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Bumper-Sticker Wisdom
by Tom Goodman
April 15, 2009

How well do you know your proverbs?  A third-grade teacher wanted to know how well her children knew them, so she gave her class the first half of a proverb and the kids had to come up with the rest.  Here was what they wrote:

As you shall make your bed, so shall you... mess it up.

Better be safe than... punch a fifth grader.

Strike while the... bug is close.

It's always darkest beforeā€¦ daylight savings time.

You can lead a horse to water, but... how?

Don't bite the hand that... looks dirty.

An idle mind is... the best way to relax.

A penny saved is... not much.

Two's company, three's... the musketeers.

Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and... you have to blow your nose.

Children should be seen and not... spanked or grounded.

It seems that it's part of being human to condense wisdom down to memorable one-sentence proverbs.  Maybe that's why we like God's Book of Proverbs so much.  This Sunday, we're going to re-discover the proverbs through a new sermon series called "Bumper-Sticker Wisdom."

Austin is a bumper-sticker-crazy town.  Have you noticed this?  When I first moved here six years ago, I was amazed at how many people felt I needed to know their opinion while waiting behind them in traffic!  (I also concluded that our church facility is built on a "cultural fault line," because when you leave our church campus and head south, the bumper stickers get more liberal, and when you leave our church campus and head north, the bumper stickers get more conservative!)

The biblical proverbs are "bumper sticker wisdom" -- condensed down to pithy statements meant to make you smile and nod appreciatively.  I think you're going to find this new sermon series through God's proverbs to be a helpful study.  We begin this Sunday at 10am with, "How to Get the Good Advice You Need."  Proverbs 27:17 (TEV) says, "People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron."  We're going to look at a lot of proverbs this week to discover five ways to enlist the good advice of wise people.

By the way, you can help me prepare for this series by sending me photos of bumper stickers you see.  I already have quite a collection, but pull out that cell phone, snap a photo, and e-mail it to me.  I'll put some up on the screen this Sunday!


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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