When trials come, I_______________.

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:

  • Being saved (according to Acts 2:38) is an amazing, wonderful experience and yields an awesome life here and the promise of eternal life as well!
  • Contrary to some popular preaching and teaching, the Scriptures teach us that  going through trials is a part of the Christian walk.
  • While the trials do not feel good to the flesh, they are purposeful, needed—and GOOD for us.
  • In all that we go through, God is ALWAYS with us (See Hebrews 13:5).

 Scripture references

Job 1:20-22

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Hebrews 5:8). 

I Timothy 4:1-5

1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:

2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables

5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

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

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

And He [Jesus] spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1).


So…what are your  initial reaction to trials? How challenging will it be to adjust your attitude straightaway? (I know I need to be really mindful!)  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

#LifeApplication: Getting back to work on the wall

 Hi 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/post blesses you! Please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

I pray our study of  Nehemiah has been a blessing and a challenge for all of us (myself included to come up to where God wants you to be. In the beginning of Nehemiah chapter 4, we read 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.  Last study, Nehemiah faced challenges with his own work crew and was able to stabilize the situation. Let’s finish up chapter 4 by looking at what other measures Nehemiah put into place and how they can apply to us.

v 15And 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.

They kept working and the enemy stopped. They KNEW they were defeated. The adversary KNOWS he is defeated and we do as well. WHY are we just laying down and giving him victory and claiming he stole it? This is a fixed fight, Family! The enemy will try us, we have to stand CONFIDENT in our faith and knowledge that OUR God will fight for us!

v16And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

New rules were enacted based on the what happened with Sanballat and his cronies. Nehemiah had some of his team working while others kept watch with weapons (including armor) and watch this the rulers were in FULL support. THIS is how a body should work! Are we holding our fellow members up in prayer? Are we helping them fight? And not just the ones we know and see–we have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world that would benefit from our prayers so they continue their assignment in their part of the vineyard.

v17They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.

So the builders, loaders and carriers were back on duty and armed. We are to be armed with out weapons, girdle of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, sword of the spirit, helmet of salvation and shoes of peace AND we have to watch and pray! This is key to us getting victory!!! See Ephesians 6:10-18 for the details, benefits and purpose of putting on the whole armor of God! GLORY to God!!!!!!!

Let’s get back to Nehemiah.

v18For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.

v19And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, the work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.

v20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.

The trumpet was put in place as a warning for all to come together and he reminded the people that God would fight for them. God fights for us!!!

The other thing is that Nehemiah had a plan. How many of us plan for things? What are our contingencies if the work gets interrupted? Do we plan to pray and react or react then pray? Do we plan to minister when we go to work, the market, the barber, hairdresser, the dentist, the mechanic? Or do we “plan” to complain? Do we plan to be excited about the church/prayer service or Bible study? or do we “plan” what we are doing when it’s over? These are real and very sticky questions–yes, we are busy with many things. God knows that–we have to be in a place to minister to whoever comes into our midst–the person at the gas station or you chat with in the grocery store isle may need to know that God is real, that He loves them, that they can be saved. No matter how “busy” we are, we should “plan” to be on assignment wherever and whenever God call us to do so.

v21So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 

v22Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day. 

v23So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.

BCU family, the last three verses really speak to the dedication of the people to the work of the Lord! Work was being done sun up to sun down, and with that work, the crew planned to stay close by to guard or work, so that the enemy did not get ANY victory for stopping/slowing things down! ON TOP of that, none of the men stopped to change clothes until it was time to wash them! We may not have to that go to physical of an extreme in our lives, but the mentality of keeping on task through the “dirty” process (being testing in your patience, faith, dealing with people and their different spirits, etc.), should be evident in all we do, with the help of the Lord. Amen? Amen!

Are you pumped to go through the process? It’s not always pretty or easy, but the outcome will be wonderful especially since we are doing things God’s way and becoming more like Him. That’s the goal. Amen? Amen.

Well BCU Family, this wraps up chapter 4 of Nehemiah–we are working on chapter 5 coming up, so please stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, there are several 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.

Question of the day: How has this made you rethink how you handle your tasks for God? Drop your answer in the comment section below! 

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

Series: Lessons from the book of Ruth (1:15-22).

Welcome back BCU family!

Please click on the icon for the podcast, if you’re on the go, otherwise take a few moments to read written account–I am sure you will find it a blessing!

So, as we continue from our last Life Lessons from Ruth (part 1) Orpah left Naomi to go back to her parents house leaving Naomi to fend for herself. On the other side, Ruth’s love was in action as she took on Naomi as family, and even starting serving God!

What an awesome testimony of conversion, as even in a strange land where idols were worshipped (notice Orpah went back to her gods). The Word doesn’t say what Naomi did or said–obviously she impacted Ruth through her love and dedication to God. Are we aware of who is watching how we interact with people? Are we impactful for Christ? Could we be living and loving for Him differently, more consistently?

Something else I noticed in Ruth’s insistence on staying with Naomi was the promise made in verse 17:

Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts you and I.

WHEW! That is a SERIOUS vow–from woman who was willing to travel from her homeland to a strange land with her mother- in-law. How deep did the love roots go in that relationship? How willing are we to give up the familiar and love and trust God for where He wants to take us?

Let’s look at the thought behind the vow.  In that time especially people relied on your word and the integrity of you keeping it. A good name is rather to be chosen above riches (Proverbs 22:1a). We also talked about vows and promises in a post entitled,  “Five lessons the Lord taught me in 2015 (Part 1).” In short, when you promise something, you need to mean it and follow through with it, with the help of the Lord. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen, but we still are accountable for what we said and need to do what we said.

Now the ladies are back in the city who is all abuzz with Naomi’s arrival. Naomi, obviously still grieving, instructs to people to call her Mara (meaning bitter) rather than Naomi (pleasant), because the Almighty had dealt bitterly, left her empty, testified against her and afflicted her (verses 20-21). This is proof that grief is biblical, Family! This woman was HURTING! While Naomi did not curse God, she was direct in how she felt about losing her family. This coupled with the fact she likely felt she was destined to be poverty-stricken among these people who once knew her as a secure, married woman probably exacerbated the mourning. We covered the topic of dealing with people who are “mourning aloud” in the post, “Five lessons the Lord taught me in 2015 (Part 2).” Bottom line: Be directed by the Lord as to what to say.  Or if you should say. Our chapter ends with the ladies landing in Bethlehem, right at the beginning of the barley harvest—a good time to get some work. We’ll look at that next time.

So our take-aways:

  • Obedience is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 5:22).
  • Love is an action item–even more so when it’s not easy (I Corinthians 13).
  • Love provides for others (Ruth 1).
  • Honor your vows (Ecclesiastes 5).
  • Pray for what to say (Isaiah 50:4).

I pray this blesses and challenges you to do continue or start to do better in God–I know I saw myself in much of what is written here, so now that God has showed us better, with His help, we’ll do better. Amen?! Amen!

Lord will, when we come back, we’ll look at Ruth chapter 2 and “glean” some of the awesome lessons God has for us! Thank you and may God bless you so much for stopping by and until the next time we’re together #StayOnTheWall.

 

Love,

 

BCU

Rats, Turkeys and Fruit…

 

Hey family!

Be Jive Turkey free!

Summer is fast approaching and in all the sunshine and excitement of the season, we still need to be prayerful and on high turkey alert! I learned a little more about turkeys from rats. Let me  “‘splain.”

I was flipping channels awhile back and caught a show called Rat Wars. It was a show about a New York City exterminator, who was ridding the Big Apple of these pesky rodents, who in some cases had overtaken the homes and businesses of some of his clients.  The guy mentioned that rats were smart creatures, and I thought “yeah, right”. But he was right!

Yep, I am smart~Trust!

What happened was, the exterminator set traps and noticed just a few of the rats were caught. Reason? He said some of the rats watched the others go to the traps and get caught/killed. The rats who stood by were astute enough to know to avoid the trap! If a creature that God made who hasn’t attended a day of school, nor have the Holy Ghost as a guide, knows to watch and avoid entrapment, how much better can we do? I’m just saying……Ok, keep that in mind and read on.

In my travels a few years ago, I met up with a dude in whom we had mutual acquaintances. We got to talking about the folks we knew and life in general, so I mentioned about being my saved, etc. Bozo did inform me that church girls were “easy to get with”–something about desperation and some other monkeyshine not worth repeating.  I don’t know how he thought his statements were attractive, but I was as hot as a freshly lit firecracker!  The truth is either he had that experience or was conducting a test. Either way, I know I wasn’t about to become a case study for Dr. Strangelove!!  If you really want to get to know someone, let them talk–God will let you know what’s up! What’s in the heart comes out of the mouth (Matthew 15:18).

Next is the saved-looking fruit. I notice, is that once we ID the fruit we like, we immediately hook up. “Oh well, there’s a saved-looking pear, that’s the one for me!”  Don’t misunderstand me, if one person is saved, the other NEEDS the Holy Ghost, no doubt. Salvation does not equal compatibility or God’s will.  Experience has taught me there is value in taking your time and developing a friendship based on mutual interests, experiences, goals and values. It’s also important to see where you differ and how negotiable those areas are. This way, if it is not God’s will for you to be together, you hear and see with a clear heart, rather than with a heart that has developed feelings and rationalization. I also believe that in the end, you will remain friends with no hard feelings or unforgiveness.

A former post I wrote about women not being the “low-lying fruit”,  got a little attention from a couple of guys I’m cool with on Facebook.  One young man who had his share of the easy fruit, said that eating fruit off the ground  “can make you sick”.  I didn’t think about that at the time I wrote it, but its true. Many times the fruit that’s just laying on the ground,  although convenient, is overripe, worm-ridden, bug-filled, spotty and rotten.  Sometimes women even go and pick the fruit, (rather than waiting to be picked). How did that work out for you?

Whether you are the low-branch fruit or pick it up, it may fill you up for now, but give you a bellyache, long-term illness or even death! As we mature, it’s important to recognize foolish behavior and correct it immediately. Do not pick off the tree! Didn’t we learn from Eve? LOLOLOL! Seriously, it’s better to wait and be picked properly. Proverbs says 9:6 Forsake the foolish and live; and go in the way of understanding. Why willingly die of from an avoidable case of “foolish”?

The bottom line:  I know there are some fantastic, stand-up guys out there—I am friends with quite a few and look forward to meeting more as my life progresses. In the spirit of watchfulness, the Bible says to watch and pray…(Matt 26:41) AND that you will know folks by their fruit (Matt 7). If it looks like a grape, yet talks thorns, then something is amiss. No matter how many grapes you thought you saw or have continuously look for, it’s a thorn bush. Pray for God’s divine (not permissive) will to be done and clarity in your thoughts and decision making so the decks are clear for your real blessing!

Thanks for reading and be blessed!

Love,

~Blen

Jive Turkey pic: http://www.newsrealblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/jiveTurkey.png

Rats pic: http://www.show31.com/2012/04/20-amazing-facts-about-rats.html