Friday, December 23, 2011

Choosing Names

Think back to the time when you were expecting a young one. What was one of the most important decisions that you had to make? The name of course! This name would follow this child for the rest of their life. I remember when we chose Stephen's name. Jerry had chosen a name that he liked and really no one else did. Thank goodness he listened to his wife and changed his mind! Our son's carefully chosen name is Stephen Glen. 'Stephen' comes from the Stephen of the Bible. We pray that he will someday be great and mighty for our God.
'Glen' is a family name..important to my husband.

So, what about the name of Jesus? Or shall I say the Names of Jesus?

Today flip back in your Bible and read Isaiah 9:6-7. Then read Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31-33.
Let's discuss each of these names (I had some help with this from

The root word for this means 'a sense of awe'. There is no substitute for the wonderful love of Christ.

(Read Psalm 73:24) Life is full of problems, but all we have to do is turn it Christ for the answers.

Mighty God
Christian life is not easy. But we can rest in the strength of our Mighty God to carry us through all the ups and downs. He is mighty to handle everything!

Everlasting Father.
While Jesus did die on the cross, He rose again! He cannot be defeated! He is the ONLY God that LIVES forever.

Prince of Peace
We certainly don't live in peaceful times. In fact, it is kind of scary at times...thinking about the path this world is on. As Christians, we know God is in control and we can find Peace in Him knowing that no matter what--He's in control.

There are so many other names we could discuss. Lamb of God, Son of Man, Teacher, Preacher, Prophet, Messiah. But I choose to end our study today on the God-chosen name for the Christ Child:


The name 'Jesus' is the Greek version of the Hebrew word for Joshua or Jeshua, which means, "Jehovah (Yahweh) will save." The very name God gave Him means that He will save. 

I leave you with one last powerful song that I found,
watch it when you can have a silent moment to open your heart and let God speak to you.
Merry Christmas my friends.
There won't be a Bible study next week; rather I ask you to join me in spending the week looking up the verses in this video and humbling ourselves before the Gift of the season.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Magi

Today please begin by reading Matthew 2:1-23

What  is a  Magi anyway? According to the Holman Bible Dictionary these are Eastern wise men, priests and astrologers whose interpretation of the stars led them to Palestine to find and honor Jesus. These men may have been from Babylon, Persia or the Arabian Desert. Did you notice when you read the passage that Matthew gives no number, names or royal position to the wise men? Because of the three gifts, the assumption has been made that there were 3 men.

Whether it be 3 wise men, or 20 I am sure that it was well more than that many that traveled with them. This would have been at least a 2 yr journey. I assume (having never been taught it--just my own thinking) that they would have had servants with them. And extra camels to carry their supplies. It certainly would not have been hard for King Herod to take notice of them. I also find it interesting that they wanted to pay homage to a King that was not even from their land. A King that was going to be Ruler of the world someday. And they humbled themselves, accepted it and even did what they could to make this Baby King feel welcome--and safe.

I am humbled when I think about all those other babies that were slain in Bethlehem. My son, Stephen turns two tomorrow. He would have been slain if we lived then and there. I have to wonder...would I gladly give his little young life so that the Christ child might live to save the world? I know the people of Bethlehem had no choice--but what if I did?

I only know of one time in history where a Father gladly gave His Son's life to save others.

I've found another wonderful song for you to meditate on today. This song could have been the entire devotion today--it is pretty powerful; please try to watch/listen until the end and...
 Oh come to Him and Adore Him. Right now where you are.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Angels and the Shepherds

At Christmastime, we see man's version of angels everywhere. From cute little stitching designs, but beautiful tree toppers. Let's take a look at all of the Nativity Bible passages about angels. 
Take a moment and read Matthew 1:20; Luke 1: 26-30; 
and finally our focus passage for today Luke 2: 8-20.

Did you notice something? Every time an angel appeared...they were feared and had to re-assure that they were angels. In my mind's eye I picture angels as being mighty warriors with wings.

Now a bit about those shepherds. In those days, shepherd's were considered to be low-class people. Nothing great; nothing noticeable. Yet who did the angels go to first? Who were given the job to go and proclaim the news that Christ had been born? Jesus came to save the entire world...but the shepherds got to see Him first. And couldn't you just see those shepherds? It was dark..then all of a sudden the night sky is lit up by a bright light. Then a whole host of angels filled the sky. Wow, wouldn't that have been something to see?? Now that's a light show! I can't even find a photo to do it justice. 
So I'll give you some fun instead. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Animals

Yes, the animals! They played a big part of the Nativity story. How many Nativity scenes have you seen without animals?

Begin today's study by reading Luke 2: 1-7.

I think most of you reading this study have been pregnant women at one time or another. Remember your ninth month? I do! (well it's only been two years for me so It's still fresh in my memory.) Swollen fingers, swollen ankles. Unable to bend. Unable to breathe. Having to use the girls room every 20 minutes. Remember when you felt that way? Now imagine climbing on a donkey and staying there for two weeks while 9 months pregnant.
     (The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem is 93 miles. A US army travels around 20 miles a day. The Roman Army traveled around 14 miles a day. Here was a pregnant woman riding a donkey and a man walking. They probably traveled less than 10 miles a day.)
That would be one miserable trip.
Now, contrary to belief, Joseph would not have been poor. He wasn't rich. He was average. He did have money to stay in the inn for an extended time. (vs 6). This was not just an over night stay. But it was busy there; Kind of like going to Florida in the summer. Mary needed to get off her feet I am sure, so they ended up out back in the barn. I am pretty sure at this point, she didn't care where she ended up. (I would be saying, "Just get me off this donkey!")

Barns back then were basically caves. Dark and dreary.
What else is in a barn?

Plenty of manure for Mary to have a soft, sterile environment. 

Can you imagine the animals? They got shooed out of their barn and their bedding. I can just hear the foot stomping; the swish of a mane of a donkey because his routine was messed up. Probably even some kicking.  Yes, I am fairly sure it wasn't quiet in that barn.
So, Mary has her little baby with no doctors or nurses. Just her husband to help her. They were there several days, she had to have something to lay the baby in. 

That is a modern day feed trough. Can you imagine Joseph taking the trough outside, dumping it out and banging it against the ground to get most of the yuck out of it?
 And then...laying a newborn Baby in it?

The animals were just normal animals. 
They didn't prepare the way for the King by having a perfectly clean barn. 

I wonder why when we list all the smells of Christmastime, we don't include the smell of manure?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mary and Joseph--a closer view

Keeping last Friday's lovely post by Snoodles in mind, I'd like to spend this week studying the Nativity a little closer. I hope that you'll set aside time with me to open your heart and really learning about the Gift of the Season.

Have you ever taken the time to really think about Mary?
Here is a little background for you. The city of Nazareth was on a trade route. It was not uncommon for teenage girls to sell their services to traveling merchants or Roman soldiers. Prostitution was rampant. Mary was a young teen; possibly even as young as 12, and probably not older than 15. 

While she was not perfect, Mary was a God fearing young woman.
 Please take a moment to read Luke 1: 26-56. 

Didn't you find that passage beautiful? I just love that Jesus and John knew each other from the womb! 
Most amazing to me though, here is this young girl, and the first thing she does is run to her older Aunt to praise God! 

Now let's take a look at Joseph.

We don't know Joseph's age; but we can assume that he was at least several years older than Mary.
We do know that he must have been a very considerate, loving man. 
I'll let you read the passage about Joseph, and then we will discuss that in a bit more detail.
Please read Matthew 1: 18-25.

There are a couple of important things to note. Mary was betrothed to Joseph. Betrothal was a serious matter to the Jews and could not easily be broken. But, Joseph was a righteous man.(vs19). This is where we know Joseph was considerate and loving because he could have surely been disgraced by Mary's condition, but instead he selflessly thought of her first.
"He planned to marry her, but was prepared to abort his plans so she could keep her baby. How different than modern couples who abort their baby in order to keep their plans."(by I. Campbell)

 Friday Snoodles played one of my favorite songs. I am going to share two more here. Take a moment to play them, as music is very powerful. Let this set the mood for this upcoming busy week. The first is written through Mary's eyes and the video images are very powerful and moving. It just sent chills down my spine watching it.
The second is written through Joseph's eyes~so appropriate to end today's study.

Friday, December 16, 2011

P.P. Answers for week 5

Right off the top I want to thank Belinda for being patient with me on my posting of the answers to last weeks questions. There was just so much to write I am glad that she didn't mind waiting. I actually read the assignment through and think about the questions myself before I cheat and look at the study I appreciate her patience with me so I could catch up!

1) I'll quote the book here as it is very good, " He who was patting himself on the back for having overrun his brother is now helped up by the one he had so underestimated. Such are the lessons that God teaches us; that when we have an inflated ego, the very one we feel superior to is usually the one who will help us in our distress."

2) Wanton used many things that in and of themselves were alright, until they were perverted by sin. Although Faithful was able to avoid the temptation, did you notice that he said he didn't know whether he fully escaped her? Here is a quote about that from Spurgeon, " The probability is, that the temptations of the flesh, even when resisted do us an injury. If the coals do not burn us, they blacken us...."

3) While we as Christians should realize that self-indulgence is sinful, it is good to be reminded of the sin nature that we inherited from Adam the First so that we value what Christ has done for us and our hopeless nature.

4) hmmm, the book was too good here too. I've got to quote again, "...the Law of God is meant not only to encompass the outward actions but to reach so far as the thoughts and intents of the heart. So strict, so pure, so spiritual is the holy Law of God that it will knock any man flat on the ground and leave him despairing. A comprehensive view of the Law and one's own sinful heart and actions can leave the believer discouraged. Yet this can lead to a humble dependence on Christ and to empathy for other believers. What gratitude we should have for Christ's nail-pierced hands, which alone can rescue."

5) this was meant for personal reflection only...

6) Mark 8:38. Also, I love this quote by Alexander Whyte: "In the present order of our souls, we are all acutely ashamed of many things that are not the proper objects of shame at all; while, on the other hand, we feel no shame at all at multitudes of things that are really most blameworthy, dishonorable, and contemptible."

7) I think the book was trying to say that in this context it was important to point out the faults (or talk ill) of Talkative. "When no remorse, only defensiveness, is shown when error is exposed, we do well to heed the apostolic advice,'from such withdraw thyself'. We do scandalous professor's souls no good by accepting them into church membership when their lives do not back up their words. Their actions cause nonbelievers to point at them and say, "See what a bunch of hypocrites these Christians are', which brings disgrace on Christ's bride, the church."


Next reading assigment: Moody in Today's English : 87-98; Revell Spire: 78-90

I will post discussion questions next Saturday and answers the following. I know it is the holidays but I think Belinda and I both want to continue on our Path. 

Time Out!

This is a season that too often turns into a whirlwind of activity -- much of it fairly mindless! I wanted everyone to take a time out today, and reflect on some verses. Enjoy a few moments of reverie . . . I believe you'll be refreshed, you'll feel better, and you'll feel like the time was well spent.
I've been struck by the fact that there have not been many of us that have taken time to post comments or discussion. I think that we are all so busy this time of year, that perhaps the things that help us most, and heal us most, are the ones that fall by the wayside.

I have been blessed by a song that I would like for you to listen to. I'm embedding it here, and I would like to ask you to click "play," adjust your volume so that it is pleasant, not overwhelming, and then scroll down. You see, I want your attention to be focused on the words, the music, and the pictures and verses down below. Will you do that for me? Please?  Click to play, and then scroll down . . .

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

We are celebrating an awesome moment in time. Whether or not it happened on or near December 25th is something that we can leave to the scholars to wrangle over . . . let's just focus on the fact that a holy God, the Great I Am, knew there was no other way for sinful mankind to be made whole. And He sent the perfect lamb, the Son of God, in the form of a wee babe.

This same holy God had planned it all. And He set the wheels in motion, and sent His angel to a young woman named Mary.
Luk 1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.
Luk 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Did you know, Mary? Did you know all that was in store for you?
What about you, Joseph? Did you know?

Luk 2:4  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because (he was of the house and lineage of David):
Luk 2:5  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Joseph -- I imagine a gentle, courageous man. It would have been human nature to think that Mary had "slipped up" or been taken advantage of, and the Scripture does record his compassionate desire to hide her pregnancy from the world, and not take her for his wife. Some have suggested that his motive was more mean spirited, but I believe he was shielding her from a society that would make her a pariah, or worse, stone her to death. Whatever the reason, he considered moving her, hiding her. But I imagine that having a conversation with an angel would change my mind, too, if I were he. So they went to Bethlehem . . .

And then it happened . . . as the star shown and the angels sang . . .

Luk 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Look for a moment at the expressions on the young parents' faces -- this nativity touched me when I saw it on A Desert Quilter blog.   Do we echo the emotions you see there? Or are we too busy? Do we relegate the Child to the stable, or do we bring Him in to the inn of our hearts?

Imagine, if you will, being Mary, and hearing the shepherds tell her of their remarkable visitors:
Luk 2:10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luk 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

As they entered the stable they saw something like this:

This is the true miracle --- God's gift is freely given. He allowed, He planned for His Son to leave the magnificence of heaven, and allow His infinite power to be clothed in a finite body. To live as a mortal, to die a humiliating death, but to rise again to show His power, His grace, and His love. Why? Listen again to John . . .

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

This, then, is the miracle. Everlasting life. For everyone. For anyone. Who believes. And who will allow their life to be changed. Don't take my word for it -- listen to Jesus as he speaks to Martha in John's gospel:

Joh 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible say,
Mary's boy-child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day.
Hark now, hear the angels sing - listen to what they say:
For man will live forever more, because of Christmas Day.

I hope you all have paused with me, and taken a time-out. I'm awestruck, all over again, as I always am when I read these verses. I hope they've been meaningful for you, too.
Thank you, Nichol at A Desert Quilter, for the use of your photos.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 18-19 Two to Avoid

Pro 15:18  A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.
Pro 15:19  The way of the slothful man is as a hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

Our verses today are about two characteristics or attitudes that we truly need to avoid. As I began thinking and studying for this post, I thought to myself, "These are considered to be two of the seven deadly sins by some churches. Wonder who first came up with that?" So instead of idly wondering about it, I did a google search. I could have gone upstairs and chosen a couple of books that are on our shelves, but hey -- you can find anything on the internet, right?!

So, who came up with wrath, and sloth, and all the others? According to my research, the very first one was a Greek thinker -- but he had eight.  A couple hundred years later, a pope got into the act, and narrowed the field to seven. I think since then there may have been some tweaking, but it has pretty much stayed the same.

Let's look at wrath, first, OK? The root for this word carries the meanings "heat, anger, poison" --- we're talking about rage here . . . inordinate, and uncontrolled. Not just your garden variety "I'm-mad-at-you-and-I'm-going-to-pout" but full blown, knock your socks off rage. Not a good thing. It causes too much hurt, harms our witness, and may injure the angry person or the people around him/her.
The root for "stirreth" is even more interesting (at least I think so...y'all may be yawning here!) because it is "to grate, stir, or meddle." Hmmm . . . a wrathful person IS rather grating to be around, and I've known one or two that would meddle in other people's business and get angry about that, if they couldn't find anything else to fuss about!
What's the contrast? Someone who is slow to anger -- peaceable, meek, long-suffering. Uh, oh, we're getting into the fruits of the Spirit, aren't we? And I'm going to feel badly because I know that others probably don't see those in me, as much as I'd like to think they do. (Blush)   Matthew Henry's commentary says this:
He that is slow to anger not only prevents strife, that it be not kindled, but appeases it if it be already kindled, brings water to the flame, unites those again that have fallen out, and by gentle methods brings them to mutual concessions for peace-sake.
 Ouch! I felt that one . . . I think I need to put on my boots - the ones with the reinforced toes!

Next, let's look at sloth. This encompasses laziness, indifference, and a refusal to utilize one's talents and gifts. Did you notice that Solomon uses the word "way" twice there? What caught my eye was that they were actually two different words . . . to make a long story short, let me replace those words with their roots, and see what you think:
The (course of action) of the slothful man is (imagined to be) a hedge of (briers and thorns), but the (well-trodden road) of the righteous is made plain.
So a slothful individual will make up reasons why his duty is too hard, and why he (or she) can't complete their tasks . . . that their task is too difficult or dangerous, and they are justified in their reluctance to "get 'er done," in today's vernacular. Now, am I saying that we must be automatons, robots, never tiring, always working --- nope, I'm getting tired just thinking about that! Matthew Henry says that it is an "honest desire and endeavor to do our duty" that we need to strive for.  Then God's grace will make it a "well trodden" path: easy to find, easy to stay on, and strewn with the blessings that He sends to us.

I'm going to be honest here -- I don't have a wrath problem, but sometimes I have a sloth problem. I will chafe under the load, and wish I could do something else.
Lord, please remind me that my way will be plain, if I'll make an honest effort to do what I know I'm supposed to do!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 16 - 17 A little can be better than a lot!

Pro 15:16  Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Pro 15:17  Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

In our verses yesterday, Solomon had told us that a cheerful spirit would make even those who have little of what the world offers, have a continual feast. Today we'll look at his formula for that feast. In verse 16, he instructs us that we need holiness, and in verse 17 he says we need love. Let's get out our magnifying glass and check this out, OK?

A little of this world's goods, if we are good stewards of it, and enjoy it in reverence of the Lord, may be far more comfortable and enjoyable to us than if we had great treasure. In previous studies, we've noted that those who are wealthy, who have abundant treasures, often have great trouble with it --- it's quite the opposite from making their life easy.  It increases their cares and worries, and even can affect their sleep! Hey, I bet Solomon knew about that first hand.....the Scripture notes all of his vast wealth. It is human nature when one is wealthy, to trust in that wealth, and not in God; so it is far more desirable in my book, to have a little of the world's "gold," to live by faith, and to enjoy God's providence and care. I recall an old hymn that George Beverly Shea sang many times: "I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today."

In the next verse, Solomon contrasts a simple meal of herbs with a huge banquet - a stalled ox was one that was penned up and allowed to get fat. (We all know what no exercise will do, right?!) So, a stalled ox was a key component to a sumptuous meal for the well-to-do. But you notice that this wealthy king tells us that if you don't have love, it just doesn't cut it! He says a simple meal of herbs would be better than the incredible meal --- if there is love there. If there's no love there, a person doesn't feel comfortable, or welcome, or, or, loved! (Wonder if he's speaking from personal experience here, too? I bet that among that huge number of wives he had, there were some who nagged, or were just generally not so nice!)

So, tell me what you think about Solomon's formula --- he says holiness, reverence for God, and love, if you mix them all up together, will make you feel like you are at a feast, no matter what your situation. Wonder if this is what Paul meant?
"for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phil 4:11b

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 13 - 15 It's a very old prescription!

Tonya is taking a break to get Stephen and herself some rest . . . please continue to remember them in your prayers. You're stuck with me, Snoodles, for the remainder of the week -- I hope you're not disappointed!

Pro 15:13  A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Pro 15:14  The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

Pro 15:15  All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

There are an awful lot of new medicines advertised these days. Seems like every time you listen to the radio or turn on the television, you hear about a new drug that is absolutely the best for whatever ails you. Of course, nowadays they are required to tell you all the details, such as it may make your hair fall out, turn your skin a curious shade of heliotrope, cause you to drive your car in your sleep, or cause you to explode. (Grin)

But one of the oldest prescriptions is found in the Scriptures . . . and in fact, a couple of chapters further on, it is specifically referred to as a medicine --- I'm talking about a merry heart.

Solomon notes here that a merry heart can make our countenance cheerful - well, yes! If we are contented and "making melody in our heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19) then our face will be cheerful. What kind of a witness are we, if we have a long, sad face? Solomon cautions us that by "sorrow of the heart" our spirit can be broken . . . in Hebrew, that word means stricken, wounded. I believe he's referring to when we let our sorrow have control; we let it have free reign in our hearts.  I believe my Grandma would have said "when we wallow in it."  If we want to attract others to the grace that we have found, we will (Grandma just stuck her head back in the door) attract more "with honey than with vinegar."

What is the key to having a merry heart? Well, I think I know one of them, anyway.  The last word of verse 15 is a root that can mean banquet (a feast, right?) or drink . . . I think if we are drinking what Jesus called living water . . .
John 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

And if we accept the gift of that everlasting life, we will indeed find ourselves doing what we saw in Ephesians 5:19:  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

And I betcha --- if you glance in the mirror, you'll see a cheerful countenance!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Proverbs 15: 9-12

Hey everybody....this is a note from Snoodles (Tonya wrote this study, but I am butting in here!) and I wanted to ask all of you to join me in praying for Tonya's little Stephen. This precious boy has been sick off-and-on for a while, now, and had a distressing visit to the doctor the other day: the nurses were not as gentle as they should have been, and the doctor seemed to ignore the wee babe's fever.  Please lift him up to the Lord in prayer for healing, and ask for God's guidance in finding a doctor with wisdom. OK, I'll get out of the way now. :)
 9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah; But he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
 10 There is grievous correction for him that forsaketh the way; And he that hateth reproof shall die.
 11 Sheol and Abaddon are before Jehovah: How much more then the hearts of the children of men!
12 A scoffer loveth not to be reproved; He will not go unto the wise.

What happens the minute that you we do something wrong? We try to hide it. Cover it up. Run from it. Right? I grouped these verses together for a reason. We have spent much time talking about walking the right path, and the wrong path for that matter. But when I read these verses, something stood out to me. It seems that when we goof up...we do try to run, hide and cover it up. I guess that's in our blood because isn't that exactly what Adam and Eve did?

The funny, or shall I say sad, thing about would think that we would learn after trying to run and hide for 10,000 years...that it just doesn't work! 

Verse 9 tells us that God loves us for following after righteousness.

 Verse 10 assures us that when we mess up on occasion, we will be punished. But it is so much better to accept our punishment than to not. When we do not 'fess up', accept our punishment, then we are not admitting that we are sinners and in need of a Savior.

 Verse 11 reminds us that God knows. He knows our heart even when we are trying to hide cover up with a fig leaf. I don't know about you...but I am shaking my head that we find it so hard to learn the very first lesson of the Bible! Thank goodness that we have a forgiving, loving, patient Father!

Verse 12 tells us that mockers, scorners and scoffers hate correction so much that they stay away from the wise. Have you ever stayed away from someone just because they were a 'goody two shoes'? I think it is just another means of hiding from all that is good.

Today try to quit hiding. Air that dirty laundry! You'll feel better if you do. And you'll have less burden as you continue along your Path.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

P.P. Discussion Week 5

There are alot of questions today, but I couldn't bring myself to weed out too many. The thought behind these discussions are so good! I always like to re-read my section after looking at the discussion. I will try to post the answers as early as I can but I'm alone with Stephen all day until late tonight so it may take me time. Lots of time to ponder for you :)

1)Leaving the valley, Christian sees faithful before him upon the Way. What happens next and what lesson can be learned from it?

2) What did Wanton promise Faithful and what could she not give?

3) Old Adam has something written on his forehead. What are the implications of the warning there for us?

4) Faithful meets Moses. What does he represent, and why does he strike Faithful down? He would have continued beating Faithful if it had not been for whom?

5) Have you ever had a conversation with Discontent?

6) What are some of the objections Shame brings against religion, and what comments by Faithful will enable you to respond correctly to Shame?

7) What is the first indication that Talkative gives that he is unchanged. Is Christian being disobedient to Titus 3:2 when he speaks evil of Talkative?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 8 The delight of a holy God

Pro 15:8  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

This verse made me smile today --- I hope it does you, too. It reminded me of something that an older evangelist said one time as I sat under his teaching: did you ever stop to think that your praying, and asking God for His gifts, His grace, His will, is something that brings Him delight?

Let's think about what delight means; Webster lists these synonyms: extreme satisfaction, pleasure, joy. Wow! An awesome, holy God is joyful when I pray? It gives Him pleasure to hear and grant my request? I don't know about you, but that is something that is so big, I just needed to sit back and ponder it.

The key here is that we must be upright; we must be "in-tune" so to speak, with God's Word and His will. For you see, the wicked can even make sacrifices to try to cover their sin, or to persuade God to favor them, or to try to delight Him, and this verse says that is an abomination. When you look through the Old Testament, you will see two things that have to do with this verse. First, sacrifices were made as a way to atone for sin before Christ's sacrifice on the cross. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." Second, abomination is used to describe some pretty horrific stuff in the Scripture, so, when a wicked person would think to himself "Haha! I'll just fool God by offering this, the finest calf (or other offering) that money can buy, and that will take away all of my sin! I'll be good to go!" (I know they didn't talk quite that way -- that's just my style of writing!)  But Solomon is saying that God is not fooled; He is not mocked; He KNOWS.  And He thinks it is an abomination.

By contrast, when we come to God with a child-like faith, and a thankful heart, and make our request known to Him --- and ask Him to have His will over all, He is joyful. He is delighted. He takes pleasure in granting those desires, or in showing us His will. (Obviously, if I'm asking for a new tractor, because the old one is sitting dead-as-a-doornail out in the pasture, that's not what we're talking about here. But if I ask Him to help us find a way to overcome the death of the tractor, like strength to work overtime and afford the repairs, or a neighbor selling a good used one, than that is more in the spirit of this verse!)  And we can always count on Him to grant our requests for forgiveness of sin, for help in living out the fruits of the Spirit, and for opportunities to tell others about Him.

How long has it been since we delighted our Lord, by praying?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 7 Do I winnow my words?

I know you may have looked at the title and said "Huh? What is she talking about?"  I'll try to explain.

Pro 15:7  The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

At first glance, this verse seems to kinda go against one that we studied recently . . . In verse 33 of chapter 14, we read: Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

You might recall that we talked about how the foolish person will go to great lengths, do everything in his or her power to find ways to bring the conversation around to what they want to talk about, or boast about. We discussed that the wise person will many times hold their knowledge "close to the vest," or at least not be over-eager to display what they know.  Well, this verse seems to be telling us to disperse or share our knowledge --- Hey, Solomon, what gives?

One of the synonyms that I found when I clicked on "disperse" was to "winnow." That brings to mind the tossing of the harvested grain into the air in ancient times --- the chaff, or useless portion, would be carried away on the wind, while the useful portion of the grain would fall to the ground to be gathered up and used. Perhaps what Solomon is telling us, is that we need to be guided by humility and prudence, and share our knowledge in a reasonable and measured manner.  To be certain when we share, that it is the useful grain, not the chaff --- something that will bless, and will edify or comfort the hearer.

It made me think about whether or not I "winnow" my words . . . am I careful to choose the grain? Or am I distributing chaff a great deal of the time?

Lord, please keep your arm around my shoulders, and your hand over my mouth.  :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 6 Real treasure, or real worried?

Have you seen the commercial lately from an insurance company, that features a cute pup worried about where to hide his treasure -- his bone? He scampers from place to place, trying to find the perfect spot, and is always worried about it being found . . . even in his dreams he is uneasy:

Our verse today made me think of that pup and his worries, and the same worries that plague some humans!
Proverbs 15:6 tells us "In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble."
We have discussed in earlier studies that on the one hand, God may indeed bless the righteous with great riches -- remember Abraham? The list of his possessions was quite astonishing for men in those times. On the other hand, the righteous may NOT have a great deal of the material goods of this world; they may not appear to be wealthy.  But in the best and brightest sense, they are the richest folks around!  The righteous are usually hard-working, temperate, and content with what they have, and the grace that they've received is counted as their greatest asset. They realize that they have God as their portion, and they don't fret over possessions.
The wicked, however, may have amassed great wealth, but are constantly assailed with feelings of guilt, of passion, of envy, and spitefulness, and can never truly "rest easy" because they are always afraid that someone else will take their riches away.  Their passions, pride, and a constant uneasiness take away the joy that they thought their "revenues" would bring them. 

This Christmas season, let's be truly grateful for the grace He has given us, the mercy He has extended to us, and the peace that we feel from His presence. Those are the riches I'm thankful for!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Proverbs 15 : 5 Scornful attitudes

Here is today's verse:
Proverbs 15:5  A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
This is almost a companion verse to several that we've studied before . . . like this one:
Proverbs 13:1  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
This one has a little different tone, though, and I'll lay it out here as concisely as I can, so you don't think I'm plowing the same ground here.

In the verse in chapter 13, the emphasis was on whether or not the son "heard" the instruction. The implication was that if you truly "hear" what someone is saying, you will take it to heart, internalize it, remember it, and value it.
Today's verse has the word "despiseth" in it. Some of the similar words for this Hebrew word are: scorn, abhor, blaspheme, hold in contempt. Whoa . . . there are some pretty negative meanings, there!  I think we can safely say there is more going on here than the typical roll-my-eyes-sigh-and shrug attitude of some teenagers that I know!
Contrast this scornful attitude that Solomon shows us, with the second half of the sentence: "he that regardeth reproof is prudent."   I hope that I am correct on this one, but I was really taken with the meaning of "regard" in this verse. It means "to hedge about, as with thorns."  Hmmm, if I remember correctly, that was one way that shepherds in ancient times protected their sheep.

Sometimes they would find a natural enclosure, an area where the stones could be used to make some makeshift walls, and pieces from thornbushes would be laid on top to discourage thieves and wild animals. If it was a pasture they often used, there might be a more permanent sheepfold made, along the same lines, with stones or a low building, and abundant use of thorns for protection. Many times the opening to this enclosure would be blocked by the shepherd himself, who would lie down and sleep there, to be vigilant over his precious livelihood.

So, this got me to thinking - I don't need to pat myself on the back because I'm not scornful. I certainly don't treat God's instructions with contempt.  But when I receive a reproof from my heavenly Father, do I "regard" it? Do I hedge it about and protect it, and treat it as something of highest value? I know that I should, for a reproof will guide me in becoming more like Christ. But I also know that if I'm honest, I sometimes shy away from that reproof, and try to justify my mistake or sin. This verse has "lit a fire under me" to change the way I respond to reproof!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Proverbs 15:4 Sticks and Stones . . .

Pro 15:4  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

Remember back in the first few studies we had with Tonya? Do you recall when Wisdom was compared to a "tree of life?"  In Proverbs 3:18, Solomon instructed us to seek, embrace, hold onto, Wisdom, for "she" would be a tree of life to us. Establishing, nurturing, sustaining us in our life here on earth.

Well, here is an interesting concept in Proverbs 15:4 . . . "a wholesome tongue" can be a tree of life, as well. How? I'm so glad you asked!! In the Hebrew, the word there can be translated curative, sound, wholesome, or healing.

Our tongues can heal when we:
  •                comfort those who are hurting
  •                tell sinful souls of our Savior
  •                encourage those who are at odds to reconcile with each other
  •                give wholesome advice to those who sorely need it
One of the commentaries that I read, said that if one lived around a person who had a "wholesome" or "healing" tongue, it would be like living in paradise - alluding to where we will see the tree of life later on. (It's in Revelation 22:2) 
The opposite of the wholesome tongue would naturally be one that wounds, and tells falsehoods, and causes grief, guilt and divisions among hearers.
While it's true that sticks and stones can break bones, I have never held to the idea that "words can never hurt" me . . . I'm sure we all have seen hearts broken by a few poorly chosen words.

