Love notes…

Hey there BCU Fam,

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 having a conversation with my bestie  Kenya about life and some of the trials we have to endure as soldiers of Christ—especially our battles with PEOPLE! It’s actually the spirit of iniquity that works through people, but nonetheless, it can be challenging to maintain your salvation to the standard that God has called us to, right? (Ask me how I know!) Yet, if Jesus dwells down on the inside of us, it is a requirement to follow the pattern of Christ in all our interactions. And the pattern starts and ends with one word, BCU Fam.

Love.

Jesus said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40). Love is not just a conditional, sometimey feeling–it is a sacrificial lifestyle that Jesus modeled by dying for our sins, as well as leaving us His Word as a blueprint for us to follow. I recently did a “love study” and in re-reading my notes, with the help of God, I know I need ensure my love-meter is in high gear on a consistent basis. Let’s take a look at what agape love is and/or does based on I Corinthians 13.

Love…..

1) Suffers long—The word longsuffering in the Bible is made up of two Greek words meaning “long” and “temper”; literally, “long-tempered.” A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate in anger or punish, but is patient.

2)Is kindMeaning a kind love shows tenderness or goodness; doing good or being gracious. Our We operate without harshness or cruelty in word, thought or deed.

3) Rejoices in truth: The Greek word for truth is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” This means that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing obscured. Love rejoices in what is right and good, rather than hiding things.

4) Bears all things: This comes from the Greek word, “stego” meaning to cover, as in a roof, or a covering that offers protection from the elements. In a commentary from W. E. Vine, he explained that a stego or covering either supports what is placed upon it, or covers what is placed underneath it.

For example, a love that bears all things would cover/protect an individual by prayerfully approaching/talking/counseling them in a private setting. And of course, following the Lord’s leading while prayerfully considering the person’s situation, circumstances and reply throughout and after the conversation. The opposite of covering and protecting would be to berate or belittle the person, expose the situation publicly, and/or to other people unnecessarily.

5) Believes all things:
The word believes is actually the word “pisteuei,” which is the Greek word meaning to put one’s faith or trust in something or someone.  Of course, we need to trust God first and above any and everyone and remember the arms of flesh (people) will ultimately fail. (See Jeremiah 17:5). Matthew 18 reminds us that offenses will come. James 3 reminds us that we will offend many. In other words, this flesh we reside in is bound to mess up sometime! In this life, there will be challenges and situations to contend with, but we with the help and hope of the Lord, we are believing for the best in a person. To this end, believing all things means we overlook and forgive offenses quickly.

6) Hopes all things

The Greek word for hopes the word “elpidzo”, which means to anticipate and expect  good things from someone. Even if things look bleak, we won’t be negative or critical, rather we will continue praying and encouraging the person until we see the change come. And many times, if the change does not happen in the person straightaway, our heart, attitude and mind toward the situation or person often changes. Either way,  the love of hope is fulfilled.

7) Endures all things:The word endures is the Greek word “hupomeno” a compound word meaning under and abide.  In challenging situations, it can be tempting to “gather up all your toys and go home”— aka run away! And sometimes we do—not physically, but sometimes mentally, emotionally and even spiritually, we retreat and give up. The thought here is that while the love is under a load, it will not take off or give up in defeat, but rather will stick and stay through thick and thin. 

WHEW, BCU Fam—I have to admit, looking at love through the lens of how Christ expects us to love is a spiritual gut check for me. Of course, there are situations where it may be best to end the relationship (i.e. abusiveness), but by and large, our love should contain all seven of these elements.

So what are your thoughts on the love notes presented here today? Are any of these love elements a struggle? Is it easy to love? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below this post!

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!

 

How does your love sound?

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 informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • As of this posting, we are doing a love series on the BCU Periscope channel. I felt led to share a few thoughts on what God taught us about this first-fruit according to 1 Corinthians 13.
  • We often learn about love through what we see and experience, versus studying the Word of God.
  • God has specifically outlined how we are to love EVERYONE.
  • Our love should never be “sometimey”, obligatory, noisy or hollow.
  • There is no Scripture that supports love merit or fluctuation.
  • Showing agape love is not always easy, but is required part of our walk with Christ.

Scripture references:

Matthew 5:43-58

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I Corinthians 13:1-2

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.



So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What resonated with you about love?  How do you keep the love flowing consistently? Is it a challenge? I know the Lord showed me some areas I have to do better in. What about you?  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

How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…

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, “Love Day” or Valentine’s Day is around the corner–and yes, there is some debate for some Christians around celebrating the day–and others who choose to celebrate the person they love period. Either way, for some singles it can be a tough with the hearts, flowers, candy and plans. And that sometimes brings a loneliness that, in turn, if not given to God, can effect your spirit.

Last year, I wrote a post on some things to do that you can find here. I was thinking to do the same this year, but the Lord led me to write something about Him that would bless the singles, and the BCU Family at large on February 14th and all year round.

You loved me first.

You wonderfully made me.

You were born for me.

You lived for me.

You were punished for me.

You died for me.

You rose for me.

You chose me.

You redeemed me.

You saved me.

You live in me.

You forgive me.

You heal me.

You correct me.

You are the reason I exist.

You provide for me.

You protect me.

You feed me.

You clothe me.

You instruct me.

You defend me.

Merciful,  gracious, slow to anger, patient, restorer of my soul, full of compassion, long-suffering, The Way, The Truth, The Life.

Abundant life giver, tear-drier, Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

Faithful, lover of my soul, heart fixer, mind-regulator, promise-keeper, victory-giver, lifter of my head.

My rock, my sword, my shield, my fortress, prayer-answerer, sustainer, shelter, strong-tower, refuge, avenger.

Strength renewer, present help in trouble, my salvation, great and greatly to be praised. Preserver, healer, my hope, wisdom-dispenser, understanding-giver, knowledge base, instructor in my night seasons.

My light, my salvation, the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid? Leader, guider into all truth. Comforter, King of Glory, strong and mighty in battle, good and upright, my Shepherd, so I shall NOT want  for anything.

Table preparer, Bread of life, holy and righteous, my strength like no other, my God, my bucker the form of my salvation and high tower–so worthy to be praised.

Saving strength of His anointed, center of my joy, my house of defense, nigh to the broken-hearted, saver of the contrite spirit, deliverer from all my troubles.

Cleaner of hearts, renews a right spirit within me, iniquity blotter– oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed are they that that put their trust in Him!

No greater love will ever exist in this life than the love You, Jesus, have for me. When NOTHING else would help, Your love lifted me.

Jesus, You loved me first. You love me best. You love me always.

And just for Who are are, Jesus I love You.

BCU Fam, when I think of all of who Jesus is to me, it just deepens my love and commitment to Him. I know that even the most settled in Christ singles can occasionally get that pang of loneliness—that’s normal! Use that as a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together!

What are some ways YOU or your single friends work through the Love Day or any day loneliness? Are you married? coupled? What advice do you have to share? Please drop a line in the comments section below so we can 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 , 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

“My haters are my_______________.

 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 highlights and corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • Many of us often speak of “haters” with disdain and SAY we use them to fuel us.
  • Jesus warned us haters would be among us and how we should treat them.
  • Those instructions also include what really should fuel us—and why.

Scripture text

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

BCU Fam, while many of us mean no harm when repeating these phrases, we should really examine what they mean against the Word of God. Yes, it’s that serious. As people of God, we really want our speech to reflect what God says, versus the popular catchphrases the world comes up with the justify mistreating someone or using their haters  to propel you success. That’s actually pride–and that has NO place in a believers heart, mind, or mouth. God saw the person and what they did/said to you and since He did not choose to intervene, there is a reason why it happened and a lesson we need to take away. Let’s focus on the lesson and it’s application, rather than exacting verbal  revenge on the offender. Amen? Amen!

Tell me—what do you think about the hater/motivator phrase now? How easy is it for you to apply Matthew 5:43-48?  Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can 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 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

Single on Valentine’s Day? Stop here!

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 podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

So singles, it’s that time of year again where everything is hearts, flowers, candy and couples. Depending on where you are in your single comfort zone, this “holiday” can either be depressing (who wants that?) or a blessing (I’m thinking yes on this)!

Let’s start off by listing (in random order) some things you CAN do as a single on Valentine’s Day:

  1. Treat yourself to a pedicure, manicure, facial or massage!

  2. Order really good take out from your favorite restaurant or a place you’ve wanted to try. Short on cash? Make it lunch, a fancy coffee drink, or a yummy dessert.

  3. Try a making a new recipe. Share it with a single friend.

  4. *After checking your budget, buy yourself something nice. Maybe a scarf, hat, smell-good or bath salt or a notebook, scrapbook, a new Bible, or a  good book to read.

  5. Invest the money you’d spend on a gift for yourself and buy a few shares of stock (this is a long term investment–expects ups and downs).

  6. Do that research on something you’ve been meaning/wanting to do, learn or try. YouTube has thousands of videos for the dormant do-it-yourselfer in all of us.

  7. Start a blog.

  8. Start following a blog. (Bloggers LOVE followers–especially those who comment (hint, hint).

  9. I love podcasts because I can listen while cleaning, shopping or commuting. Search out a podcaster that will challenge you, support cranium expansion or encourage your heart.

  10. Babysit for a single/couple who may want to go out, or just need a break.

  11. Take the day off and do a whole lot of NOTHING!

  12. Binge watch your favorite YouTubers, classic TV shows or catch-up on blog subscriptions.

  13. Travel/take a day trip. Yes, alone.

  14. Visit the hospital/or provide eldercare relieve a care-giver.

  15. Spend the time in prayer, intercession for other couples/singles and reflection.

  16. Make a list of all the things that God has done for you.

  17. Have kiddos? Make it a family game/movie evening at home. Or invite other singles with kids to go to a Dave and Buster’s or a Monkey Joe’s. (you’re likely to have the place to yourselves).

  18. Have a dinner-party with some of your single friends.

  19. Catch-up with a childhood friend/family member via telephone, Skype/Facetime or in person.

  20. Be a blessing to someone else. Buy someone else a coffee, dinner, groceries or flowers. Seek God on how to be a blessing to someone else.

*As a disclaimer, I know that material things don’t bring you happiness or help with the loneliness, heartache, and occasional pain of not having a loved one–I get that. Only Christ’s perfect love can ease the pain of a lonely heart. In order for that to happen, we need to ask Him to help us as we yield to contentment in this season of our lives. In fact,  Paul told the Philippians “…for I have learned, in whatever state I am in to be content” (Philippians  4:11). Now being content can be a process and that process sometimes takes more time than it should, in part, because we don’t want to do things God’s way–which means we may need to wait. A long time. A long, long time. Waiting doesn’t mean being idle or waiting to start to do something until “the one” comes by.

The single season is a good time to get with the Lord to get clarity on our gifts, talents, assignments and tasks—and get more/productive with what God has called us to do. Working on what God has for you keeps you satiated and kills that loneliness, heartache and pain, thereby getting you to that place of contentment Paul speaks of.  Ask me how I know. 🙂

Single BCU Family, even as you are walking in your purpose, there will be days/times where a pang of loneliness comes up–that’s normal and a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together! Before you know it, the spouse God promised you (if He has done so), will appear and you’ll be settled into who you are in Christ, along with being whole and complete and content. This makes for attracting a whole, complete and content individual, whom you can walk out the rest of your lives in doing God’s will AND be ready for Jesus when He comes back for us! This single season is not in vain, BCU Fam! God has a perfect purpose and it’s being worked out!

Until then and even after the spouse comes, Jesus should always and forever be our first, true and best love. Period. Amen? Amen!

What are some ways YOU work through Love Day? Please drop a line in the comments section below so we can 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 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