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

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

Break every chain…letter, meme…

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!

Chain letters date back to the 1900’s when they were delivered via postal service asking for monetary donations. My first encounter with a chain letter goes back to around the 8th grade, where the letters were passed during class–and disobeying the commands promised disastrous results. I thought I left that stuff back in 19xxxx! But here we are in 2018, with instant and constant access to the Internet, in particular Facebook, where many of us are inundated with memes, posts and inbox messages, asking, or even demanding quid pro quo action.

  • “If you forward this letter to 40 people, you will receive a check in the mail”.
  • “So and so is giving away 30 million dollars, but you must send this to 100 of your Facebook friends.”
  • “Here is a rose of love. If you love me, you’ll send it back to me and pass it on to 12 others.”
  • “If you are not ashamed of the Jesus, pass this along. If you don’t you are ashamed of God.”
  • “THE LAST time I [sic] prayed this prayer, over 5,000 people received shocking Miracles. You have [sic] type Amen and shared post but you didn’t receive anything! This night is your own night.”
  • “I pray that as you read this, you will be showered with blessings. Type Amen and share if you agree.”
  • I stretch my hands and pray for 10,000 PEOPLE, things have delayed in your life but from the time you type: Amen and share this post[sic] Receive your miracle.

For many, passing and typing seems harmless, but there a problem. These messages are steeped  in lies, fear and superstition, all which have no place in the believers life.

First off, the lies that are told on these posts are outrageous. How do we know that Bill and Melinda Gates are giving away money? Are we positive that Tyler Perry is blessing people randomly? Has anyone done the research and gotten the scoop from a credible, reliable source? One Holy-Ghost filled believer I spoke to said “well, I don’t know if he [Tyler Perry] is giving away money, but I passed it along anyway”.

BCU Fam, as people of God, we are responsible for every word we say and deed we participate in (See Matthew 12:36 and Romans 14:12). If we are unsure if something is untruthful, we really should not spread the information. Not only are we guilty of lying, but we are encouraging the practice of idolatry. Colossians 3:5-7, 9-10 reminds us to:

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Many of the memes promise wealth and good fortune if we obey it’s commands. Are we not content with what we have? Are we truly trusting God? 

6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Next, what Scripture supports God tallying up our “likes”, “shares” and  “amens” in order to bless us? Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it’s impossible to please Him [God]. He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that is a rewarder of them that diligently (earnestly, swiftly and with zeal) seek Him. It’s just that simple, BCU Fam. No complications needed.

So, what about the fear of breaking the chain?  Will God really be upset if you scrolled past a post concerning Him and didn’t click like? Will He not answer the prayers of an ill individual because we didn’t type amen? Does catastrophic disaster await because we didn’t pass on a message? Tormenting, demanding, ultimatum fear comes from the devil. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God has NOT given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. Faith-filled, loving saints rest in the power of the Holy Ghost to supply needs  and the sound mind that resists the urge to pass foolishness along. Period.

Next, let’s talk about the superstition part. Superstition is defined as “a widely held, but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief”.  To break it down even further, the superstitious meme-passing, is based on the unfounded “faith” that following an unbiblical command will release some “magical power” from God.

Moreover, superstition is directly linked to idolatry. We think of idols as little tiki statues that old Mr. Hanalay passed down to his family, but anything we place our trust in over God is an idol. So, when we type “amen” and share in hopes of getting a financial blessing or healing, our faith is in the actions we performed around the post, (idol), rather than asking God for what we need and trusting Him to supply those needs. Matthew 6:33 says that we are to seek the kingdom of God first and all His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (See Matthew 6:25-33 for the full context).

BCU  Family, the bottom line is that God does NOT endorse lying, living in fear, or idolatry in any fashion. Those who practice such behaviors do not inherit the kingdom of God (See Revelation 21:8  and Galatians 5:20). Rather than entertain these demonic communications, let’s practice living Philippians 4:6-9.

6 Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 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.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

And rest on Philippians 4:19–

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

From here on out, instead of passing these messages around, let’s break every chain Amen?! Amen!

So what are your thoughts around chain letters and posts? Were you aware of the upsurge in these communications? Did you indulge in them? (Judgement free zone here). Head down to the comments section and let’s continue the 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

Singles Chalkboard: Silliness=captivity.

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 interview 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 has blessed all mankind, but especially women with attributes like knowledge, tenacity and virtue (See Proverbs 31:9-31).
  • Very often, women can be beguiled into saying and doing things that do not line up with the Word of God (See Genesis 3).
  • Because we serve a wise God, He wants women to walk in the wisdom, knowledge, instruction and understanding that He gives us.
  • So, we must understand not only what a silly woman is, but what to look out for, so we do not fall for the “okie-doke”.
  • We also want to be sure we are not walking in the ungodly attributes Paul lists in 2 Timothy 3.
  • Previously, we the why of the post along with verses 1 & 2. Then we took an in-depth look at verse 3 and then onto verse 4. Let’s take a look at verses 5 and 6!

Scripture references

2 Timothy Chapter 3 (KJV)

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

So BCU Family, I have to confess that this subject is not one that is comfortable. No one wants to be or admit that they are silly–it can feel like an putting down of women, if not viewed in the right way.  Truth be told, when we look at the news, around the lives of our friends and family and even ourselves, many women have been or are are still being held captive.

The point is we do not HAVE to be silly, do not have to be held captive, if we follow what the Word of God says over our flesh. Is that easy and always feel good? No. Is it better that getting into situations that continually cripple and hurt us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, financially and physically? Yes. What are your thoughts?  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

Singles Chalkboard: Recognize these characteristics in a man? RUN!

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 interview 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 has blessed all mankind, but especially women with attributes like knowledge, tenacity and virtue (See Proverbs 31:9-31).
  • Very often, women can be beguiled into saying and doing things that do not line up with the Word of God (See Genesis 3).
  • Because we serve a wise God, He wants women to walk in the wisdom, knowledge, instruction and understanding that He gives us.
  • So, we must understand not only what a silly woman is, but what to look out for, so we do not fall for the “okie-doke”.
  • We also want to be sure we are not walking in the ungodly attributes Paul lists in 2 Timothy 3.
  • Previously, we the why of the post along with verses 1 & 2. Then we took an in-depth look at verse 3. This time, we will cover verse 4.

Scripture references

2 Timothy Chapter 3 (KJV)

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

So BCU Family, how has this study enlightened you on these characteristics many of us knew, but maybe had not thought too much of? I can tell you for me—TOTAL eye opener!  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