Solomon and Election Year Politics

I’ve been giving some thought to this year’s Presidential election. I’ve also been trying recently to put into practice Solomon’s advice from Ecclesiastes.

Squaring the two realities has been good for my soul and for gaining good perspective in life. So I thought I’d pass along some “fresh bread”. Perhaps you’ll find some benefit too!

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2:24-25:

There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God. For no one can eat and drink or experience joy apart from him. (NET Bible)

This verse is the thrust of Ecclesiastes as it is a recurring theme throughout the book (see also 3:12, 22; and 8:15). Solomon is arguing that the only way to find true joy and satisfaction in life is to fear God and keep his commands. (more…)

Joseph: A Man of Quiet Obedience

Something struck me the other day as I was reading the first two chapters of Matthew.

Joseph’s quiet, unassuming obedience during a time of mystifying circumstances commends him as someone worthy of example.

Consider:

  • Joseph had every right to publicly expose Mary for her alleged infidelity. But with a heart that must have been broken, he wisely and lovingly elects to divorce her quietly. He does not act in bitterness but in tenderness of heart all the while upholding the OT Law (Deut. 22:23-24).
  • Joseph, against all probabilities, trusted the message of the angel of the Lord and took Mary as his wife. Yet he did not sleep with her! His obedience helped to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14. (more…)

Crossroads: The Forging of a Legacy

Never underestimate the power of dead men walking.

Imagine yourself at a crossroads with two paths. One lead towards certain immediate death but preserves your integrity; the other towards the postponement of death but requires compromise. In the end, both paths bring the traveler to the same end. The only difference is the journey. Which would you choose? The shorter life of integrity or the longer life of compromise?

That was the choice facing three young men many years ago. They were in a foreign land being ruled by a foreign king. In this land, the people worshiped pagan gods and built and served man-made idols. (more…)

God’s Mega-Phone

Genesis 3 is perhaps the most tragic of the 1,189 chapters found in the Bible. Why? Because it records the moment when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. It would be like a brand new Lamborghini Diablo being run over by a tractor-trailer two seconds after driving off the lot. Or like a beautiful work of art like the Mona Lisa being slashed with a machete. Yeah, that’s how tragic Genesis 3 is – only 1,000 times worse! (more…)

When Life Doesn’t Make Sense: The Exodus Attitude

When life throws us an unexpected surprise that turns our world upside down, it is human nature to regain our bearings by reclaiming some sense of control over our circumstances. What, or who, we turn to in that moment of crisis makes all the difference in the world.

Consider the Jewish people right after they left Egypt, a place that was their homeland for over 400 years. Overnight all that was familiar to them – their routine, daily activities, diet, and sense of security – was suddenly stripped from them. God was in the process of doing something marvelous, but in doing so he had radically disrupted his chosen people’s “normal” life. It was pretty big “curveball.” (more…)

One Road. Two Ways.

I turned this outfit around on a two-lane highway!

On one of the more memorable truck driving trips I took with the school district came in the fall of 2011. I drove the high school’s band to the famed Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, TX (remember “Friday Night Lights”?). At the end of a long Saturday, I set out for the hotel a few miles down the road in Midland. For reasons I still cannot explain, I made a wrong turn at a key intersection. The road was right. At issue was the direction; I was headed the wrong way.

The right way is important, isn’t it? (more…)