Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

Funny thing about forgiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

 

“Shaking off shackles of shame”

I am really seriously trying to avoid the news, all news. World news, internet news, people relying the news I missed to me, because after the stories that are being reported everyday, it is truly hard for, I believe ANYONE not to become a wee bit disturbed by all of it. It started off with a page feed on my Facebook about a beast who had been sentenced to fifty-five years in prison and a twelve million dollar fine for his crime. I can’t even bring myself to get into the details of his reign of absolute horror.

It seriously made me rethink my anti-death penalty stance. I have never understood how we can be against abortion and yet justify the killing of someone else, but, then again I seriously do not believe the person is human. He is demon possessed, which led me to the question about the demons begging Jesus not to send them to the abyss, to send them into the swine, then the pigs ran into a river and drown. So either way, it ended that story.

But I know that God holds ALL justice and couldn’t help but notice in the case of Ariel Castro and a few others how fast that justice comes. My soul screams justice and deliverance for the oppressed, wounded, and hurt and yet if that is not carefully tempered with the word of God, the need for seeing that justice come to pass can quite easily turn into a bad case of running a marathon with scissors and that will help no one.

So with a weeks worth of murder, mayhem, and just sick twisted cruelty which also included a story of a Tennessee man who was the caregiver of his seventy-nine year old cancer stricken mother, decided for some reason that it would be a great idea to beat her to death, a four-month old baby dying after being given Benadryl at daycare, a man arrested for “disciplining” his children with a stun gun, more police dead, a beautiful dog who appeared on someones porch that had his teeth filed down and his tongue cut out, evidently used a dog fighting bait dog ( YES, the end time reign of plagues and judgment on these monsters is starting to sound right on cue, once upon a time I could not understand why the Lord would send such terror, oh believe me, I now understand clearly) more senseless attacks, including one at a club hosting a teen party, ending a twelve-year-old life and I know heaven itself is weeping at the sight of all these things.

 Those subjects I can not touch because what am I going to say, that will even be hopeful or thought-provoking? It all ends with the scripture in which God tells us that those who show mercy will be shown mercy and those who have shown no mercy will be given judgement without mercy, so the full force of an angry, Holy God pouring out on peoples heads needs no human intervention or explanation.

The story I did choose to go with, that we can all pray about and think about is this one. Most have seen it or heard about it, my husband enlightened me to it while reading his CNN news feed.

A mother (?) decided to embarrass, beat, terrorize, and humiliate her sixteen year old daughter live on Facebook. Here is this woman in a cami top and tight pink shorts up to her butt, slapping and verbally bashing her daughter for what she had posted online, while having someone else film her beating this child.

Like, Hello? What are you wearing yourself there? Queen Mother?

This poor child is trying to cover her face from the hits and this goes on for five minutes and then this person (and I use that term very loosely) takes the camera, FIXES HER HAIR, and tells everyone to send it viral. Pretty obvious to know what that was all about, get some attention by beating her kid and acting like she is so bad.

Love to see her live feed taking on someone who hits back! This girl was left in the corner whimpering as her mother(?) proudly proclaims that there would be more posts to come. My heart broke for this girl and my heart breaks for the sadness of just how many are treated like this by those who are supposed to encourage them and protect them and help them deal in the right way with the changes in their lives and all the peer pressure they endure.

What really kills me is the mindless idiots that are complimenting her and saying god bless her, I did not capitalize that because GOD WOULD NEVER,EVER BLESS THAT!

They like to try to change Him and His thoughts to fit in with their own sick behaviour, as a justification attempt. Jesus whom allowed himself to be humiliated, stripped, and ridiculed SO WE WOULD NOT BE.

Jesus who taught us to turn the other cheek, not to attack a grown up who attacks us first. Jesus who said that it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and drowned AS TO HURT ONE OF HIS LITTLE ONES.

Jesus who lined all the naysayers out when Mary cried at His feet and when the woman accused of adultery was brought to Him. And now they want to insist that He is okay with slapping around on your kid or anyone else or even animals for that matter.

They DO NOT KNOW HIM nor do they know anything about Him. But they will soon discover His thoughts on the subject for themselves and in the meantime they will reap what they have sown and be judged by their own judgment so maybe someone can live feed us them being beaten and talked to like trash.

Well, I am obviously getting dangerously close to running with those scissors on this but these people really bring out something unpleasant in many of us and I know I am not the only one that is enraged by it.

I know that as the scripture states when someone is saved and comes back into the household of God, that the ANGELS IN HEAVEN REJOICE, they are so happy that they REJOICE at our salvation. I know the tears that they surely cry as they watch the senseless cruelty on earth.

They cry as humans and animals and all the living are being hurt and wounded. And I also know this is the reason for the thirty minutes of silence which will happen in heaven as the Lord prepares His judgment and return upon earth.

They are praying and weeping for US, they are weeping for the hurt, and oppressed. They are praying for those who have been stubborn, prideful, and self-willed to admit that they need a Saviour. They are praying about the blood of the innocent that covers the earth and the price that blood will cause the wicked to pay.

But to deal with it as humans, while on this earth requires understanding and faith in God.The beating is really the lesser of the damage done here, the shame, the humiliation  that was caused and the painful memories that will last that child a lifetime and without divine intervention the pain trying to deal with that damage will cost her.

Shame, even the word is unpleasant, we have all felt shame, that feeling that starts in your stomach and somehow covers your face as if to show the world that you are lesser than they. That you have messed up and now you are fit to be placed in the village stocks for the villagers to gaze upon and throw things at.

It is MORE than any emotion, it is a snare that Satan uses to cover his victims, think about the term often used “shame ON you”.

Shame is worn and once the initial episode of that shame has been forgotten by those that “put it on you” that shame IS STILL THERE, it is in your mind and affects everything you do.

Because our first instinct is try get it off of us. To hide it, so no one will see “it” that we can function and be accepted while deep down inside, we are still covered in humiliation and hurt, which can also turn to some serious rage. If you doubt that, think about stories of bullied teens and abused children who have finally took all that they can take and become violent.

And as much as I hate to quote anything from the world, it can best be summed up with some lyrics from an old rock song, “till you end up like a dog that has been beat too much, and spend half your life just trying to cover it up”. That is what shame does and it DOES not belong to us.

It is a snare like all the other traps that try to convince you that you can never “belong” to the kingdom of God, when actually you do belong. That is why all these things have been set against you, to try to prevent you from knowing your identity in Christ. When I started feeling prompted in my writing ministry to share certain things about my own pain, it was hard, because none of us want to feel like people will run from us or that we are “damaged”.

The the biggest lie of the enemy or our human “enemies”, (the ones who intentionally make us feel embarrassed and ashamed) that because we have been mistreated that somehow it is our fault, that we caused it. The truth is evil ALWAYS calls itself good and it always pretends to be right and that is why these particular things damage our spirit and only God can remove it.

But once God gave me reassurance that even if it helped one person overcome and to know it is really, really okay that He has seen it all anyway and that He is never going to look us with the contempt we may have been subjected to, but He looks us with mercy and love and ONLY HE can take away the reproach of shame.

There is nothing, nothing we can do, no drugs, no drinking, and there is not enough therapy in the world to take off what can only removed on  spiritual level. I have painfully learned that being saved was only my beginning, I spent almost thirty years trying to forget and just live with a broken soul, and discovered that once I allowed Jesus to take care of that, when I allowed Him to “look” at all that was broken, smashed, and chained up in shame that it would be the beginning of a process of healing, dealing with all those unpleasant emotions that still, made me who I am, exactly who He knew I would be.

Not always good, but still, me. We are over-comers by our testimony and the hardest for me to ever overcome, which He had to divinely get me through was having been held over a fire with the threat of being burned alive, I tell you when you’re a little kid, there is nothing that will define your self-worth quite like that.

I am sure that once knowing that, many found my fire symbol very disturbing, believe me I asked myself that question, but you know what? For me, the fire is VICTORY. The whole deal with that was this, I was specifically told that “the devil comes and takes “bad” people to hell” and you are threw in a fire, so I spent most of my life really, really believing that the devil CONTROLS who goes to hell and that I was pretty much all ready done for.

So imagine when I received the baptism of fire and learn through scripture that “GOD IS a consuming fire”. Satan NEVER controlled hell or fire, he is cold as ice and WILL BE IN HELL, Hell is RESERVED FOR HIM AND HIS ANGELS! After serving Christ many years and receiving my calling I couldn’t help but notice something, if the enemy made certain that I would be terrified of it and believe that he controlled it, than obviously there was a reason he wanted to make sure I would never, ever go near it. Once I realized that, I KNEW the fire is to be embraced, not earthly fire, but the fire of God because I know, I know who really controls it and I know WHO pulled me out of it and WHOSE arms held me and let my soul know without a doubt that I never had to be afraid of that awful place again.

This is good to remember when you deal with what has been set a stumbling block in your path, there is a definite reason he chooses what he chooses to attempt to destroy you and usually you will find it is tied into the calling that GOD PLACED ON YOUR LIFE BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN  Read that for yourself in Romans 8:29,30, you will see things in a different light.

Shame comes “on us” in many forms, words and actions of others, being mocked and laughed at because of our looks or clothes,or our speech, it can come many ways but it comes and it is the most dangerous snare of them all. So whatever you may have been hurt by, shamed with, and are still trying to overcome I want to encourage you.

 

Jesus CAN take it completely away, the memory may hurt but that feeling, the shame WILL be completely erased from your mind, your soul, and your life.  I believe that if I could show you just a little of my “shame” you can surely show yours to Jesus. You never have to tell a human anything but you can share your most painful wound with Him and I promise, once you do, He will heal you and remove those heavy chains from your soul.

He does NOT laugh at you, your pain or your humiliations. Actually this is what the word says about Him.

ISAIAH: 50:6 ” I GAVE my back to the smitters (those who struck), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:

I HID NOT MY FACE FROM SHAME AND SPITTING.” He suffered THIS to remove it from us! Trust Him, let Him take it away.

PSALM 25:2,3: “O my God,  I TRUST IN THEE LET ME NOT BE ASHAMED: let not mines enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait upon thee be ashamed: let them that be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause.”

PHILIPPIANS 1:20: ” According to my earnest expectations and MY HOPE, that IN NOTHING I SHALL BE ASHAMED…”

 1 PETER 4:16: ” But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him  NOT BE ASHAMED;  but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

JOEL 2:26,27: “And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.

and ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND NONE ELSE: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.”

ISAIAH 25:8: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God WILL WIPE AWAY TEARS FROM OFF ALL FACES; AND THE REBUKE (embarrassment and shame) OF HIS PEOPLE SHALL HE TAKE AWAY FROM OFF ALL THE EARTH: FOR THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.”

So many other wonderful scriptures of God’s love and mercy, and His cleansing power that truly washes it all away. So today if you are struggling with these issues, turn to Him, REMEMBER the scripture said he did not hide His face from it and you have His promise that He will never embarrass or hurt you. Please pray that eyes will be opened, that people will realize this is NOT the way to prove anything.

Pray that those who are mortified with shame, which literally means unable to move, crippled by that shame will be touched of the Lord to leap as never before and pray that the ears who are only hearing harsh, damning words will hear the soft whisper so much greater that they are loved, they are accepted and that they are NEVER ever to be ashamed.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

I chose this song because of the testimony of the lead singer. so powerful and so free.

“Fruit flavored drinks”

Lemonade, the classic, refreshing summer time drink, pretty groovy during a monster heat wave, like the one many of us have going on right now. Even better pink, in a pretty glass with a ton of ice.

Fruit flavored drinks, on the other hand, not quite as refreshing, for two main reasons:

#1. THEY CONTAIN NO REAL FRUIT. THEY ARE OF NO REAL VALUE TO YOUR BODY.

#2. THEY ARE PRODUCED WITH FAKE SUGAR TO HIDE THE NASTY CHEMICAL POISON THAT THEY ARE REALLY MADE OF.

 I, myself prefer an old-fashioned iced coffee, not the jacked up sissy versions sold nationwide because delicious or not all I care about it REAL.  I suppose, all things considered, fruit flavored drinks pair pretty nicely with candy coating.

Maybe that is why the churches are running over with sticky, sweet-smelling fluids to be given to those who seek and desire and desperately NEED the water of life.

When you need real refreshing, they just aren’t going to do the job, and the sickly sweet, nasty aftertaste is just going to leave you more thirsty than you were before for something real.

Sure, they are “sweet” sure they “care” but only to the point of convenience for them. After that, you can just choke on that sweetness they have just poured down your throat, they really don’t care, nor will they.

Talking about fake, artificial friends and “brethren”, definitely NOT talking about the world. I could have people actually write testimonies to their own experiences with this, because IT IS so common. That is truly, truly a sad statement.

But who cares? Seriously, who cares? They don’t. The world has no stake in it and would never come in if they had a clue as to how people are really treated once they are down. So who cares? Well, I tell you, one that does, the same one who cares about everything else:

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the GREEN herb.

 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily shalt thou be fed. Delight thyself in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as light, and thy judgment ( justice for you) as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him (any person) who prospereth in HIS way, BECAUSE of the man ( person, male or female) who bringeth WICKED DEVICES (schemes) to pass.  

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise (way) to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: But those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea. thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth ( back biting and two facing ). The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. ( he knows the wicked shall soon fall and laughs at their attempts to harm others).

The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay (kill) such as be of upright conversation (conduct).  Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

Wait upon the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt SEE IT. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a GREEN bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.”                                                                PSALM 37:1-15,34-36

 What I want to point out about these verses is this: IT APPEARS as though the wicked have the upper hand, that is why they are spreading THEMSELVES and the green being that they ARE thriving while doing so. We are not to envy the position they have weaved themselves into. We are not to “fret”, you know worrying and staying upset because of what they have cost us, or question whether or not they will answer to God for those actions, or lack thereof.

They hurt the innocent, they backbite, spread lies and try to destroy others but as you see, God laughs, HE LAUGHS while they are running about pretending to give a “cold drink” to the little ones, when the poisonous fruit flavoring clearly proves what is really being served.

While they may seem to grow and prosper, they will soon dry and wither away. We all know people like this, the world is full of them, and that should be no surprise because after all it is the world. The true testing of this comes when these people are supposed to be your friends and you can really get into what Jesus said with this, If someone takes what is yours DO NOT ask for it back.

And we all know what a “friend” Jesus had in Judas and those are exactly those of which I speak.  He also commands us pray for those who hurt us, USE us, and PERSECUTE us, and SPEAK EVIL AGAINST US. He tells us to forgive our brothers and sisters in Him. But you know what? These people ARE NOT REALLY our brethren! THEY ARE THE EQUIVALENT TO FRUIT FLAVORED DRINKS.

The reason we are to do good to them is that in by doing so, we are “heaping coals of hell fire on their heads”!

People who use other people and just pretend to care for them in order to gain whatever it is that they are after are not of God. I don’t care how often they go to church, what amount of tithes they pay, or how helpful they may seem or whatever else they can produce as a sign of being “green” in the fruitful sense. I guess that is where ceasing from anger comes in pretty handy.

I just can not stand fake Christians and I would rather have someone curse me to my face then pretend to be something they are not. I respect people who can look you in the eye and tell you the truth,EVEN if that truth is that they would love to see you six feet under, not hide their hate behind lies and drama and the beauty in it all in waiting upon the Lord, trusting in the Lord, resting in the Lord, knowing that soon the truth you know of them will also be made known to all.

So if life “gives you lemons” wait on the sweetness of the Lord, even though the base fruit may TASTE bitter and unpleasant, and very undesirable, as are many of the things that we must go through in life, once the Lord adds his sweetness to the mix that lemonade made from those awful lemons will be much sweeter and refreshing than the watered down fruit flavored drink you had been given because even though the lemons began as bitter, The end product WILL HAVE BEEN  PRODUCED WITH REAL FRUIT!

