“Breaking through the breach”

“And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her and went in unto (had relations with) her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er .” Genesis 38:1,3

I want to stop right there for a moment before we get into the rest of this story because I need to point out a few things about it to kinda set the stage, if you will.

Notice this is what happened after Judah and his brothers had decided to do away with Joseph.

But Judah was the brother who decided to just sell Joseph rather than let him rot in the pit, which ruined Reuben’s cowardly plan of sneaking back later and freeing Joseph.

There are so many things going on in this story it would take years to point out every little detail.

So for us, we’re just going to look at how bad ideas lead to worse ideas and what we compromise in that process.

So here’s Judah, whose name literally means “praise”, he has gone away from his brothers and went to his friend, who lives in a place that my spellcheck even tried to change to adulterate and once there he ends up with a Canaanite wife, whose name means “crying” and remember the Canaanite’s were the people who the children of Israel were supposed to overcome so that they could possess the land that God had given them. 

So now not only is he going places he should never be but the “praise” of Israel has now mingled with the “crying” of the pagans and that which was produced was anything but good.

“And she conceived again, and bare a son and called his name Onan.

And she yet conceived again, and bare a son; and called his name, Shelah: and he was at Chezib when she bare him.” Genesis 38:3,4

This union had now produced three children, Er, whose name meant “watcher”, Onan, whose name meant “wealthy”, and finally Shelah, whose name meant “blind” who was born while Judah was in Chezib, the land whose name is derived from the words, “disappointment”, “delusion”, “failing”, and “lying”.

So it is pretty easy to see the prophetic going on here. 

We can see just how easy it can be to be led wrong.

Led into that land due to our disappoints and failings and the tears of those lands mingling with our praise until we also can be completely delusional to the fact that no matter what we call our “accomplishments” in those lands, and no matter how we may feel that we are growing or being enriched, if we have “left” our “promised land” for a “foreign field” that God never sent us to, then we are failing because we are “blinded” in that land.

It is really reminiscent of the spiritual state spoken of by Jesus.

Revelation 3:17,18: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. 

I counsel thee to buy of me Gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

Now we know how Judah got there and what was “produced” there, now let’s see just how far he had to go before he finally saw how “blind” he had become. 

“And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew (killed) him.

And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.

And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 

And the thing which he did  displeased the Lord (was evil in the sight of the Lord) whereby he slew (killed) him also.

Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law,  Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.

And in the process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah, the Adullamite.

And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold, thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep.

And she put  her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she will still not given unto him to wife.

When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned in unto her by the way, and said, Go to I pray thee, let me come in unto thee (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?

And he said, I will send thee a kid from my flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it (something she could keep as a guarantee)?

And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets (cord), and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it to her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on her garments of widowhood.

And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand (to get his staff, etc back): but he found her not.

Then he asked the men of that place, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place.

And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, there was no harlot in this place.

And Judah said, let her take it unto her (let her keep it), lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her.

And it came to pass about three months after; that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, she is with child by whoredom (harlotry), and Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.” Genesis 38:5-24

Interjection time… WOW that is a lot going on and I can’t help think that I probably should have used Judah’s good old buddy Hirah in WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT.. further proof that when we are headed down the wrong road the enemy always sends someone to make sure we go barreling down it!

So now we are up to Tamar, Judah smuggling blaming her somehow for the fact that his sons died, not once every considering what we know to be true, they died because they did evil in the sight of the Lord, not because of any thing related to Tamar, another one of his misconceptions, just as he thought she was a “harlot” and  in the process he ended up throwing everything her way except what was rightfully hers.

And now she is supposed to be the one that gets “burnt” by the fallout..

The almost comedic irony in this is that when his buddy couldn’t get his possessions back, he decided to just leave it alone so that they would not be shamed in not having kept his end of the bargain in her payment… and yet he is so spiritually blind that it is okay to manipulate and deceive his daughter in law out of her rightful heir and when she is found to be questionably pregnant, he is going to have her killed.

