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

A lesson from an ice cream cone.

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 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!

For those who know me personally, you know I have a thing about going out for ice cream. I think it had to do with a unfortunate incident with losing that ice cream cone when I was a kid! LOLOL!!! (If you know the story,  you can post it in the comments) 🙂

Anyway, while the creamy dessert was a minor indulgence, the Lord used it to teach me a BIG heart lesson. Click below to listen in.

Scriptures to meditate on:

…The little foxes, that spoil the vines… (Song of Solomon 2:15).

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked–who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9). 

…Man looks on the outer appearance, but God looks on the heart. (I Samuel 16:7). 

Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit  and of the joints and marrow , and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord, you shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve Christ the Lord (Colossians 4:23). 

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to the podcast? What about the quote, “When you go to do something, when you do it, be sure to do it and NOT look for something in return?” What else resonated with you?  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/Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for tuning in and Lord will, until the next time we are together, may God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and give you peace, as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

Series: Speech Therapy..the words of my mouth (part 5)

 

Hey BCU family!

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

Last lesson, we talked through some examples of idle words as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 12:33-37. Additionally, the book of James reminds us about the words of our mouth.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
(‭‭James‬ ‭3:2-12)‬ .

Whew—-we’ve got work to do! Let’s dig in!

C.  The non-listener/hasty speaker

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29).

See a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him. (Proverbs 29:20).

He that answers a matter before he hears it it is folly and a shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).

The Lord has brought this to my attention both as the offender and the offended. I probably notice it more as I was offended a couple of times recently and I liked that as much as I like a big ol’ plate of canned beets. Meaning I DON’T!

After setting up a meeting with someone to get clearance for a special task, I wanted to give them the background, so it was clear WHY I needed the clearance. I am ALL about making sure you understand, so nothing comes back to get me later. In mid-explanation, the individuals CUTS me off and gives me a some solution to the clearance—I listened quietly, and heard them say something like,  “is that what you were leading up to?” Me: “No”. Reread Proverbs 29:20.

Also, I had conversation with someone, where we disagreed on the conclusion of whatever we were talking about. Every time I wanted to explain why, I got CUT off. I finally just shut down—and listened. Then person was curious about my quietness.

There is also cutting into a conversation, while someone is talking and switching the subject—like the shell game! LOLOLOL!! I’m laughing but it’s really not of God. And I KNOW that I’ve done this to people–maybe out of excitement or wanting to get the point in while it was fresh or whatever, but what did my action do to the speaker? How did I make them feel? Like I was listening or just waiting for them to hush so I can talk?

All this really is birthed out of the pride of life—where self-exaltation and exaggerated importance tells you that the people/persons that are currently speaking DO NOT MATTER. What you have to say right then and there trumps the other person because you KNOW better, you HAVE the answer (you were not asked yet), you ARE superior, YOU HAVE lived longer than said individual, I DON’T have to listen to this; I WANT to end the conversation; I HAVE BETTER things to do; SHE takes TOO long expressing herself. I KNOW exactly what you want to say. DO YOU? No.

#BottomLine: Use your ears twice as much as your mouth.

D. Excess wording
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:33-37).

While many of us know not to use swear words (believers DO NOT practice using foul language), what about the “swear substitutes?” “What the…” “Oh my gosh” (substitute for God) or “jeez” (short for Jesus). Sure, we’re not taking the Lord’s name in vain…well directly, more like indirectly.. God knows our hearts, yes, but since He reminds us we have to give an account for our excess words, we should reconsider what we’re saying.

What’s the need to”swear to our God”, on your grandmother’s grave or say some other ridiculous claim to get someone to believe you are telling the truth? Is not our word enough, especially if we are truthful all the time. When telling your story, stick with the yay and nay (the truth of the story) without extra details and embellishments so we can stay away from anything evil coming out.

E. Empty promises/promising to do something when you can’t.

“Knocking someone into next week/kingdom come.”
“If….. happens, I’ll eat my hat”.
“Shake her hand till it comes off.”

Now I know these phrases sound very innocent and harmless. Think about it, though. If you really wouldn’t eat your hat, you’re not telling the truth. We can’t really knock someone into next week or any other week, either. You know, God never said anything He could not do, so we need to stop practicing this form of idle chatter.

F. Hasty, emotional responses:

“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:2).
“If God never answered another prayer….” do you really mean that? What if God took you seriously?
“I promise I will never ask for…” or “God if you do..I will..” Do we need to “bribe” God?  Ask, and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Whoever asks, gets, seeks, finds, knocks, it shall be opened. If it’s according to God’s will, you will get it..He likes to give good gifts.

“As long as I have Jesus I don’t need nobody else?” Really? Does not God work through people? Are we not called to love and interact with people? No…we don’t worship them, but we need one another.  An example? One plants, one waters and God gives the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7). We need people.

Also, should we really bargain with God? Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6 warns us not to.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

Jephthah in Judges 19 learned this lesson painfully. He vowed if he was victorious in battle, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of the house and it happened to be his only daughter.

#BottomLine– even in our anger and excitement, we can still honor God with how we speak. We need to choose our words carefully.

So once again this week, let’s ask the Lord to help us to “weed out” these types of idle words from our  hearts, mouths and vocabulary and replace that idling with more of the Word of God. We can do all of these things through Christ that strengthens us!

Thank you so much for tuning, God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and until we meet again #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

Get in your single happy place..

Hey family!

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)!

You can volunteer at a shelter, rest home, soup kitchen or hang out with your single friends.  Pray for other singles and couples. Babysit or offer eldercare for a couple to be able to get some time together. You reap what you sow! Sow good seeds!!!

The perfect ending to a solo dinner!

If it’s possible, get some good takeout, make a decadent dessert, treat yourself to a massage or buy yourself something pretty! And it doesn’t have to be expensive–personally, I love a great scarf, hat, or any smell-good perfume or bath salt. Of course, if you can squeeze in a pair of shoes, a shiny trinket or a purse–go for it! 🙂

Yes, I know that 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. I am grateful though, that God has blessed me to be in my “happy single place”, and I am FINALLY living as Paul told the  Philippians “….for I have learned, in whatever state I am in to be content” (Philp. 4:11). Being content is a process, and sometimes takes awhile, in part because we don’t want to do things His way {guilty}. Eventually, though, the Lord does get His way, so it really is better for us to yield early and often to shorten the painful process. It’s also best to be about your Father’s business, yielding to His will for your life, and taking care of yourself until the Lord blesses you with a mate, rather than wistfully wishing someone brought you flowers. Hence the suggestions for being busy, or getting your own gift.

Bottom line: When God is ready to reveal my intended to his missing rib (me), with God’s grace, I’ll be ready. Until then and even after the man comes, Jesus will always and forever be my first, true and best love. Period.

God bless you always!

Love you,

Blen