Author Archives: Everette Hatcher III

My name is Everette Hatcher III. I am a businessman in Little Rock and have been living in Bryant since 1993. My wife Jill and I have four kids (Rett 24, Hunter 22, Murphey 16, and Wilson 14).

MUSIC MONDAY The Cure and Punk Music

It doesn’t matter if we all die 
Ambition in the back of a black car 
In a high building there is so much to do 
Going home time 
A story on the radio 
Something small falls out of your mouth 
And we laugh 
A prayer for something better 
A prayer 
For something better Please love me 
Meet my mother 
But the fear takes hold 
Creeping up the stairs in the dark Waiting for the death blow 
Waiting for the death blow 
Waiting for the death blow 
Stroking your hair as the patriots are shot 
Fighting for freedom on the television 
Sharing the world with slaughtered pigs 
Have we got everything? 
She struggles to get awayThe pain 
And the creeping feeling 
A little black haired girl 
Waiting for Saturday 
The death of her father pushing her 
Pushing her white face into the mirror 
Aching inside me 
And turn me round 
Just like the old days 
Just like the old days 
Just like the old days 
Just like the old days Caressing an old man 
And painting a lifeless face 
Just a piece of new meat in a clean room 
The soldiers close in under a yellow moon 
All shadows and deliverance 
Under a black flag 
A hundred years of blood 
Crimson 
The ribbon tightens round my throat 
I open my mouth 
And my head bursts open 
A sound like a tiger thrashing in the water 
Thrashing in the water 
Over and over 
We die one after the other 
Over and over 
We die one after the other 
One after the other 
One after the other 
One after the other 
One after the other It feels like a hundred years 
A hundred years 
A hundred years 
A hundred years 
A hundred years 
One hundred yearsSource: LyricFindSongwriters: Laurence Andrew Tolhurst / Robert James Smith / Simon Gallup

The Cure

The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley in 1976. The group has experienced continuous line-up changes over its lifespan, with vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member. The band’s debut album was Three Imaginary Boys (1979) and this, along with several early singles, placed the band in the post-punk and new wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rockrevolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band’s increasingly dark and tormented music, as well as Smith’s stage look, was a staple of the emerging style of music known as gothic rock.

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Ten musicians fueled by existentialism

JESSE LIVINGSTON | MAY 22, 2013 | 7:30AM

Music is filled with surprises. For every good-looking rebel working diligently to bring sexy back, there’s a bookish nerd sitting in a dim corner furiously scribbling esoteric poetry in a lyrics journal. Referencing literature is a surefire way to show the world that you’re a sensitive soul with important thoughts. Existentialism is clearly the most badass school of thought because it pits the individual (wearing black) against the absurdity of the uncaring cosmos (also wearing black). Keep reading for a look at ten existential musicians.

See also: – The Yawpers’ deep thoughts come through on Capon Crusade – The ten most noteworthy music publicity stunts – Review: They Might Be Giants at the Gothic Theatre, 11/5/09

10. The Classic Crime Nihilism and existentialism are certainly not the same, and the Classic Crime’s “The Happy Nihilist” illustrates the difference impeccably with its description of a lost soul who “used to read everything,” “used to need nothing” and now “can’t sleep ’cause I’m not happy.” Nihilism isn’t doing it for him; he needs something more. Existentialist thinkers would argue that it’s perfectly possible to be happy in a meaningless world, as long as you assign your own meaning to things (good news for the narrator of the song, and all of us). Speaking of nihilism, have you ever thought about just how brilliant the line “No, Donny. These men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” really is? Nothing to be afraid of. I see what you did there.

9. Cake Cake’s deliciously cryptic “Sheep Go to Heaven” is packed with obscure references. The chorus “Sheep go to Heaven, goats go to Hell” is an allusion to the Bible (often cited as the definitive record of who goes where). The line “And the gravedigger puts on the forceps” is a bit more perplexing. It’s taken directly from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, widely considered a staple of existentialist theater: “Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener.”


8. Janina Gavankar
 Speaking of Waiting for Godot, Janina Gavankar references the play in her 2012 single of the same name. Who is Janina Gavankar, you ask? She’s the actress who plays the mighty Shiva on The League and shapeshifting Luna Garza on True Blood. The video for her song shows two versions of her waiting together in a featureless white expanse. The song asks, “Friends may come, and friends may go/But if I wait for love, am I waiting for Godot?” The imagery is so over-the-top, it’s hard to tell if she’s serious. And isn’t that what existentialism is all about?

7. They Might Be Giants The godfathers of geek rock are no strangers to literary allusions. Perhaps the most existential of their songs is Apollo 18‘s “I Palindrome I.” It contains one of the best lines of all time: “Someday mother will die and I’ll get the money/Mom leans down and says ‘My sentiments exactly/You son of a bitch.” It’s a clear reference to the opening lines of Camus’ The Stranger: “Mother died today, or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.” We’re all snakes eating our own tails, but TMBG show us every day that the bleak wilderness of existence can be both fun and educational.

6. Tom “T-Bone” Stankus T-Bone’s “Existential Blues” — often mis-attributed to They Might Be Giants — was a big hit on the Dr. Dementoshow. A former public schoolteacher turned full-time entertainer, Stankus penned this rambling riff on philosophy and The Wizard of Oz while in the grip of a monumental opium/helium bender… at least that’s how it sounds. He was probably stone sober and just really weird. “Is it Plato’s heebie-jeebies or just existential blues?” he asks penetratingly. It’s both, T-Bone. It’s both.

5. As I Lay Dying This San Diego Christian metalcore band took their name from William Faulkner’s existential novel of Southern life gone horribly wrong. Considering that Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work, it’s somewhat distressing that As I Lay Dying’s lyrics sound like they came straight out of an online Goth poetry generator: “Emptiness running through me/Taking all that I am/Leaving me this blinding mask/Grasping for the wind/Everything I’ve done/Everything I’ve gained/It all means nothing.” On the other hand, frontman Tim Lambesis was recently arrested in an alleged murder-for-hire plot, and that’s something the characters in Faulkner’s novel could really get behind.

4. Tuxedomoon This experimental post-punk band from San Francisco prided themselves on their unique sound that Seattle Weeklydescribed as radiating “a discomfort that hints of existential hives.” The 1970s were chock-full of existential hives. Everyone knows that. The band’s song “Stranger” makes another reference to Camus’ landmark novel with the lines “Mother died today/Or maybe yesterday.” It also ends with the lines “I’m strange/I’m the stranger.” That’s the subtlety of poetic discourse that your high school English teacher used to tell you about.

3. The Yawpers Denver’s own Yawpers are deep into some existentialist reading. In a recent interview, the Yawpers told us about their album Capon Crusade and its not-infrequent references to Sartre and Camus. “They’re depressing as fuck,” said frontman Nate Cook, cutting to the heart of the philosophy. He then added, “Sartre and Camus are really poignant in pointing out just how flawed existence is in general, and sometimes that can be comforting when you’re trying to write some shitty song about getting fucked up because a girl left you.” That’s actually pretty astute. When misfortune befalls you, is it more or less reassuring to imagine that you deserve it? The great gift of the existentialist thinkers may be showing us that sometimes a lack of intrinsic meaning in the universe isn’t such a bad thing.

2. The Cure Robert Smith and company have made a career out of existential dread and despair — so much so that the early effort “Killing an Arab” now seems a little on-the-nose in its description of the pivotal scene from The Stranger. In fact, the song’s matter-of-fact lyrics have caused the band a good deal of grief over the years, as certain parties have tried to co-opt them as some kind of anti-Arab anthem. Re-releases have sported a sticker explaining that the song “decries the existence of all prejudice and consequent violence,” and Smith has taken to changing the lyrics in live performances to “killing another.” One shy English boy against a world of dull-witted savagery: what could be more existential than that?

1. The Eagles Don Henley’s vision of 1970s California as a fiendish hotel filled with earthly temptations takes its tone and setup from Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit. “Hell is other people,” says Sartre. Henley adds, “This could be Heaven, or this could be Hell,” implying that maybe they’re one and the same. “Hotel California” is one of those classic songs that deserves every bit of its fame. Listening to it, you feel a palpable desire to be somewhere warm and tropical where the livin’ is easy. You also feel a chill of recognition that you’d soon become bored, listless and depressed playing games with the wealthy and beautiful. “And still those voices are calling from far away.” Thanks, Henley. What an insightful, elegant bummer, man.

Robert Smith at the Southbank Centre: ‘I couldn’t understand how we could be so successful and still be honest.’

Show captionThe Cure

The Cure’s Robert Smith: ‘I was very optimistic when I was young – now I’m the opposite’

The singer and songwriter has been curating the Meltdown festival, and is planning to record the first Cure album in 10 years. But will it be fuelled by magic mushroom tea?Dorian LynskeyThu 7 Jun 2018 08.00 EDT

The first thing Robert Smith does is apologise for the makeup. He hasn’t worn it since his last concert with the Cure, in December 2016, but he has a photoshoot today at the Royal Festival Hall and thinks his features are too indistinct without it. To be honest, I would be disappointed if he wasn’t wearing it, along with his regulation baggy black clothes and silver jewellery. Since 1983, the sooty eyeliner, blood-smear lipstick and cobwebbed forest of hair have made him a human logo, transmuted, through the work of people such as Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman, into visual shorthand for the morbidly romantic. He looks like the Cure sound.

Even without the warpaint, Smith finds it hard to blend in. In 1989, at the height of his fame, he moved to the quiet south-coast village where he still lives with his wife, Mary, and gamely attended a meeting in the village hall. “It was pretty chaotic,” he sighs. “I was asked to leave, for no reason other than I wasn’t welcome. I thought, ‘I’ve made a terrible mistake.’” He clasps his hands over his face, just like he does in photographs.

For someone who once sang “It doesn’t matter if we all die”, Smith has an endearing relish for the bathetic comedy of life. Like the time, during the first Gulf war, when he held a press conference to explain that the Cure’s 1979 debut single Killing an Arab was a reference to L’Etranger and not, as some US radio DJs thought, an Islamophobic anthem. “It was totally surreal, explaining Camus to a sea of utterly bemused faces.” Or the time that he interviewed David Bowie for Xfm and arrived so drunk that he proceeded to talk over his hero for two hours. “I think my opening gambit was, ‘We can both agree you’ve never done anything good since 1982,’” he says, wincing.

For all his easy, blokeish charm, Smith means as much to millions of people as Bowie meant to him. This year, the Cure are marking the 40th anniversary of their first concert under that name (they started in 1976 as Malice) with a flurry of activity. Smith has been rummaging through boxes for a documentary directed by regular collaborator Tim Pope. “I knew a few people wanted to – what’s a nice way of saying exploit? – celebrate the 40th anniversary with projects,” he says. “I said no, but I knew that they would probably go ahead anyway unless I made it very obvious that we were doing something.” The Cure may even make their first album since 2008, but we will get to that.

The Cure in 1987.
The Cure in 1987.Photograph: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

First up, Smith is curating the Meltdown festivalat London’s Southbank Centre: a walloping 90 artists over 10 days. Smith will close the event under the name Cureation 25 – which promises a lineup of previous bandmates and more – shortly before the Cure headline a sold-out Hyde Park. “Meltdown’s going to be doom and gloom and Hyde Park’s going to be hands in the air,” he says. He sent a handwritten letter to each name on his wishlist and almost all of them said yes. It’s striking that everyone on the lineup, from the Manic Street Preachers to Mogwai, Nine Inch Nails to the Twilight Sad, has been influenced by the Cure in one way or another. Does Smith only like bands who like the Cure?

“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many artists who don’t like the Cure,” he says. “I think people admire us, even if they don’t particularly get the music. It sounds very conceited, but it’s not about me, it’s about the band. We’ve stayed true to ourselves. If you’re in a band, you realise how hard that is. I think people admire our tenacity.”

The Cure’s position is certainly enviable: loved with cult-like fervour yet mainstream enough to be covered by Adele (Lovesong) and featured in Ant-Man (Plainsong). There’s even a Reese Witherspoon romcom named after their 1987 hit Just Like Heaven, not that Smith has seen it. They are the only band, Smith notes, who are routinely perceived as both suicidal and whimsical. And they have maintained their integrity. Currently without a record label, manager or publicist, they tour (often) or record (not so much) only when Smith feels like it. It’s not true that he’s the only Cure member who matters (if bassist Simon Gallup left, then “it wouldn’t be called the Cure”), but he has always been in the driving seat. When was the last time he did something he didn’t want to do? He points at my Dictaphone and laughs. “Sitting here.”

The Cure tore through the 80s the way the Beatles rushed through the 60s, or Bowie the 70s: wildly prolific, constantly changing. “It is weird looking back,” Smith says. “Everything was done at an incredibly fast pace. Life was whizzing by.” For a 19-year-old neophyte from the suburban West Sussex no-man’s land of Crawley, Smith seemed uncannily self-assured. “Where did that grotesque confidence come from?” he says drily. “Probably punk. Most of the punk bands were fucking awful. I thought we were all right and we were getting better. A lot of it was bluff and bluster at that age.”

Within a couple of years, the punk boy wonders had evolved into avatars of doom: 1981’s Faith sounded like inching through a chilly fog. “I thought, ‘How much bleaker can we get? Either we make very, very tiny noises at the end of a concrete bunker and I whisper over them, or we do something different.’” Hence 1982’s Pornography, a churning inferno of rage, nausea and despair. “There was a lot of tension in our personal lives,” he says. “The music’s always reflected, to a very large degree, how I am mentally.” Our drummer used to make a huge pot of magic mushroom tea at the start of every day and it just went on from there

The strain of playing emotionally crushing songs every night, in various states of narcotic disrepair, broke the band. Smith joined Siouxsie and the Banshees and planned to use the Cure as a vehicle for “sort of stupid” pop songs such as The Lovecats – until the stupid songs became hits. “I suddenly thought, ‘Well, actually, this is more attractive than slogging my way round the world with the Banshees!’ So I was never quite comfortable with my reasons.” Then again, he says, a cynical careerist would not have followed up with the queasy psychedelic splurge of The Top. Drummer Andy Anderson, he says, “used to make a huge pot of magic mushroom tea at the start of every day and it just went on from there”.

Only with 1985’s The Head on the Door did Smith decide to get “professional”, rearranging the studio for each song and pinning guidelines to the wall. “For the first time we were creating sounds as well as songs,” he says. The instructions for the desolate Sinking, for example, were: “We must cry by 6pm tonight.” The Cure became so big internationally that promoters began calling them the Pink Floyd of the 80s. Smith considered 1989’s exquisitely morose Disintegration his masterpiece; the record label thought it was commercial suicide – it sold 3m copies.

Whether in or out of the charts, the Cure occupied a bubble of their own, regularly anointing a symbolic nemesis. “It was generally Duran Duran,” Smith says, “which is really sad because they loved us and they used to come to our shows. But they represented everything we hated: the whole glamorous 80s, consumer bullshit; this horrorshow that we were up against.” Smith also had a long-running feud with Morrissey (“I never really understood it”), in which he has proven to be on the right side of history.

Robert Smith playing live in Santiago, Chile, in 2013.
Robert Smith playing live in Santiago, Chile, in 2013.Photograph: Zuma/Rex

The hothouse of success drove Smith to escape from the capital. “I survived; a lot of people that I left in London didn’t.” By the time of 1992’s Wish, with its jaunty hit Friday I’m in Love, the novelty of being huge had evaporated. “I was coping in a slightly disturbed way with what was going on,” he says. “I felt it was at odds with what I’d started out doing. I couldn’t understand how we could be so successful and still be honest. With hindsight we were, but I couldn’t see it.” So when the Cure were elbowed aside by Britpop, he was relieved. “I felt more comfortable being slightly outside of what was going on, because that’s how I’d felt from the very start. Had we kept pushing it, I don’t think I’d have survived it – not in one piece, anyway.”

These days, the Cure are predominately a live act, renowned for their epic, multi-encore shows. In Mexico City, as a 53rd-birthday treat, Smith tried to break Bruce Springsteen’s record of 4hr 6min, but miscalculated and fell three minutes short. “I was a bit crushed,” he says, “because we could have honestly kept going for another half an hour.” Friends, bandmates and critics have all suggested he leave the audience wanting more, but he keeps going because he enjoys it so much, and because he thinks he owes it to the fans. “I still think of that person who’s there thinking, ‘I wish they wouldn’t stop. I wish they wouldn’t stop.’” Hyde Park, he warns (or promises), will be a relatively brisk two hours.In Between Days: Robert Smith and the Cure – in pictures

It has been a decade since the last Cure album, 4:13 Dream. “I’ve hardly written any words since then,” Smith says glumly. “I think there’s only so many times you can sing certain emotions. I have tried to write songs about something other than how I felt but they’re dry, they’re intellectual, and that’s not me.” He wistfully quotes a line from the Cure’s The Last Day of Summer: “It used to be to so easy.” Would he be disappointed if he never made another album? “I would now, yeah. Because I’ve committed myself to going into the studio and creating songs for the band, which I haven’t done for 10 years. Meltdown has inspired me to do something new because I’m listening to new bands. I’m enthused by their enthusiasm. So if it doesn’t work, I’ll be pretty upset, because it will mean that the songs aren’t good enough.”

He has been revisiting old unused lyrics to see if he can repurpose any, but “some of them don’t make any sense to me any more. It would be weird if I felt the same as I did when I was in my 20s. I’d be mental!”

How has his outlook changed? “It’s slightly more cynical and slightly less optimistic, which is strange. I was very optimistic when I was young, even though I wrote very dismal songs, but now I’m kind of the opposite. I have a very dismal outlook on life.” I hate how things have ended up in the last 20 years – there’s a tone to this country that’s changed for the worse

Smith worries that, at 59, he has become a reactionary who scorns social media, smartphones and the like. “I’m at war with a lot of the modern world,” he says. “I really hate how things have ended up in the last 20 years. I don’t know how it’s happened. There’s a certain tone to this country that’s really changed for the worse.” He’s building a rant, but a melancholy one. “It’s weird how the 70s is often referred to as a period of great unrest and the three-day week, blah, blah. It’s bollocks. The period from the second world war to the 70s, we were on a great trajectory for equality and so forth. It’s only since the end of the 70s, Maggie and Ronnie, that things have inexorably gone wrong. It’s insane, people’s lust for technology and new things.” He sighs. “I’m just turning into a grumpy old man.”

Smith is feeling his age in other ways. He notes that Tom Petty’s last UK show before his death last year was also a 40th-anniversary concert in Hyde Park. “Last time we sold out places in America that we’d never sold out, even in the 80s,” he says. “A darker part of me thinks they like watching us because they think I’m going to fall over and they’re not going to get to see us again.” He shakes off the joke. “I’m just being silly. It will stop, of course it will. I do wake up on a day like today and think, ‘Am I really talking about this band, still?’ I’m honestly astonished at how much love there is for the band. If you’d told me when we started, I would have been quite shocked.” One more encore, then. Maybe two.

Meltdown festival runs from 15-24 June. The Cure play Hyde Park, London, on 7 July.

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Francis Schaeffer taught young people at L Abri in Switzerland in the 1950’s till the 1980’s (pictured below)

Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri

Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

Francis Schaeffer pictured below in 1971 at L Abri

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Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Conference, Urbana, 1981

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 “They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

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Here is a good review of the episode 016 HSWTL The Age of Non-Reason of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?, December 23, 2007:

Together with the advent of the “drug Age” was the increased interest in the West in  the religious experience of Hinduism and Buddhism. Schaeffer tells us that: “This grasping for a nonrational meaning to life and values is the central reason that these Eastern religions are so popular in the West today.”  Drugs and Eastern religions came like a flood into the Western world.  They became the way that people chose to find meaning and values in life.  By themselves or together, drugs and Eastern religion became the way that people searched inside themselves for ultimate truth.

Along with drugs and Eastern religions there has been a remarkable increase “of the occult appearing as an upper-story hope.”  As modern man searches for answers it “many moderns would rather have demons than be left with the idea that everything in the universe is only one big machine.”  For many people having the “occult in the upper story of nonreason in the hope of having meaning” is better than leaving the upper story of nonreason empty. For them horror or the macabre are more acceptable than the idea that they are just a machine.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94)

So the story goes on. We have stopped at only a few incidents in the sweep back to the year 1000 B.C. What we hope has emerged from this is a sense of the historical reliability of the Bible’s text. When the Bible refers to historical incidents, it is speaking about the same sort of “history” that historians examine elsewhere in other cultures and periods. This borne out by the fact that some of the incidents, some of the individuals, and some of the places have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries in the past hundred years has swept away the possibility of a naive skepticism about the Bible’s history. And what is particularly striking is that the tide has built up concerning the time before the year 1000 B.C. Our knowledge about the years 2500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. has vastly increased through discoveries sometimes of whole libraries and even of hitherto unknown people and languages.

There was a time, for example, when the Hittite people, referred to in the early parts of the Bible, were treated as fictitious by critical scholars. Then came the discoveries after 1906 at Boghaz Koi (Boghaz-koy) which not only gave us the certainty of their existence but stacks of details from their own archives!

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Best of Both Worlds: An Interview with Milton Friedman Milton Friedman reminisces about his career as an economist and his lifetime “avocation” as a spokesman for freedom. Brian Doherty from the June 1995 issue

Best of Both Worlds: An Interview with Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman reminisces about his career as an economist and his lifetime “avocation” as a spokesman for freedom.

Brian Doherty from the June 1995 issue – view article in the Digital Edition

Milton Friedman needs little introduction. His career as one of the world’s preeminent economists and advocates of freedom has won him many accolades, best-selling books, and a Nobel Prize.

It has also brought him much satisfaction. Now, in what he is acutely conscious are probably the last years of his life, he and his wife and longtime writing partner Rose Friedman are working on their memoirs.

I met Friedman in January in his elegant high-rise San Francisco condo, with an absorbing view of both the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. His study is filled, but not cluttered, with his own books and economics reference works. While some Great Men in his position in life might refuse nuisances like interviewers entirely, Friedman is friendly and mostly forthcoming, speaking with the slow assurance of a lifelong professor and teacher very comfortable with explaining things. He welcomed me cordially but with a distinct set of limits, both in time and in subject matter. He has a large project to finish, and not much time to finish it in; and he refuses to psychoanalyze himself, largely avoids indulging in discussion of personalities, and wants to save some stories for his memoirs.

Friedman is used to discussing policy, but except for his assessment of the new Congress’s potential, we wandered far afield into reminiscence; assessment of his intellectual development; and his thoughts on the history, significance, and successes of the intellectual movement for freedom that he has served so staunchly.

Reason: You’ve long advocated many of the ideas the new Congress is pushing, such as balanced budget amendments and flat taxes. Do you think Congress will make your dreams come true?

Milton Friedman: I’m skeptical. The talk is good. But I expected so much out of the Reagan administration and was disappointed. I’m a great admirer of Ronald Reagan himself, and I suspect he would have gotten much more done if it hadn’t been for the Cold War and the problem of Nicaragua and El Salvador.

But nonetheless, there’s no doubt that while he talked about cutting down the size of government, he did not succeed. He did slow it down—you’ve got to give him credit for some achievements. But not the massive reduction that he hoped for and planned for. That makes me hesitant now.

Congress wants to talk in this direction. Would they really want to move in that direction? The most important reform would be term limits, six-year limits. Because from an economic point of view, one of the worst features of our system is that you have a new tax law every year or every two years. However bad the tax law is, if you didn’t change it for five years it would do less harm. Why do you keep changing it? Because that’s the most effective way to raise campaign funds. Lobbyists will pay you to put loopholes in; they will pay you to take them out.

If you can get a flat tax with no exemptions or deductions—the Armey plan I suppose would be fine—its main advantage would not be the greater equity of a flat tax or less interference in private incentives. It would be to end this business of changing the whole tax system every few years and keeping prosperous these hordes of tax lawyers.

Reason: You were involved in the development of the withholding tax when you were doing tax work for the government in 1941–43?

Friedman: I was an employee at the Treasury Department. We were in a wartime situation. How do you raise the enormous amount of taxes you need for wartime? We were all in favor of cutting inflation. I wasn’t as sophisticated about how to do it then as I would be now, but there’s no doubt that one of the ways to avoid inflation was to finance as large a fraction of current spending with tax money as possible.

In World War I, a very small fraction of the total war expenditure was financed by taxes, so we had a doubling of prices during the war and after the war. At the outbreak of World War II, the Treasury was determined not to make the same mistake again.

You could not do that during wartime or peacetime without withholding. And so people at the Treasury tax research department, where I was working, investigated various methods of withholding. I was one of the small technical group that worked on developing it.

One of the major opponents of the idea was the IRS. Because every organization knows that the only way you can do anything is the way they’ve always been doing it. This was something new, and they kept telling us how impossible it was. It was a very interesting and very challenging intellectual task. I played a significant role, no question about it, in introducing withholding. I think it’s a great mistake for peacetime, but in 1941–43, all of us were concentrating on the war.

I have no apologies for it, but I really wish we hadn’t found it necessary and I wish there were some way of abolishing withholding now.

Reason: You’ve also had some history of advising candidates and presidents. How did you get involved in the Goldwater campaign?

Friedman: Through Bill Baroody at the American Enterprise Institute. The American Enterprise Institute was originally the American Enterprise Association, and had established a board of academic advisers to advise them on their publications. I had been a member of that I think since its inception, and Baroody arranged sometime in the early ’60s a number of dinners at his house at which Goldwater was present. Baroody was the brain trust for Goldwater. I was also at some of those dinners, so I got to meet Goldwater. And then when the campaign came along, Baroody asked me to serve as economic adviser. I didn’t go on the campaign trail. I sat at home and wrote memos.

Reason: Were you impressed with Goldwater’s acumen?

Friedman: It depends on what you mean by acumen. There’s no doubt whatsoever that he’s a man of principle and strong character. His IQ is perfectly reasonable but it’s not outstanding among the various politicians I’ve met, and that shows why IQ is not a good measure. The highest IQ was Richard Nixon’s and he was a terrible president

While I was never a governmental official, I was a member of an economic advisory group that Nixon appointed of which Arthur Burns was chairman. I saw Nixon from time to time when he was president, until he imposed price controls. I saw him only once after that.

Reason: Did you stop giving him advice?

Friedman: I kept giving him advice from Newsweek, but not personally.

Reason: Do you have a clear memory of how your political philosophy formed? Was it any specific teacher you encountered, book you read, or experience?

Friedman: I’m sure it was a combination of all of those. I was exposed as an undergraduate at Rutgers to two very strong influences: Homer Jones, who was a student of Frank Knight’s from Chicago, and Arthur Burns. They both had a considerable influence on me as an undergraduate in my thinking and my writing.

But it would be hard to say what philosophy that left me with. One of the things I regretted all my life is that when I graduated from Rutgers and came home, I wrote out a statement of my beliefs. I put that away in a drawer somewhere in my mother’s home and I’ve never been able to find the damn thing! I’d love to have it! So I can’t really tell you what I believed at that time.

But obviously my ideas were not very well formed. I was an innocent youngster and what I was impressed by, of course, was the Great Depression, and the belief that somehow or another there ought to be something that can prevent any such thing from happening.

Thanks to Homer, I was offered a scholarship at the University of Chicago and I went to Chicago and studied with Frank Knight, Jacob Viner, Henry Schultz, and so on. The atmosphere in Chicago in 1932 was very lively and active and encouraging. Of course, I got a very good grounding in economic theory and statistics as well.

Next year, I managed to get a fellowship to Columbia. I spent a year at Columbia mainly to study with Harold Hotelling, who was a mathematical economist and statistician.

Then I went back to Chicago for one year and was a research assistant to Henry Schultz. There were a group of students in Chicago who were very, very important. George Stigler, Allen Wallis, Rose Director, and myself. We ate almost every lunch and dinner together. We spent all the time discussing economics, both economic theory and economic policy. And we were very close for the rest of our lives. George died about two years ago. Allen, I’m glad to say, is still alive.

In the 1930s, both Rose and I at separate times went to Washington and worked on the New Deal, but we were technical statisticians and economists, not anything that had any policy role.

Throughout my career, I spent most of my time on technical economics. This policy stuff has been a strict avocation. If you really want to engage in policy activity, don’t make that your vocation. Make it your avocation. Get a job. Get a secure base of income. Otherwise, you’re going to get corrupted and destroyed. How are you going to get support? You’re only going to get support from people who are ideologically motivated. And you’re not going to be as free as you think you’re going to be.

One of the most important things in my career is that I always had a major vocation which was not policy. I don’t regard what I’ve done in the field of monetary policy as on the same level as what I’ve done about trying to get rid of the draft or legalizing drugs. One is a technical byproduct of scientific work, and so that’s the only sense in which my vocation has affected my policy. But by having a good firm position in the academic world, I was perfectly free to be my own person in the world of policy. I didn’t have to worry about losing my job. I didn’t have to worry about being persecuted.

I think you’ll make a mistake if you’re going to spend your life as a policy wonk. I’ve seen some of my students who have done this. And some of them are fine, and some of them, especially those who have gone to Washington and stayed, are not.

Reason: How did you come to enter the world of policy writing?

Friedman: What really got me started in policy and what led to Capitalism and Freedom was, in an indirect way, the Mont Pelerin Society. The first Mont Pelerin Society meeting was in 1947 in Switzerland. Hayek arranged it. It was his idea.

Mont Pelerin was the first time that I came into contact with people like Hayek, Lionel Robbins, and the European contingent of that time. That widened my perspective about issues and policy.

The Mont Pelerin Society was people who were deeply concerned about issues. It was people with whom you shared a basic common belief, who at home were isolated. Its great contribution was that it provided a week when people like that could get together and open their hearts and minds and not have to worry about whether somebody was going to stick a knife in their back—especially for people in countries where they were isolated.

The reason the Society ever happened was that Hayek had written The Road to Serfdom, which attracted the attention of the Volker Foundation, and it was the Volker Foundation that financed the American participation in the Mont Pelerin Society. A Swiss group financed the Swiss and European participation.

In the middle ’50s, the Volker Foundation undertook a program of summer institutes for junior academics who were favorably inclined toward a free-market point of view or were interested in such issues. Capitalism and Freedom was based on a series of lectures that I gave at one of those seminars. Those seminars forced me to systematize my thoughts and present them in a coherent way. And they also provided a very good audience because the people who were there were lively, outspoken, didn’t hesitate to criticize. It was a very good audience. There was a lot of free time as well for discussions outside of the formal seminar. And I learned a great deal, not only from the students who were there, but also the fellow lecturers.

And then my wife, Rose, took the transcribed tapes of the lectures and reworked them and that’s what became Capitalism and Freedom.

Reason: Did you have any hesitation about publishing that book?

Friedman: None whatsoever. Why should I have had any hesitation? Remember, I was a tenured professor.

Another thing that helped form my policy orientation was when Hayek came to Chicago in 1950. He attracted quite a number of very able students, Sam Peltzman, Ron Hamowy, Ralph Raico, Shirley Letwin. There were quite a group of them. Hayek drew very high quality people. I was an adviser to their New Individualist Review and contributed articles to it. They were a very lively group that had organized discussion sessions and so on, which was part of the atmosphere.

I was persuaded at that time in the early 1960s that we were on the verge of developing a strong libertarian movement. These were libertarians, all of them, though Hayek would not have labeled himself a libertarian. As you know, he always avoided the termconservative, too. He would call himself an Old Whig. The others would have called themselves libertarians.

That’s how I was able to develop my own ideas. What shaped them was the interaction with all these other people at lunches and dinners and lectures.

Ayn Rand was receiving increasing attention at that time. I believed a big upsurge in the libertarian philosophy and views was pending. And to some extent it was. You had the Randian group, and the Murray Rothbard group. But the developing libertarian movement was repressed by the Vietnam War and what it led to. You’ve only got room for one big movement at a time.

Reason: Why do you think you had more initial success as a public proselytizer—you had a regular column inNewsweek—than other prominent libertarians?

Friedman: I really don’t know how to answer that. I was basically trained in economic science. I was interested in the history of thought and where it came from. I thought I was going back to some fundamentals rather than creating anything new. Ayn Rand had no use for the past. She was going to invent the world anew. She was an utterly intolerant and dogmatic person who did a great deal of good. But I could never feel comfortable with her. I don’t mean with her personally—I never met her personally. I’m only talking about her writings.

Rothbard was a very different character. I had some contact with Murray early on, but very little contact with him overall. That’s primarily because I deliberately kept from getting involved in the Libertarian Party affairs; partly because I always thought Murray, like Rand, was a cult builder, and a dogmatist. Partly because whenever he’s had the chance he’s been nasty to me and my work. I don’t mind that but I didn’t have to mix with him. And so there is no ideological reason why I kept separate from him, really a personal reason.

Reason: In seeing yourself as harkening back to 19th-century liberalism, you never became a system-builder like Rand or Rothbard….

Friedman: Exactly. I’d rather use the term liberal than libertarian.

Reason: I see you occasionally use the word libertarian.

Friedman: Oh, I do.

Reason: As a concession to accepted usage?

Friedman: That’s right. Because now liberal is so misinterpreted. So I am a Republican with a capital “r” and a libertarian with a small “l.” I have a party membership as a Republican, not because they have any principles, but because that’s the way I am the most useful and have most influence. My philosophy is clearly libertarian.

However, libertarian is not a self-defining term. There are many varieties of libertarians. There’s a zero-government libertarian, an anarchist. There’s a limited-government libertarianism. They share a lot in terms of their fundamental values. If you trace them to their ultimate roots, they are different. It doesn’t matter in practice, because we both want to work in the same direction.

I would like to be a zero-government libertarian.

Reason: Why aren’t you?

Friedman: Because I don’t think it’s a feasible social structure. I look over history, and outside of perhaps Iceland, where else can you find any historical examples of that kind of a system developing?

Reason: One could argue the same thing about minimal-state libertarianism: that historically it seems to not be stable.

Friedman: I agree. I wrote an article once arguing that a free society is an unstable equilibrium. Fundamentally, I’m of the opinion that it is. Though we want to try to keep that unstable equilibrium as long as we can! The United States from 1780 to 1929 is not a bad example of a limited-government libertarianism that lasted for a long time.

Reason: Is feeling like part of a larger movement important to you? Would you have been able to do the work you did had you not felt part of a community of like-minded scholars?

Friedman: I’ve been very fortunate in being part of two communities of scholars: the community of economists on the one hand, and the community of libertarians on the other. And that combination has been very productive so far as I’m concerned, but I can’t really tell you why. One thing is that it’s very hard for somebody on his own to be sure that he’s thought of all the angles. Discussion among people helps an enormous amount. And particularly able, good people.

If you have a person isolated in an environment unfriendly to his ideas and thoughts, he tends to turn bitter and self-directed. But the same person with three or four other people around—it doesn’t have to be a lot of people—will be in a wholly different position since he will receive support from the others.

You remind me of one incident where in a sense the two worlds interacted. Back in the 1960s, my daughter was an undergraduate at Bryn Mawr, and I was invited by Haverford, I think it was, to spend three days giving talks on mathematical economics. Absolutely no policy involved, pure mathematical economics. And because my daughter was at Bryn Mawr, I agreed.

After I had agreed, they asked if I would also be willing to give a chapel talk on political matters. I said sure and I gave a title, something having to do with freedom. Then I discovered that chapel at Haverford was compulsory. I wrote to the president and said that I was very much disturbed at giving a talk on freedom to a compulsory audience.

When it was time to go to the chapel, I asked the president, “How do they count attendance?” And he said, “At the beginning of the hour there are people going around in the balcony and looking down. Everybody has an assigned seat, and they count.”

When I got up to talk, I spoke up to the people in the balcony and said that those who were counting attendance, please let me know when they’re through because I don’t like the idea of speaking about freedom to a compulsory audience. I’m going to sit down and give the people who want to leave the chance to leave. And I did. Now, the students hadn’t really thought that I was going to do it and when I did, about one or two people got up to leave and the rest of them booed them because obviously, I was talking on their level. As a result, I’ve seldom had a student audience who were so completely on my side as that group, even though the political atmosphere at Haverford was very much to the left. That’s one of the greatest coups I’ve ever had as a public speaker.

Reason: Do you think you’ve become more radically libertarian in your political views over the years?

Friedman: The difference between me and people like Murray Rothbard is that, though I want to know what my ideal is, I think I also have to be willing to discuss changes that are less than ideal so long as they point me in that direction. So while I’d like to abolish the Fed, I’ve written many pages on how the Fed, if it does exist, should be run.

Murray used to berate me for my stand on education vouchers. I would like to see the government out of the education business entirely. In that area, I have become more extreme, not because of any change of philosophy, but because of a change in my knowledge of the factual situation and history.

I used to argue that I could justify compulsory schooling on the ground of external effects. But then I discovered from work that E.G. West and others did, that before compulsory schooling something over 90 percent of people got schooled. The big distinction you have to make is between marginal benefit and average benefit. The marginal benefit from having 91 percent of people in school rather than 90 percent does not justify making it compulsory. But if in the absence of compulsory education, only 50 percent would be literate, then I can regard it as appropriate.

Some issues are open and shut. Tariffs, property rights. No, not property rights, because you have to define property rights. But education is not open and shut. In Capitalism and Freedom we came out on the side of favoring compulsory schooling and in Free To Choose we came out against it. So I have become more radical in that sense. Murray used to call me a statist because I was willing to have government money involved. But I see the voucher as a step in moving away from a government system to a private system. Now maybe I’m wrong, maybe it wouldn’t have that effect, but that’s the reason I favor it.

Reason: Would you agree with the proposition that you have been the most successful and important proselytizer for libertarianism?

Friedman: I don’t think that I’ve had the most influence. I think the most influential person was Hayek. The effect of The Road to Serfdom was really critical. In another area, Bill Buckley has certainly been very important on national policy.

Buckley’s not a libertarian. But he’s also not a socialist. And if you look at the political scene, his National Review has had a tremendous influence in providing a base for collaboration between the libertarians on the one side and the free-market conservatives on the other. That was epitomized in its most obvious form by Frank Meyer when he was with National Review. They’ve helped that coalition to form and hold together and have influence; Bill Buckley played an enormously important role.

I might have more public influence than ideologues like Rand or Murray Rothbard, the libertarians in that strict sense. And I believe that the reason is because they have been so intolerant.

Reason: You wrote an essay in Liberty about the intolerance of Rand and Ludwig von Mises. You say you never met Rand….

Friedman: I was never to my knowledge in the same place as she was; I was in Chicago, she was in New York. I’m sure if I had been in New York, I would have met her. It was not because of any objection on my part. I think she was a fascinating woman and had a great influence. As I always have said, she had an extremely good influence on all those who did not become Randians. But if they became Randians, they were hopeless.

Reason: But you knew Mises personally. Did you see the intolerance that you find in his method also in his personal behavior?

Friedman: No question. The story I remember best happened at the initial Mont Pelerin meeting when he got up and said, “You’re all a bunch of socialists.” We were discussing the distribution of income, and whether you should have progressive income taxes. Some of the people there were expressing the view that there could be a justification for it.

Another occasion which is equally telling: Fritz Machlup was a student of Mises’s, one of his most faithful disciples. At one of the Mont Pelerin meetings, Fritz gave a talk in which I think he questioned the idea of a gold standard; he came out in favor of floating exchange rates. Mises was so mad he wouldn’t speak to him for three years. Some people had to come around and bring them together again. It’s hard to understand; you can get some understanding of it by taking into account how people like Mises were persecuted in their lives.

Reason: You don’t link yourself openly to certain aspects of the libertarian political movement….

Friedman: Well, you have to be more specific. Being very specific, I have not wanted to join the Libertarian Party simply because I have accumulated good working relationships with people in the Republican Party, and I think I can be more effective by being a Republican. That’s the only reason. There are no other cases in which I have had any problem with the libertarian movement.

Reason: You certainly have a respectability and presence that most people and organizations labeled libertarian don’t have….

Friedman: That’s because of one thing only: I won the Nobel Prize. What, are you kidding yourself?

Reason: Your status preceded your winning the Nobel.

Friedman: I did have some of it, yes. It’s because I have a firm root in something other than ideology. Because I was firmly based in a scientific academic discipline. I wasn’t simply a preacher or an ideologue or an unconnected philosopher.

But I think the libertarian movement is doing fine. I think that REASON magazine has been remarkably good; it has been very effective. It takes many kinds of people to make a movement. And one of the most important things are publications. In any activity you have manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers; and all three are essential and necessary. There are only a relatively small number of manufacturers of ideas. But there can be a very large number of wholesalers and retailers.

As I look around me I’m impressed by the fact that there’s increasing attention paid to libertarian ideas. If you look at the picture now, compared with 30 years ago, there’s no comparison. Now you’ve got much more. As far as journals are concerned, then we had the Foundation for Economic Education’s Freeman; for a while we had the New Individualist Review in Chicago, but that was about it. Bill Buckley established National Review, which is in a different corner.

(Page 6 of 7)

But look at the situation today. You have REASON magazine, you have Liberty magazine. You’ve got all of this stuff that spouts out from the Cato Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a half dozen other think tanks. In fact, I think there are too damn many think tanks now.

Reason: Why do you say there are too many?

Friedman: You don’t have the talent for it.

Reason: Do you consider yourself in the libertarian mainstream on foreign policy issues?

Friedman: I don’t believe that the libertarian philosophy dictates a foreign policy. In particular I don’t think you can derive isolationism from libertarianism. I’m anti-interventionist, but I’m not an isolationist. I don’t believe we ought to go without armaments. I’m sure we spend more money on armaments than we need to; that’s a different question.

I don’t believe that you can derive from libertarian views the notion that a nation has to bare itself to the outside without defense, or that a strong volunteer force would arise and defend the nation.

Reason: What did you think about the Gulf War?

Friedman: I always had misgivings about the Gulf War, but I never came to a firm decision. It was more nearly justified than other recent foreign interventions, and yet I was persuaded that the major argument used to support it was fallacious.

After all, if Iraq took over the oil, it would have to do something with it. If they don’t want to eat it, they’d have to sell it. I don’t think the price of oil would have been much affected. The more important consideration was the balance of power with Iran and Iraq. I have mixed feelings about that war; I wouldn’t be willing to write a brief on either side.

Reason: What would you regard as your most important accomplishment?

Friedman: It depends on what you mean. I wrote an essay on methodology in 1953. It was published in my book Essays on Positive Economics. I had been working on it for years before that, so it goes way back to the middle ’40s. It started to generate a lot of comments, but I decided I would rather do economics than talk about how economics are done. So I made a distinct point of not replying to any criticism of that essay. And I think that’s why it’s so commented on.

That methodology article has probably been reprinted more often and referred to more often than anything else I’ve written, though I would by no means regard it as the most important thing I’ve ever done.

In terms of sheer technical quality there’s no doubt in my mind that the best thing I ever did was The Theory of the Consumption Function which, from a scientific point of view, is a carry on from the methodology article. I regard the theory of the consumption function as a demonstration of applying the methodology I explained there. But also it has a neatness about it and a specific theorem which has generated an enormous amount of work since then. When things like that originally come out, the status quo says, “Oh, that’s a bunch of nonsense, we can’t possibly work with that,” but give it time. And by now it’s part of conventional economics.

In the realm of policy, I regard eliminating the draft as my most important accomplishment.

Reason: Have you retired from economics?

Friedman: Well, not from economics, but from that kind of work. There’s been a tremendous advance in specialization in economics, particularly in the econometrics area. I was just looking at recent working papers published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. These are clearly built on work of mine, going back to the 1970s. But there’s been a new development in econometrics that I haven’t kept up with. The techniques they’ve adopted here are all different from ours. I’m not an expert in them anymore; I really couldn’t deal with this material on the level on which they are dealing with it, although I can understand the thrust of what they’re doing.

I’m not making any pretense of trying to do any more basic, fundamental economics work. I believe that almost all important contributions of a scientist are made in the first 10 years after he enters the discipline. Not the first 10 years of his professional life; he may shift from one discipline to another. And I’ve been impressed as I’ve been going over my memoirs, that my basic contributions all have their roots in the early years of my work. I was reading over some preliminary professional papers in the 1950s, and I could see there the whole future of the next 30 years of work that I did; it was all outlined in there.

You add things to it, you change it, but the fundamental ideas come early. The 1940s–’60s was when I did my most important economic work, even though it wasn’t all published then.

(Page 7 of 7)

Reason: I read an article recently in the Washington Monthly that repeated all the silly ideas about inflation that you’ve been fighting your whole career. Are battles like this ever won?

Friedman: No. All battles are perpetual. You go back in the literature of economics, and you’ll find the same kind of silly statements 100 years ago, 200 years ago. And you’ll find the same sensible statements the other way.

Reason: Are those kind of mistakes still made among professional economists?

Friedman: If you look at the views of the profession as a whole, no. There’s a great deal of agreement among economists, contrary to what people may think. You won’t find much difference of opinion on the proposition that raising the minimum wage will cost jobs. You won’t find much difference of opinion on the desirability of free trade. And you won’t find any difference of opinion on the idea that you cannot have inflation without monetary expansion. There’s no doubt that there’s very widespread agreement about those simple ideas.

Reason: How do you make that consensus spread to the general public?

Friedman: You just have to keep on trying to do it. There’s no short cut. There’s no way in which you’re going to end the discussion, because new generations arise; every group has the same crazy ideas. I get a great many letters from people who think that the way to solve budget problems and fiscal problems is to simply print money and pay off the debt. And there’s almost no way of making those people realize just what a bunch of nonsense that is.

I’m inclined to think that there’s no field so rife with cranks as currency and money, but I’m sure there are other fields that are just as bad. I’m just ignorant of them.


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Defending Milton Friedman

July 31, 2012 – 6:45 am

What a great defense of Milton Friedman!!!!   Defaming Milton Friedman by Johan Norberg This article appeared in Reason Online on September 26, 2008  PRINT PAGE  CITE THIS      Sans Serif      Serif Share with your friends: ShareThis In the future, if you tell a student or a journalist that you favor free markets and limited government, there is […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 278 My July 25, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on Ecclesiastes which is based on 1996 message by Dan Jarrell of Fellowship Bible Church on the subject of “I can’t get no Satisfaction and I tried and I tried” (Featured artist is Mark Manders )

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

What if you had 1 wish?

By Ryan Ervin

Besides Jesus (of course), King Solomon is my favorite character in Scripture. It’s the train-wreck I can’t look away from. No person in history, including Jesus, had been handed a bigger platform. The new kingdom was all his.

After Solomon was given the throne, God decides to personally visit Solomon one night and says, “Ask from me anything.”

Anything. God gave Solomon the biggest blank check in history. For one night, God was Solomon’s genie.

“Wisdom to lead your great people” was his immediate response.

God was so pleased with Solomon’s answer, he gave him more wisdom than anyone ever, and even gave him what he didn’t ask for: riches, long life, and peace with his enemies. (Driscoll rightly said, “Solomon was smarter than Albert Einstein, had more money than Bill Gates, and more women than Hugh Hefner.”)

With all Solomon had and the wisdom he possessed, he set the course for Israel’s unfaithfulness and eventual fall. His vast wisdom wasn’t enough. He drifted from the God who’d given him everything.

This troubles me because I love the subject and pursuit of wisdom. It may be my favorite prayer request. (Don’t forget, God was very pleased with Solomon’s answer.)

Wisdom wasn’t enough for Solomon, and that’s a lesson for me. There is no reason to think that wisdom is enough for me either, though I want it to be.

But what is? What if God came to me, and asked, “Ryan, ask anything from me.” What would I ask for? What would you ask for?

