Acknowledging the Lord in ALL….

Hey there BCU Fam!

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!


  • Proverbs 3:6 reminds us “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, [The Lord] and He shall direct thy paths.”
  • Acknowledge means to recognize or to regard with honor.
  • We need to be intentional in asking the Lord how to direct us in every aspect of our lives, including routine tasks.
  • Sometimes, His path will help us avoid danger; other times, His path will help us deal with adversity properly.
  • When we ask the Lord how to get something done, even in in the worst of circumstances, it will always come out perfectly.
  • Conversely, when we react without including God, the outcome will have consequences we will not enjoy.


Scripture references (KJV)

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God…..But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:19-20,22).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).


The following Scriptures are excerpts for the podcast. Please read the chapters in their entirety.

Esther 2:21-23

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus.

22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.

23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

Esther 3:2-6,13.

2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?

4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

Esther 4:15-17

15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther 6:6-12

6 So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?

7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,

8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:

9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.

11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

12 And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.


See that BCUFam? Mordecai had every right AND an opportunity to expose or even reach out to hurt Haman. Rather, he fasted (acknowledgement) and followed (in meekness)the plan the Lord laid out. In doing so, Haman had to honor Mordecai publicly and then Haman was put to death for his wicked scheme.

We do not have to sacrifice our righteousness, gentleness, love or anything else the Lord has put in us to win a battle. Just know that if we ask Him what to do, how to do it and follow His contrary to popular belief plan, we WILL give us the victory and He will be honored and praised! Amen? Amen! Let’s continue our conversation in the chat box below!

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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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

Are children ALWAYS a reflection of their parents?

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!


~In my B.C. days (before Christ) and for sometime after, my mouth spoke a LOT of things it should not have.

~ I had a-plenty to say about people and kids who I felt were heading the wrong way because of ineffective parenting.

~The Lord chastened and corrected me on speaking that way, and reminded me of that in a recent conversation.



KJV Scripture References:


~Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11).

~Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).

~The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things (Provebs 15:28).

~Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Matthew 7:1-2).

 ~Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge, there is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (James 4:11-12).

 ~Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: (James 1:19).

~The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16b).


BCU Fam, I THANK GOD for the chastening from so many years ago! When speaking to people now, I can encourage them that while we have a responsibility to train up children in the proper way, God gives us all free will, or the ability to make choices. So we are not to walk in guilt or shame about our children’s choices, or worry about what people think about our “reflection”. Our job is to pray and look to the Lord to help our kids make the right decisions, and if they do not, that they will go back to the ways they were taught.

Maybe you did not know the Lord when your kids were young and your teen/adult children are not making the best decisions–guess what? God knows how to speak to their hearts. Proverbs 21:1 declares,”the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it whithersoever He will.” Let’s keep loving on and praying in faith for our children, BCU Fam! Jesus is the King of hearts!!! Amen? Amen!

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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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

Declaring independence from “foolishmess!”

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast, 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 wanted to share an “interesting” experience or maybe test that echoes the importance of prayer, and exercising wisdom so your are free from “foolishmess”.

Years ago, I was at a conference at a hotel where a handsome guy from across the aisle and I made eye contact and smiled. You know, just a friendly “hi”.  After the conference let out, as I went to run an errand, I ran into “Eye Contact!”  After some initial conversation, he very politely asked what I was doing later, where I was going to eat (all okay) and THEN he asked “could he “holla at me” after my errand (insert face of horror here). While I do not recall my exact response, it was time to exit the conversation.  As I departed, I told the Lord if this man was going to be frippery, he needed to just go away so I didn’t have to deal with him again. Ugh.

As I made my way back from my errand and through the lobby,  I heard “yo”, but I kept it moving. I heard “YO!” again. Then I heard “YO!” loud and close behind me. My curiosity said, “who is that hollering like that?!” I turned and it was Eye Contact!! Now remember, BCU Fam, I’m quite grown; I haven’t seriously been called “yo” probably since I was in high school and did not like it then. Oh, but it gets better, y’all.

So, now that he has my attention by default, he asks me to call him. And not on his cell, but in the room he was staying in, as he is looking for piece a paper to write down this valuable information On top of that, he was now speaking in hushed tones! Hello? Seriously? Ya’ll can draw your own conclusions on what Eye Contact was thinking. I’m thinking, is this happening right now? What kind of monkeyshine is this? Are men still acting like this who are over age 35? Seriously?!

While I was disgusted by Dude trying to run a game on me, I thank God for helping me to think and recognize the trick of the enemy. What happens is, the enemy likes to send a decoy to derail you when you’ve been waiting and trusting God for your blessing. Let’s review the “highlight reel” in this guy’s game, so you can declare your independence from foolishmess.
1)  The approach:

Any gentleman who really wants to approach a lady will NOT address her by “yo”. And a real lady won’t answer to that, either. That street talk is not àpropos for a virtuous woman whose price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10).

2) The pursuit

When a man wants to get to know you, he will ask you for YOUR number and pursue you, rather than him telling you to pursue him. That’s against the natural order of things! Yes, it’s 2017 and while clothes and slang has changed, men do NOT value anything handed to them! By nature men are hunters and like a challenge–they like to work for what they get! Genesis 29:20 says Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, but it seemed like a few days because of the love he had for her. He did not ask Rachel to do the work while he chilled! He happily worked to get her. Sure, the customs have changed in terms of obtaining a wife, the principle still applies–he should happily do the work in pursuing you.

3) The Conversation

I know this is obvious, but is worth a revisit. No gentleman should act like he’s worried about seeing you in public. I have heard, “oh he’s shy” and “sometimes you have to help them along”. I don’t discount shyness or advocate women giving men a hard time “just cuz”. There is NO excuse for ANY MAN to be looking over his shoulder and whispering while talking to you. That’s code for married, engaged, attached, or scouting out his next prey.

What can happen to those of us who have been waiting, when we are approached by someone (rather than the one) we can respond in emotion versus wisdom–especially when we’ve been waiting awhile. Emotion says, at least we met in a store, not a club. Emotion says, at least he works part-time. Emotion says, at least he attends church occasionally.  Emotions says, he has potential.  And anytime we have to justify some of these areas which should already be shored up, we are walking in emotion versus wisdom. James 1:5 says God gives wisdom liberally for the asking. Why make foolish, emotional decisions unnecessarily? Better to not get into a situation than get caught out and live with the consequences.

With God’s help, do NOT be the low-lying fruit that any man can come by and pluck off the vine. The sweetest fruit is at the top of the tree and requires some work by the person who wants it—it’s okay for the gentleman to pursue you. If he really wants to get to know you, he will put the work in.  Know your worth and trust that good and perfect gifts come from God (James 1:17). If the “gift” doesn’t line up to what’s good, it’s NOT from God—-reject it, keep waiting and renewing your strength like Isaiah 40:31 reminds us! God has not forgotten you, BCU Fam! Your blessing is enroute according to His will and perfect wise timing.

So what encounters have you had with the opposite sex (women sometimes get out of order as well), that took you by complete surprise? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

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!

 

 

Starting the application process..

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

Over our Nehemiah study, where we’ve chatted about overcoming people approval, the importance of gates , what do do when attacked,  when you are weary on the wallgetting back to work on the wall, the enemy within and how to confront him. Nehemiah also walked us through how he led/governed (with the help of the Lord) the people, versus bossing/managing the people, which motivated them finish the work triumphantly!

While this project is complete, there are some other very important learning points (like gatekeeping from our chapter 7 lesson) in the remainder of the chapters in Nehemiah. Let’s take a look at Nehemiah 8:1-12 and explore how we want to prepare, take in and apply God’s Word.

Scene: After the wall was up,  the enemies were out of sight and now the people were gathered together at the water gate to hear the Word of God. If you recall in our Nehemiah 3 study, we talked about how the water gate represented the Word of God and how it’s reflected in our lives. We should continue to wash ourselves in the Word to stay clean.  Psalm 119:9 backs this up by asking the question “How do we cleanse our way? by taking heed to thy word.”

v2 So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men, women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month.

v3 Then he read from it, in front of the open square which was in front of the Water Gate, from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and women, those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

Application point 1: There were no comfy chairs, air conditioning, kids church, lounge area or anything to make hearing the Word more comfortable, yet they listened with understanding and were attentive (there is NOTHING wrong with any of these things, mind you). The point is, since we have these things, are they helping us pay attention to the Word?

If we had to recall the entire message we hear on Sunday, would we be able to? What about what we just read? What Word did you read three days ago? How many times were you distracted from the Word? A hunger pang, wondering about dinner, the ironing you forgot, the call you need to make, how tired you are, the look you just got? A phone call? Typically when we get distracted God is speaking directly to us and we miss what He said. It’s like God gives the answers to the test, but we were so consumed with the test environment (we have the terrible too’s–too hot, too cold, too tired, too long) we miss the answers to the test. 

v6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; and they knelt down and worshiped the Lord with their faces toward the ground.

v7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the Law and people remained in their places.

v8 So they read from the Book of the Law of God, translating and explaining it so that the people understood the reading.

This is why we need called and anointed, word-steeped preachers, teachers, exhorters, and bold saints—who  rightly divide the Word of truth. There are SO many using the Word to profit themselves, so we should BE the laborers God is calling us to be AND hold one another up in prayer as we co-labor for souls we interact with, so we know to explain the Word of God to them, as they come to repentance and strive to live holy.

v9 Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the Law.

Application point 2: The people realized how far they were from applying the Word. When God convicts us, do we shrug and say, “well, Lord, I hear you, but…”,  “I just can’t do it because she…” “The Lord knows we’re dust…”  Yes, our frame is dust, not our souls. They live on forever. And what/how we decide to apply the Word can effect our lives here and after we leave here.

We may not weep after every sermon, but our hearts should ache with the desire to WANT to do better, to strive for perfection, to please God in ALL our ways, rather than excusing our actions because it’s easier to stay in the flesh. It takes EFFORT to walk in the Spirit, to NOT tell someone else, to NOT give into the anger, bitterness, wrath, unforgiveness—that’s what God wants us to do, as we strive for perfection.

Also, the reason the leaders were trying to tell the people not to mourn was this was a celebration–the festival of booths/Tabernacles. This symbolized the time they were in Egypt and wondered in the wilderness, reflecting on God’s provision, mercy and protection (see Leviticus 23:43).

v10) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

So even if you’ve messed up, repent, wash your face, dry your tears, eat, drink, bless someone else and allow the joy of the Lord to stregthen you. Obviously, these people did not have the Holy Ghost as we know it, but God allowed them to have joy, cause He’s consistent like that.

Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control–Galatians 5:22-23), and it’s an inside job. Whatever spirit is planted on the inside, the fruit of that comes out. So carnal plants yield carnal fruit and when the Spirit is planted on the inside, good fruit comes out. Unless we poison it with the weed killer–“Round-up” (aka un-Christlike behavior the the enemy brings by). When the Spirit is on the inside and activated, regardless of what’s going on outside the joy remains on the inside and comes out.

v11) So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.

v12) And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

What about you, BCU Family? Once the Lord calls us out on something, after repenting, so we allow ourselves to walk in the forgiveness and rejoice because we are being chastened  by our good Father, so we can live, or do we “mourn” (Hebrews 12:5-12).  It’s needful to hear the Word of God–Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and even more critical that we DO what the Word of God says ( James 1:25). Our [eternal] lives depend on it.

We’ll take a look at how Nehemiah and his people reacted in hearing the Law (Word of God) in an upcoming podcast, as we continue to spotlight scriptures to close out our Nehemiah study.  In the meantime, we’d love hear what YOU took away from what we talked about today, so please leave a comment in the designated section below!

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

God’s lessons from 2015 (Part 1 of 2).

Happy 2016 everyone!!!

