“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. “

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016  REVISITED 08/15/2021 Praying someone will be encouraged by this thought TODAY!

“SNOWBLIND”

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

And his disciples asked him, saying, Master (Rabbi), who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? 

Jesus answered, NEITHER hath (has) this man sinned, NOR his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest (revealed) in him.  I must work the works of him who sent me , while it is day, THE NIGHT COMETH, WHEN NO MAN CAN WORK. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 

When he had thus spoken (when he had spoken this), he spat upon the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And he said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which by interpretation, Sent.) 

He went his way therefore, and washed, and came away SEEING. 

The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him, that he was blind, said, Is this not he that sat and begged? 

Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him; but he said, I am he. Therefore they said unto him, How were your eyes opened? 

He answered and said, A man called Jesus made a clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash; I went and washed, and I received sight.

Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

They brought to the Pharisees him that was aforetime (formerly) was blind.

And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man AGAIN, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? he said , He is a prophet.

 But the Jews did not believe concerning him (they didn’t believe any of it), that he had been blind, and received his sight, UNTIL they called the parents of him that had received his sight.

And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who you say was born blind? how then doth (does) he see now?

His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not; he is of age, ask him, he shall speak for himself.

These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had agreed ALREADY that if any man confessed that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 

Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.

Then again they called the man that was blind, adn said unto him, Give God the praise: we know this man was a sinner.  He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 

Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

He answered then, I have told you already, and ye did not hear (REFUSED TO BELIEVE); wherefore (why) should ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciple?” John 9:1-27

Wow, can you believe how much snow everyone is getting?  It is summing up to be a record with snow storm after snow storm just as the old timers used to say, “The snows still laying on the ground for the next one”, and and my dear friends how true that is!

Especially when you compare it to spiritual snow jobs!

I love the definition of Snow Job: “A deception or concealment of one’s real motive in an attempt to flatter or persuade.” Isn’t is so true as all this snow has laid on the ground  just waiting there to be the the foundation for the next great fall, so has the spiritual snow job that has been carefully  crafted for quite awhile now, just laying the foundation for greater apostasy and a seriously greater fall, and many of have warned for years what that fall is and how great a fall it shall be.

A snow job sending forth flurries of deceit as so many began to fall victim to the false teachers while others of the church sat back  and said nothing swallowing down the pill that if we spoke a word in love, a word of the truth of God’s word,we would be labeled bigots and “haters”.

Somehow now, in this modern era, warning people of the dangers of sin and the very real consequence of eternal damnation have suddenly after 243 years as a nation became “hate” and are now considered “hateful views”, correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t it always considered hateful when you actually told some to “Go to H***.”

How then , is it suddenly “hateful” when those who have been  called of God for just that purpose to try to minister to the lost so they can be saved from hell?

Preachers preach, since God spoke to Abraham and gave him his promise, and as he used Moses to his children out of Egypt. He also used many that would not seem likely candidates to bring change to the lives of those around them in the face of persecution, and while being outright detested by society and being mocked and ridiculed by those who arrogantly pride themselves of being of a higher understanding. When there is no understanding outside of the will and knowledge of Christ, we think we know a lot until we are met with the truth and we are met with Christ and then and only then do we realize how truly blind we had been in this world.

And that snow job has grown into a massive blizzard it is slated to destroy the foundation of everything we stand for as Christians and there is no longer time for you to decide if it is okay to to have one foot in and one foot out, as the saying would go, I can answer you that, you either love God and you worship him or you love the world and worship it.

There is NO middle ground. The concept that, suddenly now, there can be both is an absolute demonic lie, society has came up with , “Well, this is what I believe…” and even those who claim that they are teachers of the Gospel but conveniently negate the majority of his word, anything that could possibly be “offensive” to their friend the world, so what little truth they do know, they candy coat and water down the truth until it no longer even resembles the context in which it had been spoken and written as instruction for us.

And the days have come that have been warned of, far, far in advance and the attitude of hate toward truth, while calling it hate, will only get worse as more and more the agenda is to silence all who hold and teach the true word of God.

