The Lollipop Lesson

Hey there BCU Family!

For this post, 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 number of years ago, I had my faithful traveling companions, Jaz and Peanut with me–and Peanut was in dire need of a haircut. The barbershop I took him to, not only does a phenomenal job with kids, they also give lollypops to the kids, even if they don’t get a service. How nice is that?! Once the kids chose their treats, I told them to put them away until after we ate dinner. Veggies before sugar, right?

When we got home, I thought it best to collect the lollipops and pass them out after dinner. Peanut happily produced his lollypop, while Jaz hesitated and told me her stick broke. I told her that was fine, just hand it over. In addition to the broken stick, the wrapper was barely hanging on, obviously in an attempt to quickly re-wrap it. When I asked why it was open, after I was clear about NOT opening it, she replied “I wanted to see what color it was”. Well, it’s a good thing she enjoyed it with her eyes, because she did not get to enjoy her treat, even with the sad face and tears.

I know, I know, that seemed a little harsh? Not really. Let’s take a look at four lessons God taught me from this one situation.

  • Patience: When God clearly to tells wait, He MEANS it. There is a reason that we can’t have what we want when we want it. Remember when your/a child thought could make wise choices in fashion, makeup, friends and other life decisions at the age of six? Remember how much “wisdom” we possessed at age 16? Our parents had to suffer through that period and correct our thinking. In God’s infinite wisdom, He knows when the best time is to be blessed, even though WE think we know better. Romans 9:19-21 asks how the creature going to tell the Creator what’s best? When we look at it that way, it helps us to back down and trust His process.
  • Resisting temptation: This is a tough one–I know the shiny lollypop was alluring to Jaz–and we are no different as adults. When something looks good to our flesh, we want it and now. Things that look good surface-wise, are not necessarily beneficial in the short or long term. How many of us have learned that over the years? Don’t go back there! We have to ask God for the power to leave it alone. Period. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (I Corinthians 10:13).
  • Haste makes waste: running ahead of my instructions cost Jaz her lollypop, so it was wasted. She had to wait until we go again to get another one, which wouldn’t be for a long time. When we go outside of God’s divine will, He will allow us to do what we want often at a high price, including wasted time, emotions, money, energy, strength, resources, and then we likely have to wait a long time before we get what God had for us in the first place. Lamentations 3:26 says it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
  • Consequences: The Bible is clear that there are consequences for disobedience. While God is good and plenteous in mercy, sometimes His mercy is not taking us out of here right away when we mess up. Recalling Adam and Eve (Genesis 3),  they clearly disobeyed and while God spared them, there was still a punishment. Esau sought repentance with tears and still lost out on his birthright and blessing (Hebrews 12:17). Is the thing that is clearly outside of God’s divine will worth losing out on blessings, favor or even missing out on Heaven? Surely not! For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing (1 Peter 3:17).

The bottom line: There will always be times where we feel frustrated with waiting, not understanding why things haven’t changed yet, why another trial, where is my blessing, maybe I should “help” God out–that’s natural! There will be times we mess up and go ahead of God–thank God He’s willing to forgive when we ask! And He wants us to learn from our experience rather than choose to make to wrong decisions repeatedly.

We also have to remind ourselves with the help of God, that He does really have out best interest in mind…Matthew 7:11 tells us so! And since we will never know better or more than Jesus, let’s purpose in our hearts to take Him at His Word! Amen? Amen!


Which part of what we talked about is a struggle for you?  Mine is the patience—the Lord is yet teaching me how to wait on Him. Otherwise the wait gets a LOT longer! Let me know in the comments section so we can continue our chat.

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

Confronting the spirit of fear.

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 your study!

 

I “wrassled” with something awhile back and I thought I’d share  with you all, in case you have a similar situation. If not, take it on credit.

I had an acquaintance we’ll call “Jamie” (name changed), who I TOTALLY thank God for. The thing with Jaime? They have a penchant for being very talkative to the point where 1) you can’t get a word in edgewise 2) the conversations are not always fruitful (sometimes laced with complaints and backbiting) and 3) “mindless chatter”, all of which I have a low tolerance for (yes, I pray even now that God help me with this). Now to Jamie’s defense, they are very nice and will share the last Ring Ding with you, but listen, is a Ring Ding worth all of that conversation?!

While I would fraternize with Jamie when I needed to, it’s not something I wanted to do. In fact, I tried to avoid Jamie at as much as possible, fearing I’ll get into a long conversation, or say something (nicely, of course) that will hurt the über-sensitive feelings of this individual and lose my Christian witness.  Jamie was the type of person who you could say something to in the nicest way possible, but would still be hurt. I was in a tough place.

So one day, Jamie left me a message –apparently it was question that only I could answer. In a matter of seconds, my attitude changed from happy to irritation and anger because there was no way to avoid talking to this person. My mind raced wildly–what now? Didn’t I take care of that other situation we had last week? Is this question going to lead to a verbal bashing of a friend? Should I schedule our conversation in between appointments—that way I could limit my time talking? Then, I started practice responses to possible questions that could come up—-RARRRRRRRR!! (arms flailing).

While I was ranting in my car, the Lord invited me to talk to Him about it. Rather than let anxiety take over, as Philippians 4:6 reminded me, it was better that I make my requests known before God in prayer, supplication and with thanksgiving, so that God’s peace would keep my heart and mind.

In talking this through with God, the bottom line was FEAR! I was letting FEAR make me crazy before I even knew what the situation was. Also, I was running (related to fear) from this thing like it was a six-foot bear, when with God on my side, this situation was a plastic poodle! On top of it, I was tired of being afraid!

As a Holy Ghost filled woman, I have Christ on my side, and whatever the conversation was, I needed to be ready to tell Jamie with seasoned speech if what was being said was not agreeing with me or I needed to get going. I also needed to quit worrying (a by- product of fear) about hurting feelings in lieu of pleasing God.  In addition, Proverbs 27:5 reminded me that open rebuke is better than secret love, AND as long as my speech was seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6), God would be pleased. In the final analysis, pleasing God is really the only thing that matters. After talking that over with Jesus, the peace that came over me was AMAZING!! I felt armed and ready to deal with Jamie or any other potentially sticky situation.

How did my Jamie story end? It turns out that a couple of emails answered Jamie’s questions (see, I didn’t even have to chat with him after all), and NOW with God’s grace and help, I’ll be better equipped to deal with a confrontation when needed with NO FEAR! Sure, tackling an unpleasant issue is uncomfortable and unnerving–but confrontation is biblical. We just have to know how to do God’s way and that starts with prayer! He will give us the words to say so the conversation will be perfect. So with have our directions from God and Holy Ghost leading us, there’s no need to be afraid–God’s got our back!

The final word on fear? II Timothy  1:7 reminds us that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Let’s take God at His word and walk in what He says. Amen? Amen!

What are your experiences with fear? How have you handled it? Or do you let it handle you like I did? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below!

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, or 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

So a pigeon walks on to this bus…

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!

Last week, the kiddos, Jaz and The Professor read me the story, Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus” by Mo Williams. While it’s geared for younger readers, it’s a very cute story about a pigeon who has aspirations of driving a city bus full of passengers—against the instructions of the driver, who had to step away.

Now BCU Family, I got a kick out of the story, and I totally understand it’s just a story meant for entertainment. As the kids finished up reading, the Lord brought to my attention a way we could apply this lesson spiritually and also in a way to help children (well….and adults) view and understand the pigeon’s actions and how we can act the same way, if we’re not mindful, intentional and walking in the Spirit of God.

Listen in as my trusty sidekick, Jaz, aged 8 and I talk through the lessons we learned around the word the general theme of disobedience, accepting “no” and manipulation.

Scriptures to ponder:

Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin (James 4:17). 

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Proverbs 27:6).

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11).

And Samuel said, has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22). 

So, BCU Fam, what’s your reaction to the story? In what ways has the pigeon shown up in your life or the lives of your kids? What do you do about it? 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!

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

Love,

BCU

Granola, lessons & God?

Hey there BCU Family!

We’ve paused our Nehemiah study to bring you a #RandomYetIntentional moment sponsored by God. So…we’re doing something a little different this week. I actually recorded the moment on video and it is up on the BCU YouTube channel, so if you’d prefer, you can watch it here>> Granola lesson video.<<

If you’re listening on the podcast, not to worry, the audio file from that video is below (click on the avatar), and you’ll be able to get the message just the same! Scripture references are below as well, so you’ll be able to link back to God’s Word as you apply the lesson accordingly.


Diligence–Hebrews 11:6

Daily Bread– Luke 11:3

Thanksgiving in all things–Colossians 3:17

Chastening–Hebrews 12:6

Being “busy”–Luke 10:38-42

Seeking God’s face continually 1 Chronicles 16:11

Hiding the Word–Psalm 119:11

Seeking God early–Psalm 63:1

Being equipped for the day–Ephesians 6:10-18

Walking in the Spirit–Galatians 5:16

You know, BCU Family, it’s AMAZING how God takes something as “small” and temporal as granola to teach us a HUGE and ETERNAL lesson! With His help, let’s be intentional, diligent and purposeful in spending prime time with God. 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, 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

A lesson from the leaves

 

Hey 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!

As we fully transition into autumn especially in New England, (my mind is still in August, though :-)), the brilliance of the colors of the leaves changing and falling to the ground is a timely reminder from Solomon: “to everything there is a season and a time and purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiates 3:1). Yes, we’ve likely heard this before–it’s just that God so beautifully demonstrates this in our lives at this time of year.

A tree has no brain, thinking or decision-making capacity in any way–only what God has told it to do, which is let go of the leaves as they die off.

How this applies to us: God has made us in His own image and likeness, giving us the ability to think, reason and make our own decisions. Now, He has supplied us with the Word of God and His Holy Spirit (for those who have the Acts 2:38 experience) to guide us in the decision making process, but ultimately we do get to make choices, good or bad. It is ALWAYS wise to heed the voice of God in our decision-making–this way the outcome is 100% perfect.

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The leaves are pretty, but can also be deadly…

So, as  your relationship with Christ grows and you hear His voice, when God urges us to let go of the “dead leaves”,  with His help, LET THEM GO!  Dead leaves can come in a variety of ways–maybe it’s time to walk away from that job, a toxic relationship, or telling that able-bodied, freeloading relative you will no longer support them. Nothing in those areas? What about the fear of walking in your calling, witnessing about Christ, a bad habit, (cutting people off when talking,  habitually tardy, angering quickly), a weakness, (seeking comfort in illicit company or going to the wrong types of places, worrying) or whatever “crutch” (excessive shopping, over-eating)–you may have. You all get what I mean, right? We do not have to wait until October to let go, mind you, this is a good time to examine ourselves through the Word of God’s microscope  or just ASK the Lord what needs to be let go of–trust me, HE WILL tell you!

And once we know, it’s our duty with His help to lay aside EVERY dead weight and/or sin (Hebrews 12:1), that will slow you down, trip you up or outright attack you.  Ask God to help you see WHY you want to hold on to something He is asking you to turn loose.  The answer may come right away or later on—just be prepared for the answer! Let’s take a look at an example.

Many years ago, in my B.C. (before Christ) days, for years I dated a “great” guy, we’ll call “Sam” (just to protect his identity). Sam and I were talking marriage. For some reason,  my heart was very unsettled about getting married, but kept planning. I don’t recall the exact sequence of events, but one thing led to another where we broke things off.  I was devastated and hurt, but that break-up led me to the alter where I was filled with the Holy Ghost. Apparently, the Lord knew Sam was not the person for me (and BOY, did I find that out later–YIKES!) Thank God for His protection!

But even after being saved and understanding God’s providence, He was urging me to let go of  the friendship with Sam–period. MAN, that struggle was REAL–it was really hard to let all that love and history. But, eventually with the grace of God, I walked away from it and have not looked back. While I could never accurately predict what would have happened if I had continued holding on the “Sam season”, I’d like to think that I would not have gone as many places, done as many neat things as God has allowed and would have NEVER been as obedient or effective in my Christ-walk, gifts and talents. Glory to God!

While we do not need a change of seasons to remind us to let go of things, we can use the leaves effortlessly falling from the trees as a reminder to trust that when God says drop it, He means it and for good reason. While new growth is dormant for a season, hold on for the new growth/spring coming in your life.

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall you not know it?”….(Isaiah 43:19a).

Amen? Amen.

Thank you so much for stopping by! If this was a blessing to you, please comment below and share it with someone–you’ll never know how the Lord may use you to encourage someone else! And if you have not done so, please like BlenCouragesU on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  And PLEASE subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes! 

Until we are together again, may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you—-and #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU