Category Archives: conversation/speech

Playing dress up

wolf-2920469_1920There have a few times connected with my job as a school nurse in which I’ve had the pleasure to don a costume in skits for the lower elementary.  Several years in a row I was the Big Bad Wolf for the Great American Smokeout (smoking prevention), and once a friend of mine was the Grape Ape while I hid behind a homemade stage as the puppeteer, (for what I don’t exactly remember…)

And you thought school nurses just sat around putting on bandaids!!

One thing I noticed about being “incognito” is the emotional freedom to act out of character.  Regardless of how hot or uncomfortable the suits were, I had so much fun, which probably makes it more enjoyable for the kids. Continue reading

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More Boldness Needed

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. – Proverbs 28:1

One of the most impressive scenes in the New Testament is found in the second chapter of Acts, beginning with verse 14. There we see Peter and the others – but mainly Peter – boldly standing in front of the very crowd that had previously crucified Jesus saying:

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” – Acts 2:36 CSB

If that wasn’t boldness, I don’t know what is!

Think about it! At a time when the Church was barely more than 200 strong (yes, just 200), and not long after they were hiding out in fear, the disciples of Jesus were now throwing caution to the wind as they openly declared Jesus to be the risen Lord.

Nowadays we have multiple millions who claim the name of Christ, many of them with no fear of ever getting a slap on the wrist for expressing their faith – if and when they ever decided to show it. Yet, when the ENTIRE WORLD was in a position to obliterate all the followers of “the Way” in one strike, they came out with a message that was anything but “seeker-friendly” or Joel Osteen-ish.

They essentially said, “You did it. You were wrong. He lives. Repent.”

Where are Christians like that, today? What would happen … if only 200 did what they did … a hundred thousand followers of Christ would stand boldly in the public square and tell the truth about sin and salvation?

Powerless, lukewarm, sin-flirting, self-centered kittens may find it easy to endure the needles that inject woke platitudes and creatively-vague Christian symbols under their skin, but they cower in the dark rooms of expediency and tolerance flee from the fiery darts of the Enemy.

The righteous, on the other hand, stand boldly in the power of the Holy Ghost, raise their shields of faith, and unsheathe a Weapon that “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV).

We need more boldness! More lions…fewer kittens.


Pass the Java

coffee-839233_1920I’m a morning person.  Case in point, as I sit to write this, it is almost 7:45AM and I’ve already been up for an hour and half.

And it’s Saturday.

Almost six decades ago, my parents named me Dawn.  Dad said it had to do with the time of day I decided to make my debut, but I wonder if God was also implanting a personality trait.

Or defect, depending on your internal clock.

I LOVE mornings!  I love to watch the sunrise, to be woken up by the song birds.  Staying in bed is like putting sugar in iced tea—a perfect waste of a good thing (with apology to my southern neighbors.)  I’m recently retired, so every day is Saturday (except Sunday), and if I see the clock at 7, I’ve overslept!

When I was working, however, I realized I needed to be a bit more toned down when entering the office, which was usually just after 7AM.  I had already been up over two hours, but my comrades may have only been up thirty minutes with no coffee yet, poor things. 

None of my three progeny are morning people, and I have been informed by one of them that I am too loud when I enter a room.  Thus, I have tried to learn to be more sensitive to my morning-challenged friends.

Evidently, mine is not a recent phenomenon:

A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning
    will be taken as a curse!

I guess Solomon needed his morning coffee as well.

This verse actually brings us to a somewhat larger issue, however, that of an overall sensitivity to circumstance in general, and personality differences in particular.  One thing I have found most informative about some of the personality tests out there has been not only the ability to recognize different personality traits in people, but more importantly how to better communicate within that person’s specific style.

In other words, how can I make my communication more effective?  Paul may have had this in mind also:

Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.  I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

Spreading the Good News—that’s ultimately why I’m here. 

Which means I can at least be patient while someone drinks his first cuppa-joe. 

Proverbs 27:14; 1 Corinthians 9:22,23 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Lazy Arguments

The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. -Proverbs 26:16, KJV

While I work on projects during the day, I like to listen to podcasts or YouTube videos.

Recently, I saw two videos in a row showing people outside of abortion clinics, and in both the pro-life groups were confronted by a single person each time who had to tell them why they were “wrong for being anti-abortion.”

The difference between the two pro-abortion advocated and the two groups of pro-life advocates was striking.

