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

 

“Change your clothes”

Sunday will be the first day of spring! Yay! But here it was actually warmer weeks ago and many of the beautiful trees flowered early and now old man winter is huffing and puffing and rain and wind are blowing and all those pretty blooms are looking anything but pretty.

Funny how the perception of a trees beauty is gauged by the covering of that tree, not what it looked like before or what it will in several months, but what it is NOW.

We aren’t that much different and I can never think of “changing” clothes without thinking about my Mother… most Mothers insist on clean underwear and socks but that never comes to mind with my Mom.

Growing up in the eighties.. fashion was seriously whatever you wanted it to be and styles ranged widely from elegant jumpsuits that were multipurpose to be worn many ways and as I called them “clown suits” I loved them. Others wore leather and styles that bordered medieval archery wear, and styles with satin, gauze, and loads of lace, fad after fad with every imaginable fabric stuffed in between.

I went through a phase (before I was liberated to clown suits and my beloved shoulder pads) that rotated between raiding my Dad’s church ties to polish off my look, and raiding my brothers printed tee shirts.

Now my parents both worked so me and my brother got ourselves off to school and I would ride the bus to school and then ride home with Mom because she worked close to the school and got off about thirty minutes later, so anyway she did not see me BEFORE I left the house only AFTER everyone else had, she has always been a big believer in looking ones best so I really should have seen it coming sooner… we were getting out of the car to go into the store one evening and  staring rather sternly at the extra-large tee-shirt and jeans I had donned, she says “Why are you wearing that?” Of course my shocked reply was “Because its comfortable” so she finally strongly suggests that if I don’t start wearing my own clothes and stop wearing my brothers shirts that I would not be in public with her.

So looking back I don’t know if this was a “sister moment” or a Mom asking a sister “Can you do something with your sister” moment but my sister who has always been beautiful and well dressed decided to give me a beautiful outfit, still miss that shirt!

Anyway it was black DRESS SLACKS and a black “almost” tee but the upper portion was almost like a velvety suede with an applique, also solid black.  As soon as I tried it on, I fell in love, and wore it to school and the most shocking thing happened that day… I could not believe how many compliments I got on those clothes and I actually FELT different, I felt FEMININE, I felt like a GIRL…WEIRD Right!???

I can truly say that I have never been the same, still have my sloppy moments  but I was given something that is priceless, a “change of clothes” that helped change me from a “tomboy” wearing make-up into becoming a young lady.

Something hit me at church Sunday night…  and God confirmed the thought when the story of the lady with the issue of blood was used, in a different context.

Sometimes we have to CHANGE our “garments” to touch His. Yeah.. that is much harder to explain outside of my head, but understanding it in my spirit.

What we wear SPIRITUALLY is of course even more important than what we cover our bodies with.

We wear our happiness as a beautiful sundress, we wear our joy as a brightly colored array reflecting from our very beings.

We wear peace as a blue flowing robe that reflects the sky and the sea and their endless blueness and beauty.

And we wear so many WRONG things and like my double shoulder pads and cinch belts of yesteryear, God above knows that I have worn more than my fair share of many of these:

We wear our pain, our sad countenance and eyes expressing the sorrow of our heart just as deadening and dreary as a funeral veil.

We wear our hurt and resentment as easily irritating, rough garments that scratch and chaff and make us quite nasty to be around.

We wear our guilt and our shame as a hideous smocks decorated with skulls and cross-bones and bio hazard symbols to ward others away as they carefully hide the most delicate of silk and linen underneath.

We also wear the unattractive and ill-fitting garments of anger, rage, pride, and arrogance, regret and remorse and every imaginable human condition.

Luke, chapter 8 tells us of a woman who knew all to well about the garments she was forced to wear, she was sick, very sick. Her condition made her life exceptionally miserable because she was under the law to stay on her sick-bed, she had an issue of blood, and that made her UNCLEAN and by that NO ONE could come into contact with her or they would also become unclean, so she spent ALL of her money on doctor, after doctor, and I’m sure remedy after remedy and her condition only WORSENED.

