This is Day 8 in reading the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. We delve deeper into the Psalms and Proverbs and I begin to wonder if I will run out of good stuff to read and if it will just repeat itself over and over. However, there’s still lots of good passages here to kinda think over.
Psalms are supposed to build your relationship with God or the Universe, the Creator, while Proverbs are supposed to build your relationship with other humans.
Here’s my stream of consciousness thoughts on those readings today. Tomorrow the readings are Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9 if you want to read along and see what you find. They are easy reads and I just listen to them on YouTube. Much easier.
Psalm 36 “For with thee is the fountain of life; in thy light shall we see light.”
The fountain of life makes me think of being a little kid and reading about the great explorers and I think there was a guy from Spain maybe that was searching and searching for this fountain of youth over and over again in Florida I think, although probably all he found was gators and maybe some great beaches to go suntanning and get wrinkles.
There is a place in Kansas. It is in the center of Kansas. All that remains is the ruins of a fortress on a hill. It is called Coronado Heights. Coronado was the great explorer that was endlessly searching for the City of God, or 7 Cities of God, or whatever….point was he was looking to get rich. He got to Kansas, built a fort, stayed there a bit. I think he musta looked around at Kansas, said, “Screw this” and turned around and went home. Ah, Kansas, land of my youth…the flyover state.
Actually there is gold in Kansas…but you have to look up to see it. Kansas sunsets. They are beautiful and golden in the sky and better sunsets than you will find anywhere else in the world. The thing with Kansas is you gotta look up. That’s the important part.
People in Kansas have really good faith…maybe it’s cause they look up when others look down or look around. If you get a chance to see the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria, Kansas, it is well worth the visit. It is a great big giant church in the middle of what looks like just farmland area. Pretty place. You’d like it. My ancestors helped build it.
“in thy light shall we see light”
When we look up at a sunset what do we see? Lots of pink and yellow and orange and vivid fluffy clouds and we feel lighter and happier. We have a higher frequency of being operating in lightness rather than the heaviness of looking down and around, grounded and stuck to the Earth like a low frequency pollywog in the mud. A pollywog is a tadpole.
Psalm 37 “Cease from anger and forsake wrath.”
Being around angry people rubs off on you. Surround yourself with peaceful and calm folks and you’ll feel a lot better. Anger and drama is too stressful like they say in the Desiderata, “they are a vexation of the spirit.” Literally. Angry people vex me and turn me into an ugly troll of a person. I can’t stand my personal character when I am around a lot of overly dramatic people full of strife and constant demands.
You ever work for a boss who is constantly calling you into their office for stupid stuff or nitpicking and criticizing all the mistakes and barely even once acknowledging all the good you do? This is so life draining like watching the redheaded secretary in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, constantly hopping around to get coffees and rushing to fix things and then, being so undervalued for her contributions, that she easily gets bypassed for the other girl despite her hardest efforts? This is awful and kinda why folks throw around the term narcissism. It’s really a messed up thing to bend over backwards for another and still not be judged “good enough”. What is “good enough?” What does it mean? What is the definition? Somebody asked me this the other day in a Zoom and I literally looked at them dumbfounded and baffled and lacking a response.
What is enough? To what standard? To what value? Is your enough the same as my enough? Are we playing in the same game here? Are you in the game and I am on the sidelines as a Bobby Boucher water boy?
Being around someone that says, “You are not enough” that will mess up your self-confidence and self-worth so bad. It’s only when someone throws off the shackles of this complex relationship that they begin to bloom again by self-emancipation. I’ve seen this happen to lots of men and women. It happens to both sexes and I honestly don’t know how to fix it other than move out of the environment.
Sometimes a plant outgrows a pot where all the minerals are gone. It needs to be replanted somewhere else where it can thrive again. Sometimes this is how life is.
As a military spouse, I moved all over the world. Each environment was different. In some environments, man, I really blossomed and thrived. In other environments, it was awful and I absolutely could not wait to move to somewhere else. The conditions of the environment were just not right for my soul.
If you are a young person reading this, know that one of the most important things I learned in life as a military spouse is that sometimes a place is not right for our soul whether it is a school, a job, a home, a community, etc. Not that it is bad but perhaps it doesn’t provide what we need to thrive. Move to a different place. Go to a different school. Don’t waste time mucking around trying to thrive in a tiny pot of soil that don’t feed your soul. You need more to thrive. If a place doesn’t accept you for who you are, if you feel in your heart you don’t fit in, if you feel oppressed and burden by some inexplicable intuition, follow your gut and find a new soul tribe. There are 7 billion people on the planet. Go find your tribe.
Or you can, re-adjust, acknowledge you’ve got much to learn, and be open to the possibility that your way of life is not the only way. 6+3 = 9 but so does 4+5. There are lots of ways of doing things and getting the same outcome. So if you don’t fit in, consider opening your mind to the possibility you got things to change or improve on or to adapt and learn……try openly to do those things and if you still don’t feel right, move on.
That’s my advice to my 20 year old self. I am still learning that. I don’t like to adapt. I frickin’ don’t like it at all. But adaption is a key element of evolution, progress, and success.
The only thing constant in life is change. When you can manage change well like a mouse running in the maze looking for its’ cheese that got moved AGAIN…for like the 13th time now…COME ON…and you don’t get too angry about it…ok, well,maybe a little……..you will do well in life. But honestly, sometimes I get really frustrated by the jerk that keeps moving my cheese. What a bleep bleep.
Psalm 37 “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
Often times in the Bible readings, Jesus just talks about dead people like they went to sleep. They are resting. We say things like “rest in peace.” It was like Lazarus was just resting for a bit, waiting for Jesus to show up and then woke up and was like, “Hey man, where you been?”
Often times in life, it’s kinda like a giant marathon that seems to never end and then it suddenly abruptly does end, often times we gotta take a bit of a rest.
I imagine running a marathon must kinda suck. I’ve only run half-marathons and one was really cool, cause I was running through Disney World with Disney characters waving happily to me which was a bit surreal really when you are going through hell trying to get to a finish line just to end the race. I was like, “Hey Stitch!” “Hey Lilo! Thanks for cheering me on!” while I was breathing really hard and feeling like my legs were all rubber.
Having a family while running the great marathon of life is a bit like this. Your cute kids or spouse cheering you on while you’re just trying to survive your 8 to 5 on a daily basis. My kids are my Lilo and Stitch (I’m not gonna say which one is Stitch, they are a bit of Stitch and a bit of Lilo together) so I guess my husband would be……..hmmm, maybe Sven. Yeah, he would be Sven from Frozen: strong, loveable, and dependable ole Sven who loves the snow.
Psalm 37 “those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the Earth.”
This reminds me of the Beatitudes: the meek shall inherit the Earth.
Being meek always used to equate to weakness for me.
Meek people are shy and introverted and just awkward and it seems they have lotsa negative qualities…at first. But the meek are also slow to anger, slow to judgment or if they judge, they keep it to themselves. They just wanna be left alone it seems like hobbits in the Shire. And as we all know, well the hobbit is the one that must carry the ring to Mordor because the hobbit is humble, not vain-glorious. He just wants to be left alone and to go back to the Shire to dwell in his cute little earth dwelling and munch on 4 breakfasts and drink and sing songs with his buddies at the local festival. And despite their harry feet, hobbits if you are lucky enough to know one, are the most loyal and loving of friends…..as are the meek.
They are not interested in the ring or the crown or the power or any of that nonsense. They just want to eat cheese and maybe sit in a hammock and take a nap after a long day in the field. The best rulers or politicians are the ones who don’t want the title but they do it cause well, it needs to be done. They do it out of a sense of duty and for only a short time and go back to their happy way of hobbit life and hobbitsing around ……just like soldiers in war or presidents that serve four years….like George Washington who insisted on term limits for Presidents. They know power corrupts and the longer you stay in power, the worse you become internally and the more dangerous your own path in life.
Meekness is then not weakness. It is wisdom.
Psalm 38 “But I, as a deaf man, heard not and I was as a dumb man that openth not his mouth”
Ah, but there is the rub.
Someone who is too meek and mild does not step up to the plate when needed. How many people just kinda watch the negative news at home and are just grateful its not them having the drama and just go about their daily and don’t really stand up or address anything or say anything or do anything and then “evil thrives when good men do nothing?”
The Bible mentions this a lot as “lukewarmness.” I guess it’s a really bad quality to have, although I prefer to take a shower in lukewarm water and there is a time and place for lukewarmness.
Lukewarm water does not clean dishes. When there’s a mess, don’t expect lukewarmness to clean it up. It can’t. The bacteria just spreads. If you got something bad on your plates, you gotta dip em in hot water to get rid of it.
You got a bad potato in a bag of potatoes, it will rot all the potatoes and really stink like sewer…I know cause that happened in my kitchen this week and I was like, “Gah! What the heck is that poo smell!” I had to throw the whole bag out and get some Febreeze.
When we don’t strike when the iron is hot, when we don’t feel a sense of urgency to address a minor concern, it can snowball into a major problem.
My husband hasn’t fixed the dishwasher for 4 weeks now. I’ve been doing a lot of dishes by hand. I am getting tired of doing dirty dishes. They keep piling up endlessly. He really needs to get the dishwasher fixed before this dishwasher goes on strike or kaput too. Just sayin’.
Be a fixer. Fix the little things before they become the big things. In Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood’s character is a fixer. He tinkers around seeing things in his neighborhood that need fixing. He wants to help the boy too to become a fixer rather than a gang kid. So he instructs him on tools and cars and washing machines and so forth, and they develop a friendship and he re-ignites his relationships to his community and ultimately, finds his own purpose and fulfillment in helping in the lives of his friends in the neighborhood.
Become a fixer, not a gang kid. There’s no path up with the gangs. A lot of folks don’t know how to fix but rather to run down stuff. Fixers are special and definitely needed. Mechanics, engineers, builders, etc. These are special people. If you got a good mechanic for a friend, you are darn lucky. That friendship is a goldmine there.
Psalm 39 “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that, I may know how frail I am.”
I don’t want to know the day I will die. I don’t think anybody does. But when the Doc comes to you and says the end is coming soon, it really changes your perspective and you focus less on the stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. You ride a bull named Fu Manchoo as Tim McGraw would say.
Ok, maybe not that dramatic (maybe just a mechanical bull or one of those inflatable pool floatie bull riding things), but ok, maybe you focus more on your family and your kids. You go swimming with them at the pool.
You just want to make sure you have given your kids enough guidance and enough instruction that they can make it too through this life and you don’t want to leave them on this planet hanging and all alone and scared inside. I get that. So, people make videos in their end stages for their kids or take more pictures or go on last vacations, etc. It’s all done with the intent to show them love one last time.
To say goodbye. I’ll meet you again someday partner. Somewhere down the road. Happy trails.
Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Keep smiling until then.
Don’t think about the clouds and stormy weather.
Just sing a song and we’ll be all together.
Happy trails to you…..until we meet again.
I think humans, if they really, really loved each other a whole lot, do meet up again. Just think about it, maybe your favorite Grandma who baked you cookies came back as your favorite dog later in life, that huskey or that border collie that snuggles up to you at night time to keep you warm or follows you about. Maybe.
Psalm 39 “Every man at his best state is all-together vanity.”
This is pretty profound. When we are at our best, we are at our vainest. When we are at our worst, we are at our most humble like a dog that has it’s ears down and avoids our gaze and tail hidden cause it got into something it should not have and made a huge mess of trash everywhere. Guilty. Guilty as charged. Eating pie and then eating humble pie later when you get caught and the evidence is everywhere.
I had this beautiful umbrella one time. I carefully put it over the dog pen to provide shade to the dogs. It was really, really nice and I would raise it in the morning and then lower it at night for the dogs. Summers would get scorching hot in Kansas like 104 degrees every day in August. You get used to it after a while.
But anyway, one day I did not put the umbrella up. I forgot. I come home and looked out the back window and where’d the umbrella go? I looked out and saw this hug torn up mess of the umbrella, just ripped to shreds and in a big pile and there was my dog, asleep on top of the pile of mess like he did not have a care in the world. Dogs are like that. Awnry. You gotta watch em. Like The Christmas Story, when they take the Christmas turkey off the dinner table and haul it all over the house and out the door to eat it. Yeah, dogs are great aren’t they? Awnry but fun and worth it. They are full of mischief.
Psalm 39 “My hope is in thee.”
My hope is in God. I mean, what else is there to hope in….lottery tickets? Maybe my odds are better with this than Powerball. Who really knows?
Psalm 39 “Before I go hence and be no more.”
That’s kinda depressing. There’s this song I used to play for my kids at bedtime. First, my son always wanted me to sing, “Home, home on the range.” We lived in Kansas, ok?
But the other song was this Billy Joel song called Lullaby (Goodnight, my angel). It’s really short but beautiful. It’s about lullabies and how they go on and on even after we are gone.
Life is short but stories can last longer maybe and in the telling of the lullabies and the stories we find the essence of our long ago humanity revived:
“Goodnight my angel, time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you’ve been asking me
I think you know what I’ve been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
Then you should always know
Wherever you may go, no matter where you are
I never will be far away
Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I’m rocking you to sleep
The water’s dark and deep, inside this ancient heart
You’ll always be a part of me
Goodnight my angel, now it’s time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
That’s how you and I will be”
Psalm 40 “he brought me up from a horrible pit.”
I was in debt. I couldn’t pay my bills for the month. I got some message online on Facebook about St. Jude. I started to read it. It said St. Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes. He’s one of the disciples but because his name is so close to Judas, most folks don’t petition him much for assistance. They are like, “Oh, he’s that guy…..” But no, St. Jude was very close to Jesus and some say was even his brother. I don’t know. All I know is if you are struggling with something that seems hopeless, some folks recommend praying and asking this guy for help cause his name is like Judas and so nobody asks him for help and so when an opportunity comes for him to help, he really, really helps.
That’s why St. Jude’s hospital for kids with cancer is St. Jude’s. He helps with really bad situations. So, I prayed for help from St. Jude and honest to God, my husband got an extra commission check to pay off the overdue bill. It wasn’t huge but just enough. In exchange, now, I donate 25 bucks every month to St. Jude’s. I figure I’m slowly paying him back and heck, it helps sick kids.
Anyway, if you got something really bad that seems hopeless and you need help, consider St. Jude cause that guy’s like the help desk guy at the telemarketing building that never gets any phone calls cause everybody thinks he’s this other dude no one likes. Anyway, he’s probably bored just sitting by the phone and happy to have something positive to do to help you out.
Poor Judas…I mean Jude, geesh. Guy’s got it rough. Needs a name change.
Okay, I feel like I’ve been writing forever. I need to wind this thing down.
Proverbs 8 “Be of an understanding heart, listen.”
Thanks for being understanding and listening to my rambles. You’re a saint.
I went to a speech by Bill Clinton. We lived near Arkansas. It was really cool. I think I had a secret service guy sitting in the row behind me. Not really sure but he was suited and really cute and fit and wore a small fanny pack. Who wears a fanny pack to a speech in an auditorium? Anyway, gosh he was cute. Anyway, moving on.
Bill said during the speech that his best skill as a U.S. President was listening. He said it was his best quality and he learned it as a boy in Arkansas. He said his parents would have parties or bbqs at their house and invite guests from all over, all different walks of life and diversities. They had really great discussions over the dinner table and he learned as a small boy to value each and every person for some wisdom they could give you. He said everyone had something to teach you, you just had to listen openly. When he got to be President, he used that skill all the time bringing people to tables for dinners (remember all the news coverage about Bill eating food) and they would use that time to break bread and discuss major issues. That’s pretty smart. That’s really smart.
My husband throws a lot of bbq parties. I get tired sometimes of playing hostess for all his bbq parties but I tell you what, making good food for people is the best way to make a friend and build comraderie. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So true.
Proverbs 8 “Wisdom is better than rubies.”
Ok, this makes me think of Indiana Jones. So, this is the one movie he goes to Petra and he goes through all these tests to get to the room guarded by the old and crusty Knight Templar. There’s this vast underground room and in the room are all these chalices of every shape and size and of every rich material. Thousands of chalices to choose from and the knight tells him to pick out Jesus’ chalice from the Last Supper. Clever, very clever.
It’s the one that is just simple and made of olive wood.
I guess the moral of the story is the wisdom that represents Jesus and his teachings are better than all treasures to give you a good and valuable life of joy.
Proverbs 8 “Hear instruction and be wise and do not disdain it.”
Some instruction, probably like this long-winded article, are so yawningly boring. Sorry.
Proverbs 8 “All those who hate me (wisdom), love death.”
In the Bible, if you think of one person that really paved the way with instruction for Jesus, who was it and what happened to him?
St. John the Baptist
That was his job: to instruct people and baptize them and he went all over the place doing it. Apparently he liked to eat locusts too which is kinda a side note and super gross but anyway…
But, this crazy guy, this guy that lived in the wilderness and ate bugs, he was talking and talking and talking so much he made so many bad, bad enemies. One was Salome, the daughter of Herod. And, she literally, disdained his instructions of wisdom so much……she loved death so much….she served his head up on a silver platter.
That was one nasty, bad woman there.
I may dislike you.
Heck, I may even spend a little bit of time hating you and feeling guilty that I need to work on my anger management, but I ain’t never gonna serve your head up on a silver platter.
That takes a whole ‘nother level of evilness and villainy.
They love death.
Some folks actually do.
Why are all these murder shows so hugely popular? And horror movies? It fascinates and scares folks and some folks…
….it makes em wonder how they can do it. Just being real.
I worked in a photo factory. Lotsa photos went through in the 7 years I was there. One day, I saw this photo that I reported. It was of a little kid that looked terrified and had been beaten in the face. The kid was standing in the woods near a tree and looked scared to death. The kid was looking at the picture taker with terror in their eyes. Why would you want to memorialize a photo like that?
Some folks, man……some folks……
Ok, so that’s Psalms 36 through 40 and Proverbs 8. Tomorrow is Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9. Thanks for reading and have a good day.