Reaching the river

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:

For I HAD gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  WHY are thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul?  and why are thou disquieted (worried, nervous, anxious) in me? 

HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall YET praise him (give thanks) for the help of his countenance (His presence).

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I WILL REMEMBER THEE from the land of Jordan, and the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: ALL thy waves and thy billows ARE GONE OVER ME. Yet the Lord WILL command his lovingkindness  in the DAYTIME, and in the NIGHT his SONG shall be with me, And MY PRAYER unto the GOD OF MY LIFE.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? WHY art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

HOPE THOU IN GOD: FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, Who IS the health of my countenance and MY GOD.” Psalm 42:1-11

Every single one of us experience these seasons in life and sometimes we feel like they will never end. When you feel like you can almost hear your circumstances echoing “WHERE is your God?”

You KNOW that you HAVE served the Lord, you HAVE went into His house with joy and praise and yet… you know feel your soul bowed down, nervous, anxious and confused as those “enemies” of your peace still vehemently whisper in your ears… WHY are you going through THIS?

Where is your peace, your joy, and healing? Now to completely seem to jump topic.. I know there are those who have suffered and suffered with the same afflictions for what seems like forever and often we see a televised service or even go to  a revival service that is so charged that YOU KNOW healing and deliverance ARE there… but kinda like the man at the pool who needed a little help getting in the water… it seems something else happens before you get your turn in the prayer line and before you even got started the service ended.

Want to talk to you about that before we finish our verses. The reason those services ARE charged is NOT where the services are held (although I do believe in “Holy” grounds) or even WHO is preaching them or who is singing.

The “charge” is the fact that these services are packed with people who have an EXPECTATION.. their FAITH dial is set to wide open flow and as we know “where two or three are GATHERED together” there HE IS in the midst, so when you have hundreds gathered BELIEVING and EXPECTING of course good things are going to take place. But again it is NOT person nor place, IT IS level of faith and belief in the fact that HE IS there.

But some things I believe happen in “different” settings, such as our personal prayer closets. That secret meeting place that is just between YOU and JESUS. that place of pouring your heart out, such as the verse above, pouring out your tears, your suffering, your fear and your insecurity and allowing His presence to wash over you and flood you in the billows and waves of His Holy Spirit.

As the verse above. he REASSURED HIMSELF that this fight was not over, THIS was NOT the end! His soul would STILL rejoice in the Lord and in His presence even though it looked quite hopeless at the moment.

Sometimes we are discouraged, sad, and troubled and WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I believe this happens sometimes.. not always.. so don’t get me wrong.. but when we feel like that longing and nothing major is going wrong in our lives.. I think it can be a longing to draw closer to the Lord.

But in either case, once he started to remember all the marvelous works that the Lord had already preformed, THOUGHTS changed, because PERCEPTION CAN BE A POWERFUL THING.

He remembered and he had HOPE. Hope because he knew the Lord would send His love and His goodness to him each day, because God’s mercy toward us is “renewed each day” and he knew that God would send the songs of Zion, the songs of hope and encouragement, faith, and peace to comfort him in even the darkest time.

And he learned the power of praying, and praying “without ceasing” to the God of LIFE, God who would give him new life and restore and repair all that had been broken and lead him to those crystal waters and refresh his parched soul.

In our verses, he asked “why” several times and we do not always understand why, but we must hold to that hope and to hold on to that prayer and pray and pray in the “secret place of the Most High” until we are restored, renewed, and refreshed in the times of trouble and doubt.

Seasons pass, troubles fade, and circumstances change so don’t give up your fight and don’t ever give up on God. Troubles come and troubles go, days get brighter and the sun will once again shine but if you give up in that dry, parched land, you will never feel joy and peace until you reach that river and allow Him to refresh you again.

Psalm 46:1-11 “God IS our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Therefore WE WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah 

THERE IS A RIVER, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder (in half); He burneth the chariots in the fire.

BE STILL, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge.”

Hope that jogged your memory! RUN into your prayer closet and don’t come out until you have been drenched! He does not need an audience, or a preacher, or the congregation to touch and heal you and often the most earth-shaking blessing come completely one on one, you just have to BELIEVE that He does hear you and BELIEVE that He will answer you and EXPECT Him to rock your world! Run, walk, or if you have to crawl but reach that river and let NOTHING hold you back!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

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

Thanksgiving

Psalm 136:16-26: TO HIM which led his people THROUGH THE WILDERNESS: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. TO HIM which smote great kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And slew famous kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER :  Sihon king of the Amorites: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And Og the king of Bashan: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And gave their land for an heritage  (the land of the wicked kings to the children of God): FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant:FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. Who remembered us in our low estate: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: AND HATH REDEEMED US FROM OUR ENEMIES: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. WHO GIVETH FOOD TO ALL FLESH: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE GOD OF HEAVEN: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER! 

