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.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

 The Lost Twelve Years

(Luk 2:40 KJV)  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

(Proverbs 31 also read)

At this point in the gospels the life of Jesus goes dark.  This is the last we hear of him for twelve years.  I sometimes like to speculate on what Jesus was like as a little boy.  Other verses tell us that He went through all the temptations we do, yet He was without sin.  My grandchildren are marvelous and as close to perfect as you could imagine but I would hardly say they are without sin.  I would have loved to see the practical jokes He would play because I think, being perfect, He must have had a God-level sense of humor.  

There were no red letter days that we know about.  I would suggest that the same thing is true of our lives.  Most of our days are spent in routine and with a lack of capital letters.  That does not mean that we are not growing in “grace” (5485) and “wisdom” (4678).  Just as the man Jesus was being molded as the boy Jesus, so we are being molded by our daily experiences.

So?  I trust that this new year will be an opportunity for you to grow and become stronger in grace and wisdom.  Let it be. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

 Where’s the Jiff?

(Act 20:38 KJV)  Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.

(Proverbs 30 also read)

People and their priorities are strange.  Here we see an dramatic emotional storm because Paul has told them that he will not return.  Just a few verses back we have him warning them that “grievous wolves” would show up and that there would be terrible attempts to destroy the church.  That did not seem to bring much of a response.

I wonder how often we are guilty of the same things.

There are a lot of issues we need to be concerned with in our personal lives, the church and society around us.  Too often we worry about whether the car has been washed or get emotional about our favorite brand of peanut butter not being in stock.

So?  Focus on the things that matter.  Sure, look for your peanut butter but while you are looking don’t ignore the wolf that is waiting to destroy the important things of life. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

 Attitude of Freedom

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

It is not enough to “understand” (995) if we do not obey.  When we are dealing with a God who knows our hearts and can read our minds we cannot plead ignorance.  One of the common dodges that people use against responsibility is this idea of “I didn’t know.”  I have had it used on me.  I would guess I have used it, although I don’t want to dive into my memory to find out for sure.  

One reason why I don’t worry if I miss the sermon on Sunday is that I already know more than I am doing.  God wants obedience.  That is sometimes physical and sometimes mental.  It is always an attitude.

So?  Develop an attitude of freedom.  Serve willingly. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

 Beware the Auditor

(Pro 28:8 KJV)  He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

The second half of this verse is a bit obscure but that makes it frightening.  Obviously God is not happy with the idea of loaning money at interest.  Owing money is a form of slavery and it is a bondage that can keep us from being responsive to the leadership of God.  The second part takes this a step further.  It seems to make God the auditor and tax man.

It seems to me that this is saying God will find a way to pass the wealth of the money lenders on to the poor.  I don’t know how that will work but there it is.  

So?  God expects us to earn our bread by the labor we contribute.  That can be as a field hand or as a merchant.  Each contributes something to the process.  It would seem doubtful that people who make their money on the misfortune of others are in a different category. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2022


(Pro 27:27 KJV)  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Recently I was visiting with a friend who has some very specific ideas about food.  He is not vegetarian and does not follow the kosher law but his habits come close to each.  At dinner in a Chinese restaurant he was very specific that he did not want anything with pork in it.  He has in the past eaten only brown rice and when he fixed himself some oatmeal he only put cold water on it.  Needless to say I do not ever plan on him preparing my meals.

The demand for no pork brought up a short discussion of the ideas of being vegan or vegetarian.  I think we were agreed that neither was a sin.  That was big of us, I know.  We also agreed that there was no Biblical basis for either one.  This is one of those verses that pushes the vegan approach out the spiritual door and makes it only personal choice.  A vegan could not partake of goat’s milk although it is clearly endorsed by Proverbs.

So?  It may not be an issue for you.  If it comes up don’t get into being judgmental unless the food junkie tries to tell you it is a Biblical requirement.  No.  Just no. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

 Results May Vary

(Act 14:2 KJV)  But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

(Proverbs 26 also read)

Have you ever been frustrated because you were not effective as a witness, evangelist or teacher?  You are in good company.  Paul was the acknowledged apostle to the Gentiles.  He had a lot of success but you need to realize he also had a lot of failure.  One often follows the other.  Here we have a case where his success planted the seeds for violent opposition.

Be aware that everyone does not want to hear the truth.  Think about the prophets.  Few listened to them.  Think about Jesus.  People came to be healed and fed but often did not want to hear what He had to say.  

So?  Our goal is to be faithful.  The results are in the hands of God and the hearts of those He is trying to reach.

Sunday, December 25, 2022


(Luk 2:12 KJV)  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

(Proverbs 25 also read)

Years ago, when our son was first beginning to talk, we went to a Christmas presentation in a large public auditorium.  As part of the presentation they had a living nativity scene.  It was a very living scene with grown camels being led onto the stage.  My son decided it was time to ask the question that is very un-Christmas, “What if he goes potty?”  He did not whisper it in my ear.  He gave it all his Thespian might.  It resounded through the theater.

It is an aspect of the first Christmas we might not think about.  My youngest grandson is moving toward underwear instead of diapers but he isn’t there yet.  This may be the last Christmas where diapers are necessary.  The first Christmas was a time when Mary and Joseph were very aware of it.

So?  This is the day of the Incarnation.  God became man, or a baby.  He went through having His diaper changed so that we could have the hope of forgiven sins.  I trust you have taken advantage of that.  Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

 Eve of the Unknown

(Gal 4:4 KJV)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

(Proverbs 24 also read)

Around this time of year you hear a lot of people saying that we don’t know the date of Jesus’ birth.  That is correct, we don’t.  We can narrow down the year somewhat but the day is not given to us.  There are different types of people who bring this up.  One is the know-it-all who needs to demonstrate their tremendous knowledge.  Then there are people like me who mention it in passing and don’t consider it significant.  At the other extreme you have people in the cults who use it to try to jump to the reliability of the Bible.

We don’t know.  Deal with it.

What we do know from a verse like this is that Jesus was born when God decided it was the right time.  Again, deal with it.

So?  Jesus was born.  God became man.  The incarnation was the beginning of the path that led to the cross and our chance at forgiveness.  What a great thought for Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2022

 Keep the Focus

(Pro 23:2 KJV)  And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

As I write I am looking at Thanksgiving tomorrow.  When this is posted it will be just before Christmas.  These are two times of celebration and feasting among Christians as well as the general population.  Here the warning is against people who want to take advantage of you and try to buy you off with food.  I would hope that is not a problem in your circle.

But the warning is really about being ruled by our “appetite” (5315).  It is easy during all the rush to shift our focus from the incarnation and the promises of God.  It is almost second nature to get lulled by the physical and forget the spiritual.  This is a reminder.

So?  Celebrate.  Rejoice.  Feast.  And in the midst of it all keep re-engaging with the truth that is behind it all.  Merry Christmas. 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

 Emotions of Christmas

(Psa 142:7 KJV)  Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

(Proverbs 22 also read)

This is one of several Psalms that seem to be written from the depths of despair.  Dare we say, “depression”?  This is tagged as being written by David, the man after God’s own heart.  If you read through this and don’t pick up the anguish, you were reading on neutral.  It is all through.  What sealed it for me was this opening phrase, “Bring my soul out of prison”.  

This is David.  King, victorious warrior, author, musician.  And he suffered times of depression.

So?  I would suggest that if David could feel this way and still write something like the 23rd Psalm, there is hope for us when we get a bit dragged down.  You soul does not need to stay in prison.  Keep that in mind as you celebrate the season. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

 Seeing Through the Towel

(Pro 21:24 KJV)  Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

How often do we try to hide behind synonyms?  Sin can be labeled many ways that are used to cover up the gravity of rebellion against God.  Selfishness can be called stewardship.  You know the pattern.  The point is that a happy synonym does not take away the pain of the moment.  The games we play with toddlers come to mind.  It is fun to cover a kids head with a towel and start saying, “Where is Rufus?”  That assumes of course that the child is named Rufus.  I have not yet figured out if Rufus knows you see him but is having fun or actually has not put the picture together.

Here the issue is basically pride.  It might be many other areas.  God has put the picture together.

