16 May

Don’t be an Asa!

If we aren’t careful, we can pass right by an opportunity for God to show up and do great and mighty things in our lives.

We have a tendency to take matters into our own hands and not pause long enough to seek the Lord in matters large and small.

As a result we get good but not great. We do alright on our own but miss out on what could have been if only we had invited the Lord to the negotiation table.

King Asa found himself under attack and rather than call on the Lord for help, as he had done in the past, he called on an old friend to come and help bail him out. It worked but more like making a repair with baling wire or duct tape than with the best of materials.

Asa failed the test. Asa was encouraged and given an opportunity to pause and remember what God can do but chose his way over God’s. It would have been best for Asa to call on the Lord in his time of need and then to step back, have faith and watch God go to work on his behalf. Doing so wasn’t a pass on responsibility but rather the key to gaining the best approach, one that would likely require faith and allow credit where credit was due, with the Lord not man.

Through Asa’s missed opportunity we are reminded to seek the Lord, trust His ways, not look to man as our provider but rather to rely on the Lord to see us through.

Asa missed his opportunity and it made him mad and bitter. It literally affected his walk with the Lord as he quit seeking the Lord altogether.

Lets learn from Asa’s mistake. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully, not partially, but fully committed to Him.

Where will the Lord find you? Don’t miss your opportunity to see and experience God in miraculous ways! Don’t be an Asa!

28 Apr

Looking back

“Sometimes the best way to understand what God is doing is through the rearview mirror because the front windshield doesn’t always make sense.” – Brain Banks

 

27 Apr

Say and do or say not!

“Integrity has no appreciation for good intentions. Do what you say or simply say nothing. Don’t set expectations you cannot keep.” 

“It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

22 Apr

What an idiot?

Dealing with a fool?

To respond or not respond?

Say what or say not?

You have to play it smart when dealing with a fool.

Recognizing the level of gravity associated with the circumstance is the key to a wise response or none at all.

As my mom always said, “In the word ignorance is the word ignore. Ignore ignorance.”

The fool just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know or cares little about knowing the difference. He is wise in his own eyes and cares little about what is right or wrong so long as he gets what he wants. In the end, he is the ultimate contributor to his demise.

It is often difficult to know whether to engage with a fool or simply shake your head and walk away. Proverbs 26:4-5 can leave you scratching your head unless you learn to weigh the way to deal with the fool.

“Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are. Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭26:4-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/116/pro.26.4-5.nlt

Another translation gets us a little closer to understanding the best approach.

“Don’t respond to the words of a fool with more foolish words, or you will become as foolish as he is! Instead, if you’re asked a silly question, answer it with words of wisdom so the fool doesn’t think he’s so clever.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭26:4-5‬ ‭TPT‬‬

https://www.bible.com/1849/pro.26.4-5.tpt

The website, Got Answers, does a great job of breaking down how to navigate dealing with a fool. Here is their advice:

Proverbs has much to say about fools. They despise wisdom (Proverbs 1:7, 22, 10:21, 23:9); they are right in their own eyes (Proverbs 12:15); they are deceitful (Proverbs 14:8) and scornful (Proverbs 10:23, 14:9). The wise are also given instruction on how to deal with fools in Proverbs. Instructing a fool is pointless because his speech is full of foolishness (Proverbs 15:2, 14) and he does not want wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 18:2).

The futility of trying to impart wisdom to a fool is the basis of Proverbs 26:4-5, which tell us how to answer a fool. These seemingly contradictory verses are actually a common form of parallelism found in the Old Testament, where one idea builds upon another. Verse 4 warns against arguing with a fool on his own terms, lest we stoop to his level and become as foolish as he is. Because he despises wisdom and correction, the fool will not listen to wise reason and will try to draw us into his type of argument, whether it is by using deceit, scoffing at our wisdom, or becoming angry and abusive. If we allow him to draw us into this type of discourse, we are answering him “according to his folly” in the sense of becoming like him.

The phrase “according to his folly” in verse 5, on the other hand, tells us that there are times when a fool has to be addressed so that his foolishness will not go unchallenged. In this sense answering him according to his folly means to expose the foolishness of his words, rebuking him on the basis of his folly so he will see the idiocy of his words and reasoning. Our “answer” in this case is to be one of reproof, showing him the truth so he might see the foolishness of his words in the light of reason. Even though he will most likely despise and reject the wisdom offered to him, we are to make the attempt, both for the sake of the truth which is always to be declared, and for the sake of those listening, that they may see the difference between wisdom and folly and be instructed.

Whether we use the principle of verse 4 and deal with a fool by ignoring him, or obey verse 5 and reprove a fool depends on the situation. In matters of insignificance, it’s probably better to disregard him. In more important areas, such as when a fool denies the existence of God (Psalm 14:1), verse 5 tells us to respond to his foolishness with words of rebuke and instruction. To let a fool speak his nonsense without reproof encourages him to remain wise in his own eyes and possibly gives credibility to his folly in the eyes of others.

In short, in negligible issues we should just ignore fools, but in issues that matter, they must be dealt with so that credence will not be given to what they say.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Proverbs-26-4-5.html

For more about recognizing a fool read

Proverbs 26:1-11. These passages have much to say about the plight of a fool.

 

20 Apr

They just don’t get it!

To my millennial friends who are prone to think the older generation just doesn’t get it and to my generation and older who think we know it all and they just don’t get it, let’s pause and give some consideration to the wisdom of King Ahab of old.

It is not that the Boomer and X generations don’t get it or think they know better just because they are older. It is not that the older generations aren’t excited about and don’t want to raise up the next generation of leaders. To the older generation it appears the next generation is unwilling to be apprenticed, mentored or pay their dues and often fail to respect and at least honor what those that have gone before them have sacrificed and accomplished in order for the next generation to take the ball and run with it.

Unfortunately, the older generation gets set in its ways, overlooks its youthful foolishness or outright failures and is unwilling to take the time to unlearn bad advice or change when new ways are better. All too often, the old dog really isn’t willing to learn new tricks. Being a life long learner could very well be the secret to finding the fountain of youth! There might be a reason that fountain has never been found!

Too often, millennials simply assume they know better when in fact they are unconsciously incompetent. They may possess knowledge but they lack the experience to take full advantage of what they may or may not know.

On the other hand, the older generation tends to believe it solved the puzzle long ago but fails to realize they are missing a few critical puzzle pieces as the table has shifted!

Wisdom is needed in order to fully understand and act on the knowledge we have gained. A wise person puts knowledge and understanding to work for good. This applies to ALL generations!

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3

The key is to fully understand, in season, as we are firmly planted. You can’t rush wisdom. Otherwise the sapling becomes arrogant, puffed up and proud. And unlike an old oak tree, it is unable to sustain the winds of life that are certain to come unless it is properly pruned from time to time. There are times we need to learn the lesson and then we need to be willing to adapt and unlearn lessons that are no longer relevant.

We need only look to the King Ahab for valuable insight on this issue. It is not a new issue and not one unique to the next generation. It is an age old issue. A generational issue, indeed. “The king of Israel sent back this answer: A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won.” 1 Kings 20:11

There is a lot to be learned and some amazing relationships to be built when the old warrior and the young warrior take the time to share war stories as iron sharpens iron. Not to judge, but rather to join forces and focus on the battle to be won. There within is the inspiration to fight new battles together as both generations strive to make the world a better place as they draw from real life experiences and new insights that shape the strategy for victory.  The willingness to listen and the willingness to learn can truly work together for the win!

08 Apr

Something amazing in common

What do Walt Disney, Martin Luther King Jr., Joan of Arc, Michael Jackson, Winston Churchill, Amelia Earhart, George Washington, Mark Twain,  Betsy Ross, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley,  Alexander Graham Bell, Louis Pasteur, Helen Keller, Henry Ford, Steven Jobs, Ludwig van Beethoven, John F. Kennedy, Bill Gates, Dolly Parton, Neal Armstrong, Albert Einstein, Queen Elizabeth and Tom Hanks have in common with you and me?

Are you ready? You might be surprised. Can you imagine what the world might be like if these amazing people, and many more like them, had never been born?

It is fair to say that some songs would have never been sung, some movies would have never been seen, some diseases would have never been cured and some lives would have never been freed.

You get the idea. Some people just make the world a better place. Can we not help but wonder if perhaps the cure for cancer, the leader of world peace or some other amazing life-changing idea may have been developing among one of the millions and millions of babies that have never been given a shot at life?

What if we were brave enough to look past ourselves and consider what might have been if every little egg and every little sperm, that ever met, were given a chance to change the world?

I can’t help but wonder if the world wouldn’t be a better place if we gave life a chance.

Where have all the world changers gone? Maybe they never had a chance. The potential to change the world is truly our choice to make.

 

05 Apr

Find it

Some things should just be obvious to us. The old saying rings true, “If it had been a snake it would have bit you.” 

Proverbs 8 makes it clear that wisdom isn’t hard to find. In fact, it cries out in the streets, raises it voice and begs us to listen.

But somehow, some way, we miss it. Why? How could something so obvious, clear and plain to see fail to grasp our attention?

Perhaps there are at least three possible explanations.

1. We are CARELESS. We tend to look in all the wrong places. We neglect to look based on what we already know. 

2. We are CLUELESS. We are simply not aware that the solution to our problem is right before our very eyes.

3. We CHOOSE our own way. We decide to ignore solid advice in lieu of what we think is best.

When it comes to wisdom, we have to know where to find it. To look in the right places for it. To recognize it. Capture it. Take hold of it. Obey it and cherish it more than valuable rubies. Nothing we can desire can compare to it. 

Those who search for wisdom will surely find it. Those who ask for wisdom will receive it. Happy are those who listen and find it. Whoever finds wisdom, finds life! So says the Proverb!

Don’t miss it!

 

27 Mar

Meet the Simpletons

They are nice enough and go about life their own way but they simply have a way of making less of life than needs to be.  

They have tendencies that tend to get in their way.

1. They don’t listen

2. They fight the facts 

3. They Ignore advice

4. They reject correction

5. They hate knowledge

6. They chose their way

7. They are super complacent 

8. They fail to revere the Lord

Let’s be honest, the Simpletons are fools. It isn’t so much what they do but what they don’t do.

They don’t take the Lord’s advice. They don’t heed His call or let Him lead the way. As a result, they look back over their lives and wonder where all the time went. Where did all the money go? Where are all the relationships they once had? They simply lived to regret the lives they made for themselves. They neglected opportunities, forfeited multiple blessings and as a result, never met their full potential or amounted to much. They simply lived for nothing and no one but themselves. 

Why? It’s simple. They are the Simpletons. They could have simply followed the Lord’s leading but they found a way to make life hard on themselves and difficult for others.  In the end, they got what they lived for.

Wisdom cries out in the streets. The Lord provides the insight we need. We can reject His advice and wonder what happened or we can chose His way and wonder at what a God we serve. 

It’s simple, the choice is yours to make. Don’t become a Simpleton or you will simply live to regret it. Become all you were meant to be. Give your life away as the Lord wisely leads you along life’s way. Become a “Wiseman” not a “Simpleton”.

Read more about the Simpletons at Proverbs 1:20-33