And the truly scariest aspect of the story is just what Judah was willing to sacrifice, without any thought, worry, or fear that he may not get his signet and especially his staff back, which were his very identity and worse that he could so easily state that it could just be kept… kept as payment for “harlotry”. 

That can be taken symbolically as a very spiritual  “adultery”, when we choose to trade-off or just give away the callings, positions, and gifts that God has given us, either for something we want more or just simply through willful disobedience.

But by being in that land and mingling with those of that land he would indeed find himself in the spiritual place of Chezib, where “blindness” had been born and all would lead to the repentant “crying” as his wife’s namesake. Let’s check out his wake-up call with the ending of our story for Genesis 38:25-30:

“And when she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: Discern, I pray thee, (Please tell me) whose are these, the signet, and bracelets (cord), and staff.

And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because I gave her not Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more (did not have any further relations with her).

And it came to pass in the time of her travail (when she gave birth), that, behold, twins were in her womb.

And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that behold, his brother came out; and she said How hath thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee, therefore his name was called Pharez. (Breach OR Breakthrough).

And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand; and his name was called Zarah (Zerah, meaning “dawning” and “light”).” It is impossible not see another scriptural truth that would mirror this birth.

1st Corinthians 15:45,46: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit. 

Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

It comes down to this, we have all maybe been Tamar, and we have all probably acted like Judah in one way or another but we can choose to let mistakes and failures hold us back and destroy our relationship with God and others OR we can use those very “breaches” to propel us forward to a breakthrough, the choice is ours.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to share in a little of your day! 

Love & peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ2018

And as I looked at the date, I realized today is the anniversary of receiving my calling, 10/16/06 and I am forever blessed and honored that He has allowed me to be…HIS!

 

Evening in Paris dancing with the King

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And as my sister said, such beautiful hands.

Hands that were always kept with beautifully polished nails.

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

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

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

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

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

God makes beauty IN the misery.

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

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

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

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

Mom's rainbow 2

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And neither do I…”

“PLEAD my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.” Psalm 35:1,2

I love the fact that the word “plead” is already capitalized in the text, relating to us the urgency and desperation in which David’s heart CRIED OUT to the Lord.

Really a PLEA we hear echoed through the New Testament in the many VOICES that CRIED out to Jesus whenever and wherever he passed by.

We are given the account of Bartimaeus in both Mark 10 and Luke 18.

I decided to go with this passage and underline and highlight what we will look at later.

Luke 18:35-43: “And it came to pass, that as he (Jesus) was come nigh to Jericho, a certain blind man sat begging

And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant, and they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

And he CRIED, saying, JESUS, thou son of David, HAVE MERCY ON ME.

And they that went BEFORE rebuked him, that he should hold his peace (basically just told him to shut up), but HE CRIED SO MUCH THE MORE,THOU SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME. 

And Jesus stood, (stood still), and commanded him to be brought unto him; and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that i shall do unto thee? 

And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and ALL the people we they saw it, gave praise unto God.

The striking note with this story is how badly this man was treated, treated by those who should have been voluntarily taking his hand and walking him to Jesus and asking Jesus to restore him on his behalf! 

But instead as he cried out to Jesus, they tell him to “Be quiet”.

Did they maybe just want to keep him “begging”?

Did they want to keep others at “arm’s length” away from Jesus, while they themselves were constantly privileged to sit at the table with the absolute King?

But as the cry grew louder JESUS HEARD, and you know Jesus probably heard him the first time and was just letting it play out, considering he commended the man on his faith, as he did others who lifted their cries over the voices that told them to cease and those who suffered rejection by their peers in order to gain an audience with the King.

Jesus stopped, stood still and granted him his petition to the glory of God and the key word there, ALL who saw it, glorified God!

Matthew 20 gives us an account of two men who desired sight from the Lord crying out for him to “Have MERCY on us, O Lord, son of David.” 

