Nuggets of Wisdom

I thought it would be interesting to start a series from Solomon’s book of Proverbs.  What is a proverb?  Well according to the NLT Bible,  “A proverb is a short, concise sentence that conveys moral truth.”   To paraphrase, a proverb is a nugget of wisdom, and when used makes our life better.  Knowledge is good, but it benefits us little until it is applied.

***

Mad-Driver

 

Beginning a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.  Proverbs 17:14

There were five lanes of traffic to cross, so I patiently bid my time.  When the perfect moment arrived, I pulled out of Food Lions’s parking lot, turned left, and headed West, towards home.  I eased into the correct lane and was content on the journey; however, after only a few seconds of peace, I heard horns blowing and tires screeching.  I glanced in my rearview mirror to see what had caused such a ruckus.  It seemed the truck that had sat behind me in Food Lion’s parking lot, had recklessly pulled out in front of the oncoming traffic.  A number of vehicles came to a complete stop in order to avoid an accident.  The truck was now speeding, closing the distance between us.

“What in the world,”  I said, thinking there must be some sort of emergency for the man in the truck to so carelessly tempt harm.  He pulled up beside me on the passenger side.  I noticed his window was down, and he was leaning out trying to get my attention.

My first thought… “OMG…I’ve got a flat tire…”

So, I rolled my window down to hear what he was saying.  With his face contorted in anger, the man began tossing F-bombs in my direction.  My stomach dropped and I wondered what in the world I had done to upset this man, and then the “B-word” came out, and I realized I was being cussed out because of a certain political sticker on my bumper.

I couldn’t believe this person would risk his life and lives of others in order to “rip me a new” over my political views.

After the initial shock wore off, I did the only thing that came to mind…I laughed. That pissed him off even more and again he bathed me with “Bitches and F-bombs.”  After he had his say,  he floored it and swerved in front of me.  I slowed down to keep a safe distance between us.  The southern bell in me wanted to say, “Bless his heart…,” the Christian in me wanted to pray, and the rebel inside wanted to flip him off.

On that particular day, I was a rebel.

Not the wisest decision on my part…I know…

For the rest of the day, I played out the scenario in my mind and rehearsed cute little comebacks, I wished I would have said to “get back” at the obnoxious man.

Sometimes I wish I could be “quick-draw” with the witty comebacks!  Then, I wouldn’t have to bop myself on the head later and say, “Man…I WISH I would’ve said that!”

I believe it’s human nature to think and feel this way…but that doesn’t make it right.

Cute little comebacks do much to appease our pride but do little to accomplish peace.

Quite the opposite…it only opens the floodgate.  Once the dam has broken there’s little we can do to hold back a flood.  Most of the time, our best course of action is to drop the matter, or at least put it off until tempers have cooled and the subject can be discussed in a somewhat peaceable manner.

Two cannot quarrel when one will not.  –David C. Egner

***

Holy Spirit, please temper what I say and do.  I need your strength and intervention.  Amen.

***

Epilogue…after the incident above, I peeled the sticker from my bumper, not because I was ashamed of my political views, but because I thought it best to curtail future road rage.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

But…I Really Want to Eat It

The Characteristics That Most People Eat Sugar, You One of Them

This morning I got up, stepped on the scale and said, “Why is this happening to me!”

I have been very diligent in exercising.  Most days I run/walk 5 miles a day.  My weekly goal is to do at least 25 miles per week.

Since I’ve been on this regime I’ve lost a tad over 20 pounds.  The weight seemed to drop fairly easy until now.  Now I’m stuck and have been for several weeks.

My weight remains at a certain number, give or take a pound, and it’s frustrating.  So, this is why I yelled at the scale this morning.

It didn’t respond…it just kept flashing that damn number at me.  I swear when I look at it I picture a Cheshire cat cloaked in its evil grin.  I think it’s possessed.

For my morning meditations, I’ve been following Our Daily Bread Devotional Journal.  Each day a passage of scripture is given followed by a short prose by that day’s author.  Sometimes I can relate to the author’s point of view, and other times, though I may agree, it just doesn’t seem to apply to my situation at the moment.  Usually, when this occurs I can at least find something within the passage of scripture that speaks to me.

Today was one of those days.

The author penned a story about a newly married couple who chose to forgo the usual reception, and instead, invited their guests to help them hand out a truckload of food to the needy.  As I read it I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty awesome!”   And then I thought, “How does this apply to me?”

Well, the answer was simple…in Galatians 5:13 we are called to “…serve one another in love.” (NLT) I do try to make this a part of my life.

However, as I read the scripture passage something else jumped off the page and landed smack between my eyes

What was it?

Well to answer…we need to go back to the subject of the evil entity, my scale.

It was NOT cooperating with me!  I bust my tail, faithfully, and still, the number stays the same.  I try telling myself, “Something’s wrong with it,” but in my mind, I know it speaks the truth.

Still, I wondered…why?  Why God…why can’t I get past that number?

And then…God answered…

“…I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit…then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves…follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every  part of your life.”

To paraphrase…

“You’ve been so disciplined in your physical exercise…now try applying that same discipline into controlling what, and how much you eat.  Rely on my Spirit…he’s always there to help you.”  

I have a problem with eating at night while watching tv.  I’m good during the day but find myself grazing at night.

So, I’ve decided to try it God’s way.   From this day forward, my goal is to eat nothing after dinner…unless it is something healthy like fruits or vegetables.  I will try to be disciplined to follow this, but I’m sure there’ll times when I’m tempted beyond belief to eat the cupcake.  And that’s when I’ll have to rely upon the Holy Spirit for help.  He can and will give me strength during my weakness.  However, I must ask for his help, and I must implement his help into my life.

***

Hopefully, the next time I post a photo of the evil entity below, it will be grinning back a new and lower number.

Let the journey begin!

***

unnamed
June 7, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Love

16836353_10212854186334437_5931641185115604490_o
Danica and her new baby sister, Gracie.

It’s not what you say.

It’s not how you say it.

True love is what you do.

Doing…the truest of love…expressed.

***

 

“If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.  (I John 4:11)

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: “Shadows In The Sand”

Topic:  Ground…Sand…Dirt…Grass…Paths

Shadows in the Sand
Scotsman Playing the Bagpipes

 

It’s not every day you come across a Scotsman playing the bagpipes on one of America’s southern beaches.  I feel very fortunate to have captured this while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

I call it:  Shadows in the Sand

***

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge 

Leaving Our Comfort Zones

Mountains of faith rise from the valleys of failure.   –Mart Dehann

CZ-1

Don’t hate your failures, learn from them.

This looks good on paper, but let’s face it, most of us hate failure.  I know I do.  I’m pretty tolerant of other people’s failure…it’s mine that I despise.

Failure is embarrassing, and what if people laugh at me…it’s happened before, and will probably happen again.

I guess that’s why it’s good to learn to laugh at ourselves.  I’ve found laughter helps to ease the pain…and it lightens the mood of an awkward situation.

I like what’s written in Romans,

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, [failures]  for we know that they are good for us–they help us to learn to endure.  And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation…”

Now, I don’t believe God expects us to turn cartwheels over our failure, and he certainly understands our disappointment when we fail.  It is for this reason–his understanding–that he seeks to encourage us in the midst of failure.  God doesn’t kick us when we are down.  He is our loving Father who picks us up when we fall, applies ointment to our skinned knees, pats us on the back, and whispers,

“…it’s okay my child…just keep keeping on…We’ve got this…” 

Lately, I’ve been feeling God wooing me from my comfort zones, and it’s scaring me to death.  I’m afraid I may goof up, look like an idiot, or a babbling fool.

And to that, it seems God is saying…

“You’re right, those things may happen…but so what…”

Looking at failure from that perspective takes away the pressure for perfection.  It’s as if God is giving me permission to fail!

And…you know what?  It feels good deep in my soul.

***

“God, I’m scared to death of what you are calling me to do, but I’m going to do it anyway; and if I fall flat on my face…I know it’ll be okay.”

life-begins-at-the-end

wisdom-new-year-saying-b4efdb9739961d9ee89e96723642f84e-new-year-resolution-quotes-new-years-resolutions

 

Remember What I Have Told You

dandelion

Sometimes it’s just too easy to forget, and the older I get the more this becomes my super-power.

I feel confident my friends over fifty can relate…hmmm…unless, of course, they have forgotten how often they forget.

It’s true, I walk into a room and forget my reason for being there.  I stand blank-eyed, trying to remember what I was just thinking about before I entered the room.  My reasoning is this, perhaps my last train of thought is what led me to this room, so if I can remember that then maybe that would jog my memory as to why I am standing helplessly looking at the contents scattered within the four walls.

One time I got out of the car, closed the door, and realized I had forgotten my phone.  Knowing I would need it later, I asked my daughter…(on the other end of the line) to wait a moment while I retrieved my phone.  (true story)

Another time, again with my daughter, I found myself stuck in the snow.

I was in the midst of helping her move just outside of Boston.  We finally finished unloading the truck and hauling her stuff up three flights of stairs, and now it was time to go out and grab a bite to eat.  Beth jumped into the passenger seat and I got behind the wheel, we were sooo tired but happy the hard stuff was over.

Well, if you’ve visited Boston in the mid of winter, you know, more than likely, snow will be upon the ground, and it was on this particular day. Thinking about a cheeseburger I cranked up the old girl (my truck), put her in drive, and proceeded to exit the parking space; however, the wheels would do nothing but spin in place.

Two hungry women on a mission would not be deterred…so I told Beth to get out and push.

When that didn’t work we dug the snow from around all four tires and tried it again…me at the wheel and Beth pushing as hard as she could.

When that didn’t work we searched for something to slide under the wheels, hoping it would give some sort of traction for the spinning wheels.  We finally found a scrap of cardboard and I put it under the left front tire, as we were parallel-parked.  We assumed the familiar position, me at the wheel and Beth, outside pushing with all her might…still the wheels did nothing but spin!

Beth, exhausted from pushing, finally stopped and came to sit beside me in the passenger seat.  We were now two hangry women.

Frustrated, I smacked my hand against the steering wheel of the truck and noticed the small red light that illuminated the word brake.

That was the last time Beth has ever asked me to help her move.

Thank God, enough time has passed so that now we can at least laugh about it.

These funny stories came to mind as I read my morning meditation.

The meditation had taken me to John chapter 14.  Here, I found Jesus talking to his friends/disciples saying,

“Remember what I have told you:  I am going away, but I will come back to you again…I have told you these things before they happen so that you will believe when they do happen.”

Jesus was telling his friends that soon he would die.  He loved them and was worried about how they would feel when he was killed.  He worried they would feel confused, abandoned and afraid all of his promises had been a lie.  So, over and over again in the four gospels, he tells them,

Remember what I have told you…”

Friends, I believe Jesus, rich in his compassion, is telling us the same thing…

“Remember what I have told you…” 

When things go wrong and people hurt us…it’s so easy to forget he is with us.  Feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, and utter despair draw us down into those dark places we created as a child to keep us safe.

How easy it is to return to that lonely stomping ground.

Jesus knew this for his disciples and presently, he knows it for us, as well.   If we could but be still in those moments and just breathe…we would hear his voice gently telling us…

“Remember what I have told you…” 

I can write this with confidence because He has put his Holy Spirit deep within us and his Spirit abides with us even our in our darkest moments.  Jesus gave us his Spirit because he loves us so much, and he doesn’t want us to be alone or feel alone.  (It’s possible to be with people but feel alone…been there done that.)   In this world, our most loved friends and family may leave us, but Jesus never will.

“…know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you…the Father sends the Counselor…and by Counselor I mean the Holy Spirit, he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I myself have told you.” 

“Remember what I have told you…”  (Jesus)

His Spirit moves within us…be still, breathe, and listen.

***