“Breaking through the breach”

“And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her and went in unto (had relations with) her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er .” Genesis 38:1,3

I want to stop right there for a moment before we get into the rest of this story because I need to point out a few things about it to kinda set the stage, if you will.

Notice this is what happened after Judah and his brothers had decided to do away with Joseph.

But Judah was the brother who decided to just sell Joseph rather than let him rot in the pit, which ruined Reuben’s cowardly plan of sneaking back later and freeing Joseph.

There are so many things going on in this story it would take years to point out every little detail.

So for us, we’re just going to look at how bad ideas lead to worse ideas and what we compromise in that process.

So here’s Judah, whose name literally means “praise”, he has gone away from his brothers and went to his friend, who lives in a place that my spellcheck even tried to change to adulterate and once there he ends up with a Canaanite wife, whose name means “crying” and remember the Canaanite’s were the people who the children of Israel were supposed to overcome so that they could possess the land that God had given them. 

So now not only is he going places he should never be but the “praise” of Israel has now mingled with the “crying” of the pagans and that which was produced was anything but good.

“And she conceived again, and bare a son and called his name Onan.

And she yet conceived again, and bare a son; and called his name, Shelah: and he was at Chezib when she bare him.” Genesis 38:3,4

This union had now produced three children, Er, whose name meant “watcher”, Onan, whose name meant “wealthy”, and finally Shelah, whose name meant “blind” who was born while Judah was in Chezib, the land whose name is derived from the words, “disappointment”, “delusion”, “failing”, and “lying”.

So it is pretty easy to see the prophetic going on here. 

We can see just how easy it can be to be led wrong.

Led into that land due to our disappoints and failings and the tears of those lands mingling with our praise until we also can be completely delusional to the fact that no matter what we call our “accomplishments” in those lands, and no matter how we may feel that we are growing or being enriched, if we have “left” our “promised land” for a “foreign field” that God never sent us to, then we are failing because we are “blinded” in that land.

It is really reminiscent of the spiritual state spoken of by Jesus.

Revelation 3:17,18: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. 

I counsel thee to buy of me Gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

Now we know how Judah got there and what was “produced” there, now let’s see just how far he had to go before he finally saw how “blind” he had become. 

“And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew (killed) him.

And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 

And the thing which he did  displeased the Lord (was evil in the sight of the Lord) whereby he slew (killed) him also.

Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law,  Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.

And in the process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite.

And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold, thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.

And she put  her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she will still not given unto him to wife.

When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned in unto her by the way, and said, Go to I pray thee, let me come in unto thee (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?

And he said, I will send thee a kid from my flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it (something she could keep as a guarantee)?

And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets (cord), and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on her garments of widowhood.

And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand (to get his staff, etc back): but he found her not.

Then he asked the men of that place, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.

And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, there was no harlot in this place.

And Judah said, let her take it unto her (let her keep it), lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.

And it came to pass about three months after; that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, she is with child by whoredom (harlotry), and Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” Genesis 38:5-24

Interjection time… WOW that is a lot going on and I can’t help think that I probably should have used Judah’s good old buddy Hirah in WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT.. further proof that when we are headed down the wrong road the enemy always sends someone to make sure we go barreling down it!

So now we are up to Tamar, Judah smuggling blaming her somehow for the fact that his sons died, not once every considering what we know to be true, they died because they did evil in the sight of the Lord, not because of any thing related to Tamar, another one of his misconceptions, just as he thought she was a “harlot” and  in the process he ended up throwing everything her way except what was rightfully hers.

And now she is supposed to be the one that gets “burnt” by the fallout..

The almost comedic irony in this is that when his buddy couldn’t get his possessions back, he decided to just leave it alone so that they would not be shamed in not having kept his end of the bargain in her payment… and yet he is so spiritually blind that it is okay to manipulate and deceive his daughter in law out of her rightful heir and when she is found to be questionably pregnant, he is going to have her killed.

And the truly scariest aspect of the story is just what Judah was willing to sacrifice, without any thought, worry, or fear that he may not get his signet and especially his staff back, which were his very identity and worse that he could so easily state that it could just be kept… kept as payment for “harlotry”. 

That can be taken symbolically as a very spiritual  “adultery”, when we choose to trade-off or just give away the callings, positions, and gifts that God has given us, either for something we want more or just simply through willful disobedience.

But by being in that land and mingling with those of that land he would indeed find himself in the spiritual place of Chezib, where “blindness” had been born and all would lead to the repentant “crying” as his wife’s namesake. Let’s check out his wake-up call with the ending of our story for Genesis 38:25-30:

“And when she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: Discern, I pray thee, (Please tell me) whose are these, the signet, and bracelets (cord), and staff.

And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because I gave her not Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more (did not have any further relations with her).

And it came to pass in the time of her travail (when she gave birth), that, behold, twins were in her womb.

And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out; and she said How hath thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee, therefore his name was called Pharez. (Breach OR Breakthrough).

And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand; and his name was called Zarah (Zerah, meaning “dawning” and “light”).” It is impossible not see another scriptural truth that would mirror this birth.

1st Corinthians 15:45,46: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit. 

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

It comes down to this, we have all maybe been Tamar, and we have all probably acted like Judah in one way or another but we can choose to let mistakes and failures hold us back and destroy our relationship with God and others OR we can use those very “breaches” to propel us forward to a breakthrough, the choice is ours.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to share in a little of your day! 

Love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

And as I looked at the date, I realized today is the anniversary of receiving my calling, 10/16/06 and I am forever blessed and honored that He has allowed me to be…HIS!

 

Prayer of David

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, and the ship was like (about) to be broken.

Then the mariners were afraid and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them, (threw everything possible overboard to lighten the ship).

But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship, and he lay, and was fast asleep.” Jonah 1-5

This is the final post in the series dealing with the thought of spirit versus flesh.

In “Magic” button we looked at Peter and the disciples, who succumbed to emotional exhaustion and  the sorrow caused by the dread of the uncertainty of what was about to take place.

And Paul, who definitely had a predisposition to violence was constantly imprisoned, and ridiculed and was quite honest about the struggles that he faced as he allowed the Lord to teach him the reactions God wanted him to display and he did, one of the many proofs of this came after he and Silas were miraculously freed when God sent an earthquake and opened ALL the prison doors.

Paul alerting the jailer to the fact that they were all still there just as the jailer was about to commit suicide because of their escape.

