Just how GREAT is our God?

Hey there BCU Fam!

For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording (click here or on the BCU avatar below) 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:

  • We are now days away from the day many set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ. (Note, There is NO biblical reference mentioning when Christ was born. We’re just glad He came).
  •  As we meditate on the miracle of His birth, and how/why He came here to save mankind (see John 3:16), the preparation and circumstances for Jesus’ arrival were orchestrated perfectly.
  • Years ago, God gave me this simple, yet powerful post that truly showed me how and reminded me of how powerful He is! Please listen, reflect and rejoice on the magnitude of our God!

Scripture references

Prophecy: Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me, the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”

Situation: Joseph & very pregnant Mary are in Nazareth/Galilee about 70 or so miles away from Bethlehem and likely had no reason to go there. Until…Let’s go to Luke 2:1-3.

1And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

2This census first took place while Cyrenius was governing Syria.

3So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Solution: Caesar declares a tax and all people, including Joseph and Mary have to make their way to their own/home city (and with no modern transportation, I might add. Now to Luke 2:4-6).

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was great with child.

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

Lesson: God used a carnal government official to make His Word/promise come to pass. He’s that powerful!! Psalms 62:11 says, “God has spoken once, twice have I heard this: power belongs to God!” That’s something to get excited about!


It’s God who is in the details. Period.


Proverbs 21:1 declares, “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” When we think about that, it helps us to understand who God really is and how He organizes circumstances to accomplish His will. While we may not understand or like our current situation(s), with His help, we need to trust He knows what He’s doing. In fact, Paul reminds us that “..we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬). While the individual situations that happen in our lives may not feel good, once the Lord finishes His masterpiece, ALL things will work together for good! With the grace of God, we’ll just hang on in here together and let the Lord have His way! 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 for our Thursday Night Bible Study––we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Amazon Music, AnchorFm, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and  Stitcher Radio !

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

Love,

BCU

Introverts Unite (separately)

Hey there BCU Family!

I am so glad you are here! You have the option of listening to our podcast,(you’ll get more commentary by listening) reading the notes or both. Either way I pray the post blesses, informs and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!



In a post on random things about me, I revealed that I was a little shy and introverted–which some may have a hard time believing since I teach for work AND for the Lord–on a social media platform no less! Well, much research has been done on introverts (typically quiet and introspective) and extroverts (basically outgoing and expressive) down through the years, so I thought this would be an interesting topic to dive into.

This nifty site, IntrovertDear.com, is where I learned quite a bit on introversion. Here are a few things that especially stood out to me about me:

1. You enjoy spending time alone

Most introverts enjoy social time too, but all introverts enjoy the solitude of spending time alone. If alone time feels refreshing, peaceful, and helps you recharge, you’re probably an introvert.

via elderban

2. You do your best work alone

Introverts rarely work well in crowded environments. The more secluded you are, the more likely you are to focus deeply and produce great work. You may feel more creative, focused, or productive, or you may simply be able to do more in a shorter time. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on teams, but you like to retreat somewhere quiet once the collaborating is done. In an open office, noise-canceling headphones are your friend.

3. You’d rather hang out with a few close friends than a large group of people.

It’s a myth that introverts don’t like to socialize. Sitting with a few close friends, you may enjoy chatting all night, and you may even “seem” like an extrovert. For whatever reason, these types of interactions don’t drain you the way others do. But once you get to a party or large group setting, you know it’s only a matter of time before you feel wiped out.

4. You prefer to stay out of the spotlight

There are exceptions to this, but many introverts prefer not to speak up in large group settings — and would rather hand off speaking roles to someone else. Of course, many introverts are creatives and performers, and some even love getting on stage. Others are business leaders who speak in front of teams or audiences all the time. Introverts are fully capable of learning and mastering these skills, but if your natural inclination is to avoid group participation, you may be an introvert.

5. You’re better at writing your thoughts than speaking them

You may or may not be a natural novelist, but if writing something is more comfortable than saying it in person, it’s a strong sign you’re an introvert. Introverts take time to think about what we want to say, and while that can slow down a live conversation, it makes for very clear and expressive writing.