So for TWELVE YEARS she spent her life, alone, sick, and outcast in her  condition. Now THAT is carrying a heavy burden, we’ll pick up her story: Luke 8:43-48: “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, NEITHER could be healed of any. Came BEHIND him and TOUCHED the border (hem) of HIS GARMENT: and IMMEDIATELY her issue of blood stanched (stopped).

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press (surround and crush) thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me; For I perceive that VIRTUE (POWER) IS GONE OUT OF ME.

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all people for what cause she had touched him, and how SHE WAS HEALED IMMEDIATELY. And Jesus said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort (cheer) thy faith hath made thee whole (well) GO IN PEACE.

Mark 5:25-34  recounts her famous words, “If I MAY touch but (ONLY) his clothes, I SHALL BE WHOLE (well).”

Can you imagine the “clothes” she had worn every day for TWELVE years and the courage it took to “change” clothes in order to TOUCH His?

She had to change her garment of FEAR, the very real fear of being punished for breaking the law by even being there and put on a new covering of FAITH.

She had to change her garments of rejection, and ostracism for the beautiful two piece suit of acceptance and assurance. Removing the tight uncomfortable binder of medically impossible and allowing herself to be completed wrapped in  ALL things ARE possible with God.

And to NOT even be touched BY Him, or touch Him, but just to touch something that is touching Him, so matter how small it may seem, even the little things in life, right down to the to the tiniest seam, after all, that little seam holds it all together. (Dig that, for a little symbolism) We all pray and we all want Him to touch us, our health, our lives and there IS nothing wrong with that but.. maybe sometimes we need to just TOUCH Him.

Hebrews 4:15 a: “For we have not an high priest which cannot BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES.. ” OUR High Priest CAN be touched!

And when those heavy burdens, sickness, and toils and toll takings of life happen, and that SPIRIT of heaviness start to show on us like tattered, torn clothing we MUST be willing to change OUT OF THAT.

Isaiah 61:3: “To appoint unto (console) them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for their ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.”

So shed the old crusty duds and  put on your new clothes and allow Him to cover you in a beautiful garment of praise!

Now to finish up my story, life is good in slacks, Dad finally quit having to come ask for his missing ties and looking back my brother bought me an “ALABAMA” tee-shirt all of my own,  ( I will post that in as soon as I dig the picture up.. good for a flashback laugh) now I’m thinking maybe a gentle way of saying, “Sis, please stay out of my clothes….. wear your own clothes”…  But I know one thing for sure the most beautiful garment we will ever wear is “broken” that is the garment that shines brilliantly and flows most beautifully, because it is most splendid and glorious once it has undergone repair.

Blessings and Love! Have a great week and a beautiful new spring!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2017

If you have never heard this PLEASE check it out!

 

Love Is……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

“Now I lay me down….”

Very familiar children’s prayer there, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

Classic, many versions of it but still the same meaning. Even as children we are often painfully aware of the frailty of this life. And we seek that assurance from God, really more like NEED that assurance that even, heaven forbid death should come to call unbeknownst to us that even then we are covered by Jesus love and care.

As I always say, I was not raised in church, but God made sure I knew that prayer and knowing Jesus as I do now, I can never think back to those nights of laying there reciting that prayer, without a warmness in my heart and an awe of how sweet Jesus is toward us. We go through the same thing every night, I’d say it and then I’d start to list all my family, in order, and my pets, and then I’d get all hung up naming everyone else, and finally reach the conclusion of “could He please just Bless everybody, ALL the people and ALL the animals all over the WHOLE world.

This memory, along with many others, which unknown to me at the time of occurrences had actually been “divine appointments” along my path, came flooding back to mind after I was saved and I thought what an awesome God, to listen.. and listen.. and listen… as I was on and on, ever adding to my list of “and Bless.”

If anyone ever needs a character reveal concerning God and His willingness to listen and care about what we care about, just backtrack through the conversation between Him and Abraham, GENESIS 18:20-32 When God came and spoke to Abraham about the judgment coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham picked a number that if God could find such and such number would he spare them. Abraham kept lowering the numbers in hopes hat God would not destroy Sodom, his nephew Lot lived there and Abraham knew how bad it was but he still had to plead for Lot’s life, so God KNOWING the real question Abraham had, still patiently let Lot ask Him until he had the assurance he needed.

As with our prayer and the pleas of Abraham, we ALL need that assurance that somehow, no matter what our eyes see, or our ears hear, no matter the terror of the report and even if we are slain in the night, our reassurance rests in the eternal hands of a sovereign King, who still reigns and has victory over all we face or all we will ever face. 

And it is funny for me, not in the funny ha ha way, but funny in the oh how ironic way, that I could still have that same prayer and yet have the call to forewarn to repentance or face the unquestionably horrific judgment from that SAME God, that will one day cover the earth. How do you shine light in pitch darkness, how do you speak judgment tempered with unmerited, unwavering mercy? How do you proclaim that this way is rough but it will lead you home, because there is ONLY one way, out of the shadow of death in this life. There it is, our fear, our cause to stumble, the one thing, we as humans, get so hung up on, death. It is assured, as you are born, certainly you shall die, unless of course you are in the number who will be raptured, but to be effective and to be in those places of peace God wants us to walk in we must be willing to just embrace the walk on that path and know it really will be well in the end.

So I wanted to do this to maybe get you thinking about some of these things, as the “divine appointments” times I believe God steps in peoples lives, into their paths when they are lost, circumstances that once you are saved you will look back and KNOW that He was always there, always waiting and watching over your soul until the day that realization comes and you give your life to Him.

Tearing down the fear of death, breaking down the strongholds of the what-ifs, and the terror of the unknown is needed now more than ever because we live in a scary, scary world and I am so sorry to say, it is only going to get scarier and the only, ONLY peace we truly have is the peace of the Lord and it is imperative for this generation to find that peace, to embrace that peace.

We are praying and waiting for that last great harvest, but the reality is this, with much wisdom comes great sorrow, out of severe persecution comes signs, wonders, miracles and that great revival.

As we seek the last great harvest spoken of by the Prophet Joel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, we may need to also consider under what circumstances this will come and I’ll leave it at that for a moment.

Jesus said we must come to Him as a “little child”, I believe this means in the FAITH and ASSURANCE we have as childlike in Him, KNOWING as that little bedtime prayer states “if” we die before we “awake”, so our peace is knowing that either through the grave or through the rapture, we are covered. 

The world is scary but Jesus said that we are His, we are not of the world, He has kept us. So here is some food for thought. God has kept us; LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore have I HOPE, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Facing real or perceived dangers, sickness, or persecutions, take comfort from the words of our “go to” guys Peter and Paul, who are examples of Christians sufferings and faith that moved mountains and the thoughts they left us with as their times approached, thoughts to persuade to fight for our calling in the Lord and run after those things God set before us in the knowledge that this life is temporal, just a vapor, to fight for our life eternal but to not fear and to have confidence in God through all things, even when that requires the laying down of this life.

2 PETER 10-16: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail (stumble):

For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of THESE THINGS, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet (fitting) as long as I am in this tabernacle (his body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I put off this my tabernacle ( that he would soon be executed) even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able AFTER my decease to have these things ALWAYS in remembrance.

For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” 

His last desire was that we all remain in remembrance and go forth for the kingdom, even in his writing, that us, AFTER his death, centuries later, WOULD be stirred by his words. We ARE stirred by his words.

Apostle Paul when his time drew near left us with astounding words for OUR day, 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 :

I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

PREACH THE WORD, BE INSTANT (ready) IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WTH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE.

For the TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WILL NO LONGER ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (Gospel truth): but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( chase after those who will tell them whatever they want to hear); And shall TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables (follow after lies and false doctrine).

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY. For I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, (his execution drew nigh) and THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE (death) IS AT HAND.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING.

As they took courage and boldness in laying themselves down, it is time for us to lay ourselves down, lay down the fear, lay down the rejections, and take that courage and childlike faith and lay down everything that hinders us in these last days.

 ISAIAH 33:15-20: ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment (justice) 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. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (safe) dwellings, and in quite resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; nd the city shall be low (brought low in humiliation) in a low place.

BLESSED ARE YE THAT SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” 

That is our hope, even though the world will fall by judgment God gives us reassurance that all will be well, and our commission to sow His seed and sow every opportunity we have, in all areas, beside all waters and send those feet forward. 

So today, rest in that reassurance, lay down in His peace, knowing the ultimate promise of His reassurance, come what may, death, grave, or caught away, that trumpet will surely sound and these words throughout eternity WILL resound: 

REVELATION 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”       AMEN

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Swimming Practice”

Like most, I have been spending many evenings during this big nasty heat wave checking out the Olympics. Last night an American broke a world record and of course won gold.

What was fascinating is that if you walked in late during the race it would have appeared that she was actually BEHIND the others because she was using a new strategy that gave her a lead. She and her coach had spent time reviewing footage of the style and techniques used by another Olympic great and evidently the extra “studying” paid off quite nicely. An action plan I think we could all benefit from in the kingdom.

2 TIMOTHY 2: 14,16: ” Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they STRIVE NOT about words to no profit, but to the subverting (ruin) of the hearers. 

STUDY to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings (worthless talk) for they WILL increase unto MORE UNGODLINESS.” 

My new favorite song is “What you want” I posted with my last post, the reason for this is the simple truth of too many leaders and not enough followers in the Kingdom.

Everyone IS a leader, everyone HAS a title, and YET the GIFTS are not flowing, because we can’t choose our titles and our jobs, it has to be WHAT GOD HAS CHOSEN. And often what GOD wants is NOT exactly what we had in mind!

The other problem is that no one wants to complete the course of spiritual “schooling”these ministries require. And I DON’T mean Seminary! And of course there are those who KNOW everything anyway, and they are right and everyone else is wrong. Those I think are quite hopeless.

One who has stepped on my toes time after time leaps to mind, I had made a suggestion, something I knew WAS NOT of my own thinking, because I had been under such an anointing when the thought came, and it took so much courage to make the suggestion AND I have never REGRETTED anything so much in my life.

They absolutely lined me out and even accused me of wanting to do something BECAUSE other churches did it! And I took a bath in spiritual reproach coming off this person and after much prayer, trying to figure out why on earth they got so angry, I KNEW the reason they became so angry was NOT the suggestion. IT WAS because the suggestion CAME FROM ME and they felt SUPERIOR and was actually INSULTED that I would DARE suggest anything to THEM.

And it did create enough static to shut down the work I felt God had me in that place and at that time to do. But God is a good God and this is where “being approved” come into play. Maybe someone has hurt you or discouraged you, or like me, you ALMOST become  convinced that somehow you jumped the gun, when actually sometimes we need to re-evaluate who we truly are “workers together” with in the kingdom.

I think sometimes we view people differently than they really are and God has to let us see, what we do not want to see, so we will move on into the direction HE WANTS. But again God is God and He will never leave us twisting in the wind, if it is of Him, IT WILL COME TO PASS.

It was so funny, close to a YEAR later, I was still receiving page notifications from this particular place, and you can imagine when one popped up that they were having a “special” service incorporating the very thing, I had been spiritually keel-hauled over!  It took every single ounce of restraint I have to not comment on it, to the effect of “Sounds familiar, thought for sure I asked about that… Well good luck with that… but next time you may want to try it when THAT DOOR is open!”

But I didn’t and I don’t know it could have went great but…. People like that, because this one has a way of offending the anointing, and I say that because IT IS NOT MINE, it belongs to God and when people demand things such as gender based laying on of hands, it pretty much sums up to this. If whoever is doing the laying on, IS NOT the one God chooses, well all they are doing is “praying” their own will over that person and without the power of God performing those things, IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

But I see a future change in that also because God has a way of teaching people humility and correcting their own biases. I truly believe the day will come when that person needs something major from God and it will not come they way they THINK it should and the will be required to learn the fine art of humility.

