Detroit Bankruptcy – What the Proverbs Say

“I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds and the stone wall was in ruins.” ~ Proverbs 24:30

“Deferred maintenance.”

Detroit’s city manager has cited the bankruptcy filing as needed in order to find a way to deal with 60 years of deferred maintenance. That’s not a typo – 60 years!


Many streetlights haven’t worked in years, there is no money to fix broken down ambulances, and up to one third of the residential properties are vacant.  Why shouldn’t they be?  Who wants to live in a city that is falling apart?

Now, accumulating stuff, is not the goal of the believer. The less the better. But the Bible does teach us to take care of and to prize the things we do own.

Even Paul, the apostle, had a few chosen possessions that he cared about.  “When you come bring the cloak I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” (II Timothy 4)  It was speculated that Paul, on the verge of being arrested while in Troas, quickly slipped his most prized possessions to trusted Carpus for save keeping.

So whether you own a mansion on a hill or the clothes on your back, carefully maintain, prize, and care for them as a good steward of God. Your nice, well kept home, yard or garden may inspire your neighbors, which may inspire your community, which may bless your city.




Drifting Off the Path

“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” Proverbs 3:6 (New Living Translation)


An empty feeling has crept into my life – boredom and depression. I have drifted off the path.  I can feel it.  I’m way off in the woods. Completely lost. What did I do wrong?

A quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. jolts me:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

Ah that is it – I have become absorbed in self.  So obvious now, why couldn’t I see this earlier?

Okay then, I hereby declare this pity party over!

I try to retrace my steps back to the right path.  I read Psalm 82. “Rescue the weak and needy.”  I pause before starting out again and ask myself, “Who can I rescue today?” “Who is needy?”  But my neighborhood is comfortable and middle class. Who needs help that can’t help themselves?

Where do I start?  I pray and ask for guidance. Then I recall yesterday’s church email about the need for soup and macaroni and cheese in the food pantry.  I can do that!  I’ll start small.

Thank you Lord.  It feels good to be back on the path.