“Ono”… “I am doing a great work!

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!

We’re back with our Nehemiah series 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, as the former and very corrupt leadership had done in the past. Because of Nehemiah’s outstanding leadership, everyone was blessed! Now Nehemiah faces another tough battle with his arch enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. Let’s dig in!

Nehemiah 6.

v1)“Now it came to pass, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)

v2) Sanballat and Geshem sent a messenger saying, lets meet up in the village in the in plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.

So the wall is almost finished and the Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem have cooked up a scheme to try and get Nehemiah to stop. Two of the ringleaders requested Nehemiah’s presence in the one of the villages in the plain of Ono, under the pretense of a “meet-up.” Because Nehemiah had a relationship and prayer life with God, he was able to discern this enemy wanted to get him alone to harm him.

As people of God, we will have enemies. 1 Peter 5:8 reminds to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, the devil is as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. That tells us we should know who they are and realize with disernenment when they (or rather that evil spirit working though the person) are trying to trick us. Many times, we call foul when we get yoked up by a spirit working through someone, and I don’t deny it’s foul. Do we have enough of a prayer life and applied wisdom, (James 1 says it’s free for the asking) to avoid getting okie-doked in the first place?

Joshua 9 tells the story of this mighty warrior. Joshua was going around defeating people left and right—the Hittites, Amorites, Cannanites, Perizzities, Hivites, Jebisute, left and right, out of sight!  :-)And the Gibeonites  (who lived less than 100 kilometers from Joshua), were likely the next group to feel the wrath of Joshua.

The Gibeonites got crafty and and got some old sacks, old wins skins, and dry and moldy bread, and came riding in on these donkeys into Joshua’s camp (v6) saying they were ambassadors from a far country and  asked Joshua and his team to make a promise not to hurt them.

Now, Joshua’s men were suspicious and said so, but the Gibeonites countered saying , we are your servants. Joshua asked for more identification and information as well, but the fake plenipotentiaries never named the country–just  said they came in the name of the Lord, spoke of Joshua’s fame and asked again for Joshua to promise not to hurt them. ON TOP of that, the Gibonites made it a point to show Joshua and his team their old food, tattered clothes and worn out shoes to convince the crew that the Gibonites were really from a far place (There is SO much wrong here, but, alas, that’s another post).

Because Joshua did not seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord (v12), he and the team took  the bait and ended up protecting a group of people that were enemies, disguised as friends/admirers. Eventually Joshua found out and was plenty angry about being beguiled, but because Joshua gave his word, he could not hurt them. 

We have two very powerful men of God here. Joshua was a mighty man a valor, took the place of Moses, fought battles and won–yet did not ask God what to do. Nehemiah, a cupbearer, turned wall-builder/governor, had enough of a prayer life and relationship with God to see this trick coming and by-passed it. In fact, he cut off any possibility of a meeting in the next verse (Nehemiah 6).

v3)And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?

Very simply put, I am busy for God and the work should not stop. What great work has God called you to that requires your full attention? What talent, task or gift are have you come off the wall to do something else? Did you get distracted by something shiny, less involved or “more fun?” Did you get tricked into coming off the wall? In any case, BCU Family, it’s NOT TOO late to get back on the wall! Yes, God can still use you! Just repent and come  back! Glorayyyyy!!!!

Now that’s were back on the wall, know that the enemy will come back with you. When we recognize the enemy, this time, rather than reasoning with him or explaining your position, close the conversation like Nehemiah did  and continue working. Notice what happens next.

v4 “Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.”

Now while Team Sanballat kept coming for Nehemiah, take note that Nehemiah stayed persistent and consistent–using the same answer he gave in verse 3–nothing more, nothing less.  They back off, but only for a season, as we’ll see in an upcoming post/podcast.

Application: Why do we continue to go into the desolate plains named Ono with people, places and things which have clearly do not have or want God’s best for you?  Matthew 7:16 says, “you will know them by their fruits”. While God gives us free will to make choices, He is not interested in us being tricked by, making treaties with or devoured by the enemy. Let’s  seek counsel at the mouth of the Lord and ask for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and instruction on how to plainly  identify  the”rotten” fruit and stay out of the plain of Ono. Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU Family, there is SO much more coming in Nehemiah 6, so stay tuned for our next post/podcast. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts, so, please post them in the comment 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!





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!


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.

The most wonderful time of the year?

Hey 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!

As many of us prepare celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and The New Year with family, friends, serving others, or what have you, let’s ask the Lord to help us to watch as well as pray for all those we come in contact with.  Let me tell you why.

I recall a few years back on a Friday night, I was at a Christmas dinner party with some friends, where we ALL laughed and talked for hours–it was one of the best times I had ever had!  Fast forward to the following Monday and we learned one of the guests had committed suicide. I was SHOCKED..and as I recounted the time we had together, I did not detect this engaging person intended to carry out their own demise. It still breaks my heart to think about it. 😦

While there is not a set time, the enemy, adversary or plainly, the devil seems to come around hard during November, December and January, working on the minds of people to convince them there is no hope, you’ll never get a job, your family does not love you, you have no friends, things will not get better, that relationship will not work, nothing goes right, the pain is too great, things will only get worse..et cetera. And the ultimate–if you end it all, you will finally be at peace. That is NOT so–your soul has an eternity to live with that decision, and it WILL be one you regret.

God is the giver of life and whether we saved or not, as depressing, sick, tough, painful, ugly, unbearable, tiring, impossible, messy, hurtful or what ever is happening  (and yes, I DO understand.. we have ALL been here some time or another), God does not give us permission to end our lives–that’s HIS job. Rather God directs us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The Word also reminds us that Jesus wants all who labor, are burdened and are heavy laden to come to Him for rest! He wants to exchange burdens with us because His burden is light. (Matthew 28:11-30).  Is that easy to do? No! Think about the alternative, though–as we carry burdens, they get heavier, we get weaker, sicker, less motivated, depressed and then the suicidal/self-destructive thoughts  and actions come. It is true we will have troubles in this life,  but God really wants us to come to and depend on Him to help us with every situation we have.

Bottom line: Sometimes, behind the smiles and jokes, there is a person who is hurting and does not know how or to whom they should reach out. Pride, fear of ridicule, stigma, losing social status, gossip, being bullied more (all coming from the enemy), can rob a person from this earth prematurely leaving the family and friends reeling from the shock and praying for God to heal their shattered hearts.

My Holy-Ghost filled readers, please… ask God to sensitize your heart, spiritual eyes, and give you what to say to those around you. Be on the lookout for people who are laughing, but there is pain in their eyes. Make it a point to call or SEE someone (NO texting or email unless it’s to set up a meeting). Only use Skype or FaceTime if needed..just make a personal connection.

Pay attention to folks at the market, pray silently (or with them if they would like) for the representatives you speak with on the telephone.  As you are getting your hair cut or styled or shopping about, ask the Lord to bless, heal, deliver and save anyone who comes in the shop.  As you think about it,  pray for those who may be depressed over losing a loved one, relationship, job, hurting, and over life in general. Ask God how to help–maybe you can cook a meal, give a gift card, buy them a coffee, or just listen –be a friend. Your act of kindness can turn things around. Also, ask God to help YOU (yes, believers feel sad sometimes), to take all your heavy burdens to Him. Confide in a trusted friend or prayer partner as needful.

If you do not know Christ or maybe you do and are feeling blue or know someone who is, know that we are praying for you. Take every situation to God in prayer right now–you do not have to be fancy about it, just talk to Him.  Ask Him to send you a sensitive, Holy-Ghost filled counselor who will give you biblical and practical advice. God is STILL in the saving, fixing and healing business. He has done it for me and wants to do it for you and others as well..you have His Word on it! He promises!

If you happen to be listening/reading and feeling out of sorts or know someone who is and would like to speak with us, you can reach out to us here: Blen@BlenCouragesU.com  or call 845-768-3349.

You can also get encouragement on the daily by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also maintain your encouragement by listening in and subscribing to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes.


We love dialogue here! Before you go, please leave us an encouraging comment for someone who may need it.

Until we are together again, thank you for stopping by and may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you! #StayOnTheWall!