“AM IS”

 

Isaiah 9:2: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the LAND of the shadow of death, UPON them hath THE LIGHT SHINED.”

John 8:12: “THEN spake JESUS AGAIN unto them, saying, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the LIGHT OF LIFE.

1 John 1:5:  “THIS then IS the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God IS light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” 

This post is the absolute cumulative message of my entire ministry. If no thought were ever provoked, no scripture heart embedded, no sword ever given, not one seed planted, nothing watered, if every word fell upon deaf ears and blinded eyes, I do pray that this one will be received with spiritual hearing and the spiritual sight given to the saints.

I had asked the Lord once to allow me to just be, even to one person, the difference that the words of another had been to me. When I was seeking, as I always refer to it (and I have many times) “trying to be saved”, I would listen and listen to Christian programs and ministers and finally one hit something that stayed with me, a word that I desperately needed and a Bible story that I had NEVER ever heard, changed my life and gave me something I had not been able to find, HOPE.

The story was about Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed and the ram being caught in the thicket as the “replacement” sacrifice and the name JEHOVAH-JIREH because the Lord ALWAYS provides and He provided HIS OWN SON as sacrifice for our sin, my sin, your sin, the sin of the entire world, every sin ever committed or ever to be committed.

HE bore it all and the HOPE in that message, the HOPE that God really DOES see and He really DOES care and no matter what we have been through or are going through or the future holds.

Once I was saved and knew Him, something came flooding back to my mind, one of those moments of  “I wish I knew then what I know now”, I had a dream, and the Bible does say, if it was a dream, tell it as a dream because we have to be so careful ass to what we attribute the Lord’s name to, so anyway, I was probably around eleven, maybe twelve and I had the strangest dream, it was solid black, no color, no light, just solid blackness, and I heard a voice and the voice said, “I am the I am that is” and that was it.I woke up and I was so disturbed and troubled and told my family.

After I was saved I was praying and I was like God why didn’t you tell me that was you, and as quick as that went through my mind, it came back to my mind, that I HAD been told. Even the name of the person who told me came flooding back, I had this dream during like an afternoon nap and my brother had a friend who came right after I woke up and was telling my family and he said, “Maybe it was God.” and I was like “Why on earth would God be in darkness?” and wouldn’t God say He was God, and why would He talk to me? The friend went on to tell me that He referred to Himself as “I AM” in the Old Testament, anyway, I truly just didn’t think anymore of it until I got saved.

And I think we ALL do that sometimes when God is trying to get our attention in the world and we have our thoughts as to what these encounters would be like. I now have no question about it and it has been my ministry message mission.

I was only STILL stumped by one fact. WHY was in dark? Tried to figure that one out for years and I do believe I know now. IT IS DARK.

It was NOT this dark when I was saved, but everyday it gets darker and darker and we can all attest to the fact that there is things going on that no one would have ever believed would be allowed to be called Christian and atrocities committed so far beyond our comprehension that we should be grateful for the desensitization from some of it, or our minds would fry.

 This world IS covered in darkness, peoples hearts are dark, their thoughts are dark and EVEN in the face of absolute darkness, ONE TRUTH remains, JESUS IS.

He IS the voice in the darkness, HIS IS the voice that will shout with the TRUMP of God, HIS IS the voice that in unison with His bride will send out that FINAL invitation of salvation before and it IS HIS voice of judgment the entire world will hear upon His return.

And for all the thoughts and sermons done on the marvelous works of old and His great overthrows of Pharaoh and all the hosts of enemies who troubled His chosen throughout the ages, we need to remember something, HE IS NOT ONLY THE GOD WHO WAS…HE IS THE GOD WHO STILL IS!

And though the world is much worse and we are much less sensitive to his “voice” because our ears can never get away from the noises, sounds, and confusions of this world, HE STILL IS and only in calling on WHO HE IS in these times are we going to see change and deliverance and I promise you, for every single trouble or situation, demon, or foe, there IS a scripture of “God IS….” to counter every attack and make His voice known even in the pit of blackness and we know that there has never been such a time as this for the night watchmen and all those who sit captive to that darkness.

We sometimes become temporarily “blinded” in that darkness and smoke of the enemies pit and we are so busy groping, trying to find our way through that, that we can fail to hear the voice calling out the direction back into the places of light and clarity. That is the importance of following Him, as He said we will have the LIGHT of LIFE, His light, the LIGHT we can share with others, as His light shines upon them also.

One thing will NEVER change, HE WAS. HE IS. AND HE WILL FOR EVER BE. “He is the I AM that Is”, I really want to drive that message home.

