Friday, July 29, 2011

Is Discipline Really Important?

"Discipline your son and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart."
Proverbs 29:17

Today we are going to take a few minutes to look at why it is important to discipline children.

1.  God says to!  That's the most important reason,  but He gives us "why's".
2.  If a child is disciplined, he will give a parent rest.  [What parent doesn't need rest?] (Proverbs 20:17)
3.  He will give you delight. (29:17)
4.  Discipline will help her to develop wisdom, (Proverbs 29:15) and will enable a parent not to be ashamed of the child.
5.  Discipline preempts foolishness in a child (Proverbs 22:15).
6.  It protects him from judgment. (Proverbs 23:13-14)
7.  It cleanses them from evil and helps to develop good character. (Proverbs 20:30)
8.  It shows the child that he is truly loved. (Proverbs 13:24)
9.  Discipline teaches a child to love knowledge (Proverbs 12:1)
10. Rather to coming to poverty and disgrace, the child who receives the instruction of discipline is honored. (Proverbs 13:18)
11.It helps him gain understanding [or intelligence, ESV}.  (Proverbs 15:32)  

And let's remember that teaching a child through discipline helps him to learn to properly receive the discipline of the Lord.  As Christians we are so privileged to have a God who does not leave us to our own selfish devises, but disciplines us as a loving Father.  Praise His Name!

Hebrews 12:6-11

"For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.  It is for discipline that you have to endure.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them.  Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

As we lovingly discipline our children, let's remember that we have a Holy Example, our Heavenly Father.  I pray for every mom and dad who love their children that they will not be neglectful to consistently discipline.  It's not fun, but it works.  God says so!

Enduring His discipline,

I am linking today with Linda at Prairie Flower Farm
Building our Homes Together With God

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


"One who is full loathes honey, 
but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet."
Proverbs 27:7

My daughters have a method for helping a child who doesn't want to eat his healthy food.  They put the plate aside and give it to him (or her) for the next meal.  If he refuses to eat it then, it is saved for the next meal.  Usually by then she is hungry enough to eat.  It may sound cruel but it isn't -and it works.  Interestingly, I have never seen one of them starve.

If I might have the liberty to philosophize a little, I believe that this verse can apply to much more than just physical food.  I think of one who is so full of himself that the sweet things in life allude him, like the blessings  of conversation and fellowship of others, or the honey of God's counsel through His Word.  When we begin to think that we have all we need for our own sustenance, we loathe the wonderful sweetness of real wisdom and feel that we have no need for others.  Hopefully our souls will become depleted of ourselves and we will begin to realize that we are hungry.  For some it takes a taste of the bitter food of life before we can make it to the honey.  And sometimes, as with Job, God allows it for our future good. 

"And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose." 
Romans 8:28.

If we are starving for the things of God, then even the bitter will be sweet. 

"I have esteemed the words of your mouth more than my necessary food." 
Job 23:12

I pray that we will grow from the bitter foods, those that we would not choose for ourselves but which God has deemed healthy for us, and that we will consider them sweet as we build spiritual muscle.  I pray as well, that as we taste the sweet honey of God that we won't be so full of ourselves that we loathe it, not appreciating its great value. This is a difficult lesson for me, because I like what I like.  Brussels sprouts are not my favorite, but when they are on my plate I know that they are good for me, so I must eat them.  If I am hungry, they are sweeter!  Even so life's lessons from the Lord.

Eating both the bitter and the sweet,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lazy Mary

"The sluggard says, 'There is a lion in the road!  
There is a lion in the streets!' 
As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; 
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
than seven men who can answer sensibly."
Proverbs 26:12-15

Sluggard:  n. [from slug and ard, slow kind.] A person habitually lazy, idle and inactive; a drone. (Noah Webster)

Somehow lazy sounds much nicer than sluggard, but it isn't.  Sometimes I find myself feeling lazy; sometimes I find myself being lazy--okay, a sluggard.  That word really does make me want to move.  Have you ever watched a slug move?  He's slow, but there is also another quality of a slug that is disgusting:; he leaves an unpleasant trail behind him.  He's also very unattractive, a slimy sort of fellow. Does that sound like something that we want to be compared to?

