An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Objective Rights

(Pro 31:8 KJV) Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

Again we see “rights” (1779) in the NASB.  The KJV translates it “cause”.  What rights do these people have.  We think of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  What did Proverbs include?  Actually this is a cultural translation.  The concept of rights as we think of them today were totally alien to the ancient world.  We tend to think of them as special protected activities or attitudes.  We think of speech, religion and assembly.  The word actually means “justice”. 

Justice is something that we are always supposed to stand up for but keep in mind that this is not the special privilege justice of modern politics.  This is a justice that is the same for rich or poor.  It is a justice based in the unchanging character of God and His concept of right and wrong.  It is a standard that is rejected by our modern culture.

So?  Again we see that we are to be different.  We are to follow the straight and narrow path and expect it of others too. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Poor Is Not Financial

(Pro 30:14 KJV)  There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.

It bears repeating, there are bullies in the world and bullies tend to focus on the weak.  It is a mantra of gangsta types to depart with a courageous, “You better watch your back.”  The implication that they seem to miss is that they are too cowardly to face you in a fair confrontation.  This verse comes at the end of a description of this kind of person.  Notice that they go after the “afflicted” (6041).  The KJV has “poor” but you need to understand this is not the poor person who has his act together.  They are even more selective than that.  They go after the poor who are weak. 

It might help us to remember when we are concerned about the poor that their biggest problem is not lack of money but a lack of a strong core.  A person without money but with strong character will make it and eventually thrive.  Give a person who feels they are a victim a big check and they will still be afflicted.

So?  First, recognize the bully when you see him.  Second, help people by working toward what they need to stand tall not what will make them dependent. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Useful Sight

(Pro 29:20 KJV) Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

It is much easier for us to “see” (2372) someone else making a fool of themselves than it is for us to realize that we are even more guilty.  Maybe you have never had this moment of epiphany.  I know I have.  I am mentally judging someone else for something they are doing.  I may have verbalized it or not, but the mental attitude is formed and ready.  Suddenly the Holy Spirit will bring to mind something that I have done just as wrong.  It is humbling to say the least.

We can learn from others.  Sometimes the lesson is formal.  More often we can learn just from observation.

So?  Keep your mind in gear.  I find it useful to check my own behavior when someone irritates me.  It doesn’t do away with the irritation but sometimes my need to improve gets my mind off their foolishness. 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Automatic Resistance

(Pro 28:4 KJV) They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

In this verse we are told to “contend” (strive NASB) (1624) with evil.  Jesus seems to be saying something different,
(Mat 5:39 KJV) But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
A couple of observations.  First, Jesus is talking about our personal response when someone takes advantage of us.  Solomon is talking about society as a whole.  I am not allowed the pleasure of lashing out at someone who has insulted me, I am to turn the other cheek.  At the same time I am to support people who believe in law and order and are willing to punish evil.

Second, The conflict with evil comes as an automatic result of following the law of God.  Thus when we say that homosexual acts are sinful we are attacked by our current culture.  We do not back down.  That puts us in conflict.  We have no other choice.  We don’t struggle because we are aggressive against them but because we are obedient to the will of God. 

How do we apply this in a nation that is trying to keep government and churches separate?  Here is where the use of the word “law” gives us a pointer.  The moral laws of God are usually agreed on by people of other religions.  The ceremonial laws apply only to Israel.  There is a lot of space for agreement here.

So?  We have our path laid out for us.  We are to follow it.  In some ways we will have great peace and security.  In other ways we will run counter to the culture we live in.  Resist and obey. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

Be Neighborly

(Pro 27:10 KJV) Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

What does it take to qualify as a “calamity” (343)?  The term can be somewhat relative.  What is the end of the world for one person might be a minor inconvenience to someone else.  I remember on our wedding day my wife was horrified at the color of the trim on my shirt.  Since I am mildly color blind I never did understand what the issue was.  Raising property taxes is off the radar for someone who owns no property even though it will eventually raise their rent.

One of the concepts here is national calamity.  The call here is to work together with those nearby.

So?  Build bridges with those around you and be ready to offer help when you are called on. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Fools Watch

(Pro 26:8 KJV) As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool.

How do we “honor” (3519b) “fools” (3684)?  The concept has many variations and among them are to enrich and to enhance a reputation.  We do both in many ways that we don’t think about.  On the internet when you click on links and go to web sites you become a cipher in the algorithms that determine popularity.  If there is advertising on the site then that increases the revenues.  It moves them up in the results of searches.  Even when you visit just to see what kind of nonsense they are espousing, you benefit them.

It would be easy to get consumed with trying to avoid this kind of thing but there are limits to what is healthy for us.  We do need to be aware.  We need to avoid as much as possible the actions and words that would give any kind of glory to the fools of the world.

So?  Be thoughtful and watch your priorities. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Truth Will Endure

(Pro 25:8 KJV) Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

This seems to be another theme that repeats itself in Proverbs.  We are not to be quick to argue a point.  This seems to refer to some kind of public forum.  It might be a court.  It could be in a class or club meeting.  I think the same advice would be good with some of the one-on-one discussions we have.

It goes along well with the advice to spend more time listening.  We may not know what we know.  There may be family get togethers you are at that need a little more patience and less aggression.

So?  Don’t be in such a hurry to win points.  The truth will still be there at the end of the day and might even look better tomorrow. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Prime the Pump

(Pro 24:3 KJV) Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:

America is in love with knowledge.  We think that having a college degree is important.  We look at advanced degrees as if they made a difference.  In the process we have thrown the baby out.  We have people with college degrees that are useless in the job market and in the home.  What they have done is passed up the process that requires a bit of “wisdom” (2451) to make it work.

Wisdom is not the same as knowledge.  It can be attained without any book learning but it is necessary to put the pieces together.  In the days before indoor plumbing many people got their water from a pump.  You had to pump and pump until the water was raised to your level.  In addition to that the pump needed to be primed.  It needed a little bit of water on the valves so that they would seal and work properly.  That is where wisdom comes in.

So?  Start gathering wisdom even if you don’t understand how to put it all together.  Knowing a few things about right and wrong can go a long way toward helping make decisions. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

At the Trial

(Pro 23:11 KJV) For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee.

I don’t know if the name Perry Mason rings any bells in your memory.  He was a TV lawyer who never lost a case.  Watching Perry Mason was part of our weekly ritual.  The criminals were so clever.  It seemed they would get away scot free, yet week after week they would break down and confess at the last minute. 

None of his convictions would have stood up in a modern court.  This was pre-Miranda rights and all the other conventions that have developed to “protect” the defendant.  A clearly guilty and convicted murderer can walk free today because of a technicality. 

So?  It should be encouraging to know that our defender will not make those kind of mistakes. 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Habits of Habits

(Pro 22:19 KJV) That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.

If my hope for the future was in the visible sources of power and influence I would be in a sad state.  We need to pay attention to what is happening.  We need to think about it and develop opinions on the issues of our day.  The danger comes when we think we will find any answers there.  Our “trust” (4009) must be in the Lord. 

That seems so obvious but I need to be reminded on a daily basis.  When I wake up frustrated or feeling like yesterday was a loser, I need to be reminded that my confidence and purpose is based on the God of the universe not on my success.

So?  It needs to be a daily habit.  Even being reminded of this can become a daily habit.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Savers and Spenders

(Pro 21:20 KJV)  There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

Some people are spenders; some savers.  That would seem clear but it is not always that simple.  I am a saver.  If I was living hand to mouth I would still have a stash that was put together one penny at a time.  My wife is a spender, sort of.  She has an emotional reaction to money sitting in a bank.  It permeates her whole life.  When she was working she never accumulated any sick leave.  When she had earned a day she was struck by a mysterious illness.  At the same time she is awesome at getting bargains.  She has the ability to find the lowest price on anything.

I, of course, like the inference that I am wise because I save.  I think it involves more than that but I will take what I can get. 

So?  Don’t be a spender.  Eventually you end up using up what others have saved and you learn nothing in the process.  It is probably too late to remind you about that this Christmas. 

