When the storm comes: peace or panic?

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 informal 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:

  • No matter where we live in the world, at some point we will experience a storm (i.e. rain, snow, wind..)
  • Depending on the type of storm and our preparedness or attitude about it–they can produce a feeling of peace or rest. OR they can invoke waves of emotions such as anxiety, worry, fear or nervousness.
  • Similarly, at some point/points in our lives, we will experience a/storm/s. And we either rest in the peace of God, or be tormented in our minds with anxiety.
  • Even in the stormiest and scariest storms in our lives, Jesus is with us and wants us to have His peace.

Scripture references:

Mark 4:35-41

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.       (1 Peter 5:10).

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 b).



So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What is your go-to behavior when the storm clouds rise and the ship is full of water? Do you immediately go to fretting? Or take the storm to our mighty God? A bit of both? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

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

Confronting the spirit of fear.

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 your study!

 

I “wrassled” with something awhile back and I thought I’d share  with you all, in case you have a similar situation. If not, take it on credit.

I had an acquaintance we’ll call “Jamie” (name changed), who I TOTALLY thank God for. The thing with Jaime? They have a penchant for being very talkative to the point where 1) you can’t get a word in edgewise 2) the conversations are not always fruitful (sometimes laced with complaints and backbiting) and 3) “mindless chatter”, all of which I have a low tolerance for (yes, I pray even now that God help me with this). Now to Jamie’s defense, they are very nice and will share the last Ring Ding with you, but listen, is a Ring Ding worth all of that conversation?!

While I would fraternize with Jamie when I needed to, it’s not something I wanted to do. In fact, I tried to avoid Jamie at as much as possible, fearing I’ll get into a long conversation, or say something (nicely, of course) that will hurt the über-sensitive feelings of this individual and lose my Christian witness.  Jamie was the type of person who you could say something to in the nicest way possible, but would still be hurt. I was in a tough place.

So one day, Jamie left me a message –apparently it was question that only I could answer. In a matter of seconds, my attitude changed from happy to irritation and anger because there was no way to avoid talking to this person. My mind raced wildly–what now? Didn’t I take care of that other situation we had last week? Is this question going to lead to a verbal bashing of a friend? Should I schedule our conversation in between appointments—that way I could limit my time talking? Then, I started practice responses to possible questions that could come up—-RARRRRRRRR!! (arms flailing).

While I was ranting in my car, the Lord invited me to talk to Him about it. Rather than let anxiety take over, as Philippians 4:6 reminded me, it was better that I make my requests known before God in prayer, supplication and with thanksgiving, so that God’s peace would keep my heart and mind.

In talking this through with God, the bottom line was FEAR! I was letting FEAR make me crazy before I even knew what the situation was. Also, I was running (related to fear) from this thing like it was a six-foot bear, when with God on my side, this situation was a plastic poodle! On top of it, I was tired of being afraid!

As a Holy Ghost filled woman, I have Christ on my side, and whatever the conversation was, I needed to be ready to tell Jamie with seasoned speech if what was being said was not agreeing with me or I needed to get going. I also needed to quit worrying (a by- product of fear) about hurting feelings in lieu of pleasing God.  In addition, Proverbs 27:5 reminded me that open rebuke is better than secret love, AND as long as my speech was seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6), God would be pleased. In the final analysis, pleasing God is really the only thing that matters. After talking that over with Jesus, the peace that came over me was AMAZING!! I felt armed and ready to deal with Jamie or any other potentially sticky situation.

How did my Jamie story end? It turns out that a couple of emails answered Jamie’s questions (see, I didn’t even have to chat with him after all), and NOW with God’s grace and help, I’ll be better equipped to deal with a confrontation when needed with NO FEAR! Sure, tackling an unpleasant issue is uncomfortable and unnerving–but confrontation is biblical. We just have to know how to do God’s way and that starts with prayer! He will give us the words to say so the conversation will be perfect. So with have our directions from God and Holy Ghost leading us, there’s no need to be afraid–God’s got our back!

The final word on fear? II Timothy  1:7 reminds us that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Let’s take God at His word and walk in what He says. Amen? Amen!

What are your experiences with fear? How have you handled it? Or do you let it handle you like I did? Let’s continue our conversation 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, or 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

Rejoice, people of God! The fight is FIXED!

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!

I Samuel 17:4-54 tells how giant Goliath, champion of the Philistines taunted the Israelites twice daily for over a month–looking for someone to fight him. He was “kind” enough to make a deal with the Israelites: if they won, the Philistines would be their servants, but if he won the Israelites would be servants to the Philistines. (verses 8-10). I wonder if Goliath and his crew rested assured thinking, “yep, we got them right where we want them.”

Meanwhile, the word tells us the Israelites were dismayed and greatly afraid! (verse 11).  These were the same people who experienced the blessings (and punishment) of God, but likely because Goliath was so big (almost ten feet) weighted with all that armor, and so confident, he frightened his opponents so NO one wanted to fight him. That is, until David, a youthful shepherd came by.

