Archive for December, 2018

A Word to the Wise

12-21-2018 – A Word to the Wise:

As mentioned earlier several weeks ago I ask the Lord to give I mentioned earlier that the Lord has given other gifts besides the Motivational Gifts. Since it is the season for gift-giving I will summarize 10 major areas His gifts to mankind may be observed. A fuller description will be posted on my website a little later. The names given for the most part are ones I have chosen.

  1. The Motivation Gifts. Romans 12:4-7 (RSV)

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

The gift is discernable for those who study the evidences of the traits readily visible. The seven gifts, one per person are distribuend by the heavenly Father among all people at conception. The purpose for that person is chosen by the Father and His future purpose for that person. The gift is strengthen by use and ones commitment to the Lord, weakened by disuse and misuse. Everyone receives one of these gift at conception. In depth study is available on my web site or from other sources.

To summarize the seven: Prophet, Teacher, Organizer, Exhorter, Mercy, Server, and Giver.

  1. Another set of gifts are described in I Corinthians 12. These gifts are called Spiritual gifts and are limited to those who are Christians.

Notice please the passage spells out the source and the purpose of each of the gifts being assigned. That is the general purpose is for the common good, and the source is the Holy Spirit. Also it is apparent that again we find seven in number.

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;

5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.(RSV)

  1. Ministerial gifts are described for us in Ephesians 4:

And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,

12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (RSV).

  1. Desire of the Heart Gift. This is a gift assigned to a special group.

The Lord sees losing one’s chief source of authority in childhood as a great loss. Because of the severity of this loss, God compensates the child. Who fits into this group? It would seem that whenever a person loses his father, regardless of age, then he becomes a part of this group. It would also appear that the age of loss determines the severity and level of compensation.

  1. Protector Gifts That gift is reserved for the widows.

“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy mountain.” This is a quote from Psalms 68. All through the Bible Gods’ special concern for widows is referenced. The high point of the Lord’s concern for them is summed up in James 1:27. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: To visit the orphans and widows in their affliction…”

  1. Talent Gifts

Based on Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-46 English Standard Version (RSV). I go into detail with this group later.

  1. Birth Gifts determined even before birth.

These gifts by the Heavenly Father are determined even before birth and given to those He determines beforehand to further His purpose and direction. Usually the gift has to do with the persons place in history and set to accomplish a specific task or goal. Examples may be

John the Baptist, David, Esther, prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah which scripture points were called before birth.

A more recent example would be gifted children who are born with exceptional traits. Usually these individuals have high IQ’s and may be observed with the following characteristics usually beginning in infancy: Alertness, curious rapid learning ability, problem solving ability, self-taught, highly sensitive, daydreamers, exceptional memories, intense feelings, wide interest, excellent attention span, broad vocabularies at early age, wide interest, to name a few of the traits.

  1. Another group those who have ask the LORD FOR A GIFT

This group is special in the sense that the person believes in the Lord and based on this belief makes a request of the Lord.

Matthew 7:7 Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. The person has to be aware of the Lord. That the Lord is able to grant the request, and the person must believe in the Lord. So what does this mean? In some circumstances one may be asking or healing which scripture has many examples. In other circumstances the person is asking the Lord to intervene in an impossible situation. What is unique here is that life circumstances has the person asking for a specific act or help in some impossible situation.

  1. Another group are those given Random Gifts

Text: Parable of the Sower. Lk. 8:11-15, (RSV)

11 Now the parable is this The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.

  1. Compensatory Gifts

Those gifts distributed because of loss of normality. When a person is born with certain problems whether it be low intelligence level, some physical problem, mental difficulty, or emotional genetic difficulty caused by a loss or deformation of nature. They may be of two types; Congenital or at birth, or they maybe acquired, usual by and accident or injury.

If acquired at or prior to birth then most frequently the person may be autistic, or have Asperger’s. Often these children have IQ’s below 70, and yet may be genius in a specific area like in memory, music, art, or other fields. However some may be actual genius with exceptionally high IQ’s. Sometimes this group may be referred to as savant syndrome individuals

Those individuals who acquire this gift after an accident, brain damage, or with a physical or mental problem might be referred to with the term savant syndrome Sometimes this group may be referred to as savant syndrome individual.

These are short summaries of the different sets of gifts the Heavenly Father gives. Each group has traits specific to that group, and given with certain conditions. Further details will be given later.

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A Word to the Wise

12-17-2018 – A Word to the Wise: REMINDER: Whatever position of authority we find ourselves, whether it be small or great, there is one thing we must realize about it; that it is a sacred charge before God and we must give an account for how we use it. This should be a fearful thought for most all of us exercise some authority, somewhere, sometime. The mass rebellion to authority, I believe, finds it’s real answer in the unfaithful manner in which those possessing it exercise it.

The first attribute necessary to proper use of authority is humility. Authority is a power which is entrusted to the individual by either God or man. To fulfill this trust one must in some manner assume responsibility regarding others. If there is no human being involved, there is no authority involved.

We are not a people that can easily comprehend authority. We do not live under a strict disciplinary government. On a whole, we are not accustomed to heavy discipline in our jobs and our homes. Thus, when we are confronted with the authority of God we have little in our background to help us comprehend its significance.

To reverence authority is to reverence God because the Word of God says all authority is ordained of God. He is saying that truth and authority are synonymous. The Centurion comprehended authority this is why his faith was so great. It is difficult for us to comprehend the price we pay for resistance and rebellion.

In the light of the seriousness of authority we find it necessary to ask; Is a woman to obey her husband? How did Sarah understand obedience? Is a woman under the authority of man? I believe how these questions were answered in the past account for many misunderstandings in the present.

Is a woman under the authority of man? No more or less than a man is under the authority of a woman. With two exceptions (the church and the home) male and females are equal in all matters pertaining to authority. The degradation of women in all societies, and nations has never been authorized by God. It does point to the prideful, unfaithful manner in which men tend to exercise unjust authority. However, a woman is just as able to hold the highest office of the land as man, neither are superior.

Is a woman told to obey her husband? No, not at least in the sense that a child obeys the parent, or one obeys governmental law. Men and women are given different areas of authority in the home. For this each is accountable to God. Often A husband will use scripture to enforce his will over the wife; is this justifiable? Lets look at these passages to discern in the biblical context what is authorized and unauthorized.

First lets examine I Peter 3:6 it says: as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you. What does it mean when it says Sarah obeyed Abraham? There are six things the Scripture say Sarah said that may define for us how obedience in this context may be interpreted. Lets review them.

  1. (Gen 16: 2} and Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my maid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
  2. (Gen 16:5-6) And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my maid to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” {6} But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.


  1. (Gen 18:12} So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?”13} The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ {14} Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, in the spring, and Sarah shall have a son.”
  2. {15} Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
  3. (Gen 21:6-7) And Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me; every one who hears will laugh over me.” {7} And she said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would suckle children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
  4. (Gen 21:9) But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, “cast out this slave women with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” (Gen 21:12) But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named.

Sarah speaks nine sentences in the Bible on two topics. Eight had to do with child bearing one on fear; more specifically, fear of the Lord. Of the nine sentences three are addressed to Abraham. All three times Sarah confronts or challenges Abraham. One incident he voluntarily agrees to do as she wishes the other two times God tells him to listen and obey.

This should not be construed to mean that the man is under the authority of the woman. It should cause us to pause and give thought that God chose to include these conversations to explain the concept of obedience of the wife to the husband. I suspect our understanding of the passage should be broaden. The rigid interpretation that the woman is to be the obedient slave to the husband hardly seems in line with scriptural interpretation of itself. Whom, might we ask obeyed who? If this alters ones view of the husband wife relationship, and it should, what of a husbands accusations that his wife does not obey and or is not submissive?

A man cannot charge a woman with being disobedient to him if he does not have the authority to demand obedience. Even state law recognizes this principle. A person under state law is not required to obey an illegal order regardless the source. Moreover, a husband cannot charge a women with not being submissive for submissiveness is voluntary. It is a trait for which one is praised not judged. Something given voluntarily is not subject to expectation. I believe these are the basic concepts Jesus is addressing in Mark 10 when he tells the disciples that his disciples will not rule as the gentiles rule.

Satan twisted the whole concept of obedience and submissiveness. Notice it was Satan who refused to obey God. Then with blatant arrogance typical of him demands that men give him what he refused to give to God. The Lord encourages obedience by reward not demands. Satan demands rebellion. Disobedience is not the opposite of obedience. Rebellion is the opposite of obedience.

How can the husband demand obedience. This is alien to God design. Obedience to the Lord is a positive trait worthy of reward which God gives. Disobedience has no reward. Rebellion has its consequences. Submissive is a conjunct of obedience. Therefore one under authority is praised for obedience and admired for their submissiveness.

Paul in speaking of slavery makes it a voluntary act towards God changing the whole picture. He changes the master from man to God.

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A Word to the Wise

12-8-2018 – A Word to the Wise: As I study the gifts I have noticed that there are a total of ten sets of discernable, distinctive, groups given for specific purposes to mankind. That amazes me. the depth and breath of how the Lord treasures His children. We might be looking at these categories in the future. Any idea what these groups are besides the Motivational Gifts?

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A Word to the Wise

12-6-2018 – A Word to the Wise: Mother on Teaching Children


This is a letter from my mother in response to an article I was writing for a journal discussing the chart system she created for us as children.

My Dearest One:

I think of you so much and pray for your strength and courage that you might bear the trials of this life.

About teaching the children—there are two scriptures when truly and diligently applied in every moment of every day I think will insure the saving of any child that can be saved.

It is possible to have a Judas whom Christ personally could not guide. It is possible to have one. The task is to do as Jesus did with Judas.

The starting point is to memorize Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Talk of them in words continually in every situation and let the chart be as the writing on the gate. Then understand how to receive the guidance and assurance.

The key to the promise of Prov. 22:6 is prayer. The word ‘depart’ is the guide. A child cannot depart from where he does not first arrive; that is acceptance of the teaching.

You can see if a child does not accept or is not taking into his heart the things you explain. When this occurs then you ask God to reveal to you the reason. This is how you fight Satan in the child.

Satan will set up blocks in the child’s mind and heart to attempt to destroy the seed. but God can and will show what the blocks are if you ask him. Thus Christ is able to guard the heart of the child while he fills his mind with knowledge.

About the chart. How it works. The chart will do three things if prayerfully used.

A child can only learn some things by doing. Words are too big and deep to plant in the child’s heart; words

such as honor, obedience, self-denial. The child must do to learn.

So the chart teaches:

  1. To honor God and his Son
  2. To be honest with themselves.
  3. To begin their own fight with self.

I was always on the chart too it helped me also- and it brings the adult down to the child’s level. Thus children are made deeply aware we are all under God’s law to obey him.

I always prayed before I made the chart. It included one question that went to the heart of each of each of us. A personal weakness of each. The children did not know this only God and I.

Children love gold stars so I used them for the good works. Or you can just give good marks each day and a gold star to the one with the most good marks at the end of the week.

Also a good reward is to make the winner the King or Overseer for a day—that is everyone must serve him for a day at the end of the week since he made the greatest effort to serve others all week.

There must be small rewards for the child’s encouragement. However it is better to make the reward unconnected with material things. This directs the child away from material values. Here is a sample chart:








  1. Have I studied my Bible today
  2. Have I prayed today
  3. Have I done a good deed today? What was it?
  4. Have I given someone else their way today?
  5. Have I been truthful today?
  6. Have I sincerely thanked God for one thing today?

Everyone answers each question one at a time.

This is not a game. Use the story of Ananias and Sapphira to teach them this is between them and God, not a game.

You see each chart has a purpose a lesson to be brought home.

This one teaches by doing:

1.We study to show ourselves approved of

God. (II Tim. 2:15) (The child gains a sense of being approved of and thus self worth) Phil 4:6

2.We pray to sustain our relationship with God. (Child learns to trust in God and place his security in him)

  1. Kindness is an element of love I Cor. 13.(Child learns proper expression of love that it is not just an emotion as they see on T.V)
  2. Self-denial is a condition to be obeyed if we love God. Matt. 16:24
  3. God is truth. Child must learn fear of God. God hates lying lips Prob 12:22 those who lie go to one place, the lake of fire. Rev. 21:8.
  4. We must must learn thankfulness to be happy.

If I have an old coat I truly appreciate –I feel joy if you have a new one. Thanksgiving is a condition of Gods gifts to us. Phil. 4:6.

Use large sheets of white drawing paper and place the chart on an often seen place. The chart is to be remembered throughout the day.

Often I would have cookies ice cream or something after the chart to help add a pleasant feeling surrounding it.

I do not think it is good to eat and drink during the Bible study. I did insist on a serious quiet atmosphere then so the devotional would be taken seriously.

For teaching the plain simple facts of life to children. Proverbs is the best of all the books.

We always read the Bible and each one prayed before the chart. Thus everyone received two good marks. These 2 questions should always be on every chart.

I do not think much of Bible stories for teaching children they do not have the reasoning power of seeing and applying the principles. I think this is why children know so little even when they have attended Bible Classes all of their life. They are given milk when they should receive meat.

Doctors say a child’s attitude toward God, is shaped by the time they are four years old as well as to themselves and others.

From four to six they examine what they took in. From eight to twelve character is formed and there is little changing after this point.


There were a couple of surprises for me when I reread this the other day.

When she stated that Bible stories should not be used here for teaching I would have questioned it. This is the major method utilized to teach children. Yet 60 years ago the Lord revealed to her the weaknesses of this method.

I have wondered why, for sometime why many of my clients seemed to know so little about the Bible. The Bible stories lacked insight or depth outside the context which they were given. I see now it indeed is true.

The second issue was the Judas matter. I cannot say some kids are just born bad. But I do know that from the day a child is born they make decisions and those decisions lead to attitudes and behaviors.

This is part of a letter that mother sent me in graduate school when I was writing a journal article.

I have used the chart method and recommended to many over the years.

A COPY OF THE CHART MAY BE FOUND ON MY WEB SITE christianfamilyservice.com

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A Word to the Wise

12-5-2018 – A Word to the Wise: Let’s talk about anger. Seven things occur in the realm of the intellect, which affect anger:

  1. A person has to decide not to give oneself permission to get anger. Anger is predicated on a willful decision. This decision may be made in an instant of time, in days, or even years. Even as young children when hurt or disappointed, we struggle with the decision whether to be angry and act out or not.
  2. The mind must choose to take responsibility for its anger. Even if the other party is 99.9% at fault for an offense, we must take full responsibility for our anger and its expression.
  3. One must choose to see anger through the eyes of the one offended. Usually we excuse our anger, failing to feel what the other person sees and feels by our acting out. We detach ourselves from the pain we cause. We must choose to see, hear, and feel the results of our anger.
  4. One should search for past offenses, which are similar to those in childhood. Situations, which were never resolved, and that are re-experienced or re-enacted in the present with attitudes, or behaviors, like those in the past.
  5. Anger is often an indicator of past guilt over offenses towards others. Our anger is reminiscent of these sins.
  6. Forbearance is a characteristic, which powerfully affects the angry mind. Scripture tells us to be slow to speak. Forbearance with others acts out this biblical injunction and stems the angry tide.
  7. The chief trait, however, that protects the mind from the type of activity which leads to or breeds anger, is the quality of humility. Humbling one’s self removes the breeding ground for anger.

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A Word to the Wise

12-1-2018 – A Word to the Wise: As one reviews biblical circumstances one often sees parallels between the failures of even godly men, and our situations today.

How often do you suppose we go about our daily business never inquiring of the Lord what would please Him? Frequently, we conduct business, make friends, and enter into contracts without a single thought to God’s warnings.

One such biblical situation illustrates and holds a warning for us to earnestly seek the Lord’s approval before we set out on our own.

The battle of Ai serves as a warning to all godly people.

So what happened at Ai?

Contrast the battle for Jericho shortly before and the first battle of Ai. With respect to Jericho the first battle Joshua gave very specific directions to the two men sent to gather intelligence before the attack.