But that is where we are running into obstacles, too many people with THEIR agenda, and way too many leaders who still should be learning how to follow. One comes to mind that needs to get themselves right before they play Pied Piper, but since that is the game they are playing… where did those children go in that story again? Oh yeah, right..  the story ended with no one EVER knew where they ended up.

IT is not a game, you can’t just decide that you are this or you are that and jump head first in the pool to drown because you will drown a lot of others with you, when you get into the deep end and find out you really don’t know how to swim as well as you THOUGHT you could, because that lesson was one you bothered not to show up for!

 No one WILL EVER know “everything” we ARE to be workers together and together means just that. one mind one accord working for the good of the kingdom, not a race to see who’s best and who can reach that finish line with the greatest moves.

The words mentioned in our verse, words if they are not seasoned, if they are not tempered by the spirit of God WILL RUIN others. Words spoken without the power of God and the timing of God are just that words and they only cater more and more to worthless, human vanity, which is why we now have so many claiming to be representatives of Christ, who are so far AWAY from the truth that the have deceived THEIR own mind by THEIR OWN words into their own damnation and are committing things that are true abominations to God and yet believe they have punched ticket straight to heaven.

Truly believing within themselves that they can just proclaim and claim every chosen blessing from the book and yet ignore all scripture that provides the BREAD for that sandwich they are attempting to eat. And we know if they are to still be fed with milk THEY WILL choke to death on the meat of God’s true Holy doctrine.

And the problem is ALL the others who follow after them, never questioning, never allowing their conscious to feel conviction that leads to repentance and again we know this leads to having their conscious seared with a hot iron.

How did we ever become so vain and high-minded that we can “choose” our gifts, choose our callings? When God CHOOSES for us! We have no word in these matters. None, read the Bible, read those who tried to argue out of these calls.

Abraham LEARNED to follow God. Moses LEARNED to listen to God and spent real time in His presence, so much time, that his face shined to the point that he had to cover it because it SCARED the Hebrews.  Maybe learning to flow in the gifts and presence of God will cause people to be uncomfortable around you.. maybe that is a hold up, but do you really want to please God or would you rather fit it?

Your never going to fit in under the anointing of God, a friend to the world (and this does also mean candy coat fake Christians) will make you an enemy to God.

 John the Baptist dwelled in the wilderness. Apostle Paul studied THREE years and also participated in the vow of the Nazarite. And we all know Peter’s trails, struggles and most of all his overcoming all these things. Peter was learning, being educated in the disposition required to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ. We ALSO KNOW the end of that story, Peter, in dying to himself, and making the kingdom of heaven HIS Goal became so filled with the power of God that not only were prayer cloths taken from him, to heal diseases and cast out devils BUT that the sick were brought outside his home that EVEN THE SHADOW OF HIM PASSING BY might heal them.

STUDY, study the word, study the history, STUDY an elder, one that you know for certain, lives, breathes and sleeps for the kingdom. We have problems with that also, and we should never follow anyone if we do not know their life, know HOW they live in their own home, outside of a church house. Jesus IS our example, but just as the lady mentioned earlier, there is no harm in learning how an elder has “made” it, how they coped, how they gained strength and use that as part of our training manual.

Never be discouraged,of course, it will come, there will always be those who try to make you give up, and often they are the ones who you really believe will encourage you the most, when I first started training in ministry, my Pastor gave me some excellent advice, he told me that it was NOT “those” out there that we had to worry about, as far as picking apart your every word and saying mean hurtful things, it was those inside the church, and those in the family, they are often the ones who will discourage us the most. I found that to be true.

God places His call upon you and His gifts inside of you, but after that it is up to YOU, to nurture those gifts. Remember when God asked Moses why was he crying to Him, He had ALREADY given Moses what he would be equipped with, it was up to Him to have faith and use that gift. The Anointing does not come easy, nor does it come cheap. You will give up some things, and probably a few people, your desires and your flesh and it will cost you, time, and some trips to that refining furnace, and it will require diligence, and it will require PATIENCE.