(Quick disclaimer: this is not calling all who are pro-abortion are sluggards or unthinking, nor all who are pro-life as loving or logical in discourse. Lazy argumentation can go both ways!)

In both instances, the individuals were so convinced that they were right that they never responded to the pro-life arguments, merely falling back on emotional appeals and ad hominem (basically, personal) attacks. There was no logic nor appeals to evidence, and their opponents were evil and uncaring.

Conversely, the two groups remained respectful, grace-filled, and logical.

The whole point here is that it is lazy to only appeal to emotions and unverified facts. It is lazy to attack the person instead reasoning through facts and logical arguments.

Whether or not you support abortion, this is how all people (Christians in particular) should interact with others. It is a biblical expectation. (Isaiah 43:26, 1 Peter 3:15)


The Balancing Act

animals-35972_1280I’m not an Aristotelian philosopher…thankfully. 

However, it doesn’t follow that the old guy didn’t have some decent ideas.  Here’s one of most famous (i.e., it must be since even I’m aware of it):

“Virtue is in finding the mean.”

In other words—balance.  Since I need things in fairly simple terms, I’m thinking of one of the mainstays of children’s playground equipment, the teeter-totter, (a.k.a., the see-saw).  I believe one of the basic properties of physics (which I never took in high school) has to do with the placement of the fulcrum, or centerpiece for the plank on top—it must be in the center, or someone will have an unfair advantage at play. 

A bully, for example, who wants to keep his poor playmate suspended helplessly in mid-air. Continue reading


Trying Not To Be Fools With His Words

Many readers of Proverbial Thought may enjoy the thoughts we share each day.

Maybe you do not understand some our thought process.

I for one do enjoy writing out these devotional thoughts for others to enjoy, but it weighs heavy on my heart.

For starters, read Proverbs 26. It will only take a few minutes. What really strikes me is the number of verses about the wastefulness, follies, and even dangers of fools speaking proverbs.

We are basically putting it put there that we are responsible for affecting the way people think!

In fact, when I was a new believer of Jesus Christ, I knew I should “do my part” and read at least something in the Bible. I chose James, for “not being too long and possibly boring me, nor too short and making me look lazy.”

Ouch. This was the first thing that stood out to me (in my NIV Bible at the time):

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James 3:1

I understood that to teach others means I would be scrutinized myself, both by other people and by God.

That terrified little 16-year-old me! (Even at six feet tall at that time …)

Honestly, it should be intimidating to all of us.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

God has an expectation. If you teach others about the Word of God – which all believers should in some way – you are expected to know what it says and how to explain it adequately.

This is the struggle we deal with every day for Proverbial Thought, and for many of us, who are pastors and ministry leaders, as a daily concern.

Therefore, we write to help others (you, dear reader!) to be better equipped to share your faith, even if mostly about the Proverbs.

If you are a follower of the Lord, you should be able to share the reason for your faith. Use any tool available to you to grow, starting with regular Bible study, researching what others have said, and meeting with fellow believers (by going to church, attending Bible studies, meeting together just to talk, and serving togwther).

Hopefully, we have played a role in your growth and not written foolishly.


Be an Earring? Yep.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear. -Proverbs 25:11‭-‬12, KJV

We must be willing to hear the truth.

If you are willing to hear that you are a sinner in need of a Savior, you can be saved. If you can hear that you have messed up and that there is hope for change, that becomes good news. (This is what verse 12 means.)

If you are struggling with something – whether a sin, a discomfort, a pain, or a problem – it can be difficult to listen.

A fitly spoken word is one that cuts through the pain and worry, it cuts through the distractions, and touches the humanity of the hearer. How many times have we been hurting, and that one person comes alongside, comforts us, and we feel safe to trust listen?

Now Apply It

There are many things wrong in our world today. They lead to pain, discomfort, and problems, and frequently they come from sin.

Now, who would you rather listen to:

  1. The person who attacks your intentions, character, and way of life, or
  2. The person who can connect with you, offer hope, and then points out your part?

Obviously, we would all listen to the second person more readily. Both point out the problem and the sin, but only one treats you with respect.

Which person are you?

Do you vilify those you disagree with or who cause problems, or do you seek to resolve things peacefully?

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18‭-‬19 KJV

We are to be peace-makers.

And remember, do not take attacks from others personally. Just like us, they need to be washed in Christ’s atoning blood and forgiveness. Show grace. They are hurting, too.

Let them see Christ. You are the gold earring they will see as they whisper in His ear. You are the gold necklace they find when resting on His shoulder.