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

The voice of Simon

“And one of the Pharisee desired (asked) him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisees house, and set down to meat (dinner). And behold, a woman a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster box (jar) of ointment. And stood at his feet, behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them away with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment (oil).

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake WITHIN himself, saying This man, IF he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman THIS IS that toucheth  him; For SHE IS A SINNER.

And JESUS answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee, and he said, Master (Teacher) say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed him five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both, Tell me therefore, which will love him most?

Simon answered  and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most, and he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven: for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, THE SAME LOVETH LITTLE.” LUKE 7:36-47

The courage it took for Mary to walk into that room, she knew exactly what they all thought and Pharisees, oh what we could say about Simon, what if Jesus had taken him to school and told him every single sin he had committed? But Jesus does not work that way, but Pharisees do.

He really nailed them when he referred to them as white washed tombs FULL of dead men’s bones, they will gag at a gnat and SWALLOW a camel. These are they who openly thank God that they are “not like that tax collector” over there.

These are they who claim they know Him and their smug religious superiority allows them to look down on and constantly backbite and trash talk others, because after all how could HE SAVE such sinners as they know people to have been or be?

They are “raging waves foaming out of their OWN SHAME” and whether you are a new Christian or have been on the frontlines for the Lord for a while, you have, or will, or are experiencing the voice of Simon.

Male or female, religious snobbery and arrogance knows no gender or social status and if they can’t see to their standards what the Lord has done in you, then obviously IN THEIR OPINION, it has not been done, AND THEY WANT TO MAKE BLOODY SURE THAT YOU KNOW THAT AND THAT YOU ARE NEVER UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU WILL EVER OUT RUN YOUR PAST!

That is what Simon wanted and his voice must be silenced in all of our ears, because when you know Jesus, you KNOW His voice! “But he that entereth in by the door IS the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he CALLETH HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME, AND HE LEADETH THEM OUT.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. And A STRANGER THEY WILL NOT FOLLOW, BUT WILL FLEE FROM HIM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF THE STRANGER.” JOHN 10:2-5

Jesus is giving us comfort that yes, others voices may call, other voices will try to persuade us to follow, but WE know HIS voice, His voice is Gentle, encouraging, and always, always leading us AWAY from our past. The voices of the strangers want to lead you back into a life of lies, and bondage, a life of misery, and hopelessness, just like Simon, he didn’t care if Mary was saved, as far as he cared she could split hell wide open, in HIS EYES he was pure as fallen snow and her.. well, not so much. 

Now with the courage it took her to seek Jesus WHERE he may be found, cry at His feet with an audience of haters staring her down, she had it rough, and if you want to be saved and this is what it is going to require, openly acknowledging and worshipping the Lord in an atmosphere of contempt, may I encourage you to do it!

Just as He shut Simon up, He will shut up those who discourage you. Sometimes the Pharisees will try to hunt us down in on our own turf, barge their way into your personal worship space with the Lord, as the devil is the “accuser of the brethren, (God’s children) and ACCUSES them night and day before the Lord”, it is so imperative to not let it get to you, go right on with the Lord and that puts the ball in HIS court and I guarantee you, when He gets through with them it will be as when the Egyptian’s were GLAD to see the Hebrews go because the plagues of God and His hand had been so strong against them.

We can not change any situation but God will, IF we stay out of it, and do not try to fix it ourselves or speak on our own behalf, if you notice with that, Mary never said a word, not one word, JESUS spoke on her behalf, HE IS our lawgiver, our judge, our refuge, and our strength and HE WILL DEFEND HIS CHOSEN.

And I know that can be hard when your being hassled and your flesh really wants to cut loose, go completely off, and all kinds of crazy on the “Simons”, but once we have made that mistake, we have extracted our own vengeance, when we should have chosen God’s because His vengeance is perfection.

We’ve covered them there, and here, but what about when you are desperately seeking God and trying to find your way? Most dangerous place of all and a hotbed of “Simons” the place that after salvation, we can get a little lax in “opening up” to Him and His will, and waiting too long to answer “His call” growing cold and lukewarm, realizing the mistake, dying to yourself, and start your “search”.

