FORTY-YEAR MILESTONE: WISDOM & HOPE

A forty-year birthday marks a milestone that I can hardly believe my son has reached. It does not mean that he is old or “over the hill” as some say — but perhaps it does indicate that his parents are!

How well I remember his birth as a time of joy, hope, thankfulness, and with prayers for him and his future. Having him as a son still fills me with the same feelings of joy, hope, and thankfulness. I continue to pray for him, his future, and his beautiful family with whom he is blessed.

So many prayers have been answered along his life’s journey so far. I have experienced exceeding parental pride through these 40 years. I have loved watching his gift of encouragement impact others. I have learned the value of wisdom for his life perhaps through recognizing its need in my own.

Proverbs, a book of Wisdom, is a good reference for living well. It offers wisdom for all generations — mine, my son’s, and his child’s. It offers hope that all of us need at every age of life.

Today my prayer is for my son to always know God’s  Wisdom and Hope. They are found in the Bible and can be easily instilled in the head by reading. They can only be deeply ingrained in the heart by God’s Holy Spirit. They are worth the sacrifice of time and study.

Happy birthday, my beloved son! May your life be full of Wisdom and Hope always!

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
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 your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce;
So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
and the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.
By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies drip with dew.
My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
So they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck.
Then you will walk in your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”  (Proverbs 3: 1 – 24)

BIBLICAL WISDOM: BIRTHDAY HOPE

“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.” (General Douglas MacArthur at age seventy-eight)

As wise General MacArthur realized it is one’s  outlook more than one’s age that makes one old. Today is the birthday of my beloved. He has spent decades studying Biblical wisdom, and this is a good example the rest of us could follow. He maintains interest in this study; perhaps he will never grow “old.”

Happy birthday, Dear! May you always have HOPE. Below are some verses especially pertinent to one who is accumulating years and wisdom. I am thankful that God and His Word never change despite radical changes in our world. I am also thankful to share your golden years and God’s blessings.

“For You are my HOPE; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You…. But as for me, I will HOPE continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation. For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul, which You have redeemed.”  (Psalm 71: 5, 6, 14 – 19, 23)

“They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green,”  (Psalm 92: 14)

“The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair.”
(Proverbs 20: 29)

“Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you.”  (Isaiah 46: 4)

BIBLICAL WISDOM: HOPE & PEACE

You’ll probably agree that we earthlings live on a troubled planet and may be on the verge of even bigger trouble. Terrorists and tyrants share this planet with those of us who are peaceful law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately they don’t want to share with anyone who differs in political views, religion, or race. Therein lies the problem — with potential for worsening problems.

Are there lessons from history to prevent the most deadly and destructive effects of power-crazed tyrannical political leaders? Can we learn how to avoid repeats of history’s greatest atrocities? Shall we be hopeful regarding the state of the planet or just give in to utter hopelessness?

The attack of Pearl Harbor and WW2 was a very difficult time for America. Some have thought we can learn valuable lessons from that time and have urged us to remember its lessons.

Gordon Prang, author of Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History, said, “Humanity cannot afford to forget the lessons of Pearl Harbor. The world is much too small, the risk is much too great, the time is much too late.”

President Franklin Roosevelt, to whom Americans looked for hope, said, “It is our obligation to the dead — it is our sacred obligation to their children and to our children — that we must never forget what we learned. And what we have  learned is this.

There is no such thing as security for any nation — or any individual in a world ruled by the principles of gangsterism.

There is no such thing as impregnable defense against powerful aggressors who sneak up in the dark and strike without warning.

We have learned that our ocean-girt hemisphere is not immune from severe attack — that we cannot measure our safety in terms of miles on any map anymore.”

I think history should be studied during times of peace and of uncertainty. Wise students are less likely to repeat the negative and more likely to follow the positive. Wisdom is a needed component while journeying through life. Believing this and knowing the Source of wisdom and accessing it are different matters.

If we all followed wisdom from above, then it would be easier to live with hearts full of hope. Even when all do not, we can still experience hope when we trust God as the Source of wisdom. Wise choices lead to righteous living, and sowing peace yields blessings to the  peacemakers. The Bible teaches wisdom to make wise choices and offers hope.

“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above but is earthly, natural, demonic.

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

(James 3: 13 – 18)

BIRTHDAY BLESSING: HOPE FOR BELLA’S FUTURE

Ciao, Bella!!!

Happy birthday with love to my precious granddaughter! How perfect that Bella in Italian means “beautiful.” I totally agree that you are — even if we’re not Italian!

Remember that it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside than on the outside. It’s better to be kind and good and loving than just to look pretty. Follow God everyday to become truly beautiful in your heart!

Remember that it’s more important to be wise than just smart. It’s better to be wise enough to make right choices and think good thoughts than to be smart enough to be a clever fool. Learn God’s ways to grow in His wisdom to live right!

God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He will be with you ALWAYS! Remember one of our favorite verses: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me!” (Phillipians 4:13)

I remember your birth brought hope for your future, prayers, and excitement! The first time I met you as a beautiful bundle of baby I unleashed a load of love and released tears of joy. It was a moment I will always cherish and never forget.

You, granddaughter, are a gift from heaven, and I am blessed beyond measure to be your grandparent! To your parents: THANK YOU for your part in the Beautiful Bella miracle!

To God, the Creator of Life: Thank You for this amazing gift of a granddaughter! May her life be filled with Faith, Hope, and Love. May she walk Your Way, believe Your Truth, and live Life according to Your plan. Thank You for her time now on earth, and thank You even more for her eternal life to come in heaven that will never end, because her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.” Psalm 127:3