Devotional for Week of December 29, 2014

Proverbs 13:10 – “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”

Wisdom is something that I am ever-seeking, so when I came across this verse I knew I needed to look more closely.  As I first read this I said, “OK, yeah I get that.  But I feel like I experience both ends of this.”

As I began to look a little closer and research a little more I learned some things.  Until the last few years I’ve always considered pride a good thing, because I didn’t realize there was an additional meaning.  To me pride has always been “a feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.” as Merriam-Webster puts it.  But as I’ve read through the Bible I’ve discovered the other meaning that is “a feeling that you are more important or better than other people” as Merriam-Webster defines.

By looking at each of these definitions I realize that I have experienced pride in each sense of the word, and the latter usually leads to strife.  There are times I seek out advice, but I often struggle to do so.  I know there is much for me to learn, but I’ve found very few teachers that I’d consider worthy over the years.

I need to put forth the effort to not only find quality teachers, but also to allow myself to be taught by anyone I come in contact with.  Historically I have been someone who learns from his experiences, but I haven’t always given the people around me the chance to teach me something.  What they teach me may not always be what I want to be taught, but knowledge gained is still knowledge gained.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for the gifts and talents you’ve given me, and thank you for the gifts and talents you’ve given all members of mankind.  Lord, please help me to humble myself when with others.  I may consider myself an intelligent person, but help me remember that I still need to learn and help me see that I can learn from anyone.

Top 5 End of Year Panics

5.     I need to hurry up and make resolutions for next year!  People are going to ask … 

4.     Speaking of resolutions, where did I put my list from this year?  I know I resolved to do something.

3.     Dang it, I was finally used to writing 2014 and now I’ll have to switch to 2015.  Crap!  I just wrote 2015, but it’s still 2014.

2.     My check stub says I made how much?  Where did all that go?

1.     Ok, I found the list.  Is there any way to save $1,000, lose 30 pounds, spend more time travelling, and spend more time with family in less than a week?!?

I hope you all had a great 2014, and I wish you the best 2015 you can possibly have!

Devotional for Week of December 22, 2014

Luke 2:11 – “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

This is the week that we remember the greatest gift ever given to man.  This Thursday is Christmas Day!  On that day we remember the birth of a baby king.  He came to us to lead us, to save us, to protect us.  Even as a baby Jesus was able to do each of those things for all that encountered him.

For me, this week is not only a reminder of what Jesus came to do for all of us, but also what he has come to do in my life as well.  He came to save the world, but it’s important to remember that the world includes you and me.  His birth as a humble baby changed mankind and changed my individual life as well.

Without that birth, in a time of craziness and among the animals and the mud, my life wouldn’t be what it is today.  I wouldn’t have the faith, the optimism, or the hope I do today.  Jesus died for me, but first he was born for me.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for giving us, giving me, your son as a savior and king.  Great things have been done through the birth, life, and death of Jesus.  Thank you for bringing him to this world to lead us and save us.  And thank you Lord for providing your son as a guidepost and savior for me.  He came for all of us, and all of us includes me, so thank you lord for sending my personal savior.

Top 5 Pre-Christmas Thoughts to Avoid

5.  “Will I get the bonus that allows me to put in a swimming pool, or will I get stuck with a membership to the Jelly of the Month club?”

4.  “So if Christmas is on a Thursday, then what am I supposed to do about my in-laws on Friday?”

3.  “My kids deserve coal this year, so maybe I’ll take them to a coal mine.”

2.  “Did I buy enough to make everyone forget the kind of guy I’ve been this year?”

1.  “Why is that jolly guy in red velvet watching me while I sleep?”

I’m hoping this post will mark the return of my blog, because I’ve been away for far too long.  We’ll see how things go though…