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When the inside shows up on the outside

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!

As a youngster, I developed a love for mysteries, drama and psychological thrillers–think Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock and of course,  The Twilight Zone.

[Spoiler alerts] There is an episode of The Twilight Zone entitiled “The Masks”, where a cantankerous, wealthy elderly man, Jason, receives a visit from beautiful family, his daughter (a constant complainer and hypochondriac), son-in-law (who is greedy and loves money), granddaughter (who is vain and always in the mirror), and grandson (a sadistic bully). Jason knows his family and who they really are, despite the outward show they display.

The Masks | Photo: CBS

Jason is dying and figures his family is just hanging around for the money, so he tells them in order to inherit, they have to wear these speciality and very ugly masks –that are supposed to be the opposite of their “true” (what the family portrays to others) personality. After a small protest, the family dons their new temporary faces to be worn until midnight. Daughter gets a worried coward-looking mask, son-in-law gets a miserable-looking miser one, granddaughter gets a hideous-self centered face mask and grandson gets a twisted buffoon face.  Jason also gets in on it and wears a skull mask.

As midnight approaches, Jason passes away and his family is excited that the money they wanted was finally theirs! As they remove the masks, they realize, in horror, their actual faces have PERMANENTLY conformed to the grotesque shape of the masks! The only one not effected was Jason, whose face looks peaceful and serene.

Now of course, the story is fictional and has no scriptual basis–it got me to thinking, though.

In our very virtual, social media intense, “scripted reality” show of a world we live in, on the outside we can appear to be whoever we want. What if God turned us inside out and made our faces into who we really are on the inside? Who or what would we resemble?

Would it be the face of a bully, a tyrant? Would your face show hatred or scorn? Would it be worried, fearful or anxious face? Would your face be gossipy, cantankerous? Lazy and uncaring? Or would it be wearing a favorite TV show, music, or the social media site where the most time is spent? Or the face of practiced (willful, repeated and intentional) sin?

Or would it show the fruit of the spirit–love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance? (Galatians 5:22), as we yield to God and walk in the Spirit rather than in the flesh. Would there be evidence on your face of spending time with God in prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17), fasting (Matthew 17:21), and study? (Psalm 1 and 2 Timothy 2:15). Would it reflect the joy of the Lord being your strength? (Nehemiah 8:10). Would it be a face that read, “I was glad when they said unto me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1), or I love God and keep His commandments (I John 5:3).

Let me be clear, I am all for keeping the temple beautiful and maintained properly–in fact, I Corinthians 6:20 reminds us to glorify God (versus ourselves) in our purchased bodies. We also must remember that as the outer man perishes, the inward man is renewed day by day (I Corinthians 4:16). As we yield to God, He tranforms us into His glorious image.

That’s who we want to be inside. Just like Jesus.

Jesus is coming back for the inward man, BCU Family. With His help, let’s fervently and consistently strive for perfection (maturity in Christ) on the inside, so Jesus fervently and consistently shows on the outside.  Amen? Amen!

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

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Singles chalkboard: From Rags to Riches| Interview with Vonnie Johnson (Finale)

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

This week, our post is available in the audio format, as we are interviewing a special guest. To access the audio file, please click the BCU avatar to listen. We pray the conversation blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the podcast!

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We are picking up where we left off , BCU Family in the way of part three of my conversation with my special guest, Vonnie Johnson. Part one of the interview is here and part two is here.

This week, Vonnie gives us a glimpse how very different the mindset of the people she ministered to in Suriname, compared to many of us in the United States, as well as reflecting on how God has brought her from being a country girl to who she is now.

I don’t want to spoil it, so please click on the BCU icon to hear, take a look at the pics/captions at the end of the post, (mouse over for captions) and let the post bless and encourage you!

So are you feeling like you want to get up and do something great for Jesus?! Me, too! And no worries if you can’t travel or do something “noticeably great”, by people’s standards, that is. Talk to the Lord–pray about it and do whatever the Lord tells you to do! Do it willingly, cheerfully and to glorify Him only. That’s what MAKES your deed noticeably great to God! Along the lines of excitement, I’d love to hear what part of Vonnie’s chat inspired your heart.  Drop us a comment below and let’s continue the 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 iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. Until the next time we are together, may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you, as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

 

Singles chalkboard: Living single successfully| Interview with Vonnie Johnson (Part 2)

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

This week, our post is available in the audio format, as we are interviewing a special guest. To access the audio file, please click the BCU avatar to listen. We pray the conversation blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the podcast!

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Vonnie’s advice? Live your single  life NOW with Christ in view! No need to wait til spouse comes along!

We are picking up where we left off last time, BCU Family in the way of part two of my conversation with my special guest, Vonnie Johnson.

This week, Vonnie chats about how her son’s sudden illness changed her life and indirectly led to her taking her first missions trip and teaching for the FIRST time to a congregation on the topic, “Dream again”.

Take a look at the pics at the end of the post (mouse over to see the captions), as you listen to part 2 our candid, sobering and informational chat.

BCU Fam—what part resonated with you the most? Drop us a comment below and let’s continue the conversation! For me, I’m SO grateful for God’s mercy toward Vonnie and her son–and for her reminding me to forgive quickly and completely. With God’s grace, let’s do just that so we can be free of regret and also BE forgiven by God (See Matthew 21-35). Amen? Amen!

Join us next time as we conclude our conversation and talk about gratefulness, sacrifice, ministry and going from “rags to riches” Stay tuned, BCU Fam–you do NOT want miss it!

