Archive for May, 2009

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Get Smart Blog 31

May 30, 2009

Get Smart Blog 31 FINAL

Saturday, May 30, 2009

 

We come to the end of a journey.  For the past month, we have read together through the Book of Proverbs.  Six weeks, 31 blogs, and 31 Chapters later, I wonder if we have become any wiser.  Are we “Getting Smarter?”

 

Many of you have read the blog each week but have not responded.  Would you respond today or this week, and let me know what life changes were made through the Proverbs journey?

 

Proverbs 31 is one of the great chapters of what a godly woman is really worth. (PRICELESS!)  I am so thankful for all the ladies that provide such a great foundation for our society, families, and our churches.

 

For the final time….GET SMART!

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Get Smart Blog 30

May 30, 2009

Get Smart Blog 30

Friday, May 29, 2009 for Proverbs 30

 

There were two things that struck me about Chapter 30.  The first is the simple request in verse 7.  It was almost like the child who prays, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my soul to keep….”  It is written with such simplicity, almost as if the writer wants to get out of the rat race of life and stews it all down to a couple of  simple requests.  He seems to be exhausted and can ask for no more.  The writer seems to have taken a position of being overwhelmed as he asks in this verse:

 

“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die:  Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only daily bread.”

 

The other thing that caught my attention was the description of pride and foolish self-inflation in verses 29-31.  A strutting rooster, a King with armies surrounding him, a lion and a he-goat provide amazing pictures.  These pictures speak for themselves.  So many think they are above a fall, greater than tumble, and even stronger than life itself.  This is GREAT IMAGERY IN THE BIBLE.

 

Get Smart!

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Get Smart Blog 29

May 28, 2009

Get Smart Blog 29

Thursday, May 28, 2009 for Proverbs 29

 

 

Opinions range from one extreme to the other when someone speaks of politics.  A part of the political process is just that…the process.  The other two components are issues or positions and leadership.  Although positions are rarely, if ever, a topic of Solomon- the leader is a central focus.  In this chapter alone, Solomon talks of the vital importance of the vision, morals, values, and judgment of our leaders. 

 

Ronald Reagan once said, “To grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership.”  If a leader properly values the “heavenly prize,” it will compel him to give of himself/herself and their resources.  Fervency springs from a vision of heavens reward.  When we examine our leaders of today, their inward character should be examined.  Being discipled toward godliness is not accomplished in a ten-week class; it is accomplished by spending time with a godly individual-walking with him, feeling his heartbeat, hearing him speak, and seeing him pray.

 

Solomon’s words in verse 2 “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” should act as an ever-present reminder of the importance of our Godly leadership or in many cases the lack of…..

 

 

Get Smart!

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Get Smart Blog 28

May 27, 2009

Get Smart Blog 28

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 for Proverbs 28

 

“Lots of Promises….”

 

Have you ever noticed….just how many promises Solomon makes concerning a right relationship with God.  A few highlighted from this Chapter 28 are:

  • The righteous will triumph (vs. 12)
  • Whoever confesses/renounces sin finds mercy (vs. 13)
  • Blessed si the man who always fears the Lord (vs. 14)
  • A faithful man will be richly blessed (vs.20)
  • He who walks in wisdom will be kept safe (vs. 26)

 

A recent promotion by H&R Block offered walk-in customers a chance to win a drawing for 1 million dollars.  Glen and Gloria Sims of Sewell, New Jersey, won the drawing, but they refused to believe it when a Block representative phoned them with the good news.

 

After several additional contacts, both by mail and by phone, the Simses still thought it was all just a scam, and usually hung up the phone or trashed the special notices. 

 

Some weeks later, H&R Block called one more time to let the Simses know the deadline for accepting their million-dollar prize was nearing and that the story of their refusal to accept the prize would appear soon on NBC’s “Today” show.

 

At that point, Glen Sims decided to investigate.  A few days later he appeared on “Today” to tell America that he and his wife had finally claimed their million dollars.

 

Sims said, “From the time this has been going on, H&R Block explained to us they really wanted a happy ending to all of this, and they were ecstatic that we finally accepted the prize.”

 

God wants a similar ending as he offers so much…salvation, wisdom, promise after promise!

 

Get Smart!

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Get Smart Blog 27

May 27, 2009

Get Smart Blog 27     

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 for Proverbs 27

                            

Let me make three simple statements for our blog today:

 

Statement One:  I will not touch verses 15 and 16 for FEAR OF MY LIFE!  Read and it and you will see what I mean.

 

Statement Two: One of the great classic verses in the entire Bible is found in verse 17.  “Iron sharpens iron…”  We really do need each other!  

 

Statement Three:  Our poor attitudes can stunt the growth of those around us!  In verse 25 “When the hay is removed the new grass appears…” there is an underlying connection with Solomon’s’ writing in these verses and his writing in Ecclesiastes 3 when he says… “There is a time (season) to….”

 

Do you see the connection yet?

 

I say this because if we left the cut hay on the ground for a period of time it would stunt the growth of the new grass that needs to emerge underneath it.  No sun rays of life could reach it, little water could penetrate the roots to nourish it, and the necessary ingredients for growth would be missing.  I wonder if there are times that we “smother” those underneath us with our dead, limp, lifeless attitudes.  There is a time to harvest, a time to move on to new endeavors in life.

 

Get Smart!

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Get Smart Blog 26

May 27, 2009

Get Smart Blog 26

Monday, May 25, 2009 for Proverbs 26

 

There is no doubt that Solomon zero’s in on the fool and folly as he spends the first 12 verses illustrating just what happens to a fool and characteristics of folly.  Remember the theme of the book of Proverbs….Get Smart.  Godly Wisdom is clearly the focus.  If you have been reading through the Proverbs you start to see that Solomon had dedicated himself to this truth.  Do you think God desires each of us to dedicate ourselves to obtaining wisdom?  I mean should it be THE primary focus of our entire life?  Should we give our entire life to its pursuit?

 

After a concert, a fan rushed up to famed violinist, Fritz Kreisler, and gushed, “I’d give my whole life to play as beautifully as you do.”

Kreisler replied, “I did.”

 

Join me in giving our life to the pursuit of ….God and His wisdom.

 

Get Smart!

 

Pastor Michael Cook

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Get Smart Blog 25

May 22, 2009

Get Smart Blog 25

Friday, May 22, 2009 for Proverbs 25

 

 

It has been said those hardest to win to Christ are your own family and those that are the closest to you.  It is interesting that Solomon discusses the handling of relationship with our neighbors so often in Chapter 25.  He references neighbors in vs. 9, vs. 17, and vs. 18.

 

Sometimes we have a “boys will be boys” attitude toward sin.  Human nature being what it is, we wonder what the big deal is about messing up.  So what if we miss the mark?  We’re just human aren’t we?  What’s the problem?  The problem is, being a personal God and loving Father, God is grieved by the sin we commit so easily and nonchalantly.  Why?  Is it because He’s hypersensitive?  No.  Is He upset that we are not behaving like “good little boys and girls?”  No.  The Father hates sin because He sees the devastating effects it brings.  Those closest to us see it quickly-when we let our guard down. 

 

Solomon’s words of warning throughout the book of Proverbs concerning our family, neighbors, and those closest to us are to heeded.  These people know us best.  These people see our real faith, our real integrity, the real “self!”

 

Get Smart!

 

Pastor Michael Cook