My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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Learning from our Elders
Shameless excuse to place a picture of my granddaughters!
Prov. 1:8 Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teaching;
9for they are a fair garland for your head,
and pendants for your neck.
The proverbs give us excellent practical advice for daily life. Children are to listen to and obey their parents. This instruction is so helpful for life that it becomes as beautiful as an adornment that one might wear.
I spent a few minutes of my morning with my granddaughters who are three and nineteen months. Usually they are such a joy in the mornings, full of sunshine and smiles, but not today. The girls are a bit tired this morning because they were up a little late last night and the older one awakened a little too early. That means that today has a few more challenges than the average day, and some buttons that are easily pushed. I watched on as my daughter told her oldest that she had two options for some quiet time this morning. Neither one of those options was seen as favorable and so the tears began to flow, with an insistence that a three-year-old knew the best option and it included watching “Paw Patrol.” From a distance I watched as this all played out with mother refusing to give in to the little one.
A few minutes later the same testing occurred but brought on by the nineteen month old who was determined that she was finished with breakfast. Soon there ensued the “just two more bites” discussion. At this point the toddler turned into one of the finest actresses I’ve seen at such a young age. She worked really hard to get those tears to start to flow, wrinkled up her face, and thought she’d add some sounds of anguish. This was met by a mother with resolve who simply looked at her and praised her on her acting skills and told her to eat two more bites. She instantly stopped the show, ate her two bites and lovingly smiled at her mom.
I remember the days of being a young mother and the energy that it took to keep instructing the girls, and now I watch my daughter do the very same thing. I watch these two little granddaughters and I realize that if they learn to follow the instructions of their parents (because their dad is just as engaged in their instruction as their mother) they will discover a “fair garland” for their head and a “pendant” for their neck. Even at their very young age they have to decide whether they will follow the instruction of their parents or not, but if they do listen, things will go better for them. It’s the love of their parents that is poured out in instruction so that they will learn how to live well in this world.
Our heavenly Father provides us with instruction for life. There are times when we respond like little children, unhappy about the options and direction that God may want us to go. Sometimes we don’t like the spiritual food, or spiritual experiences that God may be using to shape and form us. We wrinkle up our nose and show our disgust at what we are going through. Our loving Father knows that it’s not always pleasant, but he also knows that what is best for us.
Spiritual children are to hear and heed the instruction and teaching of our heavenly Father. Our Father wants us to be able to live well and follow his leading. This will be visible in the ways in which we live our lives and respond to the difficulties which we will encounter. Instead of being ugly in the midst of a tragedy or frustration, we will become adorned with God’s instruction and teaching which will make us appear to be beautifully adorned. It’s the ways in which we respond when frustrated that will reveal whether we have been coddled and received very little instruction and teaching, or whether we have been disciplined by those who have taken the time to love us well.
Earthly parents are to follow the model placed before us by our heavenly Father. Children are to respond, hearing and accepting that beautiful gift of discipline, instruction and teaching, which is provided for our benefit.
Lord, may my heart be softened in your presence, willingly accepting your instruction and teaching, reflecting your beauty to the world.Amen.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain. Observation:
There is a foundation to the house of this life, and that must be the Lord. Application:
I think it started this week when we got off the plane in Boise. A flood of memories began to overwhelm me as I reminisced about the way that things used to be. Many years ago, when we were living in Russia, we would come back home to the United States on furlough, and that always meant coming to Boise, Idaho. My parents were living here and had built a home with two guest rooms that we would call “home” for three months. Exiting the security area at the airport, my parents were always there, waiting with expectant smiles, for us to finally arrive. I can see my mom, clapping her hands, with a grin from ear to ear, just waiting to wrap her arms around every one of us. This week, I glanced at the waiting area as we exited the security …
Scripture: Proverbs 21:17Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. Observation:
Some have said that this verse speaks of the dangers of an Epicurean life-style. What does that mean? Generally we have attributed this to the teaching of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in 341 BC. He encouraged people to find a static state of pleasure where one was satiated — or full. When the pleasures have been completely, or entirely satisfied, then one feels full. Later Epicurean societies adopted a motto: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo ("I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”). In contemporary society this phrase has been adopted to be used at humanist funerals, or to be carved as an epitaph on a headstone.
The problem is that they don’t understand what Wisdom was trying to say. Pleasure alone would ultimately leave one wanting. The Epicurean life of rich foods and drink, as well as the investment in oils and cosmetics could not be sustained. T…
Proverbs 15:17Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it. Observation:
The guests are invited to dinner but the host is concerned that there is little to offer. Without the financial resources of the wealthy, they are unable to kill a fatted ox and can only serve vegetables. While some may be discouraged by this, wisdom tells us that the satisfaction depends upon the appetite of the guest. If the guests who are invited are hungry, then even a small meal will be enjoyed and received with gratitude. They will experience the love of the host who was willing to share all he had with his guests. Application:
I was born in Germany where my parents served as missionaries. It seems that our financial resources were often limited, and yet, there was an endless supply of guests at our table. Not only did we have our dear German friends gathering with us at the table, but also many visitors from other countries who would stop by, wanting to see “t…