Enjoy the present.

Hey there BCU Family!

For this post, 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!

This “adulting” thing I have to do keeps me pretty occupied. I praise God and am grateful that I have a full-time job, church, family and the BCU ministry (essentially run pretty full time). In between all that, I like to see friends and family, minister to people, keep house, eat, read and especially rest and sleep.

In fact, I look forward to the holidays and precious few and far in between days off to just. do. nothing. I’m the kind of vacation person that LIKES to stay home, with no plans, no clock to punch, no set time do, be,  or go anywhere. I call that, “the slow hurry.” Those are my million dollar days.

It just so happens this year, I have a week off coming up and while a couple of those days are already spoken for, I can rest in the remainder of the time being mine. As I was talking to my friend Kenya about it, I started to lament about my life AFTER my time off was finished. It would be MONTHS before my next big block of time was coming up! I started thinking about how long those days would be and how hard it would be to get through them. During those days, there was nothing to look forward to, until the next vacation. The Lord checked me on that.

“Enjoy the present.”

We have a habit of saving the anticipation-filled phrases like, “I can’t wait…” or “I am looking forward to…” for special occasions, while saying, “I’ll be glad when this day is over”, or “it is Monday…already”, or “I wish this day would hurry up and come…” with dread and disdain. We wish away the days, complain the about the time we have to spend at work, going to and from work, doing chores, shopping, cleaning, running kids around—we even complain about the time we give God. Why does the message take so long? He prays too long! A second service? Why?

When we FINALLY get to the free time we couldn’t wait for, how are we really spending it? Looking our loved ones in the face, studying their words and actions—conversing intently? Or are our faces glued to our devices, while we catch snippets and fragments of what is being said? I’d venture to guess that many of us do the latter. Keeping that in mind…

What if….we were intentional about rejoicing the day the that God has made (which would be all of them, including Monday). See Psalm 118:24 

What if... instead of complaining about our jobs and wishing the day away, we payed attention to the people we work with for an opportunity to bless, encourage or be a witness to them—even if it’s demonstrated through our attitudes and actions. See Matthew 5:16. 

What if.. rather than complain about the job God blessed us with, we take all the tasks, including those those mundane meetings, the clean-up, the less glamorous parts that have to be done, along with tasks we enjoy, keeping in mind, that we work unto God as not as unto men. See Colossians 3:23-24. 

What if… we practiced being content..even if things are not where we want them to be at the moment? The spouse you prayed for? Thank God. The kids you asked God for? Thank God. The spouse you are waiting for? Thank God.  Struggling to pay bills? Thank God. We have the money to pay the bill? Thank God. It’s important that we live in the state of contentment. See Philippians 4:11. 

What if…we prepared our hearts, minds and bodies for the services we attend—looking for the Lord to bless, heal, deliver, save and set free in a mighty way? What if we arrived rested, full, prayed up and ready to see what we can do to be a blessing—and excitedly anticipate what God has for us? See Psalm 133:1. 

What if...prayed fervently (rather than half-way and sarcastically) that the Spirit of the Lord rest upon the hearts of the people during service, so much so, that people walk out differently than how they came in? And rather than complain about the time, we rejoiced in the fact that people are being blessed? See James 5:16 (b). 

BCU Family, whether we like it or not, our days are numbered. In Psalm 90:10, Moses said that we the days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years. Threescore is 60, add another 10 and that’s 70. So, fourscore is 80. Of course, some live longer and some shorter—that’s all in God’s hands. No, we don’t know when we’ll leave here- but what we can do, with the help of the Lord, while we are living for Him, is to enjoy our days to the fullest.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 reminds us, “it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of labor that he takes under the sun all the days of his life, which God gives, for it is his portion.”

Enjoy the present. Amen? Amen.


BCU Fam, I really have to be intentional about not rushing through my days and wishing my time away. I had to catch myself just this weekend–I was thinking “I need to hurry through this chore to get my free time”. Rather than rush through my schedule, the Lord reminded me to take my time. I confess, I was blessed in the process, and got home in plenty of time to rest.  We often miss how we can be a blessing and God blessing us, because we are operating in chronos time  (keeping a schedule), versus being present in kairos time (God’s opportune moments). So, how do you do in this area? Is the struggle real? Let me know in the comments section so we can continue our chat.

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

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

The Original Avenger

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:

  • We should always pray and not faint.
  • Waiting on God is an important part of our growth process.
  • When God moves, He moves suddenly.

Scripture references

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11).

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

So, have you cried out to God in faith? Still waiting? Are you believing that our Avenger is nigh?   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

Single on Valentine’s Day? Stop here!

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!

So singles, it’s that time of year again where everything is hearts, flowers, candy and couples. Depending on where you are in your single comfort zone, this “holiday” can either be depressing (who wants that?) or a blessing (I’m thinking yes on this)!

Let’s start off by listing (in random order) some things you CAN do as a single on Valentine’s Day:

  1. Treat yourself to a pedicure, manicure, facial or massage!

  2. Order really good take out from your favorite restaurant or a place you’ve wanted to try. Short on cash? Make it lunch, a fancy coffee drink, or a yummy dessert.

  3. Try a making a new recipe. Share it with a single friend.

  4. *After checking your budget, buy yourself something nice. Maybe a scarf, hat, smell-good or bath salt or a notebook, scrapbook, a new Bible, or a  good book to read.

  5. Invest the money you’d spend on a gift for yourself and buy a few shares of stock (this is a long term investment–expects ups and downs).

  6. Do that research on something you’ve been meaning/wanting to do, learn or try. YouTube has thousands of videos for the dormant do-it-yourselfer in all of us.

  7. Start a blog.

  8. Start following a blog. (Bloggers LOVE followers–especially those who comment (hint, hint).

  9. I love podcasts because I can listen while cleaning, shopping or commuting. Search out a podcaster that will challenge you, support cranium expansion or encourage your heart.

  10. Babysit for a single/couple who may want to go out, or just need a break.

  11. Take the day off and do a whole lot of NOTHING!

  12. Binge watch your favorite YouTubers, classic TV shows or catch-up on blog subscriptions.

  13. Travel/take a day trip. Yes, alone.

  14. Visit the hospital/or provide eldercare relieve a care-giver.

  15. Spend the time in prayer, intercession for other couples/singles and reflection.

  16. Make a list of all the things that God has done for you.

  17. Have kiddos? Make it a family game/movie evening at home. Or invite other singles with kids to go to a Dave and Buster’s or a Monkey Joe’s. (you’re likely to have the place to yourselves).

  18. Have a dinner-party with some of your single friends.

  19. Catch-up with a childhood friend/family member via telephone, Skype/Facetime or in person.

  20. Be a blessing to someone else. Buy someone else a coffee, dinner, groceries or flowers. Seek God on how to be a blessing to someone else.

*As a disclaimer, I know that material things don’t bring you happiness or help with the loneliness, heartache, and occasional pain of not having a loved one–I get that. Only Christ’s perfect love can ease the pain of a lonely heart. In order for that to happen, we need to ask Him to help us as we yield to contentment in this season of our lives. In fact,  Paul told the Philippians “…for I have learned, in whatever state I am in to be content” (Philippians  4:11). Now being content can be a process and that process sometimes takes more time than it should, in part, because we don’t want to do things God’s way–which means we may need to wait. A long time. A long, long time. Waiting doesn’t mean being idle or waiting to start to do something until “the one” comes by.

The single season is a good time to get with the Lord to get clarity on our gifts, talents, assignments and tasks—and get more/productive with what God has called us to do. Working on what God has for you keeps you satiated and kills that loneliness, heartache and pain, thereby getting you to that place of contentment Paul speaks of.  Ask me how I know. 🙂

Single BCU Family, even as you are walking in your purpose, there will be days/times where a pang of loneliness comes up–that’s normal and a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together! Before you know it, the spouse God promised you (if He has done so), will appear and you’ll be settled into who you are in Christ, along with being whole and complete and content. This makes for attracting a whole, complete and content individual, whom you can walk out the rest of your lives in doing God’s will AND be ready for Jesus when He comes back for us! This single season is not in vain, BCU Fam! God has a perfect purpose and it’s being worked out!

Until then and even after the spouse comes, Jesus should always and forever be our first, true and best love. Period. Amen? Amen!

What are some ways YOU work through Love Day? Please drop a line in the comments section below 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

When gossip strikes back…

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!

There’s a gospel song called “Birds in the Church”. Actually, its a narrative by Rev. Benjamin Cone, Jr. (from Mississippi Mass Choir, I believe) who among other things, tells us how people can be a lot like parrots–freely repeating other people’s business. I get tickled when I hear it, but the truth is evident!!!

Before I was saved, I could be a little “Willona-ish” (remember her from the TV show Good Times) when it came to discussing the happenings of people’s lives. The intent wasn’t malicious, just something to talk about, dissect, and share my “expert opinion” on the matter at hand.

macaw-2671151_640
“Chile, have you heard?”

This behavior continued after I got saved….more of a bad habit, I suppose–and apparently God was trying to get my attention and did when I shared something rather personal/serious in confidence with someone I’ll call “Thelma”, who went back told their family.  Mayhap that wouldn’t have been so bad, if the family was offering sound wisdom, but Thelma came back to tell me the family laughed about it. That may sound petty to you all, but I was SO hurt that someone would repeat and make light of my concerns to others so casually.

 

Another time, I was involved in a sensitive situation where someone I’ll call “JJ” had to get involved. Now, JJ was helpful throughout the situation, but promptly started spreading the details of what happened and it got back to me.

I politely confronted JJ, letting them know it really wasn’t right getting others involved in a matter that was supposed to stay between selected persons. JJ was VERY apologetic–and I’m certain the chatter wasn’t done to be mean, rather it was just JJ’s habitual, but hurtful behavior.  With God’s grace, I forgave Thelma and JJ and we’re cool, but I have to say I felt really hurt, embarrassed and betrayed! Through that pain, God showed me how awful it is to idly parrot and betray confidences AND that my idle chatter were NOT Christ-like at ALL! Thankfully, with His help that behavior soon ceased in Jesus name, and has been dormant for the past couple of decades.

In the days since those times, God guides me on who to tell what to and when to do it. Luke 2:16-19 tells us about the birth of Jesus and how the angels talked to the shepherds and those shepherds told people, but Mary, the mother of Jesus, now “kept all these things and pondered things in her heart”. There is a valid reason she didn’t share that information with everybody!  Follow the leading of the Lord as to who to confide with.

Another lesson is, that God also blessed me to be a confidant. People do come to me with sensitive information and private challenges, knowing that with the grace of God, I will offer wise council, pray and keep the matter between us. No ifs, ands, buts or suppose. Period.

My final lesson is that people have also come to me with other’s business and that behavior needs to be shut that down with a swift retort like, “I will keep the situation/persons in prayer”, “that’s not my battle to fight–only God can work that out”, or “have you been praying for them?” Talking about someone is not as effective as praying for them. I’m not saying that we can’t talk through someone’s situation to understand things better or help that individual in crisis—we just need to be sensitive to how the Holy Ghost is telling us to handle it so we’re truly walking in the Spirit, rather than the flesh.

The bottom line?  The Bible says we will give an account for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36).  That means we have to explain or justify WHY we said what we said., and I have to tell you, BCU Fam, we will have NO justification whatsoever.  Let’s repent TODAY and with the help of God, work on our spiritual balance sheet, so that we will have more credits (allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our conversation) rather than debits (allowing the flesh to rule the conversation). Amen? Amen!

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to this week’s post? How do you guard against gossip coming out of your mouth and staying out of your ears?  Please scroll on down to the comments section and let’s 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 iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU