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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

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:

HAVE I PLEASED GOD TODAY

SUN MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT

PARENT

PARENT

CHILD

CHILD

CHILD

  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.

MY COMMENTS:

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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A Word to the Wise

11-29-2018 – A Word to the Wise: I suppose most of us have heard a lot of prayer in a variety of settings from the dinner table to church, to care groups. But have you ever in your prayers, or those of others heard anyone ask for adversity?

I suspect if you entered the barracks of some special operations soldiers you would get an earful about combat readiness. Practice, plan and repeat exercises until every aspect of an upcoming mission is deeply ingrained in the warrior.

Contrast that attitude with the Christian warrior with constant litany of complaints about food, clothing or shelter. When does one hear of a Christian volunteering for hardship, or adversity?.

Let’s face it there are some things worse than death, and Satan knows just how to dish it out. Yet somehow I wonder if we should not prepare self and others for spiritual combat.

What camp would the Lord have us sneak into under cover of darkness to spy out the enemy? How would we go about destroying the Baal’s and Asherim of our day?

Warriors must understand that they are not contending against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers against world rulers of darkness, and the spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places. To deprive a thief of his plunder, or taking the life of a murderer, strikes at the heart of darkness. To assail gossip, deter laziness, and foster gratitude are important task for His warriors. To withhold ones hand when the Lord has placed the evil one in your hand is to betray the purpose of your existence. If nothing else the lessons from Moses and Joshua are you utterly destroy the enemy.

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A Word to the Wise

11-27-2018 – A Word to the Wise – The terrible twos and threes mark the beginning of Satan’s efforts to seed rebellion. A mixture of methods achieves this. Satan uses the failures of the parent to undermine the child’s trust in authority. Two major foundational character traits are susceptible to impairment at this early age.

One is the feeling of security. Feelings of rejection caused by a lack of discipline inspire insecurity in a child. The other impairment comes in the area of obedience. Disrespect for authority by misuse, harsh, provocative or abusive discipline results in disobedience. Inconsistent, unfair, unjust, or impatient discipline creates a lack of trust in authority. Provocation and abuse, on the other hand, create hostility in the child towards authority.

As a child observes inconsistencies in parental admonitions, he loses confidence in the parent. With the loss of confidence comes insecurity in the love of the parent. The child reasons that if the parent cannot be trusted then I must trust only in myself. Thus, for self-protection, the child develops an attitude of disobedience.

While inconsistency breeds disobedience, abuse on the other hand, engenders hostility towards authority resulting in rebellion. Much of the crime occurring with juveniles today, in large part, is a result of abuse by parents. That is not to say abusive parental discipline is the only cause of all rebellion. However, in large measure, the open hostility of teenagers toward any manner of authority, traces back to immature attitudes on the part of the parent. There is a heavy price to pay for immaturity by both parent and child.

I believe that some forms of Attention Deficit Disorder are part of the consequences for these attitudes. Disobedience, I believe, accounts for the rise of ADD symptoms in preschool children. Why do these particular symptoms appear as ADD?

With the decision that the authority is untrustworthy comes confusion. This confusion detracts the child. Personal observation and experience backed by Biblical admonitions, suggests that each time we are obedient the spirit, body, and the emotions experience a physiological and psychological boost. Inversely, disobedience leads to a physical experiential loss of energy.

I feel, in part, that this is a fulfillment of God’s many warnings of the consequences for disobedience and the blessings of obedience. There are over one hundred biblical passages connecting obedience with good health and the lengthening of life. There are numerous more which connect disobedience with impaired health and shortened life span.

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A Word to the Wise

11-6-2018 – A Word to the Wise: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEAR THE LORD?

I have had many ask this question What does it mean to fear the Lord, and how is it acquired? So let’s give some examples. They fall into two major categories; Fear in a physical sense, and Amazement.

The category of fear in a physical sense is apparent in the following examples: (All quotes from the ESV)

Exodus 20:18ff

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid[d] and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”

I Kings 18

7 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.”

Job 42

I have uttered what I did not understand,

things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you make it known to me.’

5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye sees you;

6 therefore I despise myself,

and repent[a] in dust and ashes.”

Isaiah 6

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

the whole earth is full of his glory!”[b]4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my

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