If you only knew…

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it IS that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:19

Pretty familiar story there, she stopped by the well and Jesus ran a quick perception test on her. Technically,  she “knew her place” as a Samaritan, and for the intent and opinion of “man” and she knew that the Jews (which Jesus was and still is) had a complete distaste and contempt for the Samaritans and would not want, let alone actually ask  for anything from her or her people.

So hopefully now that we are thinking in that vein, we’ll back this train up and backtrack to the beginning of the story. 

“When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, ( Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.

And he must needs go (he needed to go) through Samaria.  Then he cometh to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave his son Joseph.

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied in his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water; Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat (food.) 

Then saith the woman unto him, How is it, that you being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” John 4:1-9 

That brings us up to speed on the starter verse.

So many in the Bible, story after story of those who were approached by what they would feel was an unapproachable God.

Think about it, He came and walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening while they still inhabited Eden.

My all time favorite (that I have probably used far too many times) but Genesis chapter 18 tells the story that so perfectly captured just how perfectly, and supremely gracious God is, when he and the angels came down to check out Sodom and Gomorrah and he wanted Abraham to feel “kept in the loop” as to what would soon happen and as Abraham knowing what went on in those cities and wanting to save the life of his nephew Lot who lived there, he started his “bargaining” with God, asking him “if they be fifty righteous found in the city” would God spare it? And each time God answered, “Yes.”

Each time Abraham asked God again, lowering the number because he knew how bad they were but desperately wanted to save Lot, so he went all the way down to twenty. And finally Genesis 18:32-33: “And he (Abraham) said, Oh let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure (perhaps)  ten shall be found there. 

And he (God) said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.  And the Lord went his way, as soon as he had left off communing  (speaking with) Abraham: and Abraham returned to his place.”

All through the Bible, through miracles (like with Moses), through angelic visitations such as, Jacob, Joshua, Hagar, Manoah and his wife,  John’s father Zacharias, Mary, and many others. Through spoken encounters, and by dreams and visions to his prophets, ALL through the span of time, he has made himself to be approachable to us.

And it is up to us to be obedient to that approach.

I love the story of Elijah and the widow, (1 Kings 17:8-16), we are told that this takes place during the famine, a famine God had been sustaining Elijah through by having  ravens feed him and a brook provide water, but when the brook was allowed to dry, it meant it was time for Elijah to move on, comfortable or not, time to go, again obedience.

So God tells him where to go and that he had commanded a widow to take care of him, if you notice in that story, when he met the widow she was gathering sticks for a fire, so he asks for a drink, and as she is going to get him a drink,  he then called to her to ask for food, she tells him she has basically nothing but a tiny bit of flour and oil, and that she was going to prepare the last of their food and her and her son were going to eat it and then die.

So once he asked her to make his food first and then for her and her son, she agreed, I personally believe that was the moment when her obedience to the prompting of God in her heart brought forth a miraculous blessing from God from that obedience.

For her and her house, not to mention the prophet, God supernaturally sustained her and her house until the barren times were over.

But think of that, what if she had not been open to prompting of God in her spirit? God had told Elijah in advance taht she would take care of him and yet she told Elijah she was going to prepare food and die. God had already put the blessing their and god has already prepared her heart to act upon his will.

Now to the lady at the well, she is a good example of this, and I truly feel that many of us suffer from our OWN self-image issues, feeling that we would never be good enough are kinda like the lady at the well when Jesus approached her, her first response was shock, shocked that he would even speak to her and more shocked again, that he would ask anything of her, because the treatment she had received from his “people” had been anything but kind.

Sometimes I truly think many have a hard time coming to Christ and accepting salvation, not because of him or salvation itself but because of the ridicule and mistreatment they have suffered from others.

And wrestling with the “good enough-ism” when we will NEVER be good enough, nor are we expected to be, because HE IS more than good enough to cover all of our sins.

So maybe up to this point your life has held a kind of  “snap before you are snapped”, and “get them before they get you”, kinda philosophy because when you buy into the lies of satan and convince yourself, in your own pain, that “the God-stuff” and all that “Jesus loves me” business is just not real… or that he is not approachable for you, it is very easy to throw away your today, your future, and your eternity and for what?

He IS real, but how could you possibly KNOW the reality of an invisible being while your mind is trapped in a blinded, cynical world?

How can you possibly KNOW whether or not He does love you IF you have never opened the door and let him in long enough for him to tell you that he does?

Just like this lady, who didn’t begrudge the water she just couldn’t believe she was approached for it by someone whom she mistakenly believed hated her.

How many do you think prejudge God’s thoughts toward them?

