2265.) Proverbs 15

January 5, 2018

Even monkeys know to “Speak no evil!” Proverbs 15 has long been a chapter I turn to, since so often when I get into trouble, it is because of something (unwise, unkind, unnecessary) that I said. Here are many recommendations for how to keep a guard on your mouth and in so doing, lead a life that honors God and doesn’t needlessly offend others.

Proverbs 15 (The Message)

God Doesn’t Miss a Thing

Verses relating to speech are written in RED.

1 A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise;
fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.

3 God doesn’t miss a thing—
he’s alert to good and evil alike.

Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see,
Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So be careful, little eyes, what you see.

Oh, be careful, little ears, what you hear,
Oh, be careful, little ears, what you hear,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So be careful, little ears, what you hear.

Oh, be careful, little hands what you do,
Oh, be careful, little hands what you do,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So, be careful, little hands what you do

Oh,  be careful, little feet, where you go,
Oh, be careful, little feet, where you go,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So be careful, little feet, where you go.

Oh, be careful, little mouth, what you say,
Oh, be careful, little mouth, what you say,
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love,
So be careful, little mouth, what you say.

4 Kind words heal and help;
cutting words wound and maim.

5 Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders;
welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.

“A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.”   (verse 5, NIV)

6 The lives of God-loyal people flourish;
a misspent life is soon bankrupt.

7 Perceptive words spread knowledge;
fools are hollow—there’s nothing to them.

One day Harold St. John was standing in the private chapel of Keble College, Oxford, admiring Holman Hunt’s masterpiece The Light of the World.  A party of tourists approached and stood chattering before the famous painting. The guide announced in a loud voice, “The original of this picture was sold for fifteen thousand dollars.” Mr. St. John stepped forward and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, may I add that the true Original of this picture was sold for thirty pieces of silver.” A hush fell on the tourists and they left in silence. 
The words of the mouth express the condition of the heart.

8 God can’t stand pious poses,
but he delights in genuine prayers.

9 A life frittered away disgusts God;
he loves those who run straight for the finish line.

10 It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path,
a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules.

11 Even hell holds no secrets from God—
do you think he can’t read human hearts?

Life Ascends to the Heights

12 Know-it-alls don’t like being told what to do;
they avoid the company of wise men and women.

13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;
a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.

14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth;
fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.

15 A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy
in whatever situation I may find myself.
For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness
is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”

–Martha Washington 

16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God
is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.

17 Better a bread crust shared in love
than a slab of prime rib served in hate.

“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred.”   (verse 17, NIV)

“Riches and poverty are more in the heart than in the hand.
He is wealthy who is contented.
He is poor who wants more.” 

18 Hot tempers start fights;
a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.

19 The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers;
the diligent walk down a smooth road.

20 Intelligent children make their parents proud;
lazy students embarrass their parents.

“Tragically the person who needs their instruction,
out of his exaggerated opinion of his self-importance,
feels that he is better than his godly parents
and so is intractable and incorrigible.”

–Bruce K. Waltke

21 The empty-headed treat life as a plaything;
the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it.

22 Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed.

23 Congenial conversation—what a pleasure!
The right word at the right time—beautiful!

A king once asked his cook to prepare for him the best dish in the world, and he was served a dish of tongue. The king then asked for the worst dish in the world, and again was served tongue. “Why do you serve me the same food as both the best and the worst?” the perplexed monarch asked. “Because, your majesty,” the cook replied, “the tongue is the best of things when used wisely and lovingly, but it is the worst of things when used carelessly and unkindly.”
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” — Proverbs 18:21

24 Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful—
it’s a clean about-face from descent into hell.

25 God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant;
he stands with those who have no standing.

26 God can’t stand evil scheming,
but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.

27 A greedy and grasping person destroys community;
those who refuse to exploit live and let live.

28 Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people;
the wicked are sewers of abuse.

29 God keeps his distance from the wicked;
he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless.
I pray because the need flows out of me all the time–
waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God– it changes me.”

–C.S. Lewis (Shadowlands)

30 A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,
and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.

31 Listen to good advice if you want to live well,
an honored guest among wise men and women.

32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.

33 Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—
first you learn humility, then you experience glory.

from Morning and Evening,
by Charles H. Spurgeon

Humiliation of soul always brings a positive blessing with it. If we empty our hearts of self God will fill them with His love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.” Stoop if you would climb to heaven. Do we not say of Jesus, “He descended that He might ascend”? So must you. You must grow downwards, that you may grow upwards; for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” with all its riches and treasures. The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it.



Lord, speak to me, that I may speak
in living echoes of Thy tone. . .

HERE  is the old hymn which prays to the Lord for His grace upon our speech and all our doings.


The Message (MSG)  Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
three monkeys.     http://pressvision.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/hear-no-evil-speak-no-evil-photo.jpg
child with big brown eyes.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/little-eyes3.jpg?w=450
Don’t be a fool . . .   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/proverbs15_5.jpg
The lips of the wise . . .    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/42/19/3e/42193e5ca9add65dffa7908689cf174e.jpg
A cheerful heart . . .      https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/proverbs-15-151.jpg
vegetables.     https://i.pinimg.com/originals/31/79/9d/31799dbd1319422349e209df86c92f1e.jpg
A word fitly spoken . . .    http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/drewsfamilytx/othersuchhappenings/proverbs25-11.jpg
Draw near to God.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/a6160-drawneartogod.jpg
humility.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/humility-blanchardbysg.jpg

2179.) Proverbs 14

September 7, 2017

Proverbs 14   (CEV)

Wisdom Makes Good Sense

1A woman’s family

is held together

by her wisdom,

but it can be destroyed

by her foolishness.

Love the crooked upper window!

2By living right, you show

that you respect the LORD;

by being deceitful, you show

that you despise him.

3Proud fools are punished

for their stupid talk,

but sensible talk

can save your life.

Words are powerful.
They can create or they can destroy.
So choose your words wisely.

4Without the help of an ox

there can be no crop,

but with a strong ox

a big crop is possible.

5An honest witness

tells the truth;

a dishonest witness

tells nothing but lies.

Don’t ask a man for a vow. If he has integrity, that’s enough. If he lacks integrity, no vow can bind him.

–Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus

6Make fun of wisdom,

and you will never find it.

But if you have understanding,

knowledge comes easily.

7Stay away from fools,

or you won’t learn a thing.

8Wise people have enough sense

to find their way,

but stupid fools get lost.

When a nation goes down or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along.

–Carl Sandburg

9Fools don’t care

if they are wrong,

but God is pleased

when people do right.

10No one else can really know

how sad or happy you are.

11The tent of a good person

stands longer

than the house

of someone evil.

12You may think you are

on the right road

and still end up dead.

Well, if it comes to that, I guess I would rather be dead on the right road than on the wrong one!

“We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road…”

— C.S. Lewis in  Mere Christianity

13Sorrow may hide

behind laughter,

and happiness may end

in sorrow.

14You harvest what you plant,

whether good or bad.

15Don’t be stupid

and believe all you hear;

be smart and know

where you are headed.

16Only a stupid fool

is never cautious–

so be extra careful

and stay out of trouble.

17Fools have quick tempers,

and no one likes you

if you can’t be trusted.

18Stupidity leads to foolishness;

be smart and learn.

19The wicked will come crawling

to those who obey God.

20You have no friends

if you are poor,

but you have lots of friends

if you are rich.

21It’s wrong to hate others,

but God blesses everyone

who is kind to the poor.

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely, and the unwanted according to the graces we have received, and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”

— Mother Teresa of Calcutta

22It’s a mistake

to make evil plans,

but you will have loyal friends

if you want to do right.

23Hard work is worthwhile,

but empty talk

will make you poor.

24Wisdom can make you rich,

but foolishness leads

to more foolishness.

25An honest witness

can save your life,

but liars can’t be trusted.

Liars, when they speak the truth, are not believed.


26If you respect the LORD,

you and your children

have a strong fortress

27and a life-giving fountain

that keeps you safe

from deadly traps.

28Rulers of powerful nations

are held in honor;

rulers of weak nations

are nothing at all.

29It’s smart to be patient,

but it’s stupid

to lose your temper.

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

–Chinese proverb

He that can have patience, can have what he will.

–Benjamin Franklin

All human wisdom is summed up in two words—hope and wait.

–Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

30It’s healthy to be content,

but envy can eat you up.

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.

–Harold Coffin

31If you mistreat the poor,

you insult your Creator;

if you are kind to them,

you show him respect.

32In times of trouble

the wicked are destroyed,

but even at death

the innocent have faith.

33Wisdom is found in the minds

of people with good sense,

but fools don’t know it.



The wise, innocent ones have learned, in the reading of the Word and the living of the life of faith, the difference between what is important and what is not, between what is eternal and what is temporal, between what is “something” and what is “nothing.”

HERE  is Craig Morgan and “This Ain’t Nothin’.”


34Doing right brings honor

to a nation,

but sin brings disgrace.

35Kings reward servants

who act wisely,

but they punish those

who act foolishly.


Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Images courtesy of:
Teresa of Avila quote.   http://i.quoteaddicts.com/media/q1/1267320.png
builds her house.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/5b0dc-proverbs141.jpg
wise words.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/7d/33/31/7d3331c7f38cb602782542cf69c4a04e–bible-proverbs-.jpg
integrity.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/bible_scriptures_on_trust_and_integrity_business_card-p2407182133128116734j5c_400.jpg
Where are you going?   http://www.todayslifeline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/296321044_640.jpg
verse 10.   https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6053/7014714397_25dbe6551c_b.jpg
right way, wrong way.    https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/right-way-wrong-way-2307359.jpg
Kind hearts are the garden . . .   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/b8/86/68/b88668a0327e9dbc6336c25314aa7507.gif
anger.    http://christianmotivations.weebly.com/uploads/7/6/2/0/7620268/9094653_orig.jpg?0
Mother Teresa.    http://www.turnbacktogod.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/mother-teresa-pics-0101.jpg
Action speaks louder.   https://pastortravisdsmith.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/talk-is-cheap.jpg?w=625
The Boy who cried Wolf.    https://cdn.usborne.com/catalogue/covers/eng/width_223px/ele-boy-who-cried-wolf.jpg
patient chickens.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/patient2.jpg
envy.     https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8525/8479435698_ee5396edb9_b.jpg
wise and innocent.   http://payload375.cargocollective.com/1/19/609483/9804649/Matthew_10_16_1024.jpg

2149.) Proverbs 13

July 27, 2017

Proverbs 13:12

Proverbs 13 (The Message)

Walk with the Wise

1 Intelligent children listen to their parents;
foolish children do their own thing.

Don’t these “foolish children” remind you of the book of Judges? — “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Oh, the value of taking good advice at a young age!

2 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation;
bullies push and shove their way through life.

3 Careful words make for a careful life;
careless talk may ruin everything.

4 Indolence wants it all and gets nothing;
the energetic have something to show for their lives.

5 A good person hates false talk;
a bad person wallows in gibberish.

6 A God-loyal life keeps you on track;
sin dumps the wicked in the ditch.

(See song below . . . )

7 A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
a plain and simple life is a full life.

Let me hold lightly things of this earth:
Transient treasures, what are they worth?
Moths can corrupt them, rust can decay;
All their bright beauty fades in a day.
Let me hold lightly temporal things —
I, who am deathless, I, who wear wings.

Let me hold fast, Lord, things of the skies;
Quicken my vision, open my eyes!
Show me Thy riches, glory and grace,
Boundless as time is, endless as space.
Let me hold lightly things that are mine —
Lord, Thou hast given me all that is Thine!

–Martha S. Nicholson

8 The rich can be sued for everything they have,
but the poor are free of such threats.

9 The lives of good people are brightly lit streets;
the lives of the wicked are dark alleys.

(See song below . . . )

10 Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord,
but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.

11 Easy come, easy go,
but steady diligence pays off.

12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.

Proverbs 13:12 (ESV)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Dream Deferred
a poem by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

13 Ignore the Word and suffer;
honor God’s commands and grow rich.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
so, no more drinking from death-tainted wells!

(See song below . . . )

15 Sound thinking makes for gracious living,
but liars walk a rough road.



“Liars walk a rough road” — sounds like a country music song, doesn’t it?!  HERE  is Garth Brooks singing about a liar whose road is just about to get rougher — “The Thunder Rolls.” The song was released in 1991.

Three thirty in the morning
Not a soul in sight
The city’s looking like a ghost town
On a moonless summer night
Raindrops on the windshield
There’s a storm moving in
He’s heading back from somewhere
That he never should have been
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls

Every light is burning
In a house across town
She’s pacing by the telephone
In her faded flannel gown
Asking for miracle
Hoping she’s not right
Praying it’s the weather
That’s kept him out all night
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls

The thunder rolls
And the lightning strikes
Another love grows cold
On a sleepless night
As the storm blows on
Out of control
Deep in her heart
The thunder rolls

She’s waiting by the window
When he pulls into the drive
She rushes out to hold him
Thankful he’s alive
But on the wind and rain
A strange new perfume blows
And the lightning flashes in her eyes
And he knows that she knows
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls

The thunder rolls
And the lightning strikes
Another love grows cold and dark
On a sleepless night
As the storm blows on
Out of control
Deep in her heart
The thunder rolls

She runs back down the hallway
And through the bedroom door
She reaches for the pistol
Kept in the dresser drawer
Tells the lady in the mirror
He won’t do this again
Cause tonight will be the last time
She’ll wonder where he’s been


16 A commonsense person lives good sense;
fools litter the country with silliness.

17 Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things,
but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.

18 Refuse discipline and end up homeless;
embrace correction and live an honored life.

19 Souls who follow their hearts thrive;
fools bent on evil despise matters of soul.

(See song above . . .)

20 Become wise by walking with the wise;

Only a few of my favorite “wise ones” I have walked with, ones who have shaped me:

Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is my favorite redemption story.  I read it every year.

C. S. Lewis. Till We Have Faces has taught me much about true and false love, and how often we call our self-serving pride “love.”

Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina speaks so clearly to the consequences of choosing to serve self or choosing to serve others.

Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird — to stand up for what is right, against what your friends think, no matter the cost.

William Golding. Lord of the Flies.  A great gift to anyone who believes humans are innately good.

O. E. Rolvaag. Giants in the Earth gave me a deep respect for the faith and the courage of the pioneers.

Fyodor Dostoevsky. Crime and Punishment is a penetrating study of the human soul when facing sin. Eat and sleep before you start reading because it is impossible to put down.

Dr. Seuss. On Beyond Zebra, because “now I know in part.”

Madeleine L’Engle. A Wrinkle in Time displays the greatness of creation, the love of God, the reward of loyalty to what is true and good. I believe every middle school child should read this book!

Dominique Lapierre. The City of Joy confronted me with staggering human brokenness and suffering, juxtaposed with a love that willingly serves others.

Now —  please share with me and our DWELLING community some of the “wise ones” you have walked with!


hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

(See song above . . . )

21 Disaster entraps sinners,
but God-loyal people get a good life.

22 A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren;

A mother becomes a true grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do because she is so enchanted with the wonderful things her grandchildren do.
~ Lois Wyse

My mother said, Don’t worry about what people think now. Think about whether your children and grandchildren will think you’ve done well.
~ Lord Mountbatten

Grandchildren:  the only people who can get more out of you than the IRS.
~ Gene Perret

ill-gotten wealth ends up with good people.

23 Banks foreclose on the farms of the poor,
or else the poor lose their shirts to crooked lawyers.

24 A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
love your children by disciplining them.

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

25 An appetite for good brings much satisfaction,
but the belly of the wicked always wants more.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
verse 12.    http://www.thefinalharvest.org/art/proverbs13-12%20with%20verse%20no%20shadow.jpg
It’s all about me.     http://www.sparkboutik.com//wp-content/uploads/2012/02/dealwithit.jpg
verse 4.    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2104/1747477155_ff5c48cbdf.jpg
Thoreau quote.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/fd/a4/46/fda4463bfc161c52e2309497563bb461.jpg
tree of life.    http://emmeleia88.free.fr/tyran/tree-of-life.jpg
books on a shelf.    https://2d5nep2aya983psxvw3nw0l9-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/modern-leather-6.jpg
grandparents with grandchild.     http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01371/grandparents_1371795c.jpg
father scolding son.     https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/discipline.jpg

2060.) Proverbs 12

March 24, 2017

Proverbs 12 (The Message)

If You Love Learning

1 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
how shortsighted to refuse correction!

