November 21 – Rich Man, Poor Man

The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
 the righteous run to it and are safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
 and like a high wall in his own esteem. Proverbs 18:10-11

Fiddler on the Roof is truly a classic work. If you haven’t seen it or it’s been awhile, today’s proverbial thought might spark an interest.

Tevye the milkman is the father of five daughters and desires a better life for them…if only he were rich!

If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
 All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
 If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
 Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.
 If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.

He describes all the wonderful things he would buy and all the “special” people he would associate with and all the servants his wife would order around. The song is amazing!

And there are many of us, right here in the good old USA, who live as if Tevye’s song is the theme music playing in the background 24/7. More is only enough until the next shipment of more than enough comes in.

So we stack it, and stuff it, and want some more of it until it forms a wall around us. We feel safe. The economy goes south, we’re safe. Unexpected medical emergency, we are safe. Natural catastrophe, covered.

But we forget, wealth is based on what already exists. Its value is relegated to intelligible humanistic appreciation. If I have apples and no one wants apples, I have nothing. History is filled with “riches to rags stories” brought on by “unforeseen events.”

The Name of the Lord, however is quite different. How can a name protect you in times of unrest and upheaval in the world? Where can you spend it and what is its’ net worth? That’s just it.  Though it’s not from here, it created here! When you boil everything down that man has accomplished since the beginning of time, it doesn’t even come close to “buying the vowel” that holds His Name together.

If you’ve got a good thing going and it allows you to feel like you’ve made a difference in the world, great! Keep up the good work.

But don’t forget. Safety is in the tower, not behind the wall.

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October 16 – Can I Get a Witness?

Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14 NKJV

I am a talker and I married a talker. That seems to be pretty unusual. However, we differ in our styles of communication. To describe our styles using traveling terms, I would be more of a world traveler and Jenny is the direct flight type.

But over the years and in the process of raising a few children, we have become aware of the fact that even though we communicate very differently, often we are saying the same thing. And that provides a more balanced counseling approach when assisting friends, family, and loved ones (and ourselves) in decision making endeavors.

As the Proverb states, multi-counsel has an element of safety woven throughout, because, when you have more than one view point, you’ve got more than ONE point of view. And time and testimonies galore shout out, “Get a second opinion!”

A perfect example is studying what Jesus said by way of the Gospels…Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. For the sake of time here’s one account when Jesus made a statement about the price and benefit of following Him (discipleship):

“He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.” Matthew 10:40-42

For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. Mark 9:41

He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” Luke 10:16

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” John 13:20

I think Matthew was kind of like me and the rest of the guys were like my wife (she’s straight to the point). Nevertheless, when you listen to the four points of view, you come away with a more balanced foundation on what Jesus was truly saying. Then, application, if any is necessary, can be approached with a bit more confidence and assurance.

The Lone Ranger is a classic western story, but, in my estimation, not one to be emulated in real life. None of us have it all together or are without need of outside direction and encouragement from time to time. Let the wisdom of the wise provide you direction and guidance. There is safety to be had!