Be Blessed and stay cool! Seriously, it is really hot out there and go for the real lemonade!!!It will keep you cooler and help you keep your cool;) !

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Sizing up the stumbling block”

And WHOSOEVER shall offend (PUT A STUMBLINGBLOCK IN THEIR PATH) one of these little ones that believe in me, IT IS BETTER FOR HIM (WOULD BE BETTER FOR THEM) THAT A MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK, AND HE WERE CAST INTO THE SEAMark 9:42 

“Then said he to his disciples, It is impossible but that offences (stumbling blocks) will come, (it IS impossible for offences NOT to come) but WOE UNTO HIM (those) WHOM THROUGH THEY COME!

IT WERE BETTER for him (would be better for those who set the stumbling blocks) that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and cast into the sea, THEN HE SHOULD OFFEND ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES. (CAUSE SOMEONE TO STUMBLE) LUKE 17:1,2

Stumbling block, quite an interesting word, always reminds me of setting a trap and chasing someone down a preplanned path in hope that they will fall across the wooden beam that had been placed there and carefully hidden under brush.

It actually comes from a Hebrew word that when translated into the Greek is “skandalon”, which in turns translates into our modern English word SCANDAL.

What a better way to ruin a persons reputation, self-esteem, and life as they know it that to create a scandal about them, and of course completely behind their back.

Jesus is talking about those who would intentionally cause his children to fall and be hurt as they try to walk on their path with Him. As we see He is not fan of it and is very point-blank in what His judgment is concerning the vengeance that will be suffered at His hand by those who would do this.

The Bible has so many wonderful scriptures on how we are to treat others, such as “love your neighbor as yourself” “carry each others burdens”, and even if we see someone struggling in a temptation, we are to help that person, without them being ostracized,  belittled and  or creating a SCANDAL about them.  

And to reject, ridicule someone and to publicize any ones failure is punishable by falling into the SAME snare and that is indeed Bible.

What about someone who SAYS that they love a person and secretly bad mouths them and tells others that they are a bad influence and goes over and above anything normal to keep their physical person interjected between this person and their friends with the constant pretense that they are “protecting” them, even demanding that the other person not be spoken too or included in any way and yet, they LOVE them.

What if the ostracized person is a teen? Nothing like bullying, even better when the bully is a grown up or at least is according to their age?

Just as satan invites himself into places that he is not welcome, just as when he stopped by in the Book of Job, as the sons were worshipping God, just to see whom he may devour.

That’s why he sends people to create scandals, to separate the lambs from the flock, when they are hurt, and shunned, he convinces them that they are a bad person and that everyone hates them, left abandoned by the flock, he then can move in for the kill, laying waste the path that God  had preordained them to walk in His Kingdom.

No shocker that Jesus’ judgment is that it would be better for the one who causes it to be drowned  than to meet with the fate that he will deal to them.

But God is faithful and he keeps our mouths shut and sends us help and His reassurance that vengeance is His and we are in no way to repay evil for evil. But when it comes from someone who pretends to be all good and all love, and  tries to set it up as though everyone else is just crazy, well, God had someone pray for me and these are the scriptures I was given when I was recently dealing with a situation: 

Proverbs 26:21-28:  As COALS are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so IS a CONTENTIOUS MAN (PERSON) TO KINDLE STRIFE. The WORDS of a TALEBEARER ARE as WOUNDS, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

BURNING LIPS and a WICKED HEART ARE LIKE  a potsherd covered with silver dross.

He that HATETH, DISSEMBLETH (DISGUISES) WITH HIS LIPS, AND LAYING UP DECEIT WITHIN HIM;

When he speaketh FAIR (TRIES TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH THEY LOVE YOU), BELIEVE HIM NOT: FOR THERE ARE SEVEN ABOMINATIONS IN HIS HEART.

WHOSE HATRED IS COVERED BY DECEIT, HIS WICKEDNESS SHALL BE SHOWN BEFORE THE WHOLE CONGREGATION.

