PREPARED Part 4… what you are really being prepared FOR

“And IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED, WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?” 1 Peter 4:18

This verse should be the sound of the alarm bells ringing on that ticking clock of the return of Christ that should be a wake up call to all.

“Sinners or saints, young or old, black or white, meaning your views are dead set and you see no other “colors” in between.  Even green or grey,  just trying your best to find the way, meaning, whether we are newbies, “green” in the Gospel or have the “grey head” of wisdom from years in His service, we all should hear the terrifying WARNING of that verse. 

My sister and I have discussed this in great detail over the years. If you really dissect this verse, it really ASKS us to think long and hard about the very simple truth that IF the righteous, those who have exchanged the “filthy rags of their own righteousness” for the PERFECT covering of the righteousness of God himself stated  Isaiah 54:17(b) “…And their righteousness IS of me, saith the Lord.”

There is NO righteousness outside the righteousness of God. It is not possible for any human, or any other pagan belief system to offer righteousness to us.  Our righteousness will only be found through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and in the washing of our souls in His blood. This verse tells us that bearing ALL that, if we do the VERY BEST we can do, we will still SCARECLY be saved, which means just barely making it in.

And yes, I do realize there is a whole doctrine of once in grace, always in grace. I realize even more painfully the current movement is “Repentance? What repentance?” 

What I personally believe this line to mean is this, even though we ARE saved and our salvation is ASSURED (Romans 8:35-39) BUT being human and subject to all things human, all the snares of trying to live “holy” in an incredibly unholy world.

A world that not only encourages every kind of imaginable sin, but CELEBRATES those sins and even alienates others for NOT participating in those sins. The deception IS so strong, just as Jesus warned us of the false Christs, and false prophets.

Matthew 24:24: “For there SHALL arise false Christs, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.”

False teachers and false prophets that lie and deceive those who want a “commandment free” RELIGION and choose deception over true SALVATION. And he is warning us that this deception is so meticulously convincing that IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIS DIVINE INTERVENTION, HIS VERY CHOSEN WOULD BE DECEIVED! HE WILL NOT ALLOW US TO BE DECEIVED… UNLESS WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE.

Which also brings in two more verses. Matthew 16:24: ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, IF any man will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Notice the denial, denial of all the desires and whims of the flesh and of this world. Taking up that cross, having “crucified our flesh DAILY” through the renewing of our minds in his word, and following in HIS footsteps and HIS teachings and CHOOSE to be led by God, who does truly KNOW everything rather than a world who likes to think they KNOW more than even God, who CREATED it all, including them!

Forsaking ALL their high browed arguments against God, and against the very laws and commandments he himself designed FOR OUR OWN GOOD, and against the truth of his existence, trusting in their genetic frailty and decay because they simply REFUSE to acknowledge that their pompous minds could be wrong and that their souls could actually be subject unto a higher being, and that there could be a standard that they will be measured against.

And it is just easier for them to DENY his existence rather than to ADMIT their guilt.

Even though there is no “escape clause” in the Bible excusing us from the penalty of eternal hell and damnation because of our unbelief, quite the opposite, gotta have FAITH in him and in his existence. 

Hebrews 11:5: “But without faith it is impossible to please him;  for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

These pressures and these forces that make it so hard for US, that we SCARCELY slide by their traps, the traps of the temptations to sin, the traps of false doctrines whispered in our ears and bombarding us by television and media.

I, for one, think we need to stay away from even listening to these lies, I know others may “study” other “religions” but in doing so, they are opening themselves up to the “doctrine of devils” and allowing those polluted thoughts inside their minds, we are told specifically that all these teachings are AGAINST God and this will get you on the wrong side of the boat, fast.

James 4:4: ” Ye adulterers, and adulteresses, know ye not that THE FRIENDSHIP OF (with) THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL (wants to) BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD (makes himself the enemy of God).”

All the nonsense of learning each other and fellowship of “tolerance” is just more of Satan’s deceptions. God never said to hate others or mistreat them because of differences BUT his word tells us to STAY AWAY from all of it.

NONE of us EVER grow so much or climb so high that we are above temptation, snares and traps, as long as we are human and on this earth we can, do and will stumble, that is why we are told SCARCELY, but we repent, get up, go on and TRY it again!

One of the innumerable beauties of Christ is that HE IS faithful to forgive us, over and over, and over, when our hearts are sincere, his grace is endless. 

But for those who do err and teach sin and absolute contempt for his commandments and yet proclaim salvation to all whether they repent or accept Christ or not that somehow they are under a magical umbrella, teaching the complete OPPOSITE of repentance and salvation.

Matthew 15:8,9: “THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEARTS IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” 

He warned us right there! We are warned many times of the deception, that they WILL use his name, they WILL shout to the whole world that he is great, all this comes from their lips but in their heart, remember, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so IS he”, so their HEART, the truth of their belief is far, far from God or the things of his kingdom.

I believe that the false teachers DO NOT even believe in his existence.

I truly do not think anyone could believe in him and not fear teaching the things they teach. They teach the things people want to hear, to give them a false sense of eternal security never converting them to that actual security, in order to gain financially and in popularity. 

Sometimes it is hard to win people to the Lord, but truthfully, I think some of the greatest words we will ever hear in doing so, is these “I don’t want to be a hypocrite”, when someone acknowledges that they are not interested in serving the Lord, and that they FEAR the Lord and do not want to allow others to believe that they are while still unrepentant, that PROVES that there is HOPE for that person!

As long as they BELIEVE that HE IS, there is hope, as Jesus also told us, John 3:18-20“He that believeth on him is NOT condemned, BUT he that BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

And THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT, NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed).” 

This ANSWERS Peter’s question, WHERE will they stand at his coming? WHERE will the ungodly, those who deny, ridicule, and scoff at God, his statues, and his very existence?

WHERE will the sinners, I know everyone hates that word now, used to make people THINK, now just makes them angry, HOW dare anyone CALL THEM A SINNER?

That is a big one right there! Self-willed and prideful, lust of life, refusal to acknowledge that we could POSSIBLY do wrong!

We do not need to beat people over the head but when they are running the “reprobate risk” we need to give the a wake up call.

Sin is sin, and well, certain things ARE sin, you do those things, guess what, makes you a sinner! We have ALL been sinners! We ALL STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN!

That is part of SCARCELY! ME, you, EVERYONE fights sin! 

Again JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, THE MESSIAH, said THIS, point-blank, period, no ifs, no ands, and no buts. THIS is THE LIST of those who will NOT be allowed in his kingdom.

Revelation 21:5-8: “And HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE said, Behold, I make ALL things new, and he said unto me, Write: FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL.

And HE said unto me, It is done, I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I will give unto him that is athirst of the  fountain of the water of life FREELY. 

He that OVERCOMETH shall inherit all things: I WILL BE HIS GOD, and he shall be my son.

BUT THE FEARFUL (cowards), AND THE UNBELIEVING, AND THE ABOMINABLE (despicable, obnoxious, etc.), AND MURDERERS, AND WHOREMONGERS (sexually immoral), AND SORCERERS, (psychics, witchcraft, etc.), AND IDOLATERS (putting EVERYTHING before God), AND ALL LIARS, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WITH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

These are the words of Jesus, It is NOT written in red because John was writing to us what Jesus spoke to him, and we KNOW this is indeed Christ by His reference of Alpha and Omega.

Just to be so clear of WHOSE words these are, and the words of Christ are written in red, so Revelation 1:8: ” I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the beginning and the ending, SAITH THE LORD, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY.” 

He reveals his complete identity in this verse, HE IS the beginning of all things, HE IS the end of all things, HE IS everything in between.

He WAS, John:1-17In the beginning WAS the Word, the Word WAS with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD. 

The same was in the beginning with God. ALL things were MADE by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made.

IN HIM WAS LIFE; And the life WAS the light of men. AND THE LIGHT SHINETH INTO DARKNESS; AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. 

THAT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He WAS in the world, and the world WAS made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME;

WHICH WERE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld his glory, the glory, as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This WAS he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me IS preferred BEFORE me; FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME.” 

All that Jesus had said of himself. 

Humans can not look on the face of God, when Jesus came here, he came AS the Son of God, HE IS the Son of God, HE IS the Word, which did truly dwell among us and at his resurrection we were given the gift of that resurrection power which allowed the death of our flesh and spiritual birth in him because he actually DWELLS in us through the Holy Ghost.

But HE IS also God, which is why he referred to himself as IS and IS YET TO COME, meaning his return to earth and his kingdom that will be very much ON earth, precisely in what is now Jerusalem, soon to be NEW Jerusalem.

And as far as his Word, which HE IS, he left us all we need to know in the pages of his Holy Word, The Bible.

STUDY it for yourself, or get the audio version of the King James and listen to it. DO NOT take others words as his word, we are in such a time of deception and there IS only one way to heaven and the return to New Jerusalem and assurance of eternal life, and that IS through Jesus Christ.

1 john 2:22-23: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is an anti-Christ that denieth the Father and the Son.

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath NOT the Father: [but] HE THAT HATH ACKNOWLEDETH THE SON HATH THE FATHER ALSO.”

We have to have Jesus and we have to have his salvation and his forgiveness, and we will not have to ask ourselves WHERE shall we appear, when this world hears something similar to those spoken by the Lord in the Book of Amos, when they are told to “prepare to meet thy God”.

He’s coming back, ready or not, and we better be prepared to meet him.

Love & peace to ya, till next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

Posts in this series: PREPARED Part #1

PREPARED Part#2

PREPARED Part #3

More of the deception of hell: RESERVATIONS FOR HELL

Warding off the unworthiness

1 John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”

Why is it we can BELIEVE that Jesus Christ IS exactly who he claimed to be when he walked on earth, we can BELIEVE that he did indeed die in our place as the sacrifice for our sins and better yet, as John said, the SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD, and BELEIVE that he rose victorious from that death defeating even hell itself in that resurrection, but YET we can NOT seem to BELIEVE that those forgiven sins ALSO INCLUDE OURS? Why it that?

It is then enemy? Well, maybe a little, but he normally doesn’t have to prompt us into self-loathing because we all to often do it for him!

And I truly with everything in me feel like someone or maybe several are going through this torment right now and that is why I felt lead to do this. Once you ask Jesus for forgiveness and to save you, you ARE saved. And maybe you have messed up, but please be VERY reassured EVERY ONE messes up!

We will never be perfect, NEVER, he does not ask that we be perfect, he asks us to walk in his commandments and be quick to ask for that forgiveness when we do stumble.

The only perfect he requires is blamelessness, meaning do everything to the best of our ability, and getting back up and trying it again when we don’t quite make that grade.

But there is such a mind-set of “unworthiness” choosing to FORSAKE and WILLFULLY NOT ACCEPT forgiveness choosing rather to punish ourselves, when Jesus DIED for our punishment! WHY do that?

Just as Jesus used the debt parable, can you HONESTLY tell me that if you owed someone a million dollars and NO WAY to pay that back and that person suddenly OFFERED to write off that entire debt, that you would refuse?

So why suffer every single in emotional and spiritual torment when God is NOT asking you to do that? He will give peace and only he can and once we surrender to him that peace WILL come.

He is NOT putting you in remembrance of every wrong you have ever done, He is BECKONING you to COME to him and give him all that pain and regret so he can COMPLETELY destroy it.

That is what he does, he literally REMOVES all of that and it NO LONGER EXISTS. Just as tomorrow IS already dead, those past sin ARE already dead, you just have the guilt and regret that also must DIE in him.

Think about the explanation of baptism:

Romans 6: 3-11: ” Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO SHALL WE WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this that our old man (past sins) IS crucified with him, that the body of SIN might be DESTROYED that henceforth we SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.

For he that is dead IS free from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we BELIEVE that we shall also LIVE with him: 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; KNOWING THAT DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION (power) OVER HIM, FOR HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE:

BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD. Likewise reckon (consider) YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”

See that is the deal, NO ONE EXCEPT JESUS could die in our place for that forgives and in him our forgiven sin ARE dead, but in him the “new” us LIVES.

That is the mystery that CAN NOT be understood UNTIL you accept him, and I do not mean the “world” church that has NO repentance, I mean truly repent and truly accepting forgiveness.

And if you were not under real conviction and feeling true repentance you would not be wrestling with this issue, so that is also a blessed state (although it probably doesn’t feel that way right now.. one day it will) we can not save ourselves, we can never be “good enough”, we can never “live up to it” and we can never ever be concerned with the non sense of “waiting until we can live it” as the saying goes, you see from our verses WE CAN’T LIVE IT!

We were never asked to live it! We were told to allow Jesus to take away our sins and DIE to our old life and LIVE IN HIM, because ONLY he can live it! And as far as feeling unworthy, churches are full of people who have felt the SAME feeling you are feeling, we have all wrestled it because we are all UNWORTHY, that is why we are told He ALONE is worthy!

We have to take our eyes of our OWN inadequacies and FOCUS on gratefulness for that the fact that He is far above adequate, His forgives goes beyond any word that could be used.

Think about Peter, after it hit him when Jesus had blessed them with a catch of fish so bountiful it was on the verge of sinking their ships.

Luke 5:8: “When Simon Peter SAW it, he FELL DOWN at Jesus’ knees, saying, DEPART FROM ME; FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN.” 

Does Peter really  sound like he FELT worthy to be in the presence of the Lord? NO, He is literally asking Jesus to LEAVE because of his own feeling of UNWORTHINESS!

And today if you are going through this, you are also, SERIOUSLY ASKING JESUS TO LEAVE WHEN HE HAS CAME TO YOU BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THERE FOR YOU!

Jesus went on to tell him, FEAR NOT and that has always been his message to all of us who seek him.

So remember today, we don’t have to worry about being worthy because there is only one who IS or will ever be WORTHY that is what he took the place for you and me.

And don’t worry about other people, there are always going to be “people” and there were plenty of people that hated Jesus, and refused to believe he was who he said he was.

And he taught us that “a servant can’t be above his master” so we can expect that, but you know, you are not setting out to please them or care if they believe you are NOT who you once were,

the only opinion WORTH caring about and the ONLY one who matters is the same one who alone is WORTHY!

Revelation 5:12a tells us this: “…WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGHT , AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.”   KNOW that those sins ARE gone, forever and PLEASE know you are not alone, HE LOVES YOU and He will give you peace once you just let go.

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

This is such a great song and it lets us know we ALL struggle, and it has been an encouragement to me, MANY times while I felt the old pain of unworthiness  but as this song says HE WILL COME TO YOU… LET HIM.

And the second song on this video is “Through the Fire” so please maybe listen to it also, because there is such healing in music and it prompts us to pour out our hearts.

 

“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!

 

 

W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry

 

“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? and WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,  I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. the baptism of John, whence (where) was it? from heaven or of men? 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say from heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell (do not know). And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” Matthew 21:23-27
This is one of those extremely comforting Bible stories that remind us that Jesus Christ IS our High Priest who DOES understand every single thing we go through.
I really detest the fact that I have to use this blog to address this issue that I am growing quite tired of addressing and we will deal with that at the end of this post.
I am one of those “lucky” ladies who have to privilege of removing my own (WP) followers.

Satan does like to send some “live “ones my way.
And occasionally the OTHER “live” ones are sent this way also.

So between the freak-show Casanova wannabe’s who seem to NOT notice the title REVEREND and think I might be up for some..something and dealing with the “Good ol’ boy’s ministerial club” THIS sure can be a whole lotta fun!
I tried unsuccessfully last night to leave about a fifteen hundred word comment on a fellow bloggers post, he had recently started to follow my blog and after I read some of his work, there was no secret about how he felt about “females” in ministry, so I was just going to give him a different point of view but unfortunately when I hit “post comment” I was met with “invalid security entry” and eventually just removed him from following me for the second time, being that anti-female, I know if they are reading it is for the wrong reason.

So rather than write all of it again, “explaining” “FEMALES” in ministry, I decided to just “once and for all it here and just send this out to anyone else who wants to argue the point.

A point I am NOT going to argue. I WILL say my peace because I am sick to my death of it and THIS IS MY BLOG, I didn’t go looking for their churches, so if they want to come here, and read my posts in some sort of hope of finding “heretical” proof as fodder to kindle the fire as they tie all of us “female folk” to the stake for “preaching without a Paulinist license” well, they may just have another thing coming.

This is NOT just for me, I WANTED to do this for ALL the women whom Christ HAS CALLED, who are going through or have been through this gauntlet of the “brotherhood” and for those whose wounds received while running that gauntlet has left them laying in ashes, I want to encourage you, my sisters, GET BACK UP!
Women in ministry… stands for THIS… Wounded, Ostracized, Maligned, Estranged, Negated.

I will share the “high-lights” of my ministerial journey and I am sure many of you have been there and many more I hope to encourage, because it IS not just you, it is par for running the course set before us.

Of course NO ONE tells us this upfront, because after others discover that we have been called, the “wounding” starts.
When I was first saved, I was so scared and shy that when they called on me to testify I would actually shake and dreaded being called on to read a scripture because I was absolutely terrified and quite content to sit there and listen.

But soon I started being awoken in the dead of night with an overwhelming need to read the Bible, as I try to be so clear about my past, I had been an absolute heathen and knew only what I had studied with my Dad while growing up.
And soon this became more of an obsession and I took my study Bible to work and studied every possible chance I had, I could not put it down.
After I became a mother, I would take care of my baby, and at that time my husband was gone about twelve hours a day and of course my family visited us a lot, but my point is this, I would take care of my baby, who soon became a toddler, on onward, clean my house, take of my pets, do ALL that life requires and then after my family had fallen asleep, I would spend the rest of the night studying the Bible until four or five am and get up the next day and do it ALL over again.
So it does irk me pretty badly when these guys who have had the PRIVILEGE of mothers and wives “taking care of them” and had the PRIVILEGE of seminary school and classes to learn what I, and many other ladies had to absolutely sacrifice to learn and I am NOT complaining and I am NOT begrudging and I thank Jesus EVERY DAY for the precious gift that HE has given me to be a MESSENGER of HIS Word.

And I know MANY other WOMEN who have been through this same “course of training” and what really bothers me the most is when CERTAIN guys and ESPECIALLY certain denominations teach that somehow WOMEN would do all this to somehow gain power to USURP some magical authority over them.
Look dudes, DON’T even kid yourselves! I have no desire to be anything OVER a man, I want to minister to the ones God has sent me to and as far as the old “men pray for men, women for women go” that kind of thinking does not even belong in a church!

If anyone is thinking this way.. instead of worrying about who is laying hands on who, they really need to hit the altars and get their mind right.

My first pastor was an absolute awesome man of God and was the first to invite a “lady” to minister at that particular church, which was one time and after he passed away the new pastor also “ALLOWED” (wow, what a term..) another lady to minister, as soon as she stepped foot behind the podium, one entire pew of the congregation got up and left.

She happens to be a dear friend and just having SEEN this was such an encouragement to me in my later years, because at this time, I had NOT been technically called.
But in such grace and beauty she APPEARED unscathed, she ministered a beautiful candle-light sermon (A candle which I STILL have to this day, and I am also sure she also financed all the candles, holders, and tiny flashlights for the children, because that is another aspect to being female, YOU pay for your own ministry) But she did not show one tear, but I KNOW how deep that cut had to have been and how deep that scar has to go this day.

BUT she STOOD, she stood just as Steven stood as they stoned him, she STOOD just Paul stood when he took lash after lash, repeatedly and on more than one occasion.

She stood just as Mary stood when they laughed in her face when she announced Jesus’ resurrection, to which I have never read one APOLOGY given to Mary for outright accusing her of being a mentally deranged liar.

And we have NEVER discussed how she was wounded, ostracized, maligned, estranged, and negated.

My favorite one is negated, it means “rendered worthless as a truth” and she probably never had a clue what her stand would mean for the rest of us BUT God did.

And others who have been ostracized by their own fathers, maligned and estranged for BEING a vessel of God and choosing to OBEY God at the price of having their own father’s DESPISE them and think they are heretics on their way to hell.

I have listened to them tell their stories as ENCOURAGEMENT to those of us who would SOON travel that road, stories told their tears and heartache, bearing evidence that those wounds and those tears would only cease existence once wiped away by the Saviors hand in New Jerusalem.

But I was blessed on that count, I have a very supportive father, who has had his fair share of discussion on the subject with those not so inclined.

And my late uncle, whose influence is one of the reasons why I choose to carry my maiden name into ministry.

He was who encouraged me to be bold and to tackle the really difficult subjects that I usually work with and his encouragement to NEVER see myself as a WOMAN but as what GOD called me to be.

And when God opened the door for me to start writing a blog, he had actually prayed with me the day BEFORE I wrote my very first post.

I was so excited and also TERRIFIED, because the particular church had an impeccable reputation and I was scared to death to even try to articulate the word of God under their name after having spent a lot of television time listening to the sermons of the pastor years earlier, it was hard to stand in that group.

But I tried and I did my best and I pulled back a lot, things that now under my own ministry, I am “free” to say without the fear of “bringing reproach” on another ministry.

And it is my uncle’s sweet face and gentle voice calling me “little girl” and encouraging me EVERY single time I feel the anointing fire rise up in me to tackle a subject that I KNOW is just going to garner a little fuel to the destructive fire of hatred and misogyny that burns against me.

As I go a little farther, I could really use that encouragement as I go through my own story, so I’ll probably add his beautiful face in this post.
But on with it when I personally was called there were only THREE people in the entire church that knew, including myself.

By this time things had changed and there was still ONE preacher whose family had always been part of the church and somehow one night the subject of female ministers was brought up at which he was quick to pull out the scriptural big guns of SILENCE.

To which I asked from my pew, in a new-found boldness, “What if God ANOINTS a woman?” to which my question was met with a glare and when his appointment time rolled around again it was a”being tied to the whipping post” extravaganza.

This actually had answered a prayer for me, I had technically received my “hands on and prophecy” calling through another minister, who mainly ministered in another state and came by appointment, and this entire time, he felt that I was being disobedient to that calling by not doing anything to proceed forward.
And I was always thinking, “You just do not have a clue what I am up against” and he didn’t, he had never seen this, because the majority of the congregation all held the same belief, we just WANTED to enjoy God and the gender of the messengers was of no importance ONLY the anointing of that messenger.
And I had prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to please tell him that I was not being disobedient, I just did not know what on earth I was supposed to do in the situation that I was in.

God worked out so that he did come to church on the other “ministers” night and heard EXACTLY what I had to deal with, and he sat there that night, every ounce of color completely drained out of his face, (not to mention mine) as we ALL were thoroughly beaten with the “twisted” classic verses from the Books of Timothy and Titus, and left with the resounding voice from the pulpit that WOMEN ARE TO BE SILENT IN CHURCH and ANY woman who preaches is NOT of God.

What really broke my heart about this was that one night (when Sir Silence WAS NOT there) a tiny little girl had asked for prayer because she wanted “to be a preacher like her late Papaw when she grew up” and we had all prayed and asked the Lord’s anointing on her life and then three weeks later, that same child is HEARING this.
But for me, those scriptures WERE NOTHING NEW, I had spent many nights crying and praying, asking the Lord, HOW, how on earth could I possibly do this? HOW when Paul’s teaching said ABSOLUTELY NOT?
Does anyone think, really BELIEVE that women in ministry DO NOT KNOW THESE SCRIPTURES?
We probably know them much better because we have had to tearfully WEIGH them against the SPIRIT OF GOD calling and prayerfully consider HOW THEY ARE BOTH ACCURATE.

To understand this, you HAVE to understand that the Bible is made up of WRITTEN accounts and Paul’s teachings are MAINLY LETTERS to individuals and churches AT THAT TIME.

Of course it IS the inspired WORD OF GOD, but as Paul said in the infamous 1 Timothy 2:12: ” But I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach, nor to usurp (have) authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

Now we have a couple of things going on here. Paul WAS persecuted, just like the persecutions WE are suffering. He wrote quite a bit about it.

ALL the disciples went through it because what they were called of God to do what did not line up in the elders and leaders EYES of what scripture taught.
They were not allowing for the supreme authority of God over human action.

Remember when Mary questioned “How can THIS be?” and Gabriel replied that “With God NOTHING shall be impossible.”

Paul also used the word I, he DID NOT say that “The LORD suffers not”…. the history on this is that he was under such persecution from a group of Jewish women, who were basically coming in and teaching AGAINST the Gospel, that HE forbade women to speak and that they had to ask their husbands whatever they needed to know AT HOME, because they were TO BE SILENT during his teachings.

So since that time you have this scripture being ran wild with and used a power tool against wives and women when PAUL also SAID this:

Galatians 3:28: ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST.”
And what I find most HYPOCRITICAL about guys who carry this doctrine is the fact that say that it is perfectly “okay” for women to teach OTHER women and children… and it is “okay” for them to sing, answer phones at church… all sorts of activities INVOLVING THE USE OF ONE’S VOICE… and YET they argue the SILENCE scriptures.

That is a complete contradiction.
Using THAT same scripture… at NO time did he make allowance for these activities!
Did he boys? SILENCE MEANS SILENCE.
And this really tells the tale.. it is not about being scriptural pure and right.
It IS about good ol’ time honored male dominance.

Of course we are “permitted” (WOW, again what a word) to speak when we are making your phone calls, having church sales, teaching those women and children that you don’t want to have to deal with… rather convenient.

It is also the fear of their own shortcomings. It is their own need for church house superiority when we know that in the true body of Christ, HUMAN SUPERIORITY does NOT exist!

So I want to ask those who seem to think we would subject ourselves to this torment and hatred if our callings were NOT from God just for the purpose of somehow having “authority over a man” a few questions.
I want to ask WHAT was receiving your calling like?
Did you have the privilege to have your pastor proudly announce to the entire church that “Brother—– has been called to preach”?
Did everyone shake your hand and congratulate you?
Did your Mom and Grandmother cry tears of joy?
Did you receive calls of congratulations of fellow clergymen and invites to discuss thoughts on scripture?

