W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry

 

*Shared from sister site Alabaster Breaking*

“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? and WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,  I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. the baptism of John, whence (where) was it? from heaven or of men? 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say from heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell (do not know). And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” Matthew 21:23-27
This is one of those extremely comforting Bible stories that remind us that Jesus Christ IS our High Priest who DOES understand every single thing we go through.
I really detest the fact that I have to use this blog to address this issue that I am growing quite tired of addressing and we will deal with that at the end of this post.
I am one of those “lucky” ladies who have to privilege of removing my own followers. Satan does like to send some “live “ones my way.
And occasionally the OTHER “live” ones are sent this way also.

So between the freak-show Casanova wannabe’s who seem to NOT notice the title REVEREND and think I might be up for some..something and dealing with the “Good ol’ boy’s ministerial club” THIS sure can be a whole lotta fun!
I tried unsuccessfully last night to leave about a fifteen hundred word comment on a followers post, but unfortunately when I hit “post comment” I was met with “invalid security entry” and eventually just removed them for the second time, because they are very anti-female and I know if they are reading it is for the wrong reason.

So rather than write all of it again, “explaining” “FEMALES” in ministry, I decided to just “once and for all it here and just send this out to anyone else who wants to argue the point.

A point I am NOT going to argue. I WILL say my peace because I am sick to my death of it and THIS IS MY BLOG, I didn’t go looking for their churches, so if they want to come here, and read my posts in some sort of hope of finding “heretical” proof as fodder to kindle the fire as they tie all of us “female folk” to the stake for “preaching without a Paulinist license” well, they may just have another thing coming.

This is NOT just for me, I WANTED to do this for ALL the women whom Christ HAS CALLED, who are going through or have been through this gauntlet of the “brotherhood” and for those whose wounds running that gauntlet has left them laying in ashes, I want to encourage you, my sisters, GET BACK UP!
Women in ministry… stands for THIS… Wounded, Ostracized, Maligned, Estranged, Negated.

I will share the “high-lights” of my ministerial journey and I am sure many of you have been there and many more I hope it will encourage that it IS not just you, it is par for running the course set before us.

Of course NO ONE tells us this upfront, because after others discover that we have been called, the “wounding” starts.
When I was first saved, I was so scared and shy that when they called on me to testify I would actually shake and dreaded being called on the read a scripture because I was absolutely terrified and quite content to sit there and listen.

But soon I started being awoken in the dead of night with an overwhelming need to read, as I try to be so clear about my past, I had been an absolute heathen and knew only what I had studied with my Dad growing up.
And soon this became more of an obsession and I took my study Bible to work and studied every possible chance I had, I could not put it down.
After I became a mother, I would take care of my baby, and at that time my husband was gone about twelve hours a day and of course my family visited us a lot, but my point is this, I would take care of my baby, who soon became a toddler, on onward, clean my house, take of my pets, do ALL that life requires and then after my family had fallen asleep, I would spend the rest of the night studying the Bible until four or five am and get up the next day and do it ALL over again.
So it does irk me pretty badly when these guys who have had the PRIVILEGE of mothers and wives “taking care of them” and had the PRIVILEGE of seminary school and classes to learn what I, and many other ladies had to absolutely sacrifice to learn and I am NOT complaining and I am NOT begrudging and I thank Jesus EVERY DAY for the precious gift that HE has given me to be a MESSENGER of HIS Word.

And I know MANY other WOMEN who have been through this same “course of training” and what really bothers me the most is when CERTAIN guys and ESPECIALLY certain denominations teach that somehow WOMEN would do all this to somehow gain power to USURP some magical authority over them.
Look dudes, DON’T even kid yourselves! I have no desire to be anything OVER a man, I want to minister to the ones God has sent me to and as far as the old “men pray for men, women for women go” that kind of thinking does not even belong in a church! If anyone is thinking this way.. instead of worrying about who is laying hands on who, they really need to hit the altars and get their mind right.

My first Pastor was an absolute awesome man of God and was the first to invite a “lady” to minister at that particular church, which was one time and after he passed away the new pastor also “ALLOWED” (wow, what a term..) another lady to minister, as soon as she stepped foot behind the podium, one entire pew of the congregation got up and left.

