Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I’ve been thinking about a post on peace for over a week.  The problem is it is a very difficult subject to clearly identify and explain.  I’m not sure I quite get it.

The other day, I was praying before work and for some reason asked God to make me productive.  I immediately thought to myself, “Well, maybe not today.  Not too productive anyway.  I’m kind of tired.”  I started having a definite post it note moment, thinking about all the reasons why God wants me to be productive and why I should want to be productive for God.  “Don’t you think that’s asking too much?” I wondered.

That’s a dumb thing to wonder, when you think about it.  It is the type of thinking that the world tells us to use, which is the wrong kind of wisdom.  It is the wisdom that tells me I can whine when my boss makes me do my job and that a teen can complain when their parent acts like a parent and that a wife can complain when her husband (who bought the house) makes the house dirty.  What God asks for is perfect.  It may be hard to attain, but it isn’t too much to ask, because we owe God all.  And God’s wisdom would be that we’re productive for those we work for.

Pro 13:4  The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

Pro 15:19  The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

This is just one of the reasons we don’t have peace, I think.  We push back against God’s will and God’s wisdom, and if we’d follow those we’d have more peace in our lives.  We’d not stumble over things we can’t see on the wrong path, because we’d be on the right path where it is well lit.  Does this mean we won’t suffer or face trials?  No, just that we’d have peace over them.

A friend and I were talking about her daughter, and how happy she was to get a belt in karate.  She’s a very cute child and happy as can be about whatever.  Children are happy and have peace because they don’t worry too much about the past or the future.  God’s will is that we do the same, and yet we spend time dwelling on things that have happened and worrying about things that might happen.  What a waste of energy!

Mat 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Mat 6:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Proverbs 5

Pro 5:1  My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
Pro 5:2  That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.
Pro 5:3  For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:
Pro 5:4  But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.
Pro 5:5  Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.
Pro 5:6  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

This paying attention thing seems to be a big focus item when talking about wisdom and what we're receiving from Proverbs.  It is not passive listening or aimlessly reading and hoping for the best.  To ensure our newly attained knowledge is not fleeting, we have to pay attention.

If we look at the next few verses with a few different possible readings in mind, it becomes more interesting than the initial speed read I gave it.  If we think of it as a warning for Israel to avoid foreign Gods, it would be telling telling them that those gods look appealing abut the end of that activity is death.  If we look at this woman as worldly wisdom, the implications are the same.  Of course the most obvious reading is a literal prostitute, which also has the same effect.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Psalm 9

Today is the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Readings are here.

Psalm 9
Psa 9:1  To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David. I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
Psa 9:2  I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
Psa 9:3  When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.
Psa 9:4  For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.
Psa 9:5  Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
Psa 9:6  O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.
Psa 9:7  But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
Psa 9:8  And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
Psa 9:9  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Psa 9:10  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Psa 9:11  Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.
Psa 9:12  When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.
Psa 9:13  Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death:
Psa 9:14  That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.
Psa 9:15  The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.
Psa 9:16  The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
Psa 9:17  The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psa 9:18  For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Psa 9:19  Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.
Psa 9:20  Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back to Psalm 7

I've already talked about Psalm 7 here.  Or rather, that's where I would have talked about it.  Quite frankly, it makes me a little uncomfortable.

Psa 7:3  O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
Psa 7:4  If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
Psa 7:5  Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

If there is iniquity in my hands?  IF?

Psa 7:8  The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. 

I would really think we'll all be better off if God does not judge us according to our righteousness, because without Jesus, we don't have any.  So this Psalm seems a bit uncomfortable to me to pray, as I get to those parts and am like "Uh, please don't do this."  Though it does make me very thankful for Jesus!

This is kind of like praying the Our Father:

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

We're asking God to forgive us in the same manner and degree we forgive others.  You know, we're not so good with forgiveness...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Two Paths

Pro 4:20  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Pro 4:21  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
Pro 4:22  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Pro 4:24  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
Pro 4:25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Chapter 4 is all about picking the right path and sticking to it by paying attention.  This is a two paths diverging in a wood scenario, but not both are equal.  One is well lit, smooth, and full of health and guidance.  The other appears more attractive, but is dark and full of things to stumble over.

