“The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence”

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

Most everyone has heard this cliché before.

For many people, it produces an image of a man standing in his own lush, well-manicured yard, enviously peering over a fence at his neighbor’s lawn.

But for a livestock farmer, the image produced is one of cattle or horses on bent knees, awkwardly wedging their heads under a tight boundary fence trying to reach grass which they believe is tasty; the whole while, ignoring the lush pasture on which he has spent several hundreds of dollars for their benefit.

One of the more frustrating daily events for me as a dairyman occurred when I would feed the dry cows their morning grain ration; dry cows are those who are not producing milk because they are near their calving due date. The milk cows would stop their grazing to line the fence in envy.  They had already consumed their high-quality grain ration, a quantity that was twice or three times that which the dry cows were given. The milk cows had consumed the best quality hay and were grazing on the best quality pasture. All they were expected to do throughout the remainder of the day was to eat as much grass as they wanted, and to laze around.

But when the milk cows saw me pouring grain into the trough for the dry cows, they could not stand it. So, each morning, they would waste 30 minutes jealously peering over the fences and roadway which separated the two groups, vocally expressing their feelings of unfairness in hopes that I would give them some of the dry cows’ ration.

“The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

It means that no matter how good a person’s life is, he will always think that someone else’s life is better. No matter how much he has been blessed, he will believe that someone else has unfairly been blessed more than he. It means that no matter how good a person’s life is, he will never be happy because he can never see himself as having enough, nor can he be content.

“The grass is always greener on the other side.”

This is true for both livestock and people, for both farmer and city dweller.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

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I Felt Unwelcome and Out of Place. That is the Reason I Do Not Go to Church.

“But I feel so unwelcome and out of place. I just don’t feel like I belong.”

Have you ever offered this as a reason for not “going to church”?

Many people have.

And yet, when one feels this way, he must ask himself if the feelings have been caused by a genuine unfriendliness expressed by the saints or if his feelings are the result of his own shyness and social awkwardness.

The picture above was taken on the outside of a church building. Inside were Christians who were talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. I had been inside with them. I had enjoyed a time of worship and a time of camaraderie. But there came a point when I found myself needing to step outside to get away for a period of alone time. No one had said anything that hurt my feelings. No one had done anything to make me feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. In fact, all had welcomed me with opened arms.

But my personality drove me to step outside the doors; to isolate myself from the friendly, welcoming crowd inside.

At that moment, I could easily have left that assembly saying, “But I felt so out of place. I just didn’t feel like I belonged. I felt as if I was on the outside looking in.” And I would have been right about my feelings, but wrong should I have blamed the people who were enjoying each other’s company within.

“But I feel so unwelcome and out of place. I just don’t feel like I belong.”

Have you ever given this as a reason for not “going to church”?

If you have, maybe it’s time to reevaluate the situation and to give gathering with the family of God another try. That awkwardness you felt may have come from within rather than from the actions of those among who you sat the last time you were there.

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31)

“Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:40)

“I considered my ways and turned my feet to your testimonies.” (Psalm 119:59

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Scars Can Rob Of Us Of The Joy Of Life Or They Can Be A Source Of Renewal And Strength.

Scars.

Most all our bodies are marked by them. Most all of us wish they weren’t.

We generally view scars to be blemishes to the body’s beauty and purity.

They are signs that one’s body has been harmed. It may have been due to a freak accident. It may have been due to abuse; either self-inflicted or inflicted by others. It may have been due to the harmful consequences of an unwise decision. It may have been due to a life-saving or life-giving surgery. It may have been due to an intentional effort to try to improve the looks of the body. But scars are signs that one’s flesh has been openly wounded in some fashion.

The events that scar the physical body usually scar the emotions and soul as well.

Each time we experience the tenderness or numbness of a scar, we are reminded of the way things were before we were wounded. Each time we glimpse a blemish, our mind relives the events which opened the wound. Each time we relive those events, we reflect upon their impact upon our character, our personality, our emotional stability, our interaction with others, and our spiritual beliefs.

Scars produce a variety of reflections and emotions. Some bring back pleasant memories of carefree childhood days; a time when our mama was always there to fix any wound we received while playing. Some remind us of the joy we felt when we heard our baby’s first cry. Some help us to be thankful that we didn’t suffer the full consequences of our stupid youthful actions. Some give us relief that the doctors were able to perform preventive surgery before a major health issue occurred.

But many scars produce negative reflections and emotions. Each time we feel them, we cringe in fear once again. Each time we see them, our mind begins to reel over and over, out of control, as if we were in that somersaulting vehicle once more. Each time we wash them, we hear the abusive words that accompanied the abusive blows which opened the wounds.

Many of us spend much of our lives trying to deal with the events which have scarred our body, soul, and spirit. We want so much to put these events behind us. We desire to not be afraid, or bitter, or resentful, or filled with hate. Though we wish they had never happened and we wonder why they did occur, we realize that the events cannot be undone.

So, how do we deal with life’s scars?

The simplest answer is to say, “Give your life to Jesus, and let him take care of your burden.” But that is a simple statement summarizing a complex process.

Jesus is the answer to life’s problems, but he does not erase the past, nor does he create completely smooth sailing for the future. Jesus does not create a pain free life for his servants.  Instead, he helps them deal with the pain they encounter through love, forgiveness, selflessness, and hope. Jesus exemplifies each of these and then enables his followers to practice them. The problems and memories do not fade away, because the scars are always there. But as we grow in Christ, the events that caused the scars take on a different meaning. And the feelings we have toward those who may have inflicted the wounds transform from bitter hatred to forgiving love.

Scars can rob us of all joy in life or they can provide a continuous opportunity to add more joy to each breath we take. The difference between the two is attitude. Experiencing Jesus’ love can help transform our pain into healing.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Jesus (Luke 23:34) ESV

“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” – Stephen (Acts 7:60) ESV

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5) ESV

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“I Need To Work!”: An Utterance That Will Always Produce Respect And Appreciation.

“Is it supposed to rain today? I hope not. I really need the work. We didn’t get to work much last week. And I have a payment coming up Saturday. I really need to get in some time.”

The middle-aged man, slightly younger than me, sat in his car waiting for his employer to arrive. I sat on the edge of a feed bunk, taking a break from my walk. Fencing (not the sport but installing wire boundaries for livestock) is his second job; his first is milking cows for a local dairyman. Both are laborious and physically taxing.

The conversation sounded so familiar. As we talked, I couldn’t help but go back to a time when I tried to make ends meet by picking up as many jobs as I could and by putting in as much time as my employers would allow when they were paying me by the hour. Preaching, working at a local retail building supply store, stocking drywall in newly constructed houses after business hours, harvesting tobacco, installing vinyl siding, and picking up handyman jobs here and there.

A couple of memories immediately popped into my mind. There was the Friday when one of my retail employers handed me my pay check at dinner and told me to go home because they were cutting my hours that week due to slow customer traffic. I remembered the bewilderment, disappointment, and resentment. I was only making minimum wage. I remembered thinking that the 5 hours saved was not going to make or break the business. Why would they do that to me? I stayed mad all weekend.

Then there was the memory of driving 20 miles to meet another employer before daylight on a fairly cold winter morning, only to be told there would be no work that day, and that I should go home.  This was before the days of cell phones. He had told me the day before that if it snowed much, I should not come to work because we would not be able to install vinyl siding in snowy weather.  Apparently, “much” is a relative term, depending upon your need. Yes, it had flurried, and there was a skiff of snow blowing across the road in front of me. But in my mind, because the ground was not covered and since I needed the money, it had not snowed much.

Yesterday’s conversation was refreshing. I left it with a high respect for my newly found acquaintance. In a day and age when so many conversations bemoan the majority of society’s poor work ethic and lack of desire to perform any type of sweat producing labor, it was good to talk to a man who wanted to work. In a day and age when entitlement, a feeling of irresponsibility to repay incurred debts, and dependency upon the generosity of others seems to be the prevailing philosophy, it was good to speak with a man who is willing to accept responsibility in repaying a debt he willingly agreed to accept.

