The MOST impactful lesson I learned in 2018.

Hey 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:

  • 2018 was an amazing year of milestones.
  • The last week of the 2018 the Lord allowed a little “surprise” to come into my life.
  • That surprise is yet teaching a lot about rest, assignments, seasons and “no”.

 Scripture references

 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).

 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (I Corinthians 6:12).

And He [Jesus] said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat (Mark 6:31).

 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him (James 5:14-15). 


So… what are your thoughts about resting and saying no? What are your takeaways from 2018?  How will you apply what you’ve learned to this upcoming year?   Let’s talk some more about this—head down to the comment section so we can continue our dialogue!

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

TWO lessons I learned over 2018.

Hey 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:

  • 2018 was a year full of repeat lessons.
  • Bridge burning is a military strategy–bridges were literally burned to intimidate the enemy and/or spur the soldiers to fight to the finish, since there was no way to retreat.
  • While I get the zeal and purpose for burning a bridge, when the battle is over—the  rebuild must come—and that can be a challenge.
  • Apologies do not always come before forgiveness..in fact, many times, God wants us to forgive BEFORE and in LIEU of an official apology. Just like He does for us.

 Scripture references

Brethren,  be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men (I Corinthians 14:20).

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (Proverbs 19:11).


So… what are your thoughts about 2018? What are your takeaways from this year? How will you apply what you’ve learned to this upcoming year?   Let’s talk some more about this—head down to the comment section so we can continue our dialogue. Next time we’re together, we’ll plan to talk a couple of more things I walked away with.

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

Encore presentation: The Birth of King Jesus

Hey there BCU Fam!

This post, 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 the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

I did this post awhile back, and debated about reposting it. It just so happened our pastor preached a similar message today, so that gave me confirmation to re-share the message God gave me!


So, we are hours away from the day we set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ (there is NO biblical reference to what day Christ was born), and the excitement is in the air!  As we meditate on the miracle of His birth (rather than collecting presents) and how/why He came here to save mankind (see John 3:16),  the preparation and circumstances for His arrival were orchestrated perfectly. God gave me this simple, yet powerful post that truly showed me how –and reminded me of the power of God. Read, reflect and rejoice on the magnitude of our God!

Prophecy: Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

Situation: Joseph & very pregnant Mary are in Nazareth/Galilee about 70 or so miles away from Bethlehem and likely had no reason to go there. Until…Let’s go to Luke 2:1-3.

1And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

2This census first took place while Cyrenius was governing Syria.

3So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. (See this?!)

Solution: Caesar declares a tax and all people, including Joseph and Mary have to make their way to their own/home city (and with no modern transportation, I might add. Luke 2:4-6)
4Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

5to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was great with child.

6So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

Lesson: God used a carnal government official to make His Word/promise come to pass. He’s that powerful!! Psalms 62:11 says, “God has spoken once, twice have I heard this: power belongs to God!” That’s something to get excited about!

Proverbs 21:1 declares, “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” When we think about that, it helps us to understand who God really is and how He organizes circumstances to accomplish His will. While we may not understand or like our current situation(s), with His help, we need to trust He knows what He’s doing. In fact, Paul reminds us that “..we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬). While the individual situations that happen in our lives may not feel good, once the Lord finishes His masterpiece, ALL things will work together for good! With the grace of God, we’ll just hang on in here together and let the Lord have His way!

BCU Family, that brings us to the question of the day! How did the Lord bless you through what you heard/read? Please comment below–we’d love to hear from you!

As a reminder, there are additional podcasts for you to enjoy–you are welcome to peruse the BlenCouragesU.com site 24-7!  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 iTunes.

Thank you so much for stopping by–we appreciate you choosing to be a part of the BCU family! Until we are together again,may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you, as you #StayOnTheWall

Have a VERY  blessed and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Love,

BCU

Enjoy the present.

Hey there BCU Family!

For this post, 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!

This “adulting” thing I have to do keeps me pretty occupied. I praise God and am grateful that I have a full-time job, church, family and the BCU ministry (essentially run pretty full time). In between all that, I like to see friends and family, minister to people, keep house, eat, read and especially rest and sleep.

In fact, I look forward to the holidays and precious few and far in between days off to just. do. nothing. I’m the kind of vacation person that LIKES to stay home, with no plans, no clock to punch, no set time do, be,  or go anywhere. I call that, “the slow hurry.” Those are my million dollar days.

It just so happens this year, I have a week off coming up and while a couple of those days are already spoken for, I can rest in the remainder of the time being mine. As I was talking to my friend Kenya about it, I started to lament about my life AFTER my time off was finished. It would be MONTHS before my next big block of time was coming up! I started thinking about how long those days would be and how hard it would be to get through them. During those days, there was nothing to look forward to, until the next vacation. The Lord checked me on that.

“Enjoy the present.”

We have a habit of saving the anticipation-filled phrases like, “I can’t wait…” or “I am looking forward to…” for special occasions, while saying, “I’ll be glad when this day is over”, or “it is Monday…already”, or “I wish this day would hurry up and come…” with dread and disdain. We wish away the days, complain the about the time we have to spend at work, going to and from work, doing chores, shopping, cleaning, running kids around—we even complain about the time we give God. Why does the message take so long? He prays too long! A second service? Why?

When we FINALLY get to the free time we couldn’t wait for, how are we really spending it? Looking our loved ones in the face, studying their words and actions—conversing intently? Or are our faces glued to our devices, while we catch snippets and fragments of what is being said? I’d venture to guess that many of us do the latter. Keeping that in mind…

What if….we were intentional about rejoicing the day the that God has made (which would be all of them, including Monday). See Psalm 118:24 

What if... instead of complaining about our jobs and wishing the day away, we payed attention to the people we work with for an opportunity to bless, encourage or be a witness to them—even if it’s demonstrated through our attitudes and actions. See Matthew 5:16. 

What if.. rather than complain about the job God blessed us with, we take all the tasks, including those those mundane meetings, the clean-up, the less glamorous parts that have to be done, along with tasks we enjoy, keeping in mind, that we work unto God as not as unto men. See Colossians 3:23-24. 

What if… we practiced being content..even if things are not where we want them to be at the moment? The spouse you prayed for? Thank God. The kids you asked God for? Thank God. The spouse you are waiting for? Thank God.  Struggling to pay bills? Thank God. We have the money to pay the bill? Thank God. It’s important that we live in the state of contentment. See Philippians 4:11. 

What if…we prepared our hearts, minds and bodies for the services we attend—looking for the Lord to bless, heal, deliver, save and set free in a mighty way? What if we arrived rested, full, prayed up and ready to see what we can do to be a blessing—and excitedly anticipate what God has for us? See Psalm 133:1. 

What if...prayed fervently (rather than half-way and sarcastically) that the Spirit of the Lord rest upon the hearts of the people during service, so much so, that people walk out differently than how they came in? And rather than complain about the time, we rejoiced in the fact that people are being blessed? See James 5:16 (b). 

BCU Family, whether we like it or not, our days are numbered. In Psalm 90:10, Moses said that we the days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years. Threescore is 60, add another 10 and that’s 70. So, fourscore is 80. Of course, some live longer and some shorter—that’s all in God’s hands. No, we don’t know when we’ll leave here- but what we can do, with the help of the Lord, while we are living for Him, is to enjoy our days to the fullest.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 reminds us, “it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives, for it is his portion.”

Enjoy the present. Amen? Amen.