These men ALSO were told to “Be quiet” and AGAIN they CRIED that much louder. AGAIN, Jesus stood still, asked their request and granted it and I love this verse:

Matthew 20:34:” “So Jesus had COMPASSION on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.” 

John chapter 9 tells of the divine restoration of sight by Jesus that ENRAGED the Pharisees and Jews so much that the man and his parents were brought in to be questioned because they did even believe that he had been blind, nor did they believe that he had been healed and STILL debated Jesus power and questioned his deity.

And the parents were so AFRAID of being “put out of the synagogue” so AFRAID of excommunication by the “church” that they said the man must speak on his on behalf.

CHOOSING  the”church” crowd” instead of Christ.

CHOOSING to crumble under the threat of condemnation rather than to follow after blessed spiritual consummation.

Talking about CONDEMNATION, the VERY FINE LINE between winning people to Christ and destroying those who ALREADY belong to Christ.

Let’s take a cold hard look at the word itself and think of it in terms of PROPERTY.

We ALL belong to God.

Period, and yes, that is period, 🙂 

The words of GOD, Ezekiel 18:4: ” Behold, ALL SOULS ARE MINEas the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

We know that  Jesus came into the world as a perfect, sinless, lamb to be a ransom for US. ALL those souls that ALREADY belong to God, but through sin had became enslaved.

The enemy having us all held hostage in bondage to him through those sins.

And as with most hostage situations a ransom is required.

1 Timothy 2:4-6: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 

For there is ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: WHO GAVE HIMSELF A RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time.”  

We know from this verse that God is telling us, HIS desire is that ALL should be saved, and we are told in another scripture concerning Jesus, that he is “NOT WILLING that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.” 

The other key word there is repentance.

We have to repent, 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh (produces) repentance to salvation not to be repented of (regretted) but the sorrow of the world worketh (produces) death.”

To try to wrap this up and put a bow on the thought I’m trying to bring with this all hinges on this next verse:

Philippians 1:15-17: “SOME indeed preach Christ EVEN of ENVY and STRIFE: and SOME of GOOD WILL:

The one preach Christ EVEN of CONTENTION, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

But the other of LOVE, knowing that I am set for the defense of the Gospel.

The Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, the Holy Spirit urges people to their need of salvation, as ministers and representatives of Christ, our job and our job alone is to be a LIGHT to those people and to show those people the way as we have been shown.

But often we engage in a war among ourselves as to how that should be done, just as the disciples and the crowds that tried to silence those who cried out when JESUS ears are open to those cries!

We often engage in “ministerial” war of those who do PREACH the Gospel but with contentions and anger CONDEMNING those whom God has set apart that they should be saved.

And in those painful damning condemnations while they verbally hammer and bash “sins” and verbally spew out THEIR own personal thoughts of what the punishment for those sins should be, they are failing to remember one major fact… WE WERE ALL SINNERS, and it WAS HIS WILL THAT WE ALL SHOULD BE SAVED.

And as Paul so eloquently described those differences, we understand the truth of how so many who profess Christ and profess to be his agents can attack others with such CONDEMNATION.

And it truly can be compared to a “building or property CONDEMNED through the practice of “EMINENT DOMAIN” the property is already OWNED of God, but through the guilt and shame of sin, that “property” is LEGALLY CONDEMNED, so that the EVEN after having been “purchased” and paid for, that property can STILL be taken from the rightful owner by having it declared UNFIT and held under the domain of another.

And in the Spirit world, we know WHO wants that domain, and as those in our stories above, for whatever reason, would rather rebuke another while they are helpless than to SHARE that good news of the Gospel.

It is a sad state and is really fueling the battle against false teaching, making all who preach mercy through repentance clumped in the category with those that teach of envy and strife.

That is what often happens, if we are not ever aware of who we listen to and what voice we choose to hear.

Maybe today you are battling with that same old feeling of condemnation, EVEN after having received Christ.

Maybe through something said or done the enemy is trying to take that “domain” over you, trying to drag you back, telling you that you are “unfit”.

