Mental Health and Suicide

Hey there BCU Fam,

Today’s podcast is about mental health and suicide. As a disclaimer, please be aware the content may not be suitable for young children and may trigger some who are especially sensitive to this important and difficult topic. Please exercise prayerful and extreme caution as you continue to read the highlights and listen in. May God bless and encourage your heart and mind today and always.

Podcast highlights:

  • Many people in the world look as if all is well, but on the inside some are feeling the weight of their world.
  • The load gets so heavy that things seem impossible and that’s where the enemy comes in.
  • His job is to magnify the situation to the point where taking your life is the only option.
  • Our job as people of God, is to be aware of who is around us and encourage people to seek Jesus.

KJV Scripture references

James 1:19

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

Proverbs 25:11

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

I Peter 3:15

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fearTo every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Galatians 6:10

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith

Luke 4:18

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised..

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peaceWhose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


BCU Fam, let us make sure that we continue in prayer for the families of those who have lost a loved one due to suicide, that we pray for all those who are going through difficult situations, and we stay watchful and in tune with God to see how we can be a blessing to someone in word and/or deed. Although we may never know it, our kind acts may encourage a saint of the of Lord who is weary, or bring someone from the brink of leaving this life too soon. With the help of the Lord, let’s be intentional to do good to everyone in all our interactions, BCU Fam. Amen? Amen!

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

BlenCouragesU:845-768-3349

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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights––we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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

Testing, testing, 1-2-3

Hey there BCU Fam!

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:

  • Recently, I wrote a post that we are to work as unto the Lord and not people.
  • I also mentioned that some of our assignments have “unpleasant” aspects and/or people attached to them.
  • The Lord often allows tests to come our way to refine us via the unpleasantness.
  • In today’s podcast, I will share my test and “results”.

KJV Scripture references

Matthew 10:16
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Song of Solomon 2:15(a)

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines:

Ephesians 6:10-18.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Hebrews 12:11

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

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

James 1:19-20

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

I Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.


BCU Fam, our old nature can be quick to respond sharply, when we feel we’ve been wronged or disrespected—-and that’s natural. We have to remember that we do have to account to God for how we treat everyone even though and especially if they mistreat us. So this is where being slow to speak and wrath come in. This way, we can be quick to hear what God says about how we should handle the situation and prayerfully follow His instructions. Doing things God’s way assures us that we are walking in the Spirit versus the flesh, we are handling the matter perfectly, God is being glorified in our lives AND we will be rewarded accordingly! Now that’s something to get excited about! Amen? Amen!

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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights––we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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

Judas and Jesus

Hey there BCU Fam!

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!

  • This week, many Christians are especially remembering the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.
  • As we recall the events leading up to the death of Jesus, it’s important we examine how He treated people, including Judas.

KJV Scripture references

Matthew 5:43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

4But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 26:14-30; 47-50

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?

18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.


What I marvel at, BCUFam is this:

Jesus knew Judas

Jesus chose Judas

Jesus served Judas–all while knowing that Judas would betray Him. That’s love.

And even when Judas delivered Him to the chief priests and elders, Jesus still called Him friend. Not in a snarky, sarcastic way, He meant it. That had to have moved Judas, along with watching Jesus being brought to Pilate, because the Scriptures say he realized he betrayed an innocent man. After he confessed, Judas threw the money down and hung himself (Matthew 27:1-5).

BCUFam, as trying as it is sometimes, we are commanded to walk out Matthew 5:43-48 in all our challenging interactions. If Jesus in the flesh continued to love, bless, do good, pray for and serve the man who would betray Him, how much more should we be doing? It’s a challenge, yes, but we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Amen? Amen!

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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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

Acknowledging the Lord in ALL….

Hey there BCU Fam!

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!


  • Proverbs 3:6 reminds us “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, [The Lord] and He shall direct thy paths.”
  • Acknowledge means to recognize or to regard with honor.
  • We need to be intentional in asking the Lord how to direct us in every aspect of our lives, including routine tasks.
  • Sometimes, His path will help us avoid danger; other times, His path will help us deal with adversity properly.
  • When we ask the Lord how to get something done, even in in the worst of circumstances, it will always come out perfectly.
  • Conversely, when we react without including God, the outcome will have consequences we will not enjoy.


Scripture references (KJV)

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

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God…..But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (James 1:19-20,22).

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).


The following Scriptures are excerpts for the podcast. Please read the chapters in their entirety.

Esther 2:21-23

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus.

22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.

23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

Esther 3:2-6,13.

2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?

4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

Esther 4:15-17

15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,

16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther 6:6-12

6 So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?

7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,

8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:

9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.

11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

12 And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.


See that BCUFam? Mordecai had every right AND an opportunity to expose or even reach out to hurt Haman. Rather, he fasted (acknowledgement) and followed (in meekness)the plan the Lord laid out. In doing so, Haman had to honor Mordecai publicly and then Haman was put to death for his wicked scheme.

We do not have to sacrifice our righteousness, gentleness, love or anything else the Lord has put in us to win a battle. Just know that if we ask Him what to do, how to do it and follow His contrary to popular belief plan, we WILL give us the victory and He will be honored and praised! Amen? Amen! Let’s continue our conversation in the chat box 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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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

And who is my neighbor?

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 in my internet travels, I came across a post where there was a discussion on how much in way of dollars in humanitarian aid was being sent to Ukraine. In the ensuring conversation, a professing Christian mentioned while they felt for the situation, Ukraine wasn’t our issue–and our focus should be on the United States. What really saddened me was the tone and the harsh, thoughtless word choices this person used to punctuate their opinion.

Initially, I was a bit offended by what I read. In my heart I was like, “really?” “Where is your compassion?” “You do know Jesus, right?” Then, the Lord reminded me I had said such things in my B.C.(before Christ) days, and thankfully, He had forgiven me, so I needed to forgive the offender and let it go! After Jesus helped me to remove the beam from my eye, (see Matthew 7:1-5), I was clear to see how to compose this post to His glory!

Getting back to the point of the post, I am reminded of the very familiar parable Jesus told in Luke 10:25-37, KJV:

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

When we think about the lawyer, he was in expert in knowing the law and quoted it correctly. Next, he wanted to know exactly who is neighbor was, so he knew who he was supposed to love as himself.

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

The priests served as the mediators between God and the people. They are the ones who took the people’s sacrifices and offered them up to God (Leviticus 4:202631Hebrews 8:4). The High Priest, in particular, represented the whole nation of Israel before God (Exodus 28:12Hebrews 5:1). When a priest sinned, he brought guilt not only upon himself, but also upon the whole people (Leviticus 4:3). The priests also interceded on behalf of the people before God (Leviticus 9:22-24Numbers 6:22-27). And they would inquire of God for the nation (Exodus 28:30). (http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2007/04-26b.htm)

This mediator, interceder and inquirer to God looked at a wounded man, and passed him by.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

The Levites, members of the same tribe, but who were not descendants of Aaron, served as aides to the priests, doing things like helping to prepare the sacrifices. They took care of the temple, making repairs when needed, and served as musicians, singers, doorkeepers. (Numbers 1:50-53; 3:6-9; 4:1-33; I Chronicles 23). The Levites were also the teachers of Israel (Deuteronomy 24:8; 33:10; II Chronicles 35:3; Nehemiah 8:7) and the nation’s scribes (II Chronicles 34:13). The Levites were also the nation’s judges (Deuteronomy 17:8-9; 21:5; I Chronicles 23:4; II Chronicles 19:8; Ezekiel 44:15, 24). They were also the nation’s regulators. For instance, they were responsible for accurate weights and measures used in Israel (I Chronicles 23:29; Leviticus 19:35-36). (http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2007/04-26b.htm)

This aide to the priest, musician, singer, scribe, regulator and judge came and looked at the half-dead man and passed on the other side of the road.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Jesus using a Samaritan in the parable was very intentional, as it relates to love. After Assyria invaded Israel, the Northern Kingdom and resettled it with its own people, (see 2 Kings 17:24-41), some Jews intermarried with other people and the mixed race became known as the Samaritans. Full-blooded Jews considered themselves pure descendants of Abraham and despised the “half-breed” Samaritans and of course, the Samaritans hated the Jews.

While the priest and Levite may have passed the man as they strictly interpreted the law (the man was bleeding and may have been ceremonially considered unclean–see Leviticus 5:3), the “despised” Samaritan demonstrated the law of love. He cleaned the man’s wounds with oil and wine, bound them up, put the man on his own beast while he walked, brought him to an inn, nursed him for the night, instructed and paid the host to take care of him AND promised to repay the innkeeper for anything more he spent when he came back. There was no quibbling or discussion about not being from the same country, or race, or who needed more help–the Samaritan just helped! That is what love does, BCUFam!

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

BCU Fam, did you notice in the “a” part of the verse 37 where the lawyer said, “he that shewed mercy” rather than saying the “Samaritan”? That showed a lack of love, even though he stated that was the law. What is in our hearts comes out of our mouths! May the Lord help our words and heart mediations to be acceptable in His sight (Psalm 19:14).

I have read this parable more than one time, BCU Fam, and it really spoke to my spirit as a call to action for all of us to do what we can, as the Lord leads us to be a blessing to someone. How? We can start by intentionally and fervently praying for others. 2 Timothy 2-1:4 says, I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Then we need to be the answer to someone’s prayers. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth (I John 3:17-18).

The Lord knows we we cannot help everyone, but we all can help in some way. Rather than have respect of persons in our love, (James 2:8-10), let’s pray and ask God who we can love on and be a neighbor to. Amen? Amen!

BCU Fam, what are your thoughts on our topic? Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

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. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. 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