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”

God has you in his hands? (Is that just Christian mumbo-jumbo?) – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 2

What do you think about the title of this post? God has you in his hands. Christians have been saying that kind of thing for centuries. Is it true? Or is just Christian mumbo-jumbo, feel-good nonsense? As we continue our study in Ecclesiastes, the Teacher (the writer of Ecclesiastes) has some ancient wisdom for us,Continue reading “God has you in his hands? (Is that just Christian mumbo-jumbo?) – Ecclesiastes 8:16-9:10, Part 2”

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”

How to have the right mindset during the difficult times of life – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, Part 5

There was a period of consecutive months where eight people from Faith Church died, at least one per month.  I listened to and counseled their eight grieving families, officiating each of the funerals.  This weighed heavy on me, as I was thinking about death constantly. I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about death, andContinue reading “How to have the right mindset during the difficult times of life – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, Part 5”

Surfing, the Law of Undulation, and how to handle life’s extremes – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, Part 3

I’ve never been surfing, but it looks really fun. Riding a wave must be thrilling. I imagine, though, that successful attempts only follow many failed ones. Ups and downs, like the waves. I suspect that surfing is a study in extremes, from the bliss of great ride, to the suffering of a rough crash. InContinue reading “Surfing, the Law of Undulation, and how to handle life’s extremes – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, Part 3”

Can you remember your great-grandparents? – Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, Part 3

Let’s take a moment and face the truth that our lives are fleeting.  In our study this week on the beginning of Ecclesiastes (starting here), a book of ancient wisdom, we learned that life is fleeting. The reality is that most of us, if not all of us, will not have our memories preserved veryContinue reading “Can you remember your great-grandparents? – Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, Part 3”

Your life matters – Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, Part 2

Have you ever wondered if you life matters? Have you wrestled with dark, sad thoughts, thinking that you are not important? If so, you’re not alone. Just about everyone has battled those kinds of thoughts at least some time in their lives. What can be confusing is that there is a book of the BibleContinue reading “Your life matters – Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, Part 2”

Finding God in our mess – Characters: Joseph, Part 3

Life can feel so messy. Have you ever been in one those the seasons of life where it seems like things keep going wrong? Just when you think you are getting past one hurdle, here comes another one. You jump one, then two, and you barely make it over the third, and you’re so tired,Continue reading “Finding God in our mess – Characters: Joseph, Part 3”

Was God being manipulative when he said, “If you obey me, you will live”?

Is God being manipulative when he says, “If you obey me, you will live”? Is he being threatening?  Why in the world would God say that?  If you remove the Christian filter from your mind, you can read God as sounding an awful lot like an abusive boyfriend. As we continue our study through Deuteronomy,Continue reading “Was God being manipulative when he said, “If you obey me, you will live”?”