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…


January 28 – Soul Interest

He who by charging excessive interest and who by unjust efforts to get gain increases his material possession gathers it for him [to spend] who is kind and generous to the poor. Proverbs 28:8

You don’t have to search very far to find accounts of shrewd businessmen who amassed great wealth and power. Or of those whose families turn and philanthropically share it all with the very people he used to get rich.

But what’s not so prevalent is insight into the “soul” interest and unjust efforts we common folk make every single day. Selfishly, we can be guilty of taking advantage of situations and circumstances privy to us without a thought of how it affects another.

In an effort to do better for ourselves, we steal time from our family. In an effort to advance at our work, we pursue another person’s position. And in an effort to have someone in charge that we like, we speak ill of those we don’t agree with.

Today’s proverb isn’t just about the rich getting richer and their money being given away. It’s about precious moments and precious people that are ours to love and cherish. Because if we don’t, someone else will come along and get that job done. And all that we worked for will possibly be lost.


December 16 – “Bent” Toward Perfection

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 AMP

We have eleven kiddos on the ground to date and not one of them is like the other. Similar in ways, but different as night and day in sleeping, eating, ears and feet.

Early on, I thought we had it figured out with the first three. First came the girl, then the little man, and then baby sister. That bunch was the main “gang” the longest and it appeared the girls were very much alike and the boy was just…all boy!

But as the other tribe members graced us with their presence and we had more variety, man, did we see the unique flavors in our crew.

That’s when we discovered this version of a very familiar proverbial nugget. The light bulb came on and we got on our knees for some “guidance.”

It appears that we all have certain gifts that bend us toward a divine purpose that was established before we drew a puff of air. I still find the thought rather staggering.

Needless to say, as we began to guide and direct the members of our family in the way we believed to be in line with their “bent,” life made more sense and would-be struggles became worthwhile investments in the future.

So if you’ve got little tiny tots, spend a bit of time with the Originator of the design and see what He had in mind. Then start applying what you get. If your kiddos are up and at it, no worries, you can still see who they really are on the inside. Ask God to give you a little light so you can encourage them rightly.

And for those whose have grown and gone, it’s not too late to speak what you see. Yeah, maybe you didn’t know this stuff when they were growing up, but God did. He will show you things about your child even when he or she is old and grey. And it still applies. With God there is no such thing as “too late,” as long as there is this phenomenon called time!

So, there’s nothing wrong with you…you came bent toward perfection!

August 20 – Blessed Boundaries

For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you. Proverbs 3:2

Young James Byron died way too soon. In his short 24 years of life, he managed to make an indelible mark on a nation.

Known to the world over as James Dean, this young man starred in only three major films between the years 1955-56 and was the first actor to ever receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and still remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations.

Fascinating and sad, James’ story unfortunately presents a very common epidemic in our midst. Through no fault of his own, little Jimmy was horribly wounded at a young age by the death of his mother, whom he was very close to. Because his father couldn’t manage to care for him without the help of his wife, James was sent away.

As I look over the history of this now iconic soul, I find three keepsakes that bear tremendous insight.

One, family plays a major role in guiding, directing, and protecting us (especially in the formative years) from destructive elements in life.

Two, each of us come into this world with a gift-set uniquely ours. And boundaries, or the lack thereof, constitute the degree to which those gifts will be realized.

And three, there is never a shortage of misguided fellows who will be willing to take advantage of one’s disadvantages. Misery is a vampire that thrives on the innocent ignorance of the misguided soul.

Today’s Proverb reminds and refreshes me, because it reiterates once again the role of the guard rails and fences along my path. They are not there to keep me pinned in, but arranged in such a way as to keep devastation out. My moments here on planet earth are few and somewhat fleeting. Therefore, I cannot afford to be labeled another legendary “gone too soon.”

And neither can you!