26 May, 2010

~Meditating on Proverbs for Wisdom with [difficult] Co-Laborers~

~Meditating on Proverbs for Wisdom with [difficult] Co-Laborers~
(with acknowledgement that I *AM* the difficult co-laborer in some instances....)

copied and pasted from www.BibleGateway.com

Prov. 6:12 A worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with crooked speech,
13 winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
14with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
15therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.

Proverbs 10:8 The wise of heart will receive commandments,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
10Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

12Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.

10:17Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
18The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.

Proverbs 11:12Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
13Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

11:17 A man who is kind benefits himself,
but a cruel man hurts himself.
18The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
19Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
but he who pursues evil will die.
20Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,
but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.

11:29Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

Prov. 12:1Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
2A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
3No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.

12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are just;
the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous will stand.
8A man is commended according to his good sense,
but one of twisted mind is despised.

12:11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.

Prov. 12:12Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.

16 The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult.
17 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
but those who plan peace have joy.
21 No ill befalls the righteous,
but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23 A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

12:26One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Prov. 13:10 By insolence comes nothing but strife,
but with those who take advice is wisdom.

13:20Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Prov. 14:7Leave the presence of a fool,
for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
8The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
but the folly of fools is deceiving.
9 Fools mock at the guilt offering,
but the upright enjoy acceptance.

14:17A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
and a man of evil devices is hated.

14:23In all toil there is profit,
but mere talk tends only to poverty.

14:27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.

14:28In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
but without people a prince is ruined.
29Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.

14:33Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.
34Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin is a reproach to any people.
35A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor,
but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

Prov. 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.
4 A gentle[a] tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

15:23To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is!

15:28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

15:32Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33 The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.

Prov. 16:1The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the spirit.
3Commit your work to the LORD,
and your plans will be established.
4The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
5Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.

16:7When a man’s ways please the LORD,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

16:9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the LORD establishes his steps.

16:21The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

16:27 A worthless man plots evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28 A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
29A man of violence entices his neighbor
and leads him in a way that is not good.
30Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.

16:32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Prov. 17:1 Better is a dry morsel with quiet
than a house full of feasting with strife.

17:4An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

17:10A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
11An evil man seeks only rebellion,
and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
rather than a fool in his folly.
13If anyone returns evil for good,
evil will not depart from his house.
14The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.

17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

17:27Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Prov. 18:1Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
2A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
3When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.

18:6A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
9Whoever is slack in his work
is a brother to him who destroys.
10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.

18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Prov. 19:1 Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
12A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion,
but his favor is like dew on the grass.

Proverbs 20:3It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
but every fool will be quarreling.

Prov. 21:3 To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

21:19It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

Proverbs 22:10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.

22:24Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
25lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.

Prov. 23:9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.

23:17Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
18Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.

24:1Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them,
2for their hearts devise violence,
and their lips talk of trouble.
3By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
4by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.
5 A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
6for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
and turn away his anger from him.

25:4Take away the dross from the silver,
and the smith has material for a vessel;
5take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
or stand in the place of the great,
7for it is better to be told, "Come up here,"
than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

25:27It is not good to eat much honey,
nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.
28A man without self-control
is like a city broken into and left without walls.

26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.

6Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.

26:17Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"
20For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23 Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

27:2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.

27:19As in water face reflects face,
so the heart of man reflects the man.

28:26Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

29:1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
will suddenly be broken beyond healing.

29:9If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. [peace]
10Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
and seek the life of the upright.
11A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.

29:26Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.

31:8 Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

31:26She [a godly woman] opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

27She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

31:30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

13 May, 2010

notes from ~Beauty for Ashes~ at GCC

notes from 5/12/10, final "Girl Talk" session for GCC Women age 12 and all the way up: [NOTICE ALL THE SCRIPTURE REFERENCES! What a great way to spend an evening - look up every reference and meditate on them, collectively.]

Beauty for Ashes; speaker Andrea Griffith [from “Revive our Hearts” ministries with Nancy Leigh DeMoss]

(with apologies that the outline formatting doesn't translate well to this blog)


• Psalm 103:1-5 ~ [“I will tell you of how the Lord has done all these things for me.”]
o Forgives all your sins
o Heals all your diseases
o Redeems your life from the pit
o Crowns you with love and compassion
o Satisfies your desires with good things
o Renews / reinvigorates your youth like the eagle’s
• James 1:22 ~ Be doers of the word and not hearers only DECEIVING YOURSELVES.
o The most self-deceived people sit in church from Sunday to Sunday, hearers of the word.
• 2 Tim. 3:5-7 ~ Have appearance of godliness, but deny its power; always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
• Acts 20:21 ~ Repentance toward God AND faith in the Lord Jesus
o I had faith that Jesus was the son of God for as long as I could remember, but what was missing? Repentance!
• Matt. 7:21 ~ Saying “Lord, Lord!” [mere “lip-service”] vs. doing the will of the Father [living a life of obedience as unto the Lord!]
o ["The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me." –Martin Luther]


• df Brokenness = my response of humility and obedience to the prompting of God’s word or the revelation of God’s Spirit
• Isaiah 54:4-5 ~ forget the shame of your youth; ask the Lord to be your husband
• Luke 20:18 ~ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.
o [“I started to get really sick....” – illustration of a “Sucker Shoot” on a plant; growing up out of the plant but robbing the true plant of its nutrients. She was diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia….see notes re “bitterness”]


• df Confession = to say the same as God about our sin
• Is there anything in your life you have covered/hidden? That the Lord is telling you to confess? Do you need to seek forgiveness from God? From anyone else?
o [“God wanted me to have a clean conscience….” – she talked about her “Clean Conscience List” which was folks she had to go back to to ask for forgiveness, person after person.]
• Prov. 7 ~ list of the characteristics of the immoral (or “strange”) woman; she made a list of the OPPOSITE characteristics and this was her guide to show her what kind of woman she ought to be.
• [confessing to her husband before they were engaged, she told him about her past immorality and her abortion and says, “I watched as he wept over MY sin, and it was such a picture to me of how our sin breaks the heart of our heavenly Father...”]
o her word of caution: When confessing past sin, we don’t share with everyone; find a godly older woman whom you can trust with whom you can clean up all of that junk. Or we confess to someone when he is to become our husband; but we don’t just tell everyone. Share the DEPTH of the sin, but not necessarily all the DETAILS of the sin, or that could come back to have some serious consequences later.
• 2 Peter 1:3 ~ we’ve already been given everything we need for life and godliness
• 1 John 1:7 ~ the blood of Jesus purifies us from all sin
• Proverbs 28:13 ~ Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
o When we confess and forsake, the Lord’s promise is that we will find MERCY
 [“God wasn’t honoring my (past) life; he was honoring his WORD.”]
 Prov. 31:10 ~ he gave her a ruby wedding band when he proposed


• df Bitterness = Harbored hurt; When we are bitter, we assume the negative (worst), and have a critical, fault-finding spirit.
• Ps. 32 ~ One who is bitter feels the consequences physically; they have no rest, no strength.
• Hebrews 12:15 ~ see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.
• John 11:44 ~ when Jesus brings Lazarus back to life, he says “Unbind him, and let him go.”
o we too are called from death to life; we lie to ourselves and continue to say “but I deserve these grave clothes; I have the stink of death on me,” etc. In truth: We ALL “deserve” the grave clothes, but Jesus made ATONEMENT to set us FREE. (do you see the truth?)
o God’s specialty: He loves to take broken things and bring them to full restoration, to make them beautiful.
o Like Joseph with his brothers: “What you meant for evil, God intended for good.”
o Don’t minimize the sin – no! – you stare it STRAIGHT in the face and see it for the evil that it is. And THEN you THANK God for his sovereignty, that he makes even the darkness to be as light; he redeems, he restores, he recreates.
 1 Thess. 5:18 ~ give thanks in all circumstances

Forgiveness and Healing

• [“God has given us only ONE way to find healing, and that is through forgiveness.”]
• Isaiah 61:1-3 ~ Parallel passage in Luke 4
• God longs to:
o Heal the broken hearted
o Set the captives free
o Tell that NOW is the day for salvation
o Comfort all who mourn
o Give beauty for ashes
o Give joy for pain
o Give a garment of praise for our spirit of heaviness
• Q: Does this list sound to you like God is waiting for you to “crawl over broken glass” to get to him? To find forgiveness and healing? [This sounds like a God who LOVES to be gracious and merciful and set us free....!]
• Isaiah 43:18-19 ~ Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past; the Lord is doing something NEW – making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland.
• Deut. 4:29 ~ Seek the Lord; you will find him if you look for him with all your heart
• Hebrews 12:1-2 ~ Renew your mind by fixing your eyes on Jesus (laying aside all sin and ANY thing that encumbers us as we run towards him)
• 2 Cor. 10:5 ~ Renew your mind by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and by demolishing the strongholds of the enemy (ANY thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God)


12 May, 2010

The Gifting IS the Calling!

recommended reading - "Just Do Something" by Pastor Kevin DeYoung

God's "calling" on our lives is no mystery. He EQUIPS us, he POSITIONS us, he COMMANDS us, he GIFTS us, and he thus makes use of us by his own design and for his purposes, but we need not necessarily "discern his calling" to WALK in it.

