A Christmas message: Who is Jesus to YOU?

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!

So, the youth at our church always do a marvelous job in their skits and plays around the birth of Christ.  I thought I’d re-share a written excerpt from the “sermon” scene from one of plays the young people wrote. The sermon was performed by a friend of mine, Matthew Vialva years ago. Take a look/listen!

“You see church, some folk saw Jesus, just as a prophet or teacher, Abba, Rabbi, and a good preacher. But for those that really know His Holy pages, we know:
To the geologist He is the Rock of Ages.
To the Doctor, He is the Great Physician
To the Carpenter, He is the Master Builder.
And any foundation, needs a Chief Cornerstone.
A Lawyer, you never need one, cause we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous—HALLELUJAH!
To the Astronomer, He is the Bright and Morning Star,
To the Botanist, He is the Lily of the Valley….
If you’re wandering today, The Good Shepard will find you and never again shall you want.

Christmas isn’t about gifts. If we want, we ask Jesus because the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, including the North Pole!

Santa Claus is not the boss, Rudolph had a shiny nose, but when you have Jesus, your WHOLE body glows!

St. Nick is not the pick, Kris Kringle can a ding dingle, but when the trump sounds, Santa Claus ain’t comin’ to town.

It’s JESUS, JESUS, JESUS.

Now… let the Christmas Spirit, who is King Jesus reign in your life!”

BCU family, even after all these years, these words still resonate in my spirit–especially the end where Jesus was repeated! There’s something about the name “Jesus” that stirs you UP on the inside! GLORY!!!!! What what your favorite part? Please head to the comment section below and let’s continue our conversation!

As a reminder, 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 now YouTube! 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!

God bless you this Christmas and always!

 

Love,

BCU

Why isn’t she HELPING me serve?

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 conversational story, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights and corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

      • Based on our Periscope* on Stewardship/procrastination study from Luke 10:38-41–the familiar story of wise, attentive Mary and “careful”, troubled Martha.

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

  • Careful and troubled mean anxious, distracted,  drawn away from what’s important, AND busy with who all is doing what, aka “busybody”.
  • I Peter 4:15 tells us NOT to be a thief, murderer, evildoer or BUSYBODY in other folks’ matters.
  • Noticing something is different from focusing on it.

Whew! This was a sobering, but needful lesson, BCUFam! What are your thoughts on busybody-ness? Share with me–how hard is it to stay focused on what God has called you to do–especially when/if we feel like they are not “helping you serve” Is it a  struggle?  There’s a comment section here on the BCU site, just ripe for us to 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 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

*Join us on Periscope every Thursday night at 8:05pmEST on channel BlenCouragesU.

BCU Resource: complimentary stewardship/time management document

Hey there BCU Fam!

As many of you know, we are currently studying time management in our live Periscope study held on Thursday nights at 8:05pm on Periscope/BlenCouragesU. On this Thursday, (December 14, 2017), we’re planning* to talk practically about managing our time better with the “Eisenhower” quads, updated with Scripture and a little BCU flavor! 🙂 You are MORE than welcome to join us!

Feel free to download the .PDF file>> BCU Quad Matrix Dec 2017 <<ahead of our class, so you can print and fill it on as we go, or you can take notes and fill it in later. If you miss the class, check the BCU Facebook page for the replay, or it may be posted here, as well.

If you need a different version of the Quad (i.e. Excel or Numbers document), just email Blen@BlenCouragesU.com with BCU Quad in the subject line and your information,  or, let me know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and we’ll get you hooked up!

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

 

Love,

BCU

 

*The subject of the Periscope is subject to change, per the Lord’s kairos will. 🙂

 

 

P.S. Here is the filled in Quad>> BCU Quad Complete 2017<<

 

Was that blessing REALLY God’s favor? Or was it stolen?

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!

Most of us are taught about stealing being wrong and in many cases, stealing can lead to time in the pokey and a record that follows you for the rest of your life. While many of us would never dream of slipping a lip gloss into a purse, pilfering a candy bar even or taking a vehicle, there are a number of us do steal from others. On the regular. From small businesses.

As a former, semi-current and potential small business owner myself, it’s a blessing to get a vision from the Lord, put your plan together, get your logo/branding, gather your capital, do your advertising and get real live customers! That joy can be quickly overshadowed by the amount of people who know you and want deeply discounted and/or free services. Check out these comments:

(After consuming all the product) “I didn’t like it. Can I get ALL my money back?” (But, you ate it. And served it to your guests).

“Why take my stuff to a tailor when YOU can do it for free?” (insert blank stare).

“I’m MAD! You didn’t update one line of my information (an insignificant line on a stack of promotional materials you got for FREE, mind you).

“I just paid my rent, so I can’t pay for for your services” (this was said AFTER the service was completed). I’ll get you next month. (It’s been a year).

(Person comes to pick up hand-made, specialty, consumable, personalized item) “I can’t pay you until Friday”. (Shaking my head).

Oh, it gets better!

“I am going through a season of financial difficulty, but when God blesses me, I will bless you. (When did this season start? before or after your order?)

“I had to pay a bill. Can I pay you later?” (No words).

“I see those ads you do. How much are they?” (names low price). “Oh.” (So were you disappointed because it wasn’t free?)

Can I get the 20-year friend discount? (The what?)

“If you do this work for free, I will promote you!” (So…you have a connection with Nike or some major sponsor or you gonna tell Mama and dem to come get free goods?)

and my favorite, “I need this (complicated and time consuming) project done TODAY! I know you are home and can get it done.” (As if I have nothing else to do but take your last minute and FREE order).

When we go to a salon, do we bring our own products to save a few dollars? Bring eggs and bacon to the diner to reduce your bill? Do we rush the customer service desk at Target, Wal-Mart, Kroger’s, Stop & Shop or any other big box store expecting or demanding FREE merchandise? So WHY is it okay for us to do the same to small business owners, especially if the owners are our friends and family?

I love a bargain like the next person, BCU Family and as a practicing good steward, I want to get the most for the money I spend. That doesn’t include manipulating, guilting, presuming or stealing (ordering a personalized item or getting a service knowing full well you have no intention of paying for it) goods and services. We see an example of this in the Bible.  Consider King David who wanted to buy a threshing floor from Araunah, in 2 Samuel 24:21-24.

v 21) ‘Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

v 22)And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.”

v 23)Now Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up whatever seems good to him. Look, here are oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing implements and the yokes of the oxen for wood. All these, O king, Araunah has given to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

v 24)Then the king [David] said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 

David, being a king, could have manipulated, shamed, demanded  or extorted the land for under the fair market value. He could have said, “you better bless me with that land”.  Or, “God will bless you if you bless me and called it “favor”.  Rather, he offered to and PAID the fair price for it.

When we play “let’s make a deal”  with our business friends, we are EXTORTIONERS who ROB them from being able to provide for their families. When we refuse to pay for services, we STEAL the time, talent and materials God gave them that could have been used for a paying client. We DESTROY the trust they had in the agreement made to pay for services at the the time they are rendered. We KILL their ability to expand their business (if everything is free, how are they going to maintain business or get any bigger?) We DEFRAUD the business owner of customers by bad-mouthing them because no discount given equates to shoddy work. We BURGLARIZE the owner of esteem because of constant pressure and manipulation to get the work done for discounted or free.

BCU Fam, if stealing, manipulation or extortion is part of our lifestyles, unless we repent and cease from it, we will not make it into the kingdom of Heaven. I Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

And if we are filled with the Holy Spirit on the inside, verse 11 reminds us that we USED to do those things, but now we are sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Paul was reminding us, the church, that means as born-again believers we should not continue to practice these sins.

Now, I admit that I used to be the one who was disappointed if I didn’t always get a discount–I thank God for showing me that mindset was not the way to do business or represent Him properly. If you have been the person who has been extorting people, now is a good time to stop with God’s help. Ask Him to help you see the value in the special talent He has blessed them to have. If your funds are tight, then ask God to help you find the money you need, or bless you to get with another service provider that you can afford.

If you are a leader in any capacity,  the business owner and you are friends/family, or you have a strong personality, remember that owners may be intimidated (that’s another post), and think you expect a discount or freebie. Like David, insist on paying them full price, and do that with a cheerful heart–it’s a blessing to be able to to a blessing to someone else and in turn, God will BLESS you. Let’s allow Luke 6:31 to guide fairness in dealing with people: “And just as you would want mean to do to you, you also do to them likewise”.  Amen? Amen!

This is a tough, yes needful talk, BCU Fam. Which side of the fence are you on, discount-demander or berated business owner? What have your experiences been like? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section!

As a reminder, 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 now YouTube! 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

“He did what?! “Well, what where YOU wearing?”

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.

WARNING: This subject matter of sexual assault is a highly sensitive, yet needful to discuss topic. The angle presented here is just one of several ways we can and should open up dialogue and work toward solving the problem with God’s help for without Him, we can do NOTHING. If you have been the victim of any inappropriate behavior, we are praying for you. Please reach out to us at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com if you’d like further counseling and prayer. We pray the post blesses you. If so, please leave a comment! Thank you and may God bless you.

