Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Listen to Wisdom?

My senior year in college, a friend and I decided to drive home for the Christmas holidays from Texas to Illinois. Weather reports were not favorable with ice and snow predicted from Little Rock north. My mother begged me to take the train or plane home, but I had no fear. We were both good drivers.
We slid on solid ice from Little Rock north. Then about 20 miles from home a semi clipped us. We spun around and headed the wrong way, The front end of my car lying inpieces on the highway.  Everyone was creeping along and fortunately no one was seriously injured. My car was totaled and when I returned to my public health rotation at Baylor College of Nursing, I found myself either walking or bumming rides from classmates.  My assigned area to make home visits was  in the Fair Park area, not considered safe for walking alone. I learned a lesson about respecting the advice of someone wiser than I. When have we not listened to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and ended up walking in unsafe places?
"Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1:30-31
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Why Wisdom?

Proverbs is so beautifully written and is so filled with wisdom. Every time I read a passage, I learn something new...most of which I wish I'd read and began practicing many years ago. Chapter 3 is one of my favoites because it connects self-confidence with knowing the Lord and praciticing his precepts. Those who find wisdom are truly blessed. But practicing what we know can sometimes be very difficult because of the pull society and peers can put on us to do the opposite. So how do we find wisdom and what are the results? Is it worth more than popularity and going the other way? Is it a road less travelled?
"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who dlay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed." Proverbs 3:13-18
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  • Gigi Falstrom
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Who to Follow

We got thru the "terrible twos" then moved into the quiet early childhood years. With the entrance into school, temptations loom. As the hormones begin to rage, announcing the beginning of the teen years, peer pressure begins to take over. Who will be the winner when parents, society and friends begin the struggle for who has the most influence? Even God fearing youth struggle with which way to go. The Book of Proverbs has some answers.

" Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.  My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them." Proverbs 1:8-10

"These men lie in wait for their own blood, they ambush only themselves. Such are the paths of all who go after ill begotten gain. It takes away the life of those who go after it." Proverbs 1:18-19

How have you shared this message? By being a living example or just preaching it? Temptations lie in wait for them and are usually introduced subtlely.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I love to watch toddlers explore their environment.  The " terrible two's" is probably their major learning time. It is also a very tryng time for parents and those who care for them. Many books are written to help parents in child rearing. It's a time to exercise loving discipline. It's not to stop their inquisitivty, but a time to teach them safety, what is acceptable behavior and what is not. This is only the beginning and it takes a lot of understanding and patience, but pays off when they become self disciplined adults who are discovering where their beliefs, accomplishments and goals lead them. The wisdom found in the Book of Proverbs is our best guide to child rearing.

"The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:  for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;  for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;  for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young--  let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance--  for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." Proverbs 1:1-7

Monday, July 13, 2015

What Holds You Back?

Has God called you to a ministry or to perform some service? Did you lift your hands and say, "here I am Lord." Why not? What are you afraid of? Look at all the examples in the Bible and in more modern times at the stories of men and women, like you, who answered the call and did amazing things....things they could never have done by themselves.
So what holds you back? What are you afraid of? Don't you trust God's promises? One thing for sure, he will never abandon you. If you follow his call, he will be right there with you. You can trust him. But can he trust you? Is it you who will abandon him? He will stick by you and you will succeed, even though you may experience some doubts and struggles. Remember who causes you to doubt. With God, all things are possible.
" Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

Sunday, July 12, 2015


The US campaign trail is certainly active. It seems a lot of folks would like to be President of the United States. But is wanting the job the best qualification? How many voters look carefully at a candidates qualifications? Are the qualificarions listed in the Constitution sufficient in today's world or should it be amended? How many voters have actually read what that document says? How many voters vote based on qualificationS, How many vote for the party? How many vote because someone told them to? Before you go to the polls in this next national election, how about taking time to seriously research the candidates backgound for the job. What flaws would you consider a disqualification?
Remember Moses and his leadership bringing the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land? When it became time for new leadership to be formed, qualifications were given. Could these also be appropriate for the greatest country in today's world?
"Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens." Exodus 18:21

Saturday, July 11, 2015


 Do you consider yourself a devoted mother, father, teacher, business person, coach, doctor, homemaker or child? What does it mean to be devoted? Does it mean serving? How do you defend your devotion? How does your devotion affect your attitude and behavior? Of all the things you feel you are devoted to, which one is most important to you? Why?

What about Jesus?  Why would you feel a devotion to him? How is your attitude and behavior affected by your devoton to him?Would you agree with the following?

"Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want." I Peter 4:1-2 (Message)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Idle Hands

"Idle hands are the devil's workshop." Can you think of why this can be true? Can you cite examples? Just look around you. What about the grapheti along roads? If the hands that painted them were used to paint murals, think how interesting our drive would be. What about the hands that shop lift or the ones that rob cash registers? All around us we see the results and who pays for this idleness?
Look though your Bible concordance and see all the references to idleness and sluggardry in scripture. Apparently God does not intend for us to be idle. But how can idleness be stamped out? How about creating more jobs? How about a day's work for a day's pay? Wake up America. Look around you. Something isn't right here.
"The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied." Proverbs 13:4

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Betrayed, But Not Broken

“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.”
― Sherrilyn Kenyon

If you haven't experienced betrayal, you have lived a very sheltered life. With openess and trust comes the chance for betrayal. It can be from a loved one, a boss, a friend....any one we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with. It is very painful and leaves us with very bad, even hostile feelings toward the betrayer.  Often the feelings build up and hurt us more than the one who betrayed us when it leaves us suspicious and fearful of trusting others.

Remember, Jesus experienced the ultimate betrayal by Judas. He knows what this feels like. We can take our disappointment and anger to him for help in recovering our trust and positive feelings. Don't give the enemy the chance to use this against us by unwillingness to forgive and the negtive that goes along with hanging on to the pain.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemed. Forgive and you will be forgiven."LK 6:37
"Forgiveness doesn't excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying you heart."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Finding Favor

Remember the story of Queen Esther. What was her sign to remind the king she had found favor with him? Because of this favor, she saved her people from extinction. Is there someone you would like to find favor with? Your Boss? A Parent? A friend? A publisher? A teacher? A Child? Yes, we all seek favors. Is your reason as noble as Esther's? Like Esther, can we receive favor without manipulation or deceit? Her story reveals the way some seek favor for destructive means and what can happen. But the Bible tells us a way that is forthright, honest and usually results in receiving what we want;
" My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. "Proverbs 3:1-4
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How Clean are You?

My grandmother was one of the cleanest women I've ever known. As a child, regarless of when I'd bathed or where I had been, she washed my feet at the door and again before I got into bed. She even washed the dog's feet before they could come in the house. Sometimes I thought this was a waste of time and energy, but that washing before getting into bed was calming and relaxing.

Jesus washed his disciples feet at the last supper. They were reluctant to let the "Master" wash their feet. Of course, wearing sandals in the desert meant their feet stayed dirty, even though they bathed. Can you imagine what you would do today if your boss came to your office and began washing your feet?

Jesus' point is that bathing alone doesn't keep our whole body clean. Our feet walk through dirty paths.  Baptism has cleansed us of our sins, but every day we walk back down those paths of filth and sin. Therefore need a way to cleanse that newly formed dirt  from us. Jesus gave us the way. It's called confession. We confess our sins and our bodies are make clean again. But it isn't just for one time, is it? How often do you need a foot washing? When you feel your sin being lifted and you heart and sould cleansed again, don't you feel calm and relaxed, just like I did when Granny put me to bed with clean feet?

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9

Monday, July 6, 2015

Are They Drunk?

Are they drunk? What is going on? Everyone was speaking different languages, yet, they were understanding in their own language. What awesome signs! Was the world ending? Not at all. In fact  the power of the creative spirit....the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity...had come as Jesus has predicted. Besides it's function of creating and re-creating God's will, it works intimately within each of us praying when we are unsure or can't find words and guiding and directing our steps and thoughts. This is definitely a day of celebration for the whole church and each individual Christian.

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:1-12

Freedom Means?

For the past few days our focus has been on celebrating freedom, the freedom from British domination that our forefathers fought and died for, the freedom our founding fathers created in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and later the American Constitution, and the freedom that has been maintained on our shores by the bravery and dedication of men and women who fought to keep this nation free, those who stand firm.
Freedom in Christ is older than our country. It has been offered to us since the beginning of this world. Our greatest threat is our slavery to sin....something of our own making and what largely controls our individual thoughts, behaviors, attitudes and actions. We can not point a finger beyond ourselves even when we declare "the devil made me do it." It is our choice to become a slave to sin. It will not be solved by a war or declaration by a group of politicians. But it is a war within ourselves and sometimes a very bloody battle. It destroys individuals, families and even countries. Yet, freedom is offered to each of us and, like the sin itself, is our own choice. So, what's it going to be? When and how will we celebrate our freedom from sin or at least our struggle to defeat it?
"For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:1. Keep on reading and find the best choice.