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

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, March 20, 2020

Proverbs 8:12-13

Proverbs 8:12-13 (NIV) 12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
I possess knowledge and discretion.
13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil behavior and perverse speech."

Proverbs 8:12-13 (NLT) 12 “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
13 All who fear the LORD will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech."

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

dwell together - שָׁכַ֣נְתִּי (shakan, šā·ḵan·tî) - Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 7931: To settle down, abide, dwell

with prudence - עָרְמָ֑ה (ormah, ‘ā·rə·māh) - Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6195: Trickery, discretion
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew English Lexicon adds: craftiness, craftily, prudence.


Prudence - the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason; sagacity (acuteness of mental discernment and soundness of judgment) or shrewdness in the management of affairs; skill and good judgment in the use of resources; caution or circumspection (careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences) as to danger or risk; wise in practical affairs; regard for one's own interests; provident care in the management of resources; economy; frugality; the state of being careful in the way you make decisions or spend money so that you avoid unnecessary risks; careful management.

Discretion - individual choice or judgment; the quality of having or showing discernment or good judgment; ability to make responsible decisions; the result of separating, discerning or distinguishing and then making a choice; choice, or the right to make a choice, based on judgment and what is most suitable; the right of someone to make choices or the quality of someone who is careful about what they do or say; the quality of being discreet, or careful about what one does and says; prudence.

Froward means someone who is willfully difficult; contrary; unwilling to yield or comply; ungovernable; disobedient; hard headed; obstinate; habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition.

Wisdom tells of her own excellence. The fruit of wisdom is prudence; discretion; discernment; good judgement and careful thought.
Fruit trees must have all their growth requirements met in order to produce flowers and, eventually, fruit. Adequate light, water, proper soil conditions (including nutrients) and favorable temperatures all work together. Flowers are the starting point in growing fruit. Some kinds of plants have male and female flowers on separate individual plants. Others have separate male and female flowers on the same plant, and still other plants have flowers with male and female parts contained within the same flower. Fruit trees usually have this last combination. There can be no fruit production until flower pollination occurs. The male flower, or flower part, produces pollen and the female flower, or flower part, receives the pollen. Bees are one of the most direct methods of pollinating. They are searching for nectar and the pollen collects on their legs which they transfer. Fruit tree growers often practice one of many pruning methods to encourage the tree to produce fruit. They trim off excess limbs so all the energy to bear fruit is directed to the fewer limbs and those limbs will produce a higher yield.

If we see ourselves as fruit trees and God as the Master Gardener we can see that He carefully plants and protects, maintains and provides for His fruit trees. He knows just what each of us needs in nutrients for our spirits, minds and bodies. He also knows how much water we need (the Holy Spirit). He knows how to pollinate us (the Word) so that we begin to develop spiritual fruit. He knows when, and how to, prune us so that we grow stronger and produce more, and better, fruit. But notice how the fruit grows naturally. It's not something forced. The fruit, and the the yield of the tree, is based on how healthy and well taken care of the tree is. It won't produce fruit if it's killed by a late frost; or if there is a drought; or not enough nutrients in the soil; or it isn't pruned properly and gets overgrown. We can choose not to cooperate with God and to be disobedient, difficult to manage and hostile. This creates an atmosphere in which there may be no growth, no blossoms, no fruit of the spirit (or it's going to take God longer to work on us). But if we cooperate, obey and have a desire for God, then our Master Gardener can make us fruitful, bearing much fruit.

Matthew 12:33-35 (Jesus speaking) 33 Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of his good store of treasure, and the evil man brings evil things out of his evil store of treasure.

Wisdom and prudence go together but the opposite of wisdom is foolishness; pride; arrogance; corruption; recklessness and perverse, or froward, speech.

Proverbs 4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

1 Samuel 2:3 “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions."

A froward mouth comes from an obstinate, rebellious, wicked heart and means they are habitually disposed to disobedience and resistance. God resists such people. God's wisdom would reject evil, pride, arrogance, corruption, perverse and froward hearts and mouths.

Deuteronomy 32:17-20 17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
18 Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
19 “And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them,
Because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.
20 And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
For they are a perverse generation,
Children in whom is no faith.

In the King James Version
Deuteronomy 32:20 And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.

James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Scripture to ponder on

Psalm 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways", saith the LORD…

Romans 11:33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

  • Where can wisdom be found? In God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. How can you seek God's wisdom?
  • What are the fruits of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23
  • How can you cooperate with the Master Gardener, God, in order to grow fruit?
  • Remember, it isn't you that is growing the fruit. It is the work of our Master Gardener who makes sure we have what we need to grow fruit naturally, not forced. We tend to think we can do this and that and force some good fruit out but those are works and they are OUR works, works of the flesh, legalism. Our works are not what saves us, nor what grows fruit in us. God, as the Trinity, all 3 working in such perfect unity and harmony, knows just how to work on you and bring you to fruition. All you do is have a willing and submissive heart rather than an evil, perverse and froward heart. Desiring God, seeking Him, loving Him and God's fruit will begin to show naturally.
  • Can you think of an example of a "froward" heart? Maybe it was you at one time? Maybe it was someone you know or have read about? Look at the definition of "froward" again and see who comes to your mind.
  • Have you ever seen someone who was proud of being a "froward" person, they've made it into some sort of badge of honor? They hold it up as a virtue? What does God say about it?
  • Remember, wisdom begins and ends with __________________. (If you can't answer this see my last study on Proverbs 8.)

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Proverbs 8:10-22

Proverbs 8:10-22 (NKJV)  10 Receive my instruction, and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.

Proverbs 8:10-22 (NIV)  10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Have you ever watched the television series, The Curse of Oak Island? I did a post on it when I learned they were going to do the show, click HERE.

Rick and Marty Lagina, Craig Tester Tom Nolan and others have been looking for a treasure at Oak Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. It seems that nearly 225 years ago, some young men found a rope and pully on a tree branch and disturbed earth. Thinking they were onto some treasure, they began to dig down. They found a platform of oak logs every 10 feet. They dug down to 30 feet before giving up. The next person dug down to 90 feet (with the oak log platforms every 10 feet) before giving up because it suddenly flooded with 60 feet of water. They believe it was booby trapped with flood tunnels form the nearby bay on the island. Throughout the years, many have tried their hand at discovering what had been so meticulously buried. Six men have died on Oak Island looking for treasure.

Whether they find anything or not, their television show has been a decided hit. They have a treasure in that if nothing else. I happen to love watching these men work together (without conflict) on this mysterious island and finding just enough to keep them searching. From what I see on TV, I highly respect all the men on this show. But think of all the energy, money, time, and lives that have been spent on a maybe-treasure!

I also love watching Josh Gates on his expeditions. He is always looking for something whether it's treasure, ghosts, answers to mysteries, etc. He goes into the most wild places and takes us along with him. To look at him, he's an every-man. Nothing to stand out, except he's very tall. He has such a quick sense of humor and makes you laugh throughout his show. He is never without a smile or leaning forward in interest. He goes places I will never go and don't want to go. For instance, I was watching a show this week where he was going down into a hole barely 2-3 feet in diameter into a tight tunnel under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel. Looking for a place to hide the Ark of the Covenant! It was so tight that they were on their hands and knees and running out of oxygen. His cameramen have to be bang-up too (and any staff, as I'm sure it's a team effort). I could hardly watch it because I felt so claustrophobic. How men can stand to do that I don't know. But, from the comfort of my home, with my big screen TV, I get to see it all and laugh as I learn. But again, I have to think about all that it takes for him to make these trips and do these TV shows in order to FIND something.

In our scripture today, we are told that godly wisdom is the greatest treasure, more valuable than silver, gold and precious gemstones. There is nothing in this world worth more!

This treasure is not hidden. It's in plain sight. You don't have to leave your home. You don't have to spend your life's savings. You don't have to endanger your life. You don't have to worry about injuries (unless a paper cut counts as an injury). This treasure is to be found in that Bible you have somewhere in the house. If you don't have a Bible, get one. They are free online and you can read straight from your computer or phone app. Many churches have Bibles they would gladly give you. You can get any translation by going to a store or shopping online. In America, we have no excuse, we can own a Bible.

Let's say that I placed $1,000 somewhere in a nearby park and I told you about it. All you have to do is go to the park, find it and it's yours. Would you go looking for it? Probably. But I'm telling you about the greatest treasure ever known is to be found in the Bible and how many of you will go look for a Bible, open it up and read it?

Without wisdom, one may have the riches of this world and a miserable life. You want an example? Look at Michael Jackson. He had all the fame, adulation, money, and things anyone could ever want but he was so miserable he couldn't sleep and ended up killing himself. He begged for sleep, rest, peace and couldn't find it. Same with Elvis Presley. He had it all but killed himself with drugs because he couldn't find any peace without them. What this world has to offer does not give us what we need. But God is offering us what we need and it's to be found in Jesus Christ and God's Word. The Holy Spirit will make the Word of God alive to you if you know Jesus.

The Bible is God's communication to man. He reveals Himself to us, reveals the plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. He reveals His history with mankind. He reveals His wisdom, His desires for us, His love, His instructions, His warnings. All of this is revealed as a Father's words to His children! He made sure we had the Bible. Through all the centuries and all the conflicts and confusions of mankind's history, God made sure we got the Word and it was kept and passed on to each generation. If we study the history of the Bible, we would learn how miraculous it is for us to even have a Bible and that we, in America, have access to it so prodigiously and freely! What a treasure!

After my parents died, we've been going through their house and we've found stuff that mean so much to us. One thing we found was one of my Mother's written prayers from 1999. She was praying for us. What a treasure it was to find that! But that piece of paper was worth nothing to anyone else but us. How much more precious is God's Word to us. He used men to write every word according to His revelation. He protected the Bible so that we would have it. And in this day and age, it's available so freely and yet we let it sit dusty and neglected.

To be saved for eternity and to know God and have an intimate relationship with Him is so incredibly priceless!!! Just think, if somehow you could create a vacuum that would suck up all the things human beings value into one huge pile... that buried treasure, those stocks and bonds, those mutual funds, money in all the banks, the gold in Fort Knox, every single piece of jewelry and precious stone in the world, all the valuable collectibles in art and history and they are now yours... this verse says that godly wisdom is worth more than all of that put together!

I was watching a show called Mega Decks yesterday. My husband had told me about the show and I didn't really believe him. He said people were building outdoor spaces that were worth much more than our whole house is worth. Sure enough, when I watched it yesterday, someone was spending $325,000 on their outdoor deck, porches, patios. They had a beautiful and unique fireplace, a gas fire "feature" AND a fire pit, plus hot tub so big you could swim in it (exercise pool), outdoor kitchen with high end appliances, 70" screen TV, shades for when it's too hot, etc. It was incredible and I don't mean to judge anyone about it. But, like the shows above, I had to think about all that effort, energy, money, time all spent on leisure outdoor spaces. It happened to be in Texas too and I live in the south. It's too hot to spend much time outdoors in the summer. You stay in the air conditioning or a pool. Hey, there's a show for mega-pools and expensive fancy treehouses too. Now, let's look at the long-range on this fancy outdoor space. Some parts of it might not remain for 20 years. Some parts may remain for 50 years or so. But will any of it remain for eternity? No. And you certainly can't take it with you into your eternity. Some day that home will be sold, or it will dwindle into dust. In a couple hundred years, will archaeologists be trowling over it and finding all these foundations? And you know archaeologists, anything they find is suspected to be part of a religion. I guess when they go through my house and find TVs in every room they will be surmising that it was somehow part of my religion and we were worshiping in front of these TVs! LOL!

All the money, time, energy, talent, work going into something that is temporary while we have the most valuable things in the universe right at our fingertips. Are we making use of it? How precious and valuable God's Word is and we treat it like garbage. We dust around it, throw it in a drawer, hide it in boxes in the attic, donate it to charities that take books, forget and leave it somewhere... we don't treat it as the greatest treasure we own!

When visiting the local Walnut Grove Plantation home, we saw a box by the front door. The guide told us the Bible went into this box for safekeeping. It had carried their Bible with them through immigration and moving. The whole family knew if the house caught on fire, someone was to rescue the Bible box.

  • Where is your Bible? Do you have one?
  • Do you treat your Bible as precious or like any old paperback book that can be thrown in the trash?
  • Do you read your Bible? We can treat it carefully but if we aren't opening it and reading it, what good are we getting from it?
  • Do you study your Bible? Study it like you would a textbook? I know many people will study whatever they need to learn whether when have car trouble, you are looking on Youtube to see how to fix your car. People will look up schematics, look at online manuals, watch how-to videos, research on hacks and tips, etc. You can do that with your Bible too. Go to a Bible believing church and let your pastor freely teach you. Go to Bible studies offered freely. Watch videos and listen to podcasts. Read books and take notes. Read blogs (be careful that it's truth and not heretical) and research.
  • Have you ever studied the history of the Bible and how it came to be the Bible we know today? I encourage you to do that. It gave me a greater appreciation of the Bible!

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Proverbs 8:5-9

Proverbs 8:5-9  5 O simple ones, learn to be shrewd;
O fools, gain understanding.
6 Listen, for I speak of noble things,
and the opening of my lips will reveal right.
7 For my mouth will speak the truth,
and wickedness is detestable to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
none are crooked or perverse.
9 They are all plain to the discerning,
and upright to those who find knowledge.

Proverbs 8:5-9 (NKJV)  5 O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
7 For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
9 They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge.

Proverbs 8:5-9 (ESV)  5 O simple ones, learn prudence;
O fools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right,
7 for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.

Proverbs 8:5-9 (ISV)  5 Understand prudence, you naïve people;
and gain an understanding heart, you foolish ones.
6 Listen, because I have noble things to say,
and what I have to say will reveal what is right.
7 For my mouth speaks the truth—
wickedness is detestable to me.
8 Everything I have to say is just;
there isn’t anything corrupt or perverse in my speech.
9 Everything I say is sensible to someone who understands,
and correct to those who have acquired knowledge.

Proverbs 8:5-9 (GWT)  5 You gullible people, learn how to be sensible. You fools, get a heart that has understanding.
6 Listen! I am speaking about noble things, and my lips will say what is right.
7 My mouth expresses the truth, and wickedness is disgusting to my lips.
8 Everything I say is fair, and there is nothing twisted or crooked in it.
9 All of it is clear to a person who has understanding and right to those who have acquired knowledge.

From our last lesson on Proverbs 8:1-4, we learned that Lady Wisdom is speaking after Madame Folly. Lady Wisdom calls to all. She is ready to give wisdom to all who seek it. Here she is calling to the simple, the open minded, those who could go either way - to Madame Folly or to Lady Wisdom. Trying to attract them before Madame Folly gets her claws into them, Lady Wisdom tells them she will give godly wisdom and truth to any who choose her. Her call is the opposite of Madame Folly's flattery, deceptions and lies.

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae, he wrote:
Colossians 2:1-3 (BSB)  1 For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me face to face, 2 that they may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

In Jesus, every Christian has access to wisdom and knowledge sufficient for living the life He calls us to. We have everything we need in Jesus. We can know about the Father; and how to properly interpret reality; and live to His glory. Matthew Henry comments, “The treasures of wisdom are hidden not from us, but for us, in Christ.”

Psalm 37:30-31  30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.

John 7:14-18 (NIV)  14 About halfway through the feast, Jesus went up to the temple courts and began to teach. 15T he Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man attain such learning without having studied?”
16 “My teaching is not My own,” Jesus replied. “It comes from Him who sent Me. 17 If anyone desires to do His will, he will know whether My teaching is from God or whether I speak on My own. 18 He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is a man of truth; in Him there is no falsehood.

John 7:14-18 (NLT) 14 Then, midway through the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began to teach. 15 The people were surprised when they heard him. “How does he know so much when he hasn’t been trained?” they asked.
16 So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. 17 Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own. 18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31,2:1-15 (NLT)  18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”
20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”
2:1 When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
6 Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,
“Who can know the LORD’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?”
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

As we have studied previously, this is Wisdom personified and it's personified in the feminine because the Hebrew words, unlike English, but like many other languages, have grammatical gender. In Biblical Hebrew, nouns are classified according to gender, either masculine, feminine, or sometimes both. Entities, apart from people, can also be classified as feminine. For example, the proper names of cities are often feminine in Biblical Hebrew. So when we read about Madame Wisdom, or Lady Wisdom, we are not reading about a goddess, separate from God. It is a personification of an attribute of God for poetical form and wisdom is feminine in Hebrew.

As we've seen, other scripture attributes wisdom to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity. Notice in the above scripture, 1 Corinthians 2:12-14, the Holy Spirit reveals godly wisdom to us. God the Father is wisdom. Jesus Christ the Son is wisdom. The Holy Spirit is wisdom. They work together to impart wisdom to us through the Holy Spirit who indwells in us. Once we become a believer and are born again, the Holy Spirit enters us to enable, empower, teach and train our new spirit. So, as the Bible says, we have all we need to live the holy life God calls us to live. We have to learn how to listen, cooperate and live in obedience to what God reveals to us. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit within us to do this training.

God is wisdom just as God is truth and God is love. In Him all wisdom starts and ends. Remember, wisdom is not just intellectual knowledge but much deeper. We can have book smarts but have no commonsense or wisdom. And godly wisdom goes even deeper. A simple person with no education can have godly wisdom just as the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:26-28.

One of the movies we love is Forrest Gump. Forrest is a simple person as in uncomplicated and seeing things through a simple lens. He is able to get an education and gains life experiences but all of it is secondary to his uncomplicated view on life. Meanwhile, all those around him like Jenny and Sgt Dan are "normal" humans with complex thoughts. But, throughout the movie and Forrest Gump's life, you see how the "normal" humans bring so much misery to their lives and complicate their lives unnecessarily and by their own hands. While Forrest remains simple, uncomplicated despite all that goes on around him, his "normal" family and friends fall apart mostly because of their bad choices. It's only as they become more like him, accepting and uncomplicated, that they find peace. So who is the really wise one of them all? Forrest. Who experiences the most peace and joy? Forrest. Who is able to live a good life and meet his goals of helping others? Forrest. Forrest doesn't get bogged down in the pits of life nor does he fight to get to the top of anything.

