Love Is……

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the GIFT of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have ALL faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing.

And though I bestow ALL my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love), it profiteth me NOTHING.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love, love, sweet glorious love! We say it, we think it but just how often are we really showing it?

Think of it though He SPOKE with the heavenly languages, given through the gift of tongues, so that all could hear the word of God for themselves and though He even SPOKE the language of the heavenly host, the language of the angels, as marvelous and wonder striking as that, still without love, his voice would be nothing other than the sound of a common instrument.

Though he had the very gift of God MANIFESTED in his life, through prophecies could understand and relate even the darkest of parables, though he had faith to even pray the most insurmountable mountain down to the ground and call it dust, without love it is nothing.

And giving all he had and even his life, if it was without love, it would hold no value eternally and there would be no reward for any of those acts.

He was giving us a very valuable lesson here, we CAN be saved, we CAN be working in the kingdom, we CAN have the manifestation of the gift of the Spirit, and yet we can be so one minded, so religious, and so hard-hearted that it will not be effective and none of it will last eternally.

Doesn’t mean a person is not saved, just means they are not producing the most precious of fruit and without producing love, nothing else is going to grow. 

Love IS….  “Charity (love) suffereth long, and IS kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (love) vaunteth not itself (does not brag on itself), it not puffed up (arrogant),

Doth not behave itself unseemly (rudely), seeketh not her own (is not self-seeking), is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, edureth all things. Charity (love) NEVER fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1) 

So LOVE IS… forbearing, willing to tolerate a lot before blowing its top. LOVE IS kind, gentle, merciful, looking over things and looking through others to see the best and see the causes before passing judgment, giving of itself rather than to be given to, thinking of others before itself. 

 

LOVE IS not boastful, or proud,  it never reminds you of what all it has done for you, never thinks you owe it anything, never expects anything in return, love is never arrogant in thinking that it is number one, but always allowing the favored position to other, love gives a hand up not a knock down.

LOVE IS never rude, cocky, or bossy, or better than anyone or anything, never self-seeking and self-fulfilling, never self-willed.

LOVE IS not easily angered, chooses to see the good, even when it is aware of the bad.

LOVE IS never pleased with lies, and hypocrisy but is overjoyed with the truth.

Love walks along the paths of this life with us, walks through all the sorrow, all the sadness, and all the grief with us, and when we become to weary to walk, love will carry us to the end of that journey.

Love holds on,  ever clinging to the side of a mountain as everything around it starts to quake and tumble down, never giving up and never letting go. Love never fades, never dies, never gives itself credit, it always protects, always perseveres and NEVER, EVER FAILS. 

We gotta put this baby in reverse, to fully understand just why we need to know what love really is: 1 John 4:19: “ We love him because HE FIRST LOVED US.” 

We are not even capable of love in our own selves, we only love at all because HE LOVED US FIRST, and even then we are still not capable of the level of love that He has.

“Beloved, let us love another: for LOVE IS of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth NOT knoweth NOT God; for GOD IS LOVE.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be propitiation for our sins. Beloved, IF GOD SO LOVED US WE OUGHT ALSO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.” 1 John 4:7-11 

So is it love? Is it real, real love? Titus 3:1-4 “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers (authority), to obey magistrates (obey laws of the land) to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers (not contentious) but gentle, shewing meekness unto all men.

For WE OURSELVES WERE ALSO SOMETIMES foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (running wild doing whatever they pleased), living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. BUT AFTER THAT THE KINDNESS AND LOVE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR TOWARD MAN APPEARED.”

There you have it, Paul stating what we all have been but AFTER all that the love and kindness of Jesus showed us all EXACTLY what LOVE IS!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

“Playin’ favorites”

And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he (male) goats.

Seemeth it a small thing unto you (you seem to think it is a trivial thing) TO HAVE EATEN UP THE GOOD PASTURE, but ye must TREAD DOWN (trample) WITH YOUR FEET the residue (remainder) OF YOUR PASTURES? and to have DRUNK OF THE DEEP WATERS, but ye must FOUL THE RESIDUE WITH YOUR FEET?            EZEKIEL 34:17,18

What He is saying is this, He will decide and do justice between “sheep”, His people.

It seems that to these that it is no concern of theirs and nothing to them, if the other sheep have no food, because they greedily gobble it all up and then crush and trample the little that remains.

They have no care or concern as they guzzle down all the available water, as they stand in it with their  dirty feet with no regard that others who are dying of thirst will only have this to drink. 

And they ARE the favorites of the shepherds of those fields, so no one dares to question. Playing favorites, man, I could actually write a book, maybe two just on the subject alone. But I don’t need to write anything since it has already been written and wonderfully fit for a time such as this.

The favorites of the shepherds, the chosen few, the “pets”, the family, the friends, the social status cliques, the biggest tithe givers, and I am sure some that fall into the category of, “Oh, I just like you, you remind me of a younger me” and of course they do like ones that are like-minded and share agendas.  

This is the separation: EZEKIEL 34:19-22: “And as for MY FLOCK, they EAT THAT WHICH YE HAVE TRODDEN WITH YOUR FEET; and THEY DRINK THAT WHICH YE HAVE FOULED WITH YOUR FEET.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, WILL JUDGE BETWEEN THE FAT (FED)  SHEEP AND THE LEAN (STARVING) SHEEP.

Because YE HAVE THRUST (pushed)  WITH SIDE AND WITH SHOULDER, and PUSHED (BUTTED) ALL THE DISEASED (WEAK) WITH YOUR HORNS, TILL YE HAVE SCATTERED THEM ABROAD.

Therefore WILL I SAVE MY FLOCK, and they will be no more a prey; and I WILL JUDGE BETWEEN CATTLE (SHEEP) AND CATTLE (SHEEP).” 

Notice the pushing and shoving, those who, when they see one stumble, rather than help them up they will merely use the fallen back as a bridge to snatch a morsel out of the mouth of a another. The ones who shamelessly take credit for the work of others. The ones who mistakenly believe that they are of a greater importance to the flock and to the kingdom. They push and they shove the weak, notice the horns, adding to the wounds of those who are  injured, and hurt. They never feel one ounce of regret or remorse because getting all they can grab is what they are all about.

I love how  the Lord had these passages go hand in hand in the book of Ezekiel, He first speaks to the Shepherds, who are in for a world of hurt and then He goes on to the “fat cattle, the difference that are made by the shepherds who have their own agendas which are “ME, MYSELF, AND I” and if you can’t expand my pasture   ( help bring sheep and FURTHER THEIR ministry) well, just go on down the road, someone will take you in.

It is so funny, I have heard a thousand times by many different mouths, words such as “So and so will be here, come on out and make him welcome” “I‘ll be at ….. come bring friends” “ I am starting a new teaching series, come on out ” and of course the “great new” books that you just can’t live without, of course you have to pay for it but they really want to get this “must have” into your hands and teach you secrets of the kingdom! So funny, there is ONLY ONE book that you must have and that is the Bible and they want you to have it so bad, and you “need” it so bad, but they sure aren’t going to give it away now are they????? But you NEVER hear “Come check out my sheep” “Look at this fine flock” never, never because IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT THE FLOCK.

Another fine example of what He is getting at:

JAMES 2: 1-10 ” My brethren, have ye not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, (do you not profess to be of Christ) with respect (partiality) of persons?

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel (expensive clothing), AND there came in ALSO a poor man in vile raiment (filthy clothes); and YE HAVE RESPECT (PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION) TO HIM IN GAY (FINE) CLOTHING, and say unto him, SIT THOU HERE IN GOOD PLACE, and SAY TO THE POOR, STAND THOU THERE, OR SIT HERE UNDER (AT) MY FOOTSTOOL.

Are ye NOT then partial in YOURSELVES, (Have you not DISCRIMINATED) and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath God not chosen the POOR of this world rich in faith, and HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?

But YE HAVE DESPISED (dishourned) the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (drag) you before the judgement seats? Do not they blaspheme the worthy (noble) name by which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF, ye do well.

But IF YE HAVE RESPECT (PARTIALITY) TO PERSONS, YE COMMIT SIN, AND ARE CONVINCED (CONVICTED) OF THE LAW AS TRANSGRESSORS. For whosoever shall keep the law, and yet offend (stumble) in one point, he is guilty of all.”

I often wonder what it would be like now if Jesus or the disciples were to walk into a modern church. Would it be like it was when he came to earth?

You know when the Jews and Pharisees just didn’t think He fit the bill for being the Son of God, He didn’t look like royalty, He sure didn’t act the part, He refused to share their religious snobbery and woman hating misogyny.

And Oh, my goodness…. Can you believe that HE ACTUALLY LET MARY TOUCH HIM?????? He actually healed the sick without giving them a speech about how they should have taken better care of themselves. He actually cast out the demons that troubled them (without asking a fee) he raised their dead not to make Him a mega minister but actually OUT OF COMPASSION for their pain. He dined with “sinners” hung out with fishermen. He even let His disciples eat with unwashed hands. And all those that pointed fingers at Him questioning His authority to do these things were met with the finger of God pointing back at their own wicked hearts, sure, cast the first stone, oppress the widows, sell the orphans, slaughter his lame sheep. 

I really don’t think they would recognize Him here, do you???? Wonder if they have ever pondered the fact that the least of these will be the greatest in heaven? That does not mean high and lofty, that means Jesus came to serve not to be served and this is what He expects from His followers. So if they do not want to do it on this earth and they want a “higher” position then they can expect to have a reversal of that position in the kingdom of heaven.

And THAT is gonna be a lot of fun! I am quite excited about it, as my own struggles dealing with shepherds and pushy- shovy sheep, in the forms of Alpha Male Ministers and Cattle Prodding Pastors, Church House Divas and my favorites the “Is she wearing PANTS” crowd. I have to ALWAYS keep the tongue in check and know that HE IS MY SHEPHERD and know that no matter how scruffy, malnourished, or thirsty I may get and contrary to who likes me or who doesn’t that HE will always feed me, water me, and love me because I am HIS, and I know if I don’t learn to just deal with them, look over them, and see it for what it is, that hate will grow and I will lose my relationship with the Lord and no one is worth that, no one is worth becoming a child that will bring heartache to the Father and His is the only opinion that should matter.

Right?…. Wrong, the problem with the shepherds and fat cattle is that it looks so good to the weak, diseased, hurting, hungry, and thirsty sheep and they flock to it, hoping the “grass is greener” hoping they will get healed, delivered, fed, and watered, only to arrive and be met with those horns as the “home” sheep  continue in their own self survival. Then the little lambs are in even worse shape because now they are in a foreign pasture left to the side to die and wondering what they did wrong. They didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment. God explains it all for exactly what it is.

This is why the accountability will also be for all those who had been driven away by cruel shepherds, and no one has looked for or cared for these wounded sheep. They have been left, lost in the wilderness, to be prey for wolves and devoured by the beasts. 

Something to ponder as we continue to look for the day of the Lord, pray and weep in humility and correct those things that we can, never turn away His sheep, love and nurture them. Jesus IS THE SHEPHERD and we will all give account to Him.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2016

“POLICE STATE”

  As John preached repentance and many of certain professions came to inquire what would be required of them to perform the duties of their livelihood and still enter the kingdom of heaven, and this was his reply to the “peacekeepers” of the day:

  LUKE 3:14: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, (intimidate, shake down) neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.”

Now, I really did not particularly relish the task of trying to tackle this subject. As it is in that mysterious list of topics that are really hard to deal with in a church environment and can bring about emotions in either direction to the extreme but it needed addressed because it is rising up out of our culture at an alarming rate more and more every day.

 Police brutality, harassment, and intimidation in our nation is quickly becoming a boiling pot and is in danger of boiling completely over and burning us all as a nation.

I am neutral. I can see BOTH sides with completely equal clarity. This has always been a problem, always, just as John in the Bible was pointing out the same issues that we still wrestle today because there is corruption in all walks of life and in ALL professions but recently in light of news story after news story showing brutality upon brutality is becoming a breaking point for our society.

And it is not just a black problem or a white problem, it has no cultural root, it is a broken people problem. My first encounter with law enforcement was being around four years old awoken by a flashlight shining on my face, policemen were at our house looking for my oldest brother. Now fast forward just a tad, December 3, 1973 he and two more boys happened upon a vehicle that had been left unattended and someone thought hopping in it and taking it for a ride would be the thing to do.

The Police chase that followed would bring a bloody end to an eighteen year old life. The real issue my family had problems understanding is how could he jump behind a wheel and drive speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour in a straight shift, when he did not know how to drive one, or how his head injuries were so traumatic that his scalp ended up on a guard rail.

Guess he was a fast learner and uninjured passengers must have just got lucky. By the time he had been painted as a speeding maniac that endangered the lives of all travelers, the grieving family really didn’t ask the questions until years later.

But THEY said he was driving so….. we could go on with a list of 1970’s “justice” in the South but I think you can suffice it to say that my family never hung out a welcome sign for them. and they were only to be viewed with fear, and mistrust.

BUT I did say I was neutral didn’t I?  Okay, when I was eighteen while babysitting my nieces we were broken in on by their father who was pretty determined to take them and after having the phone taken, being pinned to a counter and threatened and “cussed” till hades wouldn’t have me, I can honestly tell you my opinion changed and the only hope that I and those children had was the knowledge that THEY were on their way and THEY would save us and by the point that I had been let go and was sitting on the couch near the window he had come through, I could see four policemen slowly moving toward the door and I can with everything in me tell you that I have never been so relieved to see anyone in all my life. 

And I realized whatever THEY are, not all of them are bad. As with what my family experienced, so many others have had these awful encounters and they have questions without answers and justice seems only a dream for some but if we continue the culture of hatred and indifference toward law enforcement we will only breed more hatred and violence. I still have friends that are in law enforcement and there are some that are great people, who truly have a heart to help, serve, and protect others and they are who we as the church need to focus on.

Bad apples are ruining the entire bushel.  Environment can be a powerful, powerful force and you may have a person who started out with the best of intentions and enough time and enough pressure can turn that person into whom they never intended to be.

As a profession, law enforcement has some extremely disturbing statistics, suicide rates of around seventeen percent usually before ten years service and the highest rates between forty to forty-four years of age with the highest rate being in officers with over twenty years service, high rates of alcoholism, drug abuse and with domestic violence rates double that of the national average.

For the record those are actually older statistics, so now to ask how does this happen? Well, think of this, if you went to your job every day knowing that you may not make it home, that every shift may be your last. If the average person viewed you with hatred and suspicion often being fought, cursed, and spit on and weave into that seeing victims of violence and car accidents leaving bodies bloody, mangled and often dismembered, working suicides complete with brains splattered against walls, delivering news to families that loved ones have been killed. Often working double shifts with very little rest and often with an extra job to just to make ends meet. Now internalize all those things you have just seen because you are required to be “strong” and conceal your emotions. Do this day after day, you would soon  find that there is nothing normal about it. No human can handle that kind of stress without God and no human can handle that type of job stress and not be affected in some way.

“Be ye not overcome by evil BUT overcome evil with good” that verse tells us that all humans at one point or another can be overcame by the evils around them. I will NEVER by any means whatsoever say that those who are just evil do not exist. I think I have shown proof that I do understand families who are angry and protest and want justice, I do understand because whether my brother had issues or not, eighteen is too young for a life to end because of a stupid joy ride. But I also understand the risk we take as a society, if we do not remember that those in this profession are not merely “they” or “them” but are actually individuals just as we as Christians are individuals and that they do hurt and that they are souls that can break and help the cause of good to overcome the evil and that those who are of honor will have courage to stand against those who do not.

 The truth is there will be no peace on this earth until the return of Jesus Christ and without men and women who are willing to stand between those who wish to harm and those who would be harmed we would be truly in anarchy. And as time draws closer, the world gets crazier we will need good ones more than ever. 

I know people pray for their safety but we also need to pray that God will watch over those who do walk in integrity and keep them in integrity and that they will always treat others with the same respect that they desire and pray He will send them help with those burdens and that they will not be overcame by the evil they see and face. That they will look at others also as human and not become jaded and view everyone as rampant criminals. And that the mere notion of keeping peace requires excessive violence will no longer be held and for the termination of the ideology that the ends can justify the means and as concerning those who are brutal and miscarry justice, well you know the prayer, the same one you pray over it all “Deliver us from evil.” 

Jesus Christ is the one true law giver, and judge. He will render to all as they have sown and Vengeance is His.

I wrote this on behalf of victims,and their families, and true justice. His story, like the stories of so many others deserved to be told and in his case justice was NOT served, it was miscarried.   May he rest in peace.

                                                                                                                                                           

Roger McKinley Brown            August 13, 1955-December 3 1973

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016

Post note: I did lose one FB friend with this… which is not too bad, but that does prove a point that if people are so unwilling to believe that law enforcement or ANY other professional group are above reproach, that explains the problem with this issue. There are bad people in ALL walks of life a “one bad apple can ruin the whole bushel” and if we can’t even discuss an issue, we will never have healing and peace in our society.

PARKING LOT PERPLEXITY- PONDERING PERCEPTION

I spend an unnatural amount of time in the parking lot of a local store.
That sounds like some kind of bizarre plea for help doesn’t it?
“Hi, I’m Nina and I like to spend my free time in this parking lot”!
Wouldn’t make me too many new friends but I have a really good reason for being outside rather than inside, and since we all have issues, this is one of mine, I could easily play the part of the lady in the commercial, you know the one where she is bowling and this cute little pink thing with big blue eyes keeps trying to drag her off to the restroom, finally she angrily declares “No! I am seeing my doctor!”.
Well, me and my bladder just hang out rather than suffer the nuisance and annoyance of having to find a restroom every three hundred feet.
That is my personal secret revealed for the day.
 Disturbing? Probably! Too much information? Surely! Needed to be divulged in order to write this post? Most definitely!
I had to tell you that so that you wouldn’t think I am just all kinds of weird (those who know me are now falling over laughing hysterically thinking BUT YOU ARE WEIRD!)
That point aside. I have learned a lot sitting there and watching shoppers and I always think about them and what their life is like and if they look weary, tired, or hurting, I always say a little prayer for them.
 I watch people interact with their kids and I watch the elderly go in and I wonder do they have enough food money.
And amazingly enough the majority of my posts have been birthed there, most of my series titles and scriptures have been jotted down while sitting in that parking lot and the death of “Eagle” hit me there and I sat and cried scribbling it all down as my family returned to try to understand why on earth I was crying.
So I think I have a special kind relationship with that place and the most astounding thought that I have taken from it is this, WE AS HUMANS, AS A MAJORITY SUFFER FROM THE TOTAL LACK OF PERCEPTION!
My view varies based on parking, and across the street in one direction is what was once upon a more prosperous time THE motel of the town, it has since became not quite so much so.
I think it is mainly rented out as housing and often I watch those that live there come and go from the grocery store.
One evening a couple had just came out and were trying to cross the road they were dressed very modestly and NO ONE would stop to offer them to cross the road and the more I watched, I could only think that maybe if they were dressed to the nines or in fine clothing, or were well-known people, like I don’t know a mayor, or doctor or someone of the sort, people would be glad to let them cross, but no, drivers felt it not worth their time to show kindness to this couple.
The other side facing the store, right in front of it, I have had the grandest of all pondering.
There is a local man,seen by many, but I am sure known by few if any.
He is for the most part mute, he is so sweet and the kindness oozes out of him, he is an older man and lives in an assisted living home just a tad to the side of the grocery, and he can communicate IF you are willing to listen with your HEART and not depend so much on ears.
So Me and Pinky, (the cartoon bladder) are once again sitting there ( because I had determined I AM NOT going to the bathroom AGAIN ) and the sweet man is out there and we wave at each other and he flashes me that sweet smile and there are several shopping carts haphazardly left here and there on the walk, so he gets them one by one and takes them back in the store and puts them in their place, he comes back and picks up some loose trash and throws it away, he then steps just inside the store to a little rack where I am so sure are the “Thrifty Nickel” or something to that effect, it is little papers that people run ads for anything imaginable to sale, I think they are actually free BUT if not some witty, knowledgeable store employee SHOULD KNOW THE PRICE ( but I guess that depends on who is trying to ask! )
He holds it up and shows it to a bag boy, who just looks zombified at the paper, as if it is a mysterious sphere floating down before him and shrugs and walks off, then the man turns to a cashier, who is obviously also brain-dead to the universal code language
 ( HELLO if you are holding it up, you want to know the price) and she brushes him off also, and he just puts it down, that beautiful smile has now faded and he walks silently away to the place he calls home.
So between pinky pulling my arm and these two geniuses I am growing a wee angry.
 Curlylocks is still outside after having ran away to avoid the man’s unspoken question,( never bothering to notice that the carts had been taken care of for HIM ) so I call him to my window and as gently and clearly as possible I said “He is asking you how much that paper is.” 
Curlylocks looks at me, by this point I have come to believe the dude may not really be a bag boy but is actually zombie doing a rather bad impersonation of a bag boy, he just says”Umm, I don’t know” and I just say “Okay” . 
By this point, I really kinda wanted to slap him upside his head and say “You know Sonny, you ain’t through living and one day that might just be you!”
Then I wanted to slap my own self! Why did I not just drag pinky out of the vehicle, tell the sweet man to hold on one minute, go buy the paper, give to him! I COULD HAVE DONE THAT!!!!
So now we have three geniuses! What is wrong with us as a society?
Why can we not hear what others are saying, even if they have no words?
Why do we hold to the old cop-out that if they needed anything THEY would ask, if they had a problem they would tell someone.
Why do we not listen with our hearts and be led by the spirit? When we look someone in the eye and that little tug inside of us tells us they have a need, why do we not ask? 
Why do we not care? Why will not go even an inch outside our zone to help another person?
How many chances have been missed to impact a life other than our own?
This did not happen in a parking lot but I have pondered it more than once, because it leaps to mind when I think of these things, so it belongs here.
My family has a friend that grew up with my parents, she is a wonderful woman and has dedicated her life to two people, Jesus, and raising her little grand-daughter, she is in her seventies and she called one evening and needed help, her back was hurting really badly and thought it was caused by her stomach, so me and my Dad took her to the ER, she was left for hours in a freezing cold room, when we did go back to see her, she said she was freezing so I asked for a blanket for her (which should have been offered ) and she told us that she had a broken back.
She had been doing yard work that week and had somehow slipped or something and didn’t think much of it but had actually broken her back.
She told me she needed to go the restroom and had mentioned that the nurses had been really rude to her, so I told her I’d go get someone.
Now this is around five in the morning, we had been there all night, ( They are in process of transferring her to another hospital better equipped for her injury) so I go to the desk, there’s the doctor and three of four nurses sitting around and I ask could someone please come help her to the bathroom, This young nurse just looks at me and says “Well, I’ve took her several times” (Yeah, there is obviously a limit on times one may need to go) I said “Well, she needs to go”  she just looks at the doctor and rolls her eyes and he said “Take her” she gets up, her nasty little attitude plain to see and I said “You do know that HER BACK IS BROKEN don’t you?”
She just looks at me and like nothing and almost smugly says “Yeah, I know” and it took everything in me not to say “Well, here’s the deal, one day this is going to come back and bite you so hard in your prissy little butt, one day you will be in her shoes.” 
But as a child of the Lord’s, I held my peace but it was hard, she was so smug, so smirky, so absolutely uncaring and cold that I truly would not want to be in her shoes, if that is how she chooses to treat wounded people she should have never became a nurse, she should not be allowed to care for a rock.
But it does beg the question, what happened to us? When did we grow so insensitive, so lacking as a society?
Well, I am sure it happened as we fell as a nation from the grace of God and without his presence and guidance THAT IS what happens to society and it is the biblical fulfillment of what is to become of people.
“Without natural affection”, lacking any common decency or courtesy, much less compassion toward our fellow human.
BUT more so as Christians we ARE to be the LIGHT in the darkness.
WE are to shine into this world and be different and to do that and to not fall victim to the infectious lack of caring and love growing cold, we must be aware of what is inside of us.
Jesus IS the master of perception! And of course HE IS WHO HE IS but as his children WE CAN PRAY for HIS PERCEPTION to be awake and alive in us.
People really didn’t have to tell him much,when he walked this earth he was so in tune to people he took it straight to the heart, he didn’t make them pour out their secrets, or wait till they begged for help, he addressed the problem and assured help was on the spot.
More often the people who need help the most are the ones who are LEAST likely to ask.
NO ONE WANTS TO FEEL EMBARRASSED  and shame has NO PLACE but satan sends it and if you are lead of God to help in a charitable way, keep it secret! 
AS much as you possibly can, again because NO ONE wants to feel embarrassed and calling attention to their plight and what you did to help will only embarrass them and make them feel worse than they would have if you had left them alone.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms (charitable deeds) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee as thee hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men, Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”          Matthew 6:1,2
So we never want to come off that way! Here’s what we want:
“But when thou doest thine alms, LET NOT THY LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT THY RIGHT HAND DOETH: that thine alms MAY BE IN SECRET: and THE FATHER SEETH IN SECRET HIMSELF SHALL REWARD THEE OPENLY”   Matthew 6:3,4
“Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask not again.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
For if ye love them which love you, what thank (credit) have ye?
for sinners also do even the same.
And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank (credit) have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, TO RECEIVE AS MUCH AGAIN.                 Luke 6:30-34
“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father  also IS merciful.”
“GIVE, and it SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. FOR WITH THE SAME MEASURE THAT YE METE (use)  withal it will be measured BACK UNTO YOU again.”                               Luke 6:36,38
So lets all do better, let’s make eye contact, pray for that perception and TAKE CHANCES and ASK when we feel someone has a need and remember this isn’t always about money, it can be many things, even just someone who will listen for a moment and a little help getting something off a store shelf.
And if they say “No, Thanks” what have you lost???? You have offered and God is still very pleased with that!
 But let’s please not continue to look through people as if they aren’t even there and never, ever over them, like what happened with the sweet man, when his disability was such a burden to others that they would not even TRY to understand him, and someone other than you and me sees it.

He sees it all, so let’s make sure what he sees is us being the best we can be.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/ NBJ 2015



GOLDEN RULE X2



“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” MATTHEW 7:12

“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” MATTHEW 5:41,42

Quick interjection, if someone needs you to go a mile , go two. And I know people prefer the “modern English” of the scriptures and No, Jesus did not speak Old English, BUT we were given our Bible through men who risked and often lost their lives for sharing the Word of God and William Tyndale was STRANGLED AND BURNED AT THE STAKE FOR TRANSLATING THE GOSPEL, SO THAT OTHERS WOULD KNOW THE TRUTH! So for me the KJV is the only Bible it is gonna be.

How often do we really apply this to life and how often do we respect one person above another?
God himself has respect to no one person, as the parable of the hired laborers teaches us.
The eleventh hour laborers received the same wage as those who had worked all day, even though the others had worked longer hours, the latter ones had to work harder because they  had only one hour to get the job finished.
Of course the first group was angry because in their opinion they deserved more because they had toiled longer BUT the owner of this job paid the same to all  employees, such as is the kingdom of heaven, when we accept Christ we are all the same and he values none of us above the other, so a person who has served God for forty years will receive no greater reward than one who just accepted salvation!

Now that is fair and that is just! We see that God doesn’t play favorites and if God does not work that way, and neither should we!
When it comes to respect and common courtesy in the world there is often a lot left to be desired.
How often does this happen, people being ranked higher or lower on the scale of importance, and treated in a lesser fashion due to name, social status, or what they have to offer, or rather what they do not have, all of a sudden they are expendable and not quite worth the time.

As Jesus, said with everything that we do, with everyone we encounter, we should keep this well in mind BECAUSE WE WILL RECEIVE EXACTLY what we have shown BUT the BIG difference is that we will be the one on the other end of that spectrum, and for many THAT IS NOT GOING TO BE A PRETTY PLACE!
Mark MY words, YOU will be on the flip side of whatever someone else is facing today.

GALATIANS 6:7 “Be ye NOT DECEIVED; GOD IS NOT MOCKED: for whatsoever a man (human) soweth, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP.

If you receive a prophet, you will receive a prophets reward. Just as the lady blessed of God for helping a prophet, whose oil and flour did not run out during famine and spared her and her son a slow death of starvation.
Another lady who was blessed through the oil that flowed supernaturally that it could be sold to pay off debt sparing her and her family from servitude.
The borrowed ax head miraculously surfacing to save another, yet again from debt based slavery.
Jesus himself resurrecting the grief-stricken widow’s only son, knowing that he himself the only begotten son of the Father would also resurrect.
What if any of these had pulled a big “Well, I’ve got enough problems without having to fool with you a-tude”?
Kindness is repaid, God with not be indebted to any that have shown kindness to his people.

ACTS 9:36-42 ” Now there was a Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was FULL of good works and almsdeeds (charitable deeds) which she did.
And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, AND DIED: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.
And forsomuch as (because) Lydia was nigh to (located closely to) Joppa, the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring that he would not delay to come to them.
Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come (had arrived) they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing him the coats (tunics) and garments which Dorcas had made, while she was with them.
But Peter put them all forth (out) and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to THE BODY said, Tabitha, arise.
And she OPENED her eyes: and when she saw Peter she sat up.
And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her ALIVE.
And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.”

Now the beauty in that is that many were made believers through seeing the hand of God resurrect this lady, a great gift she was given, the Bible clear to point out the love SHE had for those she helped clothe and the love THEY had in turn for her, calling upon the Lord and he answered.
Could have ended very differently had she not held this testimony, had she had an attitude of indifference and never helped anyone other than herself and her circles of friends.

So beware and very aware of how you treat others, because what holds true in life today may not hold true tomorrow.
You could find yourself wearing the shoes someone else just took off, following down a rough and rocky road they have just trod and God’s principles never change and how well you survive your own trying seasons heavily depend on how well you score on the character “testing” points of today.

GALATIANS 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in DUE season WE SHALL REAP, IF WE FAINT NOT.”

IF we faint not tells a little of just how hard some of these seasons can be.
Simon of Cyrene was called upon to carry the Lord’s cross just as he commanded US to pick up our cross and follow him, and if while on that path another asks us to walk with them, we need to remember this lesson, it would be better to walk two miles with our brethren than to sow indifference and as a result reap the walking of four miles absolutely alone.

 ORIGINAL POST@FOWC 08/29/14Φλογίζω/   NBJ 2015/ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Golden Rule X2 N. BrownJohnson/ Φλογιζω















WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT..( ADDITION TO “COLLECT CALL” )

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!
A theme song for you, “Satisfaction” David Phelps

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