Thursday, September 22, 2016

Proverbs for Fall: Proverbs 22

There's many wise sayings in today's Proverb. I'm especially drawn to the verses relating to work, ethics, and riches. 

Our media glorifies great riches, gained for any reason or purpose. I can't get over the amount of tv shows related to "wealthy" people and their lives. It seems you can find something regarding "rich and famous" folks at any time of day. No thank you!!

I've lived seasons of wealth and in poverty. 

We've received benevolence from our church (thank You Lord!) when we hit really tough times early in our marriage. The generosity of others helped carry us through those thin seasons, when we could not get the budget to work out on paper, yet every month the bills were paid (maybe late, but paid!). I have compassion for the poor because of the goodness God showed us through our brothers and sisters in Christ, displayed through our church.

Then there were seasons of abundance. Years that we squandered wealth (yes, even after living so frugal) and years that we gave generously to others. It's amazing how maturing in Christ can affect your priorities in financial giving, whether it's through a tithe to your church or an offering to missions or non-profit organization. 

I wish we had paid attention to the Proverbs more. There's such wisdom and insight to working, living, and giving within these verses.

Proverbs 22New Living Translation (NLT)

Choose a good reputation over great riches;
    being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
The rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord made them both.
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
True humility and fear of the Lord
    lead to riches, honor, and long life.
Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road;
    whoever values life will avoid it.
Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Just as the rich rule the poor,
    so the borrower is servant to the lender.
Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,
    and their reign of terror will come to an end.[a]
Blessed are those who are generous,
    because they feed the poor.
10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
    Quarrels and insults will disappear.
11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
    will have the king as a friend.
12 The Lord preserves those with knowledge,
    but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.
13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
    If I go outside, I might be killed!”
14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap;
    those who make the Lord angry will fall into it.
15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
    but physical discipline will drive it far away.
16 A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor
    or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

Sayings of the Wise

17 Listen to the words of the wise;
    apply your heart to my instruction.
18 For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart
    and always ready on your lips.
19 I am teaching you today—yes, you—
    so you will trust in the Lord.
20 I have written thirty sayings[b] for you,
    filled with advice and knowledge.
21 In this way, you may know the truth
    and take an accurate report to those who sent you.
22 Don’t rob the poor just because you can,
    or exploit the needy in court.
23 For the Lord is their defender.
    He will ruin anyone who ruins them.
24 Don’t befriend angry people
    or associate with hot-tempered people,
25 or you will learn to be like them
    and endanger your soul.
26 Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt
    or put up security for someone else.
27 If you can’t pay it,
    even your bed will be snatched from under you.
28 Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers
    set up by previous generations.
29 Do you see any truly competent workers?
    They will serve kings
    rather than working for ordinary people.

Bible text from

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

7 Affirmations of Faith Relating to God's Guidance, By Roy Lessin

I know, it's not a Proverb. Not one to be found in the whole post, but it's still worth while for today.

This is an old post from Roy Lessin, posted a year ago (9.20.2015). I realize that there are 8 things listed... :)  One extra for good measure!
We are all in need of God’s guidance in our lives—when to move forward, when to slow down, when to wait, when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” The most important thing in knowing God’s guidance is not about knowing a formula, but knowing God; not about hearing opinions, but hearing God’s voice; not about striving, but resting in God’s wise and wonderful will.
Here are 7 affirmations of faith relating to God’s guidance:
I don’t know the next step on the path, but I know the Guide (Psalm 32:8).
I don’t know the next chapter in the book of my life of faith, but I know the Author and Finisher. (Hebrews 12:2).
I don’t know the best decision to make, but I know the Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
I don’t know how the need will be met, but I know the Provider (Philippians 4:19).
I don’t know how I will get through, but I know the Way through (Isaiah 43:16)
I don’t know all the answers, but I know the Truth (John 16:13).
I don’t know how this will turn out, but I know the One who cannot fail and never makes a mistake. (Ephesians 1:11).
I know the One in whom I trust (2 Timothy 1:12).
- Roy Lessin

Monday, September 19, 2016

When the Kitchen Doesn't Fit Quite Right...

This kitchen. Of all the houses we've bought, this was the best one. The layout and organization worked great. It was SO big I didn't have to use the upper shelves on top cabinets so I could reach everything! (That's a HUGE time-saver!) There was space around the corner for display and storage, so pretties didn't clutter the countertops. It had a nice sized pantry too, so cleaning supplies were nearby.
But this house, as large as it was, didn't quite fit my life. Not the life God called us to live there. It was too big, and Mark worked long hours (weeks, months), so most of my days were spent alone. I had some great friendships from living around the corner a few years before, but the days were long and lonely and I never quite "belonged" here (they would have been my friends anywhere).
The house before was filled with college kids most weekends, and we had hoped this kitchen would be used often the same way, but we lived "across the river" from the universities here. The extra bedrooms never had college friends' parents or missionary families stay with us.
We used it a little with our family, but it was too big for all the tinies we had, and we had to put gates up on the stairway to restrict where they went and help keep them safe. Life there was a constant game of hide-and-seek when they were over, for all the closets and cubbies.
But it had the most amazing, perfect kitchen, that rarely got used for its full capability.

I think we can be like that too. God gifts us with talents, fills us with His Holy Spirit and helps us dream dreams; we are this finely equipped kitchen, in a big beautiful house! Then we don't use those gifts. We hide them away, or are afraid to push beyond our comfort zone, or are maybe a little lazy and afraid of being hurt - because we've been hurt before.
I often find that I'm doing "good things" for God, but it's still not finding the BIG thing He desires me to do... I'm staying busy in kingdom work and it's not bad... it's just not the fullness of what He envisioned me to be doing. It's not what He CREATED me to do.
Maybe you too?
Perhaps you've dreamed a dream for a long time, and have sacrificed and struggled to see it happen, and it's going nowhere. Maybe you've been so busy with the "good" things you can't take the time to develop the skills to pursue the "best" dream God's given you.
I remember the night, barely a year after we'd moved in to this house, that Mark and I sat on the covered back patio, praying about why we lived in this big, underused house. The next morning (I kid you not!) a realtor called, asking us if we would consider showing (and listing and selling) the house. God was just waiting for us to ask. We were! Within a few days we were under contract, and in about a month we were moving to a smaller house, much closer to grandkids but farther from friends. It offered a whole new set of blessings and lessons, but we walked with God through it all.
It wouldn't of happened if we didn't take time to ask God or taken time to listen. If we had pretended that life was as big and grand as that house looked from the outside. If we settled for content and didn't push for happy, in the fullness of life He had for us. If we didn't take a risk.
It meant a LOT of work, and at that time it was our 3rd move in 3 years (and the 4th in 5 years), so we understood what kind of work was before us! Making that move gave us a year of fun memories with our family before we moved again (yep, it's true!) because of a job change we had to make. It moved us away from family, friends, and church, but God was in the middle of it, and He sold our house again within 30 days and moved us to Arkansas (here!). It was hard and scary and I was exhausted and may of had a little break-down in the end, but I was never alone. I'm still not alone. I haven't found the fullness of life here, but life is good. God is at work, and at work in me, and I keep asking Him what's next for me and my little kitchen here in the woods, that feels like it fits just right for this season of life.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Proverbs for Fall: Proverbs 17

Happy Saturday!
Are you still reading a Proverb a Day? I am! Sadly, there's not enough time in my days to write all I think about I end up writing nothing!
I hope that doesn't deter you from reading them! I'd rather read God's word than write about it, and I would rather you read God's word over my words!
That being said, here's the post to today's Proverb from BibleGateway, one of my go-to places to read online (because I can't link to my bible)...
Enjoy your day, and Sabbath well!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Proverbs for Fall: Proverbs 12

I thought to write about generosity; it's been a common topic around here and it's always a favorite topic of mine, as it goes hand in hand with the thought of missions and sending and supporting here, near, and far away.

HA! I guess I DID just write about it... but it's not my main point.

My heart (again) is pulled towards being a good neighbor. It's a common topic in these Proverbs, and so I think it must have ALWAYS been important in society.

I'm always curious how new neighbors respond to us moving into the neighborhood.

Sometimes they don't say a thing! In one neighborhood, it took nearly 8 months before they introduced themselves! They had little to say about the neighborhood or life in that city, and we pretty much only spoke with them a few times in the year we lived there, even though our driveways were next to each other and their kids played on the basketball goal often at the same time my grandkids did ours. It was awkward!

Another time one of the neighbors came out and told me who was who on our whole street... who was married/divorced/single, who had kids, what everyone did for a living. It was ok to get a mini rundown, but she got pretty personal, and it turned out to be pretty much a lot of gossip. It made it hard to meet these people for myself, and get to meet them on my own, having her pre-determined descriptions sitting in the back of my head.

Thankfully, it was one of the most friendly neighborhoods ever, and it was easy to get over her notions.

Perhaps because I've been the new neighbor so much, I know the type of neighbor I hope others want to live next to. I don't want to be gossipy but want to give an honest complimentary description about the neighborhood. I want each of my neighbors to shine!

I love where we live now, and as we get to know our new neighbors, I hope I can do all of my neighbors justice. We don't have to all be best friends, but I pray we can be neighborly - in the best ways!!

Proverbs 11 (NLT)

1 The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales,
    but he delights in accurate weights.
2 Pride leads to disgrace,
    but with humility comes wisdom.
3 Honesty guides good people;
    dishonesty destroys treacherous people.
4 Riches won’t help on the day of judgment,
    but right living can save you from death.
5 The godly are directed by honesty;
    the wicked fall beneath their load of sin.
6 The godliness of good people rescues them;
    the ambition of treacherous people traps them.
7 When the wicked die, their hopes die with them,
    for they rely on their own feeble strength.
8 The godly are rescued from trouble,
    and it falls on the wicked instead.
9 With their words, the godless destroy their friends,
    but knowledge will rescue the righteous.
10 The whole city celebrates when the godly succeed;
    they shout for joy when the wicked die.
11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper,
    but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.
12 It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor;
    a sensible person keeps quiet.
13 A gossip goes around telling secrets,
    but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
14 Without wise leadership, a nation falls;
    there is safety in having many advisers.
15 There’s danger in putting up security for a stranger’s debt;
    it’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.
16 A gracious woman gains respect,
    but ruthless men gain only wealth.
17 Your kindness will reward you,
    but your cruelty will destroy you.
18 Evil people get rich for the moment,
    but the reward of the godly will last.
19 Godly people find life;
    evil people find death.
20 The Lord detests people with crooked hearts,
    but he delights in those with integrity.
21 Evil people will surely be punished,
    but the children of the godly will go free.
22 A beautiful woman who lacks discretion
    is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.
23 The godly can look forward to a reward,
    while the wicked can expect only judgment.
24 Give freely and become more wealthy;
    be stingy and lose everything.
25 The generous will prosper;
    those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
26 People curse those who hoard their grain,
    but they bless the one who sells in time of need.
27 If you search for good, you will find favor;
    but if you search for evil, it will find you!
28 Trust in your money and down you go!
    But the godly flourish like leaves in spring.
29 Those who bring trouble on their families inherit the wind.
    The fool will be a servant to the wise.
30 The seeds of good deeds become a tree of life;
    a wise person wins friends.
31 If the righteous are rewarded here on earth,
    what will happen to wicked sinners?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Proverbs for Fall: Proverbs 8

I'm not getting to write every day, or post every day, because life happens here too.

I am loving reading through a Proverbs every day though, and feel that if I have time to put the Proverb up, or write a post, I'll default to God's word every time. That's ok.

Tonight, these words stood out to me, how He is always there for me, wanting me to seek His wisdom...

Is there a verse that grabbed hold of you? Feel free to share it in the comments, or on my Facebook page... 

Proverbs 8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Wisdom Calls for a Hearing
1 Listen as Wisdom calls out!
Hear as understanding raises her voice!
2 On the hilltop along the road,
she takes her stand at the crossroads.
3 By the gates at the entrance to the town,
on the road leading in, she cries aloud,
4 “I call to you, to all of you!
I raise my voice to all people.
5 You simple people, use good judgment.
You foolish people, show some understanding.
6 Listen to me! For I have important things to tell you.
Everything I say is right,
7 for I speak the truth
and detest every kind of deception.
8 My advice is wholesome.
There is nothing devious or crooked in it.
9 My words are plain to anyone with understanding,
clear to those with knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.
12 “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13 All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
14 Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
15 Because of me, kings reign,
and rulers make just decrees.
16 Rulers lead with my help,
and nobles make righteous judgments.
17 “I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.
18 I have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
20 I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
21 Those who love me inherit wealth.
I will fill their treasuries.
22 “The Lord formed me from the beginning,
before he created anything else.
23 I was appointed in ages past,
at the very first, before the earth began.
24 I was born before the oceans were created,
before the springs bubbled forth their waters.
25 Before the mountains were formed,
before the hills, I was born—
26 before he had made the earth and fields
and the first handfuls of soil.
27 I was there when he established the heavens,
when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
28 I was there when he set the clouds above,
when he established springs deep in the earth.
29 I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
30 I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
rejoicing always in his presence.
31 And how happy I was with the world he created;
how I rejoiced with the human family!
32 “And so, my children, listen to me,
for all who follow my ways are joyful.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise.
Don’t ignore it.
34 Joyful are those who listen to me,
watching for me daily at my gates,
waiting for me outside my home!
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and receives favor from the Lord.
36 But those who miss me injure themselves.
All who hate me love death.”

Romans 12, Parts 2 and 3: Balanced and Beautiful in Christ

The new posts that I wrote for Balanced and Beautiful in Christ are now live on their Facebook page, and here on my new blog site (subscrib...