I usually refrain from commenting on most current events–mostly to keep a guard over my mouth as Psalm 141:3 says. In light of the recent and alleged sexual misconduct cases with so many high-profile men, it brings a few thoughts to mind.

Tina*, a quiet, but smart third-grader was heading back to class from the bathroom when she sees Danny, a very tall and popular 4th or 5th grader coming toward her.  As they met up in the hallway, Tina greeted him with a smile and cheery hello. Danny responded by blocking Tina’s access to get by and shoving her into a nearby open custodial closet where his hands were in places they should never have been. Tina, confused and scared, confided in an older student who replied, “well, what were you doing down there anyway?” Shamed, Tina didn’t ever report the incident. It still lingers in her mind.

Lala* started developing early–around age 10-11. Paulie, a scary, bully-type guy, would discreetly touch her in passing in the hallway remarking about how well she was growing.  Lala’s mom talked about how certain women were predators and liked to take people’s men away. They wore clothing that was revealing and that asked for trouble. Lala didn’t know what to do, so she did nothing. Thankfully Paulie moved away the next school year. She was always confused about how to deal properly with men.

Young Mona* landed a great job with awesome pay, benefits and a wonderful working environment. Mona came back from lunch one day and before she sat down to settle in, started to check her voice messages. As she stood listening to the messages and went to have a seat, she jumped up and turned around, only to see Mark, an executive sitting in her chair, smirking. In telling her story, it wasn’t the first time Mark had harassed someone–it even went to HR, but no one believed the women. Surprised?

*Loo went out on a dinner-date with an “official”. Since the date was going well, Official wanted to extend the time together with a trip to the movies, to which Loo thought was great. Partially through the movie, Loo thought Official accidentally brushed up against her–until it happened repeatedly. Loo addressed it, to which Official replied, “I’ll try and stop, but I can’t promise anything.” Sigh.

BCU Family, I tell these true stories (with permission, and *name changes of course), to illustrate a point.

From where I sit, most boys have this God-given aggressive nature and natural leadership capability which is GREAT! The thing is, they may not be taught HOW and WHEN to be aggressive. Yes, go hard when you are playing a sport or learning a task–those qualities help make men the amazing leaders God called them to be. At the same time, it’s important for men to be taught exercise self-control, proper restraint, respect and an understanding of the word “no”. And if the “no” boundaries are crossed, consequences must be swift and memorable,  versus a “boys will be boys” mindset (which is completely unscriptural–God holds anyone who does wrong accountable. Period.)

Yes, there are women who are beautiful, mesmerizing, enticing, tempting and may even go after you. Solomon warns against that in Proverbs 6  (note, the book of Proverbs is for everyday living for everyone, not ONLY those who know the Lord).

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? (Proverbs 6:25,27-28). 

As these stories unfold in the news,  we are witnessing that lust and lack of self-restraint will eventually “burn” the aggressor, either in this life, and, if repentance and salvation is not chosen, that burn will be for eternity in the life to come.  While women DO have a responsibility to be chaste, and in many (not all) cases, are taught properly, who exactly is teaching the men to control themselves?

Who is warning the men of the dangers of lust, that when it’s finished, it brings sin and death? (James 1:15).

Why is it that a women brings up inappropriate behavior, her past is questioned?

Why ask about her choice of clothing? Is it really okay to grope or assault someone just because they are wearing a skirt? Pants?  Or because she’s “well-developed?” She’s the last person leaving the room and man sees this as his opportunity?  Are those the signals she’s “asking for it?”

Why do we say, “what was she doing in the public break room getting coffee when the man walked in? Didn’t you know his reputation?  Sense something? Why  didn’t you run?”

Why is it women don’t report assault right away?

Why are women made to feel ashamed and at fault?

Why do women keep silent?

These are questions that need answers, problems that need solutions and teaching that needs students, BCU Fam. These conversations and reinforcement need to be had at home, on the playgrounds, in the barbershops, in social media and yes, in our churches. Especially in our churches.

I John 2:16 reminds us that all lust will be ever present in the world.

That doesn’t mean we have to obey it.

Bottom line: Lust is not a skin problem, rather a sin problem that Jesus is equipped to handle.  We need only to  trade our fleshly desires for His precious Holy Spirit and His way of living our lives, which would be perfect, including tests and trials yet absent of the desire to practice the very sins that result in hurting others and damaging their lives, as well as the private/public shame, humiliation and punishment that both the victim and predator live with.

Why aren’t we talking about this?

From what I read, 1 in 4 women have been the victim of assault/inappropriate behavior. That’s a large population of people who may be walking around broken on the inside.

Why aren’t we talking about this?

What are your thoughts around this sensitive topic? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below.

As a reminder, 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 now YouTube! 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