Monthly Archives: December 2017

A good wife

I have a wonderful wife and a near perfect marriage. Proverbs 12:4 “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.” An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, which means she makes him feel like a king, she fills him with glory, she makes him feel like he is Samson, and can do most anything. On the other hand a wife who criticizes, corrects, especially in front of others, scolds, talks down to, and shames her husband with her words is like “rottenness in his bones”! Which basically means she is killing him with a slow and painful death.

Though our marriage is about as good as they come now it wasn’t that way in the beginning years. There was lots of yelling and tears and silent treatment and hurt feelings and resentment, repeated over and over again. It is hard to know for sure all that caused the change in both of us over the years to bring about what we enjoy today, but it was mostly just working at it and communicating and we gradually grew in character by the work and desire to have a good relationship. The basic disciplines of the Christian life of Bible reading, prayer, examining our own life and confessing our own sins, forgiving each other quickly and not holding grudges or remaining bitter were keys to our personal growth and the growth in our unity and love for each other and for God.

Giving

Giving away some of our hard earned money to the Lord’s work, or to people in need is a difficult discipline. There is always something that we could spend that money on, and most of the time it is really important. 😌 Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.” God is totally aware of all that we do, and the state of our heart, and He encourages right choices and good behavior by rewarding us when we do what pleases Him. Very few things bring more reward and blessing from God than sacrificial giving does. I think the reason this is true is because worldliness is one of our major enemies, and keeps many people from becoming what they have the potential to become. 1 John in the New Testament says that “if we love money the love of God is not in us”. Sacrificial giving is the key way to stay in love with God.

Many Words

The more I talk the more apt I am to stick my foot on my mouth! Proverbs 10:19 says, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.” Whenever I enter a room with people or enter any social setting, I say to myself, “don’t talk to much”. I can easily get sucked into conversations where I will argue, complain, slander someone, gossip, say something that is unkind, say something to attract attention to myself, or exaggerate to impress or make a point. Later as I recall the time I groan over my stupidity and lack of self-control. I then confess my sin whichever one of the many possibilities it is, and tell God I won’t do that ever again, and please help me not to be such a blabber mouth. My mouth is my greatest asset and tool as a teacher of the Bible, but it is also the source of most of the sins I commit. How can this be!!??

Pride

We can see and hear pride in another person easily, and we don’t like it, but we don’t see or sense the pride that is in our own life very well. Proverbs 16:5. “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” That is a pretty strong statement “is an abomination to the Lord”, it looks like the Lord doesn’t like proud people either. I regularly have thoughts and fairly long thought processes that are clearly prideful. The thoughts are not only very prideful, but also very critical, and pride and critical go together. I want to conquer that character flaw and make it go away. I don’t want God to consider me an abomination and to resist everything I do. This verse and others like it I have memorized and whenever I hear my thoughts moving in the direction of haughtiness I switch over to thinking and meditating on the verses. It is very easy to think prideful thoughts, but it is very hard to conquer and to overcome them. I think about the Consequences if I don’t, “assuredly he will not go unpunished”, and I am motivated to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Managing Time

This week, Monday through Friday was JBC’s “Five Days of Prayer”, and I have been praying in the prayer room with about 20 other people, usually a different 20 each hour,  for 8 hours each day.  It has been a very rich time for me, not only the praying but the time with so many different people praying. There is something about praying together that is especially bonding.

But during this five days I still have my normal disciplines and responsibilities to get done so time gets very tight. I regularly say, “anybody can do just about anything for just five days”. So I sleep less, walk faster, work faster, cut short times of doing nothing but relaxing, reduce chit chat times, cut out “honey do’s” 🙂 and read my “to do list” often to stay on task.

Now I wouldn’t want to live like this all the time, but occasionally it is a good exercise of learning how to get more done in the same time, or in this case the same done in less time. I have often said when teaching on “Time Management” that we aren’t managing time, we are managing ourselves.

Self-leadership is a learned skill, and self-control is a character trait which work together. Periodic times in our life where there is an marked increase in pressure because of an added event, an unexpected emergency, or other people needing our attention, are good times to practice self-leadership and self-control. They don’t last forever, usually a week or so, and then back to normal so pretend that the high pressure week is a visit to the gym where you are sweating and doubling your heart rate so that you will be healthier.

A New Body

As I get older and my body gets more aches and pains, as I deal with the issues of my Parkinson’s, and also every 8 hours managing my none functioning bladder I think more and more about my new body that I will receive from God because of my position “child of God” received and secured by my faith in the gospel. The Bible says that I will have a body like Jesus’s.

If I had a trip planned to Hawaii in 20 years I wouldn’t think about it much because it is to far away to get excited about. 69 years of age is not really old, but it is close, and the number of people who die at 69 is way more than 59 and in 10 short years I will be almost 80 years old, well past the age that my father died at.

So I think often now about what my new body is going to be able to do, like run, walk, fly?. How strong will I be? How smart will I be? How well will I be able to see, and hear? What will I know? Will I eat? Why will I eat if I do?

What will I be doing? I am eternal, that is a long time. Will I grow? Will I get smarter? How many people will I know? Will I make new friends? Will we play poker?

I think about my new body often now, and that thinking makes me happy, so I think about it even more because I like being happy.

Israel

I have been to Israel 3 times, and they were wonderful trips seeing and walking on the land that Jesus lived and walked on. In each of the 3 trips I was amazed at how small the country is, it isn’t much bigger than our Willamette valley. It seems like a big country simply on the basis of the volume of news, discussion, and conflict that swirl around this little country that can barely turn one of their jets around in it’s own airspace. The Bible calls Israel the center of the world, it is the birthplace of Jesus, the Savior of the world, and Jerusalem will be the capitol of the world when Jesus comes back to rule the world. One of the strongest proofs in the validity of the Bible is the existence of Israel in spite of the fact that the whole world hates her. Today President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and is moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of weeks, but one thing is for sure, God will supernaturally protect Israel even as the world attempts to destroy her. God is in charge and has told us about the future in the Bible. I am on God’s team and I trust Him