Declaring independence from “foolishmess!”

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

As usual, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

I wanted to share an “interesting” experience or maybe test that echoes the importance of prayer, and exercising wisdom so your are free from “foolishmess”.

Years ago, I was at a conference at a hotel where a handsome guy from across the aisle and I made eye contact and smiled. You know, just a friendly “hi”.  After the conference let out, as I went to run an errand, I ran into “Eye Contact!”  After some initial conversation, he very politely asked what I was doing later, where I was going to eat (all okay) and THEN he asked “could he “holla at me” after my errand (insert face of horror here). While I do not recall my exact response, it was time to exit the conversation.  As I departed, I told the Lord if this man was going to be frippery, he needed to just go away so I didn’t have to deal with him again. Ugh.

As I made my way back from my errand and through the lobby,  I heard “yo”, but I kept it moving. I heard “YO!” again. Then I heard “YO!” loud and close behind me. My curiosity said, “who is that hollering like that?!” I turned and it was Eye Contact!! Now remember, BCU Fam, I’m quite grown; I haven’t seriously been called “yo” probably since I was in high school and did not like it then. Oh, but it gets better, y’all.

So, now that he has my attention by default, he asks me to call him. And not on his cell, but in the room he was staying in, as he is looking for piece a paper to write down this valuable information On top of that, he was now speaking in hushed tones! Hello? Seriously? Ya’ll can draw your own conclusions on what Eye Contact was thinking. I’m thinking, is this happening right now? What kind of monkeyshine is this? Are men still acting like this who are over age 35? Seriously?!

While I was disgusted by Dude trying to run a game on me, I thank God for helping me to think and recognize the trick of the enemy. What happens is, the enemy likes to send a decoy to derail you when you’ve been waiting and trusting God for your blessing. Let’s review the “highlight reel” in this guy’s game, so you can declare your independence from foolishmess.
1)  The approach:

Any gentleman who really wants to approach a lady will NOT address her by “yo”. And a real lady won’t answer to that, either. That street talk is not àpropos for a virtuous woman whose price is far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10).

2) The pursuit

When a man wants to get to know you, he will ask you for YOUR number and pursue you, rather than him telling you to pursue him. That’s against the natural order of things! Yes, it’s 2017 and while clothes and slang has changed, men do NOT value anything handed to them! By nature men are hunters and like a challenge–they like to work for what they get! Genesis 29:20 says Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, but it seemed like a few days because of the love he had for her. He did not ask Rachel to do the work while he chilled! He happily worked to get her. Sure, the customs have changed in terms of obtaining a wife, the principle still applies–he should happily do the work in pursuing you.

3) The Conversation

I know this is obvious, but is worth a revisit. No gentleman should act like he’s worried about seeing you in public. I have heard, “oh he’s shy” and “sometimes you have to help them along”. I don’t discount shyness or advocate women giving men a hard time “just cuz”. There is NO excuse for ANY MAN to be looking over his shoulder and whispering while talking to you. That’s code for married, engaged, attached, or scouting out his next prey.

What can happen to those of us who have been waiting, when we are approached by someone (rather than the one) we can respond in emotion versus wisdom–especially when we’ve been waiting awhile. Emotion says, at least we met in a store, not a club. Emotion says, at least he works part-time. Emotion says, at least he attends church occasionally.  Emotions says, he has potential.  And anytime we have to justify some of these areas which should already be shored up, we are walking in emotion versus wisdom. James 1:5 says God gives wisdom liberally for the asking. Why make foolish, emotional decisions unnecessarily? Better to not get into a situation than get caught out and live with the consequences.

With God’s help, do NOT be the low-lying fruit that any man can come by and pluck off the vine. The sweetest fruit is at the top of the tree and requires some work by the person who wants it—it’s okay for the gentleman to pursue you. If he really wants to get to know you, he will put the work in.  Know your worth and trust that good and perfect gifts come from God (James 1:17). If the “gift” doesn’t line up to what’s good, it’s NOT from God—-reject it, keep waiting and renewing your strength like Isaiah 40:31 reminds us! God has not forgotten you, BCU Fam! Your blessing is enroute according to His will and perfect wise timing.

So what encounters have you had with the opposite sex (women sometimes get out of order as well), that took you by complete surprise? Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

 

Overcoming people approval! Lessons from Nehemiah (Part 2)

Hey there BCU Family!

As usual, you have two options for this post! Listen in by clicking the icon, read through the text or both! Whatever you choose, we pray God’s word blesses you!

So we are back with another study on one of my favorite books–Nehemiah! What I love about Nehemiah was his fortitude and steadfastness in doing the work of the Lord in the face of adversity. Last time we were together, we looked at Nehemiah chapter 1 to get our background story and basics on Nehemiah. Let’s continue talking about how we can overcome people approval/disapproval starting on Nehemiah chapter 2.

v1)And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. (This was about a 4 month period from chapter 1 in the month of Chisleu and the month of Nisan).

v2Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,

v3And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?

v4Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

BOOM! This was the king—his employer and Nehemiah said he was SORE afraid (emotion). Rather than letting his emotion overtake him, he prayed—this was his time to put God’s plan given to Nehemiah 4 months prior (end of chapter 1–we find out about it later) into action.

v5And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.

v6And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

v7Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
v8And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

Nehemiah calmly asked for time off and then asked for letters to let him pass through to Judah, a letter for timber to make beams for the gates, walls and the house where he would stay. God touched the king’s heart to give him what we wanted. The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, and just like the rivers of water, He turns it wherever He wants (Proverbs 21:1). Let’s ask God to touch people’s hearts.

v9)Then I came to the governors beyond the river, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.

Nehemiah did not ask for captains of the army or horseman at all–it was extra. When we do whatever job God gives us as unto Him, and not unto men, because we serve Christ, He rewards us (Colossians 3:23). When we serve the Lord with gladness as Psalm 100 commands,  (yes, even on the job that is trying,  but that we should be thankful to have), He will bless us with extras. Ask me how I know? He has done it for me!

v10When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

While God gave Nehemiah the plan, the enemies came with it. The weapon would be formed—yet not prosper (Isaiah 54:17).  All things would work together for good, to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose— but all the individual things that are happening may not good. My cousin Tanyel once said that the ingredients that go into a cookie, raw oatmeal, eggs, flour, sugar, baking soda a stick of butter—individually are not good. I’m not about to sit down to a good bowl of flour! Yet that flour when added to other ingredients and baked, it makes up a delicious confection. Our fiery trials, temptations, rough patches and valleys are a challenge!! They try your faith!!!! But when we mix all those things up and “bake” them we’re a confection for Jesus!! We have to go through the baking process!!!!!

As we look again at verse 10, notice when these folk HEARD the news, they were grieved.
The Horonites and Ammonites were two of the people groups God had driven from the Promised Land for the Israelites. Sanballat (meaning bramble bush—enemy in secret) Tobiah, (meaning God is good) were regional governors serving under the king of Persia. Generations after Israel had first possessed the Promised Land, some of their old enemies were back, seeking to keep Jerusalem in ruins.

If you were around for our study of Ruth we talked about the Moabites—they were enemies from way back.

“An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever:

Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

Nevertheless the Lord thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the Lord thy God loved thee.

Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭23:3-6‬.

Additionally, Judges 3:12-30 says, the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord strengthened King Eglon of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Here are a couple of key verses:

13In alliance with the Ammonites and the Amalekites, he went and defeated Israel; and they took possession of the city of palms.

14So the Israelites served King Eglon of Moab eighteen years.

Why bring this up, you say? Because typically, you don’t have “new enemies.” Oh sure they may come in a different disguise, but under the surface, it’s the same enemy from out in the world. And it’s usually linked to all that’s in the world—the lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and the pride of life.(1 John 2:16)

Back in the day did you liked the men/women? Lust of the flesh. Coveted/schemed after nice things in a lustful way? Lust of the eye. Like to show-off new things? Pride of life. Lying to save face? Pride of life. Still upset with Kee-Kee for belittling you in 1972? Pride of life. Know your old enemies and stay alert to fight them in the spirit!

These two men were “exceedingly grieved” [to cause great distress to (someone)]. Some other synonyms are: sadden, upset, distress, pain, hurt, wounded, soured, pained dissatisfied, unhappy, all because they HEARD a man came to see about the children of Israel. Not that the walls were broken down or the people were in danger. They were upset because they HEARD Nehemiah came to take care of things. What spirit is that? Pride of life. Pride says:

Why are you helping them?!
You are not good enough. Why are YOU here?

Why should ANYONE look after them?

I’m not helping them—neither should you.
I don’t want to see them prosper. I don’t want to see them better.

Whatever happened it’s good for them.
Who sent you?

Pride is what goes before destruction. Pride is what kicked the enemy and 1/3 of the angels out of heaven. The spirit of pride works through people in subtle and big ways. For example, awhile back, a mechanic asked me what type of gas I put in my car. I KNEW I was all about riding on the cheap, so I’m putting in 87. I MIGHT have put in 93 once or twice. This was a long time ago, so I don’t recall my exact answer, but it was something like sometimes 91, sometimes 87. Immediately the Lord said “pride of life”—you didn’t want to look “cheap” or bad in front of the guy. Did that make sense? Like how would that help? I cleared it up and repented afterwards, but see how fast that spirit works IF you let it? 2 Thessalonians 2:7 says the mystery of inquity does already work in who lets it. Sure, I had the power to resist the spirit, but I gave in and wasn’t trying or intending to. Just.that.fast. So imagine that spirit working through someone is willfully and a practicing sinner.

Folk will be grieved when the Lord gives YOU an idea and the mind to carry it through. Folk will be soured because you preach/teach the Word. People will be distressed because you have a talent to sing and use it to the glory of God. Someone will be pained because you are striving for perfection. Another will be dissatisfied because the Lord blessed you. It’s NOT the person—those adjectives…grieved, soured, sad, upset, dissatisfied have their roots in PRIDE. It is the spirit of PRIDE we have to pray against and guard our hearts against. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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 10:3-5).

We are SO busy snarling, growling, avoiding, talking about and looking at the person—or fighting them in the flesh, we FORGET as Holy Ghost filled believers, that we have the power of Jesus on the inside to fight that spirit in the spirit. When you fight in your flesh, you’ll get wounded in your spirit. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go to verse 11.

v11So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

v12And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem: neither was there any beast with me, save the beast that I rode upon.

Nehemiah took a few men with him that he trusted, but he kept quiet about what God told Him. Some of our people addiction/fear is because we TALK TOO much to the WRONG people. Why are we telling people we know that won’t support the work we are called to do and get upset when they don’t embrace it?

In Luke 2 around verse 13, after the birth of Jesus, ANGELS came praising God saying glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward men. The shepards were the ones who made it known ABROAD what was said, but Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Did God lead you to share it on social media? When you don’t get likes or shares will it bother you? When someone questions you on the inbox, you get upset—talking about, they won’t let me be great! Isn’t greatest in the kingdom is the one who serves (Matthew 18)? Does the servant tell everyone I’m making moves? Watch out because I’m going to… With God’s grace, do what you are called to do without calling everybody.

BCU Family, did The Word of God bless you? Was there a bit of conviction that came along with it, too? I know it did for me, but that is what the Word of God is designed to do, right? Along with blessing us, it corrects and reproves us as well in order for us to be more like Christ. With God’s grace, let’s take what we learned today and start taking the necessary steps (prayer, fasting, accountability partner, etc.), to stop letting people stop us from doing the work God gave us. Amen? Amen.

Lord will, join us next time as we continue to study chapter 2–the enemy is lurking and God blesses Nehemiah to deal with it beautifully, so do not miss it! Thank you SO much for stopping by, Family! May God bless, keep and, make His face to shine upon you–and until we are together again, #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

 

Series: Speech Therapy..the words of my mouth (part 5)

 

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.

Last lesson, we talked through some examples of idle words as Jesus warned us about in Matthew 12:33-37. Additionally, the book of James reminds us about the words of our mouth.

“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.”
(‭‭James‬ ‭3:2-12)‬ .

Whew—-we’ve got work to do! Let’s dig in!

C.  The non-listener/hasty speaker

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

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

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

He that answers a matter before he hears it it is folly and a shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).

The Lord has brought this to my attention both as the offender and the offended. I probably notice it more as I was offended a couple of times recently and I liked that as much as I like a big ol’ plate of canned beets. Meaning I DON’T!

After setting up a meeting with someone to get clearance for a special task, I wanted to give them the background, so it was clear WHY I needed the clearance. I am ALL about making sure you understand, so nothing comes back to get me later. In mid-explanation, the individuals CUTS me off and gives me a some solution to the clearance—I listened quietly, and heard them say something like,  “is that what you were leading up to?” Me: “No”. Reread Proverbs 29:20.

Also, I had conversation with someone, where we disagreed on the conclusion of whatever we were talking about. Every time I wanted to explain why, I got CUT off. I finally just shut down—and listened. Then person was curious about my quietness.

There is also cutting into a conversation, while someone is talking and switching the subject—like the shell game! LOLOLOL!! I’m laughing but it’s really not of God. And I KNOW that I’ve done this to people–maybe out of excitement or wanting to get the point in while it was fresh or whatever, but what did my action do to the speaker? How did I make them feel? Like I was listening or just waiting for them to hush so I can talk?

All this really is birthed out of the pride of life—where self-exaltation and exaggerated importance tells you that the people/persons that are currently speaking DO NOT MATTER. What you have to say right then and there trumps the other person because you KNOW better, you HAVE the answer (you were not asked yet), you ARE superior, YOU HAVE lived longer than said individual, I DON’T have to listen to this; I WANT to end the conversation; I HAVE BETTER things to do; SHE takes TOO long expressing herself. I KNOW exactly what you want to say. DO YOU? No.

#BottomLine: Use your ears twice as much as your mouth.

D. Excess wording
“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”
‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭5:33-37).

While many of us know not to use swear words (believers DO NOT practice using foul language), what about the “swear substitutes?” “What the…” “Oh my gosh” (substitute for God) or “jeez” (short for Jesus). Sure, we’re not taking the Lord’s name in vain…well directly, more like indirectly.. God knows our hearts, yes, but since He reminds us we have to give an account for our excess words, we should reconsider what we’re saying.

What’s the need to”swear to our God”, on your grandmother’s grave or say some other ridiculous claim to get someone to believe you are telling the truth? Is not our word enough, especially if we are truthful all the time. When telling your story, stick with the yay and nay (the truth of the story) without extra details and embellishments so we can stay away from anything evil coming out.

E. Empty promises/promising to do something when you can’t.

“Knocking someone into next week/kingdom come.”
“If….. happens, I’ll eat my hat”.
“Shake her hand till it comes off.”

Now I know these phrases sound very innocent and harmless. Think about it, though. If you really wouldn’t eat your hat, you’re not telling the truth. We can’t really knock someone into next week or any other week, either. You know, God never said anything He could not do, so we need to stop practicing this form of idle chatter.

F. Hasty, emotional responses:

“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 (Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:2).
“If God never answered another prayer….” do you really mean that? What if God took you seriously?
“I promise I will never ask for…” or “God if you do..I will..” Do we need to “bribe” God?  Ask, and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened. Whoever asks, gets, seeks, finds, knocks, it shall be opened. If it’s according to God’s will, you will get it..He likes to give good gifts.

“As long as I have Jesus I don’t need nobody else?” Really? Does not God work through people? Are we not called to love and interact with people? No…we don’t worship them, but we need one another.  An example? One plants, one waters and God gives the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7). We need people.

Also, should we really bargain with God? Ecclesiastes 5: 4-6 warns us not to.

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

Jephthah in Judges 19 learned this lesson painfully. He vowed if he was victorious in battle, he would sacrifice the first thing that came out of the house and it happened to be his only daughter.

#BottomLine– even in our anger and excitement, we can still honor God with how we speak. We need to choose our words carefully.

So once again this week, let’s ask the Lord to help us to “weed out” these types of idle words from our  hearts, mouths and vocabulary and replace that idling with more of the Word of God. We can do all of these things through Christ that strengthens us!

Thank you so much for tuning, God bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you and until we meet again #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

God’s lessons from 2015 (Part 2 of 2).

Hey there BCU family!

What you will be reading is the”enhanced” transcript from the podcast, meaning,  you get a little more information in the written account than the audio file. 🙂  Enjoy either format and thanks for stopping by!

We are back with the second and final part of The five (5) BIG lessons the Lord taught me in 2015. Last time, we covered “Promises, promises” and “Appearances can be deceiving,” you can catch up here.  As a side note, I was tested on the the “promises” post.

I agreed to do a project for someone awhile back, and I followed up on it, but the person was a little slow in getting back to me, so I sort of dismissed it.  Of course, at the 11th hour they now want the project which will likely take me many hours to prepare. I started to fuss, but the Lord gently reminded me of what He said through the last post, so with His help, I will take care of it with a cheerful heart. See, I told ya’ll–when I post these things, I am talking to me first–I’ve got to be the first partaker of the fruit! (see 2 Timothy 2:6 for that reference).

So let’s see if we can get to the last three:
3. Happy Holidays?
4. Think outside the circle.
5. Say what?

Click the logo to start the podcast (audio file).

Happy Holidays?

I realize the official Christmas holiday season is over, but some situations occurred that will now have me looking at things in a more compassionate and through the eyes of Christ type way.

A friend of mine working on my computer remarked, “I’ll be glad when the holidays are over. This is a tough time for some people.” Later that same week, another good friend remarked, “the holidays are not happy for everybody.” In the both cases, my friends  had lost an immediate family member and understandably, the holidays brought some sadness. While I wanted say something to make it better, I was led to listen and quietly pray.

Lest you think that grief is unbiblical, take a look at Ruth 1:19-21. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law was making her way back home to Bethlehem after the death of her husband and sons. As the townspeople were asking after her, she said:

“Call me Mara, [meaning bitter] not Naomi, [pleasant] for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full and the Lord brought me home empty, so why call me Naomi seeing that the Lord testified against me and afflicted me.”

The woman was clearly grieving and said so! Notice the Word does not record anyone responding with familiar platitudes to quiet her down or ease her pain.

Proverbs 25:20 says “as he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that sings songs to a heavy heart.” Nitre was and still is a cleansing agent found in the lakes of Egypt–it is similar to what we know as baking soda. Nitre effervesced or bubbled when coming in contact with something acidic, like vinegar. So think about it–as these folks are mourning their loss, our well intentioned selves can say acidic things like “don’t cry, she would not want you to be sad”, “he’s not suffering anymore”,  “you’ll see her again,” ” she is in a better place”, “God needed her”, “He knows what He’s doing, it was best.” Now with the exception of “God needed her” (for what? God has plenty of resources and once we leave Earth, our work ceases), these sayings may well be true–was that what needed to be said at the time? Are those words really going to comfort someone? As a matter of fact, some of those remarks were said to a revered and  wonderful woman of God who lost her husband. She said, “I know all that, but I don’t want to hear that right now!”

For some reason, we want to hush and rush individuals through the grieving process, and even once the person is otherwise doing fine and gets sad, we want to shoo the sadness away. We are human and losing someone  in the flesh just HURTS and we will miss their presence, especially at certain times of the year.  Don’t get me wrong, it is hard to watch someone grieve–and it is natural and CORRECT to want to comfort the person. God knows what you should say (if anything), and will lead you accordingly if you ask. Proverbs 25:11 says, “a word spoken fitly is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” When you think of what a stunning vision that is, how awesome would it be to speak that way? Yes! Ask God how. And know sometimes, just a listening ear, a quiet shoulder, or just your silent presence can speak volumes.

Think outside the circle

This moment came from a lunch with my one of my best friends, Billie. We were talking about the gifts God has given us and how difficult it can be to operate them among people who know you. Sound familiar? In Matthew 13,  Jesus had just finished powerfully teaching many great parables (the sower, wheat and tare, what the kingdom of heaven was like) to multitudes by the shore. The Word does not record the reaction to the Jesus’ teachings, but I’m thinking the crowds were blessed by it, based on what happens around verse 54. Jesus came home to teach in the synagogue and folk  who knew Him started questioning His wisdom, mighty works they had ALREADY seen Him perform and His family tree.

And they were offended in Him, but Jesus said unto them, “a prophet is not without honor [is honored everywhere] except in his own country and in his own house.” And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:57-58).

Notice, who questioned Jesus–it certainly was not the people outside His “circle”, rather the ones IN the circle. The ones who should be encouraging, believing, praying and standing with you can sometimes be the toughest crowd. I can remember speaking at a function and  looking out on the cold faces of the circle of folks I had known for years, versus the encouraging smiles of the ones who were newer to the circle.

I do not mind saying that did sting quite a bit and it would neutralize me if I let it. This is why  Proverbs 3:5  says we cannot lean to our own understanding (if I did lean on my own, I would have stopped publicly speaking right after that. Thank God for healing me). Rather we are to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). If you are Holy Ghost filled, we have the power of the resurrected Christ in us to change the atmosphere no matter how combative it may be. We also need to accept the fact  that in some cases, we may not be well received at all among certain people, and unless God steps in, it will not change. But with the grace of God, we will NOT let that change us or the way we use the gifts God has given us.  Let the account we give have to give God one day have Him respond, “well done, thou good and faithful servant…. enter into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Say what?

This is more of an observation and gentle PSA. I am a little old school when it comes to sharing certain aspects of what I deem to be private, but it looks like I may be in the minority in comparison to the rest of the world.

With the onslaught of fake “reality” TV,  raunchy tell-all talk shows, dash cams, smart phones and social media, folk seem to think that it is allright to tell, post, video and snap pics of your every waking thought in exchange for 15-minute fame, free therapy, someone to co-sign your wrongness, spreading gossip, likes, sympathy, followers and to be the trending topic of the week whether intentional or not.

I recall a story where a day care provider posted something about not liking to be around lots of kids. YIKES!!! Of course, the post was seen and she lost her job.  Proverbs 29:11 says “a fool utters all his mind, but a wise man keeps it all in till afterwards.” Since we have seen the results of foolishness,  let’s look at wisdom in action.

Mary, mother of Jesus is a prime example. In Luke 2, angels had visited shepherds to tell them about the birth of Jesus and in turn, the shepherds went to see Joseph, Mary and Jesus to verify what the angels said. Once the shepherds saw Jesus for themselves, they “made it known abroad” what the angels said.  Even in all this excitement, the new mom “kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (verses 17 & 19).  If the mother of our Savior, King and Redeemer could keep quiet about such an important visitation, how much more should we? We should use discretion on all of our communication, except when Jesus is the subject and good news!

Granted, there are times when we need to talk something out or share information (that is yours to share), and that is where God’s wisdom comes in to lead you to the right person(s),  the medium to use, or to go directly to Him. Proverbs 3:6 reminds us to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and He will direct our paths. Amen? Amen!

Well family, that concludes our series! It was my pleasure to bring you His Word and I am excited for how the Lord will bless us to apply what He says.

May God continue to bless you richly. If this post has blessed you, please let us know by giving a thumbs-up, commenting and sharing with a friend. Thank you for reading/listening and until next post #StayOnTheWall.

 

Love,

BCU