Ministry or merchandise? The “V.I.P.” experience.

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:

  • God gives all of us certain gifts and/or talents. Gifts are listed in the Bible: Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:11-13 and I Corinthians 12. Talents can be things like singing, painting, writing, baking, et cetera.
  • We are not to muzzle the ox that treads the corn (I Corinthians 9:9). And we know the laborer is worthy of his hire (Luke 10:7). If the LORD gave you clearance to charge for your time/talent, then do so–FAIRLY.
  • When we charge people for $100.00 extra for VIP special seating or the opportunity to meet us, we are separating the haves from the have nots. Do we now become a respecter of persons? (James 2).

You know, BCU Fam, it’s understandable that certain talents like baking, photography or designing have varied levels of pricing. A gospel artist charging MORE for the chance to snap a selfie with them? When you are supposed to be ministering to people? How does that line up with doing kingdom work? Or does the extra charge line up to help the artist afford a certain lifestyle?

So… what are your thoughts? Is VIP ticket pricing “fair”? Does it matter to you? How does VIP pricing this apply to things we do for the Lord?  Have you thought about it before now? Let’s talk some more about this—head down to the comment section so we can continue our dialogue.

Finally,  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 pennies don’t count?”

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!

Podcast highlights:

  • The U.S. penny hardly gets any love! They are often thrown away or tossed aside as a nuisance.
  • If something is little, we’ll often “overlook” it.
  • “Little” things will morph into bigger things.
  • God holds us accountable for the little and big things in our lives.

Scripture references:

Matthew 25:14-30 (NKJV)

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.

17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.


18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’

21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’

23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.

27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

                    ***********************************************

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelations 21:8).

A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter (Proverbs 11:13).

Romans 1:28-32

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines…..” (Song of Solomon 2:15)

Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? (I Corinthians 5:6b).

So what are your thoughts on the “little things” in your life now? How do you treat the “pennies”  in your life?  Will you ever look at a penny the same way?  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,  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

Ability, responsibility, and the baseball cap.

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!

Currently, it’s summertime and for many of us that means a family vacation. In prep for the trip to the southern part of the country, I brought “Peanut”, aged 7, a baseball cap. While it looked cute, the main purpose was to help protect his little head from the sun from the hot summer sun. During various points of the trip, I found myself asking and reminding this little one about wearing and keeping up with that hat.

Fast forward to today where it’s raining and will be raining pretty hard all day. In an unsuccessful attempt to dodge raindrops, Peanut gets in the car and I ask:

“Where is your hat?”

Peanut: (quietly) “I don’t know”.

Me: “Hmm..do you know where your fidget spinner is?”

Peanut: “Yes!”

Me: “What’s my point of asking you that?”

Peanut: “That I don’t know where the IMPORTANT things are–but I know where the  not so important things are.

Now I admit his response was pretty impressive for a second-grader. It also sparked a couple of thoughts.

Many of you all listening and reading may be thinking, “well he’s ONLY seven”. “Kids lose things all the time.” “Boys are like that”. “Just get over it..it’s ONLY a cap. Go buy him another hat, Blen.” And I hear these points loud and clear–no doubt. Let’s look at this from a natural and spiritual perspective.
We all have (well, we all should have) a level of responsibility for certain things. While I would not expect an 18 month old child to drive a car, he can pick up a toy and put it back in the toy box upon request. When my daughter was around little–maybe around 16-18 months or so, when I asked her to get me a diaper to change her, she understood me enough to do just that. It was also a sign that she could start to potty train.  And thank God,  she was FULLY trained before age two with minimal accidents.

My point here is that many times, (I know there are exceptions),  children are capable of much more that we think they are. And as parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, godparents–whatever your role is in a child’s life, we should be assigning responsibility to our children according to their ability.  We also need to teach (and consistently reinforce) the consequences to evading our duties as well.  This, in part helps them to grow up as mature, responsible adults– in most cases.  So, now that we’ve looked at this naturally, let’s look at this spiritually.

When someone gives us something, asks us to take care of something, gifts us with something that has a benefit, we have a responsibility with the help of the Lord, to take care of that something. Even if it seems insignificant or not super important at the time, it was IMPORTANT enough to the giver to entrust us with it, so it should be just as important to us to keep and take care of it.

This takes me to one of my favorite stories, the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30.  It’s real, relatable and encourages me to take care of what God gives–not just material-wise, but even the spiritual gifts and talents as well. I plan to give a synopsis here, but please take some time to read the parable in it’s entirety, BCU Fam—it will bless you!

There was a lord that had servants who had to go away for awhile and called in his servants to give them talents to take care of.

The lord gave one servant five talents, another two talents and another one talent. Note he gave out the talents according to their ABILITY, so the master knew what each one was capable of (verse 15).

After a period of time, the lord  returns to see how the servants did with the tasks they were entrusted with.  The servant that received the five talents gained five more and the one who received two gained two more, much to the delight of their lord who told them, “well done, thou good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many. Enter into the joy of the Lord.

When it came time for the servant with the one talent to reconcile, here’s what happened:

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 

25And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 
27So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.
 28Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 
30And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Notice, BCU Fam that the servant was called wicked and lazy because he did NOTHING with his talent. Yes, he knew where it was, but because of his inaction, it was a good as lost, because it was TAKEN away–never to be recovered again. And on top of that–he was cast out where there was  sorrow, sadness, crying and regret. What a tragic ending to this servant’s story and his life!

I say all that, BCU Fam to say this: We should NEVER casually treat what God has given us to do. Some talents, gifts and opportunities that we are assigned, we may NOT be able to “just go get another one”.  We do not always get a second chance. We cannot say, “I was too young” because as our Creator knows exactly what we are capable of—He knows our ability, not age!!! And it is our RESPONSIBILITY with God’s grace and help to do what we can to gain more talents–win souls to the kingdom, excel in the ministry (ushering, praise and worship, cleaning the church, taking care of your family, being a witness on your job, preaching, teaching), what ever God has given! We are to flourish and not to hide or do nothing with our God-given assignment.

I am prayerful this post was a blessing, confirmation and a nudge to dig up your talent(s) and put them to work for our amazing God. I admit that it is easier and more comfortable to side-step our duties now, but inevitably we will have to give an account to God for every thing He’s given us to steward over and I want Him to say, “well done, thou good and faithful servant! You’ve been faithful over a few things and I will make you ruler over many. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord!” That’s something to get excited about, Amen? Amen!

So, what do you want the Lord to say to you? How do you stay focused on your talents? Do you struggle with that at all? Let’s talk more 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 Instagram, and  YouTube! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and iTunes!

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

Love,

BCU

 

What kind of worker are YOU?! Spotlight on Nehemiah’s work crew!

Hey there BCU Fam!

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!

Welcome back to our Nehemiah study featuring chapter 3! We’ve covered  chapter 1 and chapter 2 in weeks prior and to be honest, initially I started to glaze over this chapter, thinking it was like the genealogies in the Bible, you know the ones you skip over sometimes? In looking closer, though with God’s prodding there is some good info to be gleaned! Let’s dig right in! Continue reading “What kind of worker are YOU?! Spotlight on Nehemiah’s work crew!”