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​A daily discipline to reveal Godly wisdom for our everyday lives.




Proverbs Chapter 31

Scott Bruegman

Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise and to the final chapter of Proverbs (Chapter 31)!  I know that Shawn (and all of the staff at Red Rocks) have had such blast with this devotional. Hopefully, you feel renewed, focused, and armed with wisdom for the days to come.

If you’ve been around church for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard a bit about “Proverbs 31”. Now, I know the majority of this chapter is geared toward us ladies, but guys, hang in there. I believe there are nuggets here for you too.

Honestly, when I first read Proverbs 31, I was a little annoyed. I mean, who is this woman? She does everything. She buys land. She sells land. Her husband loves her, and they have a wonderful relationship. She helps the poor. She’s up before dawn. She cooks for her family. She cleans. She sews clothing. Everybody loves her. Good grief, I got exhausted just reading about her.

But, today I picked up Proverbs 31, reread it, and I was inspired.

I’ve always been driven. I don’t know about you, but deep down I kind of want to have and do it all. I have a great husband. I have a house. Dogs. But, I also want a family. I’m a pastor, and I want to continue to grow in my preaching. I want to write more. I want to travel. I want to step out in faith. I want my life to be impactful. I want to see the gospel spread. I want to work out more. I want to get out and camp more this summer. I want to start a business with my husband. I want to be able to make a great home. I want to impress people with my awesome cooking skills I learned on Master Chef. I want it all. (Maybe you can relate?)

But then I get nervous because I feel like maybe having it all isn’t possible. Maybe it’s too much. Maybe I’m not enough. And then Proverbs 31:30 says, “…but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

See, this is the crux of this chapter. It’s saying that this type of woman (one who fears God) will live a life that is praiseworthy. When God is first, and He is the one we fear, revere, and build our life around, that’s when a praiseworthy life is possible. Therefore, in Christ (and only in) Christ, you can have and do it all.

The Proverbs 31 woman lives life to the max. She is a perfect blend of humility and enterprise. Of charity and prudence. Of nurturing and calling.  That type of life requires vision and strength that could only come from God.

So, we finish this series the way we began it: fearing the Lord (humble reverence and submission) is the beginning of wisdom, and the recipe for a praiseworthy life.

May you be reminded that when you live in Christ, you can live a life of vibrancy, meaning, and purpose. When you revere and submit to God, you can be driven, merciful, loving, loyal, profitable, and kind. May you continue to grow in wisdom, and start your days the way Proverbs ends it: fearing and being found in God.

Blessings, and have a great day,



Proverbs Chapter 30

Scott Bruegman

Today, we are focusing on Proverbs 30 in this Riddles of the Wise Journey. I’m Brian, and I get to share with you today.

Regardless of your background, abilities, or socio-economic status, we all are invited to grow in our relationship with God. If and when we accept that invitation is up to us. For some of us, we are quick learners and don’t need to be convinced that God loves us and His direction is always best. For others, like myself, we need some convincing, and enjoy learning the hard way. 

Growing up, I was taught well by loving parents, but when I heard the stove was hot I always had to painfully verify the truth. Far from God, I went to college with a “question everything” type of attitude, which morphed into zealously finding fault with Christians.  I loved point out how judgmental and hypocritical they seemed to be, while arrogantly believing that I was somehow different. Thanks to God, I eventually humbled myself, and came to Christ. As I have matured, I look back on those days with a different perspective.  I now have compassion for those I wrongly judged and criticized for making mistakes.  I see God’s grace and love where before I only cared about myself.

In today’s chapter of Proverbs, which is an appendix to Solomon’s proverbs (written by a different author), we are not told much about the author. However, we do know is that he is very aware of his need for God’s wisdom. He says, “I am weary, God, but I can prevail. Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding.” 

The writer goes on explain how we all miss the mark and fall short of the ways of God. He goes on to say, “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.”

Can you relate to that today? Be encouraged. Recognizing that you fall short in life should actually be freeing. It points you toward God, who loves you and understands. It shows maturity to see your brokenness, honor God’s perfection, and take refuge in His word.

The more you live life, the more opportunity you have to learn from your mistakes. There is no better story of this phenomenon than the story in John 8. The Pharisees set a trap to see how Jesus would react to a woman caught in adultery. They dragged her in front of Jesus and stated that such a woman should be stoned to death for her actions. Then, they questioned Jesus on his theology and approach. Jesus said “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” At this, those that heard began to leave, the older ones first.” It is not a coincidence that the older ones dropped their stones first and walked away knowing full well the mistakes they have made in their own lives.

Everyday that passes is an opportunity for you to grow in compassion, wisdom, and learning to trust God’s word. We all make mistakes, and God’s grace is so sweet to forgive. Therefore, who are we to judge? Think about your life today, where do you need to trust God? His word is flawless and He wants to be your shield today. Don’t trust in your own strength, but take refuge in God today. You will look back and be grateful you did!



Proverbs Chapter 29

Scott Bruegman

Welcome to the Riddles of the Wise! I’m Scott, and I get to share some thoughts with you today on Proverbs 29.

I wonder, did Jesus study proverbs? I know, He inspired it all, but did He actually spend time reading wisdom literature while He was a man on earth. I found myself asking this question as I read through this chapter.

In verse 3, it says, “A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.” Immediately, I began to wonder if Jesus was thinking about this truth as he began to tell the parable of the “lost son.” A few passages later in verse 7 it says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” Again, I was thinking about what Jesus said in Luke 14:13, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

This theme continued for me as I made my way to verse 23, which says, “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” Jesus was and is the opposite of pride! It might be one of my favorite qualities of my Lord. The only one who truly had a right to be proud considered himself nothing, made himself lowly and gentle. I thought of the Sermon on the Mount when He said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jesus is declaring a blessing on those who are meek, gentle, and not proud.

The meek person is not self-willed. He is not continually concerned with his own ways, ideas, and desires. He or she is willing to put himself or herself in second place and submit to what is good for others. Meekness is the opposite of self-will and self-interest. I believe we have all witnessed (and personally experienced) the proud falling as promised in verse 23. Me too.

So, I wonder if Jesus studied Proverbs the way we are this month. We know that He spent day after day in the synagogue learning when He was young, seeking God. He is the ultimate example of wise, humble, submitted living. As we follow Him, let’s seek to become more like in Him in every way, shape, and form.

Have a great day!

Scott Bruegman


Proverbs Chapter 28

Scott Bruegman

Hello again, JB here, campus pastor of Littleton. The journey through Proverbs has been really challenging. There is nothing better than hearing from God’s word each day.

I remember being in the 7th grade (you know, the awkward years) and it did not matter how much deodorant I wore. It never seemed to help. Come on people, you know what I am talking about. Anyway, it was 7th grade and everyday during lunch we looked forward to the Lunch Truck (like a Taco Truck but with everything a Jr. Higher would want). The Lunch Truck was our beacon of hope, carrying with it hamburgers, corn dogs, candy, and everything else healthy and delicious. We would wait with mounting anticipation as it made the turn into the parking lot. You could smell the greasy goodness coming down the drive! 

One day as the Lunch Truck was coming around the corner, I didn’t have a dime to my name, and I could not be the kid hanging at the Truck not buying anything! What was I going to do? So, I did the unthinkable: I stole a Butterfinger. At first, it felt okay. But, I remember feeling more guilty as the day went on. I was having the internal struggle, and kept thinking…“What would my dad say?” I knew what I needed to do.

Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, 
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Something in each of us strongly resists admitting it when we are wrong. Today, it is time to get honest and open with God. Even though He knows what we have done, God wants us to talk with Him about it so He can help. David’s prayers in Psalm 32 and 51 provide a great model for us on confession of sin. (Check them out!)

So, I mustered up my 7th grade courage and confessed my crime. I had some consequences for stealing the candy bar (a nice leather belt to my backside). But, I felt freedom and a weight lifted after confessing. 

Today, be willing to admit you are wrong, and to change your direction where necessary. And remember, the sooner we confess, the sooner we can experience God’s forgiveness and mercy.

In Him,



Proverbs Chapter 27

Scott Bruegman

Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise! I’m JB, the pastor of the Littleton Campus of Red Rocks. This journey through Proverbs has been awesome, and I’m excited to share some thoughts on Proverbs 27 today.

Okay, let me be honest. I love to hear encouragement! I mean, who doesn’t like to be praised for a job well done? Or, to have a boss recognize you for all the long and tedious hours you put in? It seems to be human nature to desire praise and affirmation. 

I think of my 4 yr. old, and every time I tell him, “Grant, I am so proud of you. You did a great job,” he lights up like a light bulb. You would have thought I just told him he won free Disneyland for life (which, would be awesome by the way!) Even at 4, he desires to hear from his daddy, “Great job, I’m proud of you!” 

A verse that caught my attention for today is Proverbs 27:21 when it says, “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise”. 

How does praise affect you? Do you work to seek the approval or praise of somebody? Do you find yourself working harder after you’ve received praise?

Our attitude towards praise tells us a lot about our character. As Sons and Daughters of the Risen King, we should not be swayed by the praise of people. We need to remember that we were bought at the highest price to do His work. It is HIS praise that matters. If we are in Christ, then we’ve received the ultimate “stamp of approval.”

Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Today, remember that we are not saved merely for our own benefit, but to serve Jesus Christ. We are His masterpiece. If your heavenly Father considers us His works of art, we should not worry about what others think, but rather celebrate a perfect Daddy who loves us right where we are, just the way we are. 

Be blessed today, and know that you have all the approval you need. And who knows, Disneyland might be a part of the deal in Heaven!




Proverbs Chapter 26

Scott Bruegman

Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise! Today, we are looking at Chapter 26. This chapter has a resounding theme throughout the first set of verses: DON’T BE A FOOL. A few examples are,

Verse 6: “Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison.”

Verse 7: “A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg.”

Verse 10: “An employer who hires a fool is like an archer who shoots at random.”

Verse 11: “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.”

These verses are pretty strong and direct about the condition of a fool. In summary, don’t trust them. Don’t expect much of them. Don’t hire them. And, don’t expect them to change. Sounds pretty rough, huh? I’m guessing that when you read those verses, you started to think, “Well, good thing I’m not a fool. I’m much smarter than that.” That may be true, but the verse that follows should cause us to pause and reflect.

Proverbs 26:12, “There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.”

Whoa. There is more hope for a fool than for people who think they are wise? This caught my attention, and I hope it caught yours too. In this verse, I believe God (through Solomon) is saying, “Being a prideful person is worse than the biggest fool on earth.” It is the moments when we say “we got it” and “we have it all figured out” that we experience our greatest mistakes. Have you ever looked back on something you did or said, and thought, “How could I have been so stupid?”

I don’t know if you are like me. But, I usually encounter those times when I get haphazard about life. When I think I’ve got everything under control, I do something really dumb. Verse 26 makes it abundantly clear that pride has no place in our relationship with God. We’ve been learning throughout this study that the FEAR of the Lord (humble reverence and submission) is the beginning of all wisdom.

Today, take an inventory of your life. Are there any areas where you feel like you have things under control? Where you think you don’t need God? Challenge yourself, and re-submit those areas/things to God. You do not want to travel down the path of prideful self-reliance. As we read in this chapter, it does not lead to good places.

Humble + Submitted + Listening = The best posture for wisdom.

Have a great day!


Proverbs Chapter 25

Scott Bruegman

Life is good. I am undeservedly blessed and humbled to know it. I love being involved in people’s lives and pointing them to Jesus Christ. The last year has been full of amazing God moments that are hard to explain. I have never felt more passionate about what God is doing in and through this church. However, this does not mean life is not full of troubles at times.

In fact, the last few weeks have not been easy for me - to say the least. If something could go wrong, it went wrong. Ever had one of those days, weeks, months or even years? You ever wonder why it seems like a landslide of problems all happen at once? I have dealt with people problems, church problems, leadership issues, and problems at home (plumbing leaks, medical bills, car issues, etc.). Can you relate to that? 

As everything seemed to be pressing down on me, one of my friends took the time to ask me how I was doing. Not the typical drive-by “what’s up man?” that we are all accustomed to being asked. It was an authentic, look-you-right-in-the-eyes, “How are you doing?” God used that moment in a powerful way, and we ended up talking for over an hour. All the problems I faced didn’t go away, but I saw God as bigger than those problems. It was a perspective issue, and God used my friend to break through.

Solomon writes in Proverbs 25:11-12, “A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray. A wise correction to a receptive ear is like a gold ring or an ornament of gold.”

This verse should inspire us to speak life into people, encourage a person that you know is going through a difficult time in their life, or warn someone about something that could be destructive in their life. God says that speaking at just the right time is beyond valuable. It is like golden apples. Do you know how much gold is trading for on the market right now? Yeah, that kind of valuable!

God often uses people to communicate His love. Think of people in your life today with whom you can make a valuable difference. Don’t shy away from what God might be calling you to do. Be bold, and remember that you might be bringing the good news someone needs to hear. “Good news from a distant land is like cold water to a parched throat.” (Proverbs 25:25)

Pray. Go. Speak. 



Proverbs Chapter 24

Scott Bruegman

You don’t need to be around a three year old for very long before you see that they have very visible shortcomings. Don’t be deceived by their cute little Disney outfits and innocent voices. These little gifts of God come with little agendas. Sure, their agendas are silly, but we can learn a lot from watching children. 

For example, yesterday I fixed breakfast for my two daughters (3 and 5). I gave them both the exact same cereal, same orange juice, same vitamins, same bowls and glasses, and same place mats. Suddenly, the youngest daughter was horrified to realize she didn’t get the pink princess spoon! She broke down crying, shouting for justice to be done. As she slumped onto the floor in tears, she felt over looked. She felt she deserved what was not given to her.

As I watched this, I tried not to laugh. But, then started thinking about all the times I have done the same thing. Sure, we might not throw a tantrum like a child. However, we definitely question God about the things we have or don’t have in life. At the bottom of it all, it usually comes down to a little thing called envy.

Webster’s dictionary defines envy as, “A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.”

King Solomon writes in Proverbs 24:1-2, “Don’t envy evil men or desire to be with them for their hearts plan violence, and their words stir up trouble.” Later, Solomon reassures us in verse 19-20, “Don’t worry because of evildoers and don’t envy the wicked. For the evil have no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

God is serious when He says to let go of envy, and trust His plan for our lives. Trusting that God is good and walking with His wisdom will bring us more joy than we could ever imagine. But, before that can happen, we need to start trusting Him.

Kids are not good at hiding things. It is easy to see their motivations and disappointments. As we get older, we become professionals at disguising our motivations and disappointments. As we try to follow Christ, we quickly realize that it isn’t always easy to do the right thing. We watch others around us take shortcuts, cheat, or manipulate to get ahead, and sometimes it works for them! If we were honest, we sometimes envy those getting ahead, those that seem to live for themselves, and those that seem to do whatever they want. It is in those times that we need to make a decision. Do we throw a tantrum, try to get even, try to get what we feel we deserve? Or, do we lean into God and trust His wisdom?

God pleads with each of us today in verses 13-14, “Eat honey, my son, for it is good and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; realize that wisdom is the same for you. If you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will never fade.” Trust God today! As you start to apply His wisdom, you will realize that it tastes sweet. You will want more and more of it. Today, make it your prayer to trust God’s hand in your life. God promises a future for you!

May you always be filled with hope, trusting in the mighty strength and goodness of God!



Proverbs Chapter 23

Scott Bruegman

Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise! It’s me, Jess, again! We are on day 23, in Chapter 23 of the book of Proverbs. It’s gone by fast, huh?

We live in a great state. We have incredible mountains, lots of sunshine, and sports year-round. According to recent polls, we have some of the best breweries in America. So, let’s talk about that, since this issue is probably on the minds of many Coloradans, and seems to be on the mind of Solomon.

Proverbs 23:20 says, “Do not join those who drink too much wine.”

Interesting. It is interesting because Jesus’ very first miracle was turning water to wine at a wedding. What’s up with that? Jesus provided the alcohol at a party for one of his first divine acts. I find that fascinating. And yet, we read in Proverbs to avoid “too much wine”.

I have the honor and great privilege of working with young adults at Red Rocks. If the party scene is a downfall for any group of people, it would be this one. And, I get it. Most everyone in their 20’s in Denver is doing one thing on the weekends: hitting the bars. It is the social norm. Go out on Fridays and Saturdays to shake off the week, and be with friends.

The only problem is: this type of lifestyle never leads to great places.

For example, that hot girl you met at a bar doesn’t know Jesus, and you realize it big-time 4 weeks from now when she becomes disrespectful, hostile, and maybe unfaithful. When you started to get serious about God, the “friends” you used to party with on the weekend no longer seem interested in you. Or, because you drank so much on Friday, it makes being productive on Saturday a joke.

The Bible was dead on when it said that sin is fun for a season, but that season quickly fades the next day, doesn’t it? God takes issue with drunkenness. He calls it a sin. But not only that, God is calling it the downfall of character (Prov. 20:1). He says it’s a chief reason for woe, sorrow, strife and complaints (Prov. 23:29-30). At one point, Solomon points out that drunkards become poor, ending up with rags for clothes (Prov. 23:21). Bummer, right? Drunkenness has lasting affects over our lives.

So the question becomes, what kind of person do you want to be? Wise, motivated, forward thinking and kind? Or debilitated, strife-filled, and poor?

God is calling us to a higher form of living; one of self control – especially in the area of drinking. May you honor God’s gifts in your life today and not abuse them. May you keep food and drink in their proper place, and may we all become wise men and women who are rich towards God.

Have a GREAT day!


Proverbs Chapter 22

Scott Bruegman

Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise! Hopefully you are enjoying this time with God, and feeling Him “renew your mind” towards wisdom. My name is Jessie, I’m the blonde gal you see giving announcements on Sundays sometimes at Golden. I’m happy to be studying with you today! Let’s dig in!

Today, we are in Proverbs 22.

Proverbs 22:11 says, “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.”

This verse caught my eye and immediately made me think of friends. Friendships are so important. When I was in my early twenties, friends were important to me, but it was mostly about how much fun we could have with each other. I picked friends who made me laugh, who were fun, and who liked the things I did. Like snowboarding and/or cracking jokes about our Psychology exams.

As I became older, and spent more time in ministry, I have realized how important it is to select the right people to surround me. I began to pick friends for different reasons. I started to look for friends who are loyal, loved God the way I wanted to, and were focused, driven, and “pure of heart”.

In this verse, it’s almost as if Solomon is doing the same thing. He’s saying: “(this type of person… pure hearted and graceful…) will be my friend.” This type of person will have a king (King Solomon to be specific) for a friend.

So I guess the first question is, what type of friend are you?

Are you pure-hearted? That word “pure” in Hebrew is tahowr, which means pure and ethical. It’s used a ton in the Psalms to describe David, and his pure hearted posture toward God. So when it comes to friendships, do you offer your friends love and kindness without any selfish motives? Do you speak with grace?

When we hang with our friends, what types of things come out of our mouths? Are we encouraging? Does the room get better with our presence? Do we speak life over people and not darkness? Being this type of friend, according to Proverbs, will attract godly and “kingly” people into your life.

The second question is, what types of friends are you choosing?

Years ago, I remembered hearing that you become like the 5 closest people to you. That phrase really stuck with me. If that is true, then we need to ask ourselves who would I like to be more like? And, then choose friends accordingly. We want gracious, loving, focused, strong, and pure-hearted friends! If they add much to your life, and bring you closer to God, hang onto them! Those types of people are king-level friends. 

May your friendships be richer today than they were yesterday. And, may you offer your gracefulness to others in friendship today!

Have a great day!



Proverbs Chapter 21

Scott Bruegman

I don’t know about you, but I love to win! Many, many moons ago, Shawn and I used to be roommates. Basically, our days would consist of 5 good hours of “church stuff”, and then book it home as fast as we could. I would love to tell you that we booked it home so that we could get alone and intercede for the nations. Or, that we went home because the peace and quiet was more conducive to reading the Bible. But, that would be a flat out lie. (And, we already know about the dangers of lying from our Proverbs.)

Truth is, Shawn and I raced home everyday to do one thing: COMPETE! Whether it was backyard basketball on a hoop that we lowered to 8’ feet (white boys can’t jump), Tiger Woods golf on the Sony Playstation, or ping-pong, we found ways to compete with one another. Don’t tell anyone this, but one day after watching a sumo-wrestling match on ESPN, we both got into our sumo gear (don’t ask), cleared out some furniture, and preceded to sumo wrestle for about an hour. For those of you who love to compete (like Shawn and I), you understand that VICTORY is key objective no matter what you are competing in.

In the very last verse of Proverbs 21, we get some wisdom concerning victory. The writer says:

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but VICTORY rest with the Lord.”

As a broken, sin-stained, flawed human being, I love this verse! It gives me a sense of confidence and peace. It reminds me that winning, at least in the eternal sense, is not up to me.

Now, as a competitor, I don’t like this verse! One attribute of a great competitor is his or her self-confidence. Great competitors want the ball when the game is on the line. They believe in their skills and their ability to win, so they want the game’s outcome to be placed in their hands. I realize that everyone reading this has different degrees of the competitive spirit, but can we all agree that we all want to “win” when it comes to this thing called life? And, the Bible clearly tells us what victory in this lifetime looks like. Proverbs 21:31 just said this in essence:

Your job, as my children, is to get the “horse ready for battle.”

Practice, for the competitor, is a very difficult thing. Why? It is because we love the thrill of competing much more than the discipline of getting ready to compete. We want the win, but not deal with the process of preparing to win. The writer of this Proverb just said that our main role in living a victorious life is NOT being the “Hero” of the game. Instead, we are to prepare for the game. Preparation for the game of life can be defined by one word: OBEDIENCE.

If you really want to live a VICTORIOUS life, God say’s to prepare. He says to live obedient to His commands, honor His word daily, and He will prosper your life! Our job, as God’s children, is to submit to His way of doing things, and then put the game in His hands! God desperately wants you and I to live full lives. Yet, He equally wants the glory from those redeemed lives!

Ask yourself today, “Am I preparing for victory? Am I living obedient to what God has asked of me? Have I made the horse ready for battle?” If the answer is yes, then sit back, relax, and trust God to do what only He can do…WIN!

The victory is HIS in Christ Jesus,



Proverbs Chapter 20

Scott Bruegman

A really, really long time ago, a Roman writer named “Pliny the Elder” coined a phrase that we still use today. He came up with this phrase after observing the behavior of a particular bird. The ostrich. Apparently, when an Ostrich is being faced with confrontation from a predator, the ostrich thinks it can avoid the confrontation by (here is where we get the popular phrase): “Sticking its head in the sand.”

Fast forward a couple thousand years, and you’ll see that we still use this term in our culture. Basically, what Pliny the Elder had in mind when he coined this phrase was the idea that humans have a tendency to handle our “predators” like an ostrich. We bury our heads in the sand. We refuse to acknowledge or confront the problem. We kid ourselves into thinking that if we just ignore the problem long enough, it will eventually go away.

When my wife and I used to have an unhealthy amount of credit card debt, I often would refuse to look at the balance each month. It was one piece of mail that I stayed as far away from as I could. I really thought that if I didn’t know how much we owed, than the weight of the credit card debt wouldn’t affect my heart. I had bought into the common lie that ignoring the problem (or predator) was the best path to take. Man, was I wrong!

The reason I didn’t confront the debt wasn’t because I didn’t know how to solve the problem. That part was simple: 1) Cut up the cards. 2) Don’t buy things you can’t afford with REAL CASH. The reason I didn’t confront the problem was because the real problem wasn’t a spending problem. It was a heart problem. The “predator” wasn’t a plastic card I kept in my wallet; it was a discontented heart. As I read proverbs 20 today, the phrase that caught my attention immediately was found in verse 5:

“The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters, but a man of wisdom draws them out.”

King Solomon is onto something big when he is writing this! He said in one sentence something that we all know, but typically hate to confront. Every human heart has layers upon layers of “stuff.” Some stuff is good, healthy, and right. Yet, other stuff is toxic, dysfunctional, and deceptive. He goes on to say that the wise man does the exact opposite of the ostrich. The wise person is the man or woman who is gutsy enough to expose the deepest recesses of their heart, identify the issues, and confront it head-on!

The spoils of the Kingdom of Heaven (peace, joy, contentment, confidence, rest, etc.) go to the person with courage to take an honest look in the mirror and do something about it!

What layers are on your heart today? What is “under the water” that you know you need to address, but you just haven’t had the courage to do so? What would it take to be boldly honest with yourself and surrender it all to God? That’s what the wise do.

The irony of the ostrich is that it is the second fastest animal on land! (Whatever Cheetah!) Why would it burry it’s head in the sand and hide from a predator when it could just out run it if it had courage? Honesty gives the heart its legs to conquer. Its speed! In the Kingdom of God…Honesty = Victory!

Grace and peace from the Pastor of Disaster,

Chad Bruegman 


Proverbs Chapter 19

Scott Bruegman

It’s day 19 of Riddles of the Wise, and I (Casey) get to share with you again! Pumped.

Today’s chapter (Proverbs 19) covers a variety of topics from wise decision making to wealth management to telling the truth to controlling our anger to not being lazy, among other things. As always, there is life application all over God’s word. I had to stop several times to reflect on unique passages that applied to different areas of my life.

One verse that stuck out to me above other verses was Proverbs 19:21. It says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

This verse stuck out to me because I’m a Garth Brooks fan. Yep, that’s right. Garth (the root of all country music) Brooks baby! Little Known Fact: Garth Brooks has sold more albums worldwide than any other artist EVER (including The Beatles and Michael Jackson). If you don’t know who he is, I feel sorry for you. If you do know who he is, you may know that he once wrote and sang a song called, “Unanswered Prayers.”

In the song, Garth sings, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” If you can get past the twang in his voice, I think there is a lot of truth in that line of the song. In fact, it seems that Proverbs 19:21 confirms that. We can make our plans, we can pray many prayers, but God is in control. He will ultimately decide what happens, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time.

Have you ever prayed for something with all your heart and it never came true? Have you been frustrated, feeling like God is distant and unresponsive? Those moments are difficult to continue trusting, continue praying, and continue believing that God loves you and wants the best for you. Yet, He DOES. Sometimes an unanswered prayer is a gift from God. He sees the whole picture.

Prayer is essential to a healthy relationship with God. There is nothing that will bring us closer to Him. And, even when it feels like He is not answering the way we want, we must continue to believe that “the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

Spend some time today thinking back about times in your life when God provided for your needs in an unexpected way. Think about prayers that you prayed that He didn’t answer, and you now realize it was the best thing. You will find yourself grateful.

Have a great day!


Proverbs Chapter 18

Scott Bruegman

Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise! I’m Casey, a new pastor at Red Rocks recently transported from Rockford, IL. Gotta say, the scenery out here is much more impressive than the cornfields I am used to seeing. Shawn asked a few other pastors on staff if we wanted contribute to the daily devotionals for the next few days. Of course, we all said YES! And, I’m pumped to do today and tomorrow!

I’ve learned so much by studying Proverbs this month, and I hope you have too. Today, we are looking at Proverbs 18. This chapter is predominately focused on the power of our words. Often times, we aren’t intentional enough with our words and we end up in trouble because of it. Have you ever had a moment when said something, and you immediately regretted it? Yep, me too. Have you gotten in an argument with a friend, and because of what was said, things were just never the same? Yep, same here.

The writer of Proverbs is super clear in this chapter that our words can bring amazing life to others, or they can build seemingly insurmountable walls between people we love. There are a variety of verses that speak to the power of our tongue in this chapter:

“Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels…”

“The first to speak in court sounds right, until the cross examination begins…”

“An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city…”

“The tongue can bring death or life…”

“Wise words satisfy like a good meal…”

The one verse that stuck out to me the most was Proverbs 18:15 when it says, “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.”

I was drawn to this verse because it reminded me of the power of listening. Good listeners are often very wise, and keep themselves out of trouble. They think before they speak, they seek to understand before being understood, they empathize with the offended, they pay attention to nuance, and they genuinely learn about other people. There is a popular saying that goes like this, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I believe this is incredibly true.

What would it look like for you to be a better listener today? Are you currently in an argument that would benefit from you taking a moment to listen to the other side? When was the last time you asked a friend how they were doing, and genuinely listened to see how you could help them?

Wise people are careful with their words. As we all do our best to follow Jesus and be a shining light to a watching world, let us be kind to one another. Listen to one another. Empathize with one another. And, realize that what we say has profound impact on every person we encounter.

Have a great day!

Proverbs Chapter 17

Scott Bruegman

Welcome to day 17 in our study of Proverbs. I hope you are enjoying these devotions, and most importantly, I hope you are seeing the benefits of spending time with God on a consistent basis. Today’s chapter is packed full of practical advice for life. You can’t read this chapter without seeing some very obvious warnings about decisions and then learn how we can approach them with character and integrity. One verse that I think can be easily over looked in this chapter is verse 22:

Prov. 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

It’s easy to read that verse and then just keep going because you may not know what it really means. Right? It kind of makes sense why we called this teaching series “Riddles” of the Wise. My heart gives me medicine, and if I’m not careful, my bones dry up? Huh? Lets not skip past this verse flippantly. We should stop here for a moment, and try to understand how it affects us.

If we are honest, all of us can come up with multiple reasons to worry and be stressed out. We can all identify something in our life that isn’t going exactly the way we want it to. We can all create sob stories because we all have them. When we can focus on those things, and roll them over and over in our minds, we eventually become miserable.

Or…we can choose to have a cheerful heart. We can choose to focus on something else that is positive. We can choose to say “thank you” to someone. We can choose to say “thank you” to God. We can choose to change our focus, reminding ourselves of the blessings we have in life. If we do that, it will change us right here, right now, today.

The apostle Paul said the same thing this way:

Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Choose to think about good things today. Choose to be thankful today. Choose to praise God today. The choice to live with a cheerful heart will be like good medicine to our souls, healing us from anxiety, sadness, and turmoil. It brings peace from God, and will change us from the inside out.

Have a great day!