5-9-2016 Graduation Skills

When people graduate from High School or University, they should be looking ahead at life. Solomon made it simple in Ecclesiastes 9:9-11.  Plan to: 1) “Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life”—i.e., be in a close, stable marriage; 2) “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might”—i.e., work hard at honorable work; 3) “I returned and saw under the sun that-The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all”—i.e., everything is not under our personal control-live with it.  One is not alone in marriage; diligent work is rewarded and appreciated; life levels the “playing field” for everyone. Good advice!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#graduation, #life, #marriage, #time-and-chance, #work

Work for the Kingdom

#tweets #kingdom-of-god #work

We need more people like my daddy in the church

I didn’t think too much about it when I was first married, and mother told me what my Daddy was doing. Lately I have thought quite a bit about Daddy. Let me share what I am talking about.

Daddy had been out of fellowship with the church for over 30 years. One Sunday he walked down the aisle and confessed his sins and was restored in full fellowship to the church. We need more people who are willing to do what my Daddy did.

Daddy stopped drinking, smoking and cursing when he was restored. He set a perfect example in just doing it. He gave his life to the Lord a year before Doug and I married in 1965, and never looked back. So don’t think it can’t be done. I know it can, because my Daddy did it. We need more people like my Daddy.

Daddy drove, and mother rode. She never learned to drive, and it didn’t really bother her. Daddy and mother were always early to the services of the church. They didn’t come in late. We need more people like my Daddy.

Daddy was honored to serve. The church at Elba ordained Daddy a Deacon. I can understand that. Daddy was a serving member of the church. On Sundays he looked around on the ground to see if there were any new fire ant beds, and come Monday he was there first thing treating them. He didn’t want the people to be stung by those little fellows. We need more people like my Daddy who see things that need to be done and do them without being asked.

Daddy was a carpenter. No doubt today in the Elba church building there are things that my Daddy built to help make the work of the church more efficient. He used his talents in the Lord’s work. We need more people like my Daddy in the church.

Daddy took part in the worship of the church. I remember hearing him pray for the first time. He waited on the Lord’s table. He led in prayer. He greeted visitors. We need more people like my Daddy in the church.

Daddy went with Harris Winston to help teach people the Bible in the privacy of their homes. He did the best he could to lead others to the Lord. We need more people like my Daddy in the church.

I like to think about my Daddy. We need more people like him in the church.

#faith, #work

Getting started with the new year. In March?

You’ve probably heard me repeat the Brazilian saying that the country starts the new year only after Carnaval (held this year Feb. 17). There’s a grain of truth in that. January is the main vacation month. Many travel, especially from our city, since so many are from other places. Then comes the waiting for Carnaval.

Carnaval always falls on a Tuesday, so the holiday often runs from the previous Friday through Wednesday morning. It’s one of Brazil’s main holiday periods.

That kind of calendar affects the work of the church. Absences in meetings. Failure to carry through plans. Lack of flow in activities.

Workarounds are possible, of course, other things can be done, options are available. God’s people find ways to fulfill their mission, whatever the circumstances, regardless of the date on the calendar.

We can “always work enthusiastically for the Lord” 1Co 15.58 NLT.

#calendar, #mission, #opportunities, #work

Thinking Work!

It has been noted that if one enjoys what they do, they won’t work a day in their life. What is work anyway? Whether we are talking about playing a round of golf or mowing the lawn, have we considered it is the very same muscles that are being used? Also, whether we are working a crossword puzzle or conducting business of some type, the same brain power is being utilized. So, why does what we call “work” seem to tire us more than what we might refer to as “play”? If the same muscles and brain power are put to use it must boil down to attitude and perspective. It would seem that if we could view “work” in the same way we view “play” it could be less wearing on ourselves.

Now, it also stands to reason that if that which is considered “play” seems to become too much “work” then the pleasure it was intended to provide will be lost. When we maintain a wholesome attitude toward both what might be labeled “work” or “play”, we can experience pleasure in both. It is when we think of it too much as “work” that we begin to struggle. Mark Twain is quoted as stating, “Work is not a concrete thing; it is a mental attitude. Nothing is either work or play but thinking makes it so.”

Looking at life in a general sense, Solomon stated. . . Continue reading

#attitude, #god, #play, #serving-god, #work

(#187) The Proverbs of Solomon 27:20-Enough Is Enough

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 27:20: “Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.”

The 19th James Bond movie title seems to express where this Proverb is going, “The World Is Not Enough” (1999). What the eye can see, the heart can covet, and covetousness is an always-open, never-filled hole which is easily dug in people’s hearts. Jesus taught this when He said: “‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, “What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?” So he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. Then He said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing’” (Luke 12:15-23). Life is wasted when it is devoted to “more, more, and more!” If profit is not shared, but only invested in self, there is little satisfaction in that business! The hope for change drives the industries of: politics, fashion, amusements, advertising, education.

Covetousness is being stirred up when: poorer people see what richer people have and want it for themselves without paying the price for it; when companies continue to raise profit levels for itself without an increase in quality, quantity, or service of their goods; government wants for itself more of what its citizens have earned; husbands and wives want other partners than God permits in a marriage; children are given things instead of love, and they want to start their independence with all the things their parents have worked for all their lives!

Insatiable, dissatisfied, discontented, unhappy, and voracious, are some of the words that describe this attitude of heart. “Hell” (a.k.a. “the grave”) is never full, for there is always room for one more to die and be buried. “Destruction” (or the ruination of life) always claims another victim. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:6-10). If “the love of money” is our driving force in life, there is nothing but sorrow ahead! Doing right is the satisfying reward God gives to all who obey Him (Proverbs 19:23).

The Book of Proverbs also says: “The leech has two daughters-Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, ‘Enough!’: The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water-And the fire never says, ‘Enough!’” (Proverbs 30:15-16). Each of these are fit pictures of the perpetual dissatisfaction in a covetous heart! Indeed “the proud man… does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples” (Habakkuk 2:5).

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

When will you think “enough is enough?”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #children, #covetousness, #desire, #dissatisfied, #family, #god, #insatiable, #love-of-money, #marriage, #obedience, #profits, #proverbs, #wisdom, #work

(#171) The Proverbs of Solomon 24:27-Comfort Is Not Job One!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ. Proverbs 24:27: “Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.” Work must come before convenience and comfort. The Garden of Eden came with a job (Genesis 2:15), having food requires work (2 Thessalonians 3:10), and this proverb emphasizes the comforts of a house depends upon how good of a job one does “outside” to earn that house! Many people have turned this completely around, for they are getting bigger and bolder houses, beyond what their parents have achieved, before establishing themselves in a career-type work. The order here taught by Wisdom should be to learn to work and earn while living with their parents so they are ready to embark upon working experiences that will help them toward their goal(s). All Old Testament prophecies of the Israelites returning to their Promised Land were fulfilled in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, however not without urging. In Ezra chapter 4, the re-building of the temple in Jerusalem stalled out, but God sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to preach plainly (Ezra 5:1). The people should not have been building their own houses and neglecting God’s House: “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.’ Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!”’” (Haggai 1:2-5) Jesus applied this very truth to spiritual matters when: “great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple’” (Luke 14:25-33). Jesus also said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Obey the Lord first (Acts 2:38), get a job second (Ephesians 4:28), then plan some comforts (Proverbs 24:27). All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #comfort, #family, #house, #obedience, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #work