How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…

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, “Love Day” or Valentine’s Day is around the corner–and yes, there is some debate for some Christians around celebrating the day–and others who choose to celebrate the person they love period. Either way, for some singles it can be a tough with the hearts, flowers, candy and plans. And that sometimes brings a loneliness that, in turn, if not given to God, can effect your spirit.

Last year, I wrote a post on some things to do that you can find here. I was thinking to do the same this year, but the Lord led me to write something about Him that would bless the singles, and the BCU Family at large on February 14th and all year round.

You loved me first.

You wonderfully made me.

You were born for me.

You lived for me.

You were punished for me.

You died for me.

You rose for me.

You chose me.

You redeemed me.

You saved me.

You live in me.

You forgive me.

You heal me.

You correct me.

You are the reason I exist.

You provide for me.

You protect me.

You feed me.

You clothe me.

You instruct me.

You defend me.

Merciful,  gracious, slow to anger, patient, restorer of my soul, full of compassion, long-suffering, The Way, The Truth, The Life.

Abundant life giver, tear-drier, Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

Faithful, lover of my soul, heart fixer, mind-regulator, promise-keeper, victory-giver, lifter of my head.

My rock, my sword, my shield, my fortress, prayer-answerer, sustainer, shelter, strong-tower, refuge, avenger.

Strength renewer, present help in trouble, my salvation, great and greatly to be praised. Preserver, healer, my hope, wisdom-dispenser, understanding-giver, knowledge base, instructor in my night seasons.

My light, my salvation, the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid? Leader, guider into all truth. Comforter, King of Glory, strong and mighty in battle, good and upright, my Shepherd, so I shall NOT want  for anything.

Table preparer, Bread of life, holy and righteous, my strength like no other, my God, my bucker the form of my salvation and high tower–so worthy to be praised.

Saving strength of His anointed, center of my joy, my house of defense, nigh to the broken-hearted, saver of the contrite spirit, deliverer from all my troubles.

Cleaner of hearts, renews a right spirit within me, iniquity blotter– oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed are they that that put their trust in Him!

No greater love will ever exist in this life than the love You, Jesus, have for me. When NOTHING else would help, Your love lifted me.

Jesus, You loved me first. You love me best. You love me always.

And just for Who are are, Jesus I love You.

BCU Fam, when I think of all of who Jesus is to me, it just deepens my love and commitment to Him. I know that even the most settled in Christ singles can occasionally get that pang of loneliness—that’s normal! Use that as a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together!

What are some ways YOU or your single friends work through the Love Day or any day loneliness? Are you married? coupled? What advice do you have to share? Please drop a line in the comments section below so we can continue our conversation!

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

Ministry or merchandise? The “V.I.P.” experience.

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:

  • God gives all of us certain gifts and/or talents. Gifts are listed in the Bible: Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11-13 and I Corinthians 12. Talents can be things like singing, painting, writing, baking, et cetera.
  • We are not to muzzle the ox that treads the corn (I Corinthians 9:9). And we know the laborer is worthy of his hire (Luke 10:7). If the LORD gave you clearance to charge for your time/talent, then do so–FAIRLY.
  • When we charge people for $100.00 extra for VIP special seating or the opportunity to meet us, we are separating the haves from the have nots. Do we now become a respecter of persons? (James 2).

You know, BCU Fam, it’s understandable that certain talents like baking, photography or designing have varied levels of pricing. A gospel artist charging MORE for the chance to snap a selfie with them? When you are supposed to be ministering to people? How does that line up with doing kingdom work? Or does the extra charge line up to help the artist afford a certain lifestyle?

So… what are your thoughts? Is VIP ticket pricing “fair”? Does it matter to you? How does VIP pricing this apply to things we do for the Lord?  Have you thought about it before now? Let’s talk some more about this—head down to the comment section so we can continue our dialogue.

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

Break every chain…letter, meme…

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual, 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!

Chain letters date back to the 1900’s when they were delivered via postal service asking for monetary donations. My first encounter with a chain letter goes back to around the 8th grade, where the letters were passed during class–and disobeying the commands promised disastrous results. I thought I left that stuff back in 19xxxx! But here we are in 2018, with instant and constant access to the Internet, in particular Facebook, where many of us are inundated with memes, posts and inbox messages, asking, or even demanding quid pro quo action.

  • “If you forward this letter to 40 people, you will receive a check in the mail”.
  • “So and so is giving away 30 million dollars, but you must send this to 100 of your Facebook friends.”
  • “Here is a rose of love. If you love me, you’ll send it back to me and pass it on to 12 others.”
  • “If you are not ashamed of the Jesus, pass this along. If you don’t you are ashamed of God.”
  • “THE LAST time I [sic] prayed this prayer, over 5,000 people received shocking Miracles. You have [sic] type Amen and shared post but you didn’t receive anything! This night is your own night.”
  • “I pray that as you read this, you will be showered with blessings. Type Amen and share if you agree.”
  • I stretch my hands and pray for 10,000 PEOPLE, things have delayed in your life but from the time you type: Amen and share this post[sic] Receive your miracle.

For many, passing and typing seems harmless, but there a problem. These messages are steeped  in lies, fear and superstition, all which have no place in the believers life.

First off, the lies that are told on these posts are outrageous. How do we know that Bill and Melinda Gates are giving away money? Are we positive that Tyler Perry is blessing people randomly? Has anyone done the research and gotten the scoop from a credible, reliable source? One Holy-Ghost filled believer I spoke to said “well, I don’t know if he [Tyler Perry] is giving away money, but I passed it along anyway”.

BCU Fam, as people of God, we are responsible for every word we say and deed we participate in (See Matthew 12:36 and Romans 14:12). If we are unsure if something is untruthful, we really should not spread the information. Not only are we guilty of lying, but we are encouraging the practice of idolatry. Colossians 3:5-7, 9-10 reminds us to:

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Many of the memes promise wealth and good fortune if we obey it’s commands. Are we not content with what we have? Are we truly trusting God? 

For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Next, what Scripture supports God tallying up our “likes”, “shares” and  “amens” in order to bless us? Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it’s impossible to please Him [God]. He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that is a rewarder of them that diligently (earnestly, swiftly and with zeal) seek Him. It’s just that simple, BCU Fam. No complications needed.

So, what about the fear of breaking the chain?  Will God really be upset if you scrolled past a post concerning Him and didn’t click like? Will He not answer the prayers of an ill individual because we didn’t type amen? Does catastrophic disaster await because we didn’t pass on a message? Tormenting, demanding, ultimatum fear comes from the devil. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God has NOT given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. Faith-filled, loving saints rest in the power of the Holy Ghost to supply needs  and the sound mind that resists the urge to pass foolishness along. Period.

Next, let’s talk about the superstition part. Superstition is defined as “a widely held, but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief”.  To break it down even further, the superstitious meme-passing, is based on the unfounded “faith” that following an unbiblical command will release some “magical power” from God.

Moreover, superstition is directly linked to idolatry. We think of idols as little tiki statues that old Mr. Hanalay passed down to his family, but anything we place our trust in over God is an idol. So, when we type “amen” and share in hopes of getting a financial blessing or healing, our faith is in the actions we performed around the post, (idol), rather than asking God for what we need and trusting Him to supply those needs. Matthew 6:33 says that we are to seek the kingdom of God first and all His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (See Matthew 6:25-33 for the full context).

BCU  Family, the bottom line is that God does NOT endorse lying, living in fear, or idolatry in any fashion. Those who practice such behaviors do not inherit the kingdom of God (See Revelation 21:8  and Galatians 5:20). Rather than entertain these demonic communications, let’s practice living Philippians 4:6-9.

Be anxious 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.

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.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

And rest on Philippians 4:19–

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

From here on out, instead of passing these messages around, let’s break every chain Amen?! Amen!

So what are your thoughts around chain letters and posts? Were you aware of the upsurge in these communications? Did you indulge in them? (Judgement free zone here). Head down to the comments section and let’s continue the conversation!

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

Jealousy vs. envy

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 interview 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:

  • Jealousy  and envy are “kissing cousins”.
  • Jealousy means I protect/ keep what I have from others who might want to get it.
  • Envy is a desire (and desires are fine), envy, though, is steeped in resentment and is fueled by pride.
  • None of us, even the believer in Christ is immune from having envious thoughts or  making envious statements.
  • We don’t have to live in the state of envy.

Scripture references

For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one (Job 5:2).

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Philippians 4:11-12).

The blessing of the Lord , it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

So, what are you thoughts on envy? Have you had resentful thoughts? (I know I have had them!) How do deal with your desires not meeting up with your expectations? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can continue our conversation!

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 Original Avenger

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 interview 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:

  • We should always pray and not faint.
  • Waiting on God is an important part of our growth process.
  • When God moves, He moves suddenly.

Scripture references

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11).

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 (Isaiah 40:31).

So, have you cried out to God in faith? Still waiting? Are you believing that our Avenger is nigh?   Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can continue our conversation!

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