Runaway imagination..

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! 

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are to lay aside every sin and weight that will beset us in this race that we are to run patiently. When we think about sin, many of us go to the “big” ones, aka lying, stealing, getting drunk–and the like. Have we stopped to consider the sin of our thoughts–our imaginations? Let’s take a pop quiz.

Scenario: You expect to connect with a loved one or good  friend. You reach out to the person and several hours goes by and they do not respond. Do you:

a. Give them the benefit of the doubt, considering they may not have had a moment to reach back. Or perhaps they may not have gotten your message.

b. Pray for their safety and for whatever may be happening that is delaying the callback.

c. Start to get worried, anxious, or enraged.

The worry is that something did happen and the person is someplace stranded or  hurt–unable to get to the phone.  Your mind starts to go into all kinds of places where the person could be–retracing possible steps, places visited, you start calling/texting over and over in an attempt to get the person to respond. Turns out the person’s phone suddenly and unexpectedly broke. They had several things to do at work and such before  they could look into getting it replaced.

The anxiety (close to worry) is more around what the person may be doing. You are thinking, they may not be hurt, just not considerate enough to return your call. So what’s so important that so and so cannot text back?  What kind of friend does that? Is he/she with another person? I noticed that they looked at each other last week when they were introduced. I THOUGHT I noticed a spark. Mom was right! (hysterical sobs).  What will I do? How will we divide everything? What about the Dittmeyer’s party? What will they think? Oh—we have to tell the kids. We should wait until after the holidays…

 The rage can come in after dwelling on the anxiety. In thinking about the person, you mentally plan how you will assault them in a verbal manner once you see them.

The nerve of them NOT calling you back. Are they upset about something? No…they just must be in of their moods–some nerve! There was a time I wasn’t feeling well and I STILL made sure I responded! Maybe we just are not the friends I thought we were. People change up very much. Just like that time with ________________. I did not do ANYTHING to them and all of the sudden we are arch enemies. Well, I do not need to put of with any of this.

When and IF they DO decide to get back to me, I plan to tell them EXACTLY how I feel. And when they say this, I will counter back with the five times they hurt my feelings. No…no..I will talk about the time I sacrificed everything to help them. And once I do, there will be apologies from them, but I will hold off accepting it for 2 days–that will teach them! And then they will BEG for my forgiveness again and I will forgive them..just deal with them out of a long-handled spoon. Or maybe silence is better. Icy silence…and when they ask me what’s wrong at the party, I’ll…

The real story? While walking back to their desk, Friend was called into an impromptu meeting by a manager about a client situation that needed immediate and complete attention that took a few hours to resolve.

Listen, our vain (worthless, idle; empty) imagination can take up places!  Strong’s concordance defines the word “imagination” (logismós) as  “bottom-line” reasoning that reflects someone’s values, i.e. how they personally assign weight in determining what they find reasonable; calculated arguments or thoughts; reaching a personal opinion, i.e. what comes out of a personal reckoning.

Notice the terms—what we find reasonable, personal opinions, personal reckoning—that translates into leaning to our own understanding which is limited, short sighted, finite and does not line up with the Word of God at all. We spend so much time in our heads debating a person or situation over and over until  we are mentally, spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically drained.  In fact,  I am convinced that some afflictions in our bodies come from the constant deliberations that are in our minds. God knew that the adversary comes to steal, kill and destroy–and our thoughts are not off-limits. Rather than allow the entertain thoughts that come from the adversary, God has given us His word to help us.

  • Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

So if the thought does not line up with the knowledge of God (His Word) we need to “get our minds right” by countering them with the Word of God. Psalm 1 reminds us of what happens when we meditate on what God says.

  • Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  • But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
  • And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3). 

If we are worried or anxious, then we go to God in prayer, fervently asking for what we need and thanking Him for it.

  • “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Then when our minds start to wander, we change our thought patterns.

  • Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things  ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬).

The Word of God reminds is that not only should our words be acceptable to God–our thoughts should be, too.

  • Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

BCU Fam, at some time, most of us will experience fear, worry, anxiety, stressful confrontations and what-if’s–that is perfectly normal. What God wants us to do after those thoughts and emotions come is stay focused on Him and His Word to lead, guide, protect and perfect us. Our thoughts eventually come out in our speech and actions, so if we are full of Jesus, our thoughts, speech and actions will reflect Him. Amen? Amen!

So what are your thoughts on vain imaginations, self-arguments and entertaining the worse case scenarios over and over in your mind? Is the struggle real? I know with the help of the Lord I have to be REALLY intentional about my thoughts or they can overtake my spirit in a negative way. What are your go-to Scriptures? How do you handle things? Head on over to the comments section and let’s continue the conversation!

Finally, 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

Follow-up post: Children and chores

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! 

So a couple of weeks ago, I posted a meme on the BCU Instagram account FB3F39BC-AEF0-408C-9A5E-74F63E02D1B1that stated if a child can operate a smartphone, then they can use a household appliance (broom, dustpan, sponge, washer/dryer, etc.) For the most part, a majority of the people agreed with the visual, but we had a few people who had pretty strong objections to the image. Here are a few of the comments in part:

“This is nonsense, that a child can use a smartphone doesn’t mean that they should be using one nor that they should be burdened with the family housework…..”

“….Another post telling parents to use their kids as servants instead of providing and taking care of them as parents should do….”

“…Children are not your maids…The job of children is playing, learning, exploring not being your cleaner…there are no kids chores….forcing jobs on people that are really not their responsibility causes anxiety and resentment.”

“I do not agree with making kids have regular chores….chores that are not normally a child’s responsibility like vacuuming the living room.”

First off, BCU Fam, let me say that everyone is entitled to an opinion, so the fact that people disagreed with me is not point of this post.

Next, I invited all of the respondents to be a part of this post/podcast so we can talk about the image and reasoning behind our responses intelligently, in context and in real-time.

No one took me up on the offer. 🤔

Third, this is not a “clapback” or retaliatory post, rather in speaking to the Lord about it, this is an opportunity to take a deeper dive in what the Word of God says about training up children and where responsibilities come into play.

Let’s begin with our anchor verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

In addition, let us look at the meaning of the word “train” and “child”.

The Hebrew word for train is chanak and it means, “to initiate, dedicate, discipline, or train up” [Strong’s concordance]. Training is a dedicated regimen that directs, regulates, and impresses upon the child, in every manner of life, the path to be taken.

The word for “child” in this verse is the Hebrew word na’ar and it defines a child as a boy or girl from infancy through adolescence. This training is not intended to start at age 5, 10 or 13, but instead from the moment the child leaves the womb.(https://cozortscontemplations.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/train-up-a-child/).

This tells me that as parents/guardians, we are not only responsible for instructing our children in the ways of the Lord, we are also supposed  to teach them how to be responsible in other areas as well.  Training children includes things such as teaching colors, good sportsmanship, safety, playing instruments, study habits, how to drive AND and yes, age-appropriate chores.

As a matter of fact, most young children LOVE to help do things around the house–I have often had to decline their cute little offers because they were not ready for certain tasks. For example, I would not teach a three year-old to handle bathroom cleaners and a sponge or to operate a hot stove because the of their age, impending danger and obvious lack of maturity. However, that same toddler can be lovingly shown how to put toys back in the toy box or throw away a napkin when they are finished with it.

Something else I thought about—in many Christian education (Sabbath or Sunday school), preschool, kindergarten and early elementary classrooms, children often sing a “clean-up” song as they discard snack papers, put away crayons and push in chairs.  These are chore fundamentals that, in time and with age/maturity, naturally progress into other responsibilities, such as folding clothes, running the vacuum or putting away the dishes.

Chores are not about adults sipping lemonade under a shade tree, harshly barking orders while the kids scrub clothes by hand in 90-degree weather!  Training is about finding fun and creative ways to walk a child through how to take clothes down to the laundry room or properly load the dishwasher. Parents giving children age-appropriate chores is more about the life-time benefits, challenges and lessons that come with contributing to something and being part of a team. 

For example, my daughter learned to play the saxophone as a middle-schooler. In addition to practicing, (we’ll get back to that shortly), she was responsible for the care and cleaning of her instrument, rather than me doing it for her–that was her chore, her responsibility.  In addition, practicing daily was essential in order for her to get proficient in learning the sax and to be able to play her part in the band (aka the team).  Did she always want to practice and take care of her instrument? Of course not! Very often TV shows, friends, or the phrase”I don’t feel like it today” interfered.  (In fact, that “I don’t feel like it today ” stalks me as an adult from time to time! Lol!!) Still, she needed to understand that we don’t just abandon our responsibilities because something more amusing comes along. That contribution/responsibility/teamwork concept was relatively easier to reinforce because it was taught early on, versus teaching it from scratch at age 13. In many situations, that’s where the anxiety and resentment one of the respondents talked about can creep in.

My final thoughts here? The meme did not say nor did my post infer the ONLY thing  children should is do housework, there was nothing mentioned that said children should do ALL adult housework, nor did it say children should never play, explore, and have fun. I am grateful for my balanced childhood where my siblings and I learned all about Jesus, climbed trees, and took turns doing the dishes and other household chores. God has blessed us to grow up to be productive adults with no adverse scarring from our time with the vacuum cleaner.  Lest you think my childhood was so long ago and my experience outdated, just today I got a chance to speak with a young man from our church, Elijah, age 15, about this very subject.

After presenting both sides of the debate, Elijah admitted he wasn’t always crazy about his chores, BUT he couldn’t see life without them as they taught/teach him valuable organizational skills! This young man attends Sunday school/church with his family regularly, has great grades, excellent manners, is respectful, focused and knows exactly what he wants to do with his life post high school. Can you see Proverbs 22:16 in effect?

BCU Fam, God has made us all (including children) with a certain degree of learning capacity and ability to carry out age-appropriate duties. If a child has the aptitude to operate an $800 smartphone with proficiency, then he/she can also be taught to push a button on a household cleaning appliance or operate a manual one, like a broom with little difficulty.  I stand by my post and the Lord stands with me!

So what are your thoughts about this controversial topic? Is it biblically wrong to teach children how to do certain things at home? Should kids not do anything at all from toddlers to teens except play and do whatever they want? Did you have house responsibilities? Let’s talk some more in the chat section below!

Finally, 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

Additional references:

“Put your foot on it..” (Part 2)

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!!

  • Last time we were together, I shared part 1 of of the message, “Put your foot on it” by Bishop Jason Nelson.
  • The main theme of the message is that there is a blessing (and NO, not just material—that is not our focus) in being obedient to God’s intentional plan for our lives–and sometimes that means we need to leave the familiar and comfortable.
  • It’s time to start moving, BCUFam! Listen in!!!

Scripture reference:

  1. Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
  2. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
  3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
  4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
  5. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
  6. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
  7. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
  8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
  9. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua‬ ‭1:1-9‬).

How much did this word bless you, BCUFam? I’m STILL excited about what the Lord said! I’d love to know what resonated with you! 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

“Put your foot on it..”

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!

  • I attended the International Bibleway convocation a few weeks ago and one of the many highlights was a sermon preached by gospel recording artist Bishop Jason Nelson.
  • The main theme of the message is that there is a blessing (and NO, not just material—that is not our focus) in being obedient to God’s intentional plan for our lives–and sometimes that means we need to leave the familiar and comfortable.
  • The title of the message is “Put your foot on it” with the text from Joshua 1:1-9.

Scripture reference:

  1. Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
  2. Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
  3. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
  4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
  5. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
  6. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
  7. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
  8. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
  9. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua‬ ‭1:1-9‬).

Was this message POWERFUL or what? While we are preparing part two, I’d love to know what resonated with you! 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

Just before the confrontation…

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:

  • Confrontation is a part of life —whether we are in the giving or the receiving end of the conversation.
  • In the time leading up to the conversation, it’s IMPERATIVE to guard your mind against negative, accusing thoughts about the person/situation with the help of the Lord. Otherwise, we build up a case based on emotion–and emotions lead to comments, tones and attitudes that are counterproductive and destructive to the relationship.
  • If we go into the conversation prayerfully, with forgiveness, humility and the heart to resolve the situation, that will typically disarm the individual, thus fostering an environment of understanding and healing.

Scripture references:

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord (Isaiah 54:17).

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20).

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

I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; (I Corinthians 13:4-5).

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it (1 Peter 3:11).

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9).

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isaiah 26:3).

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1).


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What goes on in your mind when you’ve been offended and need to confront someone? Do you stick with the facts, or does the conversation take a emotional/personal turn? 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