The Gift Of Friendship

Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel.

Proverbs 27:9

“Nope, that doesn’t work either!”

My husband crumpled up the page and threw it across the room. Then we both slumped in our chairs, exhausted and discouraged. Our manuscript was due in three days, and the ideas just wouldn’t come. We were definitely experiencing writer’s block.

The doorbell rang. We were expecting no one. There at the door were two of our dear friends. They were beaming and holding a bag. “Hi,” they said, “we thought you might be stuck. We brought you some ice cream bars. Why don’t we all sit down and brainstorm?”

We could hardly believe what we were hearing. What a gift! For the next two hours the four of us sat and talked together about the thesis of the book. They prayed with us, bid us good-bye, and left. We went to bed.

The next morning we sat down to write, and the ideas just flew. By the evening of that same day, the manuscript was ready. Our hearts had delighted in  the counsel of our friends.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for the gift of friendship. Let me be the one who brings delight to my friend’s heart today.


The Biggest Lie

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Eccl. 1:14

We are daily confronted with lies. Unless we can learn to identify the lies of the world, we will be continually unhappy and dissatisfied. And one of the biggest lies is, “You can have it all, and having it all will make you happy.”

He was president of his state professional association. He had four brilliant and athletic children, a gracious and beautiful wife, and was worth well over five million dollars. And yet he was one of the most unhappy people I have ever met. Having reached every goal he had set out for himself, he was now trying to convince that a bigger house, a younger wife, or another million might make him happy. He was rapidly reaching a point in life where he had to face the truth that even if you had it all, you don’t. If  he didn’t change his focus, he would end up saying, like King Solomon long ago, “All is vanity.”

If we define happiness by the world’s standards, we will continually be disappointed. Happiness comes from knowing and following God, not from power, prestige, and material possessions. And that means that’s God’s kind of happiness can come to anyone, from the lowliest worker to a king.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to want the happiness that comes from knowing you, not the emptiness of “grasping for the wind.”

It’s Not My Fault

The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.

Proverbs 20:27

“It’s not my fault!” she insisted. The fifty-year-old mother tried to explain to authorities why she had embezzled one million, two hundred  thousand dollars from her employer. She said she hadn’t been a good mother and she wanted to make it to her twenty-three- year-old daughter. Her way of “making it up” landed her in jail for a five-year prison term.

“It’s not my fault!” she said. The twenty-three-year-old daughter had gladly taken and spent one million, two hundred thousand dollars on a condo and luxury  automobiles. When the police asked her where she thought her mother got the money, she said she never asked. She is now in jail for two years.

Granted, this is an extreme example of “It’s not my fault.” But it’s a true story, extreme only in the amount of money it involves. Each day as I sit in my office I am amazed at the stories I hear that end with, “It’s not my fault.”

I challenge you to look in your life today. Is there a responsibility you’re trying to avoid with “It’s not my fault”? Maybe today’s the day to take that responsibility back.

Prayer:  Lord, please give me the insight today to accept responsibility for my own feelings and actions while giving away responsibility for the feelings and actions of others.