These verses tell us a few things about a sluggard--a lazy Mary, if you would:
1.  Lazy Mary has an excuse (or makes one up) for her lack of discipline to get up and do what she should.  "There is a lion in the street." 
2.  She is in love with her ease, as Matthew Henry puts it.  She would rather make the effort to turn over in her bed when she gets tired of one side than to get up and do what is her duty.
3.  When she does get out of bed, her hands are so slow to move that she accomplishes nothing.  She wears herself out with the feeblest of things.
4.  She thinks she knows more than anyone else.  Her excuses to her are wiser reasoning than that of others who wisely try to counsel her.

More than just laziness for physical work, I believe there is a deeper sin that a sluggard possesses.  If one is too lazy to get out of bed, then that same person will be slack in spiritual growth, in prayer, in reading and studying  God's Word, and in ministering to a needy world.  There is no valid excuse for being a spiritual sluggard.  

Out of bed and ready for the day ahead,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Honey, Wisdom, Neighbors, and Pooh


"My son, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb 
are sweet to your taste.  Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future, 
and your hope will not be cut off."
Proverbs 24:13-14

Like Winnie the Pooh, I do love honey--all varieties of honey--orange blossom, wildflower, clover, etc.  It's interesting that the Proverbs uses honey in several analogies and to give several  different types of lessons.  Here it is compared to wisdom.  I do love Winnie the Pooh, too, and I like some of his simple analogies very much.  Perhaps it's because simple is--well, simple to understand.  That helps me for some reason!  

About honey he said, 
"'That buzzing-noise means something. 
If there's a buzzing noise, "Somebody's making a buzzing-noise,
and the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of
is because you're a bee...And the only reason for being a bee
that I know of is making honey...
And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.'
So he began to climb the tree."

Pooh went to an awful lot of effort to get that honey.  But for him it was worth every sweet, delectable bite.  For us humans, all the effort involved in getting wisdom is worth it.  Delicious!

Another verse in the Proverbs speaks of honey:
"If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.  
Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, 
lest he have his fill of you and hate you.:
Proverbs 25:16

Pooh has a little to say about the neighbor's house and honey also
(in the story where he ate too much honey at Tigger's house):
"When having a smackerel
of something with a friend, 
don't eat so much that you get stuck
in the doorway trying to get out."

A wise quote!  It's always smart to know how much is too much, when it comes to honey or a visit with a friend.  Pick up a Winnie the Pooh book and read it to a child today.  You both may gain a bit of insight!

Having a little honey for breakfast,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hold It!

"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps
himself out of trouble."
Proverbs 21:23

When in a situation, 
when feeling consternation--
The best thing for you to say? 
Just keep your words at bay.

It really doesn't matter;
None want to hear your chatter.
An active tongue can hurt you.
So keep your words inside you.

It is difficult to control it;
The best way is to hold it.
There is a time to say,
But before you do, please pray.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Little Red Hen

"The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
he will seek at harvest and have nothing."
Proverbs 20:4

Remember the story of the little red hen? .  Oh, go ahead; watch the video.  You know you want to!  I think maybe the author was reading in the Proverbs when he decided to write that story.  I rather think it is not just for children but for us all.

What silly animals! we say.  How absurd of them to refuse to help when they could have had yummy homemade bread to eat.  All they had to do was  help out a little.  Mothers, please teach your children the value of hard work.  Don't allow them the non-beneficial temporary pleasure of growing up lazy.  You will have regrets.  Unfortunately, our society has provided through welfare and other means for people to be compensated for not working.  But the Bible clearly states that, ".If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10)  We are doing a disservice to our children if we do not both live out this passage and teach them the value of work.  If your child refuses to work, don't let him eat!  He won't starve.  (Grandkids, I know you're loving this, aren't you?)

If you need a short Bible study project, look up the verses in the Proverbs that speak of the sluggard. In fact it would be a great project for the children to see what God has to say about the benefit of work versus slothfulness.  Have them do it if they are old enough to read. Have you ever noticed that God has the answers to life's questions if we will only seek them?

Have a busy, profitable day,

I'm linking today with my friend Linda at Prairie Flower Farm:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Missing the Way

"Cease to hear instruction, my son, 
and you will stray from the words of knowledge."
Proverbs 19:27
"Desire without knowledge is not good, 
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way."
Proverbs 19:2

I initially placed these verses in order of the text (I'm such a stickler for order), but there really is no order for the Proverbs for the most part.  They are merely individual words of instruction.  And these verses seem to relate, but in the order I placed them.
There is little that I have to say about the verses, because I believe they speak for themselves.  There is no riddle or hidden meaning.  Let's take a quick look at them.

"Cease to hear instruction."  Whose instruction?  For children, their parents and those in authority over them.  God's command is for children to obey their parents in the Lord.  As adult children we must answer to the Lord and obey His instruction.  How will the children hear and learn truth if we are not faithful to hear the instruction of the Lord?

"And you will stray from the words of knowledge."  The only way to stay on the right path is to continue to read the map.  Thinking we know the way without the instruction of a guide map will cause us to stray off the path.  

"Desire without knowledge is not good."  When our desires lack the knowledge to fulfill them properly no good usually comes from them.  A youth with lustful desires who does not have the knowledge to avoid their traps is in for no good ride.  To want something without understanding the possible repercussions can bring disaster.

"And whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way."  Let's not be in a hurry to do things.  Life is full enough for the time we are in without running into mischief, or taking chances on things that may bring untold misery on us. 

Listen to instruction.
Keep the knowledge of the Holy One before you at all times.
Understand a thing before you pursue it.
Don't be in a hurry and make an unwise decision.

Seeking the way,

Monday, July 18, 2011

No Deserted Island Castle?

"Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment."
Proverbs 18:1

A deserted island castle?  Some would say, "Why in the world would I want to do that?  There would be no people around!"  Others would retort, "A deserted island?  When do I go?"  We all have very different stages of comfort in social situations.  Some love to be the life of the party, mixing and mingling and enjoying every person there.  Others tend to find the nearest dark corner to blend into discreetly so that they don't have to speak to anyone.  That's a matter of temperament; the sanguine and choleric tend to dominate a situation, whereas the phlegmatic and melancholy tend to hold back.  That's okay to an extent, because that's the way God made us.

Yet the Proverb warns about isolationism.   Noah Webster defines isolate as "To place in a detached situation; to place by itself or alone; to insulate; to separate from others."   He also relates the word "isolate" to the word "isle."  

It's just not okay to pull away from all interaction with others.  Why?  Verse 1 of chapter 18 tells us two reasons:

1.  To do so means to seek our own desire.  What do I want?  What is most comfortable for me?  What benefit to I get from being around that person?  I only tend to get hurt.  I don't like being with people I don't know.   I don't want to have to talk with him.  I'm just not a good conversation maker.  Groups make me uncomfortable.  I don't know what to say.  (Notice the words in italics?)  In other words, when we refuse to give ourselves to others, we become selfish.  It's all about me!

2.  We are not using sound judgment.  Why is that?  

First of all, God created us as a social being.  One of the reasons God made us was to fellowship with Him:  1 John 1:1-4 says, "That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." No one who knows the Lord Jesus Christ would argue the fact that fellowship with Him is of utmost importance.

Secondly, we are exhorted in Hebrews 10:24 and 25, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."  As believers, we are to interact with one another in such a way that we are an encouragement to love and good deeds.  Can't do that on a deserted island, can we?

Third, we are to be busy about our Father's business of spreading the gospel to the world.  "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19a, 20a).  

There is no getting out of it.  No castle in the sand away from civilization for us!  It is not our lot in life.  Not what God intended.  Nope.  We can't get away with it from a spiritual point of view.  It's poor judgment on our part to try it.

Getting ready for a full day with little disciples,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A friend loves at all times, 
and a brother is born for adversity."
Proverbs l7:l7

It seems that lately I'm airing dirty laundry.  If this post seems too long, it won't hurt my feelings if you don't read it; it's really for my benefit.  Do you ever just need to write things down in order to get some perspective?

For the past few days I have been nursing another wound, and I couldn't exactly put my finger on what it was.  I felt wounded by a best friend and didn't know how to deal with the feelings I was experiencing.  My feelings were hurt, and I found myself becoming angry. 

As I began to have my devotions this morning I found myself unable to hear from the Lord through His Word.  I was incapable of praying productive prayer and even wondered if the Lord was hearing me at all.  I got up from my chair, put on my tennis shoes, and began to walk and pray for some guidance from the Lord.  I began to talk to Him and asked for help.  As I walked, I discovered something.  The basic feeling I was experiencing was rejection.  Rejection?  No wonder I was so sad and angry.  I deserved to be!

Then the Lord did begin to speak to my heart.  
He reminded me of a passage of Scripture: 

"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, 
and acquainted with grief; 
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, 
and we esteemed him not."  
Isaiah 53:3
That's talking about my Savior!  He experienced many times over  feelings of rejection, much more severe than mine. He was even despised by men.  So who am I to nurse my wounds?  My Lord didn't sit around feeling sorry for Himself;  He gave Himself to the world that despised and rejected Him.

He said things like this to us: 

" Then Peter came up and said to him, 
“Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”  
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times,
but seventy times seven. "
Matthew 18:21 

I could say that I've already forgiven 490 times (but I haven't), yet from what I've been taught, that just means that we must keep on forgiving.

He also said, 
"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."  Matthew 5:44-45. 

Well, I haven't been persecuted and this is my friend who made me feel rejected.  My Lord, though, was willing at all times to forgive and love.

I could go on, but I think we are both getting the picture.  There is no room, or time, in the Christian life for feeling sorry for ourselves.  I don't quite know how to resolve this in my heart of hearts.  I don't know whether to approach my friend with it or to just let it go.  I do know that the Lord wants me to obey my Heavenly Father as He gave me instruction.  

Who am I to think that I have the privilege of self-pity when I serve a Lord who has overcome all for my benefit?  

Hebrews 4:15 says, 
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect 
has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."  

And in 1 Corinthians 10:13, I am encouraged that, 
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. 
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it."

I'm not completely there yet, but God is reminding me that He has made the way to escape these temptations to feel sorry for myself, to be angry or resentful--or whatever else rears its ugly head in my life.  Now I must allow Him to free me of the joylessness that this brings.

Thanking the Lord for His precious Word,

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ignoring Insults

"The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult."
Proverbs 12:16

Not long ago I received what I considered an insult from a rather young and inconsiderate woman.  What was meant to become lighthearted and complimentary conversation turned flat in a hurry when she gave a rude retort to my comment.  I said nothing else to her, and we left it at that.  Unfortunately,that insult stayed with me, and I would often mull it over in my mind with the idea that I was trying to decipher its true meaning, when in reality I understood its intent all along.  I just wanted to nurse my wounds a little longer. I felt that she had unjustly slammed me against the wall and caused a big, purple bruise to appear on my spirit.  It needed time to heal.  That's how I could justify the fact that I could (or would) not forget it and press on.

And then I read Proverbs 12:16.  Oops!  I think that I did a pretty good job of not showing my annoyance to her.  Oh, I'm too nice to do that!  But I did tell my daughter what happened  and talked to her about it.  She's the only one.  (I just needed someone to talk to.)  Well, I guess I talked to her about it a couple of times-- but that's all.  The vexation of a fool is known at once.  I failed the test.  I acted like a fool.

What should I have done?  The prudent ignores an insult. I should have realized that this is a young woman who has not had the advantage of age and who has not been taught propriety or good manners.  Even if she had been, I should have ignored the insult.  Why did I allow that very small negative comment to be harbored in my heart, to take up my time in thinking about it when I could have been dwelling on the things that matter?  Because I allowed myself to be vexed by someone's insult which should have fallen on deaf ears.

I'll close with this verse.  May we all be diligent to do this instead of that!

Philippians 4:8

"Finally, brothers, 
whatever is true,
whatever is honorable
whatever is just
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise
think about these things."

Choosing to reflect on "these things today,"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Sunflower Tea Party


A hot July day is the perfect day for a sunflower-themed tea party,
and that's what we did.

 A little watermelon punch cooled us off nicely.  
Recipe at the end of the post.

 The table setting was minimal 
because we ate mostly finger foods.

 Don't you just love sunflowers?

 A little extra decor

Our attempt at making the food look like sunflowers!

Two of the little ones made these 
for the party the day before.

The finished craft

At the end of the day, I think all were satisfied and had a good time.  
We talked during lunch about what it means to be a gracious woman.
  Maybe this tea party thing is working!  
Their manners were exquisite, and their insight was--well, 
pretty insightful.

Watermelon punch
8 cups pureed watermelon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
ginger ale

Blend watermelon until liquid.  Add remaining ingredients.  Pour into ice trays and freeze until almost solid (about 3 hours).  Remove from ice trays and place in a punch bowl.  Pour ginger ale over the watermelon and break up cubes till slushy.  Serve in punch cups and enjoy!

Today I am linking to these tea parties:

Monday, July 11, 2011

How It Multiplies!

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give,
and only suffers want."
Proverbs 11:24

I'd like to introduce you to two of my dear friends.  Well, I've never actually met one of them, but I look forward to meeting him in heaven.  His name is George Mueller, and he took this verse and many other similar verses to heart.  He gave liberally and never told anyone his needs; He trusted God to lay it on the hearts of people to give, believing that what God ordained He would provide.  

To read a short synopsis of my friend George Mueller's life, go here:

To read a wonderful biography that just may change your life, read
George Mueller of Bristol
Arthur T. Pierson

The other friend I would like you to meet is my friend Jim Elliff.  Jim is a man who has embraced the lifestyle of George Mueller.  He is one of the most giving men I have ever met.  Don't tell him that you like something that he has; he will likely give it to you!  He and his family have never been wealthy by the world's standards, but many years ago they were able to pay off their mortgage and have managed to stay debt free in a plastic society.  His ministry has never lacked for support, though he has never told anyone his needs except his heavenly Father.  

You can visit his ministry site here:

I hope that you will take the time to look at these two men and the wonderful example that they have set for the rest of us.  There are men today who are willing to step out in faith, believing God's Word to be true and faithful.  I am thankful for George Mueller's example in history and for Jim Elliff's continuing example of liberal giving and faithfulness in trusting God to provide all his needs.

Desiring God's best,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Leading to Righteousness

"The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot."
Proverbs 10:7

How does the book of Proverbs help us to live righteously so that others remember us with joy?  If it seems that I write about a few things in various ways, you are right.  The Proverbs do the same thing--encouraging us to gain wisdom and to learn what a righteous life should exemplify.  What topics does the 10th chapter of Proverbs cover?  Let's take a look:

Foolishness versus wisdom--verses 1,8,10,13,14,21,23
Wickedness versus righteousness--verses 2,3,6,7,13,17,20,23,24,25,27,28,29,30
The diligent versus the sluggard--verses 3,4,5,26
The right way versus the wrong way--verses 9,10, 24
What we say--verses 8,10,11,13,1l8,19,20,21,31,32
Money--verses 4,5,15,16,22,
All of these topics are covered over and over in the Proverbs.  When something is repeated many times, it seems that we should sit up and listen.

My word of encouragement for you today is to take the time to study the Proverbs on your own.  Take a set of colored pencils and using one color per topic, begin to shade or underline them.  You will be amazed how many different topics are repeated.  Those above are some of them.  Then somewhere in your Bible make a topic index that shows the color you used for each specific topic. You will have a storehouse of wonderful wisdom from which to learn and grow. 

 As we learn to lead a righteous life,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

All for Myself

"If you are wise,you are wise for yourself; 
if you scoff, you alone will bear it."
Proverbs 9:12

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?  No?  Well, I'd love to tell you about it so that you can share with me its incredible beauty, its vast expanses, its rich and vibrant colors, the depth and height and width of what my finite vision could perceive, the fear that it invoked as I looked down into the gorge, the awe that it struck in my soul as I recognized God's glory revealed.  I would tell you of the joy that I experienced as I tried to take it all in, as I enjoyed the freedom that standing before such majesty invoked.  I would tell you...........but I realize that only I can experience what my heart enjoyed.  No matter how many words I use, despite the book of pictures that I bring out, you still will not appreciate it in the same way that I did.  In fact, my experience at the Grand Canyon belongs to me.  You must go and experience it for yourself.  Now, if you have been to the Grand Canyon, we can share in the wonders of what we saw.  But even then we have certain feelings, special moments that are all our own and no one else will ever understand.

God says that wisdom is the same.  One man's wisdom does not make another wise.  No matter how much he tries to make you see his wisdom, it does us no good.  We must experience it for ourselves.  If you are a wise person too, then Proverbs 9:9 tells us that if a wise person gives us instruction, then we will still be wiser.
And yet we really benefit no one else by being wise except that we can share that wisdom that God gives us in hopes that another will go to the Scriptures and learn for himself.

Perhaps you do not believe that the Grand Canyon even exists.  You mock me and laugh at me and scorn me.  You refuse, no matter how many pictures I bring out, to trust that there is such a thing.  and no, you won't drive that far to see what doesn't exist.  Nothing I say or do will convince you.  Poor thing!  You are missing out on the pleasure and wonders of one of God's most beautiful creations.  The more I try to convince you, the more you scoff at me.  Oh, well, you will just have to live your life in your own little narrow world.

The scoffer, according to Proverbs 9:11, is the same.  Noah Webster defines a scoffer as, "One who scoffs; one that mocks, derides or reproaches in the language of contempt; a scorner."  His time will come when he believes that the wise counsel of God is true, but it will be too late.  He will have to bear it himself.  Nothing that is said to him in wisdom makes a difference in his contemptible attitude.  He is to be left to his own evil ways.  (Proverbs 9:7-8).

We each have our own decision to make.  We can be wise and believe the Truth, enjoying for ourselves the fellowship of our Creator, or scoff and suffer on our own.

As we seek God's wisdom,

Friday, July 8, 2011

At the Crossroads

"On the heights beside the way, 
at the crossroads she [wisdom] takes her stand."
Proverbs 8:2

As I have said before, I am directionally challenged.  Coming to a crossroads can invoke great fear in me, because I have a decision to make.  Without good directions and the assurance that I am going the right way, I can become paralyzed with uncertainty.  Maps and mapquest are wonderful assets to one like me!

Yet now and then maps are confusing.  And mapquest?  It can take you miles out of the way, and sometimes it is just plain wrong.  But there is a road map to life that is never wrong.  How simple would it be just to follow the map without fail, never to get off the path!

There are so many crossroads in life, so many choices that we must make.  Some seem simple, like "What should I wear?  How should I treat that person?  Where should I go?
What should I do today?"  Others are more complex: "What should I do with my life?  Who should I date or marry?"  Some take immediate action.  Mom says, "Clean your room."  Hubby says, "Don't spend anymore money on clothes this month."  Do all of these things have an answer from the Source of Wisdom?  You bet they do!

And each time we have a decision to make, we are at a crossroads in our lives.  We must choose a direction in which to go.  Our choices will be made according to our  road map.  Is it an accurate one, the Word of God, or is a map of our own making?  With one we cannot get lost; with the other we will spend a lifetime turning in the wrong direction.

Take a long look at Proverbs 8.  The choice should be simple.

At a crossroads,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life is Hard

"If the Lord had not been my help, 
my soul would soon  have lived in the land of silence. 
When I thought, 'My foot slips,' 
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. (ESV)
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
your comforts delight my soul. (NKJV)
  Psalm 94:17-19

One of the grandchildren has a very difficult time with math.  The other day as we were working on some multiplication problems she became so discouraged and felt that she was beyond help.  Her problem seems so minor to us as we look at all of the things that people are dealing with in this very hard world.  Yet she needed help and comfort at that time in order to be able to press on.

I'm learning that yes, whatever we are going through in life may be minor as compared to the horrors that others experience.  We do well to remember that in our anxious moments.  And yet there are times of anxiety in our lives, sometimes debilitating no matter how small they may seem in light of the big picture, that we must recognize and deal with.

When our soul is at the point of "living in the land of silence," when our spirits are sinking at their lowest level, who can we depend on for help?  Maybe a wise and loving friend can help a little, but  we can always rely on the Lord.

When our foot begins to slip into the slough of despair, what can we depend on to hold us up?  The arm of flesh?  No.  Remembering the steadfast love of the Lord, we are sustained.

And perhaps my favorite verse in the Psalms, verse 19:  "In the multitude of my anxieties with me, your comforts delight my soul."  Wherever we are in life, whatever undesirable situation we find ourselves in, however anxious we are, we have a Comforter.  My Father has big arms and a way about Him that brings delight to my soul as I take my anxious thoughts to Him.  The situation may not change, but my heart is cheered, my anxieties are calmed.  Oh, that you know my Comforter!

"Casting all your anxieties on Him,
for He cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7 

Just writing what I needed to hear,