The importance of rest…

Hey there BCU Fam,

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! 

Generally speaking, we are a “busy” society–especially women. Many ladies work (in and/or outside of the home), are married, have children, care for aging parents, are on a committee, in ministry of some sort (choir, ushering, teaching, etc.), and in some cases, all of the above, right?

Furthermore, one or more of these plates we are spinning can get a little heavier as we add housework, homework, school plays, practices, games, spouse time, family time, self care,  appointments, bake sales and week-long anniversary services. All of these things can cause pressure and stress at any given time, making the already heavy load we carry about 40 pounds heavier and leaves little to no time seemingly to get some down time or rest properly. In fact, I did not get into bed until after 11p.m. last night and was up this morning about 5:30 a.m. Can you tell I speak from place of experience?

In the list of all we need to do, intentional rest needs to be at the top of that list.  God has designed us to need rest. What exactly is rest, though? The dictionary defines rest as:

  •  Ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
  • An instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.
  • An interval of silence of a specified duration.

Additionally, AustinPrecept.com has an even more wonderful detailed definition:

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

I am a firm believer that many of us do not rest in the body or mind properly. We have so many things to do and “not enough hours in the day” (not true–God made the hours we need–we have to manage the things we PACK those hours with) that we get anxious, frustrated, nervous, upset, angry, depressed, or any combination thereof when we do not get everything on the list done. Then we lie in bed mentally replaying the list and berating ourselves as we attempt to get the schedule right in our minds for the next day. The stress of trying to get it all done keeps us awake, has us taking sleep aids and medication to try and rest for short periods and using artificial stimulents to stay awake. We have to break this cycle, BCUFam! I know it seems impossible, but with God ALL things are possible!

  • Rest comes through prayer –Above all things, we need to go to Jesus in prayer. As much as possible, this NEEDS to happen at the START of your day. Our time with Jesus need not be two hours if that’s not possible, but quality, quiet time in prayer and reading the Word will help to frame your day for success.  David said, “O God, thou are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirstest for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63:1). Th  e more we thirst for God, the more want and need to get into his presence. Also, Proverbs 16:19 says commit your works to the Lord and He will establish your thoughts. If we are asking God to help our thought process, He will regulate our minds for the day, which brings us to the next point.
  • Rest comes through going God’s way––meaning as we go about our day, we should be asking God what need to do. Sure we know we need to go to work, drop off the kids, do housework, run errands, et cetera, but Proverbs 3:6 says, in ALL YOUR ways acknowledge Him (The Lord), and He shall direct your paths. Maybe the path we take to get to work or the direction God wants us to go is different from what we normally do and for His purpose and glory.

 A few months ago, I really wanted to go to a particular restaurant for dinner, but the Lord put it my mind to go to a different eatery. Thankfully, in being obedient and following the Lord’s directed path, I ran into a dear sister whom I haven’t seen in years! It was wonderful to fellowship and actually pray with her on a few things she was waiting on the Lord for. In another instance in following God’s instructions for the day, I bumped one of my elderly friends who had been on my mind, but had lost contact with. What does this have to do with resting you ask? When following God’s will, some things on our to-do list just WILL NOT GET DONE, and we need to rest in that. While it would have been “easier” to go where I wanted to, in doing what God said, His plans became mine—and I was rested in my heart and mind that I was in His perfect will for the day. Speaking of heart and mind, it is tantamount to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health to ensure we are adequately rested here. Let’s go to the Word about that.

  • Rest comes through letting burdens goAre you tired? Overwhelmed? Feeling like things are crashing down on you? Jesus said, come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).   

The heaviness comes in because many times, we are carrying burdens ourselves. We sometimes say “Lord, help me”, and we do not wait or listen for or to His directions. We run from task to appointment carrying frazzled, frustrated and agitated mind–and that’s heavy! BCU Fam, we will likely always have things to take care of and the weight of responsibility can get to us. What we need to do is take Jesus up on His offer and come to Him about whatever is weighing us down. Allow Him to exchange our heavy load for His light load. Now, God may absolve not us from the responsibility altogether, but if we learn of Him, He will show is how to deal with the situation His light and easy way. Amen? Amen!

  • Rest comes through “care-casting”. Casting all your care upon Him [Jesus] for He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). The cares of this life—work, family, bills, conflicts, situations, what will I have, why does she have more? When is it my turn? Those things we care so deeply about that we cannot do anything about? We need to cast them on Jesus. As we begin to trust the Lord with our cares, He will direct us in the path of what, if anything, we need to do about the concerns.
  • Rest comes through getting your mind rightBe 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 (Philippians 4:6-8). After we pray, with fervency and thanksgiving, we have to mediate on what God recommends, rather than the situation. By the time we ruminate on the list of eight things to think of in Philippians 4:8, we will be so busy praising God, that the anxiety-inducing situation you handed over to God will make the victory list as well!

BCU Fam, I could go on and on about the importance of rest—-our bodies and minds need to rest on the regular in order to hear God and to function optimally. Why needlessly continue to be restless in your heart and mind when our good Father wants to take care of us? Let’s practice resting starting today!

So what resonated with you about resting? Is resting a struggle? Please share your thoughts in the 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

 

Think quick?

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! 

So, for the past couple of podcasts we’ve been talking about our thoughts…the runaway imagination and the over-thinker. This week, let’s round out our “unintentional” mind renewal series  (God knew I was going this way..I didn’t) and talk about the “under-thinker” a.k.a. the hasty thinker.

Many of us, including myself have been this individual—at the first sign of seeing or hearing something, we immediately jump to a conclusion AND often speak without having all the “facts in evidence”. Here are some examples:

A co-worker says a cheery  good morning to you. Immediately you think, “what does SHE want? I bet she needs me to cover her break! NOT today!” You blurt out, “Morning. I cannot cover the desk this morning. I have a meeting.” She says sadly, “My break is covered…I was just saying hi”.

Someone at church does not greet you as they normally do. You think to yourself, “They must be upset I wasn’t at the church picnic last Saturday.” Right after that, your mood is altered to the point where you stop speaking to the individual for the next few Sundays. The whole story? At the time the person saw you, they were in deep thought about a serious family decision that needed an immediate answer. They meant no harm, rather they needed prayer and some encouragement.

It’s Saturday evening and a neighbor who can be long-winded starts walking toward your car as soon as you pull into your driveway. You quickly think about an “escape route” and call a family member to start a conversation, smiling and pointing to your phone as you get out. The neighbor walks away and sends a text later the next day, saying he had wanted to attend your church on Sunday–he just needed the address. Maybe next time. Next time never happens.

Sobering, right BCU Family? Hasty thoughts lead to hasty conclusions and hasty actions.  The Bible warns us of doing things in haste–so we really need to get an understanding of what haste is and what God says. Let’s start with the definition of haste from Dictionary.com

swiftness of motion; speed; celerity: 
urgent need of quick action; a hurry or rush.
unnecessarily quick action; thoughtless, rash, or undue speed.

That last definition is exactly where we are going to focus.

Judges 11 tells the story of Jephthah, a mighty warrior who was called for by the Israelites to help them win a war against the Ammonites.

After a failed attempt to avoid the war, Jephthah made a vow to God, saying, “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30–31). Jephthah then defeated the Ammonites and returned home to Mizpah (Judges 11:32–34).

When Jephthah arrived at home, his daughter, an only child, was the first to come out of his house (Judges 11:34). Upon seeing her, Jephthah obviously remembered his vow and tore his clothes in mourning. When he told his daughter of his promise, she accepted the consequences, asking for two months to mourn beforehand (Judges 11:37–38). The Bible records that it actually became a custom for the daughters of Israel to mourn the event each year for four days (Judges 11:39-40).

In this case, Jepthath’s hasty thinking (or not thinking at all) lead to hasty speech that caused his only child trouble for the remainder of her life. How many  have lives/are living of us are living out unfavorable consequences from quick thinking/actions? While we cannot change what we did/said, we can ask God for the grace to walk out our decisions. Additionally, we can avoid repeating the same lesson by applying Jephthah’s story to our lives–and by taking into our hearts some additional scriptures.

 He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly (Proverbs 14:29).

 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him (Proverbs 18:13).

👉🏾Folly means lack of good sense; wicked or someone who lacks the proper fear or respect of God. 

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Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him (Proverbs 29:20).

👉🏾The Pulpit Commentary says the dull, stupid man (kesil) may be instructed and guided and made to listen to reason—but the hasty and ill-advised speaker consults no one, takes no thought before he speaks, nor reflects on the effect of his words; such a man it is almost impossible to reform..

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 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 (James 1:19-20).

👉🏾Not only should we be swift to hear the other person, we should be swift to hear what God is saying to us, before we speak or get angry. Otherwise we end up sinning. 

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2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:2-6).

👉🏾Unlike the world says, promises were NOT made to be broken. God takes our words seriously and expects us to follow through on what we say, even it it hurts us (See Psalm 15:4).   

So what can we do about this rash thinking/mouth? God has an answer!

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 (Proverbs 3:5-6). If we start by taking a moment to pray, God will supply us with the direction to go in, so He is glorified through what we THINK, SAY and DO! 

You know, BCU Fam, while the basis of salvation is Acts 2:38 (repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost), the Lord calls us to live a holy life which includes  being mindful of our thoughts, words and actions. In fact,we are accountable (we will give an answer) to God for our words and deeds (See Matthew 12:36 and 2 Corinthians 5:10), so while we can, with the help of the Lord, let’s be intentional about applying the Word of God to our thought process, which is the basis of everything. Amen? Amen!

As much as it disappoints me when people jump to conclusions about me, I have been guilty of doing the very same thing if I do not allow the Lord to govern my thoughts! How about you? How do you deal with your quick thinking? Let’s talk more in the comments section below!

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

“All I can do is pray?”

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:

  • At some point in our lives, we will run into situations which can try our patience and our faith in God.
  • Very often, we will do all we can from a human standpoint FIRST and then we cry out in an exasperated tone “all I can do is pray”.
  • Many times that phrase is said in defeat and as a last resort. Prayer should be our first line of defense.

Scripture references: 

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 path (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord  (Proverbs 19:3).

Pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Casting all your care upon him; for He careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (I Peter 5:7-8).


So what are your thoughts on topic-du-jour?  What is your go to behavior when it comes to tough situations? Pray first? React first? 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

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

 

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