Wisdom versus the Clamorous Woman

Today, I read Proverbs 9. I had never noticed before how the beginning of the chapter and the end of the chapter are so similar.

1 Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, She has mixed her wine, She has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, She cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,5 “Come, eat of my bread And drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, And go in the way of understanding.

13 A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing. 14 For she sits at the door of her house, On a seat by the highest places of the city, 15 To call to those who pass by, Who go straight on their way: 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 17 “Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, That her guests are in the depths of hell.

And what does clamorous mean?

1. to murmur, growl, roar, cry aloud, mourn, rage, sound, make noise, tumult, be clamorous, be disquieted, be loud, be moved, be troubled, be in an uproar
1. (Qal)
1. to growl
2. to murmur (fig. of a soul in prayer)
3. to roar
4. to be in a stir, be in a commotion
5. to be boisterous, be turbulent

Whoa: a noisy, unsettled woman who causes commotion.

So to be always in a tizzy is to be clamorous, to be clamorous is to be foolish, and to be foolish is to entice others to join us in death and destruction. Can you say O-U-C-H?

Clearly, it is better to fully rely on God to meet our needs, to plan our work and work our plan, and to not allow the circumstances of the day to determine our outlook or reactions. We need to REST in HIm, even as we go about our tasks.

On the magnitude of sin

I have a friend. I mean, I have several friends, but I have a certain friend who is much younger than myself, I think he must be around 20. TheClone brought him home from school to me one day, and I just love this young man to pieces. He comes around and hangs with the kids, he stays for dinner, he calls me Mary Poppins, and I call him Micheal, and it’s just a good thing. And remember, TheClone left over a year ago.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago he ended up spending the night here and going to church with us. Wearing his big black clothes and his fierce facial piercings. And I proudly sat there with my children, including this one, and then for just a moment, I stepped out of myself and I looked at it. And there were several, several lessons there in church that morning, none of which had much to do with what Pastor was saying. God is like that sometimes, just puts the rubber down right there in your road, yk?

See, my friend, he is gay. A *gasp* ho-mo-sex-you-ul. (Or at least he was gay?? He recently brought a girl over here for me to meet, LOL). That’s sin. There’s no painting it a different color, sin is sin, and engaging in homosexual activity is sinful. But you know what else? Engaging in heterosexual erotic activities without being married is sin, too. You know what else? Yelling at my kids is also sin. And so is breaking the speed limit. And gluttonous eating. And saying “Oh My God” every other sentence. And worrying about tomorrow instead of taking care of today. It’s all sin, and while I may not be gay, and I may not be sleeping around, I sure do all of that other stuff. Except the “Oh My God” part. And yet, God loves even me.

I also have a cousin who is gay. He and his husband have recently adopted a young child. That’s kinda freaking me out a little bit. OK, a lot. I’m not good with my cousin. I disapprove of his lifestyle and so I mostly ignore him and his fella at family events. As if my haughty attitude could change the situation. That’s not my job. My job, given to me from Christ, is to love people. All people. Right where I find them. Right where He first loved me. In fact, my bad attitude may have cost me the only opportunity I would ever have to advocate for this child and against this adoption. I’ve been so unloving that my opinion isn’t sought or trusted.

And what’s the difference between my friend and my cousin? I took the time to look beyond my friend’s gayness and get to know him, but I couldn’t be bothered to do the same for my cousin. O-U-C-H. Lord, forgive me for being so hard-hearted! It is all sin, and I am guilty indeed.

And getting to know “Micheal” has made another difference, too. I mentioned he went to church in his big black clothes and fierce facial piercings. It wasn’t until I looked at all of us from the outside that I realized he might look just a little bit scary. He’s tallish, and broadish, and he wears black and has a ring in his eyebrow, ya’ll. But I’ve also seen him when he wasn’t quite so tall and broad, wearing tye-dyed pastels, and three or four different incarnations of hair.

