Remember You’re Redeemed

Remembrance is a catalyst for obedience to God’s word that brings us to a new life. Redeemed how I love to proclaim it! Well, I’m learning to consider it, to accept it, and to love it.

In doing the Word of God, I am called to use my mind in regards to my relationship with God. So as I’m reading through Scripture during time set aside each day, words meant to engage my mind pop off the page and say hello.

Here’s one:

30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30 (AMP)

Here’s another tucked away in Deuteronomy:

18 But you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I am commanding you to do this thing. Deuteronomy 24:18 (AMP)

The culture … the habit … of remembrance is a habit of using our mind. We can call to mind past experiences. What happened? How did people respond? What was the cumulative effect? Why? This then makes a difference in our daily life.

In Deuteronomy, the word for “Remember” is 2142 – zākar:- to remember, consider, commemorate; to be remembered, to be mentioned; to be born male (as this relates to the family line not being forgotten, Deuteronomy 25:5-10); bring to remembrance, remind, record.

As an aside, we commemorate the 4th of July in America because we commemorate a national battle victory and the founding of our nation as a nation with a part to play in the world as we know it. We commemorate various holidays because they meant something to someone at some time. But here is a question to ponder: What events or milestones in my own life do I call to remembrance by some sort of commemorative act?

Americans are particularly over the top about birthdays. Ok. If that’s what you want to do, do it. I confess I’m not so over the top about birthdays. In fact my own birth story is a bit dark and I don’t tell it very often. Is there anything else in life to mark as worthy of a remembering, a sort of impressing-the-mind-with-it activity?

God thinks so.

In Deuteronomy 24, the call to remember is given three times.

  1. V9Remember what the LORD your God did to Miriam along the way after you came out of Egypt
      1. The remembrance: skin disease.
      2. The issue: who speaks for God? (Divisive prophets vs. Chosen prophets ) You can read the story here 
  2. V18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.
      1. The remembrance: Obedience to the commands not to deprive the alien or fatherless of justice; Do not take the cloak of a widow as a pledge
      2. The issue: Injustice transformed into Deeds of Justice
  3. V22- Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.
      1. The remembrance: Obedience to the harvest command not to go over your fields twice
      2. The issue: Impoverished People transformed into Providers 

Remember

you were slaves

in Egypt

Who wants to commemorate the bad times?

Can you imagine Miriam? Go on a rant, God covers you in leprosy, you get put out of the camp for seven days and now anyone who gets a skin disease is supposed to remember just how badly you screwed up?! …Forever and always!!! How could she ever be social again?

Or slavery? Yeah, let’s remember that shall we… that’s when I got beat. I couldn’t keep my own schedule. Had enough food but they took our children and killed them. I was angry most days and despairing the rest. Oh how my body ached. My people tried to remind ourselves about the LORD but who had the time? We thought the LORD didn’t even care about us anymore. Everything we did was for Egyptian wealth, Egyptian worship; some of our children were caught up in the worship of Egyptian idols because of it. Nothing we possessed was our own; it could be taken away at any minute. It’s over now. Can I just forget about it please?

God’s answer is a clear and resounding, “No.”

I have heard it said that we should forget our past; “Throw it away.”, “Don’t hang on to it.”, “Put it behind you.”, “Get over it already!”, “Just don’t think about it.”. Deuteronomy is directly opposed to that ideology. Instead of wallowing in our past and being overcome by it, God tells His people to remember their past and by doing so, live differently in this new chapter of their journey.

God redeemed you

from there.

Redeemed 6299- pādâ:- redeem, ransom, deliver, rescue, buy; to be brought to ransomed; this can mean to purchase a devoted animal from sacrifice or to purchase a person from slavery to freedom or new ownership; by extension: divine salvation from oppression, death or sin.

On my journey to the New Land, I am learning to live the new way. I am no longer caught up in the oppression of abandonment because Jesus is not ashamed to call me sister. Abandonment is only a piece of my story… a dark piece. But if I don’t tell you the dark parts, I might forget to live in the light parts and you would most certainly not be able to share in my happy I-Live-In-The-Light dances. :) 

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Instead of hiding my weaknesses I boast about them because God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.  Instead of hiding who God made me to be behind a curtain of lies, I aim to tell the truth and bring Him glory by doing so. Instead of being self absorbed, I begin to cultivate a genuine concern for the welfare of others and gather the wisdom from God to do so with skill. Colossians 1:20-22; Colossians 3

You see, God redeemed me from those dark places, those bad times. God is bringing me to a much better place by setting remembrances in place that I cannot avoid…that I am commanded to obey.

39 Therefore know and understand today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on the earth below; there is no other. 40 So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”  Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (AMP) 

Redemption is the reason for God’s commands

Remembrance is why we choose to obey those commands.

Obedience to God’s laws brings new living in the New Land and promotes our prosperity.

Live long and prosper. Live blessed.

What events in life do you call to remembrance by some sort of commemorative act?

Abandoning Imagination

Identity and imagination cannot walk together except maybe in a home for the mentally impaired.  For those suffering the effects of abandonment who want to be mentally healthy, we have to look reality in the face and give it a hug.  Not everybody does.

Consider John Lennon’s “Imagine”. It sold 1.6 million copies after his death and the Guinness World Records British Hit Singles Book calls it the second best selling single of all time.

I agree with Lennon, “It’s easy to imagine if you try.” The thing is that imagination didn’t change reality then and it still doesn’t… not now, not ever.

Everyone imagines something. When we use imagination to solve relationships, we get into trouble. Imagination will never change who people really are.  Pretending otherwise might  make you feel better for a very short while. Then you wake up.

I have to ask, what is the fruit of such mental shenanigans?

Did the Lennon peace campaign work? Obviously no peace came from it.

Niels and Carol in one of their happy off-the-grid places
Niels and his wife, Carol in one of their happy off-the-grid places complete with composting toilet the size of a washing machine.

I used to imagine where my estranged Dad was, what he looked like, and what he did. Because Dad was gone, my imagination came up with a popular, feel-good recipe. Inside my mind a curious blend began to bake.

  • One third what others thought the proper Dad should be
  • One third of my inner longings for an incredible person
  • One third  powerful, special person to care about me.

This produced a concoction that became “Dad”. Most, if not all of that imagining only created a phantasm. My wistful daydreaming character only had a slight resemblance to the real person. His off-the-grid life was certainly a  far cry from the tycoon my mother imagined her ex-husband to be.

John Lennon calls us to imagine a utopia of sorts with a level playing field traversing several hot topics in his time. Though your utopia might vary in its construction from Lennon’s, why wouldn’t one want the “Nothing bad ever happens” place or the “We all get along” place?

I can’t help but think of someone else who persuaded others using that same lure of utopia to facilitate his own agenda. Listen in:

“But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate.”(Genesis 3:4-6).

Fearful about loosing his kingdom Jeroboam, son of Nebat engaged this tool as well. His story is in 1 Kings 12:25-33. Both results were ugly bad and changed the lives of the known world. Ugly bad is worse than plain “bad” and cartloads messier for generations to come.

People can manipulate themselves and/or others into believing something that is not true by tweaking the facts ever so slightly and by appealing to a person’s inner desires.

I had a choice to do the same thing; to continue living in my pretend utopia or face reality.

Accepting my Dad for who God made him to be was the right thing to do. In hindsight, building a relationship on reality is the most beneficial option. Doing so necessitates letting go of anything false. It is like cutting off the rough ugly stuff and finding a diamond inside.

Bluntly stated, that means looking uncomfortable truths about him square in the face and refusing to flinch. Alcoholic, Absentee Parent — the man who walked away from parenting me, the social “player” and workplace concierge were just a few of the labels my Dad racked up. None of these traits made me want to build a new relationship with him… and yet….

I could not continue in my imaginings.

Nor could I demand he be who I wanted him to be. That would be mentally unstable as well as false, creating a whole new subset of problem issues instead. If we were going to have a relationship at all, it needed to be honest. …based on the truth. This “new” relationship needed to possess a core of real substance. I could take Niels for who Niels was but would I?

He was a little better at this new relationship building than I was. One moment that stands out very clearly is the time when he just bold as day said, “None of this kissy-face stuff. You are a grown up now.” I liked this new person who validated the reality of our situation. Dad left when I was five and yes,a long time had gone by; we were both different people.

In each moment of processing, God’s recipe for success filled the rooms of my heart with yummy aromas of Scripture like this one, “Love must be sincere: hate what is evil. Cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). I was willing to discover the real things about him that were admirable and the real things that were quite a bit less than admirable. God gave me the freedom to hate the evil and at the same time cling to the good. 

I didn’t have to throw away the good things!

Shortly after deciding to accept Dad for who he was, various people tried to convince me just how un-saintly Niels was…even Dad. My response; acknowledge reality, be able to prove or disprove the point. Look at both good and bad but hold only to the good. In my book, Lucky Lady’s Cargo:What You Carry With You IS Important, I get to describe a few of those wonderful traits Dad really had.

 Just like Satan and Jeroboam got their just desserts, believing something unreal or untrue and calling it true is a gut-buster. Just ask Judas.  Ultimately imagination can be lethal to mind, body and spirit.  It’s seductive lure can be used against those who have been abandoned in a way that maims our personalities. At the very least it is crippling.

In a culture where imagination is practically worshiped, that is an odd perspective but the danger remains real.

We even cripple ourselves many times with our concept of who God is. Can we get rid of our own imaginings and cling to who the real God is?

I am training myself to do that and in the process I’m learning some fantastic things about God I never knew before. Perhaps we will get a chance to talk about them here in the Brought About Blog.

The ability of the mind to be creative and resourceful is good not evil. BUT, if my imagination runs away with itself (about family members, other people, or the LORD, if it serves up a conceptual, psychological GMO, then with the LORD’s help, imagination will be denied access to my heart and mind. 

Know your real identity. Know who the real “them” is. Abandon imagination and build a relationship of substance.

Care To Be Refreshed

Summertime brings thoughts of refreshment to mind, doesn’t it?

What causes the abandoned person to be refreshed?

Recently a sister in Christ made the comment, “But how do you know someone is hurting? What do you do?” It was great to hear that she cared to know.

People hurt for all kinds of different reasons. Abandoned people hurt over long periods of time and deal with recurrent issues.  They may be able to experience restoration and refreshment but guard against ever going back. Good indicators of an abandoned person is a compulsion to make things happen on one’s own, totally giving up half way through something or the ever present need for validation. These traits can be awkward or even annoying. When you see a needy or annoying person, stop to investigate further. Perhaps they need some reviving. Perhaps God has given you the opportunity to refresh them.

There are many practical ways to refresh the abandoned person. As I write this, I am reminded of Matthew 25:31-46. Abandoned people count these things as precious because they are well acquainted with their own neediness.

  • feed the hungry
  • give drink to the thirsty
  • invite them over
  • provide clothes to those who need them (ones that make them look and feel good about being themselves)
  • visit the sick (without the “ewwww. Gross!” look on your face)
  • visit people in prison (or outcasts, oppressed, poor, confined to a wheelchair or prosthetic device, etc.)

In my own experience, some in that list are easier than others as far as giving refreshment. In regards to being refreshed, there are many blessings in my memory.

I have been refreshed when I was sick and people visited me. I was refreshed when people spoke truth into my life and my thinking was turned around in such a way that I became closer in relationship with the LORD, maker of my soul. Even such a little – and free– thing as a genuine smile at one time or another cheered and refreshed me. Recalling the good things because someone took the time to point them out was refreshing. Spending time with trustworthy and like minded people is very refreshing. People who listened without solving my problem but instead helped me to think through issues so I could make good choices refreshed me. People who took the time to find out my story instead of dictating to me what they thought my story should be, refreshed me.

Here are some passages that reflect what the Bible says about refreshing people who have been estranged:

  • Being with like minded people – Philippians 2:1-2 
    • Example: King David (Living in exile as his son took his throne without permission) 2 Samuel 16:15-18 
  • Not being ashamed to spend time with them (Life in a roman prison for a preacher) 2 timothy 1
  • Rescue and acceptance –
    • Paul – (the misunderstood do-gooder) Romans 15 
    • Naaman (the leper who commanded the enemy army)– 2 Kings 5 

(note: all of these people mentioned above have been abandoned but not all the passages use the same language, they are added because of the relation to the topic.)

The strong’s numbers for “refreshed” are  H5314, H7304, G4875, G373, G404. There is not much to differentiate the Biblical words from the English one. In the Greek and Hebrew words we find these nuances: refreshing oneself, to feel relief, to be in a spacious place, to find rest together, association, to cease from labor, to finish, to revive.

Compare these Strong’s definitions with the English definition for the word “refresh”.

refresh 

verb (used with object)

1.to provide new vigor and energy by rest, food, etc. (often used reflexively).

2.to stimulate (the memory).

3.to make fresh again; reinvigorate or cheer (a person, the mind, spirits,etc.).

4.to freshen in appearance, color, etc., as by a restorative.

5.Computers.

to access (the most recent version of a Web page) from the Internetinstead of from the cache:I refreshed the page to see the current stock price before executingmy online trade.

to display (an image) repeatedly, as on a CRT, in order to preventfading.

to read and write (the contents of dynamic storage) at intervals inorder to avoid loss of data.

verb (used without object)

6.to take refreshment, especially food or drink.

7.to become fresh or vigorous again; revive.

Why should any of us care about refreshing others?

25 The [a]generous man will be [b]prosperous,
And he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25 (NASB)

Someday you might need a bit of refreshment too. Wordpress banner compass

May God give you the wisdom to care about true refreshment and may your refreshing skills ever increase. Amen.

Parenting: A Lesson in Obedience

We had a lesson in obedience this morning. #Parenting  and #Grandparenting require obedience; a child’s obedience to us and our obedience to God. 


He who withholds the rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines and trains him diligently and appropriately [with wisdom and love]. Proverbs 13:24 (AMP)

While gently holding a resistant child’s hands, out of my mouth came Biblical wisdom. “I love you. I am teaching you to obey because you need to learn to obey God. And that’s a really big deal.”

 

Of all the things I could have said — it’s a safety thing… it’s a health and hygiene thing… it’s a manner thing… — I chose instead to say, “this is a God thing.” I didn’t strategize or plan it, it just popped out. Moments like these are when I’m eternally grateful that God guides those who guide His children. 

What was needed before obedience was realized? A healthy dose of “Why should I?” blended with equal parts of , “Because this is one important step in a bigger picture…God’s picture.” It provided what the lesser phrase, “Because I said so” just couldn’t accomplish; An answer to the “why?”

As a grandparent taking care of little ones, the chain of command is …well…complex. I find that I always need an anchor and that it always works out best when God is that anchor.

God’s wisdom is much better than mine.

God’s authority trumps everybody’s delusions of grandeur…even mine.

The way God parents

is second to none.

Teaching obedience is important on God’s agenda. Our daily agendas pale in comparison.

We often need help to obey God but sometimes we also need a reason. God’s OK with that. He takes the time to tell us. He takes the time to teach and to correct us.

The answer to why God parents the way He does and expects the things He does are located in the history of His people. Steve and I were reading one event in that history and both of us laughed. The way God voiced this disciplinary choice was fantabulous. The actual 30 day event was kind of gross.

Why do we teach children to obey? Convenience? Certainly not. Not in the short term anyway. We are looking for exponential returns on our investment. We want to make an impact, a lasting impression.

Whom do we teach children to obey? Parents? Care givers? Government? Teachers? All of those are problematic choices.

Why? People are not perfect. People are not good.  People are not trustworthy. It’s a part of being human. I confess this applies to me too; I forget things, loose my balance, get my tongue twisted, miss the obvious at times… There is always something not quite right with people but not so with God. God is totally good and all His ways are just.

Why don’t we just let children raise themselves? Moms and dads are both working in most homes today. Time and agenda become more important. But parents in a hurry always get the ROI the child deems acceptable … or interesting. Most of the time that does not work out well for either the parent or the child. 

You see, abandonment goes both ways. Parents can choose to abandon relationship but so can children. 

Choosing not to take the time needed is one form of abandonment. This type of abandonment opens the door for anyone willing to take the time. Who do you want your children to emulate? It remains a fact that they will certainly emulate those that care about them and take the time to be with them.

Those words of Ghandi are scary because they are right; change (or consistency) begins with the children. It’s scary because friends and enemies use this concept.

Those that abandon children teach children to avoid relationships. A stubborn old man will teach children his stubbornness. A radical will teach his extremism to children. A fool will perpetuate his folly if his target is a child. Oh the mold-ability of children!

God knew this. God knows this. God warned parents about it long ago.

Compare Deuteronomy 6 – Reasons to obey God – to Judges 2:10-15 – The high price of disobedience. (Please read the links when you have time. They are great chapters to study! If you skip them you will miss a lot.)

The parents abandoned  teaching their children to obey the LORD. The next generation of children abandoned the LORD because the fathers did not take the time to teach them. Enemies got the upper hand. Everyone was miserable – the Lord, the fathers, and the children. I bet you the moms were not happy either.

The word “abandoned” really stood out to me in the two passages above – Deuteronomy and Judges. Strongs # 5800 – ‘āzab – to leave, abandon, reject, desert; to restore, help; be left, be abandoned, be freed; be abandoned, be forsaken, be neglected; be deserted

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We abandon God when we disobey Him. The effects of that abandonment coupled with the abdicating of our parental duty to teach our children the wonders of God ripples outward to our descendants like a dark tidal wave destroying the blessings they could otherwise have enjoyed.

Obedience is not caught. There is no lazy or convenient way to teach obedience. Obedience is both exampled and taught. Obedience should be expected. Obedience gets tested. Most of the time correction hurts. Those are good things.

Trust and Obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. We sang that one, among others, last night to the children as they voiced their disapproval of bedtime:) They loved our hymn sing and fell asleep. You can enjoy it with us here.

Today we had a lesson in obedience. Today was a good day. #Parenting #Grandparenting lesson: Take the time to teach obedience. It’s so worth it!

Presentation with a Purpose

Blessing is a presentation with a purpose.

Purpose  (noun)

1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.

2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

3. determination; resoluteness.

4. the subject in hand; the point at issue.

5. practical result, effect, or advantage: to act to good purpose.

God blesses you on purpose … for a reason. He expects to do something with that blessing… but that’s the end of the equation. So if we work backwards through Psalm 67 we figure out what God’s end game for blessing is.