Surprise!!! We’re trying something a little different with audio this year! So below, you’ll see a link where you can listen and yes, you can still read as well!   Enjoy and PLEASE let me know what we can do differently and how you like it! Thanks and God bless you this year and ALWAYS! 

You all know how it is at the end of one year and going into the next one, there are lists compiled about all types of subject matter, and here at BlenCouragesU we are NO exception! 🙂 What I’d like to share with you are five (5) BIG lessons the Lord taught me in 2015. I’m trusting that these will bless you as well. I’ll get into the detail, but the topics are as follows:

  1. Promises, promises
  2. Appearances can be deceiving
  3. Happy Holidays?
  4. Think outside the circle
  5. Say what?

Let’s get started!

Promises, promises:

Many of us have a habit of saying, “Let me know what you need”, “I’ll help you however I can,” “I owe you a favor”, or “I’ll be there for you”. Did you follow through on what you said without being asked? Did the person “call you” on the favor? What was your attitude about following through on your favor? Did you do it with joy? Grumble? Was it inconvenient?

Awhile back, I tried to “redeem” a favor an individual promised me and was met with an very angry tirade. *insert puzzled look*. Granted, I could have given the person more notice–I was just in a spot and needed immediate help.

While the incident is all water under the bridge, there are a couple of takeaways here. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us not to be rash with our mouths, and our hearts are not to utter anything before God in Heaven and we are on Earth–to let your words be few. Solomon also goes on to say that when you do vow, make sure you pay it–it’s better to NOT to vow than to vow and not pay (5:2-5). It is that serious.With God’s help, when we say it, we should mean it and be prepared to follow through with it. And if something does come up, we communicate it as soon as possible and be sure to take care of the promise. What if God reneged on His promises to us because he was too busy or did not feel like it? Right. We’ll get better on this with God’s grace. Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle, who shall dwell on your holy hill? …He that swears to his own hurt and does not change (Psalms 15:1 & 4b). In other words, it may be hurting you to get this done, but you are not backing down from your word.

The other situation is the angry outburst. Yes, yes, anger is an emotion God gave us–that does not absolve us from being angry responsibly. The Word reminds us to be angry, but not to sin (Ephesians 4:26). Usually the words and feelings get involved and things are said that are regretted later. Sticks and stones will break bones, but words heard do irreparable harm to someone’s heart, mind and spirit before the Lord heals them. Apologies are good and needful–they don’t always mend what could have been prevented if we had applied godly wisdom to our responses. Remember, the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:20).  Think–no pray before you speak.

 

Appearances are deceiving: 

I Samuel 16:7 about men looking at the outside, but God looks on the heart is used to justify many things God clearly speaks against. The context I’m thinking of is more along the lines of spiritual discernment vs what you see in the flesh.

I recall a group of young people I saw regularly at church with their parents and such. Y’all know that some, (not all) young people only come to church because they HAVE to and it shows on their faces! Yikes!! (We were not allowed to look any other way but pleasant, otherwise it would be a long evening after church). Anyway, this child looked like they could eat you alive without any regret! For some reason, I spoke with a family member where the young person came up in conversation–turns out the child had some very serious personal situations they were sorting though at the time. So that face was a mask for hurt and brokenness.

My aha moment? We cannot allow gestures, attitudes and facial expressions to hinder us from witnessing and ministering to others. In fact, God told Jeremiah not to be afraid of their faces for God was with him (1:8). The enemy works like that so folks can stay bound and we remain neutralized. That is NOT how any of this works. We who are Holy-Spirit filled have the power of Jesus down on the inside who gives US power over the enemy to get past that fear. Moreover, we do not allow our perception of what is wrong with that person stop us from reaching out to them–our job is to ask the Lord what is wrong, pray for them and encourage/minister to them as we are led by the Spirit. The love we show sets us apart from others. Luke 10:30-37 tells how two prominent people [priest and Levite] passed by a hurting, half-dead man and how one “regular” person [Samaritan] stopped to help.  Which person are we?

I’m going to stop here for now…this way you’ll come back! Stay tuned for part 2 of our series.

God bless you and thanks for stopping by!

 

BCU