Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Proverbs 14

Pro 14:6  A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.
Pro 14:7  Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
Pro 14:8  The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
Pro 14:9  Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
Pro 14:10  The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
Pro 14:11  The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.
Pro 14:12  There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.



Here we return to the idea that wisdom apart from God is useless and a significant problem in our lives.  Someone who scorns the idea of God can seek wisdom all day, and not find the true story because he or she neglects the Almighty.  Think of the laws of Physics - nothing can come from nothing in our system, and yet according to the scientists that's exactly what must have happened at the start of the universe.  This violates their own rules.  They're unwilling to look outside the system for something that can impact the system - God.

If we are looking toward God we can accurately see our way, even though the other path might seem easier or look more appealing.  When we look to ourselves, we will fool ourselves into thinking something other than God.  He'll become our imaginary friend, or we'll get rid of Him entirely.  We aren't wise enough on our own to know all the information we need to know to make right decisions.  If we think our way is right without God, we really are fools.


Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Philippians

Php 1:12  But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
Php 1:13  So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;
Php 1:14  And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 


He gets done saying hello to them, and telling them how he prays for them, and still yet moves to comfort them by telling them it is really okay he's in prison.  I'm trying to think what it'd feel like if one of my friends was in prison and hadn't done anything wrong.  It would be terrible for all involved!  So Paul is letting them know that it isn't all that bad.  In fact, he tells them it is really a good thing.  He is able to tell those around him there in the palace and his guards all about Jesus.  He has a captive audience!  He also is aware that his imprisonment is making others more confident to preach the good news of Jesus.

One might start to feel bad about whining about our circumstances now, I suppose.  This guy is in prison and he's happy because it means he gets to talk about Jesus with people.  He has absolutely no freedom, and is writing to friends to tell them that he's in a great position to do his job.  And here I get annoyed if traffic is going slow...

You can read all of Philippians here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Philippians

Php 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
Php 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
Php 1:5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Php 1:7 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.
Php 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
Php 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
Php 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Php 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. 

Every time he remembers this community, he thanks God.  That's pretty impressive.  I think about my friends all the time, and while I am prone to thank God for them pretty frequently, it isn't all the time.  Often, it isn't with the joy that Paul talks about either.  I just know I should be thankful and I mention that, but joy is hard to hold in your head when you're thinking about the grocery list at the same time.  But Paul thanks God with joy every time he thinks of the Philippians.  He's thankful for their fellowship in the Gospel and with him.  Paul also lists joy as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit elsewhere.

They are always in his heart, even while he is in prison.  He's even happy in general while in prison, which he talks about later.  But right now he's talking about how much he loves them.  He loves them like Jesus loves them.  And he prays that they will have love, knowledge, and good judgment.  Reminds me of how shortsighted I am when praying for my friends' needs, because I'm usually thinking of their immediate needs.

Paul prays that they be full of love, and have this love in knowledge and judgment.  He doesn't want them to be unintelligent Christians and not know God, just running around being generally happy about Jesus.  He wants them to have knowledge and good judgment, so they can become better followers of Jesus, and stay on that course until Jesus returns.  He wants them to be able discern what is true and excellent so they may follow it.  He wants them to be filled with the fruits of righteousness.

What a wonderful thing to wish for our friends!  What a wonderful thing for Paul to wish for us, as fellow Christians.  We'll get to this in a later verse, but Paul really wants his readers to have joy in any circumstance.  That means while receiving gifts at Christmas or being tortured for the faith.  Our joy should not be based on our present day circumstances, but in Jesus.

I find I get too hung up on the day to day problems to remember the big picture.  God became man and died for my sins so I could go to Heaven and be with Him forever instead of heading to hell, which is where I really deserve to go because I'm an ungrateful slacker who can't manage to remember the first half of this sentence long enough each day to even get dressed.  Keeping an eye on the prize takes on a whole new meaning, and this is the world's greatest prize ever.  And whatever happens in my life, from tying my shoes to something tragic, I'm to have joy, because Jesus thinks I'm to die for.