Sticks and Stones #3 “Blood Transfusion”

Family night at Ye Olde Drama Ville Theater is never a one-act play and no one wants tickets to that dreadful show anyway. The script is just too predictable, the outcome a certainty, someone is always gonna go away hurt while another revels in their glory of being alpha male, while everyone stands by as helpless “extras” with nothing they can do, nothing they can say, just waiting it out until the dramatic star chooses to go away.

 Angry at the aggressor and too sympathetic in wanting to tend the wounds of the victim, sometimes it only feeds the persons feelings of helplessness and personal anger for what they feel as personal weakness in “not standing up for themselves”, I said FEEL because reacting on the aggressors level IS NEVER WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

But in reality the reason most don’t argue back is because they FEAR what they, themselves may be capable of if they allow those pent-up emotions to burst out in a blinding fury and it is one step across that invisible line to becoming the very thing that has tormented them.  

But if you have in times past, fell  into that trap, don’t beat yourself up, the Bible says for us to “live peaceably with all men, as much as LIETH WITHIN YOU“, keeping peace as best as we can, but sometimes we don’t quite hit the mark when we are under attack. 

Proverbs 18:14: ” The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity: but A WOUNDED SPIRIT WHO CAN BEAR?”                  

Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”                                  

Proverbs 12:18: ” There is that ( one whospeaketh LIKE THE PIERCING OF A SWORD.”                                        

Proverbs 15:13: ” A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance but by SORROW of THE HEART THE SPIRIT IS BROKEN.”  

This repetitive play will without a doubt leave someones heart pierced and their very spirit broken. The good news is you are not required of the Lord to continue to play the starring role, as the enemy and sometimes other family members would try to sway you into believing. The bad news, because it is the truth that is more hard to hear is this, IT IS UP TO YOU TO QUIT THE TROOP AND FIRE THE DIRECTOR.

 In “Blood Brothers” we discussed some biblical brothers and how a couple of them, in my opinion, did not even realize that the others really did hate them. We all want family approval, it is inborn need to belong and be accepted by our siblings and the most painful enlightenment that we will ever go through is coming to terms with the fact that they truly do not like us as a person and that there is nothing within our mortal grasp that will change that.                                                                

Often we do not understand why the Lord doesn’t just change these things on our behalf, but the truth in that is again God ONLY deals in FREE WILL and he will not go above what a person asks of him and even though we want them to change so that we can have a good, healthy, loving relationship with them, as God intended, if they don’t see a problem and have no remorse or repentance and no desire to change, then that is their free will and God will not go above that.     

Jesus said that they hated him without a cause and a servant cannot be above his master, if they hated him they will hate you.                                       The secret is in emulating his behavior, when you bless those that curse and pray for them, they have no accusation against you, as you have only been kind to them, when the Holy Spirit begins to deal with their heart and their actions start coming back to mind, they can find no justification through your behavior toward them to explain to God their own actions. God then uses this to bring about repentance, true remorse for their actions so they then may be saved and that is our goal.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Now digging the blood transfusion, when we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are covered by his blood, we are made partakers with his blood and become new creatures, adopted through that blood into the household of God himself.

WE BECOME HEIRS AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST and even though we still have an earthy family, our main family is heavenly and the only dinner we have to be sure to make an appearance at is the wedding supper of the Lamb!                  

Just as Abram had to leave his family in order to fulfill God’s purpose, sometimes we also have to “forget those things which are behind and press toward the mark of that high calling”. When we must “leave” (emotionally) our families or friends it is then, that the word of God promises us that God will pick us up, Jesus said he will be our mother, brother, sister, whatever family position that is broken and empty, JESUS HIMSELF WILL FILL THAT VOID, HE IS a friend that will stick closer than a brother.                                      

So accept that transfusion freely, be diligent, when you find your mind running through the past, replace those thoughts with scripture and things of God, And lean on your church family for support.                                                                        

Before I had even be called I had been in  a battle, a fierce unbelievable battle and I went to church and heard words that I still cling to today, a brother had been singing and he stopped, this guy is on the quite side as far as speaking and I think that made it hit home even more, but he said that we should always remember no matter what we are going through or how alone we feel that someone else is either going through the same thing or has already been through it.                                              

We often look at others as “perfect” people who haven’t a care in the world and that freak show stuff just happens to us but you will never find a Christian who does not have a testimony that will nine times out of ten leave you in tears, it is part of the overcoming we all must endure, the very reason your church family is a major factor in walking away from relationships you just don’t need in your life and being accepted by Christ is the only acceptance we need.                                              

But NEVER give up on them, pray for them, and as I said before once you give that gentle answer back when they are attacking you, just walk away, you have to, and when you have been in a very terrible argument and maybe threats have been made or your feelings are just really hurt, here are some scriptures that I believe will help, but again lean on your church family, talk to your Pastor or trusted prayer partners, pray together, there is strength in that but please don’t jeopardize your personal safety by continuing in it.