So?  Be honest with yourself.  That is often the first step toward being honest with God and those people around you. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

 Dangers of Deceit

(Pro 20:17 KJV)  Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

If you ever read the comics you are familiar with the Peanuts cartoon that has Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown and assuring him that this time she will not pull it away.  After the first two or three times I knew what was coming.  Why didn’t Charlie Brown?  In our lives why do we act like him so often?

One reason we keep falling is optimism.  We believe that this time things will be different.  We are not thinking about us but about the other person or the situation.  We think that we made a mistake but that is rectified now and all will be well.

Sometimes it is just a matter of refusing to admit the sin in our own life.  

“Deceit” (falsehood NASB) (8267) is a serious problem.  It is bad enough when we are the target.  It is even worse when we are targeting others.  

So?  Be honest with yourself and with others. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

 The Myth of the Open Mind

(Pro 19:25 KJV)  Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.

Today as I write I am looking for a verse that fits into a thought I already have.  Since I knew the issue I wanted to expand on, I was also aware that Proverbs speaks about it frequently so my chances of it popping up were good.  Proverbs came through.  I refer to the term “simple” (naive NASB) (6612a).  The reason it is on my mind is because in a discussion with another believer who was trying to bring me to his position he kept saying, “You need to keep an open mind.”  I have a hard time not laughing when people say this because of my knowledge of Proverbs.

I laugh because the root in the Hebrew for this word is open.  Thus in Hebrew to be naive and simple is to have an open mind.  The word picture is a large space able to accept whatever needs to be stored so I tend to think of this open mind they want me to have is a garbage dump with room for every bit of nonsense the world has to offer.  

So?  I will be open to the teachings of God as expressed in the Bible.  I will be skeptical to all the traditions of man that keep trying to change how I think.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

 Christmas Blood

 (Act 20:26 KJV)  Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

(Proverbs 18 also read)

When I read this a certain bit of prophecy came to mind.  I could not find it in any of the cross references which is a good reason to keep your own mind awake.  I felt like Paul was referring back to the words of Ezekiel,

(Eze 3:18 KJV)  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Paul had preached.  He had taught.  He had talked endlessly.  During that time he did not pull punches on truth.  I wish I could say the same and I am afraid that it is a common failure in Christian circles.  

We don’t want to offend.  We want to be liked.  We don’t feel we have the right words.  We still are the ones with the truth.  This should be a bit easier at Christmas time because we know what it is all about.

So?  If you love, share.  For many you may be the only Bible they get near. 

Saturday, December 17, 2022

 Bored to Death

(Act 20:9 KJV)  And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.

(Proverbs 17 also read)

And you thought last Sunday’s sermon was boring?  Imagine how Paul felt.  I would imagine that the excitement cut in just when he was getting to the key point in his sermon.  It is funny how that works.  Next time you are a bit upset with the pastor’s preaching remember that you could have been listening to Paul while sitting in a third floor window.

If you are the pastor or related to one keep in mind that people also seemed to complain about the apostle Paul.  Even Jesus had a problem getting His disciples to listen and take notes.

So?  It is up to us whether we get anything out of a sermon, lesson or book.  This is not the place to pass the buck. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

 Unvicious Cycles

(Pro 16:23 KJV)  The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

I watch people having a hard time walking and my mind goes to the vicious cycle that can be a part of their lives.  They are tired so they don’t walk.  Because they don’t walk they get weaker.  Because they are weaker they have physical problems that grow.  Physical problems make it hard to walk, and we start around again.

There is another side of that.  There are the cycles of blessing we can experience.  I am talking about spiritual blessings although I am sure the cycle exists in the physical realm.  Here we have the “heart” (3820), “mouth” (6310) and the “lips” (8193).  In previous verses it talks about the understanding and the spirit.  I would want to ask which comes first in our spiritual journey to wisdom.  

So?  I would suggest that you treat it like any cycle.  Jump in wherever you can.  Like the exercise/health problem the important thing is that you start and do what you can.  God will meet you and bring progress.  Remember it is hard to make progress from a stand still. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

 Home Remedy

(Pro 15:4 KJV)  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

I am taken aback when I realize how simple some things can be.  I was reading a book about innovation and the thought came to me that many of the medications we take are more optional than we want to admit.  We go to the doctor, get a prescription, take a pill and expect all to get better.  In the process of “healing” we experience nausea and sleeplessness.  We find that the side effects are worse than the original problem.  They we read about some home remedy that used to be common.  I am within reach of a jar that contains something called “healing jelly”.  It used to be called “petroleum jelly” but needed rebranding.  It is amazing all the things it can do if applied.

In the same way a mouth that applies simple kindness can be a healing thing.  We don’t need therapy or counseling.  We don’t need a vacation.  What we need is to simply apply the opening attributes of the description of love which is patience, kindness and a lack of jealousy.

So?  Act like the drug store is closed.  Use what you have on the shelf or what is already in your spiritual vocabulary.  Let God be your natural healer. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

 Some Things Can’t Be Shared

(Pro 14:10 KJV)  The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

I read the second part of this verse as a grandfather who has just been traveling and enjoying other people’s grandchildren.  At my destination I was able to get to know the grandchildren of friends.  I found that they have the same tickle spots as mine.  They have just as many toes and they are hugable.  

I have seen stranger’s grandchildren in the airport.  They bring a big smile to my face.  I can even enjoy the parents’ frustration in dealing with them.

But they are not mine.  I can understand the love that others feel because I have my own.  I can have strong feelings and a bit of joy but much of that is anchored in the joy that mine bring to me.

So?  Enjoy the joy of others but realize that God has His own joys for you.  Be aware and thankful. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

 Light Attitudes

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

This chapter in Proverbs, and probably most chapters, has a list of contrasts.  Many, if not most, are a contrast that comes down to attitude.  How do you look at life?  That is established by how you look at the day.  Or is it the other way around?  It doesn’t matter.  The point is you decide what kind of illumination you want on what you face.  

Take a simple flashlight.  My grandchildren love to play with them even in the middle of the day.  At night they can keep you from stubbing your toe, stepping on a scorpion or missing a stair.  They can also be used to terrorize.  How?  Go in a dark room in front of a mirror, put the flashlight below your chin and shine it up over your face so that the shadows create a wicked result.  Same light.  Different angle.

So?  You have heard it before and will hear it again.  We can decide what our attitude is going to be.  Start with the encouragement of worship involving praise and thanksgiving.  It will make you have a different attitude toward the call about your auto warrantee. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

 A Different Style of Holiday Buffet

(2Co 12:7 KJV) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

(Proverbs 12 also read)

Does everyone have a “thorn” (4647) in the “flesh” (4561) [sarx]?  The purpose seems to be to keep us humble.  Paul is not clear exactly what it is that holds him back.  There has been a lot of speculation.  The use of “flesh” here would seem to indicate it is something physical, such as epilepsy or a stutter, but it could have been a person.  We don’t know.

Maybe everyone doesn’t need one.  I guess it is possible that some people are so naturally humble they don’t need any extra measure but it seems to me that often the person with the least to brag about is the most cocky.

Most of us are very good at keeping them off the front page.

So?  If you are struggling with a handicap understand you are not alone, unless that is your handicap.  And don’t forget that the good news is God working through our weaknesses. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

 Hold It

(Pro 11:12 KJV)  He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

I have been involved in a lot of discussions lately.  Sunday School, bi-weekly Zoom meetings, family get togethers; the opportunities to share my wisdom and insight are plentiful.  I have been disappointed that no one seemed to want to listen to what I had to say.  They were too busy sharing their wisdom and insights.  I was a bit amused that they would often not pay attention to whether anyone else was talking.

There is a theme in this chapter of Proverbs and I am guessing you will find it other places.  The theme is, “Keep your mouth shut.”  I have a hard time with that when one lady suggests that a child with high lead levels might have been chewing on pencil lead.  On another day the teacher commented how the Bible never tells us to anoint with oil when we are praying for the sick.  To be honest I did not remain quiet either time, but I am working on it.

So?  Listen.  I keep telling myself I might learn something. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

 Some Things Must Be One Way

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

“Hatred” (8153) is destructive.  That is clear in this verse.  I find myself wondering if it is required of both parties in a dispute.  Can the hatred of one person cause dissension if the other refuses to return it?  We live in a day of warm fuzzy theology that seems to say if we just keep a smile on our face and keep turning the other cheek then eventually the hater will fall down on his knees in repentance and rainbows will appear and the birds will sing a sweet song.

Maybe.  Sometimes that will work just fine.  How did it work out for Jesus in the Garden?  

So?  I think we need to accept the fact that people filled with hate will cause problems.  How we respond will vary based on the situation.  What is in our hearts cannot change.  We must never be the one filled with hatred.  As always, the results are up to God. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

 Standing Grace

(Psa 130:3 KJV)  If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

(Proverbs 9 also read)

We tend to drift off course in two directions.  One drift is to focus on the sins of others and how bad they are.  This is a way of lifting ourselves up at their expense.

The other direction has us magnifying our sin to the point where we find it almost impossible to accept the forgiveness talked about in the next verse.

Sin is real.  It cripples us and pollutes our whole being.  If that was all we had to know about then we would be truly the most miserable of creatures.  In fact, the question is, “Who could stand (5975)?”  The answer is no one.

So?  Grab the grace that is inferred.  This is not a statement of dismal dejection.  This is a reminder that God sent His son to die for our sins.  This chapter does not go into that but it doesn’t need to because it is clearly presented other places.  Rejoice!  Jesus has stood for us. 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

 Fool Simple

(Pro 8:5 KJV)  O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

Every day I pray for a group that I call “the seekers”.  These are celebrities and intellectuals that seem to be actually open to finding truth.  They are well spoken.  Some are advanced in their formal education with lots of letters after their names.  People listen to them.  They seem to be open to truth but are having a hard time finding it.  

Here we have the statement that “fools” (3684) can find truth.  It would seem to me that if a fool can grasp truth, why are the elites having such a hard time.  Picture someone stumbling through a dark room seeking the coffee pot.  They can smell the coffee.  They believe it is there but they can’t find it.  They run into a corner of the room, put out their hand and find a light switch.  What would you do?  I would turn it on.  Simple people turn it on.  Even fools will turn on the lights.  The top of the pyramid have trouble with that.  They want to map out the entire room and explain why each obstacle is where it is.  It is really hard for them.

So?  Pray for people whose names you hear regularly.  Some of them are close to turning on the lights.  Some will never find it because of pride.  It is isn’t a problem with the availability.  It is a problem with willingness. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


(Php 2:7 KJV)  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

(Proverbs 7 also read)

This is the incarnation.  It is one of the great mysteries of the Bible.  It is clearly described as God becoming man.  Jesus is God.  Jesus is man.  He is both at the same time.  The mystery is not in knowing what happened.  It is not in knowing why.  The mystery is in wrapping our mind around the concept of the dual nature of Christ.  We have a hard time understanding human beings.  God is infinitely beyond our ability to grasp.  Put them together and it is even more difficult.

What we need to know is that mankind is sinful and destined for an eternity in Hell.  In order to keep that from happening Jesus was born in a manger to become the perfect Lamb of God.  He would be the sacrifice that paid and made it possible for us to know eternity in the presence of God Almighty.

So?  Maybe eternity will be long enough to begin understanding what happened on the first nativity.  Merry Christmas.  Get started in contemplating the mystery. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

 Take the Opportunity

(Psa 145:7 KJV)  They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

(Proverbs 6 also read)

One of the great attributes of Christmas is the opportunity to talk about the greatness of God.  This whole Psalm rejoices.  Sometimes David is being grumpy and woeful.  Here he is reflecting on his blessings.  You can often start a discussion of God’s love and grace simply by saying “Merry Christmas.”

Sometimes it will be simple expression of joy.  I have Christmas music on and am reveling in its message of hope and stirring of memories.  With some people you will share the joy.

Sometimes it will be to contradict the Grumps of Xmas.  They are all around you.  For some it is a serious rejection of the things of God.  For others it is simply that they have been listening to the news.  Christmas is a great time to share why you know the joy of the Lord.

So?  That assumes you have some joy to share.  If you are struggling a bit then just reflect that God became man so that you could know forgiveness of sins.  Rejoice.

Monday, December 5, 2022

 Natural Solutions

(Act 13:26 KJV)  Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

(Proverbs 5 also read)

We have here a group of people that I have heard referred to as the God Fearers.  They were described as a group of gentiles that would listen to what the Jews had to say, have a desire to know this God of whom they spoke, but were not willing to take the step of circumcision.  You can picture how they would be a natural audience for Paul when he made the transition from speaking to the Jews to preaching to the Gentiles.

You may have people like this around you.  My daughter recently had a neighbor who started expressing interest because her daughter was interested.  You might know someone who has watched The Chosen.  God moves people in many ways.  We need to watch for those expressing an interest.  That is how the Holy Spirit works.

It is also possible that someone reading this might be in a class like that.  If so, I invite you to put your faith in Jesus as the one who died for your sins to be forgiven.  

So?  Be alert to the ways in which the Holy Spirit is working around and in you.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

 Who Supplies the Lemons?

(Pro 4:11 KJV)  I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

I started reading today in this verse.  Two things hit me.  One was a question and the other was a realization.

The question was, “Who is giving me this advice?”  I was thinking it was a personification of Wisdom which would be good but as I finished reading the chapter I realized that this was Solomon’s Father, David.  There is not mystery of spiritualization here.  This is not mystical.  This is dad talking to you.

I realized that we all have a responsibility to pass on what we have learned.  Accept that people may not listen.  Be aware that your timing and attitude need work.  Admit that you still have the duty to share truth.

So?  Look around you.  There are people you influence.  It may only be the clerk behind the Covid shield but remember that you have the Holy Spirit on your side.  He doesn’t even need lemons to make lemonade.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

 Death Wish

(Act 12:19 KJV)  And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.

(Proverbs 3 also read)

Do you want a miracle in your life?  Do you want God to deliver you from some difficult situation?  Have you ever wondered why He has not done so?  Here is part of the answer.  In order for Peter to be delivered several men had to be executed.  That was the penalty for allowing a prisoner to escape.  Do you want someone to die so you can have a new car?  Are you really willing for someone else to go through suffering so you can be relieved of pain, specially when the pain is probably the result of your lack of obedience in the first place?

Were the men executed innocent?  No, they were sinners like us, but it certainly wasn’t fair to kill them.  Could God have freed Peter another way?  Yes, but He didn’t.

So?  Be careful what you ask for.  God is aware of what you need. 

Friday, December 2, 2022


(Pro 2:11 KJV)  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

This is a transition verse.  That is why “discretion” (4209) is so important.  In the previous verses it talks about all the wonderful aspects of wisdom and what it can mean to your life.  The following verses warn about the dangers of ignoring wisdom.  This requires discretion.

We need to be reminded that the world is out to get us.  They can be subtle and slow or blatant and sudden.  They are masters of the many paths to Hell and they want to take you with them.  I think there are some people who are heavenly minded naturally in spite of their sinful nature.  They seem to respond readily to the gospel.  There are others who seem to have a built in antagonism to the things of God.  This latter group preys upon those in between.  

So?  Beware.  Unless you are in the devil’s camp then he and his minions are out to get you.  The good news is that God has given us ample resources to prepare for the attack.  Use them. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

 Listen by Choice

(Psa 119:133 KJV)  Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

(Proverbs 1 also read)

This verse is a good reflection of my daily reading in Proverbs 1 today.  In that chapter it talks about people trying to pull us away into sin and how often people refuse to listen to the guidance of the living God.  Here David is praying to see the opposite happen.  I see two points.

First, we need the “word” {565a} to “order” (establish NASB) {3559} us.  Picture majoring in philosophy.  I know that is a dreadful prospect for many, but stick with me.  Could you picture trying to be a philosopher if you had never read Plato?  I guess it would be possible to claim the title but your arguments would be lacking to say the least.  One of the weaknesses of modern philosophy students is that the new age philosophy departments have cut out all of the classical writings.  We cannot do that with the word.

Second, David is praying that God would deliver him from the power of sin.  “Dominion” (7980) is a strong concept that means to control and master.  If we did not have the power of God in our lives we would soon be beaten under by the forces of evil.  

So?  I have repeated it in nauseating fashion, get into the word and make it a daily part of your life.  It has eternal consequences. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022


(Psa 143:5 KJV)  I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

(Proverbs 30 also read)

David is focused on worship.  He is in prayer and confession.  In this verse he is looking back and meditating.  What got my attention was the word “muse” (7878).  If this were a noun and capitalized it would refer to one of the Greek gods involving the arts.  That is not the meaning here.  As I looked in my references it seems to have the idea of talking to yourself, or, I would assume, a kind of familiar talk with God.

I think I muse a lot when I am alone.  This is not like the formal prayers we hear from the pulpit.  It is more the quiet conversations we would have with a good friend when the children are asleep.

So?  Share your heart with God.  Remind Him of your dreams.  He already knows but it might be good for us to repeat them out loud. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

 A Winning Plan

(Act 11:27-29 KJV)  And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.  And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:

(Proverbs 29 also read)

If you are involved in a church that believes in missions then you probably just went through a push for the Thanksgiving offering for missions.  One of the things I noticed from Biblical examples is that we seemed to be getting things backward.  Later in Acts you will see Paul taking a collection on the mission field for the home church in Jerusalem.  We tend to get it backwards.  Another reversal is that in the Bible the missionaries seem to work to support themselves and the pastors are to be supported by the church.

Here we see another example of how the church has historically reached out to help those in need.  The reason that might be a good reminder is the current state of the world.  We are hearing all kinds of forecasts of shortages and famine.  If it is as bad as it sounds then there will be little we can do for the masses in the third world but we need to be aware of our neighbors and community.  

So?  If you have an aversion to the term “prepper” then just think of yourself as building a personal food bank for the hungry.  A worst case scenario is that you will keep people from starving.  A best case scenario is you will be able to be generous.  Win/Win. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

 Wisdom and Law

(Pro 28:7 KJV)  Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.

I have been hearing a lot about the law lately.  It is almost universally negative.  That is sad.  While we need to reaffirm that we cannot earn our salvation by our hard word and discipline we also need to remember that Jesus did not throw out the law.

(Mat 5:17 KJV)  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Even the apostle Paul tries to find a balance.
(Rom 3:31 KJV)  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
We are not saved by our actions.  Paul makes that clear in the well worn scripture,
(Eph 2:8-9 KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
But don’t forget the next verse, which seems to be common with people who quote verses 8 and 9,
(Eph 2:10 KJV)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
So?  Rejoice in the grace that gives you salvation through faith.  Be aware that God expects it to effect the way you live and that does not seem to be optional. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

 Quietly Destructive

(Pro 27:4 KJV)  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

“Jealousy” (7068) is something I don’t think much about yet it is something that the Bible considers a major issue.  Why the difference?  It could be that jealousy is kind of a secret sin whereas the other issues in this verse are hard to not notice.  When people are angry you can feel it even if they won’t admit it.  My wife will often tell people, “I’m not angry.”  I will sometimes ask her why she feels a need to say that.

There are different English words and Hebrew words that express this.  The point is that envy, jealousy, covetousness and such is very destructive.  

So?  Just another issue to search your heart about. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022

 A Bit of Perspective

(Psa 86:7 KJV)  In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

(Proverbs 26 also read)

At the beginning of the Psalm David is lamenting the affliction he is going through.  If you know much about his life you can come up with a multitude of situations where he was in dire straights.  With that in mind I read this verse and had to ask myself, “What kind of ‘trouble’ (6869a) do I really know?”  The answer is “None.”

When I read this verse it reminds me of how blessed my life has been and how much it is now.  Yes, I remember a time when my rent was a month behind, I had no money and only a can of soup between me and hunger.  I remember getting into town with no job, a pregnant wife and only ten dollars to my name, little things like that, but what are those compared to someone living in the midst of Muslims blowing up churches and cutting off heads in Nigeria?

I don’t know the meaning of trouble.

So?  I can rejoice in God’s providential providing.  I can be free to bring my little troubles to Him but I will do so with an awareness of His overall care.  My attitude will be praise not pessimism; faith, not fear. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

 Fruit Talk

(John 15:2 KJV)  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

(Proverbs 25 also read)

As I was reading this today it got me to wondering what it means to “bear” (5342) “fruit” (2590).  I have generally looked at this in terms of witnessing and changing the world around me.  This morning it occurred to me that this is the same word that Paul used when he wrote about the fruit of the Spirit.  

On one level this is liberating because it means that I can be in Christ without doing personal evangelism.  On another level this is a call to service because it means that we should be demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit everywhere we go.  One of the passages of scripture that is often on my mind and tongue is I Corinthians 13.  There are a lot of parallels between the definition of love and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-3.  

So?  Fruit is the natural outgrowth of fertilized buds.  I think that the point is if we are on the vine, in contact with Jesus, it will show up in our lives in some way.  We may be blessed with seeing people move toward faith.  We should be blessed by being examples of the faith. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

 Obvious Hyperbole

(Psa 114:3 KJV)  The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back.

(Also read Proverbs 24)

I almost laughed aloud when I read this.  What a spectrum of responses to the presence of God.  Do you see the poetic description here of the parting of the Red Sea and the opening of the Jordan River?  This is one of those places that remind us the Bible is not a staid, dull, unimaginative book but a book of truth.  And truth can be conveyed by hyperbole and irony as well as direct words.

This is obviously hyperbole.  We know that water does not have an awareness.  We know that waves cannot know fear.  We know that rivers can’t decide to change direction.  This is obviously a tool to impress on us how struck by awe we need to be.  

Or is it hyperbole?  Is it possible that the elements of creation are more in tune with the holiness of God than we are?  Could the ocean really try to run away from the awesome purity of God Almighty?  Can we afford to be so cavalier in our prayer and worship when we think about this?

So?  Next time you sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” remember the Red Sea backing away in haste and don’t get too cocky. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


(John 6:9 KJV)  There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

(Proverbs 23 also read)

The feeding of the multitude is in all four gospels but this is the only one that has the detail of the boy providing the loaves and fish.  In this account there were twelve baskets left over.  That is impressive.  My mind goes on a tangent.  

I wonder if the little boy went around trying to claim all the leftovers.  After all, it was his bread to start with.  It would seem like a fair thing to do.  Just imagine how rich he could get selling them in medieval France.  

Then my mind went “Squirrel!”  That is a dangerous thing for your mind to do.  You can go down rabbit holes that lead to all kind of heresy.  In this case I started wondering if we sometimes view our spiritual gifts this way?  We want the benefit.  I don’t think that is the response that God would want.

So?  Tangents themselves are not Biblical but it is possible that they can lead you back to something important.  Sharing and not expecting return as good concepts.  Something to think about next time you have to share your cookies with someone. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

 Beyond Us

(Deu 29:29 KJV)  The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

(Proverbs 22 also read)

Have you ever found yourself asking God “Why?”  I know I have.  There are times when an answer will come to me and other times that I get no satisfaction.  Some of God’s truth is “secret” (5641).  Face it.  Accept it.  We do not know and may never know.

I think a lot of that will be worked out in eternity.  I am not sure we will ever grasp the mystery of the Trinity but we may figure out how God created by speaking.  The nature of some of these secrets are such that the joy will in eternally pursuing the understanding.  Also part of the joy will be that the secret always stays just out of our reach.  That will give us the anticipation of further learning.  It will also reassure us of the nature of God as opposed to the nature of man.

So?  Keep asking.  Keep seeking.  Enjoy the process but remember that you are not God. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

 Watch Those Traditions

(Psa 133:3 KJV)  As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

(Proverbs 21 also read)

Doctrine is important.  It always has been and always will be, but we have the responsibility to make sure that our doctrine is based on the Bible rather than what the Bible calls the “Tradition of the Elders”.  This is one of those places where Jesus ran into trouble.  He believed in the resurrection and one of the dominant Schools of Theology, the Sadducees, did not.  

This verse deals with another area of confusion.  I have read people who claim that the Hebrews of the Old Testament did not believe in eternal life, or as we often conveniently say, “heaven”.  I don’t know how they can say that if they have ever recited the 23rd Psalm (and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever) but this verse would also seem to make things clear.

This is also true of us today.  Many can give you some fine points of doctrine but they have not done the reading that justifies such confidence.

So?  Keep reading and make sure that you are in tune with the Bible.  I don’t see myself arguing with Jesus on Judgement Day but if I did I would not have my pastor there to explain why Jesus was wrong. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

 Knowledge of Rocks

(Pro 20:15 KJV)  There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

We were watching the grandchildren and friends play on the rocks and load a toy dump truck with whatever was small enough for their hands.  My granddaughter kept saying “diamonds”.  Some adults may have laughed at her imagination.  I did not because I know that diamonds in the rough would look like rocks to me.  For all I knew, they could have been diamonds.

Some people look at shiny glass and see diamonds.  Some have the “knowledge” (1847) to look at dusty rocks and see diamonds.  The former is how we look at things with our eyes of flesh.  The latter is what God sees when He looks at us.

So?  The rocks require sorting, cutting and polishing.  When done some will be worth much more than others.  God turns our rock into jewels.  Exciting thought for eternity.  Who wants to be a dusty rock forever? 

Saturday, November 19, 2022


(2Co 5:21 KJV)  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

(Proverbs 19 also read)

Did you see The Passion of the Christ?  Did it make you uncomfortable?  Did it drive you to your knees?  It should have.

In eternity I expect to spend a few million years contemplating what it cost Jesus to come to earth, take on humanity and have all our sins dumped on His being.  It would have been enough if it were just my sin but He took the iniquity of all of humanity, for all time, on His shoulders.


Friday, November 18, 2022

Vain Solutions

(Psa 108:12 KJV)  Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

(Also read Proverbs 18)

I believe that one of the misunderstanding about the Bible is an artificial division between law and grace.  Many people have the idea that the Old Testament is only concerned with keeping the law and the sacrificial system and the New Testament is all about unmerited grace.  I think this is a result of listening to the traditions of the elders instead of reading the Bible and seeking the whole counsel of God.

This verse in Psalms is just one place where it is pointed out that man is helpless in his own power.  While it is true that the context might be considered a plea for victory in a military sense, the principle is clear.  God is the source of our “help (second time)” (deliverance NASB) (8668).

To add to the power of this chapter in Psalms you might benefit by reading verses 3-5.  You should recognize what some think of as contemporary “praise” music.

So?  The day is ahead of you.  If it is evening for you then tomorrow is coming.  Live in the assurance that God has this.  He is into deliverance to His own.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Bear Scare

(Pro 17:12 KJV)  Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

As I compared the KJV and the NASB I noticed a difference of emphasis.  The NASB seems like the natural understanding.  A man does not want to meet a mad bear.  But when you read the KJV it seems like the bear is doing the meeting and would want to avoid the fool.

What is there about fools that they should scare even a mad bear?  Are they that dangerous?  Read the whole passage and I think you would be forced to agree.  The damage done by fools cannot be measured, partly because we refuse to identify the fools.

So?  Don’t be a fool.  There is a lot of information in Proverbs to avoid that end.  Read and apply.  Act like the electronic device came with instructions for a reason. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Starting Line

(Pro 16:22 KJV)  Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

We live in a time of many questions.  I don’t think that is anything new.  It has always been a problem just as the solution has always been available.  Much of our confusion comes from listening to the many voices around us instead of the Voice within us.  We have doctors telling us what is best for us, politicians calling for our support in their programs, pastors who feel they have a hot new word from the Lord, family members who only have our best interests at heart.  Did I miss what you are struggling with?  It doesn’t surprise me.

Too often we start with what “authorities” tell us and then try to justify it.  We will search the scripture for insight.  Or we start with our own opinions and look for proof texts to back us up.  We get it reversed.  Our starting point is what the Bible says.  After that we can interpret what our guru has for us.

So?  The point of this verse is that knowing what is right will make a difference in our life. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Generation Blessing

(Psa 128:6 KJV)  Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

(Proverbs 15 also read)

There are times when I am being thankful for all the blessings of God.  Sunday the pastor was preaching about Job.  He was blessed by God.  Most people would agree with that in the opening verses and the closing verses.  Most people would question that in between.  

One of the blessings that is given at both ends is the blessing of children.  We often take them for granted.  Our modern culture portrays them as a burden.  They are becoming more rare.  God considers them a blessing.  So should we.  

Here it goes even further and talks about the children of your children.  One of the blessings of life is being around to see that generation.  I count myself blessed.

So?  Be careful not to accept our cultures values.  That has many facets and one of them is the truth that children, and grandchildren, are a blessing.  Or they should be. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

It Is Coming

(Joh 21:18 KJV)  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

(Proverbs 14 also read)

I was at dinner with a group of seniors from the church.  I am guessing that I was the youngest in the group.  There were five men.  One led us know that he had endured Alzheimers for ten years.  His wife made sure that he ordered what he liked and reminded him that it was his when it came.  Meanwhile he shared a book he was reading and was very much a part of the conversation.  

Another guy had a double lung transplant four years ago but you never heard it from him.  The only indication was some shortness of breath.  He was alert and had a new gun he wanted to go shoot.

So?  We all come to the place where we are limited.  We may need others to keep us dressed properly and get us where we need to be.  We can still keep a good attitude and give it our best.  That is not the context of what Jesus was saying but it still applies.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Take a Deep Breath

(Psa 131:1 KJV)  A Song of degrees of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

(Proverbs 13 also read)

As I write I am reflecting on a national election in which the forces that embrace evil policies seem to have come out much better than expected.  My natural reaction is to rage and despair.  This is a reminder that we should not get “exercised” (NASB involved) too deeply in such things.  
Keep in mind that the Bible was written in the days of monarchs and kings.  Individuals were not considered as very important.  We live in a different age where we are expected to get involved.  The principle is the same.  Sure, get involved, but keep the proper perspective.  God is not sitting on His throne, wringing His hands, hoping that we will come through.  At times I think He wishes we would get out of the way.

So?  Relax.  A phrase I have come across has someone saying, “I’ve got this.”  Picture that coming from the mouth of God, read the next verse and get on with living an upright life. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022


(Psa 8:4 KJV)  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

(Proverbs 12 also read)

What is God’s most amazing attribute?  If you look at the previous verse you have the concept of creation.  That is awesome beyond our human imagination.  The complexity of the universe and how every little law of physics works together with every other is a never ending investigation into deeper and deeper levels of reality.  

But there is something even more amazing to me.  My morning worship always starts with praising Him as creator and as the God who is, but what is the hardest to visualize?

That He is aware of me as an individual.  God “takes thought” (2142) of us.  The basic meaning of the word is to remember.  God did not just make us and get on with His day.  He stays engaged.  He reaches out to us.  He gave us free will and then sent Jesus to provide the cure for the sin we got ourselves into.  I can feel the amazement of David.  

So?  Try to wrap your head around that.  I have a hard time getting there but it is always an inspiration to try. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Arrogant Ears

(1Co 13:4 NAS77) Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

(Proverbs 11 also read)

Love is not arrogant.

I have been noticing recently that people don’t seem to be interested in the “in depth” conversations I want.  They don’t read the books I am reading.  They don’t get my points.  I start feeling frustrated.

This could be a demonstration of arrogance.  What do I mean, could be?  Is.

It dawned on me was that I need to listen to some of the things I have been getting out of Proverbs as I read it every month and one of those lessons was to listen instead of talking.  One reason why people are not communicating is because there is so much to say but no one is listening.

So?  To combat arrogance in my life I need to stop worrying about sharing my great insights and listen.  It may be that I will hear nothing but nonsense but that is arrogance talking. 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Living Glad

(Psa 122:1 KJV)  A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

(Proverbs 10 also read)

If we are reading this in the twenty-first century we think of the “house” (1004) of the Lord as our local church.  At least I do.  If you were reading it in the days of David it would obviously mean the temple except for one problem.  When David wrote this there was no temple.

Are you “glad” (8055) when someone says, “It is time to go to church”?  I used to hear this twice on Sunday, on Wednesday night and any other time the doors were open.  I watch my grandchildren get excited about going to Sunday School and Awanas.  I listen to other family members trying to come up with reasons to stay home.  David is like my grandchildren.  How about you?

If not there are a couple of issues that come to mind.

The problem may be the church you are attending.  Let’s face it.  Some churches are dead and would benefit the world if they would close their doors.  Some churches seem to be able to take perfectly grilled prime steak and turn it into fried liver.  That might demand some hard choices on your part.

The problem may be in you.  When I was a pastor I used to tell people there were days when I did not want to come to church but there was never a day that I was not glad I had been there.  I think that is natural.  If you don’t experience the worship it could be that you are closing the doors to what God wants to say to you.  Spend the ten minutes before things start listening to the prelude and thinking about the words that go with the music.  Look at the bulletin, find the text for the sermon and read it ahead of time.  Start seeking the Lord in prayer.  You will be amazed at how God will meet you.

So?  There are times when worship descends in joy.  There are times when it is a matter of discipline.  It is important.  Be glad. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Eternal Learning Curve

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

This verse touched my thinking again as I read it today.  I got to thinking about the “knowledge” (1847) of God.  In reality God is so far above us that to think we have any knowledge of Him is a bit presumptive.  When I see the phrase “everlasting to everlasting” or the concepts of Alpha and Omega I wilt in my limitations.  At the same time the Bible calls us to know this God of ours.  He reaches out to us and meets us where we are.  He builds on what He has given us.

We have one of the glorious paradoxes of the faith.  We have a God so above us that we can’t even begin to comprehend Him and yet He reaches out and offers us a knowledge of Him.  I think the technical terms are transcendence and immanence.  

So?  You don’t understand the Bible?  Join the club, activate your subscription and get started on the eternal learning curve. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Free to Seek

(Pro 8:17 KJV)  I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

Grace is a wonderful concept and a Biblical theme.  We need to remember that our salvation is a gift from God and we had no chance of earning it or deserving it.  At the same time I get a little tired of one-note theology.  God gives us a gift.  It is a gift we could never generate ourselves.  At the same time we serve a God who did not create a bunch of robots that come running when He pushes a button.

God gave us another gift and that is free will.  We have the ability to choose.  Here Proverbs is pointing out that God responds to the choices we make.  Does He love everyone?  I must admit I have memorized John 3:16 and II Peter 3:9.  Haven’t heard the one in Peter?

(2Pe 3:9 KJV)  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God’s desire is that all would repent and be saved.  So far it hasn’t happened that way.  The gift is still there, ready to be given out.  

So?  If you have not received the gift yet then might I suggest that you begin to apply this verse in Proverbs. 

Monday, November 7, 2022

Gender Wars

(Pro 7:4 KJV)  Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

Have you ever met or listened to a garden variety pagan who was waxing strong against the Bible being a patriarchal anachronism?  While it is true that men are usually in leadership it is also true that the Bible gives women a place of honor.  Here we see wisdom and understanding personified as female.  If you read other places you will find that women served as prophets and judges.  In history the women of Israel had less restrictions than cultures around them.

So?  Try not to get hung up on the latest meme of our culture.  Listen.  Be polite.  Show restraint.  Then go and see what God says before you get on board.  You will often find yourself traveling a lonely path but at least it will be a path that goes someplace. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Cultural Application

(Pro 6:17 KJV)  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

We often overlook the effect that the Bible can have on our world if we take it seriously.  I was talking to someone recently about Vietnam and we remembered the war.  My friend is into fighter pilots and had talked to many who had been taken prisoner and tortured for years.  In spite of that we are now looking at Vietnam as an ally.  At first I was a bit on edge about that.  I had served in Vietnam too.  Then I remembered how we had treated Germany and Japan after World War II.  We tend to forgive and build up those we defeat.  That is not part of the history of the world.  It is a heritage of our attitude toward the application of power.

This is touching on the idea of forgiveness and not taking our pain out on a defeated population.  It is one of the elements of limited war that has been practiced in modern times, at least by Christian countries.

So?  Every area of life is influenced by the word.  In order to apply it, you need to know it.  To know it you need to read it. 

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Thought Criminals

(Pro 5:6 KJV)  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

When you compare the KJV and NASB you get a different picture.  I think the KJV translation is a good insight for us today.  It seems to imply that the evil people you run into are not content to live in sin themselves.  They are not even content to let you make up your own mind.  The KJV seems to be saying that they will do their best to try to keep you from thinking at all.

Isn’t that the problem with much of our activity.  We talk about certain activities being “escape”.  We are trying to get away from it all on vacation.  We zone out at the movies.  Video games can be so engrossing that you forget to eat.  This isn’t even touching on mind altering drugs.  

So?  I think we need to make conscious choices to think, ponder, meditate, pick your verb.  Take a look at the last 24 hours.  Have you don’t any serious brooding?  Maybe it is time.  Remember that the Devil would like you to be empty headed.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Standard Equipment

(Pro 4:24 KJV)  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

If you ever buy a new car the first thing you need to do is make sure what the standard equipment includes.  Some things are necessary and we assume they are installed and in working order.  Does it have brakes?  Probably but some people don’t know that at one time a heater was optional equipment.

Christian character comes with standard equipment.  The one mentioned here is an honest mouth.  A good question would be, “Can you be a Christian and a liar at the same time?”  I would say no.  Can you be an automobile without wheels?  Can you be a fish if you can’t live in water?  

So?  Make it a point to know the standards.  They are doable.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Give God an Excuse

(Pro 3:10 KJV)  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

I don’t have a barn and I don’t own any “presses” (3342), or “vats” as the NASB calls them.  I think I am free to take these as figurative language for me as a city slicker of the twenty first century.  If you are one of those who reject the idea of tithing then notice that in the previous verse it is talking about your substance and your first fruits.  It is talking about an attitude.

Keep in mind that the attitude is not just yours.  It also includes God’s attitude.  I think it is safe to say that God wants to bless His people.  It would seem to me that He wants to bless those who are faithful and righteous even more.  What kind of attitude do you have that you want God to bless?  Are you committed to holding back or to giving?  

So?  Don’t tithe.  I can live with that.  You probably can to but I don’t think you will live as well as you would if your were a joyful giver.  Please notice that there is no pay pal for you to click.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022


(Psa 92:14 KJV)  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

(Proverbs 2 also read)

As we get older we often start to feel like life is over.  We seem to be running out of energy and time.  It can be frustrating but we need to know it is not a Biblical attitude.  Here we are told that, even though we are “old” (7872) we still have some “fruit” (5107) to “bring forth" (yield NASB) (5107).  In consideration of our modern crisis in obesity the NASB uses “full of sap” for the “fat” of the KJV.  Either way it means you still have some juice flowing.

It is also interesting to notice the condition of this productivity.  It is found in the previous two verses.  Verse twelve points out God is talking about the righteous and verse thirteen says you need to be planted in the house of the Lord.

So?  If our lives are rooted in the kingdom we always have prospects.  That applies for now as well as forever.  Rejoice. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Grave Considerations

(Pro 1:12 KJV)  Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

The NASB talks about “Sheol” (7585) instead of the “grave”.  Sheol is a transliteration of the Hebrew.  This deals with something that we don’t like to discuss, Hell.  When you look at these Hebrew terms you need to understand that there is a lot of disagreement on whether the ancient Jews believed in an afterlife and a resurrection.  There is evidence on both sides.  In fact the two prominent parties of the Gospels, the Pharisees and Sadducees, took opposite positions on the resurrection.

What we need to understand is that Hell is real and the resurrection is a promise.  We can avoid Hell but no one can avoid the resurrection.  For some it will be a blessing and for nonbelievers it will simply be another disaster.

So?  God’s promises involve the strength to deal with issues today and the assurance of the final outcome.  Both are important.  That is a good thought for the day after Halloween which is All Hallows Day, or All Saints Day. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Change of Pace

I have been posting on this blog now for over 12 years.  I know I have posted late in the day a few times but I don’t think I have actually missed a day.  That means I have written about 144 times for each chapter of Proverbs.  It numbs my mind to think about it.  

I plan to continue writing because this is a personal discipline for me.  My thoughts have certainly not gone viral but the discipline goes on.  

