When gossip strikes back…

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

There’s a gospel song called “Birds in the Church”. Actually, its a narrative by Rev. Benjamin Cone, Jr. (from Mississippi Mass Choir, I believe) who among other things, tells us how people can be a lot like parrots–freely repeating other people’s business. I get tickled when I hear it, but the truth is evident!!!

Before I was saved, I could be a little “Willona-ish” (remember her from the TV show Good Times) when it came to discussing the happenings of people’s lives. The intent wasn’t malicious, just something to talk about, dissect, and share my “expert opinion” on the matter at hand.

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“Chile, have you heard?”

This behavior continued after I got saved….more of a bad habit, I suppose–and apparently God was trying to get my attention and did when I shared something rather personal/serious in confidence with someone I’ll call “Thelma”, who went back told their family.  Mayhap that wouldn’t have been so bad, if the family was offering sound wisdom, but Thelma came back to tell me the family laughed about it. That may sound petty to you all, but I was SO hurt that someone would repeat and make light of my concerns to others so casually.

 

Another time, I was involved in a sensitive situation where someone I’ll call “JJ” had to get involved. Now, JJ was helpful throughout the situation, but promptly started spreading the details of what happened and it got back to me.

I politely confronted JJ, letting them know it really wasn’t right getting others involved in a matter that was supposed to stay between selected persons. JJ was VERY apologetic–and I’m certain the chatter wasn’t done to be mean, rather it was just JJ’s habitual, but hurtful behavior.  With God’s grace, I forgave Thelma and JJ and we’re cool, but I have to say I felt really hurt, embarrassed and betrayed! Through that pain, God showed me how awful it is to idly parrot and betray confidences AND that my idle chatter were NOT Christ-like at ALL! Thankfully, with His help that behavior soon ceased in Jesus name, and has been dormant for the past couple of decades.

In the days since those times, God guides me on who to tell what to and when to do it. Luke 2:16-19 tells us about the birth of Jesus and how the angels talked to the shepherds and those shepherds told people, but Mary, the mother of Jesus, now “kept all these things and pondered things in her heart”. There is a valid reason she didn’t share that information with everybody!  Follow the leading of the Lord as to who to confide with.

Another lesson is, that God also blessed me to be a confidant. People do come to me with sensitive information and private challenges, knowing that with the grace of God, I will offer wise council, pray and keep the matter between us. No ifs, ands, buts or suppose. Period.

My final lesson is that people have also come to me with other’s business and that behavior needs to be shut that down with a swift retort like, “I will keep the situation/persons in prayer”, “that’s not my battle to fight–only God can work that out”, or “have you been praying for them?” Talking about someone is not as effective as praying for them. I’m not saying that we can’t talk through someone’s situation to understand things better or help that individual in crisis—we just need to be sensitive to how the Holy Ghost is telling us to handle it so we’re truly walking in the Spirit, rather than the flesh.

The bottom line?  The Bible says we will give an account for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36).  That means we have to explain or justify WHY we said what we said., and I have to tell you, BCU Fam, we will have NO justification whatsoever.  Let’s repent TODAY and with the help of God, work on our spiritual balance sheet, so that we will have more credits (allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our conversation) rather than debits (allowing the flesh to rule the conversation). Amen? Amen!

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to this week’s post? How do you guard against gossip coming out of your mouth and staying out of your ears?  Please scroll on down to the comments section and let’s 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 Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

 

 

Let’s talk about “re-gene-ration!”

Hey there, BCU Fam!

BlenCouragesU is excited to bring you thoughts from my VERY special guest in the person of Erma Nurse-Williams! Enjoy the post and be blessed!


The second half of 2017 brings with it promises of joy, peace, and hope, but as Bishop T.D. Jakes says, we cannot be the old us and get the new blessing.

Actually, the inspiration for this post comes from his sermon on January 3, 2016 titled, “Ground Level Zero.” In the sermon, he talks about how we need to be “re-gene-rated” to claim the blessings that God has for us.

“Re-gene-ration” is the uprooting and restructuring of our genes in the spiritual sense. We have physical and spiritual genes, and it’s important to note their differences. Physical genes are made up of DNA. They contain the genetic information that determines how we look and function. Spiritual genes are made up of spirit matter, a.k.a., that stuff that determines how our soul functions.

God wants our soul to operate in His likeness. He wants our soul to be a reflection of Him. We may want that too, but sometimes our soul gets polluted with the trappings of life. When that happens, God steps in to re-gene-rate us. He gives us a new soul by reshaping, and in some instances, replacing our genes to His liking. He removes the contentious genes and replaces them with Christ-like genes. You notice that I’m using “re-” a lot, right? “Re-” is a prefix that means “again, anew.” It indicates that a birth has occurred. We are reborn several times throughout our lives as God calls and commands. These rebirths are necessary filtration processes that draw us closer to the Lord. God wants us near to Him so that we can advance His kingdom. It is through doing His will that we shall receive the ultimate peace.

As we march through the remainder of 2017, let us remember that our re-gene -ration is God’s glory manifested in us in spiritual form. The earthly works that we perform as a result of our re-gene-ration are the physical fruits of God’s goodness, grace, and mercy.

God bless you and thanks for reading!

Erma is an avid lover of pomade. She created her online store, The Pomade Shop, to share her love of pomade with the world. Find her online at ThePomadeShop.com.


BCU says: As I read Erma’s encouraging words, Paul’s words to the Romans 12 come to mind.

1)I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2)And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God  (Romans 12:1-2).

                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rejoice, people of God! The fight is FIXED!

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

I Samuel 17:4-54 tells how giant Goliath, champion of the Philistines taunted the Israelites twice daily for over a month–looking for someone to fight him. He was “kind” enough to make a deal with the Israelites: if they won, the Philistines would be their servants, but if he won the Israelites would be servants to the Philistines. (verses 8-10). I wonder if Goliath and his crew rested assured thinking, “yep, we got them right where we want them.”

Meanwhile, the word tells us the Israelites were dismayed and greatly afraid! (verse 11).  These were the same people who experienced the blessings (and punishment) of God, but likely because Goliath was so big (almost ten feet) weighted with all that armor, and so confident, he frightened his opponents so NO one wanted to fight him. That is, until David, a youthful shepherd came by.

David heard about Goliath’s behavior, the Israelites’ fear, and was incensed that he would defy the army of the living God. David went to Goliath with no armour, rather with The Lord on his side, and a rock to Goliath’s forehead. As I was reading this story, the Lord pointed out three points.

Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? (David–1 Samuel 17:26b)

1)Notice Goliath never touched the Israelites—he just spoke to them and they fell to pieces (see verses 8-10). In comparison, the adversary is a type of Goliath. He taunts, accuses, brings feelings of doubt, fear, worry —sometimes paralyzing us so we fall apart and we will not fight. We allow the enemy to stop us from doing what God called us to. We draw back when we notice the stern, unsmiling faces at church when we speak. We stop praising God freely because someone is looking at us. We stay out of the prayer line fearing the congregation will be wondering why we are up for prayer–again. We think,”what if God doesn’t…..” or “maybe people will laugh” or “what if I mess up?” The list can go on and on, but you get the picture. Proverbs 29:25 reminds us, the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Whose side are we trusting on?

Let no man’s heart fail because of him [Goliath], I [David] will go and fight with this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:32).

2) While the feelings of fear, worry and doubt may creep up (that’s a normal reaction in the flesh), we have to think and act in The Spirit. Recall what David said to Goliath: You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defiled (1 Samuel 17:45). David had total confidence in God and the ability God gave him. AND David didn’t have the Holy Ghost, but WE do. We’ve got THE power in the name of Jesus, we just have to use it!

3) While we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (no stones needed) 😄, we do wrestle against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Our battles are fought and won with fasting, prayer, reading and applying your Word in faith, knowing that our God is God and following His battle plan ensures victory EVERY time! The fight is fixed!

The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, he will deliver from out of the hand of this Philistine. (David–1 Samuel 17:37).

Bottom line: while there are some “Goliaths” in all our lives from time to time, those of us who are Holy Ghost filled have the privilege to know the same God on whom David relied, is the same one we can call on for help. Psalms 98:1 reminds us His [God’s] right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory. Because He lives in You, you can rest in knowing God is working on your behalf to ensure you will be victorious, according to His will! Glory to God!!!! Fight on and share your victory (or your struggle–we’ll be praying with you) with us in the comment section below!

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, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

Hearing vs. listening to The voice of God

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

About 4 years ago, my brother, Minister Garry, preached a sermon entitled “The Voice” based on  John 12:20-32. This post is in reference to listening to that still, small voice that tells us what to do. Do you hear it or listen to it? There is a difference.

Awhile back, I was talking with a handyman *”Lou” who was trying to restart his business and offered to quote my friend, Lee and I for some work we wanted done on our places. Lou was polite, friendly, professional and sounded reasonable! Great!

After we talked, The Lord told me to mention a contract to Lou–we need to get this on paper, right? I left a message for Lou one evening to write up what he quoted me, what materials I needed, etc. I mentioned the contract to my friend, Lee, who said “why would we need a contract? Lou is just starting out, it’s a small business….”

Family, I was torn! How many judge shows had I seen where verbal contracts were not honored? AND I have a business degree. I know better! But, I felt bad, Lou was starting over, and needed a break. So I hushed the Lord’s voice about pushing the need for a written contract. Lou said he didn’t have any contracts anyway🚩 (red flag).

