“Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.”
~ Proverbs 19:18


Hi James and Ellen,

Would you rather be foolish or poor? Would you rather spend time with moochers or friends? Would you rather receive favors from important guys or give favors to shunned guys? Would you rather claim being wise or pursue knowledge? Would you rather use anger or practice patience? Would you rather have a henpecking ma or a prudent ma? Would you rather be lazy or have food on the table? Would you rather be pampered or disciplined? Would you rather be lied to or loved? Would you rather rob your dad or listen to your dad’s instructions? Would you rather live your lives your way or fear God and live your lives His way? The Proverbs Book author – in Proverbs 19, speaks to the issues of being foolish, having moochers for acquaintances, currying favors from important guys, acting like you are smarter than what you are, getting angry, being lazy, escaping discipline, having to do everything your way, lying, robbing and not fearing God. The Proverbs Books author speaks to real life issues from his own personal life experiences. The vast majority of the proverbs that are found in the Proverbs Book are accredited to Solomon. Solomon’s life while he was a young kid was conditioned by all the exorbitance that was around him. After Solomon asked God for wisdom – after God told Solomon that He would grant him whatever He asked for, Solomon’s life was shaped by the special wisdom gift that God gave him. Solomon ended up though allowing the amenities that money could buy – such as power, prestige and position, to usurp his gift of wisdom which gave him incredible smarts and purportedly made him the wisest guy to ever live on planet Earth. Solomon seems to be to your grandpaa personally internalizing what it was like from having lived his life being foolish, surrounding himself with moochers, passing out favors for return favors, misusing his wisdom, getting angry, having bickering wives, not applying himself to the tasks that needed to get done, not disciplining his own kids, not following through on his own plans, lying, not listening to his own dad’s instructions and living his life in a self-centered way.

Choices are a life norm. You are constantly facing one choice after another that involves doing what is right to do or what is wrong to do. You have the choice at each meal to eat or not to eat everything that your ma has put on your plate for you to eat. You have the choice every night to go to bed or not to go to bed when your dad and/or ma tells you to go to bed. You have the choice each evening during the school year to do or not to do all the homework that your teachers have given you to do. You choose the guys and gals who you associate with. You choose the types of entertainment CDs that you want to have. You are choosing your lives’ directions. The choices that you will face every day will identify you as foolish or astute kids, money mongering kids or kids who accept what life gives them, angry or kind kids, kids who lie or truth bearing kids, prudent or undisciplined kids, lazy or punctual kids and self-seeking or God-fearing kids. Are you letting your mistakes and failures make you feel worthless or teach you?

When your grandmaa and grandpaa relocated to Chicago in August of 1974 – with your dad and Aunt Lynn, so that your grandpaa could study at Moody Bible Institute, your dad took his small yellow bike to Chicago with him. A kid or guy one day stole your dad’s bike. Your dad was not mad at the kid or guy who stole his bike; your dad was concerned that the kid or guy who stole and rode his bike would get his pants caught in the bike’s chain because that was what always seemed to happen to your dad when he rode his bike. The day after your grandmaa and grandpaa arrived in Bolivia in August of 1978, your dad started eighth grade at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center. Your grandmaa and grandpaa – along with your dad and Aunt Lynn, stayed the first couple of weeks that they were in Bolivia at South America Mission’s guest house and mission base. South America Mission’s guest house and mission base was located in Santa Cruz. The couple who was administrating the South America Mission guest house or mission base in Bolivia had two sons. The couple’s oldest kid said that your dad could go with him on the back of his motorcycle to the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center to begin eighth grade. Your dad a few nights later asked your grandmaa and grandpaa if he could go to the circus with Timmy – who was the oldest kid of the couple who was administrating the South America Mission guest house and mission base. Your grandmaa and grandpaa gave your dad their okay to go with Timmy. Your dad can tell you a whole lot better what took place that night than what your grandpaa can remember. After your dad told you grandmaa and grandpaa what took place that night – that Timmy dropped your dad off at the New Tribes Mission guest house and mission base while he . . . your grandmaa and grandpaa set up a time to talk with Jeb Davids – who was the Bolivia South America Mission’s field missionary team’s Field Director and with Doug Gage – who was the Bolivia South America Mission’s aviation arm’s director. As your grandmaa and grandpaa were discussing with Jed and Doug what took place the night before with Timmy and your dad, Doug offhandedly said to your grandmaa and grandpaa that Timmy was a pathological liar. A couple of years later, Robert and Joan – who were Timmy’s folks, had to immediately leave Bolivia with their two kids when it was found out that Timmy was illegally selling vehicles. After several years of being in the United States, Timmy ended up having to be jailed for having broken a law. Verse 18 says, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Wrong choices will invariably result in real heartaches. Your grandmaa and grandpaa are very thankful that your dad and ma and Aunt Lynn and Uncle Chris are faithful Christ-followers.

Proverbs 19 (614)