Tallying of time

“To EVERYTHING there is a season, and a time to EVERY PURPOSE under the heaven:

A time to be born (to bear), and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and  a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; and a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get (gain), and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend (tear apart), and a time to sew (repair); a time to keep silence, and  a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit (gain) hath he that worketh in that in that wherein he laboureth? ” Ecclesiastes 3:1-9

That ending verse being reminiscent of what was spoken by Jesus in Mark 8:36,38:

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Maybe going  a little in reverse.. but I want to take that scripture first. Jesus warned also in another parable of the man who had EVERYTHING and chose to concentrate on building his earthy empire even bigger WHILE neglecting the fact that these things are temporary. Check it out, Luke 12:16-20:

 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying,  The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow (store) my fruits?

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) my fruits (crops) and my goods.

And I will say unto my soul, Soul, thou hast much good goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” 

Work and excelling in the world and chosen professions mean very little in the grand realm. Of course God wants us to do well but we can never use any worldly successes as a key toward entering the kingdom of heaven.

Likewise we can not use our worldly cares and obligations to make us exempt from fulfilling our duties to that kingdom. Jesus Christ and His kingdom and the ASSURANCE that we have made every preparation required of us for the “storage “of our soul in Him is to be the number one priority. 

And this is not even about “work”or”works” it is about the preciousness of time and the ever ticking clock counting DOWN our time on this world. Many, who are at the end of their lives, through terminal illness often say the same chilling words… “wasted time” a celebrity who recently passed had told his family this.

Why do we have to be out of time to realize how blessed we are for EVERY day that we have.  And why do so many wait and wait… and wait… REFUSING to accept salvation, BELIEVING in God, but also falsely believing that they have “all the time in the world” when we are NOT promised tomorrow or even the next breath.

Which is why God told us in His word, “SEEK ye the Lord WHILE he may be found.” And others, while saved and have the promise of ETERNAL salvation forget the promise of the goodness we receive in THIS world when we do go after the things of God and forsake all that hinders us in serving Him.

Mark 10: 29,30: “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, and sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake,and the gospel’s,

But HE SHALL RECEIVE AN HUNDREDFOLD NOW IN THIS TIME, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, WITH PERSECUTIONS; AND IN THE WORLD TO COME ETERNAL LIFE.”

 People get so hung up on what they are LOSING that they don’t realize that they are NOT LOSING ANYTHING except a life that is running out, and maybe people who are hindering and harming their life and they have been given an opportunity to GAIN one hundred times over in joy, family, by being brought into the extended family of Christ, and spiritual riches and blessings that they could not even begin to imagine.

But like contestants on a bad game show they are willing to settle for the not so great consolation prize that is available to all participants in the game of life, when that prize could have been traded up for a grand prize of cosmic proportions.

And in the end, time wasted, time that no one is getting back. Time that could have been used to lighten another’s burden. Time that could have been spent making someone smile and in cheering up their lives you will find that you cheer up your own.

Everyone suffers, everyone goes through heartache. It IS seasons and times on earth, it IS the purpose of earth. But the surest way to overcome our own pain is by lessening the pain of another.

We overcome the darkness that tries to enclose on us through sadness, grief, illness by doing unto others and shining a candle into someone else’s dark world. This is why the Lord said that all these things come WITH persecutions. As long as we are in this world, we will have sorrow, we will have rain, we will have storms, and giants to face.

As we are TOLD that ALL of these things are for a TIME.

A TIME to die and LET things die.

A TIME to pull up and change our plans.

A TIME to kill, things that are just not working by walking away from those things.

A TIME to break down and destroy spiritual strongholds.

A TIME cast away stones. A TIME to be serious, be stern, be somber.

A TIME TO LOSE.A SEASON OF WEEPING and MOURNING, sorrow and tears.

A TIME to tear apart, hate, and be silent.

BUT with all these painful trying times of this world, we have these precious times and seasons of promise.

A TIME for birth of something new, a birth of new fruits, new joys, new endeavors.

A TIME to plant,and sow in hope of a good harvest, love, kindness, friendships.

A TIME build again, gather stones, spiritual altars of praise and worship.

A TIME to laugh, dance, and embrace.

A TIME of healing, repair, and restorations.

A TIME to speak in love, peace, and prosperity.

BUT in it ALL, It IS life and it is the life unto which we ALL have been appointed. God’s word also says that without a vision His people would perish.

I do practice what I preach and I have many regrets, regrets of wishing I had talked more to this one or should have done that differently but that IS also part of life.

And as the year comes to an end I challenge everyone to take stock and for all of us to ask ourselves, if we knew, like the man in Jesus’s parable, that our time was EVEN shorter than we thought (because in reality, IT always IS) what could we have done differently?

How many times would we have made ourselves press upward rather than giving into the downing spirits of this world?

How many times could we find that ever elusive silver lining and just how bright and majestic would that rainbow had been IF we could have seen it through the downpour of our tears?

And as His word also promises that IN HIS TIME… He makes ALL things beautiful, ask ourselves have we really traded in all those ashes for the beauty that STILL lies ahead or have we given ourselves up already dying to a past that can never been brought back, holding onto memories, that while joyful and precious have taken such precedence over our present that we are deadened to exploring the possibilities of making new ones.

When we live in an emotionally downward state, and God knows there are many reasons, WORTHWHILE reasons that cause this to happen, but when it happens, we are becoming oblivious to the joy that STILL surrounds us in the form of all those we love. Time is precious, don’t forget that and LIVE everyday like it was your last. TIME is a gift, IT is precious and given to us from God and we have to stop KILLING time because like it or not TIME itself is already killing us.

God Bless you in your upcoming week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

“PRECONCEPTION”

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter (murder) AGAINST the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired (asked) of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound (arrested) unto Jerusalem.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and SUDDENLY there SHINED ROUND ABOUT HIM A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN: and he FELL to the earth, and HEARD a voice saying into him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said WHO ART THOU, LORD? and the Lord said, I am Jesus who thou persecutest: it is hard to kick against the pricks. (pricks meaning goads, it all meant that was USELESS for Saul to even attempt to resist the Lord)

And he TREMBLING and ASTONISHED said, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and IT SHALL be told thee what thou must do.

And the men with journeyed with him stood speechless, HEARING a voice, but SEEING NO MAN. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  And he was there three days WITHOUT SIGHT, and NEITHER DID EAT OR DRINK.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; AND TO HIM SAID THE LORD IN A VISION, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he may receive his sight.

THEN Ananias answered, Lord, I have HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL (harm) HE HATH DONE to thy saints at Jerusalem: And he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.

BUT the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.” Acts 9: 1-16

Now got some serious events going on right there, as we know it as “the conversion of Saul/Paul” God was taking a man whom had made his LIFE all about persecuting Christians and at that time to even bind women and drag them off was especially despicable but what Saul did, he did one hundred percent, and gave it all he had to give.

And the beauty is that his TRUE PREDESTINATION was a total 360 and the cause he so hated would be the cause that he would ultimately and WILLING GIVE HIS LIFE in favor of!

And once his spiritual eyes were OPENED to the Lord, he did not even try to fight it because he knew he had BEEN WRONG and that he was now had. The other insight into all things human with this, is that Saul, whose entire being would be changed, EVEN his name, as he would now journey roads that led to so much greater than Damascus, roads that could only be navigated in his PREORDAINED, DESTINATION of walking those roads no longer as Saul the Enforcer, but as Paul the Apostle and truly remarkably, while Saul was YET blinded, and horrified, in complete darkness, God ALREADY told Ananias His own divine plan for Paul’s mission!

So see, Ananias, even though he was TERRIFIED of Saul, knew the work Paul would do BEFORE Paul even knew! So we are going in this post to the land of preconceptions, you know, that nasty little place that we arrive at when we decide a persons worth based on what we HEAR, just as Ananias had HEARD all these things about Saul, and while these things HAD BEEN TRUE after GOD CHANGED PAUL, they no longer held any merit and often we judge others based on pre-Christ lives and ancient history and how are we benefitting them, witnessing to them, or furthering the Kingdom of God by doing this?

pre·con·cep·tion
[ˌprēkənˈsepSH(ə)n]

NOUN
preconceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun)
a preconceived idea or prejudice.

(from Oxford Dictionary)

I had the most strange encounter, I had recently met a person and pick up no weird vibes or maliciousness coming from them and it happened that another person, I had never met, strikes up a conversation and we start talking and they bring up this other person and that I should know them and they proceed to tell me in about three minutes the entire life history of the other, and of course, the good, the bad, and the most of all the horrific.

And of course I am trying to figure out, in my head, why on earth did they feel the need to tell me all that?

I often remember something the “old-timers” always preached.. that we CAN KILL A PERSON with our words, we KILL their reputation, we KILL their testimony by CHOOSING to share every single detail of their lives NEEDLESSLY and usually those details are never of any good they may have done, BUT all the bad, all the mistakes, and the WORST possible “proofs of character” or rather proof of LACK thereof.

And as I questioned all this, in my heart, the sovereignty of God and goodness of Him came shining through as I actually overheard a conversation between the person “in question” and another, and they were actually talking about GOD, and they used a scripture that they said had helped them through a situation. And all that was said, was all I needed to hear because I know as a minister, that the wording they chose is only chosen by people who truly believe.

So anyway, I pondered the whole deal, and I was like, what was THAT all about?

And I came up with this conclusion, of course sometimes we are WARNED in life, BUT what if, sometimes, we are told things to make us fear another SO THAT WE WILL NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL, things told us so that we will be so guarded and not give a person even a moment, the benefit of doubt and to prevent us from even trying to see WHO they are in Christ, whether of not, they even ARE in Christ YET.

Just as Ananias had to be reassured by the Lord, sometimes we need to ask God to reassure us, we have no business in the pasts of others, we WERE NOT in their past but if God has placed us on the same path, in their present, even for  a moment, we owe them the same respect and opportunity to “prove” their character as we ourselves desire.

Because as the Bible so eloquently states in Romans 3:22,23:

EVEN the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH of JESUS CHRIST unto ALL and upon ALL that BELIEVE: for THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: For ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME (fall) SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

That is the deal, MAYBE God wants us to try to see others AS He sees them, He SEES them as what they CAN be, what He created them to be, in the spiritual work that He predestined and when He forgives, He FORGIVES and FORGETS and He never considers those sins again, so why should we?

Why are we allowed to hold against others actions that we had no stake in or right to accuse now? And if we do CHOOSE to hold those negative thoughts, attitudes, and PRECONCEPTIONS about them, then WE could very well be the ones who cause them to stumble and cause them to stay who they once were rather than being lights and encouraging them to have faith and embrace who they can become in Christ!

And again, I want to STRESS that if you KNOW a person to be in danger through another person, or that they are ABSOLUTELY going to cause harm, BY ALL MEANS warn whoever is in that path, and I want to STRESS, I personally DO NOT BELIEVE we have to be buddies with people who have wrecked our lives, we do have to forgive but we are not required to hang out with them.

BUT please really, really consider what NEEDS to be said about  a person or their past BEFORE saying it, and ask YOURSELF this question, IF that IS who they STILL are, or WHO they STILL want to be, would they NOT STILL BE THERE IN THAT SAME PLACE, SITUATION, OR LIFESTYLE? 

People DO NOT change until THEY WANT to change and we NEED to be discreet in our disclosures (UNLESS, they are warranted) and LET them change!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed week, Love & Peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

“Bettin’ your Boots”

“My son IF thou be SURETY  FOR THY FRIEND, (vouch for, stand in guarantee for) IF thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger (“shook on it” made a deal with,) Thou art snared with (you are bound by) the words of THY mouth, thou art taken (trapped captive) with the words of THY mouth.” Proverbs 6:1,2

Now, I really can’t plead deep revelation for this post but inspiration came while having my usual breakfast of four cups black coffee to one big bowl of ice cream, now that’ll get ya goin.. or future health issues, not sure yet.. 🙂 but I’ll go with “get ya goin morning goodness”!

Anyway, me and sweetie usually watch morning news but this morning I put it on westerns for him, we have a pretty good deal, I walk by and he is watching something and brains are being splattered by Van Damme or Seagal, or someone being ran through with a sword, the stuff I lived for as former entertainment, and I can’t blame that one on my brothers, they’d be out playing and I would be stuck in front of the TV watching Robin Hood and the Musketeers, and I know if it is staring me in the face, I’ll sit down and end up watching it now and God does not want that, there is nothing productive for the Kingdom in filling our minds with violence, it only achieves the opposite.

But anyway, he would be watching, you know the “classics” but NOW, I’m like.. “OH! My goodness, WHAT are you watching! DON’T let THOSE words in my house, HONEY!” and so we tried closed captions and I walk by, ALWAYS at the right time… and be all “AH, they are STILL coming into my house, even without sound!” “Oh and the VIOLENCE!”

So we now we are resigned to faith-based shows, home, family, and of course your old tried and true western’s, which I detested growing up but now how found a special nostalgic place in my heart for their “cleanliness” anyway.. any good western “worth its spit” has to have a good old-fashioned rigged card game set up by some ornery, good for nothin’ swindler, who aims to cheat all the hard-working ranch hands out of even their last hard-earned dime… and in this baby, even their boots.

My inspiration came when one of the main characters finally bought the PERFECT boots, they were grand and he wasn’t even the one WHO WAS gambling, it was his friend, “pardner”, uncle, something like that… you know someone whose OPINION would matter, someone who would have INFLUENCE over the actions of another.

And the one who was DOING the gambling and had lost all his money wanted TO BET the boots of the one who “didn’t even have a horse in that race” and after some slick talkin’ and the young one cotton to ‘im, he LET him BET his boots.

And I thought, that is all kinds of crazy, and in real life, WHY would we ever do that? WHY would we let someone who is obviously not running their own life very well, drag us into their mess and USE what is ours to make even a bigger mess?

But you know what, we do it and we can do it and NOT even realize we are doing it.

Get some clarity going on here… the Bible teaches us to be good to everyone, to share, to care, to help, and to shoulder another’s burdens with them, Jesus taught us that if someone asks us to walk one mile that we SHOULD go the extra step and walk two miles with them.

BUT those teachings are about our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who are in the household of the Lord. And I have friends right now who have helped me and my family out beyond anything we could have imagined during our recent medical issues and one friend in particular who opened a door that I desperately needed and I am forever grateful.

So I want to be clear that what I am referring to is this.. when people are in SIN and deceptive practices, you CAN NOT be part of that with them. God blesses us for helping others with upright causes, but HE WILL NEVER BLESS SIN,OR DECEPTION.

And sometimes there are people who are NOT what you may think and they are NOT who you may think they are and fond feelings for people and hearts of compassion and wanting to help another out can actually lead you into meeting up with “a snake in the grass” and sometimes “bettin’ your boots” and LOSING something that means everything to you.

That is why that scripture WARNS us that if we fall into that trap we will be SNARED by that trap.

No one likes trappers and no one wants trapped, so it is IMPORTANT to watch out for them so that you don’t put your foot in one.

So maybe today, you are in a situation that someone is asking you to so something or help them do something, or be part of something that you KNOW is not good, not right and maybe they are playing on your sympathy or threatening you with the loss of that relationship if you do not go along with them for the ride.

But a true friend, someone who is REALLY worth your time, your compassion, your help would NEVER ask you to so something wrong or sacrifice something of yours for the sake of something they DESIRE or a scheme that they have hatched.

Love PROTECTS and love DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN, that means they would look out for you, not put a price on what you can do for them.

So watch out for it and I am sure the “gambler” who wants to lay bets PAID FOR BY YOU will get mad and have a “burr in his saddle” and maybe even “hit the dusty trail” and “ride on into the sunset” right on out of your life, let ’em ride!

No one needs users and God does NOT want His children used!

1 Timothy 5:22:…..NEITHER BE PARTAKER of (do NOT SHARE IN) OTHER MEN’S (people) SINS: KEEP THYSELF PURE.”

Of course in the show the buddy kept his word and got the dude’s boots back, because cowboys always kept their word.

But life is not a television show and cowboys may not always have their buddies backs and those snakes in the grass can really bite into your life spreading fangfuls of pure poison and the worst part.. you don’t always get your boots backs, usually those babies are lost and they are lost forever, so keep them on your own feet!

Enough said?

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

” Untitled &Unbiased “

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in thine power to do it.” Proverbs 3:27

We tend to think of this in terms of financial help and “works” but have you ever thought about it as in spiritual help? Helping one another through their trials, sorrows, and troubles?

Helping them with the ministries and helping them stand steadfast in the calling of the Lord on their life? Stretching out a hand if they are about to slip, or helping pull them back up after they’ve almost tumbled over a spiritual cliff?

It seems the struggles are so much tougher, the sickness and diseases that have hit those of the kingdom with an absolute vengeance are taking their toll and so many.. oh so many are fighting every moment just to hang on.

Maybe everyone is at a loss as to what to do for another… fear of their help or advice would be rejected.. or truly just not knowing.

But if you know those who are struggling and you want to do something, the Bible has our answers and this is how it goes, as the early church was encouraged through the words of their fellow servants, shouldn’t we use this as our example and encourage one another?

Colossians 1:2-12: “To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse; Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, PRAYING ALWAYS FOR YOU. 

SINCE we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day you heard it, and KNEW the grace of God in truth.

As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ. Who also declared to us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, SINCE the day we heard it, DO NOT CEASE TO PRAY FOR YOU, and to DESIRE THAT YE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WILL IN ALL WISDOM AND SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING; THAT YE MIGHT WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD UNTO ALL PLEASING, BEING FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK, AND INCREASING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD;

STRENGHTENED WITH ALL MIGHT, ACCORDING TO HIS GLORIOUS POWER, UNTO ALL PATIENCE AND LONGSUFFERING WITH JOYFULLNESS; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”

God has had this on my heart so much lately.. we HAVE to be workers together, we may NOT all have the same beliefs, the same doctrinal system but as it is written when “one hurts we ALL hurt”  and we all need to encourage others along the way and sometimes that means putting down our own personal comfort shields and reaching out to others who may or may not like us or approve of us but if they may just NEED something we can offer, it is still our responsibility to reach out, whether they accept it us or even if they tell us to get “out of their face”, as long as we have tried, we have fulfilled what is required of us.

I had to put my “money where my mouth is” awhile back.. I was visiting a revival and there is an older couple, awesome sweet people, and I have had a lot of personal hurt due to #1. I am female. #2. I am female in a certain “neck of the world” that hasn’t caught up as much as they think they have, with the biased gender based thinking of 1802 and even when we try not to let words and attitudes hinder us.. sometimes they still get lodged in the back of our minds and lie in wait.. until the situation arises that they can remind us that because we are not the right sex, color, or denomination that our PRAYERS are not welcome.

Anyway I was behind this couple and the more I sat there the more it was on my heart to pray for him and I know they have a different background and I just kept hearing that doubt.. “men pray for men.. women pray for women”.. and I just kept wrestling inside of myself and I finally determined that if it was God’s will, it would be fine because I WAS NOT going to go home and spend the rest of my life knowing that I was supposed to pray for him and had refused to even obey what was on heart for FEAR of rejection.

Had they known my calling they may have looked at me not quite so friendly and that is what hit me… we are who we are in God and others are who they are in God.. we don’t always have to make a point of it and can be the body as one. So it hit me to ask his wife first and then we both asked him if it would be okay to pray for him and it all worked out well.

I think this is really how the enemy has divided and separated the churches and flocks, and as long as we ourselves, separate ourselves we will only stay stagnant and will never fulfill the true divine plan God has for our lives and for others.

For the record, MOST believers don’t have the segregated attitudes, and I have a great church family now, but once it has been put in our thinking.. it is there until we overcome it through God and His word.. which says we ought to obey HIM rather than man.

So in our verses we have just that.. believers ENCOURAGING other believers and PRAYING for them and PRAYING for their ministries and that God would BLESS them in their walk with him.

They SINCERELY wanted the new Christians to SUCCEED in the Lord and be filled with joy. They weren’t taking pot shots at the them because they thought they were ‘different”.

They based their entire dealings with them on the facts that they WERE God’s children also and that they WERE filled with His love. I wonder how often we really look at each other this way?

They DID NOT withhold what was good… as it was their inheritance just as much as it belonged to Paul and Timothy and it is high time we all take heart of that.. we will work as a team or our work will profit nothing at all. If you can help someone.. help them.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

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

 

 

“GO AHEAD! KNOCK IT OFF……

Dare, dared, and double-dog dared! How many have heard those words as kids? Probably more times than you care to remember.  The origins of  kids daring each other to knock pieces of wood, or blocks and other objects of their shoulders as a test of bravado and “courage”.

I can never even think of the phrase with out semi-fond memories of growing up. I say semi because they are fond memories but I know at those moments my blood angrily boiled hot enough to fry an egg and if looks could have killed, that heat would have laser beamed straight out of me and torched some teenaged boys.. but again… what are brothers for?

I ALWAYS, always think of the one who I have always had a rather strained relationship with, and even now we still get on each others nerves to the point that we are not “friends” on social media, but I love him and I know he loves me and pray always for him and I know a little secret… those very attributes that make him “hard to deal with” now will be the very same attribute’s that flipped over for the work of the Lord will be used to make him quite a formidable warrior for the kingdom.

He is just so tenacious and unyielding in his determination that he never backs down… sometimes good.. not so good much when used to initiate  a chilling challenge of “I DARE YOU….” and he had that way about him, that after an hour of listening to “I dare you” having the ante upped to a “double-dog dare” with the way he could wrinkle his nose up and take a superior tone and end with the final insult of “And if you don’t you’re a sissy!” That always did the trick, why it was the challenge of all challenges to be called a sissy, especially if you ARE a girl, is beyond me but proof of the acceptance of the dare had to come and usually produce a good ruckus that would end up with more of Mom’s whatnot’s destroyed and having conveniently just disappeared unnoticed by us whenever we were asked about their whereabouts.

Everyone has played that as a kid, but you know sometimes we play that as adults and we go through life, and especially Kingdom life with these enormous chips on our shoulders and just emanate “Go ahead.. knock it off.. I DARE YOU!”

Not picking on people, I have had enough chips on my own shoulders over the years that all I needed was for them to materialize into the tortilla variety, add a good dip and I’d been a walking fiesta.

But in the Kingdom our fight comes, after we have lost a tad of that “salvation glow”, when the world is all beautiful and all church people are great happy people and reality sets in and you discover that sometimes under all that pretty sparkle, your brothers and sisters are still HUMAN and are quite capable of hurting you, belittling you, and most of all disappointing you because their spirituality has been completed OVER magnified in OUR eyes and the shocking  fact that not all will be supportive and not all will welcome you, and not all will ACCEPT the calling of your life.

