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Tiny Devotional for Wednesday, 10-27-2021

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A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, keep a sweater in the car. Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed. Proverbs 27:5, NASB Painful, but still better than concealed love! As my nearly-17-year-old Kenneth was leaving for school a moment ago, I quoted this verse to him, WITHOUT providing a context. So, unlike you, Kenneth didn’t know this verse is the one that came next in my daily devotional. He just knows Papa Pat said it as he was walking out the door. I imagine he thinks: Why is Papa Pat quoting the Bible to me?  Did I do something wrong?  Is he crazy? So: does he mentally file this incident under Open Rebuke, or under Concealed Love? Which makes me wonder:  How much of what I do as a father makes sense to my kids, and Is making sense a worthwhile goal? Today’s verse answers the last question with: YES! First of all, “open rebuke” is not advocated here! The Bible is pretty clear that an open rebuk

Tiny Devotional for Tuesday, 10-26-2021

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A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits; croissants, too, if you prefer. Like one who binds a stone in a sling, So is one who gives honor to a fool. Proverbs 268, NASB > I pity the fool There is a widely held belief that if you treat a fool with love and compassion, they will be fixed. This contrasts with the even-more-widely-held belief that if you snatch a fool bald-headed, they will stop bothering you. I ascribe to both philosophies, with limits; they AREN’T incompatible. It just depends on what “love and compassion” means. Do you understand that binding a stone in a sling makes it useless? It’s no good, even as a training device, because knowing when to release the stone is the key to proficiency; if the stone is bound to the sling, it can’t be released. And giving honor to a fool is useless as well.  But what if a fool DESERVES honor? It’s been known to happen, that fools

Tiny Devotional for Monday, 10-25-2021

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A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, it’s just Monday ; we will be okay. Take away the impurities from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness. Proverbs 25:4-5, NASB I know a tiny bit about purifying metals (not silver, but the principles are the same), some about bosses, and not much about heads of state. I’m going to use the term “boss” instead of king (not kings, but MAYBE the principles are the same). As always, YMMV. Simplified version: Apply enough heat to metal, and some impurities get burned off, while others will float to the top (or bottom), where they can be removed. If we apply metaphorical heat to the boss, will the wicked depart?  Wait: which wicked are we speaking of? I’ve seen at least four crisis/scandals in the White House, and in NO case was there anyone involved who could appropriately

Tiny Devotional for Sunday, 10-24-2021

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 A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, don’t leave the chips open. Wisdom is too exalted for a fool, He does not open his mouth at the gate. Proverbs 24:7, NASB I don’t know if this is written ironically, or if it describes a system that actually worked. It could go either way. To illustrate, let’s play THEN-and-NOW; ‘THEN’ is the time the proverbs were collected, around 700 BC. THEN: those with some time that could be called “leisure” are rare. Most folks have to work ALL the time, mostly in agriculture, because that’s what it takes for a community to exist. Mostly, those free of dawn-to-dusk manual labor every day are people with wealth, the aged, and a few specialized professions.   NOW: people with leisure time = almost everyone, at least in western civilizations. The standard work load is 8 hours per day, 5 days per week.  THEN: all communication is face to face, with some supplements from written procl

Tiny Devotional for Saturday, 10-23-2021

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A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, thaw your frozen breakfast before you eat it. Apply your heart to discipline, And your ears to words of knowledge. Proverbs 23:12, NASB Writers of the Bible were perfectly capable of putting sequential commands in the right sequence: “First, do this, THEN do that.”  I don’t want to beat this idea to death, but you’ll find LOTS of references to setting priorities in words like “before, first, after, then,” and so on.   I bring this up, because this verse does NOT mandate, or even imply, a sequence. The linking word between the two actions is “and.” I suggest that’s because we are to take both actions at the same time. Applying our hearts to discipline absolutely requires doing something. The heart provides the MOTIVATION to act; the discipline describes the nature of the act. In writing this blog post, I am applying my heart to discipline. AND, while we are DOING, we are to

Tiny Devotional for Friday, 10-22-2021

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A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, let us be thankful for breakfast. The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave. Proverbs 22:7, NASB I don’t like hard words, but all the wisdom I have on this verse comes from hard experience. Chattel slavery was outlawed in the US, although the repercussions are still with us. Meanwhile, aspects of debt slavery seem to be expanding in our country, and I don’t see an end to it. (Mortgages and student loans need a separate treatment.) Here’s how I became a debt slave: I got my first student-account credit card with a $300 limit in 1978. That was used to buy things to eat, drink, or fuel my car; when catastrophic items, like a broken transmission, came along, I applied for a different card. Before the credit card ride was over (DECADES later), that single card with a $300 limit had become eight(?) cards with $5000 limits, with too many of them max

Tiny Devotional for Thursday, 10-21-2021

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 A great good morning to all my friends and neighbors in Internet Land! And to family members who have dropped by, thanks for encouraging me. I'm better than you are. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. Proverbs 21:4, NASB This is one of the times when I regret not applying myself more fully to my language studies, because I’m not sure I get what this verse means to communicate. “The lamp of the wicked?” When I encounter a difficult verse in NASB, I go to other translations to see if they are clearer. In the case of this verse, the NIV translates the second line as “the unplowed field of the wicked.” No help there. The only Hebrew text I could easily access, translates as “The eye of the wicked and the open heart of the wicked is a sin offering.” Again, no help for me. Jesus said the eye is the lamp of the body. That makes for a worthwhile study, but I’m going to stop RIGHT HERE. I think I get the main point of the proverb, which is:  TO the wicked, and