Why being “salty” is a good thing.

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! 

Podcast highlights:

    • For years, salt has gotten bad press and that is “fake news”.  God designed us to need salt in our lives.
    • We will take a look at the history of salt and why it is essential to have in our diets and in our daily interactions with people.

A while back, the Lord blessed me teach on salt at a conference, and I thought I’d share a condensed version of what He gave me with all of you. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus said,  ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Why salt? Let’s start by taking a look at the history of salt and why we need it in our natural bodies and in The Body of Christ.

Salt comes from the ocean, and the salt water is usually channeled into smaller, shallow pools of water. The wind and sun evaporate the water and as the salt crystallizes, it is, in some cases, hand-harvested by sauniers. Depending on the type of salt being harvested, this labor-intensive process can sometimes take up to five years to complete!

The Latin word for salt is salarium,  meaning ‘pertaining to salt’, but also is where our word “salary” comes from.  History tells us salt was a precious, expensive, highly valued item of trade and sometime used for monetary exchange. In fact, some sources say Roman soldiers were even paid in salt! That may sound strange now, but back themwhen salt was your salary, you were living LARGE!  Now that you have some background, let’s take a look at why we need salt.

Salt gets a bad rap in part, because our diets have changed to include more processed, fatty and preserved food that has lots of table salt. Table salt is not all bad, just not as good as natural sea salt is. Pure sea salt has minerals like sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride–the body needs these to function. While table salt originally comes from sea salt, in its processing, those minerals are stripped away and iodine added in. (Side note: Rather than consuming processed table salt, I suggest getting the sea salt and eat more wild-caught fish and veggies for iodine). 😉

Pure sea salt is needed in your body because it:

Prevents muscle cramps
Provides essential nutrients
Enhances nutrient absorption

Pure sea salt also regulates:
–Blood pressure (in conjunction with water)
–Blood sugar
–Sleep

This is just a fraction of what this needed nutrient does for us!! In essence, salt regulates your body, helps you function and keeps a lot of the “bad” out. Now let’s look at the spiritual need for salt.

Salt regulates the body of Christ by keeping the bad out:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV).

It also keeps us functioning by keeping the good in like love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, temperance, faith and meekness (Galatians 5:22). With the salt Jesus gives you on the inside, it shows up on the outside!

As a needed spiritual nutrient, Jesus commanded that we “have salt in yourselves and peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). In our next installment, we’ll take a look at what that means and why salt is vital in friendships and covenants. Please stay tuned!


So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? Did you know that salt was so vital to your body? How awesome is it that God made it so we need salt for regulating our spiritual lives as well? Isn’t God amazing? 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

The last word…

Hey 👋🏾 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 post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

As we bring our 2016 Loopback lessons series to a close, this question came up:

“If you knew the words you are speaking to  your loved one, friend, family, neighbor, enemy or even a stranger, would be the last words they heard or the last ones you spoke to them–would you really continue saying what you are saying? Or would your words be different?

Years ago, I worked at a bank and landed (well, God placed me) in a department where the majority of employees were Holy-Ghost filled and/or grew up in church. As young saints, we loved going to one another’s services, gospel concerts, and sharing the latest teachings, revelations, heartaches and triumphs.

Eventually, the bank was bought out and jobs were lost, but I kept in touch close touch with a fellow named Henry.  Henry was funny, goofy and could work a nerve, but the Lord also used him show and tell me a few things. We went from the era of paying our bills downtown (we called paying a smaller part of the phone bill “hush money” LOL), to paying them online, Jheri curls to clean bald, renting apartments to owning homes, buses to paying car notes, from records to cassette tapes, to CD’s to downloading music. Wow– a lot took place over the last two decades.

Sometimes, Henry and I would talk several times daily, other times, weekly or a few times a month. (Although Henry would text me and was very ACTIVE on social media. He would be sure to comment about my latest Facebook post, picture or outing attended–and oftentimes with a smart mouth at that)!  When we did connect via the phone, it was as if there had not been any lapse at all.

I spoke to Henry sometime in October of last year. I don’t recall the exact conversation at all.  What I do remember? It was the last time we spoke on the telephone. Henry unexpectedly  passed away the very next month. BCU Fam, I did not see that coming. At.All. *Insert heavy sigh.* While my heart grieves at the loss of my friend, I give God praise for the almost 25-year friendship and that the last words we exchanged were not harsh, unloving or something regretful.

We often treat our communication very nonchalantly. When we ask “how are you?”, do we really want to know?  Or is it another way of saying “hi.” Do we look for a opportunity to connect with someone, say at the cleaners or the market, or is our aim to get in and get out? You may be thinking, “well, Blen it is a stranger. Who cares?”

A few years ago, I was a frazzled customer trying to make my way out of the checkout line in a hurry. I must have left a bag in the store or something, because I recall rushing back in only to be greeted by a very pleasant-looking woman who asked how I was doing. I probably said, “fine” with a smile, but my heart was saying, “I really need to get out of here” as I kept moving. She actually stopped me, gave me the biggest hug, and then told me “now, you can go”. I was shocked by her act, but it warmed my heart and caused me to slow down. And to my knowledge, I haven’t seen her again. I can’t recall what I ate last for lunch last Tuesday, but I remember how much that “how are you doing?” blesses me even now. See what I mean?

Closer to home, is dinner with family and friends a time to look one another in the face and converse, or do we immediately pull phones out while we update one another on the Twitter news?  I recall being out to dinner with my family and catching a glance of another family of four or five who was waiting to be served. Everyone at the table, including the parents, were hunched over their phones. I think that was the loudest silence I have heard. How differently would the conversation had gone if they knew it was the last time they would all be together? What if the Lord had taken one of them from the group that night? How much regret would there have been?

Or, think about this true story: a son and mom get into an quarrel about a poor decision the son makes. Tempers flare, words are exchanged, doors slam and silence engulfs the house for days. Later that week, the son (who is in his 20’s) falls gravely ill and going in and out of consciousness at the hospital.  As the young man finally comes to, he looks up at his mom and immediately asks “are you still mad at me?” Can you imagine that?! Think about how mom would have felt if that heated exchange would have been their last conversation. Thankfully, the Lord spared and healed the son–and taught the family a valuable lesson.

BCU Fam, please don’t start walking in fear about who may be departing from this life next–that’s not the intended point behind this post. Rather, as you interact with spouses, significant others, children, family members, friends, enemies or strangers, ask the Lord to give you the words to speak that will be a blessing to the hearer.  Colossians 4:6 says, to let our speech be always with grace and seasoned with salt that we know how to answer every one. Even if we disagree or have to confront (in a godly way), or correct someone, we can still speak “seasoned” and all the while glorifying God.

James 4:14 says we don’t know what shall happen tomorrow–our life is like a vapor. When you think about fog or a cloud of steam, it’s visible one moment and disappears the next. Vapor does make an impact while it is around, so with the help of the Lord, let’s say and do things that “add value” to whoever  we’re speaking with. Amen? Amen.

BCU family, there is no doubt I miss my buddy Henry–my life will never be the same without him. And, if I had known our conversation would have been our last, it would have been a LOT different–with a heaping helping of love. But through his death, the Lord is still good in reminding us to be mindful of ALL our interactions. No one that we speak with comes into our paths by accident–God intended for those conversation to take place. Will you allow the Lord to speak through you? That leads us to our question of the week!

With the help of the Lord, how do you plan to have meaningful conversations with the people you come in contact with?  Please comment 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, and now 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 you, keep you and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

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In loving memory of Henry G. Nelson

2016 Loopback | Our words: Do they hurt or heal?

Hey 👋🏾 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 post blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your the post.

For the month of January, we’re taking a walk through some of the lessons God taught over 2016. Last week, consistency in the treatment of others our topic (you can click here to catch that podcast/post). This week, we’re focusing on “speech patterns or how we use our words. I would like to start with a story.

As a youngster, “Meche*” was blessed with scholastic ability beyond her peers and to the marvel and delight of many adults–well most of them. There was this one leader whom  Meche was assigned to, that had an issue with this child. This leader openly criticized Meche about the silliest things, creating feeling of inadequacy, fear of making errors, speaking up, worry and low-esteem.  Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, Leader ended up breaking her little spirit.

Of course, Meche moved on from the leader and seemed okay, but in the back of her mind, she always felt inadequate, ugly and invisible, so in her mind, she needed to overcompensate by becoming a people-pleaser, no matter what the cost, including time, money, illicit activity, giving gifts, etc. To that end, Meche attracted the wrong type of people into her life for decades. After having her heart ache one too many times, Meche, (who had repented and gotten baptized in Jesus name awhile back), decided it was time to give her heart to Jesus–and was filled with the Holy Ghost shortly thereafter and has been walking with Jesus ever since.

The story ended well, thank God! And yes, there were likely other factors that contributed to Meche’s issues over her lifetime. The fact remains that a person chose to deliberately and repeatedly verbally mistreat a child—and that choice negatively effected that child well into adulthood. We certainly praise God Meche got the healing and deliverance she needed in order to function properly–my question: Did that have to happen in the first place?

How do we speak to our “not so favorite” family members? What tone do we give the “ex”? Do we stop speaking for days or weeks to our spouses/loved ones when we do not agree? Do we label our kids with horrible names? How are we talking about the neighbor’s children? Do we retaliate intentionally and willfully? Verbally, pscyhologically or physically?  Or do we rebel or say things in our hearts? Under our breath?

We did a series a #SpeechTherapy series last year and part of what we learned is that our the need to cut someone with our words is really steeped in a spirit of pride. I John 2:16 says that all that’s in the world is the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life, and that DOES not come from God, so it comes from the enemy. Experience tells us that NOTHING good comes from Satan. Pride will tell you  to “lay your Holy Ghost on the shelf” (really?) while you let her have a piece of your mind”. Or that you are justified in speaking sharply to her because of what they did to you. Or “don’t be a punk, cuss them out, so they learn their lesson.”

We all get irritated, angry annoyed, disappointed, frazzled and offended. These things are a part of life and the emotions that accompany are real!  Where the power of the Holy-Ghost comes in,  we control what we say and HOW we say it, versus letting our emotions control us to a point where we end up breaking someone’s spirit.   Proverbs 12:18 says there are some that speak like the piercings of a sword but the tongue of the wise is health. In thinking back to last week’s lesson and how you’d like to be treated, which speech would you like? Swords or health?  Right, health it is. I’d like it, so I have to speak it.

BCU Fam this is TOUGH one today!!! Let’s ask the Lord to bless us to remain prayerful and in the Spirit when we have to converse with someone who was offended us in some way. Even if we have to be direct or explain a wrong, we can still speak so that God is glorified. Colossians 4:6 reminds us that our speech should always be with grace and seasoned with salt, that we may know how to answer everyone. Have you tasted  “graceless” unseasoned food? Was it palatable? Flavorful? Easy to go down? Most likely it was bland, tasteless and after a bite or two, you didn’t want it. See the correlation? It’s a challenge, but not impossible. Luke 1:37 says, with God nothing shall be impossible! and we can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13). So now, with God’s help, let’s stock up the mind/heart with a healthy abundance of grace and salt. 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! 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 you, keep you and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

Love,

 

BCU

 

 

*Name has been changed and details omitted. Story retold with permission.

Seasoned saints–The importance of salt in your life–Part 3

Happy New Year Family!!!🎊

I trust your holidays were blessed and you are enjoying the gift of a new year. A couple of posts back, I started a “salt series”. This entry will round off that series by exploring why we need (more) salt in our lives. While, I am not into resolutions, I think this may be a good area for all saved folks to gain more knowledge and strength in, myself included. Let’s dig in!

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13 NKJV).

Salt gets a bad rap because of its link to high blood pressure, fluid retention, etc. While anything in excess can be harmful, iodized salt is not the best for the body. Common “table” salt is void of vital nutrients except iodine, which is added back after processing.

20130110-222427.jpgSea salt contains nutirents that are needful for the body like sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride. In addition, sodium regulates the passage of nutrients into the cells. Without it, nutrients cannot enter your cells and you will have malnutrition and exhaustion, no matter how good your diet. Some other salt functions are:

Muscle cramps prevention
Regulator of:
–blood pressure
–blood sugar
–sleep
Eliminates dry coughs (just a bit on your tongue)
Soothes a sore throat (warm water& salt gargle)
Draws out infections
Helps with muscle soreness

And that’s just the a small fraction of what salt does! Just as its needed in your body, it’s needed in the Body Of Christ as well.

Salt regulates the “Body” by keeping “infections” out such as: idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and things like this. Willful engagement of these behaviors will prohibit us from entering into the kingdom of God, according to Galatians 5:20-21. Having salt on the regular will keeps us functioning and keep the “good” in. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22, 23 NLT). Salt “preserves” us from practicing sin.

We also need salt for our conversations with family, friends, co-workers and the not-so-nice store clerk. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every one (Colossians 4:6 NKJV). Another example comes from Proverbs 15:1–a soft answer turns away wrath, but grevious words stir up anger. Salt helps temper your responses.

Few things are as bad as a flavorless, or what I call a peppered Christian—acting bitter and nasty due to hurt, cares of the world, practicing sin or bad habits. In fact, let’s go back to the verse that started the series–Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

You see, in the Bible days, when harvesting the salt, if any of it was contaminated with dirt or marsh, it was put on the dirt roads to keep the dust down, hence the reference to being trampled underfoot by men. A contaminated Christian NOT the testimony we want. We have to stay seasoned in order to draw the world AND love folks. Jesus said,“have salt in yourselves and peace with one another” (Mark 9:50). If there is no salt in you, you will not have peace with others. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

Bottom line: Salt is a necessary nutrient needed in our natural and spiritual lives. Adequate salt intake comes from prayer, fasting, regular bible study and attending church. Also, just like when we season our food, we want to use the correct amount of salt in our speech and actions. Too little salt is not effective—too much salt and is not palatable. Rather than trying to keep impossible resolutions this year, let us covenant with the Lord that with His help, we will always use/the right amount of salt in ALL our interactions. Amen? Amen!

God’s best blessings to you!

Blen

Pic courtesy of: http://www.thekitchn.com/come-along-on-a-159478

Seasoned saints: The importance of salt in your life–Part 2

Hey family!

I trust God blessed you all with a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was fantastic, filling and went by fast! 🙀

Last post, I started on a “salt series” that talked about salt production and how vital it is to our natural body and in the body of Christ on a spiritual level. This time around, lets see what the Word is on salt.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Matthew 5:13).

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One of the earliest mentions of salt is in Leviticus 2. That chapter outlines detailed instructions on how sacrifices had to be prepared to be given to the priests and then offered to God. In verses 4-6, you’ll see God was very specific about the flour, oil—and even if the grain sacrifice was made pan versus a frying pan. (Side note: note how you just couldn’t bring God a sacrifice any ol’ way. That’s important for us to think about when we bring Him our sacrifice of praise, worship, time, money..anything we have for Him). Looking at the verses 11-12, God specifies the “seasonings” on the offering–that there should be no leaven or honey, but:

Every offering you shall season with salt. You shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt” (Leviticus 2:13).

Okay, Blen, so what does that mean? I am glad you asked! Salt was just not a food enhancer or monetary trade items like we learned last time, it was also used as a covenant symbol.

History mentions that people used salt as a sign of binding loyalty and a symbol of alliance. In fact, in Europe and parts of the Middle East, salt and bread are offered to guests as a sign of friendship (hence the phrase “we have salt between us”). Additionally, treaties and truces were formalized using salt. Each person would take a lick of salt (similar to shaking hands) to “seal the deal”.

Salt was also used to heal a rift between parties as well. If there was a disagreement between folks, you would invite the person into your home to share a dish of salt. Each of you would lick your finger, dip it in the salt and then eat the salt together. Peculiar as this may sound, when a promise was seasoned with salt, it was so serious, that people would rather die than break that promise! Let’s examine another Scripture on the Covenant of salt.

2 Chronicles 13 tells of a war between Israel (King Jeroboam) and Judah (King Abijah). Jeroboam had the bigger army and was pretty sure he could take Abijah down. King Abijah reminded Jeriboam of God’s promise.

“Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt? Now look, God Himself is with us as our head, and His priests with sounding trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O children of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you shall not prosper!” Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah”
(2 Chronicles 13:5,12,15 NKJV). Yessss–God ALWAYS keeps His word and Judah triumphed!!!!!!

Are you connecting the dots, Family? Isn’t it wonderful to see how God shows us how He keeps promises with something as simple, yet as powerful as salt? How about the promises we make? 🙊Are they “salt-worthy”? Solomon warns us think before we vow:

Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few
(Ecclesiastes 5:2 NKJV).

I cannot speak for you all, but if someone promises they will do something and they don’t follow through, I am so disappointed! Because the Lord has made me more mindful about keeping my word, He reminds me to say “with God’s help I will”…or, “if nothing changes, I plan to”, or “Lord will, I’ll…” Keeping that last verse in mind, it really helps us to rely on our perfect God to help us keep our word. Also, if we something does happen, it’s a good idea to circle back to the person quickly and fulfill your promise as soon as possible.

Bottom line: If you can’t season your promise with salt, it really best not to promise at all. I heard a cartoon character say, a broken promise cannot be easily put back together. How true.

I’ll leave you to meditate on this post, as we prepare for the next salt installment, that will talk more about why we need (more) salt in our natural and spiritual lives.

I pray you all were blessed by what you have read! Thanks and God bless you for stopping by!

Love,

Blen