Without ever understanding that we can NEVER even know his thoughts or understand his ways, because as the Bible teaches us “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts” and all the human attributes of grudges and prejudices that we ascribe to him, without KNOWING him are just wrong and are not even in his character.

Just as this lady THOUGHT she would be naturally misjudged and automatically hated, she did not have a clue WHO she was talking to. And so many today are falling to that same misguided mindset!

Jesus KNEW who she was! He KNOWS who you are, and He KNOWS who we all are!He went on to tell her all about her life and save her.

He KNEW what was going to have to happen to those sinful city’s when he spoke with Abraham and he KNEW exactly how many he would find there, and just like all the other references, and many others that could be used as examples, HE KNEW the answers BEFORE he asked the questions.

He is God, He knows all these things, he knows the beginnings, the endings, and all that goes in between.

He knows the number of the hairs on our heads and the moment that our hearts will beat the final beat.

And he is so different from us because he created us, not the other way around and even though he came to earth as human, he is still NOT a human.

And it in is that graciousness, beauty, and mercy that he does approach us in life, he sends his word, he sends his messengers, and even now in this present day, he STILL sends his angels, and he will send his own Spirit. 

And Psalm 19:3: “The heavens DECLARE the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”

All the heavens, all of creation bears proof of a magnificent Creator and despite all the intelligence insulting nonsense taught contrary to this truth, we are still are born with a need to reconnect and an internal knowledge in our hearts and our souls that scream out that there IS more to this existence and that there IS more to life than simply death!

Who would ever want to believe that there is nothing more?

IF THIS, these lives, blessed or not, rough or not, was ALL we would ever know as existence, no one should EVER get out of bed, they should lay there and simply give up because that would be the most morbid, depressing state!

Believing that there is no hope, no love. nothing eternal!

BUT there is so much more!

And until you know Jesus you will never understand what is it to truly be ALIVE.

Until you know him, his peace, his supernatural provision (which never ceases to amaze me in my own struggles) and most importantly his plan for your joy, you ARE missing everything.

And you are missing a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the absolute King of heaven and earth, who wants to heal you, deliver you, and let you know that no matter who you are, what you have done, or what others have said about you THAT he loves you and wants to show you things that the human mind cannot even begin to comprehend!

IF you only KNEW the one who can turn your night into day, scatters every demon, and breaks every chain, turn your ashes and tears to beauty and laughter.

He will rock your very soul and he will restore you and his mercy will turn your upside world perfectly upright.

IF you only KNEW who were missing… you wouldn’t miss out on him.

Young or old, black or white, all nations, all people, there ARE none who have not been approached and offered this blessed gift, the gift of Jesus Christ, we are not promised the next breath, but we ARE promised an eternal existence, either in heaven or in hell.

Like it or not we ARE forever, we WERE created to be eternal and eternal we WILL be. And maybe you still feel like, “crazy Jesus fanatics” (as we are often called), “think they know everything” but you know what, we ARE not fanatics.

Have you ever thought about this, everyone that witnesses Christ to you now, was once on the other side of that fence!

No one is born saved! We have all sinned, most of us also have thought once or twice about that “crazy Jesus fanatics” talking to us about God in our pasts!

But now the only separation between us is that we CHOSE to listen to them and took to heart the thought of “Hey, maybe there is more, maybe there is hope.”

And invited him into our life and accepted that salvation and now we thank him for those people who loved us enough to share the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. 

So as he stands knocking at the door of your heart, as creation bears witness to his majesty, and his messengers, and witnesses are sent to you, know this, HE IS approaching you, accept him, get to know him before you decide whether or not you need him in your life.

We are nothing without him, we will never know TRUE freedom, true joy, or true peace until we are connected back into the one who breathed our very life into us. Don’t miss out on that because you will have missed it all.

1 John 4:19: “WE LOVE BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.”

Love & Peace till next time, have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

 

 

Just kinda like… MESSED UP…

I love funky terms, always endearing, always fun and one of my favorites is “messed up”, I love the fact that the slang phrase can mean virtually ANYTHING. 

According to dictionary.com it is adjective slang and “messed up” CAN literally mean ANY or ALL of the following: 

“Beaten up, looking disarrayed”

“Confused and unhappy”

“Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs”

We can be emotionally messed up, life can be messed up, or circumstances can just be messed up making you want to say, “Man, that is just messed up!”

And people often get “messed up” through the third meaning in hope of dulling the feeling of the first two.

And sometimes those who are seeking Jesus and a change in their life can be very easily swayed back out into sin and fall so easily into the trap of self-condemnation of feeling that they have “messed up”.

And you know, it is not even just falling into sin, it can be sometimes that we have turned left when we should have turned right, missed a truly golden opportunity by too hastily reaching out for plated brass that we mistook for twenty-four carat.

So many things in life can lead most of us to question, just how bad did we mess up.

But got some good news on that front, IF you are willing to ACCEPT it, BELIEVE it, and pick up your cross and try it again.

God IS faithful. God IS merciful. God wants nothing more than to dust us off when we have stumbled, give us a hug and tell us to try it again! 

Classic scripture here that everyone probably knows by heart but it is good to be reminded every now and again.

Jesus speaking, Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am NOT as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, OR EVEN AS THIS PUBLICAN 

I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 

And the publican standing afar off,  would NOT lift so much as his eyes unto heaven, but SMOTE UPON HIS BREAST (beat on his chest)  SAYING, GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER. 

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified  rather than the other: for everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; AND HIM THAT HUMBLETH HIMSELF SHALL BE EXALTED.”  

Ponder that, the Pharisee, in ear shot of the tax collector is telling God what all he has done and even taking pot shots at the moral character of the other man, in his “gratitude” speech, “thanking” God that he was so much BETTER than all those he named and EVEN better than the one who could not even look toward heaven because he was repentant.

He just asked for mercy and referred to himself as a sinner.He didn’t give a list of what GOD ALREADY KNEW, he just asked for mercy instead of judgment.

We are never given a list of his failures, mistakes, or how much he “messed up” but we are given all we need to hear in his own words the Pharisee spoke of  just how “messed up” the Pharisee was through pride and self-seeking, and self-righteousness expressed in his OWN words.

So there is a background to set up my main scriptures I really want to concentrate this post on.

Psalm 86:1-17: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul (life); for I am holy: O thou my God, SAVE thy servant that trusteth in thee.

Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For I cry unto thee DAILY (all day long). 

Rejoice (make glad) the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 

For thou, Lord, art (are) good, AND READY TO FORGIVE; AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY TO ALL THEM THAT CALL UPON THEE.

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. 

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL UPON THEE: FOR THOU WILT (will) ANSWER ME.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee. O lord, neither are there any works like unto thy works. 

All the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord, and SHALL glorify thy name. 

For thou art great, and doest (you do) wondrous things: thou art God alone.  

Teach me thy way, O Lord,: I will walk in thy truth: UNITE  my heart (give me singleness of heart) to fear (have a reverence and awe for) thy name. 

I will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore. 

FOR GREAT IS THY MERCY TOWARD ME: AND THOU HAST DELIVERED MY SOUL FROM THE LOWEST HELL.

O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them. 

BUT THOU, O LORD, ART (are)  A GOD FULL OF COMPASSION, AND GRACIOUS, LONGSUFFERING, AND PLENTEOUS IN MERCY AND TRUTH. 

O TURN UNTO ME, AND HAVE MERCY UPON ME, give strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.

Shew (show) me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it. and be ashamed; BECAUSE THOU, LORD, HAST HOLPEN  (has helped) ME,AND COMFORTED ME.”

That was a prayer written by David, and you can really “hear” his desperation in that twice he asks the Lord, to HEAR, the first verse, “BOW down thine ear”, showing his humility by asking the Lord to come down to hear him.

The poor and needy reference spiritual state, David FELT pretty messed up, hurt and unhappy, fighting against his enemies, the word “assemblies” in verse fourteen, referencing those who hated him, literally meaning MOBS, mobs of angry, violent men who DID not know God and wanted David dead.

I love David and love reading about his life because he was so passionate. Everything he did he did wide open, all or nothing. When he soared, he soared and when he “messed up” it was crashing rock bottom.

And of course, the ONE thing he never swayed for one moment about was his absolute passion in his pursuit of the Lord.

He never once doubted the mercy and kindness of the Lord EVEN when he was painfully aware through his OWN  failings, his own shortcomings, and life altering lusts that HE WAS NEVER WORTHY OF THAT MERCY. Nor would he ever be. Neither are we, nor we will be.

So that’s the deal, we ARE messed up, life is messed up, and no matter how bad you may have messed up or how confused, unhappy, beaten down life has TEMPORARILY left you, keep holding on… knowing that no matter how messed up you may feel there is NO ONE so messed up that the mercy of God that cannot heal.

1 John 1:9: “If we confess (admit to God) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”

Find your peace in that. 

Have a beautiful week! Wishing you love & peace until next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

LOVE this song!

If you’d like a little more food for thought on overcoming our flesh, check out “Trip Junkie”   and “Prophets,Prodigals, & Puttin’ it off”

BEFORE

“Yea, BEFORE the day was I AM HE ; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work and who shall let (reverse) it?”  Isaiah 43:13

One of my favorite statement by the Lord. 

This is one of those double-edged sword statements because to be on the wrong side of that statement is a horrible fearful fate… but ahh, we are not talking about that in this post.

We are talking about how beautiful and truly overwhelming it truly is when we think about being on the right side of that statement.

BEFORE

BEFORE everything.

BEFORE anything.

BEFORE all that was created.

BEFORE the angels, the demons, or any other beings.

BEFORE the great void of darkness and the waters of earth were divided.

BEFORE day and night were called forth.

BEFORE the heavens were divided from the earth.

BEFORE the grass, trees, and every known and unknown vegetation this day. BEFORE the birds, animals, fish and man.

BEFORE it all the God of creation forever stands.

BEFORE the very creation of DAY, in HIS OWN WORDS, WAS I AM HE. 

And there is no power in heaven, in earth, under earth, no invention man kind can fathom or enough forces of hell that can stop, prevent, or deliver out of his hand.

And as he also said, he will do as he wishes and WHO could ever stop him or reverse, change, or destroy ANY work he has ordained or brought forth?!!!

INCLUDING his work of creating US! Completely, intentionally, ON PURPOSE with rhyme and reason, creating each one of us simply because he IS God and he WANTED us to exist! 

Complete with our Spirit, soul, heart, mind, and personality and all the unique traits that make us truly one of a kind!

Even when we are a little quirky, different, or such as myself, kinda flaky 🙂 no one will ever understand us like God, we have that uniqueness because our Father wanted us to be unique. 

God IS the master Creator… actually having created creation… ponder that…he created the very conception and act of creation itself, which is why all of us have a talent or special God-given skill, being created in HIS image, we also have that NEED to be creative.

Think about it the next time that you are in your “zone, whether it is art, music, wood-working, beauty, cooking, the activity that brings you immense joy in expressing your creativity, REMEMBER that the joy and satisfaction that you feel during that “labor of love” can not even be compared to the joy and love the absolute Creator of the universe took in creating YOU!

Revelation 4:11 b: “…for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” 

Am I the only person that finds that terribly exciting? 

Well, if you are not excited, I hope that by the end of this post you will be!

If everyone person on this earth could get past the lies of this world, the ridiculous demands of society that command us to be cookie cutter cutouts of the latest fashion trend or the brain washed servants to sin that think and say exactly as those who pervert the truth of creation and the Gospel so wish us to.

Oh what a refreshment that would be!

You know we can not control what others think of us or say about us, but when we fail to accept how and why we are created just as we are actually INSULTING God!

Now, I think people really need to be careful with the Bible and  be certain they read before and after scriptures and study the ENTIRE teaching because failure to do so often leads to teachings that are completely out of context, SO bearing that, the scriptures are pertaining to repentance and restoration, but the verses I want to highlight is the danger  of “questioning” that we as humans often do, when we “question” our this, that, or the other thing we do not like about ourselves when held to the current “standard” and we can understand through these verses his ABSOLUTE power, authority, and love for us, IF we accept that and submit into his will, forgetting our own.

Isaiah 45:1-18: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden (held), to subdue nation before him; and I will loose the loins (armour) of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates (double doors); and the gates shall not be shut;

 I WILL GO BEFORE THEE, and make the crooked places straight : I will break into pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder (half) the bars of iron:

 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, THE LORD, WHICH CALLETH THEE BY THY NAME am God of Israel For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect (chosen). 

I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though  thou hast not known me.  I, am the Lord, and there is none else, there is  no god beside me: I girded (clothed and armoured), though thou hast not known me: 

That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (till sunset), that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity): I the lord do ALL these things. 

Drop down, (rain down) ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open , and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I THE LORD HAVE CREATED IT.

Woe unto him that striveth (argues) WITH his Maker!  Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.

Shall the clay SAY to him that fashioned (molded) it, WHAT makes thou? or thy work, He hath no hands? for something you actually made to say to you that you no longer have any power over that creation)

Woe unto him that saith unto his father, WHAT begettest thou? or to the woman (mother) WHAT hast thou brought forth (given birth to)?

Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his MAKER, Ask of me thing concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.  

I have MADE the earth, and CREATED man upon it: I, even MY HANDS, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded,  I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward (not money nor gain), saith the Lord of hosts.

Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God (meaning no god OTHER than the ONE true God, Jehovah).

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. They shall be ashamed, and also confounded (disgraced), all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. 

