Room A203: Let’s talk salad hacks!

Hey BCU family,

I know it’s the dead of winter and salads are probably the last thing on your mind, plus one can get stuck in a rut eating the same type of salad (that would be me).  I’ve got great news….your rut ends today!!! No need to thank me–this news comes courtesy of DailyInfographic.com, Prevention magazine has a nifty visual giving us a plethora of hearty, bold, unusual and varied salad combinations that have basic ingredients, will satisfy your palate, and inspire your creative inner salad chef to come out and play regularly. Eat the salad alone, pair with a sandwich, soup or an entree of choice and voila–breakfast, (well listen, it’s the first meal of the day–no rules on what the meal has to be), lunch or dinner is served! Bon appetite!

Source: Salad hacks via Prevention; courtesy of Daily Infographic

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Visual: Thinking of buying a pet?

Hey family,

With Christmas approaching, some of us are thinking about pets for the kids…or maybe even ourselves. While I admit I am occasionally tempted buy the sheer cuteness of the four-legged variety, the helpful infographic below does not include dog-grooming, kenneling (if you need to go on away), or doggie day care in the event your pooch needs supervision during the day. Unless I have a change of heart, I’ll just be content enjoying other people’s pets with my eyes! Lest you think this decision has nothing to do with God, the Word advises us to “be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭27‬:‭23-24‬). In other words, take a look at the costs and budget wisely.

Love,

BCU

Infographic4

Source: http://www.dailyinfographic.com/cost-of-owning-a-pet-infographic

Be on high alert: Holiday blues

Hey Family,

As many of us prepare celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s with family, friends, serving others, or what have you, I’d like us to keep ourselves, those around us and especially those we do not know in prayer.

I recall a few years back on a Friday night, I was at a  Christmas dinner party with some friends, where we ALL laughed and talked for hours–it was one of the best times I had ever had!  Fast forward to the following Monday and we learned one of the guests had committed suicide. I was SHOCKED..and as I recounted the time we had together, I did not detect this engaging person intended to carry out their own demise. It still breaks my heart to think about it. 😦

*Sigh* "The holidays are here again"...
*Sigh* “The holidays are here again”…

While there is not a set time, the enemy, adversary or plainly, the devil seems to come around hard during November, December and January, working on the minds of people to convince them there is no hope, you’ll never get a job, your family does not love you, you have no friends, things will not get better, that relationship will not work, nothing goes right, the pain is too great, things will only get worse..et cetera. And the ultimate–if you end it all, you will finally be at peace. That is NOT so–your soul has an eternity to live with that decision, and it WILL be one you regret.

God is the giver of life and whether we saved or not, as depressing, sick, tough, painful, ugly, unbearable, tiring, impossible, messy, hurtful or what ever is happening  (and yes, I DO understand.. we have ALL been here some time or another), God does not give us permission to end our lives–that’s HIS job. Rather God directs us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The Word also reminds us that Jesus wants all who labor, are burdened and are heavy laden to come to Him for rest! He wants to exchange burdens with us because His burden is light. (Matthew 28:11-30).  Is that easy to do? No! Think about the alternative, though–as we carry burdens, they get heavier, we get weaker, sicker, less motivated, depressed and then the suicidal/self-destructive thoughts  and actions come. It is true we will have troubles in this life,  but God really wants us to come to and depend on Him to help us with every situation we have.

Bottom line: Sometimes, behind the smiles and jokes, there is a person who is hurting and does not know how or to whom they should reach out. Pride, fear of ridicule, stigma, losing social status, gossip, being bullied more (all coming from the enemy), can rob a person from this earth prematurely leaving the family and friends reeling from the shock and praying for God to heal their shattered hearts.

My Holy-Ghost filled readers, please… ask God to sensitize your heart, spiritual eyes, and give you what to say to those around you. Be on the lookout for people who are laughing, but there is pain in their eyes. Make it a point to call or SEE someone (NO texting or email unless it’s to set up a meeting). Only use Skype or FaceTime if needed..just make a personal connection. Pay attention to folks at the market, pray silently (or with them if they would like) for the representatives you speak with on the telephone.  As you are getting your hair cut or styled or shopping about, ask the Lord to bless, heal, deliver and save anyone who comes in the shop.  As you think about it,  pray for those who may be depressed over losing a loved one, relationship, job, hurting, and over life in general. Ask God how to help–maybe you can cook a meal, give a gift card, buy them a coffee, or just listen –be a friend. Your act of kindness can turn things around. Also, ask God to help YOU (yes, believers feel sad sometimes), to take all your heavy burdens to Him. Confide in a trusted friend or prayer partner as needful.

If you do not know Christ, and are feeling blue or know someone who is, know that we are praying for you. Take every situation to God in prayer right now–you do not have to be fancy about it, just talk to Him.  Ask Him to send you a sensitive, Holy-Ghost filled counselor who will give you biblical and practical advice. God is STILL in the saving, fixing and healing business. He has done it for me and wants to do it for you and others as well..you have His word on it! He promises.

You can reach out to me at:  Blencouragesu at gmail dot com. (just type it out like you would any other email address).

God bless you for reading and taking action!

 

Love,

 

Blen

 

 

 

Rats, Turkeys and Fruit…

 

Hey family!

Be Jive Turkey free!

Summer is fast approaching and in all the sunshine and excitement of the season, we still need to be prayerful and on high turkey alert! I learned a little more about turkeys from rats. Let me  “‘splain.”

I was flipping channels awhile back and caught a show called Rat Wars. It was a show about a New York City exterminator, who was ridding the Big Apple of these pesky rodents, who in some cases had overtaken the homes and businesses of some of his clients.  The guy mentioned that rats were smart creatures, and I thought “yeah, right”. But he was right!

Yep, I am smart~Trust!

What happened was, the exterminator set traps and noticed just a few of the rats were caught. Reason? He said some of the rats watched the others go to the traps and get caught/killed. The rats who stood by were astute enough to know to avoid the trap! If a creature that God made who hasn’t attended a day of school, nor have the Holy Ghost as a guide, knows to watch and avoid entrapment, how much better can we do? I’m just saying……Ok, keep that in mind and read on.

In my travels a few years ago, I met up with a dude in whom we had mutual acquaintances. We got to talking about the folks we knew and life in general, so I mentioned about being my saved, etc. Bozo did inform me that church girls were “easy to get with”–something about desperation and some other monkeyshine not worth repeating.  I don’t know how he thought his statements were attractive, but I was as hot as a freshly lit firecracker!  The truth is either he had that experience or was conducting a test. Either way, I know I wasn’t about to become a case study for Dr. Strangelove!!  If you really want to get to know someone, let them talk–God will let you know what’s up! What’s in the heart comes out of the mouth (Matthew 15:18).

Next is the saved-looking fruit. I notice, is that once we ID the fruit we like, we immediately hook up. “Oh well, there’s a saved-looking pear, that’s the one for me!”  Don’t misunderstand me, if one person is saved, the other NEEDS the Holy Ghost, no doubt. Salvation does not equal compatibility or God’s will.  Experience has taught me there is value in taking your time and developing a friendship based on mutual interests, experiences, goals and values. It’s also important to see where you differ and how negotiable those areas are. This way, if it is not God’s will for you to be together, you hear and see with a clear heart, rather than with a heart that has developed feelings and rationalization. I also believe that in the end, you will remain friends with no hard feelings or unforgiveness.

A former post I wrote about women not being the “low-lying fruit”,  got a little attention from a couple of guys I’m cool with on Facebook.  One young man who had his share of the easy fruit, said that eating fruit off the ground  “can make you sick”.  I didn’t think about that at the time I wrote it, but its true. Many times the fruit that’s just laying on the ground,  although convenient, is overripe, worm-ridden, bug-filled, spotty and rotten.  Sometimes women even go and pick the fruit, (rather than waiting to be picked). How did that work out for you?

Whether you are the low-branch fruit or pick it up, it may fill you up for now, but give you a bellyache, long-term illness or even death! As we mature, it’s important to recognize foolish behavior and correct it immediately. Do not pick off the tree! Didn’t we learn from Eve? LOLOLOL! Seriously, it’s better to wait and be picked properly. Proverbs says 9:6 Forsake the foolish and live; and go in the way of understanding. Why willingly die of from an avoidable case of “foolish”?

The bottom line:  I know there are some fantastic, stand-up guys out there—I am friends with quite a few and look forward to meeting more as my life progresses. In the spirit of watchfulness, the Bible says to watch and pray…(Matt 26:41) AND that you will know folks by their fruit (Matt 7). If it looks like a grape, yet talks thorns, then something is amiss. No matter how many grapes you thought you saw or have continuously look for, it’s a thorn bush. Pray for God’s divine (not permissive) will to be done and clarity in your thoughts and decision making so the decks are clear for your real blessing!

Thanks for reading and be blessed!

Love,

~Blen

Jive Turkey pic: http://www.newsrealblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/jiveTurkey.png

Rats pic: http://www.show31.com/2012/04/20-amazing-facts-about-rats.html

As the (jive) turkey turns…

No time for gobble-gobble

Time for another episode of Jive Turkey-ville! I’ll tell this story with the names changed to protect the innocent (and guilty). 😀

“Ginger” has been baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost for over 10 years. Early in her walk, she was a little unstable (as most of us are) and ended up falling for a guy, “Tyrone” who was “churched”, but not saved. Ginger was so smitten, she nearly considered backsliding! Tyrone ended up breaking her heart anyway, which was likely God’s way of delivering her. Although she was hurt, Ginger knew it was best.

On occasion, Tyrone would call her to say “hi”. During one of these instances, he tried to get Ginger to let him come by for dinner (sigh, that tells you a lot right there). Disgusted, Ginger stopped answering the calls and they stopped for the next few years.

Recently, the phone rang–Ginger didn’t recognize the number, thinking it was a family member. Oh, gobble-gobble, now!!! Tyrone was on the other end!! Regretting she answered, Ginger was curt but polite. Tyrone was very pleasant, though, asking about family, what she’d been up to and things along those lines. Ginger found herself enjoying the conversation and thinking, hmmmm…maybe this dude has changed. He suggested lunch since he’d be in the area, so they agreed to Friday.

As Ginger read the Word that week, a couple of Scriptures came up.
“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). Also, Joshua 9 where the usually astute leader and his men were fooled in part because they did not “…..seek council from the Lord” (v. 14b). She didn’t think much of the “warning” until talking with the Lord during her prayer time. The Lord was telling her NOT to meet up with Tyrone..rather invite him to church.

When he called to firm up plans, Ginger let him know that she couldn’t make lunch and invited him to church. He heartily agreed and she was nervous, but excited that a soul would be coming to the house of prayer.

Sunday came and “surprisingly” dude never showed up. Nor did he call to explain what happened or come to church on his own. And funny, the calls stopped, as well. Umm hmm…anyone else smell jive turkey?

OHHH… and going back to the firm-plans call, after Ginger declined, homeboy emphatically stressed he had taken that Friday off and assured her he could still meet her. We can’t say what was on his mind, but I wonder if he had a bag packed thinking he’d be spending the weekend with his sandal dangling off his toe..who knows? LOL!!!

So while Ginger was a little miffed that Tyrone was still up to his old tricks and how she almost fell for them, she realized she followed the voice of the Lord and stayed in His divine will for her. That’s a blessing!!

Bottom line: temptations will come, but the Lord provides a way of escape
(I Corinthians 10:13) to those who choose the use the hatch!

Be blessed family!

Blen

Pic courtesy of: http://www.joystickdivision.com/2008/11/happy_thanksgiving_from_joysti.php