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Solomon discovered the emptiness of stuff.

Illus. A young banker was driving his BMW, in the mountains, during a snowstorm. As he rounded a turn the vehicle slid out of control and toward a cliff. At the last moment he unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped from the car.
Though he escaped with his life, his left arm was caught near the hinge of the door and torn it off at the shoulder.

A trucker passing nearby witnessed the accident, stopped his rig, and ran back to see if he could be of help. There standing, in a state of shock, was the banker at the edge of the cliff moaning, "Oh no, my BMW, my BMW". The trucker pointed to the banker’s shoulder and said "man you’ve got bigger problems than a car".

With that the banker looked at his shoulder, finally realizing he’d lost his arm, and began crying ":Oh No, my new Rolex, my new Rolex".

The pull of the world can easily steal our affections away, and cause us to live for the wrong things. See, stuff is not bad, and it is not evil to own stuff, to have money, possessions, nice cars, Rolex’s.

The important thing is our attitude toward the stuff in our life.
For example: Money is not evil, the love of it is.

Many godly men were rich :
Solomon – with his wealth he built the Temple.
Jehoshaphat – with his wealth he built a great Military power
Job - Stayed faithful to God even when he lost all his wealth. Then God gave him even greater wealth as a reward..
Hezekiah – Used his wealth to reform Israel.

Solomon was the richest man who ever lived.
He owned : Houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, fruit trees, slaves, flocks, singers, so much silver that it was as common as dirt, gold shields, a solid ivory throne, a solid gold throne, fleets of ships, robes of the finest materials, weapons, Storage buildings full of exotic spices, herds of mules, peacocks, 1,400 chariots, 12,000 horses, and land that extended farther than the eye could see.

Ecclesiastes 2:10: “He was denied nothing his eye desired.”
From a Sermon By Art Good

 
Contributed By:
Billy Kryger
 
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THE PERSON OF THE BOOK
GENESIS: Promised Seed
EXODUS: Passover Lamb
LEVITICUS: Scapegoat
NUMBERS: Brazen Serpent
DEUTERONOMY: Great Lawgiver
JOSHUA: Prophet, Priest and King
JUDGES: Judge of All the Universe
RUTH: Kinsman Redeemer
SAMUEL: Anointer of Kings
KINGS: King of Kings & Lord of Lords
CHRONICLES: Great Historian
EZRA: Rebuilder of the Temple
NEHEMIAH: Rebuilder of the Wall
ESTHER: Saviour of the Jews
JOB: Friend that Sticketh Closer than a Brother
PSALMS: Song of the Ages
PROVERBS: Truth
ECCLESIASTES: Great Preacher
SONG OF SOLOMON: Wonderful Lover
ISAIAH: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and The
Prince of Peace
JEREMIAH: Weeping Prophet
LAMENTATIONS: Street Preacher
EZEKIEL: Rebuilder of the Kingdom Temple
DANIEL: Stone Cut Out Without Hands That Will Someday Come Back to
Earth and Establish a Kingdom as Supreme Ruler and King
HOSEA: Forgiving Lover
JOEL-MALACHI: One Coming in Bethlehem Judea

MATTHEW: King of Kings
MARK: Suffering Servant
LUKE: Son of Man
JOHN: Son of God
ACTS: Power of the Church
ROMANS: Dynamite of the Gospel
CORINTHIANS: Restorer of the Carnal Nature
GALATIANS: Rent Veil and Overcomer of the Schoolmaster
EPHESIANS: Heavenly One
PHILIPPIANS: Our Sufficiency
COLOSSIANS: The Shadow
THESSALONIANS: The Great Coming Christ
TIMOTHY: Our Great Appearing God
TITUS: Blessed Hope
PHILEMON: Great Master
HEBREWS: Best of All
JAMES: Fulfiller of the Law
PETER: Rock of Ages Cleft For Me, Let Me Hide Myself in Thee
JOHN: Assurance of our Salvation
JUDE: One Able to Keep Us From Falling and Present Us Faultless
Before Christ in Glory
REVELATION: One Saddled on a White Horse Coming Back to Set Up His
Kingdom
HE’S THE PERSON OF THE BOOK!!

 
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Michael McCartney
 
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JESUS IN EVERY BOOK OF THE BIBLE

The Bible is about Jesus. He is pictured or prophesied about in each of the 66 books as well as in countless types in the lives of different characters in the Bible. Here is a breakdown of how He is pictured in each of the books...

O.T Book Main Revelation Key Prophecies* / Types of Jesus
Genesis The Seed of the Woman Messiah would be born of the seed of a woman (Gen 3:15, Luke 1:34-35)
Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob (Gen 12:3, 17:19, 28:14, Luke 3:23-34)
Messiah would be a king in the line of Judah (Gen 49:10, John 1:49)
Typified in the person of Melchizedek (Gen 14:18)
The life of Isaac - the sacrificed son (Gen 22)
The life of Joseph - the rejected brother (Gen 37)

Exodus The Passover Lamb Typified in the life of Moses - the deliverer
The Passover Lamb (Ex 12, John 1:29,36)
The Manna from Heaven (Ex 16, John 6)
The Rock struck at Horeb (Ex 17, 1 Cor 10:4)
The Tabernacle (Brazen Altar, Lampstand, Table of Showbread, Ark of the covenant etc) (Gen 25-30)
Leviticus The High Priest Typified in the sacrifices and offerings (Lev 1-7)
In the Jewish festivals (Passover, Atonement, Lev 16, 23)
In the scapegoat (Lev 16:7-9)
In the person and duties of the High Priest (Lev 16)
Numbers The Cloud and The Fire Messiah would be a King (Num 24:17)
Typified in the bronze serpent (Num 21:8-9)
The Water from the Rock (Num 20)

Deuteronomy The Prophet Like Moses Messiah will be a prophet (Deut 18:15-19, John 6:14)
Messiah would be worshipped by angels (Deut 32:43, Luke 2:13-14)
Typified in the cities of refuge (Deut 4:41)
Joshua The Captain of Our Salvation Typified in the person of Joshua (our leader into the promised land)
In the Promised Land
In the Commander of the Army (Josh 5:13-15)
Judges The Judge And Lawgiver Typified in the Judges (for He is true Judge of the living and the dead)
Ruth The Kinsman Redeemer Messiah would be a descendant of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:12-17)
Typified in the life of Boaz - The Kinsman Redeemer (Ruth 2:1)
1 & 2 Samuel The Prophet of The Lord Messiah exalted by God with power (1 Sam 2:10, Matt 28:18)
Messiah would be a descendant of David (2 Sam 7:12-16, Matt 1:1)
Messiah would be the 'Rock' (2 Sam 23:2-3, 1 Cor 10:4)
Typified in the life of David - The King in Exile (1 Sam 22)
The life of Jonathon - the faithful friend (1 Sam 18:1-4)

1 & 2 Kings The Reigning King Typified in the life of Solomon (the Millennial Reign)
In the life and miracles of the prophet Elisha (multiplying bread 2 Kings 4:42, healing leper 2 Kings 5)
1 & 2 Chronicles Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah (1 Chron 5:2, Luke 3:23-32)
Typified in Solomon's temple
In the Wisdom of Solomon (2 Chron 9:22)
Ezra The Faithful Scribe Typified in person of Zerubbabel, the rebuilder of the temple (Ezra 4)
Nehemiah The Rebuilder of the Walls Typified in the person of Nehemiah, the rebuilder of the walls of salvation
Esther Mordecai Typified in the person of Mordecai
Job The Dayspring From on High Typified in the sufferings of Job and the blessings that would follow
Psalms The Lord Who Is Our Shepherd Messiah would be the Son of God (Ps 2:7, 12, Matt 17:5)
Messiah would be resurrected (Ps 16:8-10, Acts 13:30-37)
Messiah would be despised & crucified (Ps 22:6-8, 14, Luke 23:21-23, Matt 27:35)
Messiah would be hated without cause (Ps 69:4, Luke 23:13-22)
Messiah would be Lord, seated at the right hand of God (Ps 110:1,5, 1 Pet 3:21-22)
Messiah would be in the line of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4, Heb 6:17-20)
Messiah would be the 'stone' rejected by the Jews (Ps 118:22, Matt 21:42-43)
Key Messianic Psalms: Chapters 2, 8, 16, 22, 45, 69, 89, 109, 110, 118
Proverbs & Ecclesiastes The Wisdom of God Messiah would be from everlasting (Prov 8:22-23, John 17:5)
Messiah would be the Son of God (Prov 30:4, Matt 3:16-17)
Typified in the Wisdom of God (Prov 8:22-31)
Song of Solomon The Lover & Bridegroom Typified in the Bridegroom's love for, and marriage to, the bride
Isaiah The Suffering Servant Messiah would be born of a virgin (Is 7:14, Luke 1:34-35)
Messiah would be Immanuel "God with us" (Is 7:14, Matt 1:21-23)
Messiah would be God and Man (Is 9:6, John 10:30)
Messiah would have the 7-fold Spirit upon Him (Is 11:1-2, Matt 3:16-17)
Messiah would heal the blind, lame, deaf (Is 35:5-6, Mark 10:51-52)
Messiah would be proceeded by a forerunner (Is 40:3, Luke 1:17)
Messiah would be a light to the gentiles (Is 42:6, John 8:12)
Messiah would be despised by the Jewish nation (Is 49:7, John 10:20, Matt 27:23)
Messiah would be whipped and beaten (Is 50:6, Matt 26:67, 27:26)
Messiah would die as a guilt offering for sin (Is 53:10, John 18:11)
Messiah would be resurrected and live forever (Is 53:10, Mark 16:16)
Jeremiah & Lamentations The Weeping Prophet Messiah would be God (Jer 23:6, John 13:13)
Messiah would be a righteous Branch (Jer 23:5)
Messiah would be our righteousness (Jer 23:6, 1 Cor 1:30)
Ezekiel The Son of Man Messiah would be a descendant of David (Ez 34:23-24, Matt 1:1)
Daniel The Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven Messiah would be 'a son of man' given an everlasting kingdom (Dan 7:13-14, Luke 1:31-34)
Messiah would come 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan 9:25, John 12:12-23)
Messiah would be killed (Dan 9:26, Matt 27:35)
Revealed as the 'stone' (and His kingdom) that smashes the kingdoms of the world (Dan 2:34,44)
Typified in the 4th man in the fiery furnace - one like 'the son of gods' (Dan 3:25)
Hosea The Bridegroom Typified in Hosea's faithfulness to his adulterous wife (Hos 3)
Joel The Baptizer With The Holy Spirit Messiah will offer salvation to all mankind (Joel 2:32, Rom 10:12-13)
Messiah would baptize people with the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-32)
Amos The Burden Bearer God would darken the day at noon during Messiah's death (Amos 8:9, Matt 27:45-46)
Obadiah The Mighty Savior
Jonah The Forgiving God Typified in Jonah being 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish (Jon 1:17, Matt 12:40)
Micah The Messenger With Beautiful Feet Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2, Matt 2:1-2)
Messiah would be from everlasting (Mic 5:2, Rev:1-8)
Nahum The Avenger of God's Elect
Habakkuk The Great Evangelist, Crying For Revival Messiah would come from Teman at His return, full of glory (Hab 3:3)
Typified in the life of Habakkuk (his intercession and prayer for his people)
Zephaniah The Restorer of the Remnant
Haggai The Cleansing Fountain Messiah would visit the 2nd temple (Hag 2:6-9, Luke 2:27-32)
Zechariah The Pierced Son Messiah would be Priest and King (Zech 6:12-13, Heb 8:1)
Messiah would be ride into Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech 9:9, Matt 21:6-9)
Messiah would be God (Zech 11:12-13, John 12:45)
Messiah would be pierced (Zech 12:10, John 19:34-37)
Malachi
The Son of Righteousness Messiah would appear at the temple (Mal 3:1, Mark 11:15-16)
Messiah's forerunner would come in the spirit of Elijah (Mat 4:5, Matt 3:1-2)
N.T Book Main Revelation Titles / Names Revealed of Jesus
Matthew The Messiah The Son of David (Matt 1:1)
The King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2)
The Son of God (Matthew 2:15).
The Bridegroom (Mattew 9:15)
Mark The Miracle Worker The Holy One of God (Mark 1:24)
The Servant (Mark 10:45)
The King of Israel (Mark 15:32)
Luke The Son of Man The Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
The Consolation of Israel: (Luke 2:25).
John The Son of God The Only Begotten Son: (John 1:14,18)
The Lamb of God (John 1:29,36)
The Bread of life (John 6:35)
The Light of the World (John 8:1)
The I AM! (John 8:58)
The Door of the Sheep: (John 10:7,9)
The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
The Resurrection and life (John 11:25)
The Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6)
The True Vine (John 15:1)
Acts The Ascended Lord The Prince of Life (Acts 3:15)
The Judge of the living and the dead (Acts 10:42)
The Just One (Acts 7:52).
The Hope of Israel (Acts 28:20)
Romans The Justifier The Rock of Offense (Romans 9:33)
The Deliverer (Romans 11:26)
The Lord of the dead and the living (Romans 14:9)
The Root of Jesse (Romans 15:12)
1 & 2 Corinthians The Last Adam The First-fruits (1 Corinthians 15:23)
The Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45)
Galatians The One Who Sets Us Free The Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 1:3)
Ephesians The Christ of Riches The Head over All Things (Ephesians 1:22)
The Cornerstone: (Ephesians 2:20)
Philippians The God Who Meets Our Every Need The Name above all names (Philippians 2:9)
Colossians The Fullness of The Godhead The Image of the Invisible God (Colossians 1:15)
The Head of the body (Colossians 1:18)
The Beginning (Colossians 1:18)
The Firstborn from the dead (Colossians 1:18)
The Hope of Glory (Col 1:27)
1 & 2 Thessalonians The Soon Coming King The Lord of Peace (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
1 & 2 Timothy The Mediator Between God And Man The King of Ages (1 Timothy 1:17)
The Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5)
Titus The Blessed Hope The Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)
The Great God and Saviour (Titus 2:13)
Philemon The Friend, Closer Than a Brother The Lord Jesus Christ (Philemon 3)
Hebrews The Blood That Washes Away My Sins The Heir of All Things (Hebrews 1:2)
The Faithful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17)
The Author and Finisher of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2)
James The Great Physician The Lord of Glory (James 2:1)
The Judge at the door (James 5:9)
1 & 2 Peter The Chief Shepherd The Living Stone (1 Peter 2:4)
The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
1 & 2 & 3 John Everlasting Love The Eternal Life (1 John 1:2)
The Righteous (1 John 2:1)
Jude The God our Saviour The Only Wise God our Saviour (Jude 25)
Revelation The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! The Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last: (Revelation 1:17, 22:13)
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5:5)
The Word of God (Revelation 19:13).
The King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16)
The Bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)

* Prophecy Source: http://www.messiahrevealed.org/book-index.html Please check this link for additional prophecies

 
Contributed By:
Mark Brunner
 
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Filled To The Brim! (07.05.05--Joy Every Day--Ecclesiastes 5:1-9)

When I was younger I remember being moved on more than one occasion, either by laziness or a predisposition to want to do something more “rewarding” on a Sunday morning, to prompt my dad with this question: “Why do we have to go to church today?” His response, of course, was “because the Bible tells us that we should.” And, “besides, that’s what Christians do on Sunday.”

Now, to a young boy of eight or nine, that was only a partially satisfying answer. I knew other Christians who didn’t go to church on some Sundays and they seemed perfectly occupied with other things that day. The part about God commanding us to do so, the “Bible” part, was pretty difficult to get around, even for a kid. There were two things I learned growing up in connection with Sundays: don’t mess with dad when he was determined to pile the entire family into the ‘56 Plymouth and get them to church and, more importantly, it isn’t healthy to mess with God when He even has a commandment that “tells” us we should go to church. Even though there was little joy in it sometimes, conforming seemed the “better part of valor.”

Now, decades later, Sunday morning dawns and it is now my job to pile everyone into the car and drive to church. Am I simply following a habit my father instilled? Or, has time changed something in me? George Mueller writes: “It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer. The truth is that in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer is to continue praying. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray”. (George Mueller in “A Narrative of Some of the Lord’s Dealings with George Mueller.”)

Worshipping God is one of those subtle gifts that He gives us even though at the time we don’t fully appreciate it or understand it. God wants us to worship Him not because He requires it. He’s perfect and has no need for our imperfect expression of praise. No, God ...

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CHRYSOSTOM ON ECCLESIASTES

Eutropius had fallen into disgrace. As the highest-ranking official in the Byzantine Empire (late fourth century), he served as the closest adviser to the emperor Arcadius, then ruling in Constantinople. But Eutropius abused his imperial power and aroused the anger of the empress Eudoxia, who orchestrated a campaign against him that resulted in a sentence of death.

Desperate to save his life, Eutropius slipped away from the palace and ran to the Hagia Sophia, where he clung to the altar and claimed sanctuary. Soon an angry mob of soldiers surrounded the great church, denouncing Eutropius and demanding his execution. Eventually, the crowds dispersed, but the next day was Sunday, and so they returned the following morning to see whether the pastor would give in to their demands for the execution of Eutropius.

The pastor was John Chrysostom, the famous preacher who served as the Bishop of Constantinople. As he mounted his pulpit, Chrysostom could see a church crowded with worshipers and thrill-seekers. They, in turn, could see Eutropius groveling at the altar. The great man had become a pitiable spectacle, with his teeth chattering and hopeless terror in his eyes.

The dramatic sermon Chrysostom preached that day may have been the finest he ever preached. For his text Chrysostom took Ecclesiastes 1:2 ("Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity"), and for his primary illustration he used the decline and fall of Eutropius.

Here was a man, Chrysostom noted, who had lost everything--position, wealth, freedom, safety. Only days before, he had been the second most powerful man in the world. But it was all vanity, as events had proven, for now Eutropius had become "more wretched than a chained convict, more pitiable than a menial slave, more indigent than a beggar wasting away with hunger." "Though I should try my very best," Chrysostom said, "I could never convey to you in words the agony he must be suffering, from hour to hour expecting to be butchered."

Chrysostom did not stop there, however. His purpose was not to condemn Eutropius but to save him, and also to give his listeners the gospel. To that end, he challenged his listeners to recognize the vanity of their own existence. Whether rich or poor, one day they would all have to leave their possessions behind. They too would face a day of judgment--the judgment of a holy God. Their only hope then would be the hope that they should offer to Eutropius now--mercy at the table of Christ.

The sermon must have hit its mark, for as Chrysostom came to a close, he could see tears of pity streaming down people's faces. Eutropius was spared--a life saved by the preaching of Ecclesiastes.

Because Ecclesiastes is the Word of the living God, it can have the same impact in our lives today. Ecclesiastes teaches us that there is more to life than what we can see with our eyes. Ecclesiastes warns us to live our lives in light of eternity. Ecclesiastes teaches us how to live a meaningful life.

(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, Introduction to Ecclesiastes, 7/11/2010)

 
Contributed By:
Scott Weber
 
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Kurt Cobain died about 8 years ago. I remember the day I picked up the newspaper and read about it. He was the founder and lead singer of the rock group "Nirvana." His death was a suicide. He took a shotgun, pointed it to his head, and killed himself. The newspaper was filled with the words of fans and commentators in disbelief saying "Why? It makes no sense." "He had it all . . . a great career, a huge following, plenty of money, a wife and a 19 month old daughter . . . Why?" To most people it made no sense. But I remember sitting at my desk thinking. "Yes it does. It makes sense. Kurt Cobain was living out his beliefs to their logical extreme." You see, Kurt Cobain was a self professed humanist and nihilist. In other words, he believed their was no God and that there was no meaning or purpose to life. His music (poetry) could not be more clear on this matter.
Kurt Cobain’s music was grunge rock. He pioneered this type of music. The alternative rock style of today has evolved from grunge rock. Kurt had a disdain for anything mainstream or acceptable to society. He was a child of divorce. At the age of eight he began to be shifted from home to home, sometimes even being homeless. He was very vocal about his bitterness from that experience. He developed his belief that life was basically rotten and meaningless.
His music often spoke of his anger and disillusionment. One of his most famous songs was called "Nevermind." Its recurring line was "Oh well, whatever, nevermind." Another song he wrote never got released. It was too objectionable to the label company, but Kurt liked it. It was called, "I Hate Myself, And I Want To Die." In another song called "Smells Like Teen Spirit," a well known line says, "I feel stupid and contagious, here we are, now entertain us." The video of that song was voted best video of the decade of the 90’s.
Friends of Cobain say he lived up to his music. He often acted without reason. He was constantly on an emotional roller coaster. But his dips into despair got deeper and deeper. Once, a member of his road crew asked him why he was moping around so much. Cobain replied, "I’m awake, aren’t I?" Kurt Cobain was a young man fueled by nihilism. He had passion, but for nothing. He had a void in his heart that nothing he pursued could fill, and he believed that nothing could or ever would. He had no purpose, no meaning, and he simply lived out his belief in his worldview to its logical conclusion.
He reminds me of another man. Solomon. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes of pursuing all of the things the world has to offer. He also wrote of the despair they brought him. They offered no meaning. Solomon, however, concluded differently than Kurt Cobain. He concluded that purpose and meaning were found in the living God. Only be knowing and serving Him could you rise above the level of despair. And there is even better news than that. Now, God has declared through His Son how much He loves us, and that He wants to spend eternity with us.

 
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Peter Loughman
 
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COMPLETE SILENCE

In college, one of the jobs I had was working in a medical file warehouse. Talk about mundane, boring, monotonous. These were huge warehouses that contained millions of files from hospitals all over the San Francisco Bay Area. I did one of three things: I pulled a file for a patient in a hospital somewhere; I put the patient's file back after the hospital was done with it; I threw out the file when the hospital asked for it to be purged. If you know your ABC's, you too could do this job.

Each warehouse had rows and rows of files reaching over 20 feet high. It was a very quiet job. The many files in these warehouses super insulated the sound so that if person was more than one row away -- you couldn't hear them. If there was another person in one of these vast places, unless they were in your line of sight, you would have no idea they were even there. It was as if you were completely alone. There was absolute silence.

There were no windows, there were no skylights -- just millions and millions of files. It was very difficult to keep track of time, it was very difficult to stay focused. I could be filing for six hours but think only two hours had gone by.

Most people would last about two weeks, and then they would quit, usually out of exasperation and many would just leave during the day and never come back. They would just lose it.

I guess they would just get to a point and see how meaningless the job was. It didn't matter how fast one could file; there were always more files. After putting away ten boxes of files, the shelves looked exactly the same as when one started. One could work at a feverish pace, and it hardly made much of a difference. "If I take this file out, it is only coming back. If I put this file away, it is only coming out again." At the end of the day, it was meaningless.

Our Scripture from Ecclesiastes sums up that job at the medical file warehouse: Eccl. 1:9 "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again..."

{SERMON HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF ILLUSTRATION}

Myself, I loved that filing job. There, I found peace and quiet. There was a place where I could finally clear my mind and think, pray or memorize study notes for college while I worked. For me, it was a wonderful place of peaceful solitude.

I knew that every file folder wasn't just a medical file; every file I placed on those shelves, every file I took off those shelves represented a life -- a mother, a brother, a sister, a father. Every file was not something random; no, it was loved, it was cared for, it represented a very real person. Most of the time I read the names and placed those folders on the shelf without a second thought, filing as fast as I could. Though, there were times I was moved to pray for the person who belonged to a particular file -- perhaps that was the only prayer said for them....

The hardest part of the job came as a surprise to me. One Saturday afternoon I was directed to a far corner of warehouse number three. I was to remove about one hundred boxes of files out for shredding. No one else was willing to move these boxes, these were the dreaded, "boxes of death". They were huge oversized boxes full of files of people who had died in the various hospitals around the San Francisco Bay Area.

I tell you, I was taken back. I stood in front of literally hundreds and hundreds of files. Those boxes represented the loss of hundreds of lives; it was a bit overwhelming. I just sat down and stared at the huge stack of files for quite some time. I guess I knew that chances were that someday a file with my name would be stamped expired, stuffed into a box and hauled off to a dark corner until some kid threw out the last record of my life without a second thought. I never expected moving boxes to be a solemn experience.

Finally, after some time, I don't know how long, my boss Roger came back and said, "Peter, let's move these boxes together." As we moved those boxes of files, I realized how God had made sure the warehouse would be completely silent--for a time such as this.

 
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When I was at the KTIS pastor’s appreciation dinner last week – Dr. Gary Smalley shared how he was a recovering Hedon. He defined that hedonism is the old playboy philosophy of life. When I typed in the word Hedonism on a google search to attain its definition a website came up called “Hedonistic Resorts” – they are in Jamaica and I want you to listen to their add:

“Sleep in. Stay up late. Give up counting calories. Have a drink before noon. Give up mineral water. Dine in shorts. Talk to strangers. Don’t make your bed. Go skinny dipping. Don’t call your mother. Let your hair down. Don’t pay for anything. Don’t leave a tip. Be your beautiful self in spectacular Negril or Runaway Bay, Jamaica.” “Hedonism II is now more Super-Inclusive than ever with an enticing menu of hedonistic amenities & services to suit all your guilty pleasures. Pick one or two or combine a few to create the perfect hedonistic getaway.”

I thought wow this group is proud of their sinful ways and advertise it as the ultimate experience of life. I did however continue in my pursuit of the definition of Hedonism and here is what I discovered:

Definition of he•don•ism n. from http://www.thefreedictionary
1. Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure, especially to the pleasures of the senses.
2. Philosophy The ethical doctrine holding that only what is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good.
3. Psychology The doctrine holding that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

Definition of Ep•i•cu•re•an•ism n.
1. A philosophy advanced by Epicurus that considered happiness, or the avoidance of pain and emotional disturbance, to be the highest good and that advocated the pursuit of pleasures that can be enjoyed in moderation.
2. Also ...

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Contributed By:
Andrew Chan
 
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Stedman says re:Ecclesiastes -
There is no other book like it, because it is the only book in the Bible that reflects a human, rather than divine, point of view. This book is filled with error. And yet it is wholly inspired. This may confuse people, because many feel that inspiration is a guarantee of truth. This is not necessarily so. Inspiration merely guarantees accuracy from a particular point of view; if it is God’s point of view.

 
Contributed By:
Andy Grossman
 
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A NAME ON THE BILL OF RIGHTS

The Black Brigade or Black Regiment were the preachers, because they wore black robes. Black preachers, white preachers — they all wore black robes. And the British specifically blamed the preachers for the American Revolution. That's where the title "Black Regiment" came from.

The British hated what the preachers did. They hated what they had to say. They claimed if it hadn't been for the preachers, America would still be a happy British colony.

When the British came to America, they started decimating churches. They went to New York City where there were nineteen churches. They burned 10 to the ground. They went across Virginia burning churches. They went across New Jersey burning churches.

Let me tell you about one of those preachers. This was a preacher in Virginia in 1776. He pastored two churches in a little rural town. He was also a member of the legislature — John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg.

While in Williamsburg, the British came marching in town. No big deal, because we haven't signed the Declaration yet. We were still British colonies. But they started going in private homes, taking things - especially guns and ammunition. And so Patrick Henry said, no way. Patrick Henry got 5,000 farmers to go get 200 British soldiers and get all their stuff back.

Pastor Muhlenberg, who pastors on the other side of the state thinks, "My guys need to hear about this." So he jumps on a horseback and rides all the way back. He preaches a sermon Sunday morning, January 21st, 1776.

His side of the state doesn't know what's happening with the British. He's in the pulpit and he's in his black robe, his clerical robe. And he's preaching from Ecclesiastes 3, which says, "There is a time of peace and a time of war." When he read this, he said, "Brethren, this is no longer a time of peace. This is now a time of war." And he gave them a news flash of what was going on. And of course, they were all, “Oh, my! What do we do?”

Then, instead of doing what he always did — have a dismissal prayer, go to vestment room and disrobe, he started undressing right in front of the congregation. And much to their shock — when he took off his clerical robe, underneath, he was wearing the full dress uniform of an officer in the Continental Army. That scene was show in “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson.

The pastor then dismounted the pulpit, went to the back of the church and said, “We came here to practice our liberties. And if we don't get involved, we're going to lose our liberties. Now, who is going with me to defend them?” Three hundred men got up and met him at the back of the church.

But the pastor had a brother. Let me tell you about him. His brother is Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg who pastored up in New York City. And when Pastor Frederick in New York City heard what his brother Peter had done, he said, “Wrong! Wrong, Brother! You should have stayed in the pulpit. Church shouldn't get involved in this stuff.”

And that's what his brother believed until the British came marching into New York City in 1777 and threw him out of his church. And as he stood outside, they desecrated his church. And he has this epiphany and says, maybe I ought to get involved as well or I'm going to lose my liberties. So he decides to get involved. He actually ends up being the speaker of the House in Pennsylvania, helps write their original Constitution. And he is the first ever speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. There are only two signatures on the bottom of the Bill of Rights and one is his — the Rev. Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg.

 
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