December 26 – Skillfully Inspired

Through wisdom a house is built . . . Proverbs 24:3a NKJV

I know wisdom as a two-sided coin; one side is skill and the other godly inspiration. Each of us have been enabled by our Creator and Father with certain abilities. And often those abilities produce results that are noticed and confirmed by others as special.

But to be inspired to color inside the lines alone doesn’t constitute a “wise soul.” However, when that inspired one seeks out how to mix the shades of his or her colors to create a unique blend of tones, then we see skill come on the scene. Together, they do completely phenomenal work!

House-building done well, can only be done through wisdom. Every member that belongs there comes complete with his and her own plans and purposes. And in order to minimize chaos and maximize communication, one does well to practice the skill of listening twice as much as he applies the inspiration of talking.

Nothing I ever given my whole self to required so much of me. Many days I feel I have nothing to offer, and it seems it is during those times that godly wisdom shines from within me in the most humble of ways.

And one day when you wake up and look around to find walls, ceilings, rooms, tables and chairs in the form of moments, memories, and lives that are singing the same chorus to you…thank God for all He has done!

Advertisements

December 9 – Warning: Blabbermouth Ahead!

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely. Proverbs 20:19

Once upon a time there were four preachers. All served different congregations in four different denominations. They felt it necessary to know one another, seeing they lived in the same town and were in the same line of work.

After getting together each week for a couple of months, they decided to take a day and go fishing. The day was amazing! Each of the men caught his limit, they laughed like none of them had in forever, and wouldn’t you know it? They let their hair down.
“Guys, this has been one of the best days of my life! Thanks a million,” one of them spoke up. “And I feel really comfortable with you guys…so I wonder if you all wouldn’t mind praying with me about a struggle I’ve been battling for some time?”

All the men nodded and chorused, “You bet!” So he poured out his heart. And a second chimed in his relief to finally have a group he could confide his struggles.

This went on for hours and all the men shared back and forth and talked freely and candidly until…the one who had shared very little looked as if he would be sick. “Buddy, you ok? You are among friends and there is nothing you face, feel, or fear we won’t understand. We are not here to judge you, but to stand with you, no matter what.”

At this, he sighed and wiped his brow. “That’s so good to know. Because my weakness is gossiping and I can’t wait to get home and tell everybody what happened here today!”

That joke is funny if you have never been the person who shared your heart in order to heal, only to find that the person you told had loose lips and did not understand confidentiality.

In cases of legality, we have an obligation to act appropriately, but most breaches of trust have nothing to do with broken laws…just lack of consideration of the damage tale-bearing can cause.

In all honesty, most of us have felt the blade of that double edged sword and have scars to prove. And today’s proverbial wisdom reminds us to keep our mouths shut about other folks affairs and be very sparse with whom we share our trials.

That’s what real friends are for!

Gossips can’t keep secrets, so never confide in blabbermouths. Proverbs 20:19 The Message Bible

November 20 – Abby’s Fool

The mouths of fools are their undoing,
 and their lips are a snare to their very lives. Proverbs 18:7

I Samuel 25 accounts that during the time of King David’s outlaw years, he and his men were doing a little “free lance sheep-guarding.” They didn’t want much in return, just a thanks in the form of a well-deserved meal.

But the request came at a time when much celebration had been going on in Nabal’s house and he was feeling a bit insulted by the request and let his colors show. David’s young men went and delivered his message word for word to Nabal. Nabal tore into them, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? The country is full of runaway servants these days. Do you think I’m going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheepshearers and give it to men I’ve never laid eyes on? Who knows where they’ve come from?” I Samuel 25:9-11

Read the rest for yourself, but suffice it to say, heads were about to roll…that is, until Mrs. Abigail stepped in with a wise response; some food, kind words, sincere respect and just appreciation!

I have been hot-headed. I have opened my lips before I considered the consequences. Everybody plays the fool sometime. And today’s Proverb reminds me of the potential devastation that foolish talking can bring.

No matter how rough and tough or big and bad you are, nothing good comes from picking a fight by being inconsiderate, obnoxious, and rude. In the case of Nabal, it cost him, indirectly. But had it not been for Abigail’s interception, a whole lot of innocent by-standers would have paid with their lives.

PRAYER: “In my home, in my daily affairs, Good Father, fool-proof my face! Send me an Abigail to help me learn how to temper, tame and refrain when it comes to my convictions, comments and opinions. Amen!”

November 18 – Happy is Healthy

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
 but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.  Proverbs 17:22 AMP

Anymore, there seems to be so much to do, so much to think about, so much to consider. If it weren’t for my good group of girls (wife and daughters), there would be days where I didn’t even eat…I’d just forget to!

And with that sort of thing going on, choosing to stay cheerful, hopeful, and or happy often eludes me. When I’m smiling or laughing, I feel better and I respond better. The press doesn’t stress as much. I know this and I will be the first to tell you it’s the same with you! However, the facts are just that. I do forget and I do frown as I ponder and I do grovel in the “mully grubs” from time to time. Not good and not productive, no matter how much I tell myself it’s all a part of getting stuff done.

This Proverb is also good science. People who smile, laugh and maintain a cheerful and positive attitude tend toward better health over all. That’s been my observation over the last twenty plus years working with folks from newborns to well-worns in a myriad of venues. Kids and Keenagers alike do so much better when they are full of cheer.

Life teaches us that it is not always fair, so our happiness or cheerfulness needs a source that’s not fickle and can be trusted at all times. Promises from God, words of truth are just that. Today, let your heart rest, let your mind relax and let your face smile. Laugh a little or laugh a lot…just enjoy the moments.

November 14 – ‘Til I’m Old and Gray

Age is a crown of glory, when it is found in the way of righteousness. Proverbs16:31

Before we got so smart here in the west, all educated and stuff, age meant something. It wasn’t just the grandkids who valued time with Gramps and Grammy. On the contrary, the wisdom of the aged is what kept the towns of old afloat.

I have even heard it said that in Jewish culture during Jesus’ day that it was improper for a man to speak in a gathering of men before he was 40.

It used to be a known reality…wisdom comes with wear! When you’ve been around a day or two, chances are you’ve picked up a pinch of understanding along the way.

In my estimation, our modern nursing homes are gold mines that are wasting away while the smarty pants of the day spend a fortune “trying” to figure out what Gertrude could have told them for free.

May the good Lord grant me some “gray hairs” of glorious wisdom and insight to guide me and mine through this narrow way of right living. Any fool can tell you what you want to hear. It takes a God fearin’ “hoary head” to call it straight.

Long live the senior souls!

November 5 – Roll On!

Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. Proverbs 16:3 AMP

Good ideas come a dime a dozen and I have dreamed up my fair share. Like when I decided after career day in the sixth grade I would become a geologist! Not a bad idea, and the monetary potential had me seeing dollar signs. However, reality set in a year later when my love for math and science was a bit waning; really nonexistent…I was too busy talking! Too funny, right?!

If you are reading this and you’re old enough to remember some “days gone by,” you, too, can attest that often we think we know best when much too often we’ve had to bump our heads to get the message. “That door is closed”!

So I share this proverbial wisdom I’ve gleaned over the years in pursuit of the “open doors” with the utmost humility. My posture, when pondering an idea or new concept or potential “door of discovery,” is patient procession. I used to accelerate zero to sixty with the new-fangled fancy racing through my mind…not anymore. Usually, the full picture is usually days from clarity and the obvious pitfalls are not so obvious.

Patience allows God time to take center stage as Author and Director. That’s what “Roll On” is all about. I make my will wait until His Will is revealed! And any time I have been so willing, the plan and the pursuit works out beautifully.

If today finds you frustrated with another good idea gone wrong, be not dismayed. You weren’t being paid to direct this show anyway. You only have a role to play. So, flip through the script and play away.

And let the rest of the mess…just roll on!

October 24 – Pass the Salt

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. Proverbs 13:4

We used to have a large, older-type swimming pool when we lived in Oklahoma City.  Though it was not modern, it was a great size for lap swimming and we really enjoyed having people over to swim.

After dealing with lots of little girls’ curly hair and chlorine (and tears), I started doing some research on how we could keep up the pool without chemicals.  We ran into a company that used salt to naturally maintain swimming pools.

Wow, we loved the salt treatment for the pool.  It was like being transported to the ocean in our own backyard.  But, here was the catch.  We had to consistently keep a certain amount of salt going in the pool, or, you guessed it.  Green pool.  How do I know that? Well . . .

That one time we lapsed on the daily salt treatment taught us well.  The salt had to continue to flow through the pump to stay on top of the entire volume of the pool.  Just a little bit of slacking caused the whole thing to go south.  It wasn’t impossible to get on top of it after that, but doubly hard for awhile until consistency gave the results we wanted again.

Our hearts are like that. Proverbs 4:23 says we must keep our heart with all diligence because the issues of life flow from it. We have to stay on top of our heart with the “salt” of the Word of God. It clears away the trash and keeps the fountain flowing. Literally and figuratively, maintaining our hearts with consistency leads to life, here and beyond.

Pass the salt, please . . .

Jennifer 🙂