Sir 21:10  The way of sinners is made plain with stones, but at the end thereof is the pit of hell.  

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are you listening??

Pro 4:10  Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
Pro 4:11  I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
Pro 4:12  When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
Pro 4:13  Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
Pro 4:14  Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
Pro 4:15  Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
Pro 4:16  For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
Pro 4:17  For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
Pro 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Pro 4:19  The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

Again we start off this batch with the command to PAY ATTENTION.

The path of wisdom is well lit, and smooth.  This is compared to the path of the wicked, which is darkness, to the point that the wicked do not know when they stumble.  We are commanded to stay away from that path.  We can't be on both paths at once. Jesus is the light and the way!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Proverbs 4

Pro 4:1  Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
Pro 4:2  For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
Pro 4:3  For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
Pro 4:4  He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
Pro 4:5  Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Pro 4:6  Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
Pro 4:7  Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Pro 4:8  Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
Pro 4:9  She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

Wisdom takes some attention, as it keeps being repeated to hear the instruction or to listen.  I can definitely have attention deficit disorder when it comes to God.  It is easy to get distracted by the world and everything going on in it, and forget where our true goal lies.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday / Psalm 8

Today is the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Readings are here.

Psalm 8
  1. To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
  2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
  3. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
  4. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
  5. For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
  6. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
  7. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
  8. The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
  9. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keep Wisdom!

Pro 3:21  My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
Pro 3:22  So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.
Pro 3:23  Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.
Pro 3:24  When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
Pro 3:25  Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
Pro 3:26  For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

The first verse implies we have an action to take once we know about wisdom - we need to keep it.  Our feet will not stumble if we keep God first and prioritize His wisdom.

We start to get into some general proverbs now.  Not just good ideas, but wisdom from God.  The same wisdom that created the universe thinks we should know:

Pro 3:27  Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
Pro 3:28  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
Pro 3:29  Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
Pro 3:30  Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
Pro 3:31  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
Pro 3:32  For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.
Pro 3:33  The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.
Pro 3:34  Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.
Pro 3:35  The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Friday, August 20, 2010

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Who is this about?  Where is it from?  Click on the read more to find out.

A or B?

Pro 3:19  The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
Pro 3:20  By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 

And we're back to everything being from God with God's wisdom.  God created the world with perfect wisdom.  The wisdom we are told to search for is the same wisdom which created the universe.  Worldly wisdom does not and did not create, but only destroys, as in the Garden when Eve sought wisdom and found the original sin.  Do we choose the wisdom that destroys or the wisdom that brought together a universe and can create life from nothing?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pro 3:13  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
Pro 3:14  For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
Pro 3:15  She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Pro 3:16  Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Pro 3:17  Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Pro 3:18  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

Our world is in a struggle to find happiness.  I went to the doctor several months ago with the complaint of fatigue, and she offered me Prozac.  As it turns out, I just had a vitamin deficiency, but we can see from the response that she just assumed I was unhappy.  People are unhappy.  Don't you know a lot of unhappy people?  They complain all the time.  They are negative.  Or maybe they are outwardly negative.  Or they're not satisfied with whatever they have at the moment.  They are bored, or tired, or cranky, or convinced the grass is greener on the other side.  How often are we like that?  More often than I care to admit!

Happy is the man that finds wisdom!  Wisdom should be the Prozac we seek.  Wisdom makes us happy.  Why?  Look at what Proverbs has said about wisdom, and will go on to say about it.  Those who have wisdom do not fear evil, their paths are clear and well lit, and they know what decisions to make.  This does not mean that our lives will be easier with wisdom, just that we will be happy with wisdom.  Trusting in God increases our happiness by decreasing our anxiety and by reordering our priorities.  Is being cut off in traffic really as important as eternity?  No?  Then maybe I shouldn't be so stressed out about it.