The movie is not a Christian movie. I just use it as an example of how we see people who are "simple" as though they are handicapped when really they may have the best handle on how to live life. God can reach the simple with His message of salvation through Jesus Christ. God can reach the simple with His wisdom through the imparted Holy Spirit. Sometimes it's the simple who show the rest of us how life should be lived! We struggle and fight God to be independent only to find our "wisdom" is diddly squat and we end up living a life full of the consequences of our sin. How smart is that? Not very. Life comes with it's own problems (the ones we didn't ask for) and Forrest Gump had life problems thrown at him. But we don't have to make more problems with our own hands by making stupid decisions and wallowing in sin. We can live uncomplicated lives if we listen to God and follow His wisdom.

Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote The Idiot in 1868-1869. The main character is Prince (Knyaz) Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, a young man whose goodness, simplicity and lack of guile leads many to assume he is stupid, an idiot. He has a truly Christian soul, innocent and selflessly compassionate. Dostoevsky puts him "at the centre of the conflicts, desires, passions and egoism of worldly society, both for the man himself and for those with whom he becomes involved." - Wikipedia

All the other characters in the novel are suffering from being "normal" human beings and they consider Myshkin an "idiot" because he is not like them. They are drunks, sexually immoral, lovers of pleasure, see themselves as superior, murderers, greedy, ambitious, gossips, malingerers, mean-spirited, social climbers, hangers-on, etc. But they think Prince Myshkin is an idiot because he is not like them! Who are the ones making all the bad choices? Not Prince Myshkin. Who are the ones ruining their own lives with their own hands? Not Prince Myshkin. Who are the ones living in turmoil and misery created by themselves?

Unfortunately, in The Idiot, Prince Myshkin, who loves simply and who tries to help everyone, is driven mad in the end and goes back to the Swiss sanatarium. The world is not ready for a beautiful soul. In this book sin ruins everyone.

God made sure the plan of salvation is simple enough that even a child can understand it. I was saved at 8 years old. He also made it simple to show the world's "wisdom" is foolish, shameful, powerless, and nothing. Man thinks he can save himself but only God saves.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29  27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

It's almost like two perspectives on the same thing. Let's say that someone is looking at Jesus and His sacrifice to save us from our sins. Some will see it clearly and some will be totally overwhelmed by confusion, misdirects and deception, that satan masters in, much like a Jackson Pollard drip painting.

 Rogier van der Weyden

Jackson Pollock's "Autumn Rhythm". Pollock stated, "I can control the flow of paint: there is no accident."

The confusion and misdirection would obscure the true picture. Pollock believed he was in control of his artwork just as we think we are in control of our lives and our minds. But, when we are, we are a mass of confusion and misery. Satan wants our minds to be like Pollock's painting when we look at Jesus. God has presented Jesus in the simplest and clearest form so that all have the chance of being saved.

As Christians, we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. In God, there is no deception, no lying, no misdirects, no confusion. That is satan's work. And satan makes a mess of our minds. God brings salvation, reconciliation, peace, truth, clarity, simplicity back to our lives if we let Him. Pray for God's wisdom and that He would make spiritual things clear to you. Anyone who seeks God, will not be turned away.

  • In our verses from Proverbs today, list all the ways God's wisdom is described:
  • How is God's wisdom straight and plain?
  • List the scripture in this post that describes God, the Father, as Wisdom:
  • List the scripture in this post that describes Jesus, the Son, as Wisdom:
  • List the scripture in this post that describes the Holy Spirit as Wisdom:
  • What are the two reasons God made the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ simple?
  • Do you think you are able to see Jesus clearly or, when you look at Jesus, is your mind seeing a Jackson Pollock painting?

For all my studies on Proverbs click HERE.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Yard Sale Strategies

I love yard sale-ing. My sisters taught me how to yard sale. I didn't really get into it until about 10 years ago. Here are a few of my special yard sale buys. I paid $10 for this Coach purse.

I bought this toy for one of my little cousins for a couple of dollars!

I bought this for a baby shower gift.

I buy clothes, household accessories, furniture, kitchen and dishware, etc. I bought an antique crystal and silver powder box for $10 at a yard sale only to see the same thing in an antique store for $350! One of the best buys I ever got was my Kitchenaid mixer. I found it for $10 at a yard sale! I've had it for 8 years now and it has always worked perfectly so there was nothing wrong with it. I have a yard sale strategy. Here are my suggestions.

