Split Second

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

I’m a planner, I have my life planned out and in my mind I know how it’s going to go. Reality is that I have no clue what is going to happen in 10 years, a year, a month, a week, a day, an hour, or even a few seconds from now. Although we should plan for the future, we should not be consumed by it. As stated in Proverbs 27:1 says, we do not know what will happen tomorrow.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow: for what is your life? It is even a vopour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

Our life is nothing but vapor in the general scheme of things. We see vapor as we’re boiling water. It rises from the pot and then within a few seconds vanishes into the air not to be noticed anymore. So what does this mean in regards to our life?

Just like the vapor vanishes into the air, so will our legacy. Yes, there will be some people that are remembered in history, but most of us, after a couple of generations nobody will remember who we are. How much we have obtained (see http://manofproverbs.com/raining-money-doesnt-grow-a-great-life/) over the years. The old saying you can’t take it with you is true, in fact, it is more like they’re going to take it from you

Live now! We all have regrets in life. I wish I would have tried harder in college, I wish I would have been more outgoing and involved, but at times I was afraid or I was too busy saying I have time. Now that I’m 10+ years out of college, I’m starting to realize that time is soooooo valuable and most my fears were trivial. I think about all the time I wasted, doing absolutely nothing.

Our vapor of a life is only a few set years here on earth. Some of us may only have a couple of years, some of us may have 100 years, but we don’t know. Time is so precious, it’s more precious than money, silver, or gold. We need to make what we do count. Quit wasting time with people that don’t care for you. Stop wasting time not accomplishing something. This is why I’m not a fan of video games, it drains hours of time from you when you only meant to play for a few minutes. I haven’t played video games for 5+ years and I don’t miss it. I’ve accomplished so much more with that time. Build your relationships, build your marriage, spend time with your kids, help with your community . . .do something productive.

Tomorrow may not be the same. We could easily end up in an accident that limits our abilities. . . what regrets would you have?

Shine that Silver

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. Proverbs 25:4

Just how silver has to be purified to get rid of the impurities, that’s how God is with us. We’re dirty, wicked, prideful, self-centered, and the list goes on. When silver is mined, it has many impurities, it has dirt and it has to be heated so that the impurities rise up and can be knocked off. If you were to look at silver that had just been mined out of the ground, it would not look like what it does after it has been made into something valuable.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. 2 Timothy 2:21

Just as the finer has to work the silver to make something beautiful, that’s what God has to do with us. He has to knock the impurities, sin, off of us. We have to be willing to let the impurities be knocked off of us so that we can be made into something precious.

We also need to realize that everyone is dirty silver that needs the dross knocked off. We’re no better than anyone else. It’s easy to see all the defects and impurities in a person, but we need to see what the potential is. We need to see this in a spiritual basis, but everyday life. We’re not perfect, none of us are, but so many people have potential if someone would invest in them and help knock the dross off. Who are you investing in to reach their potential? Who are we mentoring? This is how we change the next generation!

Raining Money Doesn’t Grow A Great Life

“Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom” Proverbs 23:4

So many today have have fallen into the trap of wanting to be wealthy. Money is nice to have, but it’s a tool. Most Americans could not handle a $400 emergency. That’s sad and worrisome, because $400 dollars is not much in today’s money. Having a tooth worked on, something going wrong with your car or house, or a pet getting sick could easily amount to $400 plus. People are living beyond their means. Trying to impress their neighbors and friends and spending their paychecks as soon as they get them.

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” 1Timothy 6:10

How many times have we seen on the news that some music celeb or a sports star coming out of college and going into the pros gets a lot of money thrown at them and their life crumbles after a few years. Money brings a lot of troubles with it. It separates us from depending on God. It brings the wrong people into our lives. It seems to bring addictions into peoples lives, whether that be drugs, gambling, or something else

Once again, money is not bad, it is a tool. It’s a tool to live our lives on earth. As Proverbs 23:4 says, “Labour not to be rich. . . ” Why? Because if our whole goal is to be rich, what is our end game? How much is enough? Is $1 million enough? Or is it enough until we get close to that number and then we think we need $2 million? Humans are not good at being content, we want more. What we have is not enough. Our neighbor gets a more expensive car, then we have to get a better car. Our buddy moves to a new section of town with a bigger house, we have to move to a nicer neighborhood.

