..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Fall Dinner

Here are some easy recipes for Fall.

Apple Pork Chops

4 Thick pork chops
1 Sweet onion, peeled and cut in thin wedges
1 Sweet apple, washed, peeled, cut in thin wedges

Make an aluminum foil package that will hold all 4 pork chops. Lay the pork chops in the package, sprinkle the chops with salt. Layer the onion wedges over the chops. Layer the apple wedges over the chops. Dot with butter. Seal the aluminum foil package. Bake in oven on 375F until done (depends on the thickness of your pork chops).

Source: Me!

Carrot Croquets

4 cups cooked carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
vegetable oil

Mash or press carrots through a course sieve. Add salt, nutmeg, egg and butter and mix thoroughly. Form into shapes resembling carrots, roll in bread crumbs and chill for several hours. Fry in hot deep oil until browned. Drain on absorbent paper, tuck in a sprig of parsley in top and serve at once.

Source: Recipezaar.com

Cheesy Baked Potatoes

2 Large baking potatoes
Cottage Cheese (low fat, if you desire)
Butter (or margarine or fat free margarine spreads)
Shredded cheddar cheese (low fat, if you desire)

Wash and puncture (with a fork) potatoes, wrap in tin foil. Bake in oven until you can easily puncture through with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool until it won't burn you to work with. Unwrap, cut in half. In a bowl, scoop the pulp out of the potatoes, add cottage cheese, butter and shredded cheddar cheese, salt & pepper to taste and stir together. Heap back into the potato shells. You may need to pop in the microwave before serving in order to reheat and melt the cheeses. Serves 4.

Source: Me!

Rice Pudding

1/3 cup uncooked white rice
1/3 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 quart whole milk (or 2% milk, if you desire)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300F. Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In the casserole dish, mix together rice, sugar and salt. Stir in milk and vanilla. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Let stand for 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with cinnamon.

Source: Allrecipes.com

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Proverbs 1:20-33

Proverbs 1:20-33 (NLT)  20 Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
21 She calls to the crowds along the main street,
to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22 “How long, you simpletons,
will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise.
24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come.
I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice
and rejected the correction I offered.
26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
and chose not to fear the LORD.
30 They rejected my advice
and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33 But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm.”

Here the writer begins using a literary technique called a prosopopoeia.

Prosopopoeia - A figure of speech in which an absent or imaginary person is represented as speaking. In classical rhetoric, it's a type of personification or impersonation. A figure of speech in which an imaginary, absent, or deceased person is represented as speaking or acting.
How to Pronounce "prosopopeia" from HowToPronounce.org on Vimeo.

The writer has created a woman named Wisdom who speaks to the simple, scorners/mockers and fools. She is a character with a voice. She personifies or embodies Wisdom by giving the abstract "wisdom" a body and personhood. It seems the writer hypostatized wisdom.

Hypostatize - to attribute real identity to (a concept)

Is it just a poetic device? Does she personify the mind of God? Is she a hypostasis of Jesus Christ?

"But it is difficult to determine with accuracy to what extent the Messianic import of the personification was present to the consciousness of the sacred writers, and whether Wisdom as here presented to us is simply a poetic and abstract personification or a distinct by-postatizing of the Word." - Pulpit Commentary

"Wisdom is represented as speaking and as addressing the simple, scorners, and fools. The address itself is one of the noblest specimens of sacred eloquence, expressing in rapid succession the strongest phases of feeling - pathetic solicitude with abundant promise, indignant scorn at the rejection of her appeal, the judicial severity of offended majesty upon offenders, and lastly the judicial complacency which delights in mercy towards the obedient. The imagery in part is taken from the forces of nature in their irresistible and overwhelming violence and destructive potency." - Pulpit Commentary

"So, too, many of the Psalms (Psalms 45, for example), in the first instance it would seem, are intended to describe the excellence of some earthly saint or king, yet they are completely fulfilled only in the Son of man, the ideal of all that is noblest and best in man. And thus the description of Wisdom in her manifold activity, as represented in Proverbs 1, 8, 9, so closely corresponds to the work of our Lord, as depicted in the New Testament, that from the earliest times of Christianity these passages have been held to be a prophecy of Him; and there is good reason for such a view. For a comparison of Luke 11:49 ('Therefore also said the wisdom of God, Behold, I send,' etc.) with Matthew 23:34 (where He says, 'Behold, I send') would seem to show that He applied the title to Himself. St. Paul in like manner speaks of Him as the 'Wisdom of God' (1 Corinthians 1:24); says He has been 'made unto us wisdom' (1 Corinthians 1:30); and that in Him 'are hid all the treasures of wisdom' (Colossians 2:3)." - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

We must be careful here because of Proverbs 8. Proverbs 8 and 9 also present the woman Wisdom. Let's look at:

Proverbs 8:22-31 (NIV) 22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
30 Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.

Jesus, as part of the Godhead, is NOT a created being. Like the other two, Father and Holy Spirit, He has always existed.  He was present at creation.

John 1:1-5 (NLT) 1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NLT) 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

So Lady Wisdom is not Jesus Christ but God's wisdom, of which, Jesus Christ embodied. Jesus is described in the New Testament as God's wisdom incarnate (in body form).

1 Corinthians 1:30 (NIV) And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption

1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Colossians 2:2-3 (NIV)  2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (CEV)  6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.

Jesus Christ was a man of wisdom, a teacher of wisdom and He lived wisdom while on earth. Jesus taught God's mysterious wisdom to the world while He was here. He used proverbs, parables, beatitudes, analogies... many teaching devices to reach the simple and the poor in spirit.

Luke 2:41-52 (NAS)    41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it, 44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
      52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Mark 1:21-28 (NAS)  21 They went into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Mark 6:1-2 (NAS) 1 Jesus went out from there and came into His hometown; and His disciples followed Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?"

Jesus is the wise man of Proverbs. God's wisdom is divine and cannot be attained without becoming a Christian through Jesus Christ. Once we are born-again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and reveals godly wisdom to us.

The woman of wisdom invites everyone to listen and learn. God never excludes anyone. They exclude themselves when they ignore His invitations. But all who seek find.

Lady Wisdom makes a promise:

Proverbs 1:23 Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.

Proverbs 1:33 But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.

If we come to God, seek Him, and listen, we can know the heart of God and learn His wisdom. We are invited but we must come with receptive hearts and open ears.
But if we have no desire for God and His wisdom, resist Him, ignore Him, hate Him, even mock and ridicule God and His wisdom then we find another promise from Lady Wisdom:

Proverbs 1:26-32  26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble!
I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm,
when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone,
and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer.
Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29 For they hated knowledge
and chose not to fear the LORD.
30 They rejected my advice
and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way,
choking on their own schemes.
32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death.
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.

  • Trouble
  • Disaster
  • Calamity
  • Anguish
  • Distress
  • Anxiety
  • They must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way
  • Choking on their own schemes
  • Death
  • Destruction

Isaiah 3:11 Woe to the wicked; disaster is upon them! For they will be repaid with what their hands have done.

Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth! I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their own schemes, for they have paid no attention to My word and have rejected My instruction.

Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Roasted Patty Pan Squash

Roasted Patty Pan Squash

I bought bacon on sale. I like to cook it all at one time, put helpings in freezer bags and freeze. Then we take it out as we need it and throw it in the microwave for a quick breakfast. So I layered a pan with tin foil, put the bacon on it and put it in the oven to bake. When it was done and I had all the bacon in the freezer, I decided to make roasted Patty Pan Squash.
I washed and cut up the patty pan squash and cut it in chunks. I put it in the tin foil with the bacon grease. I rolled it around to coat. Then I salted and put in the oven on 400 until it looked done. Then I turned on the broiler for a few minutes and monitored it. When it started turning brown on top I pulled it out. I froze it too.

This was a way to use the bacon grease and you get a lot of helpings of bacon and squash with one "preparation and clean up". Oh, and while I had the bacon out, I took fresh green beans, parboiled them for a minute, drained and rinsed in cold water to stop the cooking. I took a bundle and wrapped in a strip of bacon. I did four of these and popped them in the freezer. They can be baked later. Efficiency. If you try to do several things at the same time it saves on prep/clean up.
For example, I made 4 sets of bacon, 1 set of bacon wrapped green beans and 2 helpings of roasted patty pan squash all at one time and with 1 pan and 1 pot and 1 clean up. Or I could cook 4 strips of bacon one morning, and again on 3 other mornings and clean up after each breakfast (4 cleanups). Then I have to make the bacon wrapped bundles one night for dinner and clean up. For two other meals I have to roast the patty pan squash and clean up. So I was being efficient and saving time!!! Don't we all want to do that?

Friday, October 11, 2019

Proverbs 1:10-19

Proverbs 1:10-19 (BSB)  10 My son, if sinners entice you,
do not yield to them.
11 If they say, “Come along, let us lie in wait for blood,
let us ambush the innocent without cause,
12 let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
and whole like those descending into the Pit.
13 We will find all manner of precious goods;
we will fill our houses with plunder.
14 Throw in your lot with us;
let us all share one purse”—
15 my son, do not walk the road with them
or set foot upon their path.
16 For their feet run to evil,
and they are swift to shed blood.
17 How futile it is to spread the net
where any bird can see it.
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush their own lives.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy,
whose unjust gain takes the lives of its possessors.

Proverbs 1:10-19 (NLT)  10 My child, if sinners entice you,
turn your back on them!
11 They may say, “Come and join us.
Let’s hide and kill someone!
Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave;
let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13 Think of the great things we’ll get!
We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14 Come, throw in your lot with us;
we’ll all share the loot.”
15 My child, don’t go along with them!
Stay far away from their paths.
16 They rush to commit evil deeds.
They hurry to commit murder.
17 If a bird sees a trap being set,
it knows to stay away.
18 But these people set an ambush for themselves;
they are trying to get themselves killed.
19 Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
it robs them of life.

Ephesians 5:10-13,15-18 (NLT)  10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them...
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit

1 Peter 4:3-5 (BSB)   3 For you have spent enough time in the past carrying out the same desires as the Gentiles: living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry.
4 Because of this, they consider it strange of you not to plunge with them into the same flood of reckless indiscretion, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

I've thought of this many times. If you made a list of all the actions that could destroy your life, some people will tick them off one at a time. They destroy their lives with their own two hands. No one does it to them, they do it to themselves. It's like they are collectors, but they are collecting miseries.

"Oh, I haven't done that one yet, let's do it so I can check it off my bucket list." And off they go to bring more ruin to their lives.

They have handicapped themselves by their own stupid decisions.

For instance, someone in a car accident that leaves scars all over their face will wish they had their old face back. They think everyone sees them as a monster because they have scars on their face. What they wouldn't do to have their face back! But a perfectly healthy, intelligent human being will go into a tattoo shop and PAY for facial tattoos that make them look like monsters and people look at in horror. Wow! Or the piercings they pay for to make them look freakish and like horror movie clowns. Now they can't get a decent job and it's hard to get anyone to look past their tattoos or piercings in order to get to know them. And they did it to themselves! They handicapped themselves and, for tattoos, it's for life.

Despite all the warnings of cancer, people still smoke and vape. Despite all the warnings of STDs , AIDS, and unplanned pregnancies, people still have sex with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Despite all the warnings and probable prison, people still rob, assault, rape, kill. Despite all the warnings of prison and the horrors of being listed as a sex offender, people still have sex with children. They meet online, make "dates" with children to have sex and are surprised when the police grab them at the meeting spot. Shaking my head. How dumb do you have to be to do these things and invite this misery?!?

Logically, it makes no sense that people do every day. But that is the human condition. Our evil human nature is totally open to sin. We want it, we desire it and then we are miserable with the consequences of our choices. And, if we refuse to accept Jesus Christ, the forgiver or sins, we will spend eternity in hell. Jesus came to set us free from this cycle of sin, misery and death!

