Jealousy vs. envy

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 interview 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:

  • Jealousy  and envy are “kissing cousins”.
  • Jealousy means I protect/ keep what I have from others who might want to get it.
  • Envy is a desire (and desires are fine), envy, though, is steeped in resentment and is fueled by pride.
  • None of us, even the believer in Christ is immune from having envious thoughts or  making envious statements.
  • We don’t have to live in the state of envy.

Scripture references

For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one (Job 5:2).

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16).

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content (1 Timothy 6:6-8).

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Philippians 4:11-12).

The blessing of the Lord , it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

So, what are you thoughts on envy? Have you had resentful thoughts? (I know I have had them!) How do deal with your desires not meeting up with your expectations? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can 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,  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

God’s lesson from a storm…

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 AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

So BCU Fam, living in New England, our winters are unpredictable. At the time of this post, we just got through a HUGE snow storm, dumping a foot of snow in most places.

During the storm and in removing some of the snow, I stopped to notice how beautiful and peaceful things looked. And noticed something I don’t ever remember hearing.

Listen to the clip above 👆🏽 and the podcast below to find out!👇🏽

Scriptures to ponder

Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1). 

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15). 

I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3).

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8). 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.. (Ephesians 3:20). 

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).

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

BCU Fam, to God be the glory for showing me this—this  post blesses me EVERY TIME I hear it. While tests and trials are inevitable in this life, God has assured us that He is walking with us and we should continue to praise Him with our whole heart—withholding nothing and watch how He moves the situation or our attitude toward it. It is all part of the process of becoming more like Jesus! And on top of all that, when we remember that Heaven belongs to those of us that endure to the end, (see 2 Corinthians 4:17), we should be encouraged to continue praying, fasting, serving and praising God. Amen? Amen!

How are you hanging in through what you’re going through? Is there a praise in your heart? What are your go-to scriptures? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can 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

Think it not strange…

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

You know, as a child, young adult, saved older young adult :-), you have a certain “expectation” of how things will go in your life. While our awesome God does bless us to have our heart’s desires according to His will, He also brings us trials that can throw you for a LOOP. Sickness, job changes, loss of loved ones, relational changes, financial challenges, taking care of loved ones—the list goes on. At some point,  we may experience one or more of these areas and cry out to God wondering why He has “forsaken us”.

I Peter 4:12-13 reminds us not to think it strange when the fiery trial comes to prove/test or try you, rather to rejoice in that we are partakers of Christ’s sufferings and when His glory is revealed, we will be glad and with EXCEEDING joy.

Now, I will be FIRST to admit that when these “fires” come (and I have had many over the last few months), I do not exactly embrace them! In one instance, I distinctly recall crying, snotting, calling on the Lord, and telling anyone who would listen what I was going through—hopeful someone would have a way to “remove the bitter cup” from me. At one point, Jesus FINALLY got my attention and let me know I had to rely on HIM and that He anointed me for the task.  My job was to pour out my heart before Him and trust that He knew what He was doing. Additionally, The Lord let me know that trusting means not stressing internally either.

We sometimes hide our stress behind big smiles and  a hearty “Praise The Lord”, when inwardly our minds are going over the situation constantly and to a point where you can be consumed and in extreme cases, stress symptoms can manifest themselves physically. Rather than thinking about the trial and how difficult it is, the Word of God has an answer for us. “Whatever is true, just, honest, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy–those are the things we think [or meditate] on (Philippians 4:8).  Not one Scripture commands us to worry or stress, so obviously, that comes from the enemy and needs immediate rebuking. It is not easy, yet, bringing your thoughts under subjection is a huge part of the trial process–it really helps you with  getting and maintaining your praise and the victory during your test.

My life lesson here? God knows and sees all. Yes, I know you know that, but think of it this way– because God knew us before we were born and has our lives in His control, He is very aware of what is happening to us. He does care and if the fire was not needful, He would not allow us to go through it. The proving or tests are a reminder to continue praising, praying, fasting and trusting God from day one of the trial until you pass the test. Just like any test or challenge we take in our natural lives (for school, work, etc.), we know it may be difficult, but we endure to the end for the reward/satisfaction of accomplishment. It’s the same thing spiritually as well–we endure for to the end for the reward that God has for us–whatever that my be.  You don’t have to take my word for it–take The Word of God! Ruth and Naomi are EXCELLENT examples of holding on in the difficult times and receiving a blessing in the end.

Listen, trials are HARD!!!! NO one likes to suffer, myself included– it is part of life and especially for those who walk with Christ. So while there is no way to avoid challenges, with the help and grace of our God, continue praying, standing on God’s word and wait it out till the end.

They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings as eagles

They shall run and not be weary

They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31).

Hold on, BCU Family…whatever God is teaching or blessing you with… is worth the wait.

How are you hanging in through what you’re going through? What are your go-to scriptures? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can 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

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).

                                                                                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the wall with Nehemiah: God’s MANIFOLD mercies!

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!

While this project is complete, there are some other very important learning points in the remaining chapters of Nehemiah! For example, gatekeeping from our chapter 7 lesson,  preparing to apply God’s word from our chapter 8 lesson) and why we should be mindful of a condition called “stiff neck” in chapter 9. Let’s  finish up Nehemiah 9 as the Israelites continue recalling what God has done and how they reacted.

So when we last left off, the hardened-necked people were not heeding God’s commandments, refused to obey and forgot what the Lord had done for them (verse 17).

BUT…

(Love these turning points)

The people said that God is ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and did not forsake them–even when they made a golden calf to worship taking the place of God (See Exodus 32).

YET..

While the Israelites turned their backs on God, and forgot what He did, God’s manifold (many and various) mercies continued in this way: (Nehemiah 9:18-25)

God did not leave them to rot in the wilderness
He never took away the cloud or pillar of fire
He never failed to instruct them
He did not withhold manna or water
He kept them in the wilderness for four decades
He made sure they lacked nothing
Their clothes stayed fresh and feet did not swell

AND ON TOP OF THAT…

God STILL gave the people kingdoms, nations and land..
Their children multiplied like stars of heaven—the Israelites were brought into the land, JUST like God promised.

They overtook cities, got houses filled with goods, water wells, vineyards, olive yards, fruit trees in abundance.

They ate, were filled, got fat and delighted in God’s goodness.

God’s manifold mercies in effect. 

NEVERTHELESS…

IN spite of all God had done, verse 26  says they were disobedient, rebellious, cast the law behind their backs and KILLED the prophets who warned them to come back to God.

BCU Fam, as we apply this part of the lesson to ourselves, as we recall the many things God did for us—the provision, protection, healing, comforting, saving us, and so on, how many times were we disobedient to what God said? Rebellious to the Word of God and cast it away in favor of doing what we felt was right or wanted to do? How many prophets (your pastor, that mother at church, friend, even a stranger) did we kill with a look, silence or even our words, when they warned us about going against what God said?

God’s manifold mercies in effect. 

Now, God will keep His Word no matter what we do or don’t. Know this—there is a penalty for disobedience. God allowed the Israelites, to be delivered into the hand of the enemy, due to their choice to stiffen their necks and disobey. When they cried out for relief, in God’s manifold mercies, He delivered them.

After the deliverance, (verses 27-29), the Israelites straightened up for awhile, BUT they got evil again and God LEFT them to the enemy to have dominion over them. Yet when they cried out, God delivered them– many times— according to His manifold mercies.
The Lord convicted the Israelites in wanting them to listen, but they did not. Hardened necks made a comeback, they wouldn’t listen or heed God, no matter who told them they were wrong, and time and time again, the people were still being delivered in the hands of the enemy because of their choice to sin..

NEVERTHELESS..

Verse 30 says God was still merciful—He did not consume or forsake them because He is a gracious and merciful God.

And while the Israelites got to keep what God gave them (verses 32-37),  they were servants in their OWN land,  had to pay “tribute” (excessive tax) to the kings, and those who ruled over the Israelites had dominion over their bodies and cattle, putting the Israelites in great distress. Verse 38 concludes where the Israelites FINALLY get what happened and now need to covenant to do what God says. My Lord!

BCU Fam, we are not unlike the Israelites at all. As God, in His manifold mercy continues to bless and warn us,  we often will continue doing what we like, not realizing or caring that there is a cumulative cost to actions that go against what God said. And to that end, here will be a pay day coming.

Sin always keeps it’s price hidden until it’s time to pay. And that payment can cost you in time, money, missed opportunities and even your life. Your eternal life! Rather than take God’s mercy for granted, let’s take advantage of the mercy God has extended to us TODAY and covenant with Him, His help to stop willfully and continually going against His Word. NOTHING on Earth should keep us from Heaven. Amen? Amen!

This concludes Nehemiah 9, BCU Fam! We’ll plan to wrap up the remaining chapters the next time we’re together.  In the meantime, as you reflect on God’s mercy, what you took away from this post, so 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