June 28 Notes

June 28. Ecclesiastes 12. Dear fellow student of God's Word, we have reached the end of this study together and I hope He has spoken to you in powerful and meaningful ways. Would you please consider emailing me to let me know you followed this on the website? I'd like to know if this is something that is helpful so I know whether or not to do it again. If I don't hear from anyone ... I'll assume that no one read this and just do a Facebook version next time. So ... if you'd like to be included in our next study on the website ... if you would like there to BE a next study on the website ... either comment below or […] Read more »

June 27 Notes

June 27. Ecclesiastes 5. You should see all my underlinings in this chapter. My oh my there were a lot of poignant verses in chapter 5. I hope you found "the one" that resonated with you and taught you something you needed for today. My verse: "Ecclesiastes 5:1 & 7 "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong ... Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God." My response: Great advice for me, too, when I go to church. Lord, forgive me when I just go through the motions. Help me to "go near to LISTEN." Help […] Read more »

June 26 Notes

June 26. Ecclesiastes 4. How are you doing? I hope you have been steadfast in meeting with the Lord each day. I hope that if you haven't been ... you are at least MORE steadfast because of this study! Grace, dear friend. Keep trying. Also, it's time to start thinking about what is next in your personal study. Don't stop just because this study is over. Choose a book of the Bible and study it on your own using the 4R method you have followed in this study. Or, find a good devotional book and determine to start it June 29th, keeping the good habit of meeting with Jesus each day! My verse: Ecclesiastes 4;13 "Better a poor but wise youth than an old but […] Read more »

June 25 Notes

June 25. Ecclesiastes 3. Oh, there are some GREAT passages in Ecclesiastes 3. I hope you were able to read slowly and savor and ponder this amazing little chapter! I hope God whispered to you some truth even in this pessimistic book, that resonated with your heart. His Word is living and active. God-breathed. Useful for teaching and instructing. May this last week of reading be one of new insights and special thoughts from the God who loves you ... directly to you! My verse: Ecclesiastes 3:21 "Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" My response: With all of Solomon's wisdom, he still could not look beyond death to see what […] Read more »

June 24 Notes

June 24. Ecclesiastes 1. As I read a bit about Ecclesiastes, I discovered that most scholars think it was written by Solomon in his old age. It certainly is a reflection of a jaded, cynical mind, which would "fit" with a king who had it all and then walked away from the Source of all he had. Deep Sigh. So, in some ways, Ecclesiastes is depressing and may have been written by a depressed king. But even in this book that discovers that the answers are not to be found "under the sun," we see the true answer that the meaning of life is beyond our solar system and the things we have and do. Solomon ends his reflections with these two verses that remind […] Read more »

Slow Down

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” —Isaiah 30:15 NIV Why is it that we think that running faster and doing more will somehow make life better? What crazy mindset is it that pushes us to fill every moment with activity? Why do we feel valued only when we’re busy? Is it really okay sometimes to just … stop? Yes. Our salvation stems from “repentance and rest.” Our strength comes from “quietness and trust.” But, too often, like the Israelites in Isaiah’s time, we will have “none of it.” God created the human body to work hard and then […] Read more »

June 23 Notes

June 23. I Kings 11;1-13, 41-43 And now we come to the end of Solomon's life and his fall from worshiping the one true God only. Deep Sigh. I doubt he set out to walk away from God. I suspect he had sound political reasons for the alliances he made through marriage with women who worshiped other gods. But the end result? Disaster. And, like most sinful choices, the disaster did not reside with him alone but with all the people over whom he had authority. Solomon would be the last of only three kings of a united Israel. Shortly after his death, the kingdom divided. Oh the consequences of sinful choices! Oh the responsibility of leadership! Yikes. I get very sad about this. Yet, […] Read more »

June 22 Notes

June 22. I Kings 10:1-27 It's hard to believe, but this is our last weekend in our study. We will finish next Friday, June 28th. So, let's look at Solomon in his later years this weekend, shall we? Today, we see him at the peak of his success. Rulers from other nations are coming to learn from him and admire his amazing kingdom. Solomon was super famous. He built fabulous structures, he was able to converse on almost any subject. He studied broadly and knew science, philosophy, and theology. All God had promised to him, God gave. God kept His word to David's son. Did you enjoy reading about his visit with the Queen of Sheba? I did. I loved imagining what it would have […] Read more »

June 21 Notes

June 21. Song of Songs 8. And now for one more look at this love poem. This book is short enough that I suspect many of you read the whole thing in its entirety, just to see how it flowed. In this last chapter, Solomon's beloved celebrates, but also worries about keeping his love. It's a fitting ending to this poem and a foreshadowing of his future choices, sadly. My verse: Song of Songs 8:6 "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame." My response: Lord, in my mind's eye, I see this beautiful woman longing to […] Read more »

GET SMART - Week Four

Can you believe we are almost at the end of our study? We have one more reading in Week Three, and then we start Week Four on Saturday, studying Solomon's last days. Are you ready to ponder with me? Hope so! Let's finish strong together. As always, feel free to comment below or to email me at sharon@sweetselah.org. I'd love to know how you are doing with this study. Please follow and like us: Read more »