Bring on the chips… loading down our shoulders with the burden of “proving” ourselves to people who can not be convinced of anything unless the Lord convinces them and even then they have to open often closed minds.

God does not put that on our shoulders, satan can not even be blamed, but the truth is WE place our own chips and WE are the only ones who can successfully knock them off and keep them off. We know that judgment must begin at God’s house and keeping that in mind:

1 CORINTHIANS 4:31 “For if we judge ourselves, WE SHOULD NOT BE JUDGED”.

Our problem is that we get all caught up on who doesn’t like us, or take us seriously, or outright persecutes us and for many we just decide “Fine, you don’t like me, I don’t care” and for some, the superiority boat brings in a whole load, due to callings, titles, and positions. And when people DECIDE that for some reason the office, the position makes them somehow superior to the flock or other members of the flock, and the authority is twisted into something used to strangle rather than to free, and refuse instruction simply because “chippers” think they are beyond that need or that they are superior to the ones God sends it through, WE ALL are in major trouble.

We will NEVER quit learning and we ALL need to grow and when stubbornness and pride comes in the only option left is for us to be pulled down from off that high horse and our feet put back on solid ground to be taught again the things we thought we knew so well.

We can go through that process or we can choose a WISER less painful process, realize, recognize, and remove. If we do self inventory, and surely we can admit things to OURSELVES, recognize what our “problem” is and through God’s word find the remedy for that and remove those chips from our own shoulders.

God wants meekness and humility in His church and He will not work contrary to this and I think sometimes the work is hindered by attitudes especially between the sexes and the secret to this may be not necessarily in the opening of the closed mind but in the ACCEPTANCE of that unfavorable opinion of us by someone’s and just go on and do the work we have been called to do.

What if so and so does not like us, what if blah-blah thinks you are a pagan heretic? What if they want to think they know so much about YOU when you and most of God knows the truth that they are wrong in their thoughts toward you.

NOW What if God placed you in that spot, in that place, for a specific work or specifically for a word or a prayer for SOMEONE ELSE who has no knowledge and no bearing of the static in the air?

Are you going to disobey God and hold onto that chip because so and so is staring you down? Let ’em stare! John & Jane Doe have their  own chips to deal with, you just worry about taking care of yours!

What if everyone knocked off their chips and just SUBMITTED one mind, one accord to the Lord and to the good of the kingdom? What if TITLES were forgotten during prayer times, what if you didn’t get all macho when someone suggests a different thought? What if it didn’t boil your blood and turn your eyes to laser beams when you wrongfully take things as a “CHALLENGE” to “YOUR AUTHORITY”.

Looks different doesn’t it, some people would rather drive over a cliff than stop and ask for directions and these attitudes ARE NOT of God. These are the reasons that the body is deathly sick and “falling off” to nothing.

In the upper room when the Holy Ghost came down, I am sure NO ONE was declaring their titles or arguing about THEIR SUPERIOR relationship to the Lord, (though some had wanted dibs earlier) Peter wasn’t proclaiming that he is the greatest, Mary wasn’t shouting that she saw him first, they were gathered ONE mind seeking God for His glory and His kingdom.

The sick did not care who prayed, they just wanted to be healed, those tormented by devils didn’t care how relief came, only that it would come because the Holy Ghost coming through ANY of His chosen vessels would send the tormentors away, those spiritually starved did not care who thought what about who, all they knew was that without that “food” they would perish. Those dying of thirst did not care where the water originated only that it was given.

That is the thing, all these chips, all these grudges, all these challenges of superiority only matter to those who hold them. The only people hurt are those we are called to minister to and we have let down our jobs, we have let down the kingdom and we’d better not let down God.

So even if someone hates you and you know they think you’re a bad joke, chin it up and DO what GOD has you there to do. If we humble ourselves God will do the rest, it really is like the power/gentleness of the Lord I am always referring back to, HE KNEW what He Is, He really did not need anyone’s approval and affirmation as PROOF.

He went on and ministered to those He was sent to and we have to get to that point that we just do our jobs for the Lord and if we know that something about us “irks” someone else, just try to ACCEPT it and go on and whether you are right or they are right or if everyone is half right, is not going to matter one bit when the souls are tallied and we are told that more should have been won.

And vice versa when you are tempted to just revel in the fact that someone does have  a problem with you and you make sure to point out all the things that they disapprove of (in their opinion of you) all you are doing is further daring them to knock that chip off in challenge to “knock your block off” and proves nothing other than a dire need for spiritual maturity and if we can’t deal with people you can see, we will never successfully battle spiritual bullies we can’t see.

1 CORINTHIANS 8:2(c) ” Knowledge puffeth up (becomes prideful and arrogant) but charity (love) edifieth (builds up).”

So are we building up or are we tearing down? I love to use Paul’s writings because I think he spans it all, he was a cruel church persecutor, who detested all followers of Christ and then once his eyes were opened to the truth, God used him as a voice on virtually ANY subject we can stumble through or find ourselves tangled up in.

What I LOVE most about Paul is that he never heralded himself as better than those he ministered too and he said as far as the “sinners” he was one their chief! He never lost sight of who he was and who he had been and the fact that without Christ he was nothing and yet, God used him to give us most of the New Testament and hope, and courage, and insight into a better way of thinking, he had chips he had to knock off and I know this from verses that he speaks of NOT doing the things he wanted to do and doing the things he did not necessarily want to do, and DYING to his flesh, every single day.

And when it came to pulling attitudes, whether it be callings or power tripping, Paul whose calling and gifts are without dispute, CHOOSE submission:

1 CORINTHIANS 9:12-27 ” If others be partakers of this power (authority) over you, are we not rather ( even more)?  Nevertheless we have not used this power (authority); But suffer (endure) all things, Lest we HINDER the gospel of Christ.

Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? And they which wait (serve) at the altar are partakers with the altar?

Even so hath the Lord ordained (commanded) that they which preach the gospel SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL.

But I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were (would be) better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorifying void.

For though I preach the gospel,  I HAVE NOTHING TO GLORY OF IT; for NECESSITY is laid upon me; yea, WOE IS UNTO ME, IF I PREACH NOT THE GOSPEL!

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, a dispensation (stewardship) of the gospel is committed (entrusted) to me. What is my reward then? Verily that when I preach the gospel, I may make (present) the gospel of Christ without charge (preached for free), that I ABUSE NOT MY POWER (authority) in the gospel.

For though I be free from all men, YET HAVE I MADE MYSELF SERVANT UNTO ALL, THAT I MIGHT GAIN (win)THE MORE.  And unto the Jews I BECAME AS A JEW, that I MIGHT GAIN THE JEWS;

TO THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW, AS UNDER THE LAW, THAT I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW .

To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without the laws to God, but under the law to Christ) That I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE WITHOUT LAW.

To THE WEAK BECAME I AS WEAK; I AM MADE (have become) ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN, THAT I BY ALL MEANS MIGHT SAVE SOME. 

And THIS I DO FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE, that I might be partakers thereof with you. Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery (competes for a prize) IS TEMPERATE IN ALL THINGS (has self-control).

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible (perishable) crown; but we an incorruptible (non-perishable). I therefore so run, NOT AS Uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS WHEN I HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF BE A CASTAWAY (disqualified).” So if Paul realized That the gospel WAS NOT HIS to glory in and that he was privileged to just be part of the movement of God, not taking money, not taking advantage by running down the flocks but becoming ALL things to all men, and winning THEM as his reward, he also acknowledged no special position, he knew that he could fall.. shouldn’t we also?

Bury the hatchets… chuck the chips….  go ahead KNOCK IT OFF! You will be glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

Bow Shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2015