“He did what?! “Well, what where YOU wearing?”

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.

WARNING: This subject matter of sexual assault is a highly sensitive, yet needful to discuss topic. The angle presented here is just one of several ways we can and should open up dialogue and work toward solving the problem with God’s help for without Him, we can do NOTHING. If you have been the victim of any inappropriate behavior, we are praying for you. Please reach out to us at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com if you’d like further counseling and prayer. We pray the post blesses you. If so, please leave a comment! Thank you and may God bless you.

I usually refrain from commenting on most current events–mostly to keep a guard over my mouth as Psalm 141:3 says. In light of the recent and alleged sexual misconduct cases with so many high-profile men, it brings a few thoughts to mind.

Tina*, a quiet, but smart third-grader was heading back to class from the bathroom when she sees Danny, a very tall and popular 4th or 5th grader coming toward her.  As they met up in the hallway, Tina greeted him with a smile and cheery hello. Danny responded by blocking Tina’s access to get by and shoving her into a nearby open custodial closet where his hands were in places they should never have been. Tina, confused and scared, confided in an older student who replied, “well, what were you doing down there anyway?” Shamed, Tina didn’t ever report the incident. It still lingers in her mind.

Lala* started developing early–around age 10-11. Paulie, a scary, bully-type guy, would discreetly touch her in passing in the hallway remarking about how well she was growing.  Lala’s mom talked about how certain women were predators and liked to take people’s men away. They wore clothing that was revealing and that asked for trouble. Lala didn’t know what to do, so she did nothing. Thankfully Paulie moved away the next school year. She was always confused about how to deal properly with men.

Young Mona* landed a great job with awesome pay, benefits and a wonderful working environment. Mona came back from lunch one day and before she sat down to settle in, started to check her voice messages. As she stood listening to the messages and went to have a seat, she jumped up and turned around, only to see Mark, an executive sitting in her chair, smirking. In telling her story, it wasn’t the first time Mark had harassed someone–it even went to HR, but no one believed the women. Surprised?

*Loo went out on a dinner-date with an “official”. Since the date was going well, Official wanted to extend the time together with a trip to the movies, to which Loo thought was great. Partially through the movie, Loo thought Official accidentally brushed up against her–until it happened repeatedly. Loo addressed it, to which Official replied, “I’ll try and stop, but I can’t promise anything.” Sigh.

BCU Family, I tell these true stories (with permission, and *name changes of course), to illustrate a point.

From where I sit, most boys have this God-given aggressive nature and natural leadership capability which is GREAT! The thing is, they may not be taught HOW and WHEN to be aggressive. Yes, go hard when you are playing a sport or learning a task–those qualities help make men the amazing leaders God called them to be. At the same time, it’s important for men to be taught exercise self-control, proper restraint, respect and an understanding of the word “no”. And if the “no” boundaries are crossed, consequences must be swift and memorable,  versus a “boys will be boys” mindset (which is completely unscriptural–God holds anyone who does wrong accountable. Period.)

Yes, there are women who are beautiful, mesmerizing, enticing, tempting and may even go after you. Solomon warns against that in Proverbs 6  (note, the book of Proverbs is for everyday living for everyone, not ONLY those who know the Lord).

Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? (Proverbs 6:25,27-28). 

As these stories unfold in the news,  we are witnessing that lust and lack of self-restraint will eventually “burn” the aggressor, either in this life, and, if repentance and salvation is not chosen, that burn will be for eternity in the life to come.  While women DO have a responsibility to be chaste, and in many (not all) cases, are taught properly, who exactly is teaching the men to control themselves?

Who is warning the men of the dangers of lust, that when it’s finished, it brings sin and death? (James 1:15).

Why is it that a women brings up inappropriate behavior, her past is questioned?

Why ask about her choice of clothing? Is it really okay to grope or assault someone just because they are wearing a skirt? Pants?  Or because she’s “well-developed?” She’s the last person leaving the room and man sees this as his opportunity?  Are those the signals she’s “asking for it?”

Why do we say, “what was she doing in the public break room getting coffee when the man walked in? Didn’t you know his reputation?  Sense something? Why  didn’t you run?”

Why is it women don’t report assault right away?

Why are women made to feel ashamed and at fault?

Why do women keep silent?

These are questions that need answers, problems that need solutions and teaching that needs students, BCU Fam. These conversations and reinforcement need to be had at home, on the playgrounds, in the barbershops, in social media and yes, in our churches. Especially in our churches.

I John 2:16 reminds us that all lust will be ever present in the world.

That doesn’t mean we have to obey it.

Bottom line: Lust is not a skin problem, rather a sin problem that Jesus is equipped to handle.  We need only to  trade our fleshly desires for His precious Holy Spirit and His way of living our lives, which would be perfect, including tests and trials yet absent of the desire to practice the very sins that result in hurting others and damaging their lives, as well as the private/public shame, humiliation and punishment that both the victim and predator live with.

Why aren’t we talking about this?

From what I read, 1 in 4 women have been the victim of assault/inappropriate behavior. That’s a large population of people who may be walking around broken on the inside.

Why aren’t we talking about this?

What are your thoughts around this sensitive topic? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments 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 Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!



Bosses versus leaders

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 post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

We’re back with our Nehemiah series 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. We’re now switching gears to take a look at how Nehemiah carried himself as a servant-leader. Let’s dig in!

Nehemiah‬ ‭5:14-19‬

 v14Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.

Nehemiah was appointed official governor or leader of the people for 12 years. First, take note the wall wasn’t finished, yet the people didn’t wait to appoint him. Sometimes, the Lord will move you up based on your faithfulness over someone that is more qualified. When we serve, we do so not with eye service, as menpleasers, but in sincerity of heart, as to the Lord and not unto men. Knowing that the Lord will reward us, for we serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:23-24).

In another servant-leader move, Nehemiah made it a point to say that for the time he was in charge, he and his family did not eat up the food allowance they were entitled to. Just because you can does not mean you should. I Corinthians 10:23-24 reminds us that all things all lawful for me, but not expedient, all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify and that no one should seek his own, but every man’s wealth. 
v15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.

BUT The former governors (bosses/managers) charged the people and ON TOP of that took from  bread, wine AND MONEY–about 40 shekels worth!  (This equates to around $15,000 in U.S. money–most people earned 30 shekels in 4 months). This was nothing more than unlawful extortion. Can you see why Nehemiah got upset with the rulers who were charging the people all that interest for food earlier in chapter 5?  But wait, there’s more!

Proverbs 29:2 says, “when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” So imagine what must have been happening when Nehemiah mentioned the former governor’s servants ruling (bossing/managing) over the people. That’s like the governor’s aides from your state or country coming down to tell you what to do, how do do it, how to live, when and where you can go, etc., that’s neither lawful nor expedient–-that’s what a manager or boss does. 

However, Nehemiah tells us he did not such things, because of the fear of the God. Very wise leader, that Nehemiah! Proverbs 9:10 says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.  If more “rulers” had a fear [reverence, concern for what God thought, realizing they have to answer to Him], there would be less wickedness and mourning in the land.
v16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.

Nehemiah, the GOVERNOR, continued to be a servant-leadership example as  he CONTINUED (not stalled through, assigned, delegated, chilled, loafed, goofed off) IN THE WORK of the wall. Despite Sanballat and the posse, the people’s fear,  their unlawful practices, the obstacles, HE KEPT on! He did not buy any land—he and his servants were focused on the work that was assigned along with everyone else. 
v17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.
v18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.

For mealtime, notice there wert no separate table for the leaders, no VIP section for an extra 40 shekels, no or pomp or circumstance. Nehemiah, like Jesus ate with everyone else–that’s what leaders do. Also, God took care of Nehemiah—his 150 member cabinet workers and people from other nations were fed well on the daily and elected not to tax the people any more than they were already responsible for. Nehemiah cared enough about the people who trusted him to lead them to not fleece them. To him that knows to do good and does not, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

And Nehemiah closes with the simple request to the Lord: 

v19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
BCU family, the Lord broke down those last few verses so we could understand how a leader (in any capacity–work, church, home) should conduct themselves with the grace of God. An easy, yet powerful way to remember what we read in one scripture:

But he that is the greatest among you shall be your servant (Matthew 23:11). 

Well BCU Family, this completes our study of Nehemiah chapter 5! Looking forward to going into chapter 6. In the meantime, we’d love to dialogue with you so, please post your thoughts in the comment 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!