Saturday, November 13, 2010

birthday surprise! It's Arlene.

Hi beloved friends. Are you in for a treat this post. You are about to read from one of the coolest, most amazing and overall, phenomenal people I know. As Paul was to Timothy, Arlene has been to me. I can't even begin to describe her without coming short. Hanging out with Arlene is like hanging out with one of the Disciples- she is that close to Jesus! Anywho, here is the post that she prayed about and received from the Lord to share with you:


Arlene Hoffman, Seeker
Women At The Well Ministries, Inc
Ecclesiastes 3:1-16

I have always thought of myself as a 'reflector'. My definition of a reflector is one who plunges aggressively into any experience that's worth the investment of time and brain-energy after the actual experience has long gone. Well, that's me. I love to savor great experiences in my self-designed afterglow. My most recent investment has been reflecting on seasons. Not seasons marked by changes in weather, ecology or the revolution of the earth around the sun; but human-life seasons. The kinds of seasons that make us stop and pay attention. For the most part, these seasons require no input in their presentations, but they do demand appropriate responses and recognition as to their purpose in our lives. 2010 for me, ushered one of those 'stop and pay attention seasons' so I went into the book of Ecclesiastes to glean wisdom from King Solomon's brilliant though unstructured thesis of 'Life as man experiences it'.

My particular focus has been on Ecclesiastes 3:1-16. Solomon the Teacher parallels time and eternity in a great divide. He points out the inevitable contrasts in our lives, which are orchestrated by God and he admonishes his readers to accept the reality and inevitability of the seasons of our lives.

In verse 1, he reminds the reader that to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. And for the next seven (7) verses he makes synonymous parallels with contrasts and comparisons that would incite interest even in a mildewed brain. And then from verses 9-16, he brilliantly summarizes God's purpose from beginning to end; and emphasized the fact that God has put a sense of past and future into the hearts of man, thus awakening us to the reality of eternity.

As members of the Body of Christ, it is our responsibility to apply the principle of God's word to our lives and to assess with wisdom and understanding, the inevitable contrasts in our life experiences. Our responsibility involves accepting the things we cannot change and being careful to recognize the things we can change. I exercised my own responsibility by defining each verse of the Teacher's 7-Point sermon on the Cycles of Life and Nature in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. I am using these points as the measuring line in my own life, and it's helping me find pleasure in my 'new season experiences' instead of entertaining unnecessary attitude sessions regarding the things that are out of my control.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
There is a season, A Time for every purpose under heaven
  • A time to be born - 'A time to birth new ideas'
  • And a time to die - 'So you can be Born-again'
  • A time to plant - 'To make wise investment'
  • And a time to pluck what is planted - 'Time to harvest'
  • A time to kill - 'Not people but bad habits, which destroys life'
  • And a time to heal - 'Heal wounds caused from scarring'
  • A time to break down -'Things that are no longer relevant'
  • And a time to build up - 'A mismanaged life'
  • A Time to weep - 'To wash away discouragement'
  • And a time to laugh - 'To encourage oneself with joy'
  • A time to mourn - 'To grieve the untimely removal of things that matter'
  • And a time to dance - 'To embrace the gift of life and opportunity'
  • A time to cast away stones - 'To pass out good ideas and advice'
  • And a time to gather stones - 'To receive good ideas and advice'
  • A time to embrace - 'Reach out to someone in need'
  • And a time to refrain from embracing - 'To set boundaries with wisdom'
  • A time to gain - 'Wisdom and understanding'
  • And a time to lose - 'Things that are no longer useful'
  • A time to keep - 'Things that are life supporting'
  • And a time to throw away - 'That which is life cluttering'
  • A time to tear -'To separate good from bad'
  • And a time sew - 'To repair broken positive relationships'
  • A time to keep silence - 'In order to hear and listen to God'
  • And a time to speak - 'To be bold in your Christian witness'
  • A time to love - 'Life'
  • And a time to hate -'Things that destroy life'
  • A time of war - 'To battle against the enemy of your soul'
  • A time of peace - 'With God - yourself - and others'

In Reflection:
Everything is appropriate in its own time. But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so man cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. Whatever God does is final - nothing can be added or taken from it; God's purpose in this is that man should fear the all-powerful God in all the seasons of our lives.

*I told she was good! lol 


Amber Noella said...

So incredible! I'm really glad I read this.

Susana Perez said...

Loved it! Her ever present wisdom & wit are a treat to the weary traveler. May we continue our journey holding on ever tighter to our Maker :)

Stephanie Landa said...

Amen!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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