And..we’re back! Love notes–finale!

Happy New Year BCU Fam!

We are back and GLAD about it! 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 time we were together, we talked about the seven things love is. Let’s follow up that post with the EIGHT things love is/does not:

  1. Envy: 

“Envy” defined is a feeling of discontent or resentment because someone has something you desire or feel like you deserve–perhaps because you feel like you are more “holy”, fit, pretty, handsome, qualified—-that’s envy. That’s not love.

A prime biblical example of the sin of envy are Joseph’s brothers. Acts 7:9 says they were “moved with envy” to the point that they sold Joseph to Egypt. You can read the entire account it in Genesis 37. 

Furthermore, if we practice envy, we will  be disqualified from Heaven. Romans 1:28-32 reminds us:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2. Vaunt itself up

Vaunting means to self-promote; someone who exaggerates his own virtues–many times to the point of lying. The only things they do count and they have little to no interest, understanding or empathy for anyone but themselves. Sigh.  🙄

In contrast, the agape love God gives will always consider the other person’s feelings, thoughts, situations before speaking or acting.  And even if you have exceeded someone in a particular area, agape love will NEVER expose that person’s shortcomings to make themselves look good.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). 

3. Puffed up.

These words are based on the Greek word phusio, which means to be haughty, snobbish, swollen, or to be inflated. In other words, love is not prideful. Agape love is never haughty or snobbish when dealing with people.

Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). 

4. Behave itself unseemly. 

This word means to act improperly, selfish or out of order. Love doesn’t get cold when it doesn’t get her way. Love never plots, plans schemes, pouts, punishes, withholds, uses bad language or entertains the wrong thoughts about someone.  Love stays in formation.

A friend loves at all times…. (Proverbs 17:17a). 

5. Seeks not her own.

This meaning behind this phrase depicts a person who is so bent on getting their way, they will twist facts, search for loopholes, and/or use any means necessary to “make” the situation work for themselves–including sue in court! This is low-key manipulation and should never be named in the Body of Christ.

 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:4). 

6. Is not easily provoked:

This means love does not readily anger or be irritated behind every little thing. Now, we will get angry about things, but reaction should have a little thought behind it, so the agape love comes through.

 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

At the same time, we also should not be the ones who behave unseemly or speak words incite an angry response out of others–rather than lash out in anger, we should seek to understand the other person.

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

7. Thinks no evil

I LOVE this one, BCU Family! This phrase means to reconcile, calculate or keep a record of something so you do not forget. I read somewhere that in one country village, the residents spend much of their time fighting one another. When you spend a lot of time warring, it can be hard to remember what you are angry about, so the natives  keep a tangible object visible in their home in order to remember what the other person did to offend them. We may not keep physical objects, but often keep a mental ledger in our minds–and we replay it often to keep the hurt alive.

 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). 

8. Rejoices not in iniquity

Agape love does not rejoice in things that are wrong,  sinful, unjust, or even in the guilt or vices of others. Rather, true love rejoices in things that are true.

[Love] rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth..(I Corinthians 13:6).

Bonus–Love never fails:

Agape love does not run out, decay, decline or diminish over time, run out on dry seasons, behavior or circumstances. Jesus is a perfect example of love never failing–and if we have Jesus on the inside, our love will stand the test of time. Amen? Amen!


BCU Fam, I don’t know about you, but this study reminded me I have SO much more to come up to in the love area! What about you? What are your thoughts here? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below this post!

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

Love notes…

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! 


I was having a conversation with my bestie Kenya about life and some of the trials we have to endure as soldiers of Christ—especially our battles with PEOPLE! It’s actually the spirit of iniquity that works through people, but nonetheless, it can be challenging to maintain your salvation to the standard that God has called us to, right? (Ask me how I know!) Yet, if Jesus dwells down on the inside of us, it is a requirement to follow the pattern of Christ in all our interactions. And the pattern starts and ends with one word, BCU Fam.

Love.

Jesus said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40). Love is not just a conditional, sometimey feeling–it is a sacrificial lifestyle that Jesus modeled by dying for our sins, as well as leaving us His Word as a blueprint for us to follow. I recently did a “love study” and in re-reading my notes, with the help of God, I know I need ensure my love-meter is in high gear on a consistent basis. Let’s take a look at what agape love is and/or does based on I Corinthians 13.

Love…..

1) Suffers long—The word longsuffering in the Bible is made up of two Greek words meaning “long” and “temper”; literally, “long-tempered.” A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate in anger or punish, but is patient.

2)Is kindMeaning a kind love shows tenderness or goodness; doing good or being gracious. Our We operate without harshness or cruelty in word, thought or deed.

3) Rejoices in truth: The Greek word for truth is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” This means that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing obscured. Love rejoices in what is right and good, rather than hiding things.

4) Bears all things: This comes from the Greek word, “stego” meaning to cover, as in a roof, or a covering that offers protection from the elements. In a commentary from W. E. Vine, he explained that a stego or covering either supports what is placed upon it, or covers what is placed underneath it.

For example, a love that bears all things would cover/protect an individual by prayerfully approaching/talking/counseling them in a private setting. And of course, following the Lord’s leading while prayerfully considering the person’s situation, circumstances and reply throughout and after the conversation. The opposite of covering and protecting would be to berate or belittle the person, expose the situation publicly, and/or to other people unnecessarily.

5) Believes all things:
The word believes is actually the word “pisteuei,” which is the Greek word meaning to put one’s faith or trust in something or someone.  Of course, we need to trust God first and above any and everyone and remember the arms of flesh (people) will ultimately fail. (See Jeremiah 17:5). Matthew 18 reminds us that offenses will come. James 3 reminds us that we will offend many. In other words, this flesh we reside in is bound to mess up sometime! In this life, there will be challenges and situations to contend with, but we with the help and hope of the Lord, we are believing for the best in a person. To this end, believing all things means we overlook and forgive offenses quickly.

6) Hopes all things

The Greek word for hopes the word “elpidzo”, which means to anticipate and expect  good things from someone. Even if things look bleak, we won’t be negative or critical, rather we will continue praying and encouraging the person until we see the change come. And many times, if the change does not happen in the person straightaway, our heart, attitude and mind toward the situation or person often changes. Either way,  the love of hope is fulfilled.

7) Endures all things:The word endures is the Greek word “hupomeno” a compound word meaning under and abide.  In challenging situations, it can be tempting to “gather up all your toys and go home”— aka run away! And sometimes we do—not physically, but sometimes mentally, emotionally and even spiritually, we retreat and give up. The thought here is that while the love is under a load, it will not take off or give up in defeat, but rather will stick and stay through thick and thin. 

WHEW, BCU Fam—I have to admit, looking at love through the lens of how Christ expects us to love is a spiritual gut check for me. Of course, there are situations where it may be best to end the relationship (i.e. abusiveness), but by and large, our love should contain all seven of these elements.

So what are your thoughts on the love notes presented here today? Are any of these love elements a struggle? Is it easy to love? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below this post!

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!

 

Creation & science: The benefits of crying

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! 

For those of you who know me, I can get really emotional (a.k.a cry) over some of the smallest things–an unexpected note, a heart-felt word of encouragement, someone going through something, or just in response to God’s goodness and mercy–especially during/after prayer, praise and worship. I was talking to my amazing sister and friend Nekesha after a wonderful service at church where God really moved on my heart through tears almost throughout the entire service!  Nekesha mentioned she had done some research on crying and how cathartic it is for us. So, I thought it’d be interesting to see why God made our eyes to cry like they do.

According to an article in Medical News Today.com we have three types of tears:

Basal tears are omnipresent in our eyes. These constant tears are what keep our eyes from drying out completely. The human body produces an average of 5 to 10 ounces of basal tears each day. They drain through the nasal cavity, which is the reason so many of us develop runny noses after a good cry.

The second type is reflex tears, which serve to protect the human eye from harsh irritants such as smoke, onions or even a very strong, dusty wind. To accomplish this feat, the sensory nerves in your cornea communicate this irritation to your brain stem, which in turn sends hormones to the glands in the eyelids. These hormones cause the eyes to produce tears, effectively ridding them of the irritating substance.

The third type of tears is emotional tears. It all starts in the cerebrum where a strong emotion such as stress, pleasure, anger,  gratefulness, sadness and suffering or physical pain is registered. The endocrine system is then triggered to release hormones to the ocular area, which then causes tears to form.

Emotional crying is mostly attributed to babies/children, women, and “weak people”(whatever that means), but because God is so amazing, He MADE us the ability to cry for specific reasons. To start, crying can help you regulate your emotions, reduce your distress and rally support from others. In addition, research says that crying:

Helps to relieve pain

Research has foundTrusted Source that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins.

These chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.

Enhances mood

Crying may help lift people’s spirits and make them feel better. As well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel good” chemicals.

Releases toxins and relieves stress

When humans cry in response to stress, their tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals.

Researchers believe that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress. More research is needed into this area, however, to confirm this.

Aids sleep

A small study in 2015 found that crying can help babies sleep better. Whether crying has the same sleep-enhancing effect on adults is yet to be researched.

However, it follows that the calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects of crying above may help a person fall asleep more easily.

 Fights bacteria

Crying helps to kill bacteria and keep the eyes clean as tears contain a fluid called lysozyme.

A 2011 studyTrusted Source found that lysozyme had such powerful antimicrobial properties that it could even help to reduce risks presented by bioterror agents, such as anthrax.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319631.php#benefits-of-crying

So, in looking at this list, BCUFam, I’m thinking if I continuously suppress my urge to cry, then I add to my body’s stress levels which in turn harbors sickness, pain, multiplies toxins, and hosts bacteria in my cells–that can’t be good for our bodies and minds at all! Even our Lord and Savior Jesus wept! (See John 11:1-45 and Luke 19:41-44). Let’s see what else the Bible says about crying.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me (Psalm 56:8-9). This poetic language reminds us that God does not forget our tears at all and will save us from our enemy! What a blessed assurance!

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles (Psalm 37:17).  Here we are assured that God hears our cry and will deliver us. Hallelujah!

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27). Sometimes, we cry outwardly and inwardly (groan). Often, we do not understand why, but the Spirit does and advocates on our behalf. Praise our God!

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful (Revelation 21:4-5). Can you imagine God actually wiping away our tears? Ohh— this is something to look forward to, BCUFam! 

The wrap up? As the book of Revelation promises, there will be a day where there will be no more tears. Until then, God in His infinite wisdom, made our tears to be like an internal pressure valve to release the tension and cares of this life, so that we can continue to run on and live for Him. So, ignore the stigma and negative connotations that the world has assigned to crying, let the tears flow and the healing begin! Amen?! Amen!

What are thoughts on our topic du jour, BCUFam? Does crying come easily for you? Is it a struggle? What do you think about the science behind the tears? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below!

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 day the encourager was encouraged…

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:

  • From time to time, our hearts can get heavy about situations that come up in our lives.
  • Discouragement can happen to the most seasoned veteran in the Lord. While we can encourage ourselves and rely on the Ultimate Encourager, Jesus, sometimes it is good to hear a word from a person.
  • God has a way of using people to lift your heart up at a time you least expect it.
  • This podcast is dedicated to one of the people who blessed me by her testimony over 15 YEARS ago—my beautiful sister, treasured family and special friend, Sister Marcella Anderson! I love you!

Scripture meditation:

Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad (Proverbs 12:25).

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).

So BCU Fam, what do you think about our topic du jour? How are you about encouraging others? Is it a struggle? Do you get enough encouragement? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!

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

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