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Secrets of the Lord's Prayer: Learning to Pray in a Whole New Way

The Lord's Prayer is one of the most common Scriptures in the world. (Luke 11:1-4) Thousands of people have memorized this prayer and have no idea they are reciting from memory one of the most powerful key's to intimacy with God. There are secrets in this prayer that will unlock a whole new depth to your spiritual life. Jesus teaches in this "prayer" a whole new way of approaching God and living for Him. One of the first things that we need to be aware of is that to speak of prayer in the ancient world was to talk about your relationship with God. In other words, prayer encompassed all the things you did to interact with God. The thing you did to practice your faith was prayer. So, as we sha

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:5

Proverbs 31:5 "For they will drink and forget what is decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted" This whole first part of the Proverb 31 section implies and reinforces the godly calling to leadership. If God has equipped you and called you to be a leader, then there is much good that you can do. Do not squander your ability to influence people on influencing them for selfish purposes or influencing others so that you can enjoy selfish pursuits. The world needs leaders who will push back the darkness of sin and depravity. Not everyone is a leader. Not everyone has the ability to move others, organize groups of people for maximum effectiveness, initiate new projects and ideas. Those

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 30:5

Proverbs 30:5 "Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him" The word tested is the word sarap which means smelt, refine, test. This means that God's Word has been purified and refined. One can have confidence in it. God has filtered out impurities in His Word. If someone was going to write something wrong in the Scriptures, then God made sure that did not get written. Some of my favorite passages in the Scriptures are where the author of a particular book says, “I wanted to write about… but I couldn't” or” I would like to tell you about this or that but I have to tell you about this other thing.” I believe that is evidence of God’s superintending hand keeping

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 29:5

Proverbs 29:5 "A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps" This proverb is meant to be a warning. When you get in the presence of someone who is always praising you for things that are not true or overblowing your positive qualities, then there is a catch coming. Flattery is the Hebrew word halaq which means smooth. It is always negative when used in connection with speaking. It is making smooth one’s speech to puff up others or oneself. It originally had the idea of making metal smooth. This idea carries over and refers to using the tongue to smooth over any rough spots and paint yourself or another as much better than you/they are. The question in this proverb is who

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 28:5

Proverbs 28:5 "Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all things" evil men The biblical definition of evil men is those who live outside of the moral boundaries of God. They have thumbed their nose at God to the point that they live in open rebellion to His standards of life. Life outside the Ten Commandments is an evil life, God declares. A righteous life is only possible inside of His standards. Then it must be a life of faith and trust in Him. For the evil person, life waits outside of God's moral law. Magic, Idols, Fortune Telling, Swearing, Cursing, Workaholism, Evolution, Rebellion, Independence, Anger, Intimidation, Violence, Abortion, Adultery, Sod

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 27:5

Proverbs 27:5 "Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed" This is an amazing proverb because it compares two different things and values open rebuke over concealed love. This is amazing. It will take some digging to understand how the thinking works here. The word love is the Hebrew word abaha. It is the word used in the second great commandment: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. It would fit this idea of love as meeting needs, pursuing, and pleasing. The word concealed is the word satar which means to hide or to conceal. This proverb is saying that an open rebuke is of more value than someone who has a desire to meet your need, pursue you, or praise you but never actually doe

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 26:5

Proverbs 26:5 "Answer a fool as his folly deserves, that he not be wise in his own eyes" This proverb is so powerful in its advice when dealing with someone who is right in the midst of being selfish. Some have seen this proverb as almost a contradiction to the immediately preceding proverb: Proverbs 26:4 "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him." But these are actually complementary discussions of how to deal with a person who is being selfish, rebellious, impulsive, egotistical, etc. Notice that verse 4 says do not answer a fool according to his folly or from inside his folly. Do not allow the conundrums and paradoxes that grow within the midst of selfish

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 25:5

Proverbs 25:5 "Take away the wicked before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness" This verse proves that environment does impact everyone – even the righteous leader. If you are constantly surrounded by those who live outside of God's moral boundary structures, then you will begin giving in to those wider moral boundary ideas. If, however, there are not people who are lying, stealing, coveting, committing adultery, and being physically violent with others around you, then you will not be influenced to excuse these kinds of things or participate in these things. When we are raising our children, this is why we should make sure that the environment that surrounds our ch

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 24:5

Proverbs 24:5 "A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power" The wise man cannot be tipped over through temptation or through greed. He is strong because his focus is upon helping those around him to win. The person who is temptable is weak. He can be easily knocked over. The person who can deny his own interests in the interest of God's glory and other’s blessings is indeed a strong person. and a man of knowledge increases power If one adds to this ability to deny self and look for the best for others and God – this ability that the proverb calls knowledge – then the level of personal power for the individual goes up incredibly. The idea of knowledge is information and skill

3 Relationships Your Kids Need You to Monitor

As a pastor and counselor, I get asked all the time, "What can I do for my kids to help them succeed?" The answer? Help them with their relationships! Success in life is summed up by the quality of our relationships as described in Matthew 22:37-39. Children may have slightly different relationships than adults, but the quality of them is equally important. This is Part 3 in this series on the 11 key relationships that will make or break your child. For Part 1, click 3 Relationships that Lay the Foundation for Your Child's Future. For Part 2, click 3 Influential Relationships Your Children Need Help With. It is these eleven areas that you as a parent must monitor, promote, and enlist. Today'

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 23:5

Proverbs 23:5 "When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens." This is an interesting and important proverb that suggests what we want money to do, it will not do. And we must use money for some other purpose. The LXX (Septuagint) version of this verse says, "If you place your vision or direction towards wealth, you will have no light in your life. For it equips itself with the wings of an eagle and turns back or flies out of the house of the one who sets it before them or makes it their goal." Money, wealth, and possessions are always on the move. You may want to hoard them, but they are moving through your life

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 22:5

Proverbs 22:5 "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it." There are two ideas that should be explored in this verse. One, that each child has a way that suits them – according to their way is how the original reads. Each child in your family has a pathway that is unique to them. They have been given certain gifts, talents, and abilities that direct them for God's glory in a specific direction. It is that direction that the parents must be sensitive to. God is counting on the parents to watch for the signs of an aptitude and gifting in a particular area. It is not okay to just send them down the path that you went down. What is their path? Two,

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 21:5

Proverbs 21:5 "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty." There are six key words in this passage: plans; diligent; advantage; everyone; hasty; poverty plans This is the Hebrew word machashebeth which is the idea of thinking and creating of new ideas. In this case it is translated as planning or the creating of a pathway for life that has not been accomplished yet. Now what is interesting is that this creative thinking about the future is being done by a particular kind of person: the diligent. Creative planning done by others will not be as productive. Creative planning done by the fool is problematic. Creative planning done by th

24 Lessons on Marriage

This past week, my wife, Jennifer, and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. That's 757,382,400 seconds, 12,623,040 minutes, 210,384 hours, 1,252 weeks or 8,766 days of being married to my best friend! I remember, Saturday, May 15, 1993 like it was yesterday! I remember my groomsmen gathering at Lyon's for breakfast! I remember my eyes tearing up as my beautiful bride Jennifer walked down the aisle. I remember stopping by Kaiser in Vallejo to get a prescription for birth control, before we hopped on a plane for Hawaii the next day. I remember watching the sunset as we ate our first meal as husband and wife at the Moss Beach Distillery. It was the beginning of a spectacular journey that

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 20:5

Proverbs 20:5 "A plan in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out." a plan in the heart of man is like deep water The word plan is the Hebrew word etsah meaning counsel, purpose, plan. This phrase could be understood in two ways based upon the meaning of that word. The NASB translates it as plan. If this is correct, then the verse means that when a man is planning his future or dreaming about what he would like to do, he keeps it hidden and it is deep in his soul. It is then the one with great understanding who brings it to the surface and gets the person talking about his dreams and plans and hopes; sometimes even shocking the person who has these dreams

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 19:5

Proverbs 19:5 "A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape." Everybody lies – it’s no big deal – is what many people think in our culture. This is not true. God, through Solomon, wants to point out the consequences of lying and breaking the 9th commandment. There are not enough reminders of the dangers of lying. witness The word witness is the Hebrew word ed. It comes from the root word which means to repeat, return, or do again. The idea seems to clearly have grown into the word of a firsthand witness to actual events that you repeat or verbally return to again. In the case of OT law, the witness to a capital crime had to be the first person throwing the st

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 18:5

Proverbs 18:5 "To show partiality to the wicked is not good, nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment." This seems so obvious as a statement. But there are numerous pressures that would make you want to violate this axiom in the midst of life. partiality This is the Hebrew word nasa and it opens the sentence in Hebrew for emphasis. It means to forgive or carry or bear the burden of. It has the idea that a favor is being done for this person. Thus the translation partiality. The idea is that one should not do special favors for wicked people. Solomon is saying that you and I will be tempted to do special favors for those who live beyond the boundaries of the Ten Commandments. It may be

3 Influential Relationships Your Children Need Help With

As a pastor and counselor, I get asked all the time, "What can I do for my kids to help them succeed?" The answer? Help them with their relationships! Success in life is summed up by the quality of our relationships as described in Matthew 22:37-39. Children may have slightly different relationships than adults, but the quality of them is equally important. This is Part 2 in this series on the 11 key relationships that will make or break your child. For Part 1, click 3 Relationships that Lay the Foundation for Your Child's Future. It is these eleven areas that you as a parent must monitor, promote, and enlist. Today's topic covers those relationships "outside the home" that need your guidanc

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 17:5

Proverbs 17:5 "He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished." The word mock means to deride, to ridicule, to treat with contempt. When we are arrogant and look down our noses about the station in life of others and somehow feel that because we are in a different station we are better, we are challenging and taunting God's wisdom. In the United States, we have embraced that idea that no one needs to remain poor, and, therefore, their financial condition is their own responsibility. While the idea of personal responsibility is a biblical idea and a needed theme in every culture, personal responsibility isn't the only reason, cause, and solution to

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 16:5

Proverbs 16:5 "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished" The proverb in the original Hebrew starts: Abominable to the Lord is the person who is proud in their heart. The emphasis is on how terrible this issue of pride is. We do not think of pride in our day as that big of a thing. In fact, in many cases we like the idea of pride and think it is good. The word pride is the Hebrew word gaboah which means high, exalted, superior, higher. The idea is that people see themselves and act in a way as to suggest that they are higher, better, or superior to another person. Our culture is full of this thinking: My errand is more important than y

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