She happens to be a dear friend and just having SEEN this was such an encouragement to me in my later years, because at this time, I had NOT been technically called.
But in such grace and beauty she APPEARED unscathed, she ministered a beautiful candle-light sermon (A candle which I STILL have to this day, and I am also sure she also financed all the candles, holders, and tiny flashlights for the children, because that is another aspect to being female, YOU pay for your own ministry) But she did not show one tear, but I KNOW how deep that cut had to have been and how deep that scar has to go this day.

BUT she STOOD, she stood just as Steven stood as they stoned him, she STOOD just Paul stood when he took lash after lash, repeatedly and on more than one occasion. She stood just as Mary stood when they laughed in her face when she announced Jesus’ resurrection, to which I have never read one APOLOGY given to Mary for outright accusing her of being a mentally deranged liar.

And we have NEVER discussed how she was wounded, ostracized, maligned, estranged, and negated. My favorite one is negated, it means “rendered worthless as a truth” and she probably never had a clue what her stand would mean for the rest of us BUT God did.

And others who have been ostracized by their own fathers, maligned and estranged for BEING a vessel of God and choosing to OBEY God at the price of having their own father’s DESPISE them and think they are heretics on their way to hell.

I have listened to them tell their stories as ENCOURAGEMENT to those of us who would SOON travel that road, stories told their tears and heartache, bearing evidence that those wounds and those tears would only cease existence once wiped away by the Saviors hand in New Jerusalem.

But I was blessed on that count, I have a very supportive father, who has had his fair share of discussion on the subject with those not so inclined. And my late uncle, whose influence is why I choose to carry my maiden name into ministry.

He was who encouraged me to be bold and to tackle the really difficult subjects that I usually work with and his encouragement to NEVER see myself as a WOMAN but as what GOD called me to be.

And when God opened the door for me to start writing a blog, he had actually prayed with me the day BEFORE I wrote my very first post. Because I was so excited and also TERRIFIED, because the particular church had an impeccable reputation and I was scared to death to even try to articulate the word of God under their name after having spent a lot of television time listening to the sermons of the Pastor years earlier, it was hard to stand in that group.

But I tried and I did my best and I pulled back a lot, things that now under my own ministry, I am “free” to say without the fear of “bringing reproach” on another ministry.

And it is my uncle’s sweet face and gentle voice calling me “little girl” and encouraging me EVERY single time I feel the anointing fire rise up in me to tackle a subject that I KNOW is just going to garner a little fuel to the destructive fire of hatred and misogyny that burns against me.

As I go a little farther, I could really use that encouragement as I go through my own story, so I’ll probably add his beautiful face in this post.
But on with it when I personally was called there were only THREE people in the entire church that knew, including myself. By this time things had changed and there was still ONE preacher whose family had always been part of the church and somehow one night the subject of female ministers was brought up at which he was quick to pull out the scriptural big guns of SILENCE.

To which I asked from my pew, in a new-found boldness, “What if God ANOINTS a woman?” to which my question was met with a glare and when his appointment time rolled around again it was a tied to the whipping post extravaganza.

This actually had answered a prayer for me, I had technically received my “hands on and prophecy” calling through another minister, who mainly ministered in another state and came by appointment, and this entire time, he felt that I was being disobedient to that calling by not doing anything to proceed forward.
And I was always thinking, “You just do not have a clue what I am up against” and he didn’t, he had never seen this, because the majority of the congregation all held the same belief, we just WANTED to enjoy God and the gender of the messengers was of no importance ONLY the anointing of that messenger.
And I had prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to please tell him that I was not being disobedient, I just did not know what on earth I was supposed to do in the situation that I was in.

And he sat there that night, every ounce of color completely drained out of his face, not to mention mine, as we ALL were thoroughly beaten with the “twisted” classic verses from the Books of Timothy and Titus, and left with the resounding voice from the pulpit that WOMEN ARE TO BE SILENT IN CHURCH and ANY woman who preaches is NOT of God.

What really broke my heart about this was that one night (when Sir Silence WAS NOT there) a tiny little girl had asked for prayer because she wanted “to be a preacher like her late Papaw when she grew up” and we had all prayed and asked the Lord’s anointing on her life and then three weeks later, that same child is hearing this.
But for me, those scriptures WERE NOTHING NEW, I had spent many nights crying and praying, asking the Lord, HOW, how on earth could I possibly do this? HOW when Paul’s teaching said ABSOLUTELY NOT?
Does anyone think, really BELIEVE that women in ministry DO NOT KNOW THESE SCRIPTURES?
We probably know them much better because we have had to tearfully WEIGH them against the SPIRIT OF GOD calling and prayerfully consider HOW THEY ARE BOTH ACCURATE.

