Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pro 9:7  He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Pro 9:8  Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Pro 9:9  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Pro 9:10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Pro 9:11  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.
Pro 9:12  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.


The wise will accept instruction and gain from it, where as people who are foolish and enamored by worldly wisdom will pay no heed.  So we can hop up and down all we want about the erectile dysfunction ads and naked people on TV, but its all in one ear and out the other if the listener doesn't care about God.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Proverbs 9

I think this chapter might be my favorite so far.  I already talked about it some here, when discussing the two types of wisdom as women in Proverbs.

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.


Wisdom has set up a feast for us and is prepared to share after inviting everyone.  Leave the way of the foolish and get on the path to wisdom.  The two are entirely opposite of each other.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Psalm 12

Sorry for the delay!  I was gone this weekend.


Psa 12:1  To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
Psa 12:2  They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
Psa 12:3  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
Psa 12:4  Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
Psa 12:5  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
Psa 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Psa 12:7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Psa 12:8  The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red Raspberry

Time for more home and health!

I've been drinking red raspberry tea for months, and it is amazing.  In addition to being tasty (I pair it with chamomile), it helps out with all sorts of girl problems.  It sounds silly, but it really does work!

You can learn more here, and here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pro 8:32  Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.
Pro 8:33  Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.
Pro 8:34  Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Pro 8:35  For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Pro 8:36  But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. 


Blessed here means happy.  Happy are those who find wisdom!  Putting it all together, wisdom is right there, in the gates, calling to us.  It is easy to find.  We must only ask for it and seek it.  And then we can be happy!  Is not happiness what everyone wants?  Is not happiness what worldly wisdom promises us?  All those hoops to jump through to be happy with worldly wisdom - buy this, do this, accept this, etc.  So complicated, and so ineffectual!

The wisdom of the world does not work.   It does not lead to happiness.  It does not lead to righteousness.  It does not lead to God!  More of whatever will not satisfy us.  Buying things will not work.  Sleeping around does nothing but cause more despair.  Only the wisdom of God, contrary to the wisdom of the world, will work.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Proverbs 8

Today is the anniversary of my mother's entrance into the world and exit from it.  Probably wanted to make it easier for us to remember, as nobody is particularly good with dates.  My sister was there at the time, very afraid she'd pass while she was "on duty."  Then she did.  Oddly, I'm absolutely certain my mother would find that hilarious.  This odd sense of humor I have was not developed by accident.  It came from my parents.  :)

I'd not slept well for weeks, and so when they called to tell me she was gone I promptly fell into a deep sleep, comfortable now that her suffering was over.  This was apparently quite unexpected, as I was called later to find out where I was.  Sleeping was not the anticipated response.  They apparently needed me to help make decisions!  As the fourth child, and fifteen years after the last, it had simply not occurred to me someone would want me involved in the decisions.  I think people assume I'd be upset about that, but it was my place in the family and I was perfectly fine with it.  Still, I got up and drove to where I needed to be.  And promptly fell asleep there...

It seems fitting to be talking about God today, as my mother and I would talk about God more often than some, I think.

Pro 8:22  The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
Pro 8:23  I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
Pro 8:24  When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
Pro 8:25  Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
Pro 8:26  While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
Pro 8:27  When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
Pro 8:28  When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
Pro 8:29  When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
Pro 8:30  Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
Pro 8:31  Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.


This is simply amazing when you think about it.  Godly wisdom has been around since before creation, and God wants to share it with us!  Prior to anything else, prior to the world and man and the universe and anything else God created, there was wisdom.  And we have access to the same wisdom that was there for the start of everything!

The modern world is so focused on science and what we can prove and what we know, all with a strong pull towards how we feel and what we want to do.  It leads to chaos as we descend into a moral-less pit where we simply do what evolved apes would do and sleep with whomever we want and do whatever we feel like doing.  Proverbs makes it absolutely clear that the wisdom of the world is contrary to Godly wisdom, which is so self-evident when we realize that Godly wisdom existed before anything else (including worldly wisdom).

Nothing but God predates Godly wisdom.  And God is delighted to share that wisdom with us, His creatures, messed up as we may be.  As frequently as we are on the wrong path, stumbling over things we cannot see in the dark, God is there, wanting us to be on the right path.  That path is well lit.  That path is happy.  That path is to God.  And God provides us wisdom to find it, if only we seek it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Proverbs 8

Pro 8:12  I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Pro 8:14  Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
Pro 8:16  By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
Pro 8:17  I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Pro 8:18  Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
Pro 8:19  My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
Pro 8:20  I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
Pro 8:21  That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. 


Godly wisdom comes with prudence, and is opposed to evil and pride and arrogance.  Evil is contrary to God and to Godly wisdom.  All true knowledge comes through God as God's wisdom is true.  All right judgments from rulers come from God's wisdom.

What riches does Godly wisdom promise?  Durable riches and righteousness.  Godly wisdom leads us to God through Jesus.  The riches of this world are only temporary and useless compared to eternity.


Mat 16:24  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mat 16:27  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.


That's why Godly wisdom is so wonderful and beyond price!  Godly wisdom leads in the way of righteousness and on the right paths, protects us from falling into danger, and keeps us fixed on God.  Wisdom fills our treasuries with the love of God and with eternal life!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Proverbs 8

Pro 8:4  Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.
Pro 8:5  O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.
Pro 8:6  Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.
Pro 8:7  For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
Pro 8:8  All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
Pro 8:9  They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.
Pro 8:10  Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
Pro 8:11  For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.


My dog Starbuck doesn't get wisdom.  It isn't for her - it is for us, humans.  Contrary to modern PC thought, we are not just random mammals that have evolved to be brighter than everything else.  God made us special, and we're special to Him, and we receive special wisdom.

This wisdom is absolutely true.  There's no need to check it out on snopes, there's no weighing the evidence, and no opinion is needed.  God knows everything, so God's wisdom would be able to include everything and know truth.  There's no way we can know everything, but God does.  Which is why God's wisdom is so invaluable.

God desperately wants us to find His wisdom. That's why is is at every entrance to the city and our hearts.  That is why God's existence is so obvious in everything we look at.  Godly wisdom is precious and altogether true and different than the world.  Nothing we want is as good or valuable as wisdom!

This doesn't make sense compared to worldly wisdom, which is a lie.  People who don't believe in God think us strange to trust in this truth, but that's because God's wisdom is foolishness to them.

1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Co 1:20  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Co 1:22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Proverbs 8

Pro 8:1  Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
Pro 8:2  She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.
Pro 8:3  She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. 


Here we go back to the idea that wisdom is available to all.  She's not hiding somewhere in an eternal game of hide and seek.  Godly wisdom is available to all who turn towards God and ask for it!

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?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

25th Sunday & Psalm 11

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


Psa 11:1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
Psa 11:2  For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
Psa 11:3  If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Psa 11:4  The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Psa 11:5  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Psa 11:6  Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
Psa 11:7  For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Proverbs 7

Pro 7:6  For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
Pro 7:7  And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
Pro 7:8  Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
Pro 7:9  In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
Pro 7:10  And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
Pro 7:11  (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
Pro 7:12  Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
Pro 7:13  So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
Pro 7:14  I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Pro 7:15  Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
Pro 7:16  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
Pro 7:17  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Pro 7:18  Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
Pro 7:19  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
Pro 7:20  He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
Pro 7:21  With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
Pro 7:22  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
Pro 7:23  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
Pro 7:24  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.
Pro 7:25  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.
Pro 7:26  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.
Pro 7:27  Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.


Here's a happy scene.  A young man is off to see the adulterer, who is indifferent to his soul and the bond she has with her husband.  She's planned ahead and knows what she needs to do to get his attention.  The trap is laid, and he falls right in.

This is to illustrate why it is so important to remember God at all times.  The right path keeps us away from situations like this in the first place, and then when tempted we're better prepared to walk away.

