Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why a new blog?

If you're reading this post, then congratulations, you've successfully navigated over to my new blog site! I'm sorry for the inconvenience in switching. Change is always easier said than done.

My new web address is a bit easier to remember (http://stephen-jones.blogspot.com). But the title of my blog was the main reason for switching. I've always wanted a title that was a bit "catchier" than The Desert Chronicle. Finally, I decided on "Life Under the Sun." I think it fits exactly what this blog is all about.

The phrase "under the sun" comes from Ecclesiastes. Solomon uses it a total of 29 times in his book. It is a major theme and first appears in his opening question, "What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?" (Eccl. 1:3). Here are my two favorite occurrences of the phrase:

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.

What does the expression "under the sun" mean?
"This phrase (also translated as 'under heaven' in Eccl. 1:13; 2:3; 3:1) describes life lived here on this earth, as God has been pleased to place us. In these two verses (Eccl. 1:2, 3), the Preacher has established one of his principal ideas: Life may seem pointless because it is quickly passing. It is the burden of the rest of his book to help the assembly of the wise understand how to truly value life because it does indeed pass so very quickly." (Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary).

"This phrase is synonymous with 'under heaven' and 'on earth.' Paul’s equivalent is 'this present evil age' (Gal. 1:4). The energies poured into earthly kingdoms are often of no value to the kingdom of heaven (Mark 8:36). By contrast, the work of the Lord is not in vain (John 6:27–29; 1 Cor. 15:58)" (Reformation Study Bible).
And that's really what this blog is all about - the pain and pleasure of following Christ on this earth. The complexities of life and leadership, where God has been pleased to place us. This is not merely a chronicle of events by a desert-dwelling pastor, but a quest to love God, love people, and find meaning in this quickly-passing life "under the sun."

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