Monday, February 18, 2013

Lay those burdens down!

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Stressors: What we can do.


• Study the preaching of John the Baptist (Luke 3:10-14).

• Be satisfied in your inheritance with Christ Jesus: “Our hearts ache, but at the same time we have the joy of the Lord. We are poor, but we give rich spiritual gifts to others. We own nothing, and yet we enjoy  everything” (2Cor. 6:10; LB).

• Be content: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much  or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want; for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Phil. 4:11-13; LB).

• “Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die. So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. For the love of money is the first step towards all kinds of sin. Some  people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows” (ITim 6:6- 10; LB).

• “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith  produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete,  lacking in nothing” (Ja 1:2-4).

• God also says to rejoice in your tribulations and reap the spiritual benefits that tribulations bring. “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and  perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope” (Ro 5:3-4).

• Repent your carnal ways, strengthen your faith through wisdom. Solomon understood: Ecc 12:11-12 – “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd. But beyond this, my son, be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.

• Learn how to discern God’s way and the world’s way in order that you will “be careful how we walk, not as unwise men, but as wise” (Eph 5:15). Be sure that your walk is made “in a manner worthy of the Lord, (…) pleasing Him in all respects” (Col 1:10).

• Stand on the truths. God understands our weaknesses and knows exactly what we are going through: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (Jhn 16:33). Refer also to 1Jo 2:13-14.

• Compassion: “(…) we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are” (He 4:15).

• Grace: His grace is sufficient to overcome; His power is perfected in our lives when we rely upon his grace (2Cor 12:9). “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2Cor 12:9).

• Reach out for help: “Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. . . Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:1-2).

• We are perfected in Christ Jesus: God can use us no matter condition we are in: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph 2:10).

• God turns things around: The edge of the sword or trespass appears dull and inconsequential when we remember: “but as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive” (Gen 50:20).

• In everything give thanks (1Th 5:18).

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stressors: Risking Exposure. (Part I)

In the strife of stressful conditions, the Lord reveals our strengths and weaknesses in our spiritual walk.


In the strife of stressful conditions, the Lord reveals our strengths and weaknesses in our spiritual walk. We have two choices:

  • allow our natural tendencies (Col 3:5-9) to play out OR 
  • apply Biblical responses (Col 3:12-17). 
The Lord reveals our tendencies to us when we engage biblical truths to help us righteously respond to stress. To condition your responses based on biblical truths

  • FIRST study the profile of biblical characters to identify their tendencies (study the ways of the Father and Jesus closely); 
  • SECOND then look at your natural conditioned responses with the scales removed, an open mind, and a softened heart; ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your heart to you; and in prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit, ask for forgiveness for your previous carnal ways and ask for the wisdom and divine council to
  • THIRD learn how to align your responses with those of biblical characters and truths.

Thursday, February 14, 2013



  1. We have two choices: allow our natural tendencies (Col 3:5-9) to play out 
  2. OR apply Biblical responses (Col 3:12-17). The Lord reveals our tendencies to us when we engage biblical truths to help us righteously  respond to stress.

To condition your responses based on biblical truths:
• FIRST study the profile of biblical characters (focus on the Father and the Son, and
• SECOND, look at your own natural conditioned responses.
• THIRD, align your responses with truth.

Become sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit causes us to remember God’s truth (John 14:6);
The Holy Spirit teaches us (John 14:26);
The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (John 16:8);
The Holy Spirit guides us (John 16:13).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Oh my, oh my, cries Sammy Saint
Whatever would God do?
If He had to fight His battles,
With just the likes of you!
Thank God, he says, for my church
The one where I belong
Not like those others down the street
They do it all so wrong!
Thank God, he says, for Pastor Fred
Oh, what a Godly saint
He graduated you-know-where
He's right where others ain't!
And look at all our buildings
Cries Sam in prideful tone
We've built a kingdom here on earth
As few have ever known
A well-meaning guy is Sammy
That fact can't be denied
But Sammy's suffering badly
From a thing called spiritual pride
It's not Y O U R church, Sammy
And God is not impressed
That your four story edifice
Stands our o'er all the rest
You don't have all the answers
Wake up, and look around
The power of God is everywhere
You're not the only game in town
God's got saints on every street
Quiet, godly men,
Who've simply let God live His life
Wherever they have been
They're busy sharing Jesus
Showing men they care
They're praying for the likes of you
And you don't know they're there!
Sammy, fall down on your knees
Take your package oh, so neat
And lay yourself and all your pride
Back at the Master's feet
What could God do with this lost world
If Sammy and I and... you
Would humbly all begin to give
God all the praise He's due!
If we'd stop shouting look at us
Look at all we've done
And all together tell the world
Dear world, come meet God's Son!
Oh the power, oh the joy
Oh the Christ-filled days
Once we all discover—HE'S
The only one to praise!!!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Discerning a Biblical Fool

Being foolish and being a fool are very different. Some people live in folly. The bible is laced with reference to fools and the book of Proverbs reflects the true nature of the afflictions of a fool defining his character, behavior, and his misery. “Solomon said that proverbs are designed ‘to give prudence to the simple’” (Pro
1:4) (Jackson, 2002).


O LORD, how great are your works! and your thoughts are deep. A brutish man does not know; neither does a  fool understand. Psa 92:5-6

Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Psa 107:17

For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Pro 1:32

The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a fool who idly chatters shall fall. Pro 10:8

He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool. Pro 10:18

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkens unto counsel is wise. Pro 12:15.

In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them. Pro 14:3

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. Pro 14:8

Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favor. Pro 14:9

A wise man fears, and departs from evil: but the fool rages, and is confident. Pro 14:16

A reproof enters more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool. Pro 17:10

The foolishness of man perverts his way: and his heart frets against the LORD. Pro 19:3

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. - Proverbs 1:7

Marvin Wilson, author of Our Father Abraham, has written incisively about the various meanings for our word "fool”:

In Biblical wisdom literature, the pupils of the sages and mentors are the unwise, often termed "fools" (Prov. 1:7) or "simple one" (1:22). In wisdom literature, the different levels of fools - both young and old - are the raw material on which the sages had to work, and they represent the varying degrees of rawness. Perhaps as much as anything else, the term fool is descriptive of an attitude, bent of mind, or direction in life, which needs correcting.

The various Hebrew words for fool occur more than a hundred times in the book of Proverbs. [Marvin Wilson, Our Father Abraham (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989), 284-286.]

The reference to someone being a fool was not necessarily a negative term. A simple fool, or peti, was a person who made mistakes, but quickly righted them and was restored to fellowship with God and with others. King David was a simple fool, one who made mistakes, but kept a repentant heart toward God. This is why God did not turn away from him for his many sins.

The hardened fool, kesil and ewil, makes mistakes, but never learns from them and will not listen to others. Such people can expect God's reproof to continue and will eat the fruit of their own way (see Prov. 1:31-32). The hardened fool "returns to his own vomit." King Saul was a hardened fool, one who made mistakes and continued in them even after realizing he was wrong. We're going to err in our ways. The question is, once we know we have made a mistake before God, do we make the necessary adjustments that will allow Him to intervene on our behalf? And will we avoid the same course of action in the future?
God says that if we do, He will pour out His Spirit on us (see Prov. 1:23).  He will make known His words to us.

The third level of fool mentioned in Proverbs is the mocking fool or letz. The mocking fool mocks the things of God. This word means "scoffer" or "scorner." When you encounter cynical people who disregard the things of God, you know these people are "mocking fools."

The fourth level of fool is the Goddenying fool or nabal. This term relates to the morally wicked person who ignores the disgrace he brings on his family and who despises holiness (see Prov. 17:21). This person says, "There is no God." By failing to acknowledge God for who He is, the Nabal declares himself to be a "Goddenying" fool.

I have found that it is helpful to try to understand if people are teachable. Are they simple fools, those who make mistakes but seek to learn from them? I can work with those people. But if I sense I am working with a hardened fool, I know I should not spend much time on that person. Jesus did not  spend much time trying to convince the rich young ruler. He presented truth, and let him make his decision.

Some people must get broken before they can become simple fools. Sometimes it is simply better to let satan
chew on people until the ground is fertile enough to present truth to them. "Reprinted by permission from the author. Os Hillman is an international speaker and author of more than 8 books on workplace calling. To learn more, visit".

The Hebrew word for “simple” in Proverbs 7:7 refers to “simplicity, folly, one easily persuaded and enticed (Pro 22:3; 27:12; Psalm 116:6); specifically, a credulous person (Pro 14:15; unskillful (Psa 19:8)”. This same word is used in Proverbs 9:6 “Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” As Proverbs 7:7 continues, this person is void of understanding.

A simple one (Hebrew word, phethaim) is a teachable fool. The term phethaim means to be open and while open-minded is often an admirable trait, one can also be naïve, gullible, and too trusting, unable to discern
that which can bring great harm; lacking sense. The simple one is easily persuaded by outside influences and
easily controlled by more dominating personalities. However the simple one can be taught wisdom if he will listen and can thus be instructed in skillful living.

A hardened fool cannot be persuaded by reason or collective wisdom. Proverbs 10:23 reflects “doing wrong is like a joke to a fool”. This character has been “developed by a series of decisions – a life of folly”  (Jackson, 2002), despising wisdom and instruction treating virtues as worthless and contemptible (Ross, 1991). Unable to change, the hardened fool continues in foolishness and can be quite difficult. This fool hates instruction, is contentious, explosive, quick tempered, and often the center of controversy with loose lips. He often associates with evil (Pro 1:22; 18:6; 19:1; 17:12; 20:3, 10:18, 13:19). Proverbs 17:10 shares “a  rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool” and Proverbs 27:22  continues, “Crush a fool in mortar with a pestle along with grain, yet his folly will not depart from him”. These hardened hearts are immune to instruction.

A wicked fool (Hebrew term naba for Nabell) referenced in Psa 14:1 “the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God”. These are corrupt individuals doing abominable works issuing a moral insensibility to God reflecting a mind closed to reason.  “We don’t want to be this kind of person, and we do not need wicked, fool-like companionship's (1Cor 15:33)” (Jackson, 2002).

An arrogant fool (Hebrew letz); “scoffer’ is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride” (Pro 21:24) are hecklers who rejoice in the malicious disruptions of meetings. “Scoffers set a city aflame but the wise turn away wrath” (Prov 29:8). Solomon advises that you “drive out a scoffer, and strife will go, and quarreling and abuse will cease” (Pro 22:10). This fool delights in ruining others and is never content in going his own way.

Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Jan Silvious author of Foolproofing Your Life. Jan shared the characteristics of fools while offering hope for individuals who are faced with fools. Jan lists chronic  characteristics of fools explaining that these individuals are habitually this way; it is not a passing moment or temporary meltdown: Fools are always right; will not listen to advice; find no pleasure in understanding; can’t be reasoned with; trust in their own heart; act out repeatedly; continually live in folly; are often big on gifts and can talk nice as well – but are inconsistent, unreliable, and unstable in all ways. She continues that fools hold you hostage through their anger, manipulation, and silent treatment. They simply must have things their own way (Silvious, 2007).  Suggestions Jan offers in dealing with fools is to recognize that you cannot have a relationship with a fool; you have an arrangement defined by the fool and this fool can and will redefine the relationship without warning or consent. She suggests that we emotionally detach from these difficult people and protect our hearts. Establish a safe place retreat (the secret place of the Most High) where you can find  fellowship and safety with the Holy Spirit and the love of others and she encourages us to seek alternative relationships that can meet our emotional needs. Recognize that you do not have to engage these individuals  or be partakers of their emotionally destructive behaviors. Do not allow emotional entanglement and avoid getting caught up in their anger.


Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are
called: But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us  wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord (1Cor 1:17-31).

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1Cor 2:14).

Gaebelien, F. (Ed.). Ross, A. (Writer).  (1991). Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Proverbs Vol. 5). Zondervan.

Hillman, O (2007, Feb. 11). Becoming a Fool. Prime Time With God, Retrieved Feb. 16, 2007, from

Jackson, Jason (2002). Some Fools in Proverbs., Retrieved Feb. 16, 2007, from

Silvious, Jan (Writer). (2007, Feb. 13). Foolproofing your life [Radio series episode]. In Mid-day Connection. Moody Broadcasting.