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in Gods Word
Emphasis on


A little knowledge properly applied is

more important than a tremendous
number of facts accumulated and
not utilized.

Introduction to Wisdom
December 1
Bible Reading: Proverbs 1
Key Verse: Verse 7 - The fear of the LORD is the
beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom
and instruction.
Key Words: fools despise wisdom
The cry for man to apply wisdom is a theme that runs
through the book of Proverbs. Twenty-five of the thirty-one
chapters in Proverbs speak of wisdom.
I have a simple definition for wisdom, Wisdom is the
application of knowledge. Wisdom is simply putting into
action that which I know I should do. For example, Adam and
Eve had knowledge in regard to the forbidden fruit; but when
they failed to apply what they knew, they showed that they
lacked wisdom.
In Proverbs, chapter one, we are instructed to know
wisdom (verse two). We are instructed to receive wisdom.
That simply means that we are to be teachable (verse three),
and then thirdly, we are to hear the cry of wisdom. The
principle is that wisdom is everywhere, but we have to be
willing to hear it and heed it.
Never underestimate the value of wisdom. Automaker,
Henry Ford, once asked electrical genius, Charlie Steinmetz,
to help repair a mans generator in his auto factory. It seems
as though none of the other engineers or repairmen could find
the problem.
After a few minutes of Steinmetz working on the
generator, it roared back to life. Ford told Steinmetz to send
him the bill which he did for $10,000.00. Ford was
astonished at how high the bill was. Why so high? inquired
Steinmetz replied, $1.00 for tinkering with the generator
and $9,999.00 for knowing where to tinker.
Wisdom is worthless until applied, but priceless when

What to do:
Daily ask God for wisdom.
Ask God for wisdom in each decision you make.
Always remember, Godly knowledge applied is
wisdom. Godly knowledge forsaken is foolishness.

Searching For Wisdom

December 2
Bible Reading: Proverbs 2
Key Verse: Verse 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and
searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Key Words: searchest for her as for hid treasures
As you read Proverbs, chapter two, you can see at least
three great truths in regard to Godly wisdom. In verse six,
you find the origin of Godly wisdom, For the Lord giveth
wisdom. Wisdom comes from God in two primary ways:
naturally from His Word and then through prayer (see James
1:5). Secondly, we see the object of Godly wisdom in verse
seven, He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous. The
words He layeth up means to hide. The righteous, when
they look for Godly wisdom, will find it. Then we find the
outcome of Godly wisdom in the remaining verses of chapter
I recently misplaced my reading glasses. This is highly
unusual for me, as I normally drive people crazy with
structure and organization you know, A place for
everything and everything in its place. Now, my glasses are
extremely important to me; for without them I have a very
hard time both reading and writing. I could not rest until I
found my glasses. I looked in things, on things, under things.
I found things that I never knew we had, but no glasses. To
me, this was serious business. I recruited my wife, my
children and my grandchildren to assist me in my search; for
without the glasses, life would not be totally impossible, but it
certainly would become very difficult.

So it is when it comes to wisdom. Yes, I did eventually

find my glasses because I diligently searched for them;
because, to me, they were hidden treasures. Do you need
wisdom today? Then search for her as a hidden treasure.

What to do:
Look for wisdom in Gods Word.
Look for wisdom through prayer.
If all of us could really comprehend the importance
of Godly wisdom, it would change both our thinking
and our actions.

Our Own Understanding

December 3

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3

Key Verse: Verses 5-6 Trust in the LORD with all

thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.
Key Words: own understanding

One of the real deterrents to living a life of faith in God

is human knowledge. We, more often than not, lean upon our
own understanding of things, and act upon this
understanding, rather than living a life of trusting God and
acting and living off His Word.
Is this not what happened in the life of King Saul? He
was specifically told to go and destroy Amalek and all that
they had (I Samuel 15:3). Now, we know he failed to obey and
we know why he failed in his obedience. The people of Israel
brought back from Amalek the best of their sheep and oxen to
sacrifice to the Lord (I Samuel 15:21). Rather than simply
obeying God, they leaned upon their own understanding.

Some years ago, a couple came to me and asked if I

would marry them. I gave my usual answer, If youll call the
office and set up an appointment, Ill be happy to talk with
you about it. They did call and make an appointment. I did
not know the couple. They had only attended our church for a
couple of weeks so I had many questions for which I needed
answers. Question number one was, Are you saved? The
girl quickly responded, Yes and gave a clear testimony of her
salvation. The man, on the other hand, was a different story.
Now, he was clear on his answer. He said, No sir, Im not
saved and I dont care to be.
I informed them that there was a problem Scripturally.
I quoted a couple of verses: II Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3.
I even went to Genesis 24 and talked about Isaac and
Rebekah. The young lady looked at me and said, But Ive
prayed about this, and I believe its all right if I marry him. I
have peace about this.
Her believing that the marriage was right, and even
her being at peace, came not from Gods Book, but from her
own understanding. Needless to say, I didnt marry them, but
they did get married and are now divorced and the divorce
was a bitter battle because she leaned upon her own
Abraham got in trouble because he leaned upon his
own understanding so did Jonah and David, and the list
goes on and on. Dont lean upon your own understanding,
but rather trust in the Lord and His Word.

What to do:
If your conscience tells you one thing and Gods
Word tells you another, obey the Word.
Always remember, God gives us a free will to choose.
You are free to do what you want, but you are not free
to choose the consequences of your actions.

The Principal Thing

December 4

Bible Reading: Proverbs 4

Key Verse: Verse 7 - Wisdom is the principal thing;
therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get
Key Words: Wisdom is the principal thing
The word principal is an agricultural term meaning
first fruit. It carries the idea of being the most productive, the
most fruitful. The principle is that without wisdom well
never be productive or fruitful.
There are at least five promises made in Proverbs 4 in
regard to wisdom:

wisdom will preserve you (verse 6),

wisdom will protect (keep) you (verse 6),

wisdom will promote you (verse 8),

wisdom will keep you from being straitened

(distressed) (verse 12),

wisdom will keep you from stumbling (verse

No wonder Solomon said that wisdom is the principal
We do live in a world that is void of wisdom. The
following was taken from Dear Abby, and it proves my point
that we are void of wisdom.
Dear Abby: Our son was married in January. Five
months later his wife had a ten-pound baby girl. They
said the baby was premature. Tell me, can a baby this
big be that early? Wondering. Dear Wondering:
The baby was on time, the wedding was late. Forget it.
Dear Abby: Do you think about dying much?
Curious. Dear Curious: No, its the last thing I want to
Dear Abby: I am forty-four years old and I would
like to meet a man my age with no bad habits. Rose.
Dear Rose: So would I.
Dear Abby: Whats the difference between a wife
and a mistress? -- Bess. Dear Bess: Night and Day.

No wonder Solomon said, Wisdom is the principal

thing, therefore, get wisdom.
There is a TV commercial that asks, Got milk? My
question for you is, Got wisdom?

What to do:
Be teachable (verse 1).
Desire to have Godly wisdom.
Ask God for wisdom daily.

Your Own Cistern

December 5
Bible Reading: Proverbs 5
Key Verse: Verse 15 Drink waters out of thine own
cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Key Words: Drink waters out of thine own cistern
Sexual purity is the plea from Proverbs, chapter five.
In verse three we are warned not to be taken in by smooth
words. In verses four and five we are cautioned about the end
result of adultery, But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp
as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps
take hold on hell.
Then in verse fifteen we are commanded to drink
waters out of our own cistern. The principle is that we are to
be faithful to our spouse and satisfied with them as well.
Divorce is not an option.
A man came to his pastor for help because he was
considering a divorce. The pastor counseled him to stay in the
marriage and began to show the man Scriptures which spoke
to the issue of marital commitment. He first used Ephesians
5:25, Husbands, love your wives. The man responded by
saying, I dont love her. The pastor then turned to John
13:35, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if

ye have love one to another. The man responded, I cant

love her, we fight all the time. The longer I stay with her, the
less I like her.
The pastor was determined though, so he quoted
Matthew 22:39, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Pastor, the man responded, you dont understand,
were not even friends anymore.
The pastors face lighted up with relief, Well, then
Ive got just the verse you need. Triumphantly, he read
Matthew 5:44, Love your enemies, bless them that curse
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
despitefully use you, and persecute you;.
Let me encourage each of you going through marital
trials today: stay with it, be faithful, and trust in God.

What to do:
Be satisfied with the wife of your youth and
husband, I might add.
Be faithful to your mate.
Remember sexual indiscretion call kill a marriage.

What God Hates

December 6
Bible Reading: Proverbs 6
Key Verse: Verse 16 These six things doth the
LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto
Key Words: These six things doth the Lord hate
God hates sin. In our Scripture reading for today, the
author of Proverbs singles out seven specific transgressions
that are an abomination to the Lord (it would be good to read
verses 17 19 often). Sin is so horrible that when the Lord
Jesus, the perfect Son of God, bore our guilt on the cross, the
Father turned His back on His beloved Son. And Christ, in

the blackness of that dreadful hour, cried out, My God, My

God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:46). If sin
is so terrible in the sight of God, then we must fear it, hate it,
and avoid it.
In F. B. Proctors Treasury of Quotations there is a
story told by Johann Peter Lange, the 19th century German
theologian and author. He said that a religious leader was
viciously hated by the emperor of his day. Some of the rulers
advisors said to the monarch, Burn him, confiscate his
property, put him in irons, or have him killed.
But others disagreed. They said, You will not gain
anything by all this; for in exile, he would find a home with his
God;he kisses his chains, death opens heaven to him. There
is only one way to render him unhappy; force him to sin. He
fears nothing in the world but sin.
Note that last sentence: He fears nothing in the world
but sin.
How many people do we know like that?
Unfortunately, we often become so comfortable in sins
presence that we practice it rather than fear it. But remember
how God views it. May we therefore, as lovers of Him, be
haters of sin!
What to do:
Evaluate your own life. Are you comfortable in the
presence of sin?
Do you fear sin or practice sin?
Are you real or artificial in your Christian life?

Pre-Marital Promiscuity
December 7

Bible Reading: Proverbs 7

Key Verse: Verse 5 That they may keep thee from

the strange woman, from the stranger which
flattereth with her words.
Key Words: from the stranger which flattereth

with her words

Solomon, in Proverbs chapter five, deals with premarital sex and here in chapter seven, Solomon once again is
dealing with the same subject.
The essence of the chapter is that of a young man out
on the town. He encounters a harlot who invites him to come
lay with her (verses 16-18). Solomon closes out the chapter by
giving a stern warning, Her house is the way to hell, going
down to the chambers of death.
Sometime back, I learned an illustration that I like to
use when talking to teens. I attempt to draw an analogy
between the bonding capacity of the body and adhesive tape.
Adhesive tape is not made for repetitive use. The strongest
bond adhesive tape is capable of making is formed with the
first surface to which it is applied. You can remove the tape
and reapply it to other surfaces several times, and it will stick.
However, with every application, some of the adhesiveness
has been compromised. Finally, if you continue the practice
long enough, there will not be enough adhesiveness left to
make the tape stick to any surface. God intended that the
bond between mates be the closest and strongest one that can
be formed. If you want to really stick to your spouse, then
your wedding night should be the first opportunity that youve
had to stickif you get my drift.
What to do:
Be pure.
Watch where you go.
Watch who youre with.
Stay out of compromising situations.

Death Wish

December 8

Bible Reading: Proverbs 8

Key Verse: Verse 36 But he that sinneth against me

wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love
Key Words: all they that hate me [wisdom] love

It was in the spring of 1979, on a lonely three-mile
stretch of Florida beach that one hundred pilot whales hurled
themselves onto dry ground in an apparent mass suicide. It
was another example of self-destructive behavior that
continues to baffle marine biologists. These huge creatures
had beached themselves in a kind of follow-the-leader
fashion. People came from miles around to try to turn them
back. At one point a human fence was formed between the
whales and the shoreline. But even when those sea mammals
were pushed, pulled, and forced back into deeper water, many
of them repeated their death surge and threw themselves onto
dry ground again. Several theories have been advanced to
explain this seeming bent toward self-destruction. One is that
the whales directional sonar, which steers it clear of danger,
may have gotten fouled up. Biologists found parasites in the
inner ears of some of the huge creatures that may have
disoriented them.
Do you suppose we humans look like that to the
angels? As Gods ministers for our good, they might wonder
what strange urge causes us to self-destruct en masse. Its
clear to them that the Creator has provided a sea of wisdom
for us to live in. Yet theres something about man that mimics
these whales. Like an unreasoning animal, he seems obsessed
with a desire to break out of that element for which he was
created. Instead of remaining in the expanse of a loving,
conscious submission to God, he throws himself onto the dry
ground of disobedience.
We may think wed never do that. But believe what
God says: All who hate wisdom love death.
What to do:
Hear wisdom.
Love wisdom.
Apply wisdom.


Void of Understanding
December 9

Bible Reading: Proverbs 9

Key Verse: Verse 6 Forsake the foolish, and live;

and go in the way of understanding.
Key Words: go in the way of understanding

There is much speculation as to what these seven

pillars of wisdom may be.
Some say that the seven pillars are found in Proverbs
16, they are the seven things God hate. Still others believe
that the Holy of Holies contained seven pillars and that comes
from being in the presence of God. Still others believe that
the seven pillars are found in Acts 2: the pillars of salvation,
baptism, doctrine, fellowship, communion, prayer, and giving.
In Proverbs 9 we find Solomon inspired by the Holy
Spirit of God writing to his son, Rehoboam. Inside this
chapter, you find seven solid pieces of advice. It could be that
these seven pieces of counsel are the seven pillars of wisdom.

Pillar Number One: prepare in advance

(verses 2-3).
Pillar Number Two: partake of it all
(verses 4-6).
Pillar Number Three: wisdom is
practical in its advice (verses 7-8).
Pillar Number Four: wisdom is proper
in its attitude (verse 9).
Pillar Number Five: wisdom is
profitable in its application (verses 1011).
Pillar Number Six: wisdom is piercing
in its arm (verse 12).

Pillar Number Seven: wisdom is

priceless in its association (verse 1316).

When we are void of understanding we are bound for

Ive been told that in certain portions of Africa that
monkey meat is considered a delicacy, and that the men of
Africa have a unique way of capturing the monkey. The
monkey has a particular nut that he loves to eat so the natives
will cut out a hole in the base of a tree just large enough for
the monkey to fit its fist into. But if the monkey unfolds his
fist, his hand will not come out of the hole. The Africans know
that the monkey will not turn loose of the nuts; therefore, he
is trapped. His choices are simply to turn loose of the nuts
and live, or hang onto the nuts and die. They say on every
occasion the monkey refuses to let the nuts go and thus he
There are those who refuse to let go of their
foolishness and grab hold of wisdom, and because of this they
are bound for destruction. How sad!
What to do:
Apply wisdom to every situation in your life.
Turn loose of your vices and sins that are destroying
We all have a choice to be wise or foolish. Which do
you choose?

A Multitude of Words
December 10

Bible Reading: Proverbs 10

Key Verse: Verse 19 - In the multitude of words there

wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is
Key Words: In the multitude of words there

wanteth not sin

Proverbs, chapter ten, deals with a number of subjects.
Many call this chapter the things chapter. It deals with
family things in verse one, financial things in verses two
through five, final things in verses six and seven, foolish
things in verses eight through fifteen, fruitful things in verses
sixteen and seventeen, fundamental things in verses eighteen
through twenty-eight, and fatal things in verses twenty-nine
through thirty-two.
The thing I would like for you to see is the importance
of keeping our tongue in cheek. The truth is the more we talk,
the more the likelihood of us saying something we will regret
later. I read a humorous story that illustrates this point.
Jim was not a good golfer, but he wanted to fit in with
the guys who did golf well, so Jim began to invent stories
about his prowess on the golf course. After listening to Jims
tales, some of the guys invited him to join them for a round of
golf. Now no amount of practice would prepare Jim for the
big day so, as usual, he used his mouth more than his clubs.
On the first tee, he addressed the ball three times and missed
each time. After missing the ball for the fourth time, Jim
turned to the foursome and remarked, This is really a tough
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.

What to do:
Ask God to help you guard your tongue.
Never feel the need to say something.
Never let pride make you brag about things you have
never accomplished.

December 11

Bible Reading: Proverbs 11

Key Verse: Verse 1 A false balance is abomination

to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
Key Words: A false balance is abomination to the

There are at least ten different values found in
Proverbs, chapter eleven.
There are commercial values (verse 1), conceited
values (verse 2), Christian values (verses 3-9), city values
(verses 10-15), comparative values (verse 16), contrasting
values (verses 17-21), confused values (verses 22-23),
congenial values (verses 24-26), concerning values (verses 2729), and character values (verses 30-31).
But I draw your attention to verse one and the
importance of dealing with others with honesty and integrity.
During Solomons day, the merchants would often cheat the
consumer by tipping the scales in their favor.
A housewife went to the local market and asked the
butcher for a chicken weighing four pounds. The butcher had
only one chicken left and it weighed three pounds. Im
sorry, the woman said, it isnt quite big enough. Ill have to
go to another market.
The butcher, who was not scrupulously honest and
didnt want to lose a customer, stopped her, Madam, he
said, I just remembered that I may have one more chicken in
the freezer. Please wait one moment. He then carried the
three-pound chicken to the freezer in the back of the store,
waited a minute, then came back holding the same chicken.
Youre in luck, madam, he said. I found another chicken.
He placed it on the scale and, unseen by the customer, slightly
pressed the scale with his finger so that it indicated four
pounds. There you are, madam.
The customer thought for a second. Tell you what,
she said. Since you were so helpful, Ill take both chickens.

The story makes us smile because the dishonest

merchant was caught in his fraudulent scheme. A false
balance is abomination. Be honest in all your dealings.

What to do:
Be honest.
Be sure your sin will find you out.

The Work of Deceit

December 12

Bible Reading: Proverb 12

Key Verse: Verse 5 The thoughts of the righteous
are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.
Key Words: the counsels of the wicked are deceit
Recently two slick con men boarded a train that runs
between New York and Boston and singled out a prosperous
looking individual as their patsy. Sitting down next to him,
they invited him to play a game of cards. Soon the
unsuspecting victim was several hundred dollars in the red.
The winner agreed to take a check, but once he had it in his
hands, he acted conscience-stricken and tore it up. I never
thought youd lose so much money. Lets call the whole thing
off, he said. Impressed with their apparent generosity, the
loser insisted on writing out a new one. Later, when his
vouchers came back from the bank, he found that not only the
second but also the first check had been cashed! The crook
had quickly slipped the first one into his pocket and had torn
up a blank one instead. The loser was hooked twice.
We despise that kind of deception even though
gambling is wrong in the first place. But do we fail to
recognize in our own lives the same tendency to deceive?
Have we fawned over others, inflating their egos to gain
personal favor, or winked at wrongdoing to advance up the

ladder of success? We may try to assure ourselves that we do

these things to win friends or to be diplomatic, when
actually we are motivated by self-interest, not kindness. Yet
because our hearts are evil, we constantly seek to justify
ourselves (Jeremiah 17:9).
Beware of deceitfulness. It originates with the devil,
the father of lies (John 8:44), and is one of the seven things
God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19).

What to do:
Always remember the words of Walter Scott, Oh,
what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to
Again remember, your sin will find you out.

December 13

Bible Reading: Proverbs 13

Key Verse: Verse 6 Righteousness keepeth him that is

upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth
the sinner.
Key Words: Righteousness keepeth him that is

upright in the way

Chapter thirteen of Proverbs deals with the subject of

truth. There is a truth about listening (verse 1), a truth about
living (verse 2), a truth about laziness (verse 4), a truth about
lying (verse 5), and a truth about limits (verse 6), and so it
goes throughout the chapter.
Its the truth about limits I would like for us to look at
in todays devotion.
If you would look again at the word righteousness in
our text verse, it is a judicial word meaning to make Godly
decisions. Then notice the word upright, it carries the idea of

being whole, not divided. I believe the principle is clear

Godly decisions keep you whole.
Every one of us needs to set some limits for our life:
things we will not do, places we will not go, words we will not
use, clothing we will not wear. Without limits we find
ourselves in a constant quandary.
As a boy growing up in south Alabama, I lived in an
area that allowed me the space to run in open fields, but I also
was able to hide in the woods. It was certainly a good life for a
young boy. One of the things I would do was to catch the field
larks that would fly into the fields for their early morning
breakfast. I would put a cardboard box out, stick a stick under
it to hold it up, tie a string around the stick, and then I would
take the string and hide. In order to lure the field larks into
the box, I would put one of Mothers homemade biscuits
under it. Sure enough, when they flew in, they couldnt resist
Moms biscuit. I would occasionally tag the birds I caught
with a little band around their leg. You know, I was
continually catching some of the same birds over and over
again. You know, the same thing happens to us. Satan
constantly puts out his lures and because we have no limits,
we continually find ourselves trapped and in distress.
Today I challenge you to live your life with limits. The
only other option is to live a life of spiritual defeat.

What to do:
Write down your limits and stick to them.
Pray for Gods power daily to stay within those
Stay away from compromising situations.

What To Do With Anger

December 14

Bible Reading: Proverbs 14

Key Verse: Verse 17 - He that is soon angry dealeth
foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Key Words: He that is soon angry dealeth

We are not told in the Bible that getting angry is sinful.
What we do read, however, is that we must never allow anger
to cause us to sin. Instead, if the pent-up power of our wrath
were directed into constructive uses, we could help right some
of the wrongs of our evil world.
In Matthew 21, Jesus cast the money-changers out of
the temple, but He controlled His emotions and accomplished
something good. When the hard-hearted Pharisees brought
Him a man with a withered hand, hoping that Christ would
break the Sabbath by healing him, He Looked round about
on them with anger (Mark 3:5). But then He healed the
man. On the two occasions when His wrath was raised
against the money-changers in the temple, He expressed it in
a purposeful way by driving these religious frauds out of the
Lords house.
Leslie B. Flynn tells that after the American Civil War
the managers of the infamous Louisiana Lottery approached
Robert E. Lee and asked if hed let them use his name in their
scheme. They promised that if he did he would become rich.
Astounded, Lee straightened up, buttoned his gray coat, and
shouted, Gentlemen, I lost my home in the war. I lost my
fortune in the war. I lost everything except my name. My
name is not for sale, and if you fellows dont get out of here,
Ill break this crutch over your heads!
Anger can easily lead to sin, but it can also help us take
a strong stand for righteousness. The next time an angry
spirit arises in you, ask God to help you direct it toward
purposes that honor the Lord.

What to do:
Be angry at sin, not the sinner.
Remember anger can lead us to sin, so guard
yourself; but it can also help us stand for

There is an old saying that goes, Keep your temper,

no one else wants it.

A Soft Answer
December 15

Bible Reading: Proverbs 15

Key Verse: Verse 1 - A soft answer turneth away
wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
Key Words: A soft answer turneth away wrath

The best way to unarm an angry man is with soft

words. The soft word doesnt carry near the sting or the pain
as something hard does.
Chapter fifteen deals with our words. On at least
seven occasions you find the words tongue, lips, mouth, and
Solomon says that our words should be wise (verse 2),
wholesome (verse 4), knowledgeable (verse 7), timely (verse
23), pleasant (verse 26), controlled (verse 28), and lastly soft
(verse 1).
As an elderly woman prepared to park her large
expensive car, a young college student cut her off and stole
her parking spot. Now that was neither chivalrous nor wise,
but it gets worse. The young driver jumped from his car and
sarcastically said, Oh, to be young and fast! poking fun at
the elderly lady. Later when the student returned to his car,
he was appalled. The elderly woman was using her big car as
a battering ram to demolish his little car. The lady powered
down her window, smiled and said, You may be young and
fast, but oh, to be old and rich!
Dont you think his words stirred her anger? I remind
you, A soft answer turneth away wrath.

What to do:
Keep your answers soft, and I might add, brief.
Remember, a fool uttereth all his mind.

God Is In Control
December 16

Bible Reading: Proverbs 16

Key Verse: Verse 33 - The lot is cast into the lap; but
the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
Key Words: The lot is cast into the lap

Flipping a coin, drawing straws, or even taking a

number out of a hat have always been ways of resolving a
disagreement when other ways have failed. One of these
methods was recently used to decide the winner of an
election. It seems as though two men tied with 140 votes
apiece in a city council election in a small town outside
Norman, Oklahoma. Rather than go through the expense of
another election, city officials used a chance method to decide
the winner, and apparently everyone accepted the outcome.
In case youre wondering, they actually drew straws to decide
the winner.
Many people view all of this as nothing more than a
matter of chance, of gambling and playing the odds; but
Solomon said that ultimately the whole matter would be
decided by God.
In Bible times this was not an unusual way of resolving
situations. For example, remember in Jonah where they
wanted to cast lots to see who had angered God and caused
the storm (Jonah 1:7)?
So should we resort to casting lots or flipping coins to
resolve conflicts, or to find Gods will, or to seek His
direction? Absolutely not! We have His Word, His Spirit, and
His assurance that He is guiding us.
Then what does all of this say to us? I believe it says
that from the Christian perspective there is no such thing as

chance or luck. God is either directly or indirectly involved in

everything that happens to us. He can, therefore, be trusted
and obeyed in any circumstance because God is in control.

What to do:
Turn everyday and every situation over to God.
Follow Gods direction as He speaks to you through
His Word.
And remember, lots would never have been cast in
Jonah, had Jonah been in Gods will.

A Loving Friend
December 17

Bible Reading: Proverbs 17

Key Verse: Verse 17 - A friend loveth at all times,

a brother is born for adversity.
Key Words: A friend loveth at all times
Proverbs chapter seventeen deals with the subject of
contentment. We see in verses one through five that Solomon
deals with contentment from possessions. In verses six
through ten, he deals with contentment from having right
priorities. In verses eleven through twenty-one, he talks
about being content with people, and sometimes being
content in spite of people. Then in verses twenty-two through
twenty-eight, he talks about contentment that comes from
being prudent.
But in verse seventeen, Solomon touches on being
content in our friendships when he says a friend loveth at all
times. A real key to loving someone is in really being their
friend. Let me explain.
On July 29, 1981, Britains Prince Charles married
Lady Di in a grand royal wedding. The glamorous wedding
was a fairy tale come true for both Prince Charles and Lady

Di, or at least thats what we were led to believe. For their

wedding London was a city dressed like a large stage. City
busses were painted the color of the wedding. There were
4,500 pots of flowers that lined the wedding route of Lady Di.
All the flowers were, there again, the color of her wedding.
That day it is said that three million people lined the
streets of London to get a glimpse of Lady Di. The wedding
was carried live on television in seventy-five countries.
Approximately one billion people watched the wedding.
It was indeed a glamorous wedding; but unfortunately,
it wasnt a glamorous marriage.
Fifteen years and one month after Prince Charles and
Lady Di said I do, they were divorced. Someone asked
Prince Charles why the marriage failed. His answer was, to
say the least, shocking. He said, Lady Di and I were lovers
and admired each other, but we were never friends. Oh!!
The Word of God is so true. A friend loveth at all times.

What to do:
Remember, a friendship that cant endure trials
cant be trusted.
Dont just marry a lover; make sure youre friends.
Dont just want friends; be a friend.

To Have One, Be One

December 18

Bible Reading: Proverbs 18

Key Verse: Verse 24 - A man that hath friends must
shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that
sticketh closer than a brother.
Key Words: A man that hath friends must shew

himself friendly

In a book by Henry Durbanville, the author

underscored the importance of friends as a means of
overcoming the dreaded enemy of loneliness. He included the
following excellent quotes that are worthy of repeating: Ralph
Waldo Emerson said, A friend may well be reckoned the
masterpiece of nature. A small boy defined a friend as
someone who knows all about you and likes you just the
same. And an old Arab saying goes like this: A friend is one
to whom we may pour out all the contents of our hearts, chaff
and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will
take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with the
breath of kindness blow the rest away. Durbanville himself
made this observation: A friend is the first person to come in
when the whole world goes out.
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 17:17, A friend loveth at
all times. We cant improve on that definition. To have
someone who remains true to us under all circumstances is
indeed one of lifes choicest blessings. The support and
encouragement that only an intimate personal friend can offer
is sorely needed when the burdens and pressures of life weigh
heavily upon us.
But todays Scripture makes a very
important point. It says that A man who hath friends must
show himself friendly. The implication is clear - friendliness
must begin with us. We must take the initiative in developing
relationships with others.
Let us be to others what we desire for ourselves. When
it comes to friends, to have one you must be one!

What to do:
There is an old saying that goes like this: I went out
to find a friend and could find one nowhere; but when
I went out to be a friend, I found friends everywhere.
You want a friend? Be one first.

The Priority of Integrity

December 19

Bible Reading: Proverbs 19

Key Verse: Verses 1 - Better is the poor that walketh

in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips,
and is a fool.
Key Words: Better is the poor that walketh in his

As you read the beginning verses of Proverbs 19, you read
Knowledge and hastiness in verse 2,

Foolishness and fretting in verse 3,

Wealth and friends in verse 4, and

False witnesses and punishment in verse 5.

But its verse one I want you to see with me today, and the
priority of integrity.
An unscrupulous salesman was
delivering a bid that his company had made for an
engineering firm. He was ushered into the office where he
would present his bid to the firm. After a brief introduction,
the firms representative politely excused himself for a
minute. The shady salesman quickly noticed the bid of his
competitor lying on the desk. Unfortunately, there was a cold
drink covering up the total amount. He gazed out into the
inner office and noticed there was nobody to see him sneak a
peek. He lifted the Coke and got the surprise of his life.
Rather than a cold drink, it was a bottomless can filled with
BBs. The quiet office was filled with the sound of BBs racing
across the desk and spilling onto the floor. The firms
representative then returned to the office and showed the
dishonest salesman the door. Integrity is demonstrated more
when people are not looking than when they are.

What to do:
Make integrity a part of your daily life.
Remember its better to be poor and have integrity
than to be rich and have no integrity.


December 20

Bible Reading: Proverbs 20

Key Verse: Verse 7 The just man walketh in his

integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Key Words: The just man walketh in his integrity

In Proverbs 20:7a we are told that, The just man

walketh in his integrity. The word integrity comes from the
Latin word integer. Its a math term meaning whole number.
The idea behind integrity is that we are whole, that our walk
and our talk are one. We do what we say we will do and we
are what we say we are. Today so many people freely attribute
integrity to others, but are you aware that in the entire Word
of God only three people were ever said to have integrity:
Abraham, David, and Job. The reason so few people have
integrity is because of the pressure placed on them to lose
their integrity. For example, Job was attacked by Satan so he
would lose his integrity. His wife put family pressure on him,
and then his friends pressured him, all so that Job would lose
his integrity. No wonder so very few people keep their
integrity. Now integrity is not so much what I say about
myself as what others say and see about me. I remember for
one of my college final exams we had twenty questions.
Numbers one and twenty were blank but numbers two
through nineteen had questions out beside them. The
professor asked us verbally question number one, Do you
have integrity? Yes or no was the only acceptable answer.
Then he told us to answer questions two through nineteen and
turn our papers over on our desk. After everyone was
finished, he took our exams and then passed them out and
said, Now look at the name on the exam you have before you
and look at question number one. If you believe they were
truthful about their integrity, give them five points. Integrity
is not what you think of yourself, it is what others see in you.

Today when others look at you, theyll reach a decision

about your integrity. What decision will they reach?

What to do:
Always practice integrity.
Parents, remember integrity is not so much taught
as caught.
What would others say about your integrity?

December 21

Bible Reading: Proverbs 21

Key Verse: Verse 31 - The horse is prepared against

the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
Key Words: safety is of the LORD

It is said often enough so we certainly cant forget that

we live in dangerous times. We are reminded of that tidbit of
discouraging news by the media, medical and ministerial
professions; so in the midst of all this discouragement and
danger, what is a guy to do? Well, he should

Avoid riding in automobiles because they are

responsible for 20% of all fatal accidents;

Avoid staying home because 17% of all accidents

occur in the home;

Avoid walking and exercising because 14% of all

accidents occur during these events;

Avoid, if at all possible, traveling by air, rail, or seagoing vessels as 16% of all accidents involve these
forms of transportation.

Of the remaining 33%, 32% of all deaths occur in

hospitals. Above all else, it would appear hospitals
must be avoided.

So whats left? Well, interestingly enough, only .001%

of all deaths occur in church services and those are usually
related to previous disorders. Therefore, common sense tells
us that church is a safe place to be.
The Bible is certainly safe as well. The percentage of
deaths during Bible study is enormously small. Therefore, I
have reached the conclusion that for safetys sake, attend
church and read your Bible. It could save your life.

What to do:
Where do you believe your safety comes from?
Ask God for safety each day.
Pray for the safety of others.

Influencing Your Child

December 22

Bible Reading: Proverbs 22

Key Verse: Verse 6 - Train up a child in the way he
should go: and when he is old, he will not depart
Key Words: Train up
Discipline is not a list of dos and do nots.
Discipline is control. The reason we discipline our children is
because they refuse to control their own behavior; so we
attempt through punishment to give them the right desire to
bring their behavior under control. But years of experience
have taught me that proper discipline in our children is not

just taught, it is also caught by children from parents who live

a Christ-centered life. We as parents cannot lead beyond our
own example. We often hear the motto, Christ is the Head of
this house. But as Christian parents this should also be the
motto of our hearts. As parents our self-control should be to
let Christ rule in our hearts Then we can lead our children to a
proper code of conduct for their lives. The following are ways
which we can influence children for Christ:
1. Be honest. If we are not honest in our daily tasks,
how can we expect our children to be honest? You
should not expect your children to be honest with
you and others if you lie and cover for your
childrens absences, or if you attempt to cover for
them when they misbehave. Be honest. You
cannot expect your children to be honest unless
you lead the way (Ephesians 4:25).
2. Be consistent. You cannot expect your children to
put God first in their lives if you do not put God
first in your life. Lead the way (Matthew 6:33).
3. Be respectful. When my granddaughter, Audra,
was fourteen months old she was in the room
(unbeknownst to me) while I was working. I was
admiring my work and simply let out a loud oohwee. From the corner of the room I heard this
loud cry, Ooh-wee, PaPa. Children repeat what
they hear. You cant expect your children to give
proper respect unless you lead the way in it
(Hebrews 13:17).

4. Be realistic. Dont expect perfection from your

children. Believe me, they see your mistakes, and
when you require them to be what you are not, it
leads to misbehavior. The key is not perfection,
but a 100% effort on both the parents and the
childs part. Do unto others as you would have
them do unto you.
Remember, discipline is not just taught, it is also
caught! God bless you as your children catch what you have

What to do:
Apply the principles outlined in this devotion.

December 23

Bible Reading: Proverbs 23

Key Verse: Verse 32 - At the last it biteth like a

serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Key Words: it biteth like a serpent

According to Russell Ash in his book, The Top Ten of

Everything, the number one reason for arrests in the United
States is driving under the influence. Each year more
Americans are arrested for that reason than any other, larceny
and theft being the second highest volume of arrests while
drug abuse violence comes in third.
Did you know that alcoholic beverages are a product of
amazing versatility? It will remove stains from clothes, but it
will also remove clothes off your back. If by chance it is used
in sufficient quantity, alcohol will remove furniture from the
home, rugs from the floor, food from the table, lining from the
stomach, vision from the eyes, and judgment from the mind.
Alcohol will also remove good reputations, good jobs, good
friends, happiness from childrens hearts, sanity, freedom,
spouses, relationships, mans ability to adjust and live with his
fellow man, and even life itself. As a remover of things,
alcohol has no equal.
Also a recent survey found that the average college
student drinks thirty-four gallons of alcoholic beverages a
year. Freshmen drink the most, followed by sophomores,
then juniors, and seniors drink the least.
Grade point averages show the same hierarchy of
Those who drink the most have grade point
averages of less that 2.0. Those who have 3.0 rank second in

their alcohol consumption; and those who make As drink

none at all on an average.
Now, the moral of all this appears to be: the smarter
you are, the less you drink.
As believers, we should abstain from drinking. This
can be accomplished by being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians
What to do:
If you drink alcoholic beverages, stop.
If you are addicted, seek help.
As believers, be filled with the Spirit. (See
Ephesians 5.)

A Fool
December 24

Bible Reading: Proverbs 24

Key Verse: Verse 7 - Wisdom is too high for a fool: he

openeth not his mouth in the gate.
Key Words: Wisdom is too high for a fool

Solomon warns us against listening to the advice of

three kinds of fools: the silent fool (verse 7), the sinful fool
(verse 8), and the scornful fool (verse 9).
But it is verse 7 I want us to see. Wisdom is too high
for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. The point
being, this man has been promoted beyond his level of
competence. He has a position among the mighty, but he is
completely incompetent to speak with wisdom on the matters
under discussion.

I read the following from An Atlas and Text of Ultra

Structural Pathology.
In the liver biopsy of a 21-day-old patient with Jeune
syndrome (Asphyxiating Thoracic Dystrophe) who had
proliferation associated with poital febrosis, inflammation
and edema was found. The hepatic ultrastructure revealed
lysosomal retention of bile pigment.
Other changes
included proliferation of the membranes of the smooth
endoplasmic reticulum with glycogen body formation, mildly
dilated rough endoplasmic reticulum.
What!! I felt as if I were reading a foreign language.
No doubt, I was in over my head.
So it is with a fool when it comes to wisdom. He is in
over his head. He cannot comprehend words which are wise.
Therefore, he cannot take part in the conversation.
There is an old saying that goes like this, It is better to
say nothing and appear to be a fool than to speak up and
reveal that you are a fool.

What to do:
Be wise in your conversations.
Always remember silence may leave people
wondering about your wisdom speaking removes all

Our Words
December 25

Bible Reading: Proverbs 25

Key Verse: Verse 11 - A word fitly spoken is like

apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Key Words: A word fitly spoken

In Proverbs 25:11-15, Solomon gives us five different

types of words.
Verse 11: Our words should be fitting
(not out of line or improper).
Verse 12: Our words should be wise. (A
person who knows how to properly
correct with words is a rarity.)
Verse 13:
Our words should be
refreshing. (In ancient times, snow was
used very much as ice is today. In
winter it was carefully put away so as to
be available for cooling drinks in the
heat of summer. The simile, therefore,
is very easy to understand. As the cold
snow refreshes the reapers in the hot
days of harvest, so does the dependable
messenger refresh the soul of those who
place their confidence in him to deliver a
Verse 14: Our words should not be
boastful. (A boastful person can talk up
a hefty cloud and a good puff of wind,
but they never produce anything of any
Verse 15: Our words should be soft.
(We are reminded of Proverbs 15:1a, A
soft answer turneth away wrath.)
I recently read about a woman who committed suicide.
She left an unfinished note that simply read, They said.
She never finished her final thought, but whatever they said
was painful enough for her to extinguish her own life. We say,
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will never
hurt us. Oh, how untrue! In this case, words literally killed.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of
What to do:

Make your words 1) fitting, 2) wise, 3) refreshing, 4)

not boastful, and 5) soft. Some good points to
remember, dont you think?

December 26

Bible Reading: Proverbs 26

Key Verse: Verse 16 - The sluggard is wiser in his

own conceit than seven men that can render a
Key Words: The sluggard is wiser in his own


Daniel Webster was a great orator with a quick mind.

In his early years, Websters father left specific instructions
for Daniel and his older brother, Ezekiel. When the elder
Webster returned from his trip, the job was still unfinished.
He questioned the boys about their slothfulness, What have
you been doing, Ezekiel? Nothing, sir, was the reply. The
father then turned to the younger Daniel and asked, Well,
what have you been doing, Son? Webster never batted an
eye, Helping Zeke, sir. Slothfulness
The retired husband was in his usual position of lying
on the couch. When he awoke from his nap, he looked at his
watch. The second hand was no longer moving, and the time
was obviously wrong. He called out to his wife who was
working in the kitchen. He said, This watch doesnt work
anymore. She immediately shot back, At least its in good
company! Slothfulness
The CEO of a large company was asked, How many
people work in your company? The dry-witted CEO replied,
Not many! Slothfulness
Where there is a will not to work, youll always find an

What to do:
Be a worker.
Dont make excuses.

December 27

Bible Reading: Proverbs 27

Key Verse: Verse 1 - Boast not thyself of tomorrow;
for thou knowest not what a day may bring
Key Words: Boast not thyself of tomorrow
From time to time, we all procrastinate; but when
procrastination is a way of life for us it is a glaring fault that
hinders our testimony as a believer. But even worse is the
putting off of salvation. We are told in II Corinthians 6:2,
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in
the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the
accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
There is an old fable that I remember from years ago
that goes something like this. Satan gathered all of his
demons together for the purpose of keeping the lost from
being saved. Satan said, Now what lie can I tell them that
would cause the unbeliever to put off becoming a Christian?
One demon suggested, Lets tell them that the Bible is not
true and you cant trust it. Satan responded, That wont
work, anyone with common sense knows the Bible is true.
Then another demon spoke up and said, Lets tell them that
God isnt real and that He is a figment of mans imagination.
Satan again retorted, Man knows God is real, that wont work
either. Then another demon said, Lets tell them that Jesus
doesnt exist. Again that met with this response from Satan,
All men know that Jesus lived and is alive today. That wont
work either. Then one of the smarter demons responded,
Satan, lets tell them that the Bible is real, and that Jesus
does exist, and they can be saved. But why do it today when

youve got tomorrow? Great idea! said Satan. And so its

gone on down through the years, You can get saved, just
dont do it today.
Well, I say, Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou
knowest not what a day may bring forth.

What to do:
Dont put off until tomorrow what you can and
should do today.
Remember, procrastination is a glaring fault that
will damage your testimony.


