Tag Archives: Proverbs

Who’s the Poop?

PopeChairYou know – the older I get, the more I realize that I am not any different from my kids. Quite a few years ago, our whole family piled into our van and headed to Michigan for my sister Rachel’s wedding. It was a long trip, about 9 hours, with 7 of us in one vehicle so we passed a lot of the time by listening to the radio and talking. If you can remember that far back, this was same the weekend that that Pope John Paul II died, which meant that we couldn’t listen to the radio without hearing news about his death. There were news reports, continuous updates, talk-show segments, etc. It seemed that everything we listened to was about the pope. After many hours of pope reports, pope news, pope updates, and pope facts – it became a bit of a running joke for one of us to turn to another and sarcastically ask, “Hey, did you hear that the pope died?” Through all of this, our two kids, Marilyn and Sam, were mostly reading books and playing games so they were only paying attention to the rest of us intermittently.

As we headed towards Canada that weekend on our way home from Michigan, an inquisitive little voice came from the back seat… it was Sam, who was seven years old at the time. Quite sincerely, he asked, “Who’s the poop?” Once we got through a bit of a chuckle, we explained that the pope was the head of the Catholic church and many people consider him to be a very important person which is why there were so many reports about him. Sam listened intently and when he was satisfied that he had a firm grasp of the situation he went back to whatever he had been doing. During our conversation, Marilyn had been listening to music on her headphones and she had not heard our conversation with Sam, so she asked the same question a little bit later, “Who’s the pope?” Sam, eager to use his newfound knowledge, proudly proclaimed to his sister, “Don’t you know? The pope is the head of the Cataract Church.”

This story serves as a reminder to me that whenever I am sure that I have things figured out – when I am certain that I know exactly what is going on, I just might be very wrong. I need to be very careful to keep my eyes open and to always be prepared to learn something new. The more that I study things, particularly the Bible, the more I realize how inexperienced and ignorant I truly am. Quite often, I learn the most about that which I thought there was nothing left to learn about.

Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
– Proverbs 3:7

By insolence comes nothing but strife,
but with those who take advice is wisdom.
– Proverbs 13:10

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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Christianity, Personal


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Great Expectations

ExpectationsThroughout this week, I have been thinking quite a bit about expectations. We all have expectations. When we flip a light switch, we expect the light to come on. When turn the key in the ignition, we expect the car to start. When we go to church, we expect to sing, be taught, and to have a time of dedicated worship. These things are all natural and practically speaking, if we never had any expectations, our lives would be quite difficult and tiring. However, it is very easy for expectations to be misplaced and misguided. I quite often look forward to things and build them up in my mind until I have an expectation of what is to come. If the future doesn’t live up to these (quite often unreasonable) expectations, I am robbed of any joy of that moment. For example, let’s say I’ve had a long day on the road, working on a client’s computer network and am looking forward to coming home. In my mind, I picture everyone greeting me and giving me a hug when I walk in the door and being excited to see me. Instead, when I walk in the door, Marilyn is doing homework, Marcia is making dinner, Melanie is coloring, and Sam is upstairs. I should be happy to be home, be excited to talk to each person about their day, be pleased to see Marcia working hard for the family, Marilyn being diligent, and Melanie and Sam enjoying their activities. It should be an awesome place to come home to. But it’s not. My homecoming doesn’t meet my idealized expectations, so I find no joy. Joy has been replaced by a resentful spirit.

A joyful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. – Proverbs 17:22

While we can often place unreasonable expectations on others, the other side of that same coin is having expectations of God that are too small. Our God is a great and wonderful God, capable of doing things more wonderful than we can even imagine.

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. – Psalm 86:8-10

I don’t know about you, but I tend to put God in a box and think, “This box contains the things that God can do. Everything else is too big and just can’t happen.” I don’t expect God to do great things. This attitude holds me back and prevents me from doing some of the things I could be doing and should be doing because I know that I can’t do them. William Carey said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” We know that God has great things in store for us. Do we act as though we believe it?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11

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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in Christianity


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