Friday, January 30, 2015

How Beautiful

This Sunday the choir will be singing "How Beautiful" by Twila Paris. Here is the song with the lyrics.

Pressing Anger

Proverbs 30:32-33

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.

The surest mark of a fool is his boasting. He betrays his folly and his ego through exalting himself – exaggerating his deeds, putting himself above others, drawing attention to himself, delighting in the abasement of others. Such is folly and evil. The remedy for such boorish behavior is to stop speaking. It is better to be silent than to reveal one's foolishness; it is better to hold one's tongue than to use it to produce strife, which is the point of verse 33.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Noble

Proverbs 30:29-31

Three things are stately in their tread;
four are stately in their stride:
the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and does not turn back before any;
the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him.

They feel a sense of nobility who feel confident in their position. The lion, by virtue of his strength and size; the rooster who protects his hens; the he-goat who heads the rest of the flock; and the king who possesses might - each of these carry with them an air of nobleness which comes from their sense of confidence or security. And that noble bearing has the added effect of increasing their courage so that when a threat comes upon them, they will defend the den, territory, or home for which they are responsible.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Forgotten Cookies.

Gale Prince slipped in a cookie recipe onto the church website from Mary Ann Johnson. They are called Forgotten Cookies. I have not taste tested them, so eater beware. Check out the recipe at the website by clicking here. You will also see that Cathy Hoyle's chocolate bundt cake was added, as well, which was the first recipe I featured.

Small and Yet...

Proverbs 30:24-28

Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.

Observe nature and learn. We are quick to blame our failure to succeed on a defect that gives us decided disadvantage. "I am too small to go against big opponents." "I am not strong enough for the work." "I am not smart enough; I don't have the education needed."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Trembling Occasions

Proverbs 30:21-23

Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

In our modern democratic age, we might take issue with this proverb. Our stories of success are the very things held up here as troubling. We admire the slave who overcomes his circumstances to become king. We may not admire the fool, but at least appreciate the wit he uses to get his food. Is not the story of an unloved woman finding a husband who loves her romantic? And as for the maidservant, we think of the servant girl mistreated by the arrogant mistress who lives out a Cinderella story and displaces the mean mistress. Indeed, we regard all these instances as Cinderella stories.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hearing Scripture

In Sunday's sermon I mentioned that you could listen to Scripture narrated. Max McLean has recorded several versions of the Bible, including the NIV and the ESV that I preach from. Here is a sample. You can get more info at his website.

The Way

Proverbs 30:18-20

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of man with a virgin.
This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, "I have done no wrong."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Word's Dwelling Place

1/25/15            D. Marion Clark


As we move along in our passage of Colossians 3:12-17, we have so far learned what to wear, what to put on so that our clothing matches, and what to be ruled by. Verse 16 teaches us what should be dwelling inside us so that we can wear the right clothing and attain the rule of peace.

Ruled by Peace

1/18/15            D. Marion Clark


Uou are wearing the perfect outfit. Every part looks good; they all match; and they fit the occasion. Everything is fine as long as no one catches on to how you feel inside. Our verse takes us inside to the heart.


And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Life of an Executive Minister

Having been an Executive Minister in a large church, I am often asked what an Executive Minister actually does. Let me illustrate.

Dishonoring Parents

Proverbs 30:17

The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother
will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
and eaten by the vultures.

