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!

EAGLE/ PART 2 SONG OF HOPE

Teasing someone about them tripping out and I might just be trapped in a Stephen King novel when they mentioned last week that they were waiting to read the second part to “Eagle”.
Kinda confused, I replied, “There is no second part”.
“There needs to be and it needs to be about hope” they replied.
I soon saw the sheer comedy in this situation and was reminded of the psycho character from the novel “Misery” (in the best possible way) as she demanded the lead character to re-write his novel because he had killed off  the heroine and she was not having it!
“Eagle died and I DID NOT KILL EAGLE! that flag killed EAGLE” I protested.
There is no way to write him back into existence.
I cried when all those words flooded my soul. I cried when the ending came to me.
I cried when his last song came into my spirit.
 And I cried when I had to sit and write it.
NO ONE wanted Eagle to live more than I did but I could only write what I was to write.
Eagle IS about hope! He did not die in vain, nor was his death the ending.
Eagle IS symbolic of what is good, what is strong, what is brave.
He IS symbolic of FREEDOM that can never, ever be taken because it is freedom that lives inside.
It IS freedom that not even death can take away.
His death IS symbolic of even while living in a dying culture and the spiritual death of a nation that the true life, the true hope, and the true beliefs that nation was founded upon will NEVER DIE.
The HOPE of the freedom that he carried upon his wings is eternal.
The campfire and the light that shines from it CAN NEVER be extinguished.
The glimmering hope of that light, even in this dark night will still burn as the fire in the hearts of those who still believe burns.
The song that rang out through the darkened night that had come over the great nation, being sung in unison by countless voices proclaiming that HIS TRUTH, THE TRUTH OF GOD, the truth that our nation had been founded on, WOULD FOREVER march on!
I challenge everyone that, just try a note, “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,” and you will know, his truth does march on.
AND nothing, nothing will ever change that truth, not laws, not government, not agendas.
THAT IS OUR HOPE.
 Just as Israel of old had been scattered and peeled, still the remnant remained and prevailed.
We can not change what has been done BUT we can be the voice of hope and to share that hope during the time of darkness with others who feel that they are without hope.


“And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:
Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness)
My soul still has them in remembrance, and it is humbled (bowed down) in me.


THIS I recall to my mind, THEREFORE HAVE I HOPE,
IT IS OF THE LORD’S MERCIES THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because his compassion fail not (never fail).
They are new every morning; GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS.
The Lord IS my portion, saith my soul; therefore WILL I HAVE HOPE IN HIM.
The Lord IS good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It IS good that a man (human) should both HOPE and quietly wait ( patiently trust) FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LORD.”       Lamentations 3:18-26


THAT IS our hope and our faith and just as Abraham searched “for a city whose maker and builder is God” so do we.
In hopefulness we search out that which we do not see as faith leads us forward, marching on as that army.


ROMANS 8:24,25
“For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen IS NOT hope: For what a man seeth , WHY DOES HE YET HOPE FOR IT?
But IF WE HOPE FOR THAT WHICH WE SEE NOT, THEN WE DO WITH PATIENCE WAIT FOR IT.”


As Eagle was that symbol and he embodied all the expectations, hopes, and dreams of those who chose him, we have also been chosen of God to carry on, even though his wings were broken in that terrible wind, tangled in that dreadful snare, we look with shock, horror, and discouragement at the condition of our world today but we are to realize that this is only the beginning as we are being taught to fly.
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard?
that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?
 THERE IS NO SEARCHING HIS UNDERSTANDING.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
BUT they that WAIT upon the Lord SHALL RENEW their strength; they shall mount up WITH WINGS AS EAGLES; they SHALL run, and not be weary; they SHALL walk, and not faint.” ISAIAH 40:28-31
Φλογιζω/ N. BrownJohnson. Rights reserved


For the record, I don’t read horror novels, I had bought that as a gift for someone years ago and so I guess now, it’ll be okay to be stranded in a snowstorm! Thanks for the suggestion!