Proverbs 17 – August 17

CC Image courtesy of Margaret Almon on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Margaret Almon on Flickr.

Proverbs 17
Author: T.J. Randers

As we have been reading through Proverbs this summer I have noticed that I can read the same chapter on different days and different verses will stand out based on what is going on in “life” at the time. Today, verse 22 of chapter 17 reminds me of an important lesson. The first half of that verse states: “A joyful heart is good medicine” or “A joyful heart causes good healing.” I try to remind myself when I wake up that I have a choice on what type of lens I want to use to look at things that day and I have found that on those days that I choose to look at things through a joyful lens or a joyful heart that I tend to handle situations better.

I recently read a book that really resonated with me. It is titled The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. It reminded me that one of the things I have control over is my attitude. The bus driver on the Energy Bus is named Joy and her advice throughout the book reflects that. Someone told me once that the source of JOY is putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself third. That is very counter-culture, but if we want to be a people different from the world around us, this is absolutely a way to stand out – choose JOY each day! It isn’t easy, but it is a choice that we can make each day. If you choose JOY, you will be rewarded with the benefits of the “good medicine” it provides. I pray that each of you will choose JOY.

Psalm 118:24- “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”.

Proverbs 22 – June 22

CC Image courtesy of Yvette T. on Flickr.

CC Image courtesy of Yvette T. on Flickr.

Proverbs 22
Author: T. J. Randers

Proverbs 22 – W O W, there are so many Words Of Wisdom found within the 29 verses of Proverbs 22. There is sage advice for each of us throughout this chapter. The verse that stood out to me at this season in my life is verse 6:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (ESV)

I wasn’t sure if the fact that I have 2 daughters (Ellie is 6 years old and Maddie is 19 months old) would get me off the hook on this one. I was hoping it only applied to parents with sons. Alas, I am pretty sure it is universal.

When I first skim the verse, the idea of “training” a child has a very military sound to it, but then I thought of all the different forms of “training” I have participated in during my life. I have participated in sports training, dental school training, and each year I complete continuing education, which often involves training in new techniques or technology. When I look at each of these examples of training, there is a deeper idea that is involved in training. Training is purposeful and intentional, we train to get better at something, as we train we learn by example and repetition of doing things correctly.

It scares me to think that I have a very short window of time of influence over my children so I know I must make it count. I must be intentional about what I teach them – I do not want it left up to somebody else. I must be purposeful about what I teach them, I want them to learn from God’s wisdom, not the world wide web or peers on the playground. I want to encourage them that we always have room for improvement, God does not expect perfection (Grace abounds), but he wants our hearts and our best efforts. I want to be a better example for them, I want them to see consistency from me of trying to be more like Jesus. The effort required to do this is worth it! We are told that by doing so our children will not depart from the path we help them down. This is both daunting and encouraging and leaves me very thankful for the church family and network of support we have at South Plains, let’s work together to “train up” our 1Youngers.

My prayer for each of you reading this is that God will grant you wisdom and strength to train up your children in the way of God and that through that, our children will be faithful throughout their lives. May God continue to bless each of you!