Worldly wisdom is incredibly appealing and seems to make sense, yet we already know it doesn't work.  Does it make any of us happier?  This email conversation with a friend post talked about some of the ways we think we can solve our problems and how the world would tell us it is fine to vent our anger and demand respect from others.  Does that actually work?  The world may understand why I'm screaming at the guy who cut me off in traffic, but does that solve any problems?  Does it make me happier?  It doesn't because it isn't God's wisdom!  In that situation, not screaming at the guy doesn't solve any problems either, but on the other hand I don't have my blood pressure spike and find myself in a bad mood later, which may impact how I treat others.

And yet I find myself always going back to the worldly wisdom.  It is just too attractive some days.  Society has brainwashed us into believing it.  It is a constant struggle to overcome what we want to do and do what God wants us to do.  And that's why we're so unhappy.

What's funny is if we can look at this from the outside, from a perspective that can see the lie for what it is, it is easy to identify and oh so aggravating that we could fall for it.  We're not nearly as smart as we'd like to be.  Proverbs talks about that later - the people who walk on the wrong path stumble, and don't even realize it or realize what they stumble over.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



So instead of exploring one of the many thorns that stick in our side, let's look at the reality of suffering itself, and the answer Christ offered to the fundamental question of human existence: Given how unpleasant it is, most of the time, how can we make it worthwhile? And the answer I've tried to give is aimed at the single group of people probably most averse to suffering, and most primed to expect great heaping slabs of pleasure: American college students.


Pro 3:11  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:
Pro 3:12  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. 

Have you ever noticed that when we don't do the right thing, it doesn't turn out all that well sometimes?  There's  a reason.  God has given us consequences that occur when we step out of line with His plan, and for these we should be thankful.  Why?  Because it can lead us back to God if we are open to them.

Check out this blog entry on artificial contraception.  There are consequences to straying away from God's plan for us and His command to be fruitful and multiply.  God is in charge of making babies - we are not.  And in our awesome worldly wisdom, we've decided our understanding is better and we do not need to consider God in our plans.  And we're frequently surprised by the outcome.

What happens when there are no consequences?  At church this weekend, find the toddler running around screaming.  Most churches have at least one, if not several.  Why?  There are no consequences for this behavior.  The consequences, while unpleasant at the time, would lead to fewer consequences later.  The same is true with God.  We can be disgruntled about the consequences now, or we can be happy about the impact on the eternal consequences later if we are open to His plan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's talk about Joseph

Mat 1:18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Mat 1:19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 

Mat 1:20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  

I can't think of many harder jobs than being the foster father of God.  No pressure!  What faith it must take to still marry a pregnant woman you know you sure didn't sleep with.  It wasn't any more possible for a woman to get pregnant then without having sex than it is now, and Joseph must have known that.  There was no way he could explain away this miracle without complete faith in God.

Then your wife has this baby, and you have to flee from where you're living lest your leaders slaughter the baby along with all the other children he kills attempting to find your son.  We think we have stress!

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase

Pro 3:9  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
Pro 3:10  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

We go from thinking about God first when making decisions to honoring God with our "firstfruits."  This doesn't have to be about a literal set percentage of funds that we set aside for God, though all money is His.  Our best work and our love and resources should be for God.

Applied to money, we should remember it isn't ours.  If everything is God's, then that would include money.  We should arrange our finances in such a way that we are able to think about God first and what other people might need, as opposed to spending all of our money and then if we happen to have some in our pocket when the donation basket goes by then throwing a few quarters in.  Contrary to "common sense," I've found that arranging my budget so that the money I want to give away is the first line item (meaning no other money is dedicated to anything prior to it) has made my finances a lot easier to manage.  I've not been stressed about money since making that decision.  My barns have been filled with plenty.  Of course, God would deserve this from us even if there were no reward.  He did give us life and send His son to die for our sins - it is not unreasonable to think that we should apply our resources for His kingdom.

