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Showing posts from October, 2013

Who's on your work site today?

So much contrast exists within the scripture between the person of wisdom and the one who chooses to pursue the life of folly.  We might be thinking we are so wise, but we have a way of building some pretty flimsy homes, don't we?  We can be building, but at the same time tearing down what has been built by wrong words.  Criticism, anger, and even a lack of encouragement can tear down a home.  Wrong attitudes such as pride, fear, or selfishness can destroy a home.  Wrong actions like outbursts and laziness can equally shut off the "construction" of what matters in a home.  Even wrong thoughts like suspicion or a lack of trust come across as wrecking balls in relationships. Contrasts in behavior and attitude often illuminate the things which build up or tear down, don't they?  Lady Wisdom builds her home, but Sir Fool comes along and tears it down - brick by brick - not all of a sudden, but slowly. Building occurs over a matter of time - so does "deconstruction&qu

Stressed to the max?

The way we think is often the determining factor in how we perceive a circumstance.  In changing the way we think, we can be transformed.  If you haven't realized it yet, God tends to give us a different perspective than we'd see on our own.  There are some of us who go through life just feeling like come what may, we are stuck with it - there just isn't anything else we could have done about it.  This could not be farther from the truth!  We don't live by some "chance" encounter or outcome.  We live by faith - but faith is based is based on a firmer foundation than kismet.  Sometimes we live with a whole lot more stress in our lives than we really need to - simply because we think stress comes from outside of us.  The truth is, stress is something INSIDE of us - it comes from the way we think and the choices we make as a result of our thinking.  One of the easiest ways to get out from under the pressure of stress is to "reframe" your thinking. So

You a dreamer?

Good words and good works are both a source of wonderful blessing in our lives.  The godly have learned something about plodding ahead without clear direction - aimless wandering usually producing nothing but heartache and unwanted challenge.  They have also learned a great deal about relationship exchanges where words fly and consequences of "unchecked" words makes for many a sleepless night.  It probably goes without saying, but we learn more by our mistakes than we do by avoiding them - simply because the mistakes seem to be more common than the ability to side-step them in time to avoid them!  As we have observed in our study, the life of wisdom is one marked with light and joy.  Light which provides illumination before we actually take the misstep; joy because we have learned to step into the tracks left by the one who walks before us (Jesus)!  Too many times, our focus remains inward, not outward.  As this is the tendency of our hearts, we experience a great deal of &qu

You using the good sense the Lord gave you?

Good sense or sound judgment seems to fly out the window on occasion, right?  You seem to be sailing right along and then all of a sudden, wham! You just come smack dab up against a moment of decision, let good sense fly right out the window, and wham - you are smack-dab in the middle of a muddle.  When this happens in your life "on occasion", most don't think too much about it because we all fall prey to getting a little distracted, or just not thinking before we act on occasion.  If this becomes the way you live life - we begin to think your "sensibility" is a little warped - you might even say we begin to wonder if you don't even put to use the good sense your God gave you!  Everyone admires someone who seems to operate in the realm of using their "good sense" - but when we encounter someone who cannot even use the good sense they were given, we might actually begin to see their actions as repulsive, or worse, we see the person as repulsive. A

Take aim - plan well

To love learning is to embrace discipline - for apart from living a disciplined life, learning can never occur.  To "learn" means we will gain knowledge, understanding of something, or to gain a skill.   It comes by study, instruction, and experience.  Some might call this "coming to realize" - to hear and then come to really know.  Either way you look at it, it comes by discipline.  No lesson is easily embraced if there is a fear or hatred of discipline.  If we recognize our heavenly Father's discipline is ALWAYS done in love, we will no longer fear it, but embrace it as a way of being embraced by love. If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it— how shortsighted to refuse correction!   A good person basks in the delight of   God ,   and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.   You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,   but life rooted in God stands firm...    The thinking of principled people makes for justice;  the plots of degene

You ARE different - and I love it!

We have been studying about how much work relationships really take.  In fact, we have probably all come to the same conclusion - it is just plain hard work to really get into any relationship - from our relationship with Christ to the one with our cubicle mate at work.  If you haven't figured it out yet, Christianity is not something you "live out" alone - you actually do much better in your growth when it is shared in relationship with another.  We "sharpen" each other by the various things we each lend to the relationship. It is the very "differences" which actually make each relationship so important - for it is in the "differences" where we learn to "walk out" our Christian faith. Immaturity demands everybody be just like who you are - maturity recognizes the differences actually allow people to grow.  The sooner we learn to appreciate the differences in each other, the sooner we are open to learning FROM each other. If anyon

Dead center - you hitting it?

Our desires go a long way in determining our end results in life.  We have been studying about how much God loves and blesses people of integrity - lives lived out according to his plan and purpose, with honesty and humility. Anytime we have "twisted desires", it leads to "twisted hearts" and the outcome will be less than good.  In fact, I think twisted ambition is what gets us so frustrated most of the time.  We get out undies in a wad - either at another, over something we cannot control, or totally because we are mad at ourselves - all because of some "twisted" desire or ambition.  When we learn to "untangle" our lives a little bit, it is amazing how much different things actually appear! The desires of good people lead straight to the best,   but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration.  (Proverbs 11:23 MSG) Life is filled with all kinds of choices we might make.  There are "good" and then there are "best" choices, a

Fired any canon balls lately?

The words we use in a relationship can build up or tear down the relationship, for words affect people much more than what we might originally imagine. Scripture reminds us, " The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction;   the common sense of the godly preserves them ." (Proverbs 11:9 MSG)  A "loose tongue" is like a loaded canon - it fires loudly, aims blindly, and leaves a gaping hole when it lands.  There are a lot of ways to classify the words we speak, but none does more damage than those which arise out of either bad character or bad conduct.  These words tend to lean toward the side of being a little less than refreshing and restoring.  Just like the canon ball, they cause a lot of discomfort and leave an offensive "after-taste".  If you have ever smelled spent gunpowder, you know the offensive "after-taste" I am referring to.  It kind of stings your nose and sours your taste.  A loose tongue has a pretty similar action in the live

Honesty and Humility - hand in hand

Blessing in life is a matter of choice.  Choice is a matter of considering our options and then selecting the one which comes the closest to what we hoped to accomplish or obtain.  Sometimes the thing we "settle on" as a matter of choice is not the "exact" thing we hoped for, but it is close enough to meet our expectations.  Our action or behavior determines the course of our lives - this course goes a long way in determining the blessing or curse we experience in the journey.  It is important to remember that every wrong choice comes with a way of escape - either before we make the choice, or once we realize we are traveling down the wrong path, we turn around.  The point at which we experience the "escape" is important - most of us would rather not make the wrong choices and suffer even one-tenth of the consequences of those choices.  We'd like to consistently make the best choices - experiencing the full one-hundred percent blessing! The integrity

Are you aspiring or ambitious?

Have you ever experienced one of those "empty-head" moments when you just do something and then look back and say to yourself, "Now why'd I do THAT"? I think we probably all have at some point.  We just plunge right in and then in retrospect, we kind of wonder how we ever got as "messed up" as we did. It was probably because we had one of those times when we just didn't stop long enough to consider the consequences of what we were doing - the scripture calls this being "empty-headed".  These empty-headed decisions are really not built on a solid foundation, therefore they will not turn out well. Our conduct may be fun for a while, but eventually empty-headed decisions catch up with us.  Mindful decisions are marked by attentiveness, awareness, and great care.  These types of decisions make for a much better outcome - their foundation is a lot stronger and more enduring. An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,   but a mindful person relish

Honesty opens doors to healing

Wise words come from people of understanding.  People of understanding are able to speak of a situation in a completely different manner because they grasp the meaning of the situation.  The fool just cannot get the same grasp on the circumstances of life - they might babble on a lot, but the things they speak really don't bring clarity, or shed much light on the matter.  A fool cannot size up the situation because a fool seldom learns from his past experiences.  As if to point out the difference between the fool and the wise, the writer of Proverbs pens these words:   The road to life is a disciplined life;   ignore correction and you’re lost for good. (10:17 MSG)  In order to walk in the pathway of life, we must accept discipline (correction).  The fool has a hard time with this - so they repeat the mistakes they've made over and over again.  If we want to live "rich" lives, we need to embrace discipline - for discipline is the road to true "richness".