Reflections and Blog

Irony of Ironies

In the Sunday sermon on Ecclesiastes 12:9-14, I stressed that Solomon includes the final epilogue section to prevent people from misunderstanding his book. But perhaps you found it ironic, as I do, that many modern interpreters use the epilogue of Ecclesiastes itself to argue for distorted views of his work! Because of only minor changes…

A Different Kind of Shock

My wife and I recently went on a vacation to Italy. It was a great time, and one subject she and I have found ourselves discussing are the differences between Italy and America. There are many, of course, but one difference very much surprised us. While in Italy, we traveled through several major cities, small…

What a False Teacher Looks Like

As I continue to think about Pastor Babij’s Sunday sermon, a certain phrase in Jude 4 draws my attention. Jude 4 says, For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master…

War and Peace

Is the Christian life a happy life? Is it full of rest and peace? You may have come away this past Sunday wondering if such is the case. In Sunday school, I spoke about the need to fight and discipline ourselves in the process of sanctification. Meanwhile, Pastor Babij began the book of Jude and…

The Naïve Intoxication of Youth

In preparation for this last week’s sermon on Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:8, I came across a work by the nineteenth century English essayist, William Hazlitt. Hazlitt was not a Christian but a child of the Enlightenment and its belief in the power of human reason and progress. Nevertheless, Hazlitt’s essay, On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth,…

Try Using Your Spiritual Gifts

You may have noticed that the last two Sunday messages have a lot to do with each other. In God’s providence, Pastor Babij preached from 1 Corinthians 12 about using spiritual gifts, and then I preached last week from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 about taking wise but bold action while you still can. Truly, one of the…

A Pleasure to Serve

Chick-fil-A is one of the most successful fast food franchises in America; one 2020 report noted that a Chick-fil-A restaurant is, on average, considerably more profitable than a KFC or even a McDonald’s. Though surely there are many reasons for Chick-fil-A’s success, customers often note the restaurant chain’s emphasis on service. Epitomizing Chick-fil-A’s approach, an…

When You Want to Quit

In my last two years of public high school, I was a zealous witness of Jesus Christ. I was always looking to give and stand up for the gospel, whether it was in class when the teacher spoke about evolution, at lunch when talking with friends, or at the cast party when I finished performing…

Fools Hate Work

Looking back over Ecclesiastes 10:1-20, the passage of the Sunday sermon, you may notice that there is a common theme in all the self-destructive characteristics of foolishness. What do promoting the unqualified, failing to prepare, being full of useless words, and going after pleasure all have in common? A fundamental contempt for and avoidance of…

Take Time to Read the Instructions

Earlier this week, I put together a new piece of Ikea furniture, a shoe dresser. I started by unpacking all the different pieces and opening the assembly instruction booklet to step one. I then proceeded to put the pieces together, constantly consulting the booklet for what I was supposed to do next. Even with the…