Tradition can be a double-edged sword.  It can be both comforting and reassuring to have something firm in an unstable world, but it can also be an anchor which weighs us down in the past.


Jesus took the Pharisees to task for that very reason.  They were following their traditions to the exclusion of following God.   “And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”” Mark 7:6-8 ESV


The problem was that they let their traditions take the place of God’s word.  They were so focused on keeping traditions that they no longer worried about what God had said.  They taught as doctrines the commandments of men.  They kept the traditions, and that made them feel good, but they were disobeying God.


We can easily fall into the same pattern.  We can get so focused on doing what we have always done that we grow complacent.  We can think all is good when in truth we are no longer obeying God.   How sad if it can be said of us that we honor God with our lips, but our heart is far from Him.   Let us obey Him with our whole heart and not just give him lip service.




Did you know that a boiling water in the microwave can be dangerous?  When boiled in the microwave, especially in a new cup, the water can become superheated.  It heats up faster than the bubbles of water vapor can form.  What is so bad about that?  When you take it out through either jarring it or putting something in it,  the water is disturbed and allows it suddenly turn to steam.  There have been several people scalded by this.

That reminds me of several people today.  Many are walking around with their temper “superheated”.  The slightest provocation will turn into an eruption of scalding anger.  We see it on the streets, in classrooms, online, and even in halls of government.

God gave us wonderful words of wisdom in James 1:19 which will help us avoid the superheated temper.

James 1:19 “19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 “

First, be quick to hear.  Listen to others.  So often, we hear words and sort them to find a reason to get angry.  We are always on guard to defend ourselves and make assumptions about what someone means instead of listening. We have lost the ability to really converse with each other and discuss differences because we no longer listen.

We should also be slow to speak.  Instead of jumping in and arguing against what we think someone meant, let us slow down and think about our answer.  Really consider what they have said instead of leaping to conclusions which we feel we must swiftly correct.

Finally, we are told to be slow to anger. Keep a calm head!   Intentionally fight off emotional responses from your temper.  Listen, choose your words carefully, and control your temper.

If we would apply these nuggets of wisdom, the scalding fits of anger won’t continue to hurt those around us and our world will be a calmer place.


Growing up a PK, preacher’s kid missionaries were always my heroes.  They would come to our church from foreign fields and talk about the unfamiliar cultures, show us slides of the people and area they served, and shared what God was doing.  I always looked at them as supermen for God. If we were lucky, they brought with them MK’s, missionary kids and we got to hang out for a while.

Later, I was blessed to be involved in a church planting effort in Baton Rouge, LA.  I learned  some valuable lessons.  First, missions work is HARD.  I had it easy with a core group already in place, and we still faced obstacles existing churches didn’t.  Land alone was going to cost over a million dollars in a decent location.  I also learned missions doesn’t have to be around the world.  Baton Rouge was similar to home.   I didn’t have to learn a new language and had shared experiences with the people there.  I did have to get used to coffee strong enough to walk the dog on its own, but I learned to love it.   One of most important lessons learned was that we are all missionaries.  Our mission field is wherever we are.  Every member of the core group had to be on mission for God.  That is the same as at every church.

That is at the heart of what Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 ““All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ESV

Our commission is make disciples wherever we go.  We give offerings to send missionaries to other towns, states, and nations.  That is good and should be encouraged.  However, we must also do our part to share the gospel here.  Wherever you find yourself, that is your mission field.  As we give to support worldwide missions, let us never forget to serve as missionaries right here at home.

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt


Have you ever gone looking for treasure?  When I think about treasure hunting, I think about the movie National Treasure.  Ben Gates begins with a cryptic clue and it leads him on a chase which goes from the Arctic Circle to Washington DC and at every turn, he is met by a another clue which points somewhere else.  That treasure was well hidden and even frustrating.


The treasure of wisdom spoken of in Prov. 2 isn’t hidden at all.  Notice was Solomon records in Prov. 2:3-5.


3 yes, if you call out for insight

and raise your voice for understanding,

if you seek it like silver

and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

and find the knowledge of God.


Vs 6 goes on to promise that the Lord gives wisdom.  God doesn’t hide wisdom and understanding and send us on on a difficult uest to find it.  He freely gives it to us in His word and by His Spirit.


Do you long for wisdom and understanding?  Do you desire it like you would some treasure worth billions?  It is far more valuable than any treasure we could find.  Notice the benefits of having wisdom in vs 9-12


Then you will understand righteousness and justice

and equity, every good path;

10  for wisdom will come into your heart,

and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

11  discretion will watch over you,

understanding will guard you,

12  delivering you from the way of evil,

from men of perverted speech,


Seek wisdom from God’s word today!


Course Correction

If you’re going somewhere and you’re off course by just one degree, after one foot, you’ll miss your target by 0.2 inches.

  • After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet.
  • After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet.
  • After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.
  • If traveling from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., 42.6 miles off.
  • Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you’d miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.

Over time, a one-degree error in course makes a huge difference! (Antone Roundy)

As I am writing this, 2017 is in the books and 2018 is just a few days old.  With the change in the calendar, we have an opportunity to examine where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. It is easy to begin to drift in our spiritual lives.  If we drift even a small degree from our purpose in Christ, it can lead to disastrous consequences.  Our doctrine can begin to drift into error and outright heresy.  Our life can drift one compromise at a time into ungodliness.

Paul, writing to the Ephesians in chapter 4:17, 20, & 22-24  offers a reminder of the contrast which should mark our lives.  He says, “17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!– 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” ESV

We must always seek to put off our old sinful selves, and put on the new person we are in Christ.   As we take stock of our lives and reflect on the past and look toward the future, make sure you are on the right path spiritually.

Seduction of Sin

If you are a parent, teacher, or ever worked with and cared for children, you can relate to this Proverb.  “Why don’t you just listen to me?” is a cry often heard in the classroom, home, and stores across our land as a frustrated caregiver laments the disobedience of a child.  Even more tragic is when a child grows up to be a rebellious teen or out of control adult.


If only they would learn from our mistakes.  We could save them a world of pain and trouble.


Solomon begins by saying, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” Pr 1:8 This proverb begins with the same familiar plea from a father.  Wisdom is being shared and Solomon longs for his listen to his plea and not turn from his mother’s teaching.


What is so serious that demands such a preface?  The seduction of sin.  In Prov. 1:9-19, Solomon explores ways sinners attempt to entice the foolish to join them.  They will make offers of wealth and pleasures, but it is all folly.  Truly, they are ambushing and destroying themselves.


Sinners love to bring along company in their sin.  Mobs grow and turn into rioters because they feel empowered by the crowd.  Sinners try to entice us by showing the alleged benefits.  “Look at the fame, look at the fortune, look at the influence you can gain”, they say.  Any temporary gains, lead to ruin.  If not in this life, then in eternity.


Let us hear Solomon today and not go with the sinner when enticed.


God wanted us to know wisdom. He desires us to have good judgment based upon His knowledge and experience.

We all need wisdom. We need the quality of “showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment.” Oxford English Dictionary.

Our world offers many sources of wisdom. You can find knowledge and hear of the experiences of others easily. Just go online and search for it, and page after page of opinions will be displayed before you all offering knowledge.

Good judgment on the other hand, is much harder to find. Thankfully, we don’t have to search very far for true wisdom. God inspired Solomon to record the Proverbs as v. 2-7 say:

“To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth—
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. ”

God wanted us to know wisdom. He desires us to have good judgment based upon His knowledge and experience. Here, He reveals that as His purpose in inspiring Proverbs.

Notice where it all begins. v. 7 says “the fear of the Lord” is the starting place for wisdom. The word fear means reverence, a state of piety and respect toward a superior. We must respect God as our superior and him Him in reverence. In other words, wisdom begins to grow in our lives when we have deep respect for our heavenly Father and recognize Him is our Superior in all things. This attitude puts us in the right frame of mind to begin to receive His wisdom.

Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Pr 1:2–7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.