Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 6/28/12

          I offer contrasts for your thoughtful time.

          Here is a headline from the daily Chronicle I believe it was Tuesday of last week. The headline says, ”Summer is the season of cheating”. The article details an internet site for people who are looking for “Married dating”. And claims 93,000 residents of the Houston area are members of that site.

          In brief, the site invites people looking for a ‘summer fling’ to look there for possible partners. Engaging in such affairs so often leads to headache, heartache, misery, shattered lives, and disrupting of relationships. Sad and disastrous.

          The second offering is this from Proverbs, chapter 5, 20-22:
                   Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
                   Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?
                     For a man’s way are in full view of the Lord,
                    And He examines every man’s path.
                   The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him,
                   The cords of his sin hold him fast.”

          The third offering for your thoughtful time is from Luther’s Small Catechism and quotes the 6th Commandment. “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. You will recognize that is one of God’s commandments.

          Now, why is the commandment there at all? It’s there to protect us from ourselves, because “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Since we are all sinners, we are bent toward the evil, to doing what we want, what our nature longs for. So God, in His great mercy, set a fence for us to help us since we are “The temple of the Holy Ghost, and ye are not your own.” The commandment stands there as a curb, as a mirror, and as a rule. Follow its direction leads to a fuller, richer, happier life.

          Is one of the reasons there is so much unrest and unhappiness in our world today caused just by this, not being obedient to our God in our living.

          Give that thought some thought and prayer.

GPD 6/28/12
P.S. This comes later than I planned because my Modem malfunctioned.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 6/20/12

          So, what are your plans to fill the hours of this, the year’s longest day?

          The tilt of the earth’s axis is always 23 ½ degrees, and when that tilt leans toward the sun we call it summer, also called the summer solstice.  It is a time when the sun is hottest and getting sunburn is easy, so wear sun tan lotions for protection, and do wear a hat.

          To use the long day productively may I suggest taking your Bible, turning to the Proverbs, and seeking there bits of wisdom for your daily walk.

Words like:3,1.2.
    “My son, do not forget my teaching
     But keep my commandments in your heart.
     For they will prolong your life many years,
     And bring you prosperity.”

Or among things that the lord hates, this:
    “a false witness who pours out lies,
     And a man who stirs up dissention among brothers.” 6,10.

And this:
    “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
     And discerning if he holds his tongue.” 17,28
In the same vein,
    “Avoid a man who talks too much” 20,19

And, finally,
    “Every Word of God is flawless, He is a shield to
     Those who trust in Him.”

          So many other gems in the Book of Proverbs, tested rules for daily living.  Use them for your well-being and blessing.

GPD 6/20/12

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 6/17/12 (Father’s Day)

          “Grandchildren are the crown to the aged,
And parents are the pride of their children”. Proverbs 17,6

          So it’s Father’s day, and the paper is filled with advice, with good words remembered, with thoughts said out loud often too late. And it is a day children remember and share their affection with their Fathers. And that’s good to carry through the year too, isn’t it.

          The Commandment is,
    “Thou shalt honor thy father and mother,
     That it may be well with thee,
     And thou mayest live long on the earth.”
St. Paul calls it, “for this is right.”
And I believe we all know that.

          For a loving, caring Father will always be one who does his best to “train up a child in the way He should go.”

          There comes to mind the poem by Longfellow that contains this wisdom
     Lives of great men all remind us
     We can make our lives sublime,
     And, departing, leave behind us
     Footprints on the sands of time;
     Footprints, that perhaps another,
     Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
     A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
     Seeing, shall take heart again.
     Let us, then, be up and doing,
     With a heart for any fate;
     Still achieving, still pursuing,
     Learn to labor and to wait.

          It my prayer this Father’s Day your life reflects that thought in the example you are leaving for those children you cherish.

GPD 6/17/12

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 6/12/12

          Psalm 119,130:
                   “Your Word is a door that lets in light,
                     And helps people understand”.

           In that light let’s check some words Jesus uses to describe His People.  First He calls us “Salt and Light”. He also uses leaven. The words Jesus uses tell us something about what we are, do they not?

           For Jesus told us that “I pray not that Thou wouldst take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldst keep them from the evil”. John 17,15. Because they are “not of the world’ v.14.

           We are here to be salt and light. Salt penetrates food and gives it taste and keeps away decay; light penetrates the dark and drives away fear, and leaven penetrates a lump of dough and makes it rise for baking. The emphasis is on what we do, or are, here.

           So church that is successful grows and has an impact on the world it lives in.

           And look how the Lord placed His children, here in a classroom, there in an office, another a cop on a street, or a watchman keeping the place safe. In clinics and hospitals,. In city and in country, God has placed His children. That s an exciting picture.

           A Finnish infidel willed his farm to the devil. In settling the estate the court decided the best way to carry out that will was to allow the farmland grow up in weeds, and the buildings to go unpainted. The court said, “The best way to carry out this will is to do nothing.” Well, you know what happened.

           It’s a law of nature. When things are not tended, they will regress.

           Joshua said, ‘Choose you this day whom you will serve.” Josh 24,15. We believe Jesus died and rose again for us, for the sins of the world. That’s the message to bring light and understanding to sinful people.

           But light often grows dim so slowly it hardly shows, or salt loses its bite because of unseen moisture and we do no realize the loss till we need it. Or we become discouraged because we are so alone in this sin-wracked world. But if one Christian takes a stand, it has an effect on the rest. Paul wrote in Philippians that his being in jail gave courage to others to speak of Jesus too.

           Be Salt, be light, be leaven, let your light so shine that the world does mark your being there to make it just a little better.

GPD 6/12/12

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 6/7/12

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then heaven tries earth if it be in tune;
and over it softly its warm ear lays

Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it.

We shut our eyes, but we can’t help knowing,
That skies are clear, and the grass is growing.

Excerpts from James Russell Lowell’s “What is so rare as a day in June?”

          Summer beckons with the promise of swimming, a picnic in the park, an afternoon spent at the beach, or the long-awaited trip to Disneyland.  O, what Joy lies just ahead.

          Really it is a time to kick back and relax, to unwind from the hurry and tussle of our everyday world, and find time for ourselves.

          I think of daydreaming. Letting the mind roam freely with nothing in view. Someone recently wrote, “The best daydreams just happen, serendipitously, as we’re doing something else – the brain sort of slipping its leash for a random walk around”.

          Our problem is that when we do sit there “doing nothing’ someone will find something for us to do because “you’re not busy anyway”.

          Or our lives are constantly interrupted with twitter and text messaging and other busy work.

          May I suggest for these days a time to sit down in a quiet place and reading through the book of Ephesians. Imagine yourself in that early church reading or hearing that read for the first time. Thinking what the words and the teachings laid out there really mean for you and me in this day.

          Look at some of the words again. “You were dead” now “made alive in Christ” 2,1. Think of what you were 2,3.
“BUT God, rich in mercy
Made you alive, by grace are you saved:”. 2,4.5.

          What a warm comforting message to dream with and thank God for.

          May your daydreams include such a direction for God’s glory.

GPD 6/7/12

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 6/6/12

          June 6, 1944, Allied troop stormed the beaches of Normandy to start the invasion to finally end the war. News reports to an anxious nation held everyone’s attention.

          In such anxious times, it was necessary that the President say something. Instead of a news report, the President chose a different course. He led the nation in a prayer.

          “Almighty God”, the prayer began, “Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness to their faith. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest until victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken by the violence of war."

          “Some will never return. Embrace these into Thy Kingdom, heavenly  Father. O Lord, let the keenness off our spirit never be dulled. With Thy blessing we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.  Thy will be done, Almighty God, amen.”
          The goal was clear, and the nation was united in reaching that goal. It seems strange today that we seem to have no clear goal, no defined set of values, no great cause that unites us.

          It is time, as it is always time, for the Christian to seek God’s aid and blessing to life as he lives it daily.  For God has said, “Ask, and it shall be  given you. The prayers of the righteous man availeth much”, and such prayer is needed, and heeded, because He promised that it would be.

GPD 6/6/12