This world IS dark, He IS light, this world hurts, He IS comfort, This world is uncertain, He IS peace, This world is death, He IS the resurrection from the dead. This world will betray you, He IS the one who will never leave or forsake you.

And He IS Blessed forevermore. And HE IS the Blessing, the hope, the security of those in the darkness of this world.  HIS name IS the ointment poured forth and it IS HE who has risen with healing in His wings and it IS His name whose proclamation will make seas roar and mountains tremble and HIS name whose power sets the captive free and as you pray for those captives :

Psalm 124:6-8: “ BLESSED  be the Lord who hath NOT given us as prey to their teeth; Our soul IS escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; The snare IS broken, and we ARE escaped. Our help IS in the NAME of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

His name holds ALL power: John 17:4-6:  “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus saith them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.  As SOON then as HE HAD SAID UNTO THEM, I AM HE, they went backwards (drew back) and fell to the ground.”

Many times Jesus told them exactly who He WAS and IS. The book of John starts with the verse: “IN THE BEGINNING  WAS the Word, and the WORD WAS WITH GOD, and the WORD WAS GOD.”

Just in this one Book, not to mention the other books, He makes these statements, to the woman at the well, I that speak unto thee, am he.” When he came walking on the sea to the disciples, he said, “It is I, be not afraid.” He also stated, “For the bread of God IS he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” And as they asked for the bread He responded, ” I am  THE bread of life”  and again, “I am THAT bread of life” and  “I am the LIVING bread” 

So many statements it would be impossible to list them here, so we’ll wrap it up with the wrap up of the revelation, the disclosure of it all, and if you will notice in your Bible the word Revelation is capitalized in the first verse, meaning that this word is NOT just a title, it is so much more, it IS the revelation that Jesus had and gave of all that would be!

Revelation 1: 1-18: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew (show) his servants things which shortly (quickly) come to pass; and he sent and confirmed it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and THEY THAT HEAR the words of this prophecy, and KEEP those things which ARE WRITTEN therein: for the time is at hand.

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace for him which IS and which WAS and which IS TO COME: and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who IS the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

 

Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.  And hath made us kings and priest unto God and his Father; TO HIM BE GLORY AND DOMINION FOR EVER AND EVER. A-MEN’.

BEHOLD HE COMETH WITH THE CLOUDS; AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, AND THEY ALSO WHICH PIERCED HIM: AND ALL KINDREDS OF THE EARTH SHALL WAIL BECAUSE OF HIM. Even so, A-men I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY. 

I John, who ALSO am your brother, and the companion in tribulation(persecutions), and IN the kingdom and patience (perseverance) of Jesus Christ, was in the isle of Patmos, for the word of God (banished for preaching) and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I was IN the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me, and BEING turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks: and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt (girded) around the paps (chest) with a golden girdle (band).

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire: And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned (were refined) in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars; and OUT of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and HIS COUNTENANCE WAS AS THE SUN SHINETH IN HIS STRENGTH. And when I saw him, I FELL AT HIS FEET as dead.

And HE LAID HIS RIGHT HAND UPON ME, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore. A-men; and have the keys to hell and of death.”

It is hard not to notice that John, like Moses, WAS TURNED to pay attention to what God wanted to enlighten them too. And we also see that John suffered great persecutions because of the testimony and word of Christ, and he held to the promises of an eternal reward for that present suffering, which serves as a great reminder that if you want the promises of God on your life, you must be completely given to him, none of the candy coat business or seeking God when we need him, no, it has to be everything to Him.

And we end on the same note that we started, and as God spoke the very light into existence, He will speak it into this darkness of earth:

Revelation 22:12-16:And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward IS with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Blessed ARE they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city. For without (outside) are dogs (depraved men, and sorcerers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (liars).

I Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto YOU these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Remember two things in life, if everything else fades away, HE IS and HE WILL FOR EVER BE.

Φλογίζω 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..

 

“WIDOW-MAKER”

I really debated doing this… blogs are  a beautiful thing and somehow writers get emotionally attached to readers and even though we may never meet in person, the love and attachment to our regular readers is still very much there and the appreciation and love for them is just as strong, if not more so, than it would be for those who came and listened to “live” ministry because it requires giving up time and moments of their lives to stop by and check out whats new on the site.

Of course that could just be me.. but I believe many bloggers feel the same way. I have been writing rather sporadically, and it may be that way for a little while longer so please bear with me and don’t jump ship, I’ll be back and really need the prayers now.

I’m sure you noticed my featured photo of me and my sweetie, it is from last year and I used it because “a picture truly is worth a thousand words” and it sums up my hovering over him, “pestry” kind of nature.

I have noticed in the church a new attack with this, I am sure aimed at the “church ladies”, it seems that so many husbands are being hit wide open and I know at my church we have all just had to absolutely band together and have faith for each other, and once even just finally giving into to the sheer lunacy of the fact that two of our husbands had serious “life or death confirming” appointments on the same day, and it is not just the church I attend, I know many women fighting the same attacks on the health of their spouses.

I am not a stranger to fighting giants and I know we are all fought and fought hard, just comes with the territory of being a soldier in the kingdom and just as the storm in Paul’s story had a name and Israel’s larger than life, seemingly undefeatable giant, Goliath had a name… Guess hell didn’t appreciate my teaching series on the world’s “heart condition”….. my latest nemesis has a name, whose prophetic irony is in no way lost on me… “widow-maker”. 

And I asked myself, what kind of sick twisted name is that?  I know the medical logic behind it but I am sure it was coined by a secret misogynist or a “he-man woman-hater” because why on earth would anyone choose a name of such absolute cruelty?

My husband truly is a God-send, my pre-Christ days of torment trying to fill up that spot in my soul with a constant need for approval from the opposite sex and the twisted need for reaffirmation of my self-worth as being more than kindling had led me on quite a path and I racked up boyfriends and toxic relationships like a stamp collector who had just found an old abandoned post office full of wondrous never post marked finds and self-destructive was an understatement.

So after my very short, very painful nine-month first marriage, I truly never wanted to marry ever, ever again and to be honest, when I met my husband, I did not even want to date anyone because I had just absolutely had more than enough and even though I had not accepted Christ, I knew by this point that nothing in my life up that point was working and dragging someone else into my messed up world was only going to mess them up and I honestly did not want to do that to anyone else.

But life has a way of knowing what we need, when we might think otherwise and he was extremely persistent and I was in love with him before I could even figure out what happened to me.

No joke, I actually cried because I was so upset at how on earth I could possibly have fallen in love with him, when I did not want to fall in love with anyone. But who could help it?

He was gorgeous and was always at the ready to rescue every wounded or stray animal I happened upon and always ready with a solution to any problem and a shoulder whenever I needed to cry and a reassurance that NOT HIM, BUT GOD would always take care of it. He was completely different, and it took five years before I was ready to finally say I do and I always told him that I was the last thing on earth that he needed but when I said I do, I meant and I meant it forever and he has always just been a great person.

I knew of a family that needed Christmas gifts for their children, which ended up with him branching out into an angel tree program and using his job as a catapult for an almost twenty year Christmas ministry that included the elderly, nursing homes, and of course children’s programs for multiple agencies and all of his secret things that I have heard people mention to him in passing, and he has always went above and beyond what anyone would ask.

Of course we have had our moments and our fights, as everyone does, but he has been more that I had ever imagined or deserved in a spouse. He looked at me through the eyes of love with a strong background in Jesus and never gave up on me.. even though I know I was quite difficult especially before I was saved and probably a lot after that.

All of my craziness.. like getting up in the middle of the night when I was nine months pregnant and a skunk had sprayed outside our house and “the horrid smell” was killing the Victorian inside of me, and “could he please do something” it is funny now and a long-standing joke because there really was nothing he could do.. but pregnancy can do strange things to women and he got up.

He stayed right by my side during the birth and took off work for the entire three days and even once came home for me to take my cat for an emergency vet visit. All the things he has shown such sweetness and kindness in, I could never list and I know how blessed I am.

So twenty-three years seems only days and in 2014 it started getting scary, he was working as a vulcanizer, sounds alien I know, but it is kinda like being an emergency repair guy for mining operations and it is set up almost like power company men, if something is down they have to work until it is repaired and this can mean fifteen-twenty hours shifts with the guys taking cat naps while taking turns driving or waiting on the belt repairs to cure.

He had been on a twenty-eight hour shift and was trying to unload the equipment and slipped and injured his knee, so he had surgery and the exact same surgery was needed again four months later and I was scared to death when they had to put him to sleep the second time, it was so close together and he coughed and coughed when he was in recovery, so the next day he was home and became deathly sick, turned pale as a sheet and was just soaked in cold sweat and I called the number they had given us and the doctor on call said to just watch him for fever and site redness but made pretty light of it and finally thank God it passed and he felt better.

Kept having medical problems and last November a major double hernia was found and that made surgery number three.. two repairs for a really weird type of hernia that he had evidently been born with and had just never known it.. until it made itself known.

Ah.. we think it is getting better… blood pressure goes through the roof… several dosage changes on his medication and finally the doctor orders an EKG and the results came back with two prior heart attacks, one that had been major and they found an “abnormality” so off he goes to a specialist… more tests… nothing about any of it is good, I kept having faith but just could not shake that “little feeling” that made me cry every single time I thought about it… crazy numbers and crazy results and the repeated voiced thought from them is that he is “too young” to have what he has going on.. he is forty-eight and these are problems that shouldn’t even be there for thirty or forty more years…  and the doctor told him that considering the heart attack he already suffered (which I now believe was after the second surgery) that “he had been given a second chance and that everything that would now have to be done was things that should have been done yesterday”  and a really odd southern analogy “that if your barn is on fire, you get on your horse and run”

So we hold on.. heart catheterization day comes and I am so holding on.. I am not going to cry and I am not going to give in to the unthinkable.. (although that really did not get me too far, trying is not always succeeding) My verse… I was and am holding to..“Who against hope BELIEVED in hope” the cath didn’t take long, we were met in recovery with a dry erase board with a heart drawn, LAD four blockages, from left to right.. 100%, 95%, 80%, 70%  so the battle has been engaged and the prize to be won is the life of my husband and I know all of hell is rejoicing as the ante has been upped by needless and senseless drama on BOTH sides of our family, hurt and anger, people who love to kick you when your down, making quite a lonesome travel.. but God reminded me of the fact that we are NEVER alone.

One of my favorite written works is:

 “Prayer for Peace”

 Lord, make me an instrument of thy divine peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning, that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

 Written By:  St Francis of Assisi

I know the Biblical truth behind it.. we have to counter every attack, just as using the Word of God which is our sword, and as we counter “fear with faith”,”hurt with surrender”, “evil with good” etc. and I had thought and thought.., what scripture counters widow maker?

Yesterday, I came to what is, I think my only conclusion, “YOKE-BREAKER” Jesus IS the author and finisher of our faith. He has had his hand on my husband and it is by his grace that the first unknown heart attack did not kill him, and being put under for the all the surgeries, not to mention everyday life has not killed him and that He allowed this condition to finally be found and as scripture also says, it is by His grace “we are not consumed” and I can not know tomorrow or how the rest of our journey will fair but I know God created him in the palm of His hand and no matter how much I love him, Jesus loves him even more and in that I trust.

I’ve been around long enough to know that fairy tales do not exist and that life can be very unfair but I am certain of two things, I will BELIEVE in HOPE in the face of hopelessness until there is no hope left to be had and EVEN then widow maker will NOT win because on earth or separated by the realms of heavenly rest and earthly togetherness HE WILL ALWAYS BE MY HUSBAND and there will never be another, and as Solomon put it, “Love IS as strong as death” and LOVE NEVER DIES.

Forever & Always

No copyright infringement intended with the use of the St. Francis prayer, it is on a card that I have had for around fifteen years and credit to him was all I could do.

BELIEVE

“And not long after there AROSE against it a tempestuous wind, called Eurocyldon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear (head) up into the wind, we let her drive ( BE DRIVEN).

And running under (under the shelter of) a certain island which is called Claudia, we had much work to come by the boats ( to secure the ship’s skiff); Which when they had taken up (taken it on board), they used helps (cables) undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall (run aground) into the quick sands, strake sail, and SO WERE DRIVEN.

And being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when NEITHER sun nor stars in MANY days appeared, and no small tempest lay (beat) on us, ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS TAKEN AWAY.

But after a long abstinence (from food) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm (disaster) and loss.

And NOW I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  For there stood by me this night, the angel of God, WHOSE I AM, and WHOM I SERVE, saying, FEAR NOT, Paul; THOU MUST BE BROUGHT BEFORE CEASAR: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer (take heart): For I BELIEVE GOD, that it SHALL BE even as IT WAS TOLD ME.” Acts 27:14-25

Now, Paul was a prisoner on this ship that was caught in this massive storm a storm who had a name, Eurocyldon, which pretty much means wind stirring up waves. Many are in the midst of storms, the storm in your life that IS stirring those waves up against you as they try to blow you completely off course. I am also quite sure your storm also has a name, as they always do.

The storm of despair, the storm of sickness, the storm of recurring circumstances, the storm of financial woes, whatever the storm you are going through, it is the name of your worst enemy at the moment.

But here is where we are going to take a turn in this storm business. I know so many of God’s children who just keep getting hit, over and over. I write quite a bit about it and I truly hope this will be of encouragement.

First off, they did not try to control the ship during the storm, there are just things in life that no matter how much we wish we could, we simply have no control over some things and in the grand realm of all things, we really have no control over anything, so they let the ship BE driven and just simply tried to hold on.

Secondly, they lightened the ship, tossing off every thing that was not vital to survival, often, that is what storms do in our lives, they have a way of making us realize what is truly important and what we can and can not live without.