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

Victor Hugo
French novelist, statesman, human rights activist
(1802 – 1885)

2 A good person basks in the delight of God,
and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.

3 You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
but life rooted in God stands firm.

4 A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.

happy couple:  a wife with a good heart and a husband who loves her!

Eve was not taken from Adam’s head, because she was not intended to be his ruler . . . nor from his feet either, because she was not intended to be his slave . . . but from his side, precisely, because she was intended to be his companion.

5 The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
the plots of degenerates corrupt.

6 The words of the wicked kill;
the speech of the upright saves.

7 Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
the homes of good people hold together.

2 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.

8 A person who talks sense is honored;
airheads are held in contempt.

9 Better to be ordinary and work for a living
than act important and starve in the process.

10 Good people are good to their animals;
the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them.

Ask the beasts and they will teach you the beauty of this earth.

–St. Francis

11 The one who stays on the job has food on the table;
the witless chase whims and fancies.

12 What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin,
while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.

Wise People Take Advice

13 The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.

14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
well-done work has its own reward.

Tulips in a couple of the one thousand acres of Longwood Gardens, PA.

Kind hearts are the garden,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
American poet (1807 – 1882)

15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
wise people take advice.

16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
the prudent quietly shrug off insults.

Choose NOT to be offended. I was taught this some years ago by my friend Ross, and I love the idea that I can make a choice that will benefit me and honor God!

17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air,
but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.

18 Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.

Healing Words

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
— Hubert H. Humphrey

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.
— Henri Nouwen

The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.
— Willa Cather

You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
— C.S. Lewis

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
— Philippians 4:8  (KJV)

19 Truth lasts;
lies are here today, gone tomorrow.

20 Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
peace-planning brings joy to the planner.

21 No evil can overwhelm a good person,
but the wicked have their hands full of it.

22 God can’t stomach liars;
he loves the company of those who keep their word.

23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
talkative fools broadcast their silliness.

24 The diligent find freedom in their work;
the lazy are oppressed by work.

It is possible to fail in many ways. . . while to succeed is possible only in one way.

Greek critic, philosopher, physicist, zoologist
(384-322 BC)

25 Worry weighs us down;
a cheerful word picks us up.

26 A good person survives misfortune,
but a wicked life invites disaster.

27 A lazy life is an empty life,
but “early to rise” gets the job done.

Early to bed, and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Benjamin Franklin
author, printer, politician, scientist, inventor, diplomat

28 Good men and women travel right into life;
sin’s detours take you straight to hell.



The Gandhi quote at the top of the page has really stayed with me, perhaps because I have had a couple deaths in my circle of friends recently: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”

HERE  Tim McGraw sings some of the same thoughts in his “Live Like You Were Dying,” a song which won the County Music Song of the Year for 2004.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
Gandhi quote.   https://chrisdelacruzofficial.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/live-as-if-you-were-to-die-tomorrow-learn-as-if-you-were-to-live-forever-mahatma-gandhi.jpg
school-apple.    http://extraordinarymomsnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/apple-school.jpg
dear friends Sonja and Johan Hinderlie.    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_wwHflP16Wm8/SlgCGi-f0OI/AAAAAAAAES8/EOHXusOYupU/s288/100_4460.jpg
St. Francis with the animals.   https://www.avemariapress.com/dynamicmedia/files/6d06008f1b02bbed0179a06cceb475f0/stfrancis.jpg
Longwood Gardens.    http://www.appraisaltrend.com/xSites/Appraisers/AppraisalTrendLLC/Content/UploadedFiles/LongwoodGardens.jpg
Attitude quote.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/e112e-17f9dc4d7329c7e3037d8beb43519eb7.jpg
bouquet of flowers.  http://myfsn-ars.flowershopnetwork.com/images/flowerdatabase/alstromeria-lilies-and-roses-everyday.365.jpg 
Work hard.    http://www.motivationpark.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Work-hard-and-become-a-leader.jpg
Ben Franklin.    http://stevenblair.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/ben-franklin-2.jpg

2040.) Proverbs 11

February 24, 2017

“The righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” — Proverbs 11:28

Proverbs 11 (The Message)

Without Good Direction, People Lose Their Way

1God hates cheating in the marketplace;
he loves it when business is aboveboard.

A recent example of cheating in the marketplace:  Bernard Madoff orchestrated a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that collapsed, affecting thousands of investors.

2 The stuck-up fall flat on their faces,
but down-to-earth people stand firm.

3 The integrity of the honest keeps them on track;
the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin.

4 A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart,
but a principled life can stand up to the worst.

5 Moral character makes for smooth traveling;
an evil life is a hard life.


6 Good character is the best insurance;
crooks get trapped in their sinful lust.

7 When the wicked die, that’s it—
the story’s over, end of hope.

8 A good person is saved from much trouble;
a bad person runs straight into it.

9 The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction;
the common sense of the godly preserves them.

a poster from World War II


from Experiencing God Day-by-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

The Bible stresses that what you say is an accurate indicator of what is in your heart. If your words bless and encourage others, they give evidence of a compassionate heart. If you often share the good news about Christ, you demonstrate a heart that is grateful for your own salvation. When others are in a crisis, do they know they will find peace and comfort in your words? Do you frequently and spontaneously offer prayers for others? Do your words and the manner in which you say them reveal a patient heart? All of these behaviors indicate a heart that is like the heart of the Father.

Or do you often regret your words? Are there people even now who are hurt or angry because of something you have said? Do you enjoy gossip? Do you tend to criticize others? Do you feel that you are not responsible for what comes out of your mouth when you are angry? Does your mouth spew grumbling and complaints? These behaviors come from a heart that is unlike God’s heart.

You may say, “Oh, but that’s just the way I am! I am always saying the wrong thing!” Yet Scripture clearly states that an abusive tongue is not under the control of the Spirit (see James 3:3-10). A sanctified mouth is a wonderful instrument for the Lord. A heart like the father’s heart will produce only pure and loving words. Without making any excuses for your words, ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you for any words that have brought harm. Then ask Him to discipline your mouth so that every word you speak is used by God to encourage and edify others.

10 When it goes well for good people, the whole town cheers;
when it goes badly for bad people, the town celebrates.

11 When right-living people bless the city, it flourishes;
evil talk turns it into a ghost town in no time.

12 Mean-spirited slander is heartless;
quiet discretion accompanies good sense.

13 A gadabout gossip can’t be trusted with a secret,
but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence.

“Gossip” by Norman Rockwell.

14 Without good direction, people lose their way;
the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

15 Whoever makes deals with strangers is sure to get burned;
if you keep a cool head, you’ll avoid rash bargains.

16 A woman of gentle grace gets respect,
but men of rough violence grab for loot.

A God-Shaped Life

17 When you’re kind to others, you help yourself;
when you’re cruel to others, you hurt yourself.



HERE  is “We Can Be Kind”  sung by Nancy Lamott. Many times it seems that the simplest things are the things that make the difference!


18 Bad work gets paid with a bad check;
good work gets solid pay.

19 Take your stand with God’s loyal community and live,
or chase after phantoms of evil and die.

20 God can’t stand deceivers,
but oh how he relishes integrity.


21 Count on this: The wicked won’t get off scot-free,
and God’s loyal people will triumph.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful face on an empty head.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”

–Miss Piggy

23 The desires of good people lead straight to the best,
but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration.

24 The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

“The Miser” by Tsaritsa Maria Fyodorovna (mother of Tsar Nicholas II), 1890.

The Miser

A miser once dreamed he had given away
Some bread to the beggar he’d met in the day.
He woke with a start and solemnly swore
That as long as he lived he would slumber no more.

25 The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are helped.

26 Curses on those who drive a hard bargain!
Blessings on all who play fair and square!

27 The one who seeks good finds delight;
the student of evil becomes evil.

28 A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump;
a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

29 Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air;
common sense tells you it’s a stupid way to live.

30 A good life is a fruit-bearing tree;
a violent life destroys souls.


Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

31 If good people barely make it,
what’s in store for the bad!


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
green tree.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/tree3.jpg
Bernie Madoff.    http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/12/12/alg_bernard_madoff.jpg
Everything happens for a reason.   https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/da/b4/f7/dab4f70586ac0eb54b95fc2e96caa10f.jpg
“Loose lips sink ships” poster.    http://www.3quarksdaily.com/.a/6a00d8341c562c53ef010536d16a83970b-800wi
Rockwell.    http://www.nrm.org/wp2016/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Gossips_web.jpg
Psalm 19:14.   http://www.idyllwildpines.org/Community/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/heart.jpg
Miss Piggy.    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/100/296745849_ec37dced32_o.gif
Fyodorovna.    http://01varvara.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/maria-fyodorovna-the-miser-1890-e1268345929496.jpg
fruit and verse 30.    https://t3.ftcdn.net/jpg/00/89/00/02/240_F_89000280_eied5nOCJmGU1hx5QfCIGHQSkuwSrdcL.jpg

1895.) Proverbs 10

August 5, 2016

Prov10 rich

Proverbs 10 (The Message)

The Wise Sayings of Solomon

An Honest Life Is Immortal

1 Wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.

2 Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere;
an honest life is immortal.

3 God won’t starve an honest soul,
but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked.

Psalm 37:25 (New International Version)

I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

4 Sloth makes you poor;
diligence brings wealth.

5 Make hay while the sun shines—that’s smart;
go fishing during harvest—that’s stupid.

6 Blessings accrue on a good and honest life,

but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

7 A good and honest life is a blessed memorial;
a wicked life leaves a rotten stench.

8 A wise heart takes orders;
an empty head will come unglued.

9 Honesty lives confident and carefree,
but Shifty is sure to be exposed.

Reflections on telling the truth and lying:

Who lies for you will lie against you.
~Bosnian Proverb

No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.
~Abraham Lincoln

Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.
~Thomas Carlyle

A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.
~Charles Edward Montague

Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.
~Thomas Jefferson

10 An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead,
but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.

11 The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

12 Hatred starts fights,
but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.

Prov10 quilt

1 Peter 4:8 (New International Version)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

13 You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight,
but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.

14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.

16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.

Prov10 righteous life

17 The road to life is a disciplined life;
ignore correction and you’re lost for good.

18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
fools openly spread slander.

19 The more talk, the less truth;
the wise measure their words.

20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.

Fear-of-God Expands Your Life

22 God’s blessing makes life rich;
nothing we do can improve on God.



HERE,  The Oslo Gospel Choir sings about how rich life is in  “The Power of Your Love.”  Lyrics below.

Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace
That I’ve found in You
Lord I’ve come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the Power of Your love

Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side
And as I wait
I’ll rise up like an eagle
And I will soar with You
Your spirit leads me on
In the Power of Your love

Lord unveil my eyes
Let me see you face to face
The knowledge of Your love
As you live in me
Lord renew my mind
As Your will unfolds in my life
In living every day
In the Power of Your love

Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side
And as I wait
I’ll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love


23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,
but a mindful person relishes wisdom.

24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
what the good people desire, they get.

1 John 5:14-15 (New International Version)

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.

26 A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.

27 The Fear-of-God expands your life;
a wicked life is a puny life.

28 The aspirations of good people end in celebration;
the ambitions of bad people crash.

Job 8:11-13 (New International Version)

Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh?
Can reeds thrive without water?

While still growing and uncut,
they wither more quickly than grass.

Such is the destiny of all who forget God;
so perishes the hope of the godless.

29 God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
but he calls into question a shabby performance.

30 Good people last—they can’t be moved;
the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.

31 A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.

32 The speech of a good person clears the air;
the words of the wicked pollute it.

Not like the picture above!  Like the words below!