Psalm 56:3,4: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. IN GOD will I praise his word, IN GOD I HAVE PUT MY TRUST; I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT FLESH (people) CAN DO UNTO ME.”                                                                            

Psalm 118:6 : “ The Lord IS ON MY SIDE; I WILL NOT FEAR: What can man do unto me.”                                          

 Psalm 56:9 :  ” WHEN I CRY UNTO THEE, then shall my enemies turn back: This I know, FOR GOD IS WITH ME.”        

Romans 8:31: ” What shall we then say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?”                    

Psalm 56:8 :” Thou tellest ( you know) my wanderings; Put thou my tears unto thy bottle: are they not written in thy book?”   God sees and keeps record of our pain, one day all the tears that we have shed, that He is very aware of will be returned to us in PURE JOY !  

 James 1:2,3: “ MY BRETHREN (brothers and sisters of Apostle Paul through Christ) COUNT IT ALL JOY when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails) KNOWING this, that the trying of ( relying on) your faith worketh (produces) patience.”                                                                                                                                                                                  

Just say no, just walk away, don’t play the game and don’ star in that role!                                

“Proverbs 23:24,25: ” MAKE NO FRIENDSHIP WITH AN ANGRY MAN; AND WITH A FURIOUS MAN THOU SHALT NOT GO (STAY AWAY FROM THEM) LEST THOU LEARN HIS WAYS AND GET A SNARE TO THY SOUL.”                          

Anger will “jump” and it is like an infectious disease and it is contagious and you do not want to catch it.                                

2 Samuel 22:47,49: “The Lord liveth, and blessed be MY ROCK; and exalted be the God of THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION.  And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”                                                                                                

 Psalm 140:1,4: ” DELIVER ME O LORD, from the evil man: Preserve me from the violent man: KEEP ME from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from the violent man, WHO HAS PURPOSED TO OVERTHROW MY GOINGS (SETS STUMBLING BLOCKS BEFORE US).”                                                                                                         

Isaiah 12:2: ” BEHOLD, GOD IS MY SALVATION; I WILL TRUST, AND NOT BE AFRAID: for the LORD JEHOVAH IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SONG: HE ALSO IS BECOME MY SALVATION.”                                                                                

 It is my sincerest prayer that for all who may be in holiday dread because of theses things will find comfort in God’s word, remember as you study these for yourself, use a reference Bile that will lead you to other scriptures dealing with the same subject.

God often uses this to lead us to other scripture, which will be perfect for whatever our battle is at that present time and it is in the quite times that God will speak to you through his word and send you comfort and peace.                              

Remember Jesus said for us to be of good cheer, because he had overcome the world and sometimes for us, we must overcome those we actually hold dear. May God bless you and keep you and give you true peace this season.                    

Φλογιζω NBJ 2015                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                            

With the eyes of Iris….

The title sounds like I got a little confused there, doesn’t it? But no, I don’t mean through the iris of the eye. I mean trying to see through the eyes of Iris.

Iris is my little friend, she is a tiny little bird dog mix who is not very much bigger than my cat. She is, well, was a stray. I had never seen a cat or a dog in my life with such trust issues, usually you can feed them a couple of times and they know your okay, but not Iris. I got into the habit of keeping dog food on my back stoop (it is so not a real porch, it is tiny and step size) because we had a huge black lab that never wanted to share treats and bullied the other two so one day one of the others decide to get really smart and come to the back door and bark, hence therefore his nick name “Captain Barky” it was the cutest thing ever and he did this so often (my husband said that he had me very well-trained) that I finally started putting dog food out there hoping he would think it was special and appease his barking for treats syndrome.

One day I heard rustling at the back door and looked out the window and here is this tiny little dog eating as fast as it could and every rib, backbone, and little hip bone was visible and it just broke my heart and once she had been noticed, she quickly fled. Soon she starting coming pretty much every day, she would eat and run and if I tried to go out there or had to put out more food she would run away. I finally learned to not make eye contact with her and just try to get the food down wherever and as quietly as possible, try to get back into the house and sometimes she would run and then come back after I was inside. It soon became obvious that she had puppies and would often try to carry away the food container with her and this entire process went on for about six months and we at no point could touch this dog.