6. You dive deep, both in your relationships and interests

What exactly do you do with that alone time you like to have? It’s time for self-reflection, of course! You might spend it thinking about your life, the people you love, your career, or the “big questions” in life. Or, you might spend it reading, researching, or creating art. All of these things give you a tendency to go deeper than others into the topics and pursuits that interest you. (Of course, you also spend some of that time just relaxing and recharging.)

7. You have a vivid, rich inner world

You might spend a lot of time pondering, and even dreaming. Or, you might just prefer to think things through before you act. Not every introvert is a dreamer or creative, but almost all have an entire inner world that they find just as comfortable as the world around them.


Important note: There’s No Such Thing as a Pure Introvert

No two introverts are exactly alike. What’s true for one introvert may be be quite different for another. Each introvert has a different level of tolerance for socializing and other types of stimulation.

Above all, there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. “Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum,” the famous psychotherapist Carl Jung once noted. Introversion and extroversion are on a spectrum, meaning, they are not all-or-nothing traits. Everyone acts introverted at times and extroverted at other times. It’s all about what your preference — in general — tends to be.


When I read this through, BCU Fam it explained things from a historical and even hereditary perspective. My dad—a wonderful man of God and retired transit system operator, interacted with us at home of course, but was generally a quieter, introspective, reserved man. In speaking with some of his co-workers and people who rode his bus, he was pretty much in constant chat mode as a part of his occupation. After a full 8-plus hours of all of that interaction, when he arrived home from work, his conversations were light in content! We used to lovingly tease about that, but I now know that he needed time to recharge from the day.

Similarly, as a facilitator, I spend most of most of my days instructing, and after a full day, I need/prefer a lot of quiet time before heading conversations and social settings. Now, even after talking most of the day, depending on the situation, I can and am often up for a conversation, and as a servant of God, I have to be available to people, as the Lord leads. So if I am not fully recharged, I ask the Lord for some help. He always comes through!

My questions for you: did anything on this list resonate with you at all, BCUFam? Or are you the opposite? Maybe you are a combo (ambivert)? Are you unsure? Take the quiz! Then, 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


Room a203: 10 Random things about bcu

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 (click on the avatar below), 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!

So, with all the unrest and heavy sighing many of us have been doing, I thought I’d post a little something on the lighter side. Last year, I did a random BCU facts post, where you got to know more about me, so let’s dig in a little more!

  1. As hard as it is to believe, I am really very shy and introverted. As a youngster, it was a struggle for me to speak up in school and in front of crowds ESPECIALLY when I am unfamiliar with the people. (It’s different when I know the people, hence why I was talkative at home and in small familiar settings). And I still am very introverted and prefer in many situations to just be quiet. This is a testament to God being real in my life. It’s only Jesus–and the Holy Ghost down on the inside that allows me to teach, speak and minister in front of people.
  2. I LOVE bracelets. Silver ones, specifically, but there is something about those tinkling, sparkly round spheres that makes me happy! Once again, I think I owe this to Mrs. Patricia Dickerson, my third grade teacher.
  3. I have never seen “Star Wars” and have no interest in doing so. I don’t know why.
  4. Several years ago, a wonderful evangelist, Elder Leon Ellison, testified that he had been saved longer than he had been in the world. I remember thinking, “WOW, what a great testimony— I got saved at age 24, how many years do I have to go to share that testimony?” To the glory of God, in 2017, I was saved 25 years!
  5. I did a small stint as a gospel D.J. YES, indeed! When my daughter was little, the Lord blessed me to reorganize the Monday night gospel skate, and I was actually in the booth spinning the C.D.’s! Those were good times!
  6. As a child, some of my favorite foods were “Oodles of Noodles” (a.k.a. Ramen Noodles). My dad used to make them for us on Saturdays sometimes, and that was a big treat and even an affordable meal into my early adulthood. That love abruptly stopped when I was expecting my daughter–the smell of them made me extremely ill. Although my daughter is grown, to this day, just the thought of those noodles brings back the smell and invokes a bit of nausea. I want nothing to do with them. Ever.
  7. I have a thing for body and skin care that is organic and made with clean, simple materials. I have baskets of all sorts of jars, tubes, bottles and containers with all types of soaps, scrubs, lotions, shea butters and oils that work well and smell pretty yummy. I am open to try your favorites. 😀
  8. For those of you that know me, I LOVE old school television shows, and haven’t watched network television regularly in years– but on occasion, I do enjoy a little binging of Law and Order Criminal Intent (with Vincent D’onofrio). There is something about the psychological element of the crime that fascinates me. I also catch a little “This is Us.” (thanks, Jewel). 🙂
  9. There are certain gospel songs I’ll put on repeat for hours at a time for days at a time—especially if I am going through a rough patch, or if the song just ministers to me at the time. What are my current favorites? “He’s sweet I know” (Hezekiah Walker), “More than anything” and Jesus Will (Anita Wilson) and “I am God” (Donald Lawrence).
  10. Folding clothes is one my least favorite chores. I have a mind to live out of the clothes basket [Insert shrug].
  11. Bonus: I got married recently. I actually need to stop saying recently, because it’s almost been a year. I may need to share that story one of these posts. 😉

    There you have it, BCU Family! So, did anything surprise you? Or did something on the list resonate with you? Let’s talk about it in the chat section below!

If you have not already 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

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

Ready to go??

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Are we really, really for the rapture..or prepared to leave Earth to be with the Lord without reservation? As a Holy-Ghost filled, baptized in Jesus name believer in Christ, I often speak to God throughout the day. I kinda figured that with His grace, I’ll be able to breathe a prayer as needed before I get out of here.

A while ago, I was training a class when I heard a SUPER LOUD crash and the lights went out. Because the crash came so suddenly and loudly, it took me about 15 seconds to collect myself. For that short time, I didn’t even have the presence of mind to pray, and I “know better”! So what happens if you are saved, in the middle of letting someone “have it” who wronged you and the Lord comes? Will you have time to breathe a prayer of forgiveness? What if you are not saved according to Acts 2:38-39, and today is your appointed time to die? How do you know if you’ll have time to repent, be baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost?

My point? Saved folks: we need to stay prayed up, and ask the Lord to forgive us for any sin we asking forgiveness for whatever sin we have committed willfully– not practicing, mind you, I mean a slip or unknowingly. (For the extra-holy among us, I John 1:8 says if we say we don’t sin, the truth is not in us). We also should practice living according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as opposed to how people may treat us. Know that the energy we spend retaliating, worrying about things God asks us not to do can be better spent focusing on what we can do–praying and fasting in faith and trusting that all things work together for them love him and who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If our focus is there, we’ll be in a much better position to be ready whenever He comes for us.

If you don’t know Jesus, now is a good time to get give your life to Him. Look at all the earthquakes, strange weather patterns, famine, heartache, increases in murders, suicides and the like. The Bible tells us this is just the beginning of sorrows. What more are you waiting to do? Isn’t the partying getting old? Drinking, smoking, doing drugs, being with a different person nightly tiresome? Why keep self-medicating to numb the pain of the past and fill your brokenness? Jesus is THE only one who can fix what’s broken. Being saved is NOT a life doomed to just church and Bible study (albeit important and needful fundamentals). Christ came that you might have life and that more abundantly (John 10:10). I am not speaking of pure prosperity, rather the peace of knowing a Savior who loves and is with you on your worst day (we do have those sometimes), He supplies your needs, the desires of your heart, according to His will and guarantees you a place in Heaven. Doesn’t that sound good? It’s yours for the asking no matter WHAT you have done– big or small! So just:

Repent— acknowledge you are a sinner (we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God Romans 3:23) and let the Lord know how sorry you are about your sins.

Be baptized in Jesus name Acts 4:12 says there is no other name under heaven where you can be saved. Your sins will be washed away! This act symbolizes your old self “dying” and you becoming a new creature.

The Holy Ghost will come : This baptism of the Spirit is where Jesus fills you with the Holy Spirit. The initial sign of this speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives you utterance. It happened in Acts 2 and STILL happens today. The Holy Spirit is ESSENTIAL in order to live according to God’s plan. This is the Keeper.

I won’t lie and promise that you will never be sad, lonely, heartbroken, or face trouble in your Christian walk. What God does promise is that He will take us through our trials and we will become stronger in Him for it, trust Him more and be able to encourage others as well. Am I right, saved readers?

I truly hope that this post has blessed you today. I share God’s heart in that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). Come on over to the “won side” with Jesus. Saved folks, let’s keep our spiritual house in order at all times and practice walking the peace God promises us in Philippians 4:6, shall we? Unsaved readers, its not too late–take advantage of God’s offer today!

Be blessed today and always!