If you have never read through the Old Testament, I would highly recommend you read the book of Daniel. For one thing, the prophetic material found in the book of Revelation cannot be rightly interpreted without a general knowledge of Daniel’s writing. This small book of 12 chapters is highly organized and by its intricate arrangement reveals how incredibly wise Daniel was. Daniel’s ministry covered the length of the Babylonian exile with his last dated prophecy made around 536 B.C. when he was in his eighties.
Lisa was quite frustrated with Jacov. He and his wife were not in agreement when it came to living sensibly. She wisely stewarded resources while he grew up living lavishly. Their arguments over finances and possessions put significant strain on their marriage. His lack of preparation and impatience often caused them unnecessary challenges. Finally, in desperation to bring peace, Jacov found a marriage counselor that he and Lisa could go to for help. To their surprise, the counselor actually made their sessions pleasant and more importantly, he equipped them with ten guidelines to help them live sensibly. He encouraged them that if they both observed these recommendations they should have less friction and fighting in their marriage
They said they would do it, the task well defined
But then they turned left, then right, then behind.
They scorned those in power subverting their will
When sudden calamity finished their thrills.
So don’t hitch your wagon with those who rebel
Unless you would like your pain to excel.
Proverbs 24:21,22—My son, fear the LORD, as well as the king, and don’t associate with rebels, for destruction from them will come suddenly; who knows what distress these two can bring?
Daniel 1:17—God gave these four young men knowledge and understanding in every kind of literature and wisdom. Daniel also understood visions and dreams of every kind.
Daniel, probably in part because of my given name, has always been my hero. In studying his Old Testament prophetic book that contains his story, there are at least five superb applications that ought to inspire us to be like him.
The dictionary uses the following definition for the word discretion—“1. the power or right to decide or act according to one's own judgment; freedom of judgment or choice . . . 2. The quality of being discreet, especially with reference to one's own actions or speech; prudence or decorum.” Discretion seems to be an increasingly neglected concept in our society. More and more people freely express their opinion or take action either with little prior thought to the consequences or with the deliberate decision to cause harm. For example, on Columbus Day, a national holiday, police in New York City have to protect statutes erected for Christopher Columbus for fear that people will vandalize or destroy them. Instead of taking into account the pride that Italian Americans have in a famous explorer, protestors feel justified in defacing or tearing down his monuments because of the perceived harm he caused to native Americans.
Forty-four men wrote over a period of sixteen centuries sixty-six books that display coherent unity and progressive revelation from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible reveals God’s redemption plan for humanity. It offers the best leadership, marriage, child-raising, family-relations, financial, conduct, attitude, character, teamwork, physical, spiritual, emotional and wisdom-producing advice and instruction on the planet. Yet, I believe we would be shocked, if we knew how many Jesus-followers have never read through this supreme gift from God.
Colossians 1:9,10—For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.
“Charles Clark cleans toilets at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. But he also helps kids turn their lives around — not because it was his job, but because it needed to be done . . .” You can watch him in action at http://omeleto.com/215307/. Charles is committed to excellence. This janitor takes pride in sweeping away dirt, mopping floors and sanitizing rooms because he takes his job seriously. When he is not cleaning or repairing, he pours his life into mentoring teenagers who need guidance and the reassurance that someone loves and cares about them. Mr. Clark understands that the students who populate Trinity High School are the greater investment. So in the natural flow of work, he makes time to listen, to encourage and to touch the hearts of students.
Loquacy ran up the red winding trail as fast as his four little legs would take him. He did not stop until he reached the wide brown mound where Sage lived. The old wolf sat above the entrance and looked curiously as Loquacy panted, trying to catch his breath.
“Help me Sage,” the young Chihuahua gasped. “I seem to have made a mistake and I don’t know what to do.”
A man takes boxes of jelly beans and pours them on the floor. He then goes on to illustrate that each jelly bean represents a day in a person’s life. (http://omeleto.com/193535/) Using an average lifetime of 77.76 years he pours out 28,385 jelly beans. Next he forms piles according to how the average person’s time will be spent. We see the following breakdown:
Dr. Jerry White shares an insightful story in his book Rules To Live By. A young lieutenant forgot to wear his tie with his dress uniform on the day he had to brief a general. Not having enough time to return home, he buttoned up his raincoat and wore it into the meeting. When the general asked him why he was wearing his raincoat, the young man admitted he’d forgotten to wear his tie. So, the general told him to take off his raincoat and then he asked everyone present for the meeting to remove their neckties.
Jerry White, Rules to Live By, Colorado Springs: NavPress, ©2010, ps 112,113
George really loves his three sons and he also really loves scouting. As a teenager he significantly grew through his scouting experience and remembers the pride on his father’s face when he made Eagle Scout. If circumstances were different he would still be a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts. When his oldest son, Hal, was in the scouts, George invested time in him so he was able to compete and do well against older boys. But Hal got to a place where he didn’t enjoy scouting and wanted out. He shared with his mom Shannon his desire to quit and she felt the stress of wanting to help him while knowing how passionate George was about his sons becoming Eagle Scouts.
According to our guide, if a person spent four seconds looking at each item in the Musee du Louvre in Paris, it would take four years to see everything! Ranging from paintings like Michelangelo’s Mona Lisa, Tiziano Vecellio’s Titien, and Antonio Puccio’s Pisanello, to amazing clay and marble sculptures, to the architecture and ceiling paintings on the edifice itself, the Louvre was both inspiring and thought-provoking.
Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (1545–98)is one of the most famous military heroes in Korean history. He was born into a poor family but through hard work and effort rose to become a brilliant strategist and Admiral. At the age of 28 he took the government examination to become an officer but during the practical portion fell off his horse and failed. Shamed by his failure he worked harder and four years later he retook the exam and passed. Eventually his persistence and wisdom convinced his superiors to give him command of a naval station in Cholla province.
I can imagine what happened. She had lived there too long. Over time, she grew increasingly used to the sleaze to the point where the vices probably no longer shocked her. No doubt she and her friends gossiped about the bizarre and strange conduct of the city’s inhabitants. Perhaps she was close to the two men soon to marry her daughters. Even her husband hesitated—unsure about leaving. In the end when the persistent angels grabbed their hands and pulled the four of them outside the city warning them to run and not look back, she didn’t get far before she turned away just once to see what should not be seen. That turning away made her a pillar of salt. (Gen. 19)
At the beginning of each year I pick a theme to observe and mark in reading through the Bible. In 2010 the theme was wisdom along with the nineteen base words key to examining this topic: wise, teach, instruct, advise, know, learn, understand, counsel, reveal, discern, insight, intelligence, guide, sense, mature, inform, perceive, realize, and revelation.
Have you ever wondered how astronauts fly up into space to rendezvous with a space station or other orbiting objects such as the Hubble space telescope? It is an incredibly difficult task. Let’s listen in to scientist Palmer Bailey as he articulates the challenge:
"The basic problem is that both of the rendezvousing objects are in individual orbits around the Earth. The shape and size of a spacecraft’s orbit is determined by its velocity. Thus if you try to speed up to catch something travelling ahead of you in the same orbit, you change your orbit and then are no longer in the same orbit . . . Therefore, if you are in orbit behind your rendezvous target and try to speed up to catch it, what actually happens is that your increased speed is used up raising you into a higher and therefore slower orbit and you fall farther and farther behind. You must slow down, thus dropping into a lower but quicker orbit until you are ahead of your target, then speed up at just the right rate to go into the higher slower orbit as the target craft catches up to you. It’s pretty tricky to get that timing just right."
I just finished reading the best book I ever read concerning Biblical principles on giving wisely. The author is Jonathan Martin and the title of his book is Giving Wisely? You can find and purchase it from www.amazon.com.
He jumped in too early. A white policeman arrested a prominent black professor, and eager journalists needled President Obama to answer before he knew all the facts. He misspoke. Perhaps a lingering frustration gave birth to an unfortunate vetting. That silence can be golden is an understatement for a man besieged by microphones. Our society is sensitive to racial harmony—and should we be surprised, given that our melting pot is a degree away from a boiling kettle!