But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

For thus saith the Lord that CREATED the heavens; God himself that FORMED the earth and MADE it; he hath established it, he hath CREATED it NOT IN VAIN, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” 

I love that God is clearly pointing out the fact that even THOUGH they have not known him, he still very much knows them!

And isn’t that just like us sometimes, especially those who refuse to acknowledge God as they are in truth the work that declares the craftsman no longer has hands to alter the work he has created.

There is such beauty and such peace, and blessed assurance beyond human comprehension in the realization and acceptance of our place in his master plan. And that place is simply this, accepting ourselves as his creation, accepting his will, and resting in that he ALWAYS goes before because before “the day”, before the foundations of the earth were even created, THERE WAS AND THERE IS AND THERE WILL FOREVER BE, I AM.

Rest in this, have hope in this, know who you are in this:

Deuteronomy 31:8: ” Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, HE IT IS THAT DOTH GO WITH THEE; HE WILL NOT FAIL THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.” 

As the redeemed of the Lord, we sometimes need reminded of WHO goes BEFORE us every single day of our lives. 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

 

“Waning under the weight of waiting”

Now that title is quite a mouthful, try saying it fast three times, could be a pretty good tongue twister 🙂 but I am hoping it’ll make for a much better thought provoker!

Hebrews 12:1a: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…”

Used this scripture before, we all have I am sure, but for the moment I want to concentrate on what a weight waiting can be.

Ever think about it? When people or even our own selves come up with every known imaginable reason why we can not serve God or why we can’t accomplish his will or why we can’t live for him… just now, maybe in the future but now we can’t because we are waiting, waiting on some magical, mystical desire to take place or we are waiting on someone else to “come in” then we’ll “get right” with the Lord.

How could ANYTHING of this world be more important than your soul?

How? Never mind the demons, and the spiritual world that surrounds our natural world every single day and if it were not for God’s divine protection do you think you would be so safe from all the traps and snare that are laid for your feet?

Never mind the lack of peace, never mind the constant struggles inside your mind because “to him that knoweth to do good and do it not, it is a sin” completely IGNORING all those things for a moment, how does anyone take the comfort that their eternal soul is secure out of the daily equation, in seemingly “never-minding” that we are never once promised that we have all the time in the world to WAIT while allowing the weight of all those earthly hindrances to steal day after day while we have no promise of the next day. 

It is ALL of the world, the world that scripture warns us and warns us to stay out of. The world can mean many different struggles for different people.

It is not always about money, but it all equates the same. ANYTHING we place above God or the service and ANYTHING that prevents us from following him with our whole hearts and lives completely surrendered to him.

That is why we are told that WE must LAY ASIDE all these weights.

God does not place that weight on us… the world does and we have to be willing to refuse to carry it and we can’t blame that one on God. 

This is one Jesus’ warnings on the subject.

Luke 12:15-20: ” And he said unto them, Take heed, and BEWARE of covetousness: for a man’s life consiseth not in the abundance of things he possesseth. 

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 my fruits?”

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits and my goods. and I will say unto my soul,  Soul, thou hast much 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?”  

He went on to encourage us to lay up those treasures in heaven because the concerns and desires of this world that became as weights will drag us down. And this is also so clear in his parable of the sower and the seed, AGAIN warning us about this world and getting caught up in it rather that the things of God.

Matthew 13:3-9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured  them up;

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them:

But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  

Do you recognize all the different human conditions going on here?

Think about it, the way side, just going through life, not caring one way or another and those are absolutely devoured because no one is caring if they make it or not.

The stony places in hardened hearts and unrepentant, unyielding, stubborn, and prideful.

Too “shallow” to make the long haul, all for it until the going gets tough and then they gotta get going… their own way, AWAY from God. 

And the thorns of this world, the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, and injustice, all those things that prick, mar, and scar.

BUT Jesus told us this in his word, Song of Solomon 2:1,2: “I AM the rose of Sharon, and  the lily of the valleys. 

As the lily AMONG the thorns SO IS my love among the daughters.”

 For every single human condition there is a relief and cure in God’s word, IF we will seek it and have faith to believe it.

That faith and assurance, NOT in ourselves or our abilities but faith that He is and He will fulfil all his promises to us IF we do what his word tells us to do.

That is that good ground that he cultivates for his seed and to bring forth HIS fruit. And as he told us to “hear if we have ears to hear” meaning if our heart is set on him and our thoughts on things eternal to HEAR him.  

Continuing, Matthew 13:18-23: Hear  ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hearth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it  not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth (snatches) away that which WAS sown in his heart. This is which received seed by the way side. 