You can read all of Philippians here.

Proverbs 14

Pro 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
Pro 14:2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.
Pro 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Pro 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
Pro 14:5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. 

A woman can build her house with wisdom, or she can tear it down with foolishness.  This is the case for all - if we are not wise and do not seek God, we bring only pain and lack of joy to our lives.  We bring it upon ourselves.  This destruction is of our own doing, and we do it all the time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Philippians

Before I started my latest Proverbs project, I’d attack one book at a time and try to read as much about it as possible and make notes.  Originally, I was doing this because I wanted to be very good at apologetics so I could prove things to other Christians.  Thankfully, I’m less interested in that now – being able to defend a position is very important, but I got too wrapped up in it and it became an occasion of pride.  Hopefully now my motives are a bit less inclined to be sinful!

I really like St Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  It is a very happy letter, as he was very happy to be writing them.  Most of his other letters involve some contentious topics, but this one is almost entirely happy.  He probably wrote it in the early 60’s, while imprisoned at Rome.  The Philippians were very generous to St Paul and had sent a messenger with tidings and financial support for him.  St Paul had brought the Gospel to Philippi on his second missionary journey around 50 AD.  He had Timothy with him, so they would know who he was when St Paul references him in the letter. 

Unlike some other of St Paul’s letters, this one is almost universally considered to be from St Paul.  There is some question as if it is comprised of three different letters or just one, though.  I like the information presented on these issues in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bibles, which do not always agree with the more modern opinion on these questions.

This month I want to go through Philippians, here on this blog.  Might as well, since my bible software I normally take notes on appears to lose those notes with each upgrade (bum deal for Romans, I had a lot of notes).


Php 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Php 1:2  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Okay, first of all, what a crazy opening.  How frequently do you greet people with such a wish for grace and peace?  I don't do it at all.  "So good to see you," is a step outside of my comfort zone, and it doesn't go nearly as far as this does in terms of conveying anything important.  Paul is clearly telling them he wishes for them to have both grace and peace, and he's not being very politically correct regarding from where he expects such grace and peace to come from.  Obviously we want our friends to have grace and peace, but how frequently do we think about that?  How frequently do we tell them that?  Does "Hey, what's up" really get across the same message, share our love for them, or give them an idea of what we value most?  Paul doesn't really have that problem.

Also in a totally non PC moment (the ACLU would have a field day with Paul), he identifies himself as a servant of Jesus Christ.  Isn't servant hood bad?  Aren't we a liberated people?  He's a slave of Jesus Christ.  He's giving up his will to do the will of someone else.  He's following the orders of someone else.  He isn't in charge.  Easier said than done of course (see this blog's title) but it makes sense, logically, to think of ourselves as that to God.  God knows everything.  Everything.  Anything we do outside His will is wrong and will lead to our pain and suffering.  Throw in there Jesus died so we could spend eternity in Heaven instead of suffering in Hell, that He's the Lord and King of all, etc, and we can come to the conclusion servant hood is the way to go.  May we all do as well in that task as Paul!

There's some question regarding the "bishops and deacons" in the first verse, and we could really go crazy examining that and who those were and what he meant by it.  In any case, he was addressing both the leaders of the church and the regular churchgoers in this letter.  It was for everybody because he was really happy about everybody.

Unlike other letters, he doesn't go into a long introduction about who he is or why they should listen to him.  They already know who he is, as well as Timothy.  They've been sending him messages and gifts, and he's really fond of them.  He's like a close friend writing to them.  How exciting it must have been to receive this letter!

You can read all of Philippians here.

Psalm 17 and ADVENT!

Psa 17:1  A Prayer of David. Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
Psa 17:2  Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.
Psa 17:3  Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
Psa 17:4  Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
Psa 17:5  Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
Psa 17:6  I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
Psa 17:7  Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
Psa 17:8  Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psa 17:9  From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
Psa 17:10  They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
Psa 17:11  They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
Psa 17:12  Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
Psa 17:13  Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
Psa 17:14  From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
Psa 17:15  As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.


Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Readings are here.

Rom 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Let's have some links!

Next week it is into another chapter of Proverbs, another Psalm, and maybe some of Philippians.  Today, some links!

Here's a great Open Letter to Abortion Rights Advocates at Little Catholic Bubble.  I do not understand how some people can think it is taking a life, or murder, and still think that the woman's right to choose is more important.  That's like deciding that it was Hitler's right to choose to eliminate the Jews.  Society has every right to regulate the subjugation of one group of people by another and we do it all the time.  The fact abortion is legal is just another example of the wisdom of the world sounding better than the wisdom of God, but only one is true.

Onto the excitement caused by the Pope and the new book this week.  If you listen to the mainstream media, you might think the Catholic Church has reversed its teaching regarding contraceptives.  Not so!  In fact, it is just another marvelous example of the media completely and totally misrepresenting something.  If I did this at work, I'd get fired!  Here are some articles I found both informative and entertaining on the subject (or at least somewhat related to the subject, or using the subject as a springboard):
The Pope Changes Catholic Faith Completely (awesome, with Darth Vader)
The Ghetto is the Future
What did the Pope Really Say?
 
This is an interesting one on liturgical reform:  Scourge Us

I just found the blog Stuff Christians Like, and well, I like it!  Here are two I found today:
Our $29,000 God
These 7 Words

Love this poster:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oops

Pro 13:21  Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.
Pro 13:22  A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
Pro 13:23  Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.
Pro 13:24  He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Pro 13:25  The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.


Hey look, the Bible says we should discipline our kids.  Funny how that worked out for thousands of years before the psychologists said it was damaging.  Of course, now that we've stopped that damaging behavior, our society's children are so much more mentally stable and upright...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

The first National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Cotinental Congress in 1777:

FOR AS MUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for Benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of: And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy, not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence; but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defense and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased, in so great a Measure, to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops, and to crown our Arms with most signal success:

It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for SOLEMN THANKSGIVING and PRAISE: That at one Time and with one Voice, the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that, together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favor; and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD through the Merits of JESUS CHRIST, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole: To inspire our Commanders, both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States, the greatest of all human Blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE: That it may please him, to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People, and the Labor of the Husbandman, that our Land may yield its Increase: To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand; and to prosper the Means of Religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom, which consisteth "in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.

And it is further recommended, That servile Labor, and such Recreation, as, though at other Times innocent, may be unbecoming the Purpose of this Appointment, be omitted on so solemn an Occasion.
I've been working on a list of things I am thankful for.

Of primary importance is God.  I am thankful for a God who loves us so much He created this world for us.  And although we are so often nothing but ungrateful slackers who persist in nothing but making the evil factory run, He allows us to continue existing and more than that managed a way to ensure we could still have access to Him for all eternity even with our failures.  Jesus does indeed think we "are to die for," and for all of that and all other blessings I and those around me have received, I am thankful.  I am thankful for my Church, which God has provided to aid on the path to Heaven.

I am thankful for my parents and my family.  In addition to welcoming me into this world a little later in life and not quite at an expected time, they continued even after that to keep me around.  Though I am sure I was a perfectly wonderful (and modest) child, they endured all the normal annoyances, aggravations, worries, anxieties, pains, and difficulties associated with having another Oldham sharing space on this planet.  I am incredibly thankful for the love and support of my parents and five brothers and sisters, six nieces and nephews, cousins and "relatives" that bear no blood relation but call me family anyway.

My friends have been incredible supporters as well, and I only separate them from the family paragraph so as not to confuse the organization here.  I'm thankful to be surrounded by people who exert such a good type of peer pressure on me and share with me their wisdom and help.  I am fortunate to have found such wonderful people, and they haven't fled.  My family is stuck with me, but my friends decide to like me every day!