I am going to change my approach a bit.  I will still be reading a chapter of Proverbs each day in my personal worship but in the future I will also be considering the other reading I do for the day or something that might come to my mind as I prepare for the day.  

The Perpetual will continue but the Proverbs will at times be bypassed.


Bucket List

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

I have never been drunk.  I have never been even close.  It has been 40 years since I have even tasted alcoholic beverages.  I was curious enough about the taste to hold my nose and take a sip but as far as I was concerned it tasted as bad as it smelled.  So I have a hard time understanding what is going on here.  I read about it in novels and hear horror stories but I don’t have a clue.

There are times when I wonder if I am missing something.  Should I tie one on at least once?  The answer has always been “no” and I imagine it will continue to be that way.  There are some things that we don’t need to experience.  For most of us this is a call to wisdom and counting the cost.

So?  If you identify with one of these people then I guess this could be justification for getting drunk.  Somehow I think the advice of the rest of Proverbs might be a better solution.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Price Is Right

(Pro 30:22 KJV)  For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

How easily are you bought?  Our cat is accused of being easy at times.  You scratch her ears and she is your friend for life.  At times it seems my grandchildren are easy.  If you want to get them on your side take them to a restaurant, put a bottle of ketchup by their plate, hand them a spoon and look the other way.  Are we any better?

We are constantly promised all kinds of wonderful things.  Senators are notorious for being paragons of virtue the last year of their six year term.  Then, knowing you will forget, they come out of their closet after the election and wreak havoc for five years.  Then they suddenly promise to be different, and get reelected.  Churches will take people in who are clean, smell nice and drive nice cars because they think they are their kind of people.  I still laugh about some friends of ours who had a great appearance but were hand to mouth being invited to a fancy fund raising dinner and we were ignored.  We drove old cars.

So?  There are times when doing the popular thing is the right way to go but we need to follow that path because it is right, not because it is popular.  Don’t be bought.

Saturday, October 29, 2022


(Pro 29:18 KJV)  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

I am currently engaged in a sporadic discussion about the law.  Every time I talk about how God expects us to live upright and righteous lives I am accused of being a legalist and rejecting grace.  I obviously don’t see it that way or I would not say the things I do.  I think the law gets a bad rap because our understanding is stilted by a modern version of the traditions of man.  

One question that I find helpful is, “What is the purpose of the law?”  I am sure there are many answers but notice the one that is brought out here.  The law can make us “happy” (835).  I know that some people look at rules as confining and joy quenchers.  The law is designed to enable long term joy, often at the expense of short term thrills.  I did not see the story myself but I understand there was a recent collapse of an amusement park ride.  I would be willing to guess that the cause was ignoring the laws that regulated inspections and weight limits.  I am sure that the first couple of hills were exciting but the crash didn’t sound like fun.

So?  Use tools the way they were designed with the safety devices in place.  Life is more fun with all your fingers and both eyes. 

Friday, October 28, 2022

A Moment with Marx

(Pro 28:3 KJV)  A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.

As you read the Bible you constantly come across ideas that are at conflict with contemporary accepted mantras.  The way in which the Marxist doctrine of class struggle has been accepted should scare us.  It would if we were paying attention.

Here you have a statement that should alert you to the lie in that teaching.  Here is is clear that oppression is not just something that the rich do.  It is an attitude that does not come from the pocketbook but from the evil in men’s hearts.  It can apply to the poor as well as the rich.

So?  Be aware of the lies being taught.  Know the truth.  Examine your own values and priorities.

Thursday, October 27, 2022


(Pro 27:8 KJV)  As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.

This is a word picture that does not automatically resonate with me.  Of course birds “wander” (5074).  How else do you expect them to find the food they need?  If you were applying the term to people this could involve going off to work, shopping or visiting friends but that is not the sense of the Hebrew.  One of the translations it to flee, to run away or be chased away.  

I think one of the reasons that families fall apart is because the “man” (376) does not want to be responsible or has come to a place where he can’t take any more.  One could be caused by the other.  When Proverbs uses the word “man” you need to look a little deeper.  Sometimes you notice the word is in italics.  That means it is not in the Hebrew, thus when the Hebrew says “evil” the translators add “man” in what they think will clarify.  Or they might put “man” instead of “soul”.

So?  Christians are expected to be responsible.  God expects it and friends and family should be able to depend on it. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Buck Starts Here

(Pro 25:5 KJV)  Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

The Bible does not give advice on politics in regard to political parties or partisan issues.  It does give us standards for our lives and our decisions that apply to politics and since we live in an age and place where a republican form of government is still on the books, we should take the standards of God and apply them to our political decisions as well as whom we will marry.  

As I write this the “early voting” time period has begun.  I am not sure if I will post it before or after the polls close so let me address it to both possibilities.  If you have not voted yet then you need to be aware that God expects you to do what you can to “take away” (1898) the “wicked” (7563) that have any access to our “king” (4428), which in our polity refers to the president.  In Proverbs you have a monarchy so you would think the king should be doing the removing but notice the wording.  It does not say, “King, take away....”  Even in a monarchy you have people who can influence what is going on.  If you have not voted then that rests on you.  As far as you are able you need to exercise your privilege and vote for the least wicked power broker you can.

If the election is over then most of this will be directed toward those with influence.  Then it will be time for those who were elected or reelected to step up to the plate and work to remove evil from the palace.  

So?  Be prayerful.  Be obedient.  Be aware that evil exists and we might have a voice in doing something about that. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Good Job

(Pro 25:27 KJV)  It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

Did you notice that  “glory” (3519b) is used twice in one phrase?  That tells us two things.  First, something that some don’t like to admit, there is such a thing as being worthy of approval.  Maybe not praise but certainly approval.  Second, we should not be pursuing such praise.  

This is a hard balance to keep.  There are numerous places where we are reminded not to toot our own horn or place ourselves in the driver’s seat.  We often are in too much of a hurry when it comes to such things.  

So?  Don’t develop a false modesty.  It isn’t really necessary.  Accept the good things people say but don’t let it go to your head.  I think we all want to hear “Well done, though good and faithful servant” more than deceitful praise of man. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Pay Attention

(Pro 24:32 KJV)  Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.

It is amazing how many things we can learn just by paying attention.  A bit of research might be necessary.  A bit of experimentation might be in order, but we can learn and grow.  

Years ago I was out in the woods at a campsite that had running water and a propane tank.  When we arrived and turned on the water we found that the pipes had not been drained properly.  I had never worked with copper pipe before but I had watched others.  It took me three trips down the hill but the knowledge I had gained by paying attention eventually paid off.

So?  There is a reason to pay attention even when we don’t think what is happening applies to us.  You never know.  God prepares us in unusual ways. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Beware the Second Step

(Pro 23:1 KJV)  When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:

As I began reading this chapter my first thought was that I will never “dine” (3898b) with any “ruler” (4910).  As I kept reading another thought jumped out at me,

(Pro 23:6 NAS77) Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, Or desire his delicacies;
I am sure that I know some selfish men and there is a chance I will eat with them.  Then I had a third that tried to wake me up,
(Pro 23:9 NAS77) Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.
I know I come in constant contact with fools.  By definition they are people who have no fear of the Lord and those people run just about everything.

Yet we survive.  We are so used to going through our day without thinking.  Did you seriously plan out every move when you took your shower this morning or were you on autopilot?  Or we get to thinking about something and miss the obvious.  Have you every driven past your turn-off because you were in the middle of a great story.  As kids we used to get hilarious when my dad did it.

We can get so carried away with these warnings that we become total bores, but it might do us a bit of good to consider the ideas.  We have all been in situations where we are offered some treat and feel compelled by courtesy to partake.  That is understandable in most situations but then we go on and have a second helping, so to speak.

So?  Everyone around you does not have your best interest at heart.  They may even think they are doing it for you but often they do it in such a way as to build their ego more than your character.  Take the desert but don’t fall for the idea that this one time won’t go straight to your waist.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Cast the Stone

(Pro 22:10 KJV)  Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

“Contention” (4066) is a major evil in our homes, churches and communities.  The people who spread it do not have a happy future.  The people who have to live with it need a constant influx of grace to deal with it.  Sometimes you can do something about it.  You can vote members off the church board.  You can leave a church or get a new job.  Sometimes you cannot do much.  Marriage is one of the ways in which the word is used.  The solution there seems to be staying as far away from the trouble maker as possible.

So?  My first concern is to examine my own life and make sure I am not one who brings strife.  It is always hard to see things in yourself but it won’t happen at all unless we are aware of the potential.  If it is any consolation there is one verse that says the disaster that awaits the contentious will come suddenly. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Mouth Guard

(Pro 21:23 KJV)  Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
This is an often repeated warning in Proverbs.  As I read it I thought of the taste of dirty socks that often fills my day from saying things out of line.  As I was looking at the verb, “keepeth” (guards NASB) (8104), I noticed that one of the translations was “observe”.  It is used 38 times in the NASB and 41 in the KJV.  I looked at a few times it was used and noticed that it meant to observe the Passover.  Interesting.

This is the kind of care that looks ahead to what is going to be needed.  If we consider our words and their effect over the long haul then we might say things differently.  We might say things not at all.  I recently had a conversation where the subject came up of someone using what had been written in a letter in a harmful way.  Literally.  That was the concern.  If you are speaking to the wrong person even statements meant as support or encouragement can be used against us.

There is a point where it gets foolish to worry.  Our lives are in God’s hands and He knows our hearts.  We can’t do much about the twisted souls we rub elbows with.  At the same time it is good to have a word of caution.

So?  Speak with love and kindness.  When it comes back to you it will be either a blessing or a twisted mess that will not wilt your soul. 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Save It for the Used Car Lot

(Pro 20:14 KJV)  It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

I am not sure if this is a criticism or a complement.  We have all been to yard sales and flea markets where there is bargaining and haggling going on.  Perhaps you have bought a used car.  The buyer points out every dent.  The seller praises its dependability.   All of those are just a part of a barter economy.  

One place it can be a problem is when it bleeds over into our personal contacts. It seems necessary for some people to point out every flaw I have or they think I have.  Since I already know my weak points pretty well it gets a bit boring.  It hurts anyway.

So?  I try to think that everyone around me has thin skin.  It may not make their day but it moves me toward being a better person.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Mixed Messages

(Pro 19:13-14 KJV)  A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.  House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.

I find Solomon to be a moody writer.  If you consider this verse and the next one you get two different pictures of marriage.  If you look at the previous chapter you find out that a wife is a gift from the Lord.  If you do a study of “contentious” (4066) you will find that wives are a favorite noun for this adjective.  

So which is it?  As is to often in the Bible, it remains true to life and addresses more than just a party line.  It requires study, thought, prayer and action.  Kind of like marriage.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


(Pro 18:14 KJV)  The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

It always amazes me what some people can go through and still be pleasant to be around.  Recently on my other blog I had someone comment on the struggles she had gone through.  She did not get bitter and she came out in victory.  I think of friends who lost children, of parents who died young, of illness and infirmity.  

Some people remain positive because that spirit within them has an attitude that is not defeated by circumstances.  Others go down in bitter defeat.  I think much of it depends on the choices we make in our inner self.  I know that at times when I am starting to sink I have to make a choice.  So far I have not sunk so low that I cannot turn around.  Much of it for me comes down to whether I am going to revel in my suffering or trust in my Savior.  That is simplistic but still true.

So?  There is a good chance today will bring something that could be a tragedy.  The same thing could also be a blessing.  It depends on what spirit we have in charge of our lives.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Hope and Less

(Pro 17:11 KJV)  An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

Are you into the promises of God?  Here is one that you may have overlooked.  It may come too late to improve your life.  In addition to that we are warned not to celebrate when our enemies suffer.  The promise could be summarized, “They will get theirs.”  It takes different forms.

Part of the message they will receive they may not even recognize.  At a recent service the pastor commented on not understanding how people could get through life without the Lord.  The answer is, “Not very well.”  People are good at covering up but the inner misery that comes from not having the assurance of God’s care are frustrating at best and crippling at worst.  And that is just in this life.  Keep in mind that the suffering will go on into eternity.

So?  Yes, persecution might be coming.  It can go from a simple thing like a flat tire to being locked up in a concentration camp.  In the midst of that is what both the Old and New Testaments call hope.  I wish all could be saved but it isn’t going to happen.  All I can do is be ready to give a defense of the hope that is in me. 

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Don’t Raise Your Voice to Me, Young Man

(Pro 16:21 KJV)  The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

If you compare this verse with the NASB you find a different emphasis.  One seems to imply that moderate speech will make you a better teacher.  The other goes with the idea that it will make it easier for the listener.  As with so many places in scripture it is a matter of both.  

Harsh speech will often overshadow what you want to say.  The attitude will limit you as a teacher in trying to communicate.  It is also almost impossible for some to listen to words when all they hear is an angry attitude.

So?  It is a consistent point throughout the Bible.  Think of the beginning of the definition of love with patience and kindness.  Think of the Beatitudes with the meek inheriting the earth.  It is a sound principle for almost all of our relationships and interactions.  Moderation in everything except your love for the Lord. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Your Move

(Pro 15:3 KJV)  The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

This verse should be either a reason for hope or a reason to panic.  God is “watching” (6822) all that we do.  Think about that for a moment.  I know we believe it but do we live it.  For people who are aware that they are saints only because they have trusted in the blood of Jesus to wash away their sin, this is a reminder that God is keeping an eye on them.  It might give them reason to relax or an encouragement to get more serious about how they live.

For those who are either rejecting God or thinking they can play games, it is a very real warning.  Yes, He is patient.  Yes, He wants us to come to Him, but, and it is a big but, there is a limit to how long He will withhold the thunderbolts or whatever has been designed just for you.  

So?  One of the blessings of grace is we won’t get what we deserve.  One of the curses of God’s holiness is that many will.  Now the daily decisions are up to us.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Don’t Confuse Me with Sin

(Pro 14:9 KJV)  Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

I hate to admit it but I am starting to listen to discussions on You Tube.  Some I only let go a few minutes before I tune out.  Others I listen to in segments.  I have a rather short attention span for talking heads.  One genre I get something from are apologists like Alicia Childers.  One of the current heresies they often refer to is called Progressive Christianity.  It is progressive in the sense that Margaret Sanger and Benito Mussolini were progressives.  They all have a goal of destroying from within.  

One of the questions that comes up is how so many mega-churches attract so many people with their false gospel.  It is because the “mock at sin” as this verse says it.  They deny the historical Jesus.  They say the physical resurrection did not happen.  They have a lot of explanations for why Jesus came but all of them avoid the issue of sin and the need for forgiveness.

They are fools.

So?  Don’t get sucked into the successful model of making people feel good about themselves.  We can do so but it must be based on the fact that Jesus has redeemed us.  That means we needed to be redeemed.  That requires humility.  It is an unpleasant truth. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The Joy of Poverty

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

Both the translations I work from agree on the translation of “rebuke” (1606).  That seems to be the meaning of the Hebrew word.  It seemed a bit strange but when I looked through the translations I have I noticed that many of them took a different spin.  The International Standard Version gives a good sample of this.

(Pro 13:8 ISV) The life of a wealthy man may be held for ransom, but whoever is poor receives no threats.
Think of it as an advantage of being poor.  If you are a thief are you going to break into the house of a poor man or a rich one?  To many this seems obvious.  I am not sure that people who live in poor neighborhoods would agree that it is that simple but you understand the concept.

So?  Should we rejoice that we are not worth robbing?  I think the idea is more that our focus is different and we benefit from it.  Remember what Jesus said about a rich man and the eye of a needle. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Getting Physical

(Pro 12:14 KJV)  A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.

Other places the Bible deals with our though life and attitudes.  Here the emphasis has to do with the actions we take that are visible and audible to others.  The old chant about “sticks and stones” is not a well established Bible doctrine.  Salvation involves the words of our mouth.  We confess Jesus as Lord.  We speak truth and reject lies.  It also demands that we use our bodies in his service.  Remember the words of Paul,

(Rom 12:1 KJV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
So?  Guard your mouth and your hands.  Both can be a source of blessing or evil.  Both are easy to misuse.