ROMANS 12:7: ” Or Ministry, let us WAIT on our ministering…” nothing, nothing is going to happen outside the perfect timing of God, and we can not go off all half cocked and try to rush what can not be rushed. God works in His time and when that time is right, no matter how many have hurt or discouraged you, that time will not be stopped.  The ONLY person who can destroy the call on your life is YOU!

ISAIAH 43:13:” Yea, BEFORE the day was I AM he; and THERE IS NONE THAT CAN DELIVER OUT OF MY HAND: I WILL WORK, AND WHO SHALL LET IT ( who shall REVERSE His work)?

NO ONE, NO ONE overrules the preordained plan of God. They can try but they will only succeed, IF YOU let them. And to pursue the call you may as well learn to fight now, because THERE will never be a time when the fight for that calling will cease. As a soldier you are required to fight UNTIL the Captain calls you off the field, which in this army is when you leave this world.

 REVELATION 3:7:  “And to the angel (messenger) of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that IS holy, he that IS true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH.”  

 Don’t worry if your technique looks backward to your teammates, Don’t worry if sometimes, it looks like your not even swimming in the right direction, because in due time the Captain will perfect your moves. Just wait for HIS guidance, Keep learning, keep studying, never give in and never give up and never let anyone keep you from that finish line!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Is ONCE really ever enough?

NUMBERED

CHICKS LOG: STAR DATE: DECEMBER 27 2015.  Sentimentally looking for the  approaching 2016 and as most of us welcome a new year. One more shot to get right things that maybe did not go as planned. Another chance to make something right and do the work of the kingdom. A New Year filled with perhaps golden opportunities that may never come again.

We all know that with all the new beginnings also come new challenges and often new heartaches and then we tally up those numbers into lists of credits, debits, and accounts that may never be settled in our hearts. We take those numbers with losses high-lighted and throw them down at the feet of old man time, as we desire old acquaintance be forgot. And give to baby new year a clean slate and look to the future and hope the baby treats us a little kinder than the old dude did and that we all will have a better year.

As humans we ponder the events of the past year and we set goals and make resolutions for our hopes and dreams for the new one. I don’t make resolutions but I do have hopes, dreams, and goals.  I pondered all this yesterday as my pre-Christmas cold had returned with a bloody vengeance and my dripping nose had me feeling like the guy from the hot dog commercial when his kid asked him to cook something and the room starts spinning and “cook something” echoes repeatedly. But with me it was like “write something, write something” my nose won that battle but here I am today! 

My lessons from 2015 is simple, a reinforcement of the knowledge that God is sovereign, storms come, winds blow, life hurts and it hurts bad but Jesus is still walking that water with us. He will go with us to the end of this world IF we will allow Him.

 How we view our circumstances and how we allow it to work into our relationship with Him is completely up to us but it is the deciding factor of the numbers game that will either make us or completely break us. I have been to eight funerals this year, there have been more pass away but those are the ones I have made it to. My daughters best friend lost her Mom in June. One Church sister lost her Dad, another lost her husband and I watched my  own Dad preach two funerals, I watched him lose friends, church family, his niece and then this month his sister. My husband lost his Dad two weeks before my Aunt passed away. His death leaving his family absolutely devastated beyond words because his condition had improved and appeared that he was going to be fine.  Two of these had lost their lives after battles with cancer. Watching all the tears and seeing all the pain, and all those who suffer, especially with prayer requests being to pray for God to please let them not suffer. It can overwhelm everyone, everyone involved. Knowing the entire time that the ones who will be left behind truly need the prayers more.

This is where we all learn dependence on the Lord and I want to share a story that was told at my Aunt’s funeral. The man who preached it has been an Evangelist for over 40 years and his ties to our family are truly God sent, he and another preacher prayed faithfully with our family and my brother when he was terminal, they preached his funeral and in the midst of all those visits he told Mom and Dad that he had prayed the salvation prayer with my eldest brother, either the day he died or the day before. This was in 1973 and had been a torment to my family for years, but see even in the middle of the suffering and ordeal of losing one child, God gave them comfort about the salvation of another.

