Tag Archives: Book of Proverbs

Living the Time

When I was a small boy one of the highlights of my summers was the “Waveland Trip” Waveland is a small beach community in Mississippi. My mother’s uncle owned a camp (Southern for beach house) just a block or two from the water. Every June about 20 -25 people packed themselves into that 1000 square foot house on a tiny lot for a grand party. The fare was simple: hamburgers, chips and beer or colas for the adults; and hotdogs, chips and Wyler’s fruit punch for Beachthe kids. That was lunch and supper. Breakfast was always an abundant supply of scrambled eggs and grits with some kind of fake orange juice. This place was no resort, but going to the beach was the highlight of my summer. The trip was always short, just Saturday and Sunday, but it was grand. On the way home in a noisy, uncomfortable, non-air conditioned car I thought about next year and how very long it would be before I could return again. A year for a 6 or 8 year old is a lifetime. The last of those trips is now more than 50 years ago. I ask myself how time has sped up so furiously since a little boy’s year was so long?

I now know the importance of redeeming the time. The ability to cherish the moments becomes increasingly important as our years pile up. A few years ago the slogan “Carpe Diem’ was popularized by  Christian author, Tony Campolo, in his book by the same name. The expression was first penned by the Roman poet Horace. In his day it meant “Pluck the Day,” but today it is translated as “Seize the Day.” We all want to indeed live each moment with passion and conviction and in the process live life to the fullest. Many years ago an unknown mystic writer pick up on this idea.

You used the correct expression when you said “for the love of Jesus.” The love of Jesus is the source of the help you need. Love’s power brings everything together. Love Jesus, and everything of his becomes yours. As God made time, so God judges our use of time. Tie yourself to Him with love and faith, knitting your relationship together. This way you may become a part of the larger fellowship of those fastened to God by love. You will have friends among the saints and angels who do not waste any time.

— Cloud of Unknowing

“As God made time, so God judges our use of time.” We fail to understand the importance of time usage as we wish away our years as youngsters and as we whist our way through our productive years. If we are to cherish and enjoy the gifts of God we must take the time to be aware of His presence and calling in our lives. The writer asserts that love and faith glue us to God .This relationship opens a tremendous array of opportunities and gifts to us. We have relationships on earth and in the heavens that do not waste time but give themselves fully.

Stop for a moment and do an inventory of what you do with your day. Do you truly seize the moments of beauty, service and joy that come with each day of this extraordinary life that God has given you, or do you spend your day in a furious rush to accomplish a goal or in a funk waiting for the tomorrow that may never come? Somehow I think if we recapture the slowness of the passage of time experienced by a small boy between his trips to Waveland, we could live a richer and fuller life.

July-26.2017


Prayer

Lord help me to live in the moment. Allow me to see the beauty of the flowers and feel the refreshment of the falling rain on a hot summer day. Let me see the innocence in the face of a child and feel the pain in the face of the hurting. May I count my moments in a childlike way that allows my days and years to linger on as I experience your creation.

Amen

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Interior Peace

Restrain yourself from affection toward many people, for fear lest your spirit be distracted, so that your interior peace may not be disturbed.

——Abba Evagrius  of the Desert

On face value it would seem to be a very harsh thing to say that we should stray away from having many friends and connections. I think we have all heard of the things that people do to gain popularity and power. When someone is obsessed with winning the affection of many people, they have very little time for anything else. Countless hours are spent in front of the mirror and reading tips on how to be the “one.” The more we are focused on such image, the more spiritually restless we become. In this journey we find little interior peace.

Colossians 3 for blogPaul tells the Colossian Church to “set their minds on things above.” The Abba says to restrain from our need for popularity. Both of these sayings are directed toward our ability to achieve peace with God. There can be no peace when we are frantically busy trying to be noticed. The only true peace is inner peace – the peace that allows us to thrive in a hostile world. Being at peace with ourselves is the most vital part of our relationship with God. Without the selfless interior peace, we remain spiritually empty.

Solomon tells us in Proverbs that charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.  Think about it, the wisest manProverb 31_edited-1 that ever lived called charm deceitful and beauty vain. Shouldn’t that say something to us in our image conscious world? Our real challenge is to remain focused on the things that are above and to take our eyes off of the crowd that we seek to gather and keep them on our spiritual journey. That focus will help us to achieve the interior peace that is so necessary to walk with God.

Prayer

O Lord allow me this day to focus on the interior peace that only you can give. Suffer me the strength to resist the temptation of self aggrandizement and carry me to a place of peace. Amen

Busy Monk

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Filed under Christian Journey, Desert Fathers

Love Without Judgment Is Worthy

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.”

—–Thomas Merton

Our job is to love our brothers (and sisters) without stopping. That is not the entire context of the Merton quote, but I believe it is the heart of the matter. So much of our love, our service, our commitment is hinged on the worthiness of the recipient. When we think in this manner we spend a large portion of ourMerton-30 efforts judging our brothers and sisters. Christ never acted in such a way. He said: “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” As we learn to follow the example of Jesus it lightens our burden of judgment, assessment or whatever you may call it and makes us free to love and serve.

Today’s world is certainly one of wars and rumors of wars. The greatest war that most of us have to fight is a self-inflected war of harshness and unkindness to one another. We fail to help those who are in need because we are too busy trying to find out why they are in need and too selfish to give them the simplicity of God’s love. I can only imagine what the world would really be like if we were willing to carry one another’s burden without assessing the cost, risk and worthiness of the recipient of our kindness.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from the monk when he says to us: “…love itself will render both ourselves and neighbors worthy if anything can.”

Lord help me this day to look upon my brothers and sisters as, just that, brothers and sisters. May I see them as fruits of your creation that are worthy of my love just as they are recipients of your love. In this ONE truth we find the peace and harmony that will fill the vastness of the void that lies in our souls. Amen

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Nobody Loves Me

The little boy had a rough day. It began with an argument with his sister and ended with an after school detention. He didn’t mean to yell at his sister, and he surely didn’t intend to lie to the teacher. These things just happen to little  boys. The real problem is simple. Nobody loves me!

 There are quite a few of us who feel this way today. We feel unloved, and we can’t figure out why.” It is not our fault we were  reared in a dysfunctional family. It’s all because of my background. People need to ease-off and things will be all right. If others were real, they would understand. God would understand.” He does, but he has some advice. It can be found in the Book of Proverbs. Let us look at Proverbs:

 16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil, 19 a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family.

Proverbs 6:16-19

The writer of the Proverbs is really giving us some pointers on how to be loved and appreciated. It so simple. Let us take these things that God hates and just reverse them. They will become the love principles.

 LOVE PRINCIPLES

1. Tell the truth at all times.
2. The look on your face should be receptive.
3. Take responsibility for the helpless..
4. Create a heart(internal attitude) that desires good.
5. All business deals should be open and honest..
6. Sleep on all major decisions.
7. Become known as a peace maker.

 I can guarantee that these principles will make you more loved and appreciated by all those around you. Next time you feel unloved, try to begin to live by the love principles. They are simple application of what God has said to us in the Proverbs.

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Filed under contemplative, Dedication, Evangelism, Missional Living, Proverbs

Nobody Loves Me

Proverbs 15:1*

The little boy had a rough day. It began with an argument with his sister and ended with an after school detention. He didn’t mean to yell at his sister, and he surely didn’t intend to lie to the teacher. These things just happen to little  boys. The real problem is simple. Nobody loves me!

 There are quite a few of us who feel this way today. We feel unloved, and we can’t figure out why.” It is not our fault we were  reared in a dysfunctional family. It’s all because of my background. People need to ease-off and things will be all right. If others were real, they would understand. God would understand.” He does, but he has some advice. It can be found in the Book of Proverbs. Let us look at Proverbs:

   There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:  haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil,a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19

The writer of the Proverbs is really giving us some pointers on how to be loved and appreciated. It so simple. Let us take these things that God hates and just reverse them. They will become the love principles.

 LOVE PRINCIPLES

1. Tell the truth at all times.

2. The look on your face should be receptive.

3. Take responsibility for the helpless..

4. Create a heart(internal attitude) that desires good.

5. All business deals should be open and honest..

6. Sleep on all major decisions.

7. Become known as a peace maker.

 I can guarantee that these principles will make you more loved and appreciated by all those around you. Next time you feel unloved, try to begin to live by the love principles. They are simple application of what God has said to us in the Proverbs.

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