I am thankful for my job, my house, my car, and of course the dog.  None of these things are guarantees, and they make life much easier to deal with.  I'm thankful for CAP, as it has provided and continues to provide so many opportunities to meet people and learn new things.

And of course, I am thankful for our country and being born into a land where we still know what freedom is (even if we do have to continue to fight for it).

I wish all the readers of this blog a Happy Thanksgiving, and I pray you have many things to be thankful for both now and in the year to come.

Proverbs 13

Pro 13:16  Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.
Pro 13:17  A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.
Pro 13:18  Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
Pro 13:19  The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
Pro 13:20  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.


Back to accepting rebuke in 18.  Must be a big deal!

20 tells us what we already know about peer pressure.  If we surround ourselves with people with poor morals, they will rub off on us.  This isn't to say we should just ignore everybody else completely and hope they find God on their own, but our main friendship base shouldn't be far from God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Proverbs 13

Pro 13:11  Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
Pro 13:12  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Pro 13:13  Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Pro 13:14  The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Pro 13:15  Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.


Those that hate the word, the law of the Lord, are subject to destruction.  They're not paying attention to God, and so they fall on the wrong path and walk into their doom.  The law of the wise is a fountain of life, because it keeps us on the right path and focused on God.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Proverbs 13

Pro 13:6  Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.
Pro 13:7  There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
Pro 13:8  The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
Pro 13:9  The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
Pro 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.


Righteousness keeps us on the right path by guiding our feet, but if we elect to get off the right path, that sin will be happy to throw us entirely off course.  There is no halfway between the two paths.  We're either aimed toward God or not.  For some reason, I have always envisioned this as a satellite in orbit around the Earth (yes, I am a geek).  If we're facing Earth we're getting closer and closer as our trajectory points us in.  If we try to look out and point the other way, our trajectory changes and we get farther and farther away.

Pride causes contention.  No surprise there. 


Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Proverbs 13

Pro 13:1  A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
Pro 13:2  A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
Pro 13:3  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
Pro 13:4  The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Pro 13:5  A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame. 


And we're back to accepting rebuke again with verse one.  Even the Bible says we're wrong sometimes!  And it leaves it to others sometimes to correct us.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Psalm 16

Psa 16:1 Michtam of David. Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
Psa 16:2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
Psa 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
Psa 16:4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
Psa 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
Psa 16:6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Psa 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
Psa 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psa 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
Psa 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Psa 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. 

Today is the Feast of Christ the King.  Readings are here.  I went to the Latin Mass today, so the readings were different.  Either set serves to remind us that Jesus isn't our BFF from around the corner - he's the Lord and King of all.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lazy!

Pro 12:24  The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.
Pro 12:25  Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
Pro 12:26  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
Pro 12:27  The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.
Pro 12:28  In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy thoughts!

Pro 12:19  The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Pro 12:20  Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.
Pro 12:21  There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.
Pro 12:22  Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Pro 12:23  A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.


The truth is universal and forever, as it does not change.  Lies only last a moment, as they are not based on reality.

If we sit around and devise evil, or gossip, or think ill of others, or think on any of the things we're so prone to do if given the chance, then our heart is not right and we are lacking in joy.  St Paul says "...whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Php 4:8)

I know a bunch of verses tell us the wise don't talk very much, but I talk a lot.  I wonder what that says about me!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What about your friends

Pro 12:13  The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.
Pro 12:14  A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
Pro 12:15  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Pro 12:16  A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.
Pro 12:17  He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
Pro 12:18  There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.


We can easily see the truth of 13 in the liars we know.  There's only so much one can make up before tripping up on the details and making it known.

