When the storm comes: peace or panic?

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:

  • No matter where we live in the world, at some point we will experience a storm (i.e. rain, snow, wind..)
  • Depending on the type of storm and our preparedness or attitude about it–they can produce a feeling of peace or rest. OR they can invoke waves of emotions such as anxiety, worry, fear or nervousness.
  • Similarly, at some point/points in our lives, we will experience a/storm/s. And we either rest in the peace of God, or be tormented in our minds with anxiety.
  • Even in the stormiest and scariest storms in our lives, Jesus is with us and wants us to have His peace.

Scripture references:

Mark 4:35-41

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.

36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.

37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.       (1 Peter 5:10).

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 b).



So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What is your go-to behavior when the storm clouds rise and the ship is full of water? Do you immediately go to fretting? Or take the storm to our mighty God? A bit of both? 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

Petty Christians?

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:

    • A talk show host made a disparaging comment about a respected gospel group.
    • Social media was flooded with rebukes–some mean and personal in nature.
    • A call was made for “petty Christians” to join into the conversation.
    • Webster’s dictionary defines “petty” as having undue an concern about trivial matters, especially in a spiteful way.
    • Petty is another word for “busybody”, which is cautioned against in the Scriptures.
    • Pettiness is not a badge of honor, rather something to be reproached.

Scripture references

Luke 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters (1 Peter 4:15).

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business… (I Thessalonians 4:11).

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm (Proverbs 3:30).

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears (Proverbs 26:17).

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17-18).


What are your thoughts on the “petty movement” sweeping our Christian hearts and minds? The comment section is below–let’s continue the 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

Let God arise (and His enemies be scattered)!

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 the post! 

For the past few posts, we’ve been talking about betrayal, confrontation, offenses and forgiveness. Part of the conversations we’ve been having were our responses around being confronted or confronting someone–many of us will “fight” (defend yourself verbally) or take flight (shut down or run away). Let’s talk about the latter in terms of trials.

In this life, we will have troubles–Jesus let us know that (John 16:33). He also let us know that He will be with us through every minute of the trouble all according to His perfect will (See Hebrews 13:5).  And part of that perfect will is to help drive us straight to Jesus to pray for guidance, comfort, strength, lessons and sometimes, to remove the source of the trouble. The issue is, when a trial comes that gets progressively difficult  or stays too long (in our minds anyway), rather than go to Christ, many of us run away from God and opt to leaning to our own understanding on how to move the situation along ourselves.

Big mistake.

We really should be running TOWARD God and His Word for how to handle the situation. Here’s my story:

My middle and junior high years was a time I was trying to figure myself out—I was a MESS! Thanks to someone’s prayers, I got it together (well, as much as I could with God’s grace), and was excited to start high school afresh.

Until I got there.

There was a group of four or five girls, a couple of then I knew the neighborhood, along with some upperclassmen, who took great pleasure in verbally bullying me whenever they got the chance. While I don’t recall all of the horrible incidents they inflicted, one in particular stands out to me.

To get to one of my assigned classes, I had to pass down a hallway past this particular classroom–the teacher left the door open for some reason.  Every time I passed that classroom, a few of the bully-girls would see me and yell out the most hurtful, ugly,  vile things to me–in the hearing of their classmates and anyone in the hallway with me at the time.  I don’t know what hurt worse–the remarks, or the embarrassment I felt being the target of their cruelty while others looked on. I’m sure I tried every possible way to get past them, avoid, ignore or even go down that hallway late, but somehow, they seemed to know when I was coming and made sure I had my daily tormenting.

Somehow, the Lord gave me the presence of mind to go to Him for the situation and in doing that, He gave me Psalm 3. Please read this powerful passage of Scripture aloud.

1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

BCU Fam, I was unsaved at that time, but that word gave me hope. I read it everyday before school and even had it memorized. Then one day, the jeers slowed down. After a while, I noticed the remarks stopped coming from that classroom.  As more time progressed, I noticed that I had not seen the biggest bullies around school at all. Turned out that they ended up leaving the school.  To this day, I don’t know why.

What I do know? God took care of it.

And if He took care of it for me, He can do it for you.

I encourage you all to go God with every care (1 Peter 5:7), concern, issue, thought—all the “bullies” that are tormenting you. Give them all to Jesus and leave them there without going to check on the bullies. Know that God wants to and is willing to take care of your situation according to His will, His way and in His timing. Amen? Amen.

What are your thoughts about the Psalm? Have a bullying story you’d like to share? Are you encouraged by the Word? Please leave us your a comment in the section below and continue out 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

When getting disciplined feels unfair.

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!

If discipline was a part of your childhood, what were your thoughts after that lecture, being yelled at, the tears after that sore bottom, or being  grounded? I can recall commiserating with my brothers and the neighborhood kids/school mates about how “unfair” my consequences were. I walked in on a similar conversation between Jaz (8) and Peanut (7), and as I reflected on our talk about WHY they were being corrected, this podcast was born soon after! 🙂

Podcast highlights:

  • Correction is a part of the walk with Christ.
  • Proper chastening is needed to help us become more Christ-like.
  • The lesson learned and consistent application far outweighs the “pain” of the discipline.

Scripture references

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

Hebrews 12:5-13

5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6For whom the Lord loveth he chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.

7If ye endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?

8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.

11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Listen, BCU Fam, I am NOT a fan of being on the receiving end of correction, so with God’s grace I do what I can to stay OUT of trouble by following what God says, rather than willfully doing things my way, intentionally ignoring His voice, or repeating the same lesson over and over. When the discipline does come though, I thank God for it, because while it doesn’t feel good, it’s for MY good–being more Christ-like and making it to the Kingdom of Heaven! Besides, once we make it in, we will not remember a THING about what we went through to get there–we’ll just be glad TO be there, amen? Amen!

What are your thoughts about getting disciplined, BCUFam? There’s a comment section here on the BCU site, just ripe for us to 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

Be on high alert: Holiday blues

Hey Family,

As many of us prepare celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s with family, friends, serving others, or what have you, I’d like us to keep ourselves, those around us and especially those we do not know in prayer.

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. 😦

*Sigh* "The holidays are here again"...
*Sigh* “The holidays are here again”…

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, 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.

You can reach out to me at:  Blencouragesu at gmail dot com. (just type it out like you would any other email address).

God bless you for reading and taking action!

 

Love,

 

Blen