December 28

Bible Reading: Proverbs 28

Key Verse: Verse 1 - The wicked flee when no man

pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Key Words: the righteous are bold as a lion

There are two things about the righteous man which

produces stability.
First of all, his courage produces stability, the courage
to stay rather than flee when things are going awry. (Verse 1)
Secondly, his understanding produces stability. If I
fail to understand what is happening around me, Im prone to
flee. (Verse 2)
David McCulloughs biography of Teddy Roosevelt,
Mornings on Horseback, includes this story of young Teddy
as a child in New York City: Mittie [his mother] had found
he was so afraid of the Madison Square Church that he

refused to set foot inside if alone. He was terrified, she

discovered, of something called the zeal. It was crouched in
the dark corners of the church ready to jump at him, he said.
When she asked what a zeal might be, he said he was not sure,
but thought it was probably a large animal like an alligator or
a dragon. He had heard the minister read about it from the
Bible. Using a concordance, she read him those passages
containing the word zeal until suddenly, very excited, he
told her to stop. The line was from the Gospel of John 2:17:
And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal
of thine house hath eaten me up.
His lack of stability came from fear because of failure
to understand.
Now, let me ask you, Are you standing or fleeing
today? I hope youre standing.
What to do:
Be courageous and seek understanding. If not,
youll flee through all of your life.

Needless Fear
December 29

Bible Reading: Proverbs 29

Key Verse: Verse 25 - The fear of man bringeth a
snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall
be safe.
Key Words: The fear of man bringeth a snare
There are three types of fear mentioned in Gods
Word. There is sudden fear or startling fear. There is the fear
of God, a reverential fear. And then there is trembling fear.
Thats the fear we find in our text verse, verse 25. I have
found that this is the fear that Satan will use to keep us from
carrying out Gods will. But I have also found that it is a
useless and senseless fear. As a child of God, I have the
continual watch care of God over me.
The early American Indians had a unique practice of
training young braves. On the night of a boys thirteenth

birthday, after learning hunting, scouting, and fishing skills,

he was put to one final test. He was placed in a dense forest to
spend the entire night alone. Until then, he had never been
away from the security of the family and tribe. But on this
night, he was blindfolded and taken several miles away.
When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of thick
woods, and he was terrified. Every time a twig snapped, he
visualized a wild animal ready to pounce. After what seemed
like an eternity, dawn broke and the first rays of sunlight
entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy
saw flowers, trees, and the outline of a path. Then to his utter
astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a
few feet away, armed with bow and arrow. It was his father.
He had been there all night long.
What to do:
Move forward doing the will of God in spite of your
The more we give in to our fears, the more victories
can be accomplished by Satan.
Trust in God and youll never be safer.

A Buttermilk Bath
December 30

Bible Reading: Proverbs 30

Key Verse: Verse 33- Surely the churning of milk
bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose
bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth
forth strife.
Key Words: Surely the churning of milk bringeth
forth butter
I recently saw an ad in the newspaper which brought
back a flood of memories.

It was an old-fashioned butter churn. Maybe you

remember them. This one was a tall wooden vessel with a
hole in the cover, through which a round handle protruded
with paddles on the lower end. By patient, hard work
plunging the paddles up and down in the cream you can
make butter provided the temperature is right. How well I
remember it seemed like hours before the butter would
separate! But Aunt Sarah would always say, If youll only
keep on, it will come sooner or later. Yes, the secret was in
keeping on not giving up. Butter comes only from churning
and churning. To stop is to fail!
The story is told of two frogs that fell into a tub of
cream. The one looked at the high sides of the tub which were
too difficult to crawl over and said, It is hopeless. So he
resigned himself to death, relaxed, and sank to the bottom!
The other frog determined to keep on swimming as long as he
could. Something might happen, he said and sure enough
it did! He kept kicking, kicking, churning, churning, and
finally, Eureka! He found himself on a solid platform of
butter, floating on top of his buttermilk bath. He hopped out
safely, and only because he would not give up. Paul wrote,
And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we
shall reap, IF (Galatians 6:9). You finish the verse.
The moral of the story is do not ever, ever give up.

What to do:
Give up and lose, or
Keep going, and praying, and believing, and
churning away and make some butter that will
butter up your life.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 31

December 31

Key Verse: 10 - Who can find a virtuous woman? for

her price is far above rubies.
Key Words: Who can find a virtuous woman?
Finding a virtuous woman is not impossible, but it is a
rarity. As you scan the pages of Gods Word, you only find
two women whom God calls virtuous.
First of all, there is Ruth, found in Ruth 3:11, And
now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou
requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou
art a virtuous woman.
Secondly, in our text Solomons mother is said to be
virtuous. As you can see, being virtuous is not impossible but
it is a rarity.
Some time back our family went to the Smoky
Mountains for a vacation. We came across a sign that read,
Ruby Mines 2 Miles Ahead on the Right. My wife and the
girls just insisted that we stop by the Ruby Mines to see if we
could find some rubies. When we arrived I found out that you
actually buy a five-pound bag of dirt and you go and pan for
rubies from the bag of dirt you buy. Before I bought the bags
of dirt five pounds for $20.00 I asked the man running
the mines if anyone had ever found a ruby, and he assured
me they had. So the five of us took our five bags of dirt and
began our panning. Well, ten bags and $40.00 later, we were
still ruby-less. On the way out, I asked again, Are you sure
rubies have come out of this mine? He again answered,
Yes. So I asked how many and he said, I have worked at
the mines for over five years, and have seen two genuine
rubies. Then I said, Two! He looked at me, smiled, and
said, They are a rarity, you know.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far
above rubies.
What to do:
Study verses 11 31 to see the qualities of a virtuous
Strive to be virtuous.
Remember, if it were easy everyone could do it so put your

faith in God and strive with all your heart for virtue.

I deeply appreciate the

help of
Mary Parsons
Glenda Myrick
And my lovely wife, Linda

Without God using these

people to help, this
devotional would not
have been possible.
Dr. Mike Rouse

is a ministry of

5568 Chalkville Mountain Road

Birmingham, AL. 35235
(205) 854-2741