Tag Archives: Proverbs

New Book! The Coffee Shop Pastor

pic from AmazonSo, maybe three years ago my husband (PK) said something to me and I think I jokingly said he was the coffee shop pastor. The phrase stuck in my head and ideas started coming and I thought, hmm, I’ll write a book. After writing here and there for almost a year, I sat down and typed it up. All that time and it wasn’t even 50 pages long! Wow, this is hard.It didn’t matter, I thought it was a nice story and wrapped up an electronic, PDF version for him for Christmas. He said he liked it. I decided to turn it into an ebook for several reasons.

  • One, I wanted to make it real. So many people have good things to say and I believe this story does as well.
  • Two, we buy a lot from Amazon and how neat would it be to see something I did on their site.
  • Three, I have four kids and I want to inspire them and show them what can be done if they set their mind to it!

This book will help you realize the impact you have just through conversation. When you listen, really listen, you can hear people.

You don’t need a fancy degree or years of training to listen. Every day, opportunities come your way and you can be the one to help someone along the way.

The Coffee Shop Pastor will be available on August 10, 2016, but you can pre-order on Amazon here. Be sure to check out this book trailer above to see what it’s all about! Don’t forget to share with your friends. Thank you!

 

 

 

Disciplining, Discipling, and Loving Your Kids

DISCIPLINING

I just finished up an intense couple of months at my job. I’m a secondary music teacher and it was musical season. You can read about that here. Many days I spent more time with my students than I did with my own kids. So, the message PK gave on Family Time really hit home. I didn’t completely ignore my kids, they had lunches made, laundry was clean, and dinner was always available. But, I missed them and the little interactions we have at random times together when we are home.

So, the question is, “What do you want your kids to remember?” I’ve cried before thinking that all my kids will remember is me yelling at them to pick their stuff up. Will that overshadow the great love I have for them? I hope not and so I try not to get so worked up about all the junk! Really though, I need to cry over the question, “If I die, will they still love Jesus?” This forces me to look at myself and how I am living and how my children see me.

What’s important to us as parents, will be important to our kids.       -PK

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” In order for our kids to know Jesus, whether we are by their side or not, we need to discipline them. Disciplining your children is not necessarily a popular topic, but the Bible does talk about it.

Proverbs 23:12-14, “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge. Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” This is not saying how to punish them, but why children need discipline. Disciplining your children doesn’t mean you hate them, but it means you love them and want them to know that they were wrong. And when you love Jesus, and share His love with your children, you are giving them the tools to save them from death.

Then, when you have text conversations like this (yes, I believe butthead is a multi-generational word):

20160316_121531

You remind yourself that Proverbs 29:17 says, “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” Therefore we encourage our children to give hugs not hits, kisses not kicks, and to say words that build each other up. And we do that because it shows them how to love and we have text conversations like this where big brothers ask if little sister is ok:

20160316_121749

The truth is, disciplining your child is part of your job as a parent. Sometimes you have to bring out the discipline that will really impact your child. If that means no electronics, then stick by it and mean no electronics. You, and only you, will know what discipline works best for your family. Use discipline as an act of love so they learn what is important to you. Then, you will be confident that you did your best and that they will not turn from your teachings, which, if they are based on the Bible, are excellent teachings for them to know.

Next time, some thoughts on discipling your child.

 

 

If You Already Feel Lost in the New Year

if you already feel lost in the new yearHappy New Year! It is always refreshing to think of the start of something new. Remember looking forward to (or dreading) the first day of school? How about as you look back, do you know when you were going to marry the person you would marry? Did you know it was something new and different this time? Do you have a new project to start, but it seems overwhelming because it is so new? As the media keeps putting resolutions and adding things to do  to your new year’s list, do you already feel lost?

I’m reading the (currently) last book in the Mitford series by Jan Karon called Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good. That is a beautiful title by itself. My dad originally got me into the series, always trying to get me into good lit-che-cher (literature) rather than the mindless drivel I tend to read. I’m about halfway through, having saved it for a long vacation from school, so I could read late and pretend to sleep in in the morning. It is so good!

Father Tim, the main character, says:

“Maybe it’s too soon for you to try and figure things out. Know that God has a plan for your future. Watch and wait for his timing, and when it comes, hitch a ride. You’ll know.”

As this new year starts, if you feel like you are already holding on by a thread and still trying to figure out what to do when you “grow up”, rest assured that God has a plan for you. Those aren’t just words from this book, those are words from The Book. Here are 5 great verses to keep in mind as you try to figure things out and jumpstart your new year. If you click on the Proverbs links, you can get a little more thought on the verse.

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:17-18

A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:9

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

Go ahead, take a leap, hitch a ride, give it a go, or however you want to say it. Follow God’s plan. It’s not yours, but He needs you to execute it. You. He has a special reason for you and only you. Chances are there will be exasperated sighs, some yelling, confusion, and at the opposite end utter joy along the way. But, you won’t know any of it until you trust Him to take you where He needs you. So if you feel lost, even if you are a mature believer, don’t get lost in the voices of naysayers as the new year starts. Build yourself up, build others up, pray, and listen for God’s answer as to what He wants you to do. You’ll get there. Happy New Year!

Unsolicited Jesus Sized Advice

Unsolicted Jesus Sized Advice

Have you ever gotten unsolicited advice? Probably. And, whether you asked for it or not, you probably considered what the person said and went from there. King Solomon is the advice king! As the wisest man, he wrote the book of Proverbs, to help us live our lives in a more godly manner. He gives us some suggestions on how to seek advice.

Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 11:14 says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”

Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

The Bible tells us to seek advice for things. If we always try to go at it on our own, we are foolish. God will help you find the right answer and figure out the best way. Here are 4 pieces of unsolicited Jesus sized advice for you today! Continuing in Ecclesiastes with Chapter 4.

1. Insights on Oppression and Politics

There are people who feel oppressed and think that they don’t have anyone to turn to. Some even feel that being dead would be better than living. Yes, even believers feel this way. Think about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4 and Job in Job 3:3. If believers feel this way sometimes, than what about people who don’t know Jesus? Christians have hope beyond the grave. They know, even if they try to ignore or shove it into the back of their mind, that they are not alone!

What we all have to remember, no matter how dire the circumstance, is that giving up is not the answer! If you see or know someone who is heavily burdened, you need to let them know they are loved. You need to ask God to work through you to help reach this person. How can you really love your neighbor as yourself? How can you include them in your life? Show someone the hope of love and Jesus.

2. Insights on Money

We have more in common with people who lived 3,000 years ago than you think. We are still trying to keep up with the Jones’. Let’s face it,

People buy stuff they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like, and pay for it with a credit card they can’t afford.   -PK

This is an empty way to operate and live. In other words, be content with what you have! If you aren’t, isn’t it almost like we are slapping God in the face and saying to him that his blessings aren’t good enough for us? Ouch! Apart from Jesus, all that stuff just makes life come up short.

Mark 8:34-38 is where Jesus tells anyone who wants to be his follower to give it all up and follow him. We need to use balance and moderation. Is it about me, myself, and I? Or is our life about something bigger? Proverbs 16:8 says, “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.”

I know I said 4 pieces of unsolicited Jesus sized advice, but I think we’ll stop with two for today. I’ve often joked that life would be a lot easier if we were all born with a manual. But really, the Bible is our life manual. It’s just a matter of how much we put into it and read it in order to get the most from it. I need to remind myself that the Bible has all the answers. It is a relevant book for today. The only thing that has changed, are the characters in the world now and our way of doing things.

If we open our hearts to God’s advice our lives will begin to have purpose and make more sense. We will know what direction we need to head in. I’ll be back in a couple more days with two more pieces of advice. See you soon!

WITH God, pleasure tastes so much

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caught in Earthly Snares

Proverbs PictureFear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

Do you aim to please people? At work, at home, or in social circles, do you try to do what people expect so there is little conflict or so you can make as many people happy as possible? I know I have been in this situation at work before. There are times when I do worry about what others will think as I take on a project and do it differently than what was expected. Sometimes it isn’t even worrying about what people will think as much as it is do I have the desire to listen to everybody’s opinion about what I’m doing.

I am getting caught up in the earthly snare of humans. I am worried about what others think. People’s comments, looks, and sighs all creep into my life and what I am doing and they begin to gnaw away at my confidence in what I am working on. You have probably been there at some point. It is hard work to keep negativity at arm’s length and not let it overtake your life.

So what to do? Well, the second part of this Proverb tells us that, “…whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe”. In the midst of when I feel like I am failing and fearing man, I need to remember that it is God who I need to fear and trust. He is the only one whose opinion matters in regards to what you do. He will keep me safe from man’s grasp.

If you keep God on your radar when you are working, playing, socializing, or whatever situation you may be in, then the fear of man’s opinions begin to fade. Again, this is not easy. In this materialistic and all about me world it is hard to keep focused on Jesus and not be distracted. In order to trust Him, you need to give Him your problems. Pray to Him, ask Him for help, and let Him know that you need and depend on Him to get you through. And then, you need to let Him guide you. It is easier to fear people and let those fears hold you back. But try to take a step towards trusting God more today, see where He takes you, and let Him keep you safe.

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Can’t Outgive God

 

Proverbs PictureA generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

Tis the season where people are asking for money for this or that. Or you are at the checkout and they ask if you would like to donate to a Christmas fund for something. How do you decide who to give to without feeling guilty about not giving to everything?

Giving financially is a great way to support others.  Giving of yourself is a great way to support others too. The Bible says in this Proverb, “A generous man will prosper.”  So giving generously out of love and wanting to will benefit you as much as the recipient. You will be refreshed and see things from new perspective while blessing others.

So how do you decide when to give, what to give, and who to give to? Well, you need to have a plan.

1. When to Give

Give when you are able to because you have more than enough and give when things are tight to remember that others are probably worse off. You don’t need to give every time  at the cash register or bucket with a ringer. If you want to, you can, but don’t feel guilted into it. You decide when you are purposefully going to give. When you decide to give, you will be ready to give out of your abundance. You can allow for spontaneous giving too. Sometimes, in the moment, you just know it is the right thing to do!

2. What to Give

Obviously giving money is an easy thing to do. Writing a check, swiping your card, or handing over cash is quick and accessible. You are also trusting a group to use your money, combined with other donations, the best to help the most. But sometimes, there might be  a nagging inside of you that says you need to do more. Well, that is when you need to give of your time. You need to find something that you enjoy and want to help with. Through service you are finding new connections with others who need your skills. Be sure you are willing to commit out of desire to serve and you will find yourself refreshed.

3. Who to Give to

You have worked hard for your money and if you are chosing to serve, then you want to be sure your time and effort will make a difference. Deciding who you give to is important. Do some research, ask around, and then decide. Being pleased with where your generosity is going will only motivate you and encourage you to be more generous with your time and money.

Giving is not a competition. The saying You Can’t Outgive God is true. But, I think he wants you to strive towards this goal of complete generosity. If you want to feel refreshed as the Proverb says, then it is time to take you out of the equation and put others in it. Take the focus off of your needs and desires and instead focus on others. You will prosper and God will bless your life in ways you can’t imagine. I challenge you to take the plunge and give generously, and feel revitalized!

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching Inside of You

Proverbs PictureThe lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being. Proverbs 20:27

How often do your kids tell you something and you just know it’s a lie? My one son needs to bring a snack to school because they eat lunch so early. I pack it for him in the front pocket of his book bag and toss in a new one each day. But, he didn’t eat it one day, so I left it in there. The next day it was still there, although a bit more crushed. I didn’t think anything of it because sometimes it’s a kid’s birthday or they run out of time. But the next day it was still there. I asked him at breakfast why he hadn’t been eating his snack. He looks at me and pauses before answering. Ding, ding, ding! A lie is forming rings in my head. His eyes get big and I ask him again and it eventually comes out that he was tired of pretzels and so was telling the teacher he didn’t have a snack because her snacks were better! Don’t you love kids and their honesty? Well, we got it all straightened out. He ate his pretzels that day and now I try to put more variety into his snacks.

The point is I had to search for the answer to find the truth. God already knows the spirit of a man. He searches, but He already knows the answer. He wants you to trust Him with things you struggle with. In Genesis, after Adam and Eve ate the fruit and hide, God asks where they are. He already knows where they are and what they did! But He wants you to come to Him.

Ask God for help. Confess to Him that you don’t have it all together. Admit that you made a mistake. Let God see your inmost being as loving, humble, remorseful, and respectful of His awesomeness. Only then can you see what is really on the inside of you.

The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being. Proverbs 20:27

Talking Too Much

Proverbs Picture

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19

Is there someone in your life who always knows the latest about everybody? Does it make you wonder what they know about you?! In a world where everything seems to be almost instantaneous, it sure doesn’t take long for a confidence to be heard by many.

This is where you really need to know who you are sharing with. Having a good friend is a beautiful thing. She is someone you trust to give you the honest truth about things and has probably seen you through some hairy situations. She is not a gossip who is going to spread your business to people who don’t need to know.

“…so avoid a man who talks too much” means you need to be responsible for what comes out of your mouth. You don’t want to air your dirty laundry to someone who doesn’t need to hear it. Even in a fit of anger, you need to guard your tongue. Some gossips thrill and thrive on knowing juicy tidbits that could cause upheaval for someone else. They plot to decide the best moment to drop the bomb of what they know so it can purposefully hurt someone. Other gossips just don’t know how to keep their mouths shut and can’t keep a secret.

I’m sure at some point you have played that telephone game. You know the one where someone whispers something into the ear of the person beside them and then they whisper it and so on. The fun is seeing what the final statement is compared to the original. However, in real life, sometimes it isn’t so fun when the gossip is shared, repeated, altered, and repeated wrongly.

So, be careful with your tongue. Be careful who you share sensitive things with. Find that friend and try to avoid sensitive items with the gossiper. Your business is yours, so be responsible as you share it.

Oh, and the tables can be turned on this too. Don’t you be a gossip who tells other people’s business. And don’t talk too much about things which don’t concern you. You need to watch your own words.

A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19

Get Out the Broom and Clean Yourself Up!

Proverbs PictureHe who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31

What is your reaction when you see someone poor? Do you look down your nose, avert your eyes, cross the street, or make sure the doors are locked. Do you wonder why they don’t get a job or clean themselves or their front sidewalk up? I can check all of those things off and I’m pretty sure if you are reading this, you can too.

The next question is what do you do? The Proverb says He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker. God made all of us, from the clean and rich, to the down and out. How we treat others is a reflection of how we treat God! Ouch. So if we look down our nose at others, we are looking down our nose at God. Double ouch. I don’t want to treat God with anything less than praise. I am humbled that He chose me and He chose you.

We should all want to live out the second part of the Proverb which says …but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. I want to honor God. Our actions need to show honor to God because none of us is any better than anyone else when it comes down to it. God knows what is really in our hearts. Reading this Proverb lets me know that my heart needs some cleaning.

So, let’s get out the broom, the vacuum, or the Swiffer. What action can we take today to start cleaning out the eye aversions and judgmental thoughts?

First, pray. Pray to God and ask for forgiveness that you were judging someone on their situation that you know nothing about.

Second, pray. Pray to God and ask him to open up opportunities for you to do something for someone which will honor Him. Maybe this means cleaning up your own sidewalk and then you just kind of keep going up the street. Maybe this means putting together a bag full of food and secretly dropping it off on someone’s porch. Maybe this means saying hello with a smile when someone looks at you.

Third, pray. Praise Him and thank Him for the blessings He has given you. Be specific. It’s getting cold where I live and I’ve got the heat on. Thank you, God, that we have heat and money to pay that bill!

If we can remember that one day we could be on the receiving end of someone’s kindness because we have fallen on hard times we would probably treat others a little differently. Matthew 25:40 says, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Don’t be kind to make yourself feel good. Do it for God.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31

A Shopping List Life Strategy

Proverbs PictureA wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisors. Proverbs 24:5-6

My husband laughs at how I plot out my grocery shopping trips. First, I take inventory of what we have on hand. This includes going through every cabinet and freezer and marking down how many of something I have. Second, I plot our dinner meals for the month, based on what we have and then on what I’d like to have. Third, I go through my list and mark down how many of each item to buy. Fourth, I highlight the things we need in two different colors, one for each store I go to. Third, we go shop. If the kids are with me, we take two carts, one for cold stuff and one for regular stuff. This makes it easier to pack into the car, rather than having it mixed up. When we shop, I don’t mess around. Why? Well, my inventory list is by aisle so I know exactly what order and what aisle to go down. It’s my very own paper app! Once I sent my husband to the big store for stuff with this list. He looked at my list and says, “You know which aisle stuff is in?” Yup. He came home and told me everything was right where I said it would be. Easy.

This strategy helps me to know what we have and to not buy too much of something I have on hand or double up on something I don’t really need to double up on. It saves me time and money. Kids might cry for donuts, but I tell them, it’s not on the list. Well, sometimes I give in! What would happen if I used this detailed a strategy in other areas?

The Proverb says: A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisors. This is talking about actual war of course. It’s telling you, you need a strategy to win and you need to be wise. Some of you are battling wars in your own life. This Proverb can help you. You need to get knowledge and increase your strength. You need to find people who can guide and mentor you. You need people in your corner!

Folks, you need to know you have a personal cheerleader in your corner already. God! He is wise, strong, a great counselor, advisor, and the only teammate you need on your side if you are battling something bigger than you can handle. This is good news! Trust me that no matter if your faith is still young, wavering, or indecisive God is on your side. He will put people in your path that can help you. He will help you make tough decisions if you ask Him. He loves you. Reach out to Him. Pray to Him. Call on His name. He is always there, but He is waiting for you to ask Him to be on your team forever.

Make your shopping list for the battle you are waging. Take inventory, see what you need, highlight important stuff, and find some helpers. Most importantly, ask for God’s help, send out the battle cry. He is the greatest advisor and can help you through.

A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength; for waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisors. Proverbs 24:5-6