David heard about Goliath’s behavior, the Israelites’ fear, and was incensed that he would defy the army of the living God. David went to Goliath with no armour, rather with The Lord on his side, and a rock to Goliath’s forehead. As I was reading this story, the Lord pointed out three points.

Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? (David–1 Samuel 17:26b)

1)Notice Goliath never touched the Israelites—he just spoke to them and they fell to pieces (see verses 8-10). In comparison, the adversary is a type of Goliath. He taunts, accuses, brings feelings of doubt, fear, worry —sometimes paralyzing us so we fall apart and we will not fight. We allow the enemy to stop us from doing what God called us to. We draw back when we notice the stern, unsmiling faces at church when we speak. We stop praising God freely because someone is looking at us. We stay out of the prayer line fearing the congregation will be wondering why we are up for prayer–again. We think,”what if God doesn’t…..” or “maybe people will laugh” or “what if I mess up?” The list can go on and on, but you get the picture. Proverbs 29:25 reminds us, the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. Whose side are we trusting on?

Let no man’s heart fail because of him [Goliath], I [David] will go and fight with this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:32).

2) While the feelings of fear, worry and doubt may creep up (that’s a normal reaction in the flesh), we have to think and act in The Spirit. Recall what David said to Goliath: You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defiled (1 Samuel 17:45). David had total confidence in God and the ability God gave him. AND David didn’t have the Holy Ghost, but WE do. We’ve got THE power in the name of Jesus, we just have to use it!

3) While we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (no stones needed) 😄, we do wrestle against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Our battles are fought and won with fasting, prayer, reading and applying your Word in faith, knowing that our God is God and following His battle plan ensures victory EVERY time! The fight is fixed!

The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear, he will deliver from out of the hand of this Philistine. (David–1 Samuel 17:37).

Bottom line: while there are some “Goliaths” in all our lives from time to time, those of us who are Holy Ghost filled have the privilege to know the same God on whom David relied, is the same one we can call on for help. Psalms 98:1 reminds us His [God’s] right hand and His holy arm has gotten Him the victory. Because He lives in You, you can rest in knowing God is working on your behalf to ensure you will be victorious, according to His will! Glory to God!!!! Fight on and share your victory (or your struggle–we’ll be praying with you) with us in the comment section below!

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  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

2016 Loopback: In GOD we trust

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

For the month of January, we’re taking a walk through some of the lessons God taught over 2016. Last week, we covered how our words can hurt or heal (you catch that post here). This week, we’re focusing on who we need to really trust.

The change in administration has brought/is bringing out the thoughts in many hearts and they range from the staunchest supporter to the psychic doomsayer. And depending on if you are for or against the President, you’re either counting on His promises or……you’re very concerned about those promises. In any case, God has news for you. Yes, He does.

First off, we have to recognize that while it may not SEEM so, God IS in control of everything. He already knew and allowed who HE wanted to get into the chair for whatever purpose HE has. For promotion comes neither from the east, west or south, but God is the judge, He puts down one and sets up another (Psalm 75:6-7).

We’d do better to ask God to show us the lesson behind His decision, so we can learn and apply it to our lives, but that’s another post.

Secondly, we while we may not like, understand or agree with the WAY God is doing things, Isaiah 55:8-9 says, for My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.  

Because our ways and thoughts are so limited and finite, against God’s infinite knowledge there will NEVER be any wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord (Proverbs 21:30). In other words, we will never know better than God (I don’t know why we think we do–didn’t we learn from Adam and Eve)? Therefore, we cannot advise Him. He advises us.

Next, keep in mind, that any promise made and carried out, if we support it or not, will never surprise or be outside of what God ALLOWS to happen. The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, and just like the rivers of water, He [God] turns it wherever He wants (Proverbs 21:1). God is in charge of all decisions because they accomplish His perfect will. In fact, Psalms 18:30 says, as for God, His way is PERFECT, the Word of the Lord is tried [proven]. He is a buckler to all those that trust.in. Him. Regardless of what your take is on the President and his proposed actions, policies or decisions, our trust should be inGod and Him alone. Let’s see what the Word of God says.

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not to your OWN understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,  but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen, but we are risen and stand upright (Psalm 20:7-8).

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man (Psalm 118:8).

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe (Proverbs 29:25).

Put not your trust in princes, nor in a son of a man, in whom there is no help (Psalm 146:3).

What time I am afraid, I will trust in You [Lord] (Psalm 56:3).

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).

And finally..that supplications, [specific requests] prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and for all those that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty (I Timothy 2:1-2).

BCU Fam, I could go on and one about the many words of warning and comforting promises of the Word of God–there simply is not enough time or space in this post! As this administration unpacks and you find that there are declarations that were kept and broken, just go back to the Word of God and rest assured on what He tells you.

God always keeps His promises. We have His Word on it.

I have to admit, it can be a challenge to trust God when we don’t know or understand why He allows things to unfold they way they do. On occasion, He may clue you in on a part of His reasoning, but most times, He is trying to teach us to trust in the God of all flesh, who knows exactly what He’s doing. With God’s grace, let’s do just that. Amen? Amen!

We have to stop here–but no fear, there are other podcasts for you to enjoy on the  BlenCouragesU.com site that are available 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.

Before you go, we’d LOVE to dialogue with you! We’ll make it easy to comment by asking you to please answer this question:

Which promise from the Word of God is most encouraging to you?

As always, thank you for stopping by and may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you! #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

 

BCU

#RealTalk-When you have NO strength to complete your assignment..

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!

I trust our Nehemiah study has been a blessing and a call to action for you–it has been for me!  Last time, we started digging into Nehemiah chapter 4, and left off with 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.  Now, though, Nehemiah faces more challenges with his own work crew! Let’s dig right in!

v10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

What the Lord pointed out to me here was Judah saying “the strength of THE bearers of burdens”. Notice in chapter 3, Nehemiah took the time to NAME the individual builders, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so.  Here it says THE bearers of burdens--in other words, the strength of ALL the workers, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so was decayed.  Initially, everyone was willing to work even in the midst of the earlier threats. Now for some reason, the crew started to notice all the work ahead of them and things started to look impossible. Can you relate to that?

Anytime you are into an assignment, especially the middle and end, you start to get tired.
The result? You are NOW fearful, cowering, stressed, thinking this is too much of a trial, too much work, too dangerous, too difficult, you play the song over and over (notice how the enemy gave you the track free of charge) and you start think it, say it, act it and SPREAD it! So now ALL the workers are infected with this poison called fear!

It happens all the time! In the news, the police force, the Zika virus, the shortage of food, the contamination of chicken parts, the plastic we consume in a burger, the pesticides you get, is it organic or not? What is this President going to do? Will I lose my job? What if? Fear will have you DO NOTHING, GAIN NOTHING, and GET NOTHING! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a power, love, power and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7). GLORY to God!

Back to Nehemiah–on top of these threats, bluffs, ridicule and tiredness, here comes another attack!

v11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

They learned the enemy is planning a sneak attack to wipe them out–and THEN the wall will cease. Obviously the enemy was VERY threatened by what was going on, otherwise, he wouldn’t be plotting so hard. Did you catch that BCU Family?

v 12And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, from all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

Now the Jews who neighbored by the wall project heard what the adversaries were planning, and told Nehemiah and the crew all about it. At first, I thought about them being lazy and not helping, BUT God had a purpose for them being in place to report back to Nehemiah. This teaches us that sometimes God has people on the wall to watch and warn.

Think about the assignments God has called you to. What have we abandoned because we felt weary? Fearful? It was too much work? Who threatened you? Ridiculed you? Told you so and so was out to stop you? Why did you let it stop you? While threats and ridicule is real and HURTS, it does not negate is from staying on the wall. God gave us the assignment and we must complete it with His help!

We may need to come down and get healed up, but the work should not cease. John 9:4 says: I must works the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night comes when no man can work. Get your work done NOW while it is day and you are able. Once our night comes (death) we cease from working and we want to be sure we are caught up with the Lord in the rapture–or if we die ahead of that, we hear well done, thou good and faithful servant. We can’t walk off the job now, Family!!!  Now, let’s take a look at what Nehemiah did about the workers concerns.

v13Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

Notice how he took their concerns seriously and acted on them. He didn’t tell them, “oh just trust God and keep working!” He set up a WATCH. He organized them with weapons and then was able to speak encouraging words to their hearts.

v14And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

He reminded them of God’s word, as well as who they were fighting for. Notice how Nehemiah’s faith was backed up by works. Faith without works is DEAD (James 2:17).

Is what we have worth fighting for? Is what God gave us, put in our hearts to do, the task, the assignment, the talent, the gift, the marriage HE ordained, the relationship HE blessed you with, the family member, the friend, even the STRANGER you are witnessing to worth fighting/staying on the wall/staying on duty for?  YES!!!!!

v15And 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.

Nehemiah’s crew kept working and the enemy stopped. Sanballat and his team KNEW they were defeated. The enemy KNOWS he is defeated and we do as well. It’s a fixed fight, BCU Fam! We are not to just lay down and give the enemy the victory claiming he stole it! We watch and pray (Nehemiah 4:9), we fight in the spirit RATHER than the flesh and we stay in our full armour (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We ALL get tired in the battle, myself included! In addition to the above Scriptures to encourages us, we can also wait on the Lord to renew our strength, so that we will mount of with wings of an eagle, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).  Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU family we have to get ready to wrap things up, but Nehemiah has plenty more challenges for us to explore and apply to our lives in the remainder of chapter 4, so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, there are additional 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.

Before you go, please comment below and tell us what are your favorite Scriptures to encourage you?

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