Evening in Paris dancing with the King

“REMEMBER now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not  (before the days of sickness and death come) nor the years draw nigh ( before we grow old), when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” Ecclesiastes 12:1

Oh this is a oh, oh, oh post. Which is the sound of my heart and I did want to do this as a memorial and had planned to at a much later date but all writers know one thing for a surety, writing is often therapeutic and I kinda lost it yesterday at a funeral home.

It has been a fast hard journey and lots of needless strife added to the mix of sleeping maybe a few hours out of every thirty for a solid month, physically exhausted and bewildered, heartbroken, and well just broken led me to a complete meltdown while at the casket my sister picked out for our Mom. We were telling the funeral guy what we needed and her burial dress in it and a couple of “farewell” tokens, and earrings chosen by granddaughters who had come up under her style and grace and chosen it for their own, and her makeup they had also chosen and listed color choices and it was just too real, placing all this in her coffin and trying to explain what was what and why, I found myself almost outside of myself running away screaming and crying and ended up going and laying on the altar at church and God in His mercy somehow calmed me down before I got hit with a straight jacket.

So I thought I’d do this now before I have to face the rest of path of the “golden cords broken”.

She was absolutely one of a kind, and of course ALL our mothers are, so here’s a little about mine.

She was always so beautiful and I remember us walking down the sidewalk going to the drugstore when I was little, her holding my hand and hearing all these whistles, turning to see these guys waving and I asked her what they were doing, and in her classic style, she’d just ignore them and gently look down and say “Honey, it’s just cat calls don’t pay any attention to them.”

Of course it took awhile for my little brain to figure out just was a “cat call” was but being in public with Mom always provided plenty of practice hearing them.

And I WAS the child they could not keep out of their bed and I remember waking up cradled next to her, her arm snuggled around me, looking at her and telling her that she was the most beautiful woman in the world and she’d tell me I was really sweet but that she really wasn’t that I just thought that because she was my mommy, and I said, no, you really are.

I reminded her of that last Sunday night when I was doing my “final” talk, you know all the things she already knew but I wanted to say one more time.

She couldn’t reply because she never spoke a word after last Saturday night, but I told her, she was STILL the most beautiful woman in the world and if I could ever be even half the woman she was, I would be happy and that I did not want her to go but if she needed to go I would see her when I got there and how I love her.

We’d been having these conversations already, my sister and I pulling duty around the clock, me taking night shift because I am her “next door neighbor” and she’d been telling me during our middle of the night chats that she had always loved me and would always love me, and that she wanted hospice when the time came, of course I kept telling her to not say that but that I would honor every wish to the best of my ability.

LESS than one month before this, we had just been on their back porch playing Spades, Mom’s favorite game, Ruby partnering with Dad, and me partnering with Mom, because I ALWAYS partnered with her, even when me and my husband played with them.

I am smart like that 🙂 she was FIERCELY competitive and in her younger pre-Christ days had been known to destroy a deck of cards or two in a wee bit of a fit of rage.

I can’t remember the last time me and Ruby had laughed so much as that final game.

Dad was doing some sort of weird “La-la-la’ tune and me and Ruby are just looking at each other and Mom tells him that he “Sounds just like Nellie Olsen” (the mean little girl character from “Little House on the Prairie”) and how on earth things can go to flat zero that fast is still dumbfounding, but I truly believe it was pure (no matter how painful for us) mercy from God.

She later confessed to my sister and I that she had not felt well for a while and August 16th she finally went to the ER at 5:30 a.m. because she had been so nauseated she was unable to eat and nothing was helping her, so they do tests and tell her that her sodium is low and she comes back home for another week, still unable to eat, drink, or sleep without stomach pain.

So we talk her into going to another ER and they admitted her and did more tests, very painful for her because he had severe osteoarthritis and they actually had to give her morphine to endure one test that lasted an hour and a half, finally they conclude that she had an enlarged gall bladder and gall stones, and an ulcer BUT the chest x-ray picked up a mass in her left lung.

All this led to an endoscopy and a biopsy of her small intestine and a lymph node around her right clavicle and the doctor making quite sure that she felt it may be esophageal cancer and that the biopsy would only be about an inch and that the gallbladder would stay because it was a side issue.

So August 31st she was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma, which is what killed my brother, it is rare and  especially insidious because it so aggressive and carries about a three MONTH survival time.

To say we were just blown away would be an understatement, but she had met with another doctor and decided that she would try chemo because it could possibly help her appetite and relieve pain, but the cancer was in her lymph nodes and her stomach and spreads rapidly so there wasn’t much that could be done.

So we converge trying to get her to drink the Ensures and Gatorade we’d been trying to get to drink for a week, she was growing so weak and could only sleep an hour or two at a time and would have to get back into her recliner because of the pain from not only the cancer but the osteoarthritis that had been so aggravated by having to lie flat and the three days spent in the hospital.

But the BIGGER problem was the badly botched biopsy that was NOT the promised one incision but instead a four-inch mess held together by the medical “superglue” covered in a CLEAR bandage for all the horror to show through, the moment I saw that THING, I knew it was mess.

In the meantime she had been prescribed two antibiotics to be taken together to help her stomach and help her eat, along with the truckload of other medications that did not for her.

My great-niece is an RN and she came and spent the night with Mom and gave us some great tips and she had thought that the incision didn’t look quite right either and within two days her skin around it was red, and red into her chest and her breast was twice its size and I can only imagine what it would have been had she not been on the antibiotics, we begged her to go to the ER but she was so weak that we’d been helping her to the bathroom for a week and she didn’t want to go in an ambulance, so thank God for a church friend who is a nurse practitioner and after being sent pictures of it advised her to go, so she finally went and it took my nephew and husband both just to get her to the vehicle.

The sad thing is this had just been “checked” by a doctor who said it was fine the day BEFORE she was admitted back into the hospital.

This thing was infected and the swelling had set in and soon both arms become red, skin peeling and finally swollen triple their size leading to the removal of paper tape actually ripping her skin off with it and fluid leaking from a huge sore and finally leaking from everywhere and I know that it was excruciating.

They had her on bag antibiotic and a super strong fish smelling injection antibiotic, a sodium pill, ulcer medication and morphine, dilauda, marinol, AND percocet every four hours, of course she was still not drinking or eating and with the low sodium and fluid overload they could not even give her IV fluids. And blood work upon blood work and her arms were covered in bruises over the scorching red and finally her last night there my sister and daughter and I all three stayed and told them, no more, they were not sticking her ever again.

God blessed us with awesome compassionate nurses and a wonderful hospital doctor who overruled the surgeon who had performed the biopsy, she wanted to do a “procedure” to try to drain the fluid that “may or not work” and he told her “Absolutely not, she had suffered enough and was going home” a week after being only further tormented.

So Tuesday my mom is brought back home in an ambulance, strapped on a gurney.

Pale, swollen, lifeless, with air-tubes covering her beautiful face still wearing the awful hospital gown that they had put her in a week before, which killed me, because she ALWAYS wanted to be dressed, neat and “presentable”, they get her into the bed Hospice had sent.

And the next day, September 19, less than twenty-four hours later and BEFORE Hospice could even have their first visit to rid her of that awful gown, with my sister trying desperately to help her because she was struggling to breathe, she passed away.

The most beautiful person in our world gone, just gone.

One of a kind, so gentle, so kind, would rescue anyone or any animal, give the shirt off her back or her last piece of bread to anyone who needed it and yet would rip someone to shreds over one of her kids or grand kids.

A woman who loved “Little House” and “The Walton’s”, and Hallmark Christmas movies but yet could not quite resist a good wrestling match, the tag team Rock and Roll Express, Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton from the eighties being her all time favorites.

A woman whose love and grace and impeccable manners had reared generations.

A woman whose strength, courage, and endless hope and faith in God had seen her through tragedies upon tragedies and more hardships and pain than one should endure.

The death of her firstborn son “POLICE STATE” left her with questions that would only be answered in eternity and as she told me the saving grace that kept her sane was the fact that she knew “her other kids needed her”.

The horrifying ordeal of watching her last born son die from the disease that would also take her, his story is “GOOD BYE, ROXIE SMITH” 

Her wonderful stories of growing up in rural Kentucky in the early forties, complete with tales of the terror during the war with Japan when she and her sister would “run and hide in bed” every time they heard a plane overhead.

Stories of being a young woman and new mother in the fifties and living out ALL the generations she had since with the passing of time clanging all things.

Grace and wisdom that had her hailed as the family sage for me, my daughter Bethany and her granddaughter Brittany.

