Runaway imagination..

Hey there BCU Family!

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! 

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are to lay aside every sin and weight that will beset us in this race that we are to run patiently. When we think about sin, many of us go to the “big” ones, aka lying, stealing, getting drunk–and the like. Have we stopped to consider the sin of our thoughts–our imaginations? Let’s take a pop quiz.

Scenario: You expect to connect with a loved one or good  friend. You reach out to the person and several hours goes by and they do not respond. Do you:

a. Give them the benefit of the doubt, considering they may not have had a moment to reach back. Or perhaps they may not have gotten your message.

b. Pray for their safety and for whatever may be happening that is delaying the callback.

c. Start to get worried, anxious, or enraged.

The worry is that something did happen and the person is someplace stranded or  hurt–unable to get to the phone.  Your mind starts to go into all kinds of places where the person could be–retracing possible steps, places visited, you start calling/texting over and over in an attempt to get the person to respond. Turns out the person’s phone suddenly and unexpectedly broke. They had several things to do at work and such before  they could look into getting it replaced.

The anxiety (close to worry) is more around what the person may be doing. You are thinking, they may not be hurt, just not considerate enough to return your call. So what’s so important that so and so cannot text back?  What kind of friend does that? Is he/she with another person? I noticed that they looked at each other last week when they were introduced. I THOUGHT I noticed a spark. Mom was right! (hysterical sobs).  What will I do? How will we divide everything? What about the Dittmeyer’s party? What will they think? Oh—we have to tell the kids. We should wait until after the holidays…

 The rage can come in after dwelling on the anxiety. In thinking about the person, you mentally plan how you will assault them in a verbal manner once you see them.

The nerve of them NOT calling you back. Are they upset about something? No…they just must be in of their moods–some nerve! There was a time I wasn’t feeling well and I STILL made sure I responded! Maybe we just are not the friends I thought we were. People change up very much. Just like that time with ________________. I did not do ANYTHING to them and all of the sudden we are arch enemies. Well, I do not need to put of with any of this.

When and IF they DO decide to get back to me, I plan to tell them EXACTLY how I feel. And when they say this, I will counter back with the five times they hurt my feelings. No…no..I will talk about the time I sacrificed everything to help them. And once I do, there will be apologies from them, but I will hold off accepting it for 2 days–that will teach them! And then they will BEG for my forgiveness again and I will forgive them..just deal with them out of a long-handled spoon. Or maybe silence is better. Icy silence…and when they ask me what’s wrong at the party, I’ll…

The real story? While walking back to their desk, Friend was called into an impromptu meeting by a manager about a client situation that needed immediate and complete attention that took a few hours to resolve.

Listen, our vain (worthless, idle; empty) imagination can take up places!  Strong’s concordance defines the word “imagination” (logismós) as  “bottom-line” reasoning that reflects someone’s values, i.e. how they personally assign weight in determining what they find reasonable; calculated arguments or thoughts; reaching a personal opinion, i.e. what comes out of a personal reckoning.

Notice the terms—what we find reasonable, personal opinions, personal reckoning—that translates into leaning to our own understanding which is limited, short sighted, finite and does not line up with the Word of God at all. We spend so much time in our heads debating a person or situation over and over until  we are mentally, spiritually, emotionally and sometimes physically drained.  In fact,  I am convinced that some afflictions in our bodies come from the constant deliberations that are in our minds. God knew that the adversary comes to steal, kill and destroy–and our thoughts are not off-limits. Rather than allow the entertain thoughts that come from the adversary, God has given us His word to help us.

  • Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

So if the thought does not line up with the knowledge of God (His Word) we need to “get our minds right” by countering them with the Word of God. Psalm 1 reminds us of what happens when we meditate on what God says.

  • Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  • But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
  • And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3). 

If we are worried or anxious, then we go to God in prayer, fervently asking for what we need and thanking Him for it.

  • “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Then when our minds start to wander, we change our thought patterns.

  • Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things  ‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬).

The Word of God reminds is that not only should our words be acceptable to God–our thoughts should be, too.

  • Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

BCU Fam, at some time, most of us will experience fear, worry, anxiety, stressful confrontations and what-if’s–that is perfectly normal. What God wants us to do after those thoughts and emotions come is stay focused on Him and His Word to lead, guide, protect and perfect us. Our thoughts eventually come out in our speech and actions, so if we are full of Jesus, our thoughts, speech and actions will reflect Him. Amen? Amen!

So what are your thoughts on vain imaginations, self-arguments and entertaining the worse case scenarios over and over in your mind? Is the struggle real? I know with the help of the Lord I have to be REALLY intentional about my thoughts or they can overtake my spirit in a negative way. What are your go-to Scriptures? How do you handle things? Head on over to the comments section and let’s continue the conversation!

Finally, 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

In all things…giving thanks.

Here 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:

  • A recent situation sneaked up on me and completely frustrated my spirit.
  • In the midst of that, the Lord spoke His word to my heart to calm me down.
  • The Lord ended up working out the situation quickly, efficiently UNDER  budget and on-time.
  • Giving thanks was a HUGE part of why God worked things out the way He did.

 

Scripture references:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6).

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear (Isaiah 65:24).

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (John 11:40-44).

So, BCU Fam, what do you think about out topic? Have you ever just stopped to give God praise without asking for anything? What about giving God thanks through those tough situations? Let’s chat some more about that in our comments section below!

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

Can I truly live free from worry?

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:

  • There are legitimate concerns that come up in all our lives from time to time, or even more often.
  • Dwelling on these concerns can get us to a state of consistent fret or worry.
  •  Merriam Webster defines worry as “to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat”, and then “to subject to persistent or nagging attention or effort” and “to afflict with mental distress or agitation = make anxious”. Yikes.
  • God knows that about us, so He’s given us His Word on what to do when we feel worried.
  • When we disobey what God says about not worrying, in essence we are calling Him a liar.
  • God wants us to trust that He knows everything going on with us and will take care of whatever we need in His way and timing.

Scripture references:

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Philippians 4:6-9

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


BCU Fam, let me stress that there are things we will be concerned about. The diagnosis, prognosis, the marriage, the family, relationships, the job, finance–just the state of affairs happening in life—any of that enough for anyone to sit up day and night to worry about. For those of us who know the Lord in His fullness, we have His promise that He will take care of us. We can rest on His word. Amen? Amen!

So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What is your worry level?  What do you worry about the most? Knowing what the word of God says, what will you do differently? 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

 

Motley post> How to: avoid consuming rotten fruit

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!

 

About a year ago, I posted a chart I saw  on Linked in–outlining what we tend to say to ourselves (I’m not good at this) vs. what we should say (what am I missing?) So as I looked at the post again, while the “positive affirmations” still resonated with me, the Lord spoke to my heart and mentioned the many negative things we say to ourselves can and SHOULD be overridden with the The Word of God.

Paul reminds us that we are to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). That’s important because what we think translates into words and they effect our actions. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says death and life are in the power of the tongue and you will “eat the fruit of your words”. Every self-depreciating comment, negative affirmation or put-down is like eating rotten, deadly fruit. How many of us would knowingly eat harmful food? If you’ve ever had food poisoning or ANY gastrointestinal trouble after eating a particular food or at a place, you would totally avoid it! We need to incorporate God’s Word in our thought and word choices.

Instead of thinking this…

Think on THIS

I’m no good at this! I can do ALL thing through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
They will never change! The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, and just like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wants. (Proverbs 21:1).
What did I do to deserve THIS situation? And we know that ALL things work together for good, to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Seems like they get away with doing wrong. Why do right? But you, brethern, be not weary in well-doing (I Thessalonians 3:13).
This situation will not get any better.. With God, all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
If only I had more… But godliness with contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6).
This is scary AND I’m lonely! Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am Your God who will strengthen, help and uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness (Isaiah 41:10). 
I do not feel special.. I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well (Psalm 139:14).
I will NEVER forgive. How often should you forgive? Seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).

If we don’t change the way we speak, the rotten fruit of our lips not only effects you to the point where you feel like you cannot do anything correctly, it either draws other “flies” to you (fellow bad fruit eaters–that’s another post) and/or can drive away the folks who prefer to speak life. Moreover, it is a like a slap in the face to God, who has made us and not we ourselves (Psalms 100:3).

Bottom line: If it you are reading this, it’s not too late to repent for thinking and speaking in the negative. We all say things on the left side of the list from time to time, myself included—the thing is not to continue practicing this behavior. How different would our lives be if we spoke life into ourselves, children, co-workers, et cetera? It’s best to ask God to help us line up our thoughts, words and actions with His Word and enjoy the good fruit of the spoken labor. Amen?! Amen!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If this was a blessing to you, please comment below and share it with someone–you’ll never know how the Lord may use you to encourage someone else! And if you have not done so, please like BlenCouragesU on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!  And PLEASE subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes. You’ve already done that? Then please 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!

 

God bless you and thank you for reading!

Love,

 

BCU

Series: #SpeechTherapy..it starts in the heart! (part 2)

 

Hey BCU family,

As usual, please enjoy the audio podcast (click on the icon below), the written transcript, or both! In either case, God bless you as you read, hear and apply the Word of God.

We prepped and started heart surgery last time, realizing we may harbor too many old and bad things in the heart/mind, and bad meditations get you in trouble! We saw that with the evil-thought/actioned Haman in Esther 3. We need to understand that many of the adverse thoughts the enemy brings are rooted in lust that is spoken of in I John 2:15-17, followed by some examples.

Do not love the world or anything in the world, if anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, comes NOT from the Father, but from the world. The world and the lusts pass away, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

  • lust of the eyes (Esau wanted Jacob’s stew and sold his birthright for it in Genesis 25:30-34).
  • lust of the flesh (many of us know all about David & Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11:1-4).
  • and pride of life (besides Haman in Esther 3), King Herod who gave a speech, was lauded by the people, and the angel of the Lord smote him for not giving God the glory (Acts 12:21-23).

This is a fixed fight you know, and God wants us to be victorious over our heart meditations and gives us the Word in which to do it. Let’s go back to Romans 12:1  from a previous study. I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. Verse 2 says not to be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewing (ongoing) of your mind, that you may test or prove what is that good and acceptable perfect will of God. When we offer up our bodies, that includes the heart and mind. Acceptable means welcomed, well-pleasing and favorable. And we cannot present our bodies properly if the mind/heart isn’t right. Let’s talk about the lust of the eye.

*Since eyes are the windows to the soul, this lust tied to the soul and emotions. For the most part, every lust comes from a desire that is good. There is NOTHING wrong with desiring something—God gives us the desires of our heart when we delight ourselves in Him (Psalm 37:4). We desire to work, have things, work in a ministry, to be married—those are GOOD things. Where we have to be mindful is how the enemy can pervert good desires in your heart with thoughts that are contrary to how God commands us to think speak or act.  When you start to covet, plot, scheme, start working overtime, missing church, saving your tithes and offering money, not paying your bills, all to get “things”, that’s where the lust comes in. Let’s look at 1 Kings 21:1-16.

The story is, Naboth had a vineyard that the king, Ahab wanted (or coveted) BADLY. Naboth refused and Ahab was so upset about it, he would not even eat. Queen Jezebel found out and devised a HEINOUS plot to lie on and have Naboth killed–and then told the king the vineyard was now his to have. Just.like.that. This couple did not care that an innocent man was killed, his family likely very devastated—it did not matter who they needed to step on to get what they wanted, so long as they got it.

Can this apply to us? Perhaps not to this extreme…but let’s think about it from a few angles. For my singles..wanting to get married because you “see” everyone else is in a relationship, so you go out of our way, or rather “out of God’s way” to make it happen. When you get Mr. or Ms. NotRightNow, things go great initially (that’s how the enemy does it), and then he lowers the BOOM and you have a crazoks on your hands!  Let’s ask God to keep us content with what we have, and bless us with “extra” as He sees fit.

I Timothy 6:6-8 says, but godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be content.

Or, think about the times you may have wanted something so badly you missed important date or responsibility just to get it. In my early saved days, I skipped paying a bill to get a pair of shoes. I cannot tell you where those shoes are, what they looked like or where they are today! I can tell you I had a hard time recouping that money to pay my bill. All because of wanting something someone else had/ wanting something SO bad. A covetous heart. A desire gone bad.

Okay, what about the lust of the eye/desire to “play.” The purpose is socializing; taking a break..maybe talking a bit at work, playing Candy crush or a binging on a movie marathon. We all like to relax the mind–and that is a good thing.

What happens when the scales start tipping to the lust of wanting more play than work? This is when chronic slothful/laziness creeps in. A Sunday off here, missing a study there, half-doing what you’ve been called to do, not tending house, not taking care of yourself, burying your talent, not calling a sister, sending a note of encouragement, or maybe witnessing—all because you don’t feel like it, not in the mood, need a break from the people, the chores, etc, or have gotten into the habit of a Lifetime Movie Marathon or the whatever your go-to play routine is. While we all need days to unplug, recharge and refresh, we are accountable for the time God gives us and we have way too much responsibility to practice slothfulness on the regular. With God’s grace, let’s ask for wisdom to know how to spend the time He gives us.

See then that you walk circumspectly not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Do not be unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17).

What about the desire to be safe? Keeping/knowing our loved ones are safe? Our jobs are safe, the bridge is safe, etc. We teach at work that feeling safe is a basic need—NOTHING wrong with that desire–in the right place. Where things go too far is when the emotion FEAR comes in. Fear can come on the form of cowardice, worry, panic, having irrational thoughts, making emotional decisions. Let’s not forget the unprofitable servant in Matthew 25 —the one who buried the talent? During accounting time, verse 25 says, the servant told his master he was AFRAID and went to hid his talent in the earth. The master called the servant wicked and slothful–and proceeded to cast him into outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

A bit back, a dear friend and sister in Christ got a message in between Sunday School and morning service that a family member had not been heard from since the night before—not answering phones, etc. Notice how the enemy timed this attempt right before service. What I loved was that the sister said something like “God knows where He is and I am not going to worry about it.” We prayed and it turned out he was fine, thank God!! Sister did not let fear take over. Now, I realize that there are scary situations out there—no doubt. We want to ask God to cover, keep and sustain our hearts from fear.

And we know that God has NOT given is a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

What about grief? That’s an innate desire when we lose a loved one or friend. The emotion connected to that is sadness. Perfectly normal. Now hear me good, grieving, sad days, crying spells are normal as we miss a person—birthdays, holidays, special times…

Where the enemy gets heart-busy is when the grief is extended to the point where one cannot function and stay in a state of depression for years at a time. We talked about that in Ruth 1 as Naomi vocalized her grief (after losing her husband and two sons) by telling the folks to call her Mara meaning bitter—because the Lord had dealt bitterly with her. While she went though the grieving process,at some point the Lord blessed her to start adjusting to the “new normal”, and she was used to bring Boaz and Ruth together. If Naomi had stayed grieving, she would not have been functional as to what God called her to do–and look at the result! Boaz and Ruth became great-grandparents to king David and mentioned in the lineage of Christ in Matthew 1.

To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Once again, let’s start paying more attention to your thoughts/ what’s in your heart. Ask God to show you (even if it’s painful), what areas need more attention or a purge. and ask for His help in overcoming them and creating a clean heart Psalm 51:10. Also, step up your gatekeeping of the heart as directed in Proverbs 4:23. Philippians 4:8 reminds us to think on true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy, think on THOSE things. I did not say not to talk to the Lord about what bothers you, we just want to take it there and LEAVE it there. Amen? Amen!

Join us next time as #SpeechTherapy continues with the lust of the flesh–you do not want to miss it! Thank you so much for stopping by/tuning in and until we meet again, #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

*See http://www.themoorings.org for a nifty chart and examples of lust gone awry!