Finally, as the storm STILL beat down in the darkness, ALL hope SEEMED lost and they really thought they were all going to die. Paul had seen this coming and warned all that they should not go but go they did, after reminding them of fact so that they WOULD now take his next statements with seriousness, he tells them to cheer up, because even though the ship will be lost, they would live.

An angel had appeared to him to comfort him with a VERY POWERFUL fact, Paul WOULD go to Caesar, so NO storm, NO action on earth COULD PREVENT WHAT GOD HAD SPOKEN, and you know what? IT STILL CAN’T!

So I want to stir up your thinking a little, get you concentrating on the blue skies and smooth sailing that are just beyond this latest barrage of woe.  As children of God, we have the promises of God on our lives and I want to you to think about the word God has given to you FOR your life, a word of knowledge or a word of prophecy of His plans for your future and your work and if at all possible make a list of the things that God has spoken over you and KNOW that as long as you have “unfinished” business for the Kingdom, or a direct promise from God concerning something yet to take place, you are under “NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER” umbrella, if you will. 

Just as in another scripture Apostle Paul wrote of a great and effectual “door” the Lord had for him, but that there were MANY adversaries to try to prevent him from entering that door. The battle you have faced could very well be the same set-up. I am not saying that it always is, but when you read God’s word, you clearly see it is not always easy to stand against the “wiles of the devil” but we are encouraged to STAND. 

Let me give you a few more examples of Paul being encouraged through the dark nights by being reassured that he still had work to be accomplished.

“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be NOT afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I AM WITH THEE, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9,10

Jesus gave Paul comfort that he would not let anyone hurt him because Paul would preach to many and he stayed there for a year and six months after the Lord gave him this reassurance.

And again as his life was being threatened, the Lord appeared, as this was reference to the work he would do.

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so MUST thou bear witness also in Rome.” Acts 23:11

God always encouraged Paul by assuring him that he would be okay because he had a job to do and just as our starting verses, PAUL SAID ALL THAT NEEDS SAID when he said “I BELIEVE GOD”

He believed because he believed what had been told him on behalf of God.

Believe, Believe, Believe… “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter IS dead; trouble NOT the MASTER. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, FEAR NOT: BELEIVE ONLY, and she SHALL be made whole.” Luke 8:49,50

Just as death had no right to Jairus’ daughter when Jesus said she could not be taken, nothing has any right over you unless the Lord allows that right and as long as you have a word, a hope, and a confidence of His promises you can rest assured, it is not over until He says it is over.

May God Bless and encourage you! Love and Peace until next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

“Learning to just say… NOT SO!”

” And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, NOT SO; BUT HIS NAME SHALL BE CALLED JOHN.” LUKE 1:59,60

Now the deal with this is that at that time sons were usually named by the father and after the father, but his name had come not from man but from God and knowing this, Elisabeth quickly spoke in the babies defense with NOT SO.

How often do we accept the names and titles wrongfully given to us and our children, not once arguing our own NOT SO! ?

I have written in the past about names and titles and the damage they can do but this was on my heart so strong concerning what does it do to our children, our families, and even us when do not loudly proclaim NOT SO at the wounding words and accusations of others? And what role will it play in ultimately fulfilling our destinies?

What if Zacharias and Elisabeth had disobeyed the voice of the angel of the Lord? What if they had chosen to name this child any name other than the commanded John? Well, we know of a certainty, “John the Baptist” would not have existed, all that was spoken, even in that time, among those who heard him and those who hated him, would never have been uttered and the destined place in the cosmic scheme of all things would have been void and John’s namesake message of GRACE might not have been so quickly proclaimed. 

Of course I know God is sovereign and God uses who He wants, when He wants, but I am just stirring your thoughts to the fact that this was PREDESTINED, PREORDAINED, and that I think many of us are fighting battles and fighting against that predestination by being caught up in names that we have accepted but God NEVER chose to call us or others. 

I can never think of names without thinking of the name of my sister, Ruby, who is my “sister-sister” natural sister and spiritual sister. When her name was in my Mom’s heart, it could have not been more perfect, she is beautiful inside and out, has so much compassion that she cries when others cry and missed her calling as a “Florence Nightingale” (notice the image of a loving nurse popped right up, ah.. the power of a name) due to care and nurture of the sick and wounded. And she truly has been a precious jewel placed in our family and we do thank God for her.

And I think especially of children, when labels are placed on them, especially when they HEAR these labels and all the negativity and self-doubt that those labels immediately cover them in and I do wonder what if, what if those labels change?

What if someone boldly stands and says, NOT SO! I wonder about times when people make accusations and spread gossip about others, especially, IN CHURCHES, often with the “But don’t mention it….” attached to it, ( I am meaning when people tell you the most awful things a person has done or supposedly still doing, and are attacking their character and accusing them to you, while wanting to stay anonymous, behind the others back with them not even aware they are being slandered) we are never to judge someone or listen to “charges” against them without first consulting that person to hear their side of the story, but often we choose to see the worst in others and become, judge, jury, and executioner without ever affording that person a “trail”.

And “as we judge, so shall we be judged” so we can be assured that somewhere along the way, someone will backbite, trash talk, and harm our reputation without us having the benefit of speaking on our behalf in the matter.

And in hindsight, which we all know it the greatest of all sight, I look with terrible, terrible regret at times when I should have stood on behalf of others and myself and screamed NOT SO!

Many “old timers warned of the ability to kill with words, to murder another’s reputation and in doing so we are in effect breaking the sixth  commandment, “Thou shalt not kill”. Because we are killing them with the power of that untamable beast and yet we don’t want it mentioned….of course they SAY they do not want to “stir up” trouble, but trouble is exactly want they want stirred.

This could never be discussed without a trip to the Old Testament and going down that tortuously, long hard road that Joseph trod. From the verse, in which his Mother, gives him, HIS name:

GENESIS 30:24: “And she called his name, Joseph; and said the Lord shall add to me another son.” To the naming of HIS sons;

GENESIS 41:51,52: ” And Joseph called the name of the firstborn MANASSEH  (fortified), for God, said he, hath made me FORGET ALL MY TOIL, and ALL my father’s house.

And the name of the second called he EPHRAIM(fruitful),; for God hath CAUSE ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION.”

And we can travel that road reading his story until words would be fulfilled about his very bones over four hundred years later:

EXODUS 13:19: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he (Joseph) had straightly sworn (placed under a solemn oath) the children of Israel, saying, GOD WILL SURELY VISIT YOU; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.”

So Joseph’s namesake “add to” surely was fulfilled, but what about all the names and titles he had to have faith to ignore on that road? Hated by his brothers because of their jealously, he endured, that time equivalent to “brat”, “pet”, and “Daddy’s boy”, and suffered by their hands, now we add  “rejected”, “abused” “hated to death”, Finally “slave” falsely accused and imprisoned, he would have been labeled “rapist” and after those he helped remembered him no more, and as two years went by, he could have easily been labeled “forgotten and forsaken” but he NEVER allowed these labels to adhere to him and he held onto FAITH, that these names, these “titles”, these labels were NOT SO!

Can you imagine the pain, not only of the hurt and anguish he felt at the realization that they did indeed HATE him, but to be ripped away from all he had ever known and loved? But as God brought him out and brought him up, he chose to name his children,  “fortified” strengthen and protected, causing him to FORGET ALL his father’s house, all he suffered and unfortunately the pain of the loss of all he loved.

And “fruitful”, because he said GOD HAD MADE HIM FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF HIS AFFLICTION. Many, many times he could have just laid it down, he could have lost hope and gave into to voices calling lies over him, and walked out on his destiny, but he chose to BELEIVE in his heart that these heartaches and struggles were only for a little while and when the enemies tried to convince him otherwise, he would remember in his heart what his father had taught, he would rest in his God and know all the lies and false labels had no power over him.

So I want to ask you today, what labels have been applied to you? What labels have been falsely attached to your family, your children? What words, names, and titles do you need to ask the Lord to tear down and break the yoke of those strangling, binding words today, because they HAVE POWER, but GOD HAS MORE!

But God gives us freewill and we must CHOOSE what voice we will hear and what we are willing to accept and we must have courage through the word of God to CHOOSE to hear what HE says about us.

As the Bible states, “Let God be true, and every man a liar”  DO NOT allow others to label you and for the love of God, never let the label children or the elderly while they are in “earshot”, what we hear, we tend to believe and if WE BELEIVE OTHERS THINK US BAD,SICK, OR MENTALLY UNSTABLE , okay, guess what? BAD, SICK, and MENTALLY UNSTABLE WE SHALL BE!

But if YOU choose to say to that person (or yourself) NOT SO! And offer instead to that person a word of hope, healing, or encouragement, and peace, that can change their mindset and MAYBE change the final outcome of that life. Find scripture and use them.

Afraid? “He hath not given us a SPIRIT of fear, but of a SOUND MIND”

Sick? “HE IS risen with healing in his wings”

Tired? COME UNTO ME…..I WILL GIVE THEE REST.”

Every single problem we can have, THERE IS  a word for that problem, use a reference Bible, go online and search scriptures for…… and use them, when everything and everyone around you says you are defeated…. NOT SO! “We ARE MORE THAN CONQUERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US.”

Think about it today, don’t look back years from now when damage is done ( I do hold to the belief that THERE IS NO DAMAGE THAT GOD CAN NOT UNDO, but if it can be avoided, it will save much heartache) and wish you had said NOT SO! to thoughts, labels, titles, and the voices of others, regardless of WHOSE MOUTHS those wrong voices are coming out of! God and GOD ALONE holds your past, present, and future and HE IS the author and finisher of your faith.

He started you, he wrote your story and HE IS more than able to take a tragic beginning and compose into it the world’s most triumphant work! What HE starts in all of us, HE WILL finish. So again, please, please please, (see I really, really pleaded with you) DO NOT ACCEPT ANYONES thoughts, labels, and TRASH, just say, satan (they are his agents) THAT”S JUST NOT SO!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“RESONATE”Crawling out of the cave #3

“Where the WORD OF A KING IS, THERE IS POWER:  and who may say unto him, What doest thou?” Ecclesiastes 8:4

We know the word of God, His voice brought Elijah out of the cave, even though he did not change his mind about leaving his earthly ministry.  David kept his sanity and held onto to what he had been promised while waiting out in the cave. When we sometimes find ourselves in caves, either of our own choice or being forced to flee due to circumstance. We are surrounded by hard stone, darkness, and discouragement. It is then that we must be open to that still, small voice that spoke with Elijah, we have to hold onto the word as David did, remembering those words and encouraging our own souls with them.

God will never leave us and He will never forsake us and scripture teaches that no matter where we make our bed or find ourselves, even in the deepest hell, HE KNOWS right where we are. 

Psalm 102:2 “Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.” 

So listen to His words as they resonate inside that cave and let his promises lift your heart until as David put it “theses calamities be overpast”  because the cave may be dark but once you make it outside that sun will shine on you again, bad days don’t last forever and with rain comes rainbows.

Isaiah 55:11: “So SHALL MY WORD be that goeth forth from my mouth: it shall not return unto me void (unfulfilled), but IT WILL ACCOMPLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” 

Isaiah 55: 14-16: In righteousness 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. BEHOLD, ( old English for listen closely and watch) THEY SHALL SURELY GATHER TOGETHER ( your enemies) BUT NOT BY ME (God did not send them against you) WHOSOEVER SHALL GATHER TOGETHER AGAINST THEE SHALL FALL FOR THY SAKE. BEHOLD, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST THEE SHALL PROSPER; AND EVERY TOUNGE THAT SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUGDMENT THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF (from) ME, SAITH THE LORD.

That is GOD telling us that we ARE His and our right standing is OF HIM, but that they will come and we will be talked about but that NONE OF IT IS FROM HIM and HE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT ALL.

Psalm 107:1-10,18-20: ” O Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them OUT of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary (desolate) way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then THEY CRIED UNTO THE LORD IN THEIR TROUBLE, and HE DELIVERED THEM OUT OF ALL THEIR DISTRESSES. And HE LED them forth BY THE RIGHT WAY, that they might go to  a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. SUCH AS SIT IN DARKNESS AND IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH, BEING BOUND IN AFFLICATION. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat (too down to even eat); they draw near unto the gates of death. THEN they cry unto the Lord IN their trouble, and HE SAVETH THEM OUT OF THEIR DISTRESSES. HE SENT HIS WORD, AND HEALED THEM, AND DELIVERED THEM FROM THEIR DESTRUCTION.

So let his word resonate in you today let the “reason” in that resonation of the word  fill your heart, your mind, your soul. Find YOUR scripture and quote it and keep quoting it.

Psalm 17:4 ” Concerning the works of men, BY THE WORD OF THY LIPS I HAVE KEPT ME FROM THE PATHS OF THE DESTROYER.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2016

Groovin’ the Gauntlet

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18 The Gauntlet, the reality of the answer of the age old question, what is the meaning of life.

That is the answer, not quite what you would think is it? We are all souls with God, who is eternal, no beginning, no ending, self -existing and ever existent  until we are born to this earth, as God told Jeremiah, first chapter- fifth verse: “BEFORE I formed thee in the BELLY, I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED (set apart) THEE, AND I ORDAINED (appointed)THEE A PROPHET UNTO NATIONS.

As with the names that were written BEFORE the earth was formed. Our souls just as they are eternal, were with Him until time for whatever the reason, to be born onto the gauntlet field of this world.

1st Ephesians 1:4: According as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE the FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” So we are born, hit the ground and IT IS ON.

 The gauntlet is formed against us BEFORE we can even hit the ground running, because the enemy knows more about you than you do!

The gauntlet of the “tares”, the weeds the devil planted among the children, on one side and facing you on the other side the demonic forces of hell, so you start your run between the tongue wagging finger pointers running themselves, trying to set those stumbling blocks before you, every imaginable scheme will be hatched for their use as a weapon against you, just trying to knock you down with everything they’ve got. So you are running as fast as you can trying to keep one eye on the course in front of you and one eye on the weapons coming after you but then you see on the other side of your course the demonic forces armed and ready with snares and traps set every step of the way and many, many archers with their bows poised and the fiery darts ready to rain down, the farther you make it the more they are gonna hit from both sides, the “holier than thous” just dying to see you fall so they can tell all their buddies they were right about you the whole time, the devil starts bringing out bigger and bigger giants, more and more archers and sends the storms chasing you.

Sound pretty unbelievable?  Ah, Jesus said “for this cause” He was born into the world.  His cause being to DIE on a cross, not only die but to be tortured, humiliated, and rejected, his gauntlet beginning with his forty days in the wilderness, which HE MADE IT THROUGH HIS FORTY DAYS, he remained completely spotless and sinless and us being human CAN never achieve that, BUT we are to strive and stay on that course.Now add in just the reality of living, grief, sorrow, heartache, because it rains on the just and the unjust, EVERYONE WILL RUN THE GAUNTLET.

But those with Christ have an expected end to this course. This is the reason we are commanded to NOT look to the right or to the left, and NEVER EVER LOOK BACK, only forward, if we don’t look to either side we can’t lose focus worrying about what is getting ready to hit us and WE ARE COMMANDED more than once to not look back, if you do you will see what is gaining on you and you will stumble over those blocks that has been placed before you. Your entire reason for living is to bring glory to the Father and to help as many as you can run the gauntlet that has been set before them by the god of this world  (2nd Corinthians  4:4). Paul was very apt in describing his gauntlet and we often feel that our burdens are heavy but read a little of what these guys went through and you will suddenly realize how blessed you are.

2 Corinthians 11:23-30 ” Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one (they thought it merciful to give 39 lashes as opposed to the 40 you were sentenced to,  so at the time he wrote this Paul HAD RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 195 lashes) . Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in perils of waters, IN PERILS BY THE BRETHREN, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, IN PERILS AMONG FALSE BRETHREN ( notice both groups listed, the ones who ARE your brethren that set those stumbling blocks and the FALSE brethren sent by the enemy).  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings (sleeplessness) often, in hunger, in thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. BESIDES THOSE THINGS (other things) WHICH COME UPON ME DAILY, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended (MADE TO STUMBLE), and I burn ( BURN WITH INDIGNATION) not? IF I must needs glory, I WILL GLORY OF THE THINGS WHICH CONCERN MINE INFIRMITIES.”

 What he was saying if he survived all these things and yet glorified God in all them through showing love to others, how could ANYONE complain of their own sufferings? He learned the groove of the gauntlet,  he learned to accept it for what it is and go with it.    

 He knew that is had to be ran, to fight it just held him up and there was people whose lives would be changed, there were others to help. His purpose was NOT to fight in retaliation those who manned his gauntlet but to show the love listed above, to grab onto those who had fallen or were wounded by fiery darts and pull them with him to the finish line.

Acts 16 tells us of the arrest of Paul and Silas for doing just that, praying for a possessed girl to be delivered, this enraging those who were using her possession to make money through fortune telling, they were beaten and thrown in prison. Paul had learned to be content in ALL situations and learned to REJOICE in affliction because the more he suffered for the Gospel, the GREATER the POWER OF GOD rested upon him, so with excruciating lash wounds on their backs they STILL sang and praised God, this pleasing God who sent an earthquake and opened every cell, now they could have left, Scot free and thought “Ha, Ha the jerks get what they deserve for beating us.”  BUT when Paul saw that the jailer was going to commit suicide because they had all escaped, Paul called to him NOT TO harm himself that they were all there. That is that love and the jailer and his entire family was saved because Paul knew how to play the gauntlet and HE DID EXACTLY what GOD WANTED HIM TOO.

Just as Jesus “who for the joy SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is sat down at the right hand of the Father.” Those of Hebrews 11, who should give anyone hope and courage to press on. Learn to groove that gauntlet, play it smoother than any jazz tune ever played. The prize we seek is NOT in this world. It is in the next and the true secret is what they knew, press on, press on, press on. Pick yourself up, let the tears fly as you run, but RUN, RUN with everything you got and grab on to all you see who have fallen in their own race against the gauntlet, pull them, drag them whatever you have to do to help them to that finish line, but never ever look at those opposing you just look to the author and faith, He made it through His forty days and Forty nights and then He ran that gauntlet that hell itself had prepared and he died running it BUT HE ROSE and FOREVER SHALL REIGN!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015