Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lips That Drip Honey


            Honey is one of my favorite condiments.  I even like it straight-up by itself (I guess then it would be a beverage)!  My grandparents had a honey bear bottle from which to dispense honey that I often went “bottoms-up” with.  Honey is even good for you when used in moderation.  In the Bible, honey was sometimes used as a gift (Genesis 43:11, 1 Kings 14:3), but most often is referenced to depict the Promised Land: “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8).  Honey is also used to describe deception as well.  For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, (Proverbs 5:3, ESV).  What a picture by the wise father of a difficult temptation.

           A “forbidden woman” sounds like pretty serious language.  The KJV renders “strange woman,” which means something a little different in our modern English than what the Hebrew phrase refers to.  Maybe a closer translation to the original would be “a woman who is a stranger,” this gets the meaning across.  A “stranger” to what though?  When God was giving instruction and warning to the Israelites about destroying the inhabitants of the land when they took it, He also commanded, You shall not intermarry with them, (Deuteronomy 7:3a).  God did not make this statement because he opposes interracial marriage, but rather because the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God(Deuteronomy 4:24).  He knew that outsiders would turn His precious children away from Him.  Thus, warned them against marrying foreign people, or strangers, who worship other gods.  

The temptation was great though.  The Israelites, like us, are as children who are told they cannot have something.  Their desire for it explodes.  That is Satan getting the best of our emotions.  If someone who is married tries to catch your eye, or if neither of you are married, but they are not a Christian, consider them forbidden.  Remember this, in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword (Proverbs 5:4).  You can know that her path will not lead to anything good and “she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it (Proverbs 5:5-6).  Do not let Satan tempt you down the forbidden path with honey.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Would Your Father Say: Part 3


The common and probably most practical punishment for a dirty mouth is to wash it out with soap.  The irony of this metaphor was not humorous as a child, and can be more easily appreciated as an adult.  The progression is natural: soap cleans dirty things and if a child’s mouth is “dirty” with their language then they need it cleaned out with soap.  Some may call it child abuse, but that child will not be so quick to use dirty language next time the opportunity permits itself!  What it should be called is love because punishment is a necessary and God-ordained way to help children become followers of Christ.  In fact, not disciplining would be more like child abuse.    

A wise father said, “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings” (Proverbs 4:20, ESV).  A wise parent can stand firm in the instruction they give to their children because their wisdom came from God.  A hard rule often to grasp by children is to speak nicely.  Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” (Proverbs 4:23–24).  In other words, do not use bad words.  

How is a child supposed to know which way to go in life without any guidance?  Ideally, the child will have parents to help direct, but if that is not possible a mentor can change that child’s life for the better.  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil” (Proverbs 4:25–27).  Remember, these words are instruction from a wise parent.  God wants to help direct our paths in life.  This in no way means He wants to control us and play us like puppets.  If that were the case, He would have slapped Eve’s hand away from the fruit.  God wants us to have the freedom of choice and choose which path in life we will take.

Without parents and mentors, children will be lost in this world.  Satan is pushing and pulling from every direction to get them off the right path.  What are you doing to help strengthen their stance in God?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pedestrians

Don't get me wrong, I love those who get around on economically and environmentally friendly vehicles, but at least obey the traffic laws...like stop signs!  A skateboarder almost made a hood ornament on my Nissan Sentra yesterday because they were on the road and blew right threw the stop sign!  I told them there was a stop sign for them when they were complaining about our close encounter and they simply replied, "pedestrians bro."  Are you kidding me!?  Maybe if you use Wikipedia as your standby source or live in California, but dictionary.com defines it as:

pe·des·tri·an  [puh-des-tree-uhn]

–noun
1.
a person who goes or travels on foot; walker.
–adjective
2.
going or performed on foot; walking.
3.
of or pertaining to walking.
4.
lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull: a pedestrian commencement speech.

Whatever source you use to define "pedestrian," I'd say if your on wheels and don't want to get hit on the road, you better stop when the sign says "STOP."   

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How's the Romance in Your Marriage?

I found this survey in a Yahoo news article that I thought was interesting...

"The top 10 everyday niggles and passion-killers: 1. Weight gain/lack of exercise, 13 percent; 2. Money & Spend thriftiness, 11 percent; 3. Anti-social working hours, 10 percent; 4. Hygiene issues (personal cleanliness), 9 percent; 5. In-Laws/extended family - too much/too little, 9 percent; 6. Lack of romance (sex, treats etc.), 8 percent; 7. Alcohol - drinking too much, 7 percent; 8. Snoring & anti social bedtime habits, 6 percent; 9. Lapsed fashion-Same old underwear/clothes, 4 percent; 10. Bathroom habits - Stray nail cuttings etc., 4 percent."

Some things to consider altering to keep the romance!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What Would Your Father Say: Part 2


There are so many ways and products to help make you look young.  Our culture centers on youthfulness and how to stay looking young.  In essence, our culture wants longer lives, but apparently that is not a new desire.  When God spoke the commandments to the people of Israel from Mt. Sinai, one of them was, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12, ESV).  The land that had been promised to the Israelites was that flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8).  It was one of those places that once you got there you would never want to leave.  When they arrived there, though, they would have to leave at some point because death would take them if some other outside force did not.  How could they insure they would be able to enjoy the promise for many years?  It all comes down to obedience.

The wise father understood how to have a longer life as well, “Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on” (Proverbs 4:10-15).  He goes on to explain that the wicked thrive on making people stumble and cannot sleep unless they do so.  The righteous ought to be lights in a dark world (Proverbs 4:10-19).  Are we being the lights a dark world needs?

You can forget about any product or exercise regime to try and stay young.  If you want to lengthen your years, the proverb principle is simple, obey your parents.  This principle still holds true today.  Paul reminded us of this “command with a promise” in Ephesians 6:1-3.  It is refreshing to hear someone talk good about you behind your back, when really you could hear what they said.  If God was talking to someone about you, what would He say?  Hopefully He would say, “That is one of my most obedient children, he will have a long life.”

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What Would Your Father Say: Part 1


            A child knows when they have done something wrong when they are asked, “What would your father say?”  Generally, the kid probably has a pretty good idea about what the father might say, or he may not want to think about what he may say.  Can you hear the tone in the question?  If one was trying to convey something positive, they may say, “You’re father is (or would be) so proud.”  I certainly knew the difference growing up.  

As much as children do not want to admit it, parents’ advice and instruction comes straight from love.  The last thing kids want to hear when they are disciplined is, “I am doing this because I love you.”  My brothers and I often plead the case, “No, if you loved me you would NOT be doing this!”  It never seemed to work.  Not only do parents’ advice and instruction come from love, but they also come from wisdom and experience.  They want what is best for their children and try to guide them toward that path.  The wise man even recognized that a father’s instruction should be listened to, “Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching” (Proverbs 4:1–2, ESV).

God speaks to us through His Scripture and it is wise to ponder on a daily basis, what would God say?  Thank God He made the Bible so easily accessible for so many.  Listen to the instruction here by the wise father, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” (Proverbs 4:4–9).

Do these words resonate with you?  They are the words blessed to us by the heavenly Father who loves you and is crazy about you.  What would your Father say?  Open your Bible and find out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sunday's Prezi

This is the presentation I used to illustrate my sermon Sunday.  The audio file for "The Temple & The Fig Tree" is in the player on the right-hand tool bar.