In sharp contrast Joshua gives limited directions to those making pre battle plans for the taking of Ai. In fact the directions were vague almost careless. He simply said “go spy out the land.” Just as simply the spies gives a vague report and then concludes, a couple of thousand can do the job.

This same attitude plagued the generals planning the invasions of certain Japanese held islands i

during World War 2

Ai is located about 12 miles West of Jericho about 6 to 8 hours march. The spies hurried and missed a few important details. They probably crawled up to the top of one of the mounts surrounding the city and looked down into the valley where Ai is located and saw a small town in partial ruins. The text calls it ‘the Ai’ a translation which means ruins.

If they had sent men into town they would have discovered that this town served as a large outpost protecting Bethel. It was well fortified and no doubt for warned, heavily armed and prepared for their visit.

Moreover, Israel has no experience in taking armed, walled cities. But the problem is further compounded by violations of scripture.

In the Old Testament all young men were required to have military training. Moses is very specific about who is to go into battle. Rules of engagement are spelled out. Personal preparation for battle on the part of each warrior is a part of the preparatory process. Failure to observe these rules

bring battle causalities. When we look at the first battle of Ai, we are struck by the fact that none of these rules appear to be followed.

The conditions of Deuteronomy are very clear:

  1. God’s minister is to address the people. This was not done.
  2. Warning is to be given about fearfulness. This is not done.
  3. Warning not to panic, this is not done.
  4. Cause to remember that God goes before then. This was not done.
  5. Removal of those who should not go into battle this was not done.
  6. There was no attempt to cleanse the people of unrighteousness.
  7. No search made to determine sin.
  8. No recon of the area to the point of knowing the enemy.

Joshua relied on his own wisdom. Joshua made no attempt to seek out his own failure before accusing the Lord.

In fact there is no indication after the battle of Jericho that Joshua made an effort to follow up on the Lord’s direction that none of the devoted things were to be taken.

After the loss of the first battle Joshua shamed by the failure of his troops falls on his face before God blaming Him for the loss. God confronts Joshua with his failures as leader and refuses his false contrite bowing down before Him. God demands that he get up then tells him about the stolen property.

Joshua had made no real effort to recon the area of Ai, but relied on the information and conclusions provided by his spies. There was no inquiry of the commander of the army (the Lord) about what was to be done.

I suspect a couple of thousand Israelites walked up to the front gates expecting an easy victory. This attitude is so like our attitude towards solving problems. We think a little sermonette will resolve deep seated attitudes.

A friend does some not so nice sinning and we pay a visit to warn them of the error of their way only to have the door slammed in our face. We are shocked our feeling shattered and our ego in shambles. We easily forget our enemy is a roaring lion, and to make matters worse we ignore the spike sticking out of our own eye.

The text says they went up to fight and ran from the enemy. Fearfulness in close combat has cost many a battle and a multitude of causalities. But the real crux of the matter, how Joshua knew that something was severely wrong, was not so much that his men ran from the enemy. They did do that, but it was the death of 36 men in that battle. You see success was to be judged by the lack of any losses!

Now Joshua gets to the heart of the matter; the theft of God’s property. He deals with the offender and reexamines the battle plan.

The text does not address it but I imagine Joshua spent a lot of time talking to the men who had gone up to do battle. What he discovered was the enemy would be no push over. Whereas his army was lightly armored with sword, shields, slings, and bows the enemy was heavily armed and masters of the battlefield. They were able to use long pikes and phalanx formations. It is doubtful that they would have chariots in this mountainous area but possibly a light cavalry. The Egyptians found the Canaanite to be a bitter enemy at the battle of Kedesh several years before.

With new information Joshua is able to prepare a plan of battle which best suits his armies ability.

The city is taken with all of its treasures as well as the arms. Between the defeated armies of Jericho and Ai his force is now exceptionally well-armed. But more importantly Joshua has succeeded in putting the fear of God in the enemy.

There are a couple of lessons we may draw from this story. First anytime we are faced with major decisions we have to make sure that we are sinless before the Lord if we want His help. Simple little Lord forgive me prayers are not sufficient. It takes a deep cleansing of our soul if we are to engage the enemy.

Moreover, shoddy planning is never acceptable and will invariable lead to failure.

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