Archives For Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday posts are inspired by a verse from the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the posting date.

Photo courtesy of Wong Mei Teng

By Lisa Cherry

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

I had a problem. We were on our spring break cross-country van trip—two mamas with nine children ranging in age from nine months to sixteen years in a 15 passenger van. We were pressing out two ATF events, two special speaking engagements, a business meeting in Texas, and a three day visit with my sister’s family. By the time it was over we would put almost 1000 miles on the van.

You would think that a 26 year mothering veteran would have known better than to promise her four-year-old a trip to the zoo in the midst of all that. But promise I did.

Every time we would stop at a hotel or gas station, Josiah would ask “Mama, are we almost at the zoo?” I was so determined to make good on my promise at Oklahoma City. But then the temperature bottomed out and the rain moved in.

I thought of bundling us up in my sister’s family’s sweatshirts and taking umbrellas, but at that idea the teens threatened to mutiny. The hair and fashion risk was just too great for them. And so I became a mother desperate for a zoo.

Tara drove as we exited Oklahoma City and I began my internet search. I found that Tyler, Texas, where we were headed, had a little zoo through which they rotated some animals a few times a year. So for twice the cost, we could see a couple of animals. But hey, I was determined to make it sound like a great deal.

We were nearing the Texas border when a sign appeared on the highway: “Exotic Animal Park—World’s Finest—exit 64.” Josiah was napping when I punched Tara. “Hey, do you think we could pull off the road and call this a zoo?”

More signs followed and my hopes soared. Maybe I could still get myself out of my mess.

We pulled off at the exit and all my “assistants” sprang to attention.

“Mom, it will probably be a dump.”
“Mom, you’re not really going to go there, are you?”
“Mom, the sign is pretty broken down.”

I heard all their objections, and agreed. But they did not understand that this was a mothering zoo emergency. I could not defer my little boy’s hope!

We pulled into a gravel parking lot next to several older mobile homes and under a crooked sign that said “Exotic Animals.” It looked like just would you would imagine. Nevertheless my heart raced with excitement. For right there on the edge of the parking lot were four 10’ x10’ cages, each containing a tiger or a lion.

As I turned off the engine, Josiah opened his eyes. He squealed with delight, “Mama, Mama! It’s the zoo!”

“Aww…Josiah had his visit to the zoo, and this Mama’s heart was at peace.

I shushed the other children sternly and pulled my little boy out of the van.

Our words of promise to our loved ones have such power. I remember afresh that day at our “zoo.”

God, help me to be a person of my word. Forgive me when I have hurt others by my hasty and vain promises. Help me, Lord, to keep my commitments to my spouse, my children and my loved ones. God I want to be honest and trustworthy, just as You are honest and trustworthy. Thank you for Your wisdom.  Amen.

Let’s take 30 seconds to meditate on this verse:  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12

Wisdom Wednesday posts are inspired by a verse from the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the posting date.

Photo courtesy of Asif Akbar

By Lisa Cherry 

We are dealing with a pesky invasion of ants in our bathroom right now.  This seems to happen every spring right about the time the seasons change.  Tonight I heard Lydia begging to use the other bathroom because "they are all over the walls marching in a line!"

I am not a fan of ants.  Tomorrow I will need to find that little sticky liquid we always put out that makes them go away.  But tonight as I was looking at Proverbs chapter 6, I decided that I should do what verse 6 says and go in there to watch my ants on the walls.

Here they are trying hard to fulfill their God given job of verse 8, "storing their provisions in summer and gathering their food at harvest."  They are working very hard.  Maybe I can learn from them before I drive them out!

Oh to spend more of my time looking ahead with forethought as those ants.  I sure would have a lot fewer crises if I learned from them. Running out of toilet paper, forgetting to buy eggs, failing to wash the boys’ load of jeans...all these forgotten or procrastinated little acts can add up to some mighty household challenges. 

The wisdom I can learn from those little guys?  Lisa, spend a little more time looking ahead and making a good plan.  Sit with the Lord and let Him help you make your to-do lists.  Listen to the voice of experience and do the little things while they are still little.  Act like an ant and don't wait for an overseer to correct you. Just do it.  March in a line and get the job done.  Take the self-control God gives you by His Spirit.

Well, tomorrow the visual reminder will probably be gone.  Sticky liquid here we come!  Unless, of course, God sent those critters on another assignment!  Ugh!  I hope we learn from Proverbs 6 quickly!

Image courtesy of Ania Chen

By Lisa Cherry

Do not let your heart envy sinners,
but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 23:17

I recently returned from a wonderful ministry trip to Edmonton, Canada. Wow, what a beautiful group of devoted Christ followers I met! The ladies at the Victory Christian Center women’s conference welcomed Kalyn and me with open arms of kindness and remarkable generosity. We sensed the Lord’s presence powerfully as we shared time in His holy word.

But something strange happened to me as I drove down the highways of the city from the hotel to the church and airport. The billboards and business signage were so curious to me. Some looked familiar, like Denny’s Wendy’s, PETCO, and Burger King. But others were names I didn’t know and wasn’t sure how to pronounce.

What I saw was mile after mile of prosperous commerce. Fashion pictures that exuded class and style. There was no evidence of poverty or lack. Affluence and comfort seemed more the cultural image that jumped out to greet me.

Hey, I like this, I sensed my heart cry. I want this, trailed my next thought. I wish I had this kind of wealthy lifestyle, another thought snuck through. And bam! My heart routed to a nasty clash with envy. Almost instantly. Certainly effortlessly.

Wow, where did that sin come from? my spirit mused. Lord, here I am ready to preach the word of God and suddenly I am being enticed in my flesh to envy what is not mine! Help me, Lord, I prayed silently.

After service that night I sat down with my new Canadian friends to get better acquainted. We discussed what had happened to me in the car, and they explained, “Lisa, our challenges here in Canada are not the same as your challenges in the states. We have a socialist government system that keeps even our poorest quite well cared for, while most of us are living in economic abundance beyond the level of just comfort. So we, as a people, think we don’t need God. We’re OK. We are self-sufficient, and in fact, only 6% of Canadians even claim to be Christian.”

Bingo. That is what I encountered in my strange car ride. I was hearing the sounds in the spirit realm. “Build on wealth and you will really live,” that voice had claimed.

So that next morning, I countered the voice of Folly calling to me from the highest point of that city.  I preached even louder the voice of Wisdom and reaffirmed my fear of the Lord. It was great and awesome.

Two voices. Two kingdoms. Two choices. Lord, the choice to me is obvious. I choose Your kingdom. Completely. Whole-heartedly. Zealously. Passionately. This time and every time!

Will you choose the same?

Let’s take 30 seconds to meditate on this verse: Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. Proverbs 23:17

Wisdom Wednesday posts are inspired by a verse from the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the posting date.

Image courtesy of Jason Antony, stock.xchng

By Lisa Cherry

Arguments. Clashes. Cutting words. Petty disagreements. The afternoon wore on and on with grinding monotony.

Where were my normally sweet-natured children? Had they all taken some sort of “testy pill” that day that had transformed them into a collection of grouches?

It seemed I should have donned a referee shirt and carried a whistle when I dressed that morning for my post of mothering.

Finally my nerves had had enough. I called a family assembly in the living room. What mama-lecture would snap us out of our funk? I needed some heavenly inspiration, so I waited for a moment.

“I just wanted to ask you all a question today. Are you speaking to one another the way you would talk to your best friends? Would you be using these same words if Grandma were sitting here listening?”

Silence filled the room as shoulders shrugged, and eyes darted to the floor. A soft “No” escaped from their lips.

“Then why would you be treating your family, whom you love dearly, with less kindness, and less respect that you would offer to those you want to impress? In this family we will reserve the highest honor for those whom we love the most.”

Wow. That was good, I thought.

Proverbs 16:24 says Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. We should not reserve our pleasantest words just for company! They should be the life flow of a healthy home. We need to use them every day, sweet words that nourish the souls of our family members.

Why is it I sometimes have the same problem as my children? Treating my husband and kids with a familiarity or even harshness I would never use with precious guests.

One word comes to mind: selfishness.

Lord, help me to heed my own wise counsel reflected from Your word today. Help me choose the sweetest, most precious gifts in my life…my own family. Let me be such a remarkable trendsetter of kindness that my kids and even my own husband want to follow my lead. I yield to You, precious, sweet Holy Spirit. I turn from my old selfish ways and trust You to lead me down beautiful, sweet paths. For Your name’s sake Lord, and for Your kingdom.

Let’s take 30 seconds to meditate on this verse: Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Wisdom Wednesday posts are inspired by a verse from the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the posting date.

“So what was her secret?” Having written a book called Kalyn’s Secret, I am often asked this question.

Kalyn and I have developed a 20 second answer, a 60 second answer, and a 30 minute answer to that question. We can easily supply the one appropriate to the situation.

But most of our questioners are not as concerned with Kalyn’s former secrets as they are with their own personal secrets. I often see a change in their countenances as they dare to ask us for help.

Secrets. Secrets. Secrets. I’ve heard story after story of a double-life that began as a whirlwind of adventure, but ended with a tornado of destruction.

We are so easily enticed into a secret sin. It seems so delightful, so irresistible. “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” Proverbs 9:17

One young man told me about his secret as I was visiting with him in the back of a meeting.  He had been up at night and involved in unclean things. His parents never knew.

Continue reading “Wisdom Wednesday: Delicious Secrets?” »