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In a crisis torn, South American country, only little Ann's faith, her determination, and one young woman could help keep her dreams of escape alive.

A true story...
Find a synopsis and other details about Sunday’s Child at my confidence blog (linked). Read excerpts here: List of Books on Amazon
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BIBLE PROVERBS; RIPE FOR MODERN LIVING

This is very different from the material I normally post here on my blog, but I enjoyed researching this piece so much while writing it for another forum, that I thought it would be good to share it here. It also doubles up as a break from the norm, which can sometimes be a pleasant surprise.

I’ve always loved the book of proverbs. However, because it’s tucked away so neatly in the midst of other books in the Old Testament, I think that many people believe that the message of this book is old fashioned and not relative to today’s high-tech, blog-obsessed societies.



On reading the book of Proverbs (NIV version) again recently, I came across many verses which are pertinent to our modern, hectic lives, but as there were too many to include here, I’ve just copied some of my favourites.

DISCIPLINE

Chapter 3; verses 11 and 12 - My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Chapter 12; verse 1 - Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
Thought: Our earthly fathers sometimes take disciplinary measures to encourage us to behave when we step out of line, and this is because they love us. It’s worth focusing on God’s love for us in times of hardship and pain, because it’s then that He may be trying to teach us the life’s lesson that we wouldn’t have otherwise learned.

CHARITY

Chapter 3; verses 27 and 28 - Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbour, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" when you now have it with you.
Chapter 17; verse 5 - He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.
Chapter 19; verse 17 - He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.
Thought: There will always be the poor among us. We ask ourselves why God allows people to starve, but what we haven’t considered is that God has already provided enough food, natural resource and wealth for every last living person on earth. The reason why some go without is because many people have coveted way too much for themselves. Individually, we would never be able to feed every hungry person in the world, but if we all decide on giving a bit more, this could very easily be achieved.
For example, it costs £25.00 to help one farmer rent a piece of land in the Philippines on which he could plant, then sell his product, and have enough to take care of his family for one whole year. From this very amount, he could save enough to rent the land for the following year, thus needing no more financial help. It costs £15.00 a month to send a Malawian orphan to private school, (40 children in one class as opposed to more than a hundred in the public schools) clothe and feed her for one whole year.


WISDOM

Chapter 4; verses 7, 8 and 9 -Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honour you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendour.
Chapter 9; verses 8 and 9 - Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
Chapter 13; verse 20 - He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Chapter 17; verse 28 - Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Thought: It’s hard to leave friends behind, but there comes a time when life presents us with a choice – continue in the stubbornness of youth or advance hand in hand with wisdom to achieve greater things. Unfortunately, if we choose to advance, it may mean leaving some people in our lives behind, people who aren’t ready to take that step. Are we surrounding ourselves with wise people who encourage us to take on more important duties in our lives, or foolish people who sap our energies always wanting more and more from us? In the book of James, God promises us that if we pray for wisdom, we’ll get it.


HARD WORK

Chapter 6; verses 6 – 11 - Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Thought: No matter what our job is, earning money from working gives us pride in ourselves. If we desire any sort of true respect for ourselves, work and honesty will deliver it. No matter how much money we inherit, self-respect and contentment is born out of achievement and service to mankind. If we like and respect ourselves, external adversity would never leave us in a state of complete devastation and hopelessness.

RELATIONSHIPS

Chapter 12; verse 4 - A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
.Chapter 15; verse 1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Chapter 26; verse 17 - Like one who seizes a dog by the ears, is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.
Chapter 27; verse 5 - Better is open rebuke, than hidden love.
Thought: Getting older does not only bring grey hairs and aching bones, it matures character. I suppose it takes a lot of mistakes in life to really learn how to live peaceably with other people. It takes a lot of strength to resist spewing the contents of our minds, but mistakes have thought us that this seldom encourages the other person to listen to our side. Correcting someone who’s gone astray should be done in the mildest way possible. It helps to take a step back into the other person’s shoes and not until you can understand their point of view, should you open your mouth to state your side of the story.
Being able to see from a person’s perspective, of course comes with practise, but this means that our argument would be sympathetic to them thus, inoffensive.

It’s worth reading the book of Proverbs even if you aren’t religiously inclined, as it offers solid principles which we all could do well to live by.


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2 comments:

IcyCucky said...

This is a wonderful collection of proverbs..

dabrah said...

This is a well researched and sensitively written article, Anne.

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