Overcoming over-thinking.

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! 

The last time we were together, we talked about our runaway imaginations– the thoughts that go on in our heads (worry, anxiety and rage) when our expectations and reality do not meet up.

As I ponder that post from last week, the Lord started talking with me about the thoughts we have about others…and what they think about us. And why.

A. You throw on old clothes to run out to the market. A fellow shopper casually glances in your direction. You think to yourself, I should have put on better clothes…they must think I am a bum or here to steal something.

B. After greeting a person you haven’t seen in a while, you think, “she must be wondering why I gained so much weight.”  You think about this so much that don’t hear anything she is saying–and then—you interrupt her conversation to explain your weight gain.

C. You are tardy to a function and think that everyone is wondering why you are late. As you greet each individual, you apologize over and over profusely.  No one noticed you were late.

D. You overanalyze conversations, facial expressions and electronic communication.

  • You mention to a person that the color green (a color they hardly wear) looks good on them. You start to think they may be thinking that you were saying they did not look good in any other colors except for green and should only wear that color.
  • Why did Boss raise his eyebrow when I mentioned I liked Costco–I bet he thought I was going to apply!  I LIKE my job. I don’t want to get fired! I better start looking for a job.
  • I think this mass email is directed toward the length of my presentation. Joe and I were the only ones who presented last week and his presentation was 10 minutes and mine was 11.5 minutes.

Does any of this ring true at all, BCU Fam? 🤦🏽‍♀️

Overthinking can happen to any of us in times of stress, anger, or heavy decision making. For many over thinkers, it’s an everyday process that can rob you of time, drain your emotions and your peace and security with God. While God has given us the ability to think and reason for ourselves, guessing what people are thinking, attempting to correct what we are guessing and/or living in terror of what people think is rooted in FEAR. which doesn’t come from God.  Let’s look at what the word of God has to say about this.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

  • We have power in the name of Jesus and His perfect love in us casts out all fear (I John 4;18). A sound mind in the Greek is sophronismos which means self-control; discipline or moderation.  If we allow the power and love of Jesus to rule our minds, our thoughts will be under control and disciplined to what the Lord and His Word tells us versus what circumstances or situations tell us.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe (Proverbs 29:25). 

 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

  • Truthfully speaking, overthinking, fear and people-pleasing are a vicious cycle. Solomon says that the fear of man is a snare–a trap that the enemy sets to rob you of your spiritual, financial, mental, emotional and sometimes even physical liberty. Fearing people will always keep us in bondage to them and their ever-changing and often out-of God’s will agenda. It takes practice and yielding, but, true servants of the Lord seek to please only Him.

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

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).

  • Peace is a benefit God provides to those who keep their minds on and trust God. It also comes as a result from us exchanging our cares, anxiety or worry (a by-product of overthinking) by praying humbly and with fervency, along with thanking God for what we are asking for. The peace (tranquility, rest, quietness in mind) that comes about will allow you to hear God’s thoughts on what, if anything to think/say.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

It is interesting that David included words and thoughts that need to be acceptable in the sight of God. Meditations mean to turn or revolve subjects in mind; continued thoughts or contemplation. When we feel the desire contemplate certain thoughts over and over, we should head back to Philippians 4:8 and use it as our “thought sifter” and ensure they line up with the Word of God. 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. What we allow our minds to ruminate on will eventually spill out of our mouths. Isn’t it better to speak what Jesus would want us to say?

You know, BCU Fam, our minds are SO powerful, thanks be to the God that made us! The Lord knows some of us overthink and has made a provision for our deliverance–we just need to ask for His help. Once He heals our minds, we can maintain our healing by continual prayer and mediation on His word. In additionEphesians 5:18-20 reminds us to be filled with His Spirit, as well as speaking to ourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord–along with giving God thanks for all things. With all of these spiritual measures in place, BCU Family, we are assured of the victory of overthinking and over speaking. Amen? Amen!

As an introvert, I can DEFINITELY relate to this topic! With God’s help, I really have to be intentional about allow the Spirit of God to govern my thoughts. What about you? How do you deal with your overthinking tendencies. Let’s talk more in the comments 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

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

7 ways your words have POWER.

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! 

I was talking to a friend of mine recently about the power of words.  We often do not give much thought to the words we say and how they effect and infect those we come in contact with, nor do we consider what God has to say about our speech. Let’s take a look at a few verses that we should use as a filter for what we say.

1. Our words are life and death. What we speak, we eat.  

Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21).

2. When we talk too much, we usually end up saying the wrong things and eventually sin. 

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise. (Proverbs 10:19).

3. “Idle words” means words with no profit–they mean nothing at all. Our words should always add value to a conversation and the company we are in. Jesus reminds us about what happens when we are speak empty words.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37).

4. Our words can either hurt or heal. 

“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” (Proverbs 12:18).

5. Our words should be like a beautiful picture.

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

6. Our words should instruct or improve someone. 

“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).

7. Before we speak–and get/respond in an  extremely angry state, we should listen prayerfully first. 

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

BCU Fam, I intended for this post to go one way, but the Lord took it in a totally different direction! When we consider the implications of our speech and how seriously God takes what we say, our resolve, with His help should be pray before we speak whether it’s a casual conversation, meeting, discussion, disagreement or even in correcting someone.  When we do pray before we say,  our conversations will be more meaningful, rich and bring glory to God. Amen? Amen.

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This is a HEAVY topic, BCU Fam! What do you think about words and their weight? Are idle words a struggle? Maybe telling someone a thing or two because you just have to say it? Or maybe you have gotten the victory when it comes to conversation! Let’s talk more in the comments section!

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

 

Feeling discouraged? Let’s read Psalm 91!

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:

  • While many of us know the Lord, there are times when we feel afraid, lonely, defeated, attacked or just depleted.
  • At the time of this podcast I was having a bit of a valley experience (yes, it happens to me, too). I honestly “wrassled” with recording—I didn’t feel like it and wanted to just be sad in the valley.
  • The Lord urged me to go on and record and am I glad He blessed me to be obedient. By the time the Lord took me through His Word, I felt SO much lighter and refreshed–glory to God! I pray you are encouraged as well!

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

So BCU Fam, I feel like GOING ON! What about you? What are your “go-to” Scriptures when you are feeling down or defeated? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

If you have not already 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

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