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 iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

Singles chalkboard: Living single successfully| Interview with Vonnie Johnson

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

This week, our post is available in the audio format, as we are interviewing a special guest. To access the audio file, please click the BCU avatar to listen. We pray the conversation blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the podcast!

So it’s officially spring in the most of the country and many singles are prayerful that this is their “season” to finally get the mate they are waiting on God to send. While you are waiting, it’s a good idea to prepare–not necessarily for a spouse–more so in the way of being whole and complete in Christ first. I know, I know, that can be a challenge and that’s part of what my special guest, Vonnie Johnson and I will chat about in today’s broadcast.

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My special guest, Vonnie Johnson

Vonnie and I met last year at our chuch convention and started talking after a singles worship, and I tell you BCU Family, in listening to her story about singles struggles as well as the benefits to the singles life, I was compelled to have her share with all of you.

Vonnie is the president over the Singles Ministry at Bethel Restoration Center (under the leadership of Bishop John N. and First Lady LaVerne Gray), as well as a dedicated mentor  to young ladies locally and abroad, encouraging them to be strong, powerful, in love with God, and to love themselves.

Are you ready to meet Vonnie? Please click the BCU avatar below to listen in on part 1 of our chat!

WOW! Vonnie’s testimony was a blessing, right? And believe it or not, there is more! Join us next time as we continue our conversation on dealing with people,  “instant forgiveness” and her trip to South America!  Stay tuned, BCU Fam–you do NOT want miss it!

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 iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

It’s a wrap! Nehemiah study finale

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 message blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

Over our Nehemiah study, where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wallgetting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, which motivated them finish the work triumphantly!

As we moved into further chapters, gatekeep from our chapter 7 lesson,  preparing to apply God’s word from chapter 8  and why we should be mindful of a condition called “stiff neck” in Nehemiah 9 as the Israelites continue recalling what God has done, how far they were away from the Word of God and how they wanted to make a covenant to start obeying once again. Please take the time to read the chapters in their entirety in order to get the full understanding and context of what the Lord has revealed here.

Nehemiah 10 highlights:

So Nehemiah, the priests, chief of the people, porters, singers, and all the people separated themselves from others in the land now having knowledge and understanding. They also began cleaving to themselves as a people and swore to walk in God’s law, observing and doing all the commandments, judgements and statues of the Lord.

How does this apply to us?

 We should take a look at our surroundings and take note of who and what we are attached to. If the situations and the crowd we run with are not lining up with the Word of God, with His guidance, timing and help, we need to leave those things behind and cleave to God.

For you were sometimes darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8). 

Nehemiah 11 highlights:

Here, the people were settling into their homes and assignments (singers, workers on the house, gatekeepers, etc.)

How does this apply to us?

What has God assigned you to? With the help of the Lord, are we carrying them out in excellence? Giving God our very best, or excusing away our duties because of work (which we usually show up for daily), home duties, or because of PEOPLE “not letting you be great?” That statement deserves another post, but suffice it to say that God is the one that’s great and it’s HIM that works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). So the only ones stopping God from being great in us, is us– allowing the foul spirit that works through people to stop us from carrying out our assignments. Matthew 25:14-30, tells the story and consequences of following (or not) through with what He’s entrusted us with. 

Nehemiah 12 highlights:

The wall is dedicated it is a celebrated with gladness, thanksgivings, singing, cymbals, psaltries, harps and sacrifices! On top of that, the rejoicing and great joy in Jerusalem was hear afar off!

How does this apply to us?

This is how it should be when we give God praise–much singing, rejoicing and thanksgiving!  We’re supposed to bless the Lord at all times, and HIS praises should  CONTINUALLY be in our mouths (Psalm 34:1). Whether it’s in a corporate worship setting, during your prayer time, Bible study, in the car, or even to yourself! In fact, Ephesians 5:19 and 20 says, “speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks ALWAYS for all things unto God and the Father in the name of out Lord Jesus Christ”. Let EVERYTHING that has breath praise ye the LORD! (Psalm 150:6). HALLELUJAH! 

Nehemiah 13 highlights:

The last chapter has some unusual endings. Nehemiah was away and came back to find that  Tobiah, (the enemy only goes away for a season), had befriended one of the priests, ended up in one of the chambers in the house of the Lord! Nehemiah was grieved and subsequently threw Tobiah out and commanded the people cleanse the chamber afterward.

Nehemiah also chastised the rulers and the people who had started selling on the very wall the Lord blessed them to build AND selling on the sabbath! The Israelites were also rebuked for marrying “strange people” or taking spouses who served more than one god along with the Hebrew people who believed in the ONE TRUE God. After straightening all that out, Nehemiah cleansed and purified everyone and asked God to remember him for the good he did with the people.

How does this apply to us?

 We can tell people what to do according to do according to the word of God, but we are not responsible for their action/inaction. God will take care of that. Luke 12:47 says that those who knew the Lord’s will, did not prepare himself and did not do it, will be beat with many stripes. Yes, God is love, but He also has to correct and punish as He is a good Father and keeps ALL of His word. With the help of God, let’s avoid the stripes by being obedient to His will and stay walking in the Spirit and NOT in the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25). Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU Fam, this concludes our study of Nehemiah!!!!! I pray that this extensive study was a blessing to you! If so, we’d love to hear about what you took away from any of the studies, please leave a comment in the designated 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 iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU