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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Proverbs 27

In early a.m. I seek Proverbs and Proverbs provides those reminders I need!

Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.
- Proverbs 27:2

Enough said.  We should not toot our own horns.

Two wonderful reference points appear today -- One is friendship:

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. -- Proverbs 27:6

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, - Proverbs 27:8

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. - Proverbs 27:17

These remind me of my dear friend who holds me accountable.  Thank you, friend!

Next:  Being prudent and Family talk!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Proverbs 26

Be careful who you are and who you hang out with!  That just about sums up this wonderful Proverb!  Chapter 26 tells us a lot about the fool, the sluggard, the gossip.

Did you recognize yourself anywhere?  How about your friends?  How about our elected officials?  Hmmmmm.

Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.
-Proverbs 26:12

Even the most brilliant person needs a healthy dose of humility.  We all need to be wary and watchful and totally dependent upon God.  It is also good to have a spiritual mentor to let us know when we think we are "wise in our own eyes". 

Perhaps we need to climb down from a high horse!

Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own.
- Proverbs 26:17

So many conflicts in churches (and workplaces and families) could be avoided if we all followed this Proverb!  Remember to stay out of quarrels which do not concern you! If you don't, you might just end up being bitten!

20 Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. 21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. - Proverbs 26:20-22

WOWEE! Does God know His people or WHAT?  Again, these are words for any group that gathers!  Church members in particular - BEWARE!  These verses speak for themselves!

The following verses are great ones to discuss with teens.  You have to be careful of the people you listen to.  They may sound good - but what is in their hearts?  Stars, celebrities, musicians, politicians, professors, even some people claiming to be spiritual leaders may sound and look good....but do they follow God? 

23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent[a] lips with an evil heart. 24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. -- Proverbs 26: 23-26

I looked up "dross" in the dictionery and it is defined: " scum on molten metal" "refuse, rubbish" - WOW!

There are so many superficial, shallow people today.  Our children (and we!) need to know how to detect the counterfeit. 

How do we do this?  By studying the TRUTH!  Take a look at the Bible and discover the character of a good person.

Even better -- study JESUS -- He is the TRUTH -- Make sure you compare. No one is perfect -- but if a person consistently betrays the Word of God or the example of Christ, it is time to stear clear.

Proverbs 26 contains lots of warnings -- Let's listen and grow wise!

Monday, July 25, 2011

More on Proverbs 25!

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. - Proverbs 25:28

I had to bring this verse up.  Again, Proverbs is reminding me to measure my words, thoughts and deeds!  Self control is actually God Control.  I need to give my "stuff" to God and not rely on my own strength.

Slow me down and build me up, Lord, so I resist the temptation to claim get let discouragement overcome me.

May I be under "God Control!"

The only way to do this is to be in God's Word daily.  God's Word is mentioned as "wisdom" in Proverbs.  Actually, Jesus is also "The Word" as noted in the Book of John....

So - How this all comes together:  Focus on THE WORD -- Focus on JESUS.  We do not want our walls to break down! 

Proverbs 25 -- Happy 25th of July!

I am so excited!  Yesterday, our pastor, who is actually visiting from his mission work in Africa, told us to read a chapter of Proverbs a day!  I am so proud of you Proverbs readers!

21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 2 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
- Proverbs 25:21-22

WOWEEE!  I opened Proverbs 23 and here were words from the New Testament!  We studied this passage in Romans 12:20. 

Our God is soooo interesting.  He's out of this world, really. He tells us to do something that is not humanly possilble, but, with God....all things are possible.  Your kindness to your enemy may set off a chain reaction.

Who wants to help an enemy?  God tells us to.  The last sentence about "heaping burning coals on his head" does NOT mean something negative! 

In Bible times, the embers of the fire had to be preserved at all costs.  Fire served as life to the people.  When the fire burned down, people would scoop up the coals into thick pots and often carry the coals to their new location on their heads -- thus preserving life. 

Hmmmm .  Think about it.  If you are kind to your enemies, you are giving them "coals," a life source they may carry to their next camp ground. 

You may never see the response to your kindness, but that does not matter.  You just might be sending something precious with your enemy...something which will spring to life later. 

You might be the beginnings of a fire for the Lord....Who knows?

 Results are God's business.  Obedience is ours.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Proverbs 24

3 By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; 4 through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures -- Proverbs 24: 3,4

Here is a good Proverb to focus on with the kids!  Build houses today.  Use Legos or Lincoln Logs.  Talk about this verse.  Memorize it by saying a word each time you put a piece on your house!

Now -- fill the house with treasures!  How about some other Bible verses?  How about special "jewels"  My kids love those marble-like stones -- They consider those jewels!

19 Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, 20 for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. - Proverbs 24:19

This verse was a great comfort to me on 9/11 -- It can be a comfort in so many situations.  Do not fear - God does win.  We are on the winning side!  

July 23 - Proverbs 23!

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. 5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
- Proverbs 23:4-5

Proverbs is giving me a series of excellent sayings in Chapter 23.  -- I'm liking this one about overworking.  Money does seem to sprout wings...Why kill ourselves to get it?

Proverbs reminds us again to discipline our children AND I LOVE how it tells the kids to listen to us! 

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. - Proverbs 23:22

-- Don't you love the part about the OLD mother????  I LOVE that -- Listen up, kids!

The final part of Proverbs 23 deals with drinking again.  Saying 19 sounds very very interesting ...unfortunately, some people have been there.  This is a staunch warning for teens headed to crazy college days -- Sounds like Solomon spent time on campus! 

The warning is very chilling, however...and a great one to read with teens. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Proverbs 22

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. - Proverbs 22:1

Play the name game with your child today.  Tell them why you named them.  Is there special significance in their name?  Tell them this Bible Verse talks about keeping our name good. 

If we do bad things, our name becomes bad. People will not want to be around us or hear our name.  If we do good things, people want to hear our name -- They will want us around ! (Be sure to explain we all make mistakes...we say we are sorry and our name is great again! God forgives mistakes! )

Make name plaques for your wall.  Let the children decorate their name plaques.  If their name has special meaning -- add it to the plaque! 

Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all. --Proverbs 22:2

Everybody is important to God.  It does not matter what you wear, how you look or how much money you have.  God made everyone! 

Make a collage of magazine pictures of all different kinds of people and put -- "The Lord God Made them all" at the bottom.  Sing the song "Jesus loves the little children." 

Keep reading the rest of Proverbs 22 -- It's chock full of good stuff! 

Proverbs Chapter 21!

Read Proverbs, Chapter 21:

A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart.
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin. -Proverbs 21:2-4

These first few verses say it all.  How many times have we charged into something -- without consulting God?  Everything may seem OK...right....But, in the end, God was not in it.

How many times have we tried to "fake God out" ? helped this person...but you muttered the whole time.  God can weigh your heart. 

Pride....that was the basis for original sin (Eve was trying to be like God).  Verse 4 tells it all.  Our eyes see what we want.  Our pride pulls us in.  Before we know it, we're dancing around in a field of the wicked and moving further from God than we ever intended!

9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. - Proverbs 21:9

Here we go again.  If you haven't noticed, there is a second verse on this later in Proverbs 21!  So....God is telling us a lot about our mouths in Proverbs.  All of these verses can be applied to wives AND husbands!

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered. - Proverbs 21:13

Here is a good verse to focus on with your children.  Do a mission project with them.  Collect food for a food pantry.  Take old clothing or toys to Good Will or Salvation Army . 

There are also many options for giving to the East St. Louis Christian Activity Center, which is located in the oldest housing project in East St. Louis, IL.  Check out their website:

 Whoever strays from the path of prudence comes to rest in the company of the dead.
- Proverbs 21:16
This is a great verse for teens. Prudence has gotten a bad rap.  The dictionery defines it as exercising sound judgement -- cautious in conduct.  

A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully - Proverbs 21:28

It's not good to tell a lie -- It is good to LISTEN carefully -- That's why God gave us two ears and one mouth!

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. -Proverbs 21:30

I like this one -- It's powerful.  In the end of all things -- the Lord will win out!

July 20 - Proverbs Chapter 20

Here we are in Chapter 20 !  Thanks for hanging in there! 

I hate to hit you with the tough stuff first, but here is a top verse in Proverbs 20:

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. - Proverbs 20:1

I can say no more.  You decide what to do with this, but, as the daughter of an alcoholic, I ask you to please pray about your relationship with alcohol. 

As a parent, what behavior are you patterning?  Remember the saying:  "A leader always leads by example....whether he wants to or not."

 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.  - Proverbs 20:3

Here's another blow to my anger and impatience.  Sorry, Lord.  I will try to breath and not act so quickly.

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. -- Proverbs 20:19

These gossip and mouth verses in Proverbs really hit home.  I want to live with Proverbs as my gatekeeper.  If my words don't line up with Proverbs''s better I be silent! 

An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.  -- Proverbs 20:21

I focus on this verse for all you parents who think you need to give their children everything.   Slow down.  Give according to the maturity of the child.  Wait to give until they have suffered a bit , actually learned to struggle on their own.  You will see your child grow wiser with money management only when you don't bail them out of every tight financial situation.

A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way? --Proverbs 20:24

Here is a fun one to share with your child.  Trace around their feet and cut out LOTS of footprints.  You can print "Follow Jesus" on the footprints and make a path to follow.  Think of a clever destination -- like the kitchen -- where you will make cupcakes for a friend in need. 

Explain that you are following Jesus when you care about others.  It might be easier to play or watch TV, but today, we will follow Jesus and do something nice for others!

The human spirit is[a] the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
-Proverbs 20:27

Proverbs has talked in the past about avoiding crushing the spirit.  Deep inside of everyone is the beautiful recess touched by the finger of God.  When we give our lives to Jesus, He fills this void with the Holy Spirit, our "gift".

We often pile many many "things" on top of the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus noted, it's hard to shine a lamp which is hidden under a bushel basket of whining, busy-ness, and worry (my paraphrase!). 

I love Proverbs 20:27.  It reminds me to let the Lord's lamp shine.  Keep on shining HIS light! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19 - Proverbs 19

I told a friend yesterday that it is impossible to blog on a chapter a day in Proverbs.  The chapters are tooooo full! 

The ideas bounce from one great topic to another and, before you know it, you're tearing yourself apart trying to decide what to focus on!

Welp -- so goes Proverbs 19.  It is so rich, I'm not sure where to start.  Let's start with patience AND the porcupine!:

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. - Proverbs 19:11

Are you a porcupine?  Do you have needles projected out all over so that, if a person bumps you, even in the slightest way, you react?  I'm like that sometimes.  I'm easily hurt.

But, right here in Proverbs is good advice:  Don't be so sensitive!!!!!

Be patient and slow to respond to those little hurts and injustices. Quite often, people do not even know they have done anything to hurt you.  Let's get rid of those porcupine needles.  There will be a lot less ache!

OK, wives, brace yourself for the next verse.  It actually fits quite well with porcupine verse.

A foolish child is a father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like the constant dripping of a leaky roof. - Proverbs 19:13

Are you like a leaking faucet?  If we're a porcupine, we can also be a leaking faucet, always complaining about hurts and unmet needs!  Let's try not to be constant complainer. Don't quench the spirit (as Proverbs has told us!)

This chapter of Proverbs is great for patiently pausing and thinking about how you react to people. Let's check out our actions and words with the Proverbs guidelines!

The first part of verse 13 talks about foolish children.  Verse 18 tells us to discipline those children. 

Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.
--Proverbs 19:18

This impresses on me the importance of training our children.  We can't always be their friends.  We HAVE to be the authority in our homes. 

Don't spoil your child.  Correct them. Proverbs pointedly says, if we don't, they will spiritually "die". 

While we're talking to our children, let's teach them not to be lazy.  Don't do everything for them.  Proverbs talks about the importance of work: 

Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless go hungry. - Proverbs 19:15

Do a work project with your child.  Participate in a mission project together.  Be sure your child completes chores.

You can create a work chart for your child.  Even the younger children can do things.  I was so impressed when my friend Liz's tiny kids pulled out their little brush/broom and swept the crumbs from their lunch!  They were four years old and knew how to clean up! 

Finally, Proverbs 19 gives us an anchor -- what should we hold on to:

The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. - Proverbs 19:23

In this case, "fear" is a positive thing.  It is the reverence and honor which we give our Lord.  Bottom line is, this will lead to a better that rests, content and "untouched by trouble." 

You may say....."Wait a minute!  I fear the Lord and I have plenty of TROUBLE!"  -- notice that it says "untouched" -- that means the Lord will shield you with His love -- Trouble will come -- but you will get through and God will not let you go, no matter how uncomfortable life gets.

So:  No porcupines,  No complaining, Correct those kids, No Laziness, ANDDDDDDD Fear the Lord !

Good stuff in Chapter 19!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Happy July 18 ! Proverbs 18!

Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. --Proverbs 18:12

Humility -- there is a lost phrase in today's society!  Jesus spoke quite pointedly about humility to His disciples.  He understood the importance of keeping our lives in perspective with the bigger picture.

God is good at this.  Whenever I feel a hint of pride, it always seems like he sends a child, or a circumstance to show me:  I am such a little fish in this big pond and every good thing comes from God!

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. - Proverbs 18:21
As I read through Proverbs, I am AMAZED at the number of mouth verses!  God really knows where the greatest power lies!  Here is yet another reference to the mouth.  We can kill with our words, but, if we are careful, we can create something beautiful.  See yesterday's comments!

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. - Proverbs 18:24
Here is a memory verse for the children!  There IS a friend that sticks closer than a brother.  That friend is Jesus!  Have fun creating sticky notes that say:  "My friend, Jesus" or find some "Jesus loves me" stickers. 
You and your little children can stick those notes EVERYWHERE!  Invite the children to tell others, "Jesus is your BEST friend!"  --
We don't care if the house is full of sticky notes!  What a wonderful illustration of the friend who sticks closer than a brother! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Topical Study : Proverbs 12 - 17

Here I am again trying to play catch-up !  Forgive me, dedicated Proverbs readers!  I have fallen behind due to a blessed week of Vacation Bible School (not a good excuse, I know!) 

I have missed so much in not blogging chapter by chapter, but I have a proposal for you:  Every Chapter is rich with Topics.  Today, I will Zoom through a topic and offer the insight we find in these six chapters.

TOMORROW -- We'll start afresh with Chapter 18!

OUR MOUTHS:  The entire Book of Proverbs is FULL of references to things we say.  Basically, it offers lots of warnings about how we use our mouths!  Let's take a look: 

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.
-Proverbs 12: 6

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Proverbs 12:15

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. - Proverbs 12:16

An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies. --Proverbs 12:17

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
--Proverbs 12:18

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.
--Proverbs 13:3

A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them. - Proverbs 14:3

An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies. - Proverbs 14:5
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. - Proverbs 15:1

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. -Proverbs 15:4

A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence. - Proverbs 15:5

The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright. -Proverbs 15:7

A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
- Proverbs 15:18

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
- Proverbs 15:28

Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right. -Proverbs 16:13

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. - Proverbs 16:24

 A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. -Proverbs 16:28

The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. -Proverbs 17:27

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
- Proverbs 17:28

ARGH!!!!! I can't take it any more!  These mouth verses hit so close to home -- I am struck to silence!

If we could all review these mouth verses on a regular basis -- there would be a lot less trauma in our families, our social scenes, our work AND our churches!!!!!

Here's the scoop: 

1. God gave us two ears and one mouth:  LISTEN more and talk less!!!
2. Don't gossip
3. THINK before you speak!
4. Don't tell lies!
5. Try using gentler words -- BUILD PEOPLE UP!
6. LISTEN to advice and instruction - be slow to speak.
7. Don't talk like you know it all. THINK IT THROUGH.
8. Be kind.

WEW!  Points well taken!  Here is something you can do with your children -- Make a domino train -- Set up dominos on their edges in a row.  When we lie or say harmful things or gossip, it not only hurts us, it hurts others.  Touch one domino -- the others fall down.  Make a game of making domino "runs" and think of all the ways we touch others with our words and actions.

You never know who might be hurt by your words.  BE CAREFUL!

Another approach to take is to hammer nails into an old board.  These are like our words.  Maybe we can take them back (pry those nails from the board) -- but the holes will ALWAYS be there!  WATCH WHAT YOU SAY!

These are great visuals with children and teens!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chapters 10 & 11 -- Proverbs!

We're catching up today -- Congratulations to Mollie and Chris!  A wedding kept me busy on July 10!

Proverbs Chapter 10 has some "mouth" verses.

"Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction." -- Proverbs 10: 14

There are eight references to the mouth in this Proverb.  The Bible is full of mouth references .  Perhaps we should guard our words !  Proverbs 10:18 refers to avoiding gossip and slander -- an important message.

Proverbs 10:12 is a perfect verse to memorize:

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins."  

This is a great verse to talk to the children about.  God wants us to love one another as He has loved us.  With the children, you can talk about what to do to show you love someone.

Proverbs 11 continues to tell us to guard our mouths!  Watch out what you say. 

You can demonstrate this with a tube of toothpaste.  Have your child squeeze a tube of toothpaste onto a paper plate.

Tell him the toothpaste is like our mean words.  

Now, tell your child to put the toothpaste back in the tube.  He can't do it!

We can't take our words back once we have said them.  We should be careful what we say!

Friday, July 8, 2011

July 9 - Chapter 9 of Proverbs

"I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full." -- Proverbs 8:20,21

A thought just struck me.  Wouldn't it be great to create a "Proverbs Pathway" at your home?!!!

What better way to encourage children in following the Word of God than to  create a stone pathway through a garden of wisdom! 

The more I read Proverbs, the more I LOVE the pathway images it projects!  If you don't make a path outside, how about one on the basement floor? 

If your basement is unfinished, how about painting the path on the floor?  Put your favorite verses on or beside the path.  If you don't want to paint -- use colorful duct tape to mark off a path. 

You can be so creative with this -- Have fun!  The kids will love walking their Proverbs Path!

Proverbs Chapter 8 features the voice of wisdom talking. The chapter is titled, "Wisdom's Call."
It's fascinating to see the benefits of being wise.

One thing that really struck me is "wisdom" talks about being around forever and how she has never changed.

Hmmmmmm.....that makes me question this culture in which we live.  Our culture says truth changes depending on what is happening around us.  We are yelled at for not shifting our values to match the times. We are not taught to stand firm in anything. That's pretty shifty!

But, Proverbs Chapter 8 tells us WISDOM has always been and always will be the foundation of living as God wants us to live.  To stray from her path is to "harm yourself". 

 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.  Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it.  Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.

But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.” - Proverbs 8:32-36

How many times do we see this scenario play out for people who stray?  In the end they DO "harm themselves"!!!!!

WISDOM is linked to God.  The source of all wisdom is God.  As Proverbs has stated: 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom."

Follow God and His Word -- and make your path today!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WOW - July 7 - Proverbs 7 ALREADY!

 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. - Proverbs 7:1

Why does Proverbs speak so much about seduction?  Here in Chapter 7, God mentions the seductress again.

Once again, I say, God knows our weakness.  God is just not referring to a prostitute here.  This Proverb is a picture of anything that entices you - that lures you from the path of your FATHER'S (Heavenly Father's) teaching. 

Does money lure you away?
Are you tempted to be beautiful at all costs?
Do you yearn for a big house?
Is the car on the lot luring you with its bells and whistles and sleek design?

What does chapter 7 have to say about the seductress?

"Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death." - Proverbs 7:26-27

If you have let something take your focus off  Jesus, take it from me, you will eventually feel dead inside.

Wanna cure? Pull away from your "seductress" and turn around and face someone in need:  a child who needs to be taught scripture, a mom who needs encouragement, a friend who needs Biblical advice.

Pull out that Bible and start to teach or start to learn.  It's a good way to resist temptation.

If you are teaching little children this Book of Proverbs, memorize the first verse and be sure to have them learn the Ten Commandments.  List them on your wall.  Play memory games with them.  Display them.  Ilustrate them.

Tell your children when you memorize the ten commandments, you are "storing them inside you" -- JUST LIKE OUR Bible Verse today.

Grown-ups: follow Proverbs 7 -- let go of the seduction. Don't get trapped,  Follow the path of the WISE!

July 6 -- Proverbs Chapter 6!

We are catching up today!  Feel free to keep the thoughts and move at your own pace!

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,  a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. -- Proverbs 6:16 - 19

These Proverbs are really hitting me between the eyes.  How about you? 

The very beginning of the chapter has to do with borrowing or making promises you can't keep.  In this debt-ridden world -- it would be good to take Proverbs advice and avoid getting trapped!

For your children, I suggest you focus on the industrious little ant:

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Proverbs 6:6

This verse teaches us to work hard and not be lazy.  Explain to your children that is what "sluggard" means.

Take a field trip today and go look at an ant hill.  See if you can catch the little guys in the act of carrying big things.  Explain that they are good workers and follow instructions.  God is happy when we do this, also!

Proverbs 6 talks a lot about laziness and the ruin it can bring.  I find it very interesting that the chapter begins with avoiding debt and continues to show how laziness affects us:

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—  and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:9-11)

God does not want us to be workaholics, but He does make a good point about using your time well.

The kids may also want to pretend they "wake up" and do their chores.  Chores are important for children.  Be sure they matter how small.

The end of Proverbs 6 talks about adultery again (God must have been watching our TVs and Movies)  We don't get this stuff straight and it is destroying the fabric of our families.

Are you, as a parent, equipping your child to avoid these dangers? Be sure to talk to them about being discerning about what they watch, read and do.  Keep them busy, so they do not use idle time to destroy.

Proverbs is hitting close to home today and I am glad to have the reminders.  See you on the 7th!

Proverbs Chapter 5

For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all your paths. --Proverbs 5:21

WOWEEEE!  Here is a chapter for today's generation!

Oh, how much misery, divorce, sexual disease and devastation could be avoided  if everyone just read Proverbs, Chapter 5!

Do not be misled:  chapter 5 speaks to men and women.  The adulterous woman imagery in Chapter 5 represents sexual impurity, which would include pornography and any sexual relationship outside of the bonds of marriage.  No one is exempt! Everyone can be trapped!

This chapter may seem like a tough one to share with young children, but, if you memorize the above verse, you can talk a lot about how God sees everything.

Get a pair of binoculars.  Have the children look far down the street.  It's hard to see that far!  Try looking with the binoculars.  They really help us see things which are far away.

Ask your child: "Do you know, God can see everything we do, even without binoculars?"  He can see when we are good.  He can see when we are bad.  We can't hide anything from God.

That is a good thing, because God also sees when we are lonely or afraid or sad.  He wants us to know He sees us and He is there to help us feel better. God loves us very much!

Do you know the sign language for the word "love" is to hug yourself?  I tell children to give themselves a hug every time they feel sad or alone and to remember God loves them and sees them.

I show children the sign language for Jesus, which is pointing to the nail hole in each hand. Then we can make a sentence in sign language: "Jesus loves you." 

As adults, we seem to want to believe God doesn't see everything we do.  We'd like to believe He doesn't see our paths: our thoughts: our little "hidden" grudges, but, as Proverbs says, HE SEES!

This chapter teaches us about marriage and remaining faithful.  Take a look at Proverbs 5:18

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. - Proverbs 5:18

Let's commit to stay faithful in the marriage we are in.  "Rejoice" Proverbs says.  That means to find joy over and over again. might say, you rejoiced when you were married, but what about after 4, 5,10, 25 years??????

If you have Jesus in your life, you can CHOOSE to find joy in your spouse over and over again -- The years will fly by with the decision to daily love and rejoice.

There are a lot of strong warnings in Proverbs Chapter 5.  Everyone should BEWARE of straying outside of God's guidance.  This is a good lesson for teens to understand.

If you do not run away from the door of temptation, you will be overcome by it and left with a lot of regrets.

Just look at these consequences of sexual sin (including pornography)

"in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword."(Proverbs 5:4)

"feet go down to death...steps lead straight to the grave." (Proverbs 5:5) 

You may have witnessed this yourself:  "In the end, the sinner gives no thought to her way of life;

her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it." (Proverbs 5:6) 

So.....Don't "lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel" (Proverbs 5:9)

More than anything, my prayer is that you and your children will avoid the following:

"At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent. You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!  I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors. And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”
                                                                                                                   -Proverbs 5:11-14

Proverbs Chapter 4

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. --Proverbs 4:1

Read Chapter 4 together!

We are scooting down  wisdom's pathways in Proverbs Chapter 4!  I am amazed at Proverbs wonderful imagery of paths. 

Again, we hear about the importance of following the right path.  With your children, make pieces of paper for stepping "stones".

Print different situations on each stone.  Some illustrate wise choices, like telling the truth, going to church, treating people with respect, etc.  Some illustrate unwise choices, like being mean, stealing, saying bad things or lying.

Make a path with the paper stones.  When you step on the stone -- ask your child, "Is it wise?" 

Proverbs 4 tells us more about wisdom.  Wisdom is the ability to make the right choice, using what you have learned from God's Word. 

Another idea is to make "garlands" for your heads.   String artificial flowers on some yarn or use straws or foam beads.  You can even use clovers for garlands!

Put the garlands on your heads and read Proverbs 4: 5-9.  We are learning from God and that is as beautiful as having a lovely garland on your head!

Here are other key verses from Proverbs 4:

-- Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)--good for teens to watch their relationships -

--Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips (Proverbs 4:24) -- This means gossip, whining, complaining, and any talk that does not build others up.

--Keep your eyes straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. (Proverbs 4:25) -- Stop living in the past -- stop holding grudges -- stop being bitter or remorseful about things in the past! 

--Remember what Proverbs 4:18-19 says the path of the righteous (people who do the right thing) is bright and shining.  The way of the wicked is like deep darkness!  This is another great illustration point with children -- Sit in a dark room -- turn on the flashlight -- the flashlight shows the way -- WALK IN THE LIGHT of God's Word! 

Keep your eyes on God's Path -- Keep walking toward God's light !

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Need to read Proverbs? Check out this LINK!

Here is a link to Biblegateway -- You can find Proverbs there!

Proverbs Chapter 3

Memory Verse:  "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,"
                                                                                                                            -Proverbs 3:1 

July 3 -- chapter 3 -- This chapter of Proverbs says it ALL!!!!!!!

First of all, make some hearts.  Time to cut!  If your children can read, write one word of this verse on each heart and scramble them up.  Time them as they put this verse together.

Or....make one BIG heart -- print the whole verse on it and cut it into a puzzle.  See how fast they can put it together and read the verse together.

What does it mean to keep God's commands in your heart?  First of all, it means we follow God's rules, not because we HAVE to....but because we WANT to.  We know His rules are there to protect us.

Ask your children if they remember any of God's TEN COMMANDMENTS.  Now would be a good time to review! 

Second of all, explain to your children -- to put something in your heart -- it is best to MEMORIZE it!  Make a game out of memorizing this verse.

Today, in Faith Kids, I began a verse, then I touched the shoulder of each student.  One by one, they had to say the next word of the verse -- It was fun to memorize that way!

This chapter has a whole lot more to say about the heart. 

-- Write love and faithfulness on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3)

-- Trust in the Lord with all your heart ( Proverbs 3:5)

Chapter 3 also tells us how to use our heart to care for others:

--Give to God (Proverbs 3:9)

--Help your neighbor (Proverbs 3:27-30)

Proverbs 3 tells us more about wisdom.  Wisdom is something we learn when we listen to God, trust Him, read His Word and memorize it.

Tell your children they are "filling up" with wisdom when they do the Proverbs Bible Study with you.  Eat some crackers or grapes.  Take one bite, swallow, then say the verse.

See....we are "filling up" with wisdom.  GOOD JOB!

Proverbs Chapter 2

"Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous."
                                                                                                   - Proverbs 2:20

Let's create a pathway today!  Our second chapter of Proverbs talks a lot about paths.  There the path that the wise man follows and the path the fool follows.

Proverbs 2 tells us that wisdom comes from God.  The wise person will follow God's path... and make the right choices.

Set up a path.  You can put papers on the floor.  Write the Bible verse on your path "stones" -- As the children follow the path, recite the Bible verse.

Talk about going the wrong way.   Read the Bible verses that talk about the foolish people who choose to do the wrong thing...and go the wrong way. 

Adults - please note the reference to marriage and adultery.  Proverbs 2:16-19 sets very clear expectations about marriage and the "wife of your youth." 

Lead the children down the path and talk about God's way...the best way to walk in life.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Proverb a Day! - Summer Fun!

Faith Baptist VBS

July 11 - 15

Call 539-0158

A Proverb a Day

In July, many friends of the Faith Family Resource Center will be reading one chapter of Proverbs a day. We will be providing creative ways to help our children learn Proverbs AND we’ll talk about God’s Message for US!

Wanna join us? Simply read one chapter each day.  At the end of July, you will have read Proverbs, start to finish!  Follow the blog: You’ll find ideas on the Book of Proverbs each day!

Memory Verses:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”- Proverbs 1:7

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.” – Proverbs 1: 8

“My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” – Proverbs 1:10

The first chapter of Proverbs is so full of good stuff. If we'd just get the above Bible verses straight, we'd be spared a lot of heartache!

You can pick the verse you want to help your children memorize. Make a game of tossing a ball and saying the words of the verse with each ball toss. Post your verse throughout the house!

Do this experiment to teach your child to stay away from people who try to get them to do wrong:

Put three glasses full of clear, fresh drinking water on the table. Have a small bag of dirt nearby. Ask your children to take a sip from each glass – good stuff.

NOW, dump two big spoonfuls of dirt into one glass and mix it up. Will your child drink the water now? Probably not.

NOW, take one TINY bit of dirt and sprinkle it over the second glass of clear water. The dirt may film over the water. Ask your children to drink that water. Chances are, they won’t.

HERE’S the lesson. Proverbs tells us to stay away from sin or sinners (people who do bad things you know are not right).

Sin is like the dirt. If you really get into it, it can muddy your life. Point to the muddy “dirt dumped” water.

What if you do just a TINY thing wrong, though? Will that really make a difference? Let’s say, as a teen, you just “hang out” with sinners, kids who do the wrong thing?

How can that hurt? Look at Proverbs AND the water. A pinch of dirt ruins the whole glass. No drinking water here.

God’s first Chapter in Proverbs tells us what happens when we’re foolish. We let the world tempt us and, although things seem OK: “we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder” (Proverbs 1:13) we will not be happy in the end.

“Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.” – Proverbs 1:19

Today’s society is full of a lot of stuff, but dead. We're living together out of wedlock, compromising on morals, cheating to get riches, watching dishonorable things on TV and movies, being selfish and self-centered. What does the Book of Proverbs say to us?

Don’t muddy the waters. Don’t be a fool.