Paul’s unexpected display of love and mercy being one of the things God used to bring conviction on the jailer, saving him and his entire family.

And with “Kidron calling” we discussed the tear filled journey taken by many including David, whose comfort and complacency directly led him to the place of temptation which Bathsheba. 

David should have been in battle with his men, and his fall to that temptation gave way to what would send him and those faithful to him fleeing toward the wilderness.

And finally Jonah whose just simply allowed his flesh such control that he really believed that he could outrun God. 

Most know the story, when it became evident that he was the reason this storm had come upon them ALL and asked to be thrown overboard with which the storm ended for those on the ship but it still took a horrifying ordeal to convince Jonah that he would do as he had been told.

And still, Jonah held on to enough of his flesh that he actually got mad when God showed mercy to Nineveh and revoked his judgment after they had repented, Jonah was mad because he wanted them destroyed to fulfill his prophetic word.

He could have had his own insecurities as prophets are usually hated and ridiculed, maybe he thought if he sleep long enough and ran far enough someone else would do his job for him and God would somehow “forget” that he had given Jonah this job, and unfortunately,  there is still a lot of that going on today.

These stories have many common threads but one that is really prevalent is how all these examples affected other people, from the hurt and heartache Jesus suffered when his friends couldn’t even stay by his side and would go on to run and even deny him and being betrayed by one who knew him so well and had held such closeness with him that he knew exactly the spot that he could hand Jesus over to his enemies.

Of course, Jesus knew all this and still loved us enough to go on over that brook of CALLED.

And the story of David filled with weeping upon weeping as we all “take people with us”, whether we want to believe that or not, we do.

Our decisions, just like in Jonah’s story, can affect and endanger others, as he laid comfortably sleeping  while those on the ship were in fear of being absolutely destroyed. Jonah oblivious to what was going on around him, and as with the fare price, he did indeed pay a much higher price and STILL had to do his job.

That is what happens when we allow denial to convince us that everything is really just someone’s else’s problem that they’ll just have to deal with.

God has given us the Bible and all the stories of those before us to be examples to us of many things and often what to do and a greater blessing of what NOT to do and how NOT to handle our problems.

In starting this series I had that thought over and over in my own heart as I have been trying to deal with my own struggles after losing my Mom and I have found that to be true so many times, we all struggle with something at one point or another in life.

We can choose to be big fakes and try to hide those struggles and put on our “churchy christian” faces (yeah, someone actually called me that a few weeks back ;), I was thinking, “If you only knew”…, obviously they had no clue to the battle I was having just staying on the boat!) and we can chose to pretend that we are all together and fa-bu and all kinds of groovy.

But that is not real and God hates that, actually His word says this, and I have quoted this verse probably thousands of time during my time with the Lord and His word never fails:

James 4:7-10: “SUBMIT yourselves therefore TO God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh unto you.

Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts ye double minded. 

Be afflicted (lament), and mourn, and weep:

LET your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness (gloom). 

HUMBLE yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

So with all the troubles in life that can sometimes TRY to lull us back into those old comfortable places where we can just go to sleep hoping to wait out the trip of the dreaded, now uncertain future ahead, so afraid of tearfully crossing that brook ahead of us, that we can forget the promises, and the blessings, and the fulfillment of the callings that are just on the other side of that brook…if we will make that journey.

I want to end this on the note of David, this is the answer for us if we have struggled with these issues or even if someone wasn’t thrown from the boat, they had just temporarily “fallen off”!

That is one of the innumerable beauties of God, it’s not about falling off the boat, or having to be thrown from the boat, it is all about climbing back on board and trying your best to sit down, shut up and trust the Captain.

I love the boating terms, always will, and I have put this is past posts, but back in the day when our late Pastor, who had been a Navy man, would hit us with a particularly toe stepping message, he’d always end it with this, “Shape up or ship out!” and then he’d smile really big and finish with, “And these pews don’t have oars on them!”

Still pretty good advice, we can’t go backward there is nothing there except heartache and death, so we have to go forward, even if we are going without human companionship. 

Imagine the disciples once they were “on their own”, they really had to put their faith to the fire and as Jesus told none of us are above any of us and all of our work will be tried in that fire.

This is David’s prayer after he had been confronted by Nathan the prophet concerning his sins with Bathsheba and the “murder by war” of Uriah.

It is a wonderful prayer and even to be broken down and prayed by certain verse over our specific struggle, we can all find hope, help, and healing in the word of God.

                                                         Psalm 51

“HAVE mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; that thou mightest be justified when thou speaketh, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen (brought forth) in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right (steadfast) spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit. 

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite (crushed) heart, O God, thou will not despise.

Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

 

“Kidron calling”

“And when Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron (Kidron) where there was a garden, into which he entered, he and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither (met there) with his disciples.” John 18:1,2 

Picking this to tie in with my last post “Magic” button  this scripture took place at the time of the arrest of Jesus, after he had given the disciples warning that they should watch and pray that they would not enter into temptation.

Now is a good time to point out that as Jesus went forth into this place, He was on His way to his arrest, torture, humiliation, and ultimate crucifixion.

ALL this laid just beyond the crossing over that brook BUT this was also the path of His divine purpose for coming to this earth, as He answered Pilate… To this end was I born, and for this cause I came into the world,  and the enemy, just like Judas in this passage, always knows where we go for comfort and just where to find us in a crisis, and that is when he hits us with all he has and it’s like that button, he knows how and exactly where to do the most damage.

But FIRST I really want to point out that Jesus is an exception to all the rules. He is God and when He came here in human form as a sacrifice for all of us, He did so completely sinless.

He NEVER committed sin or even thought a wrong thought, so it was NEVER a question of falling with Him, as it is for us. BUT as He also told us that The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. and we are to follow His lead in how He handled every situation and circumstance in life and even in the face of death.

And there is so much for us to learn in crossing over our own brook “Kidron” and if we are called, we are going to have to cross that brook.

We can a learn that from Davis’s story 2 Samuel chapters fifteen and sixteen, to give the background on it, this WAS due to David falling into temptation, because of his affair with Bathsheba and the essential “hit” he put on his own solider Uriah in an attempt to cover his tracks, he had been told that the sword would NEVER leave his house, so even though he had repented and reconciled to God he was still under that judgment and this story took place as he was fleeing from his son who WAS one of the evils that would arise from his own house against him.

If possible please read these chapters to get the jest of this story because I am just using a few verses to get to this point, but it is a story I have used many times to make many different points and so much can be learned on some many level from David’s ordeal.

I am starting scripture coming into the part of the story when most had turned against David and it actually says that Absalom “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” and as he prepared to overtake his father’s throne, David and those whose were faithful to him were forced to flee and this is where decisions were being made.

2 Samuel 15: 21-23 : “And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there shall thy servant be.

And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that was with him.

And ALL the country wept with a loud voice,and all the people passed over,the king himself passed over the brook Kidron (CALLED),and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.”

What really jumps out at me is the similarity between Ittai’s pledge of allegiance to David and Peter’s words to Jesus and one of the literal meanings given for Kidron is “CALLED” and as you go on with that story, David was hit so hard just in these few chapters, this ONE instance of a PERIOD in his life, he was chased, cursed, hated but he was learning something, and you got to remember WHO David was and what he had ALREADY learned from the Lord.

By this point in his life, he had been in battle after battle, fought Goliath, survived Saul’s hatred and had been anointed three times to be king and David knew what is was to be afraid and he knew what it was to desperately seek God, he knew what is was to  trust and he knew what is was to encourage himself when he felt a million miles away. But by the point this all came into play against him he had gotten a little out of practice keeping those things he had learned fresh in his mind and most importantly fresh in his heart.

As he and all his people passed over the brook and they all went toward the WAY of the wilderness, his flesh began to die, when he just accepted the things being thrown at him without cursing back or flying into a rage and wanting to retaliate, when he just kept on crossing the brook of the called his enemies were defeated and his throne rightfully restored.

Not to say that there wasn’t PAIN, serious, serious pain, as all these crossings were made with tears and sorrow.

Over the past few weeks I have thought so much about what Jesus told Peter, when He said The Spirit truly is ready but the flesh is weak  and I have come to believe of the many lessons we learn from that scripture that the biggest, hardest lesson to grasp is this, that our spirit, the part of us that loves God, longs for His presence and wants nothing more than to please Him and be in His will can BE completely given over to Him but our human side can still have a lot of catching up to do, it can be very weak and must be strengthened BEFORE we can enter into those places that He wants us to travel.

And when you think of it, imagine Peter and ALL the disciples, hanging out with Jesus day and night, being in the midst of Him and the miracles and Him giving them that authority over demons and diseases BUT He was right there with them or at least they knew He was close by and would come to the rescue just like He did when He rebuked their lack of faith and taught them the need for fasting and prayer when they could not cast the demon out of the young boy and the father had to bring him to Jesus Himself. (Matthew 17:14-21)

So how much harder would it be for them when they had to have the faith to believe for these and greater works in His name and believe for that power to come when they asked in His name when He would no longer be by their side on this earth?

He was not only their teacher, He was also their best friend and even though they knew who He was and is, and they saw with their own eyes miracles and resurrections of the dead, nothing could ever have prepared them for the transitions between heaven and earth that would take place.

Their spirits were ready, that is why He gave them the extra comfort of adding TRULY when He told them but the “flesh” part, the human side had to be strengthened or otherwise their minds could have never withstood the transition that they also would have to make on that journey with Him.

Think about that… ALL of this was new, it was new to EVERYONE and if you put yourself in their shoes at the time and ask how would they react when they would no longer see Him or touch Him in the physical realm but be aware of His invisible presence and would actually feel Him in their souls.

NOTHING could have ever prepared them for that, it is not a shock that they stood “gazing up” when He went back to heaven, they were trying to reason it all in their heads when it cannot be reasoned and they would have to learn how to navigate their lives and fulfilling His call on their lives in a way they could have never possibly imagined.

And when the pain, the sorrow and the persecution would come that flesh would have to be under submission to the spirit or else that flesh would cost callings and how that submission comes is in one word…acceptance… and I’ll leave that right there for now.

Thank you for reading and thanks for all your prayers!

God Bless you with a wonderful week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

“Magic” button

“And he cometh and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest thou not watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37,38

Very familiar verse there, I have used them multiple times for multiple posts. But I am kinda seeing them in yet another light.

A couple of days after my Mom’s services I was catching up on some housework and my mind was still trying to just come to terms with what had just taken place and the dynamics that were so troubling and all the added stress that I will not get into, but the enemy does like to get his kicks in on us while were down so I’ll leave it there.

But back to what I was trying to say, I suddenly found myself hit with this temptation, a temptation that I am sure on a technicality could be argued as harmless, but we know how technicalities work, nothing more than excuses to try to “get by with something” that we know is going to end up leading us somewhere really bad.

Pretty much just an overwhelming desire almost a need to run back to places of my past and to the old friends that had to be left in spiritual Egypt once I began my journey to the “promised land”.

And these were thoughts and feelings that I had not wrestled since my salvation. And I honestly can’t tell you whether the scripture hit my heart before or after this overwhelming “need to run” hit me, but all I know is “pray that ye enter not into temptation” overshadowed those thoughts.

And we, myself included, tend to think of “temptation” as, well, exactly what the Bible teaches us, when we are “drawn away” ENTICED by “our own lusts” but I have come to believe that there are other times, other reasons, times when we are sincerely trying to follow Christ, that we can fall into those temptations.

Luke 22:45 explains what was going on with the disciples a little better because it actually tells us that they were sleeping because of sorrow.  

NOT because they were just lackeys bailing out on Jesus. NOT because they just didn’t care about him, but just as he had said, the spirit that IS TRULY willing, the spirit that does love Him and want to honor Him in all things and serve Him, but being human, the flesh that proved out when the Bible also tells us “neither wist they what to answer him” which means that when He was telling them to get up and pray that they not enter into temptation, they could not even respond to Him, they simply had NO answer for the actions of their carnal minds.

They just simply DEFAULTED to the only HUMAN response they knew. I had never really thought about it but HURT, just good old-fashioned sorrow that WE ALL must endure at one time or another just as part of being human and living on this earth, could very well be more than enough to send someone back into the very snares that God had delivered them from.

I have never said I know anything and I have plenty of my own struggles and thank God for a church family that has prayed diligently for me during this, never once pointing a finger and telling me how strong I should be or giving me lectures on faith, I know about faith, the disciples KNEW about faith, sometimes it is not about faith.

