Category Archives: discipline

Resolving Resolutions (10:8)

While going through and organizing things on the site to make it easier for all to find thoughts, Anthony noticed we may have missed a verse!

The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall. -Proverbs 10:8, KJV

If you have been reading our site for any extended amount of time, you know that I greatly enjoy digging into the deeper truths and how Christ can be found in each verse.

Today, however, I will not be focusing on how the wise find Christ in the Bible while others claim other wisdom or how foolish this idea is. (There it is!)

Instead, this is going out on New Year’s Eve, and this verse is applicable today.

How many of us say each year “I am resolving to do this or that thing”? How many of us, year after year of promises, find ourselves failing mere weeks or even days into the new year?

This is not to say that making resolutions is necessarily bad. (Some people actually follow through on their resolutions!)

Rather, instead of constantly saying (prating on, if you will, like a resounding gong) how such and such will be done in the future, the wise look to the Bible and the Church to find how to change their lives, seek God’s help to make changes, and rely on His people to be held accountable through encouragement. (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 10:23-25)


T-i-i-i-m-b-e-r-r-r!

autumn-2726242_1920Bob’s been trying to get in touch with our tree service guy to come out and take a look at a particular sugar maple in our back yard.  It’s been trimmed back more than once, and even had one major branch amputated and sealed years ago.  This summer there has been a nest of (I believe) woodpeckers in a hole on the main trunk; it’s very cool to watch the little avian family, but probably doesn’t bode too well for the tree.

The concern is, regardless of how pretty the maple is on the outside, (and I do love them, especially in the autumn), this one is close enough to the family room roof that toppling over could do some serious damage, and not just to the woodpeckers’ cozy little abode! Continue reading


Being Fruitful and Ready

Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. -Proverbs 27:18, KJV

I could not help but think of Jesus’ parables here.

First was the fig tree He cursed in Matthew 21, which is a reminder to us that our Lord is coming and expects to find fruit of repentance and love in our lives.

Then are the parables of the virgins and the talents in Matthew 25, which are reminders to stay ready for His return and use the fruit He has planted in us, to not be lazy or unprepared. He has given his expectations and commands, and we are to be doing those things (read Matthew 28:18-20 for our shared mission).

Finally, Jesus finished chapter 25 talking of those servants who follow His will: those who care for the Masters house and other servants. If we think He is not coming soon and begin mistreating each other, it will show we are not His true servants and deserve the same punishment as those who were never a part of His household.

May we be found faithful and ready when our Lord returns!


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)


When to Answer the Fool

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit. -Proverbs 26:5, KJV

This is a fairly easy verse to understand: tell someone when they are doing something wrong, otherwise they may think they have it all figured out and are doing nothing wrong.

I could stop there, but perhaps some examples could help.

Children need to be told what is right and wrong, or they grow up thinking everything they do is okay and even good, if they survive! (My parents told me not to run I to the street, for example.)

A gossip will continue spreading lies and mistruths unless they are confronted and corrected.

Most importantly, people are on their way to Hell, thinking they are okay or even right in their beliefs, unless the Gospel is shared with them.

There are times to know when to stop and “shake the dust off your feet,” as mentioned in the previous verse or by Jesus Himself (Matthew 10, Luke 9, Mark 6). That is for another post!


Your Christian Duty

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. -Proverbs 25:2, KJV

We are wise to remember that Jesus is the Son of God, and therefore He is God.

Jesus spoke in parables so that those who are willing to listen and see can find the truth, but those who are unwilling to listen and see the truth will ignore and even hate truth. (Matthew 13:10-17)

We are co-heirs with Christ, our King. (Romans 8:17) We are called priests – servants of God – but even a royal priesthood. (1 Peter 2)

As Audio Adrenaline put it, “boys become kings, girls will be queens,” so we are tasked with the honor of searching out the truths of God as revealed through Scripture.

Do not neglect your royal priestly duties as a Christian. Study the Word of God for yourself. Rely on those saints on whom we have the labors of faithful study that divulge the deep truths of the Bible. Go to church and be fed by your local shepherd and brothers and sisters in Christ.

Do not merely say a prayer and attend a church. Make your Christianity your own, and seek Christ with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

And then love your neighbor by sharing that truth. (Matthew 28:18-20)


Thank you, Duolingo

international-2684767_1920I’m learning Swedish.  Slowly.  I have a working vocabulary of, I dunno, 70 words?  Our second granddaughter is 50% Swedish (our son-in-law is 100%), and they live about an hour outside of Stockholm. 

Now, when my son-in-law heard of my little project, he informed me that only 10 million people on the globe speak his language, as compared with the 1.5 billion that speak some form of English, his point being that it wasn’t necessarily practical to learn his native tongue.

Since when does a grandmother need to be practical?? Continue reading


No Excuse for Fainting

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. – Proverbs 24:10

Believe me, this verse hurts my feelings about as much as it does some of yours. And it doesn’t matter what translation you use, the painful truth of this proverb is the same: If you faint or fail when times get tough, you’re too weak.

Weak? Who does Solomon think he is? Frankly, that’s pretty insulting, don’t you think?

Who is Solomon to judge me? How does he know what I’ve been through? Yes, I’ve failed, faltered, and fainted in my time, but I had good reason! When the pressure increased, it was too much. When it got tough, well, I wasn’t prepared.

So I gave up, you know?

You’ve been there, haven’t you? You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

It is sort of like Solomon is nothing more than some drill instructor who doesn’t understand what life is like for us. Sure, it’s easy for him to say we’re too soft or weak, but what kind of pressure has he had to face, right?

What kind of “wisdom” says to someone, “Hey, I see that you caved…you must be a weakling”?

Where’s the compassion? Where’s the understanding? What about our emotions?

Who writes this kind of stuff, anyway??

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. … But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. – Isaiah 40:29, 31

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Here’s the thing: There’s no excuse for fainting or failing under the pressure or adversity when we have access to strength, armor, and grace from God. Frankly, it comes down to a choice.

But let’s be honest, sometimes we are a little wimpy. Some of us just look for excuses to quit when things don’t go our way. We’re not tough, strong, and determined; we’re weak.

Maybe we should copy this proverb and post where we can see the next time we feel like giving up.

Truth hurts.

 


Politically-Incorect Advice

Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. – Proverbs 23:13-14

As of this writing, Rahm Emanuel, the soon-to-be-ex Mayor of Chicago and someone with whom I have rarely agreed, is in trouble for saying what needed to be said in the wake of unabated violence, including hundreds of murders:

“This may not be politically correct,” he said, “but I know the power of what faith and family can do. … Our kids need that structure. … I am asking … that we also don’t shy away from a full discussion about the importance of family and faith helping to develop and nurture character, self-respect, a value system and a moral compass that allows kids to know good from bad and right from wrong.”

He added: “If we’re going to solve this … we’ve got to have a real discussion. … Parts of the conversation cannot be off-limits because it’s not politically comfortable. … We are going to discuss issues that have been taboo in years past because they are part of the solution. … We also have a responsibility to help nurture character. It plays a role. Our kids need that moral structure in their lives. And we cannot be scared to have this conversation.” (source: FoxNews.com)

What was so wrong with he said? Oh, I know! It gave the impression that the actions of parents have a lasting effect on children, and children grow up. It took the responsibility off of the government and placed it back on the parents. It didn’t lay all the blame for violence on poverty but suggested that the decay in the family, faith, and morality is at the root of what’s wrong.

In response to the Mayor’s suggestions, a former president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, Shari Runner, refused to accept any responsibility on behalf of families. She said, “I cannot see the victims of racist policies and bigoted practices shamed by anyone who says they need to do better or be better in their circumstances. I won’t accept it!”

Well, somebody needs to accept the blame. Who is responsible for rearing one’s children? Who is responsible for applying the rod of discipline to the seat of instruction? Not the government, that’s for sure! And, I’m sorry, folks, but racist policies and bigoted practices are no excuse for immorality, having children out of wedlock, and men with 16 baby mommas.

Folks, the stats don’t lie: “Children from broken homes [are] nine times more likely to commit crimes.” (source: The Telegraph UK)

And when it comes to Proverbs 23:13-14, we need to understand that a lot of grown men and women are on their way to hell and taking others with them all because of delinquent parenting.

It may be politically incorrect, but I’m not running for office – I’m telling you the truth…and so is Rahm Emanuel.


Beware: Fierce lions in my yard

cat-2536662_1920“A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing.  One that sounds good, and a real one.”

That’s from the practical wisdom of J.P. Morgan, one of most influential bankers of the early 20th century. 

Of course, then there are those who are a bit more honest about their motivation, like Phyllis Diller:

“Housework can’t kill you, but why take a chance?”

On the one hand:

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
    The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

On the other hand:

The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
    If I go outside, I might be killed!”

Why is one cautious person congratulated for being prudent while the other is vilified as a three-toed sloth?

It really all has to do with motive. 

The prudent (wise, forward-thinking) one “foresees”, meaning he’s diligently done his research and understands the probabilities (are lions endemic to this area?), and based on those probabilities, he may take his gun out with him and search the area before proceeding. 

The lazy person, by contrast, stays on the coach and opens another beer…because that’s what he really prefers to do.  Making excuses for his decision assuages his own conscience, regardless of how ridiculous those excuses seem.

In fact, humans are probably the only part of God’s creation who uses the art of rationalization, that finely tuned skill of making excuses, even deluding ourselves into thinking those excuses are true.  

Here’s interesting application: “I don’t read the Bible because I don’t understand it.”

I’m glad medical students don’t adhere to that philosophy: “I don’t read my A&P text because I don’t understand it.”  A student—a real one, that is—does something about their lack of understanding. 

And for my sake, I’m glad they do!

Proverbs 22:3,13  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.