Friday, May 26, 2006

Ecclesiastes 9:3

I find this outrageous—the worst thing about living on this earth—that everyone's lumped together in one fate. Is it any wonder that so many people are obsessed with evil? Is it any wonder that people go crazy right and left? Life leads to death. That's it.

Ecclesiastes 9:2

All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.
As it is with the good man,
so with the sinner;
as it is with those who take oaths,
so with those who are afraid to take them.

Ecclesiastes 9:1

So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God's hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Devils Dispatched

Well, God saw fit to let the Carolina Hurricanes dispatch the NJ Devils this year, but now the hockey battle gets tougher from here on in. Wonder what God plans next? Regardless, I'll be enjoying tomorrow's game. Gotta love that two players got a chance to share their faith. Read the link:

Go Canes!

I can't help but get a little ahead of myself here. It's just too fitting to NOT quote Ecclesiastes 9:11:
"I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth—his eyes not seeing sleep day or night- 17 then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Ecclesiastes 8:13

Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

Ecclesiastes 8:12

Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God.

Ecclesiastes 8:11

When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.

Ecclesiastes 8:10

Then too, I saw the wicked buried—those who used to come and go from the holy place and receive praise in the city where they did this. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 8:9

All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

No man has power over the wind to contain it ;
so no one has power over the day of his death.
As no one is discharged in time of war,
so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

Ecclesiastes 8:7

Since no man knows the future,
who can tell him what is to come?

Ecclesiastes 8:6

For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,
though a man's misery weighs heavily upon him.

Ecclesiastes 8:5

Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,
and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.

Ecclesiastes 8:4

Since a king's word is supreme, who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

Ecclesiastes 8:3

Do not be in a hurry to leave the king's presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases.

Ecclesiastes 8:2

Obey the king's command, I say, because you took an oath before God.

Ecclesiastes 8:1

Who is like the wise man?
Who knows the explanation of things?
Wisdom brightens a man's face
and changes its hard appearance.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Net Evangelism

Whew, what an online week! I stumbled upon a predominantly atheist blog, made a crude attempt at "drive-by-evangelism," was appropriately called to task for making wrong assumptions about the blog host, and ended up in a long, civil (I hope) "discussion." Neither of us have changed each other's mind on the validity of the gospel (or the existence of any God, for that matter), but the exchange has forced me to clarify my beliefs, and resolve to do a better job presenting the good news. Of course, that won't get done on my own strength, but through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. So many athiests - so many opportunities for me to mess up in my own strength...
The entire exchange can be viewed here. My entries are under two names: first - praying4u, second - looking4truth. Fair warning - the language used is not always family-friendly.
Without being overly self-critical, I found myself pondering many sinful potential replies in this exchange. Assuredly, try as I might to NOT do so, some of my typing WAS sinful in it's pride, motivation, or laziness. Good intentions or not, how messed up are we when, even in our attempts to spread the word, we find ourself sinning in that very act. Not sinning by evangelizing, but in the social exchanges it requires? I won't even get in to the sins I fell to during the rest of the week, when I wasn't engaged in this effort.
It was a great relief then, to read this article sent to me by a dirty-rotten, sinning friend of mine. Great stuff to remind us just how quickly we are sanctified. Hint: Remember the joke about the snail and the turtle crashing in to each other?
Meantime, back to google image search for the next chapter of Ecclesiastes....

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Ecclesiastes 7:29

This only have I found:
God made mankind upright,
but men have gone in search of many schemes."

Ecclesiastes 7:28

while I was still searching
but not finding—
I found one upright man among a thousand,
but not one upright woman among them all.

Ecclesiastes 7:27

"Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered:
"Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things-

Ecclesiastes 7:26

I find more bitter than death
the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
but the sinner she will ensnare.

Ecclesiastes 7:25

So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things
and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
and the madness of folly.

Ecclesiastes 7:24

Whatever wisdom may be,
it is far off and most profound—
who can discover it?

Ecclesiastes 7:23

All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
"I am determined to be wise"—
but this was beyond me.

Ecclesiastes 7:22

for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Ecclesiastes 7:21

Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you-

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mere Reporting

Last week, my pastor reminded us of the importance of telling the story of what God has done/is doing in our lives. Such mere reporting, he said, can be very good testimony. Let me share today's experience, and let the reader be the analyst of the event.
I watched my son play goalie for his soccer team today. Despite his best efforts, the other team outscored them 6:1. As I watched my son kick the ball up the field in frustration after letting one in, I prayed a quick, simple prayer:
"God, please comfort my son. You know how hard he tries, and on days like this, I just know he's feeling really bad."

Right after my son's game, we were lucky enough to attend the above NHL hockey game. Our team (the Carolina Hurricanes), faced the New Jersey Devils, who have, without question, the best NHL goalie playing today - Martin Brodeur.
Martin let in 6 goals - his worst ever performance in a playoff match.
As we left the stadium, my smiling son remarked: "Hey Dad, I let in six goals today, but so did Martin Brodeur!"
Am I suggesting that the Almighty fixed the outcome of a major sporting event just to comfort my son? Well, that would seem like a stretch, but I'll let you be the judge. Perhaps, if not arranging the final score (which God would have already known - being outside of time and all...), He just lined things up to make sure my son would play that particular game, and watch that particular game, on this particular day? Hmmm.
I'm merely reporting.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

There is not a righteous man on earth
who does what is right and never sins.

Ecclesiastes 7:19

Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful
than ten rulers in a city.

Ecclesiastes 7:18

It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes .

Ecclesiastes 7:17

Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?

Ecclesiastes 7:16

Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ecclesiastes 7:15

In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
a righteous man perishing in his righteousness,
and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 7:14

When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, a man cannot discover
anything about his future.

Ecclesiastes 7:13

Consider what God has done:
Who can straighten
what he has made crooked?

Ecclesiastes 7:11-12

Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing
and benefits those who see the sun.

12 Wisdom is a shelter
as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this:
that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.

Ecclesiastes 7:10

Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?"
For it is not wise to ask such questions.