Don’t listen, ONLY listen to Jesus, even you have “fallen short” and WE ALL DO, repent, talk to him, get whatever it may have been under his blood, because what is so often failed mentioned, is the fact that JESUS IS MERCY, His MERCY is unsearchable, and the word tells us that mercy is renewed EVERY single morning.

That godly sorrow leads to us to forgiveness but that constant screaming of condemnation leads us to spiritual death.

YESTERDAY is DEAD, gone, only alive in your mind and those who would use your yesterday against you, don’t fall for it!

Be like those WHO CRIED ALL THE LOUDER! The more “they” tell you to be quiet, the more you should call out to him!

And stay away from those who try to scream “CONDEMNED” at you and over your life, their ONLY desire is to exercise religious snobbery and false superiority over you, and believe me those who preach in that will receive the greater condemnation.

We are warned by James 3:1 that as teachers of the Gospel we WILL receive the GREATER condemnation because we are HELD to the standards that we hold others to. So we will have that STRICTER rule to be measured by. 

The best example of the TRUE mercy of Jesus that should always be remembered whenever you may wrestle against the feeling of condemnation is the very familiar story of the woman who was brought to Jesus, her accusers HOPING that he would CONDEMN her to death by stoning, were met with met by something the were not quite ready for, their own thirst for her blood being given them to drink when he QUESTIONED their own sin, as Jesus told them “whoever among them” that was WITHOUT sin should cast the first stone.

And we may know these verses well, but we will read them again,

John 8:9-11: “And they which heard IT, being convicted by their own consciencewent out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 

And she said, No man, Lord, and Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  I love that!

He WAS and IS the standard lifted up against the enemy!

He stands and he stands ALONE in the face of all that rises up to condemn us, condemnation from real enemies, enemies from our past, or that enemy of guilt within ourselves, or even the enemy of our own sinful flesh, as this lady who was snared in sin.

He is quick to forgive but we are also REQUIRED to go, but SIN NO MORE. 

We started with David, let’s end with David. 

David had sinned in “numbering” Israel, once he fell under conviction for that sin, he was given a choice of penalties for that sin and while weighing that decision, this was David’s answer to the prophet, Gad.

2 Samuel 24:14: “And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait (distress): let us fall now into the hand of the Lord;FOR HIS MERCIES ARE GREAT: and let me NOT fall into the hand of man.”

Always, always wait for the last word to be from the Lord, his mercy and his mercy alone has the final say!

God Bless you and thanks for reading! Have a wonderful mid-week and know above all on this earth that Jesus Christ LOVES you and He WANTS to save you. 

If you have already accepted that precious gift of his salvation, and maybe have stumbled just a little or even a lot,  Get up and GO ON!

GO ON to know him more!

He died for YOU, ME, and ALL of us and in that glorious resurrection He gave us victory, this world is not the end and this world is not forever!

One day we will be in His glory eternal and forever at his feet…  and as his word tells us, “LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU” AND “LET NO MAN TAKE YOUR CROWN”!

Concerning the kingdom of God, no one can take from you what you will NOT surrender!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NB 2018

“Dreaming in Greek”

My that is hard to read!!! Can you read it? Well, neither can I! But I know what it says and something very similar looking changed my life and my misperceptions about “listening” for the “voice” of God.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that HE IS, and that HE IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Now the dictionary define faith as COMPLETE TRUST, and we know so many wonderful faith scripture and verses and teachings that we should all have the faith to absolutely move mountains…umm.. if we had the faith and if we had the prayer of faith and the faith to believe the impossible and yet did absolutely nothing with faith.

Then as James 2:17-26 tells us “Even so faith, IF IT hast not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, if a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew (show) me thy faith without thy works.

and I will shew you my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God: thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know (do you want to know) , O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou (do you see) how faith wrought (was working) with his works, and by works was faith made perfect (complete)?

And the scripture WAS fulfilled which saith ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS IMPUTED (accounted) UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS; and he was called the Friend of God.

Ye see then how that by works a man (meaning human person) is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and sent them out another way?

