The importance of rest…

Hey there BCU Fam,

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! 

Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?

Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

  •  Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
  • An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
  • An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, AustinPrecept.com has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

  • Rest comes through prayer –Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). Th  e more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.
  • Rest comes through going God’s way––meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

 A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day. Speaking of heart and mind, it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

  • Rest comes through letting burdens goAre you tired? Overwhelmed? Feeling like things are crashing down on you? Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).   

The heaviness comes in because many times, we are carrying burdens ourselves. We sometimes say “Lord, help me”, and we do not wait or listen for or to His directions. We run from task to appointment carrying frazzled, frustrated and agitated mind–and that’s heavy! BCU Fam, we will likely always have things to take care of and the weight of responsibility can get to us. What we need to do is take Jesus up on His offer and come to Him about whatever is weighing us down. Allow Him to exchange our heavy load for His light load. Now, God may absolve not us from the responsibility altogether, but if we learn of Him, He will show is how to deal with the situation His light and easy way. Amen? Amen!

  • Rest comes through “care-casting”. Casting all your care upon Him [Jesus] for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). The cares of this life—work, family, bills, conflicts, situations, what will I have, why does she have more? When is it my turn? Those things we care so deeply about that we cannot do anything about? We need to cast them on Jesus. As we begin to trust the Lord with our cares, He will direct us in the path of what, if anything, we need to do about the concerns.
  • Rest comes through getting your mind rightBe 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. 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 4:6-8). After we pray, with fervency and thanksgiving, we have to mediate on what God recommends, rather than the situation. By the time we ruminate on the list of eight things to think of in Philippians 4:8, we will be so busy praising God, that the anxiety-inducing situation you handed over to God will make the victory list as well!

BCU Fam, I could go on and on about the importance of rest—-our bodies and minds need to rest on the regular in order to hear God and to function optimally. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us? Let’s practice resting starting today!

So what resonated with you about resting? Is resting a struggle? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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

 

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

Warning: Do NOT miss YOUR flight!

Hey BCU Fam!

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 a person who likes to fly, I am usually very fastidious about printing my boarding pass, getting to the airport early, getting my baggie with the liquids out, checking my gate, etc.

A few years ago, I was connecting to a flight in Chicago and had a 2-hour layover. I checked the gate location a few times and proceeded to it, while getting breakfast and coffee enroute. Once I got to my gate, I had my nourishment and chatted with friends via telephone/text, checked emails, social networked..just doing my thing.

When I saw the plane come in, I waited for the announcement so I could board. When the counter flight attendant started talking about customs forms, I got a little nervous…it turns out that flight was going to Toronto, Ontario—CANADA! Apparently there had been a gate change and I didn’t hear it/check again. Thank God, the new gate wasn’t far away and I made my flight--I was the very last one to board. As I sat down, the Lord spoke to my heart and put my faux paux in a spiritual lesson.

Family, I was so busy with other things, I didn’t pay attention to anything that may have told me that my gate had changed. I didn’t hear an announcement, see that people had left the area or look up to quintuple check my gate information. Many times, we are so caught up with the cares of this life, we don’t hear or heed the small, still voice of God. We don’t double check His word about the things we should be doing (or not). And we let people (rather, the spirit that operates within people) to grieve and vex our spirits, rather than going to God in prayer about it. These actions can cause us to miss the blessings of God. Even more grave, we can miss Heaven or the rapture!

Remember the parable of ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-13? Five were foolish and five were wise. While waiting for the Bridegroom, the foolish ones let their lamps go out rather than keeping them trimmed with oil, as the wise ones did. Consequently, when the bridegroom came, the foolish virgins were scrambling to look for oil from the wise virgins, (who told them NO–go buy some) and were left behind because they were NOT ready! Maybe they were too concerned with the cares of this world to take care of business? Maybe they thought they had plenty of time to get right? Mayhap they were not listening/paying attention to the Lord’s voice and followed someone else’s? Walking in the flesh, rather than the spirit? We’ll never know, but we can learn from their error.

With all the noisome pestilence about us, it’s not always easy to stay Christ-focused, I admit. God has provided ways for us stay on high alert and in tune with us. Along with the baptism (Acts 2:38-39), in Jesus name and the gift of the Holy Ghost–which is our guide on the inside, reading God’s Word daily, committing it to memory and making an effort to practice living it will help us to hear God’s voice clearly. This way, we don’t follow a strange voice, but flee as Jesus said in John 10:5. Strange voices are full of trouble! The more we listen to God and practice following His word, the stranger the voice of the enemy will become.

Bottom line? As we journey on to our Heavenly destination, let us keep in mind that God gives wisdom liberally (James 1:5) and wants us to use it liberally. Some things we do can be recovered from, while others can be life-altering and regrettable. Every word, thought or deed has a consequence and rather than making fleshly decisions that will cause pain, grief and suffering, let us walk in the Spirit so we suffer for the cause of Christ, (rather than for our own foolishness) reap blessings, God be glorified through us and we go back with Him when He comes. Amen? Amen!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by! We LOVE interaction, so tell leaving a comment would be a good thing! To make it easier, think about answering these questions:

B) How do you stay focused on God through your day-to-day activities?

C) When is your favorite time to get with God and fellowship in prayer with Him 1 on 1?

U) Have you ever “skipped over” God’s voice and made a decision that took some time to recover from?  (I know I have)! What did you learn?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! And if you have not done so, please like BlenCouragesU on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  And PLEASE subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes. You’ve already done that? Then please tell someone you love AND your enemy–I’m trusting they will soon become your friend! 🙂

Until we are together again, may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you—-and #StayOnTheWall!