Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Minnesota Thanksgiving Memories

We would wake up early Thanksgiving morn to special kitchen sounds.
Mom was preparing to roast the stuffed turkey until it was golden brown.
The kitchen looked like a surgical suite with knives and utensils galore.
There were potatoes to peel, pies to be cut and cranberries from the store.

“It’s cereal for you my boys,” she said, “and then you can play outdoors.
But first get dressed and help your dad finish the morning chores.
Gather the eggs and feed the chickens; dress warm; its cold out today.
After breakfast there will be time to go outside and play.”

We had a big barn with hay stored up top to feed our livestock cattle.
We played war in hay-bale mountains winning many a battle.
After the hay was cleared on one end, we created a basketball court.
Minnesota boys playing in the barn enjoying a winter sport.

The weather may be chilling outside but the livestock kept the barn warm.
Inside the lighted basketball hoop; outside a white winter storm.
Grandpa and Grandma arrived before noon to join the celebration.
Aunts and uncles and cousins would come to stay for the day’s duration.

Uncle Jack would play basketball with the older girls and boys.
The basketball court up in the barn was filled with joyful noise.
Dad and Grandpa and Uncle Bob would watch the Macy’s parade,
While Mom and Lois, Eldora and Grandma prepared a feast homemade.

Pretty soon we would hear the call that it was time to enjoy the feast.
Grandpa would pray thanking the Lord for blessings that had increased.
Then we would eat an incredible meal of turkey, potatoes and gravy,
Yams, green beans and cranberry sauce with flavor tart and savory.

The parents would talk about the pies and decide to serve it later.
All the cousins would go outside to show their skill as skaters.
Home-made ice rinks are easy to make in a cold Minnesota clime.
Ice skates and hockey are a great way to enjoy the winter time.

After some skating the tables were cleared and games set out to play.
Many a fierce Monopoly game took place on Thanksgiving Day.
Some played dominos, the girls played Rummy, and some would read a book,
But my favorite game (and it’s not for dummies) is a game called Rook.

Somewhere in the middle of all this wonderful family activity
The moms would serve the various pies, which only enhanced the festivity.
Pie and turkey and left over feast were laid out for the taking.
We would eat and indulge ourselves until our stomach was aching.

Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad, Aunt Lois and Uncle Jack,
Bob and Eldora, Cherrie and Bobbie and Sheila coming last,
Brian and Greg and Bradley Todd, my infant baby brother,
What a blessing to have a family that loves and enjoys each other!

The years have passed and were far apart but our memories are alive.
Each year we recall them affectionately when the holidays arrive.
So here’s a greeting to all my kin with love from the depths of my heart.
I remember you warmly with love today even though we’re miles apart.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Power of Common Sense

Proverbs 19

O what a blessing is common sense as you walk your path each day.
Here are some proverbs Solomon gave to keep you from going astray.

1 Passion and zeal are important cogs in the wheel of success, but
Without knowledge as the top dog, zeal creates a mess.

3 Many a man has ruined his life because of his own foolish deeds.
Then he blames God for hardship and strife in his time of need.

4 If you are rich or rule from the throne, you will have many friends,
But if you are poor; going it alone, their desire for friendship ends.

8 He who loves wisdom loves his own soul. He enjoys peace within.
He who is foolish and out of control will look back on life with chagrin.

9 Nobody likes a liar, my friend. Your friendship brings only pain.
So bring your lying to a quick end if friendships you would sustain.

11 A man of discretion with self control is a very rare man indeed.
He is mature enough to forgive a soul for their foolish misdeed.

13 A son for a fool is a father’s ruin as is a quarrelsome wife.
Parents and child are not in tune with God who could change their life.

15 Lazy people sleep very well especially when they are younger.
Unless this bad habit they dispel, they will certainly suffer hunger.

17 He who has pity on the poor is one who lends to the Lord.
God will repay what he has given and add a generous reward.

19 Hot-tempered people must pay the price. You must make them face the facts.
If you rescue once, you will rescue twice because of their foolish acts.

26 Woe to the man who robs his father; encumbers his mother with debt.
With failure and trouble throughout his life, he is forever beset.

27 Learn to listen to wise instruction. From wisdom do not depart.
This is the way to preserve your life, bring peace and joy to your heart.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Prescriptions for Success or Failure

Proverbs 18

1 An unfriendly fellow does his own thing ignoring common sense.
The space between his two deaf ears is empty and immense.

2 Fools don’t see the other man’s thought; they love to talk and opine.
They fail to see the things they ought, for the eyes of their heart are blind.

4 Wise words are scarce; in deep waters buried, difficult to find,
So cherish the wisdom that flows forth from the wise man’s mind.

5 You can’t be partial to the transgressor and punish the righteous man.
Let’s see you try to explain it to God. I’d like to see if you can.

7 The mouth of a fool is his undoing, his lips a snare to his soul.
8 Each morsel of gossip he is reviewing eradicates self control.

9 The lazy employee slothful in toil is brother to one who tears down.
For failing to till his spiritual soil, he forfeits heaven’s crown.

10 The name of the Lord is my strong tower. Through Him I am secure.
Though demons attack with spiritual power, in Him I am safe and sure.

12 Before I was humbled I was proud, for I was a special guy.
Then I stumbled and with head bowed, I wished that I could die.

Humility always precedes honor; the humble get God’s attention.
In my pride I was a goner, but now I have comprehension.

13 To speak before knowing all the facts will make one look like a fool.
Once you talk or too quickly act, there is nothing you can do.

19 An offended brother is hard to win back. He puts up walls of defense.
So bring a halt to your wordy attack and return to common sense.

21 The tongue has the power of life and death, of healing or corruption.
Those who love it will it will eat its fruit, for blessing or destruction.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Proverbs 17--Wise Words to Live By

Proverbs 17

1 Better dry bread all the days of your life
Than eating your fill in a house of strife.

2 He who is wise and serves his boss well
Will rule over all the employed personnel.

5 To insult the poor is to mock their Creator
Who settles the score sooner or later.

6 Grandkids bring joy to doting grandparents
When generational pride is readily apparent.

9 Love shines forth when forgiveness is there,
But simmering anger divides a pair.

10 Well-spoken reproofs to the wise as a rule
Works better than beating the back of a fool.

13 If you want to live in fear and dread
Repay good deeds with evil instead.

14 To pick a fight is to open the gate,
So stop your wrangling before it’s too late.

15 If you put the innocent to the sword,
Prepare to face the wrath of the Lord.

17 A friend is loyal in word and deed,
A brother who helps in time of need.

22 A cheerful spirit like medicine’s strong dose
Prevents me from living sad and morose

27 A truly wise person employs few words.
He stops to think before he is heard.

28 Even a fool is thought to be smart
If he keeps his thoughts and his mouth apart.

What wisdom Solomon has to impart
For the humble and wise to take to heart.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Living with Purpose in Life

Proverbs 16

1 To man belong the plans of the heart. He ponders them in his mind.
God sees them all right from the start; determines them every time.

2 Each man thinks his motives are pure and justifies his desire.
God, who knows our hearts for sure, will test them in life’s fire.

3 To commit one’s plans unto the Lord is important for all to do.
Wisdom and strength shall be your reward; He will carry you through.

5 The Lord is not pleased with the proud of heart and their defiant spirit.
Wisdom and honor He cannot impart, for pompous men won’t hear it.

7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to Him, God’s grace will only increase.
Trials may come strong and grim, but ultimately he will see peace.

10 The lips of the king must be true and fair, for he speaks from heaven above.
Justice and honor he must declare as he rules with wisdom and love.

12 The Lord demands accurate scales. A king should never cheat.
How could you respect a king marked by lies and deceit?

17 The pathway of the righteous man leaves evil far behind.
How good it is to spend our life span righteously inclined.

22 Discretion is like a bubbling fountain to wise men who possess it.
The ignorant fool in his time of need is too lazy to address it.

28 Agitators sow seeds of strife; their gossip separates friends.
With wicked hearts they walk through life never making amends.

31 If you advanced to gray hair age, that’s a very good thing.
Living for God at every stage will honor and blessing bring.

Once again we come to the end of additional sets of instruction.
Every day we have to spend enhance our character construction.

Waste no time on wood, hay, or stubble; construct a house that will stand.
Build your life with heaven in mind fulfilling the Master Plan.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Learning to Walk with God

Proverbs 15

1 Have you ever expressed angst when a matter made you mad?
You felt your spirit sadly tank knowing that you have been had.

2 O how we need to control the tongue using it for gain,
An unruly tongue can come undone inflicting heartache and pain.

4 A healing tongue will bring life; that’s how it should be used,
But it is a fire of evil and strife when allowed to lie and accuse.

9 The Lord is not pleased with wicked men who love to scheme and plot.
10 Rejecting correction again and again, punishment is their lot.

13 A joyful heart makes your face bright, but sadness crushes the soul.
If you make God your daily delight, He will keep you whole.

15 All the days of those oppressed are wretched as can be.
Better to be by God possessed—on that we all agree.

16 I may not have much in worldly wealth, but treasure in heaven awaits.
Riches are mine and eternal health the moment I enter His gates.

25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud, the widow He protects.
To abuse the widow is disallowed if ever you would be blessed.

31 Listen, my friend, with a humble heart to thoughts that are well advised.
It will give you a blessed head start on the journey to become wise.

32 If you reject God’s discipline, you only harm yourself.
Failing to surrender to Him will put you aside on the shelf.

33 Reverence for God is an apt beginning, for it will make you strong
Granting power to stop the sinning; forgive you for all past wrongs.

Humility comes before honor bestowed, obedience before the glory.
O God, through me let your Spirit flow. May that be my earthly story.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Way of the Fool

Proverbs 14

1 She who is wise builds her home with truth and love as her stand.
The foolish woman is sadly prone to destroy it by her own hand.

4 Without oxen the stable is clean, but it’s tragic to say the least.
Without an ox to turn the soil there is no food or feast.

7 Stay away from fools, my friend; receive this very wise tip,
You will see clearly in the end stupidity flows from his lips.

8 The prudent person plans ahead. He knows what he has to do.
The fool needs others to be fed; he doesn’t think things through.

9 The sinner shrugs off the guilt within; there is no transformation.
Godly people acknowledge their sin; seek reconciliation.

12 There is a way that seems right to a man but ends in terrible death.
I will be thankful for God’s plan when I draw my final breath.

14 Both backslider and the good man will get what they deserve
So I will seek out God’s game plan as recorded in His Word.

15 Naïve fools believe what they hear. The discerning man thinks it through.
Since he is known by his peers, he bids each fool adieu.

16 A hot-headed man is foolish indeed. No one respects a schemer.
Remove yourself with lightning speed from silly intemperate dreamers.

21 He who despises his neighbor sins, but he who is kind is blessed.
Generously pour out your love and favor. You will enjoy sweet rest.

23 Earnest hard work produces great gain, but fools are known by their talk.
The diligent rise to a higher plane while others complain and gawk.

30 A heart at peace gives life and health but jealousy rots the bones.
Give me honor instead of wealth; then take me to heaven’s home.

34 Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a great disgrace.
God help us see our awful estate. O call us to seek Your face.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pithy Proverbs for Personal Practice

Proverbs 13

1A wise son heeds his father’s instruction. The scoffer never learns.
He is headed for self destruction, a matter of grave concern.

3If you learn to guard your tongue, you will improve your life.
Hasty words carelessly flung are followed by anger and strife.

4The sluggard craves material treasure, yet he ends up poor.
He who places work before pleasure will be blessed and secure.

5Godliness guards the righteous man because he loves God’s Word.
Those who are evil scoff at this plan; their selfishness is preferred.

9A godly life is like a bright lamp reflecting heaven’s pure light.
The evil man will find himself camped in eternity’s darkest night.

11Stay away from get-rich schemes; your money will fade away.
Make saving your prudent money theme and you will win the day.

12Hope deferred makes a heart sick so put action to your dreams.
A house is built brick upon brick until the dream you redeem.

15Common sense will guide a man with careful, constructive deduction.
The impulsive man without a plan is headed for certain destruction.

18He who refuses sage direction inherits only disgrace.
He who listens with reflection creates for himself a place.

21Trouble chases sinners, my friend, and it never loses a race.
Blessings and honor come without end to those who seek God’s face.

22A good man leaves an inheritance for generations yet to come.
The best inheritance you can leave is to show them what God has done.

Some leave money, houses, and land; items cherished from youth,
But there is no greater legacy than a life of love and truth.

24The scripture says to spare the rod is the same as hating your son.
To fail to teach him love and respect is to leave the job half done.

These wise proverbs Solomon wrote to help us think more clearly.
Though they serve well as a pithy quote, it’s best to live them sincerely.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Striking Words of Wisdom

Proverbs 12

An intelligent man can still be stupid. Would you like to know when?
Every time he refuses correction, he starts all over again.

The worthy wife is a husband’s delight, the glory of his home.
A contentious woman doth trouble incite, she’s cancer to his bones.

The plans of the godly are just and fair; the wicked are full of deceit.
So do your business with those who care; steer clear of those who cheat.

A wise man is praised by others, perverse men are despised.
Be sure your friends are godly brothers. Perversity is not advised.

A righteous man cares for his stock. He especially loves his pet.
The man without kindness for his flock will find his Maker upset.

The industrious farmer working his land will have plenty to eat.
Hunger and the lazy dreamer are very sure to meet.

Words of wisdom and tasks not shirked will bring rewards so true.
Very few die from overwork, so don’t be a lazy fool.

Truthful words stand the test of time. Dishonesty is soon exposed.
The righteous please the Great Divine, but liars He will oppose.

A discerning man of learning will not flaunt his superior mind.
The foolish man, his pea brain churning, is never so inclined.

Even a fool if he holds his tongue will often be thought wise,
But sure as there is breath in his lungs, he will reveal his disguise.

When worry becomes a consuming fear, a man needs a special friend
To stand alongside as he perseveres from beginning to the end.

The lazy man will shoot his game but fail to prepare a meal.
God’s love for creation forever remains; how do you think He feels?

The way of the godly leads to joy that does not end with his death.
The heavenly future he will enjoy will take away his breath.

So listen dear friends, be wise to God’s Word. Joy and peace they impart.
No greater wisdom will ever be heard, so plant them deep in your heart.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Contrast of Right and Wrong

Proverbs 11

The Lord is not pleased with fraudulent scales; dishonesty He detests.
Be fair and upright in all your sales and you will pass His test.

Riches won’t help on Judgment Day. You might as well hold your breath.
So honor God in all your ways; be saved from eternal death.

When good people trust in God, His Word will be their guide.
If selfish ambition runs roughshod, it turns the truth aside.

With his mouth the godless man defames his innocent neighbor.
If this becomes your personal plan, do not expect God’s favor.

The integrity of the godly man will help his city thrive,
But when the wicked control the land, it’s difficult to survive.

A gossip betrays a confidence; he cannot control his tongue.
Be done with him; run away, for surely you will be stung.

For lack of guidance a nation falls. Be sure you have good advisors.
From foolish counsel disaster spews forth, a strong and relentless geyser.

The Lord despises the perverse, but He loves the righteous man.
When your casket is in the hearse, what then will be your plan?

The wicked will not go unpunished; of this you can be sure.
Eternal glory awaits the righteous, the one who kept his way pure.

A generous man gives freely indeed and yet he gains still more.
Another withholds from those in need. Soon he himself is poor.

Godliness is freely expressed when the generous gives to others.
Some day he may find himself blessed by godly sisters and brothers.

The righteous person is like a tree rooted and grounded in love.
Be a soul-winner, for wise is he who prepares for heaven above.

Treasure these proverbs; bury them deep. Don’t let them get away.
It’s time to awake from life’s dull sleep and live for God each day.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Instructions for Daily Living

Proverbs 10

A wise man makes his father glad; this is an admirable thing.
The foolish makes his mother sad; his shame is a constant sting.

Money gained by wicked deeds cannot purchase respect,
But when righteousness proceeds, it has the opposite effect.

The godly man will always eat, for he belongs to the Lord.
Frustration reigns o’er those who cheat. They will receive no reward.

If you are lazy listen to this: You can expect to be poor.
Slothfulness is never bliss: this you can know for sure.

The wise man works hard in the summer fields gathering the crops.
The sluggard sleeps in, stupidity creeps in and all the blessings stop.

The godly receive His blessings. Many good memories have they.
The life of the wicked is distressing. His memory will fade away.

The wise man receives instruction; the fool just babbles away.
Integrity will avoid destruction; dishonesty leads you astray.

The earnings of the godly man will bless him without and within.
The ill-gotten gain of the evil man is squandered away in sin.

Hiding hatred makes you a liar, to slander makes you a fool.
He who is wise has a desire to live by the Golden Rule.

The words of the godly encourage many. Often their word will rule.
Don’t speak at all if you lack common sense, for you will be labeled a fool.

When the storms of life blow hard, the wicked are whirled away,
But the righteous man has a sure foundation. He is here to stay.

Fear of the Lord lengthens your life; wickedness cuts it short.
A life devoid of sin and strife is the kind of life I support.

There are many very wise proverbs found in this wonderful book
So why not open your family Bible and take a discerning look?

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 1, 2010

Principles for Success

Proverbs 6

Many snares will trap a man and slowly cause him to smother.
One of them is when you agree to pay the debts of another.

If you have signed for another’s debt with your name on the dotted line,
You have created a lingering threat that may last a very long time.

Take my advice and don’t waste time, get off that debt load now.
You must not rest until it is done. Work hard to find a way how.

Many could learn from the ant these days about the rewards of hard work.
The ant does not lounge in a hazy daze scheming to gain more perks.

He labors all summer gathering food to prepare for winter’s blast.
He is prepared for all that ensues until the cold weather has passed.

But you, O sluggard, lie on your bed thinking others should feed you.
You should be working every day to care for your kids who need you.

“A little slumber, a little more sleep, a folding of hands to rest.”
That’s a philosophy of deceit that surely will fail life’s test.

There are six things that provoke the Lord. His anger shall rise like a flood:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood.

A wicked schemer, a dissolute man who is quick to embrace what is wrong;
A corrupt witness whose lying tongue continually sings a false song.

Wait, there’s one more; here’s number seven: God hates a contentious man
Who continually stirs up angry dissension any old way he can.

Well, my son, there is much to learn as we walk this journey on earth.
Working hard for what you earn will give you a sense of self worth.

Being an honest and humble man with industrious resolution
Is God’s clear and successful plan for your social contribution.

Bind these thoughts around your neck; bury them deep in your heart,
For honor, blessings, peace, and joy such wisdom will surely impart.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved