Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shame vs Delight

"The rod and reproof give discipline, 
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother."
Proverbs 29:15
" Discipline your son and he will give you rest; 
he will give delight to your heart."
Proverbs 29:19

It is totally unnecessary to explain these verses and many others like them in the Proverbs.  They are self-explanatory and need no interpretation--only application.  "The rod of education on the seat of learning" is often encouraged in this book of wisdom.  

What a contrast in these two verses!  It seems so obvious what the right choice is.  And yes, as parents a choice must be made, and early on, if we want a child who gives us rest and brings us delight.  And what parent doesn't?

Two things are encouraged in these verses--the rod and reproof.  I believe that one without the other can be very damaging to a child.  We don't spank a child and leave him to wonder what he did wrong.  Neither do we reprove ("cast blame; censure for a fault"--Webster) without proper punishment.  Just yelling at a child only provokes him to anger or discourages him and gives no real guidance.  God has given us wonderful direction; let's take it!  Loving discipline consists of both the rod and reproof.
Children, when your parents correct you on God's terms, remember that their goal is to delight in you as a godly child and someday a godly and obedient man or woman.  Loving and godly parents will correct their children, and someday you will thank them.  Really!
Thanking God for the loving discipline of my parents,

Today I am linking to Prairie Flower Farm's Blog Hop Wednesday

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Abominable prayers

"If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, 
even his prayer is an abomination."
Proverbs 28:9

The theme of our Bible camp last week was, "Christ in the Camp."  Stonewall Jackson was the man in history who was featured in our play during the week.  Our missionary story was about the Dao tribe in Papua, and our messages were taken from Joshua 1.  Over and over we were reminded that in order for Christ to be in the camp, one very important thing must be our focus--the Word of God. 

Joshua 1:8 says, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."

What a contrast to the verse in Proverbs!  The key to success is the Book.  Even if we only had the first 5 books of the Bible, we would see success as we meditate on that portion of Scripture  Joshua did and was successful.  God said to him in verse 9:  "Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  But we have the entire Word of God at our fingertips daily.  Such a wonderful blessing is God's Word.  We are so very privileged.  The Dao people in Papua are just beginning to hear the truth of the Bible as the missionaries are translating and teaching them.  

In stark contrast to the one who loves and meditates on the Scriptures is the one who "turns away his ear from hearing the law."  Oh, he may make money or be a great athlete or she may be a beauty queen, but success is only a material thing for that individual.  That person's prayers are an "abomination" to the Lord. Noah Webster defines an abomination as "an object of extreme hatred."  If we do not listen to God's Word with an obedient heart, our prayers are an "object of extreme hatred" to the Lord.  

The right choice is obvious.  God doesn't leave us to wonder.  Please say with me, as Joshua did, "Choose this day whom you will serve.....but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Joshua 24:15

Choosing to serve,

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Apples and Silver

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. 
Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear."
Proverbs 25:11-12

The average weight of an apple is 5 ounces.  The price of gold as of Friday, June 24, 2011, was $3000.84 per ounce for 24 carat gold.( )  This verse says "apples," so we must assume that there are at least 2 apples discussed.  2 apples of pure gold would be worth over $6000, not including the price of labor and artistry in making them.

I don't think we really understand the value of the words we speak or the words that are spoken to us.  If only our hearts could grasp the importance of words.  "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never harm me" is a ridiculous little ditty that children are taught.  Words can destroy us--or become a valuable asset in the molding of our lives.

I want to encourage all of us to choose carefully the words we speak.  They may be worth more than we can ever imagine if they are words rightly spoken.  Speak words of kindness, of gratitude, of love, of encouragement.  Today just speaking those words may be worth more than $12,000 to someone!  They may be the thing that causes someone to be joyful and have a successful day.  

I remember once when I was very young, about 9 years old, that I was sitting in the living room with my grandmother.  She looked up at me and said, "You look like an old cow sitting in that chair."  I don't know what provoked it, and I must say that as she got older she became kinder, but that statement has lived with me for 56 years.  I don't even know what she meant by it, but it somehow affected me.  What we say to others can have an effect for the rest of their lives.  Those words were hurtful and harmful to me.

Speak "fit" words to others.  Sometimes a word of wise reproof is the best thing a person can hear.  It will be like giving that person a gold ring or a gold ornament--valuable!  But how we say it is so important.  Sometimes it isn't so much what we say, but the way that we say it that causes another to accept or reject it, to feel blessed or to feel cursed.

Mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, be careful how your words are spoken.  Speak them to fit the occasion.  Children, this is a very important lesson to learn early on in life.  What you say to your friends, to your parents and other adults will not only reveal who you are inside but will also have an impact on the one you are speaking to.  There is never a proper time for unkind words or harsh and unloving rebuke.  It could linger for a lifetime.

Praying for a mouth that speaks fitly,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The King's Delicacies

"When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony,.  Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive."
Proverbs 23:1-2

Do you ever look at a Proverb and just skip over it, thinking to yourself, "This just doesn't apply to me?"  I've passed over this one many times, because quite honestly although my husband has, I have never sat down to dine with a ruler. And somehow I doubt that I ever will.  So I'm taking some liberty with this passage, but certainly not out of context with the Bible as a whole.  So bear with me as I try to apply it to my life.

"When you sit to dine with a ruler......" 
 What might become a "ruler" in my life?
I really like food.  
I love to read.
I like to garden.
I like to travel.
I like to sit down at night and turn on the television.

Wow!  I could go on and on with endless lists, but as I look at the ones I have already written down, I can see that I am not eating delicacies; I am merely enjoying the things that life has to offer.  This verse doesn't seem to apply to me!  Or does it?

"When you sit to dine..."
Okay, I sit to eat--or read--or garden--or travel--or watch television.  I am "partaking," so I guess that so far, so good with the application of this verse.

"With a ruler....."
I really like food.  I really like food.  Could food become a ruler in my life?
I love to read.  I love to read.
Gardening is sometimes a passion for me.
Are you getting the picture?  I guess some of these things could become a ruler in my life.

"Note well what is before you."
Here's where the problem begins.  When there is something in our lives that can rule over us, we must be very careful to note it carefully.  Much too often we just dive into something without taking any thought of what is before us. or relaxation......

"And put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony."
I hate this verse already!  I don't want to give up the things that give me such pleasure!  (My, my, Gloria.  Can the Word of God cause you to respond like that?  I thought you loved it!)  I think that many times, although I would never really say that, my actions may show that I don't honestly love His commands as much as my vain mind might want to think.  Partial obedience is total disobedience, and if I don't do what God says, then I am hating His commands.

"Do not crave His delicacies."
There are so many delicacies in this world that would draw our attention and our obedience away from the Lord.  The enemy of the faith has devised many things that will distract us from our main purpose in life--to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  They seem like delicate morsels dangling in front of us.  To some it is travel, which takes us away from the privilege of ministering in the local church or to our grown children or grandchildren.  To some it is watching excessive or mind damaging television programs or movies.,or playing too many or too wrong video games.  To others it is reading useless or ungodly books or magazines.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

"For that food is deceptive."
Somehow that reminds me of another verse, in the New Testament:
"Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."  Galatians 5:7-8

Let's not be deceived by the "delicacies" of the things that would rule over us.  Let us seek daily to please the One who is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

What are the delicacies of the potential rulers in your life of which you must not partake?  

Praying for self control and a will to do God's will in all things,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Marriage and My Children's Father

Today I want to direct you to my friend Judy's post at
There is a poem there that touched my heart.  It said much about marriage. 

        Happy Father's Day, Buster

And speaking of marriage, I want to thank the man of my heart for almost 43 years of marriage and 40 years of parenting together.  He is a godly man, a man dedicated to the bringing up of godly children, and now of being willing counsel for grandchildren.  He is a man who works hard to provide for his family, and a man who worked hard as our children were growing up to give them spiritual insight and understanding.  He is the man I love.

God is good.

I will be away at camp (hooray! No electronics for 5 days) until Saturday.  Have a blessed week, and tell the father of your children, or your own father, Happy Father's Day!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Dry Morsels and quiet!

Enjoying a tea party

"Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife."
Proverbs 17:1

Grandchildren are such wonderful examples of humanity.  They represent so many things that we as big kids do and think and say, yet they are less devious in their actions (for the most part.)  I know, they are little liars, but just not as experienced in their construction and much more transparent.  I didn't intend to start out so negative.  I have to say that I love my little humans, all 13 of them, with great love and admiration.  They are the most beautiful, the most talented, the most unique, the most get the picture. And one of them isn't even born yet!  But I feel assured that he will be the same.

Back to the little specimens of humanity.  Some days I see them in a state of near perfection.  Okay, that's a slight exaggeration.  But for all practical purposes they seem that way.  They sit in their playhouse and pretend with paper dolls that they are beautiful ladies and gents with perfect manners.  They have tea parties with a "dry morsel" of bread and water, using the best of etiquette.  I hear them laughing and singing and playing together in perfect unity.  Oh, how wonderful to have grandchildren!  What perfect parents my children must be to bring up such fine examples of the much-desired exemplary children.  What a fine job we did in training our children so that they in turn could train their children well!  I think I deserve a much-needed pat on the back.  A fine example of Psalm 133:1:  "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity." 

Other days I see those little buggers sitting at the table, a beautiful table that their mother has devotedly prepared, arguing over where they are going to sit, who they don't want to sit by, complaining about the food, fighting with the one they finally did end up sitting by, tattling on the one who has gotten up and hidden under the table so that he doesn't have to eat the "yukky" food, screaming as she is being dragged off to her room for a much needed time of discipline, making faces at the one across the table, and on, and on, and on....and on!  That wonderful meal that mom so fastidiously prepared has suddenly become less than a feast.  Oh, for a dry morsel and quiet!  Who are the parents of these rotten children?  Who raised those parents to bring up such little beasts?

We are all just big kids.  We have the same potential  to live quiet lives of peaceful existence and to enjoy one another or to provoke strife and discord.  "What causes quarrels and fights among you?  Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  You desire and do not have, so you murder.  You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel."  James 4:1-2

The answer to our dilemma lies in the fact that we are slow to heed the call of Jesus to "love our neighbor as ourselves." (Luke 12:31)  What a world this would be if we could grasp that command of our Lord!

Children, big and small, let's choose a dry morsel with quiet over a feast with strife.  (A feast with quiet would be good now and then, too!)

Praying for a peaceful day,

I have joined Linda at Prairie Flower Farm 
Building our Homes Together

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Day of Trouble

"The Lord has made everything for His purpose, 
even the wicked for the day of trouble."
Proverbs 16:4

Last night at our church we had the great privilege of hearing speak one of the missionaries that we support.  We have been praying diligently for this man and his precious family, because his life has been threatened in more ways than just one.  He was robbed at gunpoint by banditos; his life has been threatened by a crazed man who has issued a death warrant to him, his family, and his church.  The atmosphere of the area in Mexico where they live is filled with danger from the Mexican moffia who are run amok, killing and kidnapping yes, even missionaries. They are daily in danger of capture or death.

The question, "Why?" comes to mind all too often when we see the innocent suffer harm from the wicked.  Yet this passage clearly states that "the Lord has made everything for His purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Matthew Henry has an interesting comment on this verse  But I would like very much to apply it to what Ted, our missionary said last night.  Ted's message was one of great hope, and great joy. In the midst of the kinds trials which most of us have never seen, he gave glory to God for bringing about these trials in his life.  Why? Because they make him trust Him more completely, depend on Him more strongly.  

God did indeed make the evil men who are causing them such grief in Mexico.  We can all attest to that, because we know that He made all men.  And we know that God's sovereign purpose will be carried out on this earth.
God's hands are not tied by wickedness!  

And when are the wicked in their best dress?  In the day of trouble.  Now, if God made them and they bring trouble, then how is God glorified in this?  

By our response to the trouble the wicked bring on us!  

It seems to me that we have only two choices in the midst of trials.  We can fall under the strain of them or we can stand strong and glorify our Father.  Ted and his family have chosen to stand strong.

Interestingly, he said that when things start looking really good, he often says to the Lord, "Don't let me become complacent or forget you."  (That does seem to be our tendency, doesn't it?  That's when God will bring more trials, often by the wicked, into our lives.  And again, we must lean on our Great Shelter in the time of storm.

When we consider that God is glorified when we stand strong, it is not so difficult to see how the wicked carry out His great purpose.  For we know that our purpose is to "Glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."

Praying for joy in the time of trouble,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Encourage Someone Today With Your Words

"To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Proverbs 15:23

There are certain themes in the Proverbs that cannot be disregarded.  One is the use of the tongue.  Over and over the writer drills into the hearer the importance of proper use of the tongue and the dangers of its abuse. 

Two positive responses are recorded to two positive applications of the tongue in this verse.  

"To make an apt answer is a joy to a man...."

When a suitable answer is given to a person regarding a question he might have or a statement he has made, it brings great joy.  Let's look at a couple of different scenarios.

Your child is going to a party.  She is so excited because it is her best friend's party, and she has made a gift for her that she thinks she will love.  Somewhat absentmindedly she asks for the third time, "What time is the party?"
You can respond in different ways.  One response might be, "That's the third time you've asked me that question.  How many times do I have to tell you before you remember?  Just go get dressed.  Now!"
(Well, that party balloon just deflated.) 

Or you might say, "It's at three o'clock!  Not long from now, is it?  Hurry and get dressed so that we can go to that fun party." 
Oh, the excitement, the joy that answer brings!

"A word in season, how good it is."

This part of the verse indicates that there is a right "season" or time for a proper word.  "Good" words may not always be what we think at first contemplation.  There is a season or time for a word of loving chastisement when a wrong is done.  This is a good word, even though it may not "feel" good at the time.  There is a word of comfort when one is in sorrow.  When one is angry, there is a "gentle"word that turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:31) When someone is happy, a word of rejoicing with him brings feelings of goodwill and more happiness. 

Our words that we speak are so important that God emphasizes the importance of them over and over--and over!  What would this world be like, what would our children be like if we all learned to make apt answers and to give a good word in the right time?  Wouldn't it be wonderful to find out?  Let's be the first to try to make that happen!  Today is a good day to start!

My prayer for today: 
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!"
Psalm 141:3

Guarding my lips to speak words that bring joy and goodness,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear

"By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, 
but the lips of the wise will preserve them."
Proverbs 14:5
"The simple believes everything, 
but the prudent gives thought to his steps. 
One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, 
but a fool is reckless and careless."
Proverbs 14:15-16

When I was a little girl (that was a long time ago!) we used to sing a little song that went like this:

"Oh be careful little eyes what you see; 
O be careful little eyes what you see;
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
O be careful little eyes what you see.

O be careful little ears what you hear;
O be careful little ears what you hear;
For the Father up above is looking down in love; 
O be careful little ears what you hear.

O be careful little mouth what you say; 
O be careful little mouth what you say;
For the Father up above is looking down in love; 
O be careful little mouth what you say."

"By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for the back." 
Many of the Proverbs are summed up in that little ditty above.   If we would just keep our hasty words to ourselves!  How much grief we would not experience!
Be careful, little mouth, what you say!

"The simple believes everything."  
We must train our ears to discern what is true from what is false.  Sometimes lies are very deceiving; it is often difficult to know  truth from  fiction.  We must be alert, always using God's Word as our hearing aid.  
Be careful, little ears, what you hear!

"The prudent gives thought to his steps." 
Look around.  Where are your steps leading you?  Is the next step allowing you to continue in godly living or leading you off a precipice that will carry you into sin?  Don't be  "reckless and careless."   
Be careful, little eyes, what you see!

Praying for myself  hearing ears, a closed mouth, and open eyes,

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hope vs Hope

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

This verse is one of those which I normally read with little but a passing thought, and I was tempted to do the same thing again this morning.  But as my goal in the Proverbs is to learn and grow from what I am reading, I decided that this is the one today to which I will give the most consideration. 

What is hope?  My friend Noah (Webster) says this about hope:  " A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety."

Have you ever planned for a much needed trip?  Your hopes are high, your expectation is firm that this is just the catharsis you needed for that overworked brain.  You are just going to relax and enjoy yourself for a few unencumbered days.  Can't wait!  Isn't it fun to work and hope towards the coming event? 

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick...."

Deferred.  Noah said that to defer means "to delay; to put off; to postpone to a future time; as, to defer the execution of a design."

 For some reason, possibly an illness or a sudden bill that must be paid, you are unable to make this trip that you have so needed and dreamed about.  Oh, the letdown!  Your heart is just sick.  You don't know when you will be able to take this vacation now. 

This is a pretty simple to understand proverb, isn't it?

"but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life."
You find out that you will be able to make the trip,only a month later.  A lilt springs back into your steps.  You feel alive again.  It is happening after all.  Life is good!

Can there be no more application than this?  
I think there can.

At our church we sing this wonderful song:
My Hope is in the Lord

My hope is in the Lord
Who gave Himself for me
And paid the price
Of all my sin at Calvary.


For me He died;
For me He lives,
And everlasting life
And light He freely gives.


No merit of my own
His anger to suppress
My only hope is found
In Jesus' righteousness



And now for me He stands
Before the Father's throne
He shows His wounded hands
And names me as His own



His grace has planned it all
'Tis mine but to believe
And recognize His work of love
And Christ receive

There is no greater hope than the assurance that the One who gave Himself for us will someday fulfill our desire for heaven, which is deferred for now and sometimes makes us sick with longing, 

This hope is defined as " Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good;"  

Although our hope is deferred for a time, we do not have to "hope" with no assurance.  Rather, as our confidence is in the One who redeemed us from all sin, we may also be confident that our desire will be fulfilled and we will someday be able to partake of the tree of life for eternity.  

Where is your hope?  Is it in things that are eternal, that will ultimately be fulfilled?  Can you hope with the confident expectation that you will not be disappointed?  

With hope and assurance,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How Deep Are Your Roots?

"No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved."
Proverbs 12:3

There is little more comforting or beautiful than an old tree that has survived the elements for hundreds of years, taking on the drought and the floods, the lightning and the winds with great stateliness.  Its branches are secure for the nests of the birds and for the little feet of climbers.  Its leaves bud out each Spring with the statement, "Yes, I'm still here."  As a little girl I loved to climb trees and sit in the branches, watching the insects crawl along the limbs and the people walking below me.  I never doubted that the tree was sturdy enough to hold me.  I didn't think about why it could hold me, that it had roots that went very deep into the soil, holding the tree in perfect position for any little climber.    I just knew that I had a firm foundation.

Psalm 1 compares us to a tree.  How can we determine which sort of tree we are?

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked..."
From where do you receive counsel?  Do you know that much counsel comes unsought--through television, the books or magazines we read, the songs we listen to, and then of course through those with whom we talk?

"nor stands in the way of sinners..."
Sinner:  " One that has voluntarily violated the divine law; a moral agent who has voluntarily disobeyed any divine precept, or neglected any known duty."  Who are your friends?

"nor sits in the seat of scoffers..."
Scoffer: "a derider; in Scripture, one who scoffs at religion, its ordinances and teachers, and who makes a mock of sin and the judgments and threatenings of God against sinners."

"but his delight is in the law of the Lord..."
The word that jumps out to me is "delight".  Just as a child delights in a much wanted gift, we must delight in the Word of God.  
Delight--I love that word!

"and in His law he meditates day and night."
Meditate:  "To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind."  
Have you ever watched a cow ruminate (chew the cud?)  This is a very similar word.  He chews his food, swallows it, regurgitates it, chews some more, swallows again...and again.  We are to "chew the cud" of the Word of God.

"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, 
that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither."  
Oh, to be like the "climbing tree!"

"In all that he does, he prospers."  
Oh, to be spiritually prosperous in all that I do!

In contrast:

"The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff that the wind drives away."
Chaff:  " Refuse; worthless matter; especially that which is light, and apt to be driven by the wind. In scripture, false doctrines, fruitless designs, hypocrites and ungodly men are compared to chaff."
That looks like good enough reason to be a ruminant! 

"Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, 
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous..."
The key word here is stand.  We once had a silver maple tree in our front yard. When the storm blew hard on it, because its roots were shallow, it split right in half and had to be cut down.  It had no firm foundation and could not stand the battering of the storm.

"For the Lord knows the way of the righteous..."
Remember:  God is watching, weighing and judging everyone of our words, thoughts, actions and attitudes.

"But the way of the wicked will perish."
I hardly remember that silver maple tree anymore.  It has gone the way of many other shallow rooted trees.  We have planted one that hopefully has deep roots and will survive the elements.  Someday perhaps children will climb its branches and watch the insects on the limbs and the people below.

Seeking to grow my roots deep in the soil of God's Word,

(All word definitions were taken from Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kindness Matters

"Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent....A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself."
Proverbs 11:12,17

One of my granddaughters has two friends who are very different.  Interestingly, neither of them talk a lot.  But when they do speak the difference manifests itself. 

One will say, "Oh, Emma, your dress is so pretty," while the other would say, "Who gave you that?" 

"That recital piece is so boring.  I've heard it a 100 times...but you did okay on it," would be the response of one.  The other?  "That was so beautiful!  You did a great job!"

Which girl do you think is her best friend?  Of course, the one who is kind.  Now we can use all sorts of excuses for the unkind girl.  Perhaps she lives in a home that belittles her.  Maybe she is insecure.  But it hurts the one who receives the cruel words nonetheless, and there is great need for her to learn understanding and kindness.

The effect on the person on the other side of the abuse can be devastating, particularly for a young child.  Hurt feelings are often difficult to salve.  But these verses also comment  on the one who fails to be kind.

The person who belittles his neighbor lacks sense.  One of the definitions of sense in Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary (one of my favorites) is "moral conviction."  It seems to fit well here.  This person lacks moral conviction.  Why else would she belittle another?  

Parents,teach your children to have sense!

The person who is unkind hurts herself.  It often seems that the unkind person merely walks away, leaving a trail of the other person's crushed feelings in her path.  As true as that may be, the person who speaks words of hurtfulness develops a reputation that will travel with her.  

My encouragement to my grandchildren?

Be a person of understanding.  Noah Webster defined understanding as, " Comprehending; apprehending the ideas or sense of another."  Look beyond what is available to say or do, and do what is right.

If you are tempted to say something belittling or unkind, keep silent. "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:28  

Show kindness (even to the unkind friend) and benefit yourself.  I said little about the sweet little friend who is such an encouragement.  This little girl benefits herself by her kindness.  At her birthday party a couple of years ago she received 3 best friend necklaces from some of the girls who attended her party!

Parents, let's set the example.  Kindness is always the order of the day!

As we seek to be kind to all,


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Tempest

A brewing storm on I-40

"When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
but the righteous is established forever."
Proverbs 10:25

                              The Tempest
It was calm as I overlooked the waters of the bay, 
Not unlike many days I had seen before.
And with my back to the scurrying crowd behind me, 
I could imagine blissful stillness, nothing more.

 The cry of the gulls was sweet to my ears, 
A familiar sound that I often fondly heard.
In their shrill cry I almost sensed a warning, 
But to maintain my reverie, I dismissed it as absurd.

As I gazed into the distance, I spied a small cloud.
A subtle wind began to rise.
Something within me nagged me to observe it; 
instead I turned my head and closed my eyes.

Life here is so easy, so carefree, I mused. 
This island is blessed with pure serenity.
No storm has overtaken it in all these years;
to even contemplate it seems vile obscenity.

As I stood upon the rocks I so often carelessly climbed, 
I noticed a wave slap hard at the breaker.
The salt spray that hit me should have alarmed me;
I decided to think on it later.

But before my heart would dare conceive it,
the storm had unleashed all its grave fury.
I was guilty of ignoring the telltale signs. 
The biting wind was my judge, the raucous thunder my jury. 

It slapped at my face and tore at my clothes 
and promised to blind me with fear.
Though the torrents fell round me and the darkness screamed evil, 
my heart sensed a Presence was near.

As I fell to my knees, pelted by the winds and rain, 
it seemed that the blackness would enfold me.
I cried out to the Creator of nature’s wrath 
and begged Him in mercy to hold me.

For hours the fair island that had been my secure shelter
was battered and beaten and torn.
I made my way to the top and clung firmly to the Rock 
and waited out the cold, blinding storm.

The storm did subside, but others followed.
Alas, my fair island was not immune.
But in the midst of the chaos I learned a wise lesson. 
My insensitive heart was fine-tuned.

For the One who causes the gales to blow
and the fierce rains to pellet the earth
Is the same Lord who calms the raging seas
and restores the land with new birth.

So amidst the harsh storms of life I have found 
 He allows them as part of His plan.
But the Rock that I cling to is eternally secure; 
I’m held firm by His strong loving hand.

I don’t look for the storms, but as I cling to the top 
of the Rock, I can almost see
A glimpse of eternity; how very much sweeter 
that haven called heaven will be!
 Gloria Godbee

As we ride the storms with the Rock of our salvation,

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tell the Story

"We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done...that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments."
Psalm 78:4,6-7

Once my oldest daughter had a great idea.  She asked my mother, who was in her early 90s at the time, if she would be willing to answer questions about her life and allow my daughter to record it.  She wanted to put together a sort of memory book for the grandkids and great-grandkids.  My mother had had a hard life, growing up as a very poor farmer's daughter, a  bad marriage, and other difficult years.  Her reply?  "I've lived my life once and don't want to live it again."  She refused to talk to my daughter about her life.  Consequently, the grandchildren know little about their heritage on my side of the family.  In fact, I know little about my heritage.  As I get older, it saddens me. All of my father's family is gone now, and my mother's as well.  

The memories died with them.

I do not want the same scenario for our grandchildren.  One of their favorite things to do is "spend the night" (4 of them live with us!  They just come upstairs to sleep) and ask us to tell them stories about our life, the era when we were growing up, what we did, where we went, funny things that happened.  To be honest, sometimes I get tired of telling stories, but do you know what? 

We are building memories in those kids.

But more importantly, it is imperative that we tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord.  We have an entire Bible in which to garner stories and lessons for them.  If God is our Savior we have our own wonderful testimonies of His grace and mercy and salvation in our lives.  We also have the "not to do" stories that will help the children to grow in wisdom.  They can learn from us, the older generation, truths that will help them to live daily as Christ would have them to.  It would be a shame for my children and grandchildren to have missed out on the glorious things God has done in my life, or warned them about sin that lurks about and so freely attaches itself if we are unaware.

My mother was a wonderful, beautiful and godly woman, but she could not resurface her past, and we missed out on both knowing her and being warned of some of the things that might ensnare us.  I don't fault her for this.  I don't think everything should be told.  But I so desire that my children and grandchildren will "set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments." (v.7)  

Story time, anyone?

Telling the stories,