For AS THE BODY WITHOUT THE SPIRIT IS DEAD, SO FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.”

So to see what we have going on here, the key things to remember is that God EXPECTS us to have COMPLETE TRUST in Him, what is Word says, and what He prompts in our spirits, even when we do not understand.

Story after story in the Bible paints us a beautiful picture of this and the two stories from James are prime examples, as we are told in Hebrews chapter eleven.. better known as THE FAITH CHAPTER.. verses seventeen-nineteen:

“By FAITH Abraham, when he was tries (tested), offered up Isaac and he that received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, That IN Isaac shall thy seed be called: ACCOUNTING THAT GOD WAS ABLE TO RAISE HIM UP, EVEN FROM THE DEAD;”…

And Rahab, whose story starts in Joshua chapter two who risked her own life hiding the men of God, verses nine-eleven:

“And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Rea Sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.

And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: THE LORD YOUR GOD, HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND IN EARTH BENEATH.”

She goes on to ask that that if she has been of help, that they spare her and her family and Joshua 6:25: ” And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even to this day (her descendants) because she hid the messengers, which Joshua had sent to spy out Jericho.”

So she believed in God and acted on that faith in trusting Him she did what was right even when it could have gone terribly wrong, she BELIEVED that He would reward her for her faith.. and HE DID! 

And we see also in our verse from James, that he stops to point out that it IS good to believe, but the DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE, they KNOW God is real but yet the try to destroy the Kingdom and all that God holds dear. 

But he is saying that we must also use that faith, that trust in God to step out into what God is calling you, leading you to do. And remember that if God goes before you your enemies are more afraid that you may even know because it is HIM, His name and His work that IS IN YOU when you are IN Him.

 I want to encourage you today and I want to share my own story, not that I will never be in the league of these people but our stories are our stories and they are for today and they are for the Rea Seas of our generations, and the walls of our generations Jericho.

My ministry, (may be not much to many but priceless to me) unbeknownst to me…was evidently given birth to from something as simple, yet so strange as dreaming in Greek, sounds crazy, I know, and you have to really believe and really believe that God does truly work in mysterious ways to get this.

I had been given promises and had been given my calling through prophecy and of course, the laying on of hands, just as the Bible tells us will happen, and I had been given words and promises during prayer at other times, things that although I never doubted God, I also never saw how these things would come to be.

And as I got into live ministry, it became more and more confusing to wrap my head around what I knew would eventually come to pass, our trouble as humans.. the more we try to understand the less we do, because it is not always our job to understand.. it is our job to BELIEVE in faith and walk out in that faith.

So years ago, after I had been called, I started having these dreams…reoccurring dreams of nothing but line after line written of what I thought (again, shouldn’t have been thinking ) was letters of the English Alphabet and strange symbols, no commas, no periods, no stopping just row after row.

So I told my prayer partner that I really needed prayer that I thought I was just losing it and she prayed and I still did not understand.. a couple of months later, my husband and I were watching a travel show and I saw a street sign and I was like, Oh my goodness, that IS it, it was Greek.

The letters that look like English, that look like a, o, k, p, i, v and so on are actually not English and the weird symbols, Φ, λ, π, and as I like to call it, “the pitch fork thingy” φ, are just part of the Greek alphabet.

Of course I would love to have those lines, and lines out of my head to decipher but I now believe that it was not for me to decipher but for me to “look at”, ponder and maybe see a “different” path of ministry that I would have never seen otherwise.

But you know, people could be like, the chick is just crazy… but crazy or not, the Bible proves that sometimes we are led “outside the box” and we are shown things for a brief moment just to see if we will do a double take and ask “What on earth…?” and when He has our attention, He will do exactly what ever He wants to do because we have shown that we are open to Him and willing to have for a work that we KNOW is IMPOSSIBLE for us but TRUST Him that if He said it, it would come to be.

Writing the Word had been in my heart, my soul, and I have notebooks upon notebooks of scriptures from years ago, because I felt the need to write things down, and write and write, and write… and I had written letters to the Editor when prompted and had an overwhelming need to share the Word of God in a written format because people could read it in private and it could deal with “heavier” subjects without people feeling like they were being stared at or judged, and if they wanted to cry, they could cry, they could receive it, read it, and respond any way they wanted because it was personal just between them and God.

But I could not see a way of this happening and I played around with a couple of ideas, but at the time, it was just not panning out. In the meantime, my prayer partner had told me about something they had seen while praying, it was a word, written on a very specific place (won’t get into that right now) but anyway they said it was beautiful and they could not read it because it was foreign, so now I am excited trying to figure out what all this means and how certain things are still going to take place, because sometimes as humans, we do not understand God’s timetable.

And what we think is coming next week, could still be ten years in the making. So God opened a door that blew my mind, a chance to write for a church, already established, already existing, NOTHING for me to have to do , as I had been thinking there would be, “to make happen”.

HE already had it all lined up. I did NOT have a computer, or internet, didn’t even know how to use a computer, all I had was my trusty typewriter, but EVERY step of the way, He showed me that if I would step OUT of my comfort zone, He would do the rest!

Now I honestly don’t know how I lived without this baby, but that is another story! 🙂 anyway, I prayed and prayed, and prayed, what to write, how to present it and I now had my trusty Bible Greek book, I purchased as I was “in search of” and I by absolute faith, took one word as my prayer word and just nonchalantly added it to the bottom of the blog , I thought, they are going to think I am really out there and disassociate themselves from me, but amazingly they didn’t.

And I later wrote a post to explain the meaning of the name DOWN LOW OΝ PHLOGIZO (Φλογιζω) and promised at some point in the future to elaborate further as to why it was in Greek.

As time went, I shared my posts with my prayer partner because I know the FAITH she had and the support she had given, and one day just as nonchalantly as I had written Φλογίζω at the bottom of my posts.. she said, “By the way, I meant to tell you, that word I saw, is ON the bottom of your posts.”

I was like.. I have looked, I have thought, I have prayed and it was staring me in the face every single time I wrote!

So let me ask YOU, what just might be staring YOU in the face today? What word has He given you? What path has He called your feet to walk but may seem just a little too far away to ever reach?

Be encouraged, look for what you can’t see and BELIEVE when you do see it, even if you don’t understand what you are even seeing, one day you will understand and I now know the “mountains” my feet were meant to “travel” on with the Gospel, maybe aren’t the faraway mountains of distant lands that I could not understand HOW I would ever travel to.

But the irony in all to “ιζω” Greek words, which my curious daughter discovered is actually archaic and “went out of style” and usage around the fifteenth century, and the suffix meant “reason” and we now use “ize” instead.. so you know like “evangel-ize“.. feet not on actual mountains spiritual feet travelling “upon the mountains, over the world-wide web.

So NOW I would ask you to please check out my newest venture, the third and final spiritual Greek baby “Εξυπνιζω”, as “Φλογίζω” meant to “set on fire”, and “inflame with passion” joined by “sibling” “Σαλπιζω”, which means to “sound a trumpet”, Εξυπνιζω the new one means “awaken” and the site name is “Alabaster Breaking” which is pretty self-explanatory, it will be mainly for His daughters, and Lord willing, I will continue this one also, but if you get a moment please check it out at http://alabasterbreaking.wordpress.com of course, there’s not much there yet.

Never doubt the will and purpose for your life and never take for granted that you are just dreaming in Greek!

