She left me better….

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:

  • Last week, a dear friend of mine, Mother Brenda Lee Elliott passed away.
  • While my heart is sad, I am grateful for the blessings she deposited into me.
  • Our relationships are important and should be treated as a blessing.
  • All of our conversations should leave people better than we found them.

Mother Brenda Lee Elliott | January 1954-February 2022

While my heart grieves at the loss of Mother Elliott, I give God praise for the almost 25-year friendship we shared. Every time we talked, including our last conversation, she loved on me and encouraged my heart. She left me better than when she found me. We never know if the last time we speak to someone may be the last time.

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. We want to leave people better than you found them. Amen? Amen.

As a reminder, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, if you so inclined, join us Thursday nights–we are LIVE on YouTube 8:05EST/7:05CST. You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio Google Play, and Apple Podcasts!

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

Love,

BCU

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


And just WHY do we need to forgive?!

[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 conversational story, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights and corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

My pastor often says that the number one sin among believers is not forgiving someone. And I have to admit, BCU Fam is one of the HARDEST things to do, especially with repeat offenders and those who have really hurt us badly, as we talked about last time we were together.  Despite the forgiveness struggle, we need to forgive with the help of the Lord.  Let’s jump into our second and final part of the series.

Podcast highlights:

  • Offenses will come..and ANYONE we come in contact with is subject to offending us.
  • In many things we offend all. This means while we may get offended, we offend others.
  • When we forgive, we MUST do it from the heart—once and for all.
  • Sources vary a bit, but on average, ten thousand talents equates to several million dollars in American money (USD). One hundred pence is about $17.00 USD.
  • Forgiveness is a part of the Christian walk. And required in order to get forgiveness from God.

Scripture references

 Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Matthew 18:7).

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Forgiveness is a tough subject, BCU Fam, yet something that all of us (especially believers) need to apply with God’s help. The Scriptures are clear that if we don’t forgive, we don’t GET forgiven! Who wants to miss Heaven over that? No one does! Let’s take the people, situations and pain to Jesus and allow Him to heal us. I am a witness He will make you as good as new—even better!

So, what is your forgiveness story? How long did you hold on to the offense? What prompted you to let go? Or are you still holding it?  Please has down to the comment section here on the BCU site, where we can continue our conversation!

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 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

Forgiveness: Do you trust God with your pain?

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 conversational story, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights and corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Last time we were together, we talked through a situation where I was betrayed and hurt by people whom I loved and trusted—and more importantly the lessons that the Lord taught me through what happened. A central theme of the podcast, is forgiveness from the heart. This, BCU Fam is one of the HARDEST things to do, especially with repeat offenders and those who have really hurt us badly. Yet, we need to forgive with the help of the Lord.  Listen in to part 1 of this 2 part series and and find out why.

Podcast highlights:

  • Offenses will come..and ANYONE we come in contact with is subject to offending us.
  • In many things we offend all. This means while we may get offended, we offend others.
  • Forgiveness is a part of the Christian walk. And required in order to get forgiveness from God.

Scripture references

Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Matthew 18:7).

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).

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 (James 3:2).

And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18).

Forgiveness is a tough subject, BCU Fam, yet something that all of us (especially believers) need to apply with God’s help. Many years ago, the Lord even impressed on me to forgive someone who, through inaction, hurt many family members, years after the person has passed away.  Without the prompting of the Lord, I would never have realized I was holding the individual in a non-forgiving state. Who wants to miss Heaven over that? No one does! Let’s take the people, situations and pain to Jesus and allow Him to heal us. I am a witness He will make you as good as new—even better!

Lord will, next time we’re together we’ll finish up the podcast by going over the remainder of Matthew 18 and applying it to our lives. In the meantime, tell us your forgiveness story. How difficult was it? How long did you hold on to the offense? What prompted you to let go? Or are you still holding it?  There’s a comment section here on the BCU site, where we can continue our conversation!

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 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

2017 lesson: Dealing with betrayal (part 2)

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 conversational story, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights and corresponding Scriptures. We pray the post blesses and encourages you.  If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Last time we were together, we talked through a situation where I was betrayed and hurt by people whom I loved and trusted—and more importantly the lessons that the Lord taught me through what happened. Today, we bring you the second part and final part of our betrayal podcast.

Podcast highlights:

  • Offenses will come..and ANYONE we come in contact with is subject to offending us.
  • Hurt and anger are natural, normal emotions to being offended, yet we are responsible for how we react toward the persons. (Matthew 18 is an awesome Scripture reference and shows the blueprint of how do deal with an offense).
  • Forgiveness is REQUIRED.
  • Accept the apology you may never receive.

Scripture references

Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Matthew 18:7).

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15).

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19).

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 (James 3:2).

The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression (Proverbs 19:11).

Love suffers long…(I Corinthians 13:4).

So, BCU Fam, as HURTFUL as this situation was, I thank God for Jesus taking away the pain, so much so, that I can (through Him only), continue to see and work with the offenders as if nothing ever happened. That’s how you KNOW God is working in your life! Glory to God!

And He can and will do the same for you–as we humble ourselves to Jesus in prayer and ask Him to forgive us for holding on to the grudge and to forgive the offender. We also can ask for the grace to ask someone for forgiveness as well. I am a witness, once you do, you’ll feel so much better in you spirit, mind and body–AND  you’ll know you are more Christ-like in the process. That’s the goal we’re striving for, amen?! Amen!

Have you ever been betrayed or hurt by a co-worker, spouse, friend or family member? How did you handle it? There’s a comment section here on the BCU site, just ripe for us to continue our conversation!

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 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