But he that received the seed into stony places,  the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while:  for when tribulation OR persecution ariseth BECAUSE of the word, by and by he is offended. 

He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word : And the CARE OF THIS WORLD, and the deceitfulness of riches, CHOKE THE WORD,  and he becometh unfruitful. 

But he that received seed in the good ground IS he that heareth the word, and understandeth it;  which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Those “places” those weights. those are the things that prevent our growth, prevent us from bearing fruit and will certainly crush that precious seed planted by the Lord himself and eventually even crush us under them.

God never told us to wait on this world or to wait for things in this world to change.

We are to FOLLOW HIM and WAIT for him, not this world and we can never carry that weight. We were never meant to.

The only one who can is the only one who already holds it ALL in the middle of his nail scarred hand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

 

Light scent…

  John 12:35,36: “Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. WHILE ye have light, BELIEVE in the light, THAT YE MAY BE THE CHILDREN OF LIGHT. These things spake Jesus, and departed and did hide himself from them.”  

 I love scented candles, and even more, I love a gift my sister gave me several years ago, a lighted wax warmer, you know it is basically a really pretty decorative pot that has a light bulb that heats scented wax, providing a beautiful aroma along with a gorgeous soft glow. 

It is as beautiful as a candle and much safer because it is electric rather than actual flame, but if the bulb gets loosened or the cord happens to get frayed, it can be more time-consuming to repair than just relighting a candle. But it is more than worth the effort to experience the result.

Sometimes we can be like the heated scented wax burners, you know our “bulbs” become loose and we flicker on and off and just can’t get that wax melted enough to produce a beautiful scent.

The word flicker is actually defined as this, “to UNPREDICTABLY  FLASH on and off at RANDOM” you never know whether it will give light or disappoint you with darkness.

If it were completely burned out, you would know to replace the bulb, but when it flashes at “will” burning brightly for a moment and suddenly reverting back to utter darkness it can be a problem with the lamp itself.

I think this happens sometimes with the Christian “lamps”,  the”lights of the kingdom” we have “problems” with OUR own connection.

Think about it, all we really are physical “outlets” if you will, for the greatest power source in the universe, and what power!

The power of the Spirit of the Living God, the power so great that it lights the world, the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars.

Imagine if we, each of us, would just obediently let that LIGHT shine, that light that he commanded should SHINE through us into the world. 

The Lord counsels us to our folly concerning many things in Isaiah chapter fifty-eight, but I want to use one verse in particular to prove out just HOW BRIGHTLY he wants our shine to be.

Isaiah 58:8-10: ” THEN shall THY LIGHT BREAK FORTH AS THE MORNING (SPLITTING darkness), and thine health (healing) shall spring forth speedily: and righteousness shall go before thee; The glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward (rear guard). 

Then thou shalt call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, HERE AM I, if thou take away from the midst of thee THE YOKE, the putting forth of the the finger (accusing one another) and speaking vanity (WICKEDNESS);

And IF thou draw out thy soul (offer help. extend a hand) to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; THEN  SHALL THY LIGHT RISE IN OBSCURITY, AND THY DARKNESS WILL BE AS NOON DAY.”

So you see ALL these good things we receive are a blessed result of allowing that LIGHT, light so bright that EVEN at it’s very darkest would be is STILL as bright as noon day.

And as we also note, the human, fleshy issues are “defective flaws” in our own lamps, NOT a problem with the main power source, so it is never a question of “just can’t get a prayer through” it is question of check our own lamp for weak spots in our “cords” because there is NO weakness coming from the source.

The biggest cause of becoming a dull, dimming, and flickering light and loss of “power” can be explained with Ecclesiastes 10:1: “Dead flies cause the ointment of apothecary (perfume) to send forth a STINKING savour (HORRID odor): SO DOTH A LITTLE FOLLY HIM THAT HATH A REPUTATION FOR WISDOM AND HONOUR.”

And what that means is this, for a person who IS known as a representative of the kingdom of Christ, and as a light and are respected FOR their wisdom and reputation for doing “the right thing”, honoring God and playing by the rules to suddenly switch seats and let the flesh have its way either with actions, or words, or downright willful sin, whatever the means, it becomes equivalent to having traded off a beautiful aroma for a rotting, maggot invested stench.

Notice the word LITTLE, it can happen fast and it can happen very easily.

And we have ALL said and done things in our Christian walk that we regret, or at least I know I have.

And it IS so imperative to admit when we have hurt another with our words or our actions and be quick to ask them for forgiveness and to make a sincere effort through prayer and fasting to overcome that issue within ourselves that is causing the problem.

For many it can be temper, pain, participating in inappropriate activities, even inappropriate jokes and movies because God sees our every move and hears our every word.

We can easily fall into that folly through something as simple as us “having a bad day” and running with that loaded emotional gun, keeping the anger and just waiting for “one more person to say one more word” before we lose it and unleash the venomous poison of our mouths and thoughts.

And it is those days that we have to seek the Lord all the more, because once the enemy gets “your dander up” he is not letting up until you take it to the Lord and let it go.

Again, not picking on anyone, been more than guilty enough myself of having days of “spirit versus flesh” and finding all too true that the “flesh is weak” and it that weakness becoming too strong in anger and self-will to even listen to the little voice that tells us to calm it down and get a grip. 

We have to let go of foolishness such as false pride and stubbornness, God HATES these attitudes and He will help us overcome them IF we are sincere and if we refuse that help we will be left with the “pride cometh before a fall” repair. 

The greatest tragedy is when others have looked for guidance and hope and that spoken “wisdom” in us and they see flesh and all the the same attitudes of the “world”, they then become discouraged, disheartened, and twice hard to be won to the Kingdom.

If the light they see is not constant, burning bright in good times and completely out in the bad, if they see the flickering, and wavering, what are they seeing any different from what they see in the world?

If the light seems to brighten and dim at will, randomly deciding what is shown in light and what undesirable behavior is to be hidden in the darkness Then does that light not run the risk of having the source of that light “hidden” from itself?

As Jesus “hid” himself from them after he had warned them to WALK in that light WHILE they had that light, and to BELIEVE in that light so that they would also be children of light, should we not also carefully consider his warning for our present day?

Our biggest issue with this in this present time is the “war with the world”, we have so caved into the thoughts and ideologies of this world that we have weakened our own beliefs of the Gospel to the point that even the “church” as a world body has lowered the standards that were never negotiable, to the point that scripture can be twisted to fit any “belief” desired whether or not that belief is of a sound Godly doctrine . 

If it is to change, we must change our own thinking.

We will only be responsible for our lives and by that same token WE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR LIVES!

We will have no recourse in telling the Lord one day that “everyone else was doing it to” or that “the church down the road taught…”

No, He gave us his word and his word we live by, He gave his Spirit to lead us and to guide and when we are continually walking in the flesh and sin, with no desire to repent or change and far worse, NOT EVEN seeing why we need to change.

We are to be lights and no one is going to find their way off a darkened path by using a lamp that has a burned out light bulb!

Today IS a NEW day, and God’s will, tomorrow will be a NEW day.

Let us all remember that each and every day and REMEMBER who we are called to be, lights offering up the fragrant scent of prayer and of praise to Him and letting all we do be done in hope of glorifying His name.

Ephesians 5:1,2,7-16: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;  And walk in love, as Christ hath also loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to god for a sweet-smelling savour (a beautiful aroma). 

Be not ye therefore partakers with them  (darkness of sin of this world) For ye were sometimes (once) darkness, but NOW are ye LIGHT IN THE LORD: WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT:

( For the fruit of the Spirit IS in all goodness and righteousness and truth)

PROVING what IS ACCEPTABLE unto the Lord.

And have NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 

For it is a shame to even to SPEAK of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the LIGHT: for whatsoever doth make manifest IS LIGHT.” 

1 Thessalonians 5:5: “YE ARE ALL THE CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT, AND CHILDREN OF THE DAY: We are NOT of the night, NOR of darkness.”

 Matthew 5: 14-16: “Ye ARE the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle (lamp), and put it under a bushel (basket) , but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto ALL that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The choice is ours and it is time to make the right one, CHOOSE to be that light, even if you weren’t yesterday, or last month, or even last year, CHOOSE today to be that light for Him.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Εξυπνιζω NB 2018

Martha, Mary & Ms. Medicority

“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain woman named Martha received (WELCOMED) him INTO her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

But Martha was cumbered about (DISTRACTED WITH) much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath LEFT me to SERVE alone? Bid (TELL) her therefore that she help me. 

And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful (worried) and troubled about MANY things: But one thing is NEEDFUL: and Mary hath CHOSEN that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:38-42 

Am I the only one that ever struggles with being BOTH of these ladies? I think probably not… but I want us to all think about the fact that even Martha’s, and Mary’s and their male counter parts, such as the disciples who questioned WHICH of them would be the GREATEST!

The prodigals brother who begrudged the dinner held in honor of the return of whom he viewed as “the slacker”.

The laborer’s who worked all day and were wroth that the “night shift” earned the same wage as they. 