There are other resources too.  It can be really easy to cut a check and send it in, or even better, have it deducted automatically!  If I never see the money anyway, it doesn't get noticed.  I'm not so much a cheerful giver but more of an adept planner with a spreadsheet.  I can also give my time, through helping at church or just helping others.  It doesn't need to be part of an organization.  I can also pray!  Sometimes, there's nothing else to do but pray.

God is the source of all of our talents and all of our income and all of our resources.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Be not wise in thine own eyes

Pro 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Pro 3:6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Pro 3:7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Pro 3:8  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Hey look, it's the heart again.  Trust in the Lord is more than an intellectual exercise, as it involves actually doing something with it like trusting Him to lead us.  Our own understanding can be flawed and we can be easily deceived.  Be not wise in our own eyes... Remember the first time wisdom is mentioned in the bible?

Gen 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

There's some epic consequences for leaning on our own understanding!

I watched Fireproof this weekend.  It is a great movie!  And it shows some great examples of relying on our own wisdom.  This married couple is very angry at each other, and they decide to give up.  They both whine to their friends, and the woman's friends tell her all sorts of worldly wisdom trying to help her.  Instead, it only makes worse a bad situation.

How likely is it our own understanding is so perfect it can accomplish anything on its own?  Even those who do not believe in God have to accept the fact that our knowledge is not unlimited.  There is simply not enough information available to see everything that leads to or everything that might stem from any particular choice we make in life.  We think we can solve all of our problems, but really, when has that ever worked out?  If it did very often, we wouldn't have phrases like "hindsight being 20/20."

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom because we place God in His proper place in our decision making ALL the time.  I find it easy to place God first in some decisions, like ones that cost a lot of money, but harder in other decisions like my daily activities.  But it is the day to day activities that we spend most of our time doing and have the largest cumulative effect.  God should be first, always.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This movie is great.  This was my favorite part.  Please watch it.

Proverbs 3

Pro 3:1  My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
Pro 3:2  For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
Pro 3:3  Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
Pro 3:4  So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 

I find it interesting it says to do more than just to keep the commandments, it says to do so with our hearts.  We do not have all the laws that the Israelite had at the time, but we can apply this to what we're supposed to be doing now.  Some days, we do what we need to do because we need to do it, but ideally we should be doing what we need to do because we want to, not because we have to (though like anything else sometimes we have to fake it until we make it on that front).  Wanting to do the right thing also makes it more likely we'll remember to do the right thing!

It says not to let mercy and truth go away, we're to keep them with us at all times, again referencing the heart and keeping them there.

Psalm 7

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Readings are here.

This week's Psalm is Psalm 7:

  1. Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
  2. Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
  3. O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
  4. If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
  5. Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
  6. Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
  7. So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
  8. The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
  9. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
  10. My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
  11. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
  12. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
  13. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
  14. Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
  15. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
  16. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
  17. I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To finish off chapter 2 of Proverbs, we end with more information on what will happen for those who seek wisdom like treasure:

Pro 2:20  That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
Pro 2:21  For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
Pro 2:22  But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. 

I love studying wisdom in Proverbs.  I don't know if you've noticed!  One of the other ways we can read Proverbs and wisdom is to think that Jesus is God's wisdom.  So everything said of wisdom in Proverbs also speaks of Jesus and the way we are to follow Him.  I found an interesting article on that here.  I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it enough to write about, but here's a snippit from that article, just looking at the parallels in John:

* The Word was in the beginning (John 1:1)
* Wisdom was in the beginning (Prov. 8:22-23, Sir. 1:4, Wis. 9:9)
* The Word was with God (John 1:1)
* Wisdom was with God (Prov. 8:30, Sir. 1:1, Wis. 9:4)
* The Word was cocreator (John 1:1-3)
* Wisdom was cocreator (Prov. 3:19, 8:25; Is. 7:21, 9:1-2)
* The Word provides light (John 1:4, 9)
* Wisdom provides light (Prov. 8:22, Wis. 7:26, 8:13; Sir. 4:12)
* Word as light in contrast to darkness (John 1:5)
* Wisdom as light in contrast to darkness (Wis. 7:29-30)
* The Word was in the world (John 1:10)
* Wisdom was in the world (Wis. 8:1, Sir. 24:6)
* The Word was rejected by its own (John 1:11)
* Wisdom was rejected by its own (Sir. 15:7)
* The Word was received by the faithful (John 1:12)
* Wisdom was received by the faithful (Wis. 7:27)
* Christ is the bread of life (John 6:35)
* Wisdom is the bread or substance of life (Prov. 9:5, Sir. 15:3, 24:21, 29:21; Wis. 11:4)
* Christ is the light of the world (John 8:12)
* Wisdom is light (Wis. 7:26-30, 18:3-4)
* Christ is the door of the sheep and the good shepherd (John 10:7, 11, 14)
* Wisdom is the door and the good shepherd (Prov. 8:34-5, Wis. 7:25-7, 8:2-16; Sir. 24:19-22)
* Christ is life (John 11:25)
* Wisdom brings life (Prov. 3:16, 8:35, 9:11; Wis. 8:13)
* Christ is the way to truth (John 14:6)
* Wisdom is the way (Prov. 3:17, 8:32-34; Sir. 6:26)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The OTHER Woman

God grants wisdom to those who seek it actively, and His wisdom serves to protect us.

Pro 2:16  To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
Pro 2:17  Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
Pro 2:18  For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
Pro 2:19  None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

The wisdom of God is identified as a woman in Proverbs, and then we have this woman.  She is called "strange," "adulteress," and "loose" by various translations in this verse.  She makes several appearances in Proverbs and isn't depicted fondly in any of them. 

She comes back in chapter 5, with lips that drip honey, and advises to stay away from her.  Again in 6, there is more advice to stay away from her.  In chapter 7 we get an entire story about a young man who is seduced by her, and it explains she is everywhere in the city lying in wait.  Immediately after (chapter 8) we have more on Godly wisdom, the first woman, and how she is also everywhere in the city.

Finally in Chapter 9 we see a more direct comparison:
Pro 9:1  Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
Pro 9:2  She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.
Pro 9:3  She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
Pro 9:4  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
Pro 9:5  Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
Pro 9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Pro 9:13  A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
Pro 9:14  For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
Pro 9:15  To call passengers who go right on their ways:
Pro 9:16  Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
Pro 9:17  Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
Pro 9:18  But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell. 

Both women are calling.  Both are easy to find.  Both want the simple to come to them.  One leads to life, and the other leads to death.  I've read that all of these passages can be taken in a variety of ways.  The first is the most literal - the loose woman should be avoided by men because fornication and adultery are evil.  Men should not be having sex prior to marriage and shouldn't be sleeping with other women once they are married.  In this case, this is advice to avoid adultery.

A second option considers the adultery of Israel.  God's people had a tendency to forget Him and His covenant.  They would engage in idolatry and worship other gods.  Remember, it did not take very long for them to go from accepting God to building a golden calf.  This attention deficit disorder would repeat itself over and over again.  The first time "adultery" is used in the context of someone having committed it, as opposed to a general rule against it, occurs in Jeremiah 3:8.

Jer 3:8  And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 

God's people play the harlot and the adulterer frequently.  So with that idea in mind, any of these passages could reference the nation as a whole and urge them to turn to God instead of the adulterous ways of idolatary.  In chapter 2 above, leaving God to be with the loose woman would lead the nation into destruction and exile.

A third way I've read it can be interpreted is the idea of worldly wisdom versus Godly wisdom.  If the two women in Proverbs are the opposite of each other and one represents God's wisdom, then the other would be the worldly wisdom that will lead us astray.  This becomes easier to see in later depictions of this woman, as she is seen as very attractive, enticing, and easy to follow.  Her paths lead to death.

These three levels of looking at the two women in Proverbs have fascinated me for awhile.  I have no urge to commit adultery, so the first, obvious, and literal meaning of the passages on the loose woman were always hard for me to get into.  With other ways of looking at it, I find it to be more applicable.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

If we seek wisdom like silver or other hidden treasure, there are some things that will happen.

Pro 2:5  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7  He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
Pro 2:8  He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
Pro 2:9  Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
Pro 2:10  When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
Pro 2:11  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Pro 2:12  To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;
Pro 2:13  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;
Pro 2:14  Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
Pro 2:15  Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

So often we find ourselves unable to decide what to do or know where to turn.  With God's wisdom, choices become easier because we know what is righteous, what is just, and what is every good path.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Seek this treasure

Pro 2:1  My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
Pro 2:2  So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Pro 2:3  Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
Pro 2:4  If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 

Pro 2:5  Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 

I just noticed today that the word "hide" in the first verse is also the same word used in Psalm 119, which I referenced here in my post about post-it notes from God.  Other translations also use "treasure" and  "store up" in the same place.  So we have to receive the words and hold them, not just read them and hope for the best.  The things we store are things we've paid attention to at some point, and if we treasure them we continue to do so.

It is an active process of the will, not a passive accident, which we can see in the following verses.  We're to incline our ear to wisdom and our heart to understanding, to cry after knowledge and lift our voice for understanding, and seek wisdom as we'd seek for silver and hidden treasure.  Think of how fast we would move to find hidden treasure if we knew it was right there for us to find!

And wisdom is there to find.  In the first chapter we find wisdom as a woman, crying out in the streets and all over the city.  James 1:5 tells us to acquire wisdom, all we need to do is ask God, in faith, and it will be given.  It is right there for us to find and pay attention to!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Today is the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Readings are here

I will not be hearing those readings today, though, as I plan on attending the Latin Mass, or Mass in the Extraordinary Form, or the Tridentine Mass.  I can't find an online version of those readings, because it is "old-school" and the readings are found in your missal (or your iPhone if you have the iPieta app).

Why two Masses?  Well they are two different versions of the same thing.  The Latin Mass was in use prior to the Second Vatican Council, and it is primarily said in Latin, as its name implies.  The Norvus Ordo, or ordinary / normal, Mass is what most people are now familiar with, and most of it is said in English (or whatever language is in use by the congregation).  The Latin Mass uses the older, one year calendar of readings, while the normal Mass uses a three year cycle.

This all seems quite simple but has caused a lot of drama and angst.  There are those who think changing the Mass was the best thing since Christ rose from the dead, and there are some who think it is the worst thing since, well, whatever they think is super bad.  Some of the liberals took the change to mean they could run amuck and introduce all sorts of weird things into the liturgy and their lives that were not included in the intent of the council (reiki, anyone?).  Some of the conservatives took the change so poorly they founded traditional orders and managed to get some of their ranks kicked out.  Good times, all around.  Fortunately most of the people in the middle went about their lives with the change and now we've reached a point where both are offered.

Both Masses are valid and "approved" by the Pope, so they're both good enough for me.

Psalm 6

To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. 
  1. O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 
  2. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.
  3. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?  
  4. Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
  5. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? 
  6. I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. 
  7. Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies. 
  8. Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping. 
  9. The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. 
  10. Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.
As stated last week, I've started focusing on one psalm a week so I go slow enough and read it often enough to actually (hopefully) get something out of it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Some Good Links to Ponder

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (readings here).  What Does the Prayer Really Say has some great notes here regarding the Feast and the Transfiguration.

Does the Devil Exist?

The Varieties of Civil Disobedience.  I like this one as it has an easy to understand way to identify different types.


Pro 1:20  Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
Pro 1:21  She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,
Pro 1:22  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 

Wisdom is apparently not hard to locate.  In the visual, she's in the streets, in the concourse, the gates, and all over the city.  Available to all.  And she'd like to know when we're going to stop ignoring her.

I had never noticed the third bit there about loving life without wisdom until I started writing out the verses as earlier mentioned.  It really spoke to me because I used to be more than content to get my idea of wisdom from such laudable places as Cosmo and MTV.  Or we think we can gain wisdom from our education system, but we know they also hate God.  So all these sources of "wisdom" are around us and we're happy with it. 

Pro 1:23  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Pro 1:24  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Pro 1:25  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Pro 1:26  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Pro 1:27  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Pro 1:28  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
Pro 1:29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Pro 1:30  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
Pro 1:31  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Pro 1:32  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
Pro 1:33  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. 

If we turn away from God and His wisdom then we get what we think we want.  He is not going to stop us.

Rom 1:20  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Rom 1:21  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22  Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23  and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Rom 1:24  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
Rom 1:25  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Enticed to Sin

Pro 1:8  My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Pro 1:9  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
Pro 1:10  My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Pro 1:11  If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
Pro 1:12  Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
Pro 1:13  We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
Pro 1:14  Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
Pro 1:15  My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
Pro 1:16  For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
Pro 1:17  Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
Pro 1:18  And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.
Pro 1:19  So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof. 

I really like the word "entice" there in verse 10.  It makes it sound like such a good deal.  Sin never looks like a bad idea.

There will be more on avoiding the evil path later, but the indication is once you're on it, it is a very speedy ride and you have no idea where you're going or what you're about to trip over, or even that you're on the wrong road.  That's probably why there are so many exhortations to avoid the road to begin with.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Link on Prayer

Inside Catholic - Pray for the Living and the Dead by Mark P. Shea

There's a lot here I like and can relate to!  This one stood out to me:
The ancients prayed to the Unknown God; we pray for the Unknown Sinner.

I also can relate to this (not that I get a lot of prayer requests, but the general response to prayer):
I tend to approach prayer not as a saint, but more as a manual laborer. It's a duty I feel, not especially a thing I like doing or feel competent at. On my blog, I started getting sundry prayer requests from random readers about this and that, and I began posting them, largely because I feel inept as an intercessory pray-er, and so had a hope that maybe somebody out there in the audience might have the charism I lack when it comes to having a clue how to pray. I thought I was being very clever fobbing this off on others; but, of course, what I stupidly failed to foresee was that this would inevitably result in lots more prayer requests for everything under the sun. I continue to post them, along with my fumbling two cents in the courts of the Almighty, advising Him on how to proceed. I haven't the slightest clue whether my prayers do a lick of good for the person making the prayer request. But I figure that if I mix my prayers in with others who are closer to the Throne, then maybe they'll get lost in the pack and I will look like I know what I'm doing.
The bolded part cracks me up.  That's kind of what I think.

Check it out!

(And for the non-Catholics, at some point I'll try to explain Purgatory, which is what he's sort of referencing in the whole praying for dead people thing)


I think Luke is my favorite of the four Gospels.  It was the first one I read in its entirety, which I'm sure helps.  Also, Luke's writing style and descriptions just read better to me.  Luke was a physician and companion of Paul, and also wrote Acts.

It is also one of the reasons why I'm hesitant to take any more online courses without a lot of research.  I'd taken one a few years ago and was told the entire first part of Luke was just made up.  Nobody would have known what happened to Mary, Joseph, or Jesus when He was born.  Nevermind we believe it to be divinely inspired and surely someone as powerful as GOD could have figured out somewhat to transfer that information to Luke's head, but what do I know?

I suggested (politely, even) what I'd read elsewhere - perhaps Luke had gone and asked Mary.  Even without divine inspiration, this would seem like a sensible thing to do.  "Hello there Mary.  Since your son did this odd thing of dying and then being alive again and then ascended into heaven after claiming to be the Son of God, might there be anything you think important about his birth and childhood?"  And, again even without divine inspiration, it seems reasonable Mary would have remembered.  Moms remember some of the most random stuff, so I'm thinking an angel making an appearance and then having a child without first having sex would have probably stuck in her brain.  They seem like details I'd remember, at least.

But I digress...
Luk 1:5  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
Luk 1:6  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 

I'm not sure I've heard enough about Zacharias and Elisabeth.  It isn't common at this stage in the game for people to be running around walking blamelessly in the Bible.  In fact, we've pretty well established by this point everybody really stinks at following God.  Which is why they/we need Jesus.

Anyway, his wife is barren and they're both sad.  He's a priest and gets selected to burn incense in the temple.  We always talk about the appearance of an angel to Mary, but Zacharias gets a visit too.  It doesn't go as well for him though, as he doubts the message and is struck mute until the child is to be named.  On the upside, they get to have a child!  This child would also be special in the sense he'd be the witness to Jesus.  A very big deal!

Luk 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
Luk 1:16  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
Luk 1:17  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I've also been trying to read a chapter from Proverbs every day as well.  There are 31 chapters, which works out well in a given month.  The book of Sirach, which is much like Proverbs, is not set up as easily.

Additionally, a friend recommended I go through and write each verse, write what it means in my language, and then write what it means to me.  This sounded like a terrible waste of time until I did it.  As mentioned earlier, I read too fast for my own good and this method forces me to slow down and look at everything.  I've picked up a lot more!  I am absolutely fascinated by the idea wisdom in Proverbs.  There is plenty of wisdom there, but it also talks about wisdom as an idea in opposition to other ideas such as the world.  It helps to make sense why the message we get from the world doesn't line up with the message of the Bible.  It is not the other way around, as the world claims.

Pro 1:1  The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
Pro 1:2  To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
Pro 1:3  To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;
Pro 1:4  To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Pro 1:5  A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Pro 1:6  To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
Pro 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

All wisdom comes from God, and an understanding of God should be the basis for our understanding of everything else.  Everything else did not make God - God made everything else.  Refusal to use God as this basis makes one foolish and predisposed to ignoring God's work and complete control.  This leads to disaster.

Consider the theory of evolution, which has not been proven and is still much up for debate, even if the scientists who say such things are ignored.  Evolution plus a lack of God leads to articles like I read on CNN the other day.  This editorial claimed since we have evolved from monkeys, and the monkeys we are closest to like to have group sex, that we were never meant to want a monogamous relationship.  Societal constraints have led women to think we only want one man and vice versa.

There is absolutely no way to square that with the Word of God though.  I suppose that's not a problem for people who don't believe in God, but for those who are to fear the Lord, it is a significant issue.  People who have no such fear do not like to hear that though.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Psalm 5

To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. 
  1. Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.  
  2. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.  
  3. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.  
  4. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.  
  5. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.  
  6. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.  
  7. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.  
  8. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.  
  9. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.  
  10. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.  
  11. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  
  12. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
I've started focusing on a Psalm each week.  I usually read so quickly that I can miss details.  I can cover 100 pages an hour, but that's not as useful or desired with the Bible.  This forces me to slow down, kind of like writing out Proverbs does.  So at least each morning and evening, I read the same thing.  This week is the 5th Psalm.

(By the way, I'll be switching to using the DRB or KJV when I quote long passages so I'm not violating anybody's copyright)

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth

Today is the 18 Sunday of Ordinary Time, and the readings can be found here

If only I could do a better job remembering the second reading:
Brothers and sisters:
If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

(Col 3:1-5)

I can think ahead to save for a new car or new house, plan for my upcoming vacation, and even (barely) for retirement.  Eternity just seems so far away.  So even though it will take up a larger portion of time in my life than say, tomorrow, tomorrow is a lot easier to think about and so I do.  Very focused on the immediate, and everything in life is immediate compared to eternity.  And little of it is important, comparitavely.  What a conundrum.

This is especially true for me as a single woman, as I have no husband or children to focus my energy on.
1Co 7:32-34  I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.

I've noticed especially this summer how easy it is for my perspective to shift.  For months, the end of the time line in my head was July 18, the last day of the camp I was running.  There was stuff before camp and stuff after camp, but that was the dividing line, and nothing after it was very important.  A common answer to all non-work related questions was "Ask me after camp."  If something came up that was really important that was going to occur after it, I felt my stress levels go through the roof.  I was focused short term and did not want to get out of that bubble.  Eternity is most definitely outside that bubble, at least for me.  It is so big and so unknown and so far away (even though it is now).