Friday, December 20, 2019

Lazy or Not

(Pro 20:4 KJV) The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

I think there are times when we think of people as being “sluggards” (6102) when it is really just a matter of ignorance.  I am not a farmer, nor am I the son of farmers.  I don’t even know any farmers.  It would never occur to me to “plow” (2790a) after the harvest.  Before I plant maybe, but why after I bring in the grain?

With a little research it turns out that there are many potential benefits to plowing in the fall as well as controversy about the matter.  It would seem in Israel it was consider a “must do”.  Would you know that if you were a city boy? 

So?  We sometimes jump to conclusions about people who don’t do things the way we do.  It could be that they don’t know.  It could be that we are wrong.  I need to make sure of my motivation.  It better not be “Why take down the Christmas lights?  I will only need to put them up again next year.” 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

The Tree of Sloth

(Pro 19:24 KJV) A slothful man hideth his hand in his bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

“Sluggard” (6102) (NASB) or “slothful” (KJV)?  Which is a better word?  I like them both.  The NASB approach is more accurate since the word “man” is not in the Hebrew.  This is truly a gender blind character flaw.  Being a man I know that it is thrown at me because I don’t do the household chores as consistently as the wife but that is more a matter of timing than refusal.  This is more along the lines of a family game we have of waiting until someone gets up to get a refill on their drink and everyone else says, “Since your getting up...”

So?  For some this may be a call to get a schedule and stick to it.  For others it might be simply a matter of trying to guess when others want things done.  An example would be taking out the trash even though you know you could get more in.  It would not include getting the Christmas tree out the door on December 26.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Time Not to Be First

(Pro 18:17 KJV)  He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

Calm down.  One of the admonitions that comes repeatedly in Proverbs is to take time to consider things before we speak.  This can be about anger or just touchy feelings.  I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say something that set me off but after a little more listening I see that I wasn’t really listening.

There are so many places to apply this but it seems that it is a hard lesson to learn.

So?  You might need to count to ten.  Maybe 100.  Give people the benefit of the doubt even if there is none. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Cause and Effect

(Pro 17:4 KJV) A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

As I read this today I asked myself, “Which came first?”  Notice that in each example you have the focus and the action.  Did they first listen to evil or did they listen to evil because they were inclined that way?  This works out in daily living today because we have a contemporary culture that is into victimhood.  It seems to say that no one is responsible for their actions, they are victims of something.

It is true we have influences.  Some are stronger than others.  Some can warp or mold, depending on your point of view.  What is also true is that we make choices.  We may not have the choices we want but we do have choices.  I used to joke about the choices I was given as a teacher, “You mean I can choose to be shot or hung?”  The point we overlook is that future choices are dependent on current decisions.

So?  I guess I would start with the small things.  I can’t even define those because what might be small to me is a giant in your life.  Start building a future and a character with what you can influence today.  God is patient but even He has a limit. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Nailed It

(Pro 16:19 KJV) Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

I have always had big dreams or, at least, extravagant fantasies.  I wanted a life of purpose and after I became a Christian understood that as doing great things for God.  From my point of view it did not work out that way.  I have been a nail rather than a master cabinet maker.  It has frustrated me and one of the lessons I have had to learn is expressed in this verse.

God does not need me to bring order to the chaos of our world.  He has things well in hand even if it does not look like it to my limited mind.  What He wants is for me to understand that. 

So?  If I am to be nothing but a brad on the furniture of life then I want to be the most reliable brad in existence.  Nothing wrong with that.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Not the Crazy Uncle

(Pro 15:13 KJV) A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

Our demeanor is determined by what is inside more than what is outside.  We have seen people with everything measurable who are living in despair.  Think of the successful people who have committed suicide or simply ruined their lives with drugs and alcohol.  We have also come across people who seemed to have nothing going right for them that are cheerful and face life with a smile.

The difference is what is inside. 

This even applies to believers.  I should say it specifically applies to believers.  So often we get caught up in the current events and forget the eternal.  We forget that Jesus walked the earth when the pagan Roman Empire was at its height and Paul wrote Philippians from jail. 

So?  It is really important that we spend time each day in contact with Jesus.  We talk about him living within us.  Make sure that He is part of the family not just a crazy uncle isolated in a back room. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Gomer’s Lament

(Pro 14:35 KJV) The king's favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.

There are at least three different Hebrew words translated “shame” (954) in Proverbs.  One source tells me there are twelve different words used in the Old Testament for this concept.  I can’t figure out the difference with the tools I have. 

What we have here seems to be a warning about causing others to look bad.  The verse talks about the king and how shaming him can be a bad idea.  I would think that it extends to others.  In Proverbs the targets include husbands, fathers and mothers.  It might be a good idea for us to ask ourselves how our behavior reflects on others.  I know that when we see people acting like little, or big, barbarians we often note that it shows a lack of “home training.”

So?  We do not walk alone.  Who we are says something about those who raised us and influence us now.  Remember it also says something about the God you serve. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Happy Light

(Pro 13:9 KJV) The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

I am struggling for a picture of a “light” (216) rejoicing.  It is a common word and the first place we find it being used in the Bible is,
(Gen 1:3 KJV) And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Light was the first act of creation, produced by the fiat of God.  I would guess that it is necessary for any kind of celebration.  I have not heard to too much joy being expressed in total darkness.  Darkness is usually associated with fear and weariness. 

Light allows us to see and that gives us access to so much we can enjoy.  In the context here it would seem like that light is what we would call back-lighting.  My current Kindle has this feature.  The light for the page comes from inside the devise.  It makes it possible for me to read in a dark room or airplane. 

So?  God puts the source of joy in our hearts.  He does not hang it around us but generates it from inside.  It changes the way we perceive our environment.  Rejoice.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

I Will Think About It

((Pro 12:5 KJV) The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

Have you ever heard someone responding to a tragedy with the call to think some good “thoughts” (4284).  The pagans and atheists among us don’t really have anything to turn to when hard times come.  Some will still ask people to pray for victims but that is not so politically correct these days.

But these thoughts are more than just electro-chemical impulses in our brain.  The word is also translated “plans”.  It is not a passive device but an active one.  It means that as the “righteous” (6662) think, they are looking to the future to decide what to do.  Just as the hope we have is not an empty wishing but an assurance that gives a foundation, so our thoughts are to follow the paths of righteousness that bring about the will of God.

So?  Use you time of contemplation to build your trust in God. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Advent of Righteousness

(Pro 11:4 KJV) Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

This is the first mention of “righteousness” (6666) in this chapter but the theme is repeated time and again.  When I see this word used I get a little puzzled at people who like to quote,
(Isa 64:6 KJV) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(Rom 3:10 KJV) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
They then build an entire theology based on the fact that we must continue to live in sin even though we claimed to be redeemed.  It does not make sense to me.

It is much more consistent to say that it is possible to live an upright and righteous life in the power of the Holy Spirit and through the grace of God but if we build our own little frameworks of legalistic “righteousnesses” we are doomed to failure.

The defeat of sin is part of the message of Christmas.  Consider these words from Joy to the World,
No more let sin and sorrow grow, Nor thorns infest the ground.
This is the season where we are reminded that God sent His Son so we could know redemption.

So?  Live in hope and expectation.  God’s power is big enough to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


(Pro 10:17 KJV) He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

My granddaughter is visiting us.  She brought her mother with her.  I have noticed a big difference between them.  My daughter will listen and benefit from what she is told.  My granddaughter just keep charging ahead full tilt.  It isn’t a matter of not letting her play in the street.  It is a matter of not letting her play near the street. 

I have hope for the little girl.  I expect that she will learn.  At this point she doesn’t understand most of the words we use.  Much is the tone of voice.  That will change.  If it doesn’t then we will know that something is wrong.  The same goes for us as we walk with Jesus.  We are expected to benefit from the input of those around us.  We are expected to understand more next year than we did last year.

So?  Expect to grow.  Expect to know better next time.  It is the way we are made. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Long Blessing

(Pro 9:11 KJV) For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

Every once in awhile you see the headlines that say people of faith live longer and have happier lives.  I am not sure who did the research or how well it was done but the results certainly support what this verse is saying.  In fact it supports much of what Proverbs is saying.

Why would living a righteous life make it a better life?  It would not just be because it is longer.  Preserve me from living to 100 with dementia.  I think that it also contains the idea that the years will be filled with more that makes life worth living.

So?  Be blessed.  Be blessed for a long time. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Too Old to Change

(Pro 8:22 KJV) The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

Who or what is Wisdom?  There is a lot of personification going on.  There are places where the description would fit Jesus and others that would fit the Spirit.  We need to be careful in getting dogmatic on the issue.  What we can be sure of is that Wisdom is very old. 

That tells us that there are certain laws and principles that transcend time and history.  There are truths that are bigger than culture or education.  They have not changed and will not change.  This understanding is part of our understanding of God and His creation.  It is why we can look at the scientific method and feel like it will help us understand how God did things.  It is why we don’t need to feel threatened by the latest fad in morality.

So?  Some things never change.  Wrong will always be wrong.  Sin will always be wrong.  We have choices and we have a foundation.  Sounds like a reason for security to me.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pre Promise

(Pro 7:5 KJV) That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

Protection is a wonderful thing.  What we don’t like about the promise of this verse is the work up that comes from the previous four verses.  We see a list of things that are expected of us before we are delivered.  Look back over them.  We see a collection of actions on our part:  Keep, lay up, bind, write, say, call.  We are to be involved.

Yes, we are saved by grace.  Grace is active in our lives.  God is sovereign.  Keep in mind that in His sovereignty He has chosen to demand our buy in as a condition of that power.  It is called free will.

So?  We are not robots.  God is not a vending machine.  Jesus freely died on the cross so we could freely come to Him.  Glorious but also demanding. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

Checking Your List

(Pro 6:27 KJV) Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

Temptation and pride can be a deadly mix.  We need to be aware of our weaknesses.  When we are aware we can avoid the easy fail.  I have learned never to buy a box of Cheese-Its that is over 100 calories.  It doesn’t matter how big it is I will eat it all.  If the box contains Brussel sprouts then I have nothing to worry about.

We also need to be aware of our strengths.  That is where the pride comes in.  Often we think we are stronger than experience demonstrates.  The devil works through our pride to bring us down.

So?  The best advice is to avoid anything that waters down our chances of living a righteous life.  Santa Clause isn’t the only one dealing in lists.  Your list may differ from mine but we both have one. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019


(Pro 5:3 KJV) For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

Have you ever felt like you had a speech impediment when you tried to speak?  You stumble and stutter.  You can’t remember the right word.  You struggle to find the end of a sentence.  You realize that your verb is not matching your noun.  I have been there.  I get that way when I need to leave a message on a voice mail abomination.  This reminds us that “smoother” (2509) speech is not necessary to be godly.

On the surface this warns us against people who are too glib.  It also should remind us that being genuine is more important than great rhetoric. 

So?  One of the turmoils of life that we are not to get all tensed up about is speaking like a professional.  Unless you are going to make radio commercials it won’t help you a lot. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Two Is Better than One

(Pro 4:3 KJV) For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

This is not a doctrinal proof text but is does go along with something that is consistent throughout scripture and through observation of life.  Children need both a father and a mother.  The reason we need to reinforce this is because our current cultural elites are trying to drive the father out of the home.  How many TV programs do you watch where there is a healthy family?  I can’t answer that because I don’t watch TV but I saw a pattern when I did.

The pattern is to have no man around or to make the man a fool.  This goes across the board.  My main memory of reading Berenstain Bears was that the father was a nice guy but pretty incompetent. 

So?  We need to keep reminding ourselves that our culture and out faith do not run on the same rails.  Keep checking. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

True Choice

(Pro 3:3 KJV) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

“Truth” (571) is a choice.  That seems strange to people who believe that God exists and that He is the source of all truth.  It makes us oddballs.  I, for one, have a hard time with people of the left who reject objective truth, but they exist.  In fact they are the large majority in all of the areas of public forums such as education, media and politics.  You have a major school of philosophy called deconstruction that teaches meaning is different for everyone, totally subjective.

There will be areas that are vague.  That does not mean that there is no real truth.  We need to start with the clear truths that God gives us in the Bible and build our cloudy decisions based on those principles.

So?  Don’t let go of the anchor God has given us for making choices. 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Flattery May be True

(Pro 2:16 KJV) To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

There are so many areas of our pride that the world “flatters” (2505b).  There are two words in the Hebrew that look the same to me but have slightly different meanings.  I am not sure how the translators decide on things like this.  One means to divide and the other means slippery.  I guess that is not a bad way to understand flattery.

The seduction of flattery is that we want to believe what people are saying.  The subtle part of flattery is that the statements might even be true.  Often we are disarmed in the battle of wits when someone points out that we are honest and reliable.  Somehow that can weaken our resistance to compromise.

So?  Beware of people saying nice things about you.  They might be true.  You might think it puts you in a special category. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Who’s Your Daddy

(Pro 1:1 KJV) The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

Why does Solomon point out that David was his father?  It would have meant something to the people in his court.  Many of them had served David when he was king.  The further you went from Jerusalem the less notoriety would be attached to the name.  Today if you asked who David was and who Solomon was you might get a few bites on Solomon associated with wisdom but they would ask, “David who?”  Don’t even ask a modern high school graduate to locate Israel on a map.

Even a king who is remembered for his wisdom identifies with someone else.  He felt like having David for a father gave him more credibility.  You can see where I am going with this.  It is great if you can identify with a parent or sponsor.  It is even better if people recognize that you are a disciple of Jesus.  It gives you credibility even if they don’t recognize it.  It was impressive to be the son of David even if nobody knows who David is.

So?  Make Jesus proud today. 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Onion Arrogance

(Pro 30:12 KJV)  There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

One of the qualities that seems universal is the inability to see ourselves as we are.  Some people don’t try.  They assume they are the measuring stick for mankind.  They don’t seem to be aware that others feel differently.  And then we tend to gather with people of like mind.  It is like adding green onions to my salad.  They are really good.  I like the taste.  If everyone else eats the salad, all is good, but when you get around someone who hasn’t indulged they ask, “What is that smell?” 

It must get really bad for me to smell it.  When I do I start looking around trying to find what is stinking.  Eventually I realize it is me. 

So?  Identify the onions of life and avoid them.  Be alert for new sources such as Mongolian barbecue or certain types of chili peppers.  Listen to what others tell you.  Life does not need to be full of the stink of arrogance. 

Friday, November 29, 2019

Delayed Gratification

(Pro 29:17 KJV) Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

As I parent I would like to add a footnote here.  The “delight” (5474) might not be obvious at the time of correction.  In fact I would say that it will be well hidden.  Disciplining children is not fun.  It is not affirming.  It does build character both in the child and the parent.  It is necessary.

Currently I am reliving experiences of 38 years ago when our firstborn was a toddler.  I am not getting a refresher course in toddlerhood with my granddaughter.  The good part of it is that the real responsibility belongs to my daughter.  Since we did a good job on her years ago we can now delight in her doing a good job with the next generation.

So?  Sometimes the gratification is delayed no matter what you do.  If you are still in the early years of training you have my sympathy but hang in there, pay the price, go the extra mile and delight in the results.  Sometime.  Better than my promise is God’s promise. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Lack Not, Want Not

(Pro 28:27 KJV) He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

As I compare translations, before looking at the Hebrew, I find that I like the implication of the KJV better than the NASB.  It isn’t that the more contemporary translation is wrong, it is just more in the tradition of the KJV and using somewhat archaic language.  In modern times “want” (4270) has become the mantra of the selfish generation.  How many times have you seen cartoons with the theme of “I want, I want”?  If you remember the saying, “Waste not, want not” you come closer to the “lack” of the KJV.

I have come close to being in want.  Once in seminary I was down to my last can of tomato soup before the Lord made a grocery run.  During our first pregnancy we traveled across country and arrived in California with no job and ten dollars in our pockets.  But in spite of the fact that I might have wanted more, I have never lacked what I needed.

So?  Need something to be thankful for?  You should not have to look very far. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


(Pro 27:12 KJV) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

The Bible has a lot of different things to say about how we respond to danger.  Jesus talked about turning the other cheek.  This would seem to go with that.  Israel fought a lot of wars.  The government is to use the sword against evil.  It would seem that we need to look to the principles and keep our minds in gear.

Our general mind-set as Christians is non-violent.  That is what is being presented here.  Use you head.  Don’t think you are Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris.  Life is not a Louis L’Amour Western where the good guys eventually win.  We are not to view evil as a challenge to our manhood.  We are to look at it as a chance to trust God.  Will there be times to stand up?  Yes, but not over the issues that usually get our blood boiling. 

So?  God claims vengeance as His.  We are to be witnesses.  That should bring enough adventure for the day. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Handicap Compensation

(Pro 26:7 KJV) The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.

What kind of handicap do you labor under?  It doesn’t take much looking to find some area in which we are weak or totally helpless.  When I think about what we call “heaven” I often think about the physical limitations I have that I expect to disappear.  Just in my eyes I will gain stereoscopic vision, real colors, no glasses and who knows what else that I am not even aware of.  We all have limitations.

We should expect to be able to function in spite of those things.  I went to get a haircut.  That in itself is not big deal.  What is shocking is I did it before my wife started nagging.  There is a guy who hangs around the barber shop who is missing a leg.  He has a prosthetic that seems to work just fine for him.  I have never heard him complain or hesitate to get into action. 

So?  If you are a fool don’t expect God to use you as a spokesman but you might clean a mean toilet.  Come to think of it there is even hope for fools to abandon their state and move forward. 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Slippery Humility

(Pro 25:7 KJV) For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

Humility is a very slippery virtue.  How do you seek something like this?  How do you develop it.  Success tends to breed pride.  Recognition tends to inflate egos.  I guess one thing you can do is develop habits that do not put you first.  That is part of what this verse is about.

The other part of the verse is to avoid embarrassment.  When we seek the limelight we might get more than we bargain for. 

So?  If God wants you to stand out He will make the arrangements.  We need to be ready to step into the gap but also willing to step aside. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Not Puppy Feet

(Pro 24:2 KJV) For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

This is one of those places in Proverbs where context is needed.  The people being talked about here are a group called “evil men”.  We often do not like to admit that they exist.  If we do accept that some people are evil we usually don’t want to include anyone we like or support.  We need to get over it and begin looking at society through God crafted eyes.

In truth the majority of people fall into this category.  Their “violence” (7701) may be mild or of the type that does not effect you, but it is still evil.  Think of all the mob actions you see on the news.  It hasn’t come to your neighborhood so it goes in one ear and out the other.  It is still the results of evil people.  The KJV talks about “mischief” instead of “trouble” (5999).  An insight into the meaning of this word in Proverbs might be,
(Pro 31:7 KJV) Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery (5999) no more.
So?  We need to recognize the actions of evil men and speak up for righteousness.  That means speaking clearly.  When playing cards my wife calls spades “puppy feet”.  That is cute but it does not speak clearly to the card playing world. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

High Water Mark

(Pro 23:10 KJV) Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:

God’s people are called to a level of morality that the world might pay lip service to but in its heart sneers at.  Here we see two focal points.  The first deals with integrity in dealing with property.  Too often we hear about banks foreclosing on a mortgage in an unethical way.  I don’t know how often it really happens but the stories are scary.  Land is a basic bit of wealth and security that should be carefully protected.

The other is taking advantage of those who are weak.  Here it is the fatherless.  These are the orphans of our day.  These are those who have no one to protect them from aggression.  This should be a mark of Christian culture.

So?  If we want to live in a safe and secure environment we must do our part to live in righteousness.  We must take the high road.  We must set the example.

Friday, November 22, 2019

A Boarding Pass in the Hand

(Pro 22:18 KJV) For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.

When I travel by airplane I like to print my boarding pass before I leave home.  I find it a great comfort to know that I have a seat and that I have TSA Pre.  No one else needs to know until the moment I start through the screening.  Then I bring it out. 

If you don’t fly much you may not know about TSA Pre.  It means that the United States government recognizes that you are not a terrorist.  Instead of waiting in the line that requires you to take off your shoes, coat, hat and belt you walk right through.  You don’t need to pull out your electronic devices.  It makes the process much faster.  And no one knows until you get to the gate. 

So?  Internalizing God’s teachings can prepare us that way.  Sometimes the gate will be in our daily walk.  For sure it will prepare us for when we stand before the throne. 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

More than Contentious

(Pro 21:19 KJV)  It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

Four times in Proverbs we have Solomon giving this warning using “contentious” (4066).  Now the author adds the description of “angry” (vexing NASB) (3708a).  What is the difference?  Contentious seems to have the idea of being contrary.  If you say, “Right,” she will say, “Left”.  Vexing has to do with anger, as the KJV translates it.  I am not sure if this is her getting angry or making you angry.  And again I think this is a lesson that goes both ways.

Are you married?  Do you find it difficult?  Solomon seems to understand.  If you are not married then look at this as a warning.

So?  I don’t see any solution that will work for most of us.  One of the other verses suggests moving to the roof.  Your choice. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


(Pro 20:25 KJV)  It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

This is a common practice.  Most people tend to speak before they think, buy without a test drive, vote without reading up on the issues.  We marry on an emotional high.  We join without reading the fine print.  Sometimes it only involves a few extra payments.  Sometimes it ruins our lives.

What is at issue here is mocking God.  He is serious about His holiness.  He is serious about His law.  He wants us to be serious too.

So?  Following Jesus is not a game nor a part time activity. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Orderly Sleep

(Pro 19:23 KJV) The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

A healthy “fear” (3374) lets us “abide” (sleep NASB) (3885a) “satisfied” (7649).  It makes sense.  Not only are we safe, but we are sound.  A greater fear minimizes our minor fears.  When I am worried about cancer I don’t spend a lot of time focused on a late library book.

I wonder if this is the “sleep” (3885a) of death.  One reason that might be the reference is that “satisfied” (7649) is predominately used of someone who dies at an old age and with a satisfying life behind them.  It would be saying that the fear of the Lord is necessary for eternal life.  If we fear God we do not need to fear death.

I still prefer it as a reference to our daily routine though. 

So?  Fear of God puts things in perspective and in order.  That can give a foundation of peace in any situation. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Target Choice

(Pro 18:16 KJV) A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

There are many things I could do if I had unlimited time, the right tools and a little patience.  It often takes me several trips to the hardware store to do even simple things.  Other tasks I can do with my eyes closed.  Which will I be known for?  If I insist on trying to make it on my weaknesses, I will be known for my failures.  Sometimes we are stubborn that way.  If I concentrate on my strengths then I may get known for that.  If I don’t then at least I will know that I have done my best.

So?  It seems obvious but often does not occur to us but we should be doing the things we are best at. 

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Sons and Servants

(Pro 17:2 KJV) A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

One of the discussions I get into involves the place of Israel today.  If you have read the Bible you know that those we call the Jews were a people that were picked out by God to be His special people.  He established a covenant with Abraham making promises involving numbers and land.  Most people who believe in the Bible would accept that much.  The question becomes, “What about today?”  This is an issue in politics because Israel is a nation again.  It is a question in culture because of anti-Semitism, or hatred of Jews.  It is a question in theology because it reflects on the place of the church and how to interpret some parts of the Bible.

I offer this verse as a part of the discussion.  It is possible that the “son” (1121) [ben] represents Israel and the “servant” (5650) stands for the church.  This speaks of a shared inheritance.  I don’t know that this is a fair interpretation but it is consistent with how I see the issue.

So?  I think God still loves the Jews but keep in mind that He loved the whole world enough to send His son to die for them.  Salvation still depends on how we respond to the Son.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Fall Spirit

(Pro 16:18 KJV) Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

“Spirit” (7307) [ruach]is one of the building blocks of the Old Testament.  It is full of figurative and literal meaning.  It literally means breath or wind and figuratively means mind and spirit.  We see it early,
(Gen 1:2 KJV) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit (7307) of God moved upon the face of the waters.
So it can refer to the Holy Spirit.  It can also refer to the inner motivation of our lives, our attitudes, our inclinations.

So this verse reminds us that our inner spirit is important as we go through life.  The wrong inner orientation can cause all kinds of problems.

So?  It is always a right time to move beyond our salvation and toward maturity.  One theme of Proverbs is that our attitude influences the kind of day we are having.  It can also influence the kind of eternity. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Better than a Nanny

(Pro 15:16 KJV) Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

We live in a Nanny State that wants everyone to be taken care of.  We tend to think that the government is going to bail us out.  When we have a hurricane people think that there are going to be cheap loans and grants to pay for the damage.  In this environment we tend to avoid things like “fear” (3374) but Biblically it is a very powerful concept if understood correctly.

We get a bit of insight when we see that fear is contrasted with “trouble” (turmoil NASB) (4103).  We tend to think of fear creating turmoil but that is better stated as terror.  A healthy fear helps us to focus on what is important and gives a real drive to behavior.  The “turmoil” spoken of here includes the idea of confusion and panic.  It is a lot like being a child in the hands of a strong father.  I keep hearing about how my granddaughter goes to the beach and faces the waves with no fear.  The reason is that her father is there to bail her out.  Who can fear a little wave when you dad is there?

So?  We need to live aware that our God is bigger than the waves.  Our resources are not summed up in money in the bank or bars on the windows.  The proper perspective on God gives us a genuine sense of assurance. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Peace Applied

(Pro 14:30 KJV) A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Before I spend any time looking into the Hebrew, I find that I like the NASB better than the KJV on this verse.  As usual, when I look a little deeper it is a mixed bag.  Although you might stretch the Hebrew to mean “tranquil” (4832) the KJV’s “sound” is much better.  The word means healthy and being made well.  A good example is,
(Mal 4:2 KJV) But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing (4832) in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
This would have obvious applications about the spiritual healing that comes through regeneration and is thus applied to our physical well-being. 

The second part I give to the NASB.  “Passion” (7068) is better than “envy”.  The picture given by the NASB does a better job of putting the picture together.  God wants us to be calm and secure in our minds because we trust Him.  We are not to go off in wild flights of temper. 

So?  For some the change is instant.  For some it is a life long discipline.  Some people are just born easy going.  It is part of living a righteous life.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Economics and Vanity

(Pro 13:11 KJV) Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

I wonder if this could be interpreted as a statement about capitalism?  Much of what we see going on in the world of investments and securities is based on duping the public, fraud.  Many millionaires have generated wealth only on paper, producing nothing.  Real wealth comes from the work of people, not manipulating stock markets.  This would tend to sound like a statement made by a Communist. 

But the contrast is not between working with your hands as opposed to an office job.  The contrast is between “fraud” (1892) and actual gathering.  It is a contrast between actually producing and simply looking like you are producing.  This is the word repeatedly used in Ecclesiastes. 
(Ecc 1:2 KJV) Vanity (1891) of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
When political voices call for the redistribution of wealth they are speaking in terms of vanity.  They want people to have the fruits of gathering without the effort.  Of course you could also condemn those who generate billions by pressing buttons and manipulating stocks.  They also produce nothing.

So?  God expects us to work for our support.  That will generate different results but, as long as the work in honorable and without fraud it can be blessed. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Build up or Tear Down

(Pro 12:4 KJV) A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

“Rottenness” (7538) of “bones” (6106) is a graphic picture.  I think of cancer or of putrid meat.  The phrase is used twice, both in Proverbs.  Here it is a bad-news wife.  The other,
    (Pro 14:30 KJV) A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
speaks of our emotions being out of control. 

Most men would not knowingly marry someone who would always be shaming them.  For that matter, neither would women choose such a spouse.  It can obviously work both ways.  It is obviously something we should avoid causing.

So?  We can cause rotten bones by our actions or our words.  It might be something for each of us to apply a self examination time to.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Hang On to What You’ve Got

(Pro 11:16 KJV) A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

This is another place where the translators make choices and it comes out different.  I find that the NASB clashes with the principles God wants us to live by.  I find that the KJV makes sense.  One difference is the word that KJV translates “retain” (8551) and the NASB gives as “attains”.  The word itself is neutral in moral value.  It can be negative as,
(Pro 5:22 KJV) His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden (8551) with the cords of his sins.
It can also be positive,
(Pro 31:19 KJV) She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold (8551) the distaff.
So?  I would say that one of the jobs of a man is to maintain the family wealth instead of squandering it.  Other places may include the women in this task but here it is a recommendation to the husband. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Having a Bad Day

(Pro 10:12 KJV) Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proof-texting, bad.  Eisegesis, bad.  Both call to me in this verse.  I recently reflected on a previous verse,
(Proverbs 8:13 KJV)  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
I pointed out that we are required to hate evil.  Now as I read the first part of this verse I am reminded of the probable consequences of hating evil, “strife” (4090). 

The actual context is to emphasize “love” (160) over hate but when we exercise “hatred” (8135) in a Biblical manner we need to understand it will cause tension.  It will cause tension among church attenders because they have been conditioned to avoid conflict even in the pursuit and defense of truth.  Their answer always seems to be, “A little more water, please.  It is still too strong”.  The other group that will think bad thoughts toward you are the evil that you are exposing.

So?  Jesus promised we would be persecuted if we followed Him.  It is a promise that we don’t like to remember but it is still true.  Happy truth day. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Ad in Advice

(Pro 9:16 KJV) Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

It always amazes me how easily we are conned.  I have been amused by the recent spate of work desks that are designed and sold for standing up while you work.  I think the idea is that it is more healthy to stand up than to sit all day.  Usually the desk is accompanied by an attractive model who looks like they have just had a happy pill.  I understand the aspect of standing up and taking a walk or stretching but somehow I think of the work desks Cratchit used.  They look similar and are the symbol of Victorian oppression.  Now they are cutting edge.

It is not so amusing when people find numerous ways to say, “That is not what God meant.”  Or “That is the God of the Old Testament.”  Or “That does not belong in the Bible.”  It sounds good.  It may even start off the same as the correct advice but if you look down a few verses it leads to death and hell.

So?  Advisors, counselors, teachers, they can all be wonderful but they can also be the door to hell.  Make sure that you compare what they advise to the actual written word of God. 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Be a Hater

(Pro 8:13 KJV) The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

As Christians we often tend to be very selective in our memory of scripture.  That is sometimes because we see what we think is a conflict and can’t deal with it so we suppress certain verses.  I think that is what is going on here.  We have gotten so used to interpreting the Bible so that it can be approved by your friendly neighborhood pagan or heretic that we water it down.

We remember the verses about the “fear” (3374) of the Lord being the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.  Somehow we forget that it also requires us to “hate” (8130).  That is not nice so it must be a misprint, right?  Wrong.  We need to develop a passion of hatred for the “evil” (7451b) of the world as much as we are to love.  The hate is to be focused.  It is not aimed at people or to be on our latest prejudice.  Of course if the people are perverted it will be hard to separate the two. 

So?  We need to get more active in campaigning against the evil in our society.  Love is not always nice.  God is love and yet He will allow people to go to Hell. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Moment of Truth

(Pro 7:22 KJV) He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

I think this is a key verse in understanding the fulcrum of sin.  If you read over the chapter you can see that this plunge into adultery was not a sudden inspiration.  It seems to have been planned and the plan was followed step by step.  In a very real sense the sin was in the intent.  Jesus makes that clear when He talks about what is going on in our hearts.
(Mat 5:28 KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
So intent is important but there is something about the moment you commit yourself by action.

Until you act the sin is between you and God.  Once you put it in motion you bring others into the equation.  In this verse the other party was just as guilty but what about the husband who is away on business.  When you act there will be consequences.  The conclusion here is that the man is now dead.  His actions brought fruition to his attitudes.

So?  Be alert for the downhill journey.  It may start very mild but will eventually begin to speed up.  It is much easier to grab the rail in the stairway when you first feel insecure than to wait until you are flying through the air.  God forgives but we might get to the point where we can’t repent.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Waste Abounds

(Pro 6:26 KJV) For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

Wasted money.  Wasted resources.  Wasted lives.  This is a reminder that God expects us to be stewards of what we have.  The context is sexual sin but I don’t think the words necessarily mean prostitutes.  I think the context works just as well with the casual fling.  It is so easy to throw away everything we have built up in life and do it in a moment.

Here the danger is sex outside of marriage.  It could just as well be going for that one time shady business deal that is going to set you up and you promise not to do it again.  It could be the lie that gets you out of a tight spot but comes back to bite you. 

So?  Forgiveness is available.  Grace is a gift.  God is patient.  He also is not big on playing games and you can’t fool Him. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Solomon the Marriage Counselor

(Pro 5:18 KJV) Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

I am a bit amused at Solomon giving advice on marriage.  I am reminded that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Granted, many of these were political marriages but I somehow have a hard time believing there were 1,000 countries whom he needed to impress. 

One lesson for us is that good advice can come from questionable sources but you don’t know it is good advice unless you know God’s standards of righteous living.  The point being made here is that we are to focus our affection on our one and only wife.  We are not to go looking for a sympathetic ear or a young face.

So?  Truth is available if we want it. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

Righteous Clarity

(Pro 4:18-19 KJV) But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.  The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Good and evil are the contrasting themes of this chapter.  In our day of polite discourse and wishy-washy Christians we want to avoid both the demand for holiness and the reality of evil.  We have Christians claiming that we cannot live righteous lives and multiple web sites talking about the 613 laws of God that no one can live up to.  On the other hand we refuse to call the swelling evil in our society what it is because we don’t want to offend anyone.

This does not please God.  In this verse it is clear that the “righteous” (6662) road is one that shows what is ahead.  In the next verse Solomon points out that the road of wickedness is shrouded and vague.

So?  We need to consciously chose to follow the Highway of Holiness.  The markers are clear if you will look for them. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Reload Your Page

(Pro 3:3 KJV) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

As I read through this chapter today I was struck by the constant call for buy-in.  I guess in computers we might talk about refresh.  When you are on the internet you see a little circular arrow in the top corner.  I think of it as a refresh for the page.  When you hover your cursor over it the term is “reload page”.  In our spiritual lives we tend to want to get stuck in the mud, with the familiar.  We don’t want to get current.

Often that is not a problem but we do not serve a static God.  He may be immutable but He is vital in His personhood.  There are always fresh insights and truths that slipped under our radar.  I know when I approve comments on my blog they do not appear until I do something that renews the page.

So?  “Relationship” in the modern sense is not in the Bible but it does lift up the reality of a walk with the Living God.  While it is eternal and based on eternal truth it is constantly renewed.  I am guessing that is because we are not capable of eternal focus and need to be retargeted. 

Saturday, November 2, 2019


(Pro 2:10 KJV) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

Most of us want to jump to the results, the reward, the promise.  Then we wonder why it doesn’t seem to work out.  Because we have skipped over all the preparation required.  Have you ever read what it says on a can of paint about preparation?  I have and then I ignore most of it.  That might be why my paint jobs don’t come out so good.  In some cases if you don’t prep right then the paint will peel off in a short time.  The same is true of our spiritual walk.

If you look back at this chapter in regard to the preparation you will see that the promise of a wise heart and a pleasant soul are based on a lot of things like seeking and listening.  God is not a magic elixir that mysteriously makes things right.  Yes, He does what might seem like magic and He deals in mystery but our part is much more basic.

So?  Grace is a gift.  Growth is a process.  Start processing. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Calm Waters

(Pro 1:33 KJV) But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

There is a lot of “fear” (dread NASB) (6343) floating around today.  My wife has gotten into watching some of the talking heads on You Tube who have nothing but doom and gloom to forecast.  I can’t say that I disagree with their general analysis that things are going down hill but I do have two issues.  One is that things have been going down hill since I can remember.  So I take that with a grain of salt.

The second thing that occurs to me is found in this verse.  Yes, I am supposed to have eyes that see and a mind that thinks but it is supposed to be attached to a heart that is rooted in God and a fear of God.  This verse that calms our waters is juxtaposed to the verse earlier that actually begins the advice of Proverbs.  In case you don’t have a Bible handy, let me give it to you again.
(Pro 1:7 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Our lack of dread begins with a solid fear.  It is a healthy fear based on an awareness of God.  We know who He is.  We know He is holy.  We know He is mighty.  We know Him because we know Jesus.

So?  Am I concerned about the state of the economy?  Of course.  I will need to be as long as I need to pay for groceries.  Am I freaked out because the Deep State is trying to put me on the street?  No.  My God is bigger and if I end up on the street there will be a place to go. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Halloween Party Reminder

(Pro 31:7 KJV) Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

I have real trouble with this passage.  The first part is good.  It advises leaders not to let their minds be clouded by alcohol but this part seems counterproductive.  We need to run our minds over the other teaching in scripture to keep a balance.  We have the pro of Paul talking to Timothy.
(1Ti 5:23 KJV) Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
But make a note of the limitations and boundaries on this.  We see it listed as a contrast to righteous living.
(Rom 13:13 KJV) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
And we see the contrast that is expected of us.
(Eph 5:18 KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Perhaps this is a directive to those who make the laws to not try to pass things like Prohibition.  It may be an admission that people in stress are going to numb their minds with the bottle and at least find some comfort.

So?  Walk in righteousness and discernment.  The fact that sin seems to mean being crooked and when drunk it is hard to walk straight might be a clue. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Two Is Enough

(Pro 30:9 KJV) Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Most of us have seen some version of the Three Wishes.  It can involve a mysterious lamp or a leprechaun.  Solomon was able to get it down to two.  The first one in the previous verse had to do with character.  The second has to do with finances.  These are two areas of righteous behavior that we are very resistant to.

Truth versus lies is something out culture is redefining.  A politician recently said, and I paraphrase, “We are concerned with truth, not facts.”  To anyone who genuinely knows the living God that is an incredibly evil statement.  We see more and more people claiming to be followers of Jesus who are quite willing to fudge a little bit in order to get what they want.  I remember missionary books our denomination put out and talking to people in our local church who were from the area the book spoke about.  They said that the story didn’t happen at all like it said in the book.  It is called, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”.

And then there is money.  It always amazes me how many people have trouble with the concept of the tithe.  Yes, I know we are not under the law.  People think they can ignore the Biblical standards because we are under grace.  When I read the teachings of Jesus and He is dealing with a point of law He would quote the law and then say, “But I say unto you....”  Usually what He had to say instead was more demanding than the law.  God wants you, not your money but He knows that as long as you look at your monthly income as 90% yours then we have a problem.

So?  Make it a matter of prayer:  Honesty and financial balance.  I know.  I am being a hater.  Nothing personal.  I don’t even know how much you spend eating out. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Peasant Mentality

(Pro 29:19 KJV) A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

One of the observations of the Founding Fathers was along the line that a country cannot thrive economically based on slavery.  The areas that had slavery in our country were very class oriented and stratified.  It was not just a division between slave and free.  It was a division between the very wealthy plantation owners, the very poor free population and the slaves.  Because of slavery the South never developed a thriving middle class or a significant level of tradesmen such as black smiths and carpenters. 

People who live in bondage, whether it is official slavery or just a class system, have no reason to work any harder than is necessary to avoid the lash.  They develop ways of looking busy when they are not.  They have a radar that tells when the boss is coming.  There is no reason to do more than avoid punishment.

The same is true in the church.  If you look at it as a game of legalistic requirements it is a natural tendency to try to gimmick the system to get the most for the least.  The reality that never seems to sink into those with the minds of spiritual peasants is that God knows not only their production and its quality but the desire of their hearts.

So?  This can be a heart breaker or an encouragement.  It depends on you and your attitude.  I find it encouraging that God can know my heart. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Your Cheatin’ Heart

(Pro 28:26 KJV) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

We have a saying, “Let your conscience be your guide”.  That is better than no guide but we need to understand that it is not infallible.  Your conscience is a product of input.  Picture a new born.  Infants are not known for their sense of right and wrong.  They only know, “I want.”  Move forward to the middle school level that I used to teach at.  It always impressed me how many of the kids had a basic sense of right and wrong that was not too bad.  The problem was to get them to admit it in the face of public pressure.  Somewhere in that time the pressure of socialistic thinking being forced in them in school begins to wear them down and by college most of them  have not reliable inner guidance system any more.

So we cannot trust our “heart” (3820).  We can only trust the unchanging truth that God lays out for us.  When our hearts are regenerated and taught the truth they can become a useful guide but we always need to make sure they are consistent with the objective truth of God.

So?  If you have not already done so, get your heart right with God.  Then you can begin to trust your motivation. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Social Oil

(Pro 27:9 KJV) Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Sometimes I am glad I live in modern times.  In the ancient Middle East, as in much of the world, it was considered hospitable to apply oil and ointments to guests.  Today we have so much variety in how people make themselves look that it might not seem strange but we live in the era of shampoo, hair dryers and hair spray.  In those days when you were welcomed into a home they would “anoint your head with oil” like it says in the 23rd Psalm.  It was an insult to not offer it to a guest.

We have our own traditions to make people feel welcome.  Some of us might need to work on them a little more.  On hot days we might offer tea or lemonade.  On cold days coffee or tea.  Part of the ritual is to accept so the person can extend hospitality.  We could probably work on this a bit.  We need to learn to extend hospitality to visitors, to make them feel welcome.

So?  It probably is not considered gracious when someone come to you door to ask, “What do you want?”  It might be a better witness to work on being gracious.  If it is a salesman and they refuse to take “No” for an answer, then you can get more focused in your refusal.  Most of us need to work on hospitality to non-salesmen. 

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Keep the Perspective

(Pro 26:6 KJV) He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage.

One application this might have is being careful whom we vote for or appoint to office.  I sometimes wonder what kind of people elect some of the people in congress.  I wonder if the voters in their districts are all on some kind of dole.  I wonder if the election process is totally corrupted.  I even wonder if some people are just plain stupid.

When we look at people running for office we need to take into consideration their basic abilities but we also need to take a strong look at their moral fiber.  One of the big questions we have is, “What if no choice is morally strong?” 

So?  We are blessed to live in a representative democracy with free elections.  As good as that is we need to always make sure that our confidence is in God and His power, not the people we vote for.  Corruption is a part of the political process but time is on God’s side. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Great Problems

(Pro 25:6 KJV) Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:

The KJV tries to get closer to the meaning of “great men” (1419) by putting the “men” in italics.  This is an adjective, not a noun.  I think the best translation would be “the great” which is by far the most common in both KJV and NASB.  This should be reaching out and reminding our souls of the need for humility. 

Some are called to work with the up and coming but the general goal for believers is to reach out to the poor, weak and lonely.  I know a lot of churches that will play the “serve the poor” chorus but when it comes to the verses their entire program is designed to appeal to the well heeled.  One of the few churches that is still focused on reaching the needy is the Salvation Army.  What some people don’t want to remember is that the Salvation Army is a church and has local congregations.  If you want to see people get really busy suggest that they go with you to attend a Salvation Army church sometime.  They will be much more inclined to go to First Middle Class Fellowship.

So?  Be aware of the tendency to want to be hanging with the “better sort”.  You might be needed somewhere else. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Target of Envy

(Pro 24:1 KJV) Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.

The KJV uses a word that is not in the Hebrew so it is not technically correct but is a helpful comment on the problem.  The word is “against”.  Envy is not just a desire for the things that a person has but is an attack against the person.  I think that is an important distinction. 

When we look at the wealth, status, looks, personality or any other quality of another person and feel disenfranchised because we don’t have it, part of that lusting is an attack on the other person.  It at least generates hostile thoughts and those will effect our actions.  It is not just wanting the thing, it is wanting them not to have it.

So?  It really does not hurt us to work on being satisfied with what we have instead of always striving for more.  I know that danger of that is complacency and sloth.   I know it can sound like a condemnation of worthy ambitions.  Some need to try harder but in America a large group are selling their family’s future to get ahead.  Balance. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How about a Nice Pat on the Head

(Pro 23:9 KJV) Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

 I am wondering if this is one of those places in Proverbs where context applies.  This chapter has two different warnings against getting too excited about being invited to dinner.  There is a tendency to think that you might have something to say.  Picture being invited to a state dinner in the White House.  You would be surrounded by important people, or so you think.  You might ask yourself if they are more important than you or just invited for political payoff.

I don’t know how many meetings I went to as a teacher and we were told they wanted our “input”.  After they got it they went out and did what they had planned originally.  I remember when they were spending several million dollars of bond money to remodel the gym.  The PE coaches really got into it.  They went to every meeting and jumped through all the hoops.  I was told later that they got nothing they wanted.

So?  I guess we can share our ideas but don’t be surprised if all we get is a pat on the head. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Leaning to Learn

(Pro 22:17 KJV) Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

I am sure I mark my age but those of you old enough may remember a commercial on TV where a couple of people were in a noise restaurant talking and then one of them say, “My broker is E.F. Hutton and E.F. Hutton says...”  At that movement the restaurant become pin drop quiet as everyone in the room leans toward the guy talking.  Then the concluding line is, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen”.  I don’t know about that but it is the sense of this verse.  When you accept that someone has something important to say situate yourself to benefit from the knowledge.

So?  God is speaking.  Sometime it is what has been called “the still small voice”.  Sometimes it is the booming baritone of the preacher.  Always it is the written word.  Give a listen. 

Monday, October 21, 2019

It Makes a Difference

(Pro 21:18 KJV) The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

To move toward understanding in this verse we need to start with the word “wicked” (7563).  We need to get over our limited scope of wickedness.  We tend to think of rapists and child molesters as wicked and they are.  But the contrast here is with “righteous” (6662) not nice.  A wicked person does not need to be a Nazi concentration camp guard in order to get the label.  It could be your child’s kindergarten teacher or the lady next door who bakes you cookies. 

When I have seen people suffer I have wondered why.  What did they do to deserve the suffering?  Usually it is nothing we can see but I think this is a promise that there will be more suffering for the wicked than the righteous.  It could also be that God has some purpose that we will not understand this side of glory.  We cannot judge.

So?  Righteousness pays off today and in eternity.  Believe it. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Back Seat Driving

(Pro 20:24 KJV) Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

I am not sure if this is a rhetorical question or not.  Let’s assume it is.  Then this can either be a matter of frustration or a reason for comfort.  To paraphrase a bit, God has things going on that you can never understand.  The question is do you relax or kick against the pricks. 

Some people need to be in charge.  They want to know where you are going, why you are going and what you are going to do when you get there.  Then they want to know what route you are going to take coming back and what time you will arrive.  Basically, to that person, I say, I don’t have a clue.  Picture being a short person on the back of a bicycle built for two.  You can’t see where you are going.  Your handle bars won’t turn.  Are you totally uninvolved?  No, you can do two things.  You can peddle and you can lean. 

So?  Generally we can assume that God will give us the information and ability to do what is needed.  The problem is that often we are not listening or willing.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Point from Reference

(Pro 19:22 KJV) The desire of a man is his kindness: and a poor man is better than a liar.

My Hebrew skills consist of a wish and some reference books based on the Strong’s numbering system.  That means I could be totally off on this but my sources say that the KJV is more accurate here than the NASB.  In the NASB the desire is a modifier pointing at the man.  My sources say that the Hebrew for “desire” (8378) is a noun.  The NASB seems to be implying that the desire is in God.  What it is saying is that we as human beings should have a desire for kindness.

“Kindness” (2617a) in the New Testament is part of the definition of love.  Love is a conscious choice, not an emotion or an hormonal response. 

So?  Once again walking in righteousness comes down to our choices.  Those choices are expanded by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit but choices they remain.  This is a day to chose wisely. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Seeker Garden

(Pro 18:15 KJV) The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

We have a lot of words that we would love to have applied to us.  Don’t you wish you had this verse with your name in it?  The key is the price we are willing to pay to earn the accolades.  This is where we decide to go to lunch.  Notice the two verbs, “getteth" (acquires NASB) (7069) and “seeks” (1245) .  That means that the compliments are not delivered by Fed-Ex overnight but are grown like vegetables in the back yard garden.  No one may be aware of how much you spaded and hoed.  All they see are the great tomatoes. 

You are obviously not God.  You could not take a bunch of sand and gravel and turn it into a tomato.  God caused the soil to develop and causes the chemical processes in the plant to produce something that is delicious and nutritious.  All you had to do was sweat a little.

So?  Grace is free.  Wisdom is sought.  Be a seeker. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Morsels of Glory

(Pro 17:1 KJV) Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

We are just a few weeks away from the most festive time of the year.  We have Halloween for those who celebrate it.  Then we have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New years.  It is a time for gathering together.  It should be a time of glorious focus on the blessings that God has given and will continue to give.  Too often we focus on the wrong things.

We are influenced by the people we are with.  That can be good or bad.  Family get togethers can be like fingernails on a chalk board or they can be a renewing brew.  If they are destructive then you are better off being “sick” this year.

Family and friends mean food.  How seductive is the food.  It is the one big sin available to Christians.  The feast is a part of the fellowship.  It can also be a gateway to so much that is wrong in our lives.  Gluttony is a sin.  Then there are those who eat to distract themselves from other pain.  Obesity and the results destroy our bodies.  It might be better to stay at home and have some crackers and cheese.

So?  So much depends on our attitude and how we interact with our situation.  Rejoice in what you have even if it is a thin sandwich in the kitchen by yourself.  Invite God to share it with you and the heavens can come down. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

You Must Leave before You Arrive

(Pro 16:17 KJV) The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

As I write I am looking at maps and planning a road trip.  One of the features of the maps program on my computer that is not available on my phone is the ability to chart a route that avoids toll roads.  Another factor is that the computer might show different routes at different times of the day because of traffic patterns.  That is handy because you might not want to go through town during rush hour. 

Usually when we plan routes it is a desire to get somewhere but Proverbs points out that the purpose of the road is also to get away from somewhere.  Set aside fleeing natural disasters and just think about what is the best way to get out of town.  Since I will be driving from a location I am not familiar with to one that I know it is probably more important for me to plan the getaway.

So?  In life Satan may have a few surprises waiting for you.  It is reassuring how often we can chart our path and avoid those traps simply by living a righteous life.  There are signs.  I know I am not in the best part of town if I see a lot of bail bondsmen.  Keep your eyes open as you move down the highway. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Reject or Accept

(Pro 15:12 KJV) A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

Attitude is so important.  It filters what we hear and censors what we say.  Attitude also determines what we feel.  I recognize this when I see others processing what I say.  I am not so alert when I am the one falling short of the law of love. 

Why do we reject advice?  Sometimes because we have thought it through and rejected it because it dilutes righteousness.  Would that it was always that way.  When someone tells you how to get away with a flagrant violation of honesty it may seem golden at first listen but if your standards are right you will almost immediately feel the dissonance.  Other times it takes a bit longer but an attitude of honesty and seeking first His kingdom will eventually wake you up.

What if it doesn’t?  Maybe you are a “scorner” (scoffer NASB) (3917b) at heart.  Maybe I am a scoffer at heart.

So?  Righteous self examination is always in order.  I think it is always good to make sure that our motives are right and our foundations are true.  Read.  Study.  Ponder.  Act. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

A Wagon on a Hill

(Pro 14:34 KJV) Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

I am glad to be an American.  I am also embarrassed to be an American.  Actually that should be expanded to “I am embarrassed to be a human being”.  Our cultures are rejecting the idea of “righteousness” (6666) and glorifying “sin” (2403b).  The change may have started subtly but we are going down a steep hill with well oiled wheels.  The question is, “What do we do about it?”

When I was a kid we lived briefly in a house with a steep dead-end road out our front door.  We were cool.  We had a wagon.  We were stupid.  I am not sure at what point in the ride I considered that it might be a bad idea but I was convinced when I reached the bottom.  Blood and scrapes were the order of the day.  The smartest thing would have been to not get in the wagon.  If I had half a brain I would have bailed early.  Like most of us, it was too late before I realized the danger. 

So?  We can’t usually bail from our culture, or can we?  The word for church is “called out ones”.  We need to be looking for things that we can be called out of.  Think of clubs and organizations you have joined.  Some might be able to change jobs.  Many will need to find a church that is not oiling the wheels. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Ranking Riches

(Pro 13:8 KJV) The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

How do you define “riches” (wealth NASB) (6239)?  The quick answer for most people involves looking around and checking their standard of living.  Most people on reflection will look a little farther.  In this context of “ransom” (3724a) it is a question of paying to redeem your captivity.  If you were captured by pirates and they demanded a ransom most people would give up their money rather than their children.  Wealth is a matter of attitude and priorities.

So?  Look at your calendar.  Look at your checkbook.  What does that say about the things you value most?  Is God pleased? 

Saturday, October 12, 2019


(Pro 12:3 KJV) A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

“Wickedness” (7562) does not have a “root” (8328).  It does not start with one.  It does not develop one.  Adam Clarke makes an interesting statement about this.  He says, “Evil is always a variable...”  I know that variables are a part of math and necessary for equations but in living life variables become a matter of convenience.  Have you ever tried to play a game like Monopoly with someone who keeps changing the rules?  It doesn’t take long before no one will play their game.

You run into people like this all the time.  In politics we see this as one difference between those called liberal and those called conservative.  Whatever the value of their positions and whether you agree with them or not, one side adjusts the facts and the other adjusts to the facts.  Truth does not change.  In order to not change it must exist and be understandable.

So?  We need to be constantly seeking to understand the truth.  In order to do that we need to find out what it is.  That is another good reason to begin each day in the Book of Truth.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Strangers in the Day

(Pro 11:15 KJV) He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

Keep in mind that just because someone is a “stranger” (2114a) doesn’t mean that they are treated like trash.  In some cases non-Jews were to be held accountable just like Jews.  In other situations they were to be given a bit of leeway.  There was an overriding principle:
(Lev 19:34 KJV) But the stranger (1616) that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Here we run into some difficulty with translations.  Some strangers are stranger than others.  Notice that though the English is the same the Hebrew number from Strong’s system is different.  The one used here in Proverbs is also used as adulteress.  It means strange in an corrupt way.  The one in Leviticus is more like someone with a tourist visa or a green card. 

So?  Nuance requires thinking.  Be careful about one-verse proof texts.  We can never afford to turn off our minds.  God wants a package deal of body, soul, mind and spirit.  Robots need not apply. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mark It Paid

(Pro 10:16 KJV) The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

The word for “sin” (2403b) has an interesting potential for translation.  It can be translated this way but there is a word added throughout the Old Testament that gives it a different slant.  That word is “offering”.  Thus the promise to the unrepentant sinner is that they will become a sin offering.

When you put this together with
(Rom 6:23 KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Heb 9:22 KJV) And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
it becomes clear that the sinner will pay for his sin with his own blood.

So?  We can rejoice in the knowledge that the shed blood of Jesus on the cross moved us from the sin offering category to the paid in full column.  A good thought to start the day and apply by our obedience. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Fear Hormone

(Pro 9:10 KJV) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

How can it be healthy to live in “fear” (3374)?  We tend to think of fear as something that locks our joints, turns our muscles to jelly and freezes our mind.  There may be some people who need to look at God with that attitude but not the believer.  For us fear is a growth hormone that gives strength and vitality.  It opens new worlds to us.  Sound strange?

Think about the first time you got behind the wheel of a car.  You entered in fear and it is a good thing.  Your actions now made the difference in how 2,000 pounds of steel and plastic interacted with the world around you.  Remember how hard it was to control the steering wheel?  Every little tremble caused the car to change direction.  In time you learned to live with it but it started with fear.

In one sense that fear should never go away.  The car is still a lot of mass that can cause a lot of damage.  If you forget that then you have even more reason to fear.

So?  God is not an inanimate object.  That makes Him even more dangerous.  At the same time He has these auto-correct features that put Him in control.  Fear.  Relax.  Obey.  Trust.  Get on with the journey. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Refreshing Priorities

(Pro 8:21 KJV) That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

We need to keep in mind verse 10 when we look at this.
(Pro 8:10 KJV) Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
It is a delicate edge to keep that requires us to reject wealth in order to gain wisdom and have the wealth promised in the same chapter.  It seems to me that the promise of one would cause us to lose focus on the other.

But such is the life of faith.  We see a similar conflict in,
(Joh 12:25 KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
There are times when we will need to react based on our inner compass but much of the time walking with Jesus demands a mind as fully engaged as our heart and soul. 

So?  Every day is a constant renewal of priorities.  That is one reason it is so important to start with worship and imbibing in the word.