The day before:
1) Get your cash money. Be sure to have a good handful of silver change. Plenty of quarters.
2) Fill up your gas tank.
3) Map out your route. I check Craig's List for yard sales in my area. From these I decide if I want to go to yard sales that have things I'm particularly looking for or to yard sales in a certain area. For instance if I'm seeing more interesting yard sales on the northside of town then I make my route on the northside and make a list of all on that side. If I need to be careful of my gas, then I will choose to stick close to home. Use your Google maps to find the addresses of places you don't recognize. I make my list on an app so I can use my tablet or cell phone. Make sure includes the address, opening time and notes of what you are interested in.
4) Plug in the addresses to your GPS.
5) Lay out your clothes.
6) Make a snack to take tomorrow.
7) Get a good night's sleep so go to bed early.

Yard Sale day!
1) Eat a decent breakfast. It amazes me how yard saling wears me out. Be sure to eat some protein and carbs.
2) Be sure to pack your snack. Make your coffee and use a thermos or large insulated cup to keep it hot.
3) Be sure to have your cash money.
4) Be sure you have your list and GPS.

My Tips:
Make sure someone knows where you are going. Maybe leave a copy of the list with a family member.

Take your cell phone and a measuring tape. I take wipes to clean my hands as needed. I keep some latex gloves in the car for when you come across a really dirty situation.

Be flexible. If you see another yard sale on the way, STOP! My list is not in stone unless there is a specific place that I really wanted to go to.

Be careful and courteous when parking. Don't park in front of someone else's driveway or tear up someone's yard. I have had an accident at a yard sale. People around you aren't being careful. They are sliding in where they can and jumping in and out of cars. So be extra careful. Watch for people, especially children, and for cars coming and going. Know who's around you when you start to back up. When I feel bad, I want to park as close as possible so I don't have far to walk. But when I feel good, I would rather park farther away to protect my car and then walk the block back to the house for the sale. When I'm lucky, my husband will drive me around. That doesn't happen often and the first couple of times he had to learn what I wanted to do. That was stressful because he thought I was nagging. But now, he knows to look for signs, to accept instructions from the GPS (boy, that is so hard for a man to learn!), to pull up and drop me off, get turned around and pick me up. But he doesn't go often so I have to do this myself. I love having a shopping buddy like Stan. We are so alike and know each other so well that it's fun to shop together. I have some friends we enjoy going with too and, of course, family when they will. Mom and Dad used to love going.

Don't buy something just because it's a good bargain. You have to need it or really want it and have a place for it. If you buy stuff just because it's a bargain... then you will soon be a hoarder. And if you collect stuff, you can overdo. For instance, I like old world globes. Don't know why. But I come across globes all the time. If I bought them all, even though they are $5 bargains, my house would be full of globes. That's unrealistic. So I'm really choosy. I don't have to own every globe I come across. Just the ones that are particularly unusual. I keep them rotated too. I can bring in an unusual globe and get rid of one that's not so unusual. If you collect salt and pepper shakers then you could buy pairs at every yard sale you go to, but it wouldn't be too long before you have boxes full of them and that's not smart. Only keep enough that you can display and keep clean. Be discriminating.

Be aware that everything you buy needs to be cleaned when you get home. Wash or dry clean the clothes. Wash the toys thoroughly and put in new batteries. Wash stuffed animals. Use antibacterial cleaner on baby furniture and items. Check for recalls on baby and children items like car seats, etc. By the time I get through cleaning my stuff it's cleaner than it is when you buy it from the store. Think about it! Whatever you buy at a store has been through assembly lines, stored in warehouses, come across on ships, etc. I always clean anything I buy even if it's not used. But be sure to clean every used item before giving it to your children to play with. If you can't clean it, don't buy it. Even a leather purse, you can clean by pulling the lining out of the purse and just washing the liner in the sink, rinse and let it dry before you push it back in. Then use leather cleaner on the leather. For shoes, spray the inside with Lysol and let them dry in the sun.

Then put it away. I haven't finished my yard sale experience until everything is washed and put away. If it's a gift, I put it in my gift closet. If it's clothes, after they are clean, I put them in the closet. If it's toys, then once it's dry and new batteries are put in, it goes in the playroom, toy box of gift box. It's the same for thrift store shopping. You get some wonderful bargains but be sure to wash it and put it away when you come home.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Having A Yard Sale

It's Yard Sale time! Or maybe you call it a Garage Sale, a Rummage Sale, Moving Sale, Estate Sale, etc. I love yard sales and I love the money I can save and the bargains I can find. But I also have held a lot of yard sales. If your neighborhood allows you to have a yard sale, then don't pass up the opportunity. It's a great way to declutter your house and make a little of your cash back.

Of course, some people don't have the time to hold a yard sale. If you have a job or a busy family life and hectic schedule, then it's probably not worth doing a yard sale. You can donate your items . But I enjoy it. Here are my tips.

Try to choose a day when it's not too hot and check your forecast for rain. If the weather is going to be good, you can still have a yard sale. If it's hot or rainy, think about having it in your garage for shade. Next, put your yard sale on Craig's List (free) and be sure to put full information. If you you are having your yard sale regardless of the weather, be sure and put "Rain or Shine".

I start the week before. I declutter the closets and drawers and make passes throughout the house, garage or basement looking for items to put sale. If I don't use it, haven't worn it, it didn't work like I thought it would, have grown out of it, etc. then it's going in the yard sale. There is very little that I wouldn't put out for a yard sale. I am always amazed at stuff I would have thought of as trash but someone will buy it. On the other hand I don't put out filthy and ripped clothes, items that are missing parts such as puzzles missing pieces or anything that would be trash like one shoe, a short length of rope, an empty can. There are things that are just plain trash. Things I have sold that surprised me were a handful of used pencils (lots of life left and bundled with a rubber band), a stained cushion (for a dog bed), old mattress pads (the quilted pad was used to line fleece dog coats), mismatched coffee mugs, etc.

Be sure your household items are clean.

Price everything. It's so confusing when there are no prices on items and people are having to ask. It will drive you crazy and the buyer crazy. And be sure to price everything with yard sale prices. If you have expensive items, try selling them on Craig's List, ebay, newspaper ad or consignment shop. Don't try to get what you think is a fair price on something expensive from a yard sale. A yard sale is for junk and everyone expects the prices to be cheap. You might have a gorgeous antique cherry buffet and you know it's worth $350. But yard salers don't come with $350 in their pocket and aren't looking to make big purchases like that. We are talking about quarter, dime, dollar purchases. It's junk to you and would normally go to the dump or to a charity so price it accordingly. You are through with it so anything you make is better than nothing.

Put your ads on Craig's List the week of your yard sale. You want to get their attention by saying something like "Huge yard sale!" or "Multi family yard sale" or "Neighborhood yard sale". Be sure to include the full address (for those of us who use our GPS), the general area (like "east side of town", "Inman area", "next to such and such high school"), the date and time. If you want to add a list of some items, that's up to you. If you have a concentration of items be sure to list that. For instance, "Lots of clothes", "Women's size 16", "children's toys", "lot of baby items", "tools".

Be sure to make signs that are easy to read. I can't tell you how aggravating some signage is. Make them big enough. Make them bright and easy to see. Use large letters and arrows. Don't put too much on the sign (too busy) but include the arrow, date and address. Some people leave their yard sale signs up and don't take them down. This means you might see bedraggled old signs for weeks. So put the date on it.

This sign is beautiful but there is something missing. An arrow! Make that arrow BIG so I can see if I need to turn right or left before I get to the intersection.

This sign has the arrow and the date. It's bright. But it's not big enough. For safety's sake make sure it's big enough to see and the arrow is large enough to indicate direction.

This sign has got what you need EXCEPT for the date!

Poster board gets damp from dew and will flop over and curl up. That means that your sign is unreadable. So be sure your signs are supported and safely placed so as not to obstruct a driver's view of the road.

I saved some house "For Sale" signs. I have 4. I tape the neon posterboard over the original sign. I have used these for years and it works great. I DID NOT STEAL THEM FROM THE REALTY COMPANIES. They were given to me because they were outdated. Be sure to put signs on both sides of the road and at every turn. And put them out the day before. I like to put my signs out on Friday about mid morning. That way I get the advertisment. People going home from work will see it.

Make sure everything is ready to be set out first thing. Have it by the door and the tables ready to set up. Because once you open your door, people will run over you trying to see what you have. Have your strategy in place and be ready to set your stuff out as quickly as you can. If you are going to have help, this is the time for that help to be there! Get the stuff out and set up as quick as possible. And if everything is priced then you don't have to worry about your husband selling something too cheap or driving off a customer by quoting too high a price while he "helps you" out. You've priced it ahead of time!

Don't even turn on your outside lights or a light on the front of the house until you are ready to go. Some people have no manners and will clump up to your front door and ring the doorbell wanting to go through your stuff before you even hit the yard. (If that's YOU, don't do that, it's so rude!)

Make sure you have breakfast and put your coffee in an insulated cup so you can carry around with you. For instance, make an egg sandwich or a sausage biscuit. You will be very busy for the first couple of hours.

It's best to keep your pets inside away from all the excitement. Having a lot of strangers in their yard and making a lot of noise will stress them. Your own nerves will alert them and stress them. So it's probably best to keep them inside in their secure zone and keep a white noisemaker going. My dogs are used to the TV so I leave the TV running to help cover up the strange noises. You might try running a fan in the room. You don't want someone to get bitten or trip over a pet and you don't want your pet stressed and traumatized so keep the pets and yard sale separate unless you have a dog that is used to being around strangers and you have total control over them.

I would suggest the same for your children. You know your own situation but take it into consideration. Some children get overly excited. Some don't like seeing "their stuff" for sale. Some just get tired, cranky or rough and rowdy. On the other hand, older children and teens can be great helps. Some children like to try to sell canned drinks/donuts and get a kick out of selling their stuff. You might even think of having them help the first hour or two but have a friend or family member come get them to take them for a playdate mid morning so they don't get bored and troublesome. Depending on your family situation be sure to arrange for your children's care for that morning. You will be overwhelmingly busy.

If more than one person in your neighborhood or on your street is having a yard sale, be ready to point the buyers to the next yard sale. If the first neighbor on your street is having a yard sale then buyers may go to their house and then think that was the only yard sale on the street and turn around and leave. They miss your yard sale. So be sure to have signage indicating there is another yard sale further down the street. I can't tell you how important good signage is.

There are a few ways you can set your stuff out. Using tables is the nicest way. But if you don't have enough tables, then use shallow boxes or sheets to lay out on the yard or the driveway.

Keep in mind that no one wants to have to plunder through deep boxes of stuff. You want people to be able to walk by and see what you've got without having to waste time rummaging through big boxes. A good portion of buyers are in a hurry. They aren't just in it for the enjoyment but have an agenda and are on a schedule. If they have to rummage and sort through a big box or pile, they are losing time and they may not do it. They will be on to the next better organized sale.

For me, I can't hold up all day to that kind of excitement and work. So I start at 7:00am and I start putting my stuff away at 11:00am. That way I'm not out there in the hottest part of the day and I've got enough reserved energy to put stuff away.

Your yard sale is NOT finished until you have taken down your signs. Please don't leave your signs out. This trash makes your neighborhood look cluttered and neighbors won't be happy with you.

Box your stuff up and go ahead and make the trip to the dump and to the charity of your choice. Don't take the stuff back to your garage or house because it will tend to stay there. Part of spring cleaning and decluttering is removing the stuff from your house. Just putting it in a box and changing where you store it doesn't actually do anything. You need to put it in the car/truck and take it where it's going to go.

If you are taking it to a charity, take a couple of snapshots of the items your taking and be sure to get a receipt for your records. Once you get home you can pull up those digital photos and make a list of the stuff you took to the charity. Unfortunately, the IRS is making it more and more difficult to take donations off your taxes. You have to know when you bought an item, how much you paid for it and how you valued it for donation. I don't know about you but I don't remember when, where or how much I paid for something that is 10 years old!

Last, but not least, count out your money and see how much you made. Over the years I have made as little as $50 and as much as $300. If you only make $50 then it may not be worth your time. By the time I collect, clean and price my stuff and then take a whole Saturday morning to sell it and clean up after it... I have to wonder if it pays me to do it. If I only make $50 then I might have only made $2/hour! On the other hand, if I'm going to be culling and purging anyway and have a free Saturday morning, why not? If it's something you really hate to do, don't do it. But, if everything goes right, I get a kick out of it. (Remember, I prepare ahead of time which makes it less stressful and I stop at 11:00am. That's my limit and makes it more comfortable for me.) Usually a friend or family member does it with me so that I can take bathroom breaks and we can laugh and talk during the sell.

* As a note. If you are the one going to the yard sales, please be considerate of other people and the neighbors. DON'T BLOCK THEIR DRIVEWAYS. Be very careful in driving and parking. That's one of the biggest problems to yard saling. People get excited and don't pay enough attention. Carelessness can end up in a car accident or someone getting run over. I accidentally backed into a car behind me at a yard sale. They had parked so close to me that I couldn't get out. I tried backing easily, inch by inch, to get out of the trap. But I ended up tapping the car behind me. I should have just been patient and waited for them to come back to their car to let me out. As it was they were sure I had totalled their car and came on in a raging hissy fit. I tried to stay calm and they finally calmed down when they realized it wasn't that bad. We got the situation taken care of but it was enough for me to hope that it never happens again. You don't want to hurt someone. And you don't need the trouble of even a minor accident. People get so hysterical these days. And then there are those who will take advantage of a simple accident and take you to the cleaners over it. So be careful, courteous, alert and patient. Watch for children as they usually aren't paying attention.

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