS the way which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.” 

Jesus Himself, who suffered all that any human could possibly endure and passing each and every test of being human and of temptation by the devil during His time in the wilderness, and He is telling us, CHOOSE the difficult path!

Because in doing so you will laugh real laughter and even through the pain your heart will be filled with REAL joy, the joy of the Lord THAT IS your strength. In our verse the “end of THAT mirth (happiness) IS GRIEF, because it is not real happiness, it is a life purchased without reading the fine print but with Jesus, our path is Blessed of God and He leads us in the paths of righteous, where GOODNESS AND MERCY shall follow us ALL the days of our lives here on this earth but also we are given the promise to DWELL in the house of the Lord FOR EVER!

So if you are feeling this and as our year once again comes to a close and you are regretting the paths you have chosen, talk to the Lord, get back on that path that He had for you and it may get rough, you may be persecuted and have to fight against those who wish to keep you under their thumb of control, but you will not fight alone, the Shepherd ALWAYS protects His flock and He will lead to that good ground, trust and follow, be strong, and be brave. God DOES not call cowards. He calls soldiers and the greatest reward of a solider is a job well done and pleasing to the Captain and He has no fine print, no disclaimers, His word is faithful and true and easy enough for us all to understand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

 

 

 

Funny thing about forgiveness

Dig this. Picture yourself in a hospital waiting patiently on a loved one to emerge from the ER, a person is brought in bloody and beaten and as they wait to be seen and being prompted by sympathy mingled with curiosity, you strike up a conversation, the person goes on to tell you the horrific story of what they had just endured and finally they end by pointing to another person, that sits handcuffed, staring angrily at the floor as a policeman stands watch over them, the person goes on to nonchalantly say, “But it’s okay, I just have to get well now because we have a trip planned for next week.”

We would have serious questions, wouldn’t we? We would want to know why someone could be hurt so badly and yet in the next breath treat the other person as their BFF. And we would question the sanity in putting themselves in that situation yet again.

So why do we, as Christians put so much undue pressure on ourselves in the area of forgiveness? And No, don’t get all mad at me BEFORE you hear me out. I KNOW Jesus said that if we do not forgive God will not forgive us.

BUT forgiveness can be a funny, funny thing. Too often people are pressured into the statement of “I forgive them” but deep down inside what is really going on? God SEES it all, He sees our hearts, He sees our pain and He sees the hurt someone else has caused us AND He also sees the exact moment that we WILL forgive, TRULY forgive that person and the funny thing is, we usually don’t even know it ourselves until it has already happened.

But we when feel that we NEED to SAY we forgive for the sake of forgiving all that really happens is words have come out of our mouth but that dagger is still lodged in our heart. That is not freedom and we should never feel that we have to put on a “brave” church face and hide what is slowly killing us inside, because God already knows and even when you feel pressured by others to feel, think, and act a certain way, God wants the real you, tears, pain, and all because that is what He works with.

He wants you to have joy, and peace and sometimes that requires getting our feet bloody and scratched up walking through briers to find the true path. PROVERBS 18:14 : ” The spirit of a man (person) will sustain his infirmity (sustain them through sickness) but a wounded (broken) spirit WHO CAN BEAR?”

NO ONE, no one can bear it. I know there are those who have achieved that level of oneness that sticks and stones truly don’t break their bones, that they can truly rejoice in persecutions and truly bless those who hurt them but this is for the other 99.999% hurting in the world, feeling like they are not quite where they should be in the kingdom because they keep fighting the same battle with this giant.

Let me show you two sides to this coin. ROMANS 12:17-21: ” Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. IF it be possible AS MUCH AS LIETH IN YOU , live peaceably with all men.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.

Therefore IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM; IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK: FOR IN DOING SO THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD. Be not OVERCOME with evil, but OVERCOME evil with good.” 

Notice this verse said ENEMY, never said a person who is just misunderstood. No, we have real enemies, and because we are all wired differently, we are told, IF, IF it is possible AS much as we are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally capable of to live peacefully with ALL people.

IF we can and if not, “RESIST the devil and he WILL flee from you” “Give NO PLACE to the devil” and there is nothing scriptural requiring us to us to be ran over and over and used as a doormat and proclaiming long-suffering when JESUS came and died on the cross to GIVE YOU LIFE and LIFE more abundantly!

Sometimes we just get so chummy with the giants that we fail to see what they really are. IF he’s hungry feed him, IF he is thirsty, water him, and the reason for this is that they hated Jesus “without a cause”, when He came in mercy, and goodness, completely sinless, NEVER harming anyone, they HATED Him.

So when you are faced with your enemy and you show kindness rather than hate, God will use that when He brings them under judgment and conviction for their actions against you. The treatment you have suffered will be brought back to their mind and they will have no excuse, no reason, not one example of what YOU have done to hurt them, that they can give to the Lord in explanation of their behavior.

And that can lead to repentance and at the end of the day, if you asked yourself this question, if you COULD see that person eternally, condemned to the fire of hell, forever and ever, to be tormented without end, would you REALLY want that to happen to them? No, mercy rises up and that is where true forgiveness begins.

The flip side is this, what if your enemy is of the “church”, well, like my old favorite, not all that glitters is gold, a lot of it is a hefty coat of glitter covering up some seriously tarnished metal that needs a good cleaning, but anyway, they will be hindered in their own journey UNTIL they make it right with you, they may run on for a while but when the time comes and it gets down to the nitty-gritty in the area of their gifts and calling in the Lord, this will happen:

MATTHEW 5:23,24: ” Therefore, if thou bringest thy gift to the altar, and THERE rememberest that thy brother HATH OUGHT AGAINST THEE; LEAVE there thy gift before the altar, and GO THY WAY; FIRST be reconciled to thy brother, and THEN COME AND OFFER THY GIFT.”

Jesus will remind them at that moment, no one can say that if you have been hurt that deep or that offended that they do not know they caused it. He will remind them and then they can choose to obey God in making things right or they can leave that gift THERE unused at the altar, but it will not be accepted until they do as He commanded. And that is for ALL of us.

So, we have covered the bases on the why, and the how’s, either way, your pain has not been overlooked by the one who sees all and in both instances, enemy of frenemy, they will be dealt with but hopefully for the good and for a higher purpose.

Now to get through the waiting period. LUKE 23:33,34:” And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the two malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.”

Forgive them because the price of their actions would be incalculably beyond what they could ever imagine. And the blood HE SHED, is the blood of the lamb by which we now overcome, and the testimony of what the shedding of that blood has purchased for us is the good by which evil IS overcame. 

Unaddressed issues and hurt will ruin our hearts, our spirits, and destroy us from the inside out that is why Satan sends so much of it, but I want you to know this, do not beat yourself up if you are having trouble letting go of something.

Do not allow the enemy or others to tell you how you should feel or how you fast you should overcome, a lot of people are really good at giving advice, and it is mighty easy to judge when they have never been in those same shoes, and those people you need to avoid like the plague! If they are gonna talk to me with advice from the first pew, they’d better have some scars to show me or they can just talk to someone else, because you do not overcome unless you have had something to overcome.

May sound harsh, but too many are hurt, wounded, and left out in the field to die because they are made to feel like if they have problems, or can’t smile every waking moment, or make one mistake that they are not kingdom material and if they have overcoming that must be done on that journey they will be viewed as outcasts. Who did Jesus come to save again? The hurt, the wounded, the lost, something went seriously wrong along the doctrinal lines with that thinking when people are shamed for feeling, lost, hurt, abandoned.

Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and ALL these things shall be added unto you.”

Trust Jesus, pray honestly, openly, He knows your hurt and He is a great listener, part of healing is talking about it and “getting it off our chests”, there is such freedom in that alone, and be honest, ASK him to take away the anger, the hurt, and allow you to overcome by His blood and pray for that person WHEN you feel led, when it can be a sincere, honest prayer, ASK God to allow you to SEE the troubled soul BEHIND the person that has hurt you and you will be amazed what can happen once God turns on the compassion from Him inside of you.

And then just try to “live peaceably”, forget what happened, try to not think about and one day you will be shocked when you discover “it” is simply not there anymore, you can be faced with the one who hurt you and have absolutely no apprehension or hurt, or anger because part of that righteousness of God, as you SEEK Him, is the overcoming in areas that we can never overcome alone. Trust, Trust, Trust.

MATTHEW 29,31: ” Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them SHALL NOT FALL ON THE GROUND WITHOUT YOUR FATHER.” “FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, YE ARE OF MORE VALUE THAN MANY SPARROWS. Be honest with Him and He will not let you fall!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

 

“Now I lay me down….”

Very familiar children’s prayer there, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

Classic, many versions of it but still the same meaning. Even as children we are often painfully aware of the frailty of this life. And we seek that assurance from God, really more like NEED that assurance that even, heaven forbid death should come to call unbeknownst to us that even then we are covered by Jesus love and care.

As I always say, I was not raised in church, but God made sure I knew that prayer and knowing Jesus as I do now, I can never think back to those nights of laying there reciting that prayer, without a warmness in my heart and an awe of how sweet Jesus is toward us. We go through the same thing every night, I’d say it and then I’d start to list all my family, in order, and my pets, and then I’d get all hung up naming everyone else, and finally reach the conclusion of “could He please just Bless everybody, ALL the people and ALL the animals all over the WHOLE world.

This memory, along with many others, which unknown to me at the time of occurrences had actually been “divine appointments” along my path, came flooding back to mind after I was saved and I thought what an awesome God, to listen.. and listen.. and listen… as I was on and on, ever adding to my list of “and Bless.”

If anyone ever needs a character reveal concerning God and His willingness to listen and care about what we care about, just backtrack through the conversation between Him and Abraham, GENESIS 18:20-32 When God came and spoke to Abraham about the judgment coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham picked a number that if God could find such and such number would he spare them. Abraham kept lowering the numbers in hopes hat God would not destroy Sodom, his nephew Lot lived there and Abraham knew how bad it was but he still had to plead for Lot’s life, so God KNOWING the real question Abraham had, still patiently let Lot ask Him until he had the assurance he needed.

As with our prayer and the pleas of Abraham, we ALL need that assurance that somehow, no matter what our eyes see, or our ears hear, no matter the terror of the report and even if we are slain in the night, our reassurance rests in the eternal hands of a sovereign King, who still reigns and has victory over all we face or all we will ever face. 

And it is funny for me, not in the funny ha ha way, but funny in the oh how ironic way, that I could still have that same prayer and yet have the call to forewarn to repentance or face the unquestionably horrific judgment from that SAME God, that will one day cover the earth. How do you shine light in pitch darkness, how do you speak judgment tempered with unmerited, unwavering mercy? How do you proclaim that this way is rough but it will lead you home, because there is ONLY one way, out of the shadow of death in this life. There it is, our fear, our cause to stumble, the one thing, we as humans, get so hung up on, death. It is assured, as you are born, certainly you shall die, unless of course you are in the number who will be raptured, but to be effective and to be in those places of peace God wants us to walk in we must be willing to just embrace the walk on that path and know it really will be well in the end.

So I wanted to do this to maybe get you thinking about some of these things, as the “divine appointments” times I believe God steps in peoples lives, into their paths when they are lost, circumstances that once you are saved you will look back and KNOW that He was always there, always waiting and watching over your soul until the day that realization comes and you give your life to Him.

Tearing down the fear of death, breaking down the strongholds of the what-ifs, and the terror of the unknown is needed now more than ever because we live in a scary, scary world and I am so sorry to say, it is only going to get scarier and the only, ONLY peace we truly have is the peace of the Lord and it is imperative for this generation to find that peace, to embrace that peace.

We are praying and waiting for that last great harvest, but the reality is this, with much wisdom comes great sorrow, out of severe persecution comes signs, wonders, miracles and that great revival.

As we seek the last great harvest spoken of by the Prophet Joel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, we may need to also consider under what circumstances this will come and I’ll leave it at that for a moment.

Jesus said we must come to Him as a “little child”, I believe this means in the FAITH and ASSURANCE we have as childlike in Him, KNOWING as that little bedtime prayer states “if” we die before we “awake”, so our peace is knowing that either through the grave or through the rapture, we are covered. 

The world is scary but Jesus said that we are His, we are not of the world, He has kept us. So here is some food for thought. God has kept us; LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore have I HOPE, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Facing real or perceived dangers, sickness, or persecutions, take comfort from the words of our “go to” guys Peter and Paul, who are examples of Christians sufferings and faith that moved mountains and the thoughts they left us with as their times approached, thoughts to persuade to fight for our calling in the Lord and run after those things God set before us in the knowledge that this life is temporal, just a vapor, to fight for our life eternal but to not fear and to have confidence in God through all things, even when that requires the laying down of this life.

2 PETER 10-16: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail (stumble):

For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of THESE THINGS, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet (fitting) as long as I am in this tabernacle (his body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I put off this my tabernacle ( that he would soon be executed) even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able AFTER my decease to have these things ALWAYS in remembrance.

For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” 

His last desire was that we all remain in remembrance and go forth for the kingdom, even in his writing, that us, AFTER his death, centuries later, WOULD be stirred by his words. We ARE stirred by his words.

Apostle Paul when his time drew near left us with astounding words for OUR day, 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 :

I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

PREACH THE WORD, BE INSTANT (ready) IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WTH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE.

For the TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WILL NO LONGER ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (Gospel truth): but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( chase after those who will tell them whatever they want to hear); And shall TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables (follow after lies and false doctrine).

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY. For I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, (his execution drew nigh) and THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE (death) IS AT HAND.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING.

As they took courage and boldness in laying themselves down, it is time for us to lay ourselves down, lay down the fear, lay down the rejections, and take that courage and childlike faith and lay down everything that hinders us in these last days.

 ISAIAH 33:15-20: ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment (justice) shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

And the WORK of righteousness SHALL BE PEACE; and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (safe) dwellings, and in quite resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; nd the city shall be low (brought low in humiliation) in a low place.

BLESSED ARE YE THAT SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” 

That is our hope, even though the world will fall by judgment God gives us reassurance that all will be well, and our commission to sow His seed and sow every opportunity we have, in all areas, beside all waters and send those feet forward. 

So today, rest in that reassurance, lay down in His peace, knowing the ultimate promise of His reassurance, come what may, death, grave, or caught away, that trumpet will surely sound and these words throughout eternity WILL resound: 

REVELATION 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”       AMEN

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“EXPOSURE”

 ISAIAH 7: 14,15:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Butter and honey SHALL HE EAT, that HE MAY KNOW TO REFUSE EVIL AND CHOOSE THE GOOD.”                                                                                                                       

As we know these scriptures reference Jesus, whom was given good things and treated gently and kindly so HE WOULD KNOW and NOT choose the wrongs paths.

This is a very good argument against spanking and physically harming children and the more common emotional isolation and emotional abuse with words and shame.

Jesus was given good things so he would REFUSE the bad. I belong to the thought group that the major influence on a person is their environment and that if you can change that environment their life can be completely made new. That is not to say that environment can alter God’s will, it can’t, He is still God and still keeps His divine hand over many lives, EVEN when those lives are in absolute disarray.

But the environment of their circumstances can lead that to being a longer process, with many, many obstacles to be overcame. The enemy reverses all things of God and it becomes offering you the bad choices to make you feel compensated in that it presents itself as the only good out there for you.

As you notice this IS in reference to his childhood, we don’t need a Freud wanna be to enlighten us here, that this the time period where snares are set and where we are enslaved through psychological bondage. It is always accomplished in innocent, fragile minds and souls because the enemy wants to ensure it will last a life time.

You can see this so clearly in gangs and cults, and even often in certain types of prostitution and always, always in cycles of domestic abuse and the repeated problem of “picking the wrong guy”, you can’t PICK that many wrong guys! And it is also true for guys who chose women who belittle and mentally emasculate them, they often have domineering mothers and all in all the exposure produces a picture worth a thousand words, and those words speak volumes in lives.

It is the deceptive homing device planted long ago in vulnerable psyches that attracts the wounded to them and sends an unspoken code to predatory forces that you will be a perfect victim. Anyone really believe the “sixth sense” stalkers and serial killers possess (possessed is more like it) in tracking their victims is an all natural evil attribute that they just happen to have been born with? Research it, if you can’t see the demonic force at play there, you will never see it.

So what about the billions and trillions who WERE not given the good and did not know how to refuse the bad, when they seriously believe that “not as bad as…” is the only option given them? If life had been exposure to  evil after evil after evil?

That life will be like an overexposed photo, the light areas will be blurred and washed out, kinda like light IS there only not clear or well-defined.  What we have been exposed to does have impact on whom we become, the choices we make, and the way we live our lives BUT IT DOES NOT DETERMINE WHO WE ARE in Christ. 

That is the greatest news of the Gospel, there is NO life so dark, so tortured, or so messed up that it can not be redeemed by the one who gave it, but it is ALL in the exposure.

If you are underexposed to the good things, love, gentleness and a caring environment of respect, all the dark images will become darker. When someone has been exposed to violence, abuse and mental terrorism that exposure manifests itself in attempts to fit in and belong, feel love, feel whole and feel accepted and a need to be “normal” it explains how young people can be lured into joining gangs with them being beaten nearly to death as an initiation into that “family” and young women can be lured with attention and a false sense of security by men into a life of prostitution.

For many it will manifest as one big ride on a roller coaster of self-destruction, sick to death, desperately knowing you need to get off, but not ever figuring out how to make it stop.

Seeing it yet?  It all an attempt to feel LOVE, real love, love that will give itself FOR YOU not ask you to sacrifice yourself for it. Acceptance that you are accepted FOR you, not who someone else told you that you were or that you had to be. Belonging to a FAMILY, a family that protects YOU and cares for you and does not require your blood as proof of allegiance.

Jesus said “…and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT you know what He is saying is this, LOSE your LIFE.

LOSE the thoughts that tell you are not worth love, your thoughts that nothing good will ever happen for you because you “don’t deserve” to be happy. These ARE NOT GOD’s thoughts toward you, they are programmed lies to keep you miserable and in bondage.

LOSE the friends and family that only weigh you down and constantly reaffirm all the negative views and hate filled words that have already been more than hammered into your soul.

LOSE the users and losers and those who only want you as the whipping boy to curse and run after when they are stoned or drunk.

LOSE everything that hurts, binds, disturbs, and hinders your growth, peace and happiness.

FIND a NEW LIFE that heals, delivers, brings peace and above all a love and an acceptance by one whose love can not even be described.

FIND a God that loves as a father, a REAL father, not the biological person that aided in conception, who was so vicious and vile that he was wished away.

FIND a God that will be closer than any friend, brother, or sister, that will be there through your tears and will never give you “told you so’s” or down you.

FIND a spiritual spouse whose love  is so strong that HE died FOR YOU not want you to risk your life. or kill, or  steal for him.

FIND a God in whose arms your weakness IS made strong, whose GENTLENESS will make you great.

Find a God whose peace, mercy and understanding are unsearchable, who WILL cast your sins, failures and mistakes as far as the east is to the west and wash your crimson sins white as snow and make YOU completely NEW again.

The best part with Jesus is that He loves us JUST FOR US! He does not care what we have done or where we are or how we got there, and He will heal every one of those wounds that lead you to those dark places, He just wants to help you and save you and help you get on with the life HE wants to give you. But as always I really wish He would just come down and take us over BUT He does not work that way, He will not force His will on you, But He IS always there, waiting for YOU to ask Him, as Jesus does stand at the door and knock at our hearts BUT the handle is on our side, He can’t come in if we will not let Him.

And maybe the enemy is bugging you out with well, what does she know, perched on her  religious high horse? Well, actually I am perched on my super groovy swivel stool and I am not religious, I am saved. I am saved from the hardest things to overcome, demonic exposures straight from hell, my own bloodline, and most of all myself. My readers have most of my story weaved throughout enough posts to piece together some things but I had a brother, he was my part-time babysitter when I would be alone with him but I lived in a home with him 24/7. He had issues, and was also quite gifted at drawing pentagrams ( if that gives you a little insight to exposures) I did not even know what they were until I got a lot older, so he had problems and he made sure I did too. Mental terrorism can be quite effective at producing wounds that last twenty-seven years and those wounds can lead a life of living in sin, working in sin and an overwhelming need to fit in, belong, and just be normal. But I harbor no ill will and God has truly taught me that people have problems because they have been exposed to things that have harmed their souls.

The “normal” part is always what gets us all we hide our pain and the shame (which should not be there) in constantly trying to prove  how normal we are. But with me I could never escape  the spiritual chase of it all and my life truly was just one trauma after another and making it past eighteen was a feat in itself, enough pressure, a failed marriage thanks to my refusal to convert to Catholicism and I ended up right where the devil had wanted all the time and it was the ONLY place I fit in.

The thing with wounds that have been untreated for so many years grow deeper and deeper but once we allow God to heal us they become scars, I could never show anyone my wounds and once God started leading me with my writing, I began to understand how important it is to not hide the scars because some times the wounded need to see the scars of those that have been healed. Without those scars I may not have what I have today and that is a relationship with the very one who created me. And EVERYONE has a story and we can always find others who have fared far worse and have made it out.

” And THEY overcame him (satan) BY the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY the WORD of their testimony”….. forget what you have been exposed to, do not allow it to determine your today and your tomorrow. It does not define who you are, reach out and give Him your all and BE who HE created you to be.

If you “lose” life as you know it, what have you lost?  Pain, sorrow, pressure? What will you find? Peace, love, and joy, I may always have a hurdle or two but I also have a peace and a reassurance that I have a God who really does love me, in spite of me and no matter who rejects me, ridicules me or just outright despises me I am still His child and I have a peace in it all that He never fails, if I hold His hand He will not let me fall.

This song was on my heart to go with this and I feel it is for someone, if you have never heard it, please listen and please surrender, it is the most beautiful experience you will ever know.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

 

Bow Shot

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 Pretty strong statement, one shot, one chance through this life. We go through life with our eyes focused so closely on the task at hand or the current crisis that we fail to see the big picture.

We live, we die and the one shot we have is the time in between, every failure, every mistake but also every accomplishment, and every single victory is all embodied in “ONCE”. 

We will not have works in the grave, we will not have works in New Jerusalem and in hell there will be no chance of salvation ever again.  “Works without faith IS dead”, we can all do something, some type of “work”, we can all give, but when we need to do a work that is not quite so easy, that will require blood, sweat, and lots of tears, when we will set out on a course that is going to cost us something that is when it starts being set apart, and when a sacrifice is required and especially when it is a sacrifice of that work itself. 

Whatever we have been born to accomplish is to be accomplished on this earth. One shot to make a difference and live our lives in complete trust and faith to one so much higher than any earthly happening whether it be good or bad. Learning true trust is not that easy, we all say we TRUST God, we sing about trusting God, and have motivational agreements that we trust, but do we really? 

Trust IS faith and faith IS trust, you can not have one without the other, faith IS trusting God with the most precious of things, EVEN when it looks like we might lose but we have to trust Him enough to surrender even those things that we have fought so hard to nurture and protect, our hopes, our dreams, and sometimes our spiritual “babies” and lay them on the altar.

  Genesis 22 tells of Abrahams grueling test of faith, several days journey to what he thought would be the sacrifice of his son whom he loved more than life itself, the death of  his promised child, a child whose promised birth had been the fulfillment of the purpose of his own life,  the father of nations.

Genesis 22:4: Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off”  he had lots of time to think,  and dread, journeying up that mountain for what he believed would be the death of that child.  

Genesis 21 tells of the story of Hagar and Ismael, Sarai’s servant and the child she bore for Abraham because of Sarai’s  messed up attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise for Abraham. By this point Sarah wanted them out of her life and God knowing all things told Abraham to go ahead and send them away, now Hagar finds herself in the wilderness with nothing trying to find her way back to Egypt with the son she was demanded to bear for an heir and he is now considered nothing and no longer welcome, but he was her baby and she loved him and could not bear to watch him die:

Genesis 21:16: “And she went, and sat her down over against him (across from) A good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child, And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept.” 

Exodus 2  tell that when  Pharaoh had called for the slaughter of the Hebrew baby boys, Jochebed placed her baby Moses in an ark made undoubtedly countless tears and set him adrift with unquenchable faith.

Exodus 2:4 “And his sister stood afar off, to wit (know) what would become of him.” What they all had in common is this, these were their natural children, children whom they loved with every fiber in their being. Each time these things were “afar off’ it was a process of waiting, and watching and knowing that they had to TRUST GOD IN FAITH.

Abraham KNEW what God had promised, Hebrews 11:17: ” BY FAITH Abraham, when he was tried (tested) offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” As we know an angel stopped Abraham and God sent a ram as a sacrifice and we all learned that God will provide for us all that we need to be obedient to Him.

Jochebed’s baby was spared from those who given a chance would surely kill him, not only would he not die but she would nurse him and love him and tend his needs and no longer have to hide him and fear for his life. And he would go on to be used of God to lead his people out of bondage, drew from the water one day leading his people to freedom through parted waters.

God had heard Hagar’s cries when she was pregnant and sent an angel to comfort her and she had been obedient to God’s voice returning to Sarai and surrendering her child and now unable to bear watching him die in the wilderness, she had separated herself from him, crying out and now God heard the cries of the child himself and God sent the angel yet again and sprang up a well in their wilderness. They all had to learn faith and trust, to trust God with what was most precious to them, and sometimes we must trust God with all the things that are precious to us and when the enemy is coming after those things or there are those who wish to dash those hopes, smash those dreams,  and outright kill those spiritual babies then we have to just lay them down on the altar and just get a bow shot away and KNOW, and TRUST that HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH, that HE IS FAITHFUL , HE does see our sorrow and hear our cries and that HE WILL DELIVER.

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2015

  

NOT just any port in a storm….

We’re heading back to the spot just before Jesus lead Peter back into the boat.
Last time, we discussed how Peter had battled through a dark tempestuous night out in the middle of the wide open sea, at a time when it was truly man versus nature, without any of the modern nautical equipment around today and at the height of his terror, Jesus came to the rescue, but Peter’s new-found bravery as he walked with the Lord on water, was short-lived thanks to that terrorizing gusting wind.
We also have Jesus by our side in our storms and yet all of us have those moments when that wind blows just a little too hard and that fear of its howl is immobilizing and like Peter we freeze and those waves start dragging us under till we cry “LORD! SAVE ME!” 
So what about the time between those moments?
When the winds blow and howl and scream in our ears so loud that the voice that we had just heard so strong, as Peter did when he heard the Lord say “Come” we now question. Is it really HIS voice we hear over the sound of the storm. 
We are so deafened by the storm by this point that we are not really sure of anything and we just want to freeze in that fear of the unknown and uncertainty, and if allowed to IT WILL drown us right where we are.
We never even realize that we are so close to being back in the safety of that boat and the end of that storm.
Riding out storms can devastate even the strongest of sailors, it will knock the wind out of your sails, shiver your timbers and if you are not paying very close attention it will make you head to “any port in a storm” the nearest, closest spot available to you to dock that boat and get out of that storm.
Once your there you could turn from being an honorable first mate to becoming a scurvy sea dog, because all the “hail” and high water can make people do funny things.
When the going gets rough our flesh wants comfort, we want safety, we want this to end and to know all is accounted for and that our losses are minimal.
As Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We want  to run to the safest spot and into the nearest boat,  BUT the problem with this is that Jesus DID NOT led Peter back to any old boat, it was the boat that he was SUPPOSED to be in
Jesus has ALL POWER, he could have just materialized a different boat, he could have translated them to shore.
HE DIDN’T because Peter had to go through that storm and get back IN the SAME boat he just got out of, BEFORE THE STORM WOULD STOP!
Now you could ask WHY????? But ask yourself, and we really have to speculate on this, but how many times do you think Peter drew courage and renewed faith by remembering that journey?
I love to point out the fact that Peter carried out his commission from Jesus under the brunt of KNOWING HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED at the end of his mission.
We all know that he, like all the disciples were persecuted, beaten, and tormented all while the power of God poured from them, miracles, healing, and leading the lost to Christ.
COULD Peter have went on to carry this out faithfully had he not took that walk and GOT back in that boat?
Had he not let Jesus help him overcome all that fear and let Jesus lead him back to the boat that you know he would not have wanted to be back in, had he not overcame it through Christ, would he have ever had the faith and courage to know that death would not be the winner in the end?
Could he have had the courage to go to that cross at the end of his life?
I will leave that for you to answer, but Jesus was teaching Peter in that storm.
Jesus does not send storms on us but when we are allowed to continue through one, IT IS because he wants us to have victory, true victory, not a cop-out running from it kind of thing, but true taking the head off a giant victory in that area of our life.
Anyone can run, he will not allow us to run, He created to “having done all to stand” “STAND.”
Our “boats” are no different from Peter’s and sometimes we feel like whoo-hoo I’m finally outta that boat! 
Only to discover we got to get back in it if we are to see the storm end.
So to help us hear the right voice and find the way back to our boat till that storm ends, we’ll use our compass:

Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance MY SONG IN THE NIGHT: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search”
Now the wonderful thing about the Psalms are that they ARE SONGS!

Such as:  Psalm 69 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim (set to The Lilies), A Psalm of David.

” SAVE me, O God; for the WATERS are come in unto my soul (neck).
I SINK in the DEEP mire, WHERE THERE IS NO STANDING: I AM come into DEEP WATERS, where the FLOODS OVERFLOW ME.
I am weary (worn out) of my CRYING; my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I WAIT FOR MY GOD.”

“DELIVER ME out of the mire, and LET ME NOT SINK: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and OUT OF THE DEEP WATERS.
Let NOT the WATERFLOOD OVERFLOW ME, neither let the DEEP SWALLOW ME UP, and let not the pit shut up her mouth on me.”
                      Psalm 69:1-3,14,15

Just as Peter answered Jesus, when asked if he to would leave him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life.”
Jesus is the voice and the one port in our storm, get back in the boat, the storm will end and this storm may very well be the catapult to a level of faith you never would have imagined possible or a deeper relationship with the Lord that you can not fathom, but of a surety, one day, remembering this storm, and the quieting of it WILL BE YOUR SONG in another night and this storm will be proof positive that night too will end, the wind will cease and morning will yet again come.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/NBJ 2015

 

DWELLING PLACE

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them upon the face of the earth.” Amos 5:8

We know what could be said, I personally can never say it enough.
He is omnipotent and omnipresent, no matter where you are, He is with you. 
He is holy, beautiful, full and glory and majesty and yet having a gentleness and humility unlike anything of this world.

 He is the Lord and beside Him, there is no savior.
Jeremiah 23:23″Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

When he revealed himself to Saul, who was on his way to arrest all the Christians that he could round-up, Jesus told him it was useless to resist him, my question would be who could?

He then transformed Saul to his chosen vessel Paul, who would go preach the very gospel he had so adamantly fought against! With thirteen books of the New Testament having been authored by him.

Now that is a true transformation of mind and soul!
So many atrocities are committed in the name of God, but he is nowhere near of any it.
Jesus is gentle and merciful and does not condone beating children, animals or anyone.

He himself, suffered a horrific beating before His crucifixion, in our place, so why would He want us to beat others or be subjected to it?
Evil always pretends that it is for the cause of good, because Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

The Bible recalling work after work of the Lord  with the heavens, the earth, and the seas, and all of creation declaring His glory.
His will and purpose for us equating into that plan when we should be so small, so insignificant, but the God of the universe has called His followers, His friends!
The nations are as but a drop of water in a bucket to Him and yet He has called us his peculiar treasure.

Maybe that is why we are a peculiar treasure, that He would think of us and walk with Adam and Eve in the garden, and speak with Moses, first from a burning bush and then face to face, visit with Abraham and spend time with the disciples before returning to heaven and cry when we cry and hear us when we call and heaven comes down to visit earth.

No matter how we profess our love for Him, the truth of the matter and the secret to it all, is HIS love toward us!

A love so far beyond our human comprehension and defying all our human logic. And the best part is His word and His word will not return void, it will do what He sent it to do.
So no matter where you are on this earth, what persecution and ridicule that you may be suffering today, I want you to know He does love you and He sees all that you endure.
Hold onto to Him, don’t try to figure anything out on your own, give it all to Him and He will guide you in the way you need to go.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”   Proverbs 3:5-6

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth him out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken spirit and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”       Psalm 34:15, 17-19

“He that dwelleth  in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, HE IS my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence (trouble) that walketh in darkness; nor the destruction that wasteth
( lays waste) at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. For he shall give his angels charge over thee.”  Psalm 91:1-6,11

“Because thou hath made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation (dwelling place);” Psalm 91:9
The Lord’s answer follows:
“Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will deliver him:
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.”

Again him, being a generic term for all humans.  Literally living, breathing, being kept hidden from the adversary under the protective presence of all-powerful, all-knowing God.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me upon a rock. And now mine head shall be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle (presence) sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O, Lord when I cry with my voice: have mercy upon me and answer me.  When thou saidst Seek ye my face: my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”   Psalm 27:5-8

Life is never fair. Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust. Trails and heartache come, but there is a presence of God, a place of safety, a place that assures you peace even in the midst of a storm raging all around you.
A reassurance that can only be found in  His everlasting arms, under the shadow of his wings.

If you need this today, all you have to do is ask Him, He does understand, He created you in the palm of His hand and yet those wings spread so far that He can cover the entire world with them.

That is who HE IS and that is one of the many reasons we love Him and worship Him and He never forces us to do any of it.

And ye will seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:13

My sincerest prayer for you today is that the Lord keep you, bless you and make his face shine upon you and give you peace, in the name above every name, Jesus of Nazareth.  AMEN

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. NBJ 2015
Revisited 2019

ASHES

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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 […]