Education.

Not the making of a choice but the presentation of the choice. What you do with the education He gives you is entirely up to you. God makes His case through his children then asks to those watching, “ What do you think about me now?” (Kind of sounds like a country song, doesn’t it?)

And His presentation begins with a blessing…a blessing we, His children need to be accepting and sharing. The sharing or telling of our blessings we call “giving our testimony”. It’s a story of bad things turned to good… bad relationships resolved, good relationships made, bad health restored to optimum health and all other kinds of comfort and good course correction adventures.

We accept His blessing with joy because we come to a place where we realize we so desperately need His blessing. In Psalm 67, the Psalmist pleads for God to bless the people of God and God does just that. We will look at this passage in the King James version and in pieces so get ready. Here we go.

Psalm 67King James Version (KJV)

God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

Selah means “think about it” so we shall stop here and do that.

Can you picture God kneeling down to speak words like, “Atta Boy!” or “Great Job, Kiddo!” or “We of the Trinity have heard what a good job you’re doing and want to thank you for your attention to excellence.” ?

That word for “bless”, bārak, defines blessing as something I usually think of rendering to God or to others. [H1288 – to kneel down; to bless, pronounce blessing, give praise, give thanks, extol; to be blessed, be praised; this can mean to speak words invoking Divine favor (bless) or speak of the excellence of someone (praise) ; to make kneel]

Here God blesses me. God kneels down to face you and me (us) and speaks well of us and to us. That is so awesome!

Picture God bending down to His child with words of encouragement much like we parents and grandparents do with the children in our lives.

  • You smiled! Joy! Let’s all watch the baby smile.
  • You walked! Hold my hand, let’s dance.
  • You used Kleenex to wipe your own nose! Now you’re doing it just like Mommy and Daddy.:)
  • You pooped in the potty… Yeah!! You’re such a big girl!! What color big girl pants would you like to wear now?!
  • You graduated!  Dad and I are so very proud of you.” That happens faster than you ever imagined, right?

All this consistent blessing has a purpose; Repeated good behavior. It works.

The purpose of God’s blessing us is also goal oriented; He wants to educate all nations about what life with Him is really like and the rewards  He gives His children… He wants them to know that the gifts He gives them are really good gifts. 
In particular, God’s purpose includes His way and His Saving Health among all nations so don’t feel left out.

2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health [3444 – salvation deliverance, help rescue from a dangerous circumstance or harmful state by a savior; divine salvation usually has its focus on rescue from earthly enemies, …] among all nations.

 

Notice that giving and receiving blessing in this passage is both manward and Godward. In verse one, God is blessing us. In verses three through five the people are praising or blessing God.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.

Did you notice that call to think about it again?

Praise and blessing are very similar here except for one thing – the hands. [H3034 – primitive root; used only as a denominative  from 3027 ; literally – to use (that is – to hold out) the hand – physically to throw (a stone or arrow) at or away; especially to revere or worship (with extended hands); intensively to bemoan (by wringing the hands) – casting out, confession, praise, thankfulness…]  In case you were wondering, raising hands in church to praise God is very appropriate. Special blessings happen when we do.

6 Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.

On a side note, please allow me a bit of praise with arms and hands lifted high.

This year has been crazy for Weaver’s Hill. Our Vineyard is one of many effected by the fungal triumvirate of death called “Black Goo” that turns the sap within the vine into a poison killing the vine from the inside out. We have also been hit by a nasty herbicide called 2-4D that attacks the primary growth hormone of the vine and the meristem tips of roots as well as shoot growth, deforms leaves, and impairs fruit growth.

We are dry farmed (no irrigation) so I prayed for rain. We got it. And I prayed that when we did get rain, we would not get warm rain because that would increase disease pressure among vines that were already struggling. God said yes to that too so our June rain came with chilly days or nights. He also led me to information that will organically aid the suffering vines with essential nutrients aimed directly at their point of suffering…boron applied with eggshells once a year or more. I’m so excited to see how adding boron to the calcium rich eggshells brings about greater fruitfulness and vine health. With only the simple application of eggshells we are already seeing more fruit clusters this year than last. Yeah God. Thank You God for allowing me to view blessings in process!!

This same boron is responsible for healing people too … inexpensively. Some of the things it heals are things my family and friends suffer with. Now that bit of health knowledge is a blessing. Amen?

Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings. See what God has done.” The words to this old hymn have a new meaning for me. After reading through Psalm 67 they bring to mind so much more than personal comfort and welfare.

God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.  (KJV)

 

This fear – yārē – is a special two sided coin. [3372 – to be afraid, be frightened; to revere, respect; to be awesome, dreadful, be feared; to frighten, terrify, intimidate; in some contexts fear relates to terror and fright;, in others fear relates to honor, respect, and awe, as in “the fear of the LORD”]

When God blesses me it’s not for my benefit … totally. Though I confess that I enjoy God’s blessing, you are the purpose, the reason,  that I have been blessed. Yet, I’m not sure I want to deal with other people’s reactions to God’s blessing in my life. Fear makes people do and say crazy things. Despite my personal feelings, it remains… you are His target.

As review, let’s put these in order

  1. Prayer
  2. Mercy + God’s Blessing Us
  3. God’s ways are known 
  4. God’s Saving Health is known
  5. God’s people Praise (Bless) Him
  6. The earth yields its harvests
  7. God blesses us
  8. The ends of the earth will fear him.

I have to get over personal wrestling and accept the truth. So I will pray again, “May your knowledge of God give you understanding and may your fear of Him cause awe and respect. Amen.”

My testimony is this: God listens to me and says yes to me quite a bit when I pray. The Psalmist and I have something in common on that score.:)

Blessing is a presentation with a purpose that involves using the hands of his children to get a response from those around them … harvest, knowledge, and fear. Choose wisely what you will do with the education. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wounds, Grief, and Comfort Exposed

Through wounds we get to know what pain feels like and we become familiar with the process of recovery. 

Wounds heal. Most of the time, wounds heal with a fair amount of scar tissue. Scars don’t hurt even though they may look nasty and feel out of place.

Grief is something you experience every time you look at the scar…. every time you touch it and know it really shouldn’t be there. Every time you look, you remember the wound because it is the same size and shape of the original wounding.

Scars are forever reminders. Scars ensure we do not forget painful events; scars fade but they don’t go away. As we heal, pain goes away giving place to some measure of grief. Pain and grief are not synonymous.

I can grieve over a past scar-causing event without feeling again the pain of the wound or needing again the same surgery or recovery time required by the original wound.

All these things are true of both the physical body and the spiritual body.

ankle scar 2My biggest physical scar is a reminder not to run through plate glass windows in search of answers. Every time I look at it, my mind sees pictures of a sunshiny California day when mom went shopping, the TV lost power, and I ran through the living room window to go check on the antenna. I ended up on my butt looking through a broken door at a deep heart shaped gouge in my ankle fascinated by the “chicken skin” hanging off of it. I can see the faces of the Jr. High druggies who were looking over our fence through the bright red bottle brush bushes to see what happened. I recall Dr. Ott who sewed my ankle and my face back together being so happy with himself because he saved my kissing muscle…. and his nurse whose dark purple eye shadow was the last thing I saw before he operated on me. Those eyelids really scarred me for life!:)

I have several internal scars the biggest of which is parental abandonment during childhood; a reminder everyday that I belong to a loving Heavenly Father and His family. You can’t see those scars unless I tell you about them. Every time I share the realities of my childhood, I experience grief but I can honestly say that today I live in freedom from the pain…not the consequences or scars but totally free of the searing, mind-blowing, crippling initial wounding.

When you see a person’s scar and they get emotional, do not assume the scar is an open wound. Go ahead and look though. God intends for us to tell our scar stories, remember our lessons, and comfort each other in fellowship, pointing each other to Jesus.

One evening, in trying to implement 2 Corinthians 1:1-5, at a recent dinner party I responded to a man’s personal narrative with, “I know what that feels like.” Whereupon I was conversationally called upon to tell why. Parts of that story are confidential but I tried to give qualifying information without going into certain realms of the particulars. As I did, emotions surfaced. Everyone at the table thought I still had an open wound. In reality I was trying to genuinely grieve with a fellow believer who’d been hurt in a similar way to my own hurt within a church context…genuinely from personal experience to grieve with him over past events and not just blithely acknowledge his discomfort and relational grief then blow him off moving on to other more “appropriate” conversational topics. I believe in caring for people in truth… in being real.

I know what it’s like to force yourself to walk through the doors of church on Sunday morning.” I said as I looked in his direction. For some elusive reason I thought my gift of sympathy would be accepted as such.

Ooops. Being real came with a price.

The conversation turned to the happy faces we “put on” or force when we enter the church building on Sunday. I was dumbfounded. In TRYING TO BE REAL and OBEDIENT to God’s word,  my comment was associated with being an expert at fakery!!!

Years ago I would have let that go and quietly borne the misunderstanding but not today. Perceptions are important but this was more important. This was serious. …Is serious.

If you accuse anyone of being fake then you are effectively saying that person loves and practices falsehood. Why are those words such a big deal? Because Revelation 22 says those who love and practice falsehood will not be allowed into the New Jerusalem (God’s ark for entrance into the new heaven and new earth). The people outside this special city are counted with the wicked who are burned up. (You can find a list of those folks here in Revelation 22:14-15.) Don’t want to die a fiery death? Then cultivate reality and truthfulness. 

I heard a voice say, “ Can we pray for you?”

Sure. I’m not going to turn down prayers but power seemed to be missing. The words sounded vague, and the general manner spoken in approach to the matter seemed to fall flat.

Probably one reason for sensing the situation this way was that my scar was misunderstood for a wound simply because my voice was filled with emotion and my eyes teared up.

Wordpress banner compassInvestigate. Don’t assume. Antiseptic poured over healed flesh is wasted product and wasted effort just like praying for healing the already healed. I came away from that evening with this truth – Sympathy misunderstood as an open wound renders subsequent “comfort” useless. I am convinced God does not want his children to be useless.

My analytic mind came away with social questions. How could I have achieved the intended comfort without painting a target on my back? How could I explain my word choices and cry with the grieving without taking all that truly heart-felt compassion away from the one I’d gifted it to? If you have any practical advice or lessons learned about this, please share them in the comment section below. If you can point someone to Jesus by sharing what you’ve been through, please share that too.

God knows everyone’s situations and needs…yesterday, today, and forever. It is God’s understanding that is powerful; It is His understanding that should be used. That would be effective because He possesses both a power and an understanding we do not have; But praise God He has given us access to the power of the resurrection through Jesus Christ.:)

Now logic (and your comments) return us to the 2 Corinthians passage; we comfort each other with the comfort we have received from God through Christ for others.

For just as Christ’s [[a]own] sufferings fall to our lot [b][as they overflow upon His disciples, and we share and experience them] abundantly, so through Christ comfort (consolation and encouragement) is also [shared and experienced] abundantly by us.

But if we are troubled (afflicted and distressed), it is for your comfort (consolation and encouragement) and [for your] salvation; and if we are comforted (consoled and encouraged), it is for your comfort (consolation and encouragement), which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same evils (misfortunes and calamities) that we also suffer and undergo.

And our hope for you [our joyful and confident expectation of good for you] is ever unwavering (assured and unshaken); for we know that just as you share and are partners in [our] sufferings and calamities, you also share and are partners in [our] comfort (consolation and encouragement). 2 Corinthians 1:5-7 (AMPC)

God of all creation,
Please help these dear brothers and sisters to distinguish between pain, and grief, wounds, and scars. Please inject their sharing of comfort with your healing power, your understanding, your effective comfort. Amen.

A Dad and A Father

Happy Father’s Day! …Happy Father’s Day all month long.:)

As a celebration of three years of WordPress Blogging, I am editing and re-posting Brought About’s first post. It was titled, Daddy’s Letter Revealed and was published on June 15, 2013.

**

To fathers abandoned by their children and fathers who have forsaken their own flesh and blood … to those whose fathers have tossed them aside, I have good news! There is a Heavenly Father who cares about the details and really does love His children.

Listen in as I share with you one way Yahweh, the Captain of our Souls, revealed that it is He who is in control…even of the little things.

Christine’s Dad left the family when she was five. Neither of them connected with each other or had any contact with each other for the next five years. “Why should that stay the same?” She wondered. So she wrote to her Dad when she was ten years old. Practicing what she thought was her best letter writing learned in school and finally satisfied with the words, she depended on her mother to send it. Mom had other plans.

Her mother spoke to Christine in that fateful moment like she was indeed going to send this letter out as soon as possible. Instead, after taking it from the trusting child, she hid it away. Her reasoning held that Christine’s birth father did not deserve Christine’s love. The lie was so artfully deceptive and the deed so well carried out . Nobody who would do anything to counteract the deed would ever know.

Certainly Christine never knew. Years passed while Daddy’s youngest girl continued on oblivious to anything but that Daddy chose never to answer. Never to call…Never to visit…

Fast forward 38 years. Christine lives two states away but calls her mother once a week to keep in touch and to let her mom know that she is cared about. One such Sunday the LORD had convicted Christine’s mother of wrongdoing. 

Christine, I am so sorry. I never sent that that letter you wrote to your Dad. Do you remember that letter? You addressed it in pencil and it didn’t have a stamp on it.”

I think I have that letter, Mom.”

What!?!” Oh, she was so mad. “How did you get that?”

I got it when Carol [Dad‘s wife] gave me his scrap book after he died.”

How did he get it!?! Who could have given that to him?” After a pause, she blurted, “You must hate me!”

What she did was awful. It was hateful and selfish but there was no hate in Christine’s heart for her mother. Neither was there any pity. Christine didn’t feel anything.

Her insides responded, ‘Wow, that’s interesting.‘ The cliche’ nature of the situation had Christine in shock. Here two real live characters filled the slots of evil step mother and hated little girl. As reality sunk in it was overpowering. Suddenly a bunch of other situations started to make sense. This conversation unlocked the truth of several other events in Christine’s life. Her perspective veered away from “oblivious” to “understanding” with God’s help.

Out loud came the practiced, ‘Mom, I’m going to have to process that.’ 

She processed some of it quickly. Some of her processing still remains.

She remembered that God says we must forgive  It rang out again and again in her mind more like the clear chime of a boat’s warning bell than the blaring of its fog horn. 

Experiencing something like brain freeze and realizing nothing she could ever say would make a difference, she quietly decided God would have to sort this mess out. In reality, handing the whole situation and everyone involved over to his power and his verdict is a very real way of aligning our souls with God’s healing will for our lives. Once that is accomplished, our hearts are clean, free, released to be joyful again.

You see, God always knew. Apparently the whole thing bothered Him because God did something remarkable for Christine; God delivered a letter without her mother ever knowing what He was up to. 

The beautiful thing is that people in this kind of trial can say with Joseph, ‘You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.’ We can also say with the apostles, ‘God triumphed over evil” because only He could have orchestrated the letter’s proper delivery and the exact moment of its revelation.

Love won when Christine was a trusting, oblivious little girl. Love wins now because the love of God practiced always wins.

Wordpress banner compassNothing can thwart the will of God. (Job 42:2; Isaiah 14:27) God loves his children and cares about the details. Her Heavenly Father made sure her birth father knew that his little girl loved him regardless of efforts to keep that information from him. He measured out love to a guilt ravaged and stubborn elderly  woman, realigning her perceptions about life and about God. When the storms of life roared and threatened He used others to turn a forlorn little life around and save a grown child’s soul from the darkness hate carries, bringing her into the light Love provides.

This is the good news: Today Truth brings about positive change.

The process involves pain…and healing.

The progress is real.

The results are worthy of the hope (our anchor) we have. That hope is safety, belonging and peace in the care of our loving Heavenly Father. With your Anchor Hitched to Him, this hope does not disappoint.

 

 

 

The Crossing: Graduating From One Life To Another

The Crossing:

Graduating From One Life To Another

When the manna stopped,

I chose to plow the ground.

I complained about the manna

Now I want it to be found.

Tastes just like honey,

Shaped like a cumin seed;

God gave us tiny treasures

So we’d have all the food we need.

We depend on God

And His loving State of Grace.

Our fingers have been trained

To gather up this manna

At an easy going pace.

My heart was at peace.

I knew that it’d be there.

Suddenly my life has changed.

There’s no more of Heaven’s fare.

Our father’s saw the works of God

In Egypt and the Sea

His Might Hand delivered them

And they walked along with me.

They died a while back

And are buried in the sand.

Because they disobeyed the LORD

They’re not with me in His Land.

Joshua took me in when my heart was all alone

Now I could live with him until I was full grown

We crossed the Jordan just yesterday at dawn.

With dusty feet we trekked across

Where the wind of God had gone.

Joshua said it happened

That way just once before.

We gathered up some stones ’cause

It won’t happen that way any more.

Today I make a Pact with God

A promise called a covenant.

My part is to be good and faithful

God’s… to do the things I can’t.

With the LORD of Heaven

I have a brand new start

I will change my body

He will change my heart.

Egypt has no hold on me,

My sins are washed away.

I’m clean before our One and Only

Who delivered us that day.

We celebrate the fact of love

And that He let us live.

He must be really cool

To plan a party just like this.

It’s supposed to last a week

And there’s not a thing to do.

I like to rest from working.

I like to play really fun games too.

It’s not a solemn service

When we’re shushed and people frown

There’s lots of food

With great big fires.

We get to dance around.

We celebrate creation

And the day God gave us rest

With all this hard work farming

I think I like this party best.

We will celebrate the harvest

and the time we had to wait.

When God provided for us all

Every child had food upon their plate.

We count, we wave, we BBQ

The poor and strangers

are called to party with us too

We celebrate the trumpet blasts

That call us to believe

To clean our hearts like His

And follow where He leads.

We celebrate the tents we used

To remember how we lived

Being ready for His call,

What we ate, and what we did.

Everything was portable

We did not pack too much

Everything was doable

For carrying and such

From the time we left our slavery

To the time that we moved here

Many things have happened

Sometimes dances, sometimes tears

Change is bound to happen

If we move into His Land

Living where He tells us

Together as He planned

Today I planned to gather manna

Each day like the one before

As I went out to work with friends

I discovered there was no more.

The call to fight had not been sounded.

There was no trumpet tune.

But something big had changed today

Fires were kindled before the heat of noon.

There were sit down meals and snacks

From the produce of the Land.

Unleavened bread and roasted grain,

But no manna for my hand.

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In this time of transition after graduation and before you enter that long awaited career,

Teach yourself to celebrate God’s care of you during your transition, your Crossing. The crossing has a starting and a stopping. There will come a time when He will allow you to “feed” yourself, a time of change. That growth is a good thing and necessary for continuing on in His service…In His Land.

May God bless you and guard you

May He make His face to shine upon you

And be gracious to you,

May He turn His countenance toward you

And grant you peace.

Restitution: Living Guilt Free

In fighting for national freedom peace is bought with blood…usually. Freedom from guilt, however, is purchased by making restitution. 

Guilt. Is it a feeling or a state of being? It is both according to dictionary.com.  . What is it to God? 

Strong’s number 816 – ‘āšam – To be guilty; to be in a state of liable for wrongdoing with an implication that one will suffer or be punished for the guilt; to be suffering; to declare guilty

We can learn about personal freedom by looking at the  guilt offering designed by God to facilitate reconciliation between people and between God and His people (Leviticus 4,5,6). Here are a few things I learned from my study of guilt. I hope you find them helpful.

Mended pot 1

  • When a person sins unintentionally (by accident), that person is still guilty (“legally” responsible). God’s laws and penalties have not appeared and vanished on the basis of any individual’s intentions. His laws remain impartially active despite the people involved or their situations.
  • Guilt is a type of suffering. One party suffers the offense. The other suffers the punishment of the wrong until things are made right.
  • Guilt is part of the cleansing equation. There is a concrete way to be free of guilt… a process to go through. Leviticus 5  Realize wrongdoing > Accept the guilt > Make restitution > Plead their case before God > Be forgiven > Enter into restored relationship
  • I am regarded as guilty when I am cognizant of my wrongdoing ( aware, made aware, acknowledge)
  • I am rendered guilty immediately whenever I commit a wrong of any kind
  • Who sets you free from guilt? You do; wanting to be free is an active choice. God does: without His involvement, reconciliation is not achieved completely
  • When making things right, don’t aim for replacement, aim for a fifth above and beyond.
    • Numbers 5:6-8Amplified Bible (AMP)

“Say to the Israelites, ‘When a man or woman commits any of the sins of mankind [against other people], thus breaking faith with the Lord, and that person is guilty, then he shall confess the sin which he has committed, and he shall make restitution for his wrong in full, and add a fifth to it, and give it to [the person] whom he has wronged. But if the man [who was wronged] has no redeemer (relative) to whom the restitution may be made, it is to be given to the Lord for the priest, besides the ram of atonement with which atonement is made for the offender.

  • You know, it is interesting that the problem with causing hurt to others is actually breaking faith with the LORD. It is that broken faith Godward that necessitates realignment action on the part of the wrongdoer, not whatever emotional gymnastics or feelings they experience. All restitution solutions are matter-of-fact events. They effect the heart but are not dependent on it.

Mended with gold 3Here is an example from my life.

Spatially challenged, kinetically expressive individual that I am, “Wanna get away?” moments increase in proportion to social interaction. It can be embarrassingly problematic.

There I was talking to a friend at a party one second and the next second there goes the hostess’s very cool, somewhat expensive candle holder. It toppled laterally. The thin ceramic severed into three parts across the dark wood of her console table instead of shattering into a zillion pieces on the floor. That last bit was fortuitous.

I was mortified. Being the avid reader of God’s take on things that I am I knew restitution must take place but how to do that escaped me at the moment.

I’m SO sorry….” came out of my mouth.

Oh don’t worry about it. I have grand kids.” She smiled. It was like saying what I did did not matter. But it did. It mattered to me and it mattered to God.

With all the sad face emotions I could hopefully project in order to convey my sincere apology, take two commenced.

She cradled my face in her hands and looking into my eyes spoke firmly, “ Christine, let it go.”

I couldn’t. My state of being was stuck in a red light/ green light situation on a long red – a do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$200 spiritual type of jail and I desperately wanted to be free of it. I was stuck in a place of liability without my get-out-of-jail-free card that could only come from the LORD.

Until God released me I would not be released. If I had the power to vanish… to teleport home I would have but God had other plans.

Mended with gold 5

Next up was our devotional speaker for the day. She told us about a Japanese art form that mends broken pottery to make the point about how beautiful God’s mending of her broken life had been and still is.  She had been re-purposed for the display of God’s splendor and craftsmanship with a glorious golden glue that reminds her what a treasure she is.

As I was leaving the hostess came over to give me a parting hug. “Isn’t it interesting that the speaker talked about broken pottery today? It makes me think again about the candle holder breaking.”

Her hands flew off of me so fast. Immediately she turned away to talk to someone else.

Okie-dokie, I thought. I knew at that moment that things had to be made right. It was the right choice for a servant of the Most High and an essential part in the equation of freedom from that unfortunate moment for both of us.

23 So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you,

24 Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

It was a passage we’d both studied recently and now had the opportunity to experience first hand. Early the next week I made it my mission to find that special item. I drove across the bridge to the big city and struck out at the first five stores. Five. Nobody had the exact color, height, or shape. Tired and disappointed I complained to God. Then I called my daughter for her input. She offered a couple suggestions and she asked her hubby what he’d recommend. He suggested that I definitely go to one more particular store. I did.Wordpress banner compass

The solution wasn’t there either but God was. As I was browsing – more like getting lost in aisles and aisles of stuff – two managers and their trainee were talking as they introduced her to stock placements. One manager laughs and teasingly says, “…We need to get this girl some bumpers. No seriously. She’s always bumping into stuff.”

LORD! You wanted me to hear that!! I’m not the only one who suffers from loosely connected steering.

Mended with gold 2I should have stopped right there, raised my hand and testified “That’s me too! I’m here because I need to stop bumping into stuff!! Bumpers would be great. Do you have any force-field types that fit the bill?”

This time listening to someone else’s conversation was kind of encouraging. Striking out wherever I turned was extremely discouraging. I tried, God. Thanks for the encouragement but it doesn’t look like restitution is possible today and today is all I have.

With the LORD’s direction, help with resources and two stores later the solution was in hand. Neither grand kids nor clumsy adults could break it. It was the right shape and height. The candle colors paired well with their holders and would make a stunning display. One broken item would become a beautiful set of six so the numbers thing was working out.:) I think these will do. Thanks God. You have helped me to do what is right. You have made a way to break free from my wrongful accident.

Things matter. They don’t matter because they are things, they matter because things affect our hearts. Making restitution heals. Ignoring a friend’s heart divides and separates. Such disregard for those whom God has created is dishonoring to their Maker and a blight to Christian testimony.  So God gives us a way to deal with our possessions in a way that honors people and pleases God.

Here’s a couple other examples:

      1. One time back in college Steve loaned out his car. The driver came back having put in a completely new wind shield because while the vehicle was in his care the previous one was cracked. That was my first exposure to proper restitution. It brought about a happy all-is-right bounce to my step.
      2. Dad left when I was 5. When I was grown he said, “I’m sorry for our “unfamily” and then later when I had an opportunity to visit him, it was important to him that I be included in his home and he set aside a room just for me near his instead of making me sleep alone in the trailer across the parking lot. He was being a dad to me and I treasured the brief time we shared together.

God designed a way to be free from guilt. Sacrifice. It is a two part equation; Our part and God’s part.

We make it right. He forgives us. The wronged person forgives us. We forgive ourselves. Relationship can finally be enjoyed uninhibited. 

That really is the goal isn’t it? … Being reconciled, realigned, to God and to people in such a way that uninhibited relationship is genuinely experienced?

Mended wirth gold 4

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! What memorials of mended relationships do you carry with you?

Journey Forward in Wisdom: 4 Steps to a Changed Life

If you , like me, come from an environment that is wisdom challenged, perhaps you too have asked questions about becoming smarter or wiser. Here are four steps I’ve gathered from Scripture in order to journey forward in wisdom.

Why choose Scripture as a basis for learning wisdom? There are many paths to successful skill building. Indeed, wisdom is valued in every culture but I wanted to become wise with a heavenly wisdom. Not because I’m super spiritual or over the top about living the “Christian life”  but because I craved right choices early in life and still desire being able to discern the best path. 

God’s wisdom outshines all other types of wisdom to be found. His wisdom makes even those who are savants, gifts of intelligence, look like idiot children. The gap between our wisdom and His makes us all look foolish. So why not ask Him to gift us with His wisdom?

Joss Whedon attempted to show us the potential of humanity’s wisdom skills in his science fiction series Firefly…

 I am very smart. I went to the best Medacad in Osiris, top three percent of my class, finished my internship in eight months. “Gifted” is the term. So when I tell you that my little sister makes me look like an idiot child, I want you to understand my full meaning. River was more than gifted. She… she was a gift. Everything she did, music, math, theoretical physics – even-even dance – there was nothing that didn’t come as naturally to her as breathing does to us.”  Dr. Simon Tam  “Firefly: Serenity (#1.11)” (2002)

Sorry, Joss Whedon, God’s wisdom even beats out River Tam and all those very real people like her. People wisdom is just not reliable intel for the task at hand. 

So how do we become the kind of wise that is the most useful to us?

Step #1 Wisdom begins with the desire to acquire it. Proverbs 4:7 

Step #2 Wisdom Fears the LORD

  • 10 The [a]fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    A good understanding have all those who [
    b]do His commandments;
    His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10(NASB)

 

  • 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 (NASB)

 

What does it mean to fear the LORD?

13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way

And the perverted mouth, I hate. Proverbs 8:13 (NASB)

Step #3 Wisdom knows what good and evil are.

How do we get there? We practice the good — God’s commands. We eat, sleep, and drink God’s ways and train ourselves to distinguish between good and evil.

13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:13-14(NASB)

Eventually we get so good at it that we can obey God with our senses  and by sensing … much like the intuitive River Tam acted instantaneously to avert danger based on her sensing abilities as portrayed in Firefly.

In other real world examples, people who are experts in their given field often cannot tell you what makes them successful they just are…they just know… they just do.

Take this example from Scott Young in his letter about Top Performers:

One of the challenges with building rare and valuable skills is figuring out just what those skills are. Sometimes top performers themselves aren’t even able to fully articulate what matters for success. 

“As Chris L., a former student of Top Performer explains, “I started by talking to people a few ranks above me in my job, and asked them what I should focus on. They all came back with the same answers, ‘You you’ve got to set goals with your manager and have regular check-ins, blah blah blah…’”

This is a common experience when doing research on your career. Experts often give generic, vague-sounding advice, even though you know that can’t possibly be the distinction that made them successful. […]

Chris continues, “The idea [from the course] that you can ask an expert a question, and they don’t know that they know the answer. They don’t say the answer, but you can still get the answer. It blows your mind if you think about it for a second, but that was my experience.””

Which brings me to our next step.

Step #4 Wisdom spends time with wise (skilled, knowledgeable, God-fearing) people. Wisdom seekers experience the life wise people live and experience it WITH them.

20 He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools

will suffer harm. 

Proverbs 13:20 (NASB)

It’s just that simple.

Who are these wise people?Wordpress banner compass

When selecting a wisdom mentor associated with God’s purpose for your life, who should you look for? What qualities set them apart as wise in God’s eyes?

Check out their self-concept. Are they humble?

Check out their family relationships

Check out their spoken and unspoken language skills

Check out their people skills

  • They are willing to associate with the less wise Proverbs 13:20 
  • They inherit honor Proverbs 3:35 they don’t seek it. Honor comes by way of what they do (gaining a good reputation) and their alignments with other honorable people.
  • The wise win souls Proverbs 11:30  not just minds. Think about that for a bit. This is a universal concept that applies outside the Christian community too so pay special attention to the next point.

Check out their work ethic

 

So here are four steps for the wisdom challenged:

Step #1 Wisdom begins with the desire to acquire it.

Step #2 Wisdom Fears the LORD

Step #3 Wisdom knows what good and evil are.

Step #4 Wisdom seekers spend time with wise people and get to know them.

 

8 Who is like the wise man
and who knows the interpretation of a matter?
A man’s wisdom illumines [a]him
and causes his stern face
to[b]beam.
Ecclesiastes 8:1 (NASB)

Journey forward in wisdom. It will change your face. God’s wisdom will change your life.:)