Vanity at Fashion Island (Ecclesiastes 2:1–11)


Before you watch or read today’s Daily Word, read Ecclesiastes 2:1–11. Vanity at Fashion Island (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11), posted with vodpod When I’m on vacation in California, I like to while away the hours at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. Not because of the fashion, mind you; I cannot afford the clothes most of the stores sell. No, I like to grab a Venti Chai Latte from Starbucks followed by book browsing at Barnes and Noble and lunch at La Salsa, capped off with a movie at the Big Edwards, which advertises itself “the largest screen west of the Mississippi.” If … Continue reading Vanity at Fashion Island (Ecclesiastes 2:1–11)

Toward a Solution From Beyond the Heavens (Ecclesiastes 1:12–18)


Before you watch or read today’s Daily Word, read Ecclesiastes 1:12–18. I studied philosophy in college. Whenever people asked me why I had chosen that discipline as my major field of study, I replied with three words: “To think clearly.” Thinking clearly, it seemed to me, was an obviously good activity. After all, what was the alternative? Muddy thinking? Fuzzy logic? Of course not! But thinking clearly was not an end in itself; rather, it was a means to another end, namely, living well. Philosophy, you see, is literally “the love of wisdom,” and wisdom is a practical science, a … Continue reading Toward a Solution From Beyond the Heavens (Ecclesiastes 1:12–18)

Poof! Poof! Everything Goes Poof. (Ecclesiastes 1:2–11)


Before you watch or read today’s Daily Word, please read Ecclesiastes 1:2–11. One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite jokes concerned twin boys, one an incurable pessimist and the other an indefatigable optimist. Trying to determine the cause of their respective outlooks on life, a psychologist placed the pessimistic boy in a room full of toys and the optimistic boy in a room filled with horse manure. True to form, the pessimistic boy began to whine because his favorite toy was not among the toys in the room. The optimistic boy, on the other hand, climbed atop the manure pile and began … Continue reading Poof! Poof! Everything Goes Poof. (Ecclesiastes 1:2–11)

Vanity of Vanities (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)


Before you watch or read today’s devotional, read Ecclesiastes 1:1-2. If you were a highly successful individual, what advice would you give others to help them achieve the good life? Walk the aisles of your local bookstore, scan its shelves, and you will discover book after book offering answers to that question. They reveal the seven habits of highly effective people, how to win friends and influence people, the secrets of finding the love you want and keeping the love you find, not to mention how to think and grow rich. Each one is written by an effective, friendly author … Continue reading Vanity of Vanities (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)

Plans and People (1 Corinthians 16:5-24)


Paul concludes his contentious letter to the Corinthians by writing them about his plans and about the people whose friendship they hold in common. First of all, his plans. Paul intends to visit the Corinthians, although he can’t tell them exactly when he will arrive. He will come to them, he says, “after I go through Macedonia.” The important thing is not the timing of the visit, however, but its duration. “I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.” I have often … Continue reading Plans and People (1 Corinthians 16:5-24)

Remembering the Poor (1 Corinthians 16:1-4)


An abrupt transition occurs in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. Heretofore, Paul has been speaking in lofty theological terms about lofty theological themes. Now, however, he offers four verses of advice on the nuts-and-bolts mechanics of giving. The transition is, if you think about it, a marvelous comment on the Christian life, for the life of faith includes everything from the sublime to the mundane. No aspect of life is untouched by God’s grace. Our ideas must change, and so must our habits – even our spending habits. “Now about the collection for God’s people….” In the early church, a dispute arose … Continue reading Remembering the Poor (1 Corinthians 16:1-4)

The Death of Death (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)


Many years ago, Rocky Aoki – the founder and owner of Benihana Restaurants – remarked, “Life is a one-hundred yard dash with a brick wall at the finish line.” With these words, he expressed a sentiment many have when they have no hope beyond this life. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die,” is how Rocky Aoki might have put it if he had lived in Paul’s day. All of us must vote in what Bruce Thornton calls “the bleak democracy of death.” That is a fact which we cannot change. But we need not all vote for … Continue reading The Death of Death (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)