The Wisdom Project


wisdom

My devotional this year is Sanctuary by Dr. David Jeremiah. On October 9th he wrote,  

“LIFE-CHANGING WISDOM 

‘Incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding. Proverbs 2:2 

“Some years ago, I was at a men’s retreat. The speaker issued a challenge to the group, which he said would change our lives: read one chapter of the book of Proverbs each day for a year. Since there are thirty-one chapters in Proverbs, reading a chapter a day would equal reading the whole book each month. Reading the entire book of Proverbs twelve times a year would change our lives. 

“Well, I accepted his challenge. In fact, I did it more than once. And I remember the incredible impact it had on my life. Almost without fail, I would read a verse in the morning that would have some bearing on an event that took place during the day. The Proverbs of Solomon are the most practical, hands-on truths one could ever hope to find. And to saturate my mind with those truths day after day for a year turned out to be a powerful tonic for my spiritual life. 

“Anyone who takes seriously the wisdom of the book of Proverbs will experience these blessings, and many more, as a result.”

I keep returning to this entry.

I want to be wise. We all do. So I have decided to take that same challenge in 2014, with a twist. I’m going to read the Book of Proverbs every month for the year, so that I will have read it twelve times by the end of the year. Each month I am going to read from a different version. (You can find several versions, free, online at www.biblegateway.com.)

I’m also going to study the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s a book also rich with wisdom. During my quiet time, I will also ask the Lord to bless me with His wisdom.

But why wait for 2014? If you want to wait for the first day of a month, tomorrow morning is a great time to start. Simply read a Proverb a day, so that you read the entire book of Proverbs each month.  You will have read the book once by the end of this year.

Luke 21:15

For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

Blessings on your day.

Devotional: Sanctuary, Finding Moments of Refuge in the Presence of God, by Dr. David Jeremiah, Published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville Tennessee 

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

 

 

 

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Being Thankful


Happy-thanksgiving

There is so much to be thankful for, we can’t even begin to count our many blessings. Still, we try to name a few of the things we are thankful for; it helps us to cultivate a grateful heart. Today Americans will gather in gratitude for all God has given us.

The word thanks, or thanksgiving, appears in the NIV translation 100 times, many times in the Psalms.  Here is a short collection of those beautiful verses.

1 Chronicles 29:13

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 

Psalm 69:30

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving

Psalm 95:2

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. 

Psalm 118:28

You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Mark 6:41-43

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish.

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

May you experience the rich blessings of Thanksgiving today, and always.

 

Scripture: Biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images 

Thanksgiving As We Know It Today


Here is some Thanksgiving Trivia for you. The link to the original article is at the bottom of the page.

Abraham Lincoln, father of the Thanksgiving holiday

By David Jackson, USA Today

Sure, the Pilgrims are credited with starting the tradition of Thanksgiving in America.

But declaring Thanksgiving Day a formal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November required a pair of presidents — two of the most famous, in fact.

Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

It was Lincoln who issued an 1863 proclamation calling on Americans to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving,” partly to celebrate victories in the then-raging Civil War.

“He’s the father of the whole idea of a nation giving thanks for its advantages and privileges of living in a democracy like this,” said Harold Holzer, historian and chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

Decades later, Roosevelt and Congress acted to establish Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November, in part to lengthen the Christmas shopping season.

Informally, the United States government had recognized periodic days of thanksgiving from the moment of the nation’s birth.

In 1777, a year after the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress declared a day of thanksgiving to celebrate a Revolutionary War victory over the British at Saratoga.

The first president, George Washington, declared a day of thanksgiving and prayer in 1789, partly to honor the new U.S. Constitution.

It took the trauma of the Civil War to make Thanksgiving a formal, annual holiday.

Lincoln issued his proclamation on Oct. 3, 1863, three months after Union Army victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and at a time in which ultimate triumph appeared in sight. “There was a lot to be thankful for in the fall of 1863,” said Allen Guelzo, the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College.

Writing that the nation’s many blessings “should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged” by the American people, Lincoln declared: “I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

(It should be noted that while Lincoln issued this proclamation, most historians believe it was actually written by his secretary of State, William Seward.)

The proclamation served a familiar purpose for Lincoln. “He was always looking for ways to unify the nation in a terrible time of war,” biographer Ronald C. White Jr. said.

Still, the idea of a formal Thanksgiving holiday had been gestating for a long time before Lincoln.

Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, pushed the idea for years, petitioning Lincoln and his predecessors. (Thanksgiving was only one of Hale’s contributions to American culture; she also wrote the poem Mary Had a Little Lamb.)

After Lincoln, presidents issued annual Thanksgiving proclamations. In last year’s proclamation, President Obama said Thanksgiving Day is “a time to take stock of the fortune we have known and the kindnesses we have shared, grateful for the God-given bounty that enriches our lives.”

For decades after Lincoln, Americans traditionally celebrated Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, even if it fell on Nov. 30 — as happened in 1939, the end of an economically troubled decade.

