Good morning! As I sit here at my kitchen table...I just realized why I almost always have my quiet time outside on the screened in porch... lack of clutter! It is so nice to just have "your place" that you go to spend time with God. To spend time in the Word. Listening, reading. A place that is special. Or at least, the more time you spend there, the more special it becomes. A time that can be filled with revelations and "ah-ha" moments. This morning I stayed inside, at my kitchen table because I knew it would be a quicker morning than usual. We are going out of town this afternoon, and I have a lot to do before we leave. And... yes.... clutter of a kitchen table. I heard once this lady say how to cut down on "clutter".... she said, "When you come in to your home, don't lay something down, put it away." We are still working on that!!! I definitely don't like clutter...not to mention, clutter creates a little bit of "chaos." If not in the actual home, just in your spirit. If words could be married.... I think these words go together: clutter & chaos, organization & peace. It's like when you walk in a cluttered house, you just feel uneasy, yucky. But when you walk in and things are put away and neat, you just feel at peace. Well, I am still working on certain areas staying un-cluttered in our home, especially the kitchen table and kitchen bar.
Ok... well, let's roll....
Proverbs 23:20 - Do not associate with winebibbers; be not among them nor among gluttonous eaters of meat.
Proverbs 31:18 - She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good...This morning there were so many good directions we could go; food (v 1-3), wealth (v 4-5), thoughts (v 7), discipline (v 13-14), envy (v 17), hope & expectation (v 18), truth (v 23), wine (v 30-35). Since Proverbs 23 talked so much about gluttons, eating, drinking... it actually began the chapter with the danger of being a glutton, and ended the chapter talking about being drunk.... the verse almost in the middle talked about both. That seemed like an appropriate verse to park on for today.
Since we don't use the word "winebibbers" on a daily basis... I thought I'd look it up and see what the meaning was in the dictionary. To my expectation, it means "drunkard" or "a person who drinks much wine." How powerful is the beginning of Proverbs 23?! Do not associate with. Wow. We have read a lot of books, listened to a lot of CD's that talk about the POWER of association. And here, in the #1 book of all times, is also directing us in who NOT to associate with. Do not associate with drunks... and do not associate with gluttonous eaters. The dictionary calls a glutton, "a person who eats and drinks excessively or voraciously." A glutton, most often are probably the people who are overweight. A glutton or winebibber, they lack discipline or restraint from drinking or eating. They overdo it. They are excessive.
So what's the deal with the POWER OF ASSOCIATION? I have heard a very common quote many times over the last 10 years... you may have heard it as well, but it goes like this: "You can determine where you will be in 5 years by looking at the people you associate with and the books you read." Another one on association: "Your income is most likely within $5,000 from the circle of friends you hang out with." A good rule of thumb:
- If you want to be a drunk, hang out with partier's.
- If you want to be fat, hang out with people who overeat.
- If you want to be poor, hang out with broke people.
- If you want to be negative, hang out with people who always complain or have something bad to say.
- If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people.
- If you want to be fit, hang out with fit people.
- If you want to be motivated, hang out with people who have a dream, who are going somewhere.
- If you want to have a great walk with the Lord, hang out with passionate Christians.
- If you want to quit smoking, hang out with NON-smokers.
- If you want to have a better, more positive attitude, hang out with optimistic, positive people.
If you are always with people who drink alcohol, you will most likely mirror what they do. Looking at your association is much like looking in the mirror. You most likely will begin to mirror and look like, and do the same things that those people you hang out with do.
Who is your DREAM YOU? Find who that person is. Go out of your way to spend time with them. Ask if you can buy them a cup of coffee. Once a week. Once a month. Just get around them. Surround yourself with people who are in life where you want to be! Ask if you can buy them lunch. Even if it was just once/month. Ask them questions. "How did you get where you are? What books did you read? How did you overcome the hurdles along the way?" Everyone has an innate desire within themselves to help someone else. ESPECIALLY if the person is asking them questions. It is an honor. People love to feel special.
Our Proverbs 31 friend... she tastes and sees. She enjoys the fruits of her labor. If she bakes a chocolate cake, she enjoys a piece. She doesn't eat the whole thing! :), but she enjoys it. Enjoy life, but don't be excessive.
Is overeating a problem? Begin to take small steps. Cut your food in half. Serve your plate from the stove, don't bring the whole dish to the table. Get chips or pretzels out of the bag, measure them out, then put the bag back in your pantry versus sitting on the couch with a WHOLE bag of chips! Out to eat? Cut your food in half and ask for a box before you even get your plate. Put half of it away before even starting. Or split a meal with your spouse. You will be surprised that you really are satisfied. Chips and junk-food a problem? Don't even buy them when you grocery shop then! Buy fruits, veggies, yogurt, jello, sugar-free pudding, carmel rice cakes. Set yourself up to win.
Is drinking a problem? Change your association. If all your friends are drinkers and partier's, begin add some new association, become part of a new group, get involved with a young singles group at church, or business team, or softball team. Do something that gets you away from your "old association."
Take control of your life! If you do not do it now, 5 years from now you will be older, fatter, poorer, and not a bit happier. Choose wisely who you associate with.
Be who you've always dreamed you could be. Be the dream YOU! Start today with your association!