Jesus NEVER mentioned the devil or demonic forces when he gave them that warning. No, what He mentioned was “flesh” our OWN human nature, the Adam nature, the nature that wars against the things of the spirit and that is why the action needed was left for US to take.

He told us, even with the Lord’s prayer that we should pray that we not enter into temptation, so that one is up to us, I know that He also promises us that an escape will always be made to overcome these trying times but you know His words ARE that escape.

So on with that story we are told of one who “fled naked” having lost his expensive covering in the struggle, running away embarrassed, afraid, and confused and we are told of course of Peter whose fleshy “magic button” of default behavior sent him into cursing denials of even KNOWING Jesus and Mark 14:50 tells us this, “And they ALL forsook him and fled.” 

But we all also KNOW the end of the story, how the disciples strengthened of God admitted all these fleshy shortcomings and pressed on, most giving their lives for the Gospel, that FEAR that made them flee during the arrest of their leader over time giving way to a courage that would allow them to no longer run but to stand and stand to the death because that had faced their own flesh and that had asked God to help them resist the temptation of pushing that magic button of their own self-destruction.

The very real trip wire that is inside of all of us, that I believe Paul was referencing when he wrote concerning his OWN personal struggles with that place in our human nature, “For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal (fleshly), SOLD under sin.

For that which I do I allow (understand) not; for what I would (want to do), that I do not; but what I hate that do I. If I then do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now it is no more that I do it, but sin that dwelleth in me

For I know that in me , that is in my flesh,)  dwelleth NO good thing; for to will is EVER present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  

For the good that I would (want to do) I do not; but the evil which would not ( does not want to do), that I do. 

Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but SIN that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is ever present with me.”

Romans 7:14-21 The “evil” Paul spoke of was not a devilish evil it was the fight his spirit had against his own sinful nature that he had to overcome. And overcome they did!

All of them! And just as Peter strengthened his brethren and the others taught and preached under the anointing of God and Paul sat imprisoned writing of his struggles and sufferings, inspired by the Lord, encouraged by the Lord during those times, never even have a clue that those words would become passages that would exhort and bless others, innumerable generations that would be fed by those words, live by those words and face death clinging to those words.

They all had to learn so many lessons, lessons that thankfully they used in order to teach us.

One of those lesson could be put into terms maybe such as these, we ALL have those magic “self -destruct” buttons, you know, kinda like a default or reset key, they come as standard equipment having been born into sin, born in flesh and some of us, I think especially with trauma based “issues” have a greater difficulty sometimes keeping our fingers from pushing it, especially when we are faced with things we just can’t understand.

And it does help when we think about what they went through and how there lives were turned upside down and inside out with the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus.

They had lost everything when they lost Him, but as they soon discovered they had actually gained, they gained the Holy Ghost, they gained eternal life, they had gained first hand witness to the greatest of all His miracles.

And through ALL the suffering. hurt, fear, and horror, failures, and stumbling, and outright falling face first but once they asked the Lord for forgiveness and to help them back up they learned that all that had endured and overcame and all that was yet to overcome came to them with a great reward and they would one day sit as rulers over the twelve tribes of Israel in New Jerusalem.

We all struggle, we all need help and I really believe that this is what happens and is happening so often with so many ministers, preachers, and pastors, not to even mention those who “go back out” or worse hit that self-destructive magic button that reverts back to what they once knew because they are faced with something and just do not know how to process it or how to cope.

And as the one who fled “naked” to embarrassed to ask for help because so often we fall also to the FALSE belief that we are SUPPOSED to be somehow spiritually bulletproof and have all the answers and never know a battle or struggle.

And that is such a LIE from the enemy.

JESUS did NOT want to go to the cross, he DID NOT want to leave all those that he loved, he PRAYED that it would change but we know that He did it anyway for us and for the greater end.

We can never be above our Master and so often we are not taught that and we buy into the nonsense that we are just not “where we should be” or just “not right” or otherwise we wouldn’t be “going through this” so we either end up back out in sin or heaven forbid far worse.

God never intends for us to hit those default buttons and it is up to us to help one another and be there for one another and be honest about our own struggles.

God showed me a little something else with these verses that show us how the name of the path He traveled actually translates to “CALLED”, the same path David had to travel and the similarities that BOTH went through dealing not only with the circumstance at hand but the actions of others during those circumstances.

ALL part of  getting that weak flesh under submission to allow God’s work through a spirit that is already willing.

Hopefully I’ll get into next time but for now, if I haven’t been alone in this and maybe in this world of trillions, some one else has been going through something so similar, not even about “sin” but just trying to find a “safe” familiar place to drown in your tears while trying to make sense of a life that has suddenly became uncharted territory with stability at an all time low and uncertain as to what should even come next.

Know you are not alone, we are NEVER alone, we all have those moments, those times, and unfortunately those magic buttons that can bring out the TRIP JUNKIE in us.

And that is okay and it is okay to admit that, the Bible tells us to “confess your faults (troubles) one to another” and “Pray ye one for another” it is time we tell each other and the church that it is okay to have that button, Satan and others will definitely try to push it but the only one who has even knows where it is “located” is you and you alone.

So remember everyone has temptations, weaknesses, and a magic button that could very easily destroy you but that button only has power over you IF you are willing to push it.  So DON’T PUSH IT! It can never hurt you without your OWN consent. 

NB 2018

 

Evening in Paris dancing with the King

“REMEMBER now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not  (before the days of sickness and death come) nor the years draw nigh ( before we grow old), when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” Ecclesiastes 12:1

Oh this is a oh, oh, oh post. Which is the sound of my heart and I did want to do this as a memorial and had planned to at a much later date but all writers know one thing for a surety, writing is often therapeutic and I kinda lost it yesterday at a funeral home.

It has been a fast hard journey and lots of needless strife added to the mix of sleeping maybe a few hours out of every thirty for a solid month, physically exhausted and bewildered, heartbroken, and well just broken led me to a complete meltdown while at the casket my sister picked out for our Mom. We were telling the funeral guy what we needed and her burial dress in it and a couple of “farewell” tokens, and earrings chosen by granddaughters who had come up under her style and grace and chosen it for their own, and her makeup they had also chosen and listed color choices and it was just too real, placing all this in her coffin and trying to explain what was what and why, I found myself almost outside of myself running away screaming and crying and ended up going and laying on the altar at church and God in His mercy somehow calmed me down before I got hit with a straight jacket.

So I thought I’d do this now before I have to face the rest of path of the “golden cords broken”.

She was absolutely one of a kind, and of course ALL our mothers are, so here’s a little about mine.

She was always so beautiful and I remember us walking down the sidewalk going to the drugstore when I was little, her holding my hand and hearing all these whistles, turning to see these guys waving and I asked her what they were doing, and in her classic style, she’d just ignore them and gently look down and say “Honey, it’s just cat calls don’t pay any attention to them.”

Of course it took awhile for my little brain to figure out just was a “cat call” was but being in public with Mom always provided plenty of practice hearing them.

And I WAS the child they could not keep out of their bed and I remember waking up cradled next to her, her arm snuggled around me, looking at her and telling her that she was the most beautiful woman in the world and she’d tell me I was really sweet but that she really wasn’t that I just thought that because she was my mommy, and I said, no, you really are.

I reminded her of that last Sunday night when I was doing my “final” talk, you know all the things she already knew but I wanted to say one more time.

She couldn’t reply because she never spoke a word after last Saturday night, but I told her, she was STILL the most beautiful woman in the world and if I could ever be even half the woman she was, I would be happy and that I did not want her to go but if she needed to go I would see her when I got there and how I love her.

We’d been having these conversations already, my sister and I pulling duty around the clock, me taking night shift because I am her “next door neighbor” and she’d been telling me during our middle of the night chats that she had always loved me and would always love me, and that she wanted hospice when the time came, of course I kept telling her to not say that but that I would honor every wish to the best of my ability.

LESS than one month before this, we had just been on their back porch playing Spades, Mom’s favorite game, Ruby partnering with Dad, and me partnering with Mom, because I ALWAYS partnered with her, even when me and my husband played with them.

I am smart like that 🙂 she was FIERCELY competitive and in her younger pre-Christ days had been known to destroy a deck of cards or two in a wee bit of a fit of rage.

I can’t remember the last time me and Ruby had laughed so much as that final game.

Dad was doing some sort of weird “La-la-la’ tune and me and Ruby are just looking at each other and Mom tells him that he “Sounds just like Nellie Olsen” (the mean little girl character from “Little House on the Prairie”) and how on earth things can go to flat zero that fast is still dumbfounding, but I truly believe it was pure (no matter how painful for us) mercy from God.

She later confessed to my sister and I that she had not felt well for a while and August 16th she finally went to the ER at 5:30 a.m. because she had been so nauseated she was unable to eat and nothing was helping her, so they do tests and tell her that her sodium is low and she comes back home for another week, still unable to eat, drink, or sleep without stomach pain.

So we talk her into going to another ER and they admitted her and did more tests, very painful for her because he had severe osteoarthritis and they actually had to give her morphine to endure one test that lasted an hour and a half, finally they conclude that she had an enlarged gall bladder and gall stones, and an ulcer BUT the chest x-ray picked up a mass in her left lung.

All this led to an endoscopy and a biopsy of her small intestine and a lymph node around her right clavicle and the doctor making quite sure that she felt it may be esophageal cancer and that the biopsy would only be about an inch and that the gallbladder would stay because it was a side issue.

So August 31st she was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma, which is what killed my brother, it is rare and  especially insidious because it so aggressive and carries about a three MONTH survival time.

To say we were just blown away would be an understatement, but she had met with another doctor and decided that she would try chemo because it could possibly help her appetite and relieve pain, but the cancer was in her lymph nodes and her stomach and spreads rapidly so there wasn’t much that could be done.

So we converge trying to get her to drink the Ensures and Gatorade we’d been trying to get to drink for a week, she was growing so weak and could only sleep an hour or two at a time and would have to get back into her recliner because of the pain from not only the cancer but the osteoarthritis that had been so aggravated by having to lie flat and the three days spent in the hospital.

But the BIGGER problem was the badly botched biopsy that was NOT the promised one incision but instead a four-inch mess held together by the medical “superglue” covered in a CLEAR bandage for all the horror to show through, the moment I saw that THING, I knew it was mess.

In the meantime she had been prescribed two antibiotics to be taken together to help her stomach and help her eat, along with the truckload of other medications that did not for her.

My great-niece is an RN and she came and spent the night with Mom and gave us some great tips and she had thought that the incision didn’t look quite right either and within two days her skin around it was red, and red into her chest and her breast was twice its size and I can only imagine what it would have been had she not been on the antibiotics, we begged her to go to the ER but she was so weak that we’d been helping her to the bathroom for a week and she didn’t want to go in an ambulance, so thank God for a church friend who is a nurse practitioner and after being sent pictures of it advised her to go, so she finally went and it took my nephew and husband both just to get her to the vehicle.

The sad thing is this had just been “checked” by a doctor who said it was fine the day BEFORE she was admitted back into the hospital.

This thing was infected and the swelling had set in and soon both arms become red, skin peeling and finally swollen triple their size leading to the removal of paper tape actually ripping her skin off with it and fluid leaking from a huge sore and finally leaking from everywhere and I know that it was excruciating.

They had her on bag antibiotic and a super strong fish smelling injection antibiotic, a sodium pill, ulcer medication and morphine, dilauda, marinol, AND percocet every four hours, of course she was still not drinking or eating and with the low sodium and fluid overload they could not even give her IV fluids. And blood work upon blood work and her arms were covered in bruises over the scorching red and finally her last night there my sister and daughter and I all three stayed and told them, no more, they were not sticking her ever again.

God blessed us with awesome compassionate nurses and a wonderful hospital doctor who overruled the surgeon who had performed the biopsy, she wanted to do a “procedure” to try to drain the fluid that “may or not work” and he told her “Absolutely not, she had suffered enough and was going home” a week after being only further tormented.

So Tuesday my mom is brought back home in an ambulance, strapped on a gurney.

Pale, swollen, lifeless, with air-tubes covering her beautiful face still wearing the awful hospital gown that they had put her in a week before, which killed me, because she ALWAYS wanted to be dressed, neat and “presentable”, they get her into the bed Hospice had sent.

And the next day, September 19, less than twenty-four hours later and BEFORE Hospice could even have their first visit to rid her of that awful gown, with my sister trying desperately to help her because she was struggling to breathe, she passed away.

The most beautiful person in our world gone, just gone.

One of a kind, so gentle, so kind, would rescue anyone or any animal, give the shirt off her back or her last piece of bread to anyone who needed it and yet would rip someone to shreds over one of her kids or grand kids.

A woman who loved “Little House” and “The Walton’s”, and Hallmark Christmas movies but yet could not quite resist a good wrestling match, the tag team Rock and Roll Express, Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton from the eighties being her all time favorites.

A woman whose love and grace and impeccable manners had reared generations.

A woman whose strength, courage, and endless hope and faith in God had seen her through tragedies upon tragedies and more hardships and pain than one should endure.

The death of her firstborn son “POLICE STATE” left her with questions that would only be answered in eternity and as she told me the saving grace that kept her sane was the fact that she knew “her other kids needed her”.

The horrifying ordeal of watching her last born son die from the disease that would also take her, his story is “GOOD BYE, ROXIE SMITH” 

Her wonderful stories of growing up in rural Kentucky in the early forties, complete with tales of the terror during the war with Japan when she and her sister would “run and hide in bed” every time they heard a plane overhead.

Stories of being a young woman and new mother in the fifties and living out ALL the generations she had since with the passing of time clanging all things.

Grace and wisdom that had her hailed as the family sage for me, my daughter Bethany and her granddaughter Brittany.

We always looked at her as one who has answers to impossible questions, she was the inspiration for MOTHERS, THE BEJEWELMENT TO THE CROWN OF THE KING 

She had a beautiful laugh and fabulous sense of humor, she shared in our tears, our triumphs, our fears and always let EVERYONE know how precious and loved they were.

She was the consummate holiday host, I always awoke on Thanksgiving morning to the sound of Macy’s parade and the smell of turkey baking and Christmas was an event with decorations galore, made even more fun several years with a quite silly entertaining game of mystery present exchange.

And such generosity that few ever left empty-handed after a visit with her.

And as my sister said, such beautiful hands.

Hands that were always kept with beautifully polished nails.

Hands that had known so much love and hard work, taking care of all of us, ironing school clothes for six children in the days before wrinkle free and blue jeans, because her kids looking clean and pressed were high on her list.

Hands that worked so hard as a seamstress in a backbreaking factory to put food on the table and my memories being filled with those wonderful mornings of waking up for school to the sound of a local country music station and the smell of Adorn hairspray filling the air, even for work she wore make-up, did her hair and WAS the consummate lady in ANY environment.

That same love for music making her a fan of so many genres from classical, easy listening, disco, and even the trucker music of the seventies and no one quite like Neil Diamond or Lou Rawls in her opinion.

She would often hum and sing along, but her favorite was Christmas, with Christmas tapes and CD’s everywhere.

So much more I could say about my mother, my friend, my inspiration, so much I could say about the holes in all of our hearts, but I want to say a few other things instead.

God makes beauty IN the misery.

The loss of my brothers left my mother for a desperate need for her surviving children to bond and love each other forever. And last Saturday, my brothers spent the day with her at the hospital, NO chicks, NO sisters, JUST her and them, my cousin had taken her a bear, whom she named “Mr. Fuzzy Britches” and as I was told she had a great time with them and actually ate a little for them, but I KNOW  just how much this “alone” time, just her and her boys, meant to her.

And another first came when we were privileged to gather around her bed the day she came home, as the Lord had put in my heart, ONLY her children, hands held proclaiming His word, that “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed” and I KNOW she heard us and I know what it meant, it meant her desire that we pray together (as she had prayed for all of us EVERY single night) had been fulfilled.

And the most amazing remarkable moment came AFTER she had passed, while her body was still with us, we were all there waiting and some were outside and my sister-in-law saw something on my brother’s face and it was a RAINBOW, seriously, and he told the other to look up and this rainbow was huge and we had been so blessed with help and comfort, the Hospice ladies, Tabitha and Barbra were really more equivalent to angels and our pastor and his wife were also with us and as we all stared in absolute awe, he said, “No one would have believed it if they had not seen it”, and as one pointed out, we hadn’t had a drop of rain, the sun was out on the other side.

Birds even  flew across this and it was breathtaking, the picture is an ACTUAL picture taken with a cell phone but to see it person was magnificent.

Mom's rainbow 2

 

 

Even in the hurt the pain the inability to understand, Jesus always, always proves faithful.

Her beautiful day had come, she had been raised by a God-fearing woman who kept them in Sunday school and tent revivals and Mom accepted Jesus for herself in September 2000.

And in that acceptance she fell helplessly in love with Him, I am serious, the woman literally GLOWED, she was so in love with Him.

So knowing her love and dedication to Him is my ONLY comfort.

My mother was of course one of those women who smelled heavenly and her all time favorite perfume from vintage days was “Evening in Paris” and just the name sounds so beautiful and reminiscent of her beauty, I chose it for my title

Because I have peace that the beautiful, complicated lady He blessed me with as a mother is not only having an ultimate evening in Paris, she is having the most glorious of all dances with the King.

And THAT dance WILL NEVER end, that beautiful fragrance of His heavenly garments has no comparison in heaven or on this earth and she IS in the most beautiful, gentle hands that will forever hold her.

She will never again struggle, hurt, or face the heartache of losing another of her children.

And as much as I want to cry, scream, rock myself into some sort of comatose state and rip the beating heart from my own chest so I don’t have to feel this pain, I KNOW she is so happy and I KNOW she has the beautiful eternal life she deserves.

So to the most beautiful of the beautiful, have a wonderful evening with your King and dance forever because your beauty still shines, even brighter than all the stars He created, they could never outshine the light you left us. I love you Miss Helen, forever.

“The terror in tempting God”

 “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD.”  Luke 4: 12

You know, I really have a love/hate relationship with the internet and social media. And I will admit that on more than one occasion I have wished, and probably prayed that it would all crash for just a week or two and  I know people would be screaming at that statement about how the WHOLE world would become crippled and all the VITAL operations such as utilities, hospitals, etc that DEPEND on the world-wide web.

But does anyone ever think about how VITAL your soul and the salvation of that soul from an eternal hell is? That maybe our brains need some quite time to THINK about something other than this world.

I do realize that technology is used for many good things but it has really been pivotal in making our friends now cyber friend and when people would once attend parties and showers just to visit and catch up with family, now they just have to check them out on Facebook to know every single detail of their lives.

And people are so gung-ho to spew off every single hate filled remark and thought that leaps to mind because they don’t have to actually say it to that persons face. No count to ten there.

And words and vulgarity that was once viewed with distaste and left belonging in bars and beer-joints is now nothing but common, complete in the form of memes and page names with f*** and people post this trash like nothing.

Is it really that impressive to know all your foul four letters words and to post bedroom pictures to prove modern-day libido?

NO, it is not.

It is just a little more of what we were warned of in the Bible, the “god” of this world blinding minds to the truth.

And no one seems to want to call it out or at least call it what it is and it is not that much different from what Jesus was speaking of concerning the Pharisees, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into a ditch?” 

But yet instead of shunning this behavior people flock to it, just like lambs to slaughter. By laughing at, reposting, and allowing those thoughts to enter their own minds and souls. And “partaking of another man’s sin”, which we were also warned against.

Every bad idea that became an acceptable norm BEGAN as the “wicked imaginations” of ONE PERSON’S HEART!

Think about that!

Just as it is in scripture, story after story of ONE PERSON’S bad idea becoming the reality for everyone, WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT..

And as is so often said about prayer being removed from schools, ONE WOMAN, any and all IDEAS are always born from ONE and then it spreads, one person sees or hears and thinks “Wow, that sounds good” and then they spread it and like the disease that it is, it spread and spreads.

This IS what happened when God sent the flood.

Genesis 6:5-7: “And God SAW that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY imagination (intent) of the thoughts of his heart WAS only evil CONTINUALLY (ALL day long).  

And it repented the Lord ( He was SORRY) that he MADE man on the earth, and IT GRIEVED HIM AT HIS HEART.  

And the Lord said, I WILL DESTROY MAN WHOM I HAVE CREATED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; FOR IT REPENTETH ME THAT I HAVE MADE THEM.  

Imagine the very one who gave life regretting giving that life because it became so vile and wicked. What do you think he thinks about our behaviors now?

And as with ALL sin this has consequences and as it is spread and taught it is DESTROYING the new generations, just as the fall of man with the flood destroyed the rest of creation right along side them.

Now to get to the main point, I am constantly amazed by the disrespect so many have for God and the constant jokes about hell and the “devil-may-care” attitude so many have concerning hell.

Oh and believe me THE DEVIL  DOES CARE,  he cares because he wants to take all he can TO HELL with him.

And all these memes and jokes making fun of Christians and making fum of hell, just as if they are seriously DARING God to send them to hell horrifies me!

I have written quite extensively on this subject, so rather than be redundant, I just loaded this post with live “gold” links, so if your interested in much more scripture on these subjects please click your way that way!

But  in the mean time, I felt impressed to do it again, and as a watchman, it is my job to make sure you are “EN GARDE” and hopefully this will help someone see things for what they really are.

It is not that they even DENY the existence of God, or even the existence of hell, but that the practically cock-up and POINT OUT their sins and then have statements like “well, I guess I’m going to hell” and that is such a display of arrogance, proof of absolute ignorance to the truth but also the audacity to be so spiritually corrupt that they are TEMPTING a Holy LIVING being who has ALL power over them to “go ahead and do it”, for complete lack of better words.

Now the Bible tells us much concerning false teachers BUT  anyone whose “voice” you hear IS teaching you whether it is good or bad, and people are being TAUGHT by whatever is being constantly fed into their minds.

2 Peter 2:2 & 12: And MANY shall FOLLOW their pernicious (destructive) ways;  by whom the way of truth shall be EVIL SPOKEN OF (blasphemed)

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed,SPEAK EVIL OF THE THINGS THEY UNDERSTAND NOT; and shall utterly perish in their OWN corruption.” 

They DON’T understand it and in their own self-conceit they try to reason with a human mind what can only be understood spiritually and that will in no way allow anyone to escape standing in account for those actions.

I have often wondered what these will do when they are faced with God, as we are promised in Romans 14:11,12: “For it is written, AS I LIVE, SAITH THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS GOD.  

So then EVERY ONE OF US SHALL GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO GOD.” 

In the end, IT IS NO GOING TO MATTER, if you say “Well, I just didn’t believe” GOD? WHAT GOD?   or if you are Playing with paganism  and say that you are a Muslim, Buddhist, whatever false religion you want to choose.  will not save you! 

Counting on being a wee witchy  and hoping the occult can help you out… and  I think not… HE HAS ALL POWER!

If you want to live on top of a mountain and try to PRETEND to God that you never heard the truth or if you live in Timbuktu, IT IS NOT GOING TO MATTER because we ALL will give that account.

Check out this verse, God talking to the Prophet Ezekiel concerning those who mistakenly thought that God did not see and did not know what they did.

Ezekiel 8:12: “Then he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen( have YOU seen) what the ancients (elders) of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery  (room of his idols)

For they SAY, THE LORD SEETH US NOT; THE LORD AND THE LORD HATH FORSAKEN EARTH.

And I can’t help wonder today just how many think that they will continue to mock God and hell and that they can actually save themselves from the terror that is going to bring.

Hebrews 11:31: ” It IS a fearful thing to fall into the hands of  a living God.” 

So if you don’t want to believe… don’t… but don’t be thinking that you are NOT going to be held accountable for your actions on this earth, because you will.

And if you think it’s going to be that funny, and that everybody’s going to be having a big “party in hell” you better think again  “MAKING RESERVATIONS FOR HELL” 

And if you are still smiling after that, check this one out,  Laughing their way RIGHT INTO HELL…. 

Finally if you see this stuff or someone you know starts expressing these attitudes, warn them, you can be gentle about, but it is time to tell them that he will not be mocked and part of being in the kingdom is sometimes telling others what they don’t want to hear.

I know for me, and others that I know, we are truly grateful for those who DID tell us the truth and DID share with us the Gospel and DID love us enough to warn us that He is real and so is eternity and hell.

And once someone accepts Christ they do realize how foolish and blind they have been.

So don’t let them continue on blindly, lead them in the truth, they may get mad, they may say mean hurtful things and tell you where you can go and how you can get there BUT keep planting those seeds because when that person comes to Christ they will know the truth that truth will set them free and they will now that in a world of “music to their ears” that you loved them enough to play for them a different tune.

And if you have been pulling these stunts, you’d better be thinking about WHO you are really insulting and knock it off and ask forgiveness while you can, you may think it’s funny today but you’re gonna bow either way and you are far better in his mercy than in is wrath!

