#LifeApplication: Getting back to work on the wall

 Hi 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/post blesses you! Please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

I pray our study of  Nehemiah has been a blessing and a challenge for all of us (myself included to come up to where God wants you to be. In the beginning of Nehemiah chapter 4, we read where Sanballat and his posse were threatening the work on the wall, but Nehemiah set up a watch and prayed, so the work would go on.  Last study, Nehemiah faced challenges with his own work crew and was able to stabilize the situation. Let’s finish up chapter 4 by looking at what other measures Nehemiah put into place and how they can apply to us.

v 15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

They kept working and the enemy stopped. They KNEW they were defeated. The adversary KNOWS he is defeated and we do as well. WHY are we just laying down and giving him victory and claiming he stole it? This is a fixed fight, Family! The enemy will try us, we have to stand CONFIDENT in our faith and knowledge that OUR God will fight for us!

v16And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

New rules were enacted based on the what happened with Sanballat and his cronies. Nehemiah had some of his team working while others kept watch with weapons (including armor) and watch this the rulers were in FULL support. THIS is how a body should work! Are we holding our fellow members up in prayer? Are we helping them fight? And not just the ones we know and see–we have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world that would benefit from our prayers so they continue their assignment in their part of the vineyard.

v17They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

So the builders, loaders and carriers were back on duty and armed. We are to be armed with out weapons, girdle of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation and shoes of peace AND we have to watch and pray! This is key to us getting victory!!! See Ephesians 6:10-18 for the details, benefits and purpose of putting on the whole armor of God! GLORY to God!!!!!!!

Let’s get back to Nehemiah.

v18For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

v19And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, the work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

v20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

The trumpet was put in place as a warning for all to come together and he reminded the people that God would fight for them. God fights for us!!!

The other thing is that Nehemiah had a plan. How many of us plan for things? What are our contingencies if the work gets interrupted? Do we plan to pray and react or react then pray? Do we plan to minister when we go to work, the market, the barber, hairdresser, the dentist, the mechanic? Or do we “plan” to complain? Do we plan to be excited about the church/prayer service or Bible study? or do we “plan” what we are doing when it’s over? These are real and very sticky questions–yes, we are busy with many things. God knows that–we have to be in a place to minister to whoever comes into our midst–the person at the gas station or you chat with in the grocery store isle may need to know that God is real, that He loves them, that they can be saved. No matter how “busy” we are, we should “plan” to be on assignment wherever and whenever God call us to do so.

v21So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 

v22Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. 

v23So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.

BCU family, the last three verses really speak to the dedication of the people to the work of the Lord! Work was being done sun up to sun down, and with that work, the crew planned to stay close by to guard or work, so that the enemy did not get ANY victory for stopping/slowing things down! ON TOP of that, none of the men stopped to change clothes until it was time to wash them! We may not have to that go to physical of an extreme in our lives, but the mentality of keeping on task through the “dirty” process (being testing in your patience, faith, dealing with people and their different spirits, etc.), should be evident in all we do, with the help of the Lord. Amen? Amen!

Are you pumped to go through the process? It’s not always pretty or easy, but the outcome will be wonderful especially since we are doing things God’s way and becoming more like Him. That’s the goal. Amen? Amen.

Well BCU Family, this wraps up chapter 4 of Nehemiah–we are working on chapter 5 coming up, so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, there are several podcasts for you to enjoy–you are welcome to peruse the BlenCouragesU.com site 24-7!  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 iTunes.

Question of the day: How has this made you rethink how you handle your tasks for God? Drop your answer in the comment section below! 

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

Love,

 

BCU

Can you really detox in 7 days? Read on….

Hey there Family!

So, everyone can use a little detoxing in their lives, right? Yes, even if you “run on” Jesus (we all should be full of Jesus), occasionally we need to purge ourselves in the natural, because sometimes, those things can effect us spiritually.

Take a look at this infographic (courtesy of infographic journal.com) and see what areas may be helpful to you. As you are reading through the info, please note that while all areas may not be applicable to you, just like a restaurant menu, you know what to choose and glance over, right? Right!  There really is some good stuff here, folks. Apply liberally.

You are very welcome! 🙂

Much love and God bless,

Blen
image

Infographic: The Benefits of Drinking Water

Hey Family,

With the heat and humidity of summer in full swing, our thirst increases as we try to cool down. With the plethora of beverages to choose from, “high-quality H2O” should be your beverage of choice. Check out the cool visual on water and drink up!

Xoxo,

Blen


Benefits of Drinking Water - Free InfoGraphic

InfoGraphic authored by WaterCoolers Direct.com Ltd, selling Water Coolers,
Fountains and Filters in the UK. To view the original post, see the original
Benefits of Drinking Water InfoGraphic

And..the “2 Forks” award goes to…

Hey family,

I pray this finds you well! No frowny faces here, thank God!

A couple of weeks ago, among other things,  an opportunity and  challenge in some respects came along to eat meatless, healthy, whole and as many organic foods as possible.  While I already have incorporated things like bran cereal and brown rice into my diet, I was looking forward to the challenge of adding different foods to my regimen. In doing so, I found a few things I’d like…no, love!!!  Thanks to my sista, T. Riley’s suggestion, I thought share my “2 Forks” award foods with you. As a warning, I have to tell you Trader Joe’s (TJ’s) and I got close.  No, I don’t have any stock there–I do market at other places, I just like the variety they have.

“Brequess” or Breakfast (that first pronunciation is how some of my South Carolina family say it! :-D)

Paper covers rock--steel-cut beats instant!

Steel Cut Oats~ I have been eating these for a minute as the kids say (do they still say that?) Anyway, these take a little more time to cook–that’s ok, though, the flavor and texture is so worth it. It’ s got a nutty flavor and stick to your ribs texture which I need to function on all 8 cylinders. I top mine with a little agave nectar, honey or honey, cinnamon and walnuts or pecans. Then a little Almond or Hemp milk (I’ll talk about that next time)  tops off the most important meal of the day! I got these at TJ’s or at Price Chopper in the health section. Quaker also has FANTASTIC steel-cut oats.

Other times, I have bran cereal or granola based cereal with skim/Hemp milk. Kashi has some of the best cereals out there in terms of high protein and fiber (Fiber makes me happy–right Wanda?)

Lunch/Dinner:

You had me at spinach...

Spinach Ricotta Ravioli~I LOVE spinach like Popeye, so I saw these in TJ’s and decided to give them a try. With no artificial colors or preservatives, 12 grams of protein and 35% of the RDA of Vitamin “A”, this is a tasty lunch or dinner entrée. You just need to boil them for about 5-6 minutes and they are done! These are good without any condiments, but add your favorite organic spaghetti sauce topped with olive oil (Dr. Oz says you really get the nutritional benefits from tomato based products when you add olive oil) and you are good to go! The package pictured runs about $3.49.

You can make a similar dish by using frozen spinach, ricotta or cottage cheese and manicotti pasta.  Top with sauce and you’ll be licking your chops!

Grilled Asparagus~ I tell everyone that will listen about my new obsession with my favorite new veggie!! After washing my FRESH and NOT canned asparagus, I lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet and then drizzle the delectable stalks with garlic olive oil, (any brand) lemon and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Pop them in the oven on 300-350 degrees for about 7 minutes or so (crunchy is key–wilted and soggy, make me sad) and ala peanut butter sandwiches– they are done! I eat them like french fries. Not only are they tasty, they pack a great nutritional punch that is fantastic.  For more info, click here.

Healthy 8 Veggies all day!

Salad~Besides my beloved asparagus, TJ’s also has a Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix. This mix is loaded with carrots, green and red cabbage, broccoli, jicama, green bell peppers, radishes and celery. While you can cook these veggies for your favorite dishes, I just have this as a salad with a whole wheat flatbread. I will say that a serving of this makes a tasty lunch, light dinner or side salad with your main entrée.

Brown rice and beans with veggie ala Blen

Arroz moreno con frijoles negros~  Brown rice and black beans–I pop 1 cup of brown rice and 2 cups of organic veggie stock in my rice steamer, warm my black beans, top with plain yogurt (or sour cream) and salsa and you’ve got a comfort food that is packed with beneficial protein and heart-healthy fiber.

I don't care if it's for kids...they are GOOD!

Snacks and dessert

Looking to satisfy my sweet and snack tooth, I was in Stop and Shop and stumbled onto some Clif bars. I was so excited about the organic ingredients and the sale (2 for $5) I failed  to see the kid on the skateboard on the front of the box–hence, this is marketed toward kids! LOL!! That’s ok, though…Adults are grown up kids, right? These baked energy snacks are made with whole grain and have 12 vitamins and minerals including zinc, vitamin B12 and folate. This is a health alternative to my beloved red velvet cake 🙂 and also make a good snack or in between meal.

For a snack, I re-discovered hummus (basically mashed chickpeas with various spices).  I was afraid of it for some reason (long story) but decided to go for it

This snack makes me happy...

again. TJ’s had a couple of varieties, including  a garlic and horseradish flavor which I devoured with wheat crackers one afternoon. I texted a few people to tell them this snack was the cats’ pajamas!

On deck:

I am planning to grill Portobello mushrooms. I hear they taste like steak if you do them right! I also picked up broccoli sprouts (not sure what to “do” with them) and organic coconut milk that I found alongside the Silk Almond Milk.  I plan to make a fruit smoothie with the milk and also topping off my oatmeal with it.  So Lord will, stay tuned for the next installment of 2 forks up!

Thanks for reading and may God bless you!

Love,

Blen