Feeling discouraged? Let’s read Psalm 91!

Here there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post.

Podcast highlights:

  • While many of us know the Lord, there are times when we feel afraid, lonely, defeated, attacked or just depleted.
  • At the time of this podcast I was having a bit of a valley experience (yes, it happens to me, too). I honestly “wrassled” with recording—I didn’t feel like it and wanted to just be sad in the valley.
  • The Lord urged me to go on and record and am I glad He blessed me to be obedient. By the time the Lord took me through His Word, I felt SO much lighter and refreshed–glory to God! I pray you are encouraged as well!

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

So BCU Fam, I feel like GOING ON! What about you? What are your “go-to” Scriptures when you are feeling down or defeated? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

If you have not already subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by! God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Your current wait time is…

Hey there BCU Fam,

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

Who out there in the BCU community really enjoys waiting? How about waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer request? Right. Let’s talk about that.

When I got saved, I was under the erroneous impression that  I could “name and claim”, “blab and grab”, and “it’s my blessing so I should get it now” for anything I wanted and did not have to wait on it. After all, the King’s kid should have whatever they want when they want it, right? 🙄 Not always. There are times where God does move on our behalf swiftly and suddenly–and of course we love when that happens. Many times, the reason He does is because our petition lines up with God’s perfect will at that time. Other times, maybe we are reaping what we have sown. Still again, the righteous are never forsaken, nor His seed begging bread, so God will take care of us no matter what. The point is, that God’s perfect will and timing are in effect. We believe that when things happen suddenly. Do we believe it when we have to wait?

For many of us, once we make out requests known to God, there is that hopeful expectation and faith that He will answer, and in our minds mostly, pretty soon. But sometimes it is God’s perfect will for some wait time before He fulfills our petition. That is when we need to settle in and enjoy the process.

According to Strong’s Concordance (4037),  the word “wait” in Greek is a compound word, perimènō. Perí, meaning all around, and mènō, meaning remain, abide. In essence, waiting is staying steadfast or enduring through challenging situations.

Many times, when the wait time is extended, our faith in God can grow weak. Then the adversary comes in to let you know you that the Lord is taking too long, God has forgotten you, if you are so faithful why hasn’t He responded, or you may need to do things yourself, rather than wait on God. When we choose to mediate on these lies, we become consumed with the fact that God hasn’t answered yet–and begin to doubt and question our faith and trust in God. In fact, because we are so concerned with what it looks like God is not doing, that very request will be our focus point so much so, we will talk (aka complain) to anyone that will hear us and not hear God’s voice at all. Very often, our lack of faith will prolong the wait time even more. Or cause us to miss out on the blessing altogether. 

When the Lord freed the children of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians, it’s been said that their journey to the Promised Land was about 250 miles, which could take about 11 days to a month or so, depending on breaks and such. The Word of God tells us that the trip took 40 YEARS, mostly due to murmuring, complaining and disobedience against God! On top of that, out of approximately one million people, only TWO from the original trip were able to enjoy the blessing? That is NOT the testimony God wants us to have! Rather, His Word is here to help us. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite Scriptures.

We need faith and to believe God. Hebrews 11:6 says:

 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

We should not give up on God. Proverbs 24:10 says:

 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

If we feel weak, though, there is help! We continue waiting. Waiting should produce strength vs weakness. *Isaiah 40:29-31 reminds us

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 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; and they shall walk, and not faint.

There is a purpose in waiting–it produces the fruit of patience and matures us. James 1:2-4 says:

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect (mature) and entire, wanting nothing.

And while we wait, we should be thankful. I Thessalonians 5:18 says:

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


BCU Family, I might add that the Scriptures in *Isaiah indicate that waiting is active versus passive. When nothing else in on your heart or mind except what you are waiting for God to do, the anxiety of wondering when is it coming, why is it not here, what’s the holdup, etc., can stop us from continuing to serve the Lord.  Isaiah mentions flying, walking and running as we wait, so that tells me that we ought be busy for the Lord WHILE we wait. Hmm…I may talk about that in an upcoming podcast…stay tuned.

I can testify to the fact that I have been waiting on the Lord for quite a few things..some requests put in yesterday, some for months, and yes, some for years. I would not be telling you the truth if I told you I always followed the Scriptures I listed above. The Lord was  (and still is) really patient with me as I cried, complained, murmured, shut down, and eventually allow/ed patience to have her perfect work.  This perfect work is designed by God help us be more like Him here on Earth, so we can make it into Heaven. Amen? Amen!

So what about you, BCU Fam? What is your current wait time? Have you been waiting on something specific from God for awhile? How have you constructively occupied yourself while you wait?  Or has there been more complaining? We have no judgement for you here–let’s talk in the comments section.

If you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter,  and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Your fruit is showing…

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 


I spent some time with a wonderful individual who is on fire for the Lord, full of love, faith…and complaints. No, not venting or looking for an understanding–just a myriad complaints about people, places and things, past, present and future. How does such a fiery vessel have such a consistently negative attitude? It’s all about the tree and its fruit.

As a quick disclaimer, I do not bring this subject up in a spirit of condemnation or superiority, (trust me, God has PLENTY of things He is working on with me), rather, as I pondered the conversation, the Lord brought the behavior to my attention as a warning to me first,  and to the Body of Christ as a whole. Let’s examine why.

As saints, we are called to observe and discern. In fact, Matthew 7:16 tells us we will know people by their fruits. While people can tell us/we can be told who someone is, the words and actions (fruit) tell US who they are.

That same verse goes on to ask “do men get grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?” In other words, if you say you are a grape vine or a fig tree, your fruit will be just that, sweet, fragrant, plentiful and in abundance, rather than producing thorns or thistles. Thorns and thistles are long, recurved, prickly plants that upon contact, often inflict serious and recurring wounds. Get the point?

Side note: grapes are the most mentioned fruit in the Bible and are valued because of the ways they can be used, such as for wine, raisins and vinegar. Not only are figs mentioned because of their nutritional and economic value, figs often symbolized safety and doing well.

 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon (I Kings 4:25). 

Now, getting back to Matthew 7, verses 17 and 18 tell us that good trees bring good fruit and corrupt trees bring evil fruit. Also, you cannot get evil fruit from a good tree and/or vice versa. So here, God is telling us there are two types of trees–good or evil. Let’s read these verses to get a better understanding.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

A careful read tells us 1) Bad fruit producers are cut down and thrown into the fire (Hell) and, 2) we can produce bad fruit, work for the Lord, BUT we will STILL miss Heaven! These are sobering thoughts, BCU Fam. Our merciful God is willing to help us in this area—if we let Him. So how do we know what type of fruit we are producing and if it pleases God? Anything that comes from the flesh will NEVER please God and ONLY produce evil fruit. Galatians 5:19-21 tells us all about it:

 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

In sharp contrast, when we yield to the Spirit of God, we allow the fruit of the Spirit to produce good things like: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). I love that there is no law against good fruit production! Can you imagine how much better things would be if we all produced all this fruit regularly?

This is a LOT to take in, right? The bottom line is for those of us who have the Holy Ghost, when we were filled, we became good trees with the “good fruit” that we see in the aforementioned paragraph. With God’s help, we have to maintain our tree and ensure we are consistently producing good fruit by walking and living in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). Every so often we may have a thorn or thistle, but we should immediately apply spiritual “Round-Up” (prayer and fasting), to kill off those deadly and unproductive prickle bushes. Amen? Amen.

How about you? How has your fruit production been? What would a surprise inspection yield? I am so curious to hear your heart on this topic! Please head over to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!


In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Salt: A necessary nutrient

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

A couple of weeks ago, I started on a “salt series” that talked about salt production and how vital it is to our natural body and in the body of Christ on a spiritual level. Last post, we learned that salt was just not a food enhancer or monetary trade item, it was also used as a covenant symbol.

This final post will review/ round off that series by exploring why we need (more) salt in our lives.  Let’s dig in by reviewing our anchor Scripture, (which we will refer to later).

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13 NKJV).

Salt gets a bad rap because of its link to high blood pressure, fluid retention, etc. While anything in excess can be harmful, iodized salt is not the best for the body. Common “table” salt is void of vital nutrients except iodine, which is added back after processing.

Sea salt contains nutrients that are needful for the body like sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride. In addition, sodium regulates the passage of nutrients into the cells. Without it, nutrients cannot enter your cells and you will have malnutrition and exhaustion, no matter how good your diet. Some other salt functions are:

Muscle cramps prevention
Regulator of:
–blood pressure
–blood sugar
–sleep
Eliminates dry coughs (just a bit on your tongue)
Soothes a sore throat (warm water & salt gargle)
Draws out infections

And that’s just the a small fraction of what salt does! Just as its needed in your body, it’s needed in the “Body Of Christ” as well.

Consistent salt regulates the “Body” by keeping “infections” out such as: idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and things like this. Willful engagement of these behaviors will prohibit us from entering into the kingdom of God, according to Galatians 5:20-21. Having salt on the regular will keeps us functioning and keep the “good” in. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT).

Additionally, salt was also used as a food preserver. History teaches us that salt was used to keep fresh fish from spoiling (there were no freezers in biblical times). In relation to the above paragraph, spiritual salt “preserves” us from practicing sin.

We also need salt for our conversations with family, friends, co-workers and the not-so-nice store clerk. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every one: (Colossians 4:6 NKJV). Another example comes from Proverbs 15:1–“a soft answer turns away wrath, but grievious words stir up anger.” Salt helps temper your responses.

Few things are as bad as a flavorless, or what I call a peppered Christian—acting bitter and nasty due to hurt, cares of the world, practicing sin or bad habits. In fact, let’s go back to the verse that started the series–Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

In the Bible days, when harvesting the salt, if any of it was contaminated with dirt or marsh, it was put on the dirt roads to keep the dust down, hence the reference to being trampled underfoot by men. A contaminated Christian NOT the testimony we want. We have to stay seasoned in order to draw the world AND love folks. Jesus said,“have salt in yourselves and peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). If there is no salt in you, you will not have peace with others. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Bottom line: Salt is a necessary nutrient needed in our natural and spiritual lives. Adequate salt intake comes from prayer, fasting, regular bible study and attending church. Also, just like when we season our food, we want to use the correct amount of salt in our speech and actions. Too little salt is not effective—too much salt and is not palatable. Let us purpose in our hearts to ask God to help us to always use/the right amount of salt in ALL our interactions. Amen? Amen!


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? Did you know that salt is a necessary nutrient both naturally and spiritually? Do you get enough salt?  Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe too the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Making “salted promises.”

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

Last post, I started on a “salt series” that talked about salt production and how vital it is to our natural body and in the body of Christ on a spiritual level. This time around, lets see what the Word is on salt. Here is our anchor scripture.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Matthew 5:13). 

Let’s see why we need to keep salt in us.

One of the earliest mentions of salt is in Leviticus 2. That chapter outlines detailed instructions on how sacrifices had to be prepared to be given to the priests and then offered to God. In verses 4-6, you’ll see God was very specific about the flour, oil—and even if the grain sacrifice was made pan versus a frying pan. (Side note: note how you just couldn’t bring God a sacrifice any old way. That’s important for us to think about when we bring Him our sacrifice of praise, worship, time, money..anything we have for Him, we should give Him our best). Looking at the verses 11-12, God specifies the “seasonings” on the offering–that there should be no leaven or honey, but:

Every offering you shall season with salt. You shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt” (Leviticus 2:13).

Okay, Blen, so what does that mean? I am glad you asked! Salt was just not a food enhancer or monetary trade items like we learned last time, it was also used as a covenant symbol.

History mentions that people used salt as a sign of binding loyalty and a symbol of alliance. In fact, in Europe and parts of the Middle East, salt and bread are offered to guests as a sign of friendship (hence the phrase “we have salt between us”). Additionally, treaties and truces were formalized using salt. Each person would take a lick of salt (similar to shaking hands) to “seal the deal”.

Salt was also used to heal a rift between parties as well. If there was a disagreement between folks, you would invite the person into your home to share a dish of salt. Each of you would lick your finger, dip it in the salt and then eat the salt together. Peculiar as this may sound, when a promise was seasoned with salt, it was so serious, that people would rather die than break that promise! Let’s examine another Scripture on the Covenant of salt.

2 Chronicles 13 tells of a war between Israel (King Jeroboam) and Judah (King Abijah). Jeroboam had the bigger army and was pretty sure he could take Abijah down. King Abijah reminded Jeriboam of God’s promise.

“Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt? Now look, God Himself is with us as our head, and His priests with sounding trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!” Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah”
(2 Chronicles 13:5,12,15 NKJV). Yessss–God ALWAYS keeps His word and Judah triumphed!!!!!!

Are you connecting the dots, Family? Isn’t it wonderful to see how God shows us how He keeps promises with something as simple, yet as powerful as salt? How about the promises we make? 🙊Are they “salt-worthy”? Solomon warns us think before we vow:

Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few
(Ecclesiastes 5:2 NKJV).

I cannot speak for you all, but if someone promises they will do something and they don’t follow through, I am so disappointed! Because the Lord has made me more mindful about keeping my word, He reminds me to say “with God’s help I will”…or, “if nothing changes, I plan to”, or “Lord will, I’ll…” Keeping that last verse in mind, it really helps us to rely on our perfect God to help us keep our word. Also, if we something does happen, it’s a good idea to circle back to the person quickly and fulfill your promise as soon as possible.

Bottom line: If you can’t season your promise with salt, it really best not to promise at all. I heard a cartoon character say, a broken promise cannot be easily put back together. That’s heavy, right? So keeping that in mind, we should pray before we promise. Amen? Amen.


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? Did you know about the salt covenant? Do you think about your promises carefully before making them? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU