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Eternal Life


tree of life

As the pastor of Faith in God Church, I realize that my main duty is not to point out people’s sin, but to point them to the righteous one. It is not my job to point out sin, but to introduce others to the one who will convict them from within.
That’s not to say that I will never talk about sin. To deny that sin exists would be unfair to those who are deluded into thinking that anything they do is okay with God.
In Genesis 3:22-24-It says that the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil and now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever, God sent the man from the garden of Eden to till the ground where he came from. He placed Cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.
Years ago I was going from my home in Alton to where I worked at the time in Thayer, Missouri when I was thinking about all the bad things that we humans have done and were doing and I asked God how he put up with all of us. I asked him how a God of justice could allow man to continue as he did. He didn’t say anything right away, but when I got to work and was sitting at my machine, he told me, “I am God of Justice, but I am also the God of Love.”
Some people think that God drove Adam from the garden as punishment for eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The truth is, as you can see from this statement, he sent man away to protect him from having to live in his sin forever. He put a flaming sword and heavenly messengers to guard the way to the Tree of the Life.

From Death to Life

In Romans 5:14 we learn that by one man, sin entered the world. Though Adam’s sin in the garden, we all are subject to sin. In Corinthians 15:21-23 it states that in Adam, we all face death, but in Christ we will all be made to live to face judgement. Later in the same chapter, in verses 45-50 we learn that in Adam we were made a corruptible living soul, but in Christ we are made an incorruptible quickening spirit.
We learn in II Timothy 1:10-In our Savior Jesus Christ, death is abolished and he has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Romans 45:15-21 teaches us that
In Romans 5:15-21 we see that though Adam brought death to reign in humankind, Christ brings life as a free gift of grace. Through his obedience, many are made righteous. We don’t receive this through following the law, because human nature proves that humans cannot keep the law. It is only through the grace that comes through the righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ.
The tree of life is again found in Revelation 22:2 where it says that in the New Jerusalem, The Tree of Life will again be seen. The tree will bear twelve manner of fruit and yield her fruit every month. And the leaves of the trees will be a healing for the nations.
This fruit that this tree bears is spiritual fruit which the word speaks about in other places. We get this fruit through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. This Tree of Life therefore produces spiritual life and fruit. It is through these fruits that true healing can occur. Forgiveness, love joy, peace all are part of this spiritual redeeming life.
With this knowledge, let us go back and look at sword that guards The Tree of Life as it was back in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3:24. If you look at the flaming sword, it sort of looks like the cross. The sword of the spirit is the Word and the Word is Jesus Christ. The only way get to the Tree of Life (spiritual life) is through the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, in other words, Jesus Christ.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church in Brandsville, Missouri.. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Be Sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8

Be Sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. I Peter 5:8

I have noticed lately that a much of the Christian community is viewing world events, not with the power of love and faith that God has given them, but with fear of what the world can do to them. They share videos from ISIS that show Christians being beheaded or worse. They are afraid that if this continues, they might have to face the same fate. It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.

Hebrew 2:14-15 says That then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (Jesus Christ) likewise took part of the same that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

As believers of Christ Jesus, we don’t have to fear death. As Paul said in Philippians 1:21 “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” If we live, we have Christ to guide us (if we let him) if we die, we join Him in Heaven.” Paul realized that whether he continued to live or whether he died, he was a winner. The same is true with believers. Follow Christ in this journey through life, and we further Christ’s Kingdom. Die because of our beliefs, and we win then too.

This brings me back to the verses in Proverbs 3:5-6 where it says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all of your ways and he will direct your path.”

Do we trust Christ? Do we believe that he wants the best for us even if it means that we have to face loss? Do we trust him with taking care of our children when they start leaving the nest? Can we trust him even when a loved one renounces Christ’s existence? Could we trust him even we have to face the loss of a loved one or even if we have to face our own death or torture or murder of our closest loved ones because of our faith?
The good thing is, we don’t have to answer all those questions now because we are not facing those things personally right now. These are just things that the enemy is using to try to keep us from doing what God wants us to do right now.

In Matthew 6:31-34 Jesus said, “Therefore take no thought saying What shall we eat? Or What shall we drink or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (for after all these things do the Gentiles seek). For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. take no thought for tomorrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

I remember a story that Cory Ten Boon told. At seven years old, she asked her father, “How do I know if I have enough faith?” Cory’s father thought about it for a minute and then said, “When we go on a journey, when do I give you your ticket to board the train? Cory answered, “When I get on the train.”
“Faith is like that train ticket. Our heavenly Father gives us the faith we need when we need it on our journey through this life.”
If you have read the book The Hiding Place, you will know that she and her family helped save Jews during the Holocaust. Because they disobeyed the Nazi law by harboring Jews, they were thrown in prison. Cory’s Father and her sister both died in prison. Cory’s own faith was tested and sharpened to the point where she spent the rest of her life sharing God’s love and healing with the world.
I have heard many times (especially from mothers) that they think that they feared most of their children being tortured while they were made to watch. Although it would be the most painful experience I could imagine, my biggest concern about the scenario isn’t their pain or even my own. It would be that my children could denounce God if they lived.
Therefore, it is not my fear of their pain that would concern me as much as my concern for their trust in God. I cannot do anything about that type of future event, but what I can do today is teach my children and others that our most important role as believers of Christ is to learn to trust him, no matter what we face on this earth.

We need come to the place ourselves where we are so trusting of Christ that we too live out those words of Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Do you trust God enough today to trust him to this extent? If not, ask God to begin teaching you to trust in him more than ever before.

My Own Faith Tested

 

Sometimes when we make bold statements like the ones I have made above, the thief comes in to kill, steal, and destroy.. (John 10:10. When I think about what has been stolen and destroyed in my life during the past two years, I would ask myself where I was doing wrong. The truth is, I am not at fault for the adversity I have had to face. Two years ago my Dad died. Six weeks after that my brother died five months later my sister died. After my sister’s death, A few weeks after my sister’s death, my husband threatened to kill me and tried to choke me so I left and I left my daughter behind because I knew that it was what she wanted and that her father wouldn’t harm her. It took me three months to find a job and then just short of a year after getting that job my boss informed me that I no longer had that opportunity either. Just Monday I discovered that I am not eligible for unemployment. If I would have worked just one more day the following week. JUST ONE DAY, I would have been eligible.

But God is faithful, as it says in the rest of John 10:10, Jesus said that he came that his sheep could have life and have it more abundantly. Last night when I went to bed, I realized how much my Lord, My Savior loved me. He’s got my back. He is faithful and since he is in me, I am full of faith.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


christmas angel

A number of years ago on television, there was a popular show called Touched by an Angel.  In the show, two angels helping people find direction.  In Hebrews 1:14, it says that all angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to those who are heirs of salvation. Angels are among us to minister to us even if we are unaware of their presence (Hebrews 13:2).

I believe that most of the time that I am ministered to by angels, I am not aware of them, but there is one time in particular where, I believe, an angel helped me.

A number of years ago (1979) I decided that I wanted to go to California to pursue my writing career. I didn’t think that I was likely to be able to write as I wanted if I stayed where I lived so I decided to go to California. I quit my job at the factory and took what little money I had in savings and took off by bus.

There is a lot more to this story, but I will stick to the highlights. I arrived in California at 2 am in the morning at the down town LA bus station. I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know where I was going from that point. (I was very young and naive so I hadn’t thought things out). I was about ready to turn around and get a ticket back home when I met another young girl who said that she was looking for her sister. We got to talking and she agreed to show me around the area. She taught me about the bus system, and she helped me get a room near the Santa Monica Pier. That night I took her out to dinner at a decent restaurant and she left early the next morning. I stayed in California another day and returned to Pennsylvania. I don’t remember this angel’s name, but I am grateful for the help she gave this young rural girl who ventured into LA alone early that morning. I am even more grateful to our creator who sent her.

The Angels Marvel

Powerful as they are, angels marvel at what God has given us. According to Hebrews 2, God made the angels witness of signs and wonders, different kinds of miracles and gifts from the Holy Spirit. They are also in charge of the world to come. They are at awe of the place that God has offered to mankind. They watched God put man in charge over all of the earth. They watched man fall to a place where they were lower than angels. They watched as God sent His own Son to die on the cross for us as an offering of His Grace toward us.  They marveled that Christ did not seek the nature of the angels, but the nature of the seed of Abraham. In so doing, Jesus became the High Priest and Apostle for all mankind. It says in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.”

The privilege of salvation did not come to the angels. Rather, God gave the gift of salvation to us. I am grateful for this privilege.

A General Uneasiness

Angels protect us and make war with unseen forces that we are often not aware exist, other times they are letting us know to be on guard. This past week was a rough one for me. I had problems come up, seemingly minor ones that at first I just gave over to God and let them go. I had an unusual number of people who, the best way to describe it is that they were not acting competently and frustrated everything that I was trying to do. I won’t go into details, but there were several and they took several extra hours of my time. After one in particular, I started feeling really anxious and had to fight it off through prayer, but still the “feeling” was there and I couldn’t shake it.
I didn’t want to be around people. I just wanted to be alone. I went to the mission church on Tuesday and actually felt worse after attending, so I stayed home the rest of the week and read my Bible and prayed. I didn’t want this melancholy rubbing off on anyone.
The Ball Dropped
At work I felt fine, and talked about my writing goals with my co-workers and they were excited for me. It was an overall good week at work. Plus Friday I went out and sold some more books. I didn’t feel any anxiety then either. But still there was this underlying anxious feeling that I couldn’t shake.
Last night, my boss called me and told me that because of certain issues that were beyond my control, she was letting me go. I had been hoping to write full time in maybe six months but here I was now without a job! Panic set in! What was I going to do for money? I don’t have anyone to support me! I asked God what was I going to do. I tried to call a friend. She didn’t answer her phone or call me back. I called my older son. He said I needed to get another job. (Obviously, but what was I going to do for money in the meantime?) I went to Facebook and well-meaning friends started throwing scriptures at me and telling me things like “when on door closes, another one opens”.

What Did Help

Then I got a message on messenger from the young man who stole my debit card. He said a lot of things, but probably the most important thing that he said was that when he stole my credit card, I did more to help him than anyone else. I told him that I just did what was right. I told him that I knew that if I didn’t forgive him that God couldn’t forgive me. I told him that what he had done disappointed me because I knew he was better than that and he agreed.
This morning I was talking to a mature Christian and we were talking about spiritual things and it felt good to discuss things with someone who understood where my anxiety actually originated. We discussed how life here isn’t meant to be easy, but it is a testing ground for our faith.
The word angel means messenger, and in these cases, God sent me angels not from the spiritual realm, but from right here where I live. As I have been going about my daily chores, I have found that my heart has lightened and God’s peace has returned, at least, for now.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


 

noahsark

After a long busy day, I was exhausted and went to bed only to find that my husband was on my heart. I prayed for a little while and then tried to go back to sleep, but I was did not have peace, so I felt prompted to read Hebrews chapters 3 and 4.

In these chapters of Hebrews in the Bible, the writer talks about how the children of God in the wilderness did not enter into his rest because of their unbelief and that we can only enter into God’s rest (which includes, but is not limited to salvation from the wrath of His final judgement) if we believe God’s Word until the end of our journey through this life.

My estranged husband (we are still legally married and I have no desire to change that) used to claim to believe, He often seemed to have many insights into God’s Word, but I know of his struggles to believe. One of the doctrines that he is hung up on is predestination. He has listened to a lot of Calvinist teaching which says that God and God alone determines whether or not we are destined to live eternity with him. That teaching is as extreme as what many Baptists teach on the opposite extreme that it is all free will, all you have to do is confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and you will be saved. Both extremes leave out one crucial ingredient to salvation and that is that we must choose to believe in our hearts (in our spirit, not just our minds) and God will reward our belief (Hebrews 11:6).

Another way that my husband fell into the idea of predestination is that he believes in astrology. He believes that the stars dictate who he is and what he can expect from this life. The biggest danger of all of this is that as he continues to follow the stars he is failing to follow the creator of those stars.

The night the movie War Room came out, I went to see it with one of the church groups I fellowship with and the following weekend, I went with another group of friends. The movie shows how we are to become prayer warriors and to pray for those around us. As I was watching the movie, I felt the love that I still had for my own husband and how I knew that God loved him too. Even though my husband is living in sin with a woman who is an atheist (he knows what he is doing is wrong in his heart, but he doesn’t want to face his sin so he is running from God), I am praying for reconciliation with God and then with me. I know that it seems impossible and my husband would likely to scoff at what I have just written if he reads it, but I am reminded of the verse Matthew 19:29 where Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Intercession is a Duty

Intercession Is a Duty

I have to believe for this to come to pass and I also have to pray.

I need to pray not only for my husband, but I need to learn to have Christ’s compassion to pray for everyone who needs to know Christ. In Hebrews it talks about Jesus being the High Priest, but in Revelation 1:6, it says that he makes us kings and priests. As priests we are to intercede for others just as Christ as our High Priest intercedes for us.  It is our duty as believers to pray and plead for others because it is God’s will for us.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


A number of years ago, back before I even joined the military, I was sitting in my room praying. I was asking the Lord about my future, and I heard a voice in my spirit. He said, “Your linea will be two-fold.”

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

What is Linea?

I asked the voice if He meant blessings and He said, no, linea. I asked Him what is linea and He told me to look it up and I said I didn’t even know how to spell linea, so He then spelled out the word to me. I looked it up, but, of course I didn’t find that word in my dictionary.
I then asked my Dad what he thought the word meant (without telling him where I got the word, of course, he’d have thought I was crazy.) He said that he thought that it probably had something to do with lineage or perhaps line.
I thanked him for his answer and then went back to the dictionary. There, in the origin of the word line was the Latin root linea which literally meant linen thread. I thought I had an understanding concerning the meaning of the word two-fold meaning that it would be double.
My question then became what was the significance of linen in the Bible? I looked up the references to linen in the Bible and it was the material that priestly garments were made of. The signature verse relating to this for me as a Christian, however, was Revelation 19:8 which is “And to her (the Bride of Christ) was granted that she be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints (believers).”

 

Where Do We Get Clothes of Righteousness?

What is the righteousness am I as a Christians clothed in? I don’t have righteousness in myself. The righteousness that I am clothed in is the righteousness of Christ. It says in Isaiah 64:6 that our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. However, the passage goes on to say that if we put ourselves in God’s hands, and allow ourselves to be molded by Him like clay in a potters hands, we become His people. In the New Testament, we learn in Acts 4:12 there is only one name (authority) that we can be saved (made whole) and that is in the authority of Jesus Christ.
I have recently revisited this prophecy that God gave me and have taken a closer look at the word two-fold. I looked it up in my Strong’s Concordance and discovered only one passage that talks about two- fold (Matthew 23:15) and it refers to how the Pharisees (hypocrites) made their followers worse than the children of hell. I knew that this was not the word that God had for me, so I looked at the word a little deeper. I learned that the word used in this verse was distomos which means two-edged and so I looked at the other verses that used this term two-edged and Hebrews 4:12 came to my attention. It says, “For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

thunderstorm

Times When God Spoke to Me Profoundly

  • What God was trying to tell me that day (as well as starting to teach me how to diligently study His word) was that Jesus Christ is my righteousness, and that I can learn to trust Him in every area of my life, no matter what. I need to realize that His Word separates the worldly things from the spiritual things.
  • He has been telling me this in many other ways through the years. When I was in bootcamp, one of the girls in my company was concerned that her mother would not be able to make it to our graduation. The Lord prompted me to tell her that not only would her mother come, but so would her whole family! I did, and they came just as the Lord told me to tell her!
  • When my son Jeremy was little, I was concerned because I had to leave him while I was away in with the Navy Reserves. The Lord told me that I was not just trusting him with the people caring for him, but that I was also leaving him in God’s hands. My son remained safe.
  • A few years later, I was left a single parent. My younger son Jonathan’s father had died and Jon had no father (not my other son Jeremy’s father). I asked God to be his father and when I reminded God of that, he showed me that he was living up to his promise to be his father.
  • Most recently, I had to leave my husband because he was abusive with me, but I left my daughter behind with him because she wanted to stay where she was. After much prayer, I decided to leave her in God’s hands. I knew that her natural father loved her and that physically and emotionally, she was safe with him even though I was not. It has been the hardest thing that I have ever done. I see her and talk to her from time to time, and in our conversations, I am reassured that God has been protecting her and more importantly, he has been guiding her because she is a believer in Christ and she hears his voice too. Her steadfast faith is a real blessing because her father, my husband (we are not divorced) claims to be an agnostic now and he is living with a woman who says that she is an atheist. I pray daily that the Lord continues to show my daughter his wisdom. I pray that her trust in God influence her father and yes, grudgingly, I pray that he influence my husband’s girlfriend as well.

The Linea (righteousness) that I wear is indeed has sharp edges that separate. It divides the truth from the fables. It divides the carnal (physical) from the spiritual. It divides belief from unbelief. The righteousness of Christ in me is pure and undefiled. May my walk through this life continue to reveal His Truth.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Is Tolerance Equal to Real Love?

BeliefBreedsIntolerance
Tolerance is related to Apathy and is selfish in nature. When we tolerate certain behaviors from others, we are saying that because it doesn’t relate to us personally, we let it go. An unbeliever will tell a Christian that it is his or her life and that it is none of their business what they do as long as they do not harm another person. However, what the person asking for tolerance is asking is that the Christian overlook sin and all sin is harmful not just to the individual, but to everyone around them, even if that harm is not obvious to anyone.

An Inclusive but Intolerant Creator

Our Creator is inclusive to a point. He desires that we all should be saved from the future judgement that the rebellious demons of hell will have to face. However, the salvation can only be on the terms that he created.
According to Romans 3:23,”all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Then in Romans 6:23 it goes on to say. “the wages of sin is (eternal) death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.”
God the Father sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us so that we can choose to live with him for eternity. Jesus Christ willfully gave his sinless life so that our sinful lives could spend eternity with our Creator. The catch is, we have to believe that what he did, he did for us. We have to come to the terms that he has given us eternal life. We have to recognize that He is right and we are wrong. We have to recognize that we have willfully gone against his plan for our lives. When we recognize that, we are finally able to go on and do what it is that he has not only called us to do in this lifetime, but also in our eternal life with him.
God is slow to anger, but he cannot tolerate sin for long and judgement does eventually come to everyone. In Revelation, it talks about a final white throne judgement where God judges the entire world system and those involved in that world’s system. Everyone at that judgement will be condemned to the lake of fire forever.

Not Tolerating Blind Tolerance

Eternal damnation is not something that I am willing to tolerate for anyone. Am I going to point out a specific sin and say that these people are going to Hell? No, I am not the judge. God is the judge. However God did say that everyone has sin and that’s what I say too. I John 1:8 it says, “if we say we have no sin, then we do not know the truth either.”
My message is not to condemn anyone for their sins, but to introduce them to the only one that can bring truth and salvation from our sins. In John 14:6-7 Jesus Christ said, “I am the way , the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me. If you have known me, you have known the Father, also: and henceforth, you have known him and seen him.”

IMG_8330 final copy

 

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Crucifixion_Icon_Sinai_13th_century

Last week I talked about how we share in God’s sorrow, but we are able to share in his sorrow because we share in his love. In I Corinthians, chapter 13, in the King James it speaks of charity, but in the Greek the word is agape which means unselfish love that is higher than any other type of love. I think the best illustration of this love, of what agape love is, can be found in the writings of the Apostle John.

In The Gospel of John

, Chapter 17 Jesus prayed to the father. He said that he wanted all of his followers (including future ones) to look to him not just for direction, but for guidance in the same way that he takes His guidance from His Father. He wants us to be one as he and his father are one. He says that if we are one (in his love), then the world will believe.
How sad it is that Christians around the world and especially in the US are more concerned with maintaining the divisions (denominations) than they are at seeing what each sect has in common with one another. Our determination of whether we are Christian or not is: whether or not Christ is Lord of our lives. If we choose not to do what Christ wants for us as believers, then perhaps we should reconsider whether or not we should call ourselves followers of Christ.

The Book of First John

In the book of I John, this same writer tells us that we need to love one another. He says that if we do not love our brother whom we can see, then we cannot love God either. We are lying to ourselves if we say otherwise.
This book also says that God is Love. If God is in us, then we will love one another.

II John

In this book John has a prayer. He prays that the people that he is talking with prosper and be in good health. I pray that for everyone, including those who do not know Christ as I know Christ. To prosper to me includes prospering in knowing Christ, and I wish that for everyone.
My daughter and many of her generation believe that everyone has a right to believe what they want. It’s the philosophy of tolerance. And although we have the right to believe, we do have to face the consequences of what we believe. I can believe that a hurricane coming will not harm me, but if I do not seek shelter, I will get hurt and probably die.
If I am in a canoe on a river and someone warns me that there is a waterfall and that if I don’t get out of the water, I will certainly fall to my death, I shouldn’t want to stay in that water. If I want to survive, then I need to get out.
All of us from the day that we are born are on the river of sin. John 3:16&17 says that Jesus came to draw us out of that river of sin. Each of us has a hurricane headed toward us that if we don’t get out of the way, it will destroy us. Accept the hand that Jesus is offering. Believe that he is and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.

The Revelation

In Revelation 3:7-13 John had a vision and in it Jesus tells him about the Church at Philadelphia, the righteous church that is not under persecution.
This church should be the example in which all Christians should want to be included. The first thing that we must realize is that the name Philadelphia means brotherly love. This church has a little strength and it has kept Christ’s Word, and it has not denied his authority over their lives. To those of this church, to those who overcome the pull of division and Satan, he will make a pillar in God’s Temple. Jesus said that he would write the name of God on him and the name of the city which is New Jerusalem and will write on him Christ’s own new name.

My Thoughts On Aging

Today’s my birthday. Some people get hung up on the fact that they are getting older (It beats the alternative, I always say.) I really don’t worry about getting older even though the calendar says that I am a year older than I was yesterday, I am in fact just a day older than I was yesterday. I do know however that my life here on earth is limited, but when this life here on earth ends, I am assured that I have another, better life waiting for me when I get there. My life here is temporary, but my life there is eternal and age won’t matter anymore. I just hope that I make the most of the time that I have left here and that I will bring a few others with me into His Glory.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Will you live forever with the one who died to save you?

Will you live forever with the one who died to save you?

Have you had something bad happen to you that caused you to feel sorrow? Of course you have. If you have lived on this planet more than five minutes something unpleasant has happened in your life. (Yes, five minutes, perhaps you don’t remember, but you had some pretty rough things happen to you during those first five minutes. You left that safe warm place where everything was done for you and you could swim at leisure into a rude world where you feel hunger and cold and wet.)
Have you ever blamed God for the bad things that happened in your life? I know I have What I have discovered though is that stuff that happens to us is never God’s fault and very seldom in his perfect will. It says in I Peter 5:8 that our enemy is like a lion looking to devour us. Sometimes, though, we cannot even blame the enemy. Sometimes it is simply my own desires that causes bad things to happen. Other times its not the enemy or ourselves that directly causes bad things to happen. Sometimes bad things happen because of the fallen nature of all of mankind. (Remember that rude awakening into the world, that’s part of this fallen nature.)

My Deepest Sorrow

What has been your deepest sorrow in your life? My deepest sorrow was not when my house burned down with all of my possessions, nor was it when three of my family members died within six months (All of them claim a relationship with Jesus Christ, so I expect to see them when my life also ends here on earth.) No, the deepest sorrow I have ever felt was when my husband decided that he not only no longer wanted to work on our marriage, but that he no longer felt that he could accept that there really is a God and that God cares for him. That knowledge that he has chosen to be an agnostic continues to grieve me more than anything else I have ever had to face in my life. I do however have hope in this situation because this is not the first time that I have been through this same situation.
When my relationship with my first husband ended, I was devastated then too. I remember praying and asking God why it happened. I asked what I had done so wrong that my marriage was ending. As I lay there on my bed, a voice inside of me, which I took to be God, told me that it wasn’t just me that he was leaving, but he was also deserting God as well.
I knew that what the voice was telling me was true. I knew that my husband at the time was running from God not just from me. God told me to simply keep praying for him.
So I did. Even though I had not seen or heard from him in years, I kept praying for him . I prayed for him until one day I was praying in church when a picture came into my mind. The picture was of me entering into Heaven. I pictured a bunch of people standing on the crystal sea, praising God. Then I saw the crowd of people part and there was my ex-husband with open arms. He told me that he was so glad I was there and that he had been waiting for me.
I felt warm all over and excited because it was as though God was telling me that it was okay for me to stop praying for him, because he was now in Heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ and that he was there waiting for me.

He Wants To Be Our Friend

As I look at both of these instances, I realize that what I am doing when I am praying for these lost loved ones is that I am not only grieving myself, but that I am sharing God’s sorrow. In Isaiah 53: 3 says that what brings God sorrow is that we do not esteem him. IN other words, we do not give him per-eminence in our lives. Several times in the New Testament in Paul’s letters, Paul also shares in this type of sorrow.
Jesus Christ died for us so that we could have a relationship with him. He desires to call us his friends. As I think about this, I am reminded of the difference between an acquaintance and a friend. An acquaintance is often someone that we want to impress. An acquaintance is one of those people that we want to show only what is good about us.
With true friends, however, we can share not only our good times, but also the bad times. In being our friend, Jesus Christ also wants to share what grieves him. It is part of the relationship and to have his sorrow for those around me is not a burden, but a privilege that I am able and willing to share.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.


Mary mother of jesus passion of christ

Was not like the woman portrayed in The Passion of the Christ. In the passion of the Christ, she seemed to be all knowledgeable about Jesus’ mission as Savior. Although i will demonstrate in the coming posts that other women did seem to understand his mission better than the men around him, his mother did not comprehend exactly what Jesus had come here to do until after the resurrection.

She was a simple woman. unlike the men of her day, she was not educated in spiritual matters in the same way that young men were educated.  As a young girl, she was espoused to a Judean man named Joseph. I use the word Judean man because Joseph was not  originally from Nazereth as most traditional sources seem to indicate. If you look at this map of first century Israel, you will see that Bethlehem is in Judea whereas Nazareth is up in Galilee. Many skeptics voice doubts about the population count by Caesar Augustus and the fact that they had to go into Bethlehem to be counted. Yes, it was the home of his forefathers, but Joseph also lived near Bethlehem. He went into Bethlehem to be counted, and while they were there, Mary went into labor so they had to find lodging. (They may have lived close enough to Bethlehem that in normal situations they could have gone to Bethlehem and gone home the same day.) They could find no place to stay, so they stayed in a stable.

first century Israel

After Jesus was born, they went home. After they were home, the wise men came into the area and visited Herod and brought the gifts. Joseph had a dream in which he was told to flee into Egypt. After a time, he had another dream that told him he could return to Israel, but rather than return to his home in Judea, he took his family to Nazareth in Galilee so to protect Jesus from Herod who governed Judea.

Mary put all these things into her heart and pondered them. Many Biblical scholars believe that she would later tell Luke about this time in her life which is how her account in this came to the Bible.

Mary Had Other Children

God had instructed Joseph not to have sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. After that she had several more children. Matthew 12:47-49, 13:55, Mark 3:31-34, Luke 8:19-21, John 2:12, 7:3, 5, and 10, is evidence of that fact. She four sons and at least two daughters. At the beginning of the book of James, James says that he was the brother of Christ. This is significant because Catholic tradition indicates that Mary remained a perpetual virgin, but Biblical evidence indicates that is not true.

At the Wedding at Cana, Mary asked Jesus to help with the wine shortage dilemma. Although she knew that he had miraculous abilities, he told her that it was not yet his time.

Mary and her sons later came to see Jesus and Jesus pointed out that his brothers and sisters in Christ were his family rather than his physical family whom these individuals represented.

 

She was at the Crucifixion

Mary watched as her eldest son was crucified. While at the cross, Jesus gave his responsibility of care of his mother, not to one of his natural brothers, but put her in the care of one of his closest spiritual brothers-John.

She was in the Upper Room at Pentecost

After Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, in Acts 1:14 Mary is included among the 120 who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. After she had pondered the facts of Jesus’ life, she became a part of  what is now known as the Christian community.

My Personal Take Away From This Character Study

Mary was an ordinary woman called by God to do an extraordinary task.. She was called to be the mother of Jesus. She did not understand the significance of her assignment until after Jesus had finished his mission on earth.

God uses ordinary people all the time to do extraordinary tasks. As long as I remain faithful to him, he will use me in extraordinary ways.

Traditionally, we learn one thing, but the Bible clearly tells us something different. Therefore, I need to take responsibility for my own understanding and do my own  Bible study.

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Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 

 

 


The Beginning of a New Month

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My favorite time of the year is when dogwoods are in bloom and that will be happening this month!

 

Can you believe it? April is already here! I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in South Central Missouri, spring is starting to bloom all around us. The forsythias and the daffodils have already done their song and dance and other flowers are getting ready to take their place in brightening our world.

Read When God Turned His Head Free April 4 & 5

For Website WGTHH

The first book in the Locket Saga When God Turned His Head, will be free April 4 & 5 Get it free at http://www.amazon.com/When-Turned-Head-Locket-Saga-ebook/dp/B007RHXTTI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

Beginning tomorrow, my book When God turned His Head is going to be free on Kindle for two days April 4 & 5. If you have not yet received a copy of this book, now is your chance to get it free. To learn more about what When God Turned His Head is about, and to get your free copy, follow this link.

This Month’s Affirmation

I may not be mother Teresa, but I do believe I have a place in God's Heart.

I may not be mother Teresa, but I do believe I have a place in God’s Heart.

 

 

Every month I have been adding a new affirmation to my life. My goal is to have a different affirmation every month that leads to my ultimate goal for the year of a complete lifestyle makeover. So far, in January my affirmation was “I am organized and productive.” February was  “I am Energetic, Fit, Strong, and Healthy. March was “I first seek to understand then to be understood”. Because we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection in April, this month, my new affirmation is “I am a Spiritual Being on a Physical Journey”. This month, to help me better improve my relationship with my God, I will be studying other women of the Bible and their relationships with their creator as well as those around them.

What it mean to be a Spiritual Being on a Physical Journey

So what do I mean by being a spiritual being on a physical journey? Well, the first thing that I think of when I think of this is the verse in the Bible where it says that this life (on this earth)is but a vapor. Literally it means that it is just a puff of are, a quick breath compared to eternity. Think about it. Everything that we experience here on this earth whether it be five minutes or a century is less than one quick exhale of breath, barely something to think about. To put it more in perspective, can you remember a specific breath that you took yesterday. I can sort of think of one that I took yesterday. It was during exercise and I was a bit out of breath, but it didn’t seem very significant in relation to my life overall or toward even the whole day yesterday. It was really nothing.

Eternity on the other hand is never ending. My physical body is going to die one day, but my spirit is going to exist forever.  I intend to live forever with Christ. How about you? If you knew that you were going to live forever, do you know where you will spend eternity?

 

God Sees The End From The Beginning

Dixie-Stampede-Nativity

The term for the idea that God is everywhere all the time is omnipresent. It presents the idea that God knows what was going to happen to mankind from the beginning of time.

One thing I hear all the time is that if God is a just God, why did he make evil in this world. God didn’t make evil people, but he offered people the ability to agree with or to disregard what God has said was right. The fact that evil exists is a result of human kind disregarding what God said.

God knew that humans would disregard his word, even before God created humans. That is why God created on the third day herb bearing seed. those herbs had medicinal properties that offered people relief from the diseases that would occur after human disobedience.

More importantly, because once we disregard God’s authority, we forfeit right standing with him, we are ever separated from him. he knew that people would not even have the ability on their own to agree with and follow through with every best decision that God had for them so he sent his son not as a reigning king, but as a baby to the most ordinary of couples.

God Sees Our Deepest Thoughts

God knows everything. He is omniscience. He knows our motives and  every thought we think. We cannot fool him like we can fool others about who we are. We may even be able to fool ourselves from time to time, but we will never fool God.

God Is All Powerful, He is the Final Judge

In the end God holds all the marbles. He allows us not to choose him, but in the end, if we do not choose him, we will face his wrath. He is our judge, we think otherwise to our peril.

God is All Loving

A number of years ago, I was thinking about the fact that God is our judge and I asked him (in prayer) why a just God would allow evil to happen. The answer came immediately and brought tears to my eyes. He is a just God, but he is also a loving one. The Bible says that he is patient and slow to anger. In addition, he wants us to share in this loving experience. He expects us to develop this characteristic that we can only get from him. As we grow closer to him and are obedient to him in this love, we become more like him.

Where are you in your walk with your creator? Do you doubt his existence? Look to nature and it will whisper his truth. Are you angry with him? Tell him about your anger and he will explain himself. Are you confused about what God wants you to do next? Ask him giving as much detail as possible your situation and he will give you an answer. Did someone hurt you? He wants to comfort you. Are you facing illness or injury? He wants to heal you. Whatever your need, he is everywhere you are. He knows the answer to your problem. He is powerful enough to meet your need. Most importantly, he loves you and wants the best for you.

2014-04-07 07.07.08

Cygnet Brown has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

Remember to pick up YOUR free kindle copy of When God Turned His Head on April 4 & 5.

 

 

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