Friday, February 27, 2009

Quoteworthy - The Fool vs. The Wise

The Scriptures spend much time--and an entire group of books [i.e., the Wisdom Literature]--discussing the topic of wisdom. The contrast is constantly drawn, especially in Proverbs, of the wise vs. the fool. It seems this idea crept into Persia at some point, and came back out in the form of this Persian proverb:

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child; teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep; wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise; follow him.

God's truth. Man's words. Good stuff.


Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

--Proverbs 14:7-8, NIV

(c) 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Bug in my Head Right Now

I am not okay.

If you haven't figured it out by now, much of what I write here is just me processing, often real-time. I'm sorting my thoughts and--frightening though this may be--letting you 'listen' in. Today will be one of those days.

First, let me start by telling you that I had a doctor's appointment this morning, one that I found I was a tiny bit anxious about. Anxious isn't the exact right word, but I can't find the right word now. I was something. Much as it was last year at this time. And it was for the same reason. This appointment was a follow-up to last year's.

So, prayerful--and something--I went. And I was fine, emotionally. I even got some good news! Something I have been concerned about for more than three years was finally clarified and shown to be normal! (Ironically, this thing is the reason I went in in the first place last year, but when other issues surfaced, this took a back burner.)

I'm not sure what I was expecting from this appointment, but I can tell you it wasn't this: "I am concerned about what they found last year. You must continue to come in for this test every year to follow up on it."


The follow-up is because what they saw can sometimes be or become cancer. The big C. A life-long fear for me, as it took my grandmother before I had the chance to know her.

Now, to be fair, what I have wouldn't become that kind of cancer. "Not the kind that kills people," he said. But still...

So now, my brain is fuzzy, my mood subdued. I can tell that my mind is trying to suss it all out [suss: Southernese for to sort, to dig out, to discover]. But it's like I can't even access the process in my mind. It's just going on, without meta cognition.

I'm not unaware of God's sovereignty or His sustaining grace. In fact, I'm very aware of it right now. But my head is just running, sorting, thinking, and occasionally breaking into spontaneous prayer. And I feel like an observer to my own mind's processes.

And I'm ready for it to settle, to come to peace. I'm ready to let all this emotion out, and be done, and rest in the knowledge that between yesterday and today, between last year and this, nothing has changed. My God hasn't erased and revised the number of my days written in His book. His plan hasn't been thwarted. His throne hasn't been overthrown. I know that...I'm just waiting for it to resettle into my heart.

Wrestling toward rest,

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. --Psalm 139:15-18, NIV

(c) 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Empty, Darkness...Then God Spoke...

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

"And God said..."

So I've been miserable for a while now...running.  I knew I was running.  I knew I was running from God.

But I didn't know why.

I knew my heart didn't want to hear His voice or seek His face.  But for the life of me, I couldn't discern what the problem was.

It was starting to show in my life, to spill over into other areas.  And I couldn't seem to solve it.

So last night, I finally just said to the Lord, "Examine me, Lord.  Show me what wickedness my heart is embracing."

I was afraid.

But I was also tired of living with a broken fellowship.  Especially when I couldn't figure out why I was behaving this way.

A few minutes later, the quiet answer came--Forgiveness.

And I knew immediately who, and for what.  And that the debt I felt that person owed me was owed only to God Himself.  I had put myself in His place.

And I was ashamed.

If God could forgive this person for violating His nature, who was I to carry on this grudge?  Am I more righteous than God?

And then, this verse tumbled back into my mind, one of the very first ones I ever understood on my own: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.  (Matthew 6:14-15)

I sin too much to remove myself from God's forgiving grace.  I had to forgive this person.

But by then, I wanted to.  I know that I am not more righteous than God; who was I to exact such punishment?

And finally, there was rest.  The wickedness my heart had been embracing had been revealed by the searching eye of His Spirit, and I was given the freedom to do what was right.

And so, finally, I slept.  I am at peace.  And my Lord is no longer the wrong pole of a magnet to my heart.

And I am grateful.


He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.  --Psalm 23:3, NIV

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Meditation

Thought for the day:

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 'Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message.' So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?' declares the LORD. 'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.' --Jeremiah 18:1-6, NIV

Sometimes God must put you in a position to SEE before you're in a position to HEAR.

Working on it,

(c) 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah...*wink*

I'm having a blah day. I didn't sleep well--no idea why. I don't feel great either--for no definable reason. Mentally, I'm slumped and emotionally, I'm drained. I'm not BAD...I'm just BLAH.

So I was pretty encouraged when this quote popped up on my google home page today: Only the mediocre are always at their best. - Jean Giraudoux

I feel a lot better now, as I am definitely not at my best, and I definitely don't want to be mediocre.

Then, I decided to figure out who Jean Giraudoux was. I did a quick search, and discovered that he was a French novelist/dramatist who lived through WWI and died toward the end of WWII. And then I ran across this quote...

When you see a woman who can go nowhere without a staff of admirers, it is not so much because they think she is beautiful; it is because she has told them they are handsome.

...and I chuckled. And I found that laughter really is good medicine. The smile on my face has made me feel better already.

On my way,

(c) 2009

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. --Proverbs 17:22, NIV

And just because it cheered my heart to remember The Hope of All The Earth...
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.
Praise awaits You, O God, in Zion; to You our vows will be fulfilled.
O You who hear prayer, to You all men will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins, You forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those You choose and bring near to live in Your courts!
We are filled with the good things of Your house, of Your holy temple.
You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, Who formed the mountains by Your power, having armed Yourself with strength, Who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
Those living far away fear Your wonders; where morning dawns and evening fades You call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it; You enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so You have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges; You soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with Your bounty, and Your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. --Psalm 65, NIV

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Notations on Scripture Reading...

One of the deals I made with myself (NOT a New Year's resolution--'cause those only get broken 'round here) recently was that I was going to read through the Bible this year. Now I'm going to handle this like I handle my weight-loss efforts: I'm going to give it my best shot, but if I don't accomplish it by the deadline I have set, I'll just be grateful for the progress I have made thus far...and reset the deadline. (Meaning: don't hold me to the 'year' part too harshly.)

ANYway, using a coupon and some Christmas money (thanks Grandpa & Mema!), I purchased a chronological Bible, just to add a new dimension to my reading. And I'm really enjoying it so far--it feels so orderly...and I LIKE order very much! :-)

Back to my point: I thought I would pitch a few observations at you from time to time, just to share what I'm learning/thinking about this read-through. This is session #1.

  • Job's friends really stunk the big-one. May I never have friends like his.
  • God writes lovely poetry (see Job 38-42).
  • Genesis 15:7 says that God brought Abraham out of Ur to give him this land. But when you review Genesis 11:31, you realize that to accomplish this, God moved Abe's FATHER. Ever wonder what kind of moves God was making on your behalf in the generations that came before you? I love that God is so ahead of the game!
  • BOTH Abraham and Sarai laughed, but Abraham's laugh appears to be one of wonder, while Sarai's is one of doubt. God doesn't take kindly to us doubting His promises.
  • Ever wonder why Lot got saved? The NT tells us that he was a righteous soul who was tormented day and night by the sin around him. But I think the most defining answer is found in Genesis 19:16, "When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand, the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them." That's it. That's how any of us are saved: "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4-5, NIV) 'T'aint about OUR righteousness. We're saved because God is MERCIFUL. (This is SO about HIM!)
  • Lot's daughters were WHACK. {ewwwww...}
  • Isaac married Rebekah at 40 years of age, and then lived to be 180 years old. So...if *I* wait until I'm 40, do you think I'll live another 140 years? Maybe THAT's what's wrong with all you early-marry-ers! HA!
Okay, enough for one night. Time for beddy-bye. Hope you're enjoying your time in the Word too! :-)


These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! --I Corinthians 10:11-12, NIV

(c) 2009