Proverb: Discipline

None of us like discipline. From my earliest remembrances as a child, I can still remember the discipline that I was given when I had done something wrong. I remember at 5 years old when I coaxed a neighbor boy to go behind an old barn to play with matches. It was exciting to see the fire burn the weeds that we piled up. Fortunately we didn’t burn down the barn. Unfortunately my father found out about the little escapade and I was disciplined that night. The discipline was painful, but I never remember playing with fire again. The discipline worked.

Solomon wrote about discipline when he said, “Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12 CSB. I had never looked at my father’s discipline when I was growing up as my father delighting in me. In fact I have never looked at discipline from the perspective of my father or my Heavenly Father delighting in me when I am disciplined.

Discipline is painful. Many times there is shame in the discipline because our wrong actions or wrong attitudes or destructive words are brought to the light of someone else. We only see the pain or shame we are experiencing, but fail to see that the discipline is being administered to us because our father/Father is showing his love for us. He is delighting in us.

Discipline from the Father in heaven can take many angles. It can be administered when we read His word and are convicted by the words we read. We can be sitting in church and hear a message from the pastor that brings conviction of an attitude or action that has been displeasing to Him. Discipline can come from a spouse who verbalizes a hurt that has occurred as a result of a wrong reaction that negatively impacted them.

On this journey when discipline comes, look at it from the perspective that the perpetrator of the discipline is actually showing his or her love and delight in us and wants us to change our actions or attitudes so that more intimate connection can occur.

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Proverbs from Proverbs

This year as I was reading through the Bible, I came across Proverbs again and began to have a thought. Solomon, the wisest person on earth wrote the book of Proverbs. His writings are truly wise for all of us to not only hear, but to seek to incorporate bites of wisdom into our lives. They are nuggets of truth that if only we were to apply them to our lives not only would we see changes in ourselves personally, but would begin to see a difference in the relationships that we hold dearly.

I have written over 460+ jlogs (Jim’s log) over the years have have decided to take some of Solomons wise sayings and highlight them to remind myself of God’s truth, and maybe inspire those who want to read my jlog to do the same. So here we go.

Understanding and wisdom is the center piece of Proverbs. One of the first passages that Solomon wrote focuses on this truth. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, and He will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:5-7.

All of us have our own perspective of life and from that perspective develop an understanding of life and the circumstances we are experiencing. This passage says to NOT rely on our own understanding, but to trust in the Lord with all your heart and to know Him and his ways. We as individuals don’t have wisdom in and of ourselves. God has the wisdom so we need to turn to Him for guidance and direction.

Trusting in the Lord with all your heart means that we need to turn to His word and begin to read it on a daily basis to gain wisdom and understanding or our present and future circumstances of life. It might be helpful to read Proverbs to get God’s perspective of wisdom as well as to begin to read the gospels in the New Testament to find out about Jesus who was sent to this earth to show us how to live.

On this journey, we don’t have the wisdom nor understanding to navigate life in our own wisdom, but we do have the Lord that can give direction for the steps we take if only we will turn to him.

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Wild Turkeys

Nadine and I decided to go for a little walk around our neighborhood this morning. Actually, we live very close to the country setting as it only takes a 1 block walk before we are in nature. It didn’t take long before we were heading down a long hill with scattered homes dotting the side of the road. Before us we saw wild turkeys cross the road to get to the other side (sorry about the chicken crossing the road joke. I couldn’t help myself). When we got parallel to the place where they had crossed, the Tom turkey spread out his back feathers in protest to our presence.

I have heard of turkeys living in the wild, but it is a wonderful sight to see them in the wild. It reminds me of the passage in Lamentations 3:22-23 where the writer said, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Every morning the Lord has something new for us to enjoy if only we open our eyes and are willing to hear His voice.

On this journey, wild turkeys will come across your path. They may not be wild turkeys, but insights to solve a problem, or a word of encouragement from a friend, or an action that you didn’t expect from a family member. Opening our senses can have the wonderful effect of seeing God work in our lives every day.

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Seventeen Second Irritating Beeping

I woke up this morning around 6 am to go to the bathroom. When I returned, Nadine was wide awake. She had been in that state for at least an hour. She couldn’t sleep and the more she focused on the beeping the wider her eyes became until she couldn’t stand it any longer. She got up and traveled to where the noise was. Here was the culprit.

Irritants happen every day. They are a part of everyone’s fabric throughout the day. It can be a beep every seventeen seconds. The irritant could be the taxes that many of had to pay and weren’t expecting it. I’m not going to get into a discussion on the pros and cons of government choices that cause us to experience the consequences of those choices. I’m just saying that unexpected taxes can be an irritant that gets us out of whack with life.

The irritant that I experienced a while back came when I put on a new pair of boots before Nadine and I went to do some shopping with some errands. As we walked, I began to feel my metatarsal rubbing on the side of my boot which caused me to focus on the pain that was begging to eminate from the inside of my left foot. The more I walked, the more pain I began to experience. It was only when I sat down that I could relieve the pain. During our journey, we had to get to the post office to mail some letters and so we had to wal rather fast. What was interesting about that journey is that I quit focusing on my pain and the need to get to the post office which caused my mind to move away from the pain. I didn’t think about the pain because my focus was elsewhere.

Paul in Philippians spoke to this issue and gave us a tool for dealing with irritants of life. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Paul realized that irritants will come into our lives on a daily basis. We choose what we think about. We can think about the taxes we have to pay or on the money we have to pay those taxes. We can think about the beeping, or we can think about the device that can warn us of impending danger. We can think about the pain that a new pair of boots cause, or we can think about the boots we have to walk from one place to another.

On this journey, we choose where to put our focus when irritants come and they will come. Our choice will determine whether our day is filled with positive thoughts or a day that if filled with negative ones. Choose wisely.

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Snow In May

I have been very quiet over the last several months with the writing of my jlog. I don’t have a good reason except for the fact that I have procrastinated in putting my fingers to my iPad and hence the lack of posts over the last few months. As I was sitting at my desk looking out at the weather we are having, it hit me to put my digits on the keyboard and write a few thoughts regarding the snow I am seeing as I write this.

I have used my snow blower 8 times this year to my joy of cranking on the rope and hearing the sound of power. There are some in Colorado who are groaning at the thought of more snow. Not me. I have reveled in every day it has snowed with the expectation that I might get to start up my power plowed—snowblower that is. I do not have the irrational thought that I will get to use it one more time. The weather report blew that thought out the window. But the beauty of seeing water in white form fall softly to the earth is a wonder that I haven’t gotten over.

On this journey, we have the choice to look at our circumstances from a negative or a positive perspective. We can groan at our circumstances and wish things were different, or we can look at the beauty before us and appreciate the blessings that are right before our eyes. I choose today to look at what’s positive.

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Blame Game

It is so easy to blame others for their actions that caused us to say something negative or act in a certain unkindly way.  “They were the reason I did such and such.”  “If only they hadn’t acted a certain way, none of this would have been a problem.”  “If only they hadn’t accused me of this, I would have never lashed out at them.”  “They had no right to do the things they did.”  “She made me do it.”  “He made me do it.”  I could go on and on about the blame game that we play today and have played for centuries.  We learned it early in life from our parents and became experts in placing the blame on others.

The earliest occurrence of this blame game came with the first couple on this earth, Adam and Eve.  In Genesis 3, we see the blame game taking place when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of evil.  Unfortunately they disobeyed God and when confronted, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.

We find another blame game taking place with Moses, many years later.  Moses was called by God to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt which Moses did through various miracles performed by God.  When the people grumbled about having no water, God told Moses to strike the rock which he did and water gushed out from the rock (Exodus 17:6)  In Numbers 20 the same scenario occurred where the people grumbled at not having water, so this time God told Moses to speak to the rock.  Rather than speaking to the rock, Moses got mad and struck the rock.  Water came forth from the rock, but the Lord was angry with Moses because he didn’t obey what the Lord had told him to do.

I have always thought that Moses wasn’t allowed to enter the promised land because of this sin of not obeying the Lord when He told him to speak to the rock.  I have revised my thought process based upon the responses of Moses 40 years later when the nation of Israel was about to enter the promised land.  Moses is speaking to the people just before they enter and this is how he describes the event 40 years prior about the water and rock incident.

““And the Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, ‘Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land!”  ‭‭Deut. ‭1:37‬ ‭NLT‬‬  ““But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me. ‘That’s enough!’ he declared. ‘Speak of it no more. But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River.”  Deut. ‭3:26-27‬ ‭NLT  ““But the Lord was angry with me because of you. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession. You will cross the Jordan to occupy the land, but I will not. Instead, I will die here on the east side of the river.”  Deut.‬ ‭4:21-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Do you catch what Moses was saying?  “The Lord was angry with me because of you.”  He said it three times.  Moses was blaming the people for not being able to go into the promised land.  There was nothing in his statement about his responsibility.  There was nothing about his lack of obeying what the Lord wanted him to do, “speak to the rock.”  I wonder what would have happened if Moses took responsibility and humbled himself, admitting his wrong and his disobedience?

On this journey there have been many times when we (I) have played the blame game and not taken responsibility of my mistakes.  What God wants is a humble spirit, not one that seeks to blame and justify wrong actions, wrong words, and wrong attitudes.  Humbleness is a forgotten quality that needs to be dusted off for present use.

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Wild but Tame

Sunday was a wonderful day for Nadine and me.  We went to church and heard a fabulous sermon by our senior pastor and afterward headed to Colorado Springs to visit my mom.  Initially when we got to View Point where she lived we tried to find her but she was nowhere to be found.  She wasn’t downstairs.  She wasn’t in the first hallway that we looked at where she usually walks.  Not in her apartment.  Not in the other hallway.  Finally we went downstairs and checked with the desk who found her visiting a neighbor.  She was up for her favorite place to eat, McDonald’s, so off we went.


On the way we decided to go by Glen Eyrie, the Navigator’s headquarters to see if we could see any wildlife before lunch.  As we entered the property, we came across about 50 wild turkeys eating by the road.  They weren’t at all spooked by our truck that parked right by the road to take their picture.


They were at peace because they knew that no one would try to threaten their lives.  Wouldn’t it be nice to live with that feeling of freedom but feel safe knowing that nothing could happen to us?  The fact is that when we are God’s children and have received His Son Jesus Christ, we have the same freedom that these turkeys have with the same feeling of safety that these turkeys had.  God said in Hebrews 13:5 that He would never leave us nor abandon us.  Never.

Today on our journey, be reminded like these turkeys that we have an advocate that goes with us to give us safety and the freedom to move where we want.

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