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May 20

Monday, May 20th, 2024


I chose the heading for this devotion based on Proverbs 20:15- “Wise words are more valuable than much gold and many rubies.”

I’m suspecting there are many in our world who would vehemently disagree with those words. That shows how truly unwise they are.  To think pursuing physical comfort and material wealth (represented by gold and rubies) is the end all is setting that person up for failure and disappointment. But rather than write about the shallowness of pursuing earthly satisfaction, I thought I would highlight a few more of the verses of Proverbs 20 to show why verse 15 is so spot on.  Here are some wise words to remember:

Verse 1: “Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.” All of us have seen the devastating results of too much alcohol. An alcohol addiction is serious and must be dealt with. Check out Sober Cycle by Sherry Hoppen for more on this.

Verse 7- “The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them.” Integrity has been defined as “who you are when no one is looking.” Who better to see us  in all our “raw life” away from the adoring crowds than our children? I’m not sure there can be a greater blessing than to see my children follow me as I follow Jesus.

Verse 19- “A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.” I heard someone say just last night: “You are who you hang with.” Whether by reputation or guilt by association, being known for being a chatterer is not a badge of honor.

Verse 22- “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.” Not much to add to that one is there? Elsewhere in the Bible it says, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay says the Lord.”

Verse 29- “The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.”  (What about no hair? 🙂 ). Seriously, there is something to be said about age and wisdom.

I would encourage you to read Proverbs 20. In fact, a good practice is to read a chapter of Proverbs a day. There are 31 chapters so in one month you can read through the book. I like to highlight a different verse each time I read using a different colored highlighter. Take a moment to read Proverbs 20. Any wise words stick out to you?

January 4

Thursday, January 4th, 2024

Just a reminder: Please check out my review of my friend, Martha Orlando’s excellent trilogy called The Glade Series at my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin. You can access that review here.

I have mentioned a number of times about my practice of reading Proverbs every other month. One chapter= that calendar date. Today, for example: January 4= Proverbs 4.  Maybe it is because I’m reading this year from the New Living Translation (NLT) or that I paid particularly close attention, but some seriously good stuff stuck out to me this morning. The whole chapter goes on about the importance of wisdom: Pay attention. Get it. Don’t turn your back on it. Prize it. Etc.

Beginning in verse 23 are some simple “rules of life” or “advice to live by” given. Here they are:

Verse 23- Guard your heart

Verse 24- Avoid perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.

Verse 25- Look straight ahead, fix your eyes straight ahead.

Verse 26- Choose the right path.

Verse 27- Don’t get sidetracked.

I thought I would give each a new heading, a new “wording” that might be easier to learn:

  • Be careful what you expose yourself to.
  • Watch your speech.
  • Don’t let your eyes wander.
  • Stay true.
  • Stay focused.

Wise advice to follow today and every day. Choose wisdom. Then you will hear the ancient words: “You have chosen wisely.” (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) 🙂 

October 30

Monday, October 30th, 2023

I suspect none of us would complain about a windfall. I remember a TV show from years ago that was made up of different stories and scenarios of people winning the lottery. The stories were, of course, made up to deliver entertainment for TV. After it was over for the evening I can remember thinking, “What would I do if I won the lottery? How would I distribute the money?” It was a moot point: I never played the lottery so it was a silly game. But even now I wonder occasionally what I would do if I came into a big sum of money.

Let me give you a scenario. Your bank calls and says, “I have some good news for you. Some wealthy person admires all you do and who you are so he is going to deposit 86,400 cents into your account.” You are most certainly shocked. Seriously? your calculator says that is $864 per day. WOW!

The banker interrupts your fantasy with reality. “However, there is a stipulation. Each penny must be spent every day. What isn’t spent you lose. Every day. $864. That is $6048/week and $314,496 per year. That is a lot of money!! More than you will ever seen normally. It is also a fantasy.

You probably know where I’m going with this. While the money scenario is a fantasy, there is something that is not. Each day God deposits 86,400 seconds into your account per day. Use them or lose them. It is called time. And no matter our efforts we will never make up for lost time. “I’m going to catch up on my sleep.” No, you never do. You may sleep a little longer than normal, but you never catch up.

The Bible speaks about “redeeming the time for the days are evil.”  In other words, don’t let time slip away. Make the most of every opportunity that comes before you. Most important of all, don’t say, “I’ll wait until tomorrow.” First, tomorrow never comes. Second, no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

August 8

Tuesday, August 8th, 2023

One of the greatest tragedies of our culture today is thinking we can find the answer by “following our heart.” We think we can pursue the wisdom of men and “light within us” and find meaning and purpose.

Alan Noble in his book On Getting Out of Bed put it this way:

Whatever challenges we face can be solved. That’s society’s promise. Whatever problem you have, someone has developed a method for overcoming it. A pill. A treatment. A mindset. Which means if you don’t overcome your problems, it’s your own fault. You really should have tried harder. You should have shown more initiative. You should have chosen the right technique. Because the normal life is a pleasant life for those who merit it. (p.8)

Alan goes on to say he believed all that and he/it was wrong.

Strangely enough, the Bible speaks of that, and in of all books, Revelation. Revelation 8:12 speaks of light becoming dark- a third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars. Taken in context that verse is speaking of the futility and emptiness of man’s wisdom and “spirituality” to enlighten as an utter failure. We foolishly think pursuing more of man’s wisdom; more of man’s ways; more of man’s insights will lead us to enlightenment. It is a picture of people going about living their lives in darkness without the ability to see what is true and right and good. You know…follow your heart.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news: it is an empty and dead end road.

But I do like to be the bearer of GOOD NEWS! Proverbs 8:34-36 tells us to pursue God’s wisdom not the world’s. The one who pursues His wisdom finds life.  Instead of “follow your heart” it should be “pursue God’s heart.” He won’t steer you wrong.