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!

Regeneration of Generations

” But YOU ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (special) people; that ye should shew (show) forth the praises of him WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.” 1 Peter 2:9

CHOSEN, how blessed is that term? Jesus himself in John 15:16a said this:Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU..”

There is a major difference between going after something for ourselves, of our will and our desires and being chosen for a very specific purpose. Notice this verse is for a chosen GENERATION, meaning a preordained, predestinate group  CHOSEN to be the polar opposite of what came before. 

To allow the Lord to break chains forged over many generations by those who came before us. A chosen generation that would turn back to the Lord, who would choose the paths of righteousness rather than the broken roads of abuse and alcoholism, and addictions. A generation willing to allow God to shape their lives and repair the breaches in the protective walls of salvation, and that would hear God’s voice calling them out of the darkness that has formed over the ages.

Darkness passed on from generation to generation, until that faithful day that God’s voice is heard and centuries of darkness and cursing, poverty, abuse, and sorrow will be transformed by His marvelous light.

 A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a generation called to be the messengers, priests to their families and peers on behalf of the heavenly King to tell of the goodness of God and the freedom He offers. And as Jesus tells us, we are CHOSEN for the job. Because through Him, with Him and by the power of His blood we can overcome and to have to be chosen indicates that of a certainty that job, that calling, is not going to be an easy task.

I knew a lady who once told me that she had been baptized as a child, but when she grew up, really late in life, she choose to be baptized again, not because she questioned her salvation but salvation was all she had ever known and wanted to do it as a token to her love of Jesus. I have always thought these people were so blessed, to grow up in the Lord, to be taught scriptures and know of God.

But I do think as “first generations” we can witness to those in the world and understand things that they face and struggle a little better, because we really do understand those feelings.

Now to understand the dynamics of some of those battles “first generations” endure, and it is a battle royal of endurance but I hope by the end of this, you will feel refreshed in your battle and the fire and need to continue and fight hell till the last breath.

Satan knows scripture, he knows every word ever written and he is as sly as he was when he beguiled Eve and he knows to corrupt the plant, to blight it, he would also blight the seed of that plant and so with his temptations and snares he pulls down a plant from the garden of the Lord knowing that he has destroyed the future also.

When God gave the Ten Commandments and the warnings of serving other gods, this verse really jumps out: Exodus 20:5: “Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the children unto the third and fourth generation of them who hate me.”

So for me, I think to cause this, the ancestors had to really, really turn against God in a most dreadful way, because He is so loving and merciful and to hate him would require such violation and paganism, I can’t fathom.

The hardest concept to wrap our heads around comes when we see Christians who seem to really never have problems while we struggle in areas that never even seem to come to their door, we wonder what is wrong with us? Why do we go through the things but they don’t.

All people have problems, but it is true that some do seem to face battles that are harder, fiercer, and sometimes even bizarre but here is the reason, YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT.

Satan wants you back in that darkness because he knows if he can defeat you, he will defeat EVEN MORE GENERATIONS that come from you. He doesn’t want you leading others to the light and liberty of God.

It is hard to be the “first” on a path, not having a strong spiritual foundation, and to try to understand what you’re doing, where you are going, or how your supposed to get there. And you can see this in the story of the Hebrews being brought of Egypt, most died in the wilderness because they had only known bondage and slavery and could never get into the mindset of true freedom, BUT the NEXT GENERATION went into that land NEVER knowing the horrors of Egypt.

“First Generationers” often feel overwhelmed because their issues are so numerous that it is a process because each issue must be dealt with one at a time or we would be like those who didn’t make it out of the wilderness, we could not handle the rest of our journey with the needed faith and trust life requires, because even coming out of Egypt, the roads ahead could still be sometimes rocky.

Exodus 23:29,30: “I WILL NOT drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee, By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, UNTIL thou be increased and inherit the land.” 

If everything were suddenly conquered, we would no longer build faith or trust and we would soon be destroyed by the vanities of our minds and leisure.

If you doubt that, read just how many times ancient Israel would prosper and then turn from the Lord thinking they had all they would ever need and how David became so complacent that he didn’t go into battle with his army but chose to have the affair with Bathsheba that brought anguish down on his GENERATION, and Solomon, who had all, peace, all prosperity still rebelled against God in taking pagan wives and worshiping with them.

No, you don’t want to trade in a perfectly good vehicle that may not look great to you right now but is taking you EXACTLY where you need to go for something that appears sharper, faster, but will in the end only drive you had head first into a bad accident. 

Recognize WHO you are and why you fight and why you CAN NEVER give up that fight. Psalm 22:30,31: “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (accounted of the Lord to the NEXT generation) They shall come, and declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born that he hath done this.”

PSALM 102:28: “The children of thy servants SHALL CONTINUE, and THEIR SEED (descendants) SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE THEE.” 

Isaiah 54:13: “And all thy children shall be taught if the Lord; and GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF THY CHILDREN.”

See, sometimes the one being fought is not even who the fight is really against. And a good tool to use, as cliché as it may sound, truly is counting blessings, make a list of what you came from and make a list of where you are now, you may just be very surprised.

Hold on to God’s promises and know that you fight and you have to fight for the rights of your parents, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren, and all that will come after you. You may be hurting now but your trust in the Lord will mean your child will NEVER know what is to hide terrified from a drunken or stoned parent, your child or grandchild will never know the shame and embarrassment of being mentally or verbally abused, the NEXT generation will never know the humiliation of poverty and the pain of hunger and there is no need for me to continue into the places many of you have suffered and tell you, NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN will you suffer those things and NEVER will your generations.

When God breaks chains, they ARE BROKEN unless we chose to chain ourselves and our families, and our futures  back to Satan’s whipping post. And God has CHOSEN you and He will little by little bring you through all the areas, past all the stumbling blocks set in your way. And He will restore and bless you but don’t give up when you are almost there. Here are some of His promises:

Psalm 22:24,25: ” For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; NEITHER hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” 

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him, your heart shall live forever.” Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

Isaiah 54: 14: “In righteousness (right standing with God) shalt thou be ESTABLISHED: thou shalt be far from oppression: for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”

Revelation 7:17: ” For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters; and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.”

Romans 10:11: “For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

We could go on and on with wonderful promises and God’s awesome encouragement of “Be not afraid nor be dismayed”, God is with us and for us and He will take you step by step. Just hold and remember all those who will someday be very glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have never heard this song, please take a minute and let it minister to your soul and let the power of God break the chains and break them forever!

 

Stick and Stones #2 BLOOD BROTHERS

“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” Mark 13:12

“For the son dishounerth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law:  A MANS ENEMIES ARE THE MEN OF HIS OWN HOUSE”  Micah 7:6        

 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is BORN FOR ADVERSITY.” Proverbs 17:17                                                        

Fair to say these are some serious warnings of ye olde family unit making frequent appearances at Drama Ville dinner theater.

Recorded in the Bible it started at the beginning, Genesis chapter 4, and it started with Cain the firstborn of Adam and Eve and of course the older brother to Able.Cain became jealous and angey because God accepted Able’s offering but not his, Cain had offered what HE wanted to offer NOT what was acceptable as an offering, instead of heeding God’s warning to him, he let his anger simmer and steep until it hit the boiling point.                                            

Genesis 4:8 ” And Cain talked with Able his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in a field, that Cain rose up against Able and slew him.” He talked him into going into the field with him, with the intention of killing him the entire time. Again leading me to believe that Able, like Joseph just did not have a clue to this secret hatred was until it was too late.                                                                                            

We know the story of Joseph and how he was one of two sons bore to his father Jacob by his choice wife Rachel and he was half-brother to the ten bore by Leah, the wife that he had been tricked into marrying.Now maybe the bad blood was a direct result of that and who truly knows the effect that all the strife and hatred between these sister wives had on the ten as they grew up, who knows the discussions they may have heard and who knows if their ultimate hatred for Joseph was born out of their own feelings of inadequacy because we do know Joseph was the favorite son. But we also know that it was because Joseph was not anything like them,he was like his mother, he was gentle and mild, it was because he was pleasant to his father.                                                                

 Maybe it was just the sowing of the tares with the wheat. I really don’t think Joseph understood that his brothers seriously hated him, I believe that in his innocent thinking and his young age that he just did not get it and when he shared his dream, that satan used to push them over the edge, he was just a teen-aged boy sharing what in his eyes was the coolest dream ever, we know that his Dad rebuked him for this because being older, wiser he knew that the others hated him.         Genesis 37:18: “And when they saw him afar off,even before he came near unto them, THEY CONSPIRED AGAINST HIM TO SLAY HIM” he did not have a clue, but after they had thrown him in a pit to drown (only there was no water in the well ) they sat around laughing and eating lunch and then changed their mind and sold him as a slave, he finally, painfully, understood.                                                                                                                                                                                 Selling Joseph forewarned of the entire Hebrew nation being enslaved to Egypt and many today live enslaved in emotional prisons built by the hands of their family members and built on their spiritual blood  The Bible really doesn’t detail Jesse thoughts toward David but we can read between the lines, he is young, writes poetry, plays music, the creative type, so he is given the job of watching over the flock.                                                                    

 David was not even considered by his father when Samuel called for the sons to presented and that just about said it all. And we know when push come to shove and all the men of Israel was cowering down before Goliath, Davids true character started shining through; 1 Samuel 17:26,28: “And David spake to the men who stood by him, saying, What shall be done unto the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why comest thou down hither?and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart; for thou hast come down that thou mayest see the battle”

Eliab’s entire personality revealed! The oldest ones seem to have the biggest issues, the parable of the prodigal son even has this theme, the angry older brother. Always angry because they feel they did not get the attention they deserve. He was angry because he saw something in David that he knew he did not possess in himself, courage in the face of a giant. He wanted to line David out and “put him in his place” in front of the other men as a show of bravado, he could still tell off little brother there. Why are you here? Why were you born? Why do you have to be here anyway? Sounds like some of the things many ears have heard. Who is watching your FEW sheep, just got to prove whatever the younger has watch over is not just quite as good or meaningful. Now he has to let everyone know what he thinks about David with accusations of pride, (remember the accuser of the brethren, one of satan’s many name’s, well he loves nothing more than to accuse you through your brethren!) and of course he had to give a reason for good show.                                                               And  I know  David put up with this on a regular basis, check out his answer: 1 Samuel 17:29; ” And David said,What have I NOW DONE? ( what did I do now?) Is there not a cause?”

Breakdown, Cain was angry and jealous because of Able’s offering being accepted by Father God. his only response for his action was “Am I my brother’s keeper?” in his eyes, his little brother was not his problem and when he was called on his deed, he only cared about saving his own neck.                                                                                                                                        God was with Joseph, Joseph named his firstborn son Ephraim, meaning “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction”  and giving us all hope in the fact that what is meant for harm God will use for good.Joseph’s brother’s angry and resentful over his relationship with their father. But he forgave his brothers but the cosmic repercussion of it all still sent an entire race into slavery for over four hundred years.

We do see that David fared pretty well, one whom the whole group of the thought was no more than a singing pretty boy is still considered one of the most fierce warrior Kings to ever have existed and whatever became of his brother Eliab, I haven’t a clue, but David’s throne is forever established of God.

Goliath laughed at David, mocking him, mocking his size and asking did he come against him with sticks as if he were a dog, more or less, sticks were something to beat something else with, but in the giant’s eyes it was no match for him, but the stones, the stones could break him, because just as that stone guided by the hand of God himself took that giant to the ground enabling David to take of his head with his own weapon, God IS OUR ROCK and he always wins.

Maybe you have been or continue to go through these “family affairs”, but please hear me, just as with Cain and Joseph’s brothers, people can have far darker feelings toward us then we want to accept. It is hard to walk away from family member’s especially when subjected to the good old brainwashing like Eliab tried to use on David.

They will always blame you, they will always accuse you because Satan is the ultimate older brother, he was created first, we were created in God’s image, he is older than mankind and he is jealous and angry because you can have a relationship with the Father that is now lost to him forever.

Giants even bigger than Goliath can form from these relationships,so see it for what it is. Please stay with me, next time I want to give a boatload of scripture, God’s word to help with these things and take the heads off some giants, we’ll start it with a little “Blood Transfusion”!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015