Tag Archives: learn

Liiiiife

The past two months have been interesting and a bit much.

Hence my slacking on what I planned on doing.

I am not the best with structure and sticking to a schedule. I did a great job for a while.

But then things changed. I was doing well at first. Then I totally fell off. I have not adjusted the best.

Cuz life man.

But the great thing is that I can learn and reflect and figure out how to get everything done.

Just because life comes and changes our plans doesn’t mean we have to quit on stuff or even ourselves.

We can evaluate and make a new game plan and still be great.

Let’s not focus on the perceived failure but focus on what it teaches us and where we can go.

Failure is Fruitful

To quote India.Arie’s The Truth, there’s a blessing in every lesson.

Failure can teach us more than success at times.

Failure shows us who we are.

Failure shows us where we went wrong and how to get it right.

When done right, failure brings us closer to God. He shows us who He is and how is is capable of helping us get it right.

We gotta try. And if it doesn’t work, assess, take stock, learn, and try again.

Failure is fruitful.

Failure shows us what we are capable of.

Dust off those failures and go win!

Proverbs 19 (The Message MSG)

If You Quit Listening

1 Better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust.

2 Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste.

3 People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?

4 Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies, but poor people are avoided like a plague.

5 Perjury won’t go unpunished. Would you let a liar go free?

6 Lots of people flock around a generous person;
everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist.

7 When you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you—yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost. If they see you coming, they look the other way—out of sight, out of mind.

8 Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.

9 The person who tells lies gets caught; the person who spreads rumors is ruined.

10 Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street any more than workers should give orders to their boss.

11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

12 Mean-tempered leaders are like mad dogs; the good-natured are like fresh morning dew.

13 A parent is worn to a frazzle by an irresponsible child; a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet.

14 House and land are handed down from parents,
but a congenial spouse comes straight from God.

15 Life collapses on loafers; lazybones go hungry.

16 Keep the rules and keep your life; careless living kills.

17 Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full.

18 Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.

19 Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger; if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.

20 Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well.

21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.

22 It’s only human to want to make a buck, but it’s better to be poor than a liar.

23 Fear-of-God is life itself, a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises.

24 Some people dig a fork into the pie but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth.

25 Punish the insolent—make an example of them.
Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.

26 Kids who lash out against their parents are an embarrassment and disgrace.

27 If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own, you’ll soon be out of your depth.

28 An unprincipled witness desecrates justice;
the mouths of the wicked spew malice.

29 The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way; only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.

Proverbs 7 (The Message (MSG) version)

1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you;
    treasure my careful instructions.
Do what I say and you’ll live well.
    My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it!
Write it out on the back of your hands;
    etch it on the chambers of your heart.
Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
    Treat Insight as your companion.
They’ll be with you to fend off the Temptress—
    that smooth-talking, honey-tongued Seductress.

This author is ADAMANT about us listening. The last few chapters we have been told the same thing in similar ways. They want to make sure we listen. They want to make sure we value wisdom and insight, comparing it to people and relationships. They wanna make sure we stay out if trouble via wisdom and insight

6-12 As I stood at the window of my house
    looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by,
    I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived,
    then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on,
    the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him—
    she’d been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him.
Brazen and brash she was,
    restless and roaming, never at home,
Walking the streets, loitering in the mall,
    hanging out at every corner in town.

Oop. No words. Lol.

13-20 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
    boldly took his arm and said,
“I’ve got all the makings for a feast—
    today I made my offerings, my vows are all paid,
So now I’ve come to find you,
    hoping to catch sight of your face—and here you are!
I’ve spread fresh, clean sheets on my bed,
    colorful imported linens.
My bed is aromatic with spices
    and exotic fragrances.
Come, let’s make love all night,
    spend the night in ecstatic lovemaking!
My husband’s not home; he’s away on business,
    and he won’t be back for a month.”

Uuuuuuuh oh…

21-23 Soon she has him eating out of her hand,
    bewitched by her honeyed speech.
Before you know it, he’s trotting behind her,
    like a calf led to the butcher shop,
Like a stag lured into ambush
    and then shot with an arrow,
Like a bird flying into a net
    not knowing that its flying life is over.

Uh whipped?

24-27 So, friends, listen to me,
    take these words of mine most seriously.
Don’t fool around with a woman like that;
    don’t even stroll through her neighborhood.
Countless victims come under her spell;
    she’s the death of many a poor man.
She runs a halfway house to hell,
    fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.

Like. The author is talking about a woman. But again, this seems like a metaphor for sin, lost, anything that is a distraction or takes us off course. We gotta watch and pray so we don’t enter not into temptation cuz the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41 KJV). Jesus said that! We gotta use this here wisdom and insight.

Proverbs 6 The Message (MSG) version)

I don’t know why I paraphrased/summarized a few days. I’m gonna work smarter not harder.

1-5 Dear friend, if you’ve gone into hock with your neighbor
    or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
If you’ve impulsively promised the shirt off your back
    and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
Friend, don’t waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
    You’re in that man’s clutches!
    Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
Don’t procrastinate—
    there’s no time to lose.
Run like a deer from the hunter,
    fly like a bird from the trapper!

I find this interesting because of something I said recently. We as Christians, are seemingly expected to be martyrs. Expected to just take any and everything from people. Expected to let others treat us however they want, a doormat, a trash can. This seems to suggest otherwise. And, if you examine Jesus, though he said nothing on the way to the cross, he didn’t take mess. He wasn’t here for the foolishness. So, within reason, I don’t think we should be here for it either.

6-11 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
    Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
Nobody has to tell it what to do.
    All summer it stores up food;
    at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
    How long before you get out of bed?
A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
    sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next?
Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
    poverty your permanent houseguest!

What comes to mind? Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). You gotta do something to get what God has for you.

12-15 Riffraff and rascals
    talk out of both sides of their mouths.
They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
    they cross their fingers behind their backs.
Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
    always stirring up trouble.
Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
    a total smashup, their lives ruined beyond repair.

A double minded, two minded, man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).

16-19 Here are six things God hates,
    and one more that he loathes with a passion:

eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Interesting that this is the list given. And that’s all Ima say about that.

20-23 Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

A continuation of stating the importance of taking advice and learning from parents. Same for advice and learning as a whole.

24-35 They’ll protect you from wanton women,
    from the seductive talk of some temptress.
Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty,
    nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes.
You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread,
    but a wanton woman may well eat you alive.
Can you build a fire in your lap
    and not burn your pants?
Can you walk barefoot on hot coals
    and not get blisters?
It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife:
    Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.
Hunger is no excuse
    for a thief to steal;
When he’s caught he has to pay it back,
    even if he has to put his whole house in hock.
Adultery is a brainless act,
    soul-destroying, self-destructive;
Expect a bloody nose, a black eye,
    and a reputation ruined for good.
For jealousy detonates rage in a cheated husband;
    wild for revenge, he won’t make allowances.
Nothing you say or pay will make it all right;
    neither bribes nor reason will satisfy him

I don’t know that I have anything worthy to say. Lol.

Proverbs 3

*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*

1-2: Don’t forget what we’ve been taught and take the commands to heart because they will help you live a long, full, well lived life.

It is important to remember the words of the Proverbs, but also the “words” of our lives. If we don’t keep in mind what we have been through and what we have learned, we are liable to have to endure it again. Cycles. Frustration. Wilderness. But, if we keep our lessons, what God has done for us, ever before us, we can move on and experience other things because we aren’t needlessly going through the same thing time and time again.

3-4: Maintain love and loyalty, tying them around our neck, carving their initials on our heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God and the people’s eyes

So interesting to me that love is mentioned as something we should maintain, along with loyalty, and carving their initials on our heart. Why? Because love for others, and his love for us, was so important to Jesus. It is all through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Psalmist says they hide the Word in their heart that they might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). God is love (1 John 4:7). The Word is God (John 1:1). So amazing how the Word confirms itself. It is important that we live well. Later, in 2 Corinthians 3:2, Paul tells us that we are epistles, letters, known and read of men.

5-12: Trust God from the bottom of our hearts, not trying to figure out things on our own. Listen for God’s voice in everything we do and wherever we go because He will keep us on track. Don’t assume we know everything. Run to god and from evil. Our bodies will glow healthily, bones will vibrate with life. Honor God with everything we own, giving him the first and best. We will have an abundance if we do. Don’t resent God’s discipline or take issue with His loving correction. He corrects us because he loves us.

The King James Version (KJV) says with all our heart. But seeing the bottom in the Message (MSG) version hit differently today. The bottom is the lowest part. It still means all. But seeing bottom means, to me today, with every single bit, with every last drop. With everything and all that you have. KJV says not to lean to our own understanding. The simplicity of the MSG version packs a different punch too. Leaning to our own understanding seems to speak to not doing what we know. Here, it is telling us not to be independent but depend on God. KJV says to acknowledge him in all our ways and He will direct our paths. This version is so much more thorough and intentional. Not just acknowledge Him, but also listen for His voice in EVERYTHING because he will keep us on track. This seems like it is saying be humble sit down. Hahaha. How great is it that if we run to God, we will have life and health? Giving God our first and best leading to abundance reminds me of Malachi 3 and the promise if we give tithes and offering.

13-18: Meeting wisdom is a blessing. Insight as our friend is worth more money in the bank, her friendship better than a big salary. Her value is more than what comes with wealth, nothing we desire compares to her. She gives long life on one hand and recognition on the other. She has a beautiful manner, with wonderful life that is complete, a tree of life if we embrace her. If we hold her tight we will be blessed.

I don’t know how much more even needs to be said. Wisdom and insight are so vital and important to us. We need to make sure we use wisdom and insight in all that we do.

19-20: God formed the earth with wisdom, raised heaven with insight. They knew when to signal rivers and springs to surface and dew to descend from night skies.

Same. Y’all. Same. But. How cool is God that He gives us what He used to create the world to enable us to live well and be in relationship with Him.

21-26: Guard clear thinking and common sense with our lives and don’t lose sight of them. They will keep our soul alive and well, us fit and attractive. We will have safe travel without tiring or tripping, napping without worry, sleeping well at night. We will not panic over alarms or surprises, predictions of doomsday because God will be with us keeping us safe and sound.

Being free from clutter and distraction in our mind, as well as having common sense, sets us up to live our best lives without stress and worry, without being tired and falling down. Duh. Lol.

27-29: Don’t abandon anyone who deserves help as we are God’s hand for them. Don’t put our neighbor off for later if we have the money. Don’t find ways to take advantage of a trusting, unsuspecting neighbor.

Hands and feet of Jesus. That’s what I thought. People say that’s what we should be as Christians. Facts. Jesus told us as much. Whatever we do unto those who need it we are doing unto him (Matthew 25:31-46).

30-32: Don’t have a chip on our shoulder looking to fight. Don’t shoulder our way through life being a bully because God can’t stand twisted souls. The straightforward get God’s respect.

I mean. What more is there to say? That’s not who God is. We are to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). A bully ain’t that.

33-35: The house of the wicked are cursed by God but the home of the righteous is blessed. Proud skeptics are given a cold shoulder but those down on their luck receive help. Honor is given to wise living. Booby prizes are given to stupid living.

Reaping and sowing. Reaping and sowing. Galatians 6:7.

Magic

Hate to break it to us…the change of the year isn’t some magic spell.

I’ve said I was ready for the new year, throw 2020 away. It’s been team too much.

What I’ve come to realize and understand about this year is so simply profound.

Some of us lost some stuff to grow. Some of us won some stuff to grow.

Regardless, the mere fact that we have made it through 2020 en route to 2021 is a miraculous blessing in and of itself.

Of all the things I’ve learned, the one I think matters most is this: miracles aren’t always big, huge, events.

The scale moving in the right direction was a miracle.

Keeping my mouth closed when I wouldn’t have before is a miracle.

Letting people go was a miracle.

Apologizing and welcoming people back was a miracle.

Forgiving was a miracle.

Moving forward in immense pain under stress was a miracle.

So, no, no magic in less than 12 hours. But another opportunity for another miracle.