Some merchants worried that a late Thanksgiving would cut down on Christmas sales and asked President Roosevelt to move the holiday up by a week – which he did, creating unanticipated havoc.

Some state governors objected, issuing proclamations of their own to keep Thanksgiving on Nov. 30. Other states recognized the Nov. 23 date. This created scheduling issues for holiday traditions ranging from family reunions to football games.

“It was just chaos for a couple of years,” said Bob Clark, supervisory archivist with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum.

Congress eventually stepped in. On Dec. 26, 1941, less than a month after the attack at Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into World War II, Congress passed a law declaring the fourth Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day, where it remains to this day.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/26/thanksgiving-abraham-lincoln-franklin-roosevelt/3685975/

Have a happy and blessed holiday!

A Father’s Love Letter


fathers-love-letter-pic-letter2

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications 

© 1999-2013 http://www.FathersLoveLetter.com

They Are Watching


Cousins 11-28-2013

Psalm 127:3 ESV

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

We don’t see my brother-in-law or his family very often, they are a 12-hour drive away; but they drove in a few days ago for a family visit. My children looked forward to their arrival; my 8-year-old even kept checking the door and asking, “When will they get here?” They did arrive, and it was wonderful to see everyone again, and see how much the children have grown. It was such a joy watching the cousins play together.

As adults caught up on family news, the voices of our children and laughter filled our home. It reminded me what a great gift our children are. Our lives are richer and fuller because of our children. At the dinner table, conversation was fun. From sports to the pet lizard, we tried to cover all the topics. Eventually, the conversation turned to a discussion about our faith. I was so pleased to see my children participating in a conversation expressing their faith, and equally pleased that my in-law’s faith is strong.

Some days can be such a struggle. Getting the kids off to school, then sports practices, homework, and trying to get a family meal on the table can be trying, because the same rushed routine happens day after day. Weekends are even busier with games, errands and chores. Keeping our faith at the center of our lives is hard work. Sometimes it seems that everything we say or do falls on deaf ears. Then there are times you feel too tired to cook the meal for a sick neighbor, or you don’t really have time to lend a helping hand, but you did anyway. You try to set the example.

Then one day, you realize the children were listening, they were watching…

3 John 1:4 ESV

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Blessings on your day.

Scripture:  Openbible.info

Photo:  Rod Garro

More to Jeremiah 29:11


jeremiah29_11

More to the passage

 I love Jeremiah 29:11. I’ll bet you do to. But before we claim the verse, we need to take it in context. Here is the entire paragraph. (Remember that the prophet Jeremiah was addressing the Israelites who were in captivity.)

10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Verse 13 is crucial to claiming Jeremiah 29:11 as our own. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. It’s not about what God does for us. It’s about us seeking the Lord. If we seek God, we will want what He wants for us. That’s when the blessing comes.

We may not be in physical exile, but we may feel like we are missing out spiritually. By examining our hearts, we can determine what our motives have been. Are we trying to just get away from the tough times? We need to ask God to help us understand how to respond appropriately while we are in the middle of difficulty.

God has a plan for you, it just may not be revealed today.

 

May you experience His abundant blessings this Thanksgiving season.

 

Scripture: Biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

Leaving a Spiritual Legacy


legacy21

2 Timothy 1:5

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

 

I have some treasures to pass down to my children. There’s my great-grandmother’s Bible that she brought with her from Ireland. I also have a bracelet from another great-grandmother. It has her name engraved on it. I have a few of my own treasures, special Christmas ornaments, jewelry and other collections to pass down. There’s the Bible, with hand-written prayers in it, when I prayed for my babies. With any luck, we can also leave them a financial inheritance. But these objects don’t really matter. The greatest gift I can leave my children is my faith. That is not a one-time gift. The gift of faith is a gift my husband and I give by example every single day. I can take my kids to church, but if I don’t practice my faith, what good is it? I’ve come up with a short list of ways to help leave a spiritual legacy for our children.

  1. Pray for your kids every day. And pray for guidance for yourself too.
  2. Pray for your children’s friends, acquaintances, teachers, coaches and other mentors.
  3. Encourage your kids to invite friends to your church.
  4. Be an active member of your church family.
  5. Talk openly about your faith, and what God has done for you.
  6. Read the Bible as a family, have family devotions.
  7. Pray in front of your kids – not just saying grace at meal times. Let them see you pray.
  8. Let them see you live your faith, like taking a meal to a sick neighbor or participating in mission projects.
  9. Let them see you give your gifts to the church, and teach them to tithe too.
  10. When life lessons come up, discuss with them how to handle them in a godly way, but talk to them on their level.

What would you add to this list?

I also thought this was a good article on leaving a spiritual legacy: http://www.growthtrac.com/5-ways-to-leave-a-spiritual-legacy-for-your-kids/#.Uo3qicSkqDs

Blessings on you and your family.

Scripture: biblegateway.com

Image: google images