How to identify a fool – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 3

How do you identify a fool? It sure would be nice if fools and foolishness had their own costume, like the court jester in the picture above. Unfortunately fools and foolishness most often look normal. Worse yet, people can have sharply divided views on what is foolish. Thankfully, the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) writesContinue reading “How to identify a fool – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 3”

Pursuing wisdom and avoiding foolishness in leadership – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 2

What is wisdom? In the previous post, we started a five-part series on Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, in which the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) gives us a series of proverbs about how to live wisely. In that post, the Teacher described a bit of what wisdom does not do, or what it does not look like. Continue reading “Pursuing wisdom and avoiding foolishness in leadership – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 2”

How are you using your influence? – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 1

Influence. How are you using your influence? I’m writing this in 2020 amid a global pandemic, political turmoil, racial tension, and many natural disasters. It doesn’t seem like most of have enough influence to affect change. Rather it seems the events of this year have surrounded and battered us like a tidal wave. It seemsContinue reading “How are you using your influence? – Ecclesiastes 9:11-10:20, Part 1”

God wants you to experience joy (and gives you a method to be more joyful) – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 5

How do we become more joyful in this life?  We begin answering that question by noting that the human experience and expression of joy is deeply rooted in God’s desires for us.  How do we know this? Look at the middle of Ecclesiastes 9, verse 9. I love how Dorsey translates the final section ofContinue reading “God wants you to experience joy (and gives you a method to be more joyful) – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 5”

An antidote to despair – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 4

If we aren’t supposed to succumb to worry about the future, is there an antidote to despair?  Again, the Teacher, the writer of Ecclesiastes, is ready with more wisdom for us.  Look at chapter 9, verses 7-9a. Dorsey’s Translation: “7 Therefore go, eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a joyful heart,Continue reading “An antidote to despair – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 4”

Why the Teacher in Ecclesiastes wasn’t concerned about heaven or hell – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 3

If you’ve been following this blog series in Ecclesiastes, you have probably noticed that the topic of death has come up…a lot. So what does the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) believe about the afterlife? Notice what the Teacher says at the end of verse 4: Dorsey’s Translation: “But even a live dog is betterContinue reading “Why the Teacher in Ecclesiastes wasn’t concerned about heaven or hell – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 3”

The Uberman Sleep Cycle, Time Travel, and figuring out God’s Plan – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 1

A couple weeks ago I sent a church-wide email with resources for tending to our mental health.  I had received it from Messiah University, and I adapted it for our church.  I sent it along because God cares about our mental health.  I heard back from a number of people expressing their thanks because 2020Continue reading “The Uberman Sleep Cycle, Time Travel, and figuring out God’s Plan – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 1”

How to have and express joy in the difficulties of 2020 – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 3

It can seem almost wrong to say that we should have joy in 2020. This year has been a nonstop slog of hardship. And yet, in the previous post we learned that God is and always will be actively involved in the world. As a result, it makes perfect sense how the Teacher concludes thisContinue reading “How to have and express joy in the difficulties of 2020 – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 3”

What to remember when life seems unfair or hopeless – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 2

Sometimes life DOES seem hopeless.  How do we live wisely then?  This week on the blog, we’re studying Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, and yesterday we saw how the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) suggests that life can be so unfair. Let’s follow the Teacher’s logic: Here are verses 12-14 in Dorsey’s translation: “12 Nevertheless, although a wickedContinue reading “What to remember when life seems unfair or hopeless – Ecclesiastes 8:9-15, Part 2”

If we don’t have to be perfect, then what should we strive for? – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, Part 5

What is the right way to live? It’s a big question with many possible answers. We have arrived at the final proverb in Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, proverbs in which the Teacher has been helping us make sense of our perplexing world. I said in the previous post that the Teacher would answer the question, “If weContinue reading “If we don’t have to be perfect, then what should we strive for? – Ecclesiastes 7:15-8:8, Part 5”