Psalm 19:14 (New International Version)

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
It is the blessing of the Lord . . .    http://grucc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/proverbs-10_22.jpg
boy eating bread.    http://www.britsattheirbest.com/images/ii_bread_boy.gif
crown and verse 6.   http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i317/glorifing/Bible%20Scripture/proverbs10_6crop.gif
Pinocchio.   http://eurohero.wikispaces.com/file/view/pinocchio.jpg/94456428/pinocchio.jpg
quilt with hearts.    http://cdn3.craftsy.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Screen-Shot-2014-01-29-at-8.47.19-AM.png
The labour of the righteous.   https://01.img.society6.com/society6/img/zuQFup7yxFGbKD5L-Du6LiHrb4A/w_700/artwork/~artwork/s6-0004/asset_14/419869_twbJVKYeIK/~~/proverbs-1016-prints.jpg
butterfly and verse 19.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/prov10-19s.jpg
painting of the face of Jesus by Ju Chul Kim, 2006.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/ohmygod0019.jpg
papyrus plant.    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/12/Papyrus_plant.jpg
air pollution.    http://www.urbansprout.co.za/files/images/air%20pollution_0.jpg

1850.) Proverbs 9

June 3, 2016

Prov9 v10
Proverbs 9 (The Message)

King Solomon asked for and received true, godly wisdom. In Proverbs 9, he personifies wisdom as a liberal hostess, a queen, in a lovely house to which she invites her pupils to a wonderful banquet. We can see two references here — one to Christ’s incarnation, when he built for himself a human body (John 2:19), and another to his work in forming the Church, which is his mystical body (1 Peter 2:5).

The Polish author Witold Gombrowicz wrote: “Foolishness is a twin sister of wisdom.” I doubt if Solomon would agree.

Lady Wisdom Gives a Dinner Party

1-6 Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home;
it’s supported by seven hewn timbers.

The word “church” in English means both a group of believers and the building in which they meet.  As our chapter talks about the former, here is one of the latter:  Notre Dame de Paris, completed around 1345,  is widely considered to be one of the world’s finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NIV)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted,
wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.
Having dismissed her serving maids,
Lady Wisdom goes to town, stands in a prominent place,
and invites everyone within sound of her voice:
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!
I’ve prepared a wonderful spread—fresh-baked bread,
roast lamb, carefully selected wines.
Leave your impoverished confusion and live!
Walk up the street to a life with meaning.”

Prov9 feast meal

Isaiah 25:6   (NLT)

In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.

7-12 If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you.

1 John 5:20 (NIV)

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.



Peter says, To Him be glory!  Paul says, He is the true God!  What do we say?

“My Savior, My God,”  by Aaron Shust,  HERE.  This song was awarded Song of the Year at the 2007 Annual GMA Dove Awards in Nashville.


Madame Whore Calls Out, Too

In contrast to wisdom, the picture of folly is of a foolish woman, a harlot, who entices people into her house to their doom. Sophocles said: “Foolishness is indeed the sister of wickedness.” It seems Solomon would agree.

13-18 Then there’s this other woman, Madame Whore—
brazen, empty-headed, frivolous.
She sits on the front porch
of her house on Main Street,
And as people walk by minding
their own business, calls out,
“Are you confused about life, don’t know what’s going on?
Steal off with me, I’ll show you a good time!
No one will ever know—I’ll give you the time of your life.”
But they don’t know about all the skeletons in her closet,
that all her guests end up in hell.

The Spider and the Fly
a cautionary tale by Mary Howitt, 1821.

(When I think of Madame Whore, she has distinctly arachnid characteristics!)

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?'” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, ” Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome — will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind Sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you ‘re pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond  bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue,
Thinking of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour — but she ne’er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.


The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Images courtesy of:
flower and verse 10.   http://ourdailyblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/110117-590×393.jpg
Notre Dame.    http://www.essential-architecture.com/IMAGES2/NotreDameDeParis.jpg
grilled tenderloin dinner.   https://www.ste-michelle.com/files/brands_cms/FlexibleImage/5143/RecipeRecipe_grilled-beef-tenderloin.jpg
Grow in Christ.    http://media.photobucket.com/image/Christ/nlbrown1/Religous/GrowinChrist.jpg
The Spider and the Fly.    http://www.stackingbooks.com/temp//wp-content/uploads/2013/03/The-Spider-and-the-fly-Cover.jpg