My year in review.. in the rearview

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen….” we all know that one by heart. And I BELIEVE IT!

I have BELIEVED it and I HAVE BELIEVED since I was saved March 13,2000, but actually I BELIEVED it before I was saved because sometimes life deals us hands with odd stacked so high that there is no way of winning without pulling that mysterious ace out of the hole and often we have forgotten exactly where that ace is hidden. 

Still digging on the New Years Eve card game with my parents last night. They love it and I know some people may think card playing is wrong but if you are not betting on it, it is no different from checkers, or chess, or video games in my opinion.

It was actually a wonderful evening. We always ring it in with my Mom and Dad and last night was exceptional, we watched some great Gospel signing, praying, we ate and then had our game of Spades, watched a Christmas pageant, watched the ball drop, blew ours horns and prayed the New Year in on speaker phone with my Sister. 

But anyway they are the sweetest people and every single New Years Eve is even more of a blessing because we are all together. We still always miss my brother Donnie, we always spent New Years Eve’s together at their house before he passed but death does one thing for a certainty, it reminds us, very painfully of just how precious each one of those moments of that countdown really are, and precious they are.

And we had been blessed to be gifted with a restaurant gift certificate as a family Christmas gift, so Mom taught it would be a good night to use that, so while my family was gone to pick up dinner, me and Dad listened to a Gospel music program and his shoulders have been hurting really bad over the last few weeks, so anyway I just felt like we should pray.

We prayed and just had the sweetest presence of the Lord, the kind of presence that just leaves you with tears of awe in His mercy, grace, and the fact that we as humans are so small and should be so insignificant, BUT He loves us so much that EVERY need we have IS important to Him. To know and be made aware that in the midst of an entire universe of heartache, trouble, and toil, a world full of problems and troubles much greater than our own, HE WILL take the time to hear us and touch us and let us know that HE IS still very much there.

And sometimes so beautiful about sharing tears of joy and awe with my eighty-four year old Dad that still amazes me. Couldn’t stand the man until I was nineteen, to say we had a troubled relationship would have been the understatement of the century. But when I had some problems we began to get close and actually talk to each other and he eventually ended up being the person who prayed with me when I got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost and once that took place I understood completely why we had always had such and argumentative, strained relationship.

God has plans for our lives and Satan knows who to put at each others throats. So maybe the person who always fights and argues with you is the person who you have already been predestined to win to the Lord.

He always said that me and my sister were “like daylight and dark” and I was always dark. I was also okay with him saying that because I knew that it was absolutely the truth. She was sweet and mild and I really was exceptionally vocal with my thoughts and feelings and extremely strong opinions and looking back I truly wish I would have been my supportive toward him rather than resent and rebel.

Funny things happen in life, when we are young and “flying” down that highway thinking we are Sammy Hagar signing, “I can’t drive fifty-five” raging through life at break neck speeds while we don’t even know where we are headed and we are going so fast that whatever image that rear view mirror is capturing becomes just a blur.

But add a little age, a few seasons, and a strong desire to become an old sage one day, things change… as we slow down we can see… we see what that mirror is trying to show us and it shows us life, moments, glimpse, memories, that are so close to passing up by and that we become so painfully aware that a day will come when we will long for those things that were once behind to be in view just once more.

And as the Bible tells us to “FORGET those things that are behind” we know we must stay the course and enjoy every second of the ride we have left.But it does hurt to think of the things we could have done so differently and how that would have affected lives for the better. And this year that is my deal.. to SLOW way down and look carefully at WHAT I am seeing.

As I went outside and I pondered and I thanked the Lord for the wonderful Christmas our family had… with loved ones that we had not seen in a long time and children running, playing and Mom glowing seeing her family together and I thanked him for my great-niece who lives a very busy life quite far away, and as she came to visit just a few days before making my parents day.

I thanked Him for what He has done for my family and my husband’s health and sending blessed help with burdens that few even know about and He has blessed in way that have just blown my mind and in ways and through people whose kindness  has been beyond measure.

And I have had to learn so much about MYSELF and face fears and deal with things I did not THINK I was quite prepared to deal with and it all, even though I FELT surrendered and I felt like I TRUSTED God, I have had learned lessons in trusting Him with the prospect of widowhood, as much as I have had times of wanting to choke my husband over our twenty plus years, I NEVER had to FACE head on the fact that I may lose him.

I had no CLUE what was going on inside of his body because he has always been the “strong” knight in shining armor.

I NEVER had to cope had in hand with my daughter FACING these fears together as she had to deal with the possibility of losing her Dad, while STILL coping with the grief of losing her uncle who was like a second Dad to her. We were side by side for the entire ordeal all the tests, the horror of being met with the dry erase drawing of his blockages, the doctor informer her that this is now in her medical history also, which another later told her that again, and I told him really fast that she is a teenager and they just needed to stop it, and thankfully nothing else was said. She had enough worry without them scaring her about her own health at that particular moment. And we stayed with him and sleep in his hospital room and it was all so surreal, so sudden but we saw the hand of God at every turn.

And all the daily issues that came along for the ride, other family issues, worries, and snares and TRYING to fix a few things my way only to realize some things may never change and some of our inner wounds are so deep that we may NEVER be able to get past certain hurdles.

I am speaking of myself there and the fact that I have just truly had to admit to myself that i went through what I went through over twenty years ago but I don’t know that I will ever feel safe in certain working conditions again and I don’t know that I can ever go “back” to the comfort of never worrying about looking over my shoulder, not because there is now a need to, but simply because we can never undo what has been done.

And I have had to painfully accept that, I love people, I love working in public but I know deep down inside that I may be able to swing it for a few weeks but I am never going to be the same and a work environment of  large windows and public service is not going to be a thing again.

So I have had to learn a whole NEW level of trust and as I thought about all these things and ALL He has done and the ways He has made in absolute wilderness a beautiful thought came to mind… “GREATER WORKS THAN THESE…” and I am so holding to that verse, for me, for you, for this entire world! GREATER…. and TRUST and FAITH are the doors that lead to those greater works.

When we ARE helpless, ARE hopeless, and ARE without remedy as the scripture I clung to, “Who AGAINST hope BELIEVED in hope”…. that is when those doors open to GREATER because we KNOW, we have been TAUGHT that even though we KNOW it, we REALLY see it put to the test, that He is not going to let us fall through those cracks, He is not going to let the world swallow us up, and He will NEVER leave us comfortless.

And most of us have been wounded in life and wounds leave scars, and some things may  NEVER be completely “alright” and make us feel like we will never be able to cope or handle certain things ( and maybe we can’t) and make us question our ability to stand one more second and even feel “flaked out” or as my daughter said when she was little.. about a horse on a cartoon, “not all there, up there”

The past year I WAS a mess, I WAS freaked, I WAS scared, and I WAS fogged over but HE NEVER WAS!

He is NEVER a mess or blindsided by what befalls our human states, HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and like the old Gospel hymn and the words of Paul.. when I am weak HE IS STRONG and for all of my fears He gives faith and for all of my tears, He has given me peace and in that awe IS the Joy of resting in HIS STRENGTH and sometimes in life we just need to be reminded of that!

Thanks for reading and I pray you are having a blessed beginning to a beautiful New Year!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

I have loved this song for years and I hope you love it too!

“AM IS”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017