Insecurities & Disqualifications

I think it is so interesting how God uses things and people that are insecurities or lack of qualifications.

My pastor taught us about Colossians and Paul during Bible class. He gave us some of Paul’s history.

The way Paul opened some of his letters seemingly points to his insecurity about how he came to be an Apostle. And it seems like it is more because of the other Apostles’ reactions and not anything he felt on his own.

Let’s be real though. Can you blame them for feeling some type of way? I give them initial feelings. But, if they kept it up, that’s not okay. Who knows though.

Cuz don’t we stay in our feelings sometimes long after whoever did it has moved on?

Paul was seemingly the most unqualified due to his persecution of the Christians. But God turned it. He is, after all, the author of Romans 8:28.

Ima run a list of the people I can think of who messed up or had things they thought stood in their way or who people counted out or who never should have been as impactful as they were.

Noah: it had never rained yet he said it would. They laughed. Then they drowned. Buddy got drunk and it wasn’t nothing good.

Abraham: worshiped pagan gods but followed God. Lied about Sarah being his wife and sister (just said sister) twice. Had a baby that wasn’t the promised child.

Jacob/Israel: tricked his brother out of his birthright then let the women and children in his life come in contact with the brother who had wanted to murder him before him (I mean if Esau was ready to fight they would have been killed first and Jacob could have run).

10 of Israel’s sons: sold Israel’s favorite son Joseph into slavery and lied to him about Joseph’s death.

Moses: murdered an Egyptian after being a Hebrew living with the king who enslaved the Hebrews. Had a speech impediment.

Samson: in relationship with a woman who wasn’t his wife who He told about where his strength was so he ended up weak, bald, and blind.

Rahab: a harlot (sex worker).

Esther: a young Jewish girl who was a part of the group one of the non-Jewish king’s right hand man wanted to destroy.

David: an overlooked boy sent to the field who his family couldn’t bother to call in at first when the prophet came to anoint the new king. Slept with a woman and had her husband killed because he got her pregnant when he should have been at war and her husband wouldn’t sleep with her to cover up the pregnancy because they were at war.

Samuel: his mother couldn’t even get pregnant for the longest so his existence was an answered prayer against long odds.

Isaac & Joseph: I couldn’t think of anything for them at first but I guess the same goes for them and their conceptions. And Joseph wasn’t disqualified but his brothers did what they did which surely should have resulted in the inability of his dreams to come true.

Ruth: widowed by a foreigner in her home land who then travels to the foreign land of her deceased husband with his widowed mother.

Jeremiah: young and inexperienced.

Nehemiah: in captivity but wanting to restore the city of God.

Mary: a teenage virgin engaged to be married when she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and impregnated with Jesus.

John the Baptist: his parents were unable to conceive and he ended up being out in the wilderness talking about some man coming after him

Jesus: a lil carpenter’s son who wasn’t formally trained in the Synagogue saying and doing things that were not the custom or in line with what they saw their Scriptures at the time to say.

Peter: lied and denied his relationship with Christ

Me: a fast talking reader who is rebellious to some in my interpretation of the Bible

Every one of these people, including me, was chosen by God and helped make an impact for His kingdom.

DO NOT despise your journey.

DO NOT despise your past.

A testimony is a story about the tests you were able to eventually pass. It is a testament to the power of Jesus and what He was able to mold as the Potter with the clay of your life.

Oooooooh this is about to be so good to me.

After all. All we are is dirt.

To make pottery, clay is used. Clay is comprised of a substance similar to dirt. Water is added to turn it into clay.

Jesus is the living water that turns our dirt into clay. He puts us on a wheel and shapes us. We make mistakes and He has to add more water or reform the piece.

Just like humans who make pottery. It isn’t discarded. It is reused until it has taken the proper form.

Then we get put in the fire. Set. Then we get painted and decorated. I believe put in the fire again. Set.

Get up from where you are.

David was told that the first baby would die. He went and fasted and prayed hoping God would turn it around.

God didn’t. When he found out the baby was dead, he got up, cleaned up, and went and ate. He accepted the consequences of his actions. He didn’t wallow in his failure. He knew the God he served.

My pastor also talked about this. He ended up marrying Bathsheeba and having another child. Solomon. Who would become king and build the temple-what we all go to when we go to church.

He can use it all. No thing or time wasted. No mistake is too big that you can’t come back from it.

That is part of the point of His death on the cross. To extend grace and mercy and provide everything we need to live a life pleasing to Him. To overcome sin and be a reflection of Him.

Give it to Him and let Him change your story for His glory.

Go be great. Someone is counting on it.

(I wrote a follow up. What Do You See.)

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Go With What You Know

I can’t stand Google maps. At least not lately.

I was so fed up today I disabled it and downloaded Mapquest.

I needed to make a stop on the way to where I’m going. I tried to do it with Mapquest. It is no Google maps.

I had to enable Google maps. An update was waiting.

I’ve updated it before. I’ve checked for an update before. The previous updates have not fixed my issues. And who knows if new updates will.

In my frustration, I was willing to give up on what had served me well most of the time because it hasn’t been serving me well a lot lately.

Just because life and situations changes, doesn’t mean we should give up. Just because we think it will be more of the same or never get better doesn’t mean we should lose hope.

Because I need it, I hope it gets better. Because you’re needed, it has to get better.

Go be great. Someone is counting on you today.

What Did You Say

I’m pretty sure I’ve addressed this at some point. But, in the throes of writing the saga that can be found here, I got the idea for this.

I talked about patience and waiting. And a whole bunch of other things.

This song came to mind:
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting, on You Lord
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting
I don’t mind waiting, on You Lord

God breathed life into Adam in Genesis 2:7. He promised to fill us with His Spirit/send the Comforter in Matthew, Luke, and John (maybe Mark as well but I didn’t find it in the quick search I did 🤷🏾‍♀️. And there are several references in the books mentioned. Just search google. Lol.) People began receiving it in Acts 2.

In John 6:63, Jesus told them the words he spoke were Spirit and life.

James 3 is dedicated to admonishing us to watch our mouths and the words we say.

In Mark 11:23, Jesus told them to speak to the mountain and it would move if they believed.

The breath and Spirit of the same One that spoke and created all that is, dwells in us and is literal life to us. What we say has the power to manifest.

We sing songs because they sound good.

We say stuff because we can.

We don’t consider and keep at the top of our minds that we are writing checks every time we open our mouths.

We are making declarations.

Sometimes, I submit to you, when we face things, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s our words coming back to cash the checks we wrote.

I do mind waiting. I’m a human of flesh and blood. I have had and will likely always have, a patience problem. When I’m ready I’m ready. And if God or whoever is involved is not, that tends to irk me. But, I sang the song. A time or two. I read Scriptures about and asked for patience. So, whether I wanted it or not, I’m definitely going to get it.

And, even if I never asked for it, I asked for the will of God. And baaaaaaybeeeee. Those are some simple yet hard words. I said them. And deeeeeeeep down in my soul, where no flesh, thoughts, feelings, or self that is Karlissa exist, I truly meant that thing.

So, my flesh has got to die and come under subjection (1 Corinthians 15:31; 1 Corinthians 9:27). That’s what fasting and prayer are for (Jesus wasn’t specifically referring to this but did state the importance of it in Matthew 17:21 and did it himself in Matthew 4:1-11.)

Watch your mouth. Mind the words you say. They will come back. In ways you may never know or realize. After all, as the writer said, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21)

Live

A flower
Stands growing
All alone in a field
Water springs forth
In a dry desert
Where no life is
Impossibility
Possible
Because there it lives
Life
Has tried
To destroy and kill
Yet
Like the inflatables
Knocked down
Not out
Seemed like
All was over
Just when
You almost hit the ground
Gravity took over
He took over
Up you popped
Get up
Live
Like the flower
Stand growing in the field
Like the water
Spring forth in the desert

NAME OF GOD: El Hayyay

Pastor Tony Evans created a list of all the names of God and their pronunciations that can be found here. He also included the scripture for each one. I am going to put every English translation from biblegateway.com. I don’t know what all of the abbreviations stand for. You can click the hyperlink abbreviation to be directed to biblegateway.com and discover which version is which if you are unsure. 😉 My thoughts are italicized.

MEANING: God of My Life

VERSE: Psalm 42:8

KJ21 Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me and my prayer unto the God of my life.

We good. No matter what. God’s got us.

ASV Yet Jehovah will command his lovingkindness in the day-time; And in the night his song shall be with me, Even a prayer unto the God of my life.

AMP Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song will be with me, A prayer to the God of my life.

AMPC Yet the Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

BRG Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

CSB The Lord will send his faithful love by day; his song will be with me in the night— a prayer to the God of my life.

Faithful love.

CEB By day the Lord commands his faithful love; by night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

CJB Deep is calling to deep at the thunder of your waterfalls; all your surging rapids and waves are sweeping over me.

Wooooooooow

CEV Every day, you are kind, and at night you give me a song as my prayer to you, the living Lord God.

So sweet

DARBY In the day-time will Jehovah command his loving-kindness, and in the night his song shall be with me, a prayer unto the God of my life.

COMMAND. Order.

EHV By day the Lord commands his mercy, and at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.

I love that the synonym for loving-kindness is mercy.

ERV By day the Lord shows his faithful love, and at night I have a song for him—a prayer for the God of my life.

ESV By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

Steadfast.

ESVUK By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

EXB The Lord ·shows [commands] his ·true love [loyalty; covenant love] every day. At night I have a song, and I pray to my living God.

Shows. Loyalty. Covenant, promise.

GNVThe Lord will grant his loving-kindness in the day, and in the night shall I sing of him, even a prayer unto the God of my life.

Grant. A gift.

GWThe Lord commands his mercy during the day, and at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

GNT May the Lord show his constant love during the day, so that I may have a song at night, a prayer to the God of my life.

The sincerity of this as a request.

HCSB The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night— a prayer to the God of my life.

Send.

ICB The Lord shows his true love every day. At night I have a song, and I pray to my living God.

Shows His true love.

ISV By day the Lord will command his gracious love, and by night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

Gracious love.

JUB Yet the LORD will command his mercy in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

Shall be. A foregone conclusion.

KJV Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

AKJV Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

LEB By day Yahweh commands his loyal love, and in the night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

TLB Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life.

Pours out.

MSG When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer.

All I could do is smile and shake my head.

MEV Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song will be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

Will command. A choice.

NOG Yahweh commands his mercy during the day, and at night his song is with me— a prayer to the El of my life.

NABRE Deep calls to deep in the roar of your torrents, and all your waves and breakers sweep over me.

Sigh. 🙂

NASB The Lord will send His goodness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.

Goodness.

NASB1995 The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.

NCV The Lord shows his true love every day. At night I have a song, and I pray to my living God.

NET By day the Lord decrees his loyal love, and by night he gives me a song, a prayer to the God of my life.

Decrees.

NIRV During the day the Lord sends his love to me. During the night I sing about him. I say a prayer to the God who gives me life.

Sheesh. Sends.

NIV By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.

Directs. Like a composer.

NIVUK By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.

NKJV The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.

NLV The Lord will send His loving-kindness in the day. And His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.

NLT But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

Pours…upon me

NRSV By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

NRSVA By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

NRSVACE By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

NRSVCE By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

OJB Yet Hashem will command His chesed by day, and in the night His shir (song) shall be with me, my tefillah (prayer) unto the El Chayyai (G-d of my life).

TPT Yet all day long God’s promises of love pour over me. Through the night I sing his songs, for my prayer to God has become my life.

Promises of love pour over me. This translation!

RSV By day the Lord commands his steadfast love; and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

RSVCE By day the Lord commands his steadfast love; and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.

TLV Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls. All Your waves and breakers have swept over me.

VOICE Yet in the light of day, the Eternal shows me His love. When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company— His soothing song, a prayerful melody to the True God of my life.

Yooooooo. When night settles in and all is dark, He keeps me company. Soothing song prayerful melody. True God of my life.

First of all. Night settles in. That often indicates that things are rough. All is dark. Chile, you can’t see a thing. BUT HE IS THEEEEEEERE! He keeps me company.

Theeeeen. HE GIVES the song that soothes and becomes a melody. Like. He illuminates, tells us, shows us who He is through His Word, a song, which soothes, comforts us, and in turn becomes our prayer to Him. That’s a baaaaaaad Man!

WEB Yahweh will command his loving kindness in the daytime. In the night his song shall be with me: a prayer to the God of my life.

WYC The Lord sent his mercy in the day; and his song in the night (The Lord sent forth his love in the day; and his song in the night). With me is the prayer to (the) God of my life;

YLT By day Jehovah commandeth His kindness, And by night a song [is] with me, A prayer to the God of my life.

Love is Part Deux

Love is patient
Love is kind
Love laid down its life
Love denied itself
Love put on what it hates
Love forgave me
Love chased me
Love waited for me
Love told me no for a better yes
Love won’t let me go
Love won’t leave me alone
Love won’t give up on me
Love sees me
Love hears me
Love chooses me
Love is relentless
Love is perfect

Proverbs 28 (The Message MSG)

If You Desert God’s Law

1 The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off
    even when no one’s after them;
Honest people are relaxed and confident,
    bold as lions.

When the country is in chaos,
    everybody has a plan to fix it—
But it takes a leader of real understanding
    to straighten things out.

Huh.

The wicked who oppress the poor
    are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.

If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
    if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.

Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
    those who seek God know it inside and out.

It’s better to be poor and direct
    than rich and crooked.

Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom;
    hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Get as rich as you want
    through cheating and extortion,
But eventually some friend of the poor
    is going to give it all back to them.

God has no use for the prayers
    of the people who won’t listen to him.

Wow. I could say more and have had thoughts similar. Wow is all I’ll say.

10 Lead good people down a wrong path
    and you’ll come to a bad end;
    do good and you’ll be rewarded for it.

11 The rich think they know it all,
    but the poor can see right through them.

12 When good people are promoted, everything is great,
    but when the bad are in charge, watch out!

13 You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it;
    you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.

14 A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life;
    a hardhearted person lives a hard life.

15 Lions roar and bears charge—
    and the wicked lord it over the poor.

16 Among leaders who lack insight, abuse abounds,
    but for one who hates corruption, the future is bright.

17 A murderer haunted by guilt
    is doomed—there’s no helping him.

18 Walk straight—live well and be saved;
    a devious life is a doomed life.

Doing Great Harm in Seemingly Harmless Ways

19 Work your garden—you’ll end up with plenty of food;
    play and party—you’ll end up with an empty plate.

20 Committed and persistent work pays off;
    get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs.

21 Playing favorites is always a bad thing;
    you can do great harm in seemingly harmless ways.

Man.

22 A miser in a hurry to get rich
    doesn’t know that he’ll end up broke.

23 In the end, serious reprimand is appreciated
    far more than bootlicking flattery.

24 Anyone who robs father and mother
    and says, “So, what’s wrong with that?”
    is worse than a pirate.

25 A grasping person stirs up trouble,
    but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.

26 If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure;
    real survivors learn wisdom from others.

27 Be generous to the poor—you’ll never go hungry;
    shut your eyes to their needs, and run a gauntlet of curses.

28 When corruption takes over, good people go underground,
    but when the crooks are thrown out, it’s safe to come out.

Proverbs 24 (The Message MSG)

Intelligence Outranks Muscle

1-2 Don’t envy bad people;
    don’t even want to be around them.
All they think about is causing a disturbance;
    all they talk about is making trouble.

3-4 It takes wisdom to build a house,
    and understanding to set it on a firm foundation;
It takes knowledge to furnish its rooms
    with fine furniture and beautiful draperies.

5-6 It’s better to be wise than strong;
    intelligence outranks muscle any day.
Strategic planning is the key to warfare;

Wise conversation is way over the head of fools;
    in a serious discussion they haven’t a clue.

8-9 The person who’s always cooking up some evil
    soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.
Fools incubate sin;
    cynics desecrate beauty.

Rescue the Perishing

10 If you fall to pieces in a crisis,
    there wasn’t much to you in the first place.

11-12 Rescue the perishing;
    don’t hesitate to step in and help.
If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,”
    will that get you off the hook?
Someone is watching you closely, you know—
    Someone not impressed with weak excuses.

13-14 Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—
    and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
Likewise knowledge,
    and wisdom for your soul—
Get that and your future’s secured,
    your hope is on solid rock.

15-16 Don’t interfere with good people’s lives;
    don’t try to get the best of them.
No matter how many times you trip them up,
    God-loyal people don’t stay down long;
Soon they’re up on their feet,
    while the wicked end up flat on their faces.

17-18 Don’t laugh when your enemy falls;
    don’t gloat over his collapse.
God might see, and become very provoked,
    and then take pity on his plight.

19-20 Don’t bother your head with braggarts
    or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
Those people have no future at all;
    they’re headed down a dead-end street.

21-22 Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
    don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
    and who knows how or when it might happen?

More Sayings of the Wise

An Honest Answer

23 It’s wrong, very wrong,
    to go along with injustice.

24-25 Whoever whitewashes the wicked
    gets a black mark in the history books,
But whoever exposes the wicked
    will be thanked and rewarded.

26 An honest answer
    is like a warm hug.

27 First plant your fields;
    then build your barn.

28-29 Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs—
    no slander or gossip, please.
Don’t say to anyone, “I’ll get back at you for what you did to me.
    I’ll make you pay for what you did!”

30-34 One day I walked by the field of an old lazybones,
    and then passed the vineyard of a slob;
They were overgrown with weeds,
    thick with thistles, all the fences broken down.
I took a long look and pondered what I saw;
    the fields preached me a sermon and I listened:
“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,
    with poverty as your permanent houseguest!”

Words, Words, Words

All I had as a draft was the title. Ima see what I come up with.

Words matter. Sentence structure matters. Semantics. The English language is one of the hardest to learn for a person for whom English is not their first language. So many words sound the same but are spelled the same. The silent letters. The rules. Sure, for English speakers, other languages may be difficult. I learned Spanish. Their rules make a lot more sense than some of those I remember from my English classes. There are a multitude, a litany of exceptions for our words. For the most part, Spanish rules are pretty constant.

Lissen. Those last couple of sentences are sending me somewhere I cannot go. Lol. Just ponder them and see what you come up with. 😉

The Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). James 3 is a whole situation about the tongue and our mouths. He talks about how small they are and how much fire they can kindle. The thing that I thought of is his question in verse 11: Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter.

When reading it to put a couple of other things here I was also reminded of verses 9 and 10: Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

God spoke and created the earth. Go catch that first chapter of Genesis. Throughout the ENTIRE Bible, the words, promises of God and His vessels, Jesus shift lives and entire nations. Over and over again.

My thing is this. God breathed His breath into man in Genesis. Jesus promised us power to do greater works he did (John 14:12). He stated that things could be spoken to or spoke to them (fig tree, mountains, demons, wind and sea). So, if God spoke, Jesus spoke and promised us greater works than him, if we speak, we have the ability to have what we say.

It is so very crucial as believers to only speak positively and what God says. When I say what God says, I mean speak His word. The Bible. And, if He speaks to you personally, say that as well. Saying what God says isn’t 100% literal though. We have to speak well of, about, and to each other. With kind words. That is the essence of His Word and those who wrote under His inspiration.

Many of us were called things contrary to the plan of God for our lives. Many of us were called things contrary to who God made us. People didn’t know better or they passed their issues onto us. Some of us began to become what others said we were. Some of us began to call ourselves what others called us.

I thought about that thang one day. And you know what I did? I put the Word on it! I bound it because Jesus said what I bind on earth would be bound in heaven. I loosed what God thinks, what He says because he said what I loose on earth would be loosed in heaven (all bof of em are Matthew 18:18). I cursed it at the root and sent it back to the pit of hell where it belongs (churchy phrase with likely origins to that fig tree mentioned abouve).

I submit to you today, that if you are struggling with your words, study to be quiet (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Study the Word. Say things the way they should be said and say only what should be said. Not idle, wasteful things. I’m working on this myself as I believe I stated elsewhere.

If you are struggling with the words of others, study the word to find out who God and His vessels say we are. This. This. This. This. And this are great places to start.

Proverbs 21 The Message (MSG)

God Examines Our Motives

1 Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God;
    he directs it to whatever ends he chooses.

We justify our actions by appearances;
    God examines our motives.

Clean living before God and justice with our neighbors
    mean far more to God than religious performance.

Hmmm. America? You listening?

Arrogance and pride—distinguishing marks in the wicked—
    are just plain sin.

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run;
    hurry and scurry puts you further behind.

Make it to the top by lying and cheating;
    get paid with smoke and a promotion—to death!

Smoke. I can’t.

The wicked get buried alive by their loot
    because they refuse to use it to help others.

Mixed motives twist life into tangles;
    pure motives take you straight down the road.

Do Your Best, Prepare for the Worst

Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack
    than share a mansion with a nagging spouse.

10 Wicked souls love to make trouble;
    they feel nothing for friends and neighbors.

11 Simpletons only learn the hard way,
    but the wise learn by listening.

Simpletons. This translation makes this author sound super petty. Throughout much of it. Honestly, I’m here for it. Make it plain. Lol.

12 A God-loyal person will see right through the wicked
    and undo the evil they’ve planned.

13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor,
    your cries will go unheard, unanswered.

14 A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person;
    a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.

15 Good people celebrate when justice triumphs,
    but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.

16 Whoever wanders off the straight and narrow
    ends up in a congregation of ghosts.

Matthew 7:13-14

17 You’re addicted to thrills? What an empty life!
    The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.

18 What a bad person plots against the good, boomerangs;
    the plotter gets it in the end.

19 Better to live in a tent in the wild
    than with a cross and petulant spouse.

20 Valuables are safe in a wise person’s home;
    fools put it all out for yard sales.

21 Whoever goes hunting for what is right and kind
    finds life itself—glorious life!

22 One sage entered a whole city of armed soldiers—
    their trusted defenses fell to pieces!

23 Watch your words and hold your tongue;
    you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

1 Thessalonians 4:11

24 You know their names—Brash, Impudent, Blasphemer—
    intemperate hotheads, every one.

25 Lazy people finally die of hunger
    because they won’t get up and go to work.

26 Sinners are always wanting what they don’t have;
    the God-loyal are always giving what they do have.

27 Religious performance by the wicked stinks;
    it’s even worse when they use it to get ahead.

28 A lying witness is unconvincing;
    a person who speaks truth is respected.

29 Unscrupulous people fake it a lot;
    honest people are sure of their steps.

30 Nothing clever, nothing conceived, nothing contrived,
    can get the better of God.

31 Do your best, prepare for the worst—
    then trust God to bring victory.

Yaaaaaaaas!

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 18 (The Message MSG)

Words Kill, Words Give Life

1 Loners who care only for themselves
    spit on the common good.

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
    all they do is run off at the mouth.

When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
    contempt for life is contemptible.

Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
    but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.

It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
    or come down hard on the innocent.

The words of a fool start fights;
    do him a favor and gag him.

Wow. Gag him. Lol.

Fools are undone by their big mouths;
    their souls are crushed by their words.

Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
    do you really want junk like that in your belly?

Slack habits and sloppy work
    are as bad as vandalism.

Uh what? Woah.

10 God’s name is a place of protection—
    good people can run there and be safe.

11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
    they imagine themselves safe behind it.

12 Pride first, then the crash,
    but humility is precursor to honor.

13 Answering before listening
    is both stupid and rude.

Ouch. Guilty at times.

14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
    but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?

15 Wise men and women are always learning,
    always listening for fresh insights.

16 A gift gets attention;
    it buys the attention of eminent people.

17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
    until the cross-examination starts!

18 You may have to draw straws
    when faced with a tough decision.

19 Do a favor and win a friend forever;
    nothing can untie that bond.

20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
    good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.

21 Words kill, words give life;
    they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
    and even more: the favor of God!

23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
    the rich bark out answers.

24 Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family.

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 5 The Message (MSG) version)

I’s tired boss. I’m just copying and pasting the whole thing with some thoughts after. Kinda like yesterday. Kinda not.

1-2 Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom;
    listen very closely to the way I see it.
Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense;
    what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.

The author is letting us know that he knows what he’s talking about and it is beneficial to listen to his words.

3-6 The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
    her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
    a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
    she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
She hasn’t a clue about Real Life,
    about who she is or where she’s going.

This makes me think of Delilah and what happened to Samson… I don’t think this is just about or can be applied to just a woman. I feel like this is a metaphor for sin or distractions, including the wrong people.

7-14 So, my friend, listen closely;
    don’t treat my words casually.
Keep your distance from such a woman;
    absolutely stay out of her neighborhood.
You don’t want to squander your wonderful life,
    to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.
Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?
    Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?
You don’t want to end your life full of regrets,
    nothing but sin and bones,
Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me?
    Why did I reject a disciplined life?
Why didn’t I listen to my mentors,
    or take my teachers seriously?
My life is ruined!
    I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!”

Samesies with a side of regret.

15-16 Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel,
    draw water from your own spring-fed well”?
It’s true. Otherwise, you may one day come home
    and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.

The original minding my business drinking my water. Lol.

17-20 Your spring water is for you and you only,
    not to be passed around among strangers.
Bless your fresh-flowing fountain!
    Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
    don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
    Never take her love for granted!
Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore?
    for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?

It as though he is saying you are the only you, live your life, worry about what your are tasked to do and who who are tasked to do it with.

21-23 Mark well that God doesn’t miss a move you make;
    he’s aware of every step you take.
The shadow of your sin will overtake you;
    you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark.
Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
    your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.

God is watching and if you don’t live right death will be your portion.

Uuuuuuuh. I read it. Truly. I may come back and edit it with thoughts. But, I don’t have it in me right now. Lol. If you only knew… I’m just proud that I read it today! 🙂 *and did on 1-7*

Proverbs 4

*Summary of The Message (MSG) version*

1-2: Listen friends, it’s fatherly advice, pay attention to know how to live. I’m giving good counsel. Don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.

This reminds me of the fact that Jesus calls us friend (John 15:15) and through, his crucifixion and resurrection, we are the children of God (Romans 8:15). We have to listen. Not just hear.

3-9: As a boy at his father’s knee and his mother’s pride and joy, my father sat me down and drilled me. My father told me to take his words to heart, do what I tell you-live. Sell all and buy wisdom. Forage for understanding. Remember my words and don’t deviate an inch. Never walk away from wisdom because she guards your life. Love wisdom because she keeps her eye on you. Get wisdom above and before all. Get understanding should be written at the top of your list. Throw your arms around her, you won’t regret it. Never let her go and your life will be glorious. She will garland you life with grace, festoon your days with beauty.

This, and parts of Chapters 1-3, reads like a love letter to wisdom and understanding. Illustrations are always, at least to me, beneficial. They teach in ways that just saying the words don’t. The importance of wisdom and understanding are really being driven home by the author.

10-15: Dear friend, taking my advice will add years to your life. Clear directions to wisdom way are written. A map to righteous road is being drawn. I don’t want you in blind alleys, wasting time with wrong turns. Hold onto good advice, don’t loosen your grip. Guard it well because your life is at stake. Don’t take wicked bypass or set foot on that road. Steer clear of it, give a wide berth, detour and be on your way.

I mean, some of it is repetitive. But, the author clearly wants to make sure we get it. I dig it. There isn’t much to say. I will say. this reminds me of the Scripture that talks about the wide gate and broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)

16-17: Evil people don’t rest unless they are making trouble. They can’t sleep at night unless they’ve made life miserable for others. Their food and drink is perversity, their drug is violence.

Misery loves company.

18-19: The ways of people who live right glow with light, they shine brighter the longer they live.

This made me think of “he beautifies the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4 KJV); “with long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:16 KJV).

20-22: Dear friend, listen well to my words, tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message with you at all times. Concentrate, learn it by heart. People who discover them live, really live, body and soul, bursting with health.

The author is concentrating on the heart as well as wisdom and insight. The heart matters. Another scripture came to mind when I read this. And it just so happens to be verse 23…shocker no shocker.

23-27

Keep vigilant watch over your heart because life starts there. Don’t talk out of both sides of the mouth. Don’t engage in careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes forward, ignoring all sideshow distractions. Watch where you walk and the road will be smooth before you. Don’t look right or left, leaving evil in the dust.

See. The heart matters. Seeing as this Scripture is familiar and matters to me, I’m not surprised it popped in my head (Ion have the book, chapter, and verse memorized…) after reading the verse before it. There isn’t much more to be said based on the straightforwardness of the verse. Buuuuuut. Isaiah 45:2: I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. Tuh.

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.