Sometimes that battle is not with others, although that is quite common … but sometimes the biggest battle is WITHIN us. 

What I love with this story is that Martha WELCOMED him and clearly wanted him there and loved him and wanted ALL those who came to HER house to see HIM to receive that’s same warm welcome.

And almost EVERY single mention of Martha is the same… she is SERVING, working… working… working… no time to sit at his feet as her sister so often did. So we know from  this story that she was starting to get maybe just a little annoyed by this fact, there sat Mary and WHAT was doing? 

How could she just sit there just  ENJOYING the presence of the Lord, while Martha worked herself  to exhaustion is the question she pondered.

And we know she felt this, and when you really think about the fact that she was TALKING to Jesus, the God of the universe in human form, who was IN her house, and she is ASKING him, does he seriously not care that her sister won’t help and demanding that he MAKE her help! 

And as Jesus told her that Mary chose what was NEEDED, not only the most blessed, profitable, and pleasurable BUT actually NEEDED.

Martha DID want, I am sure her house to be clean, the guests served proper food, and every one to leave happy and eager to return, BUT in the process of this, she MISSED the good part, just as Jesus said.

She HAD him in her home, she had his presence surrounding all that was hers and but the WORK, the JOB, making sure that everything was done to perfection robbed her of enjoying that joy.

And I’m not picking on her, I wrestle with the “Martha” in me everyday, never enough time to do what needs to be done and trying to bring forth that fruit of the work of the kingdom with such ridiculous expectations that is often gets undone due to the sheer magnitude of unrealistic expectancy of the finished product! You know so tired from the preparation that you no longer have enough energy to cook the meal?  

And as far as us feeling that we have been let down or have no support with our work, we gotta ask ourselves this, when we get angry or resentful at others, were they actually ever SUPPOSED to be “helping” or did we juts expect them to?

Did we really even NEED help, or did we just WANT help to make the job a little easier? We can all sometimes hobo that train of thought, IF him, her, they would just “help” us with our work.

But in reality God calls us individually and sure they were sent two by two, but if God hasn’t called you into your calling as one of two, than obviously, whether it feels right, feels fair or not, it is just you., and with his SPIRIT, you and Him count as that two. 

And as she questioned the Lord as to whether or not he realized her plight, did she ever QUESTION her own thinking, that she was spending so much time worrying about the work that she completely forgot the greatest guest.

Do we sometimes get so caught up concentrating on the job that we forget that the God of the universe IS in the house?

During my little “break” I had realized that, I was so worried about this that, these dudes, who cares, who doesn’t, who could “help” me and who won’t, trying to run a separate blog just for ladies and this one which can be a whole lotta fire and brimstone, and I finally came to the conclusion that I was spending so much time being a “Martha” worrying over every little detail and trying way to hard to please imaginary people who would never be pleased anyway, and “proving” to myself and the world that I am called to do this, that I was completely FORGETTING who was in MY house! 

So what if I don’t write every single week, what if I don’t make much sense? What if every word isn’t correctly spelled and the grammar police are on my trail for run on sentences and bad jargon? I have been BLESSED to sit at the feet of my King, if I will CHOSE that good part! 

As I said I don’t think I am alone, I think many of us run the risk of burn out, as we begin feeling a pressure that Jesus NEVER put on us and if we don’t act quickly when we start to feel that burn out. We all start out as a “Mary” when we first encounter the Lord, helplessly enamored, learning everything we can and just basking in His presence and as time goes as we let that pressure mount as we take our roles as a Martha and begin our kingdom “service”. 

Unfortunately, we can become worn to the point as Martha, and become Ms. Mediocrity (or Mr.) when it is no longer about the fascination of just how real He is, or even about working in the kingdom, but that we allow ourselves to become so hum-drum and mentally dull from the “work” that we completely lose fact that we are blessed in precious moments that are not guaranteed to last forever.

Just as I wonder, Did Martha ever think in hind sight, about all the time she had spent worrying and fretting, regretting every troubled moment, considering that Jesus was shortly thereafter crucified, ENDING His earthly visits to her home.

Knowing all the time she could have spent just enjoying Him, as the Bible tells us concerning our own salvation, ” SEEK the Lord WHILE he may be found”.

I am not saying that we will lose our salvation, but I am saying, at least for myself, as was brought to my own realization, that sometimes we spend so much time TRYING to be Martha, that we forget that we NEED to be Mary and when we CAN NEVER be both, and no one should ever want to be Ms. Mediocrity!

Φλογίζω NB 2018

Love this artist and this new song is awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Feelin’ out the familiar footing”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading, Love and peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω Εξυπνιζω

LOVE this song!