7 ways your words have POWER.

Hey there BCU Family!

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 was talking to a friend of mine recently about the power of words.  We often do not give much thought to the words we say and how they effect and infect those we come in contact with, nor do we consider what God has to say about our speech. Let’s take a look at a few verses that we should use as a filter for what we say.

1. Our words are life and death. What we speak, we eat.  

Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21).

2. When we talk too much, we usually end up saying the wrong things and eventually sin. 

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips [is] wise. (Proverbs 10:19).

3. “Idle words” means words with no profit–they mean nothing at all. Our words should always add value to a conversation and the company we are in. Jesus reminds us about what happens when we are speak empty words.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned (Matthew 12:36-37).

4. Our words can either hurt or heal. 

“There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” (Proverbs 12:18).

5. Our words should be like a beautiful picture.

 “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

6. Our words should instruct or improve someone. 

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

7. Before we speak–and get/respond in an  extremely angry state, we should listen prayerfully first. 

“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 (James 1:19-20).

BCU Fam, I intended for this post to go one way, but the Lord took it in a totally different direction! When we consider the implications of our speech and how seriously God takes what we say, our resolve, with His help should be pray before we speak whether it’s a casual conversation, meeting, discussion, disagreement or even in correcting someone.  When we do pray before we say,  our conversations will be more meaningful, rich and bring glory to God. Amen? Amen.

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This is a HEAVY topic, BCU Fam! What do you think about words and their weight? Are idle words a struggle? Maybe telling someone a thing or two because you just have to say it? Or maybe you have gotten the victory when it comes to conversation! Let’s talk more in the comments section!

Finally, 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

 

Follow-up post: Children and chores

Hey there BCU Family!

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 a couple of weeks ago, I posted a meme on the BCU Instagram account FB3F39BC-AEF0-408C-9A5E-74F63E02D1B1that stated if a child can operate a smartphone, then they can use a household appliance (broom, dustpan, sponge, washer/dryer, etc.) For the most part, a majority of the people agreed with the visual, but we had a few people who had pretty strong objections to the image. Here are a few of the comments in part:

“This is nonsense, that a child can use a smartphone doesn’t mean that they should be using one nor that they should be burdened with the family housework…..”

“….Another post telling parents to use their kids as servants instead of providing and taking care of them as parents should do….”

“…Children are not your maids…The job of children is playing, learning, exploring not being your cleaner…there are no kids chores….forcing jobs on people that are really not their responsibility causes anxiety and resentment.”

“I do not agree with making kids have regular chores….chores that are not normally a child’s responsibility like vacuuming the living room.”

First off, BCU Fam, let me say that everyone is entitled to an opinion, so the fact that people disagreed with me is not point of this post.

Next, I invited all of the respondents to be a part of this post/podcast so we can talk about the image and reasoning behind our responses intelligently, in context and in real-time.

No one took me up on the offer. 🤔

Third, this is not a “clapback” or retaliatory post, rather in speaking to the Lord about it, this is an opportunity to take a deeper dive in what the Word of God says about training up children and where responsibilities come into play.

Let’s begin with our anchor verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

In addition, let us look at the meaning of the word “train” and “child”.

The Hebrew word for train is chanak and it means, “to initiate, dedicate, discipline, or train up” [Strong’s concordance]. Training is a dedicated regimen that directs, regulates, and impresses upon the child, in every manner of life, the path to be taken.

The word for “child” in this verse is the Hebrew word na’ar and it defines a child as a boy or girl from infancy through adolescence. This training is not intended to start at age 5, 10 or 13, but instead from the moment the child leaves the womb.(https://cozortscontemplations.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/train-up-a-child/).

This tells me that as parents/guardians, we are not only responsible for instructing our children in the ways of the Lord, we are also supposed  to teach them how to be responsible in other areas as well.  Training children includes things such as teaching colors, good sportsmanship, safety, playing instruments, study habits, how to drive AND and yes, age-appropriate chores.

As a matter of fact, most young children LOVE to help do things around the house–I have often had to decline their cute little offers because they were not ready for certain tasks. For example, I would not teach a three year-old to handle bathroom cleaners and a sponge or to operate a hot stove because the of their age, impending danger and obvious lack of maturity. However, that same toddler can be lovingly shown how to put toys back in the toy box or throw away a napkin when they are finished with it.

Something else I thought about—in many Christian education (Sabbath or Sunday school), preschool, kindergarten and early elementary classrooms, children often sing a “clean-up” song as they discard snack papers, put away crayons and push in chairs.  These are chore fundamentals that, in time and with age/maturity, naturally progress into other responsibilities, such as folding clothes, running the vacuum or putting away the dishes.

Chores are not about adults sipping lemonade under a shade tree, harshly barking orders while the kids scrub clothes by hand in 90-degree weather!  Training is about finding fun and creative ways to walk a child through how to take clothes down to the laundry room or properly load the dishwasher. Parents giving children age-appropriate chores is more about the life-time benefits, challenges and lessons that come with contributing to something and being part of a team. 

For example, my daughter learned to play the saxophone as a middle-schooler. In addition to practicing, (we’ll get back to that shortly), she was responsible for the care and cleaning of her instrument, rather than me doing it for her–that was her chore, her responsibility.  In addition, practicing daily was essential in order for her to get proficient in learning the sax and to be able to play her part in the band (aka the team).  Did she always want to practice and take care of her instrument? Of course not! Very often TV shows, friends, or the phrase”I don’t feel like it today” interfered.  (In fact, that “I don’t feel like it today ” stalks me as an adult from time to time! Lol!!) Still, she needed to understand that we don’t just abandon our responsibilities because something more amusing comes along. That contribution/responsibility/teamwork concept was relatively easier to reinforce because it was taught early on, versus teaching it from scratch at age 13. In many situations, that’s where the anxiety and resentment one of the respondents talked about can creep in.

My final thoughts here? The meme did not say nor did my post infer the ONLY thing  children should is do housework, there was nothing mentioned that said children should do ALL adult housework, nor did it say children should never play, explore, and have fun. I am grateful for my balanced childhood where my siblings and I learned all about Jesus, climbed trees, and took turns doing the dishes and other household chores. God has blessed us to grow up to be productive adults with no adverse scarring from our time with the vacuum cleaner.  Lest you think my childhood was so long ago and my experience outdated, just today I got a chance to speak with a young man from our church, Elijah, age 15, about this very subject.

After presenting both sides of the debate, Elijah admitted he wasn’t always crazy about his chores, BUT he couldn’t see life without them as they taught/teach him valuable organizational skills! This young man attends Sunday school/church with his family regularly, has great grades, excellent manners, is respectful, focused and knows exactly what he wants to do with his life post high school. Can you see Proverbs 22:16 in effect?

BCU Fam, God has made us all (including children) with a certain degree of learning capacity and ability to carry out age-appropriate duties. If a child has the aptitude to operate an $800 smartphone with proficiency, then he/she can also be taught to push a button on a household cleaning appliance or operate a manual one, like a broom with little difficulty.  I stand by my post and the Lord stands with me!

So what are your thoughts about this controversial topic? Is it biblically wrong to teach children how to do certain things at home? Should kids not do anything at all from toddlers to teens except play and do whatever they want? Did you have house responsibilities? Let’s talk some more in the chat section below!

Finally, 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

Additional references:

Salt: A necessary nutrient

Hey there BCU Family!

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! 

A couple of weeks ago, I started on a “salt series” that talked about salt production and how vital it is to our natural body and in the body of Christ on a spiritual level. Last post, we learned that salt was just not a food enhancer or monetary trade item, it was also used as a covenant symbol.

This final post will review/ round off that series by exploring why we need (more) salt in our lives.  Let’s dig in by reviewing our anchor Scripture, (which we will refer to later).

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13 NKJV).

Salt gets a bad rap because of its link to high blood pressure, fluid retention, etc. While anything in excess can be harmful, iodized salt is not the best for the body. Common “table” salt is void of vital nutrients except iodine, which is added back after processing.

Sea salt contains nutrients that are needful for the body like sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride. In addition, sodium regulates the passage of nutrients into the cells. Without it, nutrients cannot enter your cells and you will have malnutrition and exhaustion, no matter how good your diet. Some other salt functions are:

Muscle cramps prevention
Regulator of:
–blood pressure
–blood sugar
–sleep
Eliminates dry coughs (just a bit on your tongue)
Soothes a sore throat (warm water & salt gargle)
Draws out infections

And that’s just the a small fraction of what salt does! Just as its needed in your body, it’s needed in the “Body Of Christ” as well.

Consistent salt regulates the “Body” by keeping “infections” out such as: idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and things like this. Willful engagement of these behaviors will prohibit us from entering into the kingdom of God, according to Galatians 5:20-21. Having salt on the regular will keeps us functioning and keep the “good” in. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT).

Additionally, salt was also used as a food preserver. History teaches us that salt was used to keep fresh fish from spoiling (there were no freezers in biblical times). In relation to the above paragraph, spiritual salt “preserves” us from practicing sin.

We also need salt for our conversations with family, friends, co-workers and the not-so-nice store clerk. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every one: (Colossians 4:6 NKJV). Another example comes from Proverbs 15:1–“a soft answer turns away wrath, but grievious words stir up anger.” Salt helps temper your responses.

Few things are as bad as a flavorless, or what I call a peppered Christian—acting bitter and nasty due to hurt, cares of the world, practicing sin or bad habits. In fact, let’s go back to the verse that started the series–Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”

In the Bible days, when harvesting the salt, if any of it was contaminated with dirt or marsh, it was put on the dirt roads to keep the dust down, hence the reference to being trampled underfoot by men. A contaminated Christian NOT the testimony we want. We have to stay seasoned in order to draw the world AND love folks. Jesus said,“have salt in yourselves and peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). If there is no salt in you, you will not have peace with others. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Bottom line: Salt is a necessary nutrient needed in our natural and spiritual lives. Adequate salt intake comes from prayer, fasting, regular bible study and attending church. Also, just like when we season our food, we want to use the correct amount of salt in our speech and actions. Too little salt is not effective—too much salt and is not palatable. Let us purpose in our hearts to ask God to help us to always use/the right amount of salt in ALL our interactions. Amen? Amen!


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? Did you know that salt is a necessary nutrient both naturally and spiritually? Do you get enough salt?  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 too 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

Making “salted promises.”

Hey there BCU Family!

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! 

Last post, I started on a “salt series” that talked about salt production and how vital it is to our natural body and in the body of Christ on a spiritual level. This time around, lets see what the Word is on salt. Here is our anchor scripture.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Matthew 5:13). 

Let’s see why we need to keep salt in us.

One of the earliest mentions of salt is in Leviticus 2. That chapter outlines detailed instructions on how sacrifices had to be prepared to be given to the priests and then offered to God. In verses 4-6, you’ll see God was very specific about the flour, oil—and even if the grain sacrifice was made pan versus a frying pan. (Side note: note how you just couldn’t bring God a sacrifice any old way. That’s important for us to think about when we bring Him our sacrifice of praise, worship, time, money..anything we have for Him, we should give Him our best). Looking at the verses 11-12, God specifies the “seasonings” on the offering–that there should be no leaven or honey, but:

Every offering you shall season with salt. You shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt” (Leviticus 2:13).

Okay, Blen, so what does that mean? I am glad you asked! Salt was just not a food enhancer or monetary trade items like we learned last time, it was also used as a covenant symbol.

History mentions that people used salt as a sign of binding loyalty and a symbol of alliance. In fact, in Europe and parts of the Middle East, salt and bread are offered to guests as a sign of friendship (hence the phrase “we have salt between us”). Additionally, treaties and truces were formalized using salt. Each person would take a lick of salt (similar to shaking hands) to “seal the deal”.

Salt was also used to heal a rift between parties as well. If there was a disagreement between folks, you would invite the person into your home to share a dish of salt. Each of you would lick your finger, dip it in the salt and then eat the salt together. Peculiar as this may sound, when a promise was seasoned with salt, it was so serious, that people would rather die than break that promise! Let’s examine another Scripture on the Covenant of salt.

2 Chronicles 13 tells of a war between Israel (King Jeroboam) and Judah (King Abijah). Jeroboam had the bigger army and was pretty sure he could take Abijah down. King Abijah reminded Jeriboam of God’s promise.

“Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt? Now look, God Himself is with us as our head, and His priests with sounding trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!” Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah”
(2 Chronicles 13:5,12,15 NKJV). Yessss–God ALWAYS keeps His word and Judah triumphed!!!!!!

Are you connecting the dots, Family? Isn’t it wonderful to see how God shows us how He keeps promises with something as simple, yet as powerful as salt? How about the promises we make? 🙊Are they “salt-worthy”? Solomon warns us think before we vow:

Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few
(Ecclesiastes 5:2 NKJV).

I cannot speak for you all, but if someone promises they will do something and they don’t follow through, I am so disappointed! Because the Lord has made me more mindful about keeping my word, He reminds me to say “with God’s help I will”…or, “if nothing changes, I plan to”, or “Lord will, I’ll…” Keeping that last verse in mind, it really helps us to rely on our perfect God to help us keep our word. Also, if we something does happen, it’s a good idea to circle back to the person quickly and fulfill your promise as soon as possible.

Bottom line: If you can’t season your promise with salt, it really best not to promise at all. I heard a cartoon character say, a broken promise cannot be easily put back together. That’s heavy, right? So keeping that in mind, we should pray before we promise. Amen? Amen.


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? Did you know about the salt covenant? Do you think about your promises carefully before making them? 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

 

Why being “salty” is a good thing.

Hey there BCU Family!

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! 

Podcast highlights:

    • For years, salt has gotten bad press and that is “fake news”.  God designed us to need salt in our lives.
    • We will take a look at the history of salt and why it is essential to have in our diets and in our daily interactions with people.

A while back, the Lord blessed me teach on salt at a conference, and I thought I’d share a condensed version of what He gave me with all of you. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus said,  ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Why salt? Let’s start by taking a look at the history of salt and why we need it in our natural bodies and in The Body of Christ.

Salt comes from the ocean, and the salt water is usually channeled into smaller, shallow pools of water. The wind and sun evaporate the water and as the salt crystallizes, it is, in some cases, hand-harvested by sauniers. Depending on the type of salt being harvested, this labor-intensive process can sometimes take up to five years to complete!

The Latin word for salt is salarium,  meaning ‘pertaining to salt’, but also is where our word “salary” comes from.  History tells us salt was a precious, expensive, highly valued item of trade and sometime used for monetary exchange. In fact, some sources say Roman soldiers were even paid in salt! That may sound strange now, but back themwhen salt was your salary, you were living LARGE!  Now that you have some background, let’s take a look at why we need salt.

Salt gets a bad rap in part, because our diets have changed to include more processed, fatty and preserved food that has lots of table salt. Table salt is not all bad, just not as good as natural sea salt is. Pure sea salt has minerals like sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride–the body needs these to function. While table salt originally comes from sea salt, in its processing, those minerals are stripped away and iodine added in. (Side note: Rather than consuming processed table salt, I suggest getting the sea salt and eat more wild-caught fish and veggies for iodine). 😉

Pure sea salt is needed in your body because it:

Prevents muscle cramps
Provides essential nutrients
Enhances nutrient absorption

Pure sea salt also regulates:
–Blood pressure (in conjunction with water)
–Blood sugar
–Sleep

This is just a fraction of what this needed nutrient does for us!! In essence, salt regulates your body, helps you function and keeps a lot of the “bad” out. Now let’s look at the spiritual need for salt.

Salt regulates the body of Christ by keeping the bad out:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV).

It also keeps us functioning by keeping the good in like love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, temperance, faith and meekness (Galatians 5:22). With the salt Jesus gives you on the inside, it shows up on the outside!

As a needed spiritual nutrient, Jesus commanded that we “have salt in yourselves and peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). In our next installment, we’ll take a look at what that means and why salt is vital in friendships and covenants. Please stay tuned!


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? Did you know that salt was so vital to your body? How awesome is it that God made it so we need salt for regulating our spiritual lives as well? Isn’t God amazing? 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