God’s lessons from 2015 (Part 1 of 2).

Happy 2016 everyone!!!

Surprise!!! We’re trying something a little different with audio this year! So below, you’ll see a link where you can listen and yes, you can still read as well!   Enjoy and PLEASE let me know what we can do differently and how you like it! Thanks and God bless you this year and ALWAYS! 

You all know how it is at the end of one year and going into the next one, there are lists compiled about all types of subject matter, and here at BlenCouragesU we are NO exception! 🙂 What I’d like to share with you are five (5) BIG lessons the Lord taught me in 2015. I’m trusting that these will bless you as well. I’ll get into the detail, but the topics are as follows:

  1. Promises, promises
  2. Appearances can be deceiving
  3. Happy Holidays?
  4. Think outside the circle
  5. Say what?

Let’s get started!

Promises, promises:

Many of us have a habit of saying, “Let me know what you need”, “I’ll help you however I can,” “I owe you a favor”, or “I’ll be there for you”. Did you follow through on what you said without being asked? Did the person “call you” on the favor? What was your attitude about following through on your favor? Did you do it with joy? Grumble? Was it inconvenient?

Awhile back, I tried to “redeem” a favor an individual promised me and was met with an very angry tirade. *insert puzzled look*. Granted, I could have given the person more notice–I was just in a spot and needed immediate help.

While the incident is all water under the bridge, there are a couple of takeaways here. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us not to be rash with our mouths, and our hearts are not to utter anything before God in Heaven and we are on Earth–to let your words be few. Solomon also goes on to say that when you do vow, make sure you pay it–it’s better to NOT to vow than to vow and not pay (5:2-5). It is that serious.With God’s help, when we say it, we should mean it and be prepared to follow through with it. And if something does come up, we communicate it as soon as possible and be sure to take care of the promise. What if God reneged on His promises to us because he was too busy or did not feel like it? Right. We’ll get better on this with God’s grace. Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle, who shall dwell on your holy hill? …He that swears to his own hurt and does not change (Psalms 15:1 & 4b). In other words, it may be hurting you to get this done, but you are not backing down from your word.

The other situation is the angry outburst. Yes, yes, anger is an emotion God gave us–that does not absolve us from being angry responsibly. The Word reminds us to be angry, but not to sin (Ephesians 4:26). Usually the words and feelings get involved and things are said that are regretted later. Sticks and stones will break bones, but words heard do irreparable harm to someone’s heart, mind and spirit before the Lord heals them. Apologies are good and needful–they don’t always mend what could have been prevented if we had applied godly wisdom to our responses. Remember, the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:20).  Think–no pray before you speak.

 

Appearances are deceiving: 

I Samuel 16:7 about men looking at the outside, but God looks on the heart is used to justify many things God clearly speaks against. The context I’m thinking of is more along the lines of spiritual discernment vs what you see in the flesh.

I recall a group of young people I saw regularly at church with their parents and such. Y’all know that some, (not all) young people only come to church because they HAVE to and it shows on their faces! Yikes!! (We were not allowed to look any other way but pleasant, otherwise it would be a long evening after church). Anyway, this child looked like they could eat you alive without any regret! For some reason, I spoke with a family member where the young person came up in conversation–turns out the child had some very serious personal situations they were sorting though at the time. So that face was a mask for hurt and brokenness.

My aha moment? We cannot allow gestures, attitudes and facial expressions to hinder us from witnessing and ministering to others. In fact, God told Jeremiah not to be afraid of their faces for God was with him (1:8). The enemy works like that so folks can stay bound and we remain neutralized. That is NOT how any of this works. We who are Holy-Spirit filled have the power of Jesus down on the inside who gives US power over the enemy to get past that fear. Moreover, we do not allow our perception of what is wrong with that person stop us from reaching out to them–our job is to ask the Lord what is wrong, pray for them and encourage/minister to them as we are led by the Spirit. The love we show sets us apart from others. Luke 10:30-37 tells how two prominent people [priest and Levite] passed by a hurting, half-dead man and how one “regular” person [Samaritan] stopped to help.  Which person are we?

I’m going to stop here for now…this way you’ll come back! Stay tuned for part 2 of our series.

God bless you and thanks for stopping by!

 

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

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