Wednesday, July 31, 2013


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

-Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wisdom is: Self-Controlled

We've already established that wisdom is humble. So what will we add to the list today? I'm thinking... discipline.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11 ESV) 

In the original Hebrew text, the word ruach was used in place of "spirit." This word incorporated several meanings, such as motives and thoughts, as well as wind. Now, the wind in a sail sets a ship in motion, like motives to a person. The wind blows as it will, and there's not a whole lot we can do about that... but we can choose to adjust our sails. With discipline, the wise man chooses whether or not to go where the wind blows.

Its not always best to do what we want or to do what feels good. A wise man not only determines the difference between these times, he uses self-control to follow through and do whats right. Simply put, a wise man is in control of his actions.

That was the complicated example. The next two are super simple:

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:27 ESV)

A wise man is in control of his tongue. Zip. The. Lip. Thats a lot easier for me to say than it is for me to do. (Although, it might not be easy to say at all if my lips were actually zipped...) Not all thoughts need to be shared, not every question should be asked, and some information just should not be passed along.

And last but not least...

A person’s wisdom makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11 NET)

Its true; believe it or not, you are in control of your emotions. Yes, even anger. You can feed the feelings or allow them to fade away. It's up to you. (Feel free to revisit the wind analogy from earlier.) I'll save the PYSCH 101 for another post, but know this: we tend to either be completely driven by emotions, or completely shut off from them. Neither one is healthy nor demonstrates self-control. God put them there for a reason, so why not start by taking them to Him?

A wise man is disciplined in his actions, his words, and with his emotions. Wisdom is self-controlled.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wisdom is: Humble

You can round up any given number of people who've attended a fare share of weddings and, chances are, you'd be able to gather some pretty consistent descriptions of what love is. "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant..." and so on (1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV). But what about wisdom? Wisdom is... what? Well, that's my question. And I'm guessing, like love, the answer is best in list form. So I've decided to spend the next few weeks learning about what wisdom is.

Today's attempt to gain a better biblical understanding of wisdom has led me to one undeniable characteristic: Wisdom is Humble.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. (Proverbs 8:33 ESV)

Sometimes it takes every bit of self-control within me to just bite my tongue and listen to advice. That feeling of despise I get when I'm being given instruction is my (not-so-inner) inner fool showing his ornery, stubborn face.

Fearing The Lord, to know and respect Him, is a good solid start to becoming wise, but then we're hit with a whammy in the second portion of that first verse. "fools despise... instruction." Ouch! I don't know many people that take instruction well, and I know that I certainly don't either!  But  obviously, neglecting it isn't the right thing to do...

So what should I do? I best just take a deep breath and set my ego aside when someone begins to instruct me. I need to really hear what's being said; it might be a nugget of awesomeness! Then again, it may not, but I'll never know without giving it a shot!  

But a wise man isn't humble just because he listens to the people God gathered around him; a wise man is humble because he knows all his understanding comes from the Spirit of God in him. Now, this next verse is just a bit counter-cultural:

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right. (Job 32:8, 9 ESV)

A lifetime of experience is priceless, but nothing compares to the knowledge gained when God is present in us, and that's something we can't take any credit for. Age and education don't always equivocate wisdom. Knowing its something given to me, not earned and not a characteristic of who I just happen to be, means I really don't have a right to be proud of it. No achievement, no degree, not even growing old will give me boasting rights! 

God is wise, and the more He is in me, the more wisdom I have. It's nothing I've earned or achieved! Now, this last Proverb makes it very clear that wisdom is humble.

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:12 ESV)

There's not a whole lot of room for interpretation there! Basically, if you think you're wise... you're not.

Wisdom is accepting of instruction. Wisdom is a result of the breath of the Almighty within us and not of our own doing. Wisdom is an awareness that there's always more to learn, of others far more wise, and of one's own limitedness.

Wisdom is humble.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I spend a lot of time thinking about doing what I just need to do. Of course, its wise to look before leaping, but there does come a certain point when enough is enough, and thinking becomes more like ruminating.

Even more problematic, there comes a point when thinking might even begin to look a little more like avoiding.

I spin my tires a lot, wasting fuel and burning rubber, but going no where fast. I think its important I begin asking myself in these moments why I'm not going anywhere. Is it because I'm unable? Or is there something else holding me back?

After all, avoidance is a form of hiding; its a response to fear and uncertainty.

I'm constantly stepping on the brake to think things through. I have a list as long as my arm of things I worry about! But when does faith step in? At what point does my confidence in God as my refuge overwhelm my uncertainty of the unfamiliar?

I believe and have witnessed that God uses all circumstances to His glory. Worrying about tomorrow is a waste of today, the very place and time He has chosen us to be. Today will only happen once in a life time, so it shouldn't be spent paralyzed in fear and painted in excuses.

Acknowledge the anxieties. Embrace them, but for a set, limited amount of time. Allow yourself to be overcome with fear. Then take that fear, when at it's very peak, and present it to God. Finally, in cognizance and pursuit of Him, take action.

Maybe that action is to simply pray about it more. Maybe its something minute....

The thing is, even parking is an action when done intentionally.
No more spinning tires. Life is not a race, but it is a journey.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Sunday, July 14, 2013

making room

I got this old TV in 1994 at a liquidation sale when a Wal-mart came to town and put Vals, a local variety store, out of business. I almost had enough allowance saved up to buy it myself, so my parents  chipped in the rest and got it for me.

Man, I felt cool playing the Sega Genesis on my very own TV in my very own bedroom. That is, with a little help from an RCA adapter...

Believe it or not, I still have this little TV. Rather, I should say, I still had it until yesterday.

I didn't realize how attached I was to it until we made the decision to throw it away. Something just seemed wrong about tossing it out. After all, we had shared so much history together!

Kimberly and I were recently gifted with a big, brand new, beautiful television for our living room, which triggered a ripple of small changes throughout the entire house as things were being moved around and swapped out. The smaller flatscreen TV originally in the living room needed to be moved to the bedroom where this old dinosaur lived. So it met the curb, perhaps to live the rest of its existence with another family, or maybe to find it's end at the dumpster.

It wasn't broken.
It just wasn't best.

The truth is, although this childhood relic was still operable, it was obsolete and taking space that could've been occupied by something new and better.

Making room. Its not always easy to do, but I have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of it soon. Sometimes, we just have to do what we need to do to make room for whats best.

mi gusto mucho

Thursday, July 11, 2013


For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 

(Psalm 62:5-8 ESV)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kingdom Come

Flawless. As usual.

070613 catch up

Wow! Where have I been!? Busy, busy, busy!

School is definitely keeping me on my toes right now, and we've had house guests the past two weeks. First my dad came. We camped on Palomar Mountain for a couple nights and spent the rest of the week site-seeing all over San Diego County. (There's a few pictures one post down).

Just hours after my dad flew out, my father-in-law and brother-in-law flew in. We've spent the past several days doing a little bit of everything!

I also took a graphic design job earlier this week creating a logo for a Christian Preschool. So far its been a lot of fun to work on and it seems to be coming along great! I'll post some pictures when its completed.

Hopefully I'm able to carve out some time for blogging again soon!

Dad visits SoCal, 062213-062913

Very. good. times.