WHOSO DIGGETH A PIT SHALL FALL INTO THEREIN: AND HE THAT ROLLETH A STONE, IT WILL RETURN (ROLL BACK ON) UPON HIM. 

A LYING TONGUE  HATETH  THOSE THAT ARE AFFLICTED (CRUSHED) BY IT; AND A FLATTERING MOUTH WORKETH RUIN.”

Pretty good advice, they will fall into their own pit, so if you know someone who is tempted to spread rumors, gossip, and just try to ruin someone else, here is some more Biblical advice to share with them, that may make them think twice:

ROMANS 14:13 : “Let us NOT therefore JUDGE one another any more: BUT JUDGE THIS rather, THAT NO MAN PUT A STUMBLING BLOCK OR AN OCCASION  TO FALL IN HIS BROTHERS WAY.”

And if you are being bullied or suspect someone else is, as in my situation, pray about and keep praying till you get your answer, it is hard especially for kids to talk about and God WILL let you know. I promise.

Never cover for a bully, they ARE NOT your friend and their only desire is to hurt you and see you miserable, whatever their motive may be. And as our scripture shows when they say the love you and have your best interest in mind, DON’T  BELIEVE THEM. Real friends may have to tell us something sometimes for our own good that we may not want to hear, but they do it with love and they never hover over us and control us and every move that we make.

Love is NOT harsh and Love will NEVER hurt you or say mean, unkind things about you. Love will never spread rumors, or tell lies to control your friendships. That is Not love.

That is the devil and as the T Mac’s song goes, he needs to  “Go on, get his junk out of here” NO ONE NEEDS IT and NO ONE WANTS IT. Talk to someone who you can trust or call a help number. Don’t spend another second being the victim of someone’s insecurities.

So you really have to size up the stumbling block, if  it something small, maybe  you can solve by just cutting off all contact with the bully, try to avoid them if at all possible and when it is not possible always have another person with you, maybe give up social media for a while or close out an account and reopen using maybe your middle name or initials that the bully would not be aware of, and limit contact with anyone who could give them information about you but ALWAYS let a friend or trusted person KNOW what you are doing and why. That protects you.

 If is a really big stumbling block and they are threatening you or ruining your reputation, it may be necessary to take legal action, there is no shame in that, that is why we have laws in place to protect us and I know, I’ve had to stand up to an abusive boyfriend kind of bully as a very young woman, I know it is scary and it is hard but you will be glad you did, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. People who threaten you count on that fear to keep you held there, don’t give them that. And if you know someone who is being bullied, you be strong for them and help them and let others know what is going on so that they can get help. Remember when you are afraid TRUST in HIM. Love and peace to you in Jesus’ name.

N. Brown Johnson 2016

Stick 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 angey 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, that satan used 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 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 of his 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, 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 form from 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                                                        

Sticks and Stones #1 “BAD BLOOD”

We all know the old saying about sticks and stones, and what a wonderful gesture to encourage that words will do no harm. But sticks and stones will break many things and words can shatter hearts.

This is going to be one of those not quite so comfortable subjects that so truly needs addressed.For some who grew up in TRUE Christian homes of sibling love, and harmony, I salute you and I am happy for what you do not understand but for the rest and the majority we’re gonna deal with bad blood, the questionable point when sibling rivalry and normal competitiveness between family members turns not so friendly and the blood of your truest most formidable enemy is shared through your own veins and the hatred that pierces your heart through the words the Bible refers to as “of a piercing of a sword” and they are much worse than the sword of an enemy because we unfortunately have a built-in pack need to belong, fit in and be accepted.                              

Even in the most together families, there is usually one or two that have issues with each that affect the entire family.           I have seriously thought about whether this is a bigger issue for males or females, because there are stories of males bullied and pushed a little two far by abusive older brothers and yet for females with one or sometimes two misogynistic siblings the damage done can far outweigh the normal relationship with the “good” siblings and this pattern can be seen over and over, and often traced back through a complete bloody bloodline of bad blood between “brothers” for generations. It is a story almost as old as time, I think it goes back even farther than Cain and Abel, I think it goes back to the war in heaven, the rebellion of Lucifer as he took one-third of the servants of heaven with him.                                                              His jealousy and rage and as now his accusations against the children of God, so clearly seen in the verbal abuse in domestic situations and his need to attempt to control those around him so crystal clear in the lives of those who wish to control others through this kind of abuse which can turn violent and physical at the drop of a hat.