I cannot say Christians no longer have any problems. That obviously isn't true. We still struggle with sin, but we are forgiven and saved from the ultimate consequence of sin, eternal damnation! We also have lemons in life. In a sinful world, bad things happen to people and it isn't their fault. But God promises He is with His children no matter what and He will see us through. But don't add to your problems by making choices that invite trouble. You have been warned, you know the dangers, so don't even go there. If someone tries to tempt you to do something that could lead to misery, say, "No!" and run from them. Don't entertain the thought. Don't rehearse the fantasy. Don't listen to them as they try to persuade you. Get up and walk away (run if necessary). Don't get caught up in their drama. Don't listen as they call you names, don't pay attention to all the ways they will try to manipulate you into their plans and schemes and drama. Satan is using them like a puppet on a string to try and tempt you to fall into their sin and you don't have to do it.

Now let's say, these "friends" are threatening you to make you do something you don't want to do. It's time to say, "No!", run away and pray. God can take care of you, your family, your friends, your job, etc. This is really hard for us to trust. We tend to want to control everything and that includes our desire to protect someone or something that means a lot to us. It's our weakness, our kryptonite. But if we do the right thing and we pray and trust God, He can do the right thing by you and your loved ones. He can supernaturally protect them. Or He can usher them safely into Heaven. Or He can remove the danger. Or He can arrange circumstances so that there no longer is a danger. If you are His child and your loved ones are His children, and you do the right thing... worst case scenario, you all meet in Heaven. I mean, really, let's say a mobster has threatened your wife and child (we see this in movies all the time) unless you do something illegal. You and your family are Christians. You say no. The worst case scenario, the mobster kills your wife and child. It would be horrendous, devastating and you would feel terrible grief, but the end result is your wife and child are now safely with Christ in Heaven forever. You will meet them there. You are not responsible for their deaths by your choice. You chose wisely and rightly. God knows that. Do you really think He can't turn a horrible experience into a great blessing? As a human being, we can't see how it could turn into a blessing, especially right then when it first happens. We are too raw. But, as we trust Him, He can begin to turn things and we can begin to see light. In God's eyes, He has the wisdom to know what to do and when, so that it becomes a blessing. I remember my sister saying, when her son broke his ankle, "Who knows why God allowed this. Maybe it's too keep him from being drafted and having to fight (or die) in a war." What if your child had lived to adulthood, is it possible (you won't know until Heaven) your child could have rebelled against God and not accepted Christ and thus spent eternity separated from you in hell? But, since your child was killed before the age of accountability, they are most certainly waiting for you in heaven. Who knows what God is saving them from by taking them early? It takes faith to trust God during the hardest times in our lives. And even that is a gift from God. So, my point is to do what God says is the right thing to do and trust Him with the consequences and let Him shoulder the responsibility.

I was watching a miniseries last night, The Mill. It was about the textile mill in Cheshire, England and how children, young people were workers. Everything was provided by the mill - their clothing, a place to safely sleep, food, a job. If they lost their job, they would be on the streets as beggars or prostitutes. One of the supervisors was forcing himself on young girls and threatening their jobs if they told anyone. He was raping them. One girl was willing to reveal his evil, the others were not. They were too afraid and did not back her up. So she was singled out by the Supervisor. She did the right thing but it cost her. The other girl refused to back her up, she even lied that nothing was happening in order to protect herself and her sister (or friend) who was pregnant by the Supervisor. She said she did it to protect their jobs because the baby. Then her sister (or friend) tried to pick a fight so that she would lose the baby. This is a small example of a sticky and bad situation. Yes, they had every reason to fear the loss of their job because it meant the loss of what food they got (which was wretched), what shelter they had (which was pitiful and pathetic) and the loss of their job (which was exhausting and dangerous) and the alternative could be even worse. But the girls made some bad choices. First time he tried to force himself on them, they should have gone to the owners with the truth even if they were afraid it would be used against them. Second, they should have backed up their friend with the truth when she told what happened. She became a target because they wouldn't back her up. Third, when they were asked, they lied in order to keep their jobs. Fourth, the pregnant girl tried to get her baby killed, a form of murder and murder of an innocent baby. You see they made the initial bad decision but it compounded and they kept making bad decisions. They didn't know the future. Only God knows that. Yes, there was a 50/50 chance they would end up as beggars, prostitutes, or dying of exposure and starvation. But, as a child of God who did the right thing, they should have been able to trust God to take care of them. Because there is also the 50/50 chance they would have found a better home, a better job, better food, marriage and happy family. Only God can work those things out. You just obey and trust and let Him work it out.

I'm speaking simplistically in examples. I have no idea what you may really be facing. But you can choose to do the right thing and you can choose to trust God in all things. Boy, do I know how hard it is to say this versus doing it. Don't think I haven't struggled to trust and obey. We all do. You would not be alone! But remember, if you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit resides in you to help you. He is our secret weapon. He helps us to do right but He will not help us to do wrong.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Proverbs 1:8-9

Proverbs 1:8-9  8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction,
and do not forsake the teaching of your mother.
9 For they are a garland of grace on your head,
and a pendant around your neck.

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (NLT)  18 “Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. 19 In such a case, the father and mother must take the son to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. 20 The parents must say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 Then all the men of his town must stone him to death. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid."

Loving parents would impart instruction to their children so that their children may learn the easy way. Too many times we only learn the hard way. We refuse to listen to our parents and rebel against them and any other authority figure. But we do so to our own detriment. We are hurting ourselves when we don't listen to those who would keep us from harm.

God made one of the Ten Commandments to address this rebellion of children against their parents. He commanded us to honor our parents, to respect them and be receptive to our parents. Nothing can change the fact that we are the product of our Mother and Father. Our parents may not be the best, they may even be the worst, but we should still show them a modicum of respect. I don't mean we have to submit to violence or abuse and I don't mean we should learn how to rob a bank from our father. But we can refrain from bitterness, unforgiveness, hate and we can pray for them. We can respectfully speak to them and walk out the door. We can leave them behind if they are toxic but we must not hate, despise, tear them down, rehearse the horror stories and keep ourselves, and others, in turmoil about it. We must learn to forgive (it is a commandment from Jesus) and to lay it down. Then we must learn to pray for them. It may be the hardest thing you've ever done but forgiveness is a commandment from God and He will assist you by the Holy Spirit living in you. You must be willing to forgive, you must want to forgive. Pray and ask God to help you to forgive. It may take time, but if you desire to forgive and be free, that coincides with God's Will and it will be accomplished! If you want what God wants, there is no stopping it. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting or submitting to abuse again. It means releasing it, accept the healing in forgiveness and use wisdom to move on, even if it means moving away. Removing yourself from a toxic situation may be the wisdom you learned from toxic parents. Be thankful for the lesson learned and move on. Besides, God is your true Father. He is anything BUT toxic. He can be the Father that teaches you wisdom. He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers so we have a builtin Helper. One of His jobs is to teach us and remind us of God's Ways.

I love builtins. They come with the house and are a permanent fixture. Builtin furniture does a job and does it well. They will usually outlast regular furniture. A couch has to be replaced as it wears out, so does a mattress, a table, a chair. But a builtin piece of furniture can go as long as the house goes (unless you rip it out). It holds books, dishes, clothing, miscellaneous. Closets are builtins. cabinets are builtins, bookshelves can be builtins, desks can be builtins.

When I became a Christian, I discovered a builtin. The Holy Spirit comes with my salvation. He will outlast all other comforts. He is easy to work with as He knows all my foibles and weaknesses and how to reach me and teach me. He has a job and He does it well. I can never get rid of Him and He will never leave me. I can't even rip Him out. I may ignore Him, which grieves Him as He loves me, but I cannot get rid of Him. It is to my detriment if I ignore Him and He would save me a lot of pain and heartache if I would learn His lessons easily. Sometimes it seems He has so drag me kicking and screaming but not really. The Holy Spirit is always the gentleman and never forces but if He knows I WILL learn the lesson if He drags me kicking and screaming, He will drag. He will plant my face in it and say, "Look, I told you it wouldn't hurt you!" Sort of like my husband, who, for years, refused to try sweet potatoes. He thought they looked funny and no amount of coaxing by me could get him to try them. Then one day, his best friend, Randall, made something with sweet potatoes and Stan was polite, tasted them and found out they were really good! Now he likes them. I tried to drag him kicking and screaming to a little ole sweet potato for 40 years and he refused to even taste them. But I knew he would like them once he tried it. I was correct but it took Randall, not me, to get him there. Randall and I will pretty much try anything but Stan and Randall's wife (and my best friend), Mary, are more hesitant. But they've expanded their tastes being married to us. Stan said his mother never cooked using mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet potatoes, etc. So he had never tasted those things when we married. Boy, howdy, does he know how to cook and enjoy them now. Stan's Mother can cook but it's home cooking, soul food. Biscuits, cornbread, beans and potato kinds of things.

I was blessed to have had wonderful parents who did teach me about God and love. It was easy to love my parents. They certainly did all they could for my sisters and I. When they became elderly and needed help, we helped them and tried to do it with respect and love. We tried to honor our parents.

Even the best parents will have children who will rebel and be disobedient at times. The best children will go through periods of rebellion. I certainly did. It seems inherent in human beings. But if we could only understand that parents want what's best for their children. A good parent has sacrificed a lot for their children and they love them above all others. So why wouldn't you listen to your parents and receive their instruction with gratitude? You might save yourself a whole heap of heartache. Parents are grown adults who have gone through experiences and education. They do know something about what you are going through. They've lived through it! They've burned their hand on a hot stove and lived to warn you about not touching a hot stove. Maybe they went through their own rebellion and they know the misery it brought and they are warning you so you won't have to go through what they went through. Never turn on a parent and say, "Well you did it when you were young!" They may have done it but they learned from it and are trying to keep you from having to learn the hard way! They don't want you to be addicted to drugs, alcohol, smoking. They don't want you to have a baby out of wedlock and struggle to make it. They would save you these things if you would be willing to listen.

I'm proud of my parents and who they were. I was raised right. I hope that my behavior reflects the good parents I had and the good raising they gave me. When I behave well, with dignity and class, my good parents, and their wise raising, is showing in me. When I misbehave I can hear my Mama saying, "I didn't raise you that way".

My behavior should reflect my raising by the Holy Spirit.

Silly Selfies

I took some selfies and applies the funny filters to them. I sent the pictures to our niece, Jenny, to share with her kids. They all four had the flu last winter and I wanted to give them something to laugh about. I decided to make this digital scrapbook page of these silly selfies.

Proverbs 1:1-7

Proverbs 1:1-7 (BSB)  1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and discipline,
to comprehend words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity,
4 to impart prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and gain instruction,
and the discerning acquire wise counsel—
6 to understand the proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 1:1-7 (NLT)  1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3 Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4 These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.
5 Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
6 by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
7 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
and discipline - וּמוּסָ֑ר (ū·mū·sār) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4148: Chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint

to comprehend - לְ֝הָבִ֗ין (lə·hā·ḇîn) - Preposition-l | Verb - Hifil - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 995: To separate mentally, understand

instruction - מוּסַ֣ר (mū·sar) - Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4148: Chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint

in wise living - הַשְׂכֵּ֑ל (haś·kêl) - Verb - Hifil - Infinitive absolute
Strong's Hebrew 7919: To be, circumspect, intelligent

in righteousness - צֶ֥דֶק (ṣe·ḏeq) - Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6664: The right, equity, prosperity

justice - וּ֝מִשְׁפָּ֗ט (ū·miš·pāṭ) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4941: A verdict, a sentence, formal decree, divine law, penalty, justice, privilege, style

and equity - וּמֵישָׁרִֽים׃ (ū·mê·šā·rîm) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4339: Evenness, prosperity, concord, straightness, rectitude

to impart - לָתֵ֣ת (lā·ṯêṯ) - Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 5414: To give, put, set

prudence - עָרְמָ֑ה (‘ā·rə·māh) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6195: Trickery, discretion

to the simple - לִפְתָאיִ֣ם (lip̄·ṯā·yim) - Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6612: Simple, perhaps open-minded
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon adds simplicity (i.e.lack of wisdom)

listen - יִשְׁמַ֣ע (yiš·ma‘) - Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8085: To hear intelligently

and gain - וְי֣וֹסֶף (wə·yō·w·sep̄) - Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hifil - Conjunctive imperfect Jussive - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3254: To add, augment

wise counsel - תַּחְבֻּל֥וֹת (taḥ·bu·lō·wṯ) - Noun - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8458: Steerage, guidance, a plan

The fear - יִרְאַ֣ת (yir·’aṯ) - Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3374: Fear, reverence

despise - בָּֽזוּ׃ (bā·zū) - Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 936: To disrespect

and discipline -  וּ֝מוּסָ֗ר (ū·mū·sār) - Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4148: Chastisement, reproof, warning, instruction, restraint

The purpose of this book of Proverbs is to teach us not only knowledge but discernment, understanding, wisdom. We can have knowledge without wisdom. I.e. we can memorize facts but without the ability to apply knowledge and follow the thought through to a conclusion, we are no further along.

I call it flat thinking when someone cannot, or will not, follow through in a progression of thoughts to a conclusion. They accept a statement, and even declare it true, but they have never thought any deeper about the subject and thus have no real grasp of the issue.

An example would be someone who thinks all America has to do is print more money! If America printed more money, we'd all have enough money to buy whatever we want. They truly believe it's just that simple. They have no concept of economics and how printing more money would collapse our economy. More printed money would make it worthless paper. But those who are stuck in flat thinking can't, or won't, follow their theory through to a conclusion. Flat thinking is characteristic of children or those who are mentally handicapped. But it's shocking in adults who should be able to think logically and progressively. There is no reason for mentally healthy, educated, full grown adults to be flat thinkers but unfortunately we are seeing it. The even sadder part is that these adults are too prideful to admit they didn't think it through and were wrong. They will stick to their initial thought because they can't admit they were wrong and are afraid of looking stupid. Like the old story of the Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. A vain Emperor hires two weavers to make him some new clothes. They do absolutely nothing but they convince him they have made him invisible clothes. Only the smart people can see them. Anyone who can't see them are hopelessly stupid and incompetent. No one wants to be thought of as stupid and incompetent. So the Emperor pretends he can see the invisible finery. All his court pretend to see the invisible clothes. He decides to parade around in his invisible clothes in front of the whole town. Again, everyone is afraid to admit they see nothing and that the Emperor is naked. So everyone oohs and ahhs and pretends they can see the magical suit. Finally, a child runs to the parade. He sees all the adults oohing, ahhing, applauding the Emperor's new clothes and wonders what it's all about. He can't wait to see the extraordinary finery but when he finally sees the Emperor he sees him for what he is, naked! The child, in disappointment, shouts, "But he isn't wearing anything at all!". The adults around him realize it's true and the Emperor is truly naked and see how foolish he looks! You would think the Emperor would hide himself and run back to the palace embarrassed but he can't admit how stupid he was so he continues his procession.

We need not only knowledge, but wisdom. We need cognition, understanding, discernment, insight, the power of judging, intellectual conception, reasoning, discretion. We need the ability to think indepth.

We need to be receptive to wise teaching. Open our minds and receive it. So many times we shut down and words just bounce off our hard heads. Teachers have a hard time teaching someone who refuses to listen and learn. Very little will get through a hard head. But we also must be smart in who we open our mind to. Many will close their minds to Jesus but will fully open their minds to satan. They love learning ways to be evil, wicked, destructive. But they refuse to learn the ways to be righteous, just and fair. God gives us intelligence and some use it to be crafty and evil. What a waste! We need to be using our intelligence to learn about God and study His Word and applying it to good. We need to be using our minds to think of ways to benefit mankind rather to harm others. Then there are those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ but can find all kinds of time to read and study about witchcraft, ghosts, psychic phenomenon, aliens. They'd rather believe in ghosts than in the resurrected Jesus Christ. There are those will open their minds to studying classic cars, football statistics, gardening but will not open their minds to learning about God.

It's very important to open your mind and receive instruction but it's equally important to know what to open your mind to. You want to be a receiver of the right kind of wisdom and knowledge.

No matter what age you are, you can learn. Wisdom is for anyone who wants it. It just means applying yourself and being receptive. When I graduated from high school, my parents didn't have the money to send me to college. Although I had worked all through high school, my minimum wage job didn't exactly provide money for college. Unless you were smart enough or good enough in sports for a scholarship, there was no other help to pay for college. We didn't have grants, lottery money, etc. I also married as soon as I turned 18 years old. Then, on our little bit of money, I definitely couldn't afford to even think about college. But I made up my mind that I could teach myself anything I wanted to learn about. The library was free. I made use of it. I taught myself a lot on the different subjects that interested me by reading. Now, there is a lot on TV and Internet and I've increased my knowledge in quantum leaps. I wanted to learn and I learned even though I don't have a formal university education. (We did manage to get our Associate's Degrees at the local technical college in time but I couldn't go any further than that.)

The most important thing to keep in mind is that the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have a rich understanding. His praise endures forever!

Job 28:28 And he said to the human race, "The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding."

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

The "fear of the Lord" means a reverential love and awe. It does not mean abject fear and terror. We worship God in love and reverence. God has been merciful to me a sinner! He sent a way to rescue and save me through Jesus Christ, the obedient Son. In love and reverence I respond to His love by looking for every way to please Him, to learn about Him, to discover His wisdom!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Proverbs of Solomon

King Solomon was known for his wisdom (1 Kings 3:3-13; I Kings 4:29-34). He may have authored some and collected others that he deemed wise. We know it was a composite work and collected over time. Three of these authors are named (Solomon, Agur and Lemuel), while some are mentioned collectively as ‘Wise Men’. Most of its contents were completed prior to Solomon's death in 931 BC. The book stayed in the southern kingdom of Judah, as Hezekiah’s men compiled more of Solomon’s proverbs in Proverbs 25–29. The book was likely in its final form before the end of Hezekiah’s reign in 686 BC.

1 Kings 4:32-34 (NKJV)  He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

Wisdom literature includes Job, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and the Book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a "collection of collections". Roughly half the book is made up of "sayings" of this type, the other half is made up of longer poetic units of various types. A large part of Proverbs are saying that reflect, not just human wisdom, but divine wisdom as they are inspired by God. These sayings can help us live wisely in our lives and in relationships with others but they should not be considered "laws" or divine commands. We have to have the discernment of the Holy Spirit in order to know how and when to use these Proverbs. For instance, a couple of proverbs of our culture are, "When in doubt, do nothing" and "He who hesitates is lost". These seem opposing proverbs and discernment is to know which to use in your situation. When a decision is required you want to try and get all the facts and make a considered, informed decision. On the other hand, you don't want to lose an opportunity because you are paralyzed in indecision.

The primary purpose of the book is to teach wisdom, not only to the young and inexperienced (1:2–4) but also to the mature. The voice is obviously of a mature, experienced, older person speaking to younger, or inexperienced, people. A person such as a father/mother, a mentor, a teacher, a head of family. But there are words of wisdom included for mature people as well. A generation-to-generation impartation of wisdom.

Proverbs 1:5-6  5 let the wise listen and gain instruction,
and the discerning acquire wise counsel—
6to understand the proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

It is rather sad that although, when he came to the throne, Solomon had exceeding wisdom, he shockingly failed to live out the truths he had learned. His son, King Rehoboam, totally rejected his father's wisdom teachings.

Early in the first chapter (Proverbs 1:7) we are told, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge".

We are continually encourage to seek wisdom and acquire understanding and discernment. Chapters 1-9 introduces the book and personifies Wisdom as a woman. Her opposite is the loose woman of Folly. Jesus Christ was the embodiment and fulfillment of Wisdom. He is one greater than Solomon.

Colossians 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Corinthians 1:30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

The World embodies Folly. To reject God is to choose Folly over Wisdom. The promises in Proverbs teach us that choosing Wisdom leads to seeking and following God which brings blessing.

Proverbs 1:1-7  1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 To know wisdom and discipline,
to comprehend words of insight,
3 to receive instruction in wise living,
in righteousness, justice, and equity,
4 to impart prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and gain instruction,
and the discerning acquire wise counsel—
6 to understand the proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Christopher Robin

Here is a digital scrapbook page I made of our little long haired chihuahua, Christopher Robin. We adopted him in 2018. Love this little boy!

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