“If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) ESV

“We urge you . . .to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” (1 Thessalonians 4:

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It Could be Clogged Arteries, But I Really Think It’s Just my Age!

Before my heart surgery, I knew that I was becoming sluggish, both physically and mentally, but I attributed my sluggishness to my age. After all, I’ve never been this age before, and I really don’t know what energy level I am supposed to possess, nor how keen my thought processes should be.

So, though I congratulated myself for accomplishing small tasks that I once would have considered feats of minimal effort, I really thought that it was just an unpreventable, natural part of becoming older.

Before the surgery, the doctors and several people who had experienced bypass surgery told me that I would not realize just how bad I felt, or just how the clogged arteries were affecting me, until I experienced the results of free blood flow.

They were right.

Since my surgery, my energy level has increased exponentially, and my thought processes have become keener than they have been in the past 15 years or so.

That which I considered an unpreventable, incurable consequence of age was actually the result of restricted blood flow due to clogged arteries. And it could be reversed or cured.

Spiritually, as we become older and invest more and more time in the service of God, we can often become sluggish in our efforts and thinking.  We may recognize our sluggishness, but we may consider it an unpreventable, natural part of becoming older. However, many times, it is the result of spiritually clogged arteries.

Several things can clog our spiritual arteries, especially when we hit middle-age.

Fear of not having financially accumulated and saved enough to provide for us in our “golden years” can cause us to want to focus more on money than on christian service.

Applying the worldly concept of retirement to our spiritual service can cause us to believe that just as we can leave our secular jobs to travel, or enjoy leisure, so we can minimalize our service to God so that we can fulfill all the dreams we have worked so hard to achieve.

The desire to sow a few “wild oats” before we become physically unable to do so can often lead us to engage in immorality, intemperance, unwise stewardship, and unbridled rebellion.

Apathy disguised as contentment can lull us into refusing to promote or allow the church to actively grow. We convince ourselves that all change is bad. We try to convince others that the way we have always done things is the right way. We cherish tradition, routine, and the memories of the good old days. Thus, we find it difficult to embrace the use of new technology, new methods of evangelism, new programs of benevolence, or new ways of teaching Bible classes.

The desire to believe that we are not unique and that our sluggish outlook reflects the attitude of the whole congregation can cause us to hold back those who are younger or who do not have clogged arteries. We believe that because we no longer feel like having frequent fellowship gatherings, no one wants to. We believe that because we do not think a proposed activity will be successful or beneficial, no one is in favor of it.

Clogged spiritual articles can affect us in many ways. And they fool us into thinking that our sluggishness or distorted thinking is a natural part of our age.

But like physically restricted blood flow, our spiritual blood flow can be restored.

Mouse over scripture reference to view entire scripture text.

We can begin by turning our focus away from the things of this world and turning it to things that are above. (Colossians 3:1-4). We can help it by focusing on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-3) Our spiritual blood flow will continue to improve if we come to understand the true value of the church. (Ephesians 3:10).

We can continue to clear our spiritual arteries by learning the difference between true contentment and being set in our ways. (Philippians 4:10-13)

We can also increase our spiritual blood flow by realizing that the concept of spiritual “retirement” cannot be found within the scriptures.

“16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

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Those Amish Are Really Different Than Us! Or Are They?

An unusual sound emanated from one of the Amish houses I passed on my morning walk.

Normally, these homesteads are very quiet. One may hear an occasional “neigh” or “moo”, or the sounds of metal buggy wheels rolling over a graveled drive. But this sound was different.

The distinct chug of a gas-powered small engine echoed through the trees. As I drew near the house, I saw the engine anchored to a small metal plate which had been welded to a pole driven in the ground beside the house. The engine’s crankshaft had been extended through the metal siding and into the open “utility area” of the home.  It powered some type of tool or appliance located inside.

Which is highly unusual.

The Amish in our area are known for their conservative stance when it comes to the use of gas-powered engines. These sources of power may be used on hay balers and other farm implements. Occasionally, they may be utilized in the form of a chainsaw or other tool necessary for accomplishing a task on a jobsite. But until recently, gas-powered engines were considered taboo for any type of tool used for chores around the home; they could not be used for mowing the yard, generating electricity for milking a cow, powering a clothes washer, or anything else.

Apparently, changes are being made in our community’s Amish order. Now, occasionally, one will see a man mowing his yard using an old-fashioned gas- powered push lawnmower. Some things that once were considered worldly are now being considered amoral. Some things that once were shunned due to the possibility that they could contribute to worldly temptations, are now being utilized in moderation.

Which brings to mind some questions which are regularly thrown out around many a table in our area.

“Why do the Amish have such an aversion to modernization? If there truly is something worldly or sinful about it, why will they eventually change their practices?

Why are some “orders” so conservative, while others located just a few miles away so liberal; for instance, one order may not allow any use of a phone, another order may allow the use of a community or pay phone, and still another order will allow the use of cell phones, providing they are used for business purposes? Why can the members of one order only utilize horse drawn implements with metal wheels, while the members of other orders are allowed to use equipment which rolls on rubber tires, and still the members of other orders are even allowed to drive tractors or automobiles?

Why do some advocates of the Amish faith continually relocate as they search for a community which will allow them to work and live the way they want to work and live; for instance when a man desires to operate a commercial dairy but his current community will not allow him to use an electrically powered milking machine, why will he move his family many miles away into a community which will allow him to do what he wants?”

All these questions have been pondered and discussed by some very religious individuals who question the reasoning, motives, and standards of this “unusual” or “odd” sect which dwells among us.

But are the Amish that much different than most of the religious world? Do not many within “Christendom” think and act the same way?

In every “faith” are there not “conservative” and “liberal” congregations? Haven’t the core members of every church in existence at some point considered some things taboo, but later consider those same issues or practices acceptable? Doesn’t every faith have members who continually relocate from congregation to congregation, or even from “faith” to “faith” until they find a group that will allow them to live the way they want to live and to do the things they want to do?

People are people no matter where they are located, or how modernized or civilized they become. Perhaps we more readily notice the changes in the Amish community because they are more visibly identifiable. Perhaps we openly discuss these changes because more times than not, there are no Amish present during the conversation. Perhaps we sometimes can’t understand their reasoning because it resembles the same logic we use for arriving at our own religious beliefs; and we can neither understand nor willingly admit our use of such unreasonable logic.

“Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.” (Romans 2:1-11) ESV

 

 

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Famous Last Words: “I Can Handle This.”

“You will be thirsty. You will beg me for water. But I will not give you any, because your stomach will still be asleep. Until your stomach awakens, I can’t give you water.”

The pre-op nurse stood at the end of the patient’s bed, using her 18 years’ experience to help the surgical candidate understand what lay in store for him.

“You will be in pain. Ask for pain medicine. Take the pain medicine we offer you. You will not get a gold star for resisting the pain unmedicated, and taking it will help you calmly endure the inevitable.”

The nurse continued to describe the different reactions which she had observed patients experience during their revival and recovery process.  No, she had not personally experienced these hardships, but through the years, she had assisted several hundred patients to regain consciousness and to learn to breathe on their own again.

“Do your best to listen to us, and to do what we tell you to do. We are here to help you. We will try to get you off the ventilator as quickly as we can, but you must work with us.”

The patient listened. He heard. He took it all in. He stored it in the back of his mind. Yet the whole time he was thinking, “But I am an exception. You have not witnessed my abilities as a patient. I’m different than all the others. I can handle this.”

These were his thoughts until the first pangs of conscious pain hit him. He believed these thoughts until his parched tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. Then he understood that though we are all unique, we are all the same. Then he understood that years of witnessing the inevitable stages of the revival process produced a beneficial wisdom within his friend, the pre-op nurse.

Experiencing his own weaknesses stopped him from saying to himself, “I can handle this.”

Spiritually, we all have many people within our lives who try to help us see the dangers and pitfalls of sin. Some speak to us from firsthand experience, knowing the pangs of addiction or depravity. Some try to convince us from years of  lovingly counseling others who were searching for hope and truth upon which they could rebuild their lives. Some speak from a knowledge of the wisdom which God inspired the biblical writers to expound and preserve for us.

The most helpful adviser is one who combines all three; one who knows the truths of God’s word,  who can beneficially apply those truths because he realizes how he himself has been affected by sin, and he has witnessed many of the same affects in the lives of others.

But so many times, the wise advisers’ advice falls on deaf ears. As they try to warn us of the dangers of sin, we look straight through them and say to ourselves, “But you don’t understand. I am an exception. I am unique. I am strong. I can handle this. This will not be a sin to me, nor lead to my downfall.”

“The things that has the power to addict others will not addict me. That which may lead to depravity and poverty for the majority will not be strong enough to lead me down such a path. I will not allow those things which leave others lonely and empty to desert me in such a miserable condition. I can handle this.”

Then one day, we find ourselves slavishly swilling the alcohol or drugs. One day, we find our marriage broken beyond repair because we enjoyed the endorphin rush of flirting with lust. One day we find ourselves struggling to keep our family fed because we bet our paycheck on the horses.

That’s when we realize that though we are all unique, we are all the same. That’s when we realize that there is a reason why our wise old grandma warned us to flee from sin. That’s when we realize that the Bible’s wisdom applies to every generation of every age.

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33) ESV

“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands, take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) ESV

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray ny it is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1) ESV

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I Have Never Needed Insect Repellent Before. Why Should i Need It Now?

“Bring insect repellent.”

This exhortation has been included on every tour description we have taken over the past 7 years in Peru.  But I have never experienced the need for the repellent. Apparently, mosquitoes can’t live in the higher altitudes.

This year’s tour description was no exception to the rule. But I failed to pack the repellent. I brushed off the oversight, reasoning that I wouldn’t need it anyway since I had never used it before.

At the prep rally, two days before the tour, the tour guide warned us that one of the stops where we would be getting out of the van was at a lower altitude. He stressed that there would be mosquitoes.  He stressed that we needed insect repellent. Once again, I brushed off the warning.

When we arrived at the touring site, there were some “gnats” flying around, but I didn’t see any mosquitoes, so I thought I was safe.

Later, when we stopped for lunch, these same “gnats” hovered around us.  I swatted one on my arm.  It was filled with blood.  These were the mosquitoes we had been warned about.  I checked my arms and they were covered with bites. The bites did not hurt when the gnats had made them, nor did they ever itch or hurt.  But I had definitely been attacked by blood suckers.

Spiritually, God warns us about the presence, prevalence, and dangers of sin.  He tells us that sin will be around us wherever we go.  He exhorts us to resist sin by drawing near him. He warns us that if we do not draw near him, sin will infest our lives.

We look around us and think that we really don’t need God’s help; that we have made it through life pretty good on our own, and we really haven’t encountered any “sin”.  We see actions occurring all around us which appear to be nuisances and aggravations, but not harmful sin.  These actions don’t look like our concept of sin. So, we put up with them, thinking the whole time that we are not being affected.

Then one day, after it is too late, we realize that these nuisances are filled with blood; our blood. We realize that these are the sins God warned us about. And, they have silently and stealthily been attacking us, biting us, affecting us, until we find ourselves “eat up” with the sin.

May we always listen to God’s exhortations, striving to use his power to resist the sin of this world, so as not to become secretly and silently infected by it.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13) ESV

 

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Wisdom Often Determines The Rightfulness Or Sinfulness Of A Practice.

Suppose there is a drug which legally can be purchased and consumed by almost anyone. Consuming the substance is not necessary to sustaining life, but simply a choice. Suppose at least one member in almost every family in the world has chosen to consume the drug, and through its consumption has developed a life-threatening disease. In fact, many families have had multiple members to prematurely die because they chose to consume the chemical compound. There is no doubt that the consumption of the drug is the sole cause of the disease within these loved ones. No drug, no disease.

What would be a wise public response to such a drug? What choice should a person make concerning his own consumption of the substance? What would a responsible parent teach his children about that drug?  What should Christians teach their fellow man about consuming the potential life-altering, life-threatening drug?

Knowledge is accumulating and storing facts in our minds.  Wisdom is the ability to use the accumulated knowledge to its best potential.

Wisdom visualizes the potential power of the accumulated knowledge. It evaluates the hidden good or evil within the information. Worldly wisdom seeks to use its knowledge for its own pleasure. Godly wisdom chooses to utilize its knowledge with the intent of benefitting everyone concerned. (James 4:13-18)

Mankind’s ability to accumulate knowledge has led to the discovery and development of many kinds of chemical compounds, and mechanical tools.  Almost all these discoveries and developments have had potential to benefit mankind.  However, mankind’s inability to control himself when it comes to using these discoveries has often led to abuse, self-destruction, dependency, and atrocities.

Christians regularly find themselves debating the rightfulness or the sinfulness of employing certain discoveries. The use of these chemical compounds or mechanical tools is not specifically condoned or condemned within the scriptures.  Within the debate, knowledge freely flows forth. Many factual details are brought to light. Yet very little progress is made toward arriving at a conclusion because the participants have forgotten that the rightfulness or sinfulness of the practice may not lie in the substance itself, but in the wisdom of those who choose to use it.

An illustration of such debates can be found concerning the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (reread the beginning illustration), the legalization of marijuana and other drugs, the ongoing gun-control debate, etc.  In each of these discussions, the point that is continuously brought to the forefront is: “The Bible doesn’t specifically and emphatically state, ‘Thou shalt not.’ Therefore, I have a right to participate in this practice. And since I can do so in all good conscience, I am going to engage in the practice, regardless of the consequences, and regardless of how it affects others.”

When we approach debatable practices with this attitude, we are demonstrating that we are not addressing them with Godly wisdom, but worldly wisdom; that which is earthly, selfish, and unspiritual.

May we always strive to continually attain and accumulate knowledge, but may we also continually seek to apply that knowledge with Godly wisdom.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.” (James 4:13) ESV

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalm 111:10) ESV

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.” (Proverbs 8:12) ESV

The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.” (Proverbs 14:8) ESV

 

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How Do You React To An Extreme Weather Forecast?

Just a few observations gleaned from experiencing “extreme” weather conditions over the years on the farm:

There are some things not even the most powerful human being or group of human beings can control. The weather is one. We can study its cause, look for trends, forecast its effect, and make feeble efforts to prepare for it, but we cannot control it.

Attitude goes a long way in determining the effect uncontrollable circumstances have upon us. We can control our own attitude, but that’s all we can control.  Attitudes can be contagious. So, if we have a negative attitude toward the uncontrollable, we need to be considerate with whom we share it. And if we are susceptible to developing negative attitudes, we need to be careful about who we allow to influence us.

Young people do not realize how young and inexperienced they really are. Middle aged people don’t realize how “yold” (Yes, this is a made-up word.) they really are; they don’t realize how much they should have already learned, but how little they apparently have. And old people do not realize how much their experiences have changed their ability to deal with “extreme” weather.  Every age group considers itself almost invincible, often making plans, starting projects, or heading down the highway without considering the “what ifs” that inevitably will occur.

Water is essential to a healthy life and can be enjoyed when consumed and used in the proper form and quantity. However, like most any essential element, water can be hazardous and/or fatal when a massive amount is consumed or when a major amount falls from the sky within just a short period of time.

Being able to semi-accurately forecast the future is advantageous, but it can also produce unnecessary fear and dread, especially when we cannot control the events being forecast.

Although written about God’s message to Joshua, Joshua 1:9 might very well apply to us today because we have received many similar promises:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)

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