We are again told not to use just our own judgment to come up with our way.  We must lean on God for wisdom, and take wise counsel from others.  It is important to have good friends and advisors for this!  The movie Fireproof shows some definite advantages to having good friends to take counsel from, as the woman's friends are terrible and keep advising her to do the wrong thing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The net of evil

Pro 12:7  The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.
Pro 12:8  A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.
Pro 12:9  He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.
Pro 12:10  A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
Pro 12:11  He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
Pro 12:12  The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.


The last verse took some research for me to understand.  Godless men seek the root, stability, and acceptance of other Godless men. 
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.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Proverbs 12

Pro 12:1  Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
Pro 12:2  A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.
Pro 12:3  A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.
Pro 12:4  A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
Pro 12:5  The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
Pro 12:6  The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.


The first verse takes us back to the idea of the wise being okay with learning more and being corrected if they are in error.  That's never particularly comfortable, no matter how often we say we want "constructive criticism."

The DRB translates the second verse as He that is good, shall draw grace from the Lord: but he that trusteth in his own devices, doth wickedly.  Trusting in our own devices is the opposite of good, and does not lead to grace or favor from the Lord.

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.
 We are simply not equipped to out-think God.

The only thing that has existed forever is God.  We haven't been here long enough, and we never will be, to have that kind of knowledge.  Only God is immovable and not changing, which is why if our root is God, our root is stable.  There is no stability without God in the long term.

The last two verses talk about the words of the wicked, and how they are also wicked and ready to harm others.  They gain delight from this activity.

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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Great poster

Psalm 15

Psa 15:1  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
Psa 15:2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
Psa 15:3  He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
Psa 15:4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
Psa 15:5  He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.


Readings for today, the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, are here.

I had a very good time this week participating in 7 Quick Takes and visiting a lot of other blogs.  One of the items I found of particular interest was this video for the Bioethics Defense Fund.  Excellent video.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last of 11!

Pro 11:25  The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Pro 11:26  He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
Pro 11:27  He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.
Pro 11:28  He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
Pro 11:29  He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
Pro 11:30  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Pro 11:31  Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.


Striving after good will win favor, while striving after evil will win evil.  This made me think of countless times I or someone else has sought favor by doing something not so honest, and it just creates problems.  Doing the right thing over and over again seems to have worked out a lot better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Proverbs 11

Pro 11:19  As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
Pro 11:20  They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
Pro 11:21  Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.
Pro 11:22  As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
Pro 11:23  The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
Pro 11:24  There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.


I've already lent the book away, but a book I just read last week talked about how people of faith are likely to live 6-8 years longer than people without.  Whatever else might and should be said about life and the meaning of it, it seems to be true that those who follow God seem to live longer on the whole.

7 Quick Takes

Hey, look, I'm doing it again!  This is another edition of 7 Quick Takes, hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.  I write seven random things on my mind, link there, and share a link here from there.  If you're staring here, go there!  I read that blog a lot, though I lurk in terms of comments.  If you're starting there, hello!

1.  I got rid of one of my dogs a few weeks ago.  Hercules was nice and quiet and low maintenance, but I was afraid he'd eat small children.  I have found that people who aren't dog people don't know what I mean, and can't figure out why I got rid of him and not Starbuck, who seems like the "more dangerous to small humans" of the two.

Starbuck might topple over a toddler in an attempt to play.  We can tell she's not aggressive and mean because her butt goes up and her tail wags while she's growling and shaking a toy violently.  That's dog for happy.  Hercules stalked small children like a wolf, did not wag his tail, and gave no indication he was pleased with that annoying sound they sometimes make.  Further, Starbuck did not like Hercules around small children.  I thought that was a good (or bad) sign.  So off he went, hopefully to find a new adoptive home in the country.

2.  I just got more teas and herbs from the Bulk Herb Store!  The goal is to eliminate soda, but without some really pressing reason, I need something to replace it with.  I've been drinking chamomile with red raspberry leaf almost exclusively, but now have more to play with.  I have "rise and shine" tea to wake up with, and also got some peppermint leaf (which makes my house smell awesome), ginger root, red rooibos tea, echinacea, and more chamomile and red raspberry leaf.  The red raspberry is good for female issues.

