Tag Archives: ravi zacharias

WOODY WEDNESDAY Woody Allen’s Autobiography resembles Ricky Gervais show AFTER LIFE and Solomon in ECCLESIASTES Part 3 (Solomon, Tony and Woody all unsatisfied in life with their accomplishments)

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Tony in the film AFTERLIFE keeps thinking about the good ole days with his soulmate and thinks that everything was great then when it wasn’t. Wade Wainio makes this observation in the following article:

Lazy boy
 
 
 
 
Heroes
 
 
Born Louse
 
 
Woody interview on death
 
 
 
 
Hannah and her sisters FAVORITE SCENES
 
 
Woody wording about brain tumor
 
 
Dick Cavett show 1971 with Woody
 

May 2, 2020

Woody Allen c/o NY

Dear Woody,

You got to take the time to watch the film series AFTERLIFE on Netflix since Ricky Gervais, you and Solomon in ECCLESIASTES talk about so many of the same nihilistic themes on life!!!

On the last page of your autobiography are these words: MY  BIGGEST REGRET? Only that I’ve been given millions to make movies, total artistic control, and I never made a great film.”
I have two responses to that. First, you have made a great film. I would argue that CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is a truly great film because it demonstrates how without God MIGHT MAKES RIGHT and there is no argument against that I have ever heard!!!

In fact, I have about 2 million hits on my blog and a large portion of those individuals who have visited my blog have read this quote below that I wrote about you over and over:

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

Second, I would assert that just like Solomon in ECCLESIASTES and Tony in AFTERLIFE or Mick Jagger in the ROLLING STONES, you can not find satisfaction UNDER THE SUN!

There are, however, signs that Tony was disappointed in life even before Lisa’s death. He hates his job at the Tambury Gazette, saying it’s not journalism. He decries what he considers the awful future of online publishing, including click-bait and angry fools in article comment sections.

Netflix’s After Life season 1, episode 4 recap

In episode 4 of Netflix original After Life, Tony is forced to question his bleak outlook yet remains resilient in his pessimism.

After Life has been steeped in the depression of Tony Johnson (Ricky Gervais), following the death of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman). However, Tony’s sense of humor is a sign that, deep down, he still has a spark of life left. Of course, sad reminders follow him around regularly. In this episode, he passes by Lisa’s old room in the hospital. Although he doesn’t cry, he is clearly reminded of her.

There are, however, signs that Tony was disappointed in life even before Lisa’s death. He hates his job at the Tambury Gazette, saying it’s not journalism. He decries what he considers the awful future of online publishing, including click-bait and angry fools in article comment sections. He is confronted yet again by Matt (Tom Basden), Tony’s brother-in-law and boss who’s sick of his sour attitude.

How does Tony in AFTERLIFE or Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes get peace in their lives?

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?

Dan Jarrell commented on this passage in Ecclesiastes:

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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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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.

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,  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:

Image result for FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH DAN JARRELL

________

Image result for robert lewis bill parkinson

__

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

Image result for bill parkinson fellowship bible church

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.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes
 
 
 
 
On page 164 of your autobiography you state:
 
Jean, John, and I hung out sometimes at Hugh Hefner’s. Not much but now and then. It was an open house nearly twenty-four hours, hung with Picassos and full of celebrities, sport figures, sextuplets women. The sexy women were the main draw.

 

 
 
Let me share a letter I wrote to your friend Hef below:

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Related posts:

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4)

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […]

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 3)

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […]

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 2)

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […]

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 1)

  I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4)

_   I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 3)

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 2)

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 1)

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were […]

The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 3)

|I saw this on the internet on  June 20, 2017   _   Playboy’s Hugh Hefner on board a boat with Barbi Benton and friends sporting a striped navy shirt and a pipe in mouth and a real catch in hand during the 70s. ____________________________________ Below is the last letter I ever wrote to Hugh Hefner. […]

The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 2)

I learned yesterday that Hugh Hefner had passed away. Just last year I visited Chicago and drove by his Chicago Playboy Mansion pictured below. ___   Playboy after dark filmed in Chicago Playboy Mansion   During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […]

Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 12, Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] 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”

_

Tony in the film AFTERLIFE keeps thinking about the good ole days with his soulmate and thinks that everything was great then when it wasn’t. Wade Wainio makes this observation in the following article:

There are, however, signs that Tony was disappointed in life even before Lisa’s death. He hates his job at the Tambury Gazette, saying it’s not journalism. He decries what he considers the awful future of online publishing, including click-bait and angry fools in article comment sections.

Netflix’s After Life season 1, episode 4 recap

In episode 4 of Netflix original After Life, Tony is forced to question his bleak outlook yet remains resilient in his pessimism.

After Life has been steeped in the depression of Tony Johnson (Ricky Gervais), following the death of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman). However, Tony’s sense of humor is a sign that, deep down, he still has a spark of life left. Of course, sad reminders follow him around regularly. In this episode, he passes by Lisa’s old room in the hospital. Although he doesn’t cry, he is clearly reminded of her.

There are, however, signs that Tony was disappointed in life even before Lisa’s death. He hates his job at the Tambury Gazette, saying it’s not journalism. He decries what he considers the awful future of online publishing, including click-bait and angry fools in article comment sections. He is confronted yet again by Matt (Tom Basden), Tony’s brother-in-law and boss who’s sick of his sour attitude.

How does Tony in AFTERLIFE or Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes get peace in their lives?

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?

Dan Jarrell commented on this passage in Ecclesiastes:

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. 

__

Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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.

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,  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:

Image result for FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH DAN JARRELL

________

Image result for robert lewis bill parkinson

__

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

Image result for bill parkinson fellowship bible church

_

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.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

—-

Related posts:

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4)

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […]

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 3)

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […]

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 2)

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […]

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 1)

  I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4)

_   I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 3)

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 2)

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were […]

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 1)

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were […]

The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 3)

|I saw this on the internet on  June 20, 2017   _   Playboy’s Hugh Hefner on board a boat with Barbi Benton and friends sporting a striped navy shirt and a pipe in mouth and a real catch in hand during the 70s. ____________________________________ Below is the last letter I ever wrote to Hugh Hefner. […]

The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 2)

I learned yesterday that Hugh Hefner had passed away. Just last year I visited Chicago and drove by his Chicago Playboy Mansion pictured below. ___   Playboy after dark filmed in Chicago Playboy Mansion   During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […]

Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 3 “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

Daphne who is a good friend of Tony asserted,  Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people… sometimes it’s just no one’s fault.

Episode # 2 of AFTERLIFE:

Below is a discussion between Tony and his ten year old nephew George concerning the passing of Tony’s wife Lisa.

George: Daddy says you are sad since  Aunt Lisa died.

Tony: Yep.

George: I am sad too. I dream about her sometime.

Tony: Me too.

George: Why didn’t the doctors make her better?

Tony: They tried.

George: Why didn’t Jesus save her?

Tony: Because Jesus is a &@$@$&! Don’t tell your Mum and Dad I said that.

George: I won’t.

On Twitter on May 23, 2013 Ricky Gervais wrote:

God doesn’t prevent terrible things because: A) He can’t B) He doesn’t want to C) He causes them D) He doesn’t exist PLEASE VOTE NOW.

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This objection to God’s existence has been stated many different ways through the years:

“tsunami just killed up you know i think that numbers higher  up two hundred thousand people flood twenty none of this is a sign that there’s a benevolent anything out there and this ninety percent is shipping nine nine percent of his earlier noted that’s uh… uh…” Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Peter Singer is a gentleman that I have had the opportunity to correspond with and he wrote in an article in FREE INQUIRY:

I argued that while I cannot
disprove the existence of every possible kind of deity, we can be sure that we do
not live in a world that was created by a god who is all-powerful, all-knowing,
and all good. Christians, of course, think we do live in such a world. Yet a
powerful reason for doubting this confronts us every day: the world contains a
vast amount of pain and suffering. If god is all-knowing, he knows how much
suffering there is. If he is all-powerful, he could have created a world without so
much suffering. If he is all-good, he surely would have created a world without
so much suffering.

Monday Morning Quotes: Sir David Attenborough

 
 
 
 
 
“I often get letters, quite frequently, from people who say how they like the programmes a lot, but I never give credit to the almighty power that created nature. To which I reply and say, “Well, it’s funny that the people, when they say that this is evidence of the Almighty, always quote beautiful things. They always quote orchids and hummingbirds and butterflies and roses.” But I always have to think too of a little boy sitting on the banks of a river in west Africa who has a worm boring through his eyeball, turning him blind before he’s five years old. And I reply and say, “Well, presumably the God you speak about created the worm as well,” and now, I find that baffling to credit a merciful God with that action. And therefore it seems to me safer to show things that I know to be truth, truthful and factual, and allow people to make up their own minds about the moralities of this thing, or indeed the theology of this thing.”
 

QUOTE FROM REBECCA GOLDSTEIN:

And I am an atheist. I am not wishy-washy on this question. Not only do I think the arguments for God’s existence don’t work, I think that this, more importantly to me, does not look like the kind of world empirically that is created by a good and caring and powerful God. It just—to me there’s just too much empirical evidence against it. Suffering of children is my number one complaint. And the amount of work that one has to do, that philosophers have done, that theists have done to answer the question, the problem of evil—you know, free will, and that works for only some of them, and the Holocaust was, okay, the Nazis had to have the power of absolute evil in order for them to be free, so a certain amount of suffering had to take place—that even that only goes so far. There’s a lot of suffering that can’t be answered that way. Soul making, you know, this is a place where a lot of virtues can only be induced, we can only come to them because of suffering, that doesn’t really seem to be to explain the suffering of children

Quote from Dershowitz in debate with Alan Keyes: 

I think the problem with the theodicy  is a very serious one. How does one explain the disasters in the world? I remember when Elian Gonzalez was rescued. So many religious people said, “See, see, God is wonderful. He saved Elian Gonzalez with porpoises.” Yeah, but what about those people who died? Was God not responsible for their death? “Oh, God works in mysterious ways.” If you are willing as human beings to abdicate your intelligence to a being who you don’t understand or know, what will that lead you to? It will lead you to being Abraham in the Bible. God comes down and says to Abraham, “Kill your son.” And Abraham says, “Sure.” And he’s prepared to kill his son. And there have been many Abrahams in the past.

3,000 years ago Solomon looked at the issue of the existence of pain and suffering in his Book of Ecclesiastes.

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.

Francis Schaeffer: 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.

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

Francis Schaeffer: There is only one reason that viewing life UNDER THE SUN from birth to death causes despair and that is because we live in an abnormal world [since the fall in Genesis 3 when sin entered the world because of rebellion]. It is a legitimate despair if viewed only in the context of UNDER THE SUN,but it is an abnormal despair if it is seen in its proper setting.

In September of 2016 I wrote the following letter to Ricky Gervais in the subject of suffering and pain in the world and it centered around the movie GREATER about the life of Brandon Burlsworth and for some reason thousands of people have visited the post I did on it.

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Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough who starred in BAND OF BROTHERS takes center stage in the film GREATER as Brandon‘s older brother Marty Burlsworth

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

________

Image result for greater movie cheesecake

“If that boy is sittin’ on that couch eatin’ chips and cheesecake again, I’m gonna explode!”

___________

a-commemorative-display-was-set-up-by-the-indianapolis-colts-at-the-funeral-of-brandon-burlsworth-in-harrison-on-saturday-may-1-1999

Flowers at Burlsworth’s funeral

Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer

Brandon’s brother Marty is hounded at the funeral service  by a SECULARIST FARMER WHO QUESTIONS IF BELIEF IN GOD IS WARRENTED.  And the Farmer (played by Nick Searcy), repeatedly delivers soliloquies about the utter foolishness of faith. In one scene, the farmer says, “Brandon did have faith. He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to do, God would make everything turn out for the best. Did everything turn out for the best, Marty?”

Elsewhere, the Farmer taunts, “There is no loving God, Marty. That’s ridiculous. There’s just a howling void. And a real man, an honest man, doesn’t get down on his knees to pray to it for his mercy. He stands up to it, and he looks it right in his face and he howls right back.”

Image result for brandon burlsworth indianapolis colts

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Image result for greater brandon burlsworth nick searcy the farmer Neal McDonough

___

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Image result for greater brandon burlsworth frank broyles

__________

Image result for greater movie brandon burlsworth He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to that God would make everything turn out for the best

Brandon below with his brother Marty and his two nephews

Image result for brandon burlsworth death

XXXXXXXXX

September 23, 2016

Rickey Gervais, United Kingdom

Dear Rickey,

I know that you are a skeptic similar to Richard Dawkins and you have quoted him in the past in fact. It just so happens that I have just got finishing reading back to back his books, The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

On Twitter on May 23, 2013 you wrote:

God doesn’t prevent terrible things because: A) He can’t B) He doesn’t want to C) He causes them D) He doesn’t exist PLEASE VOTE NOW

I just saw the movie GREATER about the life of Brandon Burlsworth and there was a secularist farmer played by Nick Searcy that reminded me of you and when the DVD is released on 12-20-16 I would like to send you a free one.

Yesterday while in my  attic  I ran across a cassette tape labeled“April  1999” and it has the recording of my 12 year  old son calling  into a local radio show where he got to talk to Brandon Burlsworth who had just been drafted by the Indianapolis  Colts to play  in the NFL. Just a few days later Burlsworth was on his way to his Harrison, Ark., home from Fayetteville, where he received an SEC West title ring along with the rest of the 1998 Razorbacks on April 28, 1999. Every Wednesday, he returned to take his mom, Barbara, to church. The drive was supposed to take about 90 minutes.

He never made it.

The 22-year-old Burlsworth, who had been drafted by the Colts 11 days earlier after earning first-team All-America honors as a fifth-year senior, was involved in a head-on crash with a tractor-trailer about 15 miles outside Harrison and was killed. He was in the prime of his life and football career, and then he was gone.

One movie reviewer noted: 

There’s a great deal of Christian content in this film. It can perhaps best be summarized by saying that Brandon’s unwavering faith deeply informs everything he does, while his brother’s faltering faith after Brandon’s death is something he grapples with mightily.

Brandon has deep trust in God. At every step along his journey, when naysayers rise up to tell him that he’s being unrealistic, Brandon keeps moving forward in faith. Marty is more pragmatic, asking his brother things like, “You think God would give you D I [Division 1] dreams and a D III (Division III) body?” To Marty, the answer to that rhetorical, spiritual question is self-evident. Brandon, however, soldiers on, refusing to give up. “Have faith, Marty,” he says elsewhere. “This is my road.”

For his part, Marty struggles to cling to his faith in the wake of his brother’s death. That internal battle is depicted in a dramatic way through ongoing dialogue with a doubter named the Farmer. Marty’s trying to summon the courage to go into Brandon’s memorial service at Harrison High School. And the Farmer (played by Nick Searcy), depicted very nearly as a Satan-like tempter, repeatedly delivers soliloquies about the utter foolishness of faith. In one scene, the man (who’s whittling a portrait of Marty into a block of wood, almost as if he’s creating a voodoo doll) says, “Brandon did have faith. He believed if he worked hard and did everything he was supposed to do, God would make everything turn out for the best. Did everything turn out for the best, Marty?”

Elsewhere, the Farmer taunts, “There is no loving God, Marty. That’s ridiculous. There’s just a howling void. And a real man, an honest man, doesn’t get down on his knees to pray to it for his mercy. He stands up to it, and he looks it right in his face and he howls right back.”

But Marty also talks with his godly mother about how to process the randomness of Brandon’s death. She tells him that it’s only random when looked at from an earthly perspective. “If you assume this is all there is, you’d have a point, Marty. But that’s not true. This life is a drop in the ocean. One tick of eternity’s clock, and we’ll all be together again, Marty. And every trouble we had here will recede away like a dream.”

__

It has been a pleasure to send you these letters in the past and I hope you take me up on this offer to see this inspirational true story about Brandon Burlsworth who was truly one of the greatest rags to richest stories in sports history. Also I would encourage you to google FRANCIS SCHAEFFER THE PROBLEM OF EVIL.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002 everettehatcher@gmail.com

________________

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Josh Wilson – Before The Morning (Official Music Video)

One of my favorite songs  is called “Before the Morning” and it is by  the Christian singer Josh Wilson. The lyrics start out: “Why do you have to feel the things that hurt you? If there’s a God who loves you where is He now?” Over the years I have corresponded with several atheists and many times they confront me on this  very issue such as this letter did from Dr. Brian Charlesworth, Dept of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago in letter dated May 10, 1994:

Thank you for your various communications. I am afraid that I formed the view many years ago that there is no foundation for any belief in a benevolent creator of the world. For me, there is too much suffering in the world to be compatible with the existence of such a being. 

Let me make three points concerning the problem of evil and suffering. First, the problem of evil and suffering hit this world in a big way because of Adam and what happened in Genesis Chapter 3. Second, if there is no God then there is no way to distinguish good from evil and there will be no ultimate punishment for Hitler and Josef Mengele. Third. Christ came and suffered and will destroy all evil from this world eventually forever.

Recently I went to see the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD in a local theater and that prompted me to read the book of the same name by Rice Broocks. In the movie the problem of evil and suffering is discussed just like it is in the book  and would love to interact further with anyone who would like to see the film is a big hit in theaters this year. On page 5 on the book you will find these words:
 
Atheists claim that the universe isn’t what you would expect
if a supernatural God existed. All this death and suffering, they say,
are plain evidence that a loving, intelligent God could not be behind
it all. The truth is that God has created a world where free moral
agents are able to have real choices to do good or evil. If God had
created a world without that fundamental choice and option to do
evil, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion. God made a world
where choices are real and humanity is affected by the choices of
other humans. Drunk drivers kill innocent people. Some murder
and steal from their fellow men. Though God gave clear com-
mandments to humanity, we have for the most part ignored these
directives. The mess that results is not God’s fault. It’s ours.
We are called to follow God and love Him with all our hearts
and minds. This means we have to think and investigate. Truth
is another word for reality. When something is true it’s true
everywhere. The multiplication tables are just as true in China
as they are in America. Gravity works in Africa the way it does
in Asia. The fact that there are moral truths that are true every-
where points to a transcendent morality that we did not invent
and from which we cannot escape (C.S.Lewis, MERE CHRISTIANITY,[1952:
New York: Harper Collins, 2001], p. 35).
 
As Creator, God has placed not only natural laws in the earth
but also spiritual laws. For instance, lying is wrong everywhere.
So is stealing. Cruelty to children is wrong regardless of what
culture you’re in or country you’re from. When these laws are
broken, people are broken. Not only does violating these spiritual
laws separate us from God, but it causes pain in our lives and
in the lives of those around us. The big question becomes, what
can be done about our condition? When we break these spiritual
laws, whom can we call for help? How can we be reconciled to
God as well as break free from this cycle of pain and dysfunction?

Francis Schaeffer in his fine book about modern man ESCAPE FROM REASON  states,

“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)

Someone I knew in 1985 grew up in Germany and was part of the Hitler Youth Program, Was he wrong in his beliefs? 

On what basis does the atheist have to say “Hitler was wrong!!!”

Early in his career Hitler was popular and many of the German people bought into his anti-semetic views. Does the atheist have an intellectual basis to condemn Hitler’s actions?

____________________________________

My friend who grew up in Germany  believed until his dying day that Hitler was right. I had a basis for knowing that Hitler was wrong and here it is below.
 
It is my view that according the Bible all men are created by God and are valuable.  However, the atheist has no basis for coming to this same conclusion. Francis Schaeffer put it this way:
 
We cannot deal with people like human beings, we cannot deal with them on the high level of true humanity, unless we really know their origin—who they are. God tells man who he is. God tells us that He created man in His image. So man is some- thing wonderful.
 
In 1972 Schaeffer wrote the book “He is There and He is Not Silent.” Here is the statement that sums up that book:

One of philosophy’s biggest problems is that anything exists at all and has the form that it does. Another is that man exists as a personal being and makes true choices and has moral responsibility. The Bible gives sufficient answers to these problems. In fact, the only sufficient answer is that the infinite-personal triune God is there and He is not silent. He has spoken to man in the Bible.

In the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS the basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?   The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism.

Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Here is fine film by Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop that makes the case for human dignity.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Also here is the link for  another fine article on this same issue by Chuck Colson.

Crimes? What Crimes?

The Grand ‘Sez Who’

Let us take a close look at how you are going to come up with morality as an atheist. When you think about it there is no way around the final conclusion that it is just your opinion against mine concerning morality. There is no final answers. However, if God does exist and he has imparted final answers to us then everything changes.

Take a look at a portion of this paper by Greg Koukl. In this article he points out that atheists don’t even have a basis for saying that Hitler was wrong:

What doesn’t make sense is to look at the existence of evil and question the existence of God. The reason is that atheism turns out being a self-defeating philosophic solution to this problem of evil. Think of what evil is for a minute when we make this kind of objection. Evil is a value judgment that must be measured against a morally perfect standard in order to be meaningful. In other words, something is evil in that it departs from a perfect standard of good. C.S. Lewis made the point, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call something crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.”[ ] He also goes on to point out that a portrait is a good or a bad likeness depending on how it compares with the “perfect” original. So to talk about evil, which is a departure from good, actually presumes something that exists that is absolutely good. If there is no God there’s no perfect standard, no absolute right or wrong, and therefore no departure from that standard. So if there is no God, there can’t be any evil, only personal likes and dislikes–what I prefer morally and what I don’t prefer morally.

This is the big problem with moral relativism as a moral point of view when talking about the problem of evil. If morality is ultimately a matter of personal taste–that’s what most people hold nowadays–then it’s just your opinion what’s good or bad, but it might not be my opinion. Everybody has their own view of morality and if it’s just a matter of personal taste–like preferring steak over broccoli or Brussels sprouts–the objection against the existence of God based on evil actually vanishes because the objection depends on the fact that some things are intrinsically evil–that evil isn’t just a matter of my personal taste, my personal definition. But that evil has absolute existence and the problem for most people today is that there is no thing that is absolutely wrong. Premarital sex? If it’s right for you. Abortion? It’s an individual choice. Killing? It depends on the circumstances. Stealing? Not if it’s from a corporation.

The fact is that most people are drowning in a sea of moral relativism. If everything is allowed then nothing is disallowed. Then nothing is wrong. Then nothing is ultimately evil. What I’m saying is that if moral relativism is true, which it seems like most people seem to believe–even those that object against evil in the world, then the talk of objective evil as a philosophical problem is nonsense. To put it another way, if there is no God, then morals are all relative. And if moral relativism is true, then something like true moral evil can’t exist because evil becomes a relative thing.

An excellent illustration of this point comes from the movie The Quarrel . In this movie, a rabbi and a Jewish secularist meet again after the Second World War after they had been separated. They had gotten into a quarrel as young men, separated on bad terms, and then had their village and their family and everything destroyed through the Second World War, both thinking the other was dead. They meet serendipitously in Toronto, Canada in a park and renew their friendship and renew their old quarrel.divider

Rabbi Hersch says to the secularist Jew Chiam, “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better? Do you begin to see the horror of this? If there is no Master of the universe then who’s to say that Hitler did anything wrong? If there is no God then the people that murdered your wife and kids did nothing wrong.”

That is a very, very compelling point coming from the rabbi. In other words, to argue against the existence of God based on the existence of evil forces us into saying something like this: Evil exists, therefore there is no God. If there is no God then good and evil are relative and not absolute, so true evil doesn’t exist, contradicting the first point. Simply put, there cannot be a world in which it makes any sense to say that evil is real and at the same time say that God doesn’t exist. If there is no God then nothing is ultimately bad, deplorable, tragic or worthy of blame. The converse, by the way, is also true. This is the other hard part about this, it cuts both ways. Nothing is ultimately good, honorable, noble or worthy of praise. Everything is ultimately lost in a twilight zone of moral nothingness. To paraphrase the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, the person who argues against the existence of God based on the existence of evil in the world has both feet firmly planted in mid-air.

_____________

Ricky Gervais in a You Tube clip from the show Piers Morgan Tonight on  1-20-2011 said that he embraced the golden rule because it made sense to him to be good to others so they would be good to you. However, how would that work if there is no ultimate lawmaker that also is our final judge? Rabbi Hersch’s argument to the secularist Jew Chiam seems to point out that without God in the picture it really does come to : “If a person does not have the Almighty to turn to, if there’s nothing in the universe that’s higher than human beings, then what’s morality? Well, it’s a matter of opinion. I like milk; you like meat. Hitler likes to kill people; I like to save them. Who’s to say which is better?”

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured above.

_______

Many crime victims feel forsaken by God. So do many divorced people, war prisoners, and starving refugees. But this young man’s cry of desperation carried added significance because of its historical allusion.
The words had appeared about a thousand years earlier in a song written by a king. The details of the song are remarkably similar to the suffering the young man endured. It said, “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads …. They have pierced my hands and my feet…. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”{2}
Historians record precisely this behavior during the young man’s execution.{3} It was as if a divine drama were unfolding as the man slipped into death.
Researchers have uncovered more than 300 predictions or prophesies literally fulfilled in the life and death of this unique individual. Many of these statements written hundreds of years before his birth-were beyond his human control. One correctly foretold the place of his birth. {4} Another said he would be born of a virgin. {5} He would be preceded by a messenger who would prepare the way for his work, {6} He would enter the capital city as a king but riding on a donkeys back {7} He would be betrayed for thirty pieces of Silver, {8} pierced, {9} executed among thieves, {10} and yet, though wounded, {11} he would suffer no broken bones.{12}
Peter Stoner, a California mathematics professor, calculated the chance probability of just eight of these 300 prophecies coming true in one person. Using conservative estimates, Stoner concluded that the probability is 1 in 10 to the 17th power that those eight could be fulfilled by a fluke.
He says 1017silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Mark one coin with red fingernail polish. Stir the whole batch thoroughly. What chance would a blindfolded person have of picking the marked coin on the first try? One in 1017, the same chance that just eight of the 300 prophecies “just happened” to come true in this man, Jesus. {13}
In his dying cry from the cross Jesus reminded His hearers that His life and death precisely fulfilled God’s previously stated plan. According to the biblical perspective, at the moment of death Jesus experienced the equivalent of eternal separation from God in our place so that we might be forgiven and find new life.
He took the penalty due for all the crime, injustice, evil, sin, and shortcomings of the world-including yours and mine.
Though sinless Himself, He likely felt guilty and abandoned. Then-again in fulfillment of prophecy{14} and contrary to natural law-He came back to life. As somewhat of a skeptic I investigated the evidence for Christ’s resurrection and found it to be one of the best-attested facts in history. {15} To the seeker Jesus Christ offers true inner peace, forgiveness, purpose, and strength for contented living.

SO WHAT?

“OK, great,” you might say, “but what hope does this give the crime or divorce victim, the hungry and bleeding refugee, the citizen paralyzed by a world gone bad?” Will Jesus prevent every crime, reconcile every troubled marriage, restore every refugee, stop every war? No. God has given us free will. Suffering–even unjust suffering–is a necessary consequence of sin.
Sometimes God does intervene to change circumstances. (I’m glad my assailant became nervous and left.) Other times God gives those who believe in Him strength to endure and confidence that He will see them through. In the process, believers mature.
Most significantly we can hope in what He has told us about the future. Seeing how God has fulfilled prophecies in the past gives us confidence to believe those not yet fulfilled. Jesus promises eternal life to all who trust Him for it: “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”{16}
He promised He would return to rescue people from this dying planet.{17}
He will judge all evil.{18}
Finally justice will prevail. Those who have chosen to place their faith in Him will know true joy: “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.”{19}
Does God intend that we ignore temporal evil and mentally float off into unrealistic ethereal bliss? Nor at all. God is in the business of working through people to turn hearts to Him, resolve conflicts, make peace. After my assailant went to prison, I felt motivated to tell him that I forgave him because of Christ. He apologized, saying he, too, has now come to believe in Jesus.
But through every trial, every injustice you suffer, you can know that God is your friend and that one day He will set things right. You can know that He is still on the throne of the universe and that He cares for you. You can know this because His Son was born (Christmas is, of course, a celebration of His birth), lived, died, and came back to life in fulfillment of prophecy. Because of Jesus, if you personally receive His free gift of forgiveness, you can have hope!
Will you trust Him?
Notes
 
1. Matthew 27:46.
2. Psalm 22.
3. Matthew 27:35-44; John 20:25.
4. Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1.
5. Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 24-25; Luke 1:26-35.
6. Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-2.
7. Zechariah 9:9; John 12:15; Matthew 21: 1-9.
8. Zechariah 11:12; Matthew 26:15.
9. Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34, 37.
10. Isaiah 53:12.
11. Matthew 27:38; Isaiah 53:5; Zechariah 13:6; Matthew 27:26.
12. Psalm 34:20; John 19:33, 36.
13. Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, pp. 99-112.
14. Psalm 6:10; Acts 2:31-32.
15. Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, pp. 185-273.
16. John 5:24.
17. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
18. Revelation 20:10-15.
19. Revelation 21:4 NAS.
©1994 Rusty Wright. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Pursuit magazine (© 1994, Vol. III, No. 3)

About the Author
Rusty Wright, former associate speaker and writer with Probe Ministries, is an international lecturer, award-winning author, and journalist who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. http://www.rustywright.com/

The Bible and Archaeology (1/5)

The Bible and Archaeology (2/5)

God Is A Luxury I Can’t Afford – From Crimes And Misdemeanors

___________________

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 20) Letter from 3-13-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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Image result for hugh hefner

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

 

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Image result for adrian rogers

In this letter below I quoted the sermon outline from Adrian Rogers when I wrote, “Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. 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).”

Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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.

Ecclesiastes 1:1 – 11
Norm Schwab
June 23, 2013

Solomon has tried it all and nothing satisfies the
cravings of his heart. Solomon does not keep his conclusions
hidden from us. Right up front after the introduction in v.1, we
read, “Vanities of vanities, repeated again. It’s all vanity.” He
is not referring to pride in one’s appearance or talent, standing
in front of a mirror. He is simply saying it’s all empty, it’s all
meaningless. It is all worthless. And he doubly repeats “vanity”
for emphasis. His emphasis is not needed though, as he is very
clear what degree of emptiness he observes in life.
Solomon’s life didn’t start out this way. It began with
such promise. Back in I Kings chapter 2, we read that his
father, King David is on his deathbed. David has some final
words of wisdom to pass on to his son, Solomon. V.2: “I am
going the way of the earth, (I am dying). So be strong, show
yourself a man.” (This is what David says real strength and a
real man looks like) v.3: “Keep the charge of the Lord your
God and walk in His ways…that you may succeed in all that
you do and wherever you turn.” Son, if you want to succeed in
life, this is the key “Obey God, follow God’s truth.” That is the
way to being a real man, a strong man.
In chapter 3 of I Kings, we read of Solomon doing just
that in following God’s law. God appears to Solomon in a
dream and says, “Ask anything you wish me to give you.” If I
were Solomon, I might have asked for a thousand more wishes,
but Solomon answered even better, “v.9: “give thy servant an
understanding heart to judge thy people and to discern between
good and evil.” Literally Solomon asks for a “hearing heart
that listens to God’s voice.” He asks for wisdom to apply
God’s truth to life, and God gave him that and added to it
wealth and power. Solomon had such a great and promising
start. It says in I Kings 3:3: “Solomon loved the Lord, walked
in the ways of his father…except v.3: he sacrificed and burned
incense on the high places. Exceptions, cultural sins,
compromises will pull us down. Even though Solomon loved
God, there were cracks in his armor. Later in life, those cracks
would split and grow and multiply as he was drawn away from
God’s heart by over 700 wives and 300 concubines. Whatever
he wanted he took; sex, drugs, alcohol, building projects, lavish
gardens, parks, wealth upon wealth. Yachts, horses, He made
Bill Gates look like a pauper and Hugh Hefner look like an
alter boy. He discovered it all was empty, meaningless, vanity,
nothing. It took Solomon a lifetime to figure out that what his
dad said to him was correct and he then began to follow God
again.
Frederick Buechner summarizes Solomon’s point
when he writes, “If you decide to knock yourself out getting
rich and living up to it, Solomon points out all you have to
show for it in the end is the biggest income tax in town and a
bad liver; and when you finally kick the bucket, the chances are
that your dim-witted heirs will sink the whole thing in a phony
Florida real estate deal or lose it at the track in Saratoga. If you
decide to break your back getting a decent education and end
up a Columbia Ph.D. and an advisor to Presidents, you’ll be
just as dead when the time comes as the high school drop-out
who went into sausage stuffing, and you’ll be forgotten just
about as soon.”

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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, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  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.

I am finishing up today  some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  I will resume the Hef letters from other sources in my next post.

Our teaching pastors here at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH are Mark Henry,

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Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

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Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Ben Parkinson.

March 13, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I THOUGHT OF YOU TODAY HUGH WHEN OUR TEACHING PASTOR Ben Parkinson delivered his message  on ECCLESIASTES on the subject of IS JESUS “BETTER THAN” FOR YOU? at our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH. Ben Parkinson talked about how important it is to have someone to share life with.

Lindsay Cronin, EnStars  wrote on Dec 31, 2015:

After marrying Hefner on New Year’s Eve 2012, Harris spoke to Huffington Post Live, via Daily Mail, and revealed what marriage meant for her. “For me it meant more security, knowing that I am the one for him,” she explained. “Like we were talking about, there are always girls in and out and always the feeling of maybe being replaced… And he made sure I didn’t feel that way anymore and that was what the wedding was all about.”

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King Solomon wrote the book SONG OF SOLOMON when he was young and involved in his first marriage and it was a great picture of what true love was meant to be. However, later he ended up chasing after foreign women who served false gods and Solomon’s life became a mess. As an old man Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes and he reflects back on many of the mistakes he made in his life.

I am glad that you are living in a relational way with Crystal and that you have someone to share life with, but did you know that God created you that way but God also wants you to have a relationship with Him too. Here is portion from my pastor’s message:

What has the Book of Ecclesiastes taught us? Point #1 ALTHOUGH GOD’S GIFTS TO US ARE “BETTER THAN” NOT HAVING THEM, THEY CAN NEVER REPLACE THE GOODNESS OF GOD TO US. 

Because life is about glorifying God we can’t ignore him and try to find life in something he has made. These good gifts (LABOR, LADIES, LUXURIES, LEARNING, LAUGHING) God gives us have limits. There is a diminishing return to them that God makes sure are inherent in them so they will never satisfy us if we try to put them on the throne of our hearts instead of God. God loves us too much to let us be satisfied with something less than him, because he is the [only true God] worth worshiping, worth  glorifying, worth living for.

These gifts fail us because we were made to love a relational God.  

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r Frans I Francken King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

These good gifts (LABOR, LADIES, LUXURIES, LEARNING, LAUGHING) are meant to move us to connect with God in a relational way and not only that but to connect us one to another in a relational way…And so to the degree we have to trade relationships to find greatness in these things that Solomon has been exploring to pursue the most pleasure we can, to pursue the highest level of work we can accomplish, to pursue the greatest wealth we can find, in order to do these things if we had to leave relationships behind, people behind, we will fell the FUTILITY OF THAT, we will feel the FRUSTRATION OF THAT because there are only two things that truly last forever that we can invest in  during this life and that the WORD OF GOD and THE SOULS OF PEOPLE. These are the only two things that will last forever and in the degree we are significant  we are trading the temporal for the eternal. To the degree we are not investing our lives in those two things we feel we are on this treadmill of GROUNDHOG DAY and we feel no matter what we do we are not really making progress in life and we are wasting our time in life. 

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So Pastor says there are only two things worth putting your time and life into and that is the WORD OF GOD and the SOULS OF PEOPLE. I know HUGH that you don’t believe the Bible is true. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer  and Dr. C. Everett Koop concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith seen below

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Now we should Now we should turn to one of the most spectacular of modern archaeological discoveries, Ebla. While digging on an extensive mound forty-four miles south of Aleppo in Syria in 1974/75, an Italian archaeological expedition came across another of the vast libraries to which we referred earlier. A small room within the palace suddenly yielded up a thousand tablets and fragments, while another not far away a further fourteen thousand. There lay row upon row, just where they had fallen from the burning wooden shelves when the palace was destroyed about 2250 B.C.

What secrets did these tablets reveal? Without wishing to seem unnecessarily repetitive, we can say immediately that Ebla represents yet another discovery from the ancient past which does not make it harder for us to believe the Bible, but quite the opposite. And remember, these tablets date from well before the time of Abraham. The implications of this discovery will not be exhausted by even the turn of this century. The translation and publication of such a vast number of tablets will take years and years. It is important to understand that the information we now have from Ebla does not bear directly upon the Bible. As far as has been discovered, there is no certain reference to individuals mentioned in the Bible, though many names are similar, for example, Ishmael, Israel, and so forth. Biblical place names like Megiddo, Hazor, Lachish are also referred to. What is clear, however, is that certain individuals outside the Bible who previously had been considered fictitious by the critical scholars, simply because of their antiquity, are now quite definitely historic characters.

For example, the Assyrian King Tudiya (approximately 2500 B.C.) had already been known from the Assyrian king list composed about 1000 B.C. His name appeared at the head of the list, but his reality was dismissed by many scholars as “free invention, or a corruption.”  In fact, he was very much a real king of Ebla. Thus, the genealogical tradition of the earlier parts of the Assyrian king list has been vindicated. It preserves faithfully, over a period of 1,500 years, the memory of real, early people who were Assyrian rulers. What we must learn from this is that when we find similar material in the Old Testament, such as the genealogical list in Genesis 7 or the patriarchal stories, we should be careful not to reject them out of hand, as the scholars have so often done. We must remember that these ancient cultures were just as capable of recording their histories as we are.

The most important aspect of the Ebla discoveries is undoubtedly their language. This has been found to be ancient West-Semitic language to which such languages as Hebrew, Canaanite, Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Moabite are related. Thus we have now, for the first time, the whole “tradition” of West-Semitic language stretching over 2,500 years–something which was previously true only of Egyptian and Akkadian, to which Babylonian and Assyrian belong.

Up until quite recently, therefore, this meant that scholars could argue that many words which appeared in the Hebrew Old Testament were what they called “late.” What they meant by this was that these words indicated a much later authorship than the time stated by the text itself. It would be as if one of us pretended to write a sixteenth-century  book using such modern words as AUTOMOBILE and COMPUTER. In the case of the Pentateuch, for example, this was one of the arguments which led some scholars to suggest that it was not Moses who wrote these books, as the Bible says, but anonymous scribes from approximately 1,000 years later. The discoveries at Ebla have shown that many of these words were not late, but very early. Here is yet another example of a claimed “scientific” approach that merely reflects the philosophical prejudices of the scholars involved.

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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 25th letter that I have written to you on the subject of Ecclesiastes and comparing you to King Solomon. I hope you have a chance to google HUGH HEFNER ECCLESIASTES and you will see that you are compared to Solomon over and over. Maybe it has to do with the fact that both of you have slept with over 1000 women? Today I pointed out that it is blessing from God to be in a marriage relationship with someone you love and that God not only created you as a relational person so you could share your life with someone but also God wants you to have a relationship with Him!!

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 19) Letter from 3-6-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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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.

 Jake Sikes wrote:

Word Wednesday: Better Desires

Lets all be honest about the desires of our heart: they can be a beautiful thing, but they can also be daunting. Our fallen nature tends to send us on this trajectory of chasing things that aren’t as life giving as we think they are.

How many times have you woken up each morning, looked in the mirror, and just not been satisfied?

Our fallen culture does a really good job of pointing to the things you’re not in order to sell you what it believes you should be.

Wow, that sounds really familiar!

Snake?

Fruit?

Woman and Man?

5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 

Genesis 3:5-7

I am not advocating that the church should hide itself from the culture of the world.

However, when navigating what our heart is longing for, I believe that we have to ask these questions:

What am I chasing?

Why am I chasing it?

Does this stir my affection for the Creator?

 What Are You Chasing

The gospel is God’s greatest locator of what our heart is invested in.

It’s painful, its awkward, its beautiful, and its fulfilling.

The book of Ecclesiastes is by far one of the greatest social experiments ever recorded…

King Solomon asks the Lord for wisdom, and Israel reaches an unprecedented height of power. (1 Kings 3:10)

He throws parties that put Jay-Z and Kanye to shame.

His sex life makes Hugh Hefner look like a gentleman.

His business and gift of negotiation would have told Donald Trump, “You’re fired.”

The world was at his feet. He had absolutely everything that the culture could offer in this world.

Yet he says this…

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, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. – Ecclesiastes 2:17-21

Freedom

He’s saying, “I did it all, and this experience still leaves me empty. Not only that, people have looked to me thinking this is the answer to life, and now I am leaving a pile of junk behind to a bunch of idiots.”

When God says that “nothing in this world will satisfy you like Me”… Its not a philosophical position, He means it.

God has given us many great gifts; food, sex, money, etc.

However, when the gift becomes the god, we tend to forget how much joy there is in even knowing the Giver.

Jesus tells the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become min him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Jesus knows the woman is seeking something life giving; something that multiple men and relationships just haven’t given her. She is thirsty, tired, and simply caught in a cycle that she doesn’t know how to leave.

Yet Jesus asks the same question God has not stopped asking us since He asked our first parents:

Where are you? (Genesis 3:9)

 Where-Are-You

God knows your desires far better than you do, and His mission is not to take them away from you, but rather show you that they can be so much more.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” – CS Lewis.

 

Where is your heart?

What are you chasing?

What stirs your affection for the Creator?

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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, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  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 the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Brandon Barnard.

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March 6, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

In your interview, “Q&A: Hugh Hefner,” in the Guardian are these words:

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My life, probably!

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, and I thought of you today when I was listening to our sermon at church. Our pastor said, “Some people would read Ecclesiastes and just say EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY because in the end it is all vanity. However, Solomon doesn’t endorse foolish choices and foolish living. Living foolishly does have consequences. Psalms 14:1 The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ The fool is the one who says I want to do it my way and not God’s way.”

If you remember the sermon THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY that I sent you from Adrian Rogers and it was based on Proverbs chapter 5 that was written by King Solomon to his son. DON’T YOU THINK YOU SHOULD PASS THIS ADVICE ALONG TO YOUR SONS COOPER AND MARSTON?  Here is a portion of that chapter below:

Marston Hefner

My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
    incline your ear to my understanding,
that you may keep discretion,
    and your lips may guard knowledge.
For the lips of a forbidden[a] woman drip honey,
    and her speech[b] is smoother than oil,
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
    sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps follow the path to[c] Sheol;
Keep your way far from her,
    and do not go near the door of her house,
lest you give your honor to others
    and your years to the merciless,
10 lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11 and at the end of your life you groan,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,

18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,

19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated[d] always in her love.
21 For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
    and he ponders[f] all his paths.

Today at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH our teaching pastor Brandon Barnard delivered the message REJOICE AND REMEMBER based on Ecclesiastes 11 and 12 in the sermon series entitled BETTER THAN and I wanted to share a portion of that sermon with you today.

Ecclesiastes 11:1- 12:8

11 Cast your bread upon the waters,
    for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
    for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
    they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
    in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
He who observes the wind will not sow,
    and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb[a] of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.

So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes isvanity.[b]

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain[c] from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along,[d] and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.

King Solomon

FIRST, Live courageously and trust God completely.

A. Ecclesiastes doesn’t endorse foolish choices or foolish living.

B. This does endorse grace driven effort.

Titus 2:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

William Borden’s life

Quotations taken from Borden of Yale, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, Moody Press, Chicago

  In 1904 William Borden graduated from a Chicago high school. As heir to the Borden family fortune, he was already wealthy. For his high school graduation present, his parents gave 16-year-old Borden a trip around the world. As the young man traveled through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, he felt a growing burden for the world’s hurting people. Finally, Bill Borden wrote home about his “desire to be a missionary.”1
One friend expressed disbelief that Bill was “throwing himself away as a missionary.”
In response, Borden wrote two words in the back of his Bible: “No reserves.”
Even though young Borden was wealthy, he arrived on the campus of Yale University in 1905 trying to look like just one more freshman. Very quickly, however, Borden’s classmates noticed something unusual about him and it wasn’t that he had lots of money. One of them wrote: “He came to college far ahead, spiritually, of any of us. He had already given his heart in full surrender to Christ and had really done it. We who were his classmates learned to lean on him and find in him a strength that was solid as a rock, just because of this settled purpose and consecration.”2
During his college years, Bill Borden made an entry in his personal journal that defined what his classmates were seeing in him. That entry said simply: “Say ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to Jesus every time.”3
Borden’s first disappointment at Yale came when the university president spoke in a convocation about the students’ need of “having a fixed purpose.” After that speech, Borden wrote: “He neglected to say what our purpose should be, and where we should get the ability to persevere and the strength to resist temptations.”4 Surveying the Yale faculty and much of the student body, Borden lamented what he saw as the end result of an empty, humanistic philosophy: moral weakness and sin-ruined lives.
During his first semester at Yale, Borden started something that would transform campus life. One of his friends described how it began: “It was well on in the first term when Bill and I began to pray together in the morning before breakfast. I cannot say positively whose suggestion it was, but I feel sure it must have originated with Bill. We had been meeting only a short time when a third student joined us and soon after a fourth. The time was spent in prayer after a brief reading of Scripture. Bill’s handling of Scripture was helpful. . . . He would read to us from the Bible, show us something that God had promised and then proceed to claim the promise with assurance.”5
Borden’s small morning prayer group gave birth to a movement that soon spread across the campus. By the end of his first year, 150 freshman were meeting weekly for Bible study and prayer. By the time Bill Borden was a senior, one thousand of Yale’s 1,300 students were meeting in such groups.
Borden made it his habit to seek out the most “incorrigible” students and try to bring them to salvation. “In his sophomore year we organized Bible study groups and divided up the class of 300 or more, each man interested taking a certain number, so that all might, if possible, be reached. The names were gone over one by one, and the question asked, ‘Who will take this person?’ When it came to someone thought to be a hard proposition, there would be an ominous pause. Nobody wanted the responsibility. Then Bill’s voice would be heard, ‘Put him down to me.'”6
Borden’s outreach ministry was not confined to the Yale campus. He cared about widows and orphans and the disabled. He rescued drunks from the streets of New Haven. To try to rehabilitate them, he founded the Yale Hope Mission. One of Bill Borden’s friends wrote that he “might often be found in the lower parts of the city at night, on the street, in a cheap lodging house or some restaurant to which he had taken a poor hungry fellow to feed him, seeking to lead men to Christ.”7
Borden’s missionary call narrowed to the Muslim Kansu people in China. Once he fixed his eyes on that goal, Borden never wavered. He also challenged his classmates to consider missionary service. One of them said of him: “He certainly was one of the strongest characters I have ever known, and he put backbone into the rest of us at college. There was real iron in him, and I always felt he was of the stuff martyrs were made of, and heroic missionaries of more modern times.”8
Although he was a millionaire, Bill seemed to “realize always that he must be about his Father’s business, and not wasting time in the pursuit of amusement.”9 Although Borden refused to join a fraternity, “he did more with his classmates in his senior year than ever before.” He presided over the huge student missionary conference held at Yale and served as president of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa.
Upon graduation from Yale, Borden turned down some high-paying job offers. In his Bible, he wrote two more words: “No retreats.”
William Borden went on to do graduate work at Princeton Seminary in New Jersey. When he finished his studies at Princeton, he sailed for China. Because he was hoping to work with Muslims, he stopped first in Egypt to study Arabic. While there, he contracted spinal meningitis. Within a month, 25-year-old William Borden was dead.
When the news of William Whiting Borden’s death was cabled back to the U.S., the story was carried by nearly every American newspaper. “A wave of sorrow went round the world . . . Borden not only gave (away) his wealth, but himself, in a way so joyous and natural that it (seemed) a privilege rather than a sacrifice” wrote Mary Taylor in her introduction to his biography.10
Was Borden’s untimely death a waste? Not in God’s perspective. Prior to his death, Borden had written two more words in his Bible. Underneath the words “No reserves” and “No retreats,” he had written: “No regrets.”

_

 

SECOND, Enjoy life fully and thank God for today.

A. Rejoice in the years you have and remember they come to an end.

B. Rejoice in your youth and remember that judgment comes to all.

C. Remove worry and live wisely.

D. Remember your creator in all things.

Jeremiah 2:12-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
    be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
    the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
    broken cisterns that can hold no water. 

Matthew 6:33 English Standard Version (ESV)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

_

 

 Chris Rice wrote this great song, “Life Means So Much”

Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there’s plenty of room for writing in
All we do is believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessing
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketching

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So nobody’s rich, nobody’s poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest, or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who’s under

Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life
And don’t you think giving is all
What proves the worth of yours and mine

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you’ve been given
Make the most of the time every minute you’re living

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: Today is the 23rd letter I have written you and most of the letters have been based the FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sermon series on Ecclesiastes. How much of your life HUGH has been lived to satisfy your own desires and how much spent telling others about where true wisdom can be found? At least tell your sons about the wisdom of Proverbs 5 and warn them of the pitfalls of the Playboy lifestyle!!!

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 18) Letter from 2-29-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

 

Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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.

NO SATISFACTION – Journey of Solomon – By Pastor Delbert Young sermonschangetheworld.com

I want you to play a game with me today. Here is how it works. You raise your hand if my question relates to you – humor me, okay? Let’s begin. First, raise your hand if you hate audience participation games where you have to raise your hand. Doesn’t matter because we are going to play the game anyway. Raise your hand if you are not totally SATISFIED with your cell phone coverage. Raise your hand if you are not totally SATISFIED with your current financial picture. Raise your hand if you are not SATISFIED with your body and the way you look. Let’s get a little more serious. Raise your hand if you are not SATISFIED with the job you are doing as a parent. I want you to raise your hand if you are not SATISFIED with the way you have been living your life and the way your life is going. Some of you cannot get any SATISFACTION, can you?

This is interesting. In 1965, there was a person who felt a lot like you do and he wrote a song called “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” Who knows who this person is? Mick Jagger. It was over 40 years ago and you would think over a 40-year period he would get some satisfaction, but Mick is in his 60’s now and he is still looking for satisfaction. He is still wearing his tight jeans, dressing like a teen, wearing his hair long, and trying to jump around on a rock stage. I heard him on a talk show not long ago and he still “can’t get no satisfaction.” Here is what we are going to do so we can get into what I want to talk about. We are going to actually sing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” We can do this in this church, maybe we couldn’t in some, but we will here. I cannot sing well, so if you do not participate, this could be really bad. Okay, on the count of three, One, Two, Three. “I can’t get no satisfaction. I can’t get no satisfaction. But I try and I try and I try and I try… I can’t get no….” Oh man, you are feeling it.

The reason I did this is we did not only sing a rock song by the Rolling Stones, we also sang the theme song to the lives of many people – some of you. Biblically, we also sang the soundtrack to the Book of Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is the private journal in the Bible of King Solomon who was King David’s son and successor. Solomon also went on a 40-year journey searching for satisfaction.

Let me tell you a little bit about King Solomon. When he started out as king, he had a very intimate, close relationship with God and God blessed him. God deposited leadership gifts and wisdom into his life. God gave him resources to build the kingdom. You name it and God gave it to Solomon. You probably remember the story when the Lord asked Solomon what he wanted.

1 Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

1 Kings 3:9 …give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

1Kings 3:11-13 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked… Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.

It was amazing. No one in the Bible did, or had, what Solomon did and had. He began very well and climbed quickly to success. Not long into it, something began to happen internally to Solomon. Internal erosion began eroding at the heart of Solomon. It seemed King Solomon hopped in his car/chariot and took a long trip away from God. For the next 40 years of his life, he wandered through life. King Solomon could not get any satisfaction and he wrote about it in the journal of his 40-year trip.

Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! EVERYTHING is meaningless.”

Solomon thought life was MEANINGLESS. We have a person who initially was full of excitement, purpose, and extremely willing to do anything God asked. Something happened. He moved away from God and wandered through a 40-year taste test/smorgasbord/buffet life searching for satisfaction.

Before you get too down on Solomon, how many remember how it was when you first came to the Lord? You were excited, purposed, extremely willing to do anything God asked. “Mission field? Sure, I’ll go.” You were excited about God, played praise tapes/cd, read your Bible, prayed, etc. However, it’s not like this today. Something happened. You got in your chariot and, for years now, you have been searching for satisfaction. Maybe you have been to several churches looking for a good word (I trust you found one). You tried some freedom and liberty and maybe changed your emphasis from God to work and money. Amazingly, this is exactly the roads Solomon traveled and he wrote about it in his journal. His first stop was searching for education.

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 I devoted myself to search for UNDERSTANDING and to explore by wisdom EVERYTHINGbeing done in the world. I soon discovered that God has dealt a tragic existence to the human race. EverythingUNDER THE SUN is meaningless, like CHASING THE WIND.

Amazing! God gave Solomon so much, yet Solomon felt he had a tragic existence. How about you? Solomon searched out EVERYTHING for understanding. He studied art, architecture, built magnificent buildings, studied music, composed 1,005 songs, studied astronomy, biology, etc. You name it, Solomon knew about it. He was so educated and knew so much people came from the entire world to hear Solomon speak.

1Kings 4:30-34 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man… He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He described plant life… He also taught about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom…

Solomon knew all there was to know about everything, but with all his education, Solomon said, “I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.” So, he did what we all do. He continued searching. His next taste test was pleasure.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 I said to myself, “Come now, let’s give PLEASURE a try. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. “It is silly to be laughing all the time,” I said. “What good does it do to seek only pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine…

It was all about the women and the wine. It was the “HUGH HEFNER” lifestyle – Playboy mansion. He had wine and women night after night after night.

1 Kings 11:3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.

Solomon slept with more women than he could remember. He drank the finest wines and said, “I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.”

Solomon took another taste test from the smorgasbord. This time it would be possessions, money, and wealth.

Ecclesiastes 2:4-10 I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned great herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I HAD EVERYTHING A MAN COULD DESIRE! So I became greater than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. And with it all, I remained clear-eyed so that I could evaluate all these things. Anything I wanted, I took. I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors.

Solomon found pleasure, but not satisfaction – big difference. Solomon built a huge life for himself. He had any possession a person could want. He could snap his fingers and people came running to provide his desires. He had more money than Bill Gates and Donald Trump added together. He was the most powerful person in the world. Nevertheless, do you know what? He said, “I can’t get NO SATISFACTION.”

Solomon did everything and tried everything including checking out religions. He married women from other religions only to find they took him even farther from satisfaction. Solomon tasted the education thing and said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” He tasted the pleasure/sex/party thing and said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” He tasted the possession, wealth, power thing and said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” He tasted the religion thing and said, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”

I will make certain we balance here. DOES GOD WANT YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND ENJOY LIFE? OF COURSE HE DOES, BUT IF THIS IS WHERE AND HOW YOU DETERMINE YOUR SATISFACTIONIN LIFE, YOUR LIFE WILL BE MEANINGLESS. Solomon was wealthy enough, wise enough, and powerful enough to search higher, deeper, and farther than anyone has ever searched and he said here is the conclusion.

Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young, before the silver cord of life snaps and the golden bowl is broken. Don’t wait until the water jar is smashed at the spring and the pulley is broken at the well. For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person.

The wisest man who ever lived who did it all, saw it all, tasted it all, felt it all, said this is it. THE CONCLUSION IS TO FIND GOD BEFORE DEATH FINDS YOU.

Fear God and obey his commands. Does God actually want us to ‘fear’ him as in be afraid of him? I thought God was like a wonderful father who loves and takes care of me. I don’t know I ‘fear’ or ‘feared’ my natural father. What’s up with this? Most people think the fear of God is thinking God has a holster full of lightening bolts just waiting for you to screw up and as soon as you do, bam, he zaps you. This is not the thought here or the context of the passage. Fearing God is not a fear of his “lightening bolts.” It is knowing not doing what he commands will not work well for our lives and the farther we distance ourselves from his commands, the worse our life goes. It is like, why would you fear jumping off a cliff? It is because the outcome would be bad. Injury is the least that will happen. The fear is I will severely mess up my life, not God zapping me with lightening bolts. Yet, I watch people jump off cliffs every day by not fearing if they disobey God’s ways they injure their own lives.

Solomon used the term “under the sun” in 27 different verses. Solomon did everything under the sun. His conclusion is to spend your days under the sun finding the God who lives above the sun.

Solomon uses the term meaningless 38 times. Solomon talked about the wind and chasing after the wind 14 times. Life goes by like the wind and people chase after nothing and reach for something emptiness. Do not do this. Spend time finding God. In your time under the sun, did you find the God who dwells above the sun?

What have you tasted? Maybe you have not tried it in the huge proportions Solomon tried, but in reality, you and I take sips every single day. For example, what do people do when a relationship does not satisfy them? They go out and taste test another. What do people do if their job does not satisfy them? They taste test a different job. Maybe you say if you had a great friend who would treat you great and be the kind of friend you really need then it would SATISFY you. Maybe you feel like if your kids would just obey you it would SATISFY you. Or, if they would turn out to be the kind of children you want them to be this would SATISFY you. If you can get your degree, or make the perfect grade then it would SATISFY you. If your husband would come to church with you, it would SATISFY you. Maybe for you it is money. You think if I could just get this much money it will SATISFY me. Maybe you are not happy with the way you look. Maybe a plastic surgery will SATISFY you or a new fad diet that works and the list goes on and on and on. One day you will pull over on the side of the road just like Solomon. You will look at your life and see you taste tested and it was all meaningless and none of it SATISFIED. You will say, “I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION.”

Did you see the movie “Meet Joe Black” staring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt? Bard Pitt played the role of death (Joe Black) who came to take Anthony Hopkins (Bill Parrish). Bill is very successful, wealthy, powerful man, but one day Bill meets death face to face. (Let’s watch the clip.)

A day comes when we will all ask “the question.” It is, “Am I going to die?” WHEN YOU MEET DEATH FACE TO FACE AND EYE TO EYE, HOW WILL YOU REACT? Have you spent the necessary time, money, possessions, and wisdom searching for God, or have you merely searched for money, possessions, and earthly wisdom? What will be the outcome? Have you been truly successful? Have you found the God who dwells above the sun?

In the movie, it came time for Bill to go. Should he be afraid? Should you? One more clip… (watch the clip).

So, do you need to be afraid? Only you know. It depends on what you do under the sun concerning the God who dwells above the sun. It’s all meaningless, meaningless, meaningless – without Jesus.

Let’s pray.

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,  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 the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

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Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

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Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Mark Henry.

Hugh Hefner: His Income and Girlfriends

07.20.13

The 87-year-old millionaire has an estimated net worth of $45 million. He amassed a huge wealth when he founded the Playboy Magazine.

Like father, like son, Hugh and Cooper pose in purple silk pyjamas at last

Mark Henry, teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH Little Rock

 

February 29, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Back in 1980 Keith Green wrote and performed the song I PLEDGE MY HEAD TO HEAVEN and it summed up the Book Ecclesiastes well with these words:

Well I’ve had the chance to gain the world, and to live just like a king,
But without your love, it doesn’t mean a thing.

Without God in the picture all is vanity in life UNDER THE SUN and nothing means a thing!!! You would enjoy the music of this song and I want you to take 3 minutes to go to YOU TUBE and check out the performance on harmonica by Bob Dylan. 

Keith Green (October 21, 1953 – July 28, 1982) Keith and Bob Dylan recorded together in 1979-1980

Bob Dylan’s record GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY

 

The reason I have written you this long series of letters comparing you to King Solomon is because you both have slept with over 1000 women and you both lived like Kings.

On the website Lifetime.com under the heading: HUGH HEFNERBIOGRAPHY are these words:

Epitomizing the lifestyle promoted by his magazine, Hefner has also had a long line of mistresses. His girlfriends have included several Playboy Playmates of the Year, such as Marilyn Cole, Lillian Muller and Patty MacGuire.

I thought of you HUGH when I looked up the words the other day to the song GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY by Bob Dylan. It talks about mistresses, socialites, money, TV stars, business men, liquor, silk clothes, caviar, king-sized beds and living in a mansion and this all reminded me of your lifestyle.

In Bob Dylan’s song GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY are these lines:

You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

Might be a rock’n’ roll adict prancing on the stage
Might have money and drugs at your commands, women in a cage
You may be a business man or some high degree thief
They may call you Doctor or they may call you Chief.

You may be a state trooper, you might be an young turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name.

You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord you might even own banks.

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir.

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

This Sunday February 28, 2016 our teaching pastor Mark Henry preached a sermon from Ecclesiastes 8 called THINKING OF YOURSELF LESS. In this sermon he talks about this Bob Dylan song GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY and below here is portion from that sermon:

Ecclesiastes chapter 7 is all about foolishness versus Wisdom. What is a fool as pictured in the Bible? A fool is not someone who lacks intellect. Foolishness is not a mind problem, but it is a will problem, and a heart problem. Foolishness is a lack of submission to God. It is resistant to character formation in your life. A fool desires to live an independent and autonomous life apart from God where the world centers around he or she.

Wisdom is about being the right kind of person who is following Jesus and making the right kinds of decisions.

PRIDE IS SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Self-sufficiency  is depending on our own resources and strength instead of depending on God. Self-sufficiency is you depending on your own goodness rather than depending on the goodness of Christ. It is making ourselves the center and not God and it is really self-worship. PRIDE IS SELF-PROMOTION. 

HUMILITY IS NOT THINKING LESS OF YOURSELF. IT’S THINKING OF YOURSELF LESS. (Quote by C.S.Lewis)

C.S. Lewis

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The realities of Humility are:

  1. WE HAVE TO SUBMIT TO SOMEONE. 

Ecclesiastes 8:2-5

I say: Keep the king’s command, because of God’s oath to him. Be not hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand in an evil cause, for he does whatever he pleases. For the word of the king is supreme, and who may say to him, “What are you doing?” Whoever keeps a command will know no evil thing, and the wise heart will know the proper time and the just way.

This idea of human autonomy is a myth. It doesn’t exist. Bob Dylan wrote a song a long time ago and the lyrics said, “You got to serve somebody.” That is what Solomon is saying. We all have to answer to someone. If the police turns on their lights and you don’t pull over then you are going to jail. God has put authority in our life to humble us. Now here Solomon is talking about our need to submit to the king…The most important person we submit to is Jesus who is the eternal king and the KING OF KINGS which means there is no such thing as human autonomy. 

We will never be the ultimate authority in our lives because Jesus is. Our sin fights against Christ’s authority in every way. It makes us want to make up our own moral rules…It takes God’s grace for us to acknowledge that there is a king and we are not him. It takes grace for us to forsake the purpose of our kingdom of our kingdom so we can take up the purpose of his kingdom.

     2. WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. 

Ecclesiastes 8:6-9

For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. 7 For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be? No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it. All this I observed while applying my heart to all that is done under the sun, when man had power over man to his hurt.

3. WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL. 

Ecclesiastes 8:10-14 

10 Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. 11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. 13 But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.14 There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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 Francis Schaeffer talked about this same issue in Ecclesiastes:

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 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. 

Ecclesiastes 8:14 The Message (MSG) 14 Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.  

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

However, the books are balanced by God in the afterlife. Ecclesiastes last two verses state: The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. 14 And that’s it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it’s good or evil.

The answer to find meaning in life is not found in sleeping with over 1000 women but 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 21st letter I have written to you and again I have responded to an aspect of your life with what the Bible has to say about it. SELF-PROMOTION is pride and living like King Solomon and sleeping with 1000 women is just being selfish and in the end it does not bring satisfaction. SATISFACTION will only come when you put your trust in Christ alone for your salvation and you repent of your sins.

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 17) Letter from 2-21-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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.

Chasing the Wind
Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-26
August 18, 2013
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is
meaningless. I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to
explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I
have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after
the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the
one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will
have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This
too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a
man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to
someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a
man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his
work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. A man can
do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from
the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him,
God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and
storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing
after the wind.”
As a child, did you ever try to catch the wind? You ran, you grabbed, you might even
have tried to sneak up on it, but you never succeeded. In the book of Ecclesiastes,
Solomon tells us that if we approach life without God, our efforts to find joy and meaning
in life are nothing more than chasing after the wind.
Solomon tried to achieve joy, happiness, and meaning through every avenue available
to him, but in the end he concluded that, without God in his life, he would never find
what he was after. Worn to a frazzle and throughly frustrated, Solomon concludes:
“Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ec 1:2 NIV).
People chase many different winds in their search for fulfillment in this life. However, in
the end, life without God is meaningless. Some people learn this and find, in God,
everything they’ve been looking for. Others go to their graves with the answer to life still
beyond their grasp.
There are those people who believe satisfaction lies in one’s occupation, but Solomon
warns: “What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under
the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is
meaningless” (Ec 2:22-23 NIV).
Do you understand what Solomon is saying? Work, work, work. Compete, strategize,
plan, sacrifice, travel, worry, lose sleep, skip vacations, add hours, increase
responsibility, scratch the right backs, invest, save, risk, work, work, work!
After all of that, your life will have meaning and fulfillment, right? Don’t count on it.
Scripture tells us it doesn’t work. Solomon says that all the money he had, all the hours,
all the plans, all the years of study, and all the investments of time and energy made no
difference in the end. Without God at the center of his life, his life was empty and
meaningless.
Dennis Barnhart was the president of an aggressive company called Eagle Computers,
Inc. The company grew incredibly fast from its meager beginning. Barnhart became a
multi-millionaire on the day of his company’s public stock offering. While driving his red
Ferrari home that day, he lost control of the car, drove through 20 feet of guardrail into a
ravine and died.
The newspaper account of the accident read: Until about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon, it
had been the best of days for Barnhart and his thriving young company. Barnhart’s
ownership of 592,000 shares in his little company made him worth nine million dollars.
That same afternoon he died in an auto accident.
Wealth, ambition, hard word, fame, and status are all just shadows in this life. Like a
vapor they are all blown away. The only thing you can take from this life is your
relationship with God.
Some folks pursue the wind of pleasure. Solomon writes: “A man can do nothing better
than to eat and drink and find satisfaction … this too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ec
2:24, 26 NIV).
How could Solomon be so sure about this? He speaks from personal experience.
Earlier in chapter two, Solomon writes: “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused
my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my
labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Ec 2:10-11
NIV).
Many people would agree that if hard work isn’t the key to a meaningful life, then why
not sit back, relax, and enjoy the pleasures of life. The Epicureans of ancient Greece
lived by the motto “Eat, drink, and be merry.” The Greeks called it “eros” from which we
get our work “erotic.”
The hedonistic, Hugh Hefner philosophy of personal pleasure above all else is very
attractive to many people. But, in the end, does it work? That lifestyle is contrary to what
God wants from us, therefore, it can’t succeed. It, too, is just a chasing after the wind.
This brings us to the wind of wealth. What about all the things that money can buy to
make our lives meaningful and enjoyable? Solomon tried that, too. “I undertook great
projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted
all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought
male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more
herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and
the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well –
the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me” (Ec
2:4-9 NIV).
Sadly, all of this left Solomon empty. It was all meaningless. His boredom was beyond
description. He was like the man in the Gospel lesson. In the end, these things added
nothing to his soul.
To the lie that says, “If only I can earn enough, buy this or have that, I will be happy,”
Solomon says, “Don’t bother, it doesn’t work.” Have you ever known anyone who earns
enough, is beautiful enough, has clothes enough, has a house that is furnished enough,
has food that is fancy enough, has relationships that are satisfying enough, or a life that
is always full enough? Solomon says: “Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless” (Ec 5:10 NIV).
E. Stanley Jones, in his book Growing Spiritually, talks about a fictional character who
lived a fantasy life. All he had to do was think of it and – poof! – it happened! So the
man leans back and imagines a mansion and – Poof! – he has a 15 bedroom mansion
with servants to wait on his every need. But the place needed several fine cars, so
again he closes his eyes and – poof! – there they were.
He continues the same lifestyle with travel and fine foods and women and
entertainment. And yet, there was something missing. He wasn’t happy. Finally, he
grows so terribly bored and unchallenged that he whispers to one of his attendants, “I
really want to get out of this. I want to get my old life back again. I’d rather be in hell
than be here.” To which one of the servants replies quietly, “Sir, where do you think you
are?”
Living the life of this world, chasing the winds of self-fulfillment, is useless. There is
nothing on this earth that can fill the need in an empty soul. But God offers us a better
way. In spite of our selfish and sinful attempts to be our own answer, God graciously
gives us a new way of life. God goes beyond our horizontal direction of life and gives us
a vertical direction that points to our Savior.
In the final chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon points us to that vertical direction:
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years
approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” (Ec 12:1 NIV). This is an ultimate truth:
You cannot go through life without the Lord, because it simply doesn’t work.
Left to our own resources, life will be meaningless. It can be nothing else. True meaning
and direction can only be found in God. The only source for a meaningful life is Jesus
Christ.
When the human race decided to turn away from God and seek meaning on its own,
God didn’t turn away from us. When God had every right to let us suffer the
consequences of our own choices, he chose to come to us in the person of Jesus. He
came to take the punishment of our sins upon himself so we might see the path to real
life.
Jesus came to take away our horizontal direction; our lives of frustration and despair
and chasing after the wind. He came to save us from false hopes and false dreams;
from the lies of Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh.
When Jesus died and rose, he restored our vertical orientation; he restored our
relationship with our heavenly Father. Jesus opened the door to real life both in the here
and now and in the hereafter.
Neither you nor I will ever be able to catch the wind. We will never find true meaning
living the life of this world, and that’s okay, because God has given his Son so that we
might find our meaning in him.

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,  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 the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Brandon Barnard.

February 21, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

In the entry HUGH M. HEFNER, Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004,  are the following words:

Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner (born 1926), founder and publisher of Playboy magazine, helped usher in a new era of openness in American Culture.

The immediate success of the magazine prompted Hefner to establish a proper office and staff for the magazine, and as of the fourth issue the Playboy empire was officially under way. Hefner’s devotion to the magazine in its early years precipitated the breakup of his marriage: Hefner and his wife Millie were separated in 1957 and divorced in 1959. As he and his wife became increasingly estranged, Hefner and his associates began to embody the life-style about which they wrote, having almost weekly parties at the Playboy editorial offices. When the success of the magazine came to the attention of the mainstream public, Hefner was happy to portray himself as the playboy his magazine described. In 1959 he even hosted the television series “Playboy’s Penthouse,” a weekly talk show set in a bachelor pad, featuring plenty of the magazine’s “playmates” and celebrities such as comedian Lenny Bruce and singers Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole.

Pursuit of Pleasure

For Hefner, his magazine and image were responses to the new mood of the country. He felt that the puritan ethic was eroding and that the pursuit of pleasure and material gain was the way of life for many Americans. As Hefner has been quoted, “If you had to sum up the idea of Playboy, it is antipuritanism. Not just in regard to sex, but the whole range of play and pleasure.” For many the Playboy philosophy proved to be a welcome antidote from the repressive atmosphere of the 1950s. Over the years it has continued to have its followers, and Hefner’s small magazine for men has become an empire extending well beyond magazine publishing.

It may be ironic but on 2-14-16 our teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH Brandon Barnard named his sermon IS THERE VANITY IN PLEASURE? (Valentine’s Day!!!!).
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.
(Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below)
Here are just a few points from Brandon’s sermon today from Ecclesiastes chapter 2:
Solomon said to his heart PURSUE PLEASURE AND DON’T WITHHOLD ANYTHING. This passage talks about LAUGHTER, WINE, GARDENS, ART and all the things he consumed that would bring him pleasure and indeed they did bring pleasure to him for a season, but in the end it was all VANITY, EMPTINESS, and MEANINGLESS. 
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 The Message (MSG)

1-3 I said to myself, “Let’s go for it—experiment with pleasure, have a good time!” But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke.

What do I think of the fun-filled life? Insane! Inane!
    My verdict on the pursuit of happiness? Who needs it?
With the help of a bottle of wine
    and all the wisdom I could muster,
I tried my level best
    to penetrate the absurdity of life.
I wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do
    during the years we spend on this earth.

I Never Said No to Myself

4-8 Oh, I did great things:

    built houses,
    planted vineyards,
    designed gardens and parks
        and planted a variety of fruit trees in them,
    made pools of water
        to irrigate the groves of trees.
I bought slaves, male and female,
        who had children, giving me even more slaves;
    then I acquired large herds and flocks,
        larger than any before me in Jerusalem.
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!

I Hate Life

11 Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.

YOU AND I WERE HARDWIRED TO PURSUE OUR OWN PLEASURE. 
That is interesting because some people in the church feel a little bit guilty about this and they think that our lives should be only about suffering and surrendering when it comes to following Christ, but that statement shouldn’t take you by surprise. Solomon said he didn’t deny himself anything. 
People are looking for pleasure in their relationships and in food and in their cars, clothes, houses and travel. Pleasure is a gift from God. 
1 Corinthians 10:31English Standard Version (ESV)

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Whether it is beauty such as gardens or art or if it is sex in the confines of marriage, whether it is hobbies like golf or hunting. Yet if you make these things the point of life and the goal then ultimately it doesn’t lead to joy but to destruction. These are things that are meant to point us to the pleasure of knowing Christ. 

Blaise Pascal said, “All men seek happiness, this without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end.” 

Proverbs 14:13English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and the end of joy may be grief.

If pleasure doesn’t find it’s end in Christ then it will not ultimately satisfy. 

Saint Augustine observed, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” 

(Below is the young Augustine of Hippo)

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 19th 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. Today we looked at your quote “If you had to sum up the idea of Playboy, it is antipuritanism. Not just in regard to sex, but the whole range of play and pleasure.” Solomon tried your lifestyle and your ANTIPURITANISM and he concluded “I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.”

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The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 2)

I learned yesterday that Hugh Hefner had passed away. Just last year I visited Chicago and drove by his Chicago Playboy Mansion pictured below. ___   Playboy after dark filmed in Chicago Playboy Mansion   During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […]

HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 16) Letter from 2-14-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 16)

Image result for hugh hefner younger days

 

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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.

A Quest For Meaning  Series

Contributed by Jonathan Mcleod on Aug 16, 2010

[If you would like to receive a free sermon each week by email, please contact jonrmcleod@yahoo.com.]

LIFE UNDER THE SUN

I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind (1:14).

The Hebrew word for “vanity” is hebel. It literally means “vapor,” “breath,” or “wind.” In Ecclesiastes, hebel is used in a figurative sense.

Life “under the sun” (without God) is:

• FUTILE

Life is a treadmill.

• FRUSTRATING

Life is a chasing after wind.

• FLEETING

Life is a vapor.

What is crooked cannot be made straight (1:15).

We can’t fix life. We can’t change it.

SOLOMON’S QUEST FOR MEANING

How would you fill in the blank? “I’ll be happy when _________.”

Solomon was like Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, and Hugh Hefner all rolled into one. If anyone could find fulfillment from life under the sun, it would be Solomon. His search for meaning could be called “The Royal Experiment.”

King Solomon searched for meaning in the things we often put in that blank:

1. POWER

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem (1:12).

2. PLEASURE

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” (2:1-2).

3. ALCOHOL

I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life (2:3).

4. WORK

I made great works. I build houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees (2:4-6).

5. COMFORT

I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house (2:7a).

6. WEALTH

I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces (2:7b-8a).

7. MUSIC

I got singers, both men and women (2:8b).

8. SEX

And many concubines, the delight of the children of man (2:8c).

Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:1-3).

9. FAME (2:9)

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem (2:9).

What was Solomon’s conclusion at the end of his quest for meaning?

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 (2:11).

Two quotes from The Simpsons (not an endorsement of the show) demonstrate the vanity of life under the sun: (1) “The road to the Super Bowl is long … and pointless—I mean, when you really think about it.” (2) Homer Simpson says to Mr. Burns: “You’re the richest man I know.” Mr. Burns replies, “Yes, but I’d trade it all for 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, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  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.

 

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You will notice a quote below from Matt Chandler, and 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.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

 

In the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

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Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Brandon Barnard.

February 14, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Today is Valentine’s Day and I am writing you about the sermon we heard today at church because it was on a subject that you know so much about. In an interview with the Guardian there was this question about your guiltiest pleasure and you responded that it basically was your whole life. Q&A: Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner
Hugh Hefner: ‘My guiltiest pleasure? My life, probably.’ , Friday 20 November 2009

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My life, probably!

It may be ironic but today our teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH Brandon Barnard named his sermon IS THERE VANITY IN PLEASURE? (2-15-16, Valentine’s Day!!!!).
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.
I have made the comparison throughout this series of letters between you and King Solomon (the author of the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES).  I have noticed that many preachers who have delivered sermons on Ecclesiastes have also mentioned you as a modern day example of King Solomon especially because you both tried to find sexual satisfaction through the volume of women you could slept with in a lifetime.

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

Here are just a few points from Brandon’s sermon today from Ecclesiastes chapter 2:

The path of pleasure can be better than not having pleasure but if it doesn’t find its end in Jesus then it is meaningless and another dead end. 

ECCLESIASTES 2:1-11: 

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[a] I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[b] the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all wasvanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 14:13

Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and the end of joy may be grief.

In other words, if it doesn’t find it’s end in God then it will not ultimately satisfy. The WESTMINSTER CATECHISM states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” 

C.S. Lewis noted:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith.  Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.

Most believers spend their time trying to curb their desires. C.S.Lewis points out that desire for pleasure is not too strong but rather too weak.  This is what Solomon comes to realize at the end of his life and that is the vanity of pleasure is the vanity of pleasure if it ends in the pleasure itself,  if  it doesn’t make itself to God. But if the pleasure makes itself to God then it is everything to us. What is your desire for Christ right now because only He can truly satisfy. We need to pray for God to intensify the desire in our heart for pleasure and joy because real joy is found in Christ. 

THE QUESTION BECOMES: DO OUR PLEASURES TERMINATE IN THEMSELVES OR LEAD US TO PRAISE AND GLORIFY GOD? 

Matt Chandler observed:

For the unbeliever, he eats his fillet. He drinks his Cab, not out of a box, and then he makes love to his wife. He enjoyed all of that. For the believer, they eat that steak, and they’re like, “Man, God is amazing!” and it rolls past the steak. He drinks the Cab responsibly, and it rolls past the Cab. He enjoys his wife. She enjoys her husband, and it rolls past to the Giver of those gifts. It doesn’t terminate on the gift. It rolls past them.

The unbeliever can’t do that. An unbeliever will never cut into that fillet and go, “Man, God is good!” They’re not. They’re just going to be, “Hey, I love steak. I can pay for it. Awesome.” Right? The believer enjoys the gifts of God in a different way than an unbeliever, because we’re acknowledging where it came from. The pleasure rolls past the experience and into the giver. It doesn’t terminate on the experience itself. Worship is wrung out of the heart of a believer at a meal.

HUGH, I HAVE QUOTED FROM MATT CHANDLER’S SERMONS BEFORE TO YOU. TAKE A MOMENT AND LOOK AT THIS QUOTE FROM HIM AGAIN. Don’t you see that Solomon was right  when he observed life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and he then concluded  in Ecclesiastes 2:11

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. 

Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in 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.”

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 18th 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. Today we looked at your quote that indicated that your whole life had been about the issue of PLEASURE and then we looked at the VANITY OF PLEASURE without God in the picture.

C.S.Lewis

FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH LITTLE ROCK teaching pastor Brandon Barnard and his wife Julie

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Four Spiritual laws and the Roman Road

The Four Spiritual Laws

by Matt Slick

If you’ve gone through a discussion with someone and you want to present the gospel message in a simple and systematic way, the well-known, “Four Spiritual Laws,” can be of help. They are simple, to the point, and use Scripture to convict, convince, and convert. They are:

  1. God loves you:
    1. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
  2. Man is sinful and separated from God.
    1. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death,” (Rom. 6:23). “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,” (Isaiah 59:2).
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
    1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me,” (John 14:6). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (Rom. 5:8).
  4. We must individually receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.
    1. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:12). “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved,” (Rom. 10:9). “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God,” (Eph. 2:8).

The Roman Road

Another list of verses usable in the same way as the Four Spiritual Laws is the “Roman Road.” The advantage to these seven verses is that they are all in the Book of Romans. Sometimes this is an advantage when you don’t want to flip through a lot of pages.

  1. Rom. 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one . . . “
  2. Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  3. Rom. 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
  4. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. Rom. 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  6. Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  7. Rom. 10:13, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I recommend you put the Roman Road in your Bible. Go to Romans 3:10, underline it, and write Romans 3:23 next to it. Then go to Romans 3:28, underline it, and write Romans 5:12next to it, and so on. That way all you need to do is memorize where you start: Romans 3:10.

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 15)Letter from 1-24-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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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.

THE AMERICAN DREAM IS MEANINGLESS WITHOUT JESUS
ECCLESIASTES 2:1-26
FAIRVIEW CHURCH
February 8, 2015

*Wouldn’t all of this be great and make you happy?
*Achievements: I built houses (his 13 yrs & bigger than temple-1Kgs 7:1ff. & for his wives;7:8!)
-I could have a lake house, a beach house, etc. then I’d be happy
-He built whole cities (2 Chron 8:1-6), planted vineyards (Song of Songs), gardens, etc.
-The best of architecture and agriculture and engineering
-Your gardening hobby or Minecrafting pales in comparison to THIS!
-Literally he’s trying to create a new Garden of Eden/Paradise (Longman 90)
-He’s trying to get back to Eden, but doesn’t work in a fallen world
-Waited on hand and food by slaves (wouldn’t that be nice? Baker, maid, etc.)
-Lots of HERDS & FLOCKS more than any person in Jer before him
-Much $ from vassals (military fame) & his people (Silver common as stone; 2 Chr9:27)
-Loved the arts: had his own choir (Garrett 292)- like guy on Psych w/ Curt Smith
-A harem w/ Concubines – simply for purpose of sexual pleasure (meet his urges)
-So many on endless search for sexual pleasure/constant newness (Porn/50shades)
-Solomon could out locker room boast Wilt Chamberlain & Hugh Hefner
*He denied himself nothing. He had most success, best houses, possessions, lifestyle,
sophistication, finest wines/foods, nicest lawns, waited on hand & foot, more $ than we could
possibly imagine, military success, fame, popularity, entertainment, and as much sexual
pleasure as 1 could want – empty (all of it a violation of Deut 17)
-Point: he outdid anything we could ever do
-Wasn’t 1 fantasy he didn’t play out
-We think I just need more, and he says NO (what’s gonna make diff? 1001 women)
-Nothing brought meaning…if that’s true for him what hope do we have!
*So I did more than anyone before me…indulged in every desire & reward of my toil
-It was all of it was meaningless, chasing wind, nothing gained!
-When will you be happy? What would you put in the blank? Won’t work!
3
-Always need for more, bigger high, longer lasting pleasure
-I thought if I could just have the American Dream and have as much fun as possible
everything would be different, I’d be happy, but I’m not!
-It’s all fleeting (state championships fade, money goes, etc.)

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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, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  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 the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

and Brandon Barnard.

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Mark Henry.

_

January 24, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Last week I talked about you admitting that you were a workaholic during the formative years of building your magazine and that I got that quote from the article,  Playboy at 60: Hugh Hefner Looks Back,” You noted, I had been really consumed the first few years on the magazine.” 

Then I went on  to quote from our sermon last Sunday from Mark Henry who is one of the teaching pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH.

(Pictured below Pastor Mark Henry with his family)

Here is the 2nd part of that sermon below:

WORK BEGAN WITH GOD. GOD IS A WORKER. Jesus was a carpenter. He had a job too. 

GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE TO WORK AND BUILD A CULTURE THAT WOULD GLORIFY HIM. WE ARE WORKERS. Being made in God’s image also includes being designed to work, and we have that desire is in us. But in Genesis 3 because of our sin God’s beautiful design for accomplishing and doing comes to a bitter and untimely end. God cursed the ground so that creation continually wars against itself making all of our labor a frustrating toil. 

THERE IS NO WORK IN OUR LIVES THAT HAS NOT BEEN KISSED BY THE CURSE OF THE FALL. 

Ecclesiastes 2:18 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Vanity of Toil

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me,

WHAT MAKES OUR WORK TOIL IS THAT EVER SINCE THE FALL WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING TO OUR WORK TO GIVE US A SENSE OF IDENTITY. 
We believe we are what we do. Our work is a toil because we try and find our identity in our work rather than find our identity in Jesus. Why do you think there are so many workaholics? Workaholics have this obsessive desire to succeed and this comes out of the hope that maybe that some amount of work and accomplishment will bring meaning to their life. However, no amount of work can bring true satisfaction to our souls. No matter how much money we make there is always this sense that something is missing and there has to be more to life.
Solomon says if you think you can cheat this because you are saying that you are doing all this hard work for your kids, well that is vanity too!!!!!
Remember SOLOMON IS OLDER AND HE SEES THAT FINISH LINE OF DEATH QUICKLY APPROACHING and he has worked to build this massive empire and the question that haunts him is this: WHAT IF THE KID WHO INHERITS ALL MY STUFF IS AN IDIOT?”
Ecclesiastes 2:21 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Our works and achievements don’t truly last. In time what we have accomplished and gotten will be lost by the next generation because they didn’t earn it themselves. They don’t value it the same way. 

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There are two points that my pastor made that I want to directly personalize to you HUGH!!!!

1st point: HUGH, YOU LIKE SOLOMON ARE IN THE FINAL DAYS OF YOUR LIFE (YOU SEE THE FINISH LINE APPROACHING) AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AT SOLOMON’S FINAL CONCLUSION IN THE LAST TWO VERSES OF ECCLESIASTES:

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.

2nd point: HUGH, DON’T ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE YOUR BUSINESS LEGACY BY PASSING IT ON TO YOUR SON COOPER HEFNER!!!!!

Solomon points out that is like CHASING THE WIND to try and pass on your legacy to your son because he may be an idiot. (Someone like Cooper who is entering a marriage soon is certainly an idiot if he hopes to sustain a successful marriage in the Playboy environment).  A much wiser move would be to pass on these wise words of Solomon from Proverbs 5 to all our of your sons.

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.

Again, your business is built on the PLAYBOY PHILOSOPHY and that is hurtful to marriages such as your son Cooper will be entering into soon.

Why are these words in Proverbs 5 so wise? Adrian Rogers explains in his sermon“THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY,” :

Go back to chapter 5 and look if you will in verse 7 and 8: “Hear me now therefore, 0 ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh to the door of her house.”  Are you listening to me? 

This sin of immorality is not a sin we’re told to fight in the Bible.  It is a sin that we’re told to flee.  The Bible says, “Flee fornication.”  The Bible says, “Flee youthful lusts.” You just get out of that compromising situation.  If there is a person that works in the office where you work, and that person is flirting with you, and you feel that lust and that attraction, if you find something happening that’s ugly and impure in your heart, it would be better for you to quit than to stay in that office.  Just resign. You say, But my job!  Your purity! If you’re walking down the street, just go all the way around the block just to miss it.   That’s exactly what he’s saying here. 

Listen.  Listen.  “Remove thy way from her and come not nigh the door of her house.” Just get away! Don’t see how close you can come to the edge without falling over.  See how far that you can stay away. Flee fornication!  Flee fornication! I know what you young men feel.  I felt it.  When I was in college, well, know they say that what a man thinks about, he becomes.   I almost turned into a girl.  Man! It’s real! But I’ll tell you what, I had a motto on my desk.  And this is what it said.  I put it right on my desk where I studied.  “He who would not fall down, ought not to walk in slippery places.” Amen.   He who would not fall down, ought not to walk in slippery places.  The distance that we should keep! 

You don’t put all this garbage and this filth and this immorality and this nudity in your mind! Don’t go to those movies! Don’t read those magazines! Don’t watch that program! Don’t do it! Don’t do it.  “Can a man take a fire in his bosom and be not burned?  You’re not smarter than God! You’re not going to outsmart God.  And you put it in your mind, it’s going to come out in your life, “for out of the heart are the issues of life,” and we’re going to talk about that, and I’m going to be bringing a message on the poison of pornography before we get out of this series in the Book of Proverbs because the Proverbs have a lot to say about that.  God willing, I will do that. But notice here the distance that we should keep!

Now, the message is over, but let me just tell you one or two or three things.   Number one, if you’re not saved, you get saved.  Listen to me now.  Don’t put things off.  Just listen.  If you’re not saved, you get saved.  You’re not going to make it without Jesus in this sex-saturated society.   If you’re not saved, you get saved!

Francis Schaeffer rightly observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.” Even though wrote this wise words in Proverbs 5 he also fell into the trap of sleeping with many women. Don’t let your sons make the same mistakes that you have HUGH!!!

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 15th 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.

Hugh Hefner’s Son, Cooper Hefner, Engaged to Actress Scarlett Byrne

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Like father, like son: Playboy founder Hugh poses with his sons Cooper and Marston

_

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HUGH HEFNER WAS A MODERN DAY KING SOLOMON AND I TOLD HIM THAT OVER AND OVER (PART 14) Letter from 1-17-16 (Letters were inspired by the sermon series on ECCLESIASTES in 2016 at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock)

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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.

REMEMBERING GOD:THE KEY TO A PROFITABLE LIFE

The Futility of Pleasure Seeking

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

Jerry A Collins

SCC

6/16/02

 

¨ Can anything on the earth really satisfy us?

Is there a difference between satisfaction and fulfillment?

Does God expect us to enjoy ourselves?

This may be hard to swallow but if you have set your heart on getting and enjoying the good life, it’s not worth it! Don’t waste your time dreaming about it or pursuing it. The beer commercials have got it all wrong. The endless commentary about investing on wall street is exhausting. John Gotti just died this week in prison of throat cancer. Princess Di lost her life very young. Hugh Hefner is an old man. Mick Jaggar is now Sir Mick. Brittany Speers has another record. Scotty Bowman just retired. Tiger Woods is playing in another major golf tournament. All of these people and many others are people we would define as living the good life. We idolize drunkenness, investing, power, glamour, sex, popularity, sensuality, success or prestige as evidence of the good life. King Solomon tried to find fulfillment from the good life too. He conducted an experiment to discover if there is anything of this world, to satisfy and fulfill the heart of a person. Before you take another step in this direction, consider the lessons Solomon learned from his experiment and search into personal and pleasure and the good life! He announces the goal and conclusion of his experiment in vss 1-2. Then he describes the means by which he sought and found pleasure himself in vss 3-10. Finally he relates this pursuit to the ultimate value of his accomplishments in vs 11. He begins with his conclusion.

1. PLEASURE HAS LITTLE VALUE 1-2

That it, while it may have some temporary, immediate value like relieving boredom and grief, it does not produce anything permanently or ultimately worthwhile. First, he states in vs 1 that in his quest to find something worthwhile in life he experimented with pleasure. What can I do that will make me happy all of my life? So he said to himself enjoy yourself. And that is what he did. He spent weeks, months and years on this quest. He went after laughter, pleasure, possessions, prosperity, power, prestige and sex. The palace halls were denied nothing, his courtiers and guests had the time of their lives and bountiful feasts according to 1 Kings 4:22-23 each day included 30 measures of fine flour, 60 measures of meal, 10 fat oxen, 20 oxen from pastures, 100 sheep, in addition harts, roebucks, gazelles and fattened fowl. This daily menu is estimated to have been able to feed at least 10 thousand people. Second, he states the result of this expansive search is that it was futile and meaningless. (1) All the laughter he enjoyed in this pursuit he calls madness. Laughter associated with pleasure and the good life is empty. Frivolity is foolish because the laughter deals only with the peripherals of life. there is not solid content to it (Ecc 7:6). It’s useless and a waste of time. (2) Of pleasure he asks What does it accomplish vs 2? What does it contribute to life? It only consumes resources we have worked hard for. The question implies a negative answer. This is the conclusion. It is not the conclusion of our world. Satan wants us to believe that it is better to mortgage our future for the present. How did he pursue pleasure and what did he learn?

2. PURSUING PLEASURE ONLY DELIVERS TEMPORARY SATISFACTION 3-10

First we learn that this experiment was exhaustive. He explored, enlarged, built, planted, made, possessed, collected, provided, did not refuse and exerted himself. No stone was left unturned in this experiment.

Second, it was not a mindless drive into hedonism. Wisdom he says guided him in vss 3 & 9 throughout the endeavor. With deliberateness, not blindly or in uncontrolled excess, he indulged himself. He is testing the effects of pleasure seeking and frivolity to see if it is worthwhile. This is a calculated experiment. with a purpose. He wanted to find out for himself if the things of this world can fill and empty heart vs 3. Life is short and how can we find satisfaction in that short span?

Third, he indulged himself in a variety of things. (1) He stimulated his body with wine v 3. He cheered himself with wine and he embraced folly or a foolish and frivolous lifestyle possibly associated with his wine drinking. Every Coors beer commercial is an example of this. It provides momentary satisfaction until the next weekend. (2) The good life included projects, parks and pools vss4-6. He tried his hand at architecture. His own house took 14 years to build and the Temple 7 years. He built houses for his wives. he engaged in agriculture developing luxuriant gardens and parks planted with orchards, filled with trees. He developed irrigation to provide for all of the landscaping. Building and landscaping provide momentary pleasure but then there are always things to fix, weeds to pull and new endeavors to grab our attention. (3) The good life included ownership and wealth 7-8. He had servants to wait on his every whim. He had ranches to provide diversion and investment in the raising of herds, flocks and livestock. He had bank accounts that provided him with all the money he would ever need. So great was Solomon’s fortune that silver and gold were regarded in Jerusalem as stones 1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chr 1:15. His annual income was over one million dollars in purchasing power. In fact he owned whatever he looked on and his look went everywhere. If it promised a fleeting moment of pleasure he tried it and he bought it. (4) The good life included entertainment and sex 8b-10. He hired his own private orchestra to soothe and entertain him on demand vs 8b. He also accumulated numbers of concubines, playmates all over the palace and in his harem to satisfy his sexual desires. Whatever caught his eye vs 10 he indulged in. If he saw a beautiful woman he added her to his harem. A fine thorobred to his stables. A newer model chariot he bought it. He indulged himself in every way and in everything. And he found pleasure in all of this and that alone was his reward. A momentary enjoyment that faded and passed until the next pleasure fix.

3. THE PURSUIT OF PLEASURE IS FUTILE 11

After a close evaluation of this lifestyle and pursuit, though some satisfaction was gained, the real value of what was accomplished was (1) vanity (empty) (2) striving after wind (meaningless) (3) no profit in life (ultimately profitless). We may never have the opportunity fame like this. we may never be a king or have stardom or offered a million dollar signing bonus. But there are lessons here for us.

(1) We can learn from the failure of others while we listen to the wisdom of God’s Word. The good life is really not so good. There is no ultimate profit in it. God says you had your reward I have none to give you. We have to take this by faith.

(2) Achieving, having, experiencing will not deliver significance and worth. That is only find in Christ ritely related to God.

(3) Absolutely nothing this side of grave can fill emptiness deliver full satisfaction.

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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, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  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.

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In the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

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and Brandon Barnard.

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Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Mark Henry.

 

January 17, 2016

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

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I recently read the article, “Playboy at 60: Hugh Hefner Looks Back,” The legendary publisher looks back on the first 25 years of his culture-changing creation by Scott Huver, and it started off with these words:

Looking back over his 87 years – 60 of which have been defined by his creation, Playboy – Hugh Hefner admits it took being a workaholic during his media empire’s formative years to transform him into an icon of sexual liberation and sophisticated indulgence.

I had been really consumed the first few years on the magazine – I had this phenomenal success on my hands,” Hefner remembers. “And I didn’t want to miss the party that I had created.”

You probably remember that last Sunday I wrote you about the sermon I heard at church from our series on the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today’s letter basically comes from this same sermon series because this week’s message from FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH dealt with the issue of work and what King Solomon had to say about it.

(Mark Henry pictured below)

Our teaching pastor Mark Henry in his sermon THE MIRROR OF WORK observed:

When you stare into the mirror of your work then you may ask “I AM SUCCESSFUL THEN WHY AM NOT HAPPY?” Many at the worship service today are very successful but do they still have this gnawing sense of emptiness and lack of satisfaction?  

The main character in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES is King Solomon who is outside of Jesus the wisest man in the Bible. This is a guy who amassed an incredible amount of wealth and power throughout his life and that set him on a journey in search of pleasure and happiness in the maze of life. What he discovered as he went down all of these different paths in search of pleasure and happiness in the maze of life, what he realized is THERE ALL ARE DEAD ENDS {IN LIFE UNDER THE SUN.} They just simply can not satisfy.

The simple message Solomon keeps bringing us back to is “JESUS IS BETTER THAN…”   Anything else we try to fill our lives up with is just going to be less than and that includes our work. 

Ecclesiastes 2:18-26English Standard Version (ESV) 

The Vanity of Toil

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment[a] in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him[b] who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

Solomon is not just talking about our jobs. He is also talking about everything we do in life which includes building a family, parenting kids, pursuing relationships, working on our communities and his  conclusion is that it is all vain toil. What Solomon is doing here is giving us a view of work UNDER THE SUN. It is a view where you see work as frustrating, hard and aggravating.  

Solomon is sitting back and looking at his whole life’s work UNDER THE SUN and he is saying it is just vanity. Ecclesiastes 2:23 “For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.” In other words, our hearts can’t rest because we still haven’t found what we are looking for. We got a six figure salary and it is still not enough. A hundred promotions later we still will be hungry for more. We never achieve a lasting identity.

Your accomplishments will never answer your deepest questions. WHO AM I? WHY AM I HERE? DO I MATTER? AM I SIGNIFICANT?  Solomon is saying you will not find those answers on the back of your paycheck.

Madonna in an interview with VOGUE noted: 

“And all of my will has always been to conquer some horrible feeling of inadequacy. I’m always struggling with that fear. I push past one spell of it and discover myself as a special human being and then I get to another stage and think I’m mediocre and uninteresting. And I find a way to get myself out of that. Again and again. My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. And that’s always pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become Somebody. I still have to prove that Somebody. My struggle has never ended and it probably never will.”

The need to achieve that Madonna talks about is very common unfortunately in our hearts but in Jesus there is a way out of this performance driven cycle. In Jesus you are here because a loving God created you with his own hands for his glory and your joy. The point of life is knowing God and resting in his perfect love for you. The more we see life from ABOVE THE SUN the more we see that we don’t have to try and get our identity from our work because we already have one [in Christ.]

___

HUGH you have tried looking at life UNDER THE SUN but shouldn’t you now take time to take a long look at the possibility of life ABOVE THE SUN?

Image result for francis schaeffer

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 non-reason 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 and Dr. C. Everett Koop concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #95)

Two things should be mentioned about the time of Moses in Old Testament history.

The form of the covenant made at Sinai has remarkable parallels with the covenant forms of other people at that time. (On covenants and parties to a treaty, the Louvre; and Treaty Tablet from Boghaz Koi (i.e., Hittite) in Turkey, Museum of Archaeology in Istanbul.) The covenant form at Sinai resembles just as the forms of letter writings of the first century after Christ (the types of introductions and greetings) are reflected in the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, it is not surprising to find the covenant form of the second millennium before Christ reflected in what occurred at Mount Sinai. God has always spoken to people within the culture of their time, which does not mean that God’s communication is limited by that culture. It is God’s communication but within the forms appropriate to the time.

The Pentateuch tells us that Moses led the Israelites up the east side of the Dead Sea after their long stay in the desert. There they encountered the hostile kingdom of Moab. We have firsthand evidence for the existence of this kingdom of Moab–contrary to what has been said by critical scholars who have denied the existence of Moab at this time. It can be found in a war scene from a temple at Luxor (Al Uqsor). This commemorates a victory by Ramses II over the Moabite nation at Batora (Luxor Temple, Egypt).

Also the definite presence of the Israelites in west Palestine (Canaan) no later than the end of the thirteenth century B.C. is attested by a victory stela of Pharaoh Merenptah (son and successor of Ramses II) to commemorate his victory over Libya (Israel Stela, Cairo Museum, no. 34025). In it he mentions his previous success in Canaan against Aschalon, Gize, Yenom, and Israel; hence there can be no doubt the nation of Israel was in existence at the latest by this time of approximately 1220 B.C. This is not to say it could not have been earlier, but it cannot be later than this date.

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 14th 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. In this letter I also quoted your good friend Madonna. A little tidbit about Madonna and her former husband Guy Ritchie. They ran around with Prince William and Prince Harry quite often. Just recently in my old hometown of Memphis a girl by the name of Lizzy Wilson was married to the royals’ good friend Guy Pelly and they all came to Memphis for the wedding. Back in the 1980’s I used to get to visit at Hardware Shows with Lizzy’s grandfather Kemmons Wilson who was a founder of HOLIDAY INNS. Actually a relative of mine still works for the Wilson family trust and could have attended the wedding if he had chose to but he was not into royal watching.

Hugh Hefner getting to grips with Madonna at the launch party for the Music album in 2000.

Britain's Prince William, and Prince Harry, follow groom Thomas van Straubenzee

Big day: Prince William and Harry and Guy Pelly attending friend Thomas-van-Straubenzee’s wedding

Royals down South! Prince William and Prince Harry traveled to Memphis, Tenn. the weekend of May 2 for friend Guy Pelly‘s wedding to Lizzy Wilson.

Guy Pelly and Elizabeth Wilson arrive for their wedding rehearsal dinner at the Rendezvous BBQ restaurant

Wearing a country-style checkered shirt, William arrives for dinner with his entourage
 

Wearing a country-style checkered shirt, William arrives for dinner with his entourage in Memphis

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(Below: The handsome prince arrived at Rendezvous restaurant for a rehearsal dinner)

Wild about Harry: The handsome prince arrived at Rendezvous restaurant for a rehearsal dinner after flying into town from Miami, where he hung our in South Beach

 

_________

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