All this leads to is us wanting to be richer, so then we get a better paying job, or keep getting promoted so we keep earning a higher paycheck. But what are the consequences? More hours, more stress, being tired, health issues, etc. What does this do to our family life? What does it do to our quality of life? Most importantly, what does it do to our relationship with God? In many of those cases that all start to deteriorate.

Money and working hard is not bad at all. Some very good people have been blessed to be wealthy. They do amazing things with the money they have been blessed with. It’s how we let money and work impact our life. We should work hard and make a living, but we have to keep God first in our lives. He will provide for our needs, maybe not our wants, but our needs. We should pray that God meets our needs. We should also be wise stewards of what God has given us. If we waste what he has given us, why would he bless us with more? At the end of our lives, are we going to remember all the money we made or will we remember all the time we lost with our loved ones, trying to make that money? Time is our most valuable resource, not money!

Table Project

Building this really wasn’t that hard, it is all constructed of 2×4’s. To build the top part, I planed down some of the 2×4’s and then used the chop saw to cut the 2×4 every two inches. After doing that, you glue the blocks together with Titebond III (that’s my preferred glue). After you get a bunch those blocks glued in strips, you plane them and then glue the strips together and clamp them together. I usually give it 24 hours. I then run those through the planer. Then you just start adding pieces together until you have the table as big as you want. Nothing fancy on the table bottom, just have to make it sturdy enough to hold that top, which has some weight to it.

I actually built this without drawing up any plans, so I was glad it turned out as well as it did. I like building without plans, yeah it doesn’t go well all the time, but sometimes you end up making something more unique than if you had plans.
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established

Don’t Be Afraid of the Lion In the Street

Proverbs 22:13 “The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets”

There are always going to be excuses we can have not to do something, not to take action. People will mock us, I might fail, I don’t have the skill set, etc. These are all fears. Just as the verse says there is a hungry lion and I will be slain, yes, there are always possibilities of danger. Many of the dangers that we use as excuses are just that excuses, because the likelihood of what we are saying is very small. Our minds are very good at assuming the worst possible scenario.

When this occurs we have to ask ourselves if our excuses are real, if our fears are rational, and pray that God gives us clarity and protection.

Remember, most opportunities, we are never fully prepared for. This is what makes us grow as a person.

Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend.

Thursday’s Thoughts–Bitterness

How often do we allow bitterness to control our lives? We let it change our view of the world, of what God has done for us. It not only destroys us, but starts hurting those around us, where it then starts to hurt those around those individuals. It starts looking like a pyramid, where we are at the top and it spreads down and out to others. We have to forgive, but we have to learn to forgive like God does. When we’re bitter at someone, we have to remember, that we also are sinners and we sinned against God, yet when he forgives us, he embraces us. That’s how we should be forgiving.

When our situation feels like it’s going to overtake us, we need to remember what God has done for us in the past. Sure. . . when we feel overwhelmed it can impact our daily lives, and that’s when being in the word and spending time is most important. When I’ve felt overwhelmed it sometimes when I realize how much I pray to God that I want this or that, or this taken care of. I realize how I treat him like a genie in a bottle that’s here to grant my wishes.

So when we feel bitter, we need to realize how much impact it has on our family and friends, but also our self. Then we need to rely on God to help us move past it. Happy Thursday everyone!

Seeing Your Surroundings For What They Are

This weekend it was so nice to get out after a very snowy winter. The wife and I went out for a hike. It hasn’t started to green up much except for the moss as you can see in the picture below. There is something about hiking that calms the nerves and relaxes me. Being out in nature also make me thankful to God for his creation. Psalm 105:2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.

For me hiking gives me the opportunity to see the creation of our creator and thank him for it. Even after the dead of winter, there is still beauty in his creation. Something to still give thanks to. What I realized is that when I get out in the outdoors, my mindset changes, I start thinking of how great God’s creation is. Then my mindset on problems in life, either with people, stress at work or home, or aches and pains of life don’t seem so bad. When our mindset changes and we start setting our focus on God, our problems start to seem more manageable, an easier burden to carry. Have you ever noticed that, when you’re dealing with an issue and you pray, nothing at that moment has changed, but you see the problem differently? It seems like how to deal with it or fix it is more clear.

It’s good for men to get out in nature. We were created to be the hunters and gathers to feed our family. It’s natural for us to be outside. Hiking is also a great way to get a good workout. It gives you working muscle and can be good cardio. Also, if your wife likes to hike, it’s a cheap date (which we all know us men are up for lol). It’s also a great way to get away from the business of life where the two of you can be together. On the other hand it’s a great way to be by yourself, to get your thoughts together and just think.

The next time you’re out in nature, see it for what it really is, it’s a gift that our Creator has given us to enjoy and to praise him for. Are we being thankful for the little things? Are we giving him thanks and talking of his wondrous works or are we taking them for granted?

Peace of mind

Proverbs 1:33, But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Have you ever been in a situation, maybe at work, where you have an impossible deadline or task to do and at some point you fell like no matter what the outcome is, you’ve done all you can do and you’re content with that? Even if that task goes good or bad their is a peace that you’ve done all you can do, there is nothing else. I know several times in college I had that feeling with tests, I could live with the outcome no matter what happened, because I had given my all. Even though I might do horribly on the test, I was at peace with it. There was no more I could do. That’s where we should be with God, knowing that we have fully given all our troubles to the Lord, there is nothing else we can do. We can’t change what is going to happen, we can’t control it, but giving it to God, totally giving it to God will give us that peace of when we know we’ve done all we can do. Giving it to God is all we can do in those times of trouble and despair. He is the one that guides everything and can change the outcome. There should be peace in knowing that.

Our Foundation

This weekend it was finally nice out, so I was starting to get the itch to do some yard work. I noticed the retaining wall I had built a couple of years ago for the garden was starting to fall back in and was very uneven. When I started taking off the landscaping bricks, the ground was mush and the bottom row of bricks had sunk into the ground and were tilted back. My foundation was mush and couldn’t uphold the weight of everyday pressure. Although I had laid down some pea gravel a few years ago for those bricks to sit on, those tiny pieces of rock were not enough to handle the day to day pressure.

That’s a lot like our spiritual life. We do some Bible reading here or there. We pray sometimes at a meal or when our day is going bad. Church attendance happens when we don’t have anything better going on. I get it. . . we have busy schedules and we intend to do the right thing.

Men. . . we have to be building a good foundation for our spiritual life. If we don’t, just like what happened to my wall, the foundation will give way. The wall against sin will start to get uneven, sections will cave in, until the whole wall collapses and there is no defense against the adversary. Just like the picture at the top shows, we need a good solid foundation, we need solid rock to build on. How do we build that foundation?

We have to be in the word of God. We need to be regularly praying. We need to be in the church pew. We need to be keeping our thoughts on God. We need to choose our friends wisely.

After getting married my whole routine was thrown off and I could actually feel that my relationship with God was not the same. After a few months of marriage, I started getting up early before my wife did. That gave me time to read my Bible and pray, without any interruptions. My wife noticed that I was handling the stress of my job better. I was better prepared for the day and the pressures that would come. My mindset was on God first thing in the morning. That helps my thought life so I’m not letting the enemy penetrate my defense.

Without building a good foundation, we can never grow in our spiritual life. Some issue will always come along and destroy our weak wall and we’ll have to start over again. Our spiritual growth is just like math, you can’t do calculus, without the years of learning how to do addition/subtraction, then multiplication/division, then algebra, and finally calculus. We start with the basics, build on that, and then build on that, and continue to add on. However, all this knowledge does nothing, if there is no foundation to hold it. Make the investment to build a strong foundation, so your wall can withstand the pressure over time.

Our Red Sea

The parting of the Red Sea was a big miracle, when Israel felt like they had no where to go. Yet God game them an escape route and took care of their enemies. Then later on start complaining that God is not taking care of them.

How often are we like this? How often do we forget what God has done for us? Even the big things in our life, we quickly forget how he has guided our lives, and then when the next problem pops up, we whine that God is not taking care of us. We need to remember what he’s done for us in the past.