INTRO.- Quips, quotes and notes.
- Before deciding to retire from your job, stay home a week and watch daytime television.
- Science has increased our life span. We can look forward to paying our taxes at least ten years longer.
- No matter what your lot in life, build something on it.
- It’s hard to get a child to pay attention to you, especially when you’re telling him something for his own good.
- Personality is what you are when lots of people are around. Character is what you are when everybody goes home.
- The truth hurts – especially on the bathroom scales.
- A timid man said to his wife, “We’re going out tonight and that’s semi-final.”
- They are called “personal loans” because if you miss a payment they sure do get personal.
- Gasoline prices are so very high! A man in California recently drove into a service station and asked for a dollar’s worth of gas. The attendant dabbed a few drops behind his ears.
- All husbands are just about alike, but they have different faces so you can tell them apart.
- Nothing beats love at first sight except love with insight.
- If exercise is so good for you, why do athletes retire at about the age of thirty-five?
- The way prices and taxes are soaring, the good old days were just last week.
- The biggest need in auto safety is to recall a few million defective drivers.
- People are guided to heaven more by footprints than by signposts.
- A botanist is a man who knows all about flowers. A florist is a man who knows how much people will pay for them.
- People with an axe to grind often fly off the handle.
- Adolescence is the awkward age when a child is too old to say something cute and too young to say something sensible.
- An ingrate is neither in nor great.
- A politician is a man who gets sworn in and then cussed out.
- It’s a great deal easier to make a mistake than to unmake one.
- A person isn’t educated until he has learned how little he really knows.
- No matter how limited your vocabulary is, it’s big enough to let you say something you’ll regret later.
- You’re getting older when all sports leave you tired – including just reading about them.
- Well-bred people never stir their coffee with their right hand. They use a spoon.
- You can’t lose your head without losing your face.
- A small gift will do – if your heart is big enough.
- Middle age, to our dismay, is when we are done before the day is.
- People with tact have less to retract.
- In some cases, youngsters have been given too much, too soon, and now it’s too late.
- The happiest miser on earth is one who saves his friends.
- A hothead seldom sets the world on fire.
- Many convictions are usually hand-me-downs.
- Bragging is delivering a YOU logy.
- Frustration is not having anyone to blame but yourself.
- When your outgo exceeds your income, then your unkeep will become your downfall.
- When God made heads, he covered up the ones he didn’t like.
- The best side of a bar is outside.
Now the book of Proverbs.
15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS IN LIFE? Did they fail or succeed?
ILL.- Rick Warren is both the author of the book, THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, and the pastor/preacher of the large Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. They normally run somewhere around 18,000 in their six services on Saturday and Sunday. This past Easter they had 39,000 attend their services. Rick recently told about a vacation that his family took. Listen.
“I remember a few years ago - in one of my wife’s weaker moments - I convinced her to go on a vacation without any planning. ‘Let’s just put the kids in the car and head off!’ She looked at me and asked, ‘Where are we going to go?’ I told her I didn’t know, but we’d find out together. It would be an adventure. We’d just jump in the car and head off on a vacation. She said, ‘Why in the world would you want to do that?’ I said, ‘Because my entire life is planned. As a pastor, almost every minute of my day is planned. I need a vacation from planning. I need to just do something that’s totally unplanned.’
“It sounded like a logical idea. Actually, it sounded like a really good idea! We put the kids in our van, and we headed out across the desert having no idea at all where we were going. Kay refers to this as our pinball vacation.
“The first night we arrived in Durango, Colorado, and slept in the car because there were no motels open in the whole city. Every single hotel and motel were filled. So we slept in the car.
“The second night we got to Denver, Colorado, and found that there wasn’t a single motel room open in Denver. How was I to know the annual rodeo was in town? Every room in the entire city of Denver had been booked for weeks and weeks. So we slept in the car again.
“The third night we found ourselves in the No Tell Roach Motel in Dumptyville, Utah. This place was run by a gas station. The motel rooms were trailers. Really! They were actual, battered, beaten-down trailers. The one we got had a screen door on it that was hanging on one hinge with the screen punched out so mosquitoes could come through. There were little roaches crawling across the ceiling. We decided to get back in the car.
“It went like this until the last night on our last stop toward home. I can remember sitting in Las Vegas in a loud, smoky lounge at one in the morning waiting for someone to check out so we could get in a room. Was that a fun vacation?!”
Brothers and sisters, Rick Warren’s family vacation wasn’t very inviting, was it? Was it because of a lack of planning? Sounds like it. Some unplanned vacations may be fine, but his wasn’t.
The same thing applies to other things we do in life. Getting married, for example. Many young couples often get married with very little planning at all. Many don’t plan their wedding very well or for their life after the wedding.
ILL.- I have counseled with many young couples who wanted me to perform their wedding. I cover four basic areas, which could make or break their marriage: common interests (family included), money, sex, and religion. And it’s amazing how little they know or have planned for.
In regard to money, I ask them a series of questions: Will you both work? Who will carry the checkbook? Who is going to pay the bills? How will you decide about buying things? Who will purchase what? Will you talk about these purchases before or after the blowup?
Handling money in the marriage can be a big problem if a couple doesn’t plan ahead.
I have also found that couples seldom plan religiously. They often never think about putting Christ or His church in their marriage. Most couples just want a preacher to perform their wedding and then please, get out of the way!
Of course, I urge every couple to get involved in the church and try to put Christ in their marriage, but this doesn’t happen without some planning.
ILL.- We had a couple in our church in Southern Illinois who came from completely different backgrounds. The husband was an only child of a Catholic family. His wife was one of several children in a Baptist family. Baptists and Catholics don’t often mix well. Sometimes marriages like that one can come to a great explosion. But this couple persevered and apparently, loved one another enough that they worked it out. After their children were born they decided they needed to get together on their Christian faith and ended up in the Christian Church. The husband eventually was baptized into Christ and grew in his faith where he even became a SS teacher, a deacon and then an elder. His wife was also quite involved in teaching and with music.
They didn’t plan well in the beginning, but they worked it out. Good planning makes a difference in selecting a mate and how the marriage is going to work in the future.
Many people don’t plan well when it comes to their life’s work. They often just fall into certain jobs and stay with them the rest of their lives.
ILL.- I’ve been preaching 38 years, but I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. At my age, I better have decided!
Sometimes our planning doesn’t work. We go to college to become whatever and end up doing something entirely different. But overall, good planning makes a difference.
Many people don’t plan for their financial future and I understand why. It’s not easy!
ILL.- Back in 1960 when I was making less than a dollar an hour I could save money, but in the last 30 years I haven’t been able to. I look around and see people driving $30,000 to $40,000 dollar automobiles and wonder how they do it.
Good planning in anything makes a difference! Plans also fail for lack of counsel. None of us are smart enough to figure out everything by ourselves: finances, work, you name it.
ILL.- Don DeWelt was one of my favorite professors at Ozark Christian College. He was a great preacher and one of the most spiritual-minded men I knew, but when it came to buying cars, he knew nothing. I remember one time when he went to look at a used car and all he wanted to know was how much his monthly payment was going to be. He knew nothing about cars as far as what was a good car or a good bargain.
Plans fail for lack of counsel. Good counseling in life helps. Where do we get it? Hopefully, we start with mom and dad. All parents need to counsel their children as much as possible about life: money, dating, work, sex, Christianity, etc.
We also need good counseling from Christian friends, ministers, elders, etc. We need to help one another when asked. I am not for going around dishing out advice, other than preaching. But when people ask for advice, if we can help then we should.
All of us have insight or wisdom in certain areas that needs to be shared with others. If it’s an electrical need or problem, I’ll call Jim Reed. If it’s a plumbing problem, I’ll call Roger McMillan. If it’s a car problem, I’ll call Paul McKnight. But if anything is a problem, don’t call me! Lol.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
15:23 “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply and how good is a timely word.”
Joy. Sound good? It is good! Everyone wants to find some joy and/or happiness in life. Where is it to be found?
The text reads: A man finds joy in giving. We need to stop right there and consider the importance of giving in order to find joy. JOY COMES TO US WHEN WE GIVE. When we give anything: time, attention, affection, money, help, service, good replies, etc.
ILL.- Years ago, the Salvation Army was holding an international convention and their founder, Gen. William Booth, could not attend because of illness. He cabled his convention message to them. It was one word: "OTHERS."
God puts us here to serve others. We are very good about taking care of ourselves, watching out for ourselves, but God wants to serve one another in love. He wants us to bear the burdens of one another. And when we do these things joy will come into our lives.
It is more blessed to give than it is to receive. Who said those words? Where? Acts 20:35. We are blessed with joy in our giving to others.
ILL.- This lesson was made even stronger to me whenever I visited my mother in the nursing home in Joplin, MO. Occasionally, I would have opportunities to do some things for the residents and every time I did it brought joy to my heart.
Sometimes it was just simple stuff like visiting with them, giving a hug here and there, offering to help with their meals, etc. I remember one time even calling BINGO for them. I enjoyed doing that for them and I think they enjoyed it too.
Another time I went to many of residents and asked their opinion as to what they thought was the most important thing about church. They seemed delighted that I would value their opinion. WHEN WE GIVE, WE RECEIVE.
ILL.- One thing that made me very happy was when I could make mom happy. Eating was one of her favorite things so I would bring certain foods to her or take her out to eat if she felt like going. I often got her McDonald’s pancakes for breakfast, which she loved. She also liked Wendy’s baked potatoes with a frosty for lunch.
I took her to Pizza Inn one time because she wanted pizza. She thoroughly enjoyed it. On Wednesday morning before she left this world on Sunday, she had been talking about wanting to go to Doud’s Catfish restaurant in Neosho, MO, some 20 miles from Joplin. She said, “I would like to go there again on my next birthday.” I said, “Why don’t we go today?” And am I ever glad we did. She thoroughly enjoyed that catfish meal and everything that went with it. And it was really hard to get mom in and out of the car and into that restaurant and back out. BUT IT WAS WORTH EVERY OUNCE OF EFFORT TO SEE MOM ENJOY THAT MEAL! And it brought great joy to my heart to do it!
We receive joy in giving. Joy also comes in giving an apt answer or reply to people. What are we talking about? A quick comeback? Could be. A caustic or cutting remark? No. A cute remark? Could be. A comedic response? Perhaps. How about a kind remark or reply? Definitely, yes!
ILL.- At our last church cleaning Lorerinda Budd showed up late. We had already cleaned the entire building and she kept asking if there was something she could do. And several of us men kept saying to Lorerinda, “We’re glad you came to help clean the building. Nice of you to help, etc.”
She laughed, but if she hadn’t, we’d been in trouble. She got us back anyway. After the meal was over, she was one of the first to start cleaning the tables, picking up, and throwing away trash. WE COULDN’T SAY ANYTHING THEN. She just looked at us and smiled.
Actually, by teasing Lorerinda we were producing some joy. Joy in us and joy in her. Her smile spoke to us. Her laughter spoke. Of course, we’re not sure what she was thinking. BUT, SHE WAS SMILING AND LAUGHING.
ILL.- Someone said, “Laughter is saying, ‘I’m O.K.—You’re O.K.’ It’s a way we can accept what we can’t change. Laughter can be the driving force to make life alive again.”
ILL.- A suave North American diplomat was a great storyteller. On a visit to central Africa, he related a lengthy anecdote. His interpreter turned to the natives, said only four words, and everyone laughed heartily. “How,” asked the diplomat, “could you tell the story so quickly?” “Story too long,” the interpreter replied, “so I say, ‘He tell joke. Laugh.’ ” So when I tell joke, please laugh! lol
A good tease is a good joy-maker, most of the time. It’s fun to bring laughter to a person’s heart and face. When we give joy, we get joy.
“A man finds joy in giving an apt reply and how good is a timely word.”
We all need to think about giving apt replies and timely words. This means that most of the time we have to think before we speak. Let’s all strive hard to speak words and give replies that bring joy into the people’s lives. By doing this we will bring it into our own lives.
ILL.- During WWII General McArthur asked an engineer how long it would take to build a bridge across a certain river. "About three days." The engineer was told to go ahead and draw up the plans. Three days later McArthur asked for the plans. The engineer seemed surprised. "Oh, the bridge is ready. You can cross it now. If you want plans, you’ll have to wait a little longer, we haven’t finished those yet."
Some things require planning and some things just require doing. Some things require very little planning. A trip, a vacation and a life require some planning. Our speaking often flows without much thought or planning.
May God help us to plan properly no matter what we do in life or what we say with the idea of bringing joy into people’s lives.