Silver linings in those dark clouds and rainbows in between the storms. Anyway, he preached my Aunt’s funeral and he is so humble and uses God’s word to comfort all who hear him. His wife had battled cancer for years and years, in the meantime a man had asked him to promise that if he passed away before him would he preach his funeral, and of course he agreed. The way it all went down was like this, the man passed and his wife lost her battle, he had to preach his friends funeral at 2:00 pm and his wife’s services were at 4:00 the same day. He shared that story with everyone as proof of God’s love and mercy even in the worst possible situation. The same God who carried him through would also carry those who asked him.

It is all seasons of this life and some years you will have to add every flower, every rainbow, and every sunny day, and most of all every single morning that He has allowed us breath, into that credit column to prove that all in all the good DOES outweigh the bad. IT IS ALL HOW YOU CRUNCH THOSE NUMBERS.

Mention of numbers, here’s some good ones. 

GODS LOVE AND CARE TOWARD US: 

MATTHEW 10:28-31:  “And fear NOT them which kill the body, but ARE NOT able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthling? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. BUT THE VERY HAIRS OF YOUR HEAD ARE NUMBERED. FEAR YE NOT THEREFORE, ye are more valuable than many sparrows.”

GOD WATCHES OVER US:

PSALM 56:8: ” Thou tellest (counts or takes into account) my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are the not written in thy book?” 

JOB 14:16: For now thou NUMBEREST my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?”

LEARNING TO LEAN UPON THE SURE MERCIES OF GOD: 

PSALM 90:12,14: “So teach us to NUMBER our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may REJOICE AND BE GLAD ALL OUR DAYS.”

WISDOM FROM THE WORD:

ECCLESIASTES 12: 1-8:” REMEMBER now thy Creator IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH, WHILE THE EVIL (VEXATION, TROUBLES) DAYS COME NOT, NOR THE YEARS DRAW NIGH (while in your prime) when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

While the sun, or light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (good days) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease (stand idle) because there are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened (grow dim), and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up the voice of the bird, and the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be AFRAID of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, BECAUSE MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG HOME (DIES, ETERNAL HOME),and the mourners go about the streets: Or ever THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED, OR THE GOLDEN BOWL BE BROKEN, OR THE PITCHER BE BROKEN (SHATTERED) AT THE FOUNTAIN, OR THE WHEEL BROKEN AT THE CISTERN.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT. VANITY OF VANITIES, SAITH THE PREACHER; ALL IS VANITY.”

HOPE IN GOD:        ROMANS 8:36-39:    “As it is written, FOR THY SAKE WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, (NO) IN ALL THESE THINGS WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVED US. For I am persuaded, that neither DEATH, nor LIFE, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, WHICH IS in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23:   THIS I RECALL TO MY MIND,THEREFORE HAVE I HOPE. It is of the Lord’s mercies THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING: GREAT IS THY FAITHFULLNESS.”

That is MY HOPE,   WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERERS when He allows us to laugh through the tears and leap while lame, and shout when we are so emotionally drained that we no longer have words and are just speechless. I see the rainbows and hear the birds and even through the bad we had a beautiful, new little family edition and my sister started a beautiful new chapter in life,  my friend Michelle and our husbands attended a spring formal with our daughters only weeks before her death and even with stage four cancer, she danced and those, those are the memories that will forever shine. My Aunt Evelyn will forever be in my heart, I will forever miss her and miss talking to her and miss her always being there with us but I know one day we will dance on those streets of gold. I know just as He did for Brother Joe, God will strengthen all who ask and I know in the end when all numbers come up God allows us to hold the winning hand. From my heart to yours, may you and your family have a Blessed New Year in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2015

 

HOLY WAR

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are far off, even as many as the Lord shall call. And with many other words he did testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (perverse) generation.” Acts 2:36-40
Holy War. The day has come that others had scoffed at for eons. The day when those who claim to act on behalf of their “god” decide to slaughter all those who don’t share their pagan beliefs.
I have one big question with this, although I already know the answer, how does a “religion” tout itself as peaceful, while constantly screaming, bloody jihad? It is no different that the Spanish inquisition and forced Catholicism, and innumerable forced conversions to pagan religions and it has existed since Satan, the mastermind of it all was flung to earth.
He runs on the theory that humans will do anything to save their skin, just as when he  discussed Job with God, and Satan asked that God would remove his protective hedge from Job and he would convince him to curse God.
“And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” Job 2:4. That is how he thinks and we know God allowed him full control over Job’s life, only that he could not kill him. And we also know that Job passed this horrific test of his true faith between the powers of the universe with flying colors and God blessed him beyond measure in doing so.
We also know that the Apostles and many, many gave their lives for the Gospel. As the church is built on the blood of Christ, the Holy Lamb of God, the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent shall take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
We are in a war, whether the candy coats want to hide their heads in the clouds and attempt to ridicule the word of the true messengers of God or not. It is what it is and what it has been since the dawn of time.
I tell you how it’s gonna come down. The anti-Christ comes into WORLD power, the number one voice over all nations, he is a dragon  that appears as a lamb. The carnage is  well underway and more threats are made everyday and the day is coming that in a desperate attempt for someone to stop the “holy war” and end the killings, the leaders will be begging to join that one world order to stop it.
Enter the anti-Christ, I’ve been trying to really hammer this, through peace he will destroy many.
A seven-year peace deal will be signed and he will call off his boys (of course the world does not know they are his) three and a half years will be groovy and then he decides to unveil himself and all who refuse to worship him will be beheaded, this is when he calls his troops back into action.
I have had quite an awakening, sooner than I had anticipated, once Satan busted my groove and forced me out from under the secluded, veiled protection of hiding behind the church. When I posted my beheading series and the follow-up. I suddenly had Muslims follow that site.                                       

Now I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck either. I know these guys aren’t reading because they find my funk jive exhilarating and my run on sentences delightfully refreshing.
I know they believe what they believe as passionately as I believe what I believe, but there is one huge difference. Jesus draws others to him, he wants those who worship him to do so in truth and spirit and of freewill and because they want to know him and serve him. He does not force people to worship him. And you never see Christians trying to kill others for their beliefs, because Jesus calls us his children of true light and true peace and we are not to be as the children of the world, full of violence and hate toward all who do not believe as we do.
HE IS the holy, self-existing creator who does not need to be worshipped to the point of killing those who refuse to do so.
And Yeah, Paul said it wasn’t a question of whether or not he preached the gospel, it was woe unto him if he did not. It’s not that this stuff doesn’t bother my human mind a little but as a watchman, if I fail to send out these warnings, I will be held accountable personally to God and found guilty of the blood of those I failed to warn. So I am running on “we ought rather obey God than man”.
So I’ll throw this out, calling heaven and earth to record this day, “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm.”
Now, the question of what we must do to be saved was answered, what must we do to war successfully, “For thou we walk in the flesh, we do not war after (according to)the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations (arguments); and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Sides must be chosen or one will be chosen for you. There is no middle ground and we serve one or the other, whether we want to admit that or not.
If you are not saved and covered by the blood of Jesus, you already belong to Satan. And choosing not to believe in either of them won’t help at all. It’s like looking at the sun and saying you really don’t believe it’s there, it’s not going to make it go away, keep staring at it and you will believe it is real once it has blinded you, but then it will be a little too late.
But to really be effective, you need the Holy Ghost and the Baptism of fire. You need God living in you to fully navigate your way in these last days, remember, Jesus told us to be “Wise as a serpent but harmless as a dove.” He also promised that he “would bring back to your remembrance” all things he has taught you” and finally “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist” Luke 21:15
” But when they shall lead (arrest) you and deliver you up, take no thought before what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for IT IS NOT YE THAT SPEAK, BUT THE HOLY GHOST.” Mark 13:11
If you have never received the gift of the Holy Ghost or fire baptism, start praying for it. Fast in secret, pray in your closet, take communion and seek the indwelling of Him.
If you have received them please pray that others would also. (The great outpouring)
The war is in no way nearing an end, it has only just begun but we have comfort in this, we know how the book ends and we know who wins and we will be citizens of the world without end.
Φλογιζω. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015