Hey there Saints~
I had a fresh reminder of what some of your lives are like right now. Christie and I had our two grandboys spend the night last night and spent some time with us today. Boy, are we plum tuckered out. In recently reading Arissa’s blog the other day, I quote, “It seems like all we do is parent, work, read the bible and sleep.” We just did it one night, you all do it each and every day. Picture me bowing to you giving you blessings for all of your hard work. You are my heroes.
Yesterday was just so good. It really started on Saturday night when some folks came together to pray for our service together the next day. I think it made a difference. Great time of challenge. Great time of worship. Great time of seeing folks mingle and fellowship. Great time in the Word. Great time of working together for a common purpose.
Again thank you so much for making Peggy feel welcome with all of your kind words toward her. Thank you for going out of your way to introduce yourselves to her. Miss Peggy has so much to offer and teach. Her insight in the Word is special. If you know anyone needing private counseling services, her practice is here in town, and comes highly recommended.
Finishing Psalms today was bittersweet in some ways and forward looking in others. The verbs in most of the concluding chapters of Psalms regarding praise are in the command form. When the psalmists is encouraging his fellow ”believers” to shake off their doldrums, it isn’t a suggestion. He knows something about praise and worship he wants his friends to experience. His words are action words. Demonstrative words. It is not describing a quiet time moment when one is alone in the presence of Father. He is describing a festive, joyous, exuberant, bring-the-dead-dry-bones-to-life kind of demonstration of faith in the assembly of other believers. Psalms tells us heaven is not going to be quiet, we are just getting warmed up down here.
Turning the page to start Proverbs, I was greeted with a heap of notes in my Bible. As you recall, last March, we as a church body participated in a small project called Mashal March. We were tasked to read the chapter of Proverbs which corresponded with the date of the month. As we moved through the chapters, the Lord revealed lots of great insight to many of you. Similarly to what we are experiencing now with B90X, a hunger for the Word encouraged us to want more. (Recall spiritual hunger is not the same as physical hunger.) Mashal is the closest Hebrew word for Proverb. Also, similarly to what I am tormenting you with (almost) daily with these emails, I gave one a day back then too. I was reading them all over again, so enjoying what the Lord was doing in me, us, and our town. The person who can remember the three word phrase we used at the time to encourage us to pursue wisdom gets a prize. Ready, go…
1 Kings 3 Solomon asks for wisdom, 1 Kings 4:29-34 he gets it. The purpose for the proverbs was seven fold:
1. for attaining wisdom and discipline
2. for understanding words of insight
3. for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life
4. for doing what is right and just and fair
5. for giving prudence to the simple
6. for knowledge and discretion to the young
7. for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise
The predominant audience for this whole book is “my son, my sons.” In the first seven chapters and never again after that point, I highlighted those two words each place they showed up. Solomon is really emphatic in who he is speaking to. There are sixteen instances where Solomon is trying to get his boys attention.
As I was reading today, the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song “Teach Your Children Well” reverberated through my cranium. I thought about the heavy responsibility placed on parents to do such a thing. My encouragement to you parents, you are doing a great thing. Stay faithful in training, coaching, and teaching your children. They may not like you for it now, don’t give in, stay true to your convictions. But, trust me, they will say something about it and show appreciation later in their lives. And oh is that such a good feeling. Teach them to love God, love people, and serve the world. Teach them how to lose fairly. Teach them the value of money, how it is to be used, and that generous giving reaps great rewards. Teach them what it means to be others-minded (1 Cor 10:24). Teach them how to engage adults in conversation. Give them skills that will help them gain favor with others. You may be a teen now and say, this information is useless to me right now. That is OK, please file it away for later use. It will make your life so much better when you are on the other side of child rearing.
Have a great week Saints. Any comments on any of the material shared here with you is valuable to me. Pastor Mark.