Σαλπιζω NB 2018

 

“Turning upside down right side up”

“And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought an offering of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.

And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering; But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.

And Cain was very wroth (angry), and his countenance fell.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth (Why are you so mad?) And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? 

And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door: And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” Genesis 4:3-7 

Starting at the “process of time”, ever think of the effects of the PROCESS OF TIME? So many old sayings, “Time waits for no one”, “All in good time”, “Time will tell the tale”,  quirky maybe, TRUE nevertheless and time is NOT any ones friend!

But you know, God actually WANTS our “latter days” to be BETTER than our former days! So why do we often feel the complete opposite? I want to give you a comparison post.

Written “thoughts’ from scriptures, true words of who other’s have felt during the “process of time” and what the scripture states we SHOULD experience during that process. 

So over time Adam & Eve’s boys grew and they offered up their “best” unto the Lord. Abel offered what he knew to be right and what he had been taught to be right.

Cain on the other hand offered up the “fruit of the ground”, things he had grown and sometimes spiritual, maybe we can be guilty of NOT doing what is right but rather “offering” to the Lord the leftover things in our lives.

Instead of giving him the first and the best, we give him what we have left of what we have pulled out of earth and “earth” is us and our hearts. God loves us but God will NOT accept second best as an “offering” of devotion, love, and praise to him.

He has to be number one, so sins sets in and what he was saying to Cain is this, IF he would give HIS best He would be accepted. ANYTHING less than his best would not be accepted.

And that this attitude and failure to correct that attitude would result in SIN controlling him and that Cain himself SHOULD rule over that sin and NOT be snared by his own attitudes and correctable shortcomings.

As we know with the story of Cain and Abel, Cain DID NOT take the Lord’s advice, but went contrary to God’s warning and through jealously and hatred murdered his own brother.

Now we’ll get a glimpse of what it is to FEEL when our countenance “has fallen”, when trouble has taken our joy and worry consume our thoughts, and even when that sin that lie in wait has won and we have fallen to its snare.

Psalm 38: 1-9: “O Lord, rebuke me NOT in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

For thine arrows stick fast in me (deeply pierce me), and thy hand presseth me sore (down).

There is NO soundness in my flesh BECAUSE of thine anger, NEITHER is there any rest (peace) in my bones BECAUSE of my sin.

For mine iniquities have gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.  

My wounds stink (are foul and festering, growing worse) and are corrupt BECAUSE of my foolishness.

I am troubled (bent down); I am bowed down greatly: I go mourning all the day long. For my lions are filled with a loathsome disease ( inflammation):

And there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart (groaned during turmoil) 

Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.”

The feelings of nervousness, no soundness in our “flesh”, anxiety and fear causing stomach troubles, and the “wounds” that grow worse, actually translating to “festering” as NOT ACCEPTING the forgiveness of God does cause all those spiritual conditions that manifest in our “countenance” to intensify and grow worse, because of the overwhelming FALSE thought that God is SO angry that he will never forgive us.

When David wrote this, he was clearly distressed in multiple ways and really expresses the “punishing” hand of the Lord upon him. And i can’t help but wonder how often do we feel this way?

God’s word offers us such hope, such forgiveness that it will clearly offer the healing for these conditions but we have to be willing to ACCEPT it and it is so easy for us as humans, to want to beat our selves up over mistakes and “wrong turns” in life that we will suffer these conditions of OURSELVES rather than to ask God to deliver us and set us back on that right road.

And he will, just as he advised Cain, only Cain refused God advice choosing to “take care of his own problem”.

You know kinda like a “I made my bed, I’ll lie in it” kind of mentality. But God NEVER told us to have that mentality!

And his word is actually quite opposite to these self-destructive, self- punishing, being your own judge, jury, and executioner!  Back to Cain, once God called him out about the murder of his brother and had leveled his penalty for that action, he STILL showed unmerited MERCY and forgiveness to Cain, when Cain expressed his fear of dying for those actions.

Genesis 4:13-15: “And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment (iniquity) is greater than I can bear.

Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth: and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 

And the Lord said unto him,(NOT SO) Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, VENGEANCE SHALL BE  TAKEN ON HIM SEVENFOLD. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”

Now THAT is mercy and forgiveness! So knowing not many has angrily murdered there brothers, but also knowing sin is sin, why do so many RESIST just letting the Lord take over, forgive them and set his “mark” upon them and rest in his love, mercy, and provision? I think it goes back to that same old messed up thinking, and again that thinking IS NOT right! It does NOT line up with God’s WORD for us!

And it actually takes precedence OVER God’s role in our lives because instead of bowing down to God, we can find ourselves bowing down to our own prideful need to reprimand ourselves, and it is pride based.

It is pride that makes us falsely believe that we should “take care of our own problems” and it really is like telling God that you believe that he saved you, or a list of all the other things he has done for you in your life, BUT you “made this mess, you’ll clean it up”, kinda crazy isn’t it? How exactly do we do that?

We can’t save ourselves.

As the Bible tells us,  a leopard can’t change its spots, and Jesus told us, we can’t change our height, there are things we can never change, only God can can.

And we can’t “get out of our own messes” we have to accept God’s help and I say “accept” because I know God always wants to help his people and it is his desire to see ALL of us free and living in the peace and joy he preordained and purchased for us with his own life!

And we can take a lesson from Cain, even though he fell to that anger and pride, he still had the good-sense to ask God for help and ask God to CHANGE  his future!

Job 5:1-9: ” CALL now, if there be any that will answer thee: and to which of the saints (holy ones) wilt thou turn?

For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one, I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.

His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them. Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robbers swallow up their substance (wealth).

Although affliction cometh not forth  of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground.  

Yet man is born unto trouble (distresses and toil), as the sparks fly upward. I (but as for me) would seek unto God,and unto God would I commit my cause.  Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number.”

Philippians 2:13: “For it is God which worketh in you both to WILL and to DO his good pleasure.” 

Luke 12: 32: “Fear not, little flock;  for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Take him up on it! Don’t let false guilt and self persecuting pride rob you of what Jesus is trying to give you! Let him turn that upside down warped thinking right side up and save you not only from the devil but for a more formidable enemy…yourself.

The enemy doesn’t have to destroy you when you are needlessly destroying yourself.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

Awesome song, wonderful message to remember!