Summary: We must often be stripped of one season before we can enter another. Putting the past behind us. Comparing your season to someone else's can lead to great disappointment, don't do it!

Times and Seasons

PPT 1 Series Title

Text Ecc. 3:1-11

Today we are beginning a new series on Times and Seasons. in todays message we will look at 3 important truths about "seasons," in your life.

1. In order to enter a new season we must often be stripped of the last season.

2. Comparison of your season with someone else's can kill contentment in your life.

3. The future is clear to God and fuzzy to us, so lets trust the one who knows

I want to start with some brief introductory thoughts.

There are so many lessons we can get from seasons and nature. For example: When seasons change many times the changes are abrupt and accompanied by storms, I think life is often also like that. Storms often signal a change in season, and not necessarily a bad change. Storms come before warmer weather just as much as they do before colder.

PPT 2 Pruning trees pic

Another example is in the area of pruning. Pruning often takes place just before winter. Taking that example and applying it to us we see we are cut and then left to convalesce in a time of little fruit, and we have to deal with the normal trials that a winter season brings. That is a whole lot of life summed up in that one sentence! I chose the picture because of the happy faces on the tree hackers. Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2) We feel the pain of the pruning shears, the vineyard sees the multiplied fruit down the road.

We need to take advantage of every season.

PPT 3 Carpe Diem - seize the day

That phrase is from the Latin poet Horace, who lived and died just before Jesus was born.

Latin scholars point out that the translation of the word 'carpe' (which comes from the verb which described the picking of fruit) is to 'pluck'. So the idiom 'carpe diem' is, literally translated:

'enjoy the day, pluck the day when it is ripe',

So to help with plucking the day while it is ripe for the next several weeks I will be doing a series on Times and Season, this is an excellent series to end one year and to begin another.

The best way to seize the day at the end of a year, is to close the door on the past, and the best way to seize the day at the beginning of the year is to start it with prayer for God's blessings in the year ahead.

I have a video I want you to see of a song written by Pete Seeger and is taken word for word from Eccelsiastes 3, the version we are going to watch is by the group the Byrds:

PPT 4 video Turn turn turn

I am only going to cover a few thoughts on seasons this week and will flesh it out more in weeks to come.

Here is our first point for you to consider:

PPT 5 Catcher in uniform behind the plate

Before the catcher can take his turn at bat, he must take off his catchers uniform.

1. To enter a new season you must often be stripped of the last one.

You don't go to bat with the catchers uniform on!

It is interesting that in Ecc 3:3 and 3:5, we read of stripping away before we read of adding on, I think there is some significance in the way the text is ordered:

A time to break down, a time to build up.

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones.

Later the text talks about getting before losing, both are true. Sometimes in life you must subtract before adding, sometimes you add before subtracting. Today we are talking about the first example.

Paul and Elaine are getting married next week, and if their marriage is to thrive, both of them are going to have to let go of some of the ways that singles do things. Amen.

To enter a new season you must often be stripped of the last.

A major reason for that is very simple, you cannot safely drive forward looking in the rearview mirror.

PPT 6 Woman focused on what she see in her rearview mirror

I saw a lot of pictures on the Internet of looking in the rearview mirror, I chose this one because it shows the totality of where the woman's focus was - the past. You will crash your present and hinder your future if your focus is too much rearward.

When we drive a car our attention has to be where we are now, and where we are going to be shortly. To focus on where we have been will cause us to crash and burn. In life we are to glance back, but focus forward. Too many have let what happened in 2012 mess us 2013, or what happened in 2000 mess up 2013, or 1985 mess up 2013.

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