Find My Friends

Find My Friends

I recently added the “Find My Friends” app to my iPhone. It is an amazing app. It allows all of the members of our household to know the whereabouts of each other. With a few clicks on the screen, I can see if my son is in the library studying or at the beach surfing. I can see if my daughter made it safely to school. I can see if my wife is close to home or still shopping for groceries.

There is something comforting this, especially as a parent who loves his children. But admittedly, there is something unnerving about this, as privacy among us is gone. However, my son reminded me that the phone company already knows where we are at all times. It’s how they are able to connect our phones with those who are calling. So, the app merely lets us in on the knowledge.

This is nothing new for God. He has always known where all of us are. He knows us in the womb, before we were even born.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. …
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret, …
Your eyes saw my unformed substance” (Psalm 139:13-16).

This is comforting. But it means that privacy is gone.

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3).

You may be able to hide things from others, but you cannot hide things from God.



The Higher Education Bubble

Our oldest child is heading off to college in the fall. It has created many discussions between my wife and I, thinking about college and its costs. It’s really quite overwhelming.

Our friend, Chris Brauns is in the same boat. In his blog today, he linked to the video above. It helps to put things into perspective. Denny Burk also linked to Al Mohler’s commentary on student debt.  You can listen/download it here.  Burk also mentioned Proverbs 22:7, “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”

There is much wisdom here. A video. An audio clip. A Proverb. If we are ensnared, we have no excuse.

Pessimistic or Optimistic?

Christians have every reason to be pessimistic about the future. Christians have every reason to be optimistic about the future.

We have reason to be pessimistic, because we know of the wickedness of the human heart. We know the selfishness of our own hearts. We have seen the selfishness of others. And when you put all of those things together, it’s no wonder then that our world is like it is. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul warns of the difficult days to come, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). If we are looking into the human heart to turn our society around, we will be looking a long time. Christians have reason to be pessimistic. We have promises in the Bible of the bad times to come.

However, we also have reason to be optimistic. Not because of our own abilities; not because of our trust in mankind; but because of the power of God. Believers across the world have seen what God has done in our own hearts to turn us from sin and despair toward Christ and joy. And as God has power over the king’s heart–to turn it like channels of water, wherever he wishes (Proverbs 21:1)–so He has power in a larger scope in our society as well. Historically, when God has poured forth His Spirit upon a society, massive changes have resulted. Study revival and you will know what I’m talking about. On top of that, we have promises in the Bible of wide-spread revival, “‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more'” (Jeremiah 31:33-34). Christians have reason to be optimistic. We have promises in the Bible of the good times to come.

Where Are They Aimed?

Psalm 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” Children are like arrows, which are intended to be aimed and shot from the house.

Sadly, too many parents don’t bother to aim their children. They merely let them live their lives without the constantly directing them in the way that they should go. Other parents don’t shoot their arrows. They do what they can to keep the children at home (or lament the fact that they are gone). Arrows aren’t meant to stay in the quiver. They are meant to be aimed.

Aim for your children to be righteous in Christ and you will be glad. “The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice” (Proverbs 23:24).


Advice or Agreement?

In my years as a pastor, I have discovered one thing about those who seek my counsel. More often than not, those who come to me aren’t seeking my advice. Rather, they come seeking my agreement with their already formed plans. As a result, I’m often not told everything. There are times when further details emerge that were not divulged, which would have changed my counsel.

“The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17).

When the Consequences are Small

Every year, American Girl introduces a brand-new doll to the world. This doll and her accessories are only sold during their calendar year–a great marketing ploy. In 2006, Jess was the “Girl of the Year.” My seven year-old daughter received her as a Christmas gift. My daughter really wanted to some of her accessories. However, she didn’t quite have the money. So, she did what all good Americans do. She borrowed the money.

Her 12 year-old sister loaned her the $20 that she needed to purchase the item. The interest on the loan was 25 cents each week. My 10 year-old thought that it was worth it, so went ahead and made the purchase.

With little money coming in, my 7 year-old had a difficult time paying off her loan. She learned well the truth of Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” She was in bondage and hated it. She ended up paying back something like $28. By God’s grace, she has pledged never to be in this situation again.

How grateful I am that she learned this lesson when the consequences were small.

Follow Your Heart?

Over my years I have heard many people give the advice, “Follow your heart.” While this may appear to have a semblance of wisdom, it’s dangerous advice.

Our hearts are far from pure. To follow our heart may easily lead us into sin and the disastrous consequences that will result.

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25).

Wet Cement

Children are like wet cement. They are very moldable and able to conform to their surroundings. But, as they grow older, they begin to harden in their ways. There become hardened in their ways. At times, they reach a point, where nothing you do can change their behavior.

The obvious point of the illustration is this: be diligent with your children in their younger years to train them in the ways that they should go. This is the wisdom of Proverbs 19:18, “Discipline your son while there is hope.” If you lack the diligence when they are young, all hope may be lost as they harden in their ways.


How long is your tongue?

Physicians say that our tongues are about four inches long from the tip of our tongue to the back of our throat. And yet, Jesus said that our tongues are much longer than that. He said that they reach clear back beyond the throat, down into the windpipe, and into our hearts. Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Whatever is in our hearts comes out of our lips through means of the tongue.

That’s why the Proverbs warn, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable” (Prov. 10:19). The more you say, the more you are bringing up from your heart. And since all of us have wicked hearts, we all will bring up something evil. So, if you are a “talker,” be warned. Your transgression will be unavoidable. There is enough muck in your heart that it will inevitably come out.

The only way to clean up your speech is to clean up your heart. Seek the Lord for a clean heart (Psalm 51:10).

Learn from the ants

God has given us many things to teach us what we need to know.  He has given us His word, which tells us what we are to believe and what we are to do.  He has given us a conscience to help us discern the good and the bad.  He has give us the heavens to teach us of the glory of God.  He has also given us the ants.

“Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
Prepares her food in the summer
and gathers her provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest–
Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6-11).