Archive for February, 2011

verse 8: “The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.”

Juicy gossip.

A lot of us have been guilty of hearing it before; a lot of us have been guilty of sharing it too. Some people can’t wait to partake in it. I saw a Snuffy Smith comic strip recently when Snuffy walks in the house and begins to tell his wife Loweezy, “Ma, Elviney is over at…” ZING! “…the gossip fence.” (the ZING being the lightning speed sound effect as Loweezy high-tails it for the fence!)

Gossip is a dangerous thing. Like the verse above states, some people just devour gossip like the most delicious food…and it becomes a part of them. The book of James makes reference to the tongue being like a fire. We, as Christians, should do as it says in Psalms 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” May your words be acceptable to Him, today.

Something to think about.


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Proverbs 18:1-7

verse 2: “A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.”

For those who remember the Saturday morning cartoon, The Smurfs, you will remember the character of Brainy Smurf. He was the self-proclaimed “know-it-all” who was often fond of trying to voice his opinion and wisdom on matters, only to aggravate his fellow Smurfs and finally getting tossed out of the village on his ear!

This verse reminds me of Brainy Smurf. The fool doesn’t really want to learn or to understand; he only wants to vainly proclaim what he knows, or rather, what he thinks he knows. There are wise people in this world, and their counsel is sound and valid. Of course, there is the Source of Wisdom Himself. So, if it is wisdom you seek, why not seek God’s wisdom today.

Something to think about.

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verse 26: “It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.”

It can be hard enough to do the right thing in this corrupt world. Harder still is when you get punished for doing the right thing. For instance, I have had to explain to my sons why, when two kids are caught fighting at school, the policy is usually to punish both of them (unless there is good evidence of who the wrong party was). School officials, when they come upon a fracas, have both sides saying “they started it”. Without evidence to the contrary, they have to punish both parties.

My older son was in detention after school once, for supposedly saying something offensive to a girl (who had said something offensive to my son to start with). I met with the teacher, and we compared notes. The teacher knew my son’s reputation, and knew he wouldn’t lie, but we couldn’t figure out what led to the accusation that resulted in his detention. Finally, we pieced together that my son had said one thing, and the girl heard another! The teacher rolled his eyes, tore up the detention, and told my son we could go. 🙂

Following Jesus’ example will cost us in this world. What we, as Christians, have to be careful about is not to punish because someone did the right thing.

Something to think about.

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verse 22: “A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

There are several analogies I can think of, when I read the above verse:

    Joy – I think of laughter, and I think of the pure hilarious laughter of my youngest son; you just can’t help but smile. When my wife gets cranked up laughing, you can’t help but laugh along too (and that’s all I’ll say about that. 🙂 )
    A broken spirit – I think of Padme Amidala in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, who dies of a broken heart over Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader. I remember the physician being puzzled by her condition, because he states, “her injuries were not that serious.”
    The usual collection of sayings, such as “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile”

Recently, I was under a lot of stress, working long hours to meet a deadline. Some of that toll wound up putting me on high blood pressure medicine (I hope temporarily). But on the first day off after the long stretch of several overtime weeks…I just keep feeling myself unwind, and thanking God for the simple things. Now, God got me through that tough time; He’s always there. But joy in your heart is truly a tonic to the physical body; and dry bones…well, there aren’t many uses for those. I just need to remember myself to not let the troubles of this world quench God’s joy in my life.

Have a blessed day in Him!

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Proverbs 17:17-21

verse 17: “A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.”

I remember 2 stories that this verse reminds me of. One pertains to a young couple who were friends of ours; they were expecting their second child, and after her birth, there were some concerns about her health (she turned out to be okay). But during this time, prayers were lifted up as the parents and grandparents felt anxious. I remember when we visited them in the hospital, that the grandfather expressed deep gratitude over our coming to visit. To us, it wasn’t a big to-do…we were glad to visit. However, it always stuck in my memory how fervently this grandfather said he would never forget our coming to visit.

We recently had an older lady in our church who became suddenly widowed; her husband passed away unexpectedly. Several families have pitched in to stay with her, help care for her, and do what they could to help out, while she went through the funeral and burial and moving to an assisted living facility.

I cannot elaborate on the verse above any better than Solomon stated it. Sometimes, friends love with words….at other times, they love with actions. Either way…they are there.

Something to think about.

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verse 12: “Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly.”

“You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,
You don’t spit in the wind,
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger,
And you don’t mess around with Jim.”
–Jim Croce, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

There are just some things you don’t do, because everyone knows it won’t turn out well! Jim Croce’s chorus from his song stated some of these things…because you just don’t do them!

Similarly you don’t mess with a mama bear whose cubs have been taken; you will NOT wind up the winner in that confrontation. But better you do that, than get mixed up with a “fool in his folly”. It is similar to being trapped on a runaway ride that is out of control, yet you are strapped in it until the end. The fool plunges headlong into this ride, oblivious as to what happens or who he takes down with him.

There are many other traveling companions in the ride of life to better enjoy it with. I’d rather go through this old life with Jesus by my side.

Have a blessed day!

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verse 10: “A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding Than a hundred blows into a fool.”

One of the funnier cartoons my family has enjoyed watching recently is The Penguins of Madagascar, the offshoot series about the commando penguins from the movie Madagascar. It follows the adventures of Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private, as they battle menaces at the zoo (real or otherwise). One episode I recall had to do with their combating an invasion of mean hornets, who were threatening to sting the children coming to the zoo. The penguins were having trouble trying to fight a menace who outnumbered them, despite their small size, and who could sting them. They discovered that Mort, a fellow zoo resident, was oblivious to pain; Kowalski the science officer determine that Mort, who was always eternally optimistic and happy-go-lucky, seem to generate an aura that made him ignorant to pain. Of course, the penguins managed to duplicate this effect, and for a while were blissfully oblivious to the pain that the hornets were inflicting on them; this was accompanied by the madcap comedy of them repelling the hornets’ attack (with the help of Mort), and getting their common sense back intact!

No matter how many times the hornets stung them, it didn’t have any effect…sort of similar to raining “a hundred blows into a fool”. The wise person will understand the well-intentioned criticism or rebuke; they will look deep into their own ways, and take the rebuke and apply it. Yet a fool will be oblivious.

We are not perfect, but Christians know The One who is. Listen to God’s still small voice today, as Elijah did in 1 Kings 19, and pay heed to His wisdom.

Something to think about.

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verse 7: “Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince.”

Remember the old political joke: “When can you tell when a politician is lying? His lips move.” Though we mostly chuckle at that one-liner, it’s somewhat of an indictment in that most folks think politicians are not trustworthy. In some cases, politicians do get elected and for whatever reasons, fulfill or don’t fulfill their campaign promises. It’s sad when we expect lack of integrity in some occupations; it’s even worse when we find it in people who have, up to the point of failure, had integrity.

The Holman concordance’s commentary on this verse is one on trustworthiness. Nothing hurts a person like being lied to or betrayed. We come to expect it from people with that reputation; we are let down when we see it in people who have earned our trust.

The old story goes about a young warrior who ascended a mountain to prove his warrior test of manhood. As he neared the top, it grew colder and colder. At the top, he paused to rest before his journey back down. His attention was drawn to the ground near him, where he saw a snake shivering in the cold, near death. “Please, young warrior, carry me down to the valley, so that I may live. I am too cold to make the journey by myself, and if I don’t warm up soon, I will die!” said the snake. The young warrior at first refused, knowing that snakes bite people. “Oh no, I promise I will not harm you; just carry me down, please!” pleaded the snake. The young warrior took pity on the shivering, half-dead animal; he picked it up, put it under his cloak, and journeyed back down the mountain. Once at the base of the mountain, where the valley was warm, he put the snake on the ground gently. Before he could withdraw his hand, the snake whipped around, bit him, and wriggled away for a few feet. Shocked, the young warrior said, “You gave me your word you would not harm me!” To which the snake, now safely away from the warrior, said, “Foolish young warrior; you knew what I was when you picked me up!”

We expect lies from liars. If you have a reputation of integrity, live up to it. Be the example that Jesus Christ demonstrated we should be.

Something to think about.

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