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

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

#RealTalk-When you have NO strength to complete your assignment..

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!

I trust our Nehemiah study has been a blessing and a call to action for you–it has been for me!  Last time, we started digging into Nehemiah chapter 4, and left off with where Sanballat and his posse were threatening the work on the wall, but Nehemiah set up a watch and prayed, so the work would go on.  Now, though, Nehemiah faces more challenges with his own work crew! Let’s dig right in!

v10And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

What the Lord pointed out to me here was Judah saying “the strength of THE bearers of burdens”. Notice in chapter 3, Nehemiah took the time to NAME the individual builders, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so.  Here it says THE bearers of burdens--in other words, the strength of ALL the workers, the priests, merchants, Tekoites, sons of so-and-so was decayed.  Initially, everyone was willing to work even in the midst of the earlier threats. Now for some reason, the crew started to notice all the work ahead of them and things started to look impossible. Can you relate to that?

Anytime you are into an assignment, especially the middle and end, you start to get tired.
The result? You are NOW fearful, cowering, stressed, thinking this is too much of a trial, too much work, too dangerous, too difficult, you play the song over and over (notice how the enemy gave you the track free of charge) and you start think it, say it, act it and SPREAD it! So now ALL the workers are infected with this poison called fear!

It happens all the time! In the news, the police force, the Zika virus, the shortage of food, the contamination of chicken parts, the plastic we consume in a burger, the pesticides you get, is it organic or not? What is this President going to do? Will I lose my job? What if? Fear will have you DO NOTHING, GAIN NOTHING, and GET NOTHING! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a power, love, power and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7). GLORY to God!

Back to Nehemiah–on top of these threats, bluffs, ridicule and tiredness, here comes another attack!

v11And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come in the midst among them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease.

They learned the enemy is planning a sneak attack to wipe them out–and THEN the wall will cease. Obviously the enemy was VERY threatened by what was going on, otherwise, he wouldn’t be plotting so hard. Did you catch that BCU Family?

v 12And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, from all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you.

Now the Jews who neighbored by the wall project heard what the adversaries were planning, and told Nehemiah and the crew all about it. At first, I thought about them being lazy and not helping, BUT God had a purpose for them being in place to report back to Nehemiah. This teaches us that sometimes God has people on the wall to watch and warn.

Think about the assignments God has called you to. What have we abandoned because we felt weary? Fearful? It was too much work? Who threatened you? Ridiculed you? Told you so and so was out to stop you? Why did you let it stop you? While threats and ridicule is real and HURTS, it does not negate is from staying on the wall. God gave us the assignment and we must complete it with His help!

We may need to come down and get healed up, but the work should not cease. John 9:4 says: I must works the works of Him that sent me while it is day. The night comes when no man can work. Get your work done NOW while it is day and you are able. Once our night comes (death) we cease from working and we want to be sure we are caught up with the Lord in the rapture–or if we die ahead of that, we hear well done, thou good and faithful servant. We can’t walk off the job now, Family!!!  Now, let’s take a look at what Nehemiah did about the workers concerns.

v13Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

Notice how he took their concerns seriously and acted on them. He didn’t tell them, “oh just trust God and keep working!” He set up a WATCH. He organized them with weapons and then was able to speak encouraging words to their hearts.

v14And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

He reminded them of God’s word, as well as who they were fighting for. Notice how Nehemiah’s faith was backed up by works. Faith without works is DEAD (James 2:17).

Is what we have worth fighting for? Is what God gave us, put in our hearts to do, the task, the assignment, the talent, the gift, the marriage HE ordained, the relationship HE blessed you with, the family member, the friend, even the STRANGER you are witnessing to worth fighting/staying on the wall/staying on duty for?  YES!!!!!

v15And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.

Nehemiah’s crew kept working and the enemy stopped. Sanballat and his team KNEW they were defeated. The enemy KNOWS he is defeated and we do as well. It’s a fixed fight, BCU Fam! We are not to just lay down and give the enemy the victory claiming he stole it! We watch and pray (Nehemiah 4:9), we fight in the spirit RATHER than the flesh and we stay in our full armour (Ephesians 6:10-18).

We ALL get tired in the battle, myself included! In addition to the above Scriptures to encourages us, we can also wait on the Lord to renew our strength, so that we will mount of with wings of an eagle, run and not be weary, and walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).  Amen? Amen!

Well, BCU family we have to get ready to wrap things up, but Nehemiah has plenty more challenges for us to explore and apply to our lives in the remainder of chapter 4, so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, there are additional podcasts for you to enjoy–you are welcome to peruse the BlenCouragesU.com site 24-7!  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.

Before you go, please comment below and tell us what are your favorite Scriptures to encourage you?

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

 

 

A Stew, a Stew! My Kingdom for a Stew!

LOVE this! WELL SPOKEN! Read this and be blessed, BCU Family!

Reflections in The WORD

And Jacob [cooked stew]: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: and Esau said to Jacob, “Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [stew]; for I am faint”…
And Jacob said, “Sell me this day thy birthright.”
And Esau said, “Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?”
And Jacob said, “Swear to me this day”; and he [swore] unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and [stew] of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”
~ Genesis 25:29-34

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

The Birthright was the privilege to be the one through which God would enact/deliver the promise He had made to Abraham to establish a holy nation/people. As the firstborn son, Esau was to inherit The Birthright…

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Attention passengers: Can of ugly opened in seat 4c..

A previous post of mine talked about forgiving people who have wronged us, and believe me, I had to and continue to try and be the first partaker of the fruit! When I wrote the post, I was thinking of people close to us like family and friends. The forgiving and attitude check must extend to the “stranger” as well.

Last year, I had to take a trip for work, so I skipped on to the airport, stowed my carry-on bag and took my seat. An older lady boarded after me with her roller board bag, looking for an empty spot in the overhead to stow it. She opened up the area where my bag happened to be and took it out. I see people do this all the time, to shift and make room for all the bags, so no big deal right? WRONG!

“Miss Lady” proceeded to stow her bag, and leave mine in the floor, and take her set behind me, claiming my bag was in her spot!! HELLO????!!!!!!!!!! The seated passengers looked at me in horror, while I blinked in disbelief and scrambled to make an audible sentence. I think I said something like, “I wasn’t aware this was kindergarten where we had assigned spaces, ” to whit another passenger told her, “that isn’t the way things worked”. At that point without realizing it, I actually started praying aloud and asked the Lord to help me to deal with the situation. I thought about the scene that could have ensued had I yelled at her–I’d probably be the one escorted off the plane!

The Lord heard my cry and some of the other passengers aided me to help find a place for my bag and even offered to help me get it after we landed. I looked at her a few times to get a read on her face, but she wouldn’t really look my way. God bless her.

I don’t know what was going on in her head to exhibit such crazed behavior, but let me tell you, the grace of God surrounded my mouth and actions, and to Him I am grateful. I am not confrontational anyway, so getting in someones face is not my style. I will say, I don’t like being mistreated, either, so suffering in silence is not always approps–I’m thinking prayer was the fastest route to the right answer.

Looking back, I know this was an attack of the enemy and the Lord must have been testing my reaction and way of handling the situation in the spirit and not in the flesh. While the Lord blessed me to get through part of the situation successfully, in retrospect, I wished I had talked with her.

When people are depressed, hurting, upset or whatever, they direct their anger at whoever is in the path. Often, we take it personally (sometimes it is personal) but mostly not. As people professing salvation, and knowing Jesus can heal, save and deliver like nothing/no one else, we have to practice letting people know that, rather than sucking out teeth in disgust or laying people out.

Titus 3:3-5 reminds us we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lust and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But after the kindness and love of God our Savior towards us appeared, not by our righteous works, but He saved us according to mercy, by His blood and Holy Ghost. That verse sobered me right up! With God’s grace, I will hide that Word in my heart, so I will dig deeper when something like that happens again.

Bottom line: People of God, when we see someone “acting up”, let’s ask the Lord what the best way is to minister to them. Whether through a quiet prayer, conversation, scripture sharing, a tract (my mom says I should have given her one :-D) or witnessing, in all we do, we want God to be glorified, His name magnified and that enemy horrified!

Love you!

Blen