Happy Canada Day, eh!


Good morning! I’d like to give you a quick update on a couple of writing projects that include a Canadian connection.

First, I’d invite you to download a copy of the Refresh Bible Study Magazine June 30, 2020 edition. Their “Canadian connection” is an article I wrote based on Proverbs 3:5-6. For those who followed May’s Proverb-a-Day challenge, you will see that I adapted the article for a mostly American audience; however, the principle of “The Line” is a transferable truth that is understood in all contexts. Download a free copy of the magazine, click here (Refresh Magazine June 2020).

 

Second, the hardcover launch of my newest project, The Return: A 9/11 Story, has been delayed until shipping restrictions during the Covid-19 crisis are lifted. The “Canadian connection” in this story is David “Mac” MacDonald, a man who fled New York on the morning of September 11, 2001. Mac needs to dodge the FBI and mob connections as he tries to connect with his partner’s daughter, Cassie MacDonald, a young twenty-two year old bank clerk. Cassie’s faith in a God who sees beyond the twists in the road offer a story that applies the truth of Proverbs 3:5-6 in a modern-day setting. This adult mystery/adventure novel is currently available as an e-Book on Amazon.

Living in a Covid-19 World #31


Behind  Every  Successful  Woman …

It is no secret that my wife, Rhonda, is an early riser. This hasn’t changed during our weeks of self-isolation and social distancing; it might even have become more accentuated. My family and I have benefited from her care and hard work.

We’ve all heard it said that “behind every successful man is a good woman,” but let’s invert the equation. It’s one thing to use Proverbs 31 as a measuring rod for the ‘ideal woman,’ but how often have I (as a man) stopped to think that about my role to ensure that my wife the freedom to be this kind of person.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

NOTE: This is the final post of the Proverb-a-Day challenge. I encourage readers to continue the habit of reading daily from the Bible. Maybe start with the Psalms and read a Psalm a day over the months of this summer. It’s a life-skill that will inspire, comfort and direct your life.

Living in a Covid-19 World #30


Godliness with Contentment

Give me neither poverty nor riches

(Proverbs 30:8b)

The context of Proverbs 30:8 is a request for contentment. Agur, a nebulous character who more than likely was an Assyrian Ruler, says: Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

The fame of Solomon reached to many nations, and Agur is more than likely one of many dignitaries that visited Jerusalem during his reign. The Queen of Sheba (modern day Ethiopia) also visited and marveled at the wisdom of Israel’s king. Solomon’s story of his dream (I Kings 3:1-15), was likely told to these visitors. For visiting rulers it was amazing to think that Solomon would ask for wisdom to rule, as opposed to long life, riches, or fame.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #29


Trapped

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

(Proverbs 29:25)

 

Did you ever go out to the woods as a kid and build a trap? It might have been the box with a string variety, or a noose in the middle of a path, or trip wire. You may have gone so far as digging a pit covered with a thin layer of twigs and grass. Thankfully my traps never produced much in the way of animals, but they did teach me a thing or two.

The best traps are the ones that you don’t see coming. They are veiled and hidden from plain sight, or placed in the blind spot of an intended victim. They often entice you with a morsel of something that invites you in for a look, and then catch you unaware from behind.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #28


 

You Gotta Pay the Fiddler

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

There’s a Texas saying that reminds us that actions have consequences. I can imagine an old, toothless cowboy saying this out of the side of his mouth: “If you wanna dance, you gotta pay the fiddler.”

We live in a world where people don’t think that their actions will catch up to them. This hasn’t changed in our Covid-19 World. We’ve heard politicians say one thing in public (“wear a mask,” “don’t travel to the cottage,” or “don’t gather in groups larger than five people”), and do something completely different. What’s worse, once caught in the act, their pictures are posted all over social media.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #27


Living with an Open Agenda

If there is a lesson I have learned through these last three months, it’s this: I can’t control the circumstances around me. My plans all changed with the travel bans, social distancing, and self-isolation. And no one asked me about it!

There are two extremes that seem to identify who we are in our approach to life.

First, there are the laissez-faire types with the motto: “Let go and let God.” Life happens to you and there’s not much you can do.”

Secondly, there are those who are planned and controlled, who reflect the mantra, “God helps those who help themselves.”

To read the rest of this post, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #26


Barn Swallows

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. (Proverbs 26:2)

One of the pleasures that self-isolation and the Covid-19 world has not taken away is the ability to go out and watch the birds, busy with all of their springtime activity. A wooded area close to our home is a catalogue of winged wildlife: Cardinals, Warblers, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, and Herons. It gives me an odd sense of comfort to know that the pandemic hasn’t stopped everything.

Two images came to my mind as I read this verse today: visiting my uncle’s farm and an Alfred Hitchcock movie called The Birds. These images remind me of the truth of this verse; a person of integrity does not need to fear undeserved accusations. Let me explain.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #25


You Know Who Your            Friends Are When …

Like a bad tooth or a lame foot, is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart. (Prv. 25:19)

The current circumstances have offered ample opportunity for people to show their true colors. Whether is has been a health issue, or financial strain, many people have fallen into hardship during these months of social distancing and the shutdown of our economy. It’s a time when many of us have seen who our true friends are; people who stick with us through the good times and the bad.

True friends show their worth when they come to our aid, or bring a word of encouragement that helps us focus on the One who meets our greatest needs. Solomon is quick to identify these people.

To read the rest of this devotional, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #24


When Trials Come

… for though a righteous man fall seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (Proverbs 24:16)

One of the mysteries of the Christian life is the way God draws near to us in times of trouble. As followers of Christ we are not promised that trials will never come, but rather that when they do come, that God walks with us. Read the lyrics of When Trials Come, a song by Keith & Kristyn Getty, by clicking on the link below. You can also go to a video of this powerful song as you ponder your situation, whether it be times of trial – for they surely will come – or in times of great rejoicing.

To read the rest of this posting, plus find the link to When Trials Come, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.

Living in a Covid-19 World #23


Do not get Drunk on Wine …

Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. (Prov. 23:31-33)

Solomon doesn’t mince his words in these verses. The bottom line is this: if you get caught in the trap of alcohol or drugs (or any other unhealthy addiction), you will pay for it in the end. It is a matter of control. The reports in the news confirm this in our current situation, as alcohol-induced household violence is on the rise.

But isn’t it interesting that the same word picture is used by Paul in the New Testament?

To read the rest of this posting, go to my LukeFiveTen blog.