If we consider what else the woman might represent, we can see the call to stray away from God is strong and well planned.  It is appealing and looks easy to follow.  If we are not careful, we will be led like an ox to slaughter, thinking we're smart and smarter than God but really completely clueless and oblivious to the eternal scheme we're running headlong into.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Proverbs 7

Pro 7:1  My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.
Pro 7:2  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
Pro 7:3  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
Pro 7:4  Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:
Pro 7:5  That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.


He's pretty big on paying attention to the commandments, isn't He?  We're to keep them inside of us, in front of us, around us, etc.  The things we do and the things we think should involve them and more importantly Him.  We're to become "best buds" with His wisdom.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

24th Sunday and Psalm 10

Today is the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Readings are here.  Interesting comments at The Sacred Page blog here.

Psalm 10
Psa 10:1  Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?
Psa 10:2  The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
Psa 10:3  For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
Psa 10:4  The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Psa 10:5  His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
Psa 10:6  He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
Psa 10:7  His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
Psa 10:8  He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
Psa 10:9  He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
Psa 10:10  He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
Psa 10:11  He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
Psa 10:12  Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up thine hand: forget not the humble.
Psa 10:13  Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
Psa 10:14  Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Psa 10:15  Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
Psa 10:16  The LORD is King for ever and ever: the heathen are perished out of his land.
Psa 10:17  LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
Psa 10:18  To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Proverbs 6

Pro 6:20  My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Pro 6:21  Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
Pro 6:22  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.
Pro 6:23  For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
Pro 6:24  To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.
Pro 6:25  Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
Pro 6:26  For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
Pro 6:27  Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
Pro 6:28  Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
Pro 6:29  So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
Pro 6:30  Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
Pro 6:31  But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
Pro 6:32  But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
Pro 6:33  A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
Pro 6:34  For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
Pro 6:35  He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.


Well this is pretty clear.  Keep to the commandments and stay safe!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Health and Home

This entry is going to be about health and home, which isn't directly related to the Bible, but I've found has a lot to do with wisdom.  The world tells us we have to always go to the doctor if we're even the slightest bit sick, and we've forgotten a lot of things we can do to help and heal ourselves if it is not serious.  This isn't a slam on medicine - it is very good when we need it!  I've discovered I can avoid the doctor and still feel better though for minor and common conditions.

I am not a healthfood nutcase nor do I think I can solve every problem with stuff from my refrigerator.  But I do think there is a happy balance.  Before trying any natural cure, I research it thoroughly.  I'm looking for evidence of its effectiveness and possible side effects.  Even if the official medical system does not officially recognize any benefits, if they don't recognize any side effects and it has always enjoyed  historical popularity, I'll give it a whirl.  Remember, this is the same medical system that tells or told us that chicken noodle soup doesn't do anything for the cold...

For instance, I have been able to fend off sinus infections with the help of garlic.  I've also used it to get rid of a possible ear infection and then swimmer's ear.  I've used it for food poisoning.  When I get a cold or flu, even though I would not normally take much or go see the doctor, I've used garlic.

Garlic is good for food and good for medicine.  It has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.  Side effects might include smelling funny, and it also can act as a blood thinner so people with that problem anyway should be careful.  It can also burn if applied directly to the skin.

When I have a cold, flu, allergies, or suspect the start of a sinus infection, I will crush up a garlic clove and cover it honey and then swallow it as fast as I can with water.  I'll do this 2-3 times a day.  I have a long history of sinus infection visits to the doctor, and I am absolutely sure this has helped prevent or even cure some sinus infections as I've not been going to the doctor as frequently.  If I'm feeling particularly aggressive about solving the problem, I'll warm up some water with chopped up garlic cloves.  Then I'll strain the garlic off and use the water in a nasal irrigation.  I can also make a garlic poultice, though that definitely makes me stink!

Recently, I've had a really uncomfortable earache when I was dealing with allergies.  I don't think it was infected, but it sure drove me nuts.  I think that tube between my ear and my throat got clogged.  Anyway, I read garlic oil might do the trick.  I was wary, but it got annoying enough I decided to give it a try after dealing with the earache for almost two weeks.  I chopped up a few cloves and warmed them in olive oil for 15-20 minutes.  I strained off the garlic and then dropped some of the oil in my ear (after it'd cooled to a nice warm temperature).  There was an immediate reduction in symptoms, and within a day it was entirely gone.

After that, I'd messed with my ear enough to give myself swimmer's ear, which feels like athlete's foot in the ear canal.  Out came the garlic oil and away went the itching.  It was incredible.

So there are some simple tips for using garlic to make you feel better.  It isn't nearly as icky as it sounds, and it works wonders!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Proverbs 6

Pro 6:12  A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
Pro 6:13  He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
Pro 6:14  Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
Pro 6:15  Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
Pro 6:16  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
Pro 6:17  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Pro 6:18  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
Pro 6:19  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.



The person described is manipulative and always scheming.  Think about politics!  It could be at the national level or the volunteer organization you help with.  They are everywhere, and they sow discord.  Sowing discord involves just stirring the pot and getting others riled up.  It is leading others to sin.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Proverbs 6

Pro 6:6  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Pro 6:7  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Pro 6:8  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Pro 6:9  How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?
Pro 6:10  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
Pro 6:11  So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.


Here we see the wisdom against slacking or being lazy.  We're meant to be productive.  God sent Adam to work the garden; working is not a bad thing.  In addition to being a God assigned duty, it also has practical effects such as putting food on the table.

Incidentally, to look at worldly wisdom on this subject, what does one have to do to be paid by the government?  Not work.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Proverbs 6

Pro 6:1  My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
Pro 6:2  Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
Pro 6:3  Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
Pro 6:4  Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
Pro 6:5  Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler. 


This one took me quite awhile to figure out and research.  By surety, it means what we might understand as the personal financial guarantor, like a co-signer.  It is a very dangerous place to be in, since you're dependent upon the other person to make good on their loan lest you be responsible for their loan.  It is a bad idea, and one should seek to get out of it by getting the friend to pay the loan as soon as possible.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

23rd Sunday

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


No new Psalm this week because I was a slacker this week and need to spend this week on last week's.  :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

End of 5

Pro 5:15  Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Pro 5:16  Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.
Pro 5:17  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers' with thee.
Pro 5:18  Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Pro 5:19  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
Pro 5:20  And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
Pro 5:21  For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
Pro 5:22  His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Pro 5:23  He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.


People on the wrong path are oblivious.  They don't even see what they stumble over.  Entangled with the cords of sins, they just wander from problem to problem, leading to death.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Truth

Awhile back I posted something about truth on my Facebook, and someone wanted to know “whose truth.”  I decided to talk about truth on my blog because it is a really important topic.  This topic extends far past the conversation about God, though it also can and often does apply.

Truth:
a (1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : actuality (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true c : the body of true statements and propositions

A truth is something that is in accordance with reality.  If I say that the air we breathe consists primarily of nitrogen and oxygen, this is a truth because I am stating something in accordance with reality.  If I state that the air we breathe consists primarily of hydrogen, then what I have stated is not true.  I have stated something not in accordance with reality.

My feelings about a particular truth are irrelevant, and the accuracy of my statement has no bearing on the fact of the matter.  For instance, I could say that my dog Starbuck is a cat.  Unless we redefine the word cat to mean dog, then my statement is false.  I could really want Starbuck to be a cat, but my feelings and desires would not make her a cat.  Further, the fact I was incorrect about her cat-ness would not make her any more or less of a dog or a cat. 

A sincere belief, if incorrect, does not change the truth either.  In the same example, I could sincerely believe that Starbuck was a cat.  I could, with great enthusiasm and conviction, go all of my life believing that Starbuck was a cat.  Again, assuming we have not redefined cat, I would still be wrong. 

Some statements and their counter statements are mutually exclusive, meaning they cannot both be true at the same time.  If I were to say that Santa is an immortal who only appears at Christmas, and you were to say Santa is a fictional character, we could not both be right.  We might both be wrong, if say Santa was not immortal but the guy down the street was named Santa and so therefore he also was not fictional.  But we cannot both be right.  Even if we sincerely believe our position, both of us cannot be right.

People may say that truths are relative and can vary from person to person.  For instance, I could say the best color is blue.  My sister could say the best color is purple.  Which is true?  This confuses opinion with fact.  I think the best color is blue and she thinks the best color is purple.  These opinions are fine to have, but have no impact on the reality of the colors of blue or purple.

Perception may also be used as a reason why truth varies.  I might see a shadowy figure enter a bank.  Someone else, with a different perspective, might see this person has a red hat.  The truth could be both of these, one of them, or neither.  Our perspective has nothing to do with the truth; it just affects how we report the truth.  The truth does not change based on our perception.

So why is this on my blog?  Well, some people get confused and think that the truth about God is relative.  For instance, God is real and creator of everything in my world, and God is not real and is a fictional character in someone else’s world.  The problem with that is God’s existence (or lack thereof) is not a subjective opinion.  He either is, or He is not. 

Christians claim that Jesus is the Son of God.  The Jewish claim that He is not.   Our claims, sincere as they might be, conflict with each other.  Jesus cannot be the Son of God at the same time He is not the Son of God.  One of us is mistaken. 

Please note I’ve not said anything about who might be mistaken.  All I’m talking about right now is the logic behind the non-politically-correct idea that someone might be mistaken, that all truths are not all true, and that our emotions and perceptions have no bearing on reality.  So as much as we want everyone to be true on some things, it just isn’t possible.

Now, some people get around this by throwing logic out the window and declaring that all truths are relative.  Which would be great, but look at the statement “all truths are relative.”  Is that not presented as a truth?  The base statement for moral relativism must be assumed to be true for the system to work, even though that would contradict the base statement.

Further, we know that all truths are not relative.  Otherwise, someone could break into my hotel room right now and rape and murder me and say that according to his truth, that was morally and legally acceptable.  If we agree that truth is relative to the person, we’d have to let him go.  Except my dad would kill him, violently, assuming my brother didn’t find him first, because their truth would undoubtedly disagree with his.  And because all truth is relative, we’d have to let them go.

Why is any of this important?  Because if we accept the idea that truth is relative, we can easily fall into the trap that what we want to be true is true.  I don’t want the road outside my house to have a speed limit, and so I believe that it does not.  I act as though it does not.  This is dangerous because, in fact, it does have a speed limit.  My incorrect belief based on my feelings and the idea that I can somehow change the truth to suit my wishes does not change the speed limit, and it should not change the police officer’s mind about giving me a ticket.  There are consequences to my incorrect, yet sincere belief, that there is no speed limit on the street outside my house.

Maybe I don’t want God to exist, so I believe He does not.  Or maybe I’m fine with God existing, but I don’t want a God with so many rules and standards.  I believe then that God does not have so many rules or standards.  I believe then God only has the rules and standards I’m interested in following or I decide are fair or I conclude are reasonable.  I then act accordingly.  And like the speed limit, what I think God ought to be doing has no actual impact on the truth of what God is or what God wants.  

For people who do not believe in God, the choices relating to God are rather simple.  Does He exist or doesn’t He?  Without that first question, the rest are irrelevant.

Then there’s Jesus.  Does He exist or doesn’t He?  Was He resurrected or wasn’t He?

And the list goes on.  If God exists, then His standard is the only important one and the only right one.  We should strive to meet His standard, not ours.  This affects every moment of every day in our lives and all of our decisions.  God is not wishy washy on moral issues, we shouldn’t be either.  Our feelings are irrelevant, God’s will is the only thing that matters once we answer the question about God’s existence. 

Are we living, thinking, and deciding to God’s standard or ours?  Are we fooling ourselves into thinking the standard we prefer is also the standard He prefers? 



What is peace?

In the Old Testament Hebrew:
shâlôm
BDB Definition:

1) completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
1a) completeness (in number)
1b) safety, soundness (in body)
1c) welfare, health, prosperity
1d) peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment
1e) peace, friendship
1e1) of human relationships
1e2) with God especially in covenant relationship
1f) peace (from war)
1g) peace (as adjective)

In the New Testament Greek:
eirēnē
Thayer Definition:

1) a state of national tranquility
1a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war
2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
4) of the Messiah’s peace
4a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)
5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

From Merriam Webster:

1 : a state of tranquility or quiet: as a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
5 —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
— at peace : in a state of concord or tranquility

Some of these types of peace are promised by Jesus to believers, but all are not.  In fact, He promises us we will not have outside tranquility or quiet.  We will not be free from civil disturbances.  We will not be exempted from the rage and havoc of war.  Safety and soundness of body are not guaranteed.

(Joh 14:27)  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


The world is incapable of giving us peace, just as it is inept at giving us wisdom.  We once had harmony with God and with the world, but that was blown with the original sin.  We can now be reconciled to God as people, but the rest of the world is still in sin and turmoil and not going to play along with our new found outlook on life.

So the peace of a Christian is not the absence of conflict, though we do desire that and know it would be a good thing.  The peace of a Christian is the security in knowing whatever happens, God’s in charge.  It’ll be okay in the grand scheme of things (meaning ETERNITY).

It would appear, like wisdom, there are a few types of peace.  The first is what we think of when we think of the world.  Peace is the absence of conflict.  The absence of conflict is great!  But is that really peace?  According to that definition, we had “peace” with Russia during the Cold War.  That wasn’t stressful in the least, was it?  Yay peace!

The other is the peace we feel inside, and this does not need worldly peace to survive.  Jesus promises us peace, His peace, but it is not the absence of conflict or trial nor does it require worldly peace to attain.

(Joh 16:33)  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


Writing on this verse, St Cyprian of Carthage offers "The Christian soldier, instructed by His precepts and warnings, trembles not at the battle, but is ready for the Crown."

This all sounds rather fine and logical and in line with belief in Christ, but how does one go about attaining this peace?  Suffering quietly, accepting trials and hardships with cheer, praying for people as they attempt to crush your spirit… THAT’S JUST CRAZY.  But wait, that’s the wisdom of the world talking, isn’t it?  We’re called to another type of wisdom.  One that does not make sense at all to the world:

1 Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;


Apparently we are not supposed to be all that sound of mine when dealing with others, with our problems, or with the world.  The Christian faith is not supposed to make a lot of sense to everyone else when lived out.  It will confound them.  It confuses others.

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
1Pe 4:3  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1Pe 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.


We’re not supposed to be normal.  So the “normal” reaction to stress, the “normal” reaction to troubles, the “normal” reactions to life aren’t necessarily to be our reactions.  We have a different standard.  We have a different wisdom.  Our “normal” is eternal and won’t change based on what MTV or psychologists tell us.  Our “normal” is commanded, and provided for by the Lord.

The world’s normal is more comfortable.  It seemingly prevents conflict.  It gives us more friends, more things to do, more places to go, and more faulty wisdom to follow.  This faulty wisdom leads to more conflict, fewer true friends, less to do, and even more faulty wisdom.  What a disaster!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof

Pro 5:7  Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.
Pro 5:8  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:
Pro 5:9  Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:
Pro 5:10  Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;
Pro 5:11  And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,
Pro 5:12  And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;
Pro 5:13  And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!
Pro 5:14  I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.


Remove thy way far from her...  Again, the her could be a literal whore.  Don't go near her!  The rest of the verses explain why this would be, but they also describe the effect of turning away from God's wisdom in general.