I know he isn’t scary, because I know him. I’ve invested time in him. Just like God knows that I am not always what I appear to be on the outside. The difference is that my outside looks pretty good. But the inside, it sometimes wears a lot of black and has fierce facial piercings.

That Proverbs Woman 1

I’m not even talking about the one in Proverbs 31–yet. I thought it might be interesting to read through the book of Proverbs, noting the passages that talk about women and try to learn a few things. I met the first such passage in the second chapter, verses 16-18.


16 To deliver you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words, 17 Who forsakes the companion of her youth, And forgets the covenant of her God. 18 For her house leads down to death, And her paths to the dead; 19 None who go to her return, Nor do they regain the paths of life

16 It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead.

16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the flattery of the adulterous woman. 17 She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. 18 Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to hell. 19 The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.

The Message
16 Wise friends will rescue you from the Temptress – that smooth-talking Seductress 17 Who’s faithless to the husband she married years ago, never gave a second thought to her promises before God. 18 Her whole way of life is doomed; every step she takes brings her closer to hell. 19 No one who joins her company ever comes back, ever sets foot on the path to real living. 20 So – join the company of good men and women, keep your feet on the tried and true paths. 21 It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land, the women with integrity who will last here.

You can see I’ve quoted a few more verses from The Message, because it mentions women again. As an aside, I read The Message a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed it. It’s very easy to follow and reads like a novel. I would not use it to study by itself, but to get someone acquainted with the Bible (or a tired and busy woman able to get though it with some understanding) it’s a decent resource.

Anyway, on to the mental notes. This is just not a woman I want to be. In fact, I don’t want to be in the same league she’s in. And boy, am I ever so glad that when we repent, God forgives. Oh yes, I am. And yet…

This set of verses begins to show us how much power women have. God made us pretty and little so that men desire to give us what we want. He did that for our protection. Sometimes, though, we mis-use those feminine wiles. We ask for things we ought not to have, and perhaps we even … beguile acquiescence from our husbands. Yes, I know the passage isn’t discussing a woman and her husband, but the principle is there, and the principle is that a woman can absolutely ruin a man by tempting and teasing him into places (physically and emotionally) where he ought not to be. Sex is great fun, honestly. It is a blessing and a gift from God. But when we use pouty lips and the honey pot to distract a man from what ought to be, then that’s wrong.

I guess I have to admit that I might occasionally try do that. There’s a thin line, I think, between flirting and banter with your husband all in fun, and the same acts trying to get your way. I’d go so far as to say that sometimes, he might not be able to see the difference from the outside. It comes down to motivation, doesn’t it?

Well, I certainly got a little off track there, didn’t I? That’s the way this rabbit trail mind works. besides, I’m not sure I typed all that by myself.

Spiritual Jealousy

I know I blogged about the sermon on Resurrection Sunday, but there is yet more to tell. We had a special singer, too. Now, it happened to be a girl I graduated with back in the day. She was the homecoming queen. I used to think she had the perfect life, yk? Beautiful, popular, she was just it. I’ve only seen her a few times since we graduated, and you know what? She’s still beautiful, she’s still popular, and she is still it, only now it means on fire for God. Wow! She had that room rocking, and it. was. totally. wonderful! And oh, it made me so jealous!

Now, we know the Bible tells us not to be covetous. And some people make a mistake and they think that means we can’t be jealous, either. What I want to share today is that there is a difference between covetousness and jealousy, and that jealousy can be a GOOD thing, if we harness it and use it, instead of letting it fester in us.

First, let’s define covetousness, and explain why it’s wrong. If I am covetous, that mean I want what you have and I don’t want you to have it anymore. We’re probably most familiar with the term covert from the 10 commandments, where we are told “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17). It appears in several other places, but I am only going to point out a couple more. In Micah 2, we find this: 1 Woe to those who devise iniquity, And work out evil on their beds! At morning light they practice it, Because it is in the power of their hand. 2 They covet fields and take them by violence, Also houses, and seize them. So they oppress a man and his house, A man and his inheritance. and in James 4, 1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. Do you see the pattern of folks wanting what they should not have and then committing wrong acts to obtain it? Covetousness, when it reaches full growth, will cause you to sin against others.

But what about jealousy? Surely jealousy will cause the same thing? Well, yes and no. We’ve all known folks who were jealous of another’s gorgeous hair or eyes, and treated them poorly because of it. I’m pretty sure, though, that the root sins in that case are pride and anger, not the desire for what another has. In 2 Corinthians, we find these words For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. So then we know there is such a thing as Godly jealousy. See, when my friend was singing, and the Holy Ghost was falling on that place so heavy you could reach out and touch Him, I wanted that! And what’s more, I remembered that I used to have that.

What happened? I got involved with life. I let my cares, my duties, my obligations, my family’s needs, my own desires, even church work, get me to a place where I was dry, doing things in my own power, where I forgot that the yoke was supposed to be easy, the burden light. I let my focus get off God, the purpose of the work, and settle on the work itself. Now, God was faithful, and he enabled me to keep on keeping on, but the JOY was pure-tee gone from it. I was like David when he wrote Psalm 57 and said Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

And so what did I do about it? I pulled out those Gospel cd’s that I had quit listening to because I was afraid they would offend dh, or the kids wouldn’t like them because they were old, and I ripped them to my mp3 player, right there with the jazz and country and pop and podcasts, and I spend time listening and praising God each day. And Praise The Lord, there has been JOY in this house this week. I’ve had church here every day! I’m working harder and I’m working longer, but there is a spring in my step, and a smile on my face, because now I remember why I am doing all the stuff that I do. Hallelujah! And the kids are having to listen to those “old” songs anyway, because I can’t help but sing!! It just bubbles up and comes pouring right out!! See, that jealousy was a good thing for me.

And let me tell you one more thing. One day, it’s gonna be over. I have a choice over how I go out of this life. I can go with a whimper or I can go with a shout. When I go, I want to leave shouting Soooooooooooooo! Why? Because the Bible says “let the redeemed of the Lord say so”! I’m not perfect, I’m just forgiven. I’m redeemed. Redeemed means I haven’t had a thing to do with it: Some One Else paid the whole cost. And He didn’t just pay for my life, He paid for my abundant life. Joy and Peace and Strength for the journey. Amen!

Living in Sunday All Week Long

I know I haven’t posted a Sunday Sermon recap in a long time, but I think it’s time to get back into that habit, and also, yesterday’s sermon was just so powerful that I can’t not share. You know, there comes a point in your Walk that you have heard the Easter Story preached so many times that you settle in on Resurrection Story expecting to hear the same thing you’ve heard before. But yesterday, Pastor didn’t just preach the gospel, though the gospel was certainly included. Instead, he looked out at us, and he talked about the things that had happened on Friday. He talked about the journey Jesus had made through the streets of Jerusalem, and the things that were done to Him, and how his enemies, and even some of his followers, certainly thought it was over. And he reminded us of the things Jesus had said on the cross, and then he said………..

Why are you living on Friday?

It wasn’t finished, and it wasn’t over, and it is still not over, because the Power of the Resurrection is the same power we can live in today! There is no need to live defeated. That was Friday! Come out of Friday, because it is in the past. It’s over, and now it’s Sunday all the time! Resurrection Sunday!

It was an incredible service for me, and I realized how often I have fallen in to that trap of defeated living. But when God says nothing is impossible, that is exactly what He means. NOTHING! Not one thing! And that means yes, you can. Whatever He has called you to do, whatever dream He has given you, it is attainable in His strength. On Sunday, if only you are willing to live in Sunday instead of Friday.

The Attitude of Gratitude

I was at Wal-Mart last weekend with my middle girls. I was kinda excited about the trip, even though dh was working and so I had to wait until 6PM to leave. I planned to buy groceries, and I had received a call about cooking some food for church on Sunday, so I needed to pick up provisions for that as well. None of that was what excited me, though. See, I had received a good size payment for some work, and after investing some of it back in to my business, I figured I had well nigh earned myself a shiny new MP3 player, and by golly, “tonight was the night”.

Now, let me admit right up front that I don’t need an MP3 player. I can’t really think of anyone who actually does. But I want one, because it’s a shiny little toy, and I could put my podcasts on it, and listen to them away from the computer, and also I heard you could find books in MP3, and oh yes, music. Besides, I got dh one for Christmas, and my mom bought some for my girls, and don’t I deserve an MP3 player?

So we got there and started shopping. And we added this and that to the cart. I had bought some hair and face stuff, and I knew Diva needed a new swimsuit, and then she reminded me she needed pants, and Lord, it is true, I have seen her ankles all week long, hello. Oh, and also, Mom, I need church shoes. (The child, she is a weed this month. Soon she will need one of those adjustable beds, so we can lengthen it, and where she gets that from I declare I do not know.) And that’s where I got mad. Because if I bought her all that stuff, there would be no money left for an MP3 player and shouldn’t I be able to do something nice for MYself? Oh I had myself a right good pity party for about 2 minutes, and then I realized something: I have everything I need, and the gift God had given me with the extra work was the ability to meet the needs of my child, now.

James told us that he had no greater pleasure than to hear that his children walk in truth. I have no greater fear than that mine will walk in need. God knew she would grow, God knew I would need to buy her new clothes, God sent work, and work means money. Thank you God, for work and money. And thank You for the heart-check as well. I needed it most of all.

But wait, there’s more! Since I typed this post out a few days ago, God has sent yet MORE work, and guess what? I do have that shiny new MP3 player! I’m putting music on it right now!

That which I would do

Hmm, here’s a question for me. If I look at the Bible to see how I am stacking up, is that considered self assessment or something else? Here’s the passage that came to mind this evening, as I was considering my lack of Bible reading.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Oh man, let my day get busy and the Bible reading is the first thing to slip. And yet, it is absolutely the most important thing I can do all day for myself. Did you hear that? I said for myself. Reading my Bible isn’t just something I do because it makes God happy, it’s something I need to do to feed my own soul. It’s how I nourish myself, how I let God fill me so I can our back out to others. And the days that I have the most to do are the days I am most likely to starve my spiritual self. Not very smart, huh?

I do ok for a while and then, I get busier and busier and now I am off track, and it’s hit or miss, and I know that if this continues, I will run dry. I’ll be snappish, easily irritated, not grounded. I find that if I don’t read my Bible first thing, then it just doesn’t happen, so I’m purposing to have coffee with Jesus tomorrow. And ever day after that. Again. And I if I plan to meet with Jesus first thing, that means I am going to have to get up pretty early. Again.

Gut Punched

Ever have a morning like that? This morning, I have had three personal pieces of bad news. By personal, I mean stuff that affects me directly, not stuff I read on CNN. You know what? Satan doesn’t have any new tricks at all. No, not one! He reads the same old books, he lays the same old traps, he hasn’t had a new trick since Job! And all too often we walk right in, slam the door shut behind us, and refuse to see the window God cut just to allow us an escape. I’ve been guilty of that in the past.

This morning, I am choosing not to do that. See, I read the same old book, too. The difference with me is that mine is the Bible and I believe it.

Dear Satan posing as Car Repair Guy: sorry, God inspired a friend to ask for help on my behalf a few days ago. I was a little dismayed at the time, but now I am glad. Because of my friends generosity, the water bill is covered, and the money I would have spent on that will still be available. Therefore, your bill is covered, in spite of the fact that you changed the amount.

Dear Satan masquerading as an email from my cousin: Nice try, but Papa is saved. He’s going to Glory when he goes. There is nothing I can do for him. You were able to steal what we should have had 35 years ago, but we’ll have eternity to fix that, if it’s even an issue there.

Dear Satan acting like a phone call from the orthodontist’s office: I have other options, and I am on the phone right now finding out what they are. God is faithful and not one of these children will need something that won’t be provided. Now, you go right back to the pit, and take this stupid musak with you!