We always looked at her as one who has answers to impossible questions, she was the inspiration for MOTHERS, THE BEJEWELMENT TO THE CROWN OF THE KING 

She had a beautiful laugh and fabulous sense of humor, she shared in our tears, our triumphs, our fears and always let EVERYONE know how precious and loved they were.

She was the consummate holiday host, I always awoke on Thanksgiving morning to the sound of Macy’s parade and the smell of turkey baking and Christmas was an event with decorations galore, made even more fun several years with a quite silly entertaining game of mystery present exchange.

And such generosity that few ever left empty-handed after a visit with her.

And as my sister said, such beautiful hands.

Hands that were always kept with beautifully polished nails.

Hands that had known so much love and hard work, taking care of all of us, ironing school clothes for six children in the days before wrinkle free and blue jeans, because her kids looking clean and pressed were high on her list.

Hands that worked so hard as a seamstress in a backbreaking factory to put food on the table and my memories being filled with those wonderful mornings of waking up for school to the sound of a local country music station and the smell of Adorn hairspray filling the air, even for work she wore make-up, did her hair and WAS the consummate lady in ANY environment.

That same love for music making her a fan of so many genres from classical, easy listening, disco, and even the trucker music of the seventies and no one quite like Neil Diamond or Lou Rawls in her opinion.

She would often hum and sing along, but her favorite was Christmas, with Christmas tapes and CD’s everywhere.

So much more I could say about my mother, my friend, my inspiration, so much I could say about the holes in all of our hearts, but I want to say a few other things instead.

God makes beauty IN the misery.

The loss of my brothers left my mother for a desperate need for her surviving children to bond and love each other forever. And last Saturday, my brothers spent the day with her at the hospital, NO chicks, NO sisters, JUST her and them, my cousin had taken her a bear, whom she named “Mr. Fuzzy Britches” and as I was told she had a great time with them and actually ate a little for them, but I KNOW  just how much this “alone” time, just her and her boys, meant to her.

And another first came when we were privileged to gather around her bed the day she came home, as the Lord had put in my heart, ONLY her children, hands held proclaiming His word, that “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed” and I KNOW she heard us and I know what it meant, it meant her desire that we pray together (as she had prayed for all of us EVERY single night) had been fulfilled.

And the most amazing remarkable moment came AFTER she had passed, while her body was still with us, we were all there waiting and some were outside and my sister-in-law saw something on my brother’s face and it was a RAINBOW, seriously, and he told the other to look up and this rainbow was huge and we had been so blessed with help and comfort, the Hospice ladies, Tabitha and Barbra were really more equivalent to angels and our pastor and his wife were also with us and as we all stared in absolute awe, he said, “No one would have believed it if they had not seen it”, and as one pointed out, we hadn’t had a drop of rain, the sun was out on the other side.

Birds even  flew across this and it was breathtaking, the picture is an ACTUAL picture taken with a cell phone but to see it person was magnificent.

Mom's rainbow 2

 

 

Even in the hurt the pain the inability to understand, Jesus always, always proves faithful.

Her beautiful day had come, she had been raised by a God-fearing woman who kept them in Sunday school and tent revivals and Mom accepted Jesus for herself in September 2000.

And in that acceptance she fell helplessly in love with Him, I am serious, the woman literally GLOWED, she was so in love with Him.

So knowing her love and dedication to Him is my ONLY comfort.

My mother was of course one of those women who smelled heavenly and her all time favorite perfume from vintage days was “Evening in Paris” and just the name sounds so beautiful and reminiscent of her beauty, I chose it for my title

Because I have peace that the beautiful, complicated lady He blessed me with as a mother is not only having an ultimate evening in Paris, she is having the most glorious of all dances with the King.

And THAT dance WILL NEVER end, that beautiful fragrance of His heavenly garments has no comparison in heaven or on this earth and she IS in the most beautiful, gentle hands that will forever hold her.

She will never again struggle, hurt, or face the heartache of losing another of her children.

And as much as I want to cry, scream, rock myself into some sort of comatose state and rip the beating heart from my own chest so I don’t have to feel this pain, I KNOW she is so happy and I KNOW she has the beautiful eternal life she deserves.

So to the most beautiful of the beautiful, have a wonderful evening with your King and dance forever because your beauty still shines, even brighter than all the stars He created, they could never outshine the light you left us. I love you Miss Helen, forever.

“Coming out of the fire”

COMING OUT OF THE FIRE’

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved (slip). For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us;  thou hast tried (REFINED) us, as silver is tried. 

Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water: but thou broughtest us into a wealthy (an abundant) place.” Psalm 66:8-12 

When I wrote my last post, a little something else “jumped out” at me. Remember our story of Apostle Paul,  To refresh the point:

Acts 28:3,5: “And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper OUT OF THE HEAT, and fastened onto his hand. And he shook OFF the beast INTO THE FIRE, and FELT (suffered) NO HARM.” 

This is one of those double mirrored meanings, there is an old saying “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen” but for us, as Christians and desiring anything of the Kingdom, you better learn to love the heat.

I have always thought and taught that the biggest hindrance to the much-anticipated end time outpouring of the Spirit and the signs, wonders, and manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit is US!

We can be saved, we are saved, but we also have a choice, we can simply sit passively and enjoy that salvation OR we can desire and reach for something so much greater.

As Jesus said, ‘Greater works than these…” but those greater works come by a greater understanding and a greater submission into His Spirit and His will. As He also said when explaining WHY the disciples could NOT cast out the demon, “Howbeit this KIND goeth not out but by fasting and prayer.”  and part of that submission is surrendering to purification by His Holy Fire.

So lets check out the mirror side of the story of Paul.

Once we start to seek the Lord as he leads us gently into the conviction process and we do take stock of all the dreadful sins and worthless, unfruitful parts of us and we do TRY to gather all those dead, withered, useless “twigs” that the Lord reveals must be removed as we are  being grafted into the true vine. 

We CAN lay those things on the altar and PROMISE to “give” to God all those old ways that we are to forsake and never pick up again, only to find some that we aren’t so ready to surrender.

But what happens as that heat starts to get a little hotter and more of our carnality is being spiritually burned away, as we go through that process we often find ourselves suddenly presented with situations or circumstances that “bring out” those venomous beasts, often in the form of our own attitudes.

Bringing out nasty, rebellious beasts who ARE full of deadly spiritual poison and that clamp down on us spiritually, clinging to us in hope of avoiding that heat that will destroy them and purify us.

Change hurts and our “flesh” and carnal minds are never willing to go without a fight.

And how easy is for those “beasts” to want to flee form that purification. Just as Jesus also told the disciples, as He asked them to stand with Him during His time of sorrow and they could not.  

Matthew 26:41: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit INDEED IS WILLING, but the flesh IS weak.” Which only confirms other verses throughout the Bible that teach us that we do have a very real war of the spirit versus the flesh being fought INSIDE of us.

So what happened?

Paul shook of that “beast”off, just as the Holy Spirit will shake off the shackles and chains of sin and bondage from off of us.

He will shake off every speck of dirt and dust from this world that clings to us.

IF WE WILL LET HIM.

And we also have to be willing to not only be shaken but also shake off those things within ourselves, fear, dread, anger, resentment all those things which MUST be surrendered to that purifying fire.

Doesn’t mean it won’t hurt, sometimes we have to let people go from our lives, we have to let jobs go, we have to let go of things we so desperately want to cling to, but spiritually they are “beasts” who are actually clinging to us.

It was VERY painful for Paul to have that creatures fangs, teeth whatever latched onto his hand and of course, it WILL hurt us, for a moment, but just as Paul SUFFERED no injury, that pain was TEMPORARY and God will NEVER allow us to be “injured” by anything we have “shaken off” in obedience to Him.

And by this SAME process those who feel the “heat”,of conviction and the need to surrender parts of themselves to that purification and YET REFUSE and allow those carnal “beasts” to stay attached preventing their “hands” from working in the Kingdom, and care more about keeping those things that God has commanded to be surrendered, they fall into the condemnation of “having their conscience SEARED with an hot iron”.

There is NO escaping the fire, just as the sacrifices of the Old Testament were consumed by fire as an answer that they had been ACCEPTED of the Lord.

That same fire STILL decides what IS accepted today.

Romans 12:1: ” I beseech (urge) ye therefore, brethrenthat ye PRESENT your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, which IS your reasonable service.”

The presence of God which was once held only in the Temple of God and allowed access to only by the High Priest has now through the death of Jesus on the cross been made manifest in the Temple of God which IS now inside of US!

1 Corinthians 3:16,17:”Know ye not that YE ARE the temple of God, and the Spirit of God DWELLETH IN YOU? 

If any man defile (destroys) the temple of God, him shall God destroy: FOR THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE.

And WHO is our God, WHO dwells within us?

Deuteronomy 4:24: For the Lord thy God IS a consuming fireeven a jealous God.” 

Jealous meaning that he does not play second to anything or anyone in our lives. His Holiness is a purifying fire that burns away all that CAN NOT stand in His presence nor inherit His kingdom.

As John gave us description.

Matthew 3:11:”I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me IS mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND WITH FIRE.”

Which was fulfilled in Acts 2:2-4: “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled ALL the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire (divided flames), and IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM.

And they were FILLED with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit GAVE them utterance  (spoke unto them).”   

The bridging between the books and the Temple of Stone becoming the Temple of the Heart.

Hebrews 12:18-29: “For ye are NOT come unto the mount that might not be touched, and that burned with fire, NOR unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest.

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which the voice they that heard intreated (begged) that the word should NOT be spoken to them any more:

For they could NOT endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast  touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with  a dart: And so terrible WAS the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:

But YE are COME UNTO mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

See that YE REFUSE NOT HIM that speaketh, For if they escaped NOT who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall NOT we escape, IF WE TURN AWAY FROM HIM THAT SPEAKETH FROM HEAVEN: WHOSE VOICE SHOOK THE EARTH;

But now he hath promised, saying, YET ONCE MORE I SHAKE NOT THE EARTH ONLY, BUT ALSO HEAVEN.

And THIS word, YET once more signifieth the REMOVING OF THOSE THINGS THAT ARE SHAKEN, as of things that are made, THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN MAY REMAIN.

Wherefore we RECEIVING a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, WHEREBY WE SERVE GOD ACCEPTABLY WITH REVERENCE AND GODLY FEAR. FOR OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE.

God was so terrifying on Mount Sion that even Moses SHOOK with terror and at the sound of His voice the Hebrews trembled and BEGGED that He only talk to Moses and NOT to them.

This IS the same God that gently calls us today to allow Him to shake all those things until all that remains are the good things of Him that will remain and He calls us to not only ALLOW but to EMBRACE His Holy purification process.

And as that process unfolds, it is not uncommon for many “beasts” to rise up in resistance to that heat.

1 Peter 1:6,7: “Wherefore ye greatly rejoice though now for a SEASON, if need be, YE ARE IN HEAVINESS THROUGH MANIFOLD TEMPTATIONS (in distress due to many trails) that the TRIAL (genuineness) of your faith BEING MUCH MORE PRECIOUS THAN OF GOLD THAT PERISHETH, THOUGH IT BE TRIED (tested) WITH FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

God reveals the process this way:

Isaiah 48:10:”Behold, I have REFINED thee, but not with  (as) silver; I HAVE CHOSEN (tested) THEE IN THE FURNACE OF AFFLICTION.” 

So whatever those “beasts”may be today, no matter how hot that fire is getting or just how uncomfortable that “heat” is starting to feel, know that it is a process and EMBRACE it!

Revelation 3: 18(a): “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire…”  

So don’t be afraid and whatever starts coming out of that fire.. LET IT COME, HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU! 

As those are his words, and THAT IS HOW GOLD IS REFINED AND YOU ARE MORE PRECIOUS TO HIM THAN GOLD! 

Love till next time!

Related posts: “Groovin’ the gauntlet”     “Counting wrong”     “Laying down some odds”

“Go for the gold…”            “In the den”               “Bought & Sold”

“Gazingstock”

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Nb 2018

 

My year in review.. in the rearview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

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

Tallying of time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A TIME to die and LET things die.

A TIME to pull up and change our plans.

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

A TIME to break down and destroy spiritual strongholds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A TIME to laugh, dance, and embrace.

A TIME of healing, repair, and restorations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless you in your upcoming week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

“Pilot Light”

“And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.” Exodus 27:20 Now we know that was for the temple.

But 1 Corinthians 3:16 asks us this: “Know ye NOT that ye ARE the temple of God? and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

What about our lights and the light that burns in us? The light that is to shine into a world of darkness a fire burning for and on behalf of God?