Love & Peace, for ever and always!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

 

“ASCENSION PART3 / CLIMB”

Song of Solomon 4:6: “Until the day break, and the shadows flee, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense.”
Mountain climbing, some saying simply “because it is there” but that really doesn’t get it in the spirit world now does it?
That verse tells us a couple of things, we are going somewhere, to the mountain of myrrh, where we will die to our flesh and shed all the excess junk we are carrying on this trip, because the higher we climb the more junk and baggage we will toss to lighten the load and make it easier to climb.
The hill of frankincense, the place of effective spiritual intercession is our goal and we have determined that we will get there and we will stay there until day breaks over the spirit world and the shadows of death and hell flee away.
The myrrh is a mountain and the hill is frankincense because the hardest part of dying to our own flesh and coming to the place of purification that we can stand in that place of prayer, it is NOT about being a great person or most “spiritual” it is about having a heart for God.
As David said, the one thing he would seek after to inquire in the temple and worship God in the beauty of HIS holiness, (not ours) once that is accomplished the intercession isn’t quite daunting a task.
It takes a determination, a very wise man once chatted with me about a very simple biblical truth, “many are called but few are chosen” many are saved and are happy right where they are and that is perfectly okay, but God is looking for those who seek more, who are aware of the needs of others and KNOW there are greater works to be done in these precious, blessed last days.
They have the heart as Isaiah’s which echoes “Here am I Lord, send me” and those will be his chosen vessels to accomplish the works and bring in the harvest.
There are nine spiritual gifts, and I do believe there will be people who the Lord flows these gifts through on an as needed basis.
So many have chosen not to seek the gifts God has given them, but the work still has to get done and I do believe it will be by a multi-tasking army.
So some may start climbing that mountain and decide it is a little too steep and the trip is just not worth it, and ask “How do we even know anything is up there anyway?”
Some may have to stop on the way and reach down to help another back up and there may be times that we are carrying each other until strength returns.
You have to know why you want to climb that mountain, I determined long ago that I’d climb the bloody thing or I would die on the way up, because I know my motivation, I know my prayers to the only one who holds it all in his nail scarred hands, when I just want to tell him just how much I can’t do this, how I just simply cannot go one more step, I remember, I remember he was completely stripped, beaten beyond recognition and brutally nailed to a cross and displayed for the whole world to ridicule and he did it because he had a mountain to climb, the hill of the ultimate intercession, a hill named Calvary, the intercession to save all of mankind, and the only way for him to do that was to climb that hill.
Then I remember, he forever holds me, I have no strength in me, but through him I can do all things, and I ask myself what am I climbing for anyway?
I climb on behalf of every child that lives in horror and abuse, I climb for every animal tortured, I climb for every victim of ethnic cleansing after seeing the hollow soul stripped eyes on CNN of the genocidal rape victims of the Taliban, I climb for every elderly person that lives at the complete mercy of others in nursing homes and privately.
I climb out of my pain, the awareness that there are stripe scars on my soul so deep that they are my cross to be borne, and a very personal vendetta against hell itself, to see it brought to its knees and maybe the chance to scream a list of “things that are just not nice to do to people” at Satan when Jesus casts him and his angels into an eternal fire of hell.
If you could see this mountain in the spirit world, I think you would have to compare it to stairs, the light of that place being the soft glow of lamplight and a single file journey, an ascension upward of prayers, starting with the gathering censers of incense ( prayers of the saints) and as they persist, maybe feeling like they aren’t getting anywhere at first, oh, but it is, as they climb higher and higher, a change takes place, that cumbersome clothing will become robes, symbolic of the covering of the righteousness of God.

The censers of incense will become the effectual, fervent spoken prayer of the righteous offered up in the presence of God unlike anything some of them have ever known.
The Holy Spirit leads us, the Holy Ghost overtakes us, and while you know all that, there is a manifestation of his presence, just as when he came to the disciples and Paul, you may not see him but you will know he is standing right there.
On that mountain top, or after the ascension of those spiritual “stairs”, however you choose to relate to it, it will be “Ask and it shall be given” And if this is your desire, get your motivation, remember those you “climb” for, keep climbing till you reach the top.

Psalm 65:4:“Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts; we will be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even thy holy temple.”

Psalm 12:7: “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, NOW WILL I ARISE, saith the Lord: I WILL set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.”
Remember why you climb, and climb.

Φλογίζω/original post:01/17/2015. All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015