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Displaying items by tag: Proverbs Series

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Saturday, 27 May 2017 19:29

Pedagogy or Punishment

We continue in Proverbs 19, finishing the chapter.
This final section deals with learning or perishing -- that is to say, either we put into practice what we learn here and change our lives accordingly, or we crash & burn. It really is life or death. Is this whole thing just religion to you? Time to move to the next level. All these hypocrits who sit in church are learning from God's Word that this whole things really is about life ... forever ... or death ... forever. What do you think it is about?
Published in Service
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 10:24

Of Wealth & Children

We continue the Proverb series studying Proverbs 19 this morning.
There is much wonderful advice contained in Proverbs overall. Written so long ago, so many have said to me, "It's like it was written yesterday!" This is quite true. God's Word is timeless and always applicable to our lives.

"Of Wealth and Children" will offer some really great insights.
But, you need to share the experience, so I hope you will do just that. Come Sunday morning. Enjoy the laughter and the fellowship and the genuine acceptance. You'll find friendliness and a pleasant experience at Pleasant Valley.
Published in Service
Friday, 21 April 2017 16:45


We'll jump back into the Proverbs for a little bit. Today, we study Proverb 17. The Proverb could be sublabeled the "Better ... than" Proverb. I hope to briefly consider the first verses, especially 1-7. Admittedly, there is much to cover, so we will not be able cover it all. But, also consider v.13 and think about what that means. Try turning it around and consider the inverse. Oh, and verse 16 is interesting. Reflect on verse 22 and think about when you've been a "downcast spirit" in somebody's life.

But, I really want to get to verses 27-28. This is the origin of the title. How often do we think about what we are saying ... or how often we do use a reflection of things said to improve our own speech? Do you tend to talk because you don't care for the silence? I know people who do this with God also. When they pray, they ramble on and on -- not certain as to why.

We all need to hear the message of vv.27-28. Sometimes saying nothing speaks volumes, where as speaking yeilds only a disappointment.
Sometimes the most we can say, is nothing at all.
Published in Service
Wednesday, 05 April 2017 10:12

Illogical Trust

"That just doesn't make sense!"

Ever hear yourself shout those words? I have. Seems like the older I get, the more I say it. Why does the illogic in the world increase proportionally with the advancement of one's years?

Then, one might experience those really strange times in life when everything around them seems to be spinning out of control. Stuff is happening faster than the Enterprise travels through space. It doesn't make sense. God doesn't make sense. Woah - what was that last statement? God doesn't make sense? He must make sense - after all, He is God! Is that reason enough? Perhaps, but we are not gods. Humans process through a finite, limited function of grey matter nicely protected by thick bone and balanced above one's shoulders. God does not. God is infinite. God is not limited. And we think (sorry, that should be "think") God doesn't make sense? Wow. OK, so God may appear to not make sense. That works. Why? Because at times, He asks or does things that are contrary to our thinking or understanding.

We have been poking around Proverbs, learning about wisdom, and learning how to avoid the traps of Evil.
Now on this Palm Sunday, I want to think about that wisdom, but put it alongside the story of Jesus telling the disciples to go get a colt donkey. Read that story again in the Gospels. Notice something? Jesus doesn't make sense. He has asked his disciples to go to another town, steal a donkey, tell the owner it'll be right back, leave no payment, and bring the colt donkey back to Jesus in Jersulem. Anybody catch the illogic?
So, what would you do if something like that were told to you? No, really, be honest here.

Proverbs 28 and Mark 11 for this Sunday ... and a question of how can we trust ... or how can we get past the illogical stuff while we maintain a relationship with a loving God?
Wave those Palms! See you Sunday.
Published in Service
Friday, 17 March 2017 07:18

Wisdom’s Speech

Last week we faced the reality of the temptress, who with "smooth talk" and "persuasive words" the temptress leads one off the right path and into sin. Today, we hear from Woman Wisdom calling us to, "Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right." She tells us, "The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate."

The Temptress leads people to death -- eternally
Wisdom speaks of life -- forever

Yet, despite this reality and clarity, we know people are taken in by the "smooth talk" and "persuasive words" of the Temptress, the Tempter or Satan. Those crooked words are aimed at our minds. Just like someone who can market a useless item well, many will purchase that item. We've all seen the infomercials on television. A persuasive man tells you that you can receive high-definition television and stop paying cable bills with this little antenna device on the back of your television. It sounds so good -- so real. Our emotions say, "get it!" So, we purchase said useless item and of course realize we've been deceived.

That's a fairly harmless example. But, in Proverbs 7 & 8, the example isn't harmless -- it is life and death. We have a choice to make. Be deceived by "smooth talk" and walk into sin & death ... or control our emotions and analyze what the Temptor is telling us because only then can we avoid the snare laid. Do not be deceived, brothers and sisters -- the Temptor is not as powerful as God -- but the Temptor is the Great Deceiver. Wisdom offers a path of truth and without deception.

If you want a 'good' life, follow the words of Wisdom.
Published in Service
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 10:49

Persuasion to Sin

Continuing in the proverbial series of Proverbs ... we move to Proverbs 7 for this day. Sort of an odd proverb for study, yet it is still rich with value. The usual parental command occurs, then the "Teacher" relays a personal experience to make a 'teaching moment'. Sin is ever lurking in every dark corner, waiting to seduce the human into its cluthes. When one acknowledges this reality, one can keep one's eyes open to that fact. Sin only wins when we let down our guard and allow sin to enter. With that the previous chapters have dealt. Keeping your attention on wisdom so sin isn't allowed to sneak in and get a hold.

Here, the adultress waits for the vulnerable person. Then, once that person comes near, she reaches out and begins to persuade. How grand it looks, how smooth her words, how enticing the proposal. Watch out though. There is a price to be paid. Always, there is a price to be paid. Too often, people forgot to examine the price tag.

Christ's Peace and His Wisdom for you.
Published in Service
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 16:08

Proverbs Series VI: Seven Abominations

We continue with the Proverbs series. Last week, we jumped from chapter 4 to chapter 30. Neat stuff there. For this Sunday, we return to chapter 6, back to Solomon's actual contributions to the book of Proverbs.

I hope to focus on verses 16-19 containing so much that I doubt there will be time left for much else. In this set, there is a catalog or list of seven things that God hates. Oh, no! Did I just say, "God hates?" Yes I did. We don't like to hear this part. Much more palatable is God's love and how He will accept everyone in the end (which is not true). God is perfect - perfect in love - perfect in justice - perfect in admonition - perfect in punishment - perfect in provision. Scipture is clear (whether we want to hear it or not) there are things that God hates. Sin was not His idea - it was humanity's idea. God hates sin. He loves humans, but still hates sins.

Anyway, here the proverbs author assembles a list of seven things God hates. We are going to spend time on each one. It is beneficial to study these seven things because we can benefit by watching our own lives for any evidence of their presence. Have a look at the catalog ... maybe choose a favorite or one in which you see your own weakness. Then, I'll see you Sunday to discuss these.
Published in Service
There is an old trucker phrase I remember from my CB days, "keep it between the ditches." That phrase morphed into "keep it between the lines" as ditches disappeared from along mainroads. But, the phrase carried the meaning into basic, everyday life by equating to our life journey along the 'highway of life'. As we travel, we need to keep it between the lines. To wander to the left or to the right means trouble. We may go off the road and into the wilderness. We may end up in a ditch, stuck. Or, we may collide with another in life, going the otherway, if we cross over the center line.

The author of Proverbs takes this same idea in chapter 4, applying it to real life. Look down at 23 thru 27. See it? We'll spend time there, noting an outline form and how those verses apply to our lives.

So, as you journey, I encourage you to keep it between the lines! Christ's Peace to you.'
Published in Service
Saturday, 11 February 2017 16:59

Proverbs Series III: Trust & Honor

This week we cover most of chapter 3 ... not sure how far we'll get into three, so I encourage you to read all of three to capture all the treasure contained within.

The writer begins as usual, self-focused as he instructs his child to remember and follow his commands & instructions. When the writer shifts to be God-focused, we hear such things as "trust in the Lord" and "honor the Lord" ... encouraging his child to keep God as the most important thing in his life. And, the author once again uses common phraseology: in v.13 "Happy are those who find wisdom, and those who get understanding"

Oh yeah, and I'll introduce you to a new, big word! That'll be exciting. The word is, metonymy. Your life will be enriched and expanded! See you Sunday.
Published in Service
Friday, 03 February 2017 17:17

Proverbs Series II: Wisdom Bouncers

We move to Proverbs 2 for this particular Sunday morning. Proverbs 1 was an introduction and now Solomon sort of continues the introduction but also offers a somewhat generalized bit of wisdom. Wisdom comes in the Fear of God ... Wisdom comes from God. But, in chapter 2, we see wisdom and fear of God and knowledge of God all are personified into what we might consider today as "bouncers." Stuggling with something in your life? Maybe a sin. Maybe a vice. Maybe a friend. To keep your life balanced and God-centered, you and I need to have a strategic plan. We cannot let evil sneak into our lifes. We need a 'guard' system to shield against the evils of the world & Satan. What is that guard? What is that strategy?

Bouncers. Bouncers are employed to rid an establishment of troublemakers. Bouncers don't engage in conversation. They don't sit around and discuss what led up to the trouble nor do they take time to assess the situation. When told to eject someone, they jump to action and "usher" the troublemaker to the door, nay, beyond to the parking lot. Bouncers are big, effective, and strong.

Wisdom is to serve in our lives like a bouncer. When troublemakers try to get in our life and cause trouble, we need to us wisdom as the bouncer to quickly, effectively eject the evil. Need to say "No" to Satan? You need a bouncer. Want to do the right things? You need a bouncer. You need Wisdom.
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Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

John 14:6

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