I am SURE you did!

Let me tell you what it is like for US.

Our callings are kept on the down low and often we are under such pressure from those who say they are unbiased but secretly are, that we have to check and recheck every single word, scripture, and reference or face the “correction” by our peers which only “proves’ we shouldn’t be “doing a man’s job” anyway.

I have been under a couple of pastor’s and the one that shocked me the most was this little slip, I HAD the appointment and so he opens service and went rather long and brought me up with these UNFORGETTABLE words, “Well, I BAKED the cake, now Sister Nina is going to FROST it.”
Yeah, it was nice to know my sermon was PREJUDGED TO BE FLUFF.

And that is just about how seriously we usually get taken.
I did get some good feed back and a cute comment from one person who had noticed the remark.

And let those congratulatory hand shakes turn to looks of disgust and the reproach by fathers, coupled with the fear of people you GENUINELY like, turning on you because they now think your “of the devil” and no longer want anything to do with you.

And if you complain about the inequality, somehow it becomes YOUR job to go talk to Sir Silence and CONVINCE him of your argument because the church is NOT going to tangle with him, but if YOU can get HIM to CHANGE HIS MIND, that will be groovy.

It took FOUR years to finally get my ordination, a paper that means nothing to many but meant everything to me, for me it was PROOF that this is God’s will and I had asked God that.

And YES, my mother cried and my sister cried BUT they were crying because they KNEW what I had endured for that “piece of paper”.

A paper that must be renewed yearly and a separate “paper” allowing certification from my state to perform legal marriages that does not even HAVE a female option, it is pre-printed with the word HIS and HE before the name space that is filled out.

Now this is a state that has LEGAL homosexual marriage BUT not a form with a he/her for ministers names.
It gets better, this will be a bit graphic, but I’m not going to hide the attacks of the enemy due to my own discomfort, congratulatory calls.. yeah.. the very night after I received my calling, my telephone rang, I answered it and was promptly met with a man’s voice which said ” Will you———, to translate a little differently from his actual words… “perform certain oral services on a certain appendage”, now that one I could not even bring myself to even try to relay to my husband.

I have also received very select pm messages asking sexual questions, I would have been happy to discuss the Word and discuss SERIOUS concerns but as a servant of God, I KNEW the motivation behind it was NOT for the Gospel.
And my latest, shortly after starting the new “ladies”blog, I gained a “follower” whose profile held nothing back as far as intent nor his very graphic descriptions of what he felt were his “attributes”, that one I did let my husband read before removing him, because I have finally reached the point that I am no longer shocked, I understand that satan feels the need remind me of his feelings about my worth, and all I could truly say to this one was “Seriously?”
TELL ME, male ministers have to deal with this!?

I do realize we ALL are fought but you guys do not have a clue as to the weapons used against us.

And unfortunately certain of our brothers of the cloth ARE the greatest weapons in satan’s arsenal against us!
And those discussions of scripture, well, the most memorable of mine were with a guy who is absolutely as hard-core as it gets, his wife did not wear pants, drive, nor was she allowed to have ANY money whatsoever, or any knowledge of their finances, and any contact I HAD to have with him became a ” sword fight” of scripture to try to “test” my knowledge of the Bible.
It also consisted of the age-old “make-up wearing JEZEBEL” that tempts men to lust, to which I finally shut him up with, “Jesus knows I wear make-up, I wear it for me, and I’ll wear it like a clown if I want to.”

And Jesus taught that the responsibility for lust fell upon the one feeling it.
But my most favorite questions he asked as he was “agreeing with women “preachers” is this gem… “Do you know WHY God called women?” .. I couldn’t WAIT to hear this one.. so I asked “Why?” to which he replied “Because MEN wouldn’t do THEIR job’s.”

Hmmm. is that it? Considering the scriptures stating that we “are pre-ordained, predestined, and CALLED BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD”

I would truly think that HE already knew what gender that He would create us to be.
But who am I to argue the WISDOM OF MAN?!!!

When I feared truly falling into disobedience I reached out to another pastor who is of the same belief system, and he had just announced one members call, and so after church, I BOLDLY (it took every ounce of courage I had) asked him, what was his thoughts on female ministers, he was QUICK to inform that “he was NOT recruiting” so I told him that was no big deal, I wasn’t asking for that, I just wanted to know if he thought it was acceptable with God.
He goes on to tell me that he grew up with women and personally had no problem with it BUT that his congregation would never “go for it”.
The irony in this was that this particular pastor is black with an all white (or at that time) congregation and my being a white woman asking a black man to advise me with my calling our chat was truly the equivalent of something that might have been said between our ancestors …You know, like “I am okay with you… I actually HAVE black friends.. but I can’t let my white friends know that.”

That was another time I was so hurt and embarrassed that I had even asked that I told no one for YEARS.
I truly DID NOT even want him to “take me in”, I honestly, at the time was seeking spiritual guidance, someone to help me understand what I was called to do and how to go about that and be in the will of God.

But God is so good and soon reconfirmed many things to me and sent me to a church where I was viewed as a PERSON, not male or female and opened up a path for me.
But I did have to leave everything I knew and walk by faith, not knowing if those doors would be slammed and the constant voices back and forth of “your going to hell because women are to be silent” versus “You must obey the Lord.. REGARDLESS.”

I know this has been long, but it has been necessary, because as I said GOD GAVE ME MY MINISTRY and I will not allow those who would read my work as fuel to further reproach and tear apart women ministers to continue to do so without a little warning, “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHETS NO HARM”

This ministry is for ANYONE who wishes to stop by and hopefully study the Word of God with me and know that GOD DOES LOVE THEM!
And I would also take a moment to THANK all my TRUE brothers in the Lord, there is a world full of awesome, God-fearing men out there who do not hold these misogynistic beliefs toward us.

So I think it suffices to say, I have taken my stripes and if you are a woman going through this, please KEEP praying, keep STUDYING, and be ATTENTIVE to every door the Lord opens and don’t be afraid to move on when he allows one to close

At the height of my struggle with it, I had a dream, in this dream I was walking in this building that had all these little side rooms, and they looked like little hospital chapel rooms, they all had wood-paneled walls, and I kept walking and saw one room with an older man standing and praying, and it was like I knew I was SUPPOSED to go in there, and I said “I can’t go in there, it’s all old guys” and it was just like “GO”, so I went in and the gentleman just looked at me for a moment and not saying a word went back to praying, so I started praying too and woke up.

I took that as comfort but I assure you it has not been easy.

And I want to give YOU the verse that the Lord allowed me to stand on and STILL stand on today.
REMEMBER those who were persecuted and falsely called evil BEFORE you.
REMEMBER what Jesus said when they were CONSTANTLY ACCUSING HIM.

Matthew 10:24-27: ” The disciple is not above his master, nor servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master (teacher) and the servant as his lord,

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (a devil)  how much more shall they call them of his house?

Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye from the housetops.”

I will admit this was one I was stuck on for a while… the Lord kept taking me to it very early on and I was not even getting it and then one day……
It means this IF and they DID call Him a devil FOR doing right, as His servants, we will ALSO be treated badly.
But He tells us NOT to be afraid, but to PREACH what He gives us from the “housetops” meaning LOUDLY, BOLDLY, and FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR!
When they try to shut you up and discourage you, REMEMBER this verse, from when they also tried to shut up Peter and FORBADE the apostle to preach Jesus:
Acts 5:29:” Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God RATHER than men.”
This is one God had a person give me BEFORE I even understood the true ramifications of it:
2 Timothy 2:3,4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth (battle) entangleth himself with the affairs of THIS life; that HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER.”
That one I actually have written on my Bible case.
And this one I have written on apiece of paper in the front cover of my Bible, MEMORIZE it and quote it over yourself.
It is ALSO written by Paul, whom they love to argue, read some of the things Paul went through and how often he was persecuted for ALSO carrying the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:10: ” But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM; AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN…..”
I apologize again for the length of this but there is no way to highlight a seventeen year journey using five hundred words or less 🙂 and I truly pray this helps even one you to stand your ground and stay your path, because I for one would rather men hate me than to stand before God and know that I failed Him in what He sent me here to do.
I love all of you and God bless you for reading and I appreciate it truly!
And I promise no matter how tough it looks, TRUST HIM and He will show you the doors that He opened BEFORE you were even created!

Dedicated to my beautiful uncle… till we meet again on those golden streets…

 

 

Uncle Monroe

Monroe Brown

 

 

Φλογιζω, Σαλπιζω, Εξυπνιζω, NBJ 2018

This beautiful song got me through many nights of tears: Shared from YouTube:

For a little more about women and the Word, please check out: AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

My year in review.. in the rearview

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen….” we all know that one by heart. And I BELIEVE IT!

I have BELIEVED it and I HAVE BELIEVED since I was saved March 13,2000, but actually I BELIEVED it before I was saved because sometimes life deals us hands with odd stacked so high that there is no way of winning without pulling that mysterious ace out of the hole and often we have forgotten exactly where that ace is hidden. 

Still digging on the New Years Eve card game with my parents last night. They love it and I know some people may think card playing is wrong but if you are not betting on it, it is no different from checkers, or chess, or video games in my opinion.

It was actually a wonderful evening. We always ring it in with my Mom and Dad and last night was exceptional, we watched some great Gospel signing, praying, we ate and then had our game of Spades, watched a Christmas pageant, watched the ball drop, blew ours horns and prayed the New Year in on speaker phone with my Sister. 

But anyway they are the sweetest people and every single New Years Eve is even more of a blessing because we are all together. We still always miss my brother Donnie, we always spent New Years Eve’s together at their house before he passed but death does one thing for a certainty, it reminds us, very painfully of just how precious each one of those moments of that countdown really are, and precious they are.

And we had been blessed to be gifted with a restaurant gift certificate as a family Christmas gift, so Mom taught it would be a good night to use that, so while my family was gone to pick up dinner, me and Dad listened to a Gospel music program and his shoulders have been hurting really bad over the last few weeks, so anyway I just felt like we should pray.

We prayed and just had the sweetest presence of the Lord, the kind of presence that just leaves you with tears of awe in His mercy, grace, and the fact that we as humans are so small and should be so insignificant, BUT He loves us so much that EVERY need we have IS important to Him. To know and be made aware that in the midst of an entire universe of heartache, trouble, and toil, a world full of problems and troubles much greater than our own, HE WILL take the time to hear us and touch us and let us know that HE IS still very much there.

And sometimes so beautiful about sharing tears of joy and awe with my eighty-four year old Dad that still amazes me. Couldn’t stand the man until I was nineteen, to say we had a troubled relationship would have been the understatement of the century. But when I had some problems we began to get close and actually talk to each other and he eventually ended up being the person who prayed with me when I got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost and once that took place I understood completely why we had always had such and argumentative, strained relationship.

God has plans for our lives and Satan knows who to put at each others throats. So maybe the person who always fights and argues with you is the person who you have already been predestined to win to the Lord.

He always said that me and my sister were “like daylight and dark” and I was always dark. I was also okay with him saying that because I knew that it was absolutely the truth. She was sweet and mild and I really was exceptionally vocal with my thoughts and feelings and extremely strong opinions and looking back I truly wish I would have been my supportive toward him rather than resent and rebel.

Funny things happen in life, when we are young and “flying” down that highway thinking we are Sammy Hagar signing, “I can’t drive fifty-five” raging through life at break neck speeds while we don’t even know where we are headed and we are going so fast that whatever image that rear view mirror is capturing becomes just a blur.

But add a little age, a few seasons, and a strong desire to become an old sage one day, things change… as we slow down we can see… we see what that mirror is trying to show us and it shows us life, moments, glimpse, memories, that are so close to passing up by and that we become so painfully aware that a day will come when we will long for those things that were once behind to be in view just once more.

And as the Bible tells us to “FORGET those things that are behind” we know we must stay the course and enjoy every second of the ride we have left.But it does hurt to think of the things we could have done so differently and how that would have affected lives for the better. And this year that is my deal.. to SLOW way down and look carefully at WHAT I am seeing.

As I went outside and I pondered and I thanked the Lord for the wonderful Christmas our family had… with loved ones that we had not seen in a long time and children running, playing and Mom glowing seeing her family together and I thanked him for my great-niece who lives a very busy life quite far away, and as she came to visit just a few days before making my parents day.

I thanked Him for what He has done for my family and my husband’s health and sending blessed help with burdens that few even know about and He has blessed in way that have just blown my mind and in ways and through people whose kindness  has been beyond measure.

And I have had to learn so much about MYSELF and face fears and deal with things I did not THINK I was quite prepared to deal with and it all, even though I FELT surrendered and I felt like I TRUSTED God, I have had learned lessons in trusting Him with the prospect of widowhood, as much as I have had times of wanting to choke my husband over our twenty plus years, I NEVER had to FACE head on the fact that I may lose him.

I had no CLUE what was going on inside of his body because he has always been the “strong” knight in shining armor.

I NEVER had to cope had in hand with my daughter FACING these fears together as she had to deal with the possibility of losing her Dad, while STILL coping with the grief of losing her uncle who was like a second Dad to her. We were side by side for the entire ordeal all the tests, the horror of being met with the dry erase drawing of his blockages, the doctor informer her that this is now in her medical history also, which another later told her that again, and I told him really fast that she is a teenager and they just needed to stop it, and thankfully nothing else was said. She had enough worry without them scaring her about her own health at that particular moment. And we stayed with him and sleep in his hospital room and it was all so surreal, so sudden but we saw the hand of God at every turn.

And all the daily issues that came along for the ride, other family issues, worries, and snares and TRYING to fix a few things my way only to realize some things may never change and some of our inner wounds are so deep that we may NEVER be able to get past certain hurdles.

I am speaking of myself there and the fact that I have just truly had to admit to myself that i went through what I went through over twenty years ago but I don’t know that I will ever feel safe in certain working conditions again and I don’t know that I can ever go “back” to the comfort of never worrying about looking over my shoulder, not because there is now a need to, but simply because we can never undo what has been done.

And I have had to painfully accept that, I love people, I love working in public but I know deep down inside that I may be able to swing it for a few weeks but I am never going to be the same and a work environment of  large windows and public service is not going to be a thing again.

So I have had to learn a whole NEW level of trust and as I thought about all these things and ALL He has done and the ways He has made in absolute wilderness a beautiful thought came to mind… “GREATER WORKS THAN THESE…” and I am so holding to that verse, for me, for you, for this entire world! GREATER…. and TRUST and FAITH are the doors that lead to those greater works.

When we ARE helpless, ARE hopeless, and ARE without remedy as the scripture I clung to, “Who AGAINST hope BELIEVED in hope”…. that is when those doors open to GREATER because we KNOW, we have been TAUGHT that even though we KNOW it, we REALLY see it put to the test, that He is not going to let us fall through those cracks, He is not going to let the world swallow us up, and He will NEVER leave us comfortless.

And most of us have been wounded in life and wounds leave scars, and some things may  NEVER be completely “alright” and make us feel like we will never be able to cope or handle certain things ( and maybe we can’t) and make us question our ability to stand one more second and even feel “flaked out” or as my daughter said when she was little.. about a horse on a cartoon, “not all there, up there”

The past year I WAS a mess, I WAS freaked, I WAS scared, and I WAS fogged over but HE NEVER WAS!

He is NEVER a mess or blindsided by what befalls our human states, HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and like the old Gospel hymn and the words of Paul.. when I am weak HE IS STRONG and for all of my fears He gives faith and for all of my tears, He has given me peace and in that awe IS the Joy of resting in HIS STRENGTH and sometimes in life we just need to be reminded of that!

Thanks for reading and I pray you are having a blessed beginning to a beautiful New Year!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

I have loved this song for years and I hope you love it too!

Personal best

“..And let us run WITH patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1(d)

There is nothing like the feeling we have when we first come to Christ and we have been forgiven of our sins and washed and everything is made new. I want to say one thing… keep that feeling!

The enemy has a funny little way of trying to come in and whisper things in our ears the moment we get saved and we often feel pressure from within ourselves asking “Now what?”

Salvation should not be a chore or performance based, the feeling like one wrong move and you’re going to hell.

It should be JOY, and JOY evermore. But as I said the enemy lies and when Jesus saves us,we ARE saved and we are NOT required to do anything other than keep God’s commandments and do OUR personal best in all things. We are all created differently and we all have different gifts, talents, and convictions.

The biggest trap of the enemy (and he will work this through people) is telling you that you should do this and you can’t do that and once that pressure start it will have you even second guessing if you are even saved. So do let it even start! And if you have not committed to Christ just yet, this maybe can answer a few questions to help you make that commitment.

Notice we are all called to run OUR own race, as Paul said he had finished his course (race) I can not run your race and you can’t run mine.  NO ONE will ever be able to complete the course God ordained for you.

It is one of a kind and that is why you have to be so careful AGAINST listening to the wrong voices, especially when you are “new” to the kingdom or “in the valley of decision” so I want to hit a couple of “stumbling blocks” and hopefully push them out of the way before you even happen up on them.

#1. God LOVES us, simply because HE DOES, nothing we have done, nothing we could ever do, nothing we could buy, nothing we could ever earn. He created us and He loves us. He WANTS us FOREVER with Him and once you have accepted Him and are saved He will not let anything separate you from Him, the ONLY way you can be separated is if you WANT TO BE.

Read Romans 8:28-39 for wonderful insight on just how strong the bond between us and God truly is. God said this:

Isaiah 49:15: ” Can a woman forget her sucking (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  yea, they may forget, YET I WILL NEVER FORGET THEE (you).”

Isaiah 46:4: “And EVEN to your old age I am he: and EVEN to hoar hairs (grey hair) WILL I CARRY YOU: I HAVE MADE, AND I WILL BEAR; EVEN WILL I CARRY, AND WILL DELIVER YOU.”

And Jesus said this: John 16:27: ” For the Father himself loveth you,because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” 

#2. Not a competition. The only person you “need” to be is YOURSELF!

Mark 10:38-40: “And John answered him, saying, Master, (teacher) we saw one casting out devils IN THY NAME, and he followed NOT us, and we forbad him BECAUSE he followed us not (told him that he could not do that because he was not with them).

And Jesus said, Forbid him NOT: for there is no man that can do a miracle in my name, that can lightly (soon afterward) speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part (side).” 

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

Luke 9:52-56: “And sent messengers before his face (Jesus sent), and they went, and entered into a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him (they would not allow him to stay there), because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? 

But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives BUT TO SAVE THEM. 

And they went to another village.” Doubt that James and John were good guys? Of course they were! But even good guys can unintentionally steer you wrong! The Samaritans hated the Jews and these people thought Jesus was going to Jerusalem for “religious” reasons, so they would not help him, if they only knew who they had refused!

But anyway, angry and offended, James and John ASKED him to GIVE THEM the power to torch these people, which is interesting too, He hadn’t given them that and they didn’t ask Him to do it himself, THEY wanted Him to allow them to do the job !

So maybe it wasn’t all about them “insulting” Jesus but maybe a little about the human response of “How dare they?” And you will find sometimes when people are pushing you in a way you don’t feel you should go, it could be that it’s not about you, or the kingdom, it can sometimes be good old-fashioned control.

Just as they didn’t want anyone using Jesus name without being one of them and you see each time Jesus sets it straight. So remember your relationship is between you and God, no one else. as we are told in Philippians 2:12, to “work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling” that means for us to be serious and knowing that it is only between us and God. 

#3 Relax IN grace. Know that no one knows everything nor will we ever. God does not require of us the things we do not know. When we are saved,we are saved by grace and His grace covers us as we grow.

The more we grow, the more we are taught, then the more we are held responsible for, but God is kind, loving, and merciful and knows exactly what you are aware of, capable of, and most of all ready for.

To fight CONDEMNATION, that either someone else tries to make you feel or the enemy tries to bring, use this verse, because after you’re saved GOD WILL LET YOU KNOW IF SOMETHING IS WRONG, you will feel it.

1 John 3:20,21: ” For IF OUR HEART CONDEMN US; GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEART, AND KNOWETH ALL THINGS. Beloved, IF OUR HEART CONDEMNS US NOT, THEN HAVE WE CONFIDENCE TOWARD GOD.”

Of course for that one to apply, you must be saved. But basically what he is saying, is this, God lives in you and if your heart is not convicting you then you are not condemned BECAUSE God is greater than your heart and you would certainly be aware of His will. 

Once you have been saved, those SINS are washed away FOREVER, they no longer exist according to God.

Romans 8:1: “There is therefore NO NEW CONDEMNATION to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Which means, once saved, we are FREE, FREE, FREE! And God wants us to ENJOY that!

Be happy and joyous in knowing that you are saved, that you can go boldly before the throne of grace to ask for help whenever you need it, and to know that the King of the universe has now called you not only His friend, but His child and heir to all that heaven holds! 

Keeping His commandments and loving and honoring Him, He doesn’t ask us for much because He takes care of everything for us, so enjoy your run and know it’s not about placement, it is only about your personal best.

Love, Peace, & wishing you a great week! Till we meet again!

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

“In Him”

John 14: 6-20: ” Jesus saith unto him, I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth (will satisfy) us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the father that DWELLETH in me, he doeth the works.

BELIEVE me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, THAT HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER; EVEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH;

Whom the world CANNOT receive, because it seeth him NOT, neither knoweth him: BUT YE KNOW HIM; for HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye shall see me:

BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. And at that day YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.”  

It feels good to write.. I really was wondering if maybe I had forgotten how to type and I am pretty sure over the last two weeks there have been countless times that I have felt like I had lost my ability to even think.

But I have learned truly “IN HIM” we all know, or should know that NOTHING is of us or in our human ability and if we think that we are truly mistaken because the only abilities we even have is what HE has given us.

But over the course of time since my last post so much has happened, has CHANGED and all of it out of my control and I have been set on a path my “brown recluse” self would have NEVER chosen BUT I know that I am absolutely NOT alone and if this is the path, my Father is truly walking by my side.. with maybe many moments of actually gently nudging me as I dig in my heels in one spot pleading with Him, that maybe that is just not where I want to go.

But somehow in my spirit, I have that reassurance that if He is leading me there, and leading me through the unwelcome changes than OBVIOUSLY, I NEED TO GO THERE and that comfort, the comfort of knowing HE IS IN ME and as long as I try my best and stay IN HIM, it will ALL somehow be alright and trust and know that I really DON’T have a clue, HE KNEW IT ALL…. AND HE KNEW IT BEFORE I EXISTED HERE and there is such a blessed FREEDOM in that.

After weeks of my husband’s “surprise” heart condition sinking in and really not wanting to be a widow anytime soon, I was already emotionally drained but we have a great church family who have stuck by us and offered so much encouragement and support and prayed faithfully, in times that I had more questions than answers, I do not question God, I often question MYSELF, MY ABILITY TO HANDLE WHAT I ALREADY KNOW I CAN’T HANDLE, and that is where the title came from. I don’t have to handle anything if God is doing all the handling!

He had his heart repaired using two types of stents, the one hundred percentage blockage was actually bypassed, which I KNOW was also God, because during the initial catheterization, the first recommendation was to be transferred for open heart surgery, and God changed this two more times and of course he is still in his resting period for a few more days and still has a road ahead but I know in this God gave us so much mercy and favor.

On about four hours sleep over a period of three days, I was blessed with a new job, my caller ID had the call listed about ten minutes BEFORE we came home from the hospital stay and this is was for a job that I have NEVER did, NO EXPERIENCE in EVER and I’m sure being physically tired and emotionally drained does NOT make for the world’s best trainee, but God has blessed me so much with my boss who is understanding beyond anything a person could ever ask.

And all the changes for our family and our lifestyle would not even stop there! I have done other things over the last two weeks that I have not done in close to twenty years!

And I truly wondered with a six-day work schedule, trying make sure I can hit one of the two Sunday church services, and my housework, family and other things, if I am even going to ever keep up phlogizo, and after several “archive” sticky posts, it feels great to actually write and hopefully after this “update” on the “widow-maker” one I will get back to my “normal” work.. and we all laugh hysterically because “normal” is not quite the word to describe my blog.

 He has reminded me so much lately, at one point during this that I was so tired and sleep deprived that I was physically at the point of shaking, just absolutely exhausted, and He touched me and honestly I woke up the next morning feeling so refreshed and with a peace in just KNOWING as crazy as life had suddenly become, all the uncertainty I felt was not uncertainty to Him and THIS is HIS plan, HIS way that IS so much higher than mine!  Through HIM and IN HIM we can do whatever life requires of us. And here are some beautiful reminders of that:

Psalm 90:1,2: “Lord thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.”

Psalm 57:1: “Be merciful unto me, O God: be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadows of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”

Psalm 46:1,2: “God IS our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT help in the time of trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

Psalm 48:14: ” For God IS our God FOR EVER AND EVER: AND HE WILL BE OUR GUIDE EVEN UNTO DEATH.”  Psalm 50:15: ” And call upon me in the day of trouble, I WILL deliver thee.”

Psalm 28:7: ” The Lord IS my strength and my shield; my heart trusteth in him, and I AM HELPED: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth: and with my song will I praise him.”

Isaiah 12:2: “Behold, God IS my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH IS my strength and my song; he IS also become my salvation.”

Deuteronomy 33: 27 (a) ” The ETERNAL GOD IS THY REFUGE AND UNDER ARE THE EVERLASTING ARMS….” And my favorite:

Ruth 2:12:(b)..”under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

IN HIM.. is there a more splendid place we could ever be?

Thanks for the prayers, love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

I love these lyrics and  this song! Music has such perfect timing..