So a pigeon walks on to this bus…

Hey đŸ‘‹đŸŸ 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 corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Last week, the kiddos, Jaz and The Professor read me the story, Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus” by Mo Williams. While it’s geared for younger readers, it’s a very cute story about a pigeon who has aspirations of driving a city bus full of passengers—against the instructions of the driver, who had to step away.

Now BCU Family, I got a kick out of the story, and I totally understand it’s just a story meant for entertainment. As the kids finished up reading, the Lord brought to my attention a way we could apply this lesson spiritually and also in a way to help children (well….and adults) view and understand the pigeon’s actions and how we can act the same way, if we’re not mindful, intentional and walking in the Spirit of God.

Listen in as my trusty sidekick, Jaz, aged 8 and I talk through the lessons we learned around the word the general theme of disobedience, accepting “no” and manipulation.

Scriptures to ponder:

Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17). 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Proverbs 27:6).

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11).

And Samuel said, has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22). 

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to the story? In what ways has the pigeon shown up in your life or the lives of your kids? What do you do about it? 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

Be on high alert: Holiday blues

Hey Family,

As many of us prepare celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s with family, friends, serving others, or what have you, I’d like us to keep ourselves, those around us and especially those we do not know in prayer.

I recall a few years back on a Friday night, I was at a  Christmas dinner party with some friends, where we ALL laughed and talked for hours–it was one of the best times I had ever had!  Fast forward to the following Monday and we learned one of the guests had committed suicide. I was SHOCKED..and as I recounted the time we had together, I did not detect this engaging person intended to carry out their own demise. It still breaks my heart to think about it. 😩

*Sigh* "The holidays are here again"...
*Sigh* “The holidays are here again”…

While there is not a set time, the enemy, adversary or plainly, the devil seems to come around hard during November, December and January, working on the minds of people to convince them there is no hope, you’ll never get a job, your family does not love you, you have no friends, things will not get better, that relationship will not work, nothing goes right, the pain is too great, things will only get worse..et cetera. And the ultimate–if you end it all, you will finally be at peace. That is NOT so–your soul has an eternity to live with that decision, and it WILL be one you regret.

God is the giver of life and whether we saved or not, as depressing, sick, tough, painful, ugly, unbearable, tiring, impossible, messy, hurtful or what ever is happening  (and yes, I DO understand.. we have ALL been here some time or another), God does not give us permission to end our lives–that’s HIS job. Rather God directs us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The Word also reminds us that Jesus wants all who labor, are burdened and are heavy laden to come to Him for rest! He wants to exchange burdens with us because His burden is light. (Matthew 28:11-30).  Is that easy to do? No! Think about the alternative, though–as we carry burdens, they get heavier, we get weaker, sicker, less motivated, depressed and then the suicidal/self-destructive thoughts  and actions come. It is true we will have troubles in this life,  but God really wants us to come to and depend on Him to help us with every situation we have.

Bottom line: Sometimes, behind the smiles and jokes, there is a person who is hurting and does not know how or to whom they should reach out. Pride, fear of ridicule, stigma, losing social status, gossip, being bullied more (all coming from the enemy), can rob a person from this earth prematurely leaving the family and friends reeling from the shock and praying for God to heal their shattered hearts.

My Holy-Ghost filled readers, please… ask God to sensitize your heart, spiritual eyes, and give you what to say to those around you. Be on the lookout for people who are laughing, but there is pain in their eyes. Make it a point to call or SEE someone (NO texting or email unless it’s to set up a meeting). Only use Skype or FaceTime if needed..just make a personal connection. Pay attention to folks at the market, pray silently (or with them if they would like) for the representatives you speak with on the telephone.  As you are getting your hair cut or styled or shopping about, ask the Lord to bless, heal, deliver and save anyone who comes in the shop.  As you think about it,  pray for those who may be depressed over losing a loved one, relationship, job, hurting, and over life in general. Ask God how to help–maybe you can cook a meal, give a gift card, buy them a coffee, or just listen –be a friend. Your act of kindness can turn things around. Also, ask God to help YOU (yes, believers feel sad sometimes), to take all your heavy burdens to Him. Confide in a trusted friend or prayer partner as needful.

If you do not know Christ, and are feeling blue or know someone who is, know that we are praying for you. Take every situation to God in prayer right now–you do not have to be fancy about it, just talk to Him.  Ask Him to send you a sensitive, Holy-Ghost filled counselor who will give you biblical and practical advice. God is STILL in the saving, fixing and healing business. He has done it for me and wants to do it for you and others as well..you have His word on it! He promises.

You can reach out to me at:  Blencouragesu at gmail dot com. (just type it out like you would any other email address).

God bless you for reading and taking action!

 

Love,

 

Blen

 

 

 

Blen goes camping! Yes—REAL camping!

Hey family!

I hope you are enjoying what’s left of the summer..it is coming to a close quickly! While I am glad for everyday, one of the highlights of my favorite season thus far was my weekend camping trip. Yep, REAL camping! In recent years, I said I wanted to go, but no one I knew wanted to. My desire was answers when a few (well, ten) female co-workers from four different states were planning a trip to Pine Acres Camping Ground in Massachusetts. I was in!

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As I arrived on Friday evening, the ladies had set up a few tents, a covered, lit picnic area and were starting a fire. As I “checked in” to my my home for the next two days, it was replete with a welcome mat, air mattresses, and even a lamp to welcome four of us in. We talked, laughed and ate into the night around a cozy fire.

20130825-164839.jpgAway from that fire, it was COLD–like 40 degrees of so. Initially, I thought I made a mistake packing my flannel, two blankets and a housecoat, but it was needed. The other thing was the um…the facilities.

20130825-170201.jpgThe restrooms and showers were about a 2-3 minute walk away from the campsite. Now during the day, that was fine–it was the night that was interesting, seeing that with the exception of a few dimly lit picnic areas, the dirt road leading to restroom was PITCH BLACK. In the spirit of unity, once one of us started stirring, and some else heard, we braved the walk together, flashlights in hand, chatting, whispering and admiring God’s handiwork.

20130825-164939.jpg The campsite offered a pool, beach area, general store, biking, hiking, cabins and plenty of pet and child friendly activities. While we all went hiking, some of us took advantage of the beach, while others of us got back around the fire, snacked, chatted, napped and enjoyed the blessing of a stress-free Saturday.

20130825-165054.jpgOn the food front, there was no shortage of sustenance—in addition to an assortment of dips, snacks and beverages we brought, there were eggs, toast, bagels, muffins, chicken, burgers, salads, coffee, tea, fruit, old-school Jiffy Pop and my newest favorite–s’mores! Hey, every now and again it’s okay to get off the road of eating healthy. It’s good for the metabolism! 😜

As our trip came to a close on Sunday, we worked together to pack up tents, sleeping gear, tidy up the picnic area, parcel out leftover goodies, and say our goodbyes.😞 If I had to do anything differently:

>NOT forget my flashlight (thank God for the iPhone and cell phone service. The Lord nudged me about downloading a flashlight app when I had to make a 2 a.m. visit to the loo).

>Invest in a sleeping bag. I was warm enough with what I had–a sleeping bag would have added to the overall camping experience.

>Get to the site earlier so I could experience setting up the tent. The takedown was great, I want to see how they come together.

>Take another day or so at the campsite. I’m thinking a three-day weekend would be ideal.

Overall, I LOVED the experience and would love to go camping again. In fact, we are planning a trip for next year, Lord will. If you have not had the camping experience, I’d highly recommend it. There’s something about being out in the open with God and the sounds/functions of nature that relaxes yet recharges you. Put it on the list, Family!

God bless you and thanks for reading!

Blen

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