This puzzled me for months. I had no idea. Friends and colleagues would ask me, “Ryan, how can I pray for you?” and I would honestly respond with, “I don’t know.”

Has this ever bothered you? Have you ever wondered, “If God is really going to answer my prayer for me, what should I ask for?”

Maybe you think I’m being dramatic. You’re probably right, but this was a real issue for me.  As a husband, father, and leader in a church, I’ve committed to wrestling with God in prayer so I can be of better service. Solomon’s downfall has been serving me as a warning since I first read it.

So, I started asking around. I reminded people of Solomon’s story, then asked, “What’s the greatest prayer request? What’s the best thing you can ask for yourself?”

After I asked a friend, he wisely reminded me that “We’ve been given Solomon’s blank check. Jesus invites us to, ‘ask, seek, knock.’ Jesus also ends this invitation with, ‘How much more will God give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?’”

I felt like a dunce.We, like King Solomon, have been invited to ask for anything. Within that generous invitation we’re specifically encouraged to ask for more of God. He is not our genie, nor does he want to be. He’s more. He wants to be our dad who gives us good things.

More than just an invitation to ask for things, we’re invited to be in relationship with Solomon’s Genie. We can know him. We can talk with him.

To keep with the Genie metaphor, he’s so much more than a granter of wishes. He wishes for us. He’s committed to intercede for me, while the Holy Spirit is asking for things I don’t even know to ask for. That means two-thirds of the Trinity is praying for me right now. He makes up for where I’m lacking, filling in the crevices of my weaknesses. This is true for you too, of course.

One of the lessons from this story is that wisdom isn’t everything. Perhaps another is that Solomon’s downfall was that after the fantastic answer he gave to God, he quit pursuing him.

Two things are certain, though.

  1. God loves to give wisdom, so ask for it.
  2. Wisdom is not enough, but he is.

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Ryan Ervin is the Married Life Pastor at CTK Bellingham. He’s married to Nicole, and together they’re raising their 3 children, Hannah, Tess, and Finn.

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee, C.S. Lewis Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

In this post today and several posts that follow this will be based on a sermon series I heard at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 1996 on the Book of Ecclesiastes. The pastors back then were Robert Lewis, Bill Wellons, Bill Parkinson and Dan Jarrell. Below is the letter I wrote based both on Dan Jarrell’s sermon from the same series.

Dan Jarrell pictured below:

DAN JARRELL
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Robert Lewis pictured below:

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Bill Wellons pictured below:

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Bill Parkinson pictured below

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I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

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July 25,  2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Everytime I come to Chicago I love to visit the comedy club THE SECOND CITY. It is an interesting fact how many have got their start there and went on to have great careers on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. In fact, when I saw you host the 10-15-77 SNL show there starring with you were SECOND CITY ALUMNI John Belushi (1971), Bill Murray (1973), Dan Aykroyd (1974) and Gilda Radner (1974).

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2. Monologue (2:57)

Hef sports the bathrobe and pipe of course and seemingly takes a rather straight-forward approach to his monologue while cracking a couple of jokes here and there. However, he quickly segueways into a somewhat-creepy rendition of “Thank Heaven For Little Girls” while some text scrolls by on the screen describing Hefner’s fascination with girls in general. Not bad. C+

4. Planet of the Men vs. Planet of the Women (4:14)
-Hefner, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner

Well, this kind of sketch was expected. In the distant future, Captain Macho (Hefner), Corporal Hardin (Aykroyd), Lieutenant Testosterone (Belushi), and another corporal (Morris) take aim when they plan to collide with the ship containg the planet of the women and Captain Estrogena (Curtin), Lieutenant Areola (Newman), and Corporal Fellopia (Radner) . I guess this is just a guilty pleasure sketch. B+

13. The Story Of H (3:05)
-Hefner

Our host narrates his life story through a quick succession of pictures and clips from his child and adulthood. The tone of it is playful and it seems like Hefner is being a bit sarcastic with his “woe is me” type comments. It’s a well-made piece and the style of which that is never seen on the show. B+

14. The Playboy Philosophy (3:09)
-Hefner, Belushi, Morris

Hef is thrust into a scene from over a thousand years ago as several philosophers ask him of his theories on life. This sketch drags more than the 3 R’s sketch despite its short runtime. It’s just a series of questions that set up some very obvious jokes. D

17. The Farbers at the Playboy Club (4:47)
-Hefner, Aykroyd, Belushi, Newman, Radner

America’s favourite conservative couple, Bobbi (Radner) and Larry Farber (Belushi) meet with a keyholder (Aykroyd) at the Playboy Club in the hopes to meet the founder of Playboy itself. Despite how uncomfortable Bobbi gets, Larry is only too anxious to pile on the questions for their inside guy, who offers incredulous answers. Of course, Hugh eventually shows up and in an ironic twist, he ends up courting Bobbi and walking her out of the club. It’s another amusing piece from the Farbers. B+

One of my favorite comedians on SNL was John Belushi. Sadly after reaching the top of his profession Belushi was still searching for something that would satisfy him. He turned to drugs and  they killed him as he went further and further down that road. When the subject of satisfaction comes up in sermons across this country your name is referenced quite often along with all those others who have sought in vain to achieve satisfaction by pursuing things UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture.

I thought of you recently when I listened to a cassette tape of a sermon by Dan Jarrell of FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock entitled THE PLEASURE IS MINE on ECCLESIASTES 2:1-26 (4-21-96). It was hard for me to obtain a cassette tape player but I searched through my attic and found one hidden away.

As you know the Book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon at the end of his life and he was discussing LIFE UNDER THE SUN. I think it is easy to compare your life to Solomon since you both are pursuing satisfaction in this life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture. 

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Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Here is a portion of the sermon by Dan Jarrell below:

You and I grew up with Mick Jagger singing “I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.” You think of the lyrics of that song and what Jagger and the ROLLING STONES did. They summarized this philosophy that no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I seek it, no matter what I attempt to do, no matter which avenue I go down, there is no personal satisfaction in it for me. Personal satisfaction eludes me because I try and I try and I try but I can’t get no, no, no, no, hey, hey , hey. I just can’t get no satisfaction.

That is the idea  Mick Jagger and the rest of the ROLLING STONES and an entire generation that cut it’s teeth on rock and roll never got past the frustration of that song. We tried, and we tried and we tried. We tried DRUGS, and ALCOHOL. We tried SEX in a permissive moral society. We tried EDUCATION. We tried CORPORATE ACHIEVEMENT. We tried MATERIAL DECADENCE. We tried EMPIRE BUILDING. We have even tried HUMANISTIC SPIRITUALITY. We tried anything that would move us toward satisfaction, but the result of it all is no lasting satisfaction. Even our greatest pleasures lose their luster. Life is a vapor!!!! GONE WITH THE WIND!!!

I suppose the wisdom of ECCLESIASTES could have been the inspiration for the ROLLING STONES song that marked our generation if it were not for one significant detail. You see Solomon tried and he tried and he tried but the conclusion of his song was I FOUND THE KEY TO SATISFACTION. All the things he tried didn’t get him there but those experiences led him full circle to a conclusion that he began his reign with and apparently he ended with as well.

I really believe if MICK JAGGER or if any of us for that matter would listen to Solomon’s wisdom he will teach us a different song to sing, a new chorus that will mark a new generation.  Solomon will show us the key to satisfaction and he warns us of counterfeits. This is the way to go but beware of this that the vapors of life are there and pursue that and you will be CHASING THE WIND.

WHAT WAS SOLOMON’S ANSWER?  Ecclesiastes chapter 2 gives us that answer. This chapter is a discussion of life’s frustrations. Let me start with the conclusion of chapter 2 and then we will go back and look at life’s frustrating moves toward that conclusion. 

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?

There is some disagreement on the translation of this particular phrase “There is nothing better for a man” The NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE translates it as a comparison. The idea is if you think of all the good things that a man could enjoy there is nothing better for a man or a woman than to eat or to drink and tell themselves their labor is good. In other words, it is good for us. 

The Hebrew seems to indicate we may want to translate it this way. “There is nothing in a man to eat and drink and tell himself his labor is good.” In other words, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US, FOR THAT IS FROM THE HAND OF GOD. In other words, it is either a comparison or a simple statement. Either way this is the sense of the passage. 

Either way you translate it, it says nothing is so good for us other than a satisfied life but nothing is as impossible for us because it is not in us to be satisfied for who can eat and enjoy life without him?  The answer is NOBODY CAN!!!! So you come down to the idea that if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION. That is my sermon in a nutshell. That is the conclusion. 

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Just like Dan Jarrell I also loved the song I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION by the Rolling Stones.  Then in  1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that both Solomon and the ROLLING STONES had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN according to Solomon.  FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “UNDER THE SUN.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Actually the answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: This is the 50th letter I have written to you and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject.

Mark Manders

Mark Manders was born in 1968 in Volkel, the Netherlands. He now lives and works in Ronse, Belgium. Manders’ works in sculpture and installation are often described as surreal, haunting, and enigmatic.

A highly conceptual artist, Manders has been developing his Self-portrait as a Building since 1986. The work—a fictional building plan filled with objects representing a fictional artist named “Mark Manders,” who is similar to but distinct from the actual Manders—is constantly shifting, with new elements regularly conceived and added while others are removed. Manders startedSelf-portrait as a Building as a literary undertaking and transitioned to making it a sculpture, to be free of the constraints of chronology inherent to language.

For his monumental sculptures, Manders employs an intensive process that begins with research and drawings; he then uses an ancient lost-wax technique to cast the works in bronze before they undergo seven stages of painting, after which they appear like clay.

Links:
Artist’s website

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154l My April 14, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.


My April14, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking


Larry had a passion for the study of scripture. He had assurance of his salvation because he had a conviction of his sin and he had repented.Nothing focuses us on the afterlife more than times of death. What is the chief end of man?A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.Romans 1, 2,3CSICOPCT STUDDDavid Hodges“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36 (Christ’s words)Eccl 12 Conclusion My three sons and I were pallbearers at Larry’s funeral today. Larry and I got to  know each other during  the 2 1/2 years I dated Jill. Then he would visit with us while our family was growing. Jill had known Larry her whole life while I knew him the last 34 years. All 4 of our kids loved Larry and he treated them like they were his own kids. Just in March we had dinner with him at Dixie Cafe in Cabot, Arkansas.

XXX

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Larry Joe Speaks pictured above his pastor Pastor Kirk Wetsell pictured below:

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Nelson Price pictured above and Adrian Rogers pictured below

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XXX

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may 14 christina perri and david hodges on stage during bmi’s 61st annual pop awards at the beverly wilshire four seasons hotel on may 14 2013 in beverly hills california

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SEPTEMBER 23, 2013“See You Again” No. 1 party BMI’s Jody Williams presents (l-r) Carrie Underwood, Hillary Lindsey and David Hodges with their commemorative BMI cups, lauding the success of “See You Again.” Hodges, as it was his first No. 1 as a songwriter, also received the traditional BMI black acoustic guitar. (Photo by Rick Diamond)

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Daughtry frontman Chris Daughtry with opening act David Hodges at Pure in Caesars Palace.

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Three founding members of Evanescence, Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges

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April 14, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

My admiration for you as an intellectual is very high indeed, and that is why I read your book THE GRAND DESIGN. I especially enjoyed the movie THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. I have also enjoyed reading your autobiography. In it you noted, “When you are faced with the possibility of an early death, it makes you realize that life is worth living and that there are lots of things you want to do.”Today was Larry Speaks’ funeral. It was known that Larry loved watches, knives, firearms and fine jewelry, but when he died he could not take any of his possessions with him. Moreover,  Larry wasn’t depending on those things to get him to heaven. Larry’s heart did not concentrate on luxuries but  on serving Christ. Larry often went to the Mall to hand out free CD’s of the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers.I wanted to share with you what was said by Pastor Kirk Wetsell about Larry’s life. Kirk knew Larry very well because he was not only Larry’s pastor but also his brother-in-law. Over the last few days I have got to know Pastor Kirk Wetsell since we both were frequent visitors to the hospital after Larry’s stroke in early April. Kirk made some opening comments then he read several verses from Romans chapters 1, 2 and 3:Larry had a passion for the study of scripture. He had assurance of his salvation because he had a conviction of his sin and he had repented.Nothing focuses us on the afterlife more than times of death. Is there life after death? Is there any higher power or are we just a product of chance? Does my life have any meaning or purpose? The WESTMINSTER CATECHISM states, What is the chief end of man?A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Romans Chapter 1

18 For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress andstifle the truth, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.21 For even though they knew God [as the Creator], they did not honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened.

Chapter 2

14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them 16 on that day when, as my gospel proclaims, God will judge the secrets [all the hidden thoughts and concealed sins] of men through Christ Jesus.

Chapter 3

23 since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus…

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Now let me interject another insight. Romans 1:18-19 says, “For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth,19because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them.”

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERY TIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

Pastor Kirk finished up his sermon today at Larry Speaks’ funeral with these words from the poem ONLY ONE LIFE, TWILL SOON BE PAST written by C.T. STUDD :

Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.___Can we all agree with C.T. STUDD that after we die we can’t arrange to take our possessions with us? 

Solomon had it all and especially gold but he said all the fame and fortune is vanity and a chasing of the wind because it will NOT bring satisfaction or even last.

Back in 2001 our friend David Hodges was in a struggling rock band named EVANESCENCE in Little Rock but then they hit it big. Not only did Evanescence sell 20 million records but afterwards David wrote #1 smash singles: Kelly Clarkson’s“Because of You,” Daughtry’s “What About Now,” Carrie Underwood’s “See You Again” and many others. My personal favorite is A THOUSAND YEARS sung by Christina Perri. 

In October of 2016 David Hodges spoke to a meeting I attended in Little Rock. He said the 15 years he lived in Los Angeles had taught him a lot of lessons and the MOST IMPORTANT is the lesson from the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES that TRUE JOY and HAPPINESS does not come from MONEY and POSSESSIONS.

I have been writing you the last few times on Solomon.   He was searching for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). After searching  in area of luxuries Solomon found  them to be  “vanity and a striving after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 2:7-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

7I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem…10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN.

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36 (Christ’s words)

God put Solomon’s story in Ecclesiastes in the Bible with the sole purpose of telling people like you that without God in the picture you  will find out the emptiness one feels when possessions are trying to fill the void that God can only fill.

Then in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon returns to looking above the sun and he says that obeying the Lord is the proper way to live your life. The  answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. If you need more evidence then go to You Tube and watch the short videos  “Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1),“(3 min, 5 sec) and “Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2),” (10 min, 46 sec).

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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April 2, 2015 – 7:05 am

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March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

MUSIC MONDAY The Ramones and Punk Music

Francis Schaeffer pictured below in 1971 at L Abri

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Conference, Urbana, 1981

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Punk tells us that “there is no future”… I’m fed up There’s no hope I wanna puke   I’m a worm man Gonna crawl in a hole Nobody’s my friend I’m no good to anyone I want some dirt   ‘ll never be happy I hate myself I wish I was dead I wish I was dead I wish I was dead   (Worm Man, 1987)

A COOL BLONDE AND

By ANN BARDACH and SUSAN LYDONAUG. 26, 1979

Blondie grew up with punk, which began in the mid‐70’s as a loose movement of bands wanting to recycle the raw, high‐powered energy of 50’s and early 60’s rock‐and‐roll. They were reacting against the overproduced, too‐slick sound of most pop music — the mindless, repetitive rhythms of disco and the bland creaminess of studio‐created pop, both of which monopolized the airwaves.

Bands like the Ramones toured England, where their punk attitude — they behaved onstage like truculent street toughs — was adopted by English pub bands as a vehicle for the political outrage expressed by the theater’s “Angry Young Men” two decades earlier. Punk music was minimalist, some said chaotic; its lyrics emphasized alternating currents of nihilism and sentimentality. When more musicianly and cerebral groups, such as Talking Heads, came onto the scene, English music writers invented the umbrella term “new wave” to encompass all late‐70’s groups, however disparate, which were aiming to restore gut feeling to rock‐and‐roll.

Francis Schaeffer taught young people at L Abri in Switzerland in the 1950’s till the 1980’s (pictured below)

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

Francis Schaeffer pictured

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 “They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

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JOSÉ DE SEGOVIA   The Ramones, 40 years on It would be a mistake to think that their story was nothing more than the nihilism of hopeless youth. Their rage was a cry of rebellion against an empty life. BETWEEN THE LINES AUTHOR José de Segovia TRANSLATOR Esther Barrett 19 OCTOBER 2016 11:50 h GMT+1 It is now forty years since the Ramones published their first album. None of them are now left following the death of the four founding members of the band that gave rise to punk in the New York of 1974. Ramon wasn’t their real name, but they pretended that they were brothers, wearing the same clothes and getting their hair cut in the same style. One of the values that young people at that time most admired was the sense of belonging that brought these lads together into a kind brotherhood. Rock music has often given expression to these kinds of feelings, but never so clearly as in the music of the Ramones. For Spanish people who lived through the “Movida Madrileña”[1], the Ramones’ music was a point of reference. Their short hectic songs, based on a couple of chords and insistent choruses, were the inspiration of many Spanish bands. Popular culture was deeply affected by the punk movement that was born in England in 1976, but which in reality had its origins in New York. Bands like the Sex Pistols and the Clash drew inspiration from the provocation of Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the scandalous New York Dolls, but above all, from the sound of the Ramones. In those days, not only did people make their hair stand on end and paint themselves in colours, but anyone could be a “rock and roll” star. Boys like the Ramones were proud of the fact that, although they had never been taught to play, they could nevertheless play their guitars at high speed, singing infectious songs like Gabba Gabba Hey, which got stuck in your head, repeating itself over and over again.   40 years ago the Ramons published their first album.   THE LAST SURVIVOR The dirty, fast and furious sound of the Ramones was not born out of the margins of society, but was the product of a bunch of fairly well educated boys, who lived in the well-to-do area of Queens. They started out in a club of legendary fame, the CBGB, which is close to the street that bears the name of the singer, Joey Ramone. Joey died of cancer in 2001; the base player, Dee-Dee died of an overdose the year after; and the guitar player, Johnny, died of cancer in 2004. Tommy was of Jewish origins, like Joey, the only one to be born outside the United States, in Budapest. He was the band’s first drummer and later became their producer, using his real name, Erdelyi. His successor, Marky, left the band, to return just before the Sao Paolo tragedy, when three people died and another thirty people were injured in a shooting at the Ramones’ concert. Punk tells us that “there is no future”… I’m fed up There’s no hope I wanna puke   I’m a worm man Gonna crawl in a hole Nobody’s my friend I’m no good to anyone I want some dirt   ‘ll never be happy I hate myself I wish I was dead I wish I was dead I wish I was dead   (Worm Man, 1987)   APPEARANCES CAN BE MISLEADING   Johnny Ramone’s effigy plays his guitar in a cemetery in Hollywood. The band finally broke up in 1996. Behind their façade of brotherhood, they were continually falling out. Johnny stopped speaking to Joey after he stole his girlfriend in 1980, and then got married to her. As a result, he didn’t visit him before he died. He thought that it would have been hypocritical, even though they both trod the same stage for 22 years, with the same haircut, the same leather jackets and the same surname. There is no doubt that appearances can be misleading.      It’s not me It’s not me It’s not me   Don’t wanna die for your sins Got no special powers Sacrifice and sacrilege Hey man, I wanna live   I’m not Jesus I can’t heal you   (I Am Not Jesus, 1987) It is clear that neither the Ramones, nor any other music, can save anyone. What’s more, punk was inevitably destined to have a very short life, as it is impossible to be so destructive, without ending up self-destructing. But it would be a mistake to think that their story was nothing more than the nihilism of hopeless youth. Their rage was a cry of rebellion against an empty life.   ROCK AS RELIGION The music of the Ramones was something more than just a means of entertainment at a time when rock had become mainstream. Their songs were a true expression of their dreams and frustrations. Behind their studied boredom, the Ramones showed a passion that truly saw rock as their only means of redemption. Stiv Bators – the singer of Lords of the New Church, a band that brought together what remained of four of the last punk bands in England – once said that young people no longer had anything to believe in. In his opinion you could believe in rock’n’roll with the passion that people felt for football or religion. For them, let’s not forget it, music was a spiritual experience.   Joey Ramone is buried in a Jewish cemetery in New Jersey. He saw a parallel to gospel music in that it also established a spiritual link: “rock’n’roll is the Western’s civilization voodoo”. The Ramones, however, remind us that music cannot heal us, as it has no special powers. There is only one sacrifice that can save us. And that is the sacrifice of He who died for our sins. In that light, who would want to live for music? [1] A hedonistic counter-cultural movement that took place mainly in Madrid during the Spanish transition after Francisco Franco’s death in 1975.
See more: http://evangelicalfocus.com/blogs/2007/The_Ramones_40_years_on

Francis Schaeffer also observed:

The peak of the drug culture of the hippie movement was well symbolized by the movie Woodstock. Woodstock was a rock festival held in northeastern United States in the summer of 1969. The movie about that rock festival was released in the spring of 1970Many young people thought that Woodstock was the beginning of a newand wonderful age.

Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970himself was soon to become a symbol of the endBlackextremely talented, inhumanly exploited, he overdosed in September 1970 and drowned in his own vomit, soon after the claim that the culture of which he was a symbol was a new beginning. In the late sixties the ideological hopes based on drug-taking died.

After Woodstock two events “ended the age of innocence,” to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The first occurred at Altamont, California, where the Rolling Stones put on a festival and hired the Hell’s Angels (for several barrels of beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell’s Angels killed people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just California! It took a second event to be convincing. On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was totally ugly. A number of people from L’Abri were there, and I know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation was just plain hideous.

(How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210)

 In his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Francis Schaeffer noted:

This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups–for example, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of their work was from 1965-1958. The Beatles’Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, this music was the vehicle to carry the drug culture and the mentality which went with it across frontiers which were almost impassible by other means of communication.

Here is a good review of the episode 016 HSWTL The Age of Non-Reason of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?, December 23, 2007:

Together with the advent of the “drug Age” was the increased interest in the West in  the religious experience of Hinduism and Buddhism. Schaeffer tells us that: “This grasping for a nonrational meaning to life and values is the central reason that these Eastern religions are so popular in the West today.”  Drugs and Eastern religions came like a flood into the Western world.  They became the way that people chose to find meaning and values in life.  By themselves or together, drugs and Eastern religion became the way that people searched inside themselves for ultimate truth.

Along with drugs and Eastern religions there has been a remarkable increase “of the occult appearing as an upper-story hope.”  As modern man searches for answers it “many moderns would rather have demons than be left with the idea that everything in the universe is only one big machine.”  For many people having the “occult in the upper story of nonreason in the hope of having meaning” is better than leaving the upper story of nonreason empty. For them horror or the macabre are more acceptable than the idea that they are just a machine.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

What is even more interesting is the way “liberal” modern scholars today deal with Ramsay’s discoveries and others like them. In the NEW TESTAMENT : THE HISTORY OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ITS PROBLEMS, the German scholar Werner G. Kummel made no reference at all to Ramsay. This provoked a protest from British and American scholars, whereupon in a subsequent edition Kummel responded. His response was revealing. He made it clear that it was his deliberate intention to leave Ramsay out of his work, since “Ramsay’s apologetic analysis of archaeology [in other words, relating it to the New Testament in a positive way] signified no methodologically essential advance for New Testament research.” This is a quite amazing assertion. Statements like these reveal the philosophic assumptions involved in much liberal scholarship.

A modern classical scholar, A.N.Sherwin-White, says about the Book of Acts: “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must not appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken this for granted.”

When we consider the pages of the New Testament, therefore, we must remember what it is we are looking at. The New Testament writers themselves make abundantly clear that they are giving an account of objectively true events.

(Under footnote #98)

Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.

But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:

Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.

In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.

For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.

The mention of Pontius Pilate as Roman governor of Judea has been confirmed recently by an inscription discovered at Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of that part of the Roman Empire. Although Pilate’s existence has been well known for the past 2000 years by those who have read the Bible, now his governorship has been clearly attested outside the Bible.

Related posts

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 277 My April 9, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on Ecclesiastes and the ultimate emptiness of the life of the Playboy (Featured artist is Florian Maier-Aichen )

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

Chris Thurman wrote:

If anyone had it all, the great King Solomon did. Our man Solomon was the John D. Rockefeller, Albert Einstein, and Hugh Hefner of his day all rolled into one

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee, C.S. Lewis Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

In this post today and several posts that follow this will be based on a sermon series I heard at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 1996 on the Book of Ecclesiastes. The pastors back then were Robert Lewis, Bill Wellons, Bill Parkinson and Dan Jarrell. Below is the letter I wrote based both on Robert Lewis and Bill Parkinson sermons from the same series.

Dan Jarrell pictured below:

Image result for FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH DAN JARRELL

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Image result for robert lewis bill parkinson

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Robert Lewis pictured below:

Image result for robert lewis fellowship bible church

Bill Wellons pictured below:

Image result for bill wellons fellowship bible church

Bill Parkinson pictured below

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April 9, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY TODAY HUGH!!!!! I feel like I know you very well since  I have studied I think every interview you have ever given and I have written you every week since October last year. Today again I am going to take a quote from you and make an observation and today’s observation is concerning your long life.

When I examine your life I have concluded that you are the exception and not the rule. Most people who take the path of womanizing end up with consequences such as financial ruin and a shortened life.

Recently I read the article, “I’m a very lucky cat: Hefner,” TONIGHT / 11 April 2011 at 12:23 pm and it said:

Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder – who celebrated his 85th birthday on April 9 with a joint party in Las Vegas with his son Marston, who turned 21 on the same day – wasn’t worried about reaching the milestone age because he is looking forward to his forthcoming wedding to 24-year-old Crystal Harris on June 18.

He said: “You’re as young as the girl you feel, I’m a very lucky cat and I know it, age is just a number if you’re healthy.

Today I want to tell you to please accept the wisdom of King Solomon and tell your sons MARSTON and COOPER to likewise consider the wisdom Solomon gave us in the Bible. In the Book of Song of Solomon he talked about the wife of his youth. In his 40’s he gave us wisdom in his advice as to his son in the Book of Proverbs, and in the Book of Ecclesiastes as an old man he looked back upon his life and concluded that life UNDER THE SUN is meaningless without God in the picture.

King Solomon is a person that should interest you HUGH. He had a lot in common with you.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

Bill Parkinson on 5-5-96 as a teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock delivered a sermon entitled AND NOW SOME NOT-SO-COMMON SENSE which was based on Ecclesiastes chapter 7. Here is a portion of that sermon below that applies to your life Hugh since you are celebrating your 90th birthday today:

(Bill Parkinson pictured below)

When you live life from God’s perspective, when you begin doing that first then he provides you with spiritual discernment about life.  Ecclesiastes 7:15 “In my vain life I have seen everything. There is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his evildoing.”  You know what someone who did not have wisdom would conclude from that? They would take the exceptions and make it the rule. Solomon said that in his life he had seen these things. The righteous sometimes do die young and sometime the wicked people do live to be old. Some people conclude that it doesn’t make any difference how you live. Maybe you can live an evil life and live to 99!!!!! Solomon says wisdom doesn’t take life and rule it by the exception. It takes life and rules it by what is true.

Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 10:27, “The fear of the Lord prolongs days,   but the years of the wicked will be shortened.” It is not true you can do anything you want to do. It does matter how you live. 

In the History Channel TV Special “HOW PLAYBOY CHANGED THE WORLD” at the 49 min mark the narrator says “The so-called WAGES OF SIN were now paying off.” This was referring to the growth in profits at your magazine PLAYBOY. The narrator turned  Romans 6:23 totally around when it really says, “FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Adrian Rogers below discusses the verse Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived, for God is not mocked. Whatsoever man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

The narrator acts like financial wealth is the only measure of success.  Shouldn’t Godliness and Integrity be some of the qualities you want to pass down to your children HUGH? At the min 1:13 mark when you speak of your marriage in the 1990’s and you say the truth is that it was one of the most lonely and unhappy times of your  life. Is your only criteria the amount of sex you had?

(Adrian Rogers pictured below)

Let me explore this phrase “WAGES OF SIN” more by quoting from Adrian Rogers’ message THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY and keep in  mind King Solomon wrote this as wise advice handed down to his son: 

Proverbs 5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

5 My son, give attention to my wisdom,
Incline your ear to my understanding;
That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death,
Her steps take hold of Sheol.
She does not ponder the path of life;
Her ways are unstable, she does not know it.

Now then, my sons, listen to me
And do not depart from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her
And do not go near the door of her house,
Or you will give your vigor to others
And your years to the cruel one;
10 And strangers will be filled with your strength
And your hard-earned goods will go to the house of an alien;
11 And you groan at your final end,
When your flesh and your body are consumed;
12 And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
13 “I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!
14 “I was almost in utter ruin
In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern
And fresh water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be yours alone
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated always with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with an adulteress
And embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
21 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,
And He watches all his paths.
22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked,
And he will be held with the cords of his sin.
23 He will die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

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Look if you will in verse 23.  “He shall die without instruction: and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.” To die without instruction, to die without knowledge, is to die in a sin.   It is to die and go to Hell! The Bible says, “Be not deceived, for God is not mocked. Whatsoever man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And the Bible says, “Be not deceived, for neither idolaters nor fornicators nor adulterers nor effeminate nor abusers of themselves with mankind shall inherit the kingdom of Heaven.”  If you’re living this kind of a lifestyle, the Bible says you’re lost.  You’re going to Hell. 

You say, Well, Pastor, does that mean if I’ve done any of these things, I can’t be saved?  No.  For Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, And such were some of you, but you’re washed, you’re justified, you’re sanctified.  Hallelujah!  Amen. Oh, listen ,there’s no sin that He can’t forgive – not a blot, not a blemish, not a blur, not a stain.  The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, makes the vilest sinner clean.   And ‘if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Death! Death! Death! That’s the Playboy’s Payday. And this is a message that needs to be heard across America today.  I mean, across America! Young people today are getting information from everyplace except the Word of God.   I must close this message, but finally, the design that we should follow.  Look if you will in verse 15:  “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.” What’s he talking about? He’s saying get a wife, marry that wife, be faithful to her, have a lasting marriage, have a monogamous marriage.  God’s plan is one woman for one man until death do them part.

But not only is it a lasting marriage, there’s a loving mate.  Look in verse 18: “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” What’s he saying? He’s saying God wants you to be fulfilled.  God wants you to have sexual fulfillment.  God wants you to have real joy. 

When God says, “Thou shalt not,” He’s saying, “Don’t hurt yourself.” When God says, “Thou shalt,” He’s saying, “Help yourself to happiness.” God here is talking about satisfaction.  God here is talking about joy!  I wouldn’t trade my Christian home for anything in this world!  The joy that the Lord Jesus has given us – I thank God that I came to the marriage altar pure! I thank God I married a pure girl.  I thank God for the joy and the happiness.  And you’ll forgive me for this, but kids, you eat your cake now, you’ll have a crummy tomorrow.  This is God’s plan.  

(Robert Lewis pictured below)

You see HUGH your life is really the exception and not the rule as Bill Parkinson pointed out above. Now I wanted to ask you a simple question: HAVE YOU KNOWN PEOPLE WHO HAD THEIR LIVES DESTROYED BECAUSE THEY LEFT THEIR FAMILY LIFE TO EMBRACE HEDONISM?

Robert Lewis on 4-14-96 as a teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock delivered a sermon entitled LIFE UNDER THE SUN which was based on Ecclesiastes chapters 1 and 2. Here is a portion of that sermon below:

Solomon wanted to know the meaning of life beyond God in this world. So he tried to live life at the edge or the extreme so to report not like a philosopher in a ivory tower, but he wanted to do that by putting himself personally into these pursuits to see IS THERE ANY OTHER MEANING IN LIFE BESIDES GOD. This is really what he tries to do. Ecclesiastes 1:13, “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.” The word SEEK means to do rigorous research and that is what he has done. 

The word EXPLORE means to examine all sides of things and he didn’t do that just as Lab Technician, but Solomon did it the old fashion way. He got personally involved. He researched every category as far as it could go in order to know everything about life. So he didn’t talk about materialism but he became the ultimate materialist...He became the ultimate hedonist. You want to know about sex? Solomon can tell you everything about it….UNDER THE SUN there is no real meaning in any of it. The best life can do is keep delivering to you the empty promise that if you have something else then you will be happy, but the curse is when you get it. Ecclesiastes 2:17, “So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.”

I befriended a man several years ago who was a kind of real Little Rock PLAYBOY. In fact, his lifestyle and sexual escapades were legendary around the city. He was rich, single, hansom and very sophisticated. He told me, “A woman any night and anything your mind can imagine.” Where did it lead him? Ultimately it led him to a hotel in Little Rock where he put a gun in his mouth because to have it all is to find out it is empty.  

Ecclesiastes was written to those who wanted to examine life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and that is what Robert Lewis said in his sermon LIFE UNDER THE SUN. But the story doesn’t end there. Solomon’s conclusion in the final chapter was found in Ecclesiastes 12 when he looked at life ABOVE THE SUN and tells us to bring God back into the picture and make our relationship with God the main purpose of our life:

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Let’s go back to Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” The meaning of this verse was distorted in the film about your life. Did you know that Romans 6:23 is part of what we call the Roman Road to Christ. Here is how it goes:

  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: I have written you every week since October of 2015, and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject. HUGH your quote is, “You know, from my point of view, I’m the luckiest cat on the planet.” I can think of a couple of ways that is partially true. First, you are still alive at age 90 after sleeping with over 1000 women. Second, you still have an opportunity today to follow the Roman Road to Christ and Jesus will forgive your sins if you will repent. Thank you for taking time to read this letter on your 90th birthday.

Florian Maier-Aichen

Florian Maier-Aichen was born in 1973 in Stuttgart, Germany. He studied at Högskolan för Fotografi och Film, Göteborg, Sweden; the University of Essen, Germany; and earned an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. Alternately romantic, cerebral, and unearthly, Florian Maier-Aichen’s digitally altered photographs are closer to the realm of drawing and fiction than documentation.

He embraces difficult techniques, chooses equipment that produces accidents such as light leaks and double exposures, and uses computer enhancements to introduce imperfections and illogical elements into images that paradoxically “feel” visually right, though they are factually wrong. Often employing an elevated viewpoint (the objective but haunting “God’s-eye view” of aerial photography and satellite imaging), Maier-Aichen creates idealized, painterly landscapes that function like old postcards.

Interested in places where landscape and cityscape meet, he chooses locations and subjects from the American West and Europe—from his own neighborhoods to vistas of the natural world. Looking backwards for his influences, Maier-Aichen often reenacts or pays homage to the work of the pioneer photographers of the nineteenth century, sometimes even remaking their subject matter from their original standpoints. Always experimenting, he marries digital technologies with traditional processes and films (black-and-white, color, infrared, and tricolor), restoring and reinvigorating the artistry and alchemy of early photography.

Maier-Aichen’s work has appeared in recent major exhibitions at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain (2008); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007); and the Whitney Biennial (2006). Florian Maier-Aichen lives and works in Cologne, Germany, and Los Angeles.

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154k My April 9, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

STARMUS panel announces ground-breaking Stephen Hawking Medals for Science Communication at the The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Garik Israelian 

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.

My April 9, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

Sean Michael preaching on April 9, 2017 Palm Sunday at Calvary Chapel in Bauxite, Arkansas and he preached on II Corinthians chapters 4 and 5:

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[f]The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in

Picture of Sean preaching here

Christ God was reconciling[g] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(seen below) Sean Michel made it  to Hollywood in the 2007 AMERICAN IDOL COMPETITION while singing the Johnny Cashsong GOD’S GONNA CUT YOU DOWN

Image result for sean michel arkansas american idol

Simon was taken back by the song GOD’S GONNA CUT YOU DOWN

Image result for american idol judges 2007

Check out on You Tube the song THIS IS AMAZING GRACE (It has about 30 million views)

Image result for phil wickham in concert

Jesus paid for our sin even though he was sinless

Image result for jesus pharisees

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The sermon WHO IS JESUS? was preached by Adrian Rogers (pictured below)  and my good friend Larry Speaks (pictured above) gave out hundreds of CD copies of it before he died on April 7, 2017 at the age of 69.

Image result for adrian rogers jesus

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Blaise Pascal was one of the most brilliant scientists of all time and a believer

Image result for solomon ecclesiastes vanity of vanity education

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April 9, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

My admiration for you as an intellectual is very high indeed, and that is why I read your book THE GRAND DESIGN. I especially enjoyed the movie THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING. However, today I want to ask you to match your wit with King Solomon’s words from 3000 years ago.

In my last letter I told you that the loss of my good friend Larry Speaks has got me thinking a lot about the meaning of life. In this letter today I want to do 3 things.

First, I will tell you what the sermon and music was about today on Palm Sunday at the church service I attended.

Second, I want to take a short look at the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and Rogers interaction with a scientist from NASA.  This sermon was Larry’s favorite sermon.

Third, I want to start looking at the 6 L words that Solomonpursued UNDER THE SUN to try to get meaning and satisfaction in this life without God in the picture in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today’s word  is LEARNING. Can one find a lasting meaning to life  in the area of education? Solomon had a lot to say about that in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Today I was invited by our family friend Sean  Michel to come hear him preach at Calvary Chapel today in Bauxite, Arkansas. Not only did Sean Michel preach but he also helped provide some of the music. In fact, one of the songs they played was my favorite and it is called “This is Amazing Grace,” by Phil Wickham and you can check it out on You Tube. In Sean’s sermon we discover that it is  NOT an uneducated head that is the problem to finding God but an UNWILLING STUBBORN HEART.II Corinthians 4:3-4 (Amplified Bible)

But even if our gospel is [in some sense] hidden [behind a veil], it is hidden [only] to those who are perishing; among them the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

This verse is clarified even more by Matthew 11:25 (AMP)

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth [I openly and joyfully acknowledge Your great wisdom], that You have hidden these things [these spiritual truths] from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants [to new believers, to those seeking God’s will and purpose].

Here we must observe that many people don’t want to find the truth just like a thief doesn’t want to find a policeman. I now want to share a portion of the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers because this very point is made:

Here is how the story goes:

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer.

Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.” “Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.” “That’s right,” said the man. “Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?” “Of course,” the man admitted. Dr. Rogers asked, “Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?” “Yes!” Then Dr. Rogers inquired,“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?” The man acknowledged, “Okay, but I don’t think He exists.” Dr. Rogers replied, “Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic.You’re a doubter.” The man asserted, “Yes, and I’m a big one.” Then Dr. Rogers popped the question, “It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind [of doubter] you are.” 

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

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WHAT DOES SOLOMON HAVE TO SAY ABOUT PURSUING LEARNING in the Book of Ecclesiastes?

Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

As you know Solomon was searching for  for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into LEARNING (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Here is his final conclusion concerning LEARNING:

ECCLESIASTES 1:12-18, 2:12-17 LEARNING

12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done UNDER THE SUN, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
    and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

12So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!1So I hated life, because what is done UNDER THE SUN was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

 Ecclesiastes was written to those who wanted to examine life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and Solomon’s conclusion in the final chapter was found in Ecclesiastes 12 when he looked at life ABOVE THE SUN:

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

In an earlier letter to you I quoted Psalms chapter 22. Why not take a few minutes and just read the short chapter of Psalms 22 that was written hundreds of years before the Romans even invented the practice of Crucifixion. 1000 years BC the Jews had the practice of stoning people but we read in this chapter a graphic description of Christ dying on the cross. How do you explain that without looking ABOVE THE SUN to God.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: Like I promised I will continue to write you and go through these 6 L words that Solomon was pursuing UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes in order to find a lasting meaning to our lives.

________

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MUSIC MONDAY Punk Band BLONDIE, Francis Schaeffer asserted: I have lots of young people come to us and [they] can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” SCHAEFFER TAKES LOOK AT ECCLESIASTES AND THE ISSUE OF SEXUAL PROMISCUITY

__

A COOL BLONDE AND

Blondie grew up with punk, which began in the mid‐70’s as a loose movement of bands wanting to recycle the raw, high‐powered energy of 50’s and early 60’s rock‐and‐roll. They were reacting against the overproduced, too‐slick sound of most pop music — the mindless, repetitive rhythms of disco and the bland creaminess of studio‐created pop, both of which monopolized the airwaves.

Bands like the Ramones toured England, where their punk attitude — they behaved onstage like truculent street toughs — was adopted by English pub bands as a vehicle for the political outrage expressed by the theater’s “Angry Young Men” two decades earlier. Punk music was minimalist, some said chaotic; its lyrics emphasized alternating currents of nihilism and sentimentality. When more musicianly and cerebral groups, such as Talking Heads, came onto the scene, English music writers invented the umbrella term “new wave” to encompass all late‐70’s groups, however disparate, which were aiming to restore gut feeling to rock‐and‐roll.

Lyrics
Color me your color, baby
Color me your car
Color me your color, darling
I know who you are
Come up off your color chart
I know where you’re comin’ from
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) my love
You can call me any day or night
Call me
Cover me with kisses, baby
Cover me with love
Roll me in designer sheets
I’ll never get enough
Emotions come, I don’t know why
Cover up love’s alibi
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) oh love
When you’re ready we can share the wine
Call me
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, he speaks the languages of love
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, amore, chiamami, chiamami
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, appelle-moi mon cherie, appelle-moi
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any way
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, any day-ay
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me) for a ride
Call me, call me for some overtime
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me in a sweet design
Call me (call me), call me for your lover’s lover’s alibi
Call me (call me) on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me (call me)
Oh, call me, oh, oh, ah
Call me (call me) my love
Call me, call me any, anytime
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Deborah Harry / Giorgio Moroder
Call Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

__

Wikipedia
Search

Call Me” is a song by the American new wave band Blondie and the theme to the 1980 film American Gigolo. Released in the US in early 1980 as a single, “Call Me” was No. 1 for six consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it became the band’s biggest single and second No. 1.[1] It also hit No. 1 in the UK and Canada, where it became their fourth and second chart-topper, respectively. In the year-end chart of 1980, it was Billboards No. 1 single and RPM magazine’s No. 3 in Canada.[4][5]

Song and single informationEdit

“Call Me” was the main theme song of the 1980 film American Gigolo. It is played in the key of D minor. Italian disco producer Giorgio Moroder originally asked Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac to help compose and perform a song for the soundtrack, but she declined as a recently signed contract with Modern Records prevented her from working with Moroder. It was at this time that Moroder turned to Debbie Harry and Blondie. Moroder presented Harry with a rough instrumental track called “Man Machine”. Harry was asked to write the lyrics and melody, a process that Harry states took a mere few hours.[6] The lyrics were written from the perspective of the main character in the film, a male prostitute.[7] Harry said the lyrics were inspired by her visual impressions from watching the film and that “When I was writing it, I pictured the opening scene, driving on the coast of California.”[8] The completed song was then recorded by the band, with Moroder producing. The bridge of the original English-language version also includes Harry singing “Call me, my darling” in Italian (“Amore, chiamami”) (Love, call me) and in French (“Appelle-moi, mon chéri”) (Call me, my darling).

In the US, the song was released by three record companies: the longest version (at 8:06) on the soundtrack album by Polydor, the 7″ and 12″ on Blondie’s label Chrysalis, and a Spanish-language 12″ version, with lyrics by Buddy and Mary McCluskey, on the disco label Salsoul Records. The Spanish version, titled “Llámame”, was meant for release in Mexico and some South American countries. This version was also released in the US and the UK and had its CD debut on Chrysalis/EMI‘s rarities compilation Blonde and Beyond (1993). In 1988, a remixed version by Ben Liebrand taken from the Blondie remix album Once More into the Bleachwas issued as a single in the UK. In 2001, the “original long version” appeared as a bonus track on the Autoamerican album re-issue.

Harry recorded an abbreviated version of the song that was backed by the Muppet Band for her guest appearance on The Muppet Show in August 1980. It was first broadcast in January 1981.

Popularity and acclaimEdit

The single was released in the United States in February 1980. It peaked at No. 1 and remained there for six consecutive weeks until it was knocked off by Lipps, Inc.‘s worldwide smash hit “Funkytown” and was certified Gold (for one million copies sold) by the RIAA. It also spent four weeks at No. 2 on the US dance chart. The single was also No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s 1980 year-end chart. The song lists at No. 57 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.[9] It was released in the UK two months later, where it became Blondie’s fourth UK No. 1 single in little over a year. The song was also played on a British Telecom advert in the 1980s. 25 years after its original release, “Call Me” was ranked at No. 283 on the list of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1981, the Village Voice ranked “Call Me” as the third-best song of the year 1980 on its annual year-end critics’ poll, Pazz & Jop.[10]

In 1981, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

“Call Me”
Blondie - Call Me.png
Single by Blondie
from the album American Gigolo
B-side “Call Me” (instrumental) (U.S.)
Released February 1, 1980
Format
  • 7″ single
  • 12″ single
Recorded August 1979, New York City[1]
Genre
Length
  • 2:15 (music video version)
  • 3:32 (radio edit)
  • 8:05 (album version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Blondie singles chronology
The Hardest Part
(1980)
Call Me
(1980)
Atomic
(1980)
Audio sample
Music video
“Call Me” on YouTube
Alternative cover
German edition

German edition

Blondie’s Top 10 Rock Band Memories

Debbie Harry and Chris Stein talk to us about mosh pits, inventing their look, and taking advice from Bowie.

image

CHRIS STEIN/NEGATIVE, RIZZOLI NEW YORK

Blondie has now been a band for over 40 years. The punk-inspired New Wave group came together in New York City in 1974, founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein, and has since become known around the world for their music and, importantly, their style. The band will embark on a lengthy North American tour this spring, which kicks off June 27 in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden. Stein also recently unveiled an exhibition of his photographs at Paul Smith in Los Angeles in celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary (the exhibition runs until May 24). Harry and Stein, who are just as cool as ever, recounted some of Blondie’s most memorable moments for Esquire during an interview at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel in LA, reminding us just how impressive the band’s career has been.

1. Blondie’s First Ever Show

CHRIS STEIN: “Somehow I have a photograph of the first show. It was at one of those places on Third Avenue. It was right near where they shot Taxi Driver. My memory is enhanced by the photograph. For some weird reason I would give my camera to people in the audience so I have one frame of us playing, which was that first show with Gary and Clem.”

DEBBIE HARRY: “Back then I was always nervous. We were winging it a lot. We didn’t know what was going to happen, whether it was crap. It was all new and it was pretty exciting so we would just go for it.”

CS: “It took me 40 years to get rid of the nerves.”

2. First Radio Hit

CS: “I first heard one of our songs on the radio on 17th Street. It was one of our first singles.”

DH: “One time that really stuck out in my mind was when somebody went by in a car and ‘Rip Her to Shreds’ was on. I didn’t know exactly what it was at first but I really liked it. And then I realized it was ‘Rip Her to Shreds.’ I thought, ‘Well, gee, that sounds really good.'”

image
Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli New York

3. How Their Best Songs Came About

CS: “When I first started ‘Maria’ I knew that was going to be successful, even though we had been on this long hiatus. I really thought ‘Tide Is High’ was going to be a hit. We had already had hits and been in that position, but I knew with that one before we even recorded it that it had the potential. I like to think I’m inspired all the time.”

DH: “I can tell over time in a period of years that there have been moments where something will be so synchronistic. You’re working with other people and all of a sudden it all just comes together. That’s a very exciting moment. There have been several. One was ‘Heart of Glass.’ It was a moment like that initially. Also ‘X Offender’ happened like that. It’s kind of amazing and everybody knows it when it’s happening. ‘Heart of Glass’ came from Chris noodling with the guitar. We’d be sitting around and he’d be noodling with the guitar. I remember him repeating that phrase.”

CS: “There’s one bit that’s on the demo version that didn’t make it into the final version. We did a lot of [the song] in an apartment on First Avenue with a little multitrack tape recorder.”

4. Their Beatlemania Moment

CS: “It was all very fast. It was quick and a lot of things happened so there wasn’t one moment [where we felt successful]. When ‘Heart of Glass’ was No. 1 in the U.S. that was a big deal. Then we did this in-store appearance in London and all these kids showed up and traffic was stopped. It was incredible. It was a total Beatlemania thing.”

DH: “One of the early times that happened was a CBGB show. We were just about to go out on the road and they oversold the club. It was so crowded. You couldn’t walk from one end to the other. If you got in there, you stood there. Somebody called the fire department and they came. We were playing and all of sudden we saw these helmets trying to wade through this crowd. It was pretty funny.”

CS: “I always thought it was Rod Swenson [who called the fire department] because he was filming and it just made for good footage. I’ve always suspected that.”

Debbie Harry with David Bowie.
Debbie Harry with David Bowie.

Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli New York

“Bowie was very charmed by the New Wave stuff.”

5. Hanging Out with David Bowie and Iggy Pop

CS: “It happens all the time that you meet your idols. It still goes on. I just met RuPaul and that was totally exciting. But when we did the Idiot Tour [in 1977] with Iggy [Pop] and David Bowie that was a real big deal for us. We had been playing around and we heard that they wanted us to open for them on the tour. It was really exciting. I remember we did a show in the city at Max’s and we got into this really shitty RV and drove to Canada. I think it was Montreal. Everybody was very tired and we staggered out into the hall and the two of them were just waiting for us in the hallway. It was mind-boggling.”

DH: “[Bowie] was in his more natural sort of period. He had his natural hair color. He was very low-key.”

CS: “He was very charmed by the New Wave stuff. I remember he talked about Tom Verlaine’s hairdo a lot.”

DH: “They were really interested in having a dynamic show. [Bowie] gave me advice on working the stage. I moved around but it was about delivery as an actor. Inevitably you have to take the advice. If he’d said ‘Get out of town’ I probably would have done that too.”

6. Traveling Around the Globe

DH: “Initially Bangkok was the coolest place we went. It was very primitive. Where we were staying there were open sewers and lepers on the street begging and stuff like that. The curfew from the Vietnam War was still in place. The atmosphere was much, much different then.”

CS: “We played there on New Year’s Eve in 1977, into 1978, and they lifted the curfew and everyone went crazy. That was exciting. We played in the Ambassador Hotel.”

DH: “That was also a very interesting experience because they had a magnificent PA and soundboard but they had never set it up before. They had hundreds of guys and they didn’t have any of the cables marked for their compatible ports where they were supposed to go. So every time they would run a cable they would have to go through every test to see where it went. It took them like three days to set up the PA. It sounded okay.”

CS: “It sounded fine. They had a gigantic flower arrangement that said ‘Blondie’ in the font from the first record, too. We did several more shows there later.”

7. Near-Death Experiences

CS: “There was this great moment where we were in the U.K. city of Dunstable and a huge bunch of skinheads jumped up onstage. They were doing this Dawn of the Dead dance. I remember physically dragging [Debbie] offstage while they were there. I don’t know how scary it was, but it was incredible and did stop the show.”

DH: “One time that was scary was in Belgium and they had this old system of electricity. It didn’t really have a ground so we couldn’t touch anything. You couldn’t touch the microphone stand. Everything was live. It was very funny because there’s only two places in the world where this kind of system existed and one was in Belgium and one was in Thailand. We had been through both. You don’t touch anything.”

CS: “There were a couple people who had been electrocuted. Most famously the guy from a band called Stone the Crows, who had been electrocuted dead onstage.”

“When all the guys are beating the shit out of each other, we play better.”

8. Best Performances

DH: “I liked that one we did recently where we got the iPhones.”

CS:iTunes Festival. That was a good one. I liked Riot Fest in Chicago. Wherever there’s a mosh pit. We don’t usually get mosh pits, but occasionally, when we do, it’s inspiring. When all the guys are beating the shit out of each other, we play better. When we first started there was no rock dance in New York at all. It just didn’t exist.”

DH: “That was one of our goals: to bring dancing back into music.”

CS: “Going to the U.K. and doing our very first show there, which was a warmup show in Bristol. Everybody was going crazy physically. That was a great moment. There’s a tribal element in concerts, even now, even if you go to see Skrillex. There’s a tribal element going on there.”

image
Chris Stein/Negative, Rizzoli New York

9. How They Invented a Look

CS: “The boys always embraced the British mod sensibility. We liked that, even more than the punk, ripped-up aesthetic. We never went much into the torn shirts and stuff. I don’t know how calculated it was—it was just what we liked doing. We certainly never had a stylist.”

DH: “It was what was available to us. If everybody could agree on it and we felt like it was cool and it was affordable and we could lay our hands on it, that was pretty much what we did. It was a real amalgamation of some leather jackets, tee-shirts, and the peg-leg pants. Somebody showed up with this bright blue suit once and said, ‘Oh yeah, they’re up there on 14th Street for $5. You’ve got to go up there. They have all different colors.’ That kind of thing would happen.”

CS: “When we first came to Melrose [in Los Angeles] there were about three stores.”

DH: “There was a junk store way down on Sunset that was good. I found my motorcycle jacket out here on Melrose. Up until then all the motorcycle jackets were so big and so heavy so it was a child’s motorcycle jacket.”

CS: “It was a couple hundred bucks! It was expensive. I remember debating with you because it was so expensive. There were no designer motorcycle jackets at the time.”

“We were part of the great tradition of rock and roll.”

10. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

DH: “I couldn’t believe that it was true. I had always been scoffing the whole thing. I thought ‘Who cares about that?’ But I think it made a lot of difference for us becoming credible in a lot of people’s minds. We were credible to a small degree, but I think it launched us into being considered a real part of the shift in music. When music took a directional change and that put us there and we became identified with that and more legitimate. For a long time that music was considered a joke and not to be taken seriously, but in a way we were part of the great tradition of rock and roll in that the best aspects of it have always been counterculture.”

Emily Zemler is a freelance writer based in London.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

“They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

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William Lane Craig on Man’s predicament if God doesn’t exist

Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know.

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

Francis Schaeffer looks at Nihilism of Solomon and the causes of it!!!

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes and he is truly an universal man like Leonardo da Vinci.

Two men of the Renaissance stand above all others – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and it is in them that one can perhaps grasp a view of the ultimate conclusion of humanism for man. Michelangelo was unequaled as a sculptor in the Renaissance and arguably no one has ever matched his talents.

The other giant of the Renaissance period was Leonardo da Vinci – the perfect Renaissance Man, the man who could do almost anything and does it better than most anyone else. As an inventor, an engineer, an anatomist, an architect, an artist, a chemist, a mathematician, he was almost without equal. It was perhaps his mathematics that lead da Vinci to come to his understanding of the ultimate meaning of Humanism. Leonardo is generally accepted as the first modern mathematician. He not only knew mathematics abstractly but applied it in his Notebooks to all manner of engineering problems. He was one of the unique geniuses of history, and in his brilliance he perceived that beginning humanistically with mathematics one only had particulars. He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. In this he saw ahead to where our generation has come: everything, including man, is the machine.

Leonardo da Vinci compares well to Solomon and they  both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it since. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes.

(Added by me:The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” )

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

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Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.

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Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

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In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

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There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing and I felt as man as God. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”

Lack of Satisfaction in life

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell itThe eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.” Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing. THERE IS NO FINAL SATISFACTION. This is related to Leonardo da Vinci’s similar search for universals and then meaning in life. 

In Ecclesiastes 5:11 Solomon again pursues this theme, When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?”  Doesn’t that sound modern? It is as modern as this evening. Solomon here is stating the fact there is no reaching completion in anything and this is the reason there is no final satisfaction. There is simply no place to stop. It is impossible when laying up wealth for oneself when to stop. It is impossible to have the satisfaction of completion. 

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

In Ecclesiastes 1: 13a we have the details of the universal man’s procedure. “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.”

So like any sensible man the instrument that is used is INTELLECT, and RAITIONALITY, and LOGIC. It is to be noted that even men who despise these in their theories begin and use them or they could not speak. There is no other way to begin except in the way they which man is and that is rational and intellectual with movements of that is logical within him. As a Christian I must say gently in passing that is the way God made him.

So we find first of all Solomon turned to WISDOM and logic. Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge. A man may have great knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is the use of rationality and logic. A man can be very wise and have limited knowledge. Here he turns to wisdom in all that implies and the total rationality of man.

Works of Men done Under the Sun

After wisdom Solomon comes to the great WORKS of men. Ecclesiastes 1:14,  “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man with an empire at this disposal that speaks. This is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber. This is the man who made the stables across his empire. This is the man who built the temple in Jerusalem. This is the man who stands on the world trade routes. He is not a provincial. He knew what was happening on the Phonetician coast and he knew what was happening in Egypt. There is no doubt he already knew something of building. This is Solomon and he pursues the greatness of his own construction and his conclusion is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. 20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

He looked at the works of his hands, great and multiplied by his wealth and his position and he shrugged his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Man can not rest and yet he is never done and yet the things which he builds will out live him. If one wants an ironical three phrases these are they. There is a Dutch saying, “The tailor makes many suits but one day he will make a suit that will outlast the tailor.”

God has put eternity in our hearts but we can not know the beginning or the end of the thing from a vantage point of UNDER THE SUN

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

Solomon points out that you can not know the beginnings or what follows:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything  appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Ecclesiastes 1:11

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.

Ecclesiastes 2:16

16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

You bring together here the factor of the beginning and you can’t know what immediately follows after your death and of course you can’t know the final ends. What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine:

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translation by Edward Fitzgerald)

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. Papa Hemingway can find the champagne of Paris sufficient for a time, but one he left his youth he never found it sufficient again. He had a lifetime spent looking back to Paris and that champagne and never finding it enough. It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself MALE AND  FEMALE SINGERS AND THE PLEASURES OF MEN–MANY CONCUBINES.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

He doesn’t mean there is no temporary profit but there is no real profit. Nothing that lasts. The walls crumble if they are as old as the Pyramids. You only see a shell of the Pyramids and not the glory that they were. This is what Solomon is saying. Look upon Solomon’s wonder and consider the Cedars of Lebanon which were not in his domain but at his disposal.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.

Can someone stuff himself with food he can’t digest? Solomon came to this place of strife and confusion when he went on in his search for meaning.

 Oppressed have no comforter

Ecclesiastes 4:1

 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Between birth and death power rules. Solomon looked over his kingdom and also around the world and proclaimed that right does not rule but power rules.

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

14 In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

We could say it in 20th century language, “The books are not balanced in this life.”

Pursuing Ladies

If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and he didn’t even touch one woman at the end.

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Last letter I wrote to Hugh Hefner seen below:

Larry Joe Speaks  (August 20, 1947 to April 7, 2017)

Photo of Larry Joe Speaks

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Image result for bill elliff

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Image result for king solomon

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Francis Schaeffer pictured above

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June 30, 2017

Hugh Hefner

Playboy Mansion16236 Charing Cross RoadLos Angeles, CA 90024

Dear Hugh,

I started these series of letters on the meaning of it all on April 7, 2017 when  my good friend Larry Speaks died. Larry’s favorite sermon was WHO  IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and he gave hundreds of CD copies of that sermon away. I actually ran the copies off  for him and since the sermon was only 37 minutes long and the CD went 60 minutes, I also put on there another sermon by Bill Elliff too called WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? Later in this letter I want to share a portion of that message with you. All of these letters I have written you have dealt with what Solomon had to say concerning the search for satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture.) Probably his most disappointing discovery was that being a ladies man left him unsatisfied.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman but knowing 1000 women.”

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

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In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that NOTHING in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), LADIES and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Keith Hefner and Hugh Hefner

According to the Bible God will bring every act to judgment!!! Below is a portion of Bill Elliff’s message that deals with this:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? I want to look at this picture of what will happen to everyone of us at the end of time. Let’s read our scripture passage.

Luke 12:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

Have No Fear

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[b]And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Acknowledge Christ Before Men

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

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What will happen at the end of time?

FIRST OF ALL, Jesus says it will be a time of the revelation of the secrets of your life.

A great time of revealing and uncovering, when unknown things to some become known to all. There is coming a day when what you really are will be revealed.

There is something inside us that thinks we can hide things from each other and hide things from God. Have you ever played HIDE AND SEEK with a group of young children? They will hide in plain view but in their mind they are hidden. My smallest children will put their hands over their eyes and they think that since they can’t see me that they are hidden from my sight. But the truth of the matter is that I can see them so clearly and sometimes we think that because we can’t see God that He can’t see us. Last week we read Hebrews 4:13 that says, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” One day the secrets of our heart will be revealed. In the brief days of our life, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years that God may give you, or maybe a few years beyond that, we may do a good job of hiding those secrets, but one day the secrets of our lives will be revealed before God.

NEXT after the revelation of the secrets of your life there will be a great revelation of God’s authority.

Do you know what a sovereign is? A sovereign is one who has complete authority. He has the authority and he has the authority to carry it out.

There are 3 kinds of authority. First, voluntary authority such as you choosing to work for an employer. Second, seized authority like a murderer. Third, God is an absolute authority and He is the sovereign and He is over everything. It is right for Him to be over everything because He made everything. He is a God of perfect love,  a God of perfect mercy, a God of perfect grace, a God of perfect compassion, but He is a God of perfect righteousness.  If He was any less than that then He wouldn’t be God. He is a God of perfect holiness and authority. He has wooed us and called us and given us every opportunity to come, but He is a God who one day who will reveal. He has absolute authority over your life.

Look again at verses 4 and 5:

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

God has the authority to do that. There is coming a day when there will be a great separation and a great dividing. It is all over the scriptures. God has given us the moment of grace to come and trust in Him and give our lives to Him, but one day the door will be closed and then the division will come. He will say to some come into my kingdom that I have prepared for you and he will say to others you are headed to an eternity separated. You have chosen your fate for all eternity. There will permanent separation from God in hell.

FINALLY, it will be a day of the revelation of the substance of your relationship to God.

Look at verses 8 and 9: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

The Pharisees said they had a relationship with God but they were hypocrites and there was no substance to their relationship. Jesus is saying that when the secrets of your heart are revealed God will determine the substance of your relationship to God and whether it is real or not.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me thatKerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, like Solomon and Coldplay, they realized death comes to everyone and “there must be something more.”

Livgren wrote:

“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

The movie maker Woody Allen has embraced the nihilistic message of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. David Segal in his article, “Things are Looking Up for the Director Woody Allen. No?” (Washington Post, July 26, 2006), wrote, “Allen is evangelically passionate about a few subjects. None more so than the chilling emptiness of life…The 70-year-old writer and director has been musing about life, sex, work, death and his generally futile search for hope…the world according to Woody is so bereft of meaning, so godless and absurd, that the only proper response is to curl up on a sofa and howl for your mommy.”

The song “Dust in the Wind” recommends, “Don’t hang on.” Allen himself says, “It’s just an awful thing and in that context you’ve got to find an answer to the question: ‘Why go on?’ ”  It is ironic that Chris Martin the leader of Coldplay regards Woody Allen as his favorite director.

Lets sum up the final conclusions of these gentlemen:  Coldplay is still searching for that “something more.” Woody Allen has concluded the search is futile. Livgren and Hope of Kansas have become Christians and are involved in fulltime ministry. Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

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Related posts

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 276 My April 18, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on Ecclesiastes 12 and message by Ken Whitten “Remember God in your youth” (Featured artist is Basim Magdy )

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Image result for hugh hefner girlfriends

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

2. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get into shape? Many Americans have great intentions at the start of a new year. Perhaps you have already purchased a gym membership or a piece of exercise equipment. If so, good for you! It’s important to get in shape and be healthy. I own a recumbent bike…and I love it. I work out on it nearly every day. I cycle miles on this bike and burn calories and increase my heart rate. The cool thing is: I don’t even have to leave my house…and in the rainy Pacific Northwest, this is a blessing. But if I am honest, it is a terribly boring and tedious way to exercise. When I look down at the odometer and it says I’ve cycled five miles, I’ve actually gone nowhere. I work up a sweat and ride until I am weary, yet I know that I am going to have to hop back on the bike all over again tomorrow. It is rather depressing!

Life is like riding on a recumbent bike. It is a boring, tedious, and repetitive ride. A thoughtful person will ask, “What is the purpose in life?” Have you ever asked this question? Most people have. For some of us, this question has plagued us over the course of our lives…even our Christian lives. A few years ago, scientists at John Hopkins University surveyed nearly 8,000 college students at forty-eight universities and asked what they considered “very important” to them. What do you think these college students said? Make a lot of money? Get married? Get a job? Buy a home? I can tell you this: only 16 percent answered “making a lot of money.” But a whopping 75 percent said that their first goal was “finding a purpose and meaning to my life.”3 This is a staggering piece of research, isn’t it?

In this New Year, maybe you are seeking to discover a purpose and meaning to your life. If so, the book of Ecclesiastes will guide you in this endeavor…but not in the way you might think.4Ecclesiastes has been dubbed, “the strangest book in the cannon [Bible].”5 It is an enigma for many Christians, for the bulk of this book is the memoirs of a man that is sharing his observations about what is wrong with life. In Eccl 1:1-11, we learn that life is fleeting and disappointing.

1. Life is fleeting (1:1-7).

In this first section, we will come to grips with the temporary nature of life. Inthe first three verses, the author introduces himself and his theme. Verse 1 begins: “The words6 of the Preacher,7 the son of David, king in Jerusalem.”8 Although our author chooses not to identify himself, his titles or pen names give him away as Solomon.9 Solomon’s story is recorded for us in the first eleven chapters of 1 Kings. Although King David had many sons, it was his son Solomon who was chosen to be heir to the throne. God so favored Solomon that He appeared to him in a dream offering Solomon whatever blessing he desired. Solomon astutely asked God for wisdom to lead the nation well. He asked for wisdom instead of riches and fame. God honored Solomon’s request, granting him not just unparalleled wisdom, but wealth and recognition as well.

Solomon wrote three books of the Bible: Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. He is considered the wisest and perhaps richest man that has ever lived. He had a fleet of ships that would bring gold to him every day from far off lands. Tragically, Solomon married a foreign woman, which was forbidden by God because of the temptation to be led astray spiritually. Ironically, it was this unwise decision to gain favor from different nations by taking foreign wives that diverted Solomon’s eyes from the one true God. Scripture records that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Truly, this diverted Solomon’s devotion, so that it is often said of him that he had a divided heart.

If we were to depict Solomon as someone more modern, he might be considered a mix between Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, HUGH HEFNER, and Brad Pitt. In Ecclesiastes, what philosophical conclusions does this rich powerful genius come to after living a life with everything at his fingertips? We would expect Solomon’s sermon to be entitled “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Kings.”10 In 1:2, Solomon gives the theme of his book.

“‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.’”

[Solomon has argued that life is fleeting. In 1:8-11, he shares a second problem with life.]

2. Life is Disappointing (1:8-11).

In these next four verses, Solomon demonstrates that everything and everyone in life will ultimately disappoint us. There are three basic reasons for this: There is no satisfaction under the sun, there is nothing new under the sun, and no one is remembered under the sun.

  • No satisfaction under the sun (1:8). Solomon states that nothing is truly fulfilling. He writes, “All things are wearisome; man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing.”27 The Rolling Stones made famous the song, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Sadly, this song could have been written by Solomon himself. Just like Mick Jagger and the rest of the Stones, Solomon had it all…and then some, yet everything was wearisome to him since one can never say, see, or hear enough. Man just can’t get NO satisfaction! Have you seen a good movie? Read a good book? Listened to a great song? Enjoyed a restful vacation? Delighted in a special experience? It is never enough. It never satisfies, for ultimately you want MORE.

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Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard,Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee,  Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

In the letter I base most of what I had to Mr. Hefner on a sermon I heard from Ken Whitten. I also quoted Francis Schaeffer too.

Image result for francis schaeffer

April 18, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Over and over again I have written you and compared your life to that of King Solomon the writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes and today I am at it again. If there was one word to describe your life the word PLEASURE is probably that word. As you know I have written you every week since October of 2015 in the hope that you will be willing to reflect back on your life of pleasure UNDER THE SUN like King Solomon did and see what proper reflections your life has rendered. Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted concerning you that your goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.” In fact, in your own personal life you definitely have gone the opposite direction of Puritanism.

King Solomon

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Today we will look at the last chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes and also look at the sermon on that chapter by Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida. The sermon today is very appropriate for you since you are approaching your deathbed. In the article, “Hugh Hefner: 10 Truths Behind the Playboy Legend, 6:22 PM PDT 9/21/2011 by THR Staff the article notes:

8. HEFNER DOESN’T TALK ABOUT DEATH

He hardly ever talks about death, a close colleague says: “Even when [a longtime assistant] died, after the memorial, he never mentioned her again.” Is he afraid of the prospect? “No,” insists Hefner, an agnostic who professes no faith in any afterlife. “My mother lived to 101.”

Below is a portion of the Ecclesiastes sermon by Ken Whitten delivered in December 1998: 

The conclusion of the whole matter. Solomon has been a philosopher instead of a preacher. God had called him as a preacher but even preachers can get to the place where they think they are smarter than God. Solomon has left his first love. Solomon is the Old Testament prodigal. Solomon is the preacher who we get to gain from his mistakes. He has chased all the pretty bubbles in life. He has tried to find his life in wisdom and education but found it not. He tried to find his wealth and he thought like the world thinks and like Madison Ave teaches that if you get more than you are more, and if you are more then you will be more,  and he tried that but came up empty. He tried women. He tried lust. He had some many wives and so many concubines that even the beautiful gift that God gives to a husband and wife, he lost the treasure of that.

(Hugh you gave up your family to chase the skirts)

One by one he checks off his life and says “That’s not, that’s not, that’s not and he is coming back to God and Solomon wants us to understand as he remembers his life previously and where he is now. He goes back to the beginning of his life and he starts out by saying in Chapter 12:

Remember God in Your Youth

12 Remember [thoughtfully] also your Creator in the days of your youth [for you are not your own, but His], before the evil days come or the years draw near when you will say [of physical pleasures], “I have no enjoyment and delight in them”; before the sun and the light, and the moon and the stars are darkened [by impaired vision], and the clouds [of depression] return after the rain [of tears]; in the day when the keepers of the house (hands, arms) tremble, and the strong men (feet, knees) bow themselves, and the grinders (molar teeth) cease because they are few, and those (eyes) who look through the windows grow dim;when the doors (lips) are shut in the streets and the sound of the grinding [of the teeth] is low, and one rises at the sound of a bird andthe crowing of a rooster, and all the daughters of music (voice, ears) sing softly. Furthermore, they are afraid of a high place and of dangers on the road; the almond tree (hair) blossoms [white], and the grasshopper (a little thing) is a burden, and the [a]caperberry (desire, appetite) fails. For man goes to his eternal home and the mourners go about the streets and market places. Earnestly remember your Creatorbefore the silver cord [of life] is broken, or the golden bowl is crushed, or the pitcher at the fountain is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust [out of which God made man’s body] will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher. “All [that is done without God’s guidance] is vanity (futility).”

Purpose of the Preacher

Furthermore, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; and he pondered and searched out and arranged many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find delightful words, even to write correctly words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are like [prodding] goads, and these collected sayings are [firmly fixed in the mind] like well-driven nails; [b]they are given by one Shepherd. 12 But beyond this my son, [about going further than the words given by one Shepherd], be warned: the writing of many books is endless [so do not believe everything you read], and excessive study and devotion to books is wearying to the body.

13 When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. 14 For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil.

Life is moving forward not backward. You are heading somewhere. Give attention to your salvation is what Solomon is saying here. FEAR GOD is the Old Testament way of saying BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BE SAVED. You are come to the place where you face God and make sure of your salvation. FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. The word of God is a road map to our life. The word of God says FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS this is the whole of man. The word DUTY is in italics and this means the whole of man. Our whole what?  Our whole body our whole soul, our whole body, our whole spirit.

The word of God has something to say to your body, your soul to your spirit. To your health, to your holiness, to your happiness. Fear God and keep his commandments. You know what I think Solomon is saying. If I had to do it over again I would have a little more fun, a little more faith and a little more fear in life. I would have feared God more and Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil.” All of us have secrets in our life that we probably would be ashamed of if you knew what we were thinking. 

Someone asked John Quincy Adams how he is doing.  “John Quincy Adams is quite well. But the house where he lives is becoming dilapidated. It is tottering. Time and the seasons have nearly destroyed it, and it is becoming quite uninhabitable. I shall have to move out soon. But John Quincy Adams is quite well, thank you.”

John Quincy Adams

Stuart Hamblen wrote:

It is no secret what God can do
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
It is no secret what God can do

There is no night for in His light
You never walk alone
Always feel at home
Wherever you may go

There is no power can conquer you
While God is on your side
Take Him at His promise
Don’t run away and hide

Stuart Hamblen

___

 Stuart Hamblen also wrote another song called THIS OLD HOUSE:

This ole house is a-gettin’ shaky
This ole house is a-gettin’ old
This ole house lets in the rain
This ole house lets in the cold
On my knees I’m gettin’ chilly
But I feel no fear or pain
‘Cause I see an angel peekin’
Through a broken window pane

Stuart Hamblen is talking about our body.

If you take 24 hour day and compare the minutes to a life’s span then when you are 15 years old it is 8:51am and when when you are 20 yrs old then it is 11:05am and 30 yrs old 1:25 pm and when you are 40 yrs old and it is 4:16pm and when you are 60 it is 10:11 pm and when you are 70 yrs old it is near midnight.

Solomon closes his Book of Ecclesiastes after saying to fear God is the final conclusion. ARE YOU READY TO MEET GOD TONITE?

_____

The spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Let me share with you the gospel according to the Book of Romans. Here is how it goes:

  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS:This was the 31st letter that I have written to you and many of those letters have been on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Again it today is was responding to a quote from you.

Slim Whitman — It Is No Secret What God Can Do

THIS OLD HOUSE by STUART HAMBLEN

Read more: Elvis Presley – It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Featured artist is Basim Magdy

Basim Magdy was born in 1977 in Assiut, Egypt. He now lives in Basel and Cairo. His interest in the unconscious and memory is at the root of his often-surreal works on paper, film, photography, and installation.

Growing up with an artist father, Magdy was influenced by such artists as Joan Miró, Paul Klee, and Marc Chagall, as well as Hamid Nada, Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar, and Ragheb Ayad. Magdy has produced work that deals with both the imagined future as envisioned in the 1960s and the reality that ensued, exploring the space between reality and fiction and the role that media systematically plays in filling up that space. Since reading Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Jean Paul Sartre as a teenager, the artist has honed his use of absurdity to make visually arresting works.

Links:
Artist’s website

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 154j My April 7, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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Image result for stephen hawking movie

Image result for stephen hawking

Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

_________________________________

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.


My April 7, 2017 Letter to Stephen Hawking


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Image result for stephen hawking richard dawkins

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Larry Joe Speaks was 69 years old (his middle name came from his father Joe who fought in the BATTLE OF THE BULGE in World War 2)

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For 16 years Larry owned his store Southern Fruit & Grocery Sheridan, AR 72150

See outside

Map of Southern Fruit & Grocery
map expand icon

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Image result for mccain mall

Francis Schaeffer pictured below

Image result for francis schaeffer

The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890

Image result for king solomon

Adrian Rogers pictured below

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The Passion of the Christ: The Crucifixion.

Image result for crucifixion of jesus the passion of christ

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April 7, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

Since next Sunday is Easter I wanted to mention a few churches that would really benefit you spiritually if you tried them out. I got to see John Stott speak back in 1979 at ALL SOULS CHURCHin London and I believe that church is very close for you. I have also been blessed by listening to the sermons from HIGHFIELD CHURCH in Southampton but I don’t think that church is as near for you.

I discovered that on this morning of April 7, 2017  my good friend Larry Speaks has died and gone to heaven. Let me tell you a little about him. After Larry put is faith in Christ alone for his salvation over 20 years ago he got started on  a hobby of listening and  discussing some of the great sermons that he heard. One of those sermons was WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. In fact, he asked me to run off some cassette tapes of that message  so he could give it to people who used to come into his store SOUTHERN FRUIT & GROCERY. After he sold the store he continued to give out this message and over the years I switched to putting it on CD’s for him to give out. Even the last years of his life he would go to McCain Mall and walk through the mall and give out the CD’s. He was thrilled that so many people were glad to get them, and he was disappointed when occasionally someone would decline to accept his gift.

I loved the movie THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING and read your book THE GRAND DESIGN . In the book I noticed that you wrote:

Another problem that mo del- dependent 
realism solves, or at least avoids, is the meaning of 
existence. How do I know that a table still exists if 
I go out of the room and can't see it? What does it 
mean to say that things we can't see, such as 
electrons or quarks— the particles that are said to 
make up the proton and neutron— exist?

I am glad that you are asking the big questions of life. That is what people at times like this. After Larry’s death I started thinking about death a lot.

In the last years of his life King Solomon took time to look back and then he wrote the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES. Solomon did believe in God but in this book he  took a look at life “UNDER THE SUN.” Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘UNDER THE SUN.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of death:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are doneunder the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (King James Version)

A remarkable two phrase. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR or you can translate it “no casting of weapons in that war.” Some wars they come to the end. Even the THIRTY YEARS WAR (1618-1648) finally finished, but this is a war where there is no casting of weapons and putting down the shield because all men fight this battle and one day lose. But more than this he adds, WICKEDNESS WON’T DELIVER YOU FROM THAT FIGHT. Wickedness delivers men from many things, from tedium in a strange city for example. But wickedness won’t deliver you from this war. It isn’t that kind of war. More than this he finally casts death in the world of chance.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Death can come at anytime. Death seen merely by the eye of man between birth and death and UNDER THE SUN. Death too is a thing of chance. Albert Camus speeding in a car with a pretty girl at his side and then Camus dead. Lawrence of Arabiacoming up over a crest of a hill 100 miles per hour on his motorcycle and some boys are standing in the road and Lawrence turns aside and dies.

 Surely between birth and death these things are chance. Modern man adds something on top of this and that is the understanding that as the individual man will dies by chance so one day the human race will die by chance!!! It is the death of the human race that lands in the hand of chance and that is why men grew sad when they read Nevil Shute’s book ON THE BEACH. 

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By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture.  I am hoping that your good friend Woody Allen will also come to that same conclusion that Solomon came to concerning the meaning of life and man’s proper place in the universe in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil

NOW BACK TO MY FRIEND LARRY SPEAKS. If Larry was here now he would urge you to listen to the message WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. Therefore, I wanted to give you a little part of that message. Under the point THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES Adrian Rogers talks about Psalm 22:

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The Amazing Prophecy of the Cross

Psalm 22 is an incredible chapter. Perhaps more than any other chapter in the Bible, you cannot read it and come away not loving the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Turn to Psalm 22. Just below the name of a psalm, often the name of the one who wrote it is given. Who is the human author of Psalm 22?

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, almost half (73) of the Bible’s 150 psalms were written by King David.

One thousand years before Jesus Christ, David prophetically foretold His crucifixion.

Since crucifixion was a Roman, not Jewish, form of execution, how is that possible?  Crucifixion was completely unknown to the Jewish culture. It would be another 800 years before crucifixion came into the Jewish world. But here we find by divine inspiration a portrait of the cross.

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: This is the FIRST of SEVEN letters I am writing you on ECCLESIASTES and SOLOMON’s SEARCH for MEANING

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