I was watching a morning news show several weeks back, and on the crawl at the bottom of the screen very briefly mentioned that a church had been attacked, someone actually planting  a device, tehre, and the news program actually had it listed as this, “known for its hateful views” What were these “hateful views”?

Upon further research of the subject done my sweetie, It seems a petition had been circulated because the church taught the truth, taht truth inclucding taht homoesxzxuality is indeed a sin, along with all other sins, and sin we all must be forgiven for because in God’s eyes sin is sin, whether you have lied, cheated, stolen, had an affair, whatever it may be, but to God sin is sin. So this church did not get any report of the damage, no report of those who may or may not have been injured, no report on what was being done to apprehend those responsible, only a crawl at the bottom of the screen, not even a mention of heinous or any description usually used with such an attack only a church in CA known for it’s “hateful views”.

And that is what we have come to and that is what we are dealing with, if this had happened anywhere other than a church it would be plastered all over, all screaming violation of rights and how atrocious and uncivilized but since this was an attack on those who the news media feel have “views’ contrary to the popular thought, then obviously it wasn’t that big of a deal to them.

And it just a matter of time until they try to shut us all down, no matter the platform we use, so if you are hearing the word heed the word while it may be heard.

Dig this, from the Book of Revelation, it is dealing with the destruction of Babylon The Great, Revelation 18:23: “And the light of a candle shall shine NO more at all in thee; and the VOICE of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard NO more at all in thee:….” 

That in no way means that they get their wish, it only means that the have pushed too far, and have awaken the wrath of God and once he reveals his power they will no longer doubt his existence but will be on knees in repentance.

But it is truly sad that God has to bing such judgment upon all the earth in order for people to believe.

So with that we’ll get back to the reason they don’t believe, well the number one reason is simply guilt by omission, it is easier to simply deny his existence than to take responsibility for our lives and it is easier to sit on the fence than to risk ostracization by those around us, and others have just fallen prey to the snow job that satan’s political puppets have performed.

Here’s your word for that, 2 Corinthians 4:1-4: “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not (do not lose heart).

But have renounced (spoken against) the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in crafitness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid (veiled) , it is hid to them that are lost (perishing); In whom the god of THIS world hath BLINDED THE MINDS OF THEM WHICH BELIEVE NOT, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine into them.”

They are in effect spiritually blinded by the snow job of this world!

Please stop listening to them, the more you listen the more they will seduce you against the truth of God, that is why it is referred to as “SEDUCING SPIRITS”, get in the true word of God and stay in his word and as we are also instructed to “shun profane babblings”, just stay away from it, NO ONE can understand the things of God UNTIL they know God and we accept Christ we so begin to understand because he enlightens us and nothing he ever asks is for our hurt, he only has our peace and happiness in mind, but make no mistake, if we are not for him, we are against him and He is kind and he is beautiful but the wicked will fall to his wrath, unless they repent, and that choice is theirs, just as all who serve him now had to make that choice, he gives us that freedom, we have the freedom to choose who we believe, do we believe the word of God which has stood the test of time, and choose to believe the accounts of so many have given their life for their belief or do we choose to believe a lie and perish with those lies.

Either way, once the last breath leaves our bodies, and our souls depart from this earth, we don’t get a do over, I do believe that God is faithful and i do believe that he deals with us right up to making that decision to accept him, even if it is  with our last breath, because he does not want any of us lost, just as the thief on the cross, dying right there beside Jesus and he asked for forgiveness and Jesus said “Verily I say unto thee, TO DAY, SHALT ThOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.” 

Now that is what mainstream is calling a hateful religion, and if you listen to them they will have you confused and siding with the devil himself, “Poor old devil, he and his angels kicked out of heaven, just like that, threw down to earth, threw from their home, just expressing their views”

That is what the world right now would headline that story as if they had been in charge of reporting it!

So again, don’t fall to their snow job, you are responsible for guarding your heart and your mind, and don’t listen to them and their redrick, don’t buy their interpretation of the truth, read the truth for yourself and don’t fear them, if God is tugging on your heart to speak with someone or speak out against something, do it, just  trust God and do it , I’ll give you Jesus word for that one too:

“The disciple is not above his master (teacher) , nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master, and the servant as his lord. IF they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them that are his household? 