BCU Fam, I really have to be intentional about not rushing through my days and wishing my time away. I had to catch myself just this weekend–I was thinking “I need to hurry through this chore to get my free time”. Rather than rush through my schedule, the Lord reminded me to take my time. I confess, I was blessed in the process, and got home in plenty of time to rest.  We often miss how we can be a blessing and God blessing us, because we are operating in chronos time  (keeping a schedule), versus being present in kairos time (God’s opportune moments). So, how do you do in this area? Is the struggle real? Let me know in the comments section so we can continue our chat.

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

The Lollipop Lesson

Hey there BCU Family!

For this post, 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 number of years ago, I had my faithful traveling companions, Jaz and Peanut with me–and Peanut was in dire need of a haircut. The barbershop I took him to, not only does a phenomenal job with kids, they also give lollypops to the kids, even if they don’t get a service. How nice is that?! Once the kids chose their treats, I told them to put them away until after we ate dinner. Veggies before sugar, right?

When we got home, I thought it best to collect the lollipops and pass them out after dinner. Peanut happily produced his lollypop, while Jaz hesitated and told me her stick broke. I told her that was fine, just hand it over. In addition to the broken stick, the wrapper was barely hanging on, obviously in an attempt to quickly re-wrap it. When I asked why it was open, after I was clear about NOT opening it, she replied “I wanted to see what color it was”. Well, it’s a good thing she enjoyed it with her eyes, because she did not get to enjoy her treat, even with the sad face and tears.

I know, I know, that seemed a little harsh? Not really. Let’s take a look at four lessons God taught me from this one situation.

  • Patience: When God clearly to tells wait, He MEANS it. There is a reason that we can’t have what we want when we want it. Remember when your/a child thought could make wise choices in fashion, makeup, friends and other life decisions at the age of six? Remember how much “wisdom” we possessed at age 16? Our parents had to suffer through that period and correct our thinking. In God’s infinite wisdom, He knows when the best time is to be blessed, even though WE think we know better. Romans 9:19-21 asks how the creature going to tell the Creator what’s best? When we look at it that way, it helps us to back down and trust His process.
  • Resisting temptation: This is a tough one–I know the shiny lollypop was alluring to Jaz–and we are no different as adults. When something looks good to our flesh, we want it and now. Things that look good surface-wise, are not necessarily beneficial in the short or long term. How many of us have learned that over the years? Don’t go back there! We have to ask God for the power to leave it alone. Period. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (I Corinthians 10:13).
  • Haste makes waste: running ahead of my instructions cost Jaz her lollypop, so it was wasted. She had to wait until we go again to get another one, which wouldn’t be for a long time. When we go outside of God’s divine will, He will allow us to do what we want often at a high price, including wasted time, emotions, money, energy, strength, resources, and then we likely have to wait a long time before we get what God had for us in the first place. Lamentations 3:26 says it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
  • Consequences: The Bible is clear that there are consequences for disobedience. While God is good and plenteous in mercy, sometimes His mercy is not taking us out of here right away when we mess up. Recalling Adam and Eve (Genesis 3),  they clearly disobeyed and while God spared them, there was still a punishment. Esau sought repentance with tears and still lost out on his birthright and blessing (Hebrews 12:17). Is the thing that is clearly outside of God’s divine will worth losing out on blessings, favor or even missing out on Heaven? Surely not! For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing (1 Peter 3:17).

The bottom line: There will always be times where we feel frustrated with waiting, not understanding why things haven’t changed yet, why another trial, where is my blessing, maybe I should “help” God out–that’s natural! There will be times we mess up and go ahead of God–thank God He’s willing to forgive when we ask! And He wants us to learn from our experience rather than choose to make to wrong decisions repeatedly.

We also have to remind ourselves with the help of God, that He does really have out best interest in mind…Matthew 7:11 tells us so! And since we will never know better or more than Jesus, let’s purpose in our hearts to take Him at His Word! Amen? Amen!


Which part of what we talked about is a struggle for you?  Mine is the patience—the Lord is yet teaching me how to wait on Him. Otherwise the wait gets a LOT longer! Let me know in the comments section so we can continue our chat.

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