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Archive for December, 2022

A Word to the Wise

12-30-2022 – A Word to the Wise – MOTHER CONTINUED

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. Let’s review them.

1. (Gen 16: 2} and Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children; go into 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.

3. (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.”

4. {15} Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh”; for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

5. (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.”

6. (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 childbearing 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 woman 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 does not demand. 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

12-29-2022 – A Word to the Wise – NOW IT IS TEST TIME

I am going to give part of an article on authority. Mother wrote part, I wrote part. See if you can find which of us wrote what part. Because of its length it comes in 2 parts.

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? Let’s look at these passages to discern in the biblical context what is authorized and unauthorized.

End of first section.

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A Word to the Wise

12-28-2022 – A Word to the Wise – MOTHER ON SENSITIVITY

Do you ever wonder why the small thoughtless things people do hurt you so much? Do you find yourself telling yourself to stop being so childish, that you should have the maturity to overlook these short comings in others? If you have these things then you have another symptom many Christians just like you suffer from, that of sensitivity.

We strive to cultivate it on the one hand and then wonder what to do because of it on the other.

It is the emotional eye that causes us to feel and see the needs of others. It is valuable to Christians; it is one of the elements that helps us to love our neighbor as ourselves. We comprehend feelings in others more deeply ourselves.

But there is a balance a safeguard for us that keeps us from being torn and destroyed by the virtue and that is understanding. If we do not allow our sensitivity to increase beyond our understanding it will be a blessing in living, and never a tumbling block. So do not try to gain a tougher skin or harden your heart for protection, but rather strive to increase your tolerance and understanding to meet these unkindness’s.

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A Word to the Wise

12-27-2022 – A Word to the Wise – From mother continued: LOVE OF GOD

Why is it so difficult to learn to love? We have love for the poor, the sinful, and we are still all of the time trying to love God. Why does it not come?

Because loving God is just the opposite in many ways of loving the unfortunate—God needs nothing he has everything, he is everything.

Our approach to love of God sets in motion a totally different group of facts and emotions than love of man.

It calls upon our capacity for humility.

We love God for what he is instead of what he is not.

To the needy we show love by compassion. To God, we are beggars the ones in need of compassion. To God we are ever the receiver, to man the giver.

Why must we perfect our love toward man, in order to love God? Have you ever said, I don’t want charity (in the sense meaning you don’t want to be classed with the needy)?

Why, if it is such a degrading thing to you to feel so ‘pious’ when charity is offered to someone else?

Is your expression of generosity only in reality an expression of superiority? Is your love for others only spasmodically fitted to your convenience and mood? Could your love being thus the reason you cannot comprehend a constant love from God for you?

He is the beggar of you: you re the beggar of God all are equal before God.

More?

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A Word to the Wise

12-21-2022 – A Word to the Wise – I have spoken in the past of the wisdom of my mother. How I would lay in the hall and listen as she talked with others giving guidance and understanding. I wish to share with you some of those insights. I have in my possession a little journal that is divided up into a variety of topics; love, loyalty, prayer, worship, ect and that is what I am quoting from. To be honest some of this is still far beyond me, and yet so simple.

On Happiness:

Happiness without gratitude is as remote as an earth without the sun. Can’t you just imagine the horror if suddenly we had to grope about in a continual darkness, and yet we marvel because our spirits grope for the sunshine it needs to spread happiness abroad in our hearts. When we refuse to be grateful, we refuse the light of happiness. Happiness is in belonging not getting.

On Respect:

A child’s capacity to respect is developed by a careful and consistent guidance in his senses of values. In other words, respect is a process of growth. We do not demand respect in a child. We guide him in his development of it.

On Obedience:

Obedience follows acceptance of authority. It cannot precede it. If ones’ acceptance of authority is not right, neither can the quality of his obedience be right. When God has become king to you, then and only then can you offer an acceptable quality of obedience. Noticed the prophets who obeyed God. God was first their king, their Lord. I am afraid we have deified this word to such an extent their basic meaning escapes us. We have forgotten our fear of God.

Hebrew 5:8 I think these words are taken often to mean Christ had to learn to obey as we do, but this is not so. Christ was without sin; therefore, he was obedient. What Christ learned was to understand human suffering to be experienced in obedience, thus he is able to succor us.

On Trust:

Trust is the emotional part of love. The emotions must be understood in order to trust. A sense of security is an emotional state—therefore it must come out of trust.

On Rejection:

What matters if you feel rejected in this world or not. You are not here to be received by the world neither to accept it.

Want more?

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A Word to the Wise

12-17-2022 – On Pride – It is pride that makes little people of us, little, harsh, unkind, unmerciful, creatures of the dust. O Lord change the heart of your child to one that is kind and good.

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A Word to the Wise

12-9-2022 – A Word to the Wise – Before continuing I want to share some practical information. Some skills are easily obtained, wisdom is not one of these skills it takes practice, practice, and more practice. The assignment is simple enough, yet only through practice will it become natural. The assignment uses parts of Old and New Testament as guidance.

The purpose of the assignment is to detect first if what you say is wise or foolish. It demands that you act in accord with the rules that govern wisdom and foolishness.

Basic rules: Never, ever argue with a fool to do so makes you a fool. I could tell you the Proverbs passage, however, search for it like gold and you will prize it. Again, never argue with a fool. Second, liars always lie, treat them as such. Next these two concepts never dwell together: wisdom and anger. You must learn to listen; one cannot talk and listen at the same time. One may not plot strategy while listening.

So, first steps find a person you are able to work with to do these exercises.

Say something to your partner, it makes no difference what the topic. The purpose is learning how do detect whether what you say is wise or foolish.

Now, what you said is it wise or foolish? How do you tell. Check is it a single, or at most a short couple of sentences more than that you have already failed. You pass that test?

Next pay attention to the reply of your partner. If they disagree, argue, change the subject then what you said was foolish. Two critical indicators which should guide your speech.

Now, make the exercise even more difficult choose highly controversial topics.

Second if you said something and the other person is speechless what you said was probably wise. In the beginning the topics make no difference. What is important is the length of your statement, only one or at the most two sentences. Biblical basis for one sentence? Look at Proverbs short very short sentences, changing topics, and not necessarily even connected ideas. Proverbs becomes the guidebook it is the book of wisdom.

Next, we turn to Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. Your dealing with a person saying foolish things. Either one of three responses, first, choose not to argue with a fool. If you do then Proverbs 9 comes into play, get ready to get hurt. Or you may choose to reply in that circumstance do what Jesus tells you to do…Agree with your enemy quickly. . . Sermon on the Mount. The result is speechlessness, or surprise. You are not agreeing that they are right only that is what they believe.

The third is a one sentence short reply, not to defend, but to enlighten. Jesus and the woman caught in adultery is an excellent pattern. What did Jesus say and what was the result? Take a moment to count the change of topics in the three short chapters of Matthew 5-7. Jesus changes topics at least 50 times in this one sermon.

Practice make perfect. If it fails then you are dealing with a first born, only born Prophet, or perhaps you’re not striving after wisdom.

Let’s return to the difference between men and women.

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A Word to the Wise

12-6-2022 – A Word to the Wise – Men will turn thoughts over and analyze them from different perspectives. This analysis produces insight which the man disseminates through teaching.

A woman’s source is her spirit and her heart. This is not to say that womanly wisdom is inferior because its source is not logic. Remember, wisdom is not an intellectual property, and it is seated in the heart and received by faith. The truth of the matter is that the wisdom of men and women is equal. Their purposes are different. Whereas the ultimate purpose for the man is to render justice, a woman’s wisdom provides protection, particularly with regard to her family and community.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom for both men and women, and both get wisdom by asking it of God. What transpires next is different. A man begins to acquire wisdom through study and gaining knowledge, but a woman acquires it through heeding the direct prompting of God’s spirit.

Barriers to Acquiring Wisdom. A woman’s acquisition of wisdom is hampered if she seeks it in the same manner as the man. If she attempts to acquire insight by man’s means, then the results are manly insight and not womanly wisdom.

The insight and knowledge a woman gains through study however is still of value. It just tastes different.

A woman acquires knowledge, distills it, and applies it to relationships. After a woman distills the knowledge, she assimilates it then disseminates it through wise behavior.

Another barrier to wisdom arises from the typical relationship men and women have. Men and women rarely listen to each other. Neither hears what the other is saying, yet they need to. Though both perceive things differently, it is only with the combination of both perspectives that solutions appear.

The man brings leadership to the relationship; the woman brings wisdom. Both are necessary if the relationship is to function in a healthy manner. This may be compared to the relationship between the president and the Congress. The president is to provide leadership and direction; ideally, the Congress provides wisdom to guide him in his leadership.

Yet another barrier to wisdom is foolish behavior. Proverbs’ main definition of foolish behavior is an inability to restrain the tongue, specifically with the expression of anger. Alongside anger is foolishness. Both inhibit the acquisition of wisdom.

For men, anger inhibits the acquisition of wisdom, while anxiety does so with women. Both of these emotions tend to be overwhelming, even all-consuming. Just as anger interferes with a man’s reasoning power (his seat of wisdom), anxiety can overwhelm a woman’s heart and spirit (her seat of wisdom). The heart does not have the capacity to process both anxiety and wisdom at the same time, just as the mind cannot operate rationally in the presence of anger.

To be continued.

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A Word to the Wise

12-3-2022 – A Word to the Wise – One thing the Lord revealed to me about pain I wish to share with others. Weeks ago I was having intense pain with my neuropathy. The Lord sent me to Elijah and his trip to Zarephath. It was a very intense study revealing thing I had never thought of most of all it blunted the pain. I learned in this process that pure intense thought will overrule emotional or physical pain. Try it. Do not mix with pain killers which negate the intellectual.

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A Word to the Wise

12-2-2022 – A Word to the Wise – How does one become wise?

Wishing for wisdom is not enough. Wisdom is a treasure more precious than gold and silver, and it must be treated as such. One must search diligently for wisdom if there is any hope for it to be found. Once obtained, it must be valued highly. Wisdom cannot be given to or taken from another. A teacher can impart knowledge but not wisdom. Wisdom literature does not give us wisdom. It points the way to wisdom and motivates us to seek it.

There are certain principles important to acquiring wisdom. The book of James points out that wisdom is from God who gives to all men generously. Asking for wisdom is essential to obtaining it. The second thing James says about getting wisdom is that one must ask in faith. That person must believe that God will give him what he is asking.

Third, James says a double-minded man receives nothing. He receives nothing because he cannot make up his mind what he wants. He has not truly placed his faith in God’s ability and authority. Now, this matter of faith is vital because authority, wisdom, and faith are tied together. In the account of the centurion servant whom Jesus heals in Matthew 8:5ff, we learn that authority is an important aspect of faith. Authority is also the cornerstone upon which wisdom relies. From authority extends the fear of the Lord which is the foundation for wisdom.

What are the specific steps one takes to acquire wisdom?

1. We choose an area we desire to illuminate.

2. We must being willing to pay a price; in fact it will be a sacrifice, for wisdom is costly.

3. We must ask God for wisdom.

4. We must believe that we will receive it, for without faith there will be no reward.

5. We cannot be double-minded.

6. We should recognize that wisdom frequently comes at the end of great temptation.

7. The entirety of the first chapter of James is about acquiring wisdom. Look at all of the items that related back to wisdom: bridling the tongue, putting aside anger, purity of heart, and doing good deeds.

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