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

 

 

 

Declaring independence from “foolishmess”

Hey family!

It’s been another minute, I’ve been a little busy running, but it’s all good. It’s wonderful to be busy!! Ladies, I wanted to share a recent experience or maybe test that echoes the importance of prayer, and exercising wisdom so your are free from “foolishmess”.

I was at a conference at a hotel where a handsome guy from across the aisle and I made eye contact and smiled. Very nice. After the conference let out, as I went to run an errand, we ran into each other. He very politely asked what I was doing later, where I was going to eat and could he “holla at me” (hmm) after my errand. As I was going, the Lord gave me the foresight to pray before I talked to this guy. I told the Lord is this was going to be frippery, he needed to just go away.

As I made my way back from my errand, I heard “yo, yo, YO!” I turned around and it was Dude. Now remember, I’m quite grown; I haven’t seriously been called “yo” probably since I was in high school and didn’t like it then. After this, Dude asked me to call him. Not on his cell, but the room he was staying in!!! On top of that it was in hushed tones! Yall can draw your own conclusions on what Dude was thinking. What kind of monkeyshine is that? Men are still “ackin’” like this who are over age 35? Seriously?!

While I was disgusted by Dud, I mean Dude trying to run a game on me, I thank God for helping me to think and recognize the trick of the enemy. He likes to send a decoy you when you’ve been waiting and trusting God for your blessing. Let’s review the highlight–well lowlight reel in this guy’s game.

http://www.rocas.com.mt/cRubies.html1) Any man who really wants to approach a lady will NOT address her by “yo”. And a real lady won’t answer to that, either. That 106 and Park talk is not àpropos for a virtuous woman whose price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10).

2) 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! By nature men are hunters and like a challenge. They don’t value anything handed to them! 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. That’s what I’m talking about!!!!

3) I know this is obvious, but is worth a revisit. No man 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 Dude 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.

Single ladies, I so know the exasperation of waiting to get a Boaz only to get a Bozo! Pray about your encounters with guys, so you’ll react with wisdom rather than emotion. 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 a 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 to let him work for it. Know your worth and trust that good and perfect gifts come from God (James 1:17). If the gift doesn’t fall in that category, it’s NOT from God—-reject it, keep waiting and renewing your strength like Isaiah 40:31 reminds us! Your blessing is enroute!

God bless you!

Blen

Pic courtesy of http://www.rocas.com.mt/cRubies.html