The MOST impactful lesson I learned in 2018.

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:

  • 2018 was an amazing year of milestones.
  • The last week of the 2018 the Lord allowed a little “surprise” to come into my life.
  • That surprise is yet teaching a lot about rest, assignments, seasons and “no”.

 Scripture references

 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).

 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any (I Corinthians 6:12).

And He [Jesus] said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat (Mark 6:31).

 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him (James 5:14-15). 


So… what are your thoughts about resting and saying no? What are your takeaways from 2018?  How will you apply what you’ve learned to this upcoming year?   Let’s talk some more about this—head down to the comment section so we can continue our dialogue!

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

TWO lessons I learned over 2018.

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:

  • 2018 was a year full of repeat lessons.
  • Bridge burning is a military strategy–bridges were literally burned to intimidate the enemy and/or spur the soldiers to fight to the finish, since there was no way to retreat.
  • While I get the zeal and purpose for burning a bridge, when the battle is over—the  rebuild must come—and that can be a challenge.
  • Apologies do not always come before forgiveness..in fact, many times, God wants us to forgive BEFORE and in LIEU of an official apology. Just like He does for us.

 Scripture references

Brethren,  be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men (I Corinthians 14:20).

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (Proverbs 19:11).


So… what are your thoughts about 2018? What are your takeaways from this year? How will you apply what you’ve learned to this upcoming year?   Let’s talk some more about this—head down to the comment section so we can continue our dialogue. Next time we’re together, we’ll plan to talk a couple of more things I walked away with.

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

2016 Loopback: Applying “The Golden Rule.”

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 the post.



HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We praise God for the blessing of new mercies that are renewed daily and how those days brought us to 2017!  We pray God’s blessings for you now and in the days to come for a blessed and spiritually-enriched 2017.

So in our last post, I promised we’d do a reflection/count down type post and I’d like to make good on my word. As we go from December to January, we tend to think everything from the previous year “goes away”. It doesn’t. Whatever we went through, challenge or triumph, there are LESSONS God taught, and in the spirit of being a doer of the word (James 1), we need to recall those lessons in order to sustain us in the battles and walk us to victory. So this month, we’ll focus on a lesson learned in 2016, so we can apply it going forward. Let’s start with what the world calls “The Golden Rule”. I’ll call it what it is–the Word of God and it comes from Luke 6:31.

 “And as you would want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” 

That’s easy to read and to do when we are being treated properly, but does that verse get trampled when we are not being treated well?

Case in point: With the help of God, whenever I have to contact a customer service rep, or it’s my turn to be waited on at the store, typically, I greet the person with a smile, how are you, et cetera. I understand it’s not easy dealing with the public all day, rude customers, shortages in inventory, people calling out–those things can effect your day, so I like to be the customer that brings some pleasantness, you know? And I thank God for that attitude—-that’s all Him. The thing is,  I EXPECT pleasantness back. Most of the time, I get wonderful pleasantness in return,  BUT there are many times that I do not.

The dry “hi”. The face like “why are you talking to me?” The non-responsive associate. The “yep”. My things being put in the bag haphazardly. Talking to their neighbor while cashing me out. Over talking me. Not answering my questions. Answering with an “I don’t know” (and won’t look unless you ask).  The putting down of a pen or change on the counter instead of in my hand! The list goes on!

The thoughts that run through my head as I seethe go something like this: “After the hard-earned money I’m plunking down?” “SERIOUSLY?!” “I don’t know who she THINKS she’s talking to in that tone!” “Why is he not answering?” “Did I NOT just greet YOU nicely?” I should put it back.” “I need to get the manager.” “What is your issue?”  And then, I want to respond in the same sharp tone, give a look that says, “I’m NOT the one”, Ask, “am I bothering you?” or loudly plop the pen back down on the counter in retaliation. How many of you have played something like  this scenario in your mind? How many have done it? Yep, me, too.

While we may be justified in feeling wronged for being mistreated, what does Luke 6:31 say again? And as you would want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. In other words, our behavior must stay consistent with the Word of God that tells us to treat folks like WE would want, rather than how THEY treated us. I know this can be a tough one for the flesh, yet we need to be obedient to the Word of God. Why, you say? There are a lot of answers to that why, but let’s take a look at three reasons:

It’s taken care of: Mind you, any ill-treatment is WRONG…we know that, and more importantly God knows it. There is nothing that surprises Him, escapes His knowledge or memory. Because He is a righteous judge, He knows when, where and in what way to balance the scales.  Romans 12:19 says to avenge not ourselves, vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. He’ll handle it. We’ve got His word on it.

Mercy and compassion: Our flesh may long to see someone “get it”, but we have to remember the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18. We talked forgiveness in previous posts, but the parable, Jesus tells us about a servant who owed his leader ten thousand talents. The servant could have never paid the money back, but asked for mercy and the debt was forgiven! That same servant turned around and found one of his friends that owed him 100 pence and demanded to be paid. The friend asked for mercy and rather than granting it, servant threw the friend PRISON until the debt was paid! There is a LOT wrong here, but see how he took matters into his own hands? He could not WAIT for his friend to “get it!”.

Well, word got back to the servant’s lord about what happened and servant was called out on his lack of pity and compassion —and then he was delivered to the tormentors till the debt was paid. Remember, though, that debt was IMPOSSIBLE to pay back. Jesus ends the parable with these words: So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if you do not forgive not from your heart, everyone his brother their tresspasses (Matthew 18:35). In other words, we do COUNTLESS things to offend God yet He has compassion, mercy and forgiveness on us. Imagine if He punished us the moment and every time we messed up? Man, I’d be delivered to the tormentors just like that servant! So looking at it that way, we need to exercise compassion, mercy and forgiveness as well. If we ask Him to help us, He will.

Confront as directed: In the event an incident needs to be escalated, or the Lord is leading you to confront the issue, it can be done in a way that gets the situation resolved, God is glorified and you don’t lose your cool or your witness. Nehemiah had to confront leaders who were wrongly taking advantage of their brethren. After calming down and thinking it over, Nehemiah rebuked the leaders, called them to a meeting and explained why the leaders were acting irresponsibly. Nehemiah 5:8 says..and they held their peace and found nothing to answer.  In fact, the leaders gave back what they took and praised God afterward! (More about Nehemiah 5 in an upcoming podcast). The thing is, Nehemiah handled the situation the way God wanted Him to and he was successful! If we do things God’s way, we will always be victorious! His ways are perfect! (Psalms 18:30).

BCU family, that was a tough one..I “wrassle” with getting in my feelings more often than I would like to! When we think about it, that need to want to “clapback” is a form of pride–the pride of life to be exact–and that deadly pride comes from the world, rather than  Father  (1 John 2:16).

The world and our flesh tells that we need to retaliate in tongue and deed so that person knows not to mess with us or will think twice about how they treat people. In essence it likely embarrasses the person, may enrage them to negatively respond to you, you retaliate again, so now,  it becomes a duel!

That exchange  may provide entertainment for the onlookers and temporary satisfaction for the flesh, but as that adrenaline wears off, you will have ruined your witness for Christ. And will have to reap the consequences of deliberately walking outside the Word of God. Is it worth it? Nay, I say. With the help of the Lord, let’s ask God to bless us to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. because the wrath of man does NOT work the righteousness. of God. (James 1:19-20). Amen? Amen!


Our question of the week is:

What area(s) of your life will you apply Luke 6:31 to? Please leave a comment below!


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! 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 you, keep you and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

Out and in: A prayer for a time such as this.

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

We are less than 24 hours from 2017 (depending on when you’ve tuned in) and you all know that means countdowns, lessons, look-backs and promises. Now we here at BCU will partake in the some of those things (minus the promises) in an upcoming post/podcast, but for this post, I felt led to simply pray. Yes pray.

While we may not like to think about it, with all that is happening in the world, we can see that the coming of the Lord is imminent and we must be prepared to go back with Him, if He does not come for us in death first. The cares of this life, the people we have to deal with on the regular, job stress, family challenges, health crises, the change in administration, uncertainty about what’s next, who’s next, who’s got next–can distract us to a point where our stays focus off Jesus and what He has called us to do. We’re angry, miserable, tired, unmotivated, slipping into bad/ungodly habits and find it hard to hear God’s voice or even trust Him again. Dangerous. And exactly what the enemy wants.

With the help of the Lord and His leading, we’ll plan to tackle some of those areas in 2017 in some form or another–until then, let’s boldly go to the throne of grace where we can always go to obtain help in the time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Let us pray.

Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we bow before you to say “thank You”. You are SO awesome, wonderful, amazing, gracious, merciful, faithful and ever so kind. We thank You for the new mercies we see renewed daily and for the benefits that you load us with–forgiving, healing, redeeming and satisfying our mouths with GOOD things, as Psalm 103 reminds us.

We will honestly tell you, Lord (You already know anyway), that for many of us, this year was a trying one. Some of us lost loved ones, friends, jobs, went through with spouses , family members and children, faced illnesses/treatments or had to caregive–all along with the other assignments and obligations You entrusted us with. It did get difficult from time to time–we cried, questioned, got angry, gave up for a bit, but because of YOUR better-than-life lovingkindness, Your grace, Your tender mercy, YOUR grace, YOUR faithfulness to Your flock, You blessed us–Your children to make it through and we say “thank You!”

We thank You for blessing us with the lessons from 2016 and pray that if You will and we enter into 2017, that You continue to bless with to APPLY what You have/are teaching us to our everyday lives. Please bless us to be on high alert for ministry opportunities to all we come in contact with, for we may just be the planter or waterer before YOU give the increase. Please help us to take our assignments in the Body seriously, diligently and to Your glory. Help us to be a blessing to those in and outside of the body of Christ. Bless us, Lord to hear and follow YOUR voice–and not to practice sinning in any fashion, as we endeavor to be that light set on a hill.

We pray for leaders everywhere–in government, first responders, leaders on our jobs, in the Body of Christ, in our homes–wherever they may be, please guide their thoughts and actions. Bless them to make wise decisions that glorify You, for it is written in Proverbs 21:1, that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord and like the rivers of water, you turn it wherever YOU want. And if the decisions made are not favorable, we trust that You will take good care of us, because Luke 12:22-31 reminds us to take NO thought about what we need–if You supply for the birds and clothe the grass, You will supply for us, as we seek your kingdom.

Please bless our families, friends and yes, our enemies! Strengthen the single parents and caregivers. Remember those are are incarcerated, along with their families. Comfort the grieving. Speak to someone’s suicidal heart and help them to realize this life is worth living–that they need You, Jesus. We ask that You send healing to broken hearts, that You regulate minds, heal bodies, reconcile ordained relationships, break up toxic situations-ships, send provisions, protection, assurance, conviction, repentance and most of all SAVE souls according to Acts 2:38! Glory!!!

Thank you for blessing us to continue on the straight and narrow way, making our call and election sure, teaching us to number our days and helping us to be counted worthy to escape. We magnify You Lord and bless you for hearing our cry and answering our prayers according to Your perfect will.

To you, Lord, be the glory, honor and praise, in the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

YESSSS!!!! This is the way to start a year, month, day, hour, assignment, task, situation, or challenge. IN PRAYER! And we just don’t pray, we pray FERVENTLY and  in FAITH!!! Hallelujah!

We’re looking forward to the things God has in store for the days ahead and want to share that with you, so please pray and stay tuned! And if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so, it’s free and a good place to get 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 iTunes.

Well let’s go ahead and wrap up our last post of the year! May God bless and keep us all to #StayOnTheWall!

Happy 2017!🎊🙏🏽

 

Love,

 

BCU

The most wonderful time of the year?

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 many of us prepare celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and The New Year with family, friends, serving others, or what have you, let’s ask the Lord to help us to watch as well as pray for all those we come in contact with.  Let me tell you why.

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. 😦

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 or maybe you do 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!

If you happen to be listening/reading and feeling out of sorts or know someone who is and would like to speak with us, you can reach out to us here: Blen@BlenCouragesU.com  or call 845-768-3349.

You can also get encouragement on the daily by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! You can also maintain your encouragement by listening in and subscribing to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes.

 

We love dialogue here! Before you go, please leave us an encouraging comment for someone who may need it.

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

 

Love,

 

BCU