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

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

Learning to take “no” for an answer.

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!

I was asking the Lord what to chat about this week and the Matthew 7 came up in my heart. The Lord gave me this thought awhile back and impressed upon me to share it with you as a wonderful reminder that “no” can be a beautiful thing.

Let’s take a look at Matthew 7:7-11

v7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
v8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
v9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
v10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
v11 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?

While we should ask, seek and knock, focusing on verses 9 & 10, we have to ask God to help us discern if what we are asking, seeking and knocking for is not a stone or serpent. In our limited wisdom and knowledge, we see and desire many things! And while they may resemble bread or fish, it’s really a stone or serpent–we just can’t see it. Many times we ask, plead, beg, fast and pray for that something or someone that is NOT a good gift–and will bring us BIG trouble.

The earliest account of disobedience to God’s “no” is in Genesis 3. The highlights are the subtle serpent (hmm, see the correlation?) walked up to Eve and asked her about eating off the one tree God said NOT touch or eat from, lest they DIE. (translation: that was a clear “NO”). Naturally, the serpent  discounted what God said, talked up the fruit and it’s benefits to the point where Eve ate it and gave some to Adam. Notice God did not take away the free will of Adam or Eve–they made the decision to disobey and had to suffer the consequences of overriding God’s “no”. Same thing for us–God tells us what we are to do and we can skip His will for ours, but there will be consequences.  In the first couple’s case, the serpent (who used to walk) was cursed, now crawls on his belly and is an enemy of ours, Eve got us multiple sorrows, pain in conception and childbearing, along with husbands ruling over us, and Adam now had to work the ground in order to survive. Their consequences were passed down to us! Our decision making should be carefully considered as we do not know how we will effect our future or the futures of our families, friends and anyone we’d come in contact with!

Well, what about a situation that’s not a clear “no” in the Bible? The Word of God has us covered there as well. Turn to Joshua chapter 9. Once again, I will not read the entire Scripture, (please read it when you get a chance), but the mighty Joshua who led the people after Moses passed away and winning all these battles with God’s help, lost a big battle this time.

The Gibonites, who had heard of Joshua and what the Lord was doing through him, were afraid and wanted “asylum”. So these crafty folks, who likely lived within a few miles from Joshua, dressed in old clothes, beat up shoes, brought moldy bread, old wineskins, saddled up and came to Joshua pretending to be ambassadors from a far country,  who needed protection–in fact they insisted that Joshua went into a league or peace treaty with these them. While Joshua inquired some more (obviously he was not sure he believed them–that was likely the Lord saying “no”),  he eventually made a peace treaty with these slick enemies! Joshua 9:14(b) says “…and [they] asked NOT counsel at the mouth of the Lord”.

The point here is we need to seek counsel from God on that thing that looks good or seems harmless–and be prepared to take “no” for an answer. Is it easy or pleasant to hear “no?” Do we like our requests to be denied? Do we skip away with glee after a “no”, especially when it’s something you really want–that ministry, job, car, house, opportunity, person? While it may hurt now, in many cases, we will see up the road that God protected us from being stoned or bitten. As we look back over our lives, how many of us can tell the Lord thank you for the “no”? I know I can! GLORYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

As we prepare to wrap up, going back to Matthew 7, please understand that we SHOULD ask, so it will be given, seek so we can find, and knock, so it shall be opened–no doubt there! Just know that if what we are seeking, asking or knocking for what is not a good gift, we accept that with His grace. We do not want to keep asking for that opportunity disguised as a stone, that job that’s more like a serpent, right?  Remember in Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, that if we, being evil (fallible folks striving for perfection), know to give good gifts to our children (you would not give a six-year-old your car keys or let your pre-teen only eat goodies and sweets) then how much MORE shall your Father (who made everything, all of us, knows the end from the beginning, what the best plan is for our lives) which is in Heaven  give GOOD things to them that ask Him? Let’s trust God and wait on the good stuff, BCU Family! What do you think? We want to hear from you!

Thank you SO much for tuning in! Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  And PLEASE subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio and iTunes. You’ve already done that? Then tell someone you love AND your enemy–I’m trusting they will soon become your friend! 🙂

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

Love,

BCU

Of bread, stones, fish and serpents…

Hey family,

A couple of my young people/nieces got on me about not having posted an entry in a while, so I took my spanking 😀 (thanks Portia and Wanda) and got to typing! I was talking to the Lord one day and He brought the familiar Scripture of Matthew 7:7-11.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV)

Usually we focus on the “good part” where we are “given,” “find” and “doors opened”. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the good part, too! The Lord had me look at the part of the Scripture that speaks on bread, stones, fish and serpents. Allow me to explain.

When we ask God for things, sometimes, while we have the best of intentions, it may be the wrong thing—it’s just not good for us–i.e. stone or serpent “gifts”. Because of our finite minds and limited understanding, we often get upset when we do not get what we ask for. I won’t lie and say it’s pleasant to hear “no”, it’s really for our good when God delays or denies our request.

Rather than stewing in the “no”, we have to ask God to help us realize the way He answered our request equates to fish or bread. Think about it—fish and bread are life-sustaining, nutritious, nourishing, tasty and just plain good for you, even if you do not like it.  On the other hand, a stone or a serpent can hurt, maim or even kill you—NOTHING good is coming from those things at all!  The other thing to remember is to ask God to take away our DESIRE for stones and serpents. Are you wondering what I mean? Glad you asked!

Who wants this?! Not me!

Going back to how we handle the “no”, when we don’t get what we want, we’ll pout, cry, get upset with God, stop giving, witnessing or maybe—go outside the will of God to get it.  It may not be malicious or intentional—we just want things our way and that leads us away from the bread and fish and towards the serpents and stones–not a good look or feel! Why is it that we gravitate toward the things that are NOT good for us?!  Say it with me, ya’ll: (in Jesus name), “no more serpents, no more stones, fish and bread forevermore!” Ok, I know my rhyme is corny, but you get the point, right?

Bottom line: There are so many good, no better things God has for us—we just have to have the desire for the good and trust that God loves us and always provides best gifts for us (even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time).

I hope this blessed you family! Stay in the will of God!

Love,

Blen

 

Pic courtesy of: http://blueimagegallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Black-Snake-31.jpg&w=800&h=627&ei=7UssUNyMCcXb6gHg6oBw&zoom=1