The Lindbergh Children

Christian Apologetics For Our Generation
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MEETING GOD PERIODICALLY … IN AN UNUSUAL PLACE

December 23, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: ANTI-Wimpiness, Attitude, Bible Verses, Biblical research, Confidence, God, Growth, Jesus, LOVE, Motivation, Peace, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, The Mind

Someone once said, “You can find God anywhere, and miss Him everywhere.”
Here’s an example of finding Him, that sort of surprised me.

In my Bible study software I use, there is a place to write my own notes. I can do this on individual verses, chapters and books. Even with some of the research books included in the software, I can add notes. I cannot change the content of any books that came with the software, but I can add additional thoughts.

B    I    U
In these sections where I can write my notes, there are the three normal buttons of Boldface, “Italics” and “Underline“.

There is also a fourth button called … “Strike Through”

 

I LOVE THIS FOURTH BUTTON

It’s like a symbol for ‘growth’.

As my daily study takes me from place to place in scripture, past-written notes come up on the screen. It is often eye-opening to read those old notes for a couple reasons:
1- it reminds me of insightful things that I once knew, but had forgotten;
2- I find things I believed at one time, but have turned out to be wrong.

It’s in the latter cases where I make use of “Strike Through”. I strike through the error, and enter the correction. (In a past legalistic mind-set, I would have completely deleted the error, probably due to some erroneous sense of maintaining ‘purity’.)

MULTIPLE PAY-OFFS
I have found that when I return to that verse again in the future (maybe years down the road), and I see the section where I applied “Strike Through”, I have a visual reminder of some personal growth.

And for me, it warms my heart.

That reminder becomes a reminder of bigger things … things involving God’s relationship with me … His patience with me … His upbringing of me … His knowledge of what I need …His knowledge of what I WILL need … His knowledge of how much I can handle at once … etc., etc.

“You can find God anywhere, and miss Him everywhere.”
I know I miss Him in many places, but (and don’t take this out of the context of this article) … God and I ‘run into each other’ a lot at “Strike Through”.

CHRISTIANS: NOT THE MIRACLE WE WANT TO PERFORM

December 22, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Attitude, Bible Verses, Confidence, God, Growth, Healing, Jesus, LOVE, Motivation, New-birth, Peace, Self-confidence, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, The Mind

Is there some sin nagging at your confidence with God?
Since you are now ‘dead to sin’ (Romans 6:2), allowing that nagging to go on is bringing the dead back to life.

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
While praying (John 17), Jesus said of his twelve: “…they have kept thy word.”
This assessment by Jesus is based on overall performance … not perfection.

Cut yourself some slack. Jesus does.

IDOLS CAN CRAWL OUT FROM UNDER ANY ROCK. EVEN HOLY ROCKS.

December 16, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Bible Verses, Biblical research, God, Growth, Healing, Idolatry, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, Uncategorized

I was reading a daily devotional this morning. The writer (Markus Bishop) brought up the serpent infestation that, for a while, plagued the Israelites. God provided Moses a partial remedy. (It didn’t drive the snakes away, but it would help those who were bitten.)

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
(Numbers 21:8-9, KJ)

So what became of this “serpent of brass”? That’s what Markus asked … and answered.

When Hezekiah became king of Judah, he launched a campaign to rid his country of idols. Hezekiah understood the difference between worshiping God, and anything else.
One of the targets of his campaign was the brass serpent made by Moses, that in its day, brought deliverance to many Israelites.
That deliverance seemed to have turned the brass serpent into some sort of religious legend.

Hezekiah saw the deception, and dealt with it.
“[Hezekiah] brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it:”
(2 Kings 18:4, KJ)

Here are two excerpts from the devotional:
“For centuries they [the Israelites] preserved, protected and polished it [the brass serpent], dragging it with them everywhere, until they ended up worshiping it. Something that had once been a blessing became an idol.”

“Anything or anybody can become an idol – your church, your children, your mate, your job, your home, your car, your education. Don’t get the wrong idea. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these blessings. It’s only wrong when they begin to take God’s place.”

‘SHALLOW HAL’ LEARNS MORE ‘NATURE OF GOD’ STUFF

December 14, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Bible Verses, Biblical research, Confidence, God, Growth, New-birth, Peace, Spiritual Growth, The Bible

“… love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
(Galations 5:22b-23, KJ)

SHALLOW HAL
The clause “against such there is no law” is where my mind goes when our government passes laws that, in my view, suppress our individual rights and freedoms.

And, yes, it does give me comfort in that context. Yet, my application of the clause is really, really shallow.

There are probably multiple great truths to learn from the clause. I make that claim because diamonds sparkle from many different directions.
The primary sparkle on my mind at this time regards the nature of God.

A DEEPER PEEK
The context of “against such there is no law” is NOT man-made governments and laws, but the Old Testament law. You can start back in verse 1 and figure this out rather quickly. Examples:
Verse  4: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
Verse 14: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” ¹

So, in its correct context, the clause “against such there is no law” tells us that GOD never made a law blocking access to “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance”.

UNDERSTATEMENT – A WAY TO MAKE A POINT
When Paul was inspired to write “against such there is no law”, it was a deliberate understating of God’s action, in order to emphasis what is really true about God.

God’s nature is more than just ‘not block access’.

God’s nature is to PROVIDE access.

God’s nature is “Here it is. Come and get it.”

 

————–Footnotes—————–

¹ Here’s a link to Galatians 5 in its entirety.

Galatians 5 (KJ)

FROZEN DINNERS

December 05, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: ANTI-Wimpiness, Attitude, Bible Verses, Confidence, Current Affairs, Events Behind The Scenes, Freedom, God, Growth, Motivation, New-birth, Peace, Prayer, Self-confidence, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, The Mind, Uncategorized

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
I Peter 5:8 (KJ)

The lion roars to startle and freeze his prey. But the lion doesn’t stop and admire the power of his roar. He then devours.
Until a Christian draws his last breath on this planet, there will always be some kind of ‘roar’ lurking around. But it never means he has to be dinner.

OLD TESTAMENT EXAMPLE
Sanballat (a ‘meanie guy’, as my 5-yr old grandson would say) warned Nehemiah that a dangerous rumor was circulating … a rumor that Nehemiah had treasonous intentions. Sanballat indicated that the king would hear this rumor … unless Nehemiah stopped building the wall around Jerusalem.

That was Sanballat’s roar.

But it did not freeze Nehemiah.
Here’s his grasp of the situation, and his response:

“They [Sanballat & cohorts] were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’
But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’ “
Nehemiah 6:9 (NIV)

PERSONAL OPINION
The more I see evil progressing, even in my own neighborhood, the more I am convinced that there are three basic ways to face life:
1- Consider bad events as random, and hope for good luck.
2- Sell out to the devil. He takes care of his own, until they are no longer useful to him.
3- Sell out to God, who  DOES  take care of his own. When the lion roars, put the “still, small voice” above the roar.

BIRTH & GROWTH OF A NEW SONG

December 01, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Biblical research, Confidence, Growth, Healing, Jesus, Peace, Spiritual Growth, The Bible, Uncategorized

AUTHOR’S NOTE: this may come off as all about me. Certainly not intended. And I really think a perceptive reader can see Jesus providing some input.
—————————————————
The Song:

“HEAD OF THE CHURCH”

This may be my first song where Jesus Christ is the subject from beginning to end. Most of my songs are about God. Jesus gets mentioned, or has a supporting role, but does not saturate the lyrics as in “Head of The Church”.
My own self-analysis concludes that, up until now, I’ve severely under-rated what Jesus does for us.

 

THE BIRTH: THE MUSIC CAME FIRST

What I usually do when this happens is find the ‘catchiest’ music hook, and try different words with it. Turns out that the words “Christ Jesus” matched the catchiest music hook nicely. The trouble, though, was that I didn’t want to write a song using common cliches I’ve heard in other songs about Jesus.

So I was kinda stumped.

 

IN THE MEANTIME…

Something else was going on simultaneously with the writing of this song. I was doing some research on the word “Yahweh”. I had seen some of my Christian Facebook friends use it, when talking about the word LORD in the Old Testament. But nothing had hit my heart about changing to the word “Yahweh”. So I thought a little research was in order.

In my research, I came across this online article:
GOD’S NAMESAKE IN ACTION

The articles deals with redemptive titles of Yahweh. Eight titles are given special attention in the article. And there may be only eight in the Bible. I’m not sure. But I am sure that the total of these redemptive titles encompass every function Yahweh would ever need to do for His believers.

Some key excerpts from the article:

“…as God had said to Moses, ‘…I will be what I will be…’ (Exodus 3:14). The one and Only True God was everything He needed to be for His people Israel, and in the process established the paradigm for exercising the lordship that He would later give to His Son to fulfill.”

“Jesus Christ represents a kind of synopsis of all God has done for His people throughout the ages. We will look at how, in both his earthly ministry and in his exalted ministry as Lord, Jesus embodies all the chief attributes of Yahweh given in the Old Testament.”

THE GROWTH: THE SUBJECT MATTER ARRIVES
From the same article:

“What we will see in this chapter is that as the exalted Lord with his delegated authority, Jesus Christ is now performing all these ‘Yahweh functions’ for God’s people. After a brief study of the context in which each of these descriptive titles are found, we will expound upon how Jesus Christ as Lord is now fulfilling each of these particular functions. Keep in mind as you are reading that you can count on the Lord Jesus Christ, who is invested with all authority as the Head of the Church, to perform these functions for you day by day.”

I knew Jesus Christ, as head of the church, was busy. But I thought his role was limited, and Yahweh took care of everything else. I didn’t know all those other responsibilities came with being head of the church.

This got to be exciting to think about, and gave me plenty of material for lyrics. My intent was that each of the eight redemptive functions would get attention.

 

A CHART

The following has (1) the eight redemptive functions (in order from the article), (2) the time stamp of where they appear in the song, and (3) key lyrics involved.

1- “Yahweh Who Provides”
0:14 mark
“Sees where you are and what you need.
Provides it all at the perfect speed.”

2- “Yahweh Who Heals”
1:43 mark
“The torture the devil was dealing
Ended up buying our healing.”

3- “Yahweh My Banner [protector]“
0:37 mark
“He’s the biggest big brother in Creation.”

4- “Yahweh Who Sanctifies [for His Service]“
2:30 mark
“He’ll send some family matters your way.”

5- “Yahweh Our Peace”
1:52 mark
“No matter the fury the devil may release,
Christ Jesus tells us firmly, “I’m your peace.”

6- “Yahweh Our Righteousness”
1:10 mark
“Took you and me who were ‘slightly’ flawed,
And stood us upright before his God.”

7- “Yahweh Is Present”
2:18 mark
“He does not save you then walk away.
You’re too important. He’s gonna stay.”

8- “Yahweh My Shepherd”
0:50, 2:05 and 2:35
“He is the shepherd, head of the church,
Organizing a massive search.”

 

A SMALL DILEMMA WHILE WRITING LYRICS
There’s a line in the song that goes: “Christ Jesus… stood us upright before his God.” (# 6 in the chart above)
I contemplated this variation: “Christ Jesus…stood us upright before our God.”
One part of me liked the second version as it seemed to reinforce our relationship with God.
But I opted for the first variation after considering Ephesians 2:12, where we, as Gentiles, were ” …without God in the world.”
I felt the starkness of our need, depicted in Ephesians 2:12, might actually reinforce our current relationship with God EVEN MORE than the second variation.

The flaw in the second variation is that it sounds like we (I’m still talking to us former Gentiles) always had SOME form of relationship with God.

Ephesians 2:12 makes it clear there was no such relationship, prior to the work of Jesus Christ.

 

THE FLESH IS STILL ‘SLIGHTLY’ FLAWED
In April, 2012, I wrote a song called IDEAL FATHER .  In it, I concentrated on only three functions (protection, prosperity [provision] and healing). I was assuming those three pretty well covered (as quoted earlier) “everything He needed to be for His people…”
I skipped over things like sanctification, peace, righteousness, presence, and shepherd.
It actually makes me chuckle to think that I thought I had a grasp of the situation, and turned out to not even have half a grasp.
Love that correction and growth. :)

WILL THIS WORK SURVIVE THE FIRE?

November 10, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Atheists, Bible Verses, Confidence, God, Growth, Jesus, Peace, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, Toleration

1 Corinthians 3:13-15
“13 Every man’s work shall be plainly seen; for the light of day shall expose it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall test every man’s work and show of what sort it is.
14 And the builder whose work survives shall receive his reward.
15 And the one whose work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be rescued, even as one who has been saved from the fire.”
LAMSA BIBLE, 1 Corinthians 13

Is the fire literal or figurative? I think the latter, but could not easily find documentation of such.
Whichever it is, the fire is some form of ‘Evaluation and Waste Removal System’.

I know some of my life’s works will survive this EWRS, and many will not.

I also feel some of my works are in a ‘grey area’.
No, I don’t think the Lord Jesus will have any problem deciding what becomes of those works. But for me, I am uncertain, since “for now we see through a glass, darkly”.

ONE PARTICULAR WORK IN QUESTION…
…on Facebook, no less.   :)
On October 19, 2011, I posted this:

“TO MY ATHEISTIC & AGNOSTIC FACEBOOK FRIENDS … POINTS IN YOUR FAVOR
First … I appreciate your toleration of the heavily Christian content I post. Second … while I was reading a passage …I saw a few reasons (certainly not ALL reasons) why some have their doubts about God’s existence.”

[the passage]

” ‘It was the primordial passion for children.
The Father heart of the Creator God longed for songs and daughters.
This yearning passion took form, and God planned a universe for His Man, and in the heart of that universe He purposed a Home.
There is no time with God.
Time belongs to day and night, to sun and moon.
The Omnipotent God was not hampered by days, nor nights, nor years.
When Love laid the foundations of this mighty universe, He planned, He purposed it all to be the Home of His Man.
It was to be Man’s birthplace, Man’s Garden of Delight, Man’s University where he would learn to know his Father God.’

Kenyon, E.W., The Father and His Family. pp.22-23.”

[my comment on the passage]

“A few reasons to doubt God’s existence:
1- Kenyon’s explanation of the ‘why’ of creation sounds like an over-simplification of something complex.

2- It can also sound too wonderful to be believable. Like a myth or fairy tale.

3- Some Christian groups consider Kenyon’s writings as heresy.
False Teachers
Hence, if Christianity has such completely opposite stances within its own ranks, it’s an easy conclusion to make that Christianity does not know anything for sure.”

[my purpose for posting]

“My own confidence in God’s existence, and the Christ he sent, has not wavered. I feel well grounded. The insights above have not disturbed my peace about my own belief.
My message is … those who doubt or deny God’s existence will get no judgment from me. You have your reasons, and not merely a ‘blind faith’ that He is not real.”

+++++++

THE CASE AGAINST ME
After reading this Facebook post, a fellow Christian might ask, “Why would you promote atheism?”

Admittedly, my post might be something that does not survive the fire.

THE CASE FOR ME
The ‘why’ of the post is explained there at the end of it:
1- confidence in my own beliefs,
… which allows …
2- a respect for whatever has led others to have an opposite belief.

Being understanding and non-condemning make a strong Christian witness. My thinking is pretty transparent here. Let my atheistic friends see my confident and non-judgmental heart. It might plant a seed in them. Later, if events cause them to wish for a candle in the dark, they might think back to the October 19 Facebook post.

WHY I’M NOT SWEATING THE UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THIS WORK
This is how I understand the reward system for Christians will work in this situation:

OPTION #1
If my Facebook post eventually becomes a factor in leading someone to Jesus Christ, then, when I stand before the judgment seat, I’ll get at least an ‘attaboy’. Perhaps something better.

OPTION #2
If my Facebook post turns out to have been a complete waste of time, then, when I stand before the judgment seat, Christ Jesus will never say a word about it.

I MAY NOT KNOW UNTIL I GET AWAKENED
As old as I am, I may ‘fall asleep’ long before any results might happen from the post.
And, of course, the post might produce zero results. In that case, the post may not survive the EWRS.
But I am not worried either way. I believe there is at least potential for Jesus Christ to do something with it. That I can live with.

GOD GETS JUNK MAIL…SOME OF IT FROM ME!!

October 04, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Attitude, Bible Verses, Confidence, God, New-birth, Prayer, Romans, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, The Mind, Uncategorized

There’s something I hate the thought of doing. And I assumed that since I hate the thought of doing it, I would therefore never do it.

It‘ … is praying prayers that God would not hear.

“God hears ALL prayers” you say? Not according to Jesus.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7, KJ)

“They THINK that they shall be heard.” Meaning, of course, they won’t.

I recently caught myself practicing what I now believe to have been vain (empty) repetitions: asking God for the same thing over and over … but I don’t think with the correct heart.

THE ‘JUNK MAIL’ PARALLEL
We all get numerous offers in the mail (email included), wanting to sell us things like … magazine subscriptions, insurance, carpet cleanings, grocery products, better sex performance, storm windows, etc.

What do we do with them?

Usually they go straight to the trash bin, without ever being opened.

Vain repetitions, that never get ‘heard’.

SOMETHING THAT WAS MISSING
I suppose there could be several elements that render a prayer ‘empty’. In my case, I think it was a lack of praise.

When Jesus taught the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ to his disciples, he did not start it off by immediately asking God for needs to be met. That would come later in the prayer.

What started the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ was some praise … some statement of the Father’s supremacy … some perspective of why God should be more to us than just a shopping mall.

That elevation of God was missing in my prayers. I had a ‘lift list’ of items that were important to me, and I would go directly to them. I skipped the praise section completely.

Which was shooting myself in the foot.

The world constantly bombards us with concepts like lack, failure, inability, etc.  These doctrines of the world are designed by their maker (the god of this world) to penetrate our hearts and become ‘default settings’ we apply to everything about our lives, including our grasp of God.

With such a constant hailstorm of downer doctrines, our carnal minds will not automatically keep God elevated to the correct position He should hold in our hearts. We have to deliberately do that, on at least a daily basis.

That’s a primary accomplishment of praise. If you have not been keeping God elevated prior to your prayer, you should probably do so at the start of your prayer.

A POWERFUL PRAYER VARIATION FOR US
Jesus did not warn against ‘repetitions’, but against ‘empty repetitions’. Being born again has given us something new to work with in our prayer life … something I’ve heard called ‘perfect prayer’ … a concept extracted from this verse:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26, KJ)

For me, this ‘perfect prayer’ is speaking in tongues. For other Christians, it may mean something different. It is not my purpose to debate this, but to emphasize there is apparently a way to avoid praying ‘junk mail prayers’ all together.

‘Vain repetitions’ will have some type of fault to them. Perfect prayer will not.

Praise God for having anticipated this need, and for having already met it … a skill Jesus credited the Father with, in his next sentence.

Be not ye therefore like unto them [those who pray vain repetitions]: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8, KJ)

ORIENTAL BOOK. WESTERN MIND. THUS THE PROBLEM.

September 26, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: ANTI-Wimpiness, Attitude, Bible Verses, Confidence, God, Spiritual Growth, Strength, The Bible, The Mind, Uncategorized

DISCLAIMER: What is presented here is admittedly inconclusive. Yet I still believe it can be beneficial to our productivity as a co-worker with Jesus Christ.

————————————————————————-

Proverbs 22:13 (KJ)
“The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”

Merriam-Webster defines slothful as ‘indolent’.
Merriam-Webster then defines indolent as ‘averse to activity, effort, or movement : habitually lazy’.  ¹

I’ve always assumed this ‘slothful man‘ from 22:13 was someone who would make up any excuse to get out of work.

I suppose I accepted this assumption mostly because of being a life-long American, from a sizable city. Wild beasts in the streets was something I’d never experienced. ²

Whatever the reasons, I assumed the lion in this case was an imaginary danger.

 

GIVE THE GUY A BREAK

But for some cultures (both ancient and current), wild beasts, inside the ‘city limits’, are a real danger.

Maybe I need to cut this ‘slothful man‘ some slack.

If you drop “habitually lazy” from the Merriam-Webster definition, you end up with: “averse to activity, effort, or movement.”

This shortened definition could reflect a temporary frame-of-mind.

Suppose I was headed out the door, and a lion was lounging on my lawn. I would go back inside.
Would that make me “habitually lazy”?

No. But it would make me, for a while at least, “averse to activity, effort, or movement.” Calling 9-1-1 would probably be my greatest achievement during the next couple of hours.

So … what about this Proverbs man who also doesn’t want to face a lion? Is he just making up “any excuse” to avoid work?

Perhaps. Unless the lion is real. Then he is, in most cases, exhibiting wisdom.

Yet Proverbs is hard on the guy, calling him ‘slothful’.

SOME SPECULATION
I have not done extensive research. And I know that Proverbs shoots many arrows at slothfulness.

But I’m now wondering if Proverbs 22:13 might be one of those ‘gems’ that sparkles from several angles. In the case of this article, that angle would not be laziness, but the disabling power of fear.

In Revelation 3:16 ³  we read of Jesus getting very stern with believers who were ‘lukewarm’. These would be people with limits to their involvement. In their case, it wasn’t fear of lions that held them back, but rather reliance on their wealth.
Yet, the damage would be similar in this respect: their commitment (to the things of God, in their case) would not be 100%. If a situation demanded more than their commitment level, they would become “averse to activity, effort, or movement.”

Perhaps our slothful guy from Proverbs was like that … lukewarm. You could count on him up to a point. But if required to face something difficult or frightening, he became unreliable.
His passion to obey was overridden by some form of self-preservation.

Our sense of self-preservation was given to us by God, so it is not automatically an evil thing. It stops us from doing stupidly hazardous actions.
But when self-preservation stops us from doing an “activity, effort, or movement” God has requested of us, then it has become a conflict-of-interest.

DRAW YOUR OWN MEAT FROM THIS MATERIAL
Jesus is certainly unimpressed by ‘lukewarm’. I’m currently thinking the writer of Proverbs 22:13 was similarly unimpressed. I’m also thinking there are multiple lessons to be had from all this.

However, my purpose is not to suggest some of those lessons. My purpose is to present a different look at a verse that I think I’ve seriously misjudged for four decades.

BUT …  I would repeat this popular quip:
“If God brings you to it, He will see you through it.”

NO LACK OF MATERIAL
The Bible is well-stocked with confidence verses, commands to ‘fear not’, and examples of what total trust in God can produce. By ‘well-stocked’ I mean … a lifetime of feasting.

If you’d like an immediate example, here’s a link to another article (short) from “The Lindberg Children”:
‘FEAR NOT’ – First Occurence in KJV Is Loaded for Bear

THE ABRUPT CONCLUSION
Trust God completely.

 

=====FOOTNOTES=====

¹ Merriam-Webster definition of ‘indolent’

² I also may have been to some degree guided to this assumption by other sources. Here is one:
“Slothfulness produces a sickly timidity, and is ever fruitful and expert in raising idle objections and imaginary dangers.” The Land & The Book, William M. Thompson, citing Proverbs 22:13 as documentation of his point. (P.337 in my copy, but can be found via the “INDEX OF SCRIPTURE TEXTS ILLUSTRATED” in the back of the book),

³ Revelation 3:14-19 (KJ)

“14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. ”

 

PERSONAL STORY: HOW MEEKNESS MADE ME A BETTER PERSON

September 20, 2013 By: Songsermons Category: Attitude, Bible Verses, Confidence, God, LOVE, Spiritual Growth, The Bible, The Mind

I’ve always enjoyed laughter, and fancied myself to have a decent wit. But years ago, I noticed an oddity. Sometimes my jokes threw cold water on the fun of the moment.

There could be a small group of us belly-laughing over something … until I tossed in my two cents, and everyone went silent. I might get a courtesy chuckle, but the expression on faces, as they looked at the ground, was, “Man, what just happened?”

This was not always the case. Sometimes I made great contributions to the fun.
But sometimes I killed it.
Of course, when the latter happened, I assumed my jokes were simply over everyone’s head. The obvious lesson in that assumption did not occur to me … that it was the ENTIRE group that failed to make the connection. Many times. It was never me producing a dumb joke.

A TURNING POINT
Along about age 22, I became very involved with the Bible, and eventually learned some things about meekness.
Meekness is pretty cool stuff.
Its greatest benefit:  God will talk to you.
Second greatest benefit:  you will listen to Him.
Another benefit:  it can give you a more accurate grasp of things about yourself.
Another benefit:  I personally believe it bumps up your I.Q. several points. But, to my knowledge, no research has been done to prove that. :)

But back to the humor issue.
I noticed that, even with my fellow Bible-lovers, my jokes would still silence laughter from time to time. Now, with meekness as a new checkpoint, I wondered if the fault might be with me, and not everyone else.

APPLICATION
I wish I could say I developed a filtering process where I could tell in advance what jokes of mine would fly, and which would flop. But that wasn’t the strategy I came up with.
I instead changed my behavior. Rather than always trying to contribute more humor, I would more often refrain from contributing. I would wait, and let the laughter take a course unaltered by me.
During that wait, one (or both) of two things often happened:
1- I did indeed recognize that my joke would have flopped;
2- My joke became obsolete, because the context had passed.

In both cases, I felt better that I had stayed silent. Plus, there was …

… AN ADDED BENEFIT
I became a more loveable person. The Bible documents why this phenomenon happens.
Proverbs 17:28  “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that refrains his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

A STRATEGY OF THE WISE
When you let someone else have the last word, even in humor, they develop some respect for you.

I have become a better listener. And now, when somebody says something funny, I don’t try to “one-up” them with my own clever quip. I laugh, and enjoy their contribution to my life.
This in turn, bonds the two of us to some degree.

And if, as Proverbs states, they begin to think I am wise, they might listen if I have something important to say to them.