Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.

This photo kind of reminds me of myself.
I am a laid back person for the most part.
Calm. Easy going. 
But do you know what this is a photo of?
No, not a mountain. 
A volcano.

Sometimes some people just irritate me.
And annoy me.
And I just don't get why they have to be so stupid.
(Sorry to be blunt and say that but I am trying to be honest about what goes through my far from perfect little mind.)
And I just get fed up!
I bet you can guess what happens next.

Have you ever thought about a volcano erupting? 
It has this huge outburst, and then all that hot lava flows out, 
forming a river that flows down the mountain.

And then what?

Having an outburst of anger does the exact same thing. 
I am afraid that this is one of my faults, so I know.
I just blow up, and then it seems like that blow up causes one thing to happen and then another thing to happen.
Next thing you know, I am up over my head in a mess of my own making.
Just like the flow of volcanic fluid.

Then, when I get done saying my piece and stomp off mad,
 whoever I took it out on is left standing in my mess.

Some witness I was there, huh?

So, am I the only one that struggles with this?


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Proverbs 14: 35

The king's favor is toward a servant who acts wisely, but his anger is toward him who acts shamefully.

Oh, you have your work cut out for you today! (Yep--I'm giving you homework today!)

So, when you read today's verse, it's pretty self-explanatory, right? How about we (meaning you because I've already done my homework on this) look up some kings in the Bible. In your journal (and in the comments if you wish) list several different instances where #1--a king showed favor to someone who acted wisely and #2--a king showed his anger to a subject or subjects because they were out of line.

Finally, think about how this verse can relate to us as Christians. Record your thoughts.

Enjoy your study time!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Proverbs 14:34

Before we begin, I forgot to post on Saturday that it is time for us to continue on Pilgrim's Progress. We hope that you have been able to catch up but it is time for the rest of us to move forward. You can always find the posts that you need and comment or question. I will answer them, no matter how long since we passed that section. For those ready to move on, Please refer to this post to get your reading assignment for this week and to review where we left off. Those continuing...let's press on, I am excited to continue our journey! 

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people."

This past Thanksgiving, how many of you took the time to pray for our nation? (And for those of you that live across the pond, of course this study can be applied to ANY nation!) In the last three years, how many times have you thanked God for Pres. Obama? Ouch. Me either.

Please take the time today to read Romans 13: 1-2.

We have spent much time talking about sin and righteousness as we have traveled through Proverbs. I believe that here in America that it is the fault of the Christians that America is in the shape that it's in. Christians who have not been respectful of the authority that God placed for a reason; Christians who have been too relaxed in their faith; Christians who find so many things to put above God.

I fear for our country. Today, please pray for your country. And for your fellow Christian family, that they would wake up and see that change has to happen with them first!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We will be taking a break from posting, in order to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with our families. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy a peaceful and blessed holiday, and we invite you to join us as we count the many blessings that God has showered on us, and with grateful hearts acknowledge His care and compassion.  We hope that all of our readers have safe travels and happy hearts, and we'll see you here on the Monday following Thanksgiving!

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Proverbs 14 : 33 Not boasting, here! Or maybe?

Pro 14:33  Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

I like what Matthew Henry says about this verse: 
                Modesty is the badge of wisdom. He that is truly wise hides his treasure, so as not to boast of it (Mat 13:44), though he does not hide his talent, so as not to trade with it. His wisdom rests in his heart; he digests what he knows, and has it ready to him, but does not unseasonably talk of it and make a noise with it. 
He then goes on to observe that foolish people invent occasions to "tell what they know" instead of letting it rest in their heart, like the wise person above.  They go to great lengths to guide the conversation into an opening for revealing their tidbit of information.

The wise person in the first portion of the verse brought Mary to mind. The Scriptures tell us that after the angel revealed her destiny to her, "She kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)

Wisdom rests in the heart . . . I was reading in II Corinthians, where Paul talks about the power of Christ "resting" upon him.  The word there is a slightly different one than that used in Proverbs -- this one carries the meaning of dwelling, or residing in, a place. I would like to think of wisdom residing in my heart, wouldn't you?  I get uncomfortable talking about myself, so boasting is a little foreign to me. But Paul actually said that there is one thing that we can boast about:

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, please don't get me wrong --- I'm not saying to get all puffed up and proud, and strut around! Just sayin' that all of our gifts and talents are just that: gifts from Him, that we should be good stewards of. We live and breathe due to His mercy and grace, so if we are going to point to something that we really should be rejoicing about, it is the cross of Christ that saves us!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Proverbs 14: 32 Do you think about "it"?

Well, do you? Has someone that you were close to, died? Have you wondered about "it"? Have you got fears? Would you rather not talk about "it"?

Well, if you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you are not alone! I believe that all of us have been touched in some way, by death; either in our family, or a friend of our family.

And, if we are honest, we probably all will admit that we have wondered about it. Some people are really, really frightened, and others would prefer to change the subject.

I'll be honest with you --- I've thought about this more in the past couple of years than in all the years previous. Why? Because my daddy-in-law passed away. The guy that I looked up to and loved with all my heart, who was my daddy ever since I married his youngest son, and my folks moved about a million miles away. (OK, OK, it was just to Wyoming, but that IS a long, long way from me!)

I'm putting all the cards out here on the table for you, alright? And they are all face up . . . no secrets between us. The devil was beginning to get to me. He had me worrying about what happens, and how it happens, and when it happens, and, at one point I hit rock bottom and wondered if there really even was going to be anything beyond that last closing of the eyes. That. Was. The. Pits.

Do you know how I shoved that ole devil back out of the way? I'm going to tell you, because if I can help just one person with this issue, I'll be thrilled.

You see, I was reading and found some verses that really helped me, and one of them was this:

Pro 14:32  The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

Here are some others:
Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.
Joh 14:2b-3 I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1Pe 3:22  Who (Christ) is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God;

These verses helped me throw the devil out on his ear --- it's plain to me that since Jesus has saved me and made me righteous, I have hope; I will be with Him forever, and since He is in heaven at the right hand of God, that is where I will end up, too! You see, I accept on faith that this is so. I don't have to worry about rabbit trails that some like to travel down, about whether you are immediately in heaven, or if you are asleep in the arms of the Lord for a while (sounds good to me, too), or whether those who have died can see what we do on earth, because I simply have faith that God will do what He says. He is faithful. It is not in His character to say something and not follow through! You may say my faith is child-like --- some may even say it is childish, but I'm not concerned with what other people say! And here is one more thing:
Remember the question in Matthew? Who among you, (I'm paraphrasing here, OK?) if your child asked for bread, would give him a snake? In other words, you are parents, would you give your innocent child something harmful, something bad? NO!
Mat 7:11  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
So, if God is the best parent ever, and we are His children, then heaven is going to be the most awesome place -- far more than you can imagine. No need to argue about whether the streets will be gold or inlaid pearl ... whatever it looks like, sounds like, feels like --- it's going to be far better than the best times you have had here on earth! That is the hope of the righteous. It's also a promise from God. It's another one of those that you can hang your hat on.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Proverbs 14: 31

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

A couple of weeks ago, we got into a nice discussion about having a hard time loving others. Sometimes it is hard to love the poor when we see them squander money on useless things rather than spending it where it needs to be--on their family. Sometimes it is hard to love when you see someone driving a fancy car, dripping in jewelry, when you know there are people out there that are hurting and could use help.

As I was contemplating this verse, I was thinking of ways that people are 'poor'- but not just monetarily. People with addictions, depression, loneliness, hatred that eats at them...there are so many ways that people are needy.

I am not going to make this a long study today. In your personal time, think about ways that people are 'poor'. In your journal, just don't make a list of these ways, but make a list of people. List their need and how you might begin to be gracious to help them with that need. It may not be something that you can do right away. And you may have to do it again, and again.

An example-- I have a half-brother that is a drug addict. He has lived with me numerous times; once even on house arrest. Each time I tried to be loving and gracious in spite of his addiction.I would encourage and praise him when he did good.  That doesn't mean that I just let him get away with things. The minute I caught him with drugs--I was the one to call his parole officer.  I haven't had contact with my brother since he found out I'm married to someone who works for the Dept of Corrections (go figure!) but I know that he knows that I am praying for him and that I will welcome him with open arms next time he shows his face.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Proverbs 14:30

A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones.

A tranquil heart.
Doesn't that sound nice?

When you hear "Peaceful", "Tranquil", what are some things that come to mind?