Our biggest obstacle to overcome, the name itself, “Domestic”, what does that even mean? Tame violence? Tame belittling? Homegrown heartache and as long as it’s not a stranger cussing you out then it is just domestic, no big deal, just deal with it. That is what it means. As Christians we are taught by Christ to love those who hate us and pray for those that use us and bless those who curse us, but I truly DO NOT believe that he meant for us to be the family door mat or the emotional whipping boy who hears it if the sun doesn’t shine the right way.

The Bible also teaches to “GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL” and to resist him and he will flee from you, there are countless scriptures I give with this series as proof that we do not have to have contact with them and to stay away from violent, mean people who only want to hurt you.

Through time women have stayed with abusive husbands because they made a vow that it was forever, but again why on earth would Jesus take all those stripes, all that pain and die on that cross to save us, so we then could live life with someone of the devil that beats on us, either with fists or words? NEVER going to get me to buy that story!

Now, we have to deal with family, like abusive husbands only you can’t divorce them but I tell you what you can do, SEE it for what it is. When we don’t have Christ they have us locked into their game, an ongoing test of the wills to see who is “strongest” or who will bend first, it is like running with wolves, they consider tears a weakness and when your down the whole pack turns on you. That is what Satan wants. His objective is to poison your blood with the same poison he manged to inject into theirs, probably through the same sadistic,systematic mind games and through the endless hail of heartless words and of course it just wouldn’t work without the endless, never-ending accusation that it is really YOU! Because YOU think your better than them and all the words designed to instill guilt (that does not belong to you) and play on that lack of self-worth that has already been successfully driven into your brain and whatever else is thrown at you, he hopes to beat any gentleness,or compassion, and anything remotely decent out of you until he has YOU become exactly what your abuser is and that is his plan and that is scary.

But once we accept Jesus they want even more to destroy you because now they have no one to play with since you are a new creature and are working toward crucifying your flesh, so now the enemy has a double motive.

 Trap #1. If he can get you to break and hit back and attack them out of the same pain and anger that held you in bondage before, if you are not very careful he can make you fall spiritually, if you are passive-aggressive and he can mange to get you into attack mode he can have you being the aggressor or getting so angry just wanting it to stop that you will cause more damage than can be undone.

Trap #2 The old blood is thicker than water routine and convince you  that it IS YOUR JOB to get them saved and that if you are just nice to them and tolerate them and put up with their abuse, you will be leading them to God and if you fail to let them hang out with you wasted and treat you like dirt than you are not being very kind and if they die they will die lost and it will be YOUR FAULT! Not true! We can’t get anyone saved only Jesus can do that! We can be a light but when someone is high, belligerent, and mean, raising Hades on you, how can they see that light through their own anger? Soft answers do turn away wrath but once you give that answer turn yourself away also. Jesus did not fool with demons, he did not carry on conversations with them, he cast them out  and there are times in our life that we must see these things for what they are, traps, demonic traps that the enemy is using to try to KEEP us in the same bondage that God delivered us from!

Jesus wants us to have peace and joy unspeakable and delivers us from all fear,and we must not allow the enemy to convince us that blood is blood and to be a “good” Christian requires us to endure these things. So please just say No to that ingrained false belief that by letting them torment you that your are somehow helping their soul and that one day they will love you, accept it for what it is and don’t fall for the traps. Never tolerate a behavior from a family member that you would not tolerate from a stranger and you sure wouldn’t keep going back to the same store that you got called a useless hussy in a week before, (of course that is a language clean up) now would you?

Next time we’ll start making Biblical sense of this, stories of what others went through and how to put our trust in God and allow him to heal us and be all that we need.

Φλογιζω   NBJ.2015