Confronting the spirit of fear.

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 study!

 

I “wrassled” with something awhile back and I thought I’d share  with you all, in case you have a similar situation. If not, take it on credit.

I had an acquaintance we’ll call “Jamie” (name changed), who I TOTALLY thank God for. The thing with Jaime? They have a penchant for being very talkative to the point where 1) you can’t get a word in edgewise 2) the conversations are not always fruitful (sometimes laced with complaints and backbiting) and 3) “mindless chatter”, all of which I have a low tolerance for (yes, I pray even now that God help me with this). Now to Jamie’s defense, they are very nice and will share the last Ring Ding with you, but listen, is a Ring Ding worth all of that conversation?!

While I would fraternize with Jamie when I needed to, it’s not something I wanted to do. In fact, I tried to avoid Jamie at as much as possible, fearing I’ll get into a long conversation, or say something (nicely, of course) that will hurt the über-sensitive feelings of this individual and lose my Christian witness.  Jamie was the type of person who you could say something to in the nicest way possible, but would still be hurt. I was in a tough place.

So one day, Jamie left me a message –apparently it was question that only I could answer. In a matter of seconds, my attitude changed from happy to irritation and anger because there was no way to avoid talking to this person. My mind raced wildly–what now? Didn’t I take care of that other situation we had last week? Is this question going to lead to a verbal bashing of a friend? Should I schedule our conversation in between appointments—that way I could limit my time talking? Then, I started practice responses to possible questions that could come up—-RARRRRRRRR!! (arms flailing).

While I was ranting in my car, the Lord invited me to talk to Him about it. Rather than let anxiety take over, as Philippians 4:6 reminded me, it was better that I make my requests known before God in prayer, supplication and with thanksgiving, so that God’s peace would keep my heart and mind.

In talking this through with God, the bottom line was FEAR! I was letting FEAR make me crazy before I even knew what the situation was. Also, I was running (related to fear) from this thing like it was a six-foot bear, when with God on my side, this situation was a plastic poodle! On top of it, I was tired of being afraid!

As a Holy Ghost filled woman, I have Christ on my side, and whatever the conversation was, I needed to be ready to tell Jamie with seasoned speech if what was being said was not agreeing with me or I needed to get going. I also needed to quit worrying (a by- product of fear) about hurting feelings in lieu of pleasing God.  In addition, Proverbs 27:5 reminded me that open rebuke is better than secret love, AND as long as my speech was seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6), God would be pleased. In the final analysis, pleasing God is really the only thing that matters. After talking that over with Jesus, the peace that came over me was AMAZING!! I felt armed and ready to deal with Jamie or any other potentially sticky situation.

How did my Jamie story end? It turns out that a couple of emails answered Jamie’s questions (see, I didn’t even have to chat with him after all), and NOW with God’s grace and help, I’ll be better equipped to deal with a confrontation when needed with NO FEAR! Sure, tackling an unpleasant issue is uncomfortable and unnerving–but confrontation is biblical. We just have to know how to do God’s way and that starts with prayer! He will give us the words to say so the conversation will be perfect. So with have our directions from God and Holy Ghost leading us, there’s no need to be afraid–God’s got our back!

The final word on fear? II Timothy  1:7 reminds us that God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Let’s take God at His word and walk in what He says. Amen? Amen!

What are your experiences with fear? How have you handled it? Or do you let it handle you like I did? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook,Twitter, or 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

Relationships and the spirit of infirmity

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 podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

Many years ago, while talking about relationships, a good friend of mine, Sara said:

…one thing you DO NOT want to do is get into a relationship with low self-esteem. You will begin to question your boyfriend/husband’s faithfulness, his truthfulness [about being beautiful], and your negative thoughts become power and that power consumes you making you feel like the ugliest being on the planet and that makes you feel alone even when you are coupled.”

WOW!!!!! POWERFUL statement, right? You know, it’s my opinion that as children of God, while many of us are Holy-Ghost filled, we may not be whole in certain areas. Allow me to explain in the following story, shared with permission, *names changed and details to protect the identity of the couple.

*Lea was friends with *Mike for a few years before they decided they liked each other. Lea was saved, in school, working and loving life. Mike was also saved, educated, hard-working guy. They dated for awhile–all giddy with excitement about marriage, kids and maybe even a dog :-). But, they didn’t make it. And it wasn’t all HIS fault.

While Lea was Holy-Ghost filled, she was NOT healed from the hurts from her past relationships– that manifested itself in various ways. For example, Lea had ZERO interest in sports, but would “muster up” excitement while watching ESPN with Mike. Hey, she hadn’t had a date in years and didn’t want to mess this up. When Mike cancelled their dates at the last minute for frivolous reasons, Lea was upset, but rather than talk about it, she pretended she was ok. After all, she didn’t want to seem like a nag and wanted to prove she was Christ-like and able to forgive. She even lied to him about how far she went with past boyfriends so he’d stay interested in her. In short, Lea’s self-esteem was so low, she felt she had to be a certain way in order to keep him around and interested. It was tiring for Lea to keep pretending, but it was the only way she knew to operate so he’d stick around. Eventually one thing led to another as the truth, motives, accusations and distrust came in and the relationship ended.

Lea, (like many other women–and men, too) was so battle-weary from past rejections, hurts, self-doubt, watching friends get boyfriends/married, etc., that when this guy came along, she allowed the whispers of doubt and fear from the enemy to control her thoughts and actions. This is where she needed to allow the Lord to come in and heal her heart.

This reminds me of the woman with the spirit of infirmity found in Luke 13:11-13.

11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

For Lea, every rejection, negative comment, the tormenting voices–all that pain began to pile up and weigh her down to a point where she could not lift herself up, like many of us. But just as Jesus saw and called the woman to be loosed from her infirmity, He is calling to us to be healed as well!

Facing up to the things that hurt us is difficult and painful. But so is carrying it around! Jesus NEVER intended for us to be burdened down with pain at all! In fact, Matthew 11:28-30 says,

28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus is calling to us to be made whole in all the areas of our lives, for His glory foremost, and especially if we want to attract whole people! And this goes for all relationships–not just potential mates. Think about how Jesus wants to us exchange our burdens for His light yoke, our heavy for His light, our pain for His healing. It’s an uneven exchange that works for our benefit. All we have to do is take it to Jesus and leave it there. That’s it!

What about you? Are you bowed down with emotional pain, mental torment, decisions you made in the past that you have to face everyday? Today, ask God in faith to lift you up from all areas you are bowed down in, bless you to be confident through Him, and replace the areas of fear with His perfect love (I John 4:18). Take comfort in knowing that it is His pleasure to heal you and then walk upright and see the “whole” bright future God has for you! How do I know any of this is true? God has done these same things for me!

What has your Luke 13 or Matthew 11 experience been? What’s resonated with you in the post? Please leave us a comment in the section below the post, so 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

God’s lesson from a storm…

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!

So BCU Fam, living in New England, our winters are unpredictable. At the time of this post, we just got through a HUGE snow storm, dumping a foot of snow in most places.

During the storm and in removing some of the snow, I stopped to notice how beautiful and peaceful things looked. And noticed something I don’t ever remember hearing.

Listen to the clip above 👆🏽 and the podcast below to find out!👇🏽

Scriptures to ponder

Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34:1). 

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15). 

I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3).

Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8). 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.. (Ephesians 3:20). 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8).

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

BCU Fam, to God be the glory for showing me this—this  post blesses me EVERY TIME I hear it. While tests and trials are inevitable in this life, God has assured us that He is walking with us and we should continue to praise Him with our whole heart—withholding nothing and watch how He moves the situation or our attitude toward it. It is all part of the process of becoming more like Jesus! And on top of all that, when we remember that Heaven belongs to those of us that endure to the end, (see 2 Corinthians 4:17), we should be encouraged to continue praying, fasting, serving and praising God. Amen? Amen!

How are you hanging in through what you’re going through? Is there a praise in your heart? What are your go-to scriptures? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so 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

Let God arise (and His enemies be scattered)!

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! 

For the past few posts, we’ve been talking about betrayal, confrontation, offenses and forgiveness. Part of the conversations we’ve been having were our responses around being confronted or confronting someone–many of us will “fight” (defend yourself verbally) or take flight (shut down or run away). Let’s talk about the latter in terms of trials.

In this life, we will have troubles–Jesus let us know that (John 16:33). He also let us know that He will be with us through every minute of the trouble all according to His perfect will (See Hebrews 13:5).  And part of that perfect will is to help drive us straight to Jesus to pray for guidance, comfort, strength, lessons and sometimes, to remove the source of the trouble. The issue is, when a trial comes that gets progressively difficult  or stays too long (in our minds anyway), rather than go to Christ, many of us run away from God and opt to leaning to our own understanding on how to move the situation along ourselves.

Big mistake.

We really should be running TOWARD God and His Word for how to handle the situation. Here’s my story:

My middle and junior high years was a time I was trying to figure myself out—I was a MESS! Thanks to someone’s prayers, I got it together (well, as much as I could with God’s grace), and was excited to start high school afresh.

Until I got there.

There was a group of four or five girls, a couple of then I knew the neighborhood, along with some upperclassmen, who took great pleasure in verbally bullying me whenever they got the chance. While I don’t recall all of the horrible incidents they inflicted, one in particular stands out to me.

To get to one of my assigned classes, I had to pass down a hallway past this particular classroom–the teacher left the door open for some reason.  Every time I passed that classroom, a few of the bully-girls would see me and yell out the most hurtful, ugly,  vile things to me–in the hearing of their classmates and anyone in the hallway with me at the time.  I don’t know what hurt worse–the remarks, or the embarrassment I felt being the target of their cruelty while others looked on. I’m sure I tried every possible way to get past them, avoid, ignore or even go down that hallway late, but somehow, they seemed to know when I was coming and made sure I had my daily tormenting.

Somehow, the Lord gave me the presence of mind to go to Him for the situation and in doing that, He gave me Psalm 3. Please read this powerful passage of Scripture aloud.

1 Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.

2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.

3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.

5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.

6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.

7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

BCU Fam, I was unsaved at that time, but that word gave me hope. I read it everyday before school and even had it memorized. Then one day, the jeers slowed down. After a while, I noticed the remarks stopped coming from that classroom.  As more time progressed, I noticed that I had not seen the biggest bullies around school at all. Turned out that they ended up leaving the school.  To this day, I don’t know why.

What I do know? God took care of it.

And if He took care of it for me, He can do it for you.

I encourage you all to go God with every care (1 Peter 5:7), concern, issue, thought—all the “bullies” that are tormenting you. Give them all to Jesus and leave them there without going to check on the bullies. Know that God wants to and is willing to take care of your situation according to His will, His way and in His timing. Amen? Amen.

What are your thoughts about the Psalm? Have a bullying story you’d like to share? Are you encouraged by the Word? Please leave us your a comment in the section below and continue out 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

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