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unravelingofworld(For those interested, here’s an excellent secular article from a British scholar)


















They fouled the air, they fouled the beauty, and they changed our world. In the sixties and seventies, we would gather their slimy bodies, staring at us with their glassy eyes, and carry buckets of them to pits the men had dug to bury them. What happened? Man had upset the ecological balance. There are different theories, but all have to do with upsetting God’s natural ecological balance. Sea Lampreys, who are native to the Atlantic Ocean, not the Great Lakes, entered the Great Lakes through man-made locks and shipping canals. The Sea Lampreys preyed on Lake Trout, which are the natural predator to the alewives. Man also over-fished the Lake Trout, ignoring fishing restrictions. More stocking of Lake Trout and stricter enforcement of fishing restrictions has stopped the plague, though we can still have an occasional horrible day of dead alewives floating in.

God has told us to care for the earth, and when we don’t, there are grave consequences. Likewise God gave instructions for the family, which He designed. Many of those instructions can be found here in Proverbs. When we ignore them, it is not just we who suffer, but the whole of society, in ways we cannot even imagine. Who would have thought that letting in the Sea Lamprey or going over your limit in Lake Trout would lead to so much death and defilement?

God told us this unraveling would happen in the last days, but we can live differently in our families. Jesus told us:

lightoftheworld Sunday Icebreaker:

1. What stands out to you from the above and why?

Monday-Wednesday Bible Study

Pvbs 23-22

2. What does Proverbs 23:22 tell us to do? In your life, right now, how would you apply this? What idols might stand in your way of doing this, and how could you over come them? How can gazing at the gospel help you?

3. This is related to the 5th commandment that comes with a promise. According to Deuteronomy 5:16, what is the promise?

4. In the sermon by Keller this week, he has an interesting take on the above. He doesn’t think the promise is that you will have long life, but rather, that it may go well with you in the land you are being given, for you, and for future generations. In others words, when we don’t honor our parents, the family begins to unravel, and then the society unravels, and life becomes cursed. Agree or disagree and why? 

5. Read Proverbs 21 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.

6. Read Proverbs 21:9, 19 and 27:15.

A. Use the word pictures to help you explain how nagging affects a husband.

B. How does it show a lack of respect?

C. What is the difference between submitting a request and nagging?

D. What idol do you think is at the root of nagging and how could you replace it? What do you have to believe about God in order to not nag?

7. Read Proverbs 22 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.

8. Jay Adams translates Proverbs 22:6 as “Allow a child to have his own way and when he is old he will still want his own way.” That’s the opposite side of the same truth. Discipine bad behavior and see good fruit — neglect bad behavior and see bad fruit.There are plenty of other proverbs and verses that warn parents to discipline and train their children such as Proverbs 13:14; 23:13-14; Ephesians 6:4) Given all this, how would you summarize a parent’s calling?

Optional Activity:

When I was a young mother I listened to sermons that helped me set and keep boundaries with children. I don’t have those sermons, but I recommend both Paul Tripp’s curriculum for parents, and also Alistair Begg’s sermons on The Gospel Coalition on this. For those interested (completely optional — I realize this may not be relevant to many) here is the link — and they are free.

Training Your Children Well, Part One

Training Your Children Well, Part Two

 Thursday-Friday Sermon (Not Free, But Excellent)

The Freedom of Authority

9. What notes or comments do you have in regard to any of the above sermons?


10. What is your take-a-way and why?

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  1. 6. Read Proverbs 21:9, 19 and 27:15.
    A. Use the word pictures to help you explain how nagging affects a husband.
    I can’t get away from the ‘dripping faucet’ picture. That is one of my pet peeves-I have to shut it off. 🙂 But this implies the dripping faucet that won’t shut off or the quarrelsome woman who is by nature quarrelsome, so she does it continuously. Her husband can’t find relief from it so it is better to live on the corner of a roof, or in a desert-just not living with her.
    B. How does it show a lack of respect?
    It shows she doesn’t trust his opinion, his leadership, his protection, provision, etc..
    C. What is the difference between submitting a request and nagging?
    Submitting a request is letting your husband know what is bothering you-what concerns you, and then leaving it there.
    D. What idol do you think is at the root of nagging and how could you replace it? What do you have to believe about God in order to not nag?
    Definitely control. Look to the Gospel-Jesus gave up control to God. A beautiful picture came to mind when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane and cried out to God-talk about anguish and being scared. He was fretting but after voicing his concern he left it with God and trusted His control.
    I have to believe that God is in control for He is, but I can forget when something happens! It is REAL hard to judge others, especially in this, when honestly, daily, I look at myself and see how many times I stumbled, fretting for a minute when something happens out of the blue. What helps is later on in the day if I notice nervousness or anxiety I dig deep and ask questions, it always seems to come back to, “who are you trusting in? For approval, for comfort, for control?” I see over and over the answers are, “my boss, my co-workers, myself, etc.” Then what helps is I remember what is real-GOD is in control-and more often than not He brings scripture to mind to soothe and speak to my soul to lead me to resting in Him.

    1. “who are you trusting in?”A wise person once said to me it all comes down to this question. 

  2. Transitioning back to full-time this week; the academic year begins September 2 for our campus.  I am behind on comments…plan to catch up this afternoon/tonight.  A warm welcome to the new ladies joining us this week! 
    6A. Use the word pictures to help you explain how nagging affects a husband.
    Nagging is tiresome and irritating, the nagger becomes a nuisance.  Being nagged does not encourage one to take action, it causes one to stop listening and to disengage from the nagger.  

    B. How does it show a lack of respect?
    It shows a lack of respect in that the person being nagged is seen more in the role of a child than a peer.  The person nagging may not fully understand why the person being nagged is acting or not acting, and the nagger forges ahead with a desire for their way with little or no regard for the other.  There is a self-focus and lack of consideration and respect for the other when nagging.
    C. What is the difference between submitting a request and nagging?
    Submitting a request is asking…asking once, maybe issuing a reminder, but the reminder is not in a manner that is derogatory, but truly reminding.  I know that sometimes my memory fails me and it is helpful when given a reminder, but the motivation of the reminder is important; in my mind the motivation of the reminder is what differs it from nagging.  Nagging is asking, re-asking, demanding, re-demanding, insisting, re-insisting…on and on and on…it is tiresome just thinking about it.  

  3. I’m having quite a difficult time keeping up and posting this week – as some of my clients cram in last minute summer getaways, the dogs they leave behind with me are overflowing my life…..and then some!  Phew!  🙂  SO thankful that I LOVE what I do!!!  
    2.  What does Proverbs 23:22 tell us to do?  In your life, right now, how would you apply this?  What idols might stand in your way of doing this and how could you overcome them?  How can gazing at the gospel help you?  
    Since I’m limited by time this week in the questions I can post a response to, this would seem a strange choice to make for a response – as both of my parents have long been with the Lord.  However, it’s been rolling around in my heart all week long so all I can think to do is write of my love and respect for my parents.  I set aside a bit of time and wrote of this in my journal where I talk to the Lord about His Word and the people in my life and so much more!  And yes, I guess our parents are always with us and in us, in a sense.  
    One year for Christmas I asked my parents to write me a journal of “a year on the farm” for the next Christmas (1987).  I was flabbergasted to receive their gift and see how far they had taken that idea!  They both had written – in quite some detail – the “story of their lives”.  This remains my most cherished gift, bar none.  When people talk about what they would grab in a house fire, THIS would be it for me.  They wrote one for my brother and one for me – each personalized and so precious.  The stories of their childhoods, relatives, first meeting one another, their courtship…..some of their deep struggles are recorded as well.  And then – Christ – how He CHANGED their stories!  Their love for Him and His Word and His people.  The new and deep friendships in Him…the burning passion to see family and friends in relationship with Jesus….so rich.  
    In God’s Providence, that Christmas was the last one that my mom shared with us on earth – she died the following December 18th.  When I lay this journal, written so lovingly and laboriously in my parent’s handwriting, into the light of the Scriptures, I see HIS STORY shining through.  And I long for my children to see HIS STORY in my own life…looking oh-so-different than my parents’ lives….but with the same theme:  “To me, to live is Christ…”  .  Though the physical, tangible honoring of my parents in their elderly years is not a part of God’s story for my life, I DO savor the life they lived and shared with me….and I honor them in my heart and still often thank God for them in my prayers.  🙂  
    Thanks Dee, for the opportunity to reflect on my parents’ lives this week!  
    And to those of you who are honoring your parents in the trenches of some VERY difficult journeys…..my prayer for you is that, as you pour out your lives for your parents, you will be knowing that you are pouring out your lives for Christ in that.  

    1. Oh, Jackie……….. tears.    I’ve not been participating much in the blog either due to circumstances with my dad.   He was admitted to the hospital yesterday as he continues to weaken dramatically and the swirling confusion of alzheimers takes its toll.    I am not courageous, but Jesus is courageous in me and he is most assuredly helping us walk through this with our dad.    I am learning to release dad to God’s care, which is a big thing for someone who has a control idol.    

      1. Nila–been praying for you and your family with your dad–so sorry

      2. Nila, praying for you..it stings to hear of this..so sorry.

      3. Nila praying for you. Lord thank you You are Nila’s courage in this. Thank you Lord you bring peace in the storms of life. Lord bring peace to Nila’s father calm his fears and confusion. Help him right where he is at. Help the staff to be compassionate in their care for him. Let them see beyond what they see. I pray the peace of God be in that room. Help Nila to rest in You. In Jesus Name Amen. 

    2. what an incredible gift from your parents Jackie! I actually asked for something similar years ago–but haven’t gotten it..yet! 😉

    3. This is beautiful, Jackie…thank you for sharing this precious memory.  What a treasure you have with your parents’ journal. 
      Never fear dear sister, you are a light that shines brightly in the darkness of this world.

    4. Oh Jackie,what a precious gift! I had chills, I am so glad you asked and that your parents so thoughtfully followed through in answering. It is inspiring!

    5. Jackie, your request to your parents to write you a journal of a year on the farm and their wonderful response to you is truly amazing and such a beautiful legacy for generations to follow.
      Thank you for sharing about this. It is inspiring me to get back to my goal of writing stories for my children that was started and put on hold.

    6. I also loved hearing about this wonderful gift.   And that you asked for a year’s journal.  That was the grabber for me as  I’m sure it really blessed your parents to know that you wanted that documentation of their life and work.  And they honored you with such a treasure.  And what a legacy to leave your own children: of their grandparents…and I know you do so much journaling of your own.  
      My mom surprised my siblings and I one Christmas when she was in her 60’s, with stories of her childhood and youth and reprinted photographs of all of the significant family members that she grew up with.  I cherish that so much.  And it has helped me many times in figuring out how we are related to someone.  The year my mom passed away, my youngest was in 6th grade and had an assignment to create a family tree.  I was SO grateful for mom’s work as I was able to help her, not just with names but with photos.  
      Like Shirley, I am inspired to write more of my own stories!  I did make binders for each child one year, with a copy of all of the Christmas letters I’ve written since they were born.  I’m trying to add photos of every Christmas to it now.  I have some personal statements of faith in those letters, so it helps me to know that things like that will still be able to speak once my own voice is gone.  

    7. Love this post Jackie! What an awesome gift to you from your parents! As you said, what history!
      I sat with my mom and had her tell me things about her family the year before she passed. I didn’t know them well. I put the info on my phone as a note and interesingly enough, my son chose a school south of Pittsburgh where she grew up! She never took us to Pittsburgh; I’m not sure why. I don’t know any of the family there, but plan to try to make connections as the next 4 years progress. 
      Another thing I did instead of keeping baby books, was to write a journal of my children’s lives. I wasn’t always so great everyday, but I did try to write as often as I could.

    8. Jackie, This post is wonderful and warming-you just honored your parents before us-yes, it is honoring Christ!

    9. Jackie what a treasure you have!

    10. Jackie, thanks for sharing this with us! What a treasure of a gift from your parents.

  4. D. What idol do you think is at the root of nagging and how could you replace it? What do you have to believe about God in order to not nag?
    For me, it’s a mix of control and comfort—and at the root of both is fear. When I want things done at a certain time or way (and nag), I’m afraid that if things don’t go the way I propose (control), there will be chaos (threat to my comfort). That’s why “fretful” in 21:19 (ESV) felt in bold print as I read it. I see two things in that word. Fear—not believing, leads me to nag. My husband is forgetful and a procrastinator, so I can’t just say I trust him to get it done when I’ve made one request. But I CAN trust God to take care of it, I can trust the Holy Spirit to remind my husband! and even the “fall out” if “it” doesn’t get done when and how I think it should be…the chaos I so fear—I can trust that to Him as well and know He will take care of us. Sometimes, I’ve said ‘I don’t want to be a drippy faucet—but how would you like me to remind you to do—“, and the respect factor allows him to be humble and usually he’ll tell me to remind him. 
    But “fretful” here also helped me see another form of nagging. It’s not just telling him 100x to do something–the worries I bring up over and over and they are problems he is not equip to solve…those are the faucet leaks I need to turn off and surrender to Christ alone. 

    1. Lizzy, I love how you referred to nagging as a ‘faucet leak’..that is what it is. 🙂 I still can’t picture you doing that but you probably couldn’t picture me doing it either-or maybe you can-lol. But I do, just like you. :/ My nagging is mostly toward my boys and stems from my control and approval idol-fear of what my guests will think of my messy home. It stems from fear and idolatry-you are SO spot on.

  5. 5. Read Proverbs 21 and share anything that quickens you.
    Verse 23: He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
    I love this reminder and it fits right in with the subject of nagging. I believe I have grown away from that despicable trait… It is so annoying like a dripping faucet. Yet I always need wisdom to speak gently and to listen carefully.  My biggest problem is that I can sometimes come out with a tone of voice that irritates. It may not be intentional, but when I want my husband to understand or see how important something is to me, I get that “tone” that he doesn’t like….
    I talked to him about this verse 9 and he stated if a spouse is quarrelsome it is definitely difficult to live together, whether it is husband or wife. We have observed this behavior in others and it is so uncomfortable to be around. It shows lack of respect and may be expressed through sarcasm.
    I like the term submitting a request, and then trusting that God would lead and give wisdom. Recently my husband replaced a light switch in the bathroom that had not worked for quite a while. It was a delightful surprise. He said it was a worry to him, because of the danger of working with live wires. And that is exactly why I did not complain, yet when he had plenty of time, he could approach it in a careful manner.
    7. Read Proverbs 22 and share a verse that quickens you. Verse 9, A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.
    Proverbs has much to say about the poor and our responsibility. It does remind me that God desires for us to care for the poor. He has been so generous with us, and I definitely want to honor him in reciprocating as the need is great.

  6. 7. Read Proverbs 22 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.
    “3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.”
    This verse has remained in my mind. When I read it I thought of ‘Rock of Ages cleft for me let me hid myself in thee’ and all the references in scripture of our hiding in Christ, here are a few:

    Psalms 32:7
    “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.”
    Psalms 17:8
    “Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings”
    Psalms 64:2
    “Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity”

    Colossians 3:3 “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”

    Psalms 61:3
    “For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy”
    Pondering this has been helpful. My natural tendency when I read these types of verses is to think of physical danger, or some sort of danger from without. But the danger I most often face is internal. Temptation…my thought life and all the myriad ways I seek to put myself first.
    When I see danger and recognize my weakness when I am tempted to my idols of approval or comfort, I can choose to be simple and go on to them which will lead to suffering, or I can hide myself in Christ, ask Him to rescue me, to believe all He has promised, He has promised to be my strong tower a refuge against the enemy.  My REAL life, my true self, is hid with Christ in God!



  8. 2. I find that now that Im not so busy with little children I can spend more time with my mom. I make a point to text her more and to carve out time for her. I think this is the best way I  can honor her right now. I was convicted that I would make time to serve in my comunity before I would make time for my parents. my husband is an introvert and hates to go visiting very much so I have a hard time honoring both some times. I think I just took my parents for granted and when I had kids that moved out I realized just how important it was to my parents to see me, they never really said anything so I didnt know!

    7. Read Proverbs 22 in its entirety and share anything that quickens you.
    “The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭22:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    He loves all of us, even the unlovable.

  10. Happy Birthday Dee!!

  11. 8. Given all this, how would you summarize a parent’s calling?
    I struggled with discipling my children and I pay for it regularly. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, but I definitely could have used help. I didn’t spank unless they were in some sort of danger. I used “time outs.” I don’t think that works based on my experience. I think being firm is best, and kind….that is a tough mixture. Letting kids discover on their own is probably what I should have done more when they were little; within reason. I would have lowered my voice and saved the “mommy” voice for important times. Hind sight is twenty twenty. I think you can do the best job possible but if your kids choose to hang around the wrong people as they grow older, they are influenced by those friends more so than your teaching. I can only hope later in life they come back to their roots, as I have.
    A parents calling is ultimately to teach their children about Jesus. I tried to do that because I took my kids to church beginning when they were very little. We attended and still do, although each of them dropped off as teens. That’s where the trouble is. I don’t know how to draw teens to church. I know that we moved when two of my kids were 12-13 years old. That meant they lost their church family during a crucial time in their lives. They are 23, 25, and 18 (the three that moved) and have not yet made it back to church. I also had a 10 year stint where I left church in my twenties. I suppose it might be common? I am back so maybe they will be as well.

  12. 8. Jay Adams translates Proverbs 22:6 as “Allow a child to have his own way and when he is old he will still want his own way.” That’s the opposite side of the same truth. Discipline bad behavior and see good fruit — neglect bad behavior and see bad fruit. There are plenty of other proverbs and verses that warn parents to discipline and train their children such as Proverbs 13:14; 23:13-14; Ephesians 6:4) Given all this, how would you summarize a parent’s calling?
    Parents’ calling is for the teaching and instruction of children. All instructions should be rooted in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord. We are called to raise our children according to God’s precepts. But what of us who have struggled with this calling? Those of us with regrets and if only’s? Thanks be to Him who never gives up on us. As long as I have breath, I can try again. Although the author here was talking more about living a satisfied life as a person, I thought this was relevant to my last 4 sentences:We will have things and times and decisions we will regret over the course of our lives. The key to really living, to living unregrettably, is not to have no regrets, it’s to know and choose to begin again. It’s to be fully awake to our decisions. It’s to choose the direction of our lives the best that we can, with who we are and where we are – See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/how-to-live-a-satisfied-life/#sthash.KniW5cdb.dpuf