Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beginning of wisdom

I'm not sure why but everytime I finish Psalms, I read Proverbs.  Where the Psalms are full of emotion and beauty (sometimes a roller coaster), the Proverbs are down to earth, truths.  It's a book of wisdom.  God conveniently put 31 chapters in Proverbs so we can have one each day for a month.  The majority of them were written by Solomon, David's son.  When he was made king, God asked Solomon what he wanted above all else.  Solomon asked for wisdom so he could rule the people justly (1 Kings 4:29-34). 

There are four building blocks in Proverbs.
1.  Fear the Lord
2.  Gain Knowledge
3.  Understand Wisdom
4.  Discipline (that's the hard part for me!)
They apply to almost every area of our lives.  When I got my first digital camera, I was afraid of it.  I didn't know what would happen when I pushed the buttons or changed the settings.  What if I broke it?  So, I had to gain knowledge by studying books and a DVD on it.  I knew how to operate it, but everytime I went to shoot I thought more about the camera than the shot.  I hate cutting off feet and black photos!  I had to understand the camera so well I could choose the right settings wisely, even get creative.  And... discipline.  Taking lots of photos to master the camera, takes discipline as does understanding and applying the Bible to our lives.  I so remember the days when I thought more about myself and how I looked at Church, than God.  If I sneezed I felt all eyes on me...  Focusing on God is much better.  With my camera, I now struggle with getting so caught up in the subject I mess up the settings...  need to pay attention to what I'm doing as a photographer and Christian.  Don't want to miss the needs around me. 

Proverbs 1

These are the verses that stood out to me.  But, feel free to read the whole Proverb in your Bible.
1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent (careful and sensible) behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

In order to fear God, I had to realize He's real.  Then I had to understand His anger, power, and accept His amazing love.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Listening to advice is important.  It's like I tell my husband, don't ask a pharmacist about building a car, ask a truck driver.  Don't ask a truck driver how to get the best loan, ask a scientist (we had 8 parents when we got married- lots of wisdom for us...). I listen but try and think about who I'm listening to.  Is it wise?  The best source of wisdom is the Bible, asking God Himself.
8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
9 They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck.
10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.

15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.

There are still so many scams out there.  It's crazy.  A million ways to work for free.  Key words I look for are:  "take this course and you will be able to get a job in..."  "For just $25 you can get..."  Yet people still buy.  God's not amused.
17 How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.

If we don't listen to God, He will turn His back on us.  When we pretend He's not real He can't help us.   But He always lets us come back.  I think everyone feels bad when they get taken.  I know I do.
28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer;
they will look for me but will not find me,
29 since they hated knowledge
and did not choose to fear the Lord.
30 Since they would not accept my advice
and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways
and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
God has a way of bringing me to safety.  It seems impossible sometimes.  But He always works things out.
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.

I have a praise to share.  I'm not sure if you remember my mentioning I'd submitted a photo to a newspaper and the editor liked it.  It turned out the "next edition" was this week, and not last.  My photo is on half the page : )  I'm a published photographer!  Yay!  I must praise God, when I shoot I ask Him to show me where the good shots are, and He does.  And, He's the one who created the good stuff in the beginning.

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