February 27 – Pause and Think About It

Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know? Proverbs 30:4 NKJV

I once worked at a restaurant. It was a fairly nice establishment…classy plates, linen napkins, fine wine and such.

One night the power went out from an unexpected lightning strike. And it was a Friday night!

We weren’t out of electricity that long, but notice, I did.

I noticed the fussy fusses were afraid of the dark.

I noticed the worker bees were somehow not so much.

I noticed the smarty pants didn’t seem all that smart in the dark.

I noticed the simpletons were in high demand…pretty smart after all.

And I noticed how much we resemble one another when the lights are off.

Today, from time to time, I hear talk about the weather, the water and the way the world turns.

And I think to myself, “Enjoy the luxury of logic and litigation while the power is on.” Because when He who knows decides it’s time for an “unexpected interruption,” chances are, He won’t be calling you or me ahead of time.

Think I will just consult Him…on a regular basis. On His terms.

Just sayin’. 🙂


February 26 – Mutual Admiration Society

The godly despise the wicked; the wicked despise the godly. Proverbs 29:27 NLT

When I was up to no good, the last thing I wanted around was some “goody two-shoes.” My sister fit the bill most of the time.

I couldn’t stand her! She was always in the right place at the wrong time for me. I never got away with anything.

Examples are abundant, but not necessary…I’m sure I share company with some whose past attitudes and behaviors are just as well forgotten and forgiven.

The other side of that coin, however is the frustration felt by the likes of my sister who are simply abiding by the rules prescribed by those in authority so it might go well with them.

As an adult, with a family…children and a wife, I admit my struggle. Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the madness when another with ill motives seeks to impose “unjust” demands on the innocent.

What I have learned thus far from living on both sides of that coin is…no matter what side you are on, you think you are right and the other is wrong. And fuss as you may, until they are ready, you, nor they, will change sides.


February 25 – Great One, Divine

Everyone tries to get help from the leader, but only God will give us justice. Proverbs 29:26 The Message

I am grateful to live in a country whose government, foundationally speaking, is a “for the people, by the people” administration and mechanic.

And throughout our history, leaders have led well and some, not so much. In both instances, much more than meets the eye contributed to success or lack thereof. Anyone who has found themselves “head” or “in charge” of any affair knows leadership is not for the faint of heart.

That is why the proverbial thought today reminds me of a position I chose long ago when it came to my “demands” and to whom I would demand them.

Only one leader exists that can truly meet my needs and fix my ills. He is Great and He is Divine. He is GOD!

Therefore, it makes no difference how well my local, state or federal representatives’ represent. I call on GOD to assist them, aid us, and administer His Divine will on behalf of us all.


February 24 – A Fine Line

The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy; he is put under oath and dare not testify. Proverbs 29:24 NIV

Helping one another is basic, biblical, and benevolent. But many times there is an invisible line that separates actions that hinder and those that truly help.

Handouts feel good…initially. Yet, when the recipient begins to make preferential demands, kindhearted notions sour and the desire to “help” can grow cold.

Hand-ups, on the other hand, protect the intent of the giver and the integrity of the receiver. Often, patience, persistence and practicality are mainstays in this approach. And many times, those preferring a “quick fix” bail out of the race. But those who are truly wanting to progress, excel.

You do me no favors helping me “not help” myself. Give me tough love if I am taking the easy way out. But when you see me giving it my all, a helping hand goes a long, long way!

Pray to define that line. And when you do, it will all go just fine.


February 23 – No Place Else To Go

A man’s pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor. Proverbs 29:23 NKJV

Personal Restrictions that I Don’t Eliminate in my life can pose major problems.

Personal Restrictions that I Don’t Eliminate can and will isolate me from people, places and promotion.

Personal Restrictions that I Don’t Eliminate will be what I trade my life in for in the end…or not.

But if I can accept the fact that I know little and yet have much to learn, honor will find me and call me friend…


February 18 – Something is Gained in the Translation

He who pampers his servant from childhood will have him as a son in the end. Proverbs 29:21 NKJV

At first glance, I hear “don’t be too easy” when it comes to those who work for you. If you give them an inch of leniency, they will take a mile. I see truth in that, but at second glance, I see more.

A servant will not be corrected by words alone; for though he understands, he will not answer [the master who mistreats him]. Proverbs 29:21AMP

This translation of the original text suggests that being too harsh stirs defiance in the heart of someone who helps or works for you. First look: be tough; Second look: be kind and considerate. So, which is it?

For me the “third point of view” is the key to seeing contextually what I should be, who I should be, or what I should say. And that view is prayerfully derived. I don’t run with what I think when I read…most of the time, anymore.

I invite God, who is my Father, to translate according to His view and vantage point concerning me, the matter at hand, and the message before my eyes.

Therefore, if we read the same passage and see it differently, neither of us is wrong. We may just be between “looks!”


February 17 – Border Lines

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Proverbs 29:18

Borders provide boundaries. Lines provide direction. Without either, vision for the present and proceeding days to come is impaired.

As much as I like the freedom of the path less traveled, if anyone else of significance shall come that way, borders and lines will have to be skillfully added to the equation.


February 16 – Not Such a Dirty Word

Wise discipline imparts wisdom; spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents
Proverbs 29:15
Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did—they’ll turn out delightful to live with. Proverbs 29:17

Discipline: Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, comprehending instruction in arts, sciences, correct sentiments, morals and manners, and due subordination to authority. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

This little “D” word is so often misused and totally misunderstood. If the truth be told, even when we aren’t trying, we are “disciple-ing.”

Our actions, or lack thereof, educate, instruct and cultivate the lives round about us.

So why not focus attention on the ways of wise counsel, mixed with self-disciplined examples?

Kids, co-workers, or kinfolk don’t care how much you know…until they know how much you care.


February 12 – Radio

A gang of cynics can upset a whole city; a group of sages can calm everyone down. Proverbs 29:8

As a father, it’s my job to look out for my brood. And for that, I admit, at times I “miss the forest for the trees.”

A touching movie came out a few years ago about a mentally challenged young man who impacted his community…forever.

Based on true events, “Radio” captured the struggle of a community of moms and dads trying desperately to understand the head football coach’s infatuation with a disabled twenty-something young man taking high school classes and disrupting the athletic program.

Their counsel and advice was legitimate, reasonable, and quite understandable. But Coach Jones answered them like a true sage:

I know some of you don’t know or don’t care about all that Radio’s learned over these past few months. But truth is, we’re not the ones who’ve been teachin’ Radio. Radio is the one who’s been teachin’ us. ‘Cause the way he treats us all the time is the way we wish we treated each other even part of the time. Look, I know somethin’s gotta happen here. I know some changes gotta be made. And I know I can’t let what happened last season happen again. So I’ve decided to step down as Head Football Coach.

Needless to say, this young man, not so young anymore (68), and his story has touched the hearts of many. Had it not been for a few sages along the way to issue calm, cool instruction, we may have never got to hear about…the Radio.


February 11 – Lack Thereof

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Proverbs 29:7

It might be money, it could be time. It might be rhythm and it could be rhyme. It might be intelligence and it could be friends. Poverty comes in many forms and to all its lack, it lends.

Every one of us has something missing or something broken in this life. And the wise ones never let their luxury in one area desensitize them to the lack protruding in another.

This sort of reality does not produce “handout fever.” On the contrary, when I recognize I have enjoyed blessings, I lend a “helping hand.”

No more of this “less fortunate” stuff. We are all God’s children and all of us could use a helping hand along the way. We are the same kind of “different.”

For richer or for poorer, we are forever family…