August 11, 2016


Recently my brother-in-law came for family visit and while taking his mom out for a hamburger he pulled a California stop and rolled through a stop sign. When the police officer came up to the car he asked Jim if he knew why he was being stopped. Caught between two figures of authority Jim said, “Yes, my 92-year-old mother just told me!” The officer let him off with a warning. “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----If we were native to Hawaii, this scripture might be a little more immediately meaningful. But since we don’t see folks running around here wearing garlands on their heads, we must think about it more. To chains around the neck we can better relate (and once Hillary is in office we will well relate to chains around the ankles, too.) A bit of thought about garlands not being a part of our cultural dress fits together with a little thought about neck chains being a part of our cultural dress to form a ray of insight from this scripture. Even men wear chains because they are regarded as normal. Nobody in this community runs around in garlands, because that just ain’t normal. In the garland’s “gracing” and the chain’s “adorning” the Bible speaks of a cultural attitude in which they are admired. And what makes culture?
-----Tradition. People doing, thinking, and feeling things because that’s the way they see many doing, thinking, and feeling those things. And because they’ve heard good about doing, thinking, and feeling them. Or at least, they have not heard bad. That is why the godly people will temporarily loose the culture war that’s now been raging for nearly fifty years. The godless own all of the means of the culture’s emotional messages: TV, movies, music, magazines, and gaming. Like the Pied Piper, they’ve led all the children out of the Shining City on the Hill into the weeds and brambles of the wilderness. And as they were able to affect the culture’s emotions, soon they were able to begin owning the culture’s information systems as well. Now the godless also own the K1-12 government schools, the universities, courtrooms, newsrooms, the legislative halls, executive offices, and the streets, and the sidewalks. I am 62. I remember a time when this was not so.
-----In those days, though my experience in them was towards their end, quoting a scripture in public or saying “God bless you,” or “Jesus is so comforting,” didn’t get you a look like you were a kook (at least it didn't here in Montrose.) Christianity was considered normal, and going to church was considered a good thing. God and the angels were still a public part of Christmas. Until my second year in school, we opened each school-day with the pledge of allegiance, a patriotic song (which most often was from a Christian perspective,) and a prayer. Something seemed odd about my third grade year. That all stopped. No thank you, Madalyn O’Hair and the Soup-rime Court (Engel vs. Vitale.) Godless, dried out gruel now rimes our heads culturally instead of refreshing, thirst quenching scripture.
-----Deuteronomy is even more direct about God’s Word forming culture. “And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deut 6:6-9.) In other words, make His Word a part of everything you do by making it a part of your mind, and then go around talking about His Word. From this day temporarily forward we must do this while facing into the headwinds of godless scoffing and scorn, because we forgot how to grace our culture with His Word.

Love you all,
Steve Corey