Disrespect of one's parents clearly is not a modern phenomenon. This is the second time in chapter 30 that the matter has been raised (see v 11). There is the tendency of youth and, perhaps more so, of adult children to denigrate their parents. Among youth, there is the natural tendency to assert independence, and that often comes through questioning one's parents. Nor is it unusual for youth to resist what they feel are restraints on their instincts for pleasure and acceptance among their peers.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Proverbs 30:15-16

The leech has two daughters;
“Give” and “Give,” they cry.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

We are given vivid imagery of the spirit which is never satisfied. The impression being made is that such a spirit feels a true hunger that cannot be satiated, not so much out of greed but out of an inability to receive or maintain nourishment. This is made clear in the last three examples - the barren womb (that feels the emptiness of being unable to bear a child), the barren land (which would be the common condition in the dry Middle-east), and fire (which ceases to exist the moment its fuel runs out). They crave to receive, like the leech and his family that must have "blood" to survive. And so Sheol is represented. No matter how many dead it receives, it has an unending appetite for more. Again, their problem is not being greedy, but being unable to benefit for long in what they receive.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rising Menace

What I would like to have seen the President address is the rising menace of bullying cats in America.

There Are Those

Proverbs 30:11-14

There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
There are those who are clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
There are those—how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
There are those whose teeth are swords,
whose fangs are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.

We are given four observations of probably one type of person or generation. It is of the arrogant whose pride and self-absorption lead to spite and self-deceit. They despise their parents (and others in rightful authority) whom they regard as fools. They regard themselves as being clean, i.e. without fault, while in truth they are most defiled. They look down upon everyone, whom they regard as lesser beings and fools. And they are especially severe with the poor and needy, whom they despise precisely because of their poor position.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Come to Jesus

I liked the song that the choir sang Sunday. I first heard at a funeral I presided over. The next Sunday a person showed up at church. He had been away from the Lord for many years, and that song brought him back. Here it is by the songwriter Chris Rice.

Moving Boxes

Tom Porter will have several moving boxes and paper left after unloading the ones from his Dad’s move. He will be happy to give them to anyone that may need them.

Welcome, Louie Porter, to Lake Oconee! We are delighted to have you in the area and to keep an eye on your son! 


Proverbs 30:10

Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you and you be held guilty.

This is a warning to us not to be quick to get someone in trouble. We can slander by fabricating a lie; we can slander by exaggerating a supposed offense; we can slander by accurately telling what happened without considering the circumstances. We can be quick to slander when we ourselves are in a bad mood and are unforgiving; we can be quick to slander if our pride has been wounded; and we can be quick to slander to cover up our own guilt.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bad Foot!

Don't you just hate it when your foot tries to steal your food?

Two Requests

Proverbs 30:7-9

Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

If you were given two wishes to be granted, would these be the two you would choose - to be kept from committing falsehood and to be given only what is needed so that you would not be tempted to sin?

Friday, January 16, 2015

To the Rescue

Every Word Is True

Proverbs 30:5-6

Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.

Every word proves true - every promise, every warning, every instruction. What we are commanded to do is to study every word in his Word. Because every word is true, we need to systematically study the scriptures, not skipping over the portions that seem uninteresting and with no application. Because every word is true, our one intent is to understand what the words are teaching. We are to let the words determine what we are to learn; for if we do not, we will become guilty of adding to his words.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Russell's Taco Chili

Here is the official award winning recipe from the master chef Russell Puppe.


2 lb. Ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 cans (16 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cans (16 oz.) plain pinto beans
1 can (11 oz.)  whole kernel corn (optional – adds color))
½ can (4 oz.)  mild green sliced chilies
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 packets Taco Seasoning
½ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional to taste level)
1 & ½ cups of water (I use to rinse cans)

Flunking Security Duty

This trainee flunked his mouse security course.

What Do We Know?

Proverbs 30:1-4

The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.
The man declares, I am weary, O God;
I am weary, O God, and worn out.
Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
I have not the understanding of a man.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Of Abomination and Abomination

Proverbs 29:27

An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

We understand the first line. The unjust, who deceive, scheme, cheat, steal, and murder - of course they are an abomination. A whole justice system is set up to punish them. And certainly the righteous, those who follow the moral, straight path, who believe in fair play and who are bent on doing what is good and right - surely they would be antagonistic against the wicked.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Re-New Men's Bible Study

Men, drop into the church tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 7:30 for coffee, donuts, fellowship, and farming instructions. Yes, you heard right. We will learn from Jesus what is needed for seed to grow into prosperous plants, as we study the first of many parables. The text will be Matthew 13:1-23.

