March 4 – Fat and Sassy

There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. Proverbs 30:11-14 NIV

Personal Assessment and Outward Observation: The more I get, the more I get. And the more I get, the more I want.

Knowing this about my human tendency, years ago, God and I cut in some borders and some buffers to keep me humble at heart. But even still, time to time, I look up and there I go getting all self-centered and judgmental again.

Here’s a freebie I’ll pass on: When the words out of your mouth often reflect another’s inability to do something according to your liking, chances are you have overindulged in some area of your life. And it has promoted a “fat and sassy” condemnatory attitude.

Heaven help us! Let’s finish with the Message Bible’s version of this proverbial nugget:

Don’t curse your father or fail to bless your mother. Don’t imagine yourself to be quite presentable when you haven’t had a bath in weeks. Don’t be stuck-up and think you’re better than everyone else. Don’t be greedy, merciless and cruel as wolves, tearing into the poor and feasting on them, shredding the needy to pieces only to discard them.

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January 27 – An Unexpected Tug

When the country is in chaos, everybody has a plan to fix it—but it takes a leader of real understanding to straighten things out. Proverbs 28:2

In business, in school, and now, around my house, the “least expected one” usually saves the day. I specifically am mindful of the lion’s share of the “above 12 years old” Dunford’s frantically looking for misplaced van keys. Inevitably, little bitty hands will tug on my pant leg, “Daddy, you looking for these?”

What’s sad is the fact that I, like most, find myself looking to the smart, the aged, and the polished for answers. But time testifies of men and women of real understanding who few ever imagined they had outstanding ideas.

I don’t know what country you are in as you read this, but I know at least one that fits the bill of today’s proverbial thought. And though I never want to see anyone suffer catastrophe, history says then and only then do we quit looking for the keys where we think we left them. This is when we let a power beyond our brains and braun and bank account get us back on track with help we could never find or afford.

I’m not meddling and I’m not being political.

But our predicament humbles me and these words today inspire me to hope for a tug from an unexpected source.

Lorenzo

 

 

October 13 – A Tale of Two Kings

When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiseled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness. Proverbs 11:2

The good book gives a historical account of two kings that ruled the children of Israel, God’s Chosen People.

The first was Saul, the son of Kish the Mighty. This young man was handsome, rich and a head taller than all of his kinsman (I Samuel 9:1-2). He had everything going for him, but when he was set in as first king of Israel, he became prideful and it ultimately caused him to lose the kingdom (I Samuel 13:13-14).

Then there was David. This would-be king was humility and servant-leadership personified. The youngest son of his father Jesse, he spent his early days watching over his father’s sheep. As a matter of fact, when the Prophet of Israel came to town to anoint the next king of Israel, David’s dad didn’t even send for him (I Samuel 16:1-13).

To date, David is known as the king of Israel that proved, even in the midst of a grave mistake, that he was a man after God’s own heart. Therefore, God Almighty paid him the highest honor any earthly king could ever wish for; He sent His only begotten Son through his lineage and one day He, the Son of God, will sit on the throne of David and rule the nations (II Samuel 7:1-29).

Pride is a funny thing. It makes you feel responsible, but it secretly undermines a complete dependence on God. The truth of the matter in the case of the two kings is David messed up much more than Saul if you measure the severity of their mistakes. The difference maker with God, however, was the attitude of their hearts. When confronted with his sin, David was broken and genuinely repentant (II Samuel 11-12). Saul, on the other hand, justified his behavior and apologized only to save face before the people (I Samuel 15).

May today find me broken rather than embarrassed. And may God find humility in my attitude rather than haughty self-defense. Though we are human, He has provided us with all kinds of help to get in a spot where He can pour on the blessings. But at the end of the day, we have to be willing before we will ever truly be obedient.