3.  I just returned from a vacation to London, which was my first time out of the country.  What an adventure!  I did discover that people there are like people here, and big cities there are like big cities here.  The small towns seemed like our small towns too.  Different buildings, different accents, basically the same people.  Only they charge for some of their bathrooms!  Not a fan of that.   The rest of it was all very fun and exciting though!



4.  I work for a major transportation/logistics/shipping company as an industrial engineer.  Now that I'm back from vacation, I am spending quality time "forecasting" December, when anyone and everyone decides they need something across the country right now.  Very exciting!  Here are some tips for your shipping this holiday:
  • Do not wait until the week before Christmas to ship.  Yes, it is likely you can still get it there overnight.  But with all the OTHER packages going overnight, the changes for loss, late, or damage increase.  Most companies also will suspend the money back guarantee on the times they are normally due, so it may not be there tomorrow morning.  It also saves stress.
  • Do use packing material, a sturdy box, and plenty of tape.  Do not assume an elf will hand deliver your package with gloved hands at every step of the journey.  Shipping companies have conveyor belts, small drops, and computer controlled machinery.  Cereal boxes are not appropriate containers with which to ship your prized gifts.
  • Put your address and the delivery address on the outside and inside of the box, in addition to the shipper's paperwork.  Then if it gets lost without the paperwork, they have some idea of what to do with it.
  • Save your tracking number.  Without it, you're pretty much sunk if something gets lost.
  • Do not wait until the week before Christmas if you can avoid it.  I already mentioned this?  I mean it!  The weather might be fine where you are and where you're sending the gifts, but a snowstorm over the midwest would mean huge delays for everybody including you.  I recommend shipping before the 15th.
  • On the other hand, if you do wait until the last second, some online stores will offer up free shipping in the 3-4 days just prior to Christmas.  If you've waited that long, shop around and see what you can find, especially if you're okay with the delay risk.
  • Be kind to the customer service agent.  I don't care if you think they just lost your package or drop kicked it into a field of cow manure.  First of all, that probably didn't really happen.  You're just angry.  Second, and this is true for any customer service anywhere, you'll get better help if you're not swearing at the person.  Just FYI.
Wilson, from the movie Castaway.  Tom Hanks plays an industrial engineer for FedEx, and this is his imaginary friend.  My job is similar.  Only without the yelling.  And the plane crashing.
 
5.  You will be dismayed to learn that fast food companies do not care about your children and have not done much to make their meals any healthier, thereby becoming the only proponent of childhood obesity.  That was the news this week.  Okay, maybe I made it sound a little worse, but they apparently really did spend money proving that Happy Meals are not as healthy as vegetables.  I was shocked.  I was also shocked to hear some local governments are moving to ban the toys to reduce demand, because there is CLEARLY no other method known to mankind to prevent a small child with no personal funding from purchasing this supposed death in a box other than government intervention and control.  Personal responsibility - pass it on.  And pass me the fries, I'm hungry!

6.  I bought knives this week!  I've been using a few knives I received for high school graduation, as well as a steak knife set from Target.  The steak knives kind of look like I've run around killing people with them, as they have numerous rust spots.  So this week, I decided I was grown up enough to buy a knife block set.  Everyone I talked to said that they can last a lifetime!  That was actually stress-inducing, as I don't recall ever buying anything else thus far that will last a lifetime.  Oh well, they will be here today!

7.  I'm just now finishing up some tea.  I am pleased to report life is just better with peppermint.  Wow!  I've never had it in tea before, at least not strong enough to get a good taste.  That's very tasty!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Imaginary Friend

The characteristics of God do not change because of our feelings or due to our moods. He is not a projection of our personal tastes and whims or subject to our imaginations. He is not what we think He should be, and does not need to meet our requirements to exist. He is not a slave to our social norms or popular ideas. He has always been God, and He does not change with the times.

We should not make up a God that is more comfortable to worship and convinient to follow. Such a god would not be God at all, and would not have the power to save. The god I'd make up in my head wouldn't be so upset about my sin and I wouldn't need him to be able to save me. I could do whatever I wanted and justify any opinion I wanted and support my sin with my new god friend.

Of course, when I meet God at the end of my life, I'd have to explain why I liked my imaginary friend more than Him.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

More of 11

Pro 11:13  A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
Pro 11:15  He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.
Pro 11:16  A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.
Pro 11:17  The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
Pro 11:18  The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.


What I find interesting about 14 is that it seems contrary to the independence and individuality that seems to run rampant.  "We have to be different!  I don't care what anybody thinks of me!"  It is true, opinion is irrelevant when it comes to moral matters, but in life decisions it is obviously wise to seek advice.

I like this quote regarding verse 16 from Henry:  "A gracious woman is as honourable as a valiant man and her honour is as sure."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do it Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

11

Pro 11:7  When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
Pro 11:8  The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.
Pro 11:9  An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
Pro 11:10  When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.
Pro 11:11  By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Pro 11:12  He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.


When those who do not trust in God die, then their expectation of a Godless end dies with them, as it is not true.  What an awful fate.  At that time, believers will be delivered from the evils of this world into Heaven.

2Th 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
2Th 1:4  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
2Th 1:5  Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
2Th 1:6  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
2Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
2Th 1:8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th 1:9  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
2Th 1:10  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
2Th 1:11  Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2Th 1:12  That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
On my trip I kept up my journal on all of this and wrote quite a bit about the mouth of the wicked overthrowing a city, which I think is also tied in with verse 9.  If the wicked lead us, then they lead us astray and into destruction.  Look at where our leaders have us now - we are a country that slaughters babies for convenience.  That's pretty destructive!  They can lead us astray as individuals as well; consider all the women who have been led into thinking that their "choice" has no moral effect, is not a big deal, etc.  Think of all of the other issues that are similiar.


And then the last verse goes back to wisdom, and how contrary it is to the wisdom of this world.  It might be perfectly "normal" to talk badly about your neighbor or to tell them what you really think when they do something petty and annoying, but that is not the wisdom of God.  Over and over and over again we are told to forgive others and be patient and kind.  Be the "bigger person," so to speak.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Links for Tuesday

Let's do a link on despair!

And now to feel better, here's a nice warm and fuzzy one about Love and Laundry.

On to 11!

Pro 11:1  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
Pro 11:2  When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Pro 11:3  The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
Pro 11:4  Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Pro 11:5  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.
Pro 11:6  The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.


A false balance references unfair business practices.  God is not for cheating to get ahead or to make a profit, but likes it when we are honest about our dealings with others.  It makes sense, but how often do we personally attempt to swing something in our favor just a little bit by not being completely honest?

In verses three, five, and six, it is talking about how our integrity will guide us if we are upright.  We're on the right path, and staying true to that will keep us on course.  The wicked are not so, as they will stumble and fall in accordance with the path that they are on.

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.
Staying true to God will keep us on the correct path, and help guide us in what we do, including our business transactions.  Profit is mentioned in verse four, pointing out that it won't do you any good when the time comes.  No amount of money can secure us even here on this world, much less once we die.

It all seems so simple, doesn't it?  Don't worry about money, don't cheat for more, find the right path and stay on it and keep God happy.  But we don't.  Greed isn't my particular vice, but everybody has some worry about money.  We always mess it up and get ourselves in trouble, when our pain and stress could be more avoided if we just followed God.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back!

I went on a little journey across the pond, which is why I have been absent of late.  I have returned, though, and am ready to continue on with Proverbs.  First, let's get our Psalm of the week!

Psa 14:1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psa 14:2  The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Psa 14:3  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Psa 14:4  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
Psa 14:5  There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
Psa 14:6  Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
Psa 14:7  Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.