Singles chalkboard: Haste, waste or wait.

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!

Years ago, I was talking with a lady who has gotten married for the first time in her 40’s! Like how awesome is that?! When speaking about her hubby, I expected to hear all the wonderful (ok…and maybe some trying) things that happen in a new marriage, but with a positive overall outlook. Instead, my heart wept as she recounted some troubling issues and wondered aloud about the hasty decision-making process leading up to the nuptials. Eventually the union ended up in a nasty divorce.

Don’t I know about making unwise and quick decisions! In some cases, I needed to work a little overtime to cover those decisions, but in other cases, my heart suffered as well as my “spiritual bottom” in getting chastened from the Lord.

As the Lord is blessing me to mature more in Him, I found that running ahead of God’s timing and getting  in His permissive will (versus His divine will) causes unneeded stress, heartache and suffering. David reminds us the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, (Psalms 37:23 (a) and many times those steps may lead us in a direction of waiting. In this “microwave” society we live in, even as people of God, we often veer off the ordered path in lieu of a shiny-“Mr.-Right-Now” blessing. While God does work suddenly and will guide you to some relationships, in many cases we need time to check him out to see if the “blessing” is a possible curse.

*Sister Lola met brother Mark who claimed salvation and loved to worship in the house of God, yet resorted to unholy and vile name calling when he didn’t get his way. Lola terminated the relationship. When confiding to a friend as to why she cut the relationship off, Friend said, “oh he didn’t mean it, he was just upset. HELLO?! If he’s acting like that NOW, and claims to be Holy Ghost filled, how much more can that escalate later on towards her or possible future children? Physical abuse? Thank God she rejected the unwise counsel from friend and is waiting for whoever God has for her.

What about how he treats his mom or sisters? Rachelle met Erick and it was love almost instantly. She noticed a little, no a LOT of friction between him and his sister, but who doesn’t have a little sibling rivalry, right? Turns out in a fit of anger years prior, Erick hurled an ash tray at his sister’s face, permanently scarring her and she only spoke  with him on an as needed basis.  Even with this knowledge, Rachelle continued in the relationship, only to experience years of mental and physical torment. Rachelle finally got the courage to leave Erick, and repair her brokeness through the healing blood of Jesus Christ and salvation.

Leesa’s relationship with Dean developed after a short friendship. Dean was smart, successful and loved the Lord. As they were getting to know one another, Dean lost some money when the stock market crashed. He was so upset about it, he stopped speaking to Leesa for months. This pattern continued one form or another when there were unexpected bills that came about. As they eventually ended the relationship, Dean angrily commented, “all that money I spent [on you].”

While everyone is at a different place in their spiritual walk and growth must be allowed for, there are some situations God just warns us to stay away from, as they are not His intent for us. However, we are occasionally to lured to AND stay in these relationships thinking we can “help” the person, listening to those well-meaning, but wrong family or church members, or we settling out of fear and worry that no one else will be around for a while or ever. But our God loves us SO much He truly wants to bless us with our hearts’ desires as we delight ourselves in Him (Psalms 37:4) while we wait! WHEW! What an assurance, BCU Family!

“If you go outside of the will of God to get something, you have to stay out of the will of God to keep it.”

Matthew 7:10 reminds us that we, being as evil as we are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  We may need to wait it out, but knowing that we’ll get God’s best is ABSOLUTELY worth it! By His grace, let’s stay in God’s divine will–and follow the steps He orders, so we are in position to get His best!

What are you thoughts about waiting? Have you ever run ahead of what God told you to do? How did it work out? 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

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of persons involved.

Single on Valentine’s Day? Stop here!

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!

So singles, it’s that time of year again where everything is hearts, flowers, candy and couples. Depending on where you are in your single comfort zone, this “holiday” can either be depressing (who wants that?) or a blessing (I’m thinking yes on this)!

Let’s start off by listing (in random order) some things you CAN do as a single on Valentine’s Day:

  1. Treat yourself to a pedicure, manicure, facial or massage!

  2. Order really good take out from your favorite restaurant or a place you’ve wanted to try. Short on cash? Make it lunch, a fancy coffee drink, or a yummy dessert.

  3. Try a making a new recipe. Share it with a single friend.

  4. *After checking your budget, buy yourself something nice. Maybe a scarf, hat, smell-good or bath salt or a notebook, scrapbook, a new Bible, or a  good book to read.

  5. Invest the money you’d spend on a gift for yourself and buy a few shares of stock (this is a long term investment–expects ups and downs).

  6. Do that research on something you’ve been meaning/wanting to do, learn or try. YouTube has thousands of videos for the dormant do-it-yourselfer in all of us.

  7. Start a blog.

  8. Start following a blog. (Bloggers LOVE followers–especially those who comment (hint, hint).

  9. I love podcasts because I can listen while cleaning, shopping or commuting. Search out a podcaster that will challenge you, support cranium expansion or encourage your heart.

  10. Babysit for a single/couple who may want to go out, or just need a break.

  11. Take the day off and do a whole lot of NOTHING!

  12. Binge watch your favorite YouTubers, classic TV shows or catch-up on blog subscriptions.

  13. Travel/take a day trip. Yes, alone.

  14. Visit the hospital/or provide eldercare relieve a care-giver.

  15. Spend the time in prayer, intercession for other couples/singles and reflection.

  16. Make a list of all the things that God has done for you.

  17. Have kiddos? Make it a family game/movie evening at home. Or invite other singles with kids to go to a Dave and Buster’s or a Monkey Joe’s. (you’re likely to have the place to yourselves).

  18. Have a dinner-party with some of your single friends.

  19. Catch-up with a childhood friend/family member via telephone, Skype/Facetime or in person.

  20. Be a blessing to someone else. Buy someone else a coffee, dinner, groceries or flowers. Seek God on how to be a blessing to someone else.

*As a disclaimer, I know that material things don’t bring you happiness or help with the loneliness, heartache, and occasional pain of not having a loved one–I get that. Only Christ’s perfect love can ease the pain of a lonely heart. In order for that to happen, we need to ask Him to help us as we yield to contentment in this season of our lives. In fact,  Paul told the Philippians “…for I have learned, in whatever state I am in to be content” (Philippians  4:11). Now being content can be a process and that process sometimes takes more time than it should, in part, because we don’t want to do things God’s way–which means we may need to wait. A long time. A long, long time. Waiting doesn’t mean being idle or waiting to start to do something until “the one” comes by.

The single season is a good time to get with the Lord to get clarity on our gifts, talents, assignments and tasks—and get more/productive with what God has called us to do. Working on what God has for you keeps you satiated and kills that loneliness, heartache and pain, thereby getting you to that place of contentment Paul speaks of.  Ask me how I know. 🙂

Single BCU Family, even as you are walking in your purpose, there will be days/times where a pang of loneliness comes up–that’s normal and a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together! Before you know it, the spouse God promised you (if He has done so), will appear and you’ll be settled into who you are in Christ, along with being whole and complete and content. This makes for attracting a whole, complete and content individual, whom you can walk out the rest of your lives in doing God’s will AND be ready for Jesus when He comes back for us! This single season is not in vain, BCU Fam! God has a perfect purpose and it’s being worked out!

Until then and even after the spouse comes, Jesus should always and forever be our first, true and best love. Period. Amen? Amen!

What are some ways YOU work through Love Day? Please drop a line in the comments section below 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

Of bread, stones, fish and serpents…

Hey family,

A couple of my young people/nieces got on me about not having posted an entry in a while, so I took my spanking 😀 (thanks Portia and Wanda) and got to typing! I was talking to the Lord one day and He brought the familiar Scripture of Matthew 7:7-11.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” (Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV)

Usually we focus on the “good part” where we are “given,” “find” and “doors opened”. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the good part, too! The Lord had me look at the part of the Scripture that speaks on bread, stones, fish and serpents. Allow me to explain.

When we ask God for things, sometimes, while we have the best of intentions, it may be the wrong thing—it’s just not good for us–i.e. stone or serpent “gifts”. Because of our finite minds and limited understanding, we often get upset when we do not get what we ask for. I won’t lie and say it’s pleasant to hear “no”, it’s really for our good when God delays or denies our request.

Rather than stewing in the “no”, we have to ask God to help us realize the way He answered our request equates to fish or bread. Think about it—fish and bread are life-sustaining, nutritious, nourishing, tasty and just plain good for you, even if you do not like it.  On the other hand, a stone or a serpent can hurt, maim or even kill you—NOTHING good is coming from those things at all!  The other thing to remember is to ask God to take away our DESIRE for stones and serpents. Are you wondering what I mean? Glad you asked!

Who wants this?! Not me!

Going back to how we handle the “no”, when we don’t get what we want, we’ll pout, cry, get upset with God, stop giving, witnessing or maybe—go outside the will of God to get it.  It may not be malicious or intentional—we just want things our way and that leads us away from the bread and fish and towards the serpents and stones–not a good look or feel! Why is it that we gravitate toward the things that are NOT good for us?!  Say it with me, ya’ll: (in Jesus name), “no more serpents, no more stones, fish and bread forevermore!” Ok, I know my rhyme is corny, but you get the point, right?

Bottom line: There are so many good, no better things God has for us—we just have to have the desire for the good and trust that God loves us and always provides best gifts for us (even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time).

I hope this blessed you family! Stay in the will of God!

Love,

Blen

 

Pic courtesy of: http://blueimagegallery.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Black-Snake-31.jpg&w=800&h=627&ei=7UssUNyMCcXb6gHg6oBw&zoom=1

Rats, Turkeys and Fruit…

 

Hey family!

Be Jive Turkey free!

Summer is fast approaching and in all the sunshine and excitement of the season, we still need to be prayerful and on high turkey alert! I learned a little more about turkeys from rats. Let me  “‘splain.”

I was flipping channels awhile back and caught a show called Rat Wars. It was a show about a New York City exterminator, who was ridding the Big Apple of these pesky rodents, who in some cases had overtaken the homes and businesses of some of his clients.  The guy mentioned that rats were smart creatures, and I thought “yeah, right”. But he was right!

Yep, I am smart~Trust!

What happened was, the exterminator set traps and noticed just a few of the rats were caught. Reason? He said some of the rats watched the others go to the traps and get caught/killed. The rats who stood by were astute enough to know to avoid the trap! If a creature that God made who hasn’t attended a day of school, nor have the Holy Ghost as a guide, knows to watch and avoid entrapment, how much better can we do? I’m just saying……Ok, keep that in mind and read on.

In my travels a few years ago, I met up with a dude in whom we had mutual acquaintances. We got to talking about the folks we knew and life in general, so I mentioned about being my saved, etc. Bozo did inform me that church girls were “easy to get with”–something about desperation and some other monkeyshine not worth repeating.  I don’t know how he thought his statements were attractive, but I was as hot as a freshly lit firecracker!  The truth is either he had that experience or was conducting a test. Either way, I know I wasn’t about to become a case study for Dr. Strangelove!!  If you really want to get to know someone, let them talk–God will let you know what’s up! What’s in the heart comes out of the mouth (Matthew 15:18).

Next is the saved-looking fruit. I notice, is that once we ID the fruit we like, we immediately hook up. “Oh well, there’s a saved-looking pear, that’s the one for me!”  Don’t misunderstand me, if one person is saved, the other NEEDS the Holy Ghost, no doubt. Salvation does not equal compatibility or God’s will.  Experience has taught me there is value in taking your time and developing a friendship based on mutual interests, experiences, goals and values. It’s also important to see where you differ and how negotiable those areas are. This way, if it is not God’s will for you to be together, you hear and see with a clear heart, rather than with a heart that has developed feelings and rationalization. I also believe that in the end, you will remain friends with no hard feelings or unforgiveness.

A former post I wrote about women not being the “low-lying fruit”,  got a little attention from a couple of guys I’m cool with on Facebook.  One young man who had his share of the easy fruit, said that eating fruit off the ground  “can make you sick”.  I didn’t think about that at the time I wrote it, but its true. Many times the fruit that’s just laying on the ground,  although convenient, is overripe, worm-ridden, bug-filled, spotty and rotten.  Sometimes women even go and pick the fruit, (rather than waiting to be picked). How did that work out for you?

Whether you are the low-branch fruit or pick it up, it may fill you up for now, but give you a bellyache, long-term illness or even death! As we mature, it’s important to recognize foolish behavior and correct it immediately. Do not pick off the tree! Didn’t we learn from Eve? LOLOLOL! Seriously, it’s better to wait and be picked properly. Proverbs says 9:6 Forsake the foolish and live; and go in the way of understanding. Why willingly die of from an avoidable case of “foolish”?

The bottom line:  I know there are some fantastic, stand-up guys out there—I am friends with quite a few and look forward to meeting more as my life progresses. In the spirit of watchfulness, the Bible says to watch and pray…(Matt 26:41) AND that you will know folks by their fruit (Matt 7). If it looks like a grape, yet talks thorns, then something is amiss. No matter how many grapes you thought you saw or have continuously look for, it’s a thorn bush. Pray for God’s divine (not permissive) will to be done and clarity in your thoughts and decision making so the decks are clear for your real blessing!

Thanks for reading and be blessed!

Love,

~Blen

Jive Turkey pic: http://www.newsrealblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/jiveTurkey.png

Rats pic: http://www.show31.com/2012/04/20-amazing-facts-about-rats.html

Far above rubies…

http://www.rocas.com.mt/cRubies.html

Hey ladies (and gents that have sneaked a peek–it’s ok :-D),

I have yet another question roaming around in my head courtesy of a conversation some good friends and I had regarding relationship conduct.

As women of God and believers in His Word, Proverbs 18:22 says: “whosoever finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour of the LORD”. In the process of him finding and “courting” us, how much pursuing do we let him do? And as a follow-up question, how “easy” do we make the pursuit for him?

For example, we were discussing courtship, and one of my friends said she would not be driving to or meeting any man halfway to make it easier for him to see her—he needed to make that sacrifice. She cited a couple who during their courtship, the young man drove from PA to OH, (I believe) every weekend without fail (and it was quite the distance). The other friend agreed, but was thinking once a couple is in the relationship, it was ok to take turns on who was driving to meet whom.

I understand the latter view about taking turns later, but I think it’s important to have the foundation laid that dude needs to do the pursuing–he needs to work to get you! Before you pooh-pooh my view, think about a relationship you were in (or know of someone) where you did a lot of the work..you calling him INITIALLY and ALL the time, driving him around INITIALLY and ALL the time, paying for dates INITIALLY and ALL the time, (ok..you get it) paying your half of the bill, meeting him on his terms, doing what he wanted….it was probably good at first, but you got tired of that likely and so did he. Now, I’m not saying to be spoiled and have everything your way, but if you make things too easy for a guy too early, he gets used to that treatment and subsequently will conform accordingly. So when he doesn’t want to pick you up, take you out, or pay for a meal–you wonder why? You spoiled him. Hey, why should he spend his money at “The Chicken Coop” when you can buy the chicken, season it, prepare all the fixins and watch TV on your couch? (I speak from experience, ladies). Trust me, after awhile, when date night comes up and you are expecting special, you’ll be as hot as a firecracker on July 4th when he calls talking about, “Boo, so tonight, why don’t you make that real good spaghetti you cook?–Matlock is on at 8pm. Be right over!” 🙂

Ladies, while preparing a meal, being cost-conscious, or doing something special for someone you like is not a crime, again the timing is crucial. Think about the way God made men– they have a special drive and determination–they play football, practice to be the best at something raid corporations, participate in extreme sports, etc., because they like a challenge. Anything that comes too easy to a man is just a trinket to be tossed aside when it’s no longer “shiny and new”. We are NOT trinkets! Proverbs 31:10 says, “who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” That’s why we have to wait to be found AND not be so anxious to please him that we “trinket-ise” ourselves. Any item that’s far above rubies is going to cost (I don’t mean just monetarily) and require some work!

It’s been said the sweetest fruit is at the top of the tree. Anybody can pick fruit of the low-lying branches! Let him work–climb the tree to get that fruit! Yes, you know how to open your car door and put on your own jacket– but it’s okay for him to do it! If he is too spoiled and lazy to work to get you, he won’t work to keep you!

As we prepare for God to bless us, let us pray for wisdom to govern ourselves accordingly when it comes to that special someone so we are not cold and aloof, but yet not too yielding in our efforts. Better yet, let’s rely on God (and wise council) to give us instructions on how to be the virtuous woman He put in all of us!

Love you!

~Blen