The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.
~Ecclesiastes 1:18 NLT
Ignorance can be bliss!
Thomas Gray, in one of his poem stated, “Ignorance is bliss and wisdom is folly.” I altered it somewhat, ignorance is not always bliss and wisdom is not always folly but there are occasions when I don’t want to hear about the problems of others. I don’t eavesdrop or keep my ear to the ground: I know enough. Sometimes I cry TMI. Roy L. Honeycutt said, “the principal theme of Ecclesiastes is the futility of life and the sub-theme is how one should live in view of the futility of life.” I think there is more to Ecclesiastes than the futility of life; matter of fact, I believe the subliminal theme is–“Life without Christ is futile and meaningless, like trying to catch the wind.” When Solomon uses the term “under the sun,” he is referring to the earthly. If we leave Christ out, life is futile, brief and without significance.
Solomon was born with a gold spoon in his mouth. His father grew up on a farm near Bethlehem. In his early years, David spent more time with sheep than people. He knew what it was like to hunt for your supper, to go days without a bath, to sleep on the ground, to labor from sun up to sun down. This conditioning made David rugged, tough and determined. It also helped him to relate to common people. Solomon was raised in a palace. He didn’t know how to survive in a cave or the wilderness. He didn’t have to work for a living. He never had to pay back student loans. He was under the protection of the Royal Body Guard his entire life; he never fought his own battles. David is remembered most for his praise and praise songs: Solomon is remembered most for his folly. The details of his life are recorded so that you and I can learn from his mistakes.
Twice in Ecclesiastes Solomon uses the phrase, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” [1:2, 12:8] Vanity is the word we spoke of yesterday…hebel [wind, breath, vapor, emptiness, vanity]. In other words, vanity begets vanity. If we pursue vain things [earthy, sensual, mundane things] we will reap a harvest of vanity. Solomon did not limit his exploits to hedonism, he tried everything under the sun: education, building projects, physical labor, amassing wealth and nothing brought him any lasting satisfaction. The bottom line is simple: if you want to waste your life, set your sights on things under the sun, on vanities. When you are old, if you consider the late 50’s old, you will look back and say with Solomon, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
Obviously, I have a lot of regrets because I have made a lot of poor decisions in the past but I have no regret about surrendering my life to Christ and obeying His call to the ministry. I have never received a single award from the world system for my achievement because in the world’s view, I am a dismal failure. I don’t even own a home. I have not accumulated wealth and we have a deed to less than one acre. I’ve never written a book and my sermons are not in demand but my testimony is quite different from Solomon’s who was highly successful in the world’s view but felt no sense of accomplishment. He amassed great wealth, wrote many books and made a name for himself throughout the known world. Yet in his late 50’s, he looked back over his life and said, “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” My life is anything but vain. I feel no emptiness. Jesus has put a gusher in my spirit, a bubbling spring that refreshes me daily. My life is full and meaningful. I go to bed every night thanking God for allowing me to live a dream. God is good. Life is vain and empty without Christ but in HIM there is fullness of JOY.
A young man talked with me last night about his job and a sense of fulfillment. I showed him Ephesians 4:28, If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Paul tells us the three ways to get money:  You can steal by taking what you have not earned  You can work or labor with your hands and earn money or  You can have money given to you. Work or labor is the responsible way of providing for ourselves and having the ability to help others. A thief helps himself but hurts others in the process. Everyone cannot be a preacher or teacher, doctor or nurse. This world needs craftsmen, we need common laborers, mechanics, masons, welders, engineers, linemen, truck drivers, etc. It doesn’t matter what your profession, there will be some unpleasant days and tasks. My daddy was a concrete finisher which is hard work and much harder 50 years ago than now. He never loved it but it was an honest job that enabled him to feed 9 mouths. Today, he is my hero. I honor his sacrifice. There is something to be said for a man who goes to a job that he doesn’t necessarily enjoy but he goes to provide for the ones he loves and to have the ability to give to others.
We have to go for some test today and tomorrow, we will probably be going to Birmingham for our cousins surgery. We have a couple of decisions to be made in the next 24 hours; we are praying for wisdom and guidance.
Liberal are morons
Bobby of L.A. sent me this…
A Canadian female liberal wrote a lot of letters to the Canadian government, complaining about the treatment of captive insurgents (terrorists) being held in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities. She demanded a response to her letter. She received back the following reply:
Dear Concerned Citizen,
Thank you for your recent letter expressing your profound concern of treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists captured by Canadian Forces, who were subsequently transferred to the Afghanistan Government and are currently being held by Afghan officials in Afghanistan National Correctional System facilities.
Our administration takes these matters seriously and your opinions were heard loud and clear here in Ottawa. You will be pleased to learn, thanks to the concerns of citizens like yourself; we are creating a new department here at the Department of National Defense, to be called ‘Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers’ program, or L.A.R.K. for short.
In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided, on a trial basis, to divert several terrorists and place them in homes of concerned citizens such as yourself, around the country, under those citizens personal care. Your personal detainee has been selected and is scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence in Toronto next Monday.
Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud is your detainee, and is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of complaint. You will be pleased to know that we will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with your recommendations.
Although Ahmed is a sociopath and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his ‘attitudinal problem’ will help him overcome those character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. We understand that you plan to offer counselling and home schooling, however, we strongly recommend that you hire some assistant caretakers.
Please advise any Jewish friends, neighbors or relatives about your house guest, as he might get agitated or even violent, but we are sure you can reason with him. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless in your opinion, this might offend him. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We advise that you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills either in your home or wherever you choose to take him while helping him adjust to life in our country.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with you or your daughters except sexually, since he views females as a form of property, thereby having no rights, including refusal of his sexual demands. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him.
You also should know that he has shown violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will recommend as more appropriate attire. I’m sure you will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the burka over time. Just remember that it is all part of respecting his culture and religious beliefs’ as described in your letter.