Educators Unite!

Educators, come to the church tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10:00. I want to listen to your ideas about...anything! There will be no unmotivated or unruly students and no angry parents. All that is expected is lively conversation and wisdom from your years of experience in education.

The Face of the Ruler

Proverbs 29:26

Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.

We seek the help and favor of "rulers," those in position to see that we receive justice and favor, who will protect us from the wicked and the oppressor. We look for those who "have connections," who know those who can do something. Such connections can help and much depends on the favor of those in authority with means to help.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Boy and a Dog

Essential Dress Wear

Colossians 3:14                       Essential Dress Wear
1/11/15            D. Marion Clark


The school where I once served as a principal had not only a dress code but uniforms which all students must wear. And yet, though they all wore the same clothes, their clothes did not all look the same on the students. Neat students wore their uniforms neatly; slovenly students wore their uniforms slovenly. Something more was needed to make students look distinguished as the code was intended to do. They needed the right attitude.

Fear of Man

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

One would think that by fearing man, he could avoid the snares of man. But this proverb says that such fear actually lays a snare. How so? Isn't man dangerous? Does he not possess evil intention? It would seem prudent to have a healthy fear of those who can do harm.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Cursed Life

Proverbs 29:24

The partner of a thief hates his own life;
he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.

The curse is possibly a legal pronouncement made in general against unknown lawbreakers or against witnesses who will not reveal the truth. Here is a person who has joined up with a thief as an accomplice of some kind. Either he has helped to commit the crime or knows about the crime. In either case, he keeps silent, allowing the criminal to go unpunished and the crime to be unresolved, even after a curse is invoked.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

High and Low

Proverbs 29:23

One's pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

The person of pride seeks to be exalted. He desires honor. He wants to be on top. That very desire which spurs him on is what will bring him low. The more we seek to exalt ourselves, the more likely we will be humbled.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Man of Wrath

Proverbs 29:22

A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.

Anger is a particularly difficult vice to have because of its impact on others. People may laugh at or sympathize with a person struggling with various vices and sins, but they are offended by anger. In anger a person will lash out at others; he will say hurtful words or even physically strike. In anger he will scheme against others. In anger he will seek vengeance; he will intentionally stir up strife.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fair Play

Proverbs 29:21

Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
will in the end find him his heir.

The final word of this proverb is difficult to translate. But the common understanding of all translators is that the pampering of a servant leads that servant to become spoiled. Instead of growing in devotion to his master, he becomes insolent. Indeed, the roles become reversed; the servant expects special treatment from the master. This is especially true if there are other servants who are not pampered. But then, there is the opposite problem of masters who are harsh with their servants, who in the end find such servants to be rebellious and surly.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hasty in Speech

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

This is a harsh indictment against a person "hasty in his words," considering the low opinion the proverbs have for the fool. What is it that is so terrible about such a person?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Necessary Discipline

Proverbs 29:19

By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
for though he understands, he will not respond.

There are those with a slave mentality who take opportunity to slouch on the job and steal from their employers and fellow workers. Such persons do not respond to instruction nor to reasoning. Rebuking them has no effect. Their problem is not a lack of understanding nor the need for more training. Their problem is that they are lazy and self-serving. Then, to defend their behavior, they complain about too hard of work given, bad conditions, and unfair treatment. Teachers see this in certain students, as well.

Church Dress Code

Colossians 3:12-13                  Church Dress Code
1/4/14              D. Marion Clark


One of the many things I like about my wife is that she simplifies my life. Each day, when I go to my closet, I find the set of clothes that I will be wearing that day. Isn’t that great? I know that I will wear clothes that match and that are appropriate for the occasion scheduled. All I need to do is put the clothes on. We are beginning a five-part series through Colossians 3:12-17 that is about wearing the right clothes.