Thursday, May 31, 2012

Proverbs 22 : 3 - 5 Avoiding evil, or playing at the edge of the water?

Pro 22:3  The prudent man saw the evil, and hid himself: the simple passed on, and suffered loss.
Pro 22:4  The fruit of humility is the fear of the Lord, riches and glory and life.
Pro 22:5  Arms and swords are in the way of the perverse: but he that keepeth his own soul, departeth far from them.

When we know something is evil, do we avoid it? Do we turn our heads, or turn our backs on it? Or do we peek at it, or even gaze on it; do we dabble our feet in the water, thinking that "surely this can't hurt me.....I'm not really doing anything wrong."

We hear a lot today about "if it feels good, go ahead and do it." And sometimes the wicked things of this world come coiled up in such pretty wrappings -- it's difficult sometimes to focus on the dangerous snake inside the package.
Solomon notes here that the wise person will see the evil, and hide himself from it. The next verse mentions fearing the Lord, and the last one tells us to "keep our souls."

Where can we hide? I can think of no better place than in my Father's hands. Listen to what David says in Psalm 32:7:
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Keeping our souls refers to abstaining from the evil that we see, and focusing on our heavenly Father; considering His grace to us with the reverence such a gift deserves.

We all need to be careful not to dabble our feet where it's dangerous!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Proverbs 22 : 1 - 2 God made them all

Pro 22:1  A good name is better than great riches: and good favour is above silver and gold.
Pro 22:2  The rich and poor have met one another: the Lord is the maker of them both

First of all, I would like to thank Tonya for a wonderful series of studies over the last week or so --- weren't they great? It meant a lot to me and has made a difference already in the way I treat the relationship with my hubby.  She was able to remind me of things that I have known, but have not paid enough attention to! Thanks, Tonya!

I may have mentioned before that we homeschooled our three kiddos until college . . . one of the subjects on their curriculum was Bible. Not just during devotions, but a full scale study of a portion of the Word, each year.  I can remember several times when they were in grade school, they would look at me with puzzled faces and say "Mom, why is THIS in the Bible? These people did exactly the wrong thing (or said the wrong thing, or whatever)."  I would tell them that sometimes God inspired writings that would show us what NOT to do, as well as what we SHOULD do.

We've noted before that it is easy for us to slip into the world's way of looking at people. "Clothes make the man (or woman)" is the message being trumpeted by the commercials and magazine ads. And indeed, people who are dressed nicely do get treated better than the ones who are not handsomely dressed. This was a problem in the early Christian church, too. Just listen to James as he exhorts his readers:

 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.
Apparently it (favoritism) was just as much a problem in the early church, as it was in Solomon's time, and it's still a problem today.  And it's in the Word so that we can learn from it, right?

Lord, help me to have a heart for the poor, as you did. And then help me to "walk the walk" and show that love.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Proverbs 21: Our mighty man!

22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
30 No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.

What a study we have had over the last week and a half! As we come to the end of chapter 21 and look at the last three verses we've yet to discuss, I am reminded about the strength of our men. No, not muscle strength. Wisdom strength as in verse 22. Wisdom is so much more powerful than human strength. Yet (vs 30) that even though wisdom is stronger than human strength, NOTHING is more powerful than our Lord. While we need to respect our husband, love him, pray for him, help him...we need to put God above him. If we do not put God first, then our marriage, our home, our children suffer. Matthew Henry wraps up this passage with this note:

“Safety and salvation are of the Lord; He can save without armies, but armies cannot save without Him.” 

Are you allowing God to be the Highest in Command within your home?


I have very much enjoyed writing this study about husbands. It excited me so much that I just worked on it off and on over a couple of days until I got all 7 posts written. It is now 2 a.m. (clear back on the 21--just as you are beginning your study!) and I am going to go shut my eyes and pray that you will allow this study to touch you and that it maybe can make an impact on your marriage. I thank God for the opportunity to have learned so much from this study. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

This song is beautiful. Enjoy.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Proverbs 21: When he messes up

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend and that you spent time searching your heart to see if you are truly being the helpmate to your husband that you were created to be. There was one thing that I didn't put on the list on Friday because I wanted to save it for a day all in its own.

When your husband sins, reprove him privately and gently, always giving him hope and pointing him to the Lord.--quoted from

The most interesting thing about the quote above is that when the author was writing ideas on how to be a better wife, she asked her husband for his input; and his input is what I quoted above. While we have studied twice in this chapter alone that our husbands do not want to be nagged, this quote is proof that they do want us to help them.

This chapter of Proverbs (as do all chapters) touch on a few sins such as lying, (vs 6 and 28); keeping our mouths shut (vs 23); not being kind to the poor (vs 13, 26); not being frugal (vs 20); laziness (vs 25) and not listening to instruction (vs 11).

We need to approach today's study very very cautiously. If you aren't careful you can get carried away thinking about your husband's transgressions. Just remember that plank in your own eye! (Matthew 7:3). On the other hand, you know where your husband struggles. You know what tempts him, what trips him, what makes life not so easy for him.

I encourage you, open your hearts in HUMBLE prayer for your husband today. Pray for areas in which he is struggling and ask God to reveal to you how you can help your husband get past these temptations.

Today's do for your husband idea: Give him a back, foot or sinus/head massage.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Proverbs 21: Walking the path

Yesterday we spent just a little time looking over the verses from this chapter that discuss 'the wicked'. Today lets look through some of the verses that discuss the opposite.

As we study today, imagine your husband as Christian in Pilgrim's Progress. Every day, our husbands are out there, walking the narrow road. We all are trying to walk that road but I think it must be so hard for anyone that works outside the home. There are so many other distractions that get in the path. (Of course, there are plenty within the home but we won't get into that in this discussion.)

8 The way of the guilty is crooked, but the conduct of the pure is upright.

16 One who wanders from the way of good sense will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17 Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

21 Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Did you know that we are helpmates to our husbands? We are supposed to help our husband's as we walk the journey together. That's what we women were created for. It says so right in Genesis. I have never seen a comment on that verse more beautiful than Matthew Henry's commentary:
‘Not made out of his head to top him, not out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.’

I think too often, especially in modern times, we don't take our God-given job seriously. And that is sad. In fact, it pretty much is why sin is in the world today, isn't it? I have really enjoyed this study this week, and I've been combing the net for husband/wife type ideas, etc. Today, instead of giving you one thing to do I am going to give you a list of ideas to help you become a better helpmate for your husband. Hey! It's the need extra homework. *grin*  These are not just spiritual things. These are things to make life easier for your husband. Because that is YOUR job. My prayer is that you will examine yourself as you look over these; find room for improvement; and act on it. (compiled from several internet resources but mostly from

1. Be willing to talk and listen. Ask him if there is anything that you can do differently to make his life easier.
2. Be organized.
3. Save energy for him.
4. Put him first. Even over children! This includes putting his work and goals above your own. (ouch on that goal thing)
5. Always talk positive of him; especially in front of your children.
6. Re-examine what you are involved in. Do they glorify your husband? Ask him to guide you on what you devote your time to. (ouch.)
7. Encourage your husband to use his spiritual gifts.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Proverbs 21: The wicked and the not so

A study of Proverbs is never without a study of the wicked. Chapter 21 is no exception. Let's look:

7 The violence of the wicked will sweep them away, because they refuse to do what is just.

10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.

12 The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; he throws the wicked down to ruin.

15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

18 The wicked is a ransom for the righteous, and the traitor for the upright.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.

29 A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways.

So, how can we apply these verses to our study of husbands? First, thank God for your husband's salvation. Then perhaps you could take apart each verse and apply it to your husband. We each have different husbands. Each with different struggles and triumphs. In my home, I might read this passage and turn it into a prayer thanking God that my husband wants to do the right thing, that he desires to be just(vs 7) and that he thinks before he acts.(vs 29) (Which is a very good thing as I am the one that is way too hasty to jump on decisions.) I might pray that when God observes our home, that He will find good and not evil. (vs 12).

Of course, many verses in this chapter deal with the opposite...we will take a look at those verses tomorrow.

Today's idea to show your love for your husband: Watch a tv show or movie with him. Many of us women could care less about that box with all those noisy sounds coming out of it. But for some reason, men like the crazy thing. So, you could go sit with him and spend some time showing interest in what he likes.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Proverbs 21: The Pride of the king

That word has a couple of definitions. Let's look at each.
When you woke up today, did you think, "I am my husband's pride!" Nope, I didn't either. But we are. Us, the children, the home itself. We are all part of our husband's pride. Whether or not he can be proud of  his pride is a different story.

Oh, there we mentioned the other part of the definition of pride. Being proud. Men like to be proud. They really do. Actually, sometimes a bit too proud. Women can struggle a bit with pride, but I think men have the bigger struggle here. Fish stories and little league games come to mind. Let's look at what Proverbs 21 says about pride:

Verse 4: Haughty eyes and a proud heart,  the lamp of the wicked, are sin.
Verse 24: “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride.

Bear in mind, we are not here to 'husband bash'. Quite the opposite. You know your husband better than anyone with the exception of Christ. You know his struggles. As his wife, he appreciates your prayers on his behalf. In fact, I think it is the best gift you can give your husband. Later this week we will discuss other ways that we can pray for our husbands, but today when you bow your head to pray, remember Pride in these two ways:

1) that YOU and YOUR HOME, as his pride is something that he can be proud of. Oh, and pleasing man is not important. We want your husband to feel proud of you when he closes his eyes and meets privately in prayer with his Savior. Just please your husband today.

2) for your husband's prideful nature. It really is a 'man thing'.(Yes, we women can struggle with it too. I am not pointing fingers.)  Pray that he will remain humble in all situations. And the key to this prayer--that you will remain humble when praying for your husband's humility.

Today's do for your husband item: Spruce up! You, the house, the dinner table. Make his eyes light up with Pride as he walks through that door!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Proverbs 21: the heart of the Home

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33.

The above verse is perhaps one of the most powerful husband/wife verses in the Bible. We woman thrive on love. We want the cuddles, hugs and sweet talk. 

But those men of ours...we have got to remember they are to reign our home. They deserve the utmost of respect. And you know what? When we give them that respect...we get those hugs and cuddles more often!

Of course, Snoodles already discussed the husband/wife relationship last week when she discussed verse 9. Take a moment to review verse 9, and then hop down and read verse 19. Ahhh, women, it is so hard for our husbands to listen to us nag, nag, nag. But verse 19 goes a step further. Did you see that? It is not only hard to live with a quarrelsome woman, but also a fretful woman!! When we become worry warts, then we are not showing our husbands the respect that they deserve. Our husbands want to protect us. They want to be king of our home. When we start worrying, then we are sending the message to our husbands that we don't trust them to provide what we need. I don't think it is wrong to discuss our worries with our husbands. Rather, I think this passage is saying it is wrong for us to 'give it to God and our husbands' then take it back and get all fretful over it again. 

Pardon me a minute, gotta apply a band-aid....

Today's Do for your Husband Item: Call him, email him, text him. Tell him how much you miss him while he's away at work and how much you look forward to him coming home.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Proverbs 21: Husbands

To those that are new, thank you for joining! I am Tonya and I co-author with Snoodles. We trade weeks back and forth. We have completely different styles of writing--which is perfect as we have something for each of you!

Most of you know that before I sit down to write the studies for the week, I take the time to read them a few times, and turn them over and over in my head. This past week I was surfing around looking at the way others have approached the study of Proverbs. One person, I don't even remember who, approached in a manner that if I could go back in time, I would have like to done. Proverbs is full of...well....Proverbs. Many ideas and even passages are repeated. This one study did a Book approach, where he looked at fools (the unsaved), the wise (saved), husbands, wives, authorities, pride, ...etc, in each a separate study. Well, don't worry, I am not going to go back and start over! But I am going to have us start over in Chapter 21. I want to take a whole chapter approach this week. Snoodles had some very very good points last week that we will review this week; and then we'll add a few things. 

We are right in the middle of May for ME around blogland. I can't think of a better ME thing for one to do this month than spend time with God and pray for our husbands. If you have been with us from the beginning, I have always recommended getting a journal, and rather than just read these daily posts as a devotional, using them as a jumpstart each day to dig in for your own studies. You might even want to dedicate a page just for your husband and ways that you need to pray for him, encourage him and show love to him.

 I will continue in Chapter 21 as long as it takes me--and it might take a bit!--, and then let Snoodles pick up the study again in Chapter 22.(Hope you don't mind Snoodles!)  Before you begin today, spend a moment in silence. Clear your thoughts; then focus on your relationship with your husband and your relationship with Christ.  Pray that this week God will open your eyes to ways that you can pray for your husband.
find mugs here
Since we are taking a whole chapter approach, we will be skipping around a bit. Today I'd like to re-glance at verse 1 as it is perfect for opening up our study as a 'husband study'. Verse one says, 

The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
Your husband is actually king in your home. So if I were to apply that verse to my home, then I might say, "Jerry's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord..." 

Let's open our study this week on the right foot. Are you giving your husband the respect he deserves as the authoritative leader? I don't want to go any further today. It is important that we begin by examining our relationships with our husband and praying for that relationship. 

Oh, and each day I will give you one idea of something you can do for your husband that day. Today you can tell him how glad you are that you are married to him!


Friday, May 18, 2012

She can see her Savior now - Fanny Crosby

Many of you know that I have a special fondness for the old hymns and gospel songs. Yesterday's study reminded me of a very old song, and of the special woman who wrote it.
Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 hymns and songs, and in her lifetime (1820-1915), was one of the best-known women in the United States.  She was blinded by an incompetent doctor at the age of six weeks, but in later years she said this about her blindness:
It seemed in­tend­ed by the bless­ed prov­i­dence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dis­pen­sa­tion. If per­fect earth­ly sight were of­fered me to­mor­row I would not ac­cept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been dis­tract­ed by the beau­ti­ful and in­ter­est­ing things around me.
Are these hymns familiar to you? Blessed Assurance, All the Way My Savior Leads Me, and many, many more. She could not see the earthly things around her, but her hymns have led many to the Lord.

Here is her hymn, "Never Lose the Golden Rule" . . .

Never lose the golden rule,
Keep it still in view;
Do to others as you would
They should do to you.
Kindly, gently,
In their burden bear a part,
Meekly chiding
With a loving heart.

Never lose the golden rule,
Keep it still in view;
Do to others as you would
They should do to you.
Help the feeble ones along,
Cheer the faint and weak;
To the sorrow-laden heart
Words of comfort speak.
Freely, freely,
From the bounty of your store,
Cheerful givers,
Help the humbler poor.

Love the Lord, the first command,
With thy soul and mind;
Love thy neighbor as thyself,
Both in one combined.
Justly, justly,
With each other strive to live,
Ever ready,
Willing to forgive.

Have a pleasant weekend, and a blessed and restful Sunday.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prov 21:12-13 It's truly golden, that rule

Pro 21:12  The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.
Pro 21:13  Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
After the terrible devastation in Haiti, I read a sermon that was calling for people to aid the victims there. One sentence stuck with me, " Instead of blaming God or defending God in the midst of this, our first duty is to bow before God, to pray for those who suffer, to listen to God and to respond obediently with both physical and spiritual aid."  I thought that was a very appropriate response.
As terrible as it may seem, I heard a few people who solemnly intoned that it was wasteful to send aid to the area for one reason or another. These people reminded me of the religious leaders in Jesus' day, who spent their time arguing about whose sin caused a man's blindness -- his parents' sin, or his own --- instead of doing something to help the man!!
We all know that we need to be sensitive to the truly poor, but at the same time we do not need to be ignorant of the devil’s strategies.  We have a responsibility to be good stewards of what God has placed into our hands.
Don't you think these verses go together nicely with this verse in Proverbs . . .

16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. I John 3:16-18
And this passage, too:
15  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? James 2:15-16
And finally this one . . . the golden one:
And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise. Luke 6:31
I don't think there's any more that I can say, that these verses have not said.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Proverbs 21:10-11 Receiving knowledge

Pro 21:10  The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbor findeth no favor in his eyes.
Pro 21:11  When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
I hope you don't mind if I share a personal story with you today.  Years ago, our kiddos participated in a play, called The Holy War.  This was an adaptation for children of the story Pilgrim's Progress, which some of you were studying recently.  A town was being besieged by the devil and his demons, and the characters inside the town were named for traits of the human character. We were always chuckling when we heard Impatience say her line in practice: "I want what I want, when I want it!"
Recently I was reminded of this by a situation that I observed.  Someone I know was anxious to have a certain kind of phone . . . a smartphone.  (Personally, I am fine with my old, "not-so-smart" phone --- after all, I just use it to call people when the situation is urgent. But I digress.)  This person researched how to purchase a smart phone and how to "unlock" it (this is legal) and then use it with a wireless provider, etc, etc.  Then the shopping began. But at this point, the patience wore thin for this individual, and even though I tried to give good counsel, and advise slowing down a little, a phone was purchased from an ebay seller pretty quickly.  The next ten days were quite instructional for the buyer, as neither the phone nor the accessories were as advertised, and needed to be returned and the price refunded.

Our verse above says that when a wise person is instructed, they receive knowledge. Well, I wouldn't put me in the "wise" category, but this whole scenario did make me think --- how many times do I rush ahead of God, and say, "I want what I want, when I want it."
How about you? Is there a situation that you can share that has instructed you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Proverbs 21 : 9 Poor fella . . .

Pro 21:9  It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

When I hear or read this verse, I get a mental picture....let's see if I can show it to you.

A certain man was married to a very agreeable woman. Or so he thought. As the months went by, and then the years, he began to see a very different side of her personality.  He was a good provider, and they had a nice home. They were in possession of many of the things that said to the world, "We are well off. We are happy."  But try as he might, he could not convince her that they were well off.  And he could not get his hands around happy.
As time went by, he provided her with an even larger home. This one was palatial --- lots of room to spread out, sumptuous furnishings, and even a lovely rooftop garden, looking out over the nicest part of the city. She never seemed to be satisfied, though, and she never seemed to stop finding things to argue about.  She picked and clamored and needled and scolded and yelled. She would become fretful if he voiced an opinion that didn't match with hers. Even their servants found her noisy arguing disagreeable, and the neighbors would shake their heads as the sounds of her voice found their way out the open window.
Many evenings he would slip out of the room and escape to one corner of the rooftop, as far from her clamoring as he could get. His mind would wander back to the times when she had seemed so contented, so agreeable, so fun-loving . . .

Poor fella.  I think he was the one that Solomon was talking about here. Many, many years later, we women have James 1: 19 to turn to:
           Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.
I found these in a devotional today and underlined them for my own consideration:

                  * Have patience with others
                  * Love more, without expecting anything in return
                  * Speak softly and gently
                  * Forgive, and turn the page.

I want to make certain that no one in my family starts looking for that quiet corner on the rooftop . . .

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prov 21 : 6 - 8 Telltale signs

Pro 21:6  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
Pro 21:7  The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
Pro 21:8  The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.

Have you ever heard the phrase "it's a dead giveaway"?  Usually the person saying those words means that something is quite obvious and easy to be seen. These verses made me wonder if my testimony, my attitudes, and how I live, made it obvious that I was a Christian?

Check out those first two verses . . . for that matter, the first part of verse 8, too. All of those concern the wicked person, right?  Lying, robber, being "froward" (which most people translate as perverse) and strange (the root of the word used there has to do with bearing guilt) . . . all of those are things we should root out of our lives.
In contrast, though, look at those few words at the end of verse 8: "As for the pure, his work is right."  Another translation says, "the conduct of the innocent is upright".

Hmmm, so what does my conduct say about me? Paul encouraged the Philippians to live their lives so that their conversation (conduct) would be a telltale sign that they were Christians:
Phi 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

And James has some words for us today, too:
Jam 3:13  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 
You may have heard this question before:  if you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Proverbs 21:5

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.

Oh my goodness, this proverb was written just for me. Every time that I read a commentary on this verse...I'd move onto the next one because the previous stepped on my toes. You know why? 

I am an impatient person! I am! Horribly! I know, I know, don't pray for patience or you'll regret it. Trust me, God has shown me time and time again that I need to be patient. Alas, it is my worst downfall. I learn to be patient in some areas of my life (like I am very patient with my husband, but mercy what God had to allow in my past to get me to that point!), but then in others I just rush, rush, rush. 

When doing a project I am not too patient. I try. But I get so little time to do things that I am always in a rush to get them done. Even blogging anymore. Rush rush rush. Hmmm, guess maybe that is why my internet is leaving me for a while, huh? It's time for the rush to slow down!!! 

I think about Christ and His example. He was always patient. Never in a rush. Even in situations when people were dying--or some were already dead (like Lazareth)--Jesus would start His journey, but would help others along the way if needed be. He didn't rush. Ever.

You see, I would like to be like that. I really would. I guess maybe the answer is right up there in that Proverb. I need to make a plan! Well, wait a minute. I do make plans. And my family comes along and this happens and that happens and there goes those plans. Anyone else feel that way? So since my plan got all messed up I rush around and mess up other things. Oh, sigh...I am so impatient!

I've been very chatty today; nothing like my normal Bible study style of giving you things to look up and so on and so forth, but perhaps it is because my toes hurt really really badly. I've really nothing much more that I can say on this matter. I mean, bottom line--"Have Patience, Have Patience, don't be in such a hurry..."

Does anyone remember Agapeland? We loved the Music machine. I need to find a copy somewhere. This video is part of that movie. There are no pictures this time but if you will listen to the whole silly song, you might just learn a little tune to help you slow down. I guarantee you'll be humming it all day; after all, I've been humming it for years! ( I just haven't learned from it yet.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Proverbs 21:4

Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.

We are going to flip in our Bibles and look at a couple of other passages this morning. If you don't normally open your Bible for our study, please considering doing so now.  Today's verse can be referred back to Proverbs 6:16-17. What does this passage say about these things?

That passage should be enough to scare us away from being prideful; yet I know that we have spoken about pride many times in our Proverbs journey. Today lets do something different. Let's visit some examples of pride in the New Testament. Do you notice a pattern in the passages below?

Luke 9:37-48
Luke 22:20-30
Mark 10:35-41

These men were with Jesus basically for 24/7 for three years straight...yet they still had an issue with pride.

Pride caused the first sin...and for many it is the last; because many die refusing to surrender their life to Christ.

I would like to close today with Philippians 2:5-11--Let this passage guide you in your closing prayer for today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Proverbs 21:3

Remember a couple of days ago when I started the study about God seeing every area of our lives? For the rest of the week I want to keep that in mind as we study a couple of these proverbs.

Today's verse says:
 “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

Sacrifice today is not the same as it was in ancient times. This verse is talking about actual, literal sacrifice. I imagine that it would be rather easy to think while in the midst of sin, "Oh well, this is fun for now...I can just kill a lamb to atone for it later." Of course the Father would have found doing the right thing better than killing a lamb. I imagine a whole lot of animals were killed back then for all the wrong reasons--in other words--the people weren't really sorry; they just paid their atonement and went back to sinning.

But writing this, it makes my heart hurt. How often have I done the same? Sinned, even though I knew it was wrong. Sinned with God looking down, knowing my heart, knowing HE sacrificed a Perfect Lamb for me. So undeserved was that Lamb.

Praise God that He is so forgiving. We can find joy in that. It makes me want to try to do better, doesn't it you?

Thank you, God, for casting my sins as far as the East is from the West.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An apology

It is almost midnight as I type this...and I must apologize. While I've been reading over my verses since last week, and have something planned out, I was not able to get today's post typed up. I had hoped to have the time Monday evening, but it didn't go as planned. My little guy didn't even go to bed until 11 and by the time I sat down to do this and that other blog I am just exhausted.

I'd rather do the right thing and write the study when my brain isn't fuzzy. Thank you for your understanding. Enjoy your day.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Proverbs 21:2

How would you like to live here?

Actually, you know what? You already do!

 God is looking down at us and can see every little nook, every little area of the deepest part of our soul--all of the time!

2  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the Lord weighs the heart.

This verse is not talking about our physical appearance, but rather, our actions. We humans have a habit of being self-righteous and egotistical. 
As one commentary puts it, 

"we too often judge by our outward actions and ignore our inward motives, God looks upon the heart and judges the real thoughts and motivations for the deeds."

I can pull up some Scriptures for you...the Pharisees would be a good start. But then, wouldn't that be a bit self-righteous of me? You know--pointing the finger at the Pharisees, when I know that each of us has used the wrong inward motive for an outward action.

No--I think today I would like to keep this short, sweet, and prayerful. 
Please pray this song today:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Prov 21:1 Follow your heart

Pro 21:1  The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

For some of us it is a look back more than a few years . . . remember how the tiny hand of a baby will grasp your thumb or finger? Do you recall how you guided the child, holding that little hand, to avoid obstacles, or go in a path that was better for them? When they are tiny, it is easy to lead them -- their hearts are full of trust and love, and wonder at where you are leading them.

Ancient kings were pretty much all powerful. We've looked at that before.  Solomon is telling us here that even the most influential king has someone who is more powerful than he is. God is so powerful that He can turn the king's heart according to His own will, just as a river may be turned to flow in a different direction. Absolute human power, such as that wielded by a king, can generally force man to comply (outwardly at least) with rules and laws, but the heart of man can continue in rebellion against those laws. God's power, though, changes the heart of man.

Remember what I said about that child you were leading?
 "...their hearts are full of trust and love, and wonder at where you are leading them."
If you think about it, that is a pretty good description of the attitude we should have -- that childlike faith which will allow God to guide our hearts in the paths we should go. Please look up Mark 10:13-16 for the rest of our study for today.  Honestly, I have to work on the wonder part . . . the trust and love is there, but I tend to stress over things. I need to let go, and enjoy the wonder of it all.

There's the wonder of sunset at evening,
The wonder as sunrise I see;
But the wonder of wonders that thrills my soul
Is the wonder that God loves me.
O, the wonder of it all! The wonder of it all!
Just to think that God loves me.

Hoping you have a restful and blessed Sunday this weekend.....

Thursday, May 3, 2012

prov 20:30 Learning the hard way

Pro 20:30  The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

Ever hear the term "beaten black and blue"?  I wonder if Solomon was the first one to say it.
It's a fact of life that some people learn the hard way.  For some, the blows are real -- perhaps discipline from parents to young children who must learn the danger of the situation they've been in, and learn also to avoid it. For some, the blows are figurative --- they are buffeted by the circumstances and situations of life on this earth.

Some kids will not listen; everyone has known a child like that (some intimately). They are obstinate and strong-willed, and it takes sharp correction to make an impression on them. Sometimes the sharp correction is from mom and dad, and other times (if the child is not endangered) mom and dad may step back and allow  the consequences to correct their son or daughter.  We've said here before that "choices have consequences" and there are times when the consequences are the best teacher.

This isn't only a verse about kids, though. Sometimes as adults we need the rebuke and chastening of our wise Father. As a child of God, I know that this verse speaks just as much about me, as about my own earthly children:
Pro 22:15  Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
 My Father's correction may be difficult to bear, but in the end, I will be better off:
Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Now my job is to keep my heart tender, and my prayer life vibrant, so that He can speak to me about things that need to be removed from my heart and my life.
I know that I have been so hurt, and have even shed tears with my children, as they learned a lesson "the hard way" before. I pray that I will not hurt the heart of God in the same way --- I pray that I won't learn the hard way, but will follow His pathway.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Prov 20 : 29 Respect is a two way street

Pro 20:29  The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

"That younger generation! What's the matter with kids today?"

"Sheesh!  What in the world do old people know....they're sitting around listening to their arteries hardening."

The young and the old. Has it always been this way? Absolutely.
Is it worse now than it used to be? Probably.
Is there anything that can be done about it? You betcha.

Solomon notes here that each age group has their virtues: the young have strength and exuberance, and the aged have wisdom born of experience.  I think the implication here was captured quite well by Matthew Henry when he said,

         "Let neither of them despise nor envy each other..."

Young people are strong and fit, and can tackle difficulties and obstacles that older folks find daunting. Of course, they need to be careful not to give way to prideful attitudes, nor to trust totally in their own strength, but be grateful to God for their vitality and health.
Paul said to Timothy, who was younger than he was:
    Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.   (I Timothy 4:12)
Older folks can usually be trusted for counsel and advice, and need to be gracious when dispensing it, not looking down on the younger one who seeks out their experience and wisdom.
Paul had some sound words for them, as well:
    That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.  The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness....
    In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,  sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.   (Titus 2:2-3a, 7-8)
Did you notice the two words that I highlighted there? Paul is telling both the young and the old to be examples to other Christians . . . and the traits they should model are very similar.  Do you think perhaps he recorded one of the first formulas to resolve the generation gap?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Prov 20 : 28 A lesson for tyrants

Pro 20:28  Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upheld by mercy.

When you think back through history about good kings and bad kings, there are some things that stand out. Those who try to rule through despotism -- cruelty, scheming, an "iron fist" --- they not only have troubles within their borders, but they have troubles outside their borders as well.  They are notorious for being devious, and not honoring their promises, so rulers of neighboring lands would just as soon conquer and forget them!

On the other hand, there are those kings who utilize mercy, truth, and faithfulness in their dealings with their own subjects, and with other rulers. They are faithful to their words, and can be counted on to honor their commitments. They have compassion on the distressed (there's the mercy), and they make sure that the law of the land is upheld. They also are steady as a rock on the administration of justice (there's the truth) in their land.
Solomon says that these characteristics will preserve the king --- they'll definitely preserve the affections of the people toward him; and that his throne will be established and secure. I was typing the characteristics of the good kings, I realized that those were a pretty good list of characteristics for us to aspire to!  Kinda reminds me of what Paul said:
2Pe 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
2Pe 1:7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
The words may be slightly different, but I'm hearing "mercy" and "truth" in there. And how about this from James:
Jam 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Now, here is your homework (I'm such a meanie!): pick one good king and one not-so-good king, either from the Bible or from secular history, and note what they did wrong or right. Now give some thought to what you can do better in your earthly "kingdom" --- the area of your world where you are the authority. Leave me a quick comment and let's compare notes.