The Lollipop Lesson

Hey there BCU Family!

For this post, 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!

A number of years ago, I had my faithful traveling companions, Jaz and Peanut with me–and Peanut was in dire need of a haircut. The barbershop I took him to, not only does a phenomenal job with kids, they also give lollypops to the kids, even if they don’t get a service. How nice is that?! Once the kids chose their treats, I told them to put them away until after we ate dinner. Veggies before sugar, right?

When we got home, I thought it best to collect the lollipops and pass them out after dinner. Peanut happily produced his lollypop, while Jaz hesitated and told me her stick broke. I told her that was fine, just hand it over. In addition to the broken stick, the wrapper was barely hanging on, obviously in an attempt to quickly re-wrap it. When I asked why it was open, after I was clear about NOT opening it, she replied “I wanted to see what color it was”. Well, it’s a good thing she enjoyed it with her eyes, because she did not get to enjoy her treat, even with the sad face and tears.

I know, I know, that seemed a little harsh? Not really. Let’s take a look at four lessons God taught me from this one situation.

  • Patience: When God clearly to tells wait, He MEANS it. There is a reason that we can’t have what we want when we want it. Remember when your/a child thought could make wise choices in fashion, makeup, friends and other life decisions at the age of six? Remember how much “wisdom” we possessed at age 16? Our parents had to suffer through that period and correct our thinking. In God’s infinite wisdom, He knows when the best time is to be blessed, even though WE think we know better. Romans 9:19-21 asks how the creature going to tell the Creator what’s best? When we look at it that way, it helps us to back down and trust His process.
  • Resisting temptation: This is a tough one–I know the shiny lollypop was alluring to Jaz–and we are no different as adults. When something looks good to our flesh, we want it and now. Things that look good surface-wise, are not necessarily beneficial in the short or long term. How many of us have learned that over the years? Don’t go back there! We have to ask God for the power to leave it alone. Period. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (I Corinthians 10:13).
  • Haste makes waste: running ahead of my instructions cost Jaz her lollypop, so it was wasted. She had to wait until we go again to get another one, which wouldn’t be for a long time. When we go outside of God’s divine will, He will allow us to do what we want often at a high price, including wasted time, emotions, money, energy, strength, resources, and then we likely have to wait a long time before we get what God had for us in the first place. Lamentations 3:26 says it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
  • Consequences: The Bible is clear that there are consequences for disobedience. While God is good and plenteous in mercy, sometimes His mercy is not taking us out of here right away when we mess up. Recalling Adam and Eve (Genesis 3),  they clearly disobeyed and while God spared them, there was still a punishment. Esau sought repentance with tears and still lost out on his birthright and blessing (Hebrews 12:17). Is the thing that is clearly outside of God’s divine will worth losing out on blessings, favor or even missing out on Heaven? Surely not! For it is better, if the will of God be so, that you suffer for well doing, than for evil doing (1 Peter 3:17).

The bottom line: There will always be times where we feel frustrated with waiting, not understanding why things haven’t changed yet, why another trial, where is my blessing, maybe I should “help” God out–that’s natural! There will be times we mess up and go ahead of God–thank God He’s willing to forgive when we ask! And He wants us to learn from our experience rather than choose to make to wrong decisions repeatedly.

We also have to remind ourselves with the help of God, that He does really have out best interest in mind…Matthew 7:11 tells us so! And since we will never know better or more than Jesus, let’s purpose in our hearts to take Him at His Word! Amen? Amen!


Which part of what we talked about is a struggle for you?  Mine is the patience—the Lord is yet teaching me how to wait on Him. Otherwise the wait gets a LOT longer! Let me know in the comments section so we can continue our chat.

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

From sadness to celebration

Hey 👋🏾 there BCU Family!

For this post, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. 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 holiday season is a time of family, friends, food and fun.
  • For many of us while we enjoy all of the above, we especially miss our the loved ones who have passed away around this time of year.
  • Bouts of sadness are normal. It is human to miss the physical presence of a person.
  • My very dear friend and sister in Christ, Jewel Taylor, shared her feelings about losing her beloved mom—and then decided to do something tangible to honor her, moving her sadness to a celebration.

Today my mom would have been 58. I miss her more than I ever have over these 23 years. When you grow up without a parent, you spend a lot of time in your imagination. I imagined what it would be like graduating with her there or getting married…

But for the past few years, especially since I had [my daughter] Rae, I imagine how she would have reacted to each of her grandchildren. That has been the hardest.

Baby Jewel and her beautiful Mom, Veda Lynn Steward.


I haven’t mourned her in a long time. But today, I’ve decided to allow myself to do so. However, in the spirit of WWVD Day (What Would Veda Do? – thanks for the idea Tarah), and despite being a bit achy, I will pick one of her favorite things to do.

We loved movies. We’d watch them all day if we could. And popcorn. And potato chips lol. I imagine that we would have all piled in the bed with my kids (after shopping for them, of course) and watched movies together. So that’s what we’ll do tonight. Pile in the bed with popcorn and potato chips (I’m really going to need a dustbuster) and watch movies until we pass out. I predict that:

part0 4
Richie, Ryan and Rae

-[My oldest son], Richie III will wiggle & talk through the entire movie.
– [My middle child and only daughter], Raelyn will fall asleep first.
-[My baby], Ryan will be chunky and cute.

And I’ll imagine that my mom would have been smiling from ear to ear, while wrestling my hand to get into the popcorn bowl.

Rest in Power Mommy.
Jewel

In loving memory of Veda Lynn Steward 11/23/1960 – 08/13/1995


BCU Family, in thinking about this post, Psalm 30:11-12 comes to mind. “Thou [God] has turned for me my mourning into dancing, Thou has put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness”. To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. See how talking to the Lord can bless your heart in a matter of moments? He is SO wonderful!

What are your thoughts on Jewel’s idea to honor her mom? What do you do to honor those who have passed away? 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

A walk through Psalm 24!

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:

  • This was one of the first Psalms I recall after I got saved in 1992.
  • The song “Who is the King of Glory”  by Commissioned helped me to remember this Psalm. I STILL love that song!
  • I LOVE how it starts off with establishing how everything belongs to God.
  • David tells us how we are to live to even get to God.
  • And the encouragement at the end is my FAVORITE! Let’s dig in!

Psalm 24

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

So what is/are your favorite verse(s) in this Psalm? Is there a different Psalm encourages you? Or mayhap there is another passage of Scripture that does? Please head down to the comments section to share your thoughts so we can continue our conversation and praise to our God!

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

BCU apparel is BACK!

BCU Quad Two Tees!

Show your love for all things Quad 2 with our BCU pop-o’-color OR classic black and white 100% cotton soft-spun tee! Based off our Time Management Periscope series, these shirts are both an encouragement and a conversation starter–—-all around allowing God to plan your day! Treat yourself and someone you love to a nifty BCU shirt today! | Available in S-3XL| Add $3.00 for the BCU logo sleeve print | Add $2.00 for 2XL; $3.00 for 3XL | Indicate size, style (color or B&W) and logo sleeve print, (if desired) in the PayPal notes section | Price (outside of logo and 2 and 3XL sizes) includes shipping and handling | A TRiley Design|

$25.00

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Optional: available with the BCU logo on the sleeve! (add $3.00 to purchase price).
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Thank you for your support!

Love,

BCU

#StayOnTheWall

Let’s make a deal…

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 while it’s back on now, as I child, I remember watching the original “Let’s Make A Deal”, with Monte Hall as host. For those unfamiliar with the show, Wikipedia describes it this way:

  • The format of Let’s Make a Deal involves selected members of the studio audience, referred to as “traders,” making deals with the host.
  • In most cases, a trader will be offered something of value and given a choice of whether to keep it or exchange it for a different item.
  • The program’s defining game mechanism is that the other item is hidden from the trader until that choice is made.
  • The trader thus does not know if he or she is getting something of greater value or a prize that is referred to as a “zonk,” an item purposely chosen to be of little or no value to the trader.

In watching the show, I’ve observed people trade good money or a solid prize in intrigue, mystery, curiosity and greed for the hidden items behind doors number 1, 2 or 3.

While the show was entertaining and fun, we can apply the Let’s Make a Deal premise to our own lives. When we think about it, those of us who know Christ in the pardoning of our sins and have the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Acts 2:38), received the best “deal”–eternal life in Heaven in exchange for the one-way reservation we had to hell. While God blessed us with salvation, it’s our responsibility to maintain that salvation–and that means making the right decisions according to what the Word of God says, versus exchanging His will and Word for what may seem better–until you get it.

How many of us have traded what God said for “the hidden item” or zonk you’d find out about after your exchange?

  • Our purity for a little love aka lust (which can end in unwanted pregnancy, unexpected responsibilities,  disease and heartbreak).
  • Our honesty for a larger income tax refund (which will rapidly be blown through or the item not be as wonderful as when you purchased it).
  • Our time with God for a movie or TV show (leaving your flesh temporarily satisfied and your spirit restless and empty). All these consequences are the “zonk” that wasn’t calculated into your exchange.

The adversary works through our flesh, if we let him. And he who would like nothing more than for us to “make a deal” with him to trade what we KNOW to be true–what we have in hand– (what God said or asks for),  for something that might seem better, but after the reveal,  turns out to be of of little or no value.  Let’s take King Saul for example.

In 1 Samuel 15, Saul, the anointed king of Israel, was told by God to destroy Amalek and spare NOTHING. Rather, Saul spared Agog, the king of the Amalakites and choice sheep, calves, oxen and lambs (vs 9). The Lord then spoke to Samuel, the prophet telling him that he regretted making Saul king, because he turned his back on God–and would not keep His commandments. This upset Samuel so much he cried the whole night.

The next day, Saul told Samuel he had done what the Lord said, to whit, Samuel asked about the animals he heard bleating. Let’s take a look at the exchange:

15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

Saul made a deal.

He exchanged what He KNEW to do, what was sure, traded the divine will of God for people approval and choice animals—that God didn’t even ask for. In fact, He said t DESTROY everything.

Saul’s trade cost him his place on the throne.

And no matter how sorry Saul was—he could not and did not get his throne back.

Once God says “no”, His decision is final.

This is SO sobering, BCU Family. And yes, while we live in the dispensation of grace, we STILL are accountable to God to maintain holy living which means not practicing sin. I know firsthand how tempting going outside of God’s will is to get what you want–especially if you’ve been waiting a long time. While trading God’s commands for what looks/sounds good or may offer instant gratification, the trade always ends up with us losing. Losing our blessings, miracles, peace of mind, favor with God and yes, even our place in Heaven. Is anything on Earth worth that? Saul would tell us no.

With the help of the Lord, let’s hold onto God’s Word and obey it as He asks. In doing so, we can rest assured that His gifts will never compromise His Word and they will ALWAYS be perfect! Amen? Amen!

What are you thoughts about what we chatted about? Are you all done with deal-making with the help of the Lord? 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