As I said I have never seen this kind of distrust and we could only imagine what she had been through. But soon another little friend starting coming by, I kinda of believe it is her puppy but this little thing was not scared in the least and adored my daughter and suddenly one day out of the blue after all this time, Iris let my daughter pet her. We could not believe it and my daughter joked about her being a different dog or something was wrong with her because it was like a complete 360 and suddenly she is jumping up on us, trying to lick our faces and honestly she looks like she smiles. The change was just mind-blowing. It was like when she did decide to trust us, it was a complete, no questions asked, give it your all kinda thing.

Sometimes that is how we are with have trust issues in our walk with God, we want to trust him, we want to have faith, but we are so scared of being hurt again or so wounded that we are afraid to trust anyone or anything. We often are fine trusting God with part of our lives but maybe not so much with all of our problems,our failures and fears, and sometimes we can trust him for eternal salvation and still be unable to allow him to get close to our wounded hearts to heal us, so we can have peace in this life while we are waiting for the eternal.

God wants us to trust Him unconditionally with every thing. trust can be a hard thing, what does trust even truly mean? To know that no matter what, your life IS IN the hands of one so much higher, that life, death, sickness, financial worries, any imaginable woe can never ever change the fact that your soul is in the arms of the everlasting God.

We all fall prey to the “I am trying to live right, why is this happening to me?”, moments, and dark times when the enemy tries to convince you that if were right this things would NOT happen. He is such a liar! Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust. Christians suffer but SO DO those who are not saved, they have lost loved ones, they have problems, they lose jobs and the get sick BUT they do not have the blessed assurance that these things are but for a moment and they do not have the comfort  that only comes THROUGH TRUST IN GOD.

We all know the story of Job, we all know that it was a great contest between the forces of the universe and that satan contended that job only worshiped God because he had been blessed with a good life and Satan thought he could turn Job against God by tearing his life all to Hades. Now we all may have problems but when we are tempted to complain we should just read the beginning of Job, no one has had problems like he had!

While one messenger was still speaking to give him terrible tidings, another came waiting to tell him more! He lost ALL of his children, his wealth, his livestock. HE LOST EVERYTHING including his health (by being covered from head to foot with boils) his friends turned on, as often happens when the chips are down, he was surrounded by all those who could not wait to tell him how bad he was to try to force a confession of evil out of him and the part of the story that always ripped my heart out is when he thought God terrified him in dreams. Satan did ALL of this to him and he MISTAKENLY believed that it was God doing it, right down to the demonic nightmares. The only thing the enemy was not allowed to do to him was kill him. He had free control to torment him at will and yet the entire time Job thought he had angered God, BUT Job never lost his trust in God or in God’s faithfulness and the most profound verse is this:                                                                                                                        

“Though he slay (kill) me, YET, WILL I TRUST IN HIM…..” Job 13:15 (a)                                                                                

As the story winds up and the truth is revealed, Job is blessed beyond measure for what he had endured, he was given more than what had been taken and those who were too quick to judge him were required to honor him, no one would ever want to imagine what would have happened had he failed this test, the one who had sent it all on him would now also have his eternal soul to torment but GOD KNEW that Job would NOT FAIL THE TEST! Job TRUSTED God even when he did not understand until it was over.                                                                                                                                          

Maybe today, you are having trust issues, maybe there is something you just can’t let go of, worry pitting your stomach, thoughts from the enemy of what if, I ask you what if not? We hear so many voices and often those voices are against faith, they are against trust in God, that is one of the many ports you don’t want to take refuge in during your storm.  

 Jesus asked in Matthew 6:27 “which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”                                                         

We worry and stress over things we have no control over and circumstances that we will never have control over, only God can change things and only God can give us peace of mind even in the midst of trails but we have to trust him and give him all our troubles and trust his sovereignty in ALL situations.                                                                                                        

The sufferings of the disciples are without question, and their attitude toward it all was unwavering, they focused on “that” day: “For the which cause (the Gospel) I also suffer these things; NEVERTHELESS I am not ashamed:   For I KNOW IN WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH I HAVE COMMITTED UNTO HIM AGAINST (UNTIL) THAT DAY.” 2 Timothy 1:12, you know written by Paul, who was beaten on multiple occasions, wrote most of the New Testament while imprisoned, suffered many, many afflictions and was beheaded for the Gospel of Christ.                                                                                                                                                                        

“That day” is different for all of us, whatever our struggles, fears, and worst case scenarios may be, but rest in the comfort of Paul’s example, KNOW in WHOM you believe, KNOW and BE PERSUADED that HE IS more than able to keep ALL things that we COMMIT to him. All the hurt, all the fears and all the what ifs and even the why’s. WE HAVE TO TRUST HIM with it all and once you just get under the shadow of his wings knowing that he has you, all of you, in his care and that when and if “that day” comes, HE IS there and HIS PEACE will see you through.                                                                               Φλογιζω NBJ 2015.