Thursday, January 17, 2019

Day 1733 Worker and Thieves

Day 1733: Proverbs chapters 10-22 is sprinkled and seasoned with so many wisdom inserts. I'll pray before I write asking the Holy Spirit to lead the passage that needs to be heard the most that day and start writing. So make sure you keep tabs on this journey because you never know when that person that needed to hear God's direct message would be you.

"A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son brings grief to his mother.

Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value,
but righteousness delivers from death.

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

Lazy hands make for poverty,
but diligent hands bring wealth.

He who gathers crops in the summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son."
Proverbs 10:1-5

It is difficult to get up early, go to work, keep up with life responsibilities, pay bills. No one is going to argue that. Have you ever been a victim of theft where someone stole money or items you've worked hard for? Talk about anger and frustration. 

These Proverbs focuses on those who work hard for what they have and those who steal because they don't want to work. 

Hard workers: 
Keep on working hard because idle hands are never a good thing. Colossians 3:23 says we are to do our very best at whatever task we have before us as we are working for the Lord and not our boss. That'll put work and home life in a different perspective. 

People who choose to steal: 
The road you are on is a dangerous road leading straight to the gates of hell. There are crossroads you can take right now that will lead you straight to the cross where you can lay all your repented sins down and receive forgiveness ... a second chance to do life right. John 3:16 says God loves you so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to die for your sins. If you believe, accept, you'll have the promise of eternal life. Ask yourself, is the things you steal today to enjoy worth the eternal payment of your soul tortured? It's not too late to choose the right path. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Day 1732 Invitations of Wisdom and Folly

Day 1732: Proverbs references wisdom and folly to two different women. Day 1725 (link below) I explained how these are not actual ladies yet a form of Hebrew writing labeling wisdom feminine. Using two opposite ladies gives us a visual as we read to better understand the difference between the two such as Queen of Diamonds and Queen of Hearts. (Desperado is stuck in my head.)

Proverbs 9 is an invitation to you. It illustrates two ladies, Wisdom and Folly, preparing a meal and sending out an invite.

Proverbs 9:1-6
Wisdom has built her house;
    she has set up its seven pillars.
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servants, and she calls
    from the highest point of the city,
  “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
    “Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs 9:13-18
Folly is an unruly woman;
    she is simple and knows nothing.
She sits at the door of her house,
    on a seat at the highest point of the city,
calling out to those who pass by,
    who go straight on their way,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
    “Stolen water is sweet;
    food eaten in secret is delicious!”
But little do they know that the dead are there,
    that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

By accepting Wisdom's invite, you accept God and his life road to wisdom, you accept the call of God in your life. By accepting Folly's invite, you accept the world and all its ways. Which invite will you accept today? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Day 1731 Claiming Control Back

Proverbs 8:1
Does not wisdom call out? 
Does not understanding raise her voice? 

Day 1731: If you ever wondered if cell phone, computers divide family and relationships then all you need to do is be a fly on the wall at our house. Reily is the baby of the family, thirteen years old, and the personality change is drastic.

Reily is my outgoing child, she sprinkles joy everywhere, the light on a dark day because that is just what she brings everywhere she goes. Lately, the only light we have seen is the one illuminating her beautiful face as she looks down and that is if she is actually out of her room. This kid is talented, has an incredible mind that thinks on a whole other level, her heart is one of the biggest hearts I've ever known so you can see it is frightening to see such a change.

The move has been an extremely difficult transition for Reily and I've slacked on cell phone restriction time so she can maintain her friendships back in Georgia. I made a mistake because it actually created a cell phone addiction, one she did not have before we moved.

This morning was the moment it all came to a head. It was the usual running late before school and I made a comment about the time spent on a phone could be used to prepare for the next day so there is not so much rushing around in the morning. And then came the teenage eye-roll response, that was the trigger. That's it ... you are back on cell phone restriction and it's for good this time. 

Wow. You would have thought I just told her I kicked kittens and enjoyed it. She looked at me like I was a monster and was in shock I would even suggest such a thing. Then came the pleas, the tears, the excuses why she must have her phone. Well, this is quite the eyeopener for a parent. This is not my Reily. This was scary.

Proverbs 8:10-11
Choose my knowledge instead of silver, 
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

A friend recently posted on Facebook her struggles with cell phone / technology addictions with her children and once the addiction was removed the children return to their prior life of just being kids. I've been thinking about that as I mourn my Reily which I know still is in there somewhere. It was not lost on me God's perfect timing as he prepares and guides our paths. I now know what I have to do.

It will not be easy at first but persistence and patience is a necessary part of life and this will be no different.

  • Two hour limit after school cell phone use -- no budging on the time. And this is not just a you're grounded deal, it's a forever deal until you pay for your own phone plan. 
  • Reily must commit to using the extra time she will now have to better herself in some way. Perhaps she will join me in learning ASL ... after she is done being mad at me. 
  • Once a week a Bible Study together is going to be mandatory. Up to a couple of months ago, Reily had two nights a week of youth group where she learned God's Word in great depth and asked great questions. I can tell how she misses that and you can definitely tell a difference in life by removing just an hour of God out of your weekly schedule. Until God opens that door for another youth group, Reily will begin hers right now with me. It will polish up my lesson planning skills; remember God always has perfect timing as he prepares and guides our paths. 
To conclude God's perfect timing preparing us, how incredible is he for placing me on this walk through Proverbs the exact time I need this wisdom? Remember, January 4th (link below), I started this Proverbs journey because it felt led by God to do at that time. Today I needed these words which lines up perfectly to what I was suppose to write about today anyway:

Proverbs 8:32-36
“Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
 Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
 For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.
But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.”

It's not only time to find ourselves again and claim ourselves, our children and families back from addiction, it is time to find God and make time for him in our lives.

[The beginning of the Proverbs journey: ]

Monday, January 14, 2019

Day 1730 Dangerous Sin Seduction

Day 1730: Proverbs doesn't play around when it brings up adultery. This book covers it in depth with grave warning. I am going to share a couple of passages from chapter 6 and 7 today. It illustrates the seducing lure of a married woman calling another man to her bed.

For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
    but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
Can a man scoop fire into his lap
    without his clothes being burned?
Can a man walk on hot coals
    without his feet being scorched?
So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
    no one who touches her will go unpunished.
Proverbs 6:26-29

 I have covered my bed
    with colored linens from Egypt.
I have perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.
Proverbs 7:16-20

With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.
All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.
Proverbs 7:21-23 

For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
    and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will not accept any compensation;
    he will refuse a bribe, however great it is.
Proverbs 6:34-35 

Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.
Proverbs 7:24-27

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Day 1729 What God Hates

Day 1729: Let's take a look today at what God hates, there are seven things we are going to look at. This is a time to reflect if any of these apply to how you are living your life today.

Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:

1. Haughty eyes.
Haughty means prideful, arrogant. Pride is a major downfall for man and it dates way back as we read about life stories in God's Word. There is no reason for anyone to be prideful, no room for bragging because God had already planned it. In truth, if God didn't allow it or it wasn't in his will to begin with you wouldn't have anything to be prideful over. Example: A prince is born in lineage of kingship because it was God's plan. A talent was given to you to be used because it was God's plan. So make sure you are not taking credit for something you shouldn't and give credit where it is due --> God.

2. A lying tongue.
This is a no-brainer. Don't lie, it always comes around to bite you and it will cause so much grief and struggle in your life. Ultimately, you'll kneel before God one day and any lies you have will be unveiled, just don't do that to yourself. Be you, be honest. Yesterday I had a sick day and I stayed on the couch all day long. I watched a Live P.D. marathon on T.V. and as I watched these people interact with the police officers I noted how each one that lied ended up going in the back of the patrol car. Most of the people that were open, honest with the officers went away on a warning or a ticket depending on what the crime was. Honesty is important and works in our society today, it also is important to God.

3. Hands that shed innocent blood.
God gives man free will to make their own choices. That is why there are killings, hate crimes, evil temptation chosen over God's Word ... man chooses it. If you choose to shed innocent blood be prepared for the consequences.

4. A heart that devises wicked schemes.
Here is something to keep in mind, God is going to be judging your heart and not your deeds. It doesn't matter how good you are and how much good things you do, it is what is in your heart that will be judged. Make sure it is pure and removed from wicked schemes, hatred, envy, greed, etc.

5. Feet that are quick to rush into evil.
This one is self-explanatory, stay away from trouble and watch where you're walking. Stay on the path of faith and don't run toward temptations.

6. A false witness who pours out lies.
You know how serious our court system takes a false testimony? The person who lies on stand will be prosecuted and usually ends up spending time in jail. A false witness is a serious crime to God so watch yourself and make sure you are walking the talk and remember God truly knows your heart so don't even try hiding it.

7. A person who stirs up conflict in the community.
People who are intentional troublemakers ... God has an eye on that. These people are stoking the fires all over the place, even in churches. Focus on being a peacemaker over stirring conflict.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Day 1728 Warning Against Folly

Day 1728: Proverbs 6 is a warning against our own foolishness. Have you ever found yourself in a predicament that you just walked right into? Maybe you even knew better but you did it anyway. " ... you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth." Sound familiar?

The message Proverbs 6 says is get up and work hard to get yourself out of it. "Free yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler." In other words, don't just sit around, act as if your own life depended on it.

Proverbs 6:6-8 gives an example comparison of an ant: "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest."

Be cautious where your feet walk and what you bind yourself to with your words. Laziness is a sin and will get your no where in life. If you want to make a difference and be the difference than you have to get up. Don't fall dependent upon others and become in debt -- work hard and do not eat the bread of idleness.

Maybe your words gave promise to payment being a third party and you put trust into a person that fails you, their laziness is your out-of-pocket payment. I know there is need that requires co-signers but there are many reasons to be leery because you ultimately are putting trust in a person.

If that signer doesn't pay, you are still stuck with interest and in a snare. Let's face it, America has a debt problem and it grows daily. Looking at this Scripture from a financial standpoint, the best advice you can take from it is if you don't have it, don't spend it or loan it. Work hard for what you have and know if laziness creeps in what you have will be lost. "...poverty will come on you like a thief."

Whether you got yourself into a mess or stepped into it with good intentions helping someone else ... work hard and consistently to get out of it. Laziness is going to just make matters worse if you are not proactive.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Day 1727 Warning Against Adultery

"The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast."

Day 1727: Proverbs 5 is a warning against adultery. This year I will be married for twenty-two years and trust me, marriage takes a lot of work. Living with someone that long in a partnership has its downs but most definitely has its ups as well. Temptation of wondering if the grass is truly greener on the other side is a real battle in marriages especially when there is frustration at home.

It is easy to be lured into temptation of someone that is easy on the eyes and seem to have it all. And easier when your home life is rocky and there are many times in marriage the road requires a major off-road vehicle because it's so rocky. My husband and I have been through many marital challenges:

  • I was married at the age of 18, I do not think my husband was ready for a strong-willed stubborn wife that refused to back down. You can say we didn't date very long before we got married (6 weeks). The early years of marriage was emotional for both of us since we both still had some growing up to do. We made it through that.
  • Picking up your life and moving states is a hard thing, moving family is insane hard. We moved states a total of four times: Mississippi to Louisiana, Louisiana to Tennessee, Tennessee to Georgia and Georgia back to Tennessee. We made it through those moves though the last move was the most difficult because we left a lot of our heart back in Georgia. That was incredibly hard on our marriage also but somehow we made it through that move. 
  • Buying a home and remodeling a home. Trust me, if you ever want to test your marriage just try living in a remodel. I thought searching for and buying a home was stressful but that is a cake walk compared to remodeling a home. We moved into my husband's grandmother's farmhouse in Tennessee and you can say we had the book thrown at us on what could go wrong did go wrong. From contractor nightmares to broken pipes to dumpsters upon dumpsters of trash and debris removal and brown recluses ... did I mention we are still living in that remodel? I lost count on the number of times I either wanted to curl up in the fetal position and cry or just walk out the door because this is too hard. I really shake my head in awe as I can now see how God worked through that one and we made it through it. 
  • Part of marriage is financials. We have had our financial struggles and boy does that ever put a strain on a marriage. Raising kids and finding that balance on agreement how to raise your children. Near death experience, death of friends and family, career long hours and constant work demands. Clash of personalities; I love outdoor hiking and just being in nature, my husband's idea of outside fun is sitting in a baseball park. (Actually, every single one of them which is a vacation he would like to take. My idea of a vacation is beach sunsets.) I'm a person that demands space and alone time, my husband doesn't have that demand. I am an OCD neat freak and he is not. I'm an early bed, early riser and my husband is a night owl. We are Paula Abdul's song, Opposite's Attract. 
They even have a t-shirt for this! 

"For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword." 

You can see our marriage has had several chapters of the book of marital challenges thrown at us and we are about to begin another one when we begin building a house. Somehow we still made it through all that over the years and I will give a lot of credit to God, he will see us through the next obstacle. The temptation of that grass is greener on the other side is a strong pull in a marriage when there is struggles going on. What you don't see is the "crap" thrown down on the other side to make it look so appealing. That's what I like about Proverbs 5, it warns you of the temptation, reminds you to mind your own affairs, be happy with your spouse and an insert reminder of God is always watching. 

Divorce is on a rise because giving up is easy. I have wanted to give up myself a few times but perhaps the stubbornness of both myself and my husband it never happened. Marriage is a lot of work and there is going to be trials thrown at you in the marriage; you will fail but how you pick yourself up and keep trying is what determines a marriage. I understand some marriages are just not going to be fixed and there are good reasons they end in divorce -- this is not directed toward you at all. This is for those marriages that are in the midst of a trial and they both want to throw their hands up and quit. This is for the husband or wife that is being tempted by the thought someone else could make them happy, that is exactly what the enemy wants. 

"Keep a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
lest you lose you honor to others
and your dignity to the one who is cruel,
lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich the house of another." 

If you think marriage is suppose to be perfect you are living with your head in the sand. Marriage is work, a partnership of two people that may not always see eye to eye and you still have to live with that person. Communication and honesty is key in a marriage and that is a hard wall to get over -- trust me, I know. 

Here is the thing, you can't give up. There is a secret to building a strong marriage that will withstand insane trials thrown your way and it is what you build your foundation on which is what holds it all together -- God. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." God is the glue that can hold most marriages together, I give him credit in my own marriage. 

Marriage is work but it is great. You have your life mate to count on when times are hard, in sickness, in moments where life is great and there are memories of joy and laughter created; you have your person in your corner always and it's good to know someone has your back. No one else in the world will know you better and the longer you are together the more in tuned you become knowing what the other needs. Marriage is selfless because you actually want to go out of your way to make your spouse happy and they do the same. Marriage is love, laughter, growing old together and a smile across the room is a secret language no one else can interpret. Your spouse sees you at your best and sees you at your worse yet still stays. Marriage is a bond between two very best friends. 

"Drink water from your own cistern, 
running water from your own well. "

So if you're engaged, young in marriage, new in marriage, seasoned in marriage -- work at it and mind your own so you don't have time to envy or desire the other side. Focus on the joys of your marriage and what makes you happy about your spouse and how you can return the favor making them happy. 

Adultery is only one reason to leave, a marriage has a thousand reasons to stay. Listen to wisdom and don't be a fool. 

"For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths."