Words of Wisdom, Psalms 61-65 and Proverbs 13

I finished my devotional this morning. The final page read, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope.” Romans 15-13.

It was a pretty good day. I had a lot of hope to get some goals done to day. I worked on some work, some housework, this article, and my new podcast called Crafting Short Stories.

It is cold and drizzly here in Vermont still but that means the grass has turned this vibrant gorgeous shade of green like something out of a movie about Ireland. It was a peaceful, hopeful, joyful kinda day. I watched my Psalms and Proverbs for today on YouTube, scribbled down the interesting parts, and kinda took a break from it for a bit.

I made some dinner for the family, just hobo dinners. These are super easy and I used to make these in the Girl Scouts as a kid. Basically take a large square of aluminum foil. Fill it up with hamburger or cut sausage and then add cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots, or mushrooms. Don’t forget your seasonings like garlic salt or seasoning pepper or slap yo’ mama (cajun stuff). Close up the foil packet and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. I usually make 1 packet per family member. It’s yummy and a super easy dish to teach your kids to make.

So we did that and made cookies and brownies. I’m trying to spend more time with my son cause he’s 16. He needs to learn how to cook so we make dinners together and its nice quality time.

Well this gave me time to reflect on the readings. I started this venture 13 days ago, reading Billy Graham’s Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. Each day I read 5 Psalms and 1 Proverbs passage and write my thoughts on them. Reading Psalms is supposed to build your relationship to God and reading Proverbs is supposed to help you understand humans better.

Here’s the things that stood out to me today:

Psalm 62 “Surely men of low degree are vanity and men of high degree are a lie; to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.”

Vanity first means to have the personal characteristic of being too prideful or into yourself, your appearance, and your achievements. So, I think what the author is saying is that men of low degree are in constant need to be self-centered or self-interested in order to pursue or hope to attain high degree levels. Meanwhile, the person of high degree “is a lie”. I think this means that the person of high degree is all smoke and mirrors like the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City. Their attainment of high degree status is contrived upon illusion of grandeur. That “it” life ain’t all it really is shown to crack up to be. I think that’s what that means.

“to be laid in the balance”

Hmm…..this part makes me think of Osirus, the ancient Egyptian
God of the Underworld who judged the living and the dead. He was supposedly the precursor to Jesus and their lives draw some parallels. But Osirus uses the balance of scales to judge a person’s heart. If the heart is light as a feather, the person is judged by Maat to pass the test. But if the heart is heavier, Ammut then proceeds to devour the person on the spot.

As a kid, we used to play a rendition of this in the game called “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” Basically, you lay flat on your friends hands like a corpse.

I know, pretty morbid game for kids, right? What the heck?

Then, next in the game, if you suddenly raise up, your friends have deemed you light as a feather (a good hearted person) but if you lay flat and no one raises you up, your friends have judged you as a bad person that stays grounded.

If was kinda a weird game like playing a ouija board or something. I used to have a ouija board too for a bit as a kid. I took it to a slumber party. We played it that night for an hour or so. Nothing much bizarre happened other than the Dad found out and he burned it in the yard. No more ouija board. Bummer.

“they are all together lighter than vanity.”

This last line I think is in regards to shallowness. When you have a conversation with a fairly vain person, you sometimes get this feeling of shallowness or no depth to the conversation. (I sincerely hope you’re not thinking this now as you read my writings.)

This seems to imply all of this, the chasing after vain things or the setting up of high dollar illusions, is all “meaninglessness in the wind” to quote Ecclesiastes. There’s no major point to all of it. No depth.

Psalm 62 “If riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”

Ah, this is challenging. As Notorious B.I.G. would say, “Mo money, mo problems.” The more money we make, the more we spend and so what’s the point of pursuing capitalism so fiercely and harshly that we ruin our health and beauty for it which is in fact, the true wealth of the world.

Also, money comes and money goes. You can’t really rely on it. Best to live the simple man lifestyle.

I’m not good at this. I like to buy crap. I got crap everywhere…in the closet, in the garage, in the kitchen…all over unnecessary appliance stuff or hobby stuff that just fills all the space up and I gotta dust around it now. Best to not buy so much junk. It just weighs you down.

I say this but man, I love to shop for knick knacky stuff I want rather than need.

Psalm 62 “Thou renderest to every man according to his work.”

This is the ole “you reap what you sow” line. You work hard and usually you receive a good portion of money. This is not always the case but still, sure, I still want to believe in the American Dream, even though sometimes I get jaded and think it is dying out, this picket fence American Dream notion.

Psalm 63 “I meditate on thee in the night watches.”

I used to do Perpetual Adoration at a little chapel at 3 am in the morning. This is a significant hour of the day as it is the exact opposite time, 3 pm, of the death of Jesus on the Cross. 3 am is also called the Witching Hour and is a time that sometimes, mischief and bad stuff can happen or people can do shady spellwork stuff, hopefully not.

So, I’d wake up at 2:30 am and dress and drive down to the chapel at 2:45 am on Wednesday mornings. You’d be surprised by what you see at 2:45 am on the streets and there are people up and about, just walking streets and alleyways and such.

To pray at 3 am then is to be “on night watch”, to guard others with prayer. A lot of convents with nuns have this 3 am to 4 am communal prayer time daily.

Psalm 64 “The pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys also are covered with corn.”

Psalm 64 talks about the abundance of good things the divine, or God provides to the world. Many folks that have not experienced much trauma in childhood, tend to have an abundance mindset. It’s the idea that if we lose something, we can trust we will get more. Operating at this level is easier to manifest things you need in your life. It is like driving a race car as Tony Robbins would say, and choosing to look in the direction of where you are steering rather than focusing on the hazards like a wall or fires and such. It is the epitome of “getting into the zone.”

Someone with a scarcity mindset probably grew up experiencing the trauma of going through some of those hazards. They then developed less trust which ultimately limits one’s own capacity in life, like self-sabotage. Someone like an agoraphobic has a scarcity mindset. Folks with this mindset focus on the safety of things and the hazards that could happen. They look at the wall while driving the race car and eventually can end up crashing into the wall or others. People with a scarcity mindset probably grew up in households where lack of resources occurred. They think that there are only so many pieces of the pie and they should have to fight for their piece. But abundance mindset folks believe and trust, there will be more pie out there for them if the first gets all eaten.

Proverbs 13 “There is one person who makes himself rich; yet has nothing. And one who makes himself poor; yet he has great riches.”

A miser like Ebenezer Scrooge, is someone that has wealth but chooses not to spread it around to others and then maybe doesn’t have the greatest of relationships to others. Then there are extremely poor folks that live in a single trailer with 5 other people and they are actually wealthy in terms of companionship, friends, and family members.

There’s this book I read as a kid called The Rainbow Fish. It was a story about a beautiful and gorgeous little fish with scales on it the color of the rainbow. The fish swam alone and had no friends cause the other fish were kinda jealous of how beautiful these scales were. Then the rainbow fish learned that if he gave a scale away to each of his friends, they could share the rainbow too and be happy and the whole group including the rainbow fish were happier too. He finally had friends that he so wanted. All he had to do was give himself away. Be of service.

That’s one of the first things you learn in sales and marketing. It’s not about selling the pen so you can make money for yourself. It’s about service. It’s about how you can show the customer that they need the pen and it will benefit them in the future. You, as a sales person, show them the impact of buying the pen for their future lives and the lives of those they care about. It’s about understanding the customer and being of service to them. For someone like Zig Ziglar, sales is really just about building relationships and networks. How can I be of service to you and how can you be of service to me? That’s a Ziglar question there.

Proverbs 13 “A wicked messenger falls into trouble.”

So there’s this great scene in the movie 300 where the Spartan King gets mad at the message presented to him by the messenger for the King of Persia. He answers the message by kicking the enemy’s messenger into a big, dark pit.

“Don’t shoot the messenger.” This is a common phrase today.

I guess the point is, avoid being a messenger if you can. Jonah was supposed to give a message to Nineveh. He went all over the place trying to avoid giving the message because of this “shoot the messenger” mentality that he feared.

Proverbs 13 “He who spares his rod hates his son; but he who loves his son disciplines him promptly.”

This is kinda an odd old-timey statement. We don’t really use “switches” or rods anymore. Not like back in the day.

But a strict parent can be a good thing if handled right.

When I was in 1st or 2nd grade, my mom caught me stealing a Smurf statue from a little department store. I just wanted it. It was that blonde girl Smurfette or something and I would watch the Saturday morning cartoons all the time.

My mom found out and made me go back to the store with the Smurfette statue in my pocket. While she stood in the background, I had to go up to the cashier and apologize and hand him over the Smurfette. I was worried and scared.

Surprisingly the cashier was pretty chill about the whole thing and said he appreciated my honesty. After that, I didn’t really shoplift much ever again.

That tactic of disciplining me early on and promptly led me to a crime-free adulthood and I suppose I should be grateful for it.

That’s all I got for reading these Psalms and Proverbs. Tomorrow will be Psalms 66-70 and Proverbs 14. Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow!


Author: J. Speer

I like to write. I have 5 books currently on Amazon, mostly fiction. I try to write positive and uplifting children's stories, expressive poetry for women, and interesting articles about personal growth, alternative medicine, and spirituality. My stories are often about diverse people but with human connection in mind through inner perspective. I love my characters especially the ones from my first book, Searching for Fire. I moved recently to Vermont. I live in the North Country region near Lake Willoughby, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. My heart will always be with Kansas but I love travel and meeting new people with diverse perspectives on life. I have found Vermonters to have many admirable qualities like stoicism and a love and stewardship of nature. My hobbies are writing, gardening, outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing, and hiking. I am an amateur herbalist. Many years ago, an alternative medicine doctor cured me of a respiratory illness by teaching me about vitamins and for that, I owe her a debt of gratitude. I recently bought a Jeep Wrangler that fits my personality and love for adventure. Associated with the military in my younger years, I have lived in Israel, Germany, and Virginia as well - all of which I loved in different ways. I thoroughly believe in the military spouse phrase, "bloom where you are planted" and endeavor to carry a positive optimism wherever I roam. Most days are good but admittedly I get down sometimes. I am prone to sadness or severe cynicism at times, so I turn to music as my consolation and source of expression or inspiration. My favorite songs currently are "How Deep is Your Love" by the Beegees, "La Vie en Rose", "A Million Dreams" or maybe Karen Carpenter singing "Close to You" or Elton John singing "Your Song." I also like "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" by Starship or "I'll Stand by You" by The Pretenders. "Faithfully" by Journey always reminds me of rollerskating with friends in the 1980s. My favorite quotes are from the Velveteen Rabbit, Steve Jobs, and this one..."To the caterpillar it was the end of the world, but to the butterfly it was merely a beautiful beginning." Or there is the quote from Peter Pan teaching Wendy..."What if I fall? But, oh my darling, what if you fly?" I also believe in being a pearl - graceful on the outside but full of grit and gratitude on the inside. My favorite women of the Bible are Ruth, Hannah, and Hagar. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Cheers, friend.

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