When God feels like a dropped phone call – Ezekiel 2:1-3:15, Part 4

What does it mean to have a relationship with God? Is it just an intellectual concept that has little bearing on our real day-to-day lives? How do flesh and blood people have a meaningful relationship with invisible spirit? As a result, does God feel distant? Does it feel like God is something we read aboutContinue reading “When God feels like a dropped phone call – Ezekiel 2:1-3:15, Part 4”

How to live your retirement years “as unto the Lord” – Colossians 3:22-4:1, Part 5

Christian…how are you thinking about your retirement years?  The principle we’ve been studying this week, “work unto the Lord,” holds for retirement, even though in retirement you are no longer working a job.  This principle can guide you as you retire if you answer the question: What is a distinctly Christian view of retirement?  HowContinue reading “How to live your retirement years “as unto the Lord” – Colossians 3:22-4:1, Part 5″

How the aging process can help us evaluate the past year – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8, Part 3

Years ago, one of the home-bound members of my church family, who has since passed away, described for the me the process of her ever-decreasing eyesight.  She said that it was only during the bright sunlight of the day that she could see around her room.  As the months and years went by, the darknessContinue reading “How the aging process can help us evaluate the past year – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8, Part 3”

Not so fast 2021…why we needed 2020 – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8, Part 1

A new year is upon us!  Are you excited?  On one hand, the switch from December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021 this coming Thursday night is the same as any old Thursday night.  It is one day, then the next day.  Sure, we get a long holiday weekend, which is nice, but New Year’sContinue reading “Not so fast 2021…why we needed 2020 – Ecclesiastes 11:1-12:8, 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”

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”

The way to have a better life…now – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 5

I love the encouragement of this picture. With two and a half months to go in 2020, many of us are holding out for a better life in 2021. Here in the USA, the bitter presidential election will be over. It seems that we will get beyond Covid in 2021. So does that mean, asContinue reading “The way to have a better life…now – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 5”

How to overcome anger and discontentment, and have joy – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 4

Look at the woman in the picture. What do you notice? Longing, perhaps. Someone who is on the outside and wants to be on the inside. Frustration with life, maybe. Some who is upset enough to lean their forehead against a door. I wonder if something happened on the other side of the door thatContinue reading “How to overcome anger and discontentment, and have joy – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 4”

Why I like weddings better than funerals, and why I might be wrong – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 2

I like weddings more than funerals.  At a wedding there is excitement and joy and dancing.  At a funeral, while there is sometimes laughter remembering stories about the deceased, and while there can be joy that the person is suffering no more and is at home with the Lord, let’s face it that funerals areContinue reading “Why I like weddings better than funerals, and why I might be wrong – Ecclesiastes 7:1-14, Part 2”