So, Lee, Lou and I scheduled a time we could all meet, to see what Lee needed done. That day, Lou was over two hours late–no call. We telephone out of concern and Lou gets on us about the heavy traffic, citing we don’t understand, he was coming from another town, and since we were expecting him, he figured we’d just wait. 😼(bright red flag).🚩🚩🚩

While I’m listening to this frippery, trying to exercise self-control over my rising temper, I kept trying to explain to him that we understand traffic, just call if you’re going to be late. After a 15-minute conversation, Lou still didn’t think he needed to call if he was tardy (flashing red flag). While Lee dismissed Lou’s attitude and finalized plans, I heard The Lord tell me to not let him do any work on my place. I second guessed a little though–was I in my flesh? Maybe he had a bad day. We all mess up from time to time, right? I admit I hoped I misheard, but I kept watching and praying just the same.

Lou came and worked on Lee’s place. It started to look REALLY nice! Lou even called when he was late or not coming….initially and sometimes. He didn’t show up for a day or two, but when he did come, he sang, worked and did a FANTASTIC job. When I stopped over Lee’s, Lou kept asking me when he could start on my place. I told him to finish up Lee’s first, (while I watched and prayed). Even though the work was getting done at Lee’s, The Lord’s voice was clear. Don’t do it (final waving flag with flashers).🏁🚩🏳🏴

How’d Lee’s story end? While what was done was indeed beautiful, some other major work was only three-quarters of the way done. Lou didn’t show up to finish. He decided to start another job with another client! Lee was VERY upset, and ended up having to get someone else to finish up the work. Messy, I tell ya!

With the help of the Lord, we’ve got to get to a place where we HEAR and LISTEN to His voice.

Why is it that when the Lord speaks, we sometimes second (or third) guess His direction? Granted, we want to make sure we are walking in the Spirit, but in many cases it can be fear, worry and unbelief. Sara and Abraham (Genesis 16), feared they were too old to have a child and went outside God’s divine will to start the process. Yes, you may be bobbing your head, but we are not exempt!

Bottom line: Sometimes the fear of hurting feelings, worry of losing out on a good deal, getting “cussed” out or looking foolish keeps us bound and making unwise decisions. The enemy has a way of trying to drown out the voice of God by using this age-old tactic. It’s our responsibility to know the voice of God and yield to it as Jesus said in John 10. As we steep ourselves in the Word of God, in prayer, meditation and study, God’s voice will become clearer and the voice of that stranger will cause you to flee from it and the things it suggests.

Let’s practice tuning out the noisome pestilence of the world and the enemy and tune in The Voice of God to ensure that the things we do and say will be pleasing to Him, Amen? Amen!

So, BCU Fam, that’s my story! What are your thoughts about the post? Please scroll on down to the comments section and let’s 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 Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

Commit your works to The Lord and He will establish your thoughts (Proverbs 16:3).

*names have been changed and details omitted to protect privacy.

Meditate on these things… 

Hey there BCU Fam!

BlenCouragesU is excited to bring you our first guest blog post, in the person of Kristie Ward! In addition to being an advocate of children, Kristie is a wife, mom and beautiful woman of God. Read and be blessed!

Spirituality

There are a growing number of Americans in search of spirituality and enlightenment. The search has extended beyond traditional American belief systems. People are fully embracing spiritual practices from all over the world in daily life. Yoga studios have opened up in almost every city and the practice of yoga and meditation is often a regular part of physical education classes beginning in elementary school. The trouble is, we have invited practices into our lives without a full understanding of what it involves and how it is practiced in its eastern origin. Traditional yoga directly contradicts with biblical spirituality.

As a Christian, being “spiritual” is having and walking in the Spirit of Christ on a daily basis. It’s not a temporary fix or a way to channel your positive energy. It’s not a means to have a glowing aura or a connection with the other side. Eastern religions teach that salvation is found within man but man is not a deity unto himself. Man is finite, fragile and he fails himself. The human condition is sin and only a just God was/is able to erase the sting of it.

But.. I’m not practicing Hinduism

Yoga itself is not a religion. It is a religious practice credited to Hinduism, meaning, ‘to yoke or be joined with the divine’. How does one become joined with divinity? Well, yoga teaches meditation and breathing techniques to calm the body and relax the mind, which can include chanting and incense. It sends the body into a different state of mind. This is a state of mind that does not honor God, but instead teaches people that they have divinity within themselves naturally and with that they can gain power and control.

In opposition, Christianity is a humbling faith. It teaches lowliness and an awareness inherent weakness; the affinity to sin. One true God teaches us the right way to go. One source of truth shows us right from wrong. It teaches us that there is only one true Spirit and that is God himself. He has given the bible as not only a love letter, but a guidebook for life and life eternal. We are all made to worship but who we worship defines whether we are alive or dead, quickened or still, powerful or weak. God has proven himself to be omnipotent through the simple act of faith, not through bodily exercise (1 Timothy 4:8) or vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).

The act of meditation is as simple as Phillippians 4:8, “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. The world is a cloud of religions, confusion and seared consciences. Let’s be bible believers and Christians who walk in the Spirit. Be careful! Everything new and different isn’t always biblical and everything claiming to be spiritual doesn’t have THE SPIRIT OF GOD in it.

 

Kristie Ward is a Christian social worker, freelance writer for HelpGrowCT and Co-owner of Ward Advocacy, LLC.