Pickle Heaven Press-James R. Johnson

something to help you laugh and think about life with Christ

weighing in — September 7, 2022

weighing in

The couple were both receiving home health care.  The visiting nurse insisted they be weighed.   They lined up and he stepped on – one foot and then the other.  The nurse dutifully recorded his weight. 

His wife stepped on – one foot and then the other and another number went into the chart.  Then Bambi, their Chihuahua followed – one foot and then the other.    


Jehoshaphat like Bambi was looking for an example to follow.

He became King of Judah about 873 BC.  At 35 years of age, he needed a few pointers on being a king.  So, he looked for an example from the past.

He grew up watching his father Asa rule the nation.  Asa chased immorality and idolatry out of the land.  But in his older years he was afflicted with a diseased body that also diseased his faith.  He sought the help of doctors while ignoring the Lord.   

Jehoshaphat’s granddaddy was Abijah. He was mighty in battle but mediocre in his faith.   His epitaph is written in 1 Kings 15:3, “He followed all the sinful practices of his father before him. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had been.”  Abijah followed the poor example of his daddy Rehoboam and paid dearly for it.   

As for Rehoboam, he was famous for carelessly splitting his Kingdom.  He fought off an Egyptian invasion but ignored the insurgence of paganism.  His epitaph was written in 2 Chronicles 12:14, “He did evil because he was not determined to follow the Lord.” 

His daddy was Solomon who was revered for his wisdom and yet was foolish enough to marry a stadium full of wives and serve their gods.  “Solomon did evil in the Lord’s sight; he did not remain loyal to the Lord, as his father David had.”  – 1 Kings 11:6

This brings us to the head of the dynasty – King David.  David followed the Lord with the deepest devotion and ruled the Kingdom by the truth of the Scripture. 

His reign was summed up in this way, “David had done what he (God) approved and had not disregarded any of his commandments his entire lifetime, except for the incident involving Uriah the Hittite.” – 1 King 15:5.

So, Jehoshaphat climbed up 5 generations of his family tree to find an example worthy of emulation   Of him it was said, “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps at the beginning of his reign. He did not seek the Baals, but instead sought the God of his ancestors and obeyed his commands, unlike the Israelites.  The Lord made his kingdom secure; all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he became very wealthy and greatly respected. He was committed to following the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 17:3-6)

Like David, Jehoshaphat tore down the idols and elevated the Lord.   As a result, “The Lord was with him.”  “The Lord made his kingdom secure” and “He became very wealthy and greatly respected.” 

Ironically, Jehoshaphat’s predecessors were indicted for ignoring David’s example?  Neither did they prosper as Jehoshaphat did. 

Jehoshaphat imitated David but he was smart enough to also learn from and avoid his mistakes.  There was no Bathsheba scandal to mar his reign.

Now to bring this home:  The apostle Paul was referring to the OT stories of Jehoshaphat and others when he wrote, “These things happened to them as examples and were written for our instruction…” – 1 Corinthians 10:11.

So…. basically, Jehoshaphat is an example of a man who followed the example of a man to teach us to find a man to be our example. (could be a woman though)

Think of life as Youtube and look for the how-to video that God posted.  Find an older person who did life God’s way.  What did they think and do, and what kind of results did they experience?   You might even ask him/her to mentor you. 

Watch and learn.  Make Bambi proud!

A PRAYER: Lord I am grateful for the folks that have taught me how to live.

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavenpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

All Scripture references are from the NET Bible ®

firewood folly — June 10, 2020

firewood folly

I have a grandson who is a budding entrepreneur.  His daddy brought down a tree in the front yard and then reduced the trunk to firewood.   

The boy seized the opportunity.  He took a cardboard box and made himself a sandwich sign.  He draped it over his shoulders and paraded around the neighborhood hoping to retail some of his fireplace fuel.  The sign said, “FRESH FIREWOOD.” 

I so laughed when my daughter sent me a picture of him with his sign. 

“Fresh” is a word that you might use to sell strawberries, green beans or baked goods – but not firewood. 

Fresh firewood has a 30% water content.  Have you ever tried to light a campfire made of fresh firewood?  You’ll waste a box of matches and scorch a few fingers trying.  If you should coax a tiny flame, you won’t maintain it for long.

The green wood needs to be seasoned for 6 months to get to the 20% level.  It’ll burn then.  He might have bumped up his sales if the sign had read, “stale firewood.”

As it was, he failed to make his first sale.

That’s kind of the way it is these days – fresh and new are usually regarded as being better.  Often, they are, but rarely when it comes to wisdom

Knowledge also needs to be seasoned.  Time and experience enable a person to take what they know and fine tune its application. 

A teacher fresh out of college may be knowledgeable, but it will take time before she becomes a wise teacher.

Unless I want help with my iPhone, I seek advice from an older person.  (This is a challenge for me since I am now old)  I want to hear advice from someone who has walked in my shoes and can look back with 20/20 vision to help me see what still lies ahead.

Suppose a young couple decides to get premarital counseling before they say, “I do.”   Who best to guide them? 

There is the young associate pastor who has been married for 3 years, but the senior pastor is also an option.  He and his wife have been happily married for 33 years and have raised 2 children.

The couple might be more at ease with the younger pastor, but they would receive the maximum wisdom dose from the senior.  The younger could say to them, “This is what my wife and I are learning – and this is how it seems to be working out.” 

The senior can say, “This is what we have experienced, and this is what we have learned from a host of other couples over the years – and this is how it works out.

He can bring to the table both the successes and mistakes that were made along the way. 

Or how about your child who lies with the greatest of ease.  You need some help.  Should you get it by surveying your Facebook peers OR invite an older wiser mother over for coffee and talk to her?

Of course, everyone has experience from which we can learn, but the experience span of a young person is dwarfed by that of an older person.

King Rehoboam needed advice.  His subjects complained about the burden that his father had imposed on them.  He consulted with his elder counselors.  They encouraged him to be a servant to his people and reduce the strain.  They would love him for it and serve him forever. 

But then the king summoned his young peers and asked them for their input.  They told him to turn up the heat and demand more of his people. (1 Kings 12) 

He heeded his youngers.  His harsh response triggered 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel to secede and a bloody civil war to follow and he spent the rest of his miserable life saying, “What was I thinking?”

As you make your way, go ahead get input from your peers.  Sometimes even your children have some jewels to pass on, but don’t forget to obtain and give extra weight to the advice and experience of godly seasoned folks.

And be cautious about buying any fresh firewood!

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