Fear them NOT therefore, for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid that shall not be known.

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon housetops.

AND FEAR NOT THEM WHICH KILL THE BODY, BUT ARE NOT ABLE TO KILL THE SOUL; BUT RATHER FEAR HIM WHICH IS ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH THE BODY AND SOUL IN HELL.”

He is reassuring us here, remember they had actually accused him of being evil, he is was GOD and they are accusing him of using evil to cure people! And even at his crucifixion they charged him with blasphemy and again, he was and IS exactly who he claimed to be but because his words cut through their wicked hearts because it convicted them of sin, they wanted him out of the way and out of their lives and the same is exactly what is going on today but the word of God will not be silenced and it will not be stopped, but there will be that great and terrible day at the destruction of Babylon the Great  when they have proven themselves beyond hope and no longer worthy of his word.

So knowing all these things, don’t fall for the snow and the good news about being snowblind, it’s curable, just don’t look at the storm, don’t even bother go out in it an rest your eyes by looking up because as he already told us, “…Look up, lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”

Blessings to you till we meet again! 

Φλογιζω NBJ/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2021

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

Trust

Imagine you are awakened by screaming and sirens and the air around you is thick, smoky and almost pitch black, as you struggle to find your way around the room in the darkness you can barely make out a small shining at the window, as you make your way toward it, you hear a voice call out “Jump!”

It is too dark to know exactly who is making this command to you, unable to see a few feet passed through the lights flashing in the darkness, you again hear the voice cry “Trust me, it’s okay, Jump!”

Two choices here, one would have to be made split second, do you stay and face that raging fire that threatens to close in on you or do you trust that voice crying out to you and pray you will be safely caught before hitting the ground?

That is a fair description of our present world, continuing violence, threats, and terror running amok and hate spewed, people offended and ready to kill at the drop of a hat. Everyone has a cause, a right, a protest, and we are all paying the price.

Over the last several days more horror and carnage in France and now Turkey is in chaos and the innocent are always caught in the crossfire. We are in such a time as all the things the prophets warned us of thousands of years ago are now playing out before our eyes.

And we, as the preordained, predestined, generation have taken our place in this world. We are being taught the lessons of trust. 

We often go through struggles that seem endless, and drag on and on and we just want it over. For God to just deliver us from our problems, and often He does, but have you ever noticed that it seems the hardest, toughest, battles are the ones long waged but yet hold the greatest reward?

So why doesn’t God just come and fix everything, right then and there?  It comes down to trust, He is teaching us trust, we all “trust” God, we trust Him that we are saved, we trust Him that we will be spared from hell, we trust that His word will never fail.

But what about for the very next breath, what about every single aspect of our needs, what about trusting Him with what sometimes can be the scariest of all.. our tomorrow in this world.

We will need that trust, blind faith, no questions asked that He has us and we will trust in Him and His will shall be done. The reason that many things we go through,things we don’t understand at the time and we ask ourselves “Why? why does it have to be this way?” or “Why did that not go as planned?” We often look at ourselves and the enemy as reasons God may not have granted that petition, but MAYBE He is granting something better.

We aren’t just born with end time trust, we have to learn it. I do believe this is the reason that we have been so attacked, of course, it is partially due to the desire of the enemy to conquer and divide the churches but we know if we are allowed to undergo the massive struggles that God has allowed us to, and this is where real trust, the trust Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had.

The trust Daniel had in the lion’s den. The trust Abraham had, the trust Moses had, the trust that Noah had in building the ark while everyone laughed, the trust Lot had running at the command of angels from the soon to be destroyed Sodom.  The trust of all the prophets and all the martyrs. Most of all, the TRUST JESUS HAD TO GIVE UP HIS LIFE ON THAT CROSS.

 What made their view of trust in God different from our modern-day trust in the Lord?

Well, they HELD the patience of the saints. Remember, Jesus telling us of the end time persecutions? LUKE 21:19: In your PATIENCE possess ye your souls.” 

Complete trust that live or die, delivered at the present moment or resurrected in the last day that God is in control, and come what may or may not, He IS still God. 

This is the patience, the trust we MUST have in order to make it through the days. Here is a little scary news, that HAS NOT YET come to pass BUT IT CERTAINLY WILL:

DANIEL 11:31-35: “And arms (forces) shall stand on his part and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

And such as do wickedly AGAINST the covenant shall he corrupt with flatteries: but the people that DO KNOW their God SHALL be strong, and do exploits (take action)

And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: YET they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, MANY DAYS.

Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen (helped) with a little help; but many shall cleave to them (join them) with flatteries  (by intrigue).

And some of them of understanding SHALL FALL, TO TRY (REFINE) THEM, AND TO PURGE, AND TO MAKE THEM WHITE, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”

Reading those passages, one could clearly understand why patient trust would be a needed attribute and as we see that they are refined and purged to make them new, we see it is not a futuristic trust for salvation, it is a requirement to fulfill our place on this earth.

The reward of this trust and the reward of trying our best to live peaceful and share His love and mercy with others:

REVELATION 3:10:  “BECAUSE thou hast kept the word of patience ( my command to persevere)  I also WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (TRAIL) WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD TO TRY (TEST) THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH.”   

 Trust Him, trust Him today, trust Him for tomorrow and live every day in prayer and praise to His name and He will never let you fall.

PSALM 46 ” God IS our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah

There is  a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God IS in the midst of her: she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved; he uttered his VOICE and the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; the God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah 

Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth: he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD; I WILL BE EXALTED AMONG THE HEATHEN, I WILL BE EXALTED IN THE EARTH. 

The Lord of hosts IS with us; the God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah”

So as that great dragon sends his flood stronger and stronger after the persecuted children, as is hate rages and shakes this world, do not be moved.  Hear the voice of our Lord, hear his command to stay strong and to persevere. Our God will come and He will save us and He IS our refuge from the flood.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

Sticks and Stones #2 “BLOOD BROTHERS”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eliab’s entire personality revealed!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015   

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

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

EL ROI….. The well in our wilderness

“And Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, PUTTING IT ON HER SHOULDER, and the child and sent her away: and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” Genesis 21:14
                                      
I can only imagine the torturous thoughts that played out in Hagar’s mind as she attempted to take her child and embark on what she believed would be their death march to die a slow agonizing death of dehydration and starvation, if they even survived the wild animals that they could be attacked by at even given moment.
Yet again, this was Sarah’s plan, she was quite a character and could have taught Samson a thing or two about manipulation and self righteousness.

She is probably the gene donor responsible for the cattiness, jealousy, and vanity that have plagued women’s relationships one to another since the dawn of time, much more so than anything we inherited from Eve.
How had it come to this? That question surely  flooded her mind, I am sure there were many, many times that she wanted to see both of them suffer, as they had made her suffer.

And now, as he put the bread and water on her shoulder, sending her and the child he was responsible for out into a formidable land to make their way back to Egypt, he was laying the entire burden of the enormous mess on her shoulders to be born alone.
But she WAS NOT alone, she only felt that way. 

She had been down this road before, as a servant subjected to Sarah’s insane idea to force her to bear a child to Abraham, once accomplished Sarah’s jealousy kicked in and she mistreated Hagar, Abraham refused to intervene, BUT God let Hagar know that it was THE CRIES OF HER HEART that he heard, not necessarily Sarah’s.

 Genesis 16:7-14 tells us: “And the ANGEL of the Lord FOUND her  by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.  And he said, HAGAR, SARAI’S MAID, whence cometh thou? and whither wilt thou go (why are you here and where will you go?) and she said I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply THY seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael (God hears) BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THY  AFFLICTION.  And he will be as a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.

And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God (EL ROI) seest me: for she said, have I also looked after (saw) him that seest me? wherefore THE WELL was called Beerlahairoi (well of one who lives and sees me); behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”

She did as she had been told, even submitting to the humiliation of giving birth to her son while sitting on Sarah’s knees to appease Sarah’s misguided  belief  that somehow this would really make the child hers.

But now they had Isaac and the very child they had forced her to bear and then taken from her, they have now given back, as if he were an unwanted pet replaced by one of a more valued breed and have sent them both on their way to an unknown fate.

But one thing Hagar was not aware of , this plan, although it had come from the mouth of Sarah, who didn’t care if they both died she just wanted them out of her face, God had given permission for this to happen and it WOULD NOW BE USED FOR HER GOOD.

God was going to use this, as He does all things, to her benefit, as when the angel told her to go back, this was a wilderness walk that she had to take, regardless of the pain and the injustice, this walk WOULD NOT LEAD TO THE DESTRUCTION OF HER AND ISHMAEL, BUT IT WOULD LEAD TO THEIR FREEDOM.
She would never again be slave to Abraham or Sarah and her maker would in fact now be her husband and a father to her son, who was now fatherless.

And just as her son was rejected by his own people and sent to Egypt, there would be another son called forth out of Egypt only to face the same rejection by his kindred.

But when all we can see is the wilderness in front of us, the hunger, the thirst and the fear of what is waiting down that road starts to set in, we forget the promises we have been given, what the angel has spoken and sometimes we need to be reminded.
Genesis 21:15-21 “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs, And she went, and sat down over against (across) him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she had said Let me not see the death of the child. and she sat over against him and lift up her voice and wept.

AND GOD HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LAD; and the ANGEL OF THE LORD CALLED OUT TO HAGAR OUT OF HEAVEN, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? ( THIS TIME HE DID NOT CALL HER SARAI’S MAID) fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad, WHERE HE IS.

Arise, lift up the lad, hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and SHE SAW A WELL OF WATER; and she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of  Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.”

I know the wilderness is a rough place, I don’t like it myself.
But you know had God not led Hagar on that journey and she had not agreed to trust Him on that trip she would have never realized the power and intimacy of God on her and her son’s life, remember the second time all she could do was cry, God heard Ismael’s prayers, HEAVEN ITSELF ANSWERED!  

She would have never known freedom. Just as Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness, and successfully resisted the devil and John the Baptist was prepared for his work and grew strong in the wilderness, it grows us.
There are required traits that we only acquire  in the wilderness, those barren, desolate places, sparse pastures that barely keep us alive, the side paths that are so lonely, we feel like tears are our only companion.
It is in those places, the wilderness, the deserts, the almost uninhabitable lands that the roses bloom and the fountains of living water burst forth out of that parched ground.
If you never had to go there, you would never know the sweetest of that water or the scent of a rose so strong and determined to live that it grew up through sand , pushing the rocks past, as the blazing sun-scorched down on it.

So don’t fight it, don’t even try to resist it, just take that trip with EL ROI, because He does live and He does see and He wants you to know you can depend solely on him, you may be like Hagar, alone in the middle of nowhere feeling like everything you love is about to die, have faith, He sees and He will show up and He will bless that which you thought was hopeless and prosper it and make it something so mighty it will beyond your wildest dreams.
Once you have been given these waters, you will never fear the wilderness quite so much again, I’m sure you won’t be excited to visit there again, but take along an empty suitcase, I promise you will return with a souvenir so rare, so priceless that you will never part with it.
Apostle Paul said “he glorified in his affliction” because he knew the sweet Holy spirit would rest on him and that was worth the brier scratches, the harder the enemy hit him, the greater the power of God would bathe him.
Go, you will be glad you did!
Original Post: 09/05/2014 & 03/28/2015 all rights reserved. Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015/ revisited 05/02/2021 

Truly beautiful song.. As close as I could find to the thought of this post! Love and Peace!

                                

AMONG THE THORNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Four Eyes”,

“Dumb”,

“Stupid”,

“Wimp”,

“Fat”,

“Bone rack”,

“Flat chest”,

” Slut”,

“Idiot”,

“Cry Baby”,

“Should have never been born”,

“Never will amount to anything”.

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

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

Part 1 ASHES

Soldier Up!!!

Have you ever cried yourself to sleep? Your mind so exhausted and your heart so troubled and broken that you end up lulled into some sort of almost hypnotic state of sub consciousness?
Unlike our sleeping beauty from Song of Songs, there is another kind of sleep.
the sleep, I believe the Disciples suffered from, a sleep born from the repeated attacks waged against the soul of every believer.
The literal, Biblical “wearing out” of the saints.
Sometimes we do become shell-shocked warriors in the unseen battle between heaven and hell,
as we constantly war with the principalities of the air and their embodied counterparts on earth.
Elijah the Prophet, whom at his request God had sent fire down from heaven, even he became so discouraged that his soul desire was for God to just take him home.
John the Baptist, whose very life was to fulfill the prophecy that the Lord would send Elijah the Prophet before him, and John came in the spirit of Elijah.
Remember this is the man who was so spirit filled that he had leapt for joy in his mother’s womb. He was considered a wild man and he was never afraid to proclaim the kingdom of God. It never bothered him who may be offended by his preaching or just who would have to be told off. Jesus himself referred to John as the GREATEST prophet ever born.
Yet, even he, after being locked away by Herod started to hear that little voice of doubt whispered by the enemy telling him that just maybe, he had been wrong about everything.
But the Lord is always faithful. He sent Elijah an angel to comfort him.
To John he sent back his word that erased every doubt and fear the enemy had tried to place in him.
Jesus in his agony prayed three times that the cup might pass from him, his answer came as his sweat turned to drops of blood, signifying that he would indeed die, upon receiving his answer angels appeared to strengthen him for the horror that lie ahead.
So many today have suffered things so unbearable, ordeals so hard to fathom, that others can not even begin to understand.
Know this, if you have been through a season in life that has weakened you so much that you feel you can’t take another step or shed even one more tear, and you are so tired, tired of even trying to fight any longer.
You love the Lord and want to serve him but you are just so shell-shocked you can’t get out of that trench.
Want to give you some hope, no matter how alone you feel your not, I promise you there is a God that loves you and those tears are precious to him.
Just as he himself had to be strengthened to endure what he went through, he wants to strengthen you.
Even though this is technically a repost, I know this is for someone and whoever you are,  you know it too and I promise you he is there and as he promised he will never leave you or forsake you and the only reason you are standing even now is because he is holding you.
“There hath no temptation (trial)taken you but as such that is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Translating, it means as long as we are on this earth, various troubles, death, and heartache will come to us all but he will never let it be more than your soul can bear.
And with it all he will strengthen you and see you through.
Even when we feel like we can’t handle it, through his spirit he allows us to.
“Wherefore seeing that we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witness, let us lay aside EVERY WEIGHT and the sin which doth so easily best us, and RUN with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
See, the weight of those heavy, heavy burdens the pain, the heartache, that we try to carry alone, if we are not careful and be sure to give those burdens to the Lord, they will unwittingly lead to sin. We have to lay down, at his feet, at the cross all those things we carry that make us unable to run that race. We have to lighten the load before we are able to even take that first step.
Paul a man well acquainted with suffering and persecution wrote this, ” For I reckon the sufferings of this world are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“For our light affliction WHICH IS FOR A MOMENT worketh in us a far more exceeding and ETERNAL weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen TEMPORAL but the things which are not seen are ETERNAL.”
2 Corinthians 4:17,18
The things that trouble you will pass, the weight of those burdens will lift.
The burdens of this earth eventually lighten, they are temporary but holding onto your faith, keeping your eyes on the prize will one day produce an excellent weight (sheer amount) of glory eternally.
Don’t quit, Don’t give up and above all NEVER SURRENDER.
Let me leave you with Matthew 11:28 the words of our beautiful Lord, who is your ever-present him in the time of trouble.
“COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.”
Please take these words, sharpen your spiritual sword and endure hardness as a good soldier and make your Captain proud! He’s counting on you!
 Original post date 11/30/2013 post

Φλογίζω / All rights reserved.  Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015