” I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped (dripped) with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened up to my beloved; but he had withdrawn himself, and was gone; my soul failed when he spake (heart went out in longing); I sought for him; but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

The watchmen that went about the city found me, and they smote (struck) me, and they WOUNDED me; the keepers of the walls TOOK AWAY my veil from me.” SONG OF SOLOMON 4:5-7

Now that is some damage, the kind of damages, “Simons” can cause, if you listen to them and do not stay close to God and KNOW who you are in Him, no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise, even while taking “your veil”, like Simon tried, by arguing who you are or were. Little harder to bounce back from that, but it this story, she bounces back with a new determination to show the world His love.

So now we know what we don’t want to listen too, please let me give you a couple of sharp swords of the word to help in your battle:

#1. HIS VOICE, HIS VOICE, HIS VOICE! “FEAR NOT; for thou shalt NOT be ashamed: Neither be thou confounded (disgraced); for thou shalt NOT be put to shame: for thou shalt FORGET the shame of thy youth… ISAIAH 54:4

#2. “In righteousness thou shalt be ESTABLISHED; thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt NOT fear: and from terror; for it shalt NOT come near thee. Behold, THEY shall surely gather together (come against you) but NOT BY ME (God does NOT send them) WHOSOEVER SHALL GATHER AGAINST THEE SHALL FALL FOR THY SAKE. ISAIAH 54:14,15

#3. NO weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and EVERY tongue that SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUDGMENT (bad mouthing you) THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME.” ISAIAH 54:17 

Great comfort because Jesus casts all our sins and transgression into the “sea of forgetfulness” and NEVER remembers them again, and “as far as the east is to the west” those sins are from his mind and that is how far they should be from your mind also. I know days are just days, but with the new year we can consider it the perfect time to tell all the old “Simons” to be forgot and listen NO MORE to their voices.

But challenge ourselves in the new year to listen to the voice of our Shepherd, who will tell you that you ARE new, you ARE clean, and those filthy rags that were your righteousness have now been exchanged for the glorious garment of HIS righteousness which covers you completely in HIs love, His protection, and under the shadow of His mighty wings!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have been hurt by words and people who just keep trying to remind you of your past, and keep trying to convince you that you have no future, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to this song, I STILL can not hear this song without crying because it has been so perfect for my heart and my walk and many, many trips with the “Simons” that have tried to make me doubt Jesus, but I KNOW Jesus, and I know from “miles and miles away LOVE saw (me)there and stretched out His hand to save (me) across the lonely ocean of (my) tears and he’ll walk upon the waves to save (me) if that’s what it takes” If you’ve been going through this, Please just listen to the voice of Jesus, because no one else died for you and no one else can save you and love you as He does! Simons looking for me can find me at the feet of the only one whose thoughts matter to me.

 

 

“EXPOSURE”

 ISAIAH 7: 14,15:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Butter and honey SHALL HE EAT, that HE MAY KNOW TO REFUSE EVIL AND CHOOSE THE GOOD.”                                                                                                                       

As we know these scriptures reference Jesus, whom was given good things and treated gently and kindly so HE WOULD KNOW and NOT choose the wrongs paths.

This is a very good argument against spanking and physically harming children and the more common emotional isolation and emotional abuse with words and shame.

Jesus was given good things so he would REFUSE the bad. I belong to the thought group that the major influence on a person is their environment and that if you can change that environment their life can be completely made new. That is not to say that environment can alter God’s will, it can’t, He is still God and still keeps His divine hand over many lives, EVEN when those lives are in absolute disarray.

But the environment of their circumstances can lead that to being a longer process, with many, many obstacles to be overcame. The enemy reverses all things of God and it becomes offering you the bad choices to make you feel compensated in that it presents itself as the only good out there for you.

As you notice this IS in reference to his childhood, we don’t need a Freud wanna be to enlighten us here, that this the time period where snares are set and where we are enslaved through psychological bondage. It is always accomplished in innocent, fragile minds and souls because the enemy wants to ensure it will last a life time.

You can see this so clearly in gangs and cults, and even often in certain types of prostitution and always, always in cycles of domestic abuse and the repeated problem of “picking the wrong guy”, you can’t PICK that many wrong guys! And it is also true for guys who chose women who belittle and mentally emasculate them, they often have domineering mothers and all in all the exposure produces a picture worth a thousand words, and those words speak volumes in lives.

It is the deceptive homing device planted long ago in vulnerable psyches that attracts the wounded to them and sends an unspoken code to predatory forces that you will be a perfect victim. Anyone really believe the “sixth sense” stalkers and serial killers possess (possessed is more like it) in tracking their victims is an all natural evil attribute that they just happen to have been born with? Research it, if you can’t see the demonic force at play there, you will never see it.

So what about the billions and trillions who WERE not given the good and did not know how to refuse the bad, when they seriously believe that “not as bad as…” is the only option given them? If life had been exposure to  evil after evil after evil?

That life will be like an overexposed photo, the light areas will be blurred and washed out, kinda like light IS there only not clear or well-defined.  What we have been exposed to does have impact on whom we become, the choices we make, and the way we live our lives BUT IT DOES NOT DETERMINE WHO WE ARE in Christ. 

That is the greatest news of the Gospel, there is NO life so dark, so tortured, or so messed up that it can not be redeemed by the one who gave it, but it is ALL in the exposure.

If you are underexposed to the good things, love, gentleness and a caring environment of respect, all the dark images will become darker. When someone has been exposed to violence, abuse and mental terrorism that exposure manifests itself in attempts to fit in and belong, feel love, feel whole and feel accepted and a need to be “normal” it explains how young people can be lured into joining gangs with them being beaten nearly to death as an initiation into that “family” and young women can be lured with attention and a false sense of security by men into a life of prostitution.

For many it will manifest as one big ride on a roller coaster of self-destruction, sick to death, desperately knowing you need to get off, but not ever figuring out how to make it stop.

Seeing it yet?  It all an attempt to feel LOVE, real love, love that will give itself FOR YOU not ask you to sacrifice yourself for it. Acceptance that you are accepted FOR you, not who someone else told you that you were or that you had to be. Belonging to a FAMILY, a family that protects YOU and cares for you and does not require your blood as proof of allegiance.

Jesus said “…and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT you know what He is saying is this, LOSE your LIFE.

LOSE the thoughts that tell you are not worth love, your thoughts that nothing good will ever happen for you because you “don’t deserve” to be happy. These ARE NOT GOD’s thoughts toward you, they are programmed lies to keep you miserable and in bondage.

LOSE the friends and family that only weigh you down and constantly reaffirm all the negative views and hate filled words that have already been more than hammered into your soul.

LOSE the users and losers and those who only want you as the whipping boy to curse and run after when they are stoned or drunk.

LOSE everything that hurts, binds, disturbs, and hinders your growth, peace and happiness.

FIND a NEW LIFE that heals, delivers, brings peace and above all a love and an acceptance by one whose love can not even be described.

FIND a God that loves as a father, a REAL father, not the biological person that aided in conception, who was so vicious and vile that he was wished away.

FIND a God that will be closer than any friend, brother, or sister, that will be there through your tears and will never give you “told you so’s” or down you.

FIND a spiritual spouse whose love  is so strong that HE died FOR YOU not want you to risk your life. or kill, or  steal for him.

FIND a God in whose arms your weakness IS made strong, whose GENTLENESS will make you great.

Find a God whose peace, mercy and understanding are unsearchable, who WILL cast your sins, failures and mistakes as far as the east is to the west and wash your crimson sins white as snow and make YOU completely NEW again.

The best part with Jesus is that He loves us JUST FOR US! He does not care what we have done or where we are or how we got there, and He will heal every one of those wounds that lead you to those dark places, He just wants to help you and save you and help you get on with the life HE wants to give you. But as always I really wish He would just come down and take us over BUT He does not work that way, He will not force His will on you, But He IS always there, waiting for YOU to ask Him, as Jesus does stand at the door and knock at our hearts BUT the handle is on our side, He can’t come in if we will not let Him.

And maybe the enemy is bugging you out with well, what does she know, perched on her  religious high horse? Well, actually I am perched on my super groovy swivel stool and I am not religious, I am saved. I am saved from the hardest things to overcome, demonic exposures straight from hell, my own bloodline, and most of all myself. My readers have most of my story weaved throughout enough posts to piece together some things but I had a brother, he was my part-time babysitter when I would be alone with him but I lived in a home with him 24/7. He had issues, and was also quite gifted at drawing pentagrams ( if that gives you a little insight to exposures) I did not even know what they were until I got a lot older, so he had problems and he made sure I did too. Mental terrorism can be quite effective at producing wounds that last twenty-seven years and those wounds can lead a life of living in sin, working in sin and an overwhelming need to fit in, belong, and just be normal. But I harbor no ill will and God has truly taught me that people have problems because they have been exposed to things that have harmed their souls.

The “normal” part is always what gets us all we hide our pain and the shame (which should not be there) in constantly trying to prove  how normal we are. But with me I could never escape  the spiritual chase of it all and my life truly was just one trauma after another and making it past eighteen was a feat in itself, enough pressure, a failed marriage thanks to my refusal to convert to Catholicism and I ended up right where the devil had wanted all the time and it was the ONLY place I fit in.

The thing with wounds that have been untreated for so many years grow deeper and deeper but once we allow God to heal us they become scars, I could never show anyone my wounds and once God started leading me with my writing, I began to understand how important it is to not hide the scars because some times the wounded need to see the scars of those that have been healed. Without those scars I may not have what I have today and that is a relationship with the very one who created me. And EVERYONE has a story and we can always find others who have fared far worse and have made it out.

” And THEY overcame him (satan) BY the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY the WORD of their testimony”….. forget what you have been exposed to, do not allow it to determine your today and your tomorrow. It does not define who you are, reach out and give Him your all and BE who HE created you to be.

If you “lose” life as you know it, what have you lost?  Pain, sorrow, pressure? What will you find? Peace, love, and joy, I may always have a hurdle or two but I also have a peace and a reassurance that I have a God who really does love me, in spite of me and no matter who rejects me, ridicules me or just outright despises me I am still His child and I have a peace in it all that He never fails, if I hold His hand He will not let me fall.

This song was on my heart to go with this and I feel it is for someone, if you have never heard it, please listen and please surrender, it is the most beautiful experience you will ever know.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

 

Accusations

 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for THE ACCUSER of the brethren is cast down, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT.”

                                                                                                      REVELATION 12:10

The ACCUSER of the brethren, all those who belong to the family of Christ. The oldest game in the book. I have had my fair share and I am sure you have too! Satan accuses us through his agents, other people who seem to have nothing better to do with their lives than to find someone to blame for their problems and that goes back to Adam, Eve, and the serpent.

I have heard the same accusation, seriously since 1986.  I had to really pull the book out on myself this past weekend and listen to that still small voice of scripture, that says, “Bless those who curse you, bless and not curse” and we ALL go through this. So I thought it would be a good subject (and free therapy for me!:)

Got to get into a shady little story with it though, it is about two people, one of which was my friend ( I say “was” because the ongoing drama led me to decide that both our lives could benefit by severing ties about twenty years ago) she ran off with a much older, married man leaving his wife and daughter with a never-ending life long vendetta to repeatedly try to force me to admit that I knew about it all the while. 

The funny part is that I DID NOT KNOW!  When all this went down I had only seen her  in person one time in around three years, rarely spoke on the phone but we did write each other. And when I heard it through the good old grapevine I was as shocked as anyone. One day I got a letter from her and she was in another state and confessed their undying love.  But from that point on every single opportunity the wife and daughter got I was under the Spanish Inquisition, no matter how many times I answer the same questions with the same answers for some ungodly reason they still needed to ask. I really truly felt sorry for them and I never thought it was right or condoned it but I had nothing to do with any of it.

This had really  became so bad that at one point they were even coming to the store I worked at and threatening to  “shop elsewhere” if I continued my friendship with her, but I had a fabulous boss who is still a friend and her reply was that “no one told her employees who to be friends with and she could just go shop elsewhere.”

So now that I am the “Brown Recluse” I hadn’t seen the daughter in years until another friends Dad passed away last year and Lo, and Behold the first thing she starts about was that mess!!! Here we are, with a grieving mutual friend surrounded with church people at funeral services and she is airing her family laundry for the whole world and whether or not I knew about it. It took everything in me not to let her have it right there but I like to think I am little more civilized than to cause a scene at a funeral. But I marked my words that no more, her mother had passed away and all this is just ancient history that she is going to have to deal with, without me.

So, I’m in a check out line the other day and someone bumps me with a shopping cart, guess who? This is about the time that I wish I had a force field that would radiate from me with red flashing lights and a warning siren that announces “Back away ! Back away ! You are entering the choke-zone! Proceed with extreme caution because you are about to cross the line.”  But I think my reply to her masked joke about bumping me and my body language must have spoke volumes because for the first time in thirty years I DID NOT HEAR about it. But I did become annoyed and thought all day that I need to just say my peace about it, but that verse just kept coming to my mind and I could have said many things but God does not want any of that, to become angry and retaliate with hurtful slurs of my own would not prove anything. When people are hurt they have to find an outlet for that hurt and if they will not express it to those responsible for hurting them, they have to find another scapegoat, blaming is never gonna heal hearts only God can, but it is up to all of us to decide how long is too long and how much is too much and for me that point has came.  But I had always tried to be polite and kept answering over and over and had hoped that one day it would be enough and now maybe she can hate me for a valid reason, she can say I snobbed her.

But it is truly sad that we all have people who do want to accuse us and no matter how many times we tell them they still refuse to believe. That is the enemies job and Jesus suffered it, the disciples suffered and sometimes it is hard for us, but we are taught to live as peacefully as we are capable of with ALL people and some of them make it really difficult.  Because it does get mighty old after a while and it is hard to remember to not curse them and do not treat them as they have treated you because they will reap what they have sown and that is sad.

Vengeance is God’s and He will convict people in their hearts, in his time, when they have falsely accused and harassed us, as He said they hated Him without a cause and they will also hate us. When they do come under conviction, these are the things they fall under conviction for and if we have responded with a Godly attitude to them, then they have no excuse for their behavior and that leads to repentance.

 But if we have slapped them down in anger  or screamed at them to please just shut up, then they have our un-Christ like actions to use an excuse. So, how to deal with it? DON’T. 

” GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL”, don’t give him a chance, avoid these people at all costs. Even if you have to just walk away and say nothing. If it happens to be a family member, leave for an hour or two or go into another room for a little while and just let it blow over, remember the enemy is trying to get a reaction out of you, he wants you angry, don’t give him what he wants.

Let Jesus fight it for you, He will and He promises that “mouths that rise up in judgment” against us will be condemned.

“But he giveth more grace, Wherefore he saith, GOD RESISETH THE PROUD, BUT GIVETH GRACE UNTO THE HUMBLE. SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU. DRAW NIGH (NEAR) TO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW NIGH TO YOU……” JAMES 4:6-8a

God will give us His grace and MORE grace to handle these things as He would have us to. He does not like their condescending, proud attitudes either. He will help us when we give it all to him and just don’t play satan’s game with him and he will flee, he will give it up.

Φλογίζω/ ΝΒ 2016

WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT..

I love old sayings, people long ago learned lessons and passed that wisdom down to forewarn future generations.
Ministers are like front line soldiers discovering what’s in the enemies arsenal and reporting back to the troops what weapon is needed to take them down.
Some of the wisest words ever spoken were, “With friends like that, who needs enemies.”
As Paul said “when he thought to do good, evil was ever-present with him.” Sometimes it is difficult for us to see just who our real enemies are.
Think about it, the Bible says that Satan himself “can transform into an angel of light” and we know that he is well versed in the scripture and loves nothing more than to try to twist the word of God to snare, trap, and pervert us.
Genesis 3:1(a) “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made…” and most know this story, through convincing Eve that she really, really wanted this and she should just trust him, it would all be okay, he deceived her into making a decision that we all paid for and Jesus gave his life to repair the damage that “friend” caused.
David, not even trying to resist his lust for Bathsheba ( I know it was lust because he had tried to get Uriah to go home, hoping he would sleep with her and think he had fathered the baby and let them all live a lie) when all of his plans failed, he in effect had Uriah “murdered by war” using him to deliver his own death warrant.
The wages of sin are death, this brought it down on his entire family. Nathan the Prophet went so far as to deliver the judgment handed down from God that the sword would never leave David’s house.
So that voice as the serpent rose again, David’s son Amnon became completely possessed by a spirit of incestuous lust toward his half-sister Tamar. As Satan purposed all this in Amnon’s heart he sent his messenger with just the reassurance Amnon’s flesh needed to act upon that lust.
2 Samuel 13:2,3 ” And Amnon was so vexed (distressed) that he feel sick for his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her ( knew it was wrong ). But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shiva David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.”
His “friend” talked him into raping her, destroying her and filling her brother (his half ) Absalom with such hate that it mirrors the rebellion Lucifer led in his attempt to overthrow the Kingdom of Heaven.
He had Amnon murdered and led a rebellion against David and died trying to flee David’s army, when his long beautiful hair became caught and tangled on a tree branch leaving him helpless against the sword.
Snared and tangled up, some prophetic symbolism in that, what unchecked bitterness and hate will do to us.
That is what happens when one person chooses to listen to the wrong voice. A girl’s life was completely devastated, two brothers were dead, two mothers, a father, and an entire kingdom was left to mourn and to never be the same.
One more example, sometimes the enemy wants to take you down so bad that he will send a multitude of voices, because after all, how can so many be so wrong?
The story of Queen Esther tells us of Haman, the King’s power-hungry, right hand boy who hated the Jews especially Mordecai ( Esther’s uncle ) because Mordecai refused to bow to him. So Amidst his whining over the injustice of the situation, Esther 5:14 “Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and on the morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go merrily with the king unto the banquet. and this thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.”
Long story short, Haman was hanged on his own gallows and Mordecai got his job.
God tells us “surely they shall gather together, but not by me, no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper.”
Haman fell into his own trap, a trap laid at the urging of those closest to him, who supposedly had his best interests in mind, telling him exactly what his blackened, sin-laden heart wanted to hear.
So like those collect calls from Egypt, you don’t realize the price until you get the bill and if you knew the cost you would have never agreed to accept those charges, it may be a bill like David’s, that his family ended up having to pay.
Your true friends may not understand your faith, but they will respect it and be happy for you.
Read Luke 15:8,9 the parable of the lady who found her lost silver and her friends rejoiced with her.
Steer clear of “friends” who only want to drag you back to “Egypt”, because misery loves company and if they are not free they surely don’t want you to be.
Just as with Adam and Eve, once the blinders were off and their eyes were opened to the truth,they knew the sin and the shame.
Amnon, when his “love” immediately turned to complete disgust and hatred once he had achieved his desire.
That is what sin does and no matter how good they make it sound or tell you just how much you are missing, if you give in to them, when the day comes, and it will come, like Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened, yours will be also and I promise you that your are not going to like what you see.
The truth is that not only are friends like these a danger to your soul, they also endanger theirs by tempting you as a child of God.
As the Bible teaches us, if we as believers defile this temple God will destroy it (us).
Daniel 5 tells the story of Belshazzar, who had the bright idea that it would be fun to defile the vessels of the Lord which had been taken from the temple by Nebuchadnezzar.
He and all with him drank from them, while praising their false pagan gods and having the equivalent to a big drunken feast, within an hour,  his eyes beheld with horror and his knees actually shook with terror as a hand appeared from nowhere and proceeded to write out his death warrant on his own wall, when Daniel interrupted it he would soon learn that no one could save him from the judgment of God and he was dead that night.
We are vessels, holy unto the Lord, set aside for his use and anyone who wishes to defile us will truly have hell to pay.
Friends like these you don’t need. Pray and ask the Lord for real ones. And while you are waiting, remember he is the best friend you will ever have!

Companion post:COLLECT CALL FROM EGYPT. WILL YOU ACCEPT THE CHARGES?
A theme song for you, “Satisfaction” David Phelps

Φλογίζω / 05/24/2014. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015

AND YOU ARE?

Don’t you just love it when you voice an opinion in mixed company only to have the person with the opposing view look at you and say in that smug tone laced with sarcasm and disgust at the mere thought that you could possibly question their obviously superior intelligence, and they say “And you are???
I for one love it! Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of exactly who we are in God.
Elijah the prophet of God, who was allowed to pray that it not rain, pray the rain would return and pray that fire would come down from heaven in the presence of his enemies.
Elijah started those prayers with this statement “If I be a man of God..” Paul, in his writings dubbed himself “The prisoner of the Lord”, James refers to himself as “Servant of Jesus Christ”, John the “Beloved”  and Mary who never gave herself a title but at his feet she knew exactly who she was and she fell absolutely, helplessly in love with him, a love born from being touched by love itself in the most pure form, a love so gentle, humble so powerful that it had restored her soul. She knew to be separated from Him would be a fate far worse than hell.
They and so many more throughout the Bible have a very common denominator, they knew who they were in God and never let anyone convince them otherwise.

Today we hear so many voices telling us what to think what to eat, what to buy, what we should wear, and who would should be, our minds can become so clouded that we don’t even know who were are and we become too quick to forget who were are in Him.
To achieve our purpose in these blessed last days God has chosen us to be born into, please give up a little you time, or TV time, just make a little time to get in that prayer closet, your personal secret place that is just and God, pray and fast, and remember this does not have to be food, you can fast anything.

Salvation and grace are completely free gifts, but to get in position for the last day outpouring of the spirit and great harvest of souls, and to allow him to stir the gifts and the calling he has placed in you, well it requires diligence on your part.
2 Thessalonians 2:3, tells of the great falling away of the church, we’ve been seeing that come to pass over the last few years.
It is a time to weed out those who serve one day a week or for some reason other than a relationship with Christ and they will fall away.

 Those who are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to see His Kingdom come will be those left standing, the approved of God .
The ones before us who held on, no matter what suffering, ridicule and persecution they had to endure. and when they fell they sought God to lift them up again.
David was human just as human as we are, yet he made tragic mistakes but he sought forgiveness.
God said David was a man after his own heart, I know the common thought on it, but I really take it as David sought the very heart of God, to know Him and be part of the very heart of God.
His praise was constant and he continually sought to have his heart searched, cleansed, restored and anything that may stand between them to be removed.
God wants to help us and there is nothing inside of us that He doesn’t already know. He is a supreme gentlemen, he will never embarrass you ,or tell the whole world all of your secrets. He wants us to bring everything to Him and  admit that we have problems so he can help us.
Everyone needs trusted prayer partners but you also need that one on one with God, seek purification, seek out the calling and gifts and seek confirmation of them at church.
We can feel lead in certain areas, but I tell you ,whatever area of ministry that stirs your heart is usually where your calling will be found BUT always study God’s word and if seems like a foreign language in the King James , get the New King James, it’s more easily understood, there several of versions of the Bible out there but I personally stop here, but no matter what you are called to do, you must have a good foundation of the word of God. It protects you from false doctrine especially when you are seeking.

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which is given thee by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14

I feel this is another shortcoming of modern churches today, we are to seek these gifts because they are not for us, they are needed to accomplish the work in the Kingdom.

“Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly unto them; thy   profiting may appear to all. TAKE HEED UNTO THYSELF, AND UNTO THE DOCTRINE; CONTINUE IN THEM: FOR IN DOING THIS THOU SHALT SAVE THYSELF AND ALL THAT HEAR THEE.” 1 Timothy 4:14,15

 

The time has come to seek and stir up those gifts of God, as he said if you will do these things you will see the lost saved.
And while seeking, the enemy will rear his head to attempt to discourage you, and he will ask “And you are?” 

Take your answer from Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:10 (a)”But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain:..”

We are the generation chosen to seek His face, now it is up to us to believe that!


Original Post Date: 02/15/14  Φλογίζω/  All Rights Reserved.  Nina BrownJohnson/ 2015

AMONG THE THORNS

“As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters” Song of Solomon 2:2
The beautiful spiritual garden of the Lord, filled with every plant and flower to be imagined and the plot he has chosen for you to grow in.

You have been created in the image of God, the enemy knows this and he knows the value of the true beauty which you possess. He despises it, so he plants his briers in your life to rip and shred that image until there is nothing left but bloody, twisted, painful wounds.

Thorns, the gnarled twisted vines that entangle us and who we believe ourselves to be.

Their razor-sharp points piercing our souls, preventing our movement in either direction for fear of their sharp sting. If left to grow they will completely take over our souls.

Proverbs 12:18(a): “There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword.” 

We go through some pretty rough stuff in this life but often the real damage to us is not caused by physical sufferings but rather through words.

Words are so powerful, that is why Jesus is referred to as “THE WORD”, He spoke everything into existence and the enemy loves nothing more than to battle you with his own perverted, twisted, destructive words.

As the Bible states, those words stab our hearts, souls and spirit to a greater degree than any dagger ever might, because these cuts go straight to the heart.

“Four Eyes”,

“Dumb”,

“Stupid”,

“Wimp”,

“Fat”,

“Bone rack”,

“Flat chest”,

” Slut”,

“Idiot”,

“Cry Baby”,

“Should have never been born”,

“Never will amount to anything”.

Of course, they are always offered to us with the all too familiar, “YOUR…” which automatically red flags our minds which have been programmed to the values of this world and our social need to conform to default to self-blame.

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it?

These words are so powerful and carry so much force that even not being spewed hatefully at us, they still affect our emotions.

Words piercing our souls, and so many young men and women in our world today have listened to those words and the thorns that accompanied them are now strangling everything a Holy, loving Father has created them to be.

Society has set levels of supposed beauty and social conduct that are both impossible to achieve and disgraceful.
We have all been there at one point or another in life, maybe you are there now and the effects of these words can linger for life.

Self destruct mode takes over when those thorns have convinced us that rather than rid ourselves of them, that we must instead change ourselves to accommodate their presence.

IF we were prettier, more handsome, bigger busted, more muscular, slimmer, sexier, had better skin, whiter teeth, had more friends or could get that perfect date.
Maybe we could fit if… we drank more, tried the cool drugs, give our virtue away to everyone who asked, losing a little of our soul each time, joy, self-esteem and self-worth being strangled out, while depression, guilt and shame moves insidiously and comfortably into their spot.

Achieve one goal and a new one will be set because that score board is rigged and it forever changes to keep the players on the field right where the enemy wants them.

If it is so grand, why do so many celebrities commit suicide and die from drug overdoses?
Their souls have become so covered by thorns even all the money, fame and power can’ take the pain away, they are so miserable inside that they can no longer survive the torment of living.

These thorns manifest themselves in many, many ways the most common alcoholism, drug addictions, pornography and gambling addictions, cutting and eating disorders and host of self-destructive behaviors.

We, as Christians must get our heads out of fairy land and see what is really taking place in the lives of those Christ sent us to minister to and start acknowledging that these problems are very real and offer help to the untold number of teens and adults that suffer alone in silence, fearing that they will be farther ridiculed if their secrets are out.

We have to teach them that is okay to talk about these things and that there is help and most of all there is hope.
The realization has to come that THERE IS NO STANDARD!

We are fearfully and wonderfully  created, completely on purpose by someone who loves and does not make mistakes.

He wants us all to feel beautiful from the inside out and most of that our true value will be found in Him.

That we would understand that true beauty comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and personalities.

Just as roses, daisies and orchids are completely different and yet all equally as stunning.
His love is as the lily, the beautiful precious thing, completely surrounded by those thorns.
His love and His love alone is the only force that can cut all the thorns away and allow us to grow in that beautiful garden, being ourselves, just exactly who he intended us to be.

Hold on to God, give him all your pain and trust him because “HE IS THE ROSE OF SHARON AND THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS” and you are beautiful in Him!
Original Post Date:06/06/2014 

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015