Stupid is as Stupid Does

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We bought a house that needs a bit of work. One of the things was the absence of a few lights. I am working on installing a couple of them. I discovered that a house with stucco “siding” is made differently – and a previous owner did some unsettling wiring. This means more work to fix it right.

Since a previous owner strung a wire along the upper exterior wall and slathered stucco stuff to hide it, I had to break out the stucco in order to replace the wire. A hammer and chisel proved a bit laborious to me. Thusly, I got out my compressor and hand-held air chisel. Wow! What a difference!

I made great progress, producing debris at an unheard of pace – until I hit another wire that went vertically. Not knowing it was there I chiseled it. Suddenly, the compressor quit. As a matter of fact, all the power went out in the hosue. No amount of breaker flicking seemed to help. So, I swallowed my pride and called a friend that does electrical work.

My friend came over, tools in hand, complete with a no-nonsense demeanor. He had the battle plan all worked out. But first he checked the breakers. He flicked the right one and everything worked again. Sigh. Did I feel stupid! I mean, I flicked that very breaker earlier. I guess it feared a bona-fide electrician.

All’s well now except I reaped stupid stuff because I stupidly chiseled a wire. The stupid stuff compounded with the breaker issue. I guess I reaped stupid stuff because I did stupid stuff. Funny how that works. Now I will never be able to prove to the electrician, or my wife, just how handy I am to have around.

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:8. 

Jerkier Jerk

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Jerkier Jerks

I remember a guy giving me a hard time about being a Christian. He told me to Google his name and I would be surprised (actually his statement was filled with profanity, I cleaned it up to make it palatable). His attitude was that since he had some fame and notoriety in is profession, that he could be a jerk if he wanted to be one. He went on quite a rant and railed on me. I have since learned to walk away from jerks – well I hope I have. But then there are always jerkier jerks.

In this passage the angels set the example. Even though they have the power and might to fuss about leadership, they don’t.

My how easy it is to get critical. How quickly I find myself diving into a conversation criticizing a leader or even another person. This eventually brings me down. I find myself grumpy and miserable because I look at everybody and everything with a bad attitude.

I enjoy meeting people and having pleasant and even fun conversations. For example, I was talking with a guy about the old days. We both had a good laugh over the fact that the kids today wouldn’t understand the song, “Sylvia’s Mother” when the lyrics say, “…and the operator said 40 cents more for the next three minutes…” That’s much more fun than grumping.

Talking about Jesus is also rewarding and fun. No matter where I go, there are jerks – my goal is not to be one of them.

 

Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 2 Peter 2:11 

I Think He’s Ugly

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I Think He is Ugly

Somebody said that they thought President Trump is ugly and couldn’t stand to look at him. Hmmm, that seems like an ugly statement to me.

I see and hear so much from people these days that elevate themselves above others, as if their opinion is the supreme authority. They insult and call people names. Sometimes it seems there is no in between. I must agree with that person or I am an idiot, stupid, a moron, a retard or some other derogatory adjective. What ever happened to intelligent and considerate discussion? How is calling someone ugly, stupid or whatever going to open a channel to communication?

Just because someone disagrees with me does not mean that they don’t care about this country, it doesn’t mean that they are not intelligent. We may never agree, but there can be mutual respect.

You know, whether I like our president or not, I am not to speak evil of him. I should be praying for him to be the president God wants him to be. Instead of insulting someone maybe I should pray for them.

Sometimes I wonder, just who do we think we are? We are nobodies, at least I am. As a human, I can have an opinion. As a Christian, I need to be careful what I say.

 

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. II Peter 2:10.

Forgetting the Forgotten

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Forgetting the Forgotten

I know that a Christian should never feel lonely, but sometimes I do. I know God should be all that we need, but still I like human company. It isn’t so much nowadays, but when I was younger…

Christians can fail one another by not reaching out to those that are lonely. Some people get forgotten. Christians forget others.

When my Dad’s health failed and he couldn’t go to church much, no one visited him. When Hospice came, no one came to see him. All their friends from church never came around. Once he was admitted into the VA Hospice inpatient program. Some did stop in – but he didn’t remember them.

It is so easy to forget others and for others to forget me.

Then the devil steps in and has ungodly people visit. These people can tear down a Christian’s faith. They can sour one’s attitude toward church and his or her pastor.

In Idaho, I used to visit a man with poor health. He loved having someone visit. He enjoyed talking about the Lord, too. Then a man from a county companion program came along. That guy had him go fishing on Sunday and drink beer. This guy’s attitude toward me turned sour.

When loneliness tries to get a foothold my life, I need to be sure I don’t go the wrong way – no matter how harmless it looks on the surface. I need to turn to God, call or visit someone else that is lonely and go to church for the fellowship and words of encouragement from God’s Word.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world – James 1:27.

 

Finger-pointing

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Finger pointing is so easy because “it sure ain’t my fault”. It has to be the car’s fault or the manager’s fault or the boss’s fault. It’s gotta be the President’s fault.

I saw a post on Facebook where someone was fussing that the latest shooting was Trump’s fault. I saw another that a white supremacist’s actions of hate were the Presiden’s fault. This person ranted that all this hate spewed by Trump was at fault. I thought for a moment and concluded that it was merely finger-pointing. I thought, hmmm, it seems to me that Kennedy was hated, Lincoln was hated, Reagan was hated – every President has been hated by someone. Every President received blame for things whether or not they were behind something.

As I thought on this, I realized that hate is not President Trump’s fault or Obama’s fault or anyone else’s, unless we accept the blame and say we are all at fault.

I suppose we could point the finger at Adam and Eve. But then since no one is better than they were, we are all capable of doing the same thing. In fact, since our personal sin and hate (we all have prejudice and hate) put Jesus on the cross, we are all culpable, too.

God knew what man could and would do in advance. Through the ugliness of hate God showed His love toward all of mankind. He provided the way of forgiveness and salvation – amazing!

And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? Genesis 4:8-9

I Wasn’t So Smart After All

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Parents. They can drive a person crazy. Kids, they can drive parents nuts. It is amazing how much I learned from my parents without realizing it. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to talk. I would still be speaking jibberish. Although, I am inclined to believe that I was a master at jibberish.

What about the things they did wrong? I learned from those things, too. Then proceeded to make my own mistakes. Such as, Dad wouldn’t let me change the oil in my own car. I just had to watch him do it over and over and over. I learned that learning comes from doing. So I learned to supervise and let my kids do things. They might think I messed up, though.

Dad was away at work a lot – I learned as an adult that he had to do this. Mom’s law ruled during those hours. She felt she never had to explain a ruling. When I challenged it by asking “why?” She would reply, “Because I said so.” No amount of whining and fussing would change anything. I had hit a wall. I simply had to obey. Period.

At first, I believed everything my folks said, then some of what they said. Then I disagreed with most things they said. Now, after many years of adulthood, I realized I wasn’t so smart after all.

Even though they were learning as they went, even though they messed up at times, God says I should listen to the instruction of my father.

I know now that I don’t know anything, unless it comes from God’s Word. Not anything that matters anyway. My prayer for today is that I go to my Heavenly Father for advice, because I do have a tendency to trust in my own instruction.

My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. – Proverbs 1:8-9.

Bonehead Alert!

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I just realized something. I did. Really. I came to the realization that there is a lot of foolishness in this world. Since one definition of “fool” is “bonehead” there are a lot of boneheads on the internet. I like the sound of that. I wonder if it would help to put a sign like this wherever boneheads frequent. Nah, since they are everywhere, the sign would become of no effect.

Sometimes it seems as if all reason has fled reality. I just don’t understand where they are coming from. What do they base their opinions upon? Sometimes that does help. At least it gets to the root of the problem.

Why are there so many boneheads? Because they choose to disregard God’s Word and form opinions based on suppositions, imaginings, flawed logic and misinformation. They choose not to fear the Lord.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14.

I have my moments of boneheadedness – that is because I have trusted my bonehead ideas. I have become carnal. I can repent and trust my Bible. I can get right with God. In fact, all boneheads can become smart if they will fear the Lord.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7.

Sit Up and Listen!

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Watching people as you speak to an audience is interesting, encouraging and frustrating all at the same time. I have seen people pay close attention to a sermon while others clip their nails, balance their checkbook, roll their eyes at me and sit there with arms crossed in a challenge to me to bless them with something significant. Sometimes I wonder why some people are in attendance at all.

Years ago, I heard evangelist Tim Lee preach. He preached powerfully from his wheelchair. I had tuned everything else out and watched as he wheeled his chair back and forth on the platform. His legs had been blown off in Viet Nam, but his voice was powerful. The Holy Spirit was at work.

Suddenly, he stopped preaching and directed his words at some teens slouching in their seats and ignoring his message. He commanded them to sit up and listen. They felt embarrassed to become a spectacle that night. Tim Lee picked up where he left off. Those teens sat up and listened to the rest of the message – at least they acted like it.

While I chuckled about it, I realize that God wants us to sit up and listen to His Word. Those kids could have gone home without any improvement. However, if they did begin to listen, they would have learned something. I like to think that they went on to seek more wise things.

I have to ask myself, “How many times have I wasted opportunities to gain some wisdom? How many times have I been a bonehead?” I trust God will continue to prompt me to sit up and listen when I need it.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: Proverbs 1:5.

Personal Proverbs

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Personal Proverbs

A proverb is a short pithy saying in general use, stating a general truth or piece of advice. Some synonyms are: saying, adage, maxim, axiom, motto, precept; words of wisdom.

King Solomon collected these sayings of his day to teach. The book is set up like a father giving advice to a son.

I think every family has some instructional sayings. Teachings nestled in quaint adages. Whenever I hit the bottom of a malt (not a milkshake, there is a difference) she would say, “Emily Post says you are done.” I didn’t have any idea who Emily Post was or why she would care. I just knew it was Mom’s nice way of saying, “Stop making all that slurping noise.” Which was disappointing because boys like noise.

My Dad’s most memorable personal cliché was: “I wish I would have…” That phrase preempted many stories. He also said, “I wish I could go back and do things over…knowing what I know now.”

I even came up with my very own proverb as our kids were growing up. I found their indecision at times most irritating. At times like these, I would say, “Either do it or don’t.” Not quite as profound as Solomon’s, but it worked.

Our society today likes brief witticisms usually posted as memes on social media. The idea Solomon had was to record these terse words of wisdom to help people remember truths. The only problem is that I am getting older and my memory isn’t working so well – hey, maybe I could have a wise saying printed backwards on a t-shirt. Something meant for me because only I could read it in the mirror.

To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity. To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. Proverbs 1:1-4

Where Have I Been?

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Several months ago I received a call from my Mom that Dad wasn’t doing well. My wife and I headed out as soon as we could. He ended up in the hospital. They didn’t think he would come back home. He rallied and did come home. Over the months we went through trials and experienced good times, as well.

We helped them downsize because assisted living was the next step. The first of this month, we moved them into a nice assisted living facility. Dad must have felt Mom would be ok now because he seemed to “let go”.

Dad passed away this morning. He is rejoicing in heaven and is free from his 90 year old worn out body.

Since they did not have the internet, posting on the computer was much more difficult. I hope to post more again soon.

Thank you for your prayers.