A Little Folly!

“As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.” (Ecclesiastes 10:1 NIV)

The dead attract flies who are drawn by the decay and odor and when I see flies swarming–over any dead thing–I smell the odor that accompanies death. When people choose to function without wisdom from above and have no honor–for themselves or others, the folly that is the end result–outweighs the good of those who operate with wisdom and honor.

We see demonstration of folly getting more attention that wisdom on a daily basis. One of the reasons most people there is more bad or evil in the world is because that is what is reported the most.

Racism seeps and creeps into minds of people who think that all people are like those who are reported caught in doing stupid or evil. People from all races of people–all ethnic backgrounds–do stupid, but that does not mean that all the people categorized as that particular race do stupid all the time.

Because all we hear or see in the news is negative–we soon develop negative attitudes about all sorts of things. Most of us no longer trust politicians because of a few doing stupid things while in office, but that doesn’t mean that all politicians are corrupt, dishonest, adulterers, or philanderers. Not all politicians are only interested in preserving the economic classicism that exists in this country, but the few that actually care about people are seldom discussed in the news.

Not all teachers are sexual predators, but because those who are have made the headlines on more than one occasion, some people think that teachers are the reason for all the ills of education.

Not all teenagers are foolish and depraved, but when we only see those who are–splashed across the television screen or posted on social media doing stupid, we tend to think that all teenagers act like those we see–shown in a negative light.

Not all preachers or priests or church leaders are morally bankrupt, but we wouldn’t know that if we base our opinions on what we see in the news.

Not all poor people commit crimes, live off welfare and are ignorant. There are a number of people who commit crimes who were not raised in poverty, and are highly educated, but those are not the ones who get the negative reports and we make assumptions about the poor that are not true of all poor.

I’m thankful that God has given me an observant heart and a desire to understand people and why they do things. I try not to draw conclusions about anyone without having sufficient information to do so. I’m not inclined to try to persuade others to share my opinions about people because others may have different experiences with the same people and have different outcomes. When we draw conclusions about people without understanding– and we don’t have to know everything about them–we are guilty of being presumptuous and foolish.

When people are going through difficult times and don’t acknowledge us, we cannot conclude that they have a problem with us. The reality is–the problem is usually with us because we expect people to act as we want them to act.

I’m guilty of expecting people in certain positions–especially positions of leadership–to act with integrity and honor. And when that doesn’t happen, I tend to not respect them in their positions because the position is being disrespected. A little folly–being self-absorbed, thinking the world should evolve around us–leads to others having a bad impression of the whole and those who actually function with integrity, are overlooked.

O Lord, help us to be more like You, more determined to understand and slower in drawing erroneous conclusions about people or situations in which we do not have sufficient information. Help us to not spread negative reports, but to do all we can to function with integrity and honor, seeking wisdom from You, at all times.

Find Wisdom–Find Happiness!

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 3:13-15 NKJV)

Many people are seeking a superficial happiness through–the things they amass–rather than in knowing that those things offer only a temporary appeasement, lasting only as long as they last or through people–who are so fickle they are always changing their minds. True happiness–that lasts–is in seeking and finding wisdom from God.

Wisdom, once obtained, can never be taken and God lets us know that when we gain understanding–knowing what to do with the wisdom He gives, we will discover that nothing compares to the wisdom He gives.

Solomon–the wisest man who ever lived–did not ask God for things–for riches, or gold, or silver, or lands–He asked God for wisdom and with the wisdom he obtained, he gained understanding in how to manage the riches that were given because he did not ask for them. God knows what we need!

Finding a job or a better paying job won’t bring us true happiness, which is why people are always complaining about the jobs they have. No matter how much they make, it is never enough–there is always a plea for more.

Here’s a plan–instead of asking or seeking God for more–tangible things–let’s seek wisdom and knowledge in how to manage what we have and gain understanding from exercising wisdom so that we never have to ask for things.

I am convinced that some of us will never have all that God desires for us to have because we have not mastered being a good steward over that we already have. Help us, Lord! We want–to squander–which is why we don’t have what we want. It is never too late to learn the lesson of sound financial management, planning, and saving. I’m a late bloomer–in understanding financial wisdom, but I’m willing to backtrack and learn to the extent that I can. Giving of our resources is a good thing, but saving is equally important. Even though my grandson is only 13 years-old, I’m teaching him now to save half of everything he gets from monetary gifts, chores, etc. It is never too early to learn and never too late–unless we are dead or have nothing to manage.

What we have to remember is that God can take a little–bless it–and multiply it beyond our expectations--when we exercise the wisdom, He freely gives. I’d rather have His wisdom poured out upon me than all the riches in the land because I can use the wisdom to obtain the riches!

An Open Prayer For All!

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (I John 4:8 NLT).

If we say we love God, we should know how to love others–not hate.

When we allow hate to replace love in our hearts, we do not honor God.

For all who hate-others and God–this prayer is for you!

Father, in the name of Jesus,

I pray that You will move upon hearts today

Speaking love, In a very special way.

I pray for those who hate others because of political affiliations.

I pray for those who hate others because of ethnic origins and race.

I pray for those who hate others because they are gay or straight.

I pray for those who hate teachers, preachers, accountants, and lawyers,

And any other career or skill set they do not have.

I pray for those who hate because of their feelings of superiority about themselves,

And for those who hate because of their feelings of inferiority against themselves.

I pray for those who hate others because they are Muslim or Christian,

Catholic, Jew, Gentile, Buddhist, Baptist, Pentecostal, or whatever faith they proclaim.

I pray for those who hate because of some are male or female.

I pray for those who hate children and women, men and themselves.

I pray for those who hate redheads, blondes, brunettes, and raven-haired,

For those who hate others because they have straight, curly, kinky hair, long hair, short, and no hair.

I pray for those who hate others because of their height or girth, their humor or lack of one

I pray for those who hate because some have too many children and some have none.

I pray for those who hate all who don’t agree with them and for those who hate because they cannot agree with anyone.

I pray for those who disdain others because of their imperfections and flaws

Not seeing themselves because if they did, they would see and know their own imperfectness.

I pray for those who hate any living thing because so much hatred abides within their heart.

Lord, I ask You to cleanse the hatred from their hearts, and replace it with the abundance of love

You give to all who will receive it and allow it to overflow from them onto others.

Lord, for when You fill hearts with Love, and we learn to Love like You love,

The violence will cease and we can all live in peace.

All this I ask and believe we will receive it in the name of Jesus,

And according to Your Word, whatever we ask in Your Son’s name will be given.

I thank You for hearing and answering this prayer and all prayers of those who know and love You!

Amen!

 

 

Who People Say You Are!

“Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” (Mark 8:27 NLT)

When Jesus asked this question, it was not randomly asked. He had been paying attention to the interactions between the people and His disciples and knew they had been discussing among themselves, who He was. And notice–He did not ask them “in front of the people” they were ministering to; He asked them while they were walking along by themselves–out of earshot of others.

After a bit of discussion and it was established what most thought, Jesus asked them another question, “Who do you say I am?” Granted those who did not know Him, intimately, might have various thoughts as to who He was, but surely those who walked with Him daily, ate with Him, and prayed with Him, would know this answer. The only record we have is Peter’s response, “You are the Messiah!” And Jesus warned them not to tell anyone else. In another passage of scripture, we are told that, “only the Spirit of God” could reveal His true identity.

The questions that rise in me from reading this passage are–who do people say you are and who do you say you are? Are we who people say we are and why do they say what they say?

Do they say we are someone or something that we’re not because of what they see us do? That was the reason why people thought Jesus was anyone, but who He was. Or have we reached--a place where the Spirit of God–acting in our lives–has caused some to see us for who we are-Children of the Most High God?

We can say a lot of things about who we want to be, but until we realize who we are–in Him–and others can see the evidence–do we really know who we are?

The only way we can establish ourselves as His–is by our conduct towards others, in front of others, and even when others don’t see us–we are still being His.

Now, who do people say you are? Are they right or wrong? Do you say  who you are? Or are you yet becoming? Think about it and ask God to show you and accept what He shows you and be willing to change–if He shows you–you–as you really are!

 

Adversary or Advocate?

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8):

An adversary is a person or group or force that opposes and attacks another.The Adversary is Satan.

An advocate is someone who writes, speaks, supports or pleads or intercedes on behalf on others. Our Advocate is Jesus!

Now, to put this in perspective–any time someone opposes truth or deliberately creates problems for others, they become an adversary. This is true on a spiritual level as well as a natural one.

In a classroom–when students oppose or create the teacher or create problems for the entire classroom–they are adversaries to peace.

In a home–when children oppose parents or create problems they are adversaries to discipline.

In the churches–when opposition arises against the people–regardless of its origin–they become an adversary to order in the congregation.

In communities–when rowdy citizens create disturbances that keep others from enjoying peace and quiet where they live–they are adversaries to rights of others.

In nations–when leadership or the people–oppose policies that are for the greater good for all–they become adversaries to justice and sanity.

Those who fight for the rights of others on almost any front–except the promotion of sin--are the advocates who will find themselves aligned with the Will of God. Those who don’t–are aligned with The Adversary’s plans to destroy mankind.

Now is a good time to think which side you are aligned with–as an advocate or an adversary.

Are you adversary or advocate? You are the only one who can make that determination.

Lord, help us to be advocates for truth according to Your Word and not our opinions or emotions. Help us to advocate for the benefit of others who are overwhelmed with fighting their adversaries alone. Give us wisdom and courage to do all that is right in Your sight, keeping The Adversary in his placed, defeated and under our feet.

 

 

 

And The Question is…Why?

When you have done everything you can to support a person,

Why do they betray your trust?

When you done everything you can to be considerate of other people,

Why do they not return the consideration?

Why is it that people can hold onto past hurts—hating what was done, and yet inflict upon others the same things they claim hurt them?

Why is it that we can condemn others for their lack of integrity and yet have no integrity ourselves?

Why do people feel the need to impress others?

Why is it that people are not is satisfied with who they are?

Why can’t people acknowledge their insecurities and shortcomings and seek help?

Why do people feel the need to draw attention to themselves, without thinking about the consequences?

Why are people so quick to make rash decisions without thinking beyond the moment?

Why is it so difficult to admit when one is wrong and seek forgiveness for the wrongdoing?

We probably have more questions than answers, but there are solutions to every problem in His Word.

Help us today O Lord, to seek You even more to understand what You want us to say and to do.

 

Who’s Really Against You?

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 NIV)

In the previous verses, Paul expounds on how the Holy Spirit operates–interceding on behalf of God’s people.  God has predestined the path of believers and when we move along that path, an arc of safety precedes us.  Even when it appears that we have lost our way, we discover that we need an experience to bring us even closer to God so He allows us to explore and discover–just how great He is. “And we know all things work together for our good.”

So, who is it that is really against us?  Who interferes with our thought processes trying to get us to believe a lie? Who is it that tries to twist God’s truth and cause some to believe it? Who is it that really wants us to fail so we won’t have a reason to praise God?  Who is it that hates all that God loves?

Don’t get angry with people–get mad at the enemy who influences people into doing what he wants them to do. There are people out there, who by their own confession, do not believe God, in God, or in His saving grace.  They deny the divinity of Jesus and ridicule the role of the Holy Spirit. It’s not their fault.  The enemy has deceived them and others who have led them to feel this way.

Get mad at the devil and make sure that when you wake up every morning, he trembles. Wake up praising God and looking forward to seeing Him operate in not only your life, but in the lives of others.  Help those you can when you see a need.  Pray without ceasing for people all over the world. Love like you’ve never loved people before in your life.  Tell people they are loved.  Show them they are loved.  Remind them of God’s love.

The devil will slink away from you when he knows that because of who you are and Whose you are, he doesn’t stand a chance. God’s got this!  Make sure you know who is against you and power up–with the Holy Spirit to keep the devil on the run!

 

Everyday People!

“I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations” (Romans 6:19a NIV).

I cannot begin to explain how many times I have heard some people say, “the bible has no relevance for us today.  That was then, this is now.” If they really understood, having a heart open to God, they would know that just as “everyday” was for that time, “everyday” is still the same for us today.

When Paul was writing to the Church in Rome, he was very concerned about how the people in the church were selectively choosing which rules to live by.  Some wanted to hold people to the letter of law, while he was trying to explain the difference between the spirit of the law and the wonders of grace–to everyday people.

In this passage of scripture (please read the entire chapter), he is specifically talking about people who commit sin, what grace has done, and why we should not continue to sin.  God’s grace, His unmerited, we can’t earn favor, does not mean we continue to commit sin or encourage others to do so.  Paul reminds the everyday people that once in our lives before knowing and understanding the work of the cross, we did commit sin, but now that we know better, we should not participate.  And he used, examples from everyday life (as it was did and is applicable now), to illustrate what he said.  The strong language–“once slaves to sin” still applies to many today.  Many everyday people are slaves to–drugs, porn, fornication, adultery, alcohol, stealing, lying, manipulating, favoritism, complacency (“I’d rather you were hot or cold instead of lukewarm”), etc., hence the use of everyday examples (relevant now), about everyday people.

I think it was Sly and The Family Stones who wrote the song, Everyday People, (if I have the wrong artist, feel free to correct me).  God does not expect us to live like people in ancient times, but He does expect us to adhere to righteousness, using everyday life examples.  He gave us His Word as a guideline because of our human limitations (unwillingness to hear The Spirit of the Lord) so we would be without excuse.

O God, help us–everyday people, to live  every day in righteousness, to your glory.