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Life is found in the living of it

  In one of Charles Schultz’s famous “Peanuts” cartoons, Lucy is philosophizing and good ole’ Charlie Brown is listening. “Charlie Brown,” she begins, “life is like a deck chair. Some place it to see where they have been, and some so they can see where they are at the present.” Charlie Brown looks at her with disgust and says, “I can’t even get mine unfolded!”

   Have you ever felt that way? Some days it seems as if we can’t even get our life unfolded.

   Have you read the book of Ecclesiastes lately? King Solomon wrote this book when he had reached the mature years of his life, and one of the things that he found out was that as he looked around at all of his wealth, at all of the buildings he had erected, at all of the possessions he had accumulated, he discovered that if that’s all there was to life, then life was indeed nothing more than “vanity of vanities.” In fact, he says, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” Most people think that is the theme of the book, and is so, why read it, right? I mean, anyone can see the vanity of life. But there is another, more important theme to Ecclesiastes, and that is that life is found in the living of it. This theme is found throughout the book. In the fifth chapter, he wrote, “Here is what I have seen; It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.” In another chapter he wrote, “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.” What Solomon is saying is that the real meaning of life is not in the accumulation of things, but in the day to day living of life. It’s pleasure is not in the end goal, but in the pursuit of the goal.

   We went to a football game with our daughter this weekend and her high school got trounced! Her school made one touch down in the first half to the other team’s six touchdowns, and it was a home-coming game to boot! In the second half both teams played their second string. The other team did so out of kindness, I think, and our side did so because the first string made way too many costly mistakes. Actually, though, the second half was better in that both teams were evenly matched, in spite of the trouncing. But I’ll just bet you that within a few years it won’t be the score that was remembered, but how the players played. My own high school won state champs two years in a row. I don’t remember a single score, but boy, do I remember some of the great plays!

   So you see, it’s not the final goal that is always important, unless of course it’s your eternal salvation. Nothing will ever take the place of missing that! But Solomon is saying it’s the pursuit of life that gives it meaning. As one young boy so succinctly put it, “The thing about life is that it’s so daily!”

   God has given you and I this wonderful gift called Life. Let’s go out and make the most of it, for His glory, because Life is in the living of it!

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We Have An Advocate

J. Stuart Holden tells of an old Scottish mansion close to where he had his little summer home. The walls of one room were filled with sketches made by distinguished artists. The practice began after a pitcher of soda water was accidentally spilled on a freshly decorated wall and left an unsightly stain. At the time, a noted artist, Lord Landseer, was a guest in the house. One day when the family went out for a picnic, he stayed behind, and with a few masterful strokes...

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An Act of Kindness

This story happened some years ago, on a cold wintry day in December, in the city of New York, New York. I imagine it was sometime in the 1940’s or 1950’s when department stores downtown used to set up display windows of their wares as a matter of advertising in order to entice people to come in and buy their products, way before the use or even advent of television as a widespread means of  advertisement. A little 10 year old boy was...

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Then What?

   There once was an old American Indian Chief who was famous for knowing what the weather would do, and people would come from miles around just to hear his predictions. On one occasion some people came and asked, “Chief, what will the weather be like tomorrow?” And the chief replied, “Much rain. Very wet.” And sure enough, the next day would be rainy and wet. On another occasion he was asked, “What will the weather be like...

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A Transformed Life

   In Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 12, we find these words; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1,2) I’d like to focus on that word, “transformed”. Webster’s defines that word in its basic meaning as, “to change...

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