Perhaps a quiet lake?

Or a dove?

Or softly falling snow at midnight?

Women are worry warts by nature. We like to worry about everything under the sun.
We also like to get in everyone's business and control everyone and everything around us. fill in the blank.

We've talked about being contagious in our walk with Christ;
I think being a peaceful person is an excellent way  to do this. 
Everyone wants to find peace.

Today in your journal, make a list of things in your life that cause you not to have a tranquil heart, then you can pray about them and work to change them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Proverbs 14:29

He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.

I giggled as I uploaded this picture to the blog, but then I thought for a minute.
How often do we look like this? If we had a camera trained on us, would there be times that our foolish anger would completely embarrass us. 

Yes, I am afraid so.
As I often do, I am going to tell you a story about something that happened in my life. If I have told this before, please forgive me. It is a life long lesson to me that literally comes to mind every time I think about the destruction that anger can bring.

As all of you know, I was only 8 when my mother passed away. I was certainly old enough to remember more about her than I do, but tragic circumstances from her death and the years following caused my young brain to block any memories before the age of 9. I do have a couple of things that stand out in my memory though. These few things are the things that must have made the biggest impression on my young mind. 

Before I tell my story, you need to know that I have been told that my mother was a wonderful mother and that I was her life. According to others, everything she lived and did was for me. It is so sad that I don't remember ANY of that! What I do remember was a time when my mom got angry...

We are at a local amusement park and disco music was very popular at the time. I was probably around 7 years old. I have always battled ear trouble; therefore I am very sensitive to loud noise. We were at the amusement park with our cousins...and I was the 'baby'...several years younger than all the rest of them. They all wanted to go into the disco building and dance. I don't remember too much more than crying that it hurt my ears and begging my mother to let me leave. I guess she thought I was being selfish because she very angrily grabbed my ear and yelled into it very very loudly. I still can remember how badly it hurt. 
One moment of loss of temper brushed away every good memory that I have of my mother.

 Let it be a lesson to you. 
Yesterday we talked about working hard to spread the message of Christ, and how whether at home or in the workplace, we have to work towards that.

One little moment and loss of temper can ruin everything you've tried to achieve.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proverbs 14:28

Please let me remind you that we encourage discussion! When you leave a comment, there is a box that you can mark that will send all comments to your email so that you can join in. If you are reading this study even months later than the rest of us...we will still love your comments and/or questions. If you are joining by email, then just email your comment to me, and I'll post it. Once again, even if it is months from now! Discussion is a big part of learning and we encourage it. Thank you!

In a multitude of people is a king's glory, But in the dearth of people is the prince's ruin. NASB

As you can tell from above, I use the New American Standard version for my personal Bible study. I am so glad I do, because it made me dig a little deeper today. "Dearth" is used by this version as it is closest to the original Hebrew text. "Dearth" means 'scarcity' or 'shortage of'. 

So, basically the verse says in Tonya's words, "A king that has a big kingdom is blessed, but a prince that has no subjects is ruined." 

Now we know that King Solomon was probably writing these Proverbs to his son. And King Solomon for sure had a very large kingdom. So, it was probably a good thing to be telling his son. In other words, "Take care of your people so that you will prosper." 

Ok, well, I am pretty sure that none of us reading this are part of a royal family. 
Oh, but wait! We are!

And as part of His family it is our job to further his kingdom. 
We have for sure discussed this now and again, so today in your personal time I'd like you to re-visit it a moment. How can you, right where you are TODAY, further Christ's Kingdom?

Please, I would love to see discussion on this! 


Monday, November 14, 2011

Proverbs 14: 26-27

Please remember there is a prayer request page on this blog. You can find it over on the side bar. I have added a new prayer request from Belinda. Thank you!

26: In the fear of the Lord there is a strong confidence, and His children will have refuge.
27: The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.

In the course of our Proverbs study, we have spent much time talking about the fear of the Lord, so today I'd like to talk about confidence--especially as it relates to our world today.

I know that ever since Jesus was here the first time, every single generation thought that theirs was the one when Christ would come. In fact, when I was a teen, listening to the preachers and teachers of that day, I just knew there would be no way that we (meaning Christians) would still be here today.

Now, as an adult, I find myself still feeling that the time is at hand! I have never seen so many natural disasters all at once like has happened in the last two years. (But then I never really watched like I have in the last couple of years.)

When you hear these things on the news, does it scare you? Do you get all nervous wondering where the next disaster will strike?

If your faith is in Christ, then be confident that God is in control! (vs 26). What is it you fear? The unknown? or Death? There is no reason at all to fear death if you have a personal relationship with Jesus. (vs 27).

Flip in your Bible and read Revelation 22:12-14. Christ's coming is what? That's right--a reward! Have you ever feared getting a reward? Of course not!

Enjoy your salvation, don't fear the future. Leave the future where it belongs--in God's hands. Instead spend your time preparing for His coming!

I just love Roman's 14:11. I can't wait to witness that day, how about you?


Friday, November 11, 2011

Proverbs 14 : 24 - 25 I want to be a delivery person for God

Pro 14:24  The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.
Pro 14:25  A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

I don't want to give any verse of Scripture what my grandma would call "short shrift" but the second verse in our duet today is calling my name, and I want to get to it.  Verse 24 seems to be telling us once more that if we are wise, we will have riches --- and that can be wealth, or material riches, or it can be the riches of respect, love of friends and family, the close relationship with God that we aspire to achieve, and more. We are wise to yearn for those riches rather than the riches of this world.

Verse 25 is the one that seemed to jump off the page at me today.  My first impression was that it spoke of a witness in a courtroom, or some other situation where truthfulness is so badly needed. I was thinking along the lines of our need to be faithful and true, and to avoid lying to others and to ourselves.

I have to say, I am so appreciative of good commentaries in my study.  When I read Matthew Henry's notes on this verse, it really cranked my tractor!  Look at this excerpt:
A man of integrity will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light and rescue those who are injured by falsehood. A faithful minister, who truly witnesses for God against sin, is thereby instrumental to deliver souls from eternal death.
That's when the light bulb flashed --- we are all ministers.  In whatever walk of life God has placed us, we should be faithful witnesses. For if we are, we can help to deliver souls from eternal death. 

WOW!  Are you as stoked as I am? (Well, probably not, but I hope you will be!)  It never hurts to be reminded that we "shall be the ends of the earth."  Am I brave enough to risk someone's displeasure by gently saying a word for Christ? Am I faithful to let my light shine?  Am I living my life in such a way that someone might ask what makes my outlook different? And if they ask, am I ashamed, or am I excited, to be able to witness?

I do so want to be a delivery person for God --- I hope I can be a faithful witness and bring others to Him!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Proverbs 14 : 23 Loose lips can sink more than ships

Do you remember your folks or your grandparents talking about or saying this phrase?

This is a representation of a poster that was widely used in World War II.  It cautioned civilians and servicemen alike to be careful what they talked about, and where they talked about it. They were not to discuss where their unit was headed, or when they would leave. The implication was that they might be overheard by someone who would funnel that information to the enemy, and a ship might sink, or a plane be shot down. So loose lips, and careless, thoughtless talk, was to be avoided.

Today's verse carries a similar warning for us. Let's look at it:
Pro 14:23  In all labor there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.
I don't think I'm stretching a point to say that this is just as true in our spiritual lives as in our everyday lives. Let's look at the everyday life application first, OK?  Some old country sayings come to mind here...."many hands make light work" and "keep your nose to the grindstone" --- well, you know what I mean. Most of us have been instructed since we were knee-high to a duck that we needed to stay busy.   Not being busy for the sake of being busy, but industrious, working to accomplish goals.  To do our work with all of our might, or as in Colossians, "as unto the Lord."  Truly, people who do this will thrive, and accomplish much, either short term or in the end.

On the other hand, just talking about what we need to do, or should do, won't accomplish anything at all. And here is where we can make the application to our spiritual lives: if we are earnest about our Bible study and prayer, and give it honest effort, then we will gain so very much. If we have loose lips, and only "talk the talk" then we will not see the progress and profit that will bring us closer to our Lord.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Proverbs 14: 22 Trying to get away with it . .

Pro 14:22  Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

I really got a lot out of today's verse, and I hope that you will, too. I believe that the key to understanding what Solomon was trying to say, is the meaning of the word "devise" in the verse. The Hebrew root of this word is to scratch; it implies to plow, or to fabricate. It carries the negative implication, Matthew Henry's commentary mentions, of doing this in silence. Hmmmm . . . sounds like someone planning or scheming to me.

Someone who is trying to hide something . . .

Have you ever known someone who thinks that they can get away with their sin? That somehow thinks they can scheme and devise a way to hide it from God?  They think that they can fool God; they somehow think He won't know what they are up to.  They continue to plot and plan and are smug in their belief that God can't see their sin, and won't know.  Well, have we got news for them!  The God that this verse is about won't have any trouble keeping up with their shenanigans:
Mat 10:30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
And how about this one:
Amo 9:8  Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom . . .
That doesn't leave a lot of room for outwitting God, does it?  Now, let's look at the other side of the coin . . .

The flip side is in contrast to the ones who devise evil --- the ones who devise good!  I think I would rather be one that scratches around, finding ways to do good, and show mercy, and love others. Wouldn't you?  Look at the reward there . . . "mercy and truth."  That's not just a theory, or guesswork; it's a promise from God.
Deu 7:9  Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Yes, God is faithful; He is true to His word, and He has promised us mercy.  You can hang your hat on that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Proverbs 14 : 20 - 21 Good neighbors, good friends - am I one?

Pro 14:20  The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends.
Pro 14:21  He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

What does it take to be a good neighbor? A good friend? What makes us think that someone is not a good friend?

Of course we think that someone who is kind, and considerate, would make a good neighbor or friend. Someone who will go that extra mile to help out.  But in our everyday life, do we look at other people in a judgemental way? Do we consider if they are poor? Do we wonder if they have as much education as we do, or maybe they have more? Do we think about the car they drive, or the house they live in, and make a judgement on that?  And do any of these things make any difference at all in the person?

I hear you -- you're right; the answer is "no." None of those things matter a whit or make any difference as far as the person is concerned. But Solomon is noting that it's human nature to gravitate toward the rich, toward the attractive, to the people who seem (in the world's eyes) more worthy of our time and attention. And hundreds of years before Christ's birth, he was saying something that Jesus would say, too. He explained, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, that in order to love God, we must love others as ourselves. And He also pointed out that our "neighbor" is the person we encounter that is in need.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are "on top of the world" have lots of people hanging around, that seem to be their friends? Have you seen those "friends" fade into the woodwork when times get tough? Maybe you have experienced this first hand. What does that say about those people?

Maybe we should list in our journal today, some characteristics of good friends. Think about what makes a "good" neighbor. I know I'll be praying that God will help me in some areas that I fail in, and I hope He'll give me an opportunity to try again, and show His love to others.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Proverbs 14 : 19 When beggars can be choosers

Pro 14:19  The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

I thought this was an interesting verse to study today. It's interesting especially because it is different from some of the verses we've looked at before. More than once we've been told that here on earth, it may look like the scales are lopsided.

It may look like the wicked have the best of things --- that they prosper in spite of their sin. We've noted that the righteous are wealthy, and are prosperous in a different way --- that in due time, they will reap bountiful rewards for their pursuit of godliness and rejection of immorality.

That is all still true. But in this verse, Solomon is noting something that he must have seen in his lifetime, and we may see it sometimes, too. There are times when God in His wisdom will chasten the wicked in this mortal life, and bring them down "off their high horse" as my grandma used to say.  And He may bless the righteous near those souls, and others who see it will acknowledge that their God is mighty, and that their lives in His service are just and happy.  Then the wicked will know without a doubt that God has favored the righteous.

There are stories in the Scriptures of people (some wicked, some not so wicked) that have asked for the favors and prayers of the righteous. Kind of like they come to the gate and knock, and beg for the upright to help them. I think that sometimes they look inside the gate, and in spite of their wickedness, and their unbelief, they are attracted to what lies beyond the gate, and perhaps a little jealous. They may scoff, and mock, and taunt, but in the quiet, when no one else is around, they may think wistfully of how they'd like to choose differently, and go through that gate.

Lord, help me to be a light, to be a gate that is attractive, and doesn't put people off.  Let my life with You be appealing to those who don't yet know You, and help me to be ready to tell them about Your grace.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Still being patient...

There is only one of you that is caught up on your PP reading; she is overwhelmed with some things right now, so she said it is ok to hold up a bit longer. Please give a shout out and let me know where everyone is so we can try to all get together.

Also there will be NO Bible study posts WED-SUN the week of Thanksgiving.


Proverbs 14:15-18


That's what we are going to talk about today. When one first becomes a Christian and is learning the things of God, we consider them to be Babes in Christ because they are just learning to eat. Just learning to get a taste for things of God.

After time, these Babes in Christ start perking up their ears at a sermon, and start joining in during Sunday school discussions. They are beginning to get a taste of real food.

Hopefully, just as this baby enjoys that first taste of real food, the new Christian enjoys their taste of God and everything that He has in store for them. They seek more, and start joining Bible studies and prayer groups. They surround themselves with other believers and really work towards a lifestyle change. They are now getting solid food.

A spiritually mature Christian is interested in the meat. They don't settle for someone else teaching them. They really dig into the Word, with study helps and tools in hand. They ask questions, they take notes, they memorize. They are getting the full meal deal!

Today's passage discusses fools and naive believers. We have been this route before. Are you a naive believer? Are you still just taking little tastes of baby food, or are you really searching God through Bible Study and Prayer? Look up 1 Peter 2:2 and Hebrews 5:11-14 as you close today's study. Ask God to show you ways that you need to work on your Spiritual Maturity. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Proverbs 14: 14

The backslider in heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good man will be satisfied with his.

To prepare for today's lesson, I looked up some things about backsliders. Do you know what a backslider is? There are several definitions out there...but here is my favorite," One who is no longer making progress." Why? Well, fellow Pilgrims, we are to be always climbing that hill. Always pressing forth to get to the top. Picture in your mind a moment a playground with a group of preschoolers. For some reason, they always think it is more fun to climb UP the slide rather than slide down it. But what happens if they are halfway up and stop, or let go?

Ah, yes, they backslide. If we are not always working to climb, then we are doing the opposite. We are backsliding.

Why do we backslide? (We have all done it at one time or another.) I found three reasons when I studied:

* 1--Being ignorant of the Word (not spending time in it)
* 2--Failure to have the ability to endure persecution (from lack of being grounded in the Word)
* 3--The world has more influence than the Word.

Without the Word to provide a foothold, you will slide backwards. Matthew Henry's commentary, "Of all sinners, backsliders will have the most terror when they reflect on their own ways."

In close, look up Luke 12:48 and reflect on this verse today.

What are some things that are expected of you that you can improve on?
Do you have a strong foothold so that you can keep climbing?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Proverbs 14:13

We talked a bit about matters of the heart on Monday. Today's verse goes a bit more in depth.

The first part of the verse says, "Even in laughter the heart may be in pain". This is a reminder to me that even though there is a smile on the outside, there might me turmoil on the inside. Have you ever known an woman that was very discerning? A woman that could see your heart, no matter what your face showed. She is the kind of woman with open arms, a shoulder to cry on, and a tissue ready. She is the kind of woman that sends out cards just to brighten a day. What happened to these women? I don't see it in my generation...the generation of selfishness. It's hard to see through others pain when we are too selfish to get our eyes off of ourselves. I haven't written a card/letter for ages. (hanging head in shame...)

The second part of the verse, "And the end of joy may be grief", to me is saying, "Be prepared!". You don't know what is just around the corner. But if you are prepared spiritually, then you will be ready for what life throws at you.

Today I am going to write send a card/note to someone. Join me in brightening someones day?


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Proverbs 14: 11-12

11-The house of the wicked will be destroyed, But the tent of the upright will flourish.
12-There is a way which seems right to a man, But it's end is the way of death.

Verse 12 is one of those highly quoted, often memorized Proverbs. So...if it is so highly thought of, why in the world are there so many that follow the wrong path?

Ahh, before you judge, let me show you a few paths. If given the choice, would you rather take this path:

Or this?

Now, I ask you...which is the worst for your body? 

Oh, wait. let's go to a different destination...
Let's say you had a movie night with your friends this past weekend. 
Did you choose to see this:

(Which I will review on Monday on the other blog)
or did you choose to watch this?

Which is the path that pleases God?

Best look up Psalm 119:105 again.

Today in your journal/prayer time, make a list of 'wrong' paths that you take and ask God for forgiveness and help to take the correct path.