Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is Life Worth Living? A Look At Ecclesiastes

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

The book of