I believe I will strive to have a healing, wholesome, peacemaking tongue. What are your thoughts on this verse?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

P.P. Discussion Week 4

In our last lesson we saw how Christian was edified and encouraged at the house called Beautiful. In this portion of the story Christian walks through two valleys. In the first valley he has a terrible battle with a foul friend. New trials meet Christian as he passes through the next valley. However, not even these adversities are able to stop his progress. 

1) After being favored with many spiritual blessings at the house called Beautiful, Christian departs. Where does he go next, and why do you think this place was chosen by Bunyan to be next in the pilgrim's journey?

2)Why was the battle between Christian and his foe so severe?

3)Christian now enters the Valley of the Shadow of Death. On the right hand of the Valley there is a ditch and on the left hand a quag. What does each represent?

4)What weapon was useful to Christian in the midst of the valley and why was it the best at this point?

5) "When Christian had traveled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, 'Though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear non Ill, for thou art with me." What were the three reasons why Christian was glad?


Reading assignments:
Moody (Belinda) pp66-86
Spire non abridged pp 58-78

Remember I will not be able to answer questions until Monday. Thank you! I am so glad to be reading this again!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Proverbs 15:3

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.

I find this verse very soothing.

God Knows.

When you are wrongly judged:

God knows. 

When you are lonely:

God knows.

When you are hurting:

God knows.

When someone else should be punished instead of you:

God knows. 

Those two mighty words have gotten me through many a tough time, and they've kept me from being vengeful. Because that's God's job. Because...well, God knows!

As you are reading this I will be away and cannot respond to your comments. 
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Proverbs 15:2

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable; but the mouth of fools spouts folly.

We have talked and talked about talk, lips, tongue. So I mulled this verse over for two days in my head to figure a different way to talk about talk. Then it hit me...'makes knowledge acceptable'.

Think back to when you were in school. Think of your different teachers that you had. Over the years, you probably experienced mean ones, fun ones, interesting ones, boring ones. What makes a good teacher? (or a wise teacher if we apply it to the above verse). Let me compare a few of  my high school teachers for you (I went to a very small private school, so many of my teachers were repeated each year and taught several subjects.)

Mr. K--Super nice, but also didn't know half of the things students did behind his back. Kids got away with a lot in his class. He also taught in a very monotone voice; and a bit above most of our heads. Over the years I took Bible, English, and Chemistry from him. I did good to pass Chemistry and Bible and English were always a breeze for me, so I really didn't even need him for those. In fact, I don't remember a thing that stands  out in what he taught.

Mr. W--Hilarious, friendly but strict. Taught Speech (I may like to teach but I do NOT like to get up in front of people. It scares me to death.), Bible, Science classes, and drove my bus on occasion. Mr W made his learning fun but kept a firm hand on the class. He taught things in such a way that even in speech class I strove to please him. When he drove my bus, he purposely went out of the way to take me all the way home instead of making me walk the mile that the school and other drivers required. (private schools do what they want.) Because of his fun, friendly manner, he made me want to learn. Even in my hard classes I worked hard to please him.

Ms F--She taught all of our math classes. She was a serious, get down to business kind of teacher. Nice, but not overly friendly. If we struggled she would go over it again, or find new ways to go over it. If we had trouble in her class she found ways to help us bring our grade up. (I am a math whiz except Geometry. She gave me lots of extra work in geometry to help me keep my grade up.) She understand that just because you don't understand something, then you are not stupid. You just need it put in a different light.

Mr. H--Mr military. Seriously. He just retired finally after being in the reserves for 40 years or more. Mean; Could care less to listen to 'our side' of things if something didn't go right; his way or the highway. Over the years I took many classes from him but most commonly History and Bible. I did not need his help in Bible but History was very hard for me. (I have always struggled with lots of memorization.)

the other Mr H--the other history teacher. Friendly but down to business like Ms F, and also helped us like Ms F. He was the best teacher ever for helping review before tests. As I said, I was horrible at memorization. I could enter a final in his class and do fine, because he took the time to review with us so that we couldn't fail.

Now that I bored you and took you back to school, I will get to my point. (Finally! right?). I went through each of these because I wanted to spark some memory in your own life. I was hoping that describing these would help you remember some of your teachers that helped you gain knowledge, even when it wasn't easy. Or how about the opposite. Teachers that you didn't learn a thing from.

No matter where you are at in life, someone is watching you. You are teaching someone. If you want them to accept what you are teaching, then you need to be wise in your approach. That means it begins in you; not in them.

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!