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Archive for March, 2011

verse 11: “”A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

Throughout my working life, I have worked for a variety of bosses. There was one executive whose temper was legendary; what was worse is that you didn’t know what kind of reaction you would get if you were to give him bad news. It all depended on the time of day and the mood he was in. Thankfully, I never had to directly deal with this boss. There are 3 bosses who come to memory and they all share the trait of this verse: they were slow to anger and ready to forgive. I’m not saying they didn’t let me know if I messed up; they did. But they treated me like an adult and they were very helpful in training me. One senior manager who has been a God-send in my working life once told me (while I was stressing on a difficult project) that I was my own worst critic…that I should do my best and not sweat the rest. It is people like them who inspire loyalty and motivation in their subordinates.

Make no mistake, God does get angry; He hates sin. But He is ready to forgive if we’ll just turn to Him. He also offers that second chance that we know through His Son, Jesus. It was His sacrifice on the cross that paid our debt; all we have to do is accept His gift.

Have a blessed day!

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Proverbs 19:5-9

verse 5, 9: “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.
A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.”

In current news, the trial of Barry Bonds, the reigning home run king in Major League Baseball, got underway this week. Although the controversy surrounding this trial has its origins in the steroids scandal that engulfed a lot of pro baseball players, the charge in this case is something more basic: perjury. According to Merriam-Webster.com, perjury is defined as ” the voluntary violation of an oath or vow either by swearing to what is untrue or by omission to do what has been promised under oath : false swearing”
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perjury). Today, it is a very serious charge; it was also a serious charge in Solomon’s day as well. Notice that the warning is almost identical in 2 separate verses; that usually means “listen up!” If something is important enough to repeat, then it bears our attention!

Judges and courts were extremely serious in dealing with liars; God is no less serious as well. When I was growing up, I could get in trouble for a lot of things….but my father always told me, “don’t you ever lie to me.” Lying just makes any situation almost doubly worse. Besides….God knows the truth, whether you admit it or not.

Something to think about.

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verse 4: “Wealth adds many friends, But a poor man is separated from his friend.”

I remember an episode of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (yep, another Saturday morning flashback!) that concerned a friend of the gang who always had money and toys galore; he said he always got it from his big brother. Fat Albert accidentally broke one of the toys and wanted to make it up to the kid’s brother. Long story short, Fat Albert exposes the brother as a drug dealer; the man gets arrested. The little brother is short-sightedly mad at Albert, telling him that he and the gang won’t be friends with him any more because he stopped his big brother’s “money supply”. Of course, the gang is NOT mad at Fat Albert, they knew he did the right thing and they still respected him and his friendship! In addition to the anti-drug message of the episode, the kid also thought that money could buy friendships.

Unfortunately, that’s truer in the real world than I wish it was. It does seem like money “attracts” a lot of “friends”, and the lack or disappearance of it causes those “friends” to disappear as well. We need to make sure that our friendships are genuine and not based on material things. When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t have any money, but He offered the greatest gift we could ever have: eternal life through Him. He still offers that gift today; no money necessary!

Have a blessed day!

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verse 22: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD.”

My father once told me that if your home life was in order, you could handle any bad day at work. And he’s right. Home is our refuge from the troubles we encounter, and the woman who makes a man’s home a place of refuge is his wife (or your husband if you’re a woman!) We trust in God for almost everything, so why shouldn’t young people trust Him to guide them to their lifelong mate? My wife and I enjoy telling friends, when the conversation turns to “how we met”, of how God was working in both our lives simultaneously to prepare us for the day when He brought us together.

Thank God today (if you are married) for your spouse; you don’t need to take them for granted! Remember, men: “He who find a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”

Have a blessed day!

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verse 17: “The first to plead his case seems just, Until another comes and examines him.”

I think the fascination with a lot of the lawyer shows I watched growing up (Perry Mason, Matlock, etc.) was how, no matter how bad it looked for the defendant (who in most all the plots was innocent), the hero lawyer would find a way to exonerate them. They usually did this through cross-examining the witness on the stand and “cornering” the witness with the real facts or incriminating evidence that would reveal their guilt. Seems I remember that in one of the few plots where Perry Mason actually lost a case, there was tremendous fan uproar over the fact that he lost, so popular was the show.

Despite the fact that my wife and I have always tried to teach our children never to lie to us, I do try to carefully hear both sides of the issue if they come home from school having gotten in trouble. Children can detect fairness; they can also detect when they’re not getting a fair shake. Be thankful today that God is our Judge, and chose to be merciful to us, we who are guilty of sin.

Have a blessed day!

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verse 14: “The spirit of a man can endure his sickness, But a broken spirit who can bear?”

I have a friend who used to attend our church; she had moved away, gotten married, and her life was going well. We recently got word that this young woman has cancer, so we continue to keep her in prayer. But there is something inspiring and uplifting about her battle; she has been documenting her struggle and day-to-day activities on a blog (http://sheabamberg.blogspot.com/). Reading this blog, you can’t help but smile and sometimes just laugh at her reflections. God has truly blessed her with a wonderful spirit.

Like Solomon says above, the spirit can endure physical sickness. But a broken spirit can be impossible to bear.

The following is not a good comparison, but it happened yesterday. The company I work for had an internal reorganization within our division. As a result, our senior manager, who has done wonders improving our area and our morale, is being moved to another department. She’s not leaving the division, and we’re happy for the opportunity she is getting…but the mood was funereal. Some people who were physically fine, were walking around like zombies, their spirits downcast.

To quote the old hymn, in times like these, you need a Savior. The only cure for such a broken spirit is Jesus, because only He can get you through times like that.

Something to think about today.

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Proverbs 18:10-13

verse 10: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.”

In times of flood, people who live in lowlands head to the hills for safety.
In the movie Tremors, the people of the small town Perfection flee the monstrous underground grabboid worms by trekking to the nearby mountain range.
In frontier days, settlers who lived close enough to Army forts would take refuge within them if threatened.

So where should Christians go in times of trouble? To the Lord, our Strong and Mighty Tower. God is our refuge and our Protector. It is in Him that we have safety and peace. Peace, even in the midst of a storm.

Have a blessed day!

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