We also make a great mystery out of discerning our Giftings, in the Body. (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12-14, etc.) Even a most rudimentary reading of these passages should - in context - give us an idea that we are making mysterious mountains out of plain molehills. (so to speak)

God gives us his SPIRIT, and his WORD, and I suspect the rest is not nearly so complicated as we - well-meaning as we are - make it.

So what is the "natural result" of having his Spirit and his Word and of our submitting to him in each respect but that we will be exercising certain gifts [which we may or may not discover about ourselves along the way], and we will be - if we are faithful to walk as sons of God, LED by his Spirit - therefore obedient to his "calling" [even if we do not necessarily have a conscious awareness of it as such].

I think the Lord has given me gifts of discernment and possibly prophecy (in NT sense), and teaching (though this is more a "byproduct" of the first two, and not my primary gift). Similarly, as regards the heart, I think the Lord has molded/equipped me, uniquely, to "rejoice with those who rejoice" and "mourn with those who mourn."

So ... if I'm right, what is the Lord's "Call" on my life? ....

What kind of KIND?

~What kind of KIND?~
("making nice" vs. "kind-but-firm" when dealing with a Bully)

When faced with difficult situations, particularly as regards the bullying behaviors of others from whom I must nevertheless solicit cooperation (such as a teacher or a co-worker or the like), I have tended [unwittingly] towards this motto - "Kill them with kindness." And I even thought this was godliness - consider that "The man whose ways please the Lord makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." [Proverbs 16:7]

I have, thus, gone out of my way to be friendly, to respond to the bullying with a smile and even a clever remark back intended to convey that I'm laughing WITH the bully rather than being brought down BY the bully, and I have used what I now realize to be excessive sweetnees, and niceness - showing concern over their struggles and difficulties, giving them gifts that show I'm being thoughtful of them, etc. - as a way of trying to "get them" to do what I want or need them to do. Which might be anything from giving me a good (fair?) grade to ensuring that a shipment confirmation gets sent to a customer as required.

No doubt, I could explode this topic with a series of examples that would probably cause you to go into shock as all the appearances of boldness on my part wither under the fiery stares of brutish people, and I immediately flop about trying to make them happy so that what I need to have done will get done.....

This is NOT "making peace" with my enemies.

This is manipulating with niceness.

And this is NOT biblical "kindness" which has wrapped up in it a component of resolute truth-telling which leads to repentance!

[Romans 2:4, Galatians 5:22-23, Romans 11:22, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13]

Truth is? I "make nice" to try to CHANGE people - not for THEIR good, but to a) make them see me in a favorable light so that b) I can be more productive.

We use the expression - "kill them with kindness." And by this we have some concept of "pouring out nice" to "get back nice" as if such qualities really are all about karma. And/or as Christians, we might even spiritualize it as some kind of divine right to revenge that we are staving off now with the expectation God will zap them later. [Romans 12:20] (which is at best a warped understanding of what it means to "heap burning coals on their head" which has more to do with making of others a sacrificial OFFERING than it does any reference to eternal damnation....)

But what if we were REALLY "kind" to them?

Is it not a kindness for a surgeon to cut off the gangrene-infected limb? Is it not just that kind of kindness by means of which God himself leads US to repentance and thus salvation (and peace with God)? [Sometimes what is most needed is accurate diagnosis and even creating hurt (scalpel to tender flesh) to bring about healing.]

What if "being nice" or "sweet" is just another way of serving my OWN ends? (ie - feeding my own heart idols, such as fear of man? or being perfectionistic in whatever else I do?)

What if "being KIND" includes being WISE - and both standing up to bullies as well as drawing a line in the sand and KINDLY but firmly saying that THIS behavior is UNACCEPTABLE and unless you repent, there can be no true PEACE between us. A "cease-fire" perhaps, but no peace. [or put another way, "I will not allow you to bully me in this way anymore - it is not good for me, and it is not good for you - and if that means I can't 'save the day' this time, then so be it..."]


Lord, make me a woman characterised by the COMPATIBLE [intermingled] fruits of KINDNESS, GENTLENESS, rejoicing together with the TRUTH, and WISDOM....and let me not BE a bully, myself, in my zeal....