Chapter 1 Excerpt


Before we review my alphabetical listing and begin examining these Biblical verses, let me explain how they came to be. During my daily Bible readings over the past forty years, these words, and the verses connected with them, jumped out at me as I read them. When this occurred, I would either underline the verse or verses with a magic marker or make a note in the margin with a personal thought on the meaning or importance of the verse. Please give each of these verses and my accompanying words consideration as to how they might apply to your life today. Also, consider whether your own life might experience a significant change if you adopted a combination of them into your own lifestyle. Now, let’s explore.



I believe that most all of us want to be accepted by our acquaintances, friends, family, and others. However, I ask you, “Who is it most important for you to be accepted by: those individuals or God?”

As we proceed on our pathways through life, it is essential for each of us to open our hearts and minds and agree to accept God as our central focus. Without this acceptance, our lives may appear to be full, but in fact they will be very empty. I encourage you to make the acceptance of God a cornerstone for your life.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

It is far more important to be accepted by God than by any contemporary.

Wherefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God. (Romans 15:7)

Be of the same mind as the Lord Jesus in accepting others. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. (1 Thessalonians 5:26)




This was a symbol of Christian fellowship and acceptance.

…The grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; among them I am the foremost of all. (1 Timothy 1:14–15)

Here, the apostle Paul expresses his acceptance by Jesus Christ despite the prior evils that he had committed. Have you ever felt that you could not be forgiven of a sin that you had committed? Understand the breadth of the forgiveness that Jesus provides us by His sacrifice of dying on the cross. If we will confess with our mouths, and commit to believing and following Him, our sin or sins will be forgiven whatever they are. It should be remembered that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was accepting of all individuals without showing partiality to anyone regardless of position, status, or race.



Are you open to advice, or do you ignore it when it is offered to you? Please maintain an open mind as you review the various statements of advice that God has put forward in His Holy Word. There is no better source of advice to consider now or at any time in your future. Each of our lives needs to be both guided and affected by His words. Far too often in today’s society, there are individuals who scoff at the words and meanings in the Bible as being outdated or irrelevant. Do not let that deter you from following His Word.

I believe it is meaningful for you to consider two verses of scripture that stress the importance of asking God humbly for His advice. They are as follows:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

I encourage you to listen for His guidance and to meditate on these two verses prior to making any important decision. Keep in mind that the guidance God gives you may be completely contrary to what you were considering. Please keep these verses in mind as you make your decision whether to follow your way or God’s way.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Remember, His Word is infallible and will never be out of date. Keep this in mind as you examine the remaining verses in this section.

And you shall not swear falsely by my name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:12)

Avoid doing this at all times, as this is one of the Ten Commandments.

For six days may work be done; but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:3)

Do you observe this? If not, I encourage you to make a sincere effort to do so.

You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah. (Deuteronomy 6:16)

Why would you or any thinking individual try and put God to the test? Stop a moment and review your situation, and, then, put yourself to the test.

Cast your burdens upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (Psalms 55:22)

This is sound advice in any age or time. This will be reality forever. Do not make the mistake of not doing this. Remember that the Lord is always available to those who surrender and commit themselves to Him.

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes. (Psalms 101:3)

What can you gain by being involved in worthless pursuits? Perhaps you may experience a short-term pleasure or gain, but you will probably also find long-term consequences in return.

Because He has inclined His ear to me. Therefore, I shall call upon Him as long as I live. (Psalms 116:2)

I do this each and every day, and by doing this, I have found peace that I would not have experienced in any other manner.

How can a young man keep his way pure? (Psalms 119:9)

By keeping it according to His Word. Far too often, many young people put their way first and not God’s way, but I encourage you to start by putting your faith and trust in Him while humbly asking for His guidance.

It was good that I was afflicted. That I may learn Thy statutes. (Psalms 119:71)

I believe that the seven years of my business bankruptcy, although very costly financially, was the best thing that ever happened to me. By working my way through these difficulties, as demanding as they were (both mentally and physically), I learned the most important lesson of my life: to know where my values and trust must always be.

Thy word is a lamp to my feet. And a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105)

Memorize this verse and keep it as a lesson for your life. I read the preceding verse each morning. It provides sound guidance for me. Try it for yourself.

Deliver my soul, O Lord from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. (Psalms 120:2)

If you do not follow this advice, you will deceive yourself, and this will very likely lead you into an unpleasant situation.

As you proceed through these various words of advice, I encourage you to pay particular attention to the thoughtful and caring things that are expressed in the Book of Proverbs. I sure wish that I had at a much earlier time in my life. I hope that they will be meaningful to you.

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and your poverty will come to you like a vagabond. (Proverbs 6:10–11)

Procrastination is guaranteed to bring unexpected disasters to you.

Ill-gotten gains do not profit. But righteousness delivers from death. (Proverbs 10:2)

If you proceed on this path, it will lead to you into a dead-end street.

Through presumption comes nothing but strife. But with those who receive counsel is wisdom. (Proverbs13:10)

Avoid making decisions without adequate forethought.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and turmoil with it. (Proverbs 15:16)

What would you rather have? Great treasure, or the Lord’s hand guiding you? Think this over carefully. Do you have any doubt as to which you’d choose?

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold. But the Lord tests hearts. (Proverbs17:3)

Are you up to it? Have faith and trust regardless of your circumstances. He is always faithful to those who trust in Him.

He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. (Proverbs 18:13)

Strive to be a good listener and not a blusterer.

He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble. (Proverbs 21:23)

Trouble awaits those who do not act cautiously.

A good name is to be more desired that great riches. Favor is better than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

As one gets older, this takes on greater importance and significance.

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

The child’s inclinations and interests should be taken into consideration. However, you should stress the importance of faith, honor, trust and belief in God to your children at every opportunity.

The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lenders slave. (Proverbs 22:7)

Avoid burdening yourself with debt. It is a backbreaking load that I understand through painful experience. I found that it was far easier to borrow a million dollars than to pay it back with high interest as I struggled for seven long years to repay creditors after a business Chapter 11.

Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or with a hot-tempered man. Lest you learn his ways and find a snare for yourself. (Proverbs 22:24–25)

Choose your friends and associates wisely, lest you become like those of poor repute.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine. Those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red. When it sparkles in the cup. When it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. (Proverbs 23:29–32)

Profound advice regarding the consumption of alcohol and the consequences when consumed in excess. Do you know anyone who overindulges? Is this a pattern in your life? If so, change. Disaster is waiting for anyone who does this.

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head. (Proverbs 25:21–22)

This is an application of the “Golden Rule.” There may be some that do not know what this is. For those who are not sure, this is it: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

He who hates disguises it with his lips, but he lays up deceit in his heart. (Proverbs 26:24)

A smooth smile often hides sharp teeth.

As in water face reflects face. So, the heart of man reflects man. (Proverbs 27:19)

Be always aware of another’s countenance. Be cautious. Read the other person’s eyes as they are a pathway to their soul. I have successfully used this many times in my sales career. I guarantee that it will be fruitful for you to do so as well.

The Book of Ecclesiastes, like most of the Book of Proverbs, was authored by King Solomon who was considered the wisest individual that the world had ever known. His perspective of things, as they relate to vanity, is exceptional.

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure, so enjoy yourself.” And behold it too was futility. (Ecclesiastes 2:1)

The pursuit of pleasure, achievements, or great wealth all fail to bring genuine satisfaction and peace of mind.

Enjoy life with the woman, whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given you under the sun; for this is your reward in life, and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:9)

How true and powerful this passage is. Be grateful for this reward.

So, remove vexation from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting. (Ecclesiastes 11:10)

This is very sound and practical advice for young people to keep in mind. Be thankful for the years given to you by our Almighty God.

Woe to one, who quarrels with His Maker – An earthenware vessel among the vessels of the earth! Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” (Isaiah 45:9)

It is folly to question God’s way. The self-reliant person who tries to illumine the darkness by their own light will only come to sorrow. This is a very hard lesson that I learned in business. I mistakenly thought that if I worked hard enough that would solve all my problems. I did it my way rather than God’s way. I hope that you will profit from my errors in judgment and follow God’s way.

Can man make gods for himself? Yet they are not gods! (Jeremiah 16:20)

Some may make gods of money, possessions, prestige and imagined power, but they will always fail. There is only one who can accomplish all things, and that is with Almighty God, now and forever.

But everyone will die of his own iniquity; each man, who eats sour grapes, his teeth will be set on edge. (Jeremiah 31:30)

People excuse themselves by saying they were punished for the sins of their fathers. In reality, each person is punished for his own sins.

Woe to you who make your neighbors drink. Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk so as to look on their nakedness! You will be filled with disgrace, rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, and utter disgrace will come upon your glory. (Habakkuk 2:15–16)

Never be tempted to involve yourself in such a situation. Flee from it with haste.

I hope that you have read these statements of advice carefully. Despite coming from ancient times, they are very relevant today. Try and apply these guidelines, as best you can, on your pathway through life. Now, let’s continue.

And after that He called the multitude to Him, and He said to them, “Hear and understand. Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” (Matthew 15:10–11)

This parable from Jesus makes us think of how we should conduct our speech. Do not bluster. Pause first and do not rush your thoughts.

Therefore be careful how you walk not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15–17)

Make every effort to follow God’s way and not your own.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Here, the apostle Paul expresses very sound advice for all to consider as they pass through life. This advice from long ago will never be out of date.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men; according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

This was sound advice centuries ago and it still is today.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:3–5)

Consider everything you hear talked about in today’s secular world. They sound very similar to these verses. Does this make you question if the end times are near?

Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you,” so that we confidently say “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5–6)

Stop and think seriously on these words. As long as the Lord is your helper, your safety is secure.

But if any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

How often do you take the time to ask God for guidance and listen for His response? Or, do you just move ahead trusting to luck that everything will be all right? Which choice will provide you with the most positive results? Choose wisely!!

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert, Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Do not be misled, the devil is real and is always on the lookout to tempt us and lead us astray.

Does your walk with the Lord match your talk and your actions? If not, the convictions you espouse will be confusing to your fellow man.

Be cautious always in making decisions as all of them have consequences, some good and many bad. Ask the Lord for guidance to help you avoid problems.



As we proceed on our journey through life, we need to feel confident that we are on the right path. When you are faced with a problem or concern, who do you rely on for guidance? Only by placing your trust and faith in Almighty God and making a commitment to follow Him can you truly have assurance that the guidance you receive is on the mark.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, so those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Be assured that He is always listening to you even when your words are difficult to express.

That their hearts may be encouraged, having knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is Christ Himself. (Colossians 2:2)

Here, the apostle Paul is offering encouragement to those who accept Jesus Christ.

And we desire that each of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, that you may not be sluggish,

but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11–12)

Do you exert diligence in both your planning and your work? Don’t let either slip away from you. Maintain your faith and assurance at all times regardless of the pressure you face.

I have a question for you. Do you believe that God wants you to have absolute assurance of your salvation? For those who believe in Jesus Christ, I refer you to:

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)

Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised it is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:22–24)

Always remember that Jesus is faithful in all things forever and ever.

In addition to reading the Bible on a daily basis, over the past forty years I have also read a book called Streams in the Desert. I will be including references to it as we proceed on this spiritual journey. Here’s an example: “Be assured, if you walk with God and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.”

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

A vivid description of assurance in faith. I suggest that you read and reread this passage several times. Let it soak in.