The oil for that lamp, HOLY, Holy oil that WE CAN NOT PRODUCE OURSELVES. Oil given from the Holy Spirit as we spend time in prayer and worship.

It has to be a ready supply, CONSTANTLY being poured into us and we are not allowing that to happen, our lamps contain only the oil from the last “deposit” and over time it will start to “evaporate” and little by little, the level starts going lower and lowering and you don’t even realize that you are almost “running on empty” as far as fuel goes.

And once you realize you need it and it is not quite there, there may not be time to get a fill up, Take Matthew 25:1-13 for a great example:

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The five that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them; 

 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight, there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Then all the virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you:  but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

And while they went out to buy the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Notice that the five foolish did indeed have their lamps, they just didn’t bother worrying about the oil. Next time, next week, maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow may never come.

The five wise took oil in their vessels, lamps, bodies, oil inside US. It is ironic, of course NOTHING really is, but after these verses Jesus gets into His teaching on the talents and the hidden talents and the talent being taken from the one who hid it and given to the one who already had ten. 

The overtaking of complacency has been on my heart so strong lately and it is truly a major problem for the body of Christ currently and we do have to take into consideration the great “falling away” but this is a horse of a different color.

If we all know there IS a great falling away and that the “saints are being worn out” by the enemy, why would this be a good time for anyone to rest?

We NEED and SHOULD BE doing double duty, working harder and harder for the kingdom, trying to win souls and trying to minister and feed the ones that God has sent us. 

I have said this before, but I am saying it again, is it any shock that Jesus told us in Luke 10:2:..“The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

Jesus TOLD us we have a great harvest but it is not going to gather itself! We have to be the light and we have to have the oil and we have to OVERCOME complacency.

If we approach our walk with Christ and our Christianity in everyday as nothing more than a doldrums, take it or leave it “lifestyle” we are going to soon find the pilot light will go out.

Jesus deserves SO MUCH MORE.

Lukewarm or even barely warmed over christianity is an absolute insult to Him and every single thing He has done for us.

And NOTHING will snuff that light out faster than complacency.

Complacency is described by the dictionary as a “smug, uncritical view of one’s accomplishments” when even doing nothing still feels quite right and one synonym of it is STAGNANT, not moving, not going forward, just staying in one place.

With our next scriptures, please note that it refers to women, but this could be men, women, whoever falls into this category and it should be a wake up call for us all.

The beginning of Isaiah chapter 32 deals with the evils taking over and all the damage that is being done (sound like our world?) then verses 9-17, says it all, here IS our problem and IF we want things changed, our answer follows:

RISE UP,ye women, that are at ease, HEAR MY VOICE, ye careless (COMPLACENT) daughters; give ear to my speech.

Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless (COMPLACENT) women; for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall NOT come.

TREMBLE, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless (COMPLACENT) ONES; strip up, and make you bare, {RID yourself of whatever is holding you down} and gird sackcloth upon your lions {REPENT}.

They shall lament (mourn) for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all houses of joy in the joyous city: Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts, and towers shall be dens for ever, a joy to wild asses, a pasture of flocks; 

UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be  a fruitful field, and the fruitful field counted for a forest.

THEN judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness REMAIN in the fruitful field.

AND THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE PEACE, and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER.

He said it THREE TIMES,  so this tells us what a huge problem this is, and has been, we must overcome complacency WHILE we still can. 

1 Samuel 2, around verse 22, gets into the story of Eli, and Eli just absolutely let his sons (these men were supposed to be priests) run wild in the unholy things they did in the temple, even sleeping with prostitutes that were actually gathering outside, which is horrifying in itself,  and he just pretty much told them it was wrong, but did NOTHING to stop it.

So the judgment of God came down on him and his sons all died and even, and even the grandson whom was named “Ichabod” which means “inglorious” the mother said because the “Glory of the Lord had departed…’ (1 Samuel chapter 4) because of the transgression against the house of the Lord.

But here is the forerunner 1 Samuel 3:2,3 (a) ” And it came to pass that at that at that time Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes begin to wax (grow) dim, that he could not see; and ERE (IN TIME) THE LAMP OF THE GOD WENT OUT IN THE TEMPLE…” 

This was an EXTREME example but it serves as a very sobering, terrifying reminder to us all to remember that those virgins represent US, God’s children, and any of us can become discouraged and complacent, but we can’t stay there! 

We all have a “pilot light’ that must be lit and kept lit and we have to keep check on that fuel and it seem that light starting to grow low, we have to make sure we get back up to full flame because nothing is worth letting that light go out.

And if you see a brother or sister growing “dark” encourage them, pray with them and help them get that spark back and as the verses from Isaiah proved out We will all be thankful for their new ignition!

Love, Peace, & have  a blessed week! Keep that fire burning!

Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

“In Him”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

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

 

“In the den”

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion (reason to accuse) against this Daniel, except (unless) we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents (overseers) and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not (does not change). Wherefore king Darius signed the writing (written decree) and the decree. Now when Daniel knew the writing had been signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber (room) toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime ( as he had been doing before this). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Then they came near and spake before (spoke to) the king concerning the king’s decree. Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee (except you), O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?  

The king answered and said, This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth (changes) not.

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore (greatly) displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statue which the king established may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast (tossed) him into the den of lions, Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serve continually, HE WILL DELIVER THEE.

And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet (signet ring), and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel (that they could not accuse the king of changing the order).

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of  musick (musical instruments) brought before him: and his sleep went (fled) from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable (pained) voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel, SERVANT OF THE LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD whom thou servest continually, ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).

Then the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up OUT of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him (he was completely unharmed)  BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIS GOD.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them (overpowered them) and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den (before they ever hit the bottom of the den).

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree. That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND STEADFAST FOR EVER, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END. HE DELIVERETH (delivers) AND RESCUETH (rescues), AND HE WORKETH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH, who hath DELIVERED Daniel FROM THE POWER OF THE LIONS.” Daniel 6:5-27

Love this story, how could anyone not? I especially love the terms of his enemies referring to him as “this” Daniel and “that” Daniel. We are all at some point a “this” Daniel or a “that” Daniel. The this that the enemy desperately wants out of the way and the that that the enemy thinks he has out of the way.

We are all faced with those lions of life and we are all faced with circumstances we just really do not want to be in. And those roaring lions which Jesus so described the devil as are quite intimidating sometimes as they seek to devour us because those roars that we hear in the distance proves to warn us of impending doom and certain destruction can be more horrifying than the final bone crushing bite.

 Those are the times that we need a friend to be outside that den, Darius could NOT go back on his own decree and he could NOT find any way of getting around the fact that Daniel had no choice other than go into that den, He could NOT actually go inside the den and face the lions with Daniel but what he COULD do is SPEAK and REASSURE Daniel that His God WOULD DELIVER HIM.

He COULD fast and pray all night on behalf of Daniel. Everyone needs a friend but we all especially need a friend when you are in a lion’s den and you know that even though you must hear those roars and face the fear of them head on, face to face, knowing someone else is outside the den having faith and keeping vigil can give courage and hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

I snagged a verse from the sermon at church Sunday night to carry my family through a little something…. it is just part of the verse but so powerful when you let it sink in…  and I want to share it for anyone who is facing uncertainty:

Romans 4:18: ” Who AGAINST HOPE (contrary to) BELIEVED IN HOPE…..”

That is even the face of hopelessness, with absolutely NO REASON to hope, to STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE. And Daniel BELIEVED in that hope, even though he was already slated for slaughter, HE BELIEVED IN THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE BY HIS GOD.

Daniel believed God would deliver him and his friend king Darius believed God would deliver him and we need to also to BELIEVE that today more than ever.

Know that if you are in the den God has someone ALREADY positioned outside on your behalf having faith on your behalf, keeping vigil through that night and if you are outside don’t forget to keep vigil for another whose faith my be wavering for fear that those lions could devour at a moments notice.  Darius made the new decree that ALL should tremble before the LIVING GOD. 

Darius also twice referred to Daniel as having served the Lord continually, continually striving to that standard of God, as we lift our lives up into the hands of God and into His care and the standard He has established, He will in turn lift up a defense, his war banner, on our behalf against our enemies, whether spiritual, physical sickness, or emotional or financial burdens, that we are His and He does fight on our behalf, as in that verse, He will work wonders in heaven and in earth.

Isaiah 59:19: “So shall they FEAR the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun, WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD (banner) AGAINST HIM.

 Peace and love till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 

This song is really too peppy for this post.. but I do love it and it is really upbeat and I don’t know what the deal is with the name but the lyrics say it all!