To understand this, you HAVE to understand that the Bible is made up of WRITTEN accounts and Paul’s teachings are MAINLY LETTERS to individuals and churches AT THAT TIME.

Of course it IS the inspired WORD OF GOD, but as Paul said in the infamous 1 Timothy 2:12: ” But I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach, nor to usurp (have) authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

Now we have a couple of things going on here. Paul WAS persecuted, just like the persecutions WE are suffering. He wrote quite a bit about it. ALL the disciples went through it because what they were called of God to do did not line up in the elders and leaders EYES of what scripture taught.
They were not allowing for the supreme authority of God over human action.

Remember when Mary questioned “How can THIS be?” and Gabriel replied that “With God NOTHING shall be impossible.”

Paul also used the word I, he DID NOT say that “The LORD suffers not”…. the history on this is that he was under such persecution from a group of Jewish women, who were basically coming in and teaching AGAINST the Gospel, that HE forbade women to speak and that they had to ask their husbands whatever they needed to know AT HOME, because they were TO BE SILENT during his teachings.

So since that time you have this scripture being ran wild with and used a power tool against wives and women when PAUL also SAID this:

Galatians 3:28: ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST.”
And what I find most HYPOCRITICAL about guys who carry this doctrine is the fact that say that it is perfectly “okay” for women to teach OTHER women and children… and it is “okay” for them to sing, answer phones at church… all sorts of activities INVOLVING THE USE OF ONE’S VOICE… and YET they argue the SILENCE scriptures.

That is a complete contradiction.
Using THAT same scripture.. at NO time did he make allowance for these activities!
Did he boys? SILENCE MEANS SILENCE.
And this really tells the tale.. it is not about being scriptural pure and right.
It IS about good ol’ time honored male dominance.

Of course we are “permitted” (WOW, again what a word) to speak when we are making your phone calls, having church sales, teaching those women and children that you don’t want to have to deal with… rather convenient.

It is also the fear of their own shortcomings. It is their own need for church house superiority when we know that in the true body of Christ, HUMAN SUPERIORITY does NOT exist!

So I want to ask those who seem to think we would subject ourselves to this torment and hatred if our callings were NOT from God just for the purpose of somehow having “authority over a man” a few questions.
I want to ask WHAT was receiving your calling like?
Did you have the privilege to have your Pastor proudly announce to the entire church that “Brother—– has been called to preach”?
Did everyone shake your hand and congratulate you?
Did your Mom and Grandmother cry tears of joy?
Did you receive calls of congratulations of fellow clergymen and invites to discuss thoughts on scripture? I am SURE you did!

Let me tell you what it is like for US.

Our callings are kept on the down low and often we are under such pressure from those who say they are unbiased but secretly are, that we have to check and recheck every single word, scripture, and reference or face the “correction” by our peers which only “proves’ we shouldn’t be “doing a man’s job” anyway.

I have been under a couple of Pastor’s and the one that shocked me the most was this little slip, I HAD the appointment and so he opens service and went rather long and brought me up with these UNFORGETTABLE words, “Well, I BAKED the cake, now Sister Nina is going to FROST it.”
Yeah, it was nice to know my sermon was PREJUDGED TO BE FLUFF.

And that is just about how seriously we usually get taken.
I did get some good feed back and a cute comment from one person who had noticed the remark.

And let those congratulatory hand shakes turn to looks of disgust and the reproach by fathers, coupled with the fear of people you GENUINELY like, turning on you because they now think your “of the devil” and no longer want anything to do with you.

And if you complain about the inequality, somehow it becomes YOUR job to go talk to Sir Silence and CONVINCE him of your argument because the church is NOT going to tangle with him, but if YOU can get HIM to CHANGE HIS MIND, that will be groovy.

It took FOUR years to finally get my ordination, a paper that means nothing to many but meant everything to me, for me it was PROOF that this is God’s will and I had asked God that.

And YES, My mother cried and my sister cried BUT they were crying because they KNEW what I had endured for that piece of paper. A paper that must be renewed yearly and a certification from my state to perform legal marriages that does not even HAVE a female option, it is pre-printed with the word HIS and HE before the name space that is filled out.

Now this is a state that has LEGAL homosexual marriage BUT not a form with a he/her for ministers names.
It gets better, this will be a bit graphic, but I’m not going to hide the attacks of the enemy due to my own discomfort, congratulatory calls.. yeah.. the very night after I received my calling, my telephone rang, I answered it and was promptly met with a man’s voice which said ” Will you———, to translate a little differently from his actual words… “perform certain oral services on a certain appendage”, now that one I could not even bring myself to even try to relay to my husband.

I have also received very select pm messages asking sexual questions (I would have been happy to discuss the Word and discuss SERIOUS concerns but as a servant of God, I KNEW the motivation behind it was NOT for the Gospel.)
And my latest, shortly after starting this new blog, a follower whose profile held nothing back as far as intent nor very graphic descriptions of what he felt were his “attributes”, that one I did let my husband read because I have finally reached the point that I am no longer shocked, I understand that satan feels the need remind me of his feelings about my worth, and all I could truly say to this one was “Seriously?”
TELL ME, male ministers have to deal with this!?

I do realize we ALL are fought but you guys do not have a clue as to the weapons used against us. And unfortunately certain of our brothers of the cloth ARE the biggest weapon used against us!
And those discussions of scripture, well, the most memorable of mine were with a guy who is absolutely as hard-core as it gets, his wife did not wear pants, drive, nor was she allowed to have ANY money whatsoever, and any contact with him became a ” sword fight” of scripture to try to “test” my knowledge of the Bible.
It also consists of the age-old “make-up wearing JEZEBEL” that tempts men to lust, to which I finally shut him up with, “Jesus knows I wear make-up, I wear it for me, and I’ll wear it like a clown if I want to.” And Jesus taught that the responsibility for lust fell upon the one feeling it.
But my most favorite questions he asked as he was “agreeing with women “preachers” is this gem… “Do you know WHY God called women?” .. I couldn’t WAIT to hear this one.. so I asked “Why?” to which he replied “Because MEN wouldn’t do THEIR job’s.”

Hmmm. is that it? Considering the scriptures stating that we “are pre-ordained, predestined, and CALLED BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD”

I would truly think that HE already knew what gender that He would create us to be.
But who am I to argue the WISDOM OF MAN?!!!

When I feared truly falling into disobedience I reached out to another Pastor who is of the same belief system, and he had just announced one members call, and so after church, I BOLDLY (it took every ounce of courage I had) asked him, what was his thoughts on female ministers, he was QUICK to inform that “he was NOT recruiting” so I told him that was no big deal, I was asking for that, I just wanted to know if he thought it was acceptable with God.
He goes on to tell me that he grew up with women and personally had no problem with it BUT that his congregation would never go for it.
The irony in this was that this particular pastor is black with an all white (or at that time) congregation and my being a white woman asking a black man to advise me with my calling our chat was truly the equivalent of something that might have been said between our ancestors …You know, like “I am okay with you… I actually HAVE black friends.. but I can’t let my other friends know that.”

That was another time I was so hurt and embarrassed that I had even asked that I told no one for YEARS.
I truly DID NOT even want him to “take me in”, I honestly, at the time was seeking spiritual guidance, someone to help me understand what I was called to do and how to go about that and be in the will of God.

But God is so good and soon reconfirmed many things to me and sent me to a church where I was viewed as a PERSON, not male or female and opened up a path for me.
But I did have to leave everything I knew and walk by faith, not knowing if those doors would be slammed and the constant voices back and forth of “your going to hell because women are to be silent” versus “You must obey the Lord.. REGARDLESS.”

I know this has been long, but it has been necessary, because as I said GOD GAVE ME MY MINISTRY and I will not allow those who would read my work as fuel to further reproach and tear apart women ministers to continue to do so without a little warning, “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHETS NO HARM”

This ministry is for ANYONE who wishes to stop by and hopefully study the Word of God with me and know that GOD DOES LOVE THEM!
And I would also take a moment to THANK all my TRUE brothers in the Lord, there is a world full of awesome, God-fearing men out there who do not hold these misogynistic beliefs toward us.

So I think it suffices to say, I have taken my stripes and if you are a woman going through this, please KEEP praying, keep STUDYING, and be ATTENTIVE to every door the Lord opens and don’t be afraid to move on when he allows one to close

At the height of my struggle with it, I had a dream, in this dream I was walking in this building that had all these little side rooms, and they looked like little hospital chapel rooms, they all had wood-paneled walls, and I kept walking and saw one room with an older man standing and praying, and it was like I knew I was SUPPOSED to go in there, and I said “I can’t go in there, it’s all older men” and it was just like “GO”, so I went in and the gentleman just looked at me for a moment and not saying a word went back to praying, so I started praying too and woke up.

I took that as comfort but I assure you it has not been easy.

And I want to give YOU the verse that the Lord allowed me to stand on and STILL stand on today.
REMEMBER those who were persecuted and falsely called evil BEFORE you.
REMEMBER what Jesus said when they were CONSTANTLY ACCUSING HIM.

Matthew 10:24-27: ” The disciple is not above his master, nor servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master (teacher) and the servant as his lord,

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (a devil)  how much more shall they call them of his house?

Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye from the housetops.”

I will admit this was one I was stuck on for a while… the Lord kept taking me to it very early on and I was not even getting it and then one day……
It means this IF and they DID call Him a devil FOR doing right, as His servants, we will ALSO be treated badly.
But He tells us NOT to be afraid, but to PREACH what He gives us from the “housetops” meaning LOUDLY, BOLDLY, and FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR!
When they try to shut you up and discourage you, REMEMBER this verse, from when they also tried to shut up Peter and FORBADE the apostle to preach Jesus:
Acts 5:29:” Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God RATHER than men.”
This is one God had a person give me BEFORE I even understood the true ramifications of it:
2 Timothy 2:3,4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth (battle) entangleth himself with the affairs of THIS life; that HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER.”
That one I actually have written on my Bible case.
And this one I have written on apiece of paper in the front cover of my Bible, MEMORIZE it and quote it over yourself.
It is ALSO written by Paul, whom they love to argue, read some of the things Paul went through and how often he was persecuted for ALSO carrying the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:10: ” But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM; AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN…..”
I apologize again for the length of this but there is no way to highlight a seventeen year journey using five hundred words or less 🙂 and I truly pray this helps even one you to stand your ground and stay your path, because I for one would rather men hate me than to stand before God and know that I failed Him in what He sent me here to do.
I love all of you and God bless you for reading and I appreciate it truly!
And I promise no matter how tough it looks, TRUST HIM and He will show you the doors that He opened BEFORE you were even created!

Dedicated to my beautiful uncle… till we meet again on those golden streets…

 

Φλογιζω, Σαλπιζω, Εξυπνιζω, NBJ 2018

This beautiful song got me through many nights of tears: Shared from YouTube:

For a little more about women and the Word, please check out: AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

“PRECONCEPTION”

“And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter (murder) AGAINST the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired (asked) of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way (followers of Christ), whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound (arrested) unto Jerusalem.

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and SUDDENLY there SHINED ROUND ABOUT HIM A LIGHT FROM HEAVEN: and he FELL to the earth, and HEARD a voice saying into him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

And he said WHO ART THOU, LORD? and the Lord said, I am Jesus who thou persecutest: it is hard to kick against the pricks. (pricks meaning goads, it all meant that was USELESS for Saul to even attempt to resist the Lord)

And he TREMBLING and ASTONISHED said, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and IT SHALL be told thee what thou must do.

And the men with journeyed with him stood speechless, HEARING a voice, but SEEING NO MAN. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.  And he was there three days WITHOUT SIGHT, and NEITHER DID EAT OR DRINK.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; AND TO HIM SAID THE LORD IN A VISION, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he may receive his sight.

THEN Ananias answered, Lord, I have HEARD BY MANY OF THIS MAN, HOW MUCH EVIL (harm) HE HATH DONE to thy saints at Jerusalem: And he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.

BUT the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my names sake.” Acts 9: 1-16

Now got some serious events going on right there, as we know it as “the conversion of Saul/Paul” God was taking a man whom had made his LIFE all about persecuting Christians and at that time to even bind women and drag them off was especially despicable but what Saul did, he did one hundred percent, and gave it all he had to give.

And the beauty is that his TRUE PREDESTINATION was a total 360 and the cause he so hated would be the cause that he would ultimately and WILLING GIVE HIS LIFE in favor of!

And once his spiritual eyes were OPENED to the Lord, he did not even try to fight it because he knew he had BEEN WRONG and that he was now had. The other insight into all things human with this, is that Saul, whose entire being would be changed, EVEN his name, as he would now journey roads that led to so much greater than Damascus, roads that could only be navigated in his PREORDAINED, DESTINATION of walking those roads no longer as Saul the Enforcer, but as Paul the Apostle and truly remarkably, while Saul was YET blinded, and horrified, in complete darkness, God ALREADY told Ananias His own divine plan for Paul’s mission!

So see, Ananias, even though he was TERRIFIED of Saul, knew the work Paul would do BEFORE Paul even knew! So we are going in this post to the land of preconceptions, you know, that nasty little place that we arrive at when we decide a persons worth based on what we HEAR, just as Ananias had HEARD all these things about Saul, and while these things HAD BEEN TRUE after GOD CHANGED PAUL, they no longer held any merit and often we judge others based on pre-Christ lives and ancient history and how are we benefitting them, witnessing to them, or furthering the Kingdom of God by doing this?

pre·con·cep·tion
[ˌprēkənˈsepSH(ə)n]

NOUN
preconceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun) · pre-conception (noun) · pre-conceptions (plural noun)
a preconceived idea or prejudice.

(from Oxford Dictionary)

I had the most strange encounter, I had recently met a person and pick up no weird vibes or maliciousness coming from them and it happened that another person, I had never met, strikes up a conversation and we start talking and they bring up this other person and that I should know them and they proceed to tell me in about three minutes the entire life history of the other, and of course, the good, the bad, and the most of all the horrific.

And of course I am trying to figure out, in my head, why on earth did they feel the need to tell me all that?

I often remember something the “old-timers” always preached.. that we CAN KILL A PERSON with our words, we KILL their reputation, we KILL their testimony by CHOOSING to share every single detail of their lives NEEDLESSLY and usually those details are never of any good they may have done, BUT all the bad, all the mistakes, and the WORST possible “proofs of character” or rather proof of LACK thereof.

And as I questioned all this, in my heart, the sovereignty of God and goodness of Him came shining through as I actually overheard a conversation between the person “in question” and another, and they were actually talking about GOD, and they used a scripture that they said had helped them through a situation. And all that was said, was all I needed to hear because I know as a minister, that the wording they chose is only chosen by people who truly believe.

So anyway, I pondered the whole deal, and I was like, what was THAT all about?

And I came up with this conclusion, of course sometimes we are WARNED in life, BUT what if, sometimes, we are told things to make us fear another SO THAT WE WILL NOT SHARE THE GOSPEL, things told us so that we will be so guarded and not give a person even a moment, the benefit of doubt and to prevent us from even trying to see WHO they are in Christ, whether of not, they even ARE in Christ YET.

Just as Ananias had to be reassured by the Lord, sometimes we need to ask God to reassure us, we have no business in the pasts of others, we WERE NOT in their past but if God has placed us on the same path, in their present, even for  a moment, we owe them the same respect and opportunity to “prove” their character as we ourselves desire.

Because as the Bible so eloquently states in Romans 3:22,23:

EVEN the righteousness of God which is BY FAITH of JESUS CHRIST unto ALL and upon ALL that BELIEVE: for THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE: For ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME (fall) SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.”

That is the deal, MAYBE God wants us to try to see others AS He sees them, He SEES them as what they CAN be, what He created them to be, in the spiritual work that He predestined and when He forgives, He FORGIVES and FORGETS and He never considers those sins again, so why should we?

Why are we allowed to hold against others actions that we had no stake in or right to accuse now? And if we do CHOOSE to hold those negative thoughts, attitudes, and PRECONCEPTIONS about them, then WE could very well be the ones who cause them to stumble and cause them to stay who they once were rather than being lights and encouraging them to have faith and embrace who they can become in Christ!

And again, I want to STRESS that if you KNOW a person to be in danger through another person, or that they are ABSOLUTELY going to cause harm, BY ALL MEANS warn whoever is in that path, and I want to STRESS, I personally DO NOT BELIEVE we have to be buddies with people who have wrecked our lives, we do have to forgive but we are not required to hang out with them.

BUT please really, really consider what NEEDS to be said about  a person or their past BEFORE saying it, and ask YOURSELF this question, IF that IS who they STILL are, or WHO they STILL want to be, would they NOT STILL BE THERE IN THAT SAME PLACE, SITUATION, OR LIFESTYLE? 

People DO NOT change until THEY WANT to change and we NEED to be discreet in our disclosures (UNLESS, they are warranted) and LET them change!

Thanks for reading! Have a Blessed week, Love & Peace till next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

AMONG THE THORNS

“As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters” Song of Solomon 2:2
The beautiful spiritual garden of the Lord, filled with every plant and flower to be imagined and the plot he has chosen for you to grow in.

You have been created in the image of God, the enemy knows this and he knows the value of the true beauty which you possess. He despises it, so he plants his briers in your life to rip and shred that image until there is nothing left but bloody, twisted, painful wounds.

Thorns, the gnarled twisted vines that entangle us and who we believe ourselves to be.

Their razor-sharp points piercing our souls, preventing our movement in either direction for fear of their sharp sting. If left to grow they will completely take over our souls.

“There is that (one who) speaketh like the piercings of a sword.” Proverbs 12:18(a)

We go through some pretty rough stuff in this life but often the real damage to us is not caused by physical sufferings but rather through words. Words are so powerful, that is why Jesus is referred to as “THE WORD”, He spoke everything into existence and the enemy loves nothing more than to battle you with his own perverted, twisted, destructive words.

As the Bible states, those words stab our hearts, souls and spirit to a greater degree than any dagger ever might, because these cuts go straight to the heart.

“Four Eyes”, “Dumb”, “Stupid”, “Wimp”, “Fat”, “Bone rack”, “Flat chest”,” Slut”, “Idiot”, “Cry Baby”, “Should have never been born”, “Never will amount to anything”.

Of course, they are always offered to us with the all too familiar, “YOUR…’ which automatically red flags our minds which have been programmed to the values of this world and our social need to conform to default to self-blame.

It hurts just reading them doesn’t it? These words are so powerful and carry so much force that even not being spewed hatefully at us, they still affect our emotions.

Words piercing our souls, and so many young men and women in our world today have listened to those words and the thorns that accompanied them are now strangling everything a Holy, loving Father has created them to be.

Society has set levels of supposed beauty and social conduct that are both impossible to achieve and disgraceful.
We have all been there at one point or another in life, maybe you are there now and the effects of these words can linger for life.

Self destruct mode takes over when those thorns have convinced us that rather than rid ourselves of them, that we must instead change ourselves to accommodate their presence.

IF we were prettier, more handsome, bigger busted, more muscled, slimmer, sexier, had better skin, whiter teeth, had more friends or could get that perfect date.
Maybe we could fit if we drank more, tried the cool drugs, give our virtue away to everyone who asked, losing a little of our soul each time, joy, self-esteem and self-worth being strangled out, while depression, guilt and shame moves comfortably into their spot.

Achieve one goal and a new one will be set because that score board is rigged and it forever changes to keep the players on the field right where the enemy wants them.

If it is so grand, why do so many celebrities commit suicide and die from drug overdoses?
Their souls have become so covered by thorns even all the money, fame and power can’ take the pain away, they are so miserable inside that they can no longer bear living.

These thorns manifest themselves in many, many ways the most common alcoholism, drug addictions, pornography and gambling addictions, cutting and eating disorders and host of self-destructive behaviors.

We, as Christians must get our heads out of fairy land and see what is really take place in the lives of those Christ sent us to minister to and start acknowledging that these problems are very real and offer help to the untold number of teens and adults that suffer alone in silence, fearing that they will be farther ridiculed if their secrets are out.

We have to teach them that is okay to talk about these things and that there is help and most of all there is hope.
The realization has to come that THERE IS NO STANDARD! We are fearfully and wonderfully  created, completely on purpose by someone who loves and does not make mistakes.

He wants us all to feel beautiful from the inside out and most of that our true value will be found in Him. That we would understand that true beauty comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and personalities.

Just as roses, daisies and orchids are completely different and yet all equally as stunning.
His love is as the lily, the beautiful precious thing, completely surrounded by those thorns.
His love and His love alone is the only force that can cut all the thorns away and allow us to grow in that beautiful garden, being ourselves, just exactly who he intended us to be.

Hold on to God, give him all your pain and trust him because “HE IS THE ROSE OF SHARON AND THE LILY OF THE VALLEYS” and you are beautiful in Him!
Original Post Date:06/06/2014 

All rights reserved. Nina BrownJohnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015

 

ASHES

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Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]