Tag: Wisdom

Relevant Wisdom for the Internet Age

Relevant Wisdom for the Internet Age

Encouragment
Does the Bible speak to today’s issues? Consider for example your Facebook or Twitter feed. The ancient writers knew nothing about our technologically advanced world so how could their words impact our interactions in cyberspace? But here the thing -- It does.  The reason will become clearer If we’ll put down our screens for a moment. Let’s take one small issue that’s been the buzz for about a year but a problem long before then. We’ve all seen them, the posts on Facebook and Twitter that make some claim to be true but scratch the surface and it’s “fake news.” So a “friend” on Facebook shares a share of a share that is foolish and untrue. What should I do about it? Should I ignore it or refute it? We’ve all been at that point of decision. If I answer I may get dragged into a troll
Practically James – Wisdom

Practically James – Wisdom

Encouragment
“It’s just common sense!” How many times have you said or heard that phrase? The idea behind it is that there is a well-known set of knowledge and wisdom we all share. It’s common sense that spitting into the wind is unwise. But how often is common sense invisible until someone violates it and trips our “that was stupid” warning light. I wonder though, is common sense, well, common? Is your library of wisdom the same as mine? Probably not. Just by observing the world we see that common sense is the seed of many disagreements, arguments, conflicts, and fights. Whose wisdom is right? Let’s turn to James for the answer. Early in his letter of encouragement and instruction James says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
Loose Lips

Loose Lips

Encouragment
During WWII a warning became a part of our language. “Loose lips sink ships.” The message was often portrayed on stark colored posters with an image of a ship going down. It was a warning to all, both military and home front, that wayward words can have dire consequences. While the warning has become an idiom the message was very real. As goods and personnel moved across the oceans to support the war effort, enemy agents hoped to gain information to stop them. Loose slips could literally sink ships, and the person might be none the wiser. The book of Proverbs has a similar warning,  “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3, NASB95) Let’s apply this generally and then more specifically to followers of Jesus. Many cal
Who Are You? Sheep

Who Are You? Sheep

Encouragment
Sheep are not always the docile creatures people envision. The popular understanding is that sheep never put up a fuss and just go along with anything. Nope, try sticking a tube down their throats to give them a deworming pill and you’ll see what I mean. They can be gentle and docile as well as stubborn, selfish, pushy, mean, and sometimes, downright ornery. Some will even attack you if you’re not watching, particularly an old ram that is protecting his rights to the harem. Sheep can be rather stupid at times, especially when following along with the flock. The one thing that always gets them in trouble is their appetite. I can recall several occasions when a lamb got its head stuck in the fence because the grass on the other side must have tasted better. And I’m sure that the lost lamb in
Who Are You? The Redeemed

Who Are You? The Redeemed

Encouragment
There is seems to be a desire for fairness built in to each one of us. It is initially born out of the selfish desire to get our due; to get our fair share of the candy bar or our turn on the merry-go-round. It can mature into something larger than ourselves when we see how others have been unfairly treated and seek to remedy the shortfall. We’d like to think that our sense of fairness is built on justice, it is not of course. Fairness is about what we feel should come our way, justice is only concerned with the actions of others or ourselves and their consequences. Somewhere along the line, sometimes early, sometimes late, we have learned that life's not fair. Let me ask you this, have you ever considered fairness from God’s point of view? Think about this. God created the world, He se
The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding

The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding

Series, Spirit of the Lord
One day some Pharisees and some supporters of Herod attempted to trap Jesus. Traps have three components, the deception of safety, the bait, and the hook.  In this case, the deception was flattery, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any.”  The bait was the temptation to be counted among the movers and shakers of society, “Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”  But Jesus perceived the trap and wisely turned the trap back on them. Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? “Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “T
The Mark

The Mark

Short Stories
The scene could be played out in any of a number of cities on any given moonless night. Two men separated by several hundred yards are walking the same direction. Both look like business men, dark suit, white shirt, red tie, and wingtip shoes.  Both are walking with the same degree of confidence and, while heading in the same direction, are looking forward to very different destinations.   Waiting for them in the darkness between the rose colored granite of the Parker Building and the stainless steel of Anchor Savings and Loan are two other men dressed in black jeans and dark hoodies.  A third man, the leader of this gang of muggers, is on the steps of the Parker Building camouflaged by homelessness. His job is to look out for cops and identify the marks that the other two should go after
Coloring Between the Lines

Coloring Between the Lines

Encouragment, Faith
One day, not very long ago, my grandson Asher was in preschool coloring a picture. As he pushed the crayon across the page he announced, “Jesus never colored outside the lines.”  A few moments later, having thought more about his theological proposition he added, “But He probably never colored.”  To which a second boy responded, “But if Jesus did color he would have colored inside the lines.” The seed of this preschool theological discussion was planted during a time Asher was struggling with his own imperfections and mistakes.  I find it amazing that a four almost five year old can understand Jesus’ character better than many adults. Looking back at Jesus and the Gospels it is clear that some, if not many, thought Jesus was coloring outside the lines.  Healing on the Sabbath - outside th
Our Part: Knowledge

Our Part: Knowledge

Our Part, Series
My grandkids have a very common toy.  It is a set of cubes that are hollow and have an open side with each cube being a bit smaller than the previous.  The effect is that they can fit inside of one another or be reversed and stacked on one another.  Peter has given us a similar kind of progression although I think he had something else in mind.  Think back to the gospels for a moment and a particular fig tree that did not bear fruit, Matthew 21:18-22. I wonder if Peter had that fig tree in mind as he wrote: “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kind
Everyone Has One: An Opinion

Everyone Has One: An Opinion

Archive
I admit it, I like the NASCAR channel on Sirius/XM radio.  There is one annoyance that I cannot quite get over.  Someone will often call in with some off the wall idea to fix whatever problem or issue is being discussed.  Some fantastic way for the racing to be better, a conspiracy theory on why Johnson always wins, an unheralded engineering fix, or a fantastic rule change that will return NASCAR to the “good old days”.  The problem isn't that someone has an idea, even a crazy one, but when they refuse to consider the wisdom of others in response to their idea. It reminds me of this proverb -  “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” (Proverbs 18:2, ESV) We all know people that would fit this description and the games they play.  Games like: “let
In the Wilderness: A New Wisdom

In the Wilderness: A New Wisdom

Archive
// _// “When it was already quite late, His disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and it is already quite late;” (Mark 6:35, NASB95) In our vernacular we would say that Jesus, the disciples, and the crowd were “in the middle of nowhere”. Not only where they in the middle of nowhere but the point of no return was approaching to where the crowds would have to walk home in the dangerous dark. To the disciples the practical thing, the wise choice, was to release the crowds to their own devices. Allow them to see to their own supper and safety. If we simply take the situation, ignoring what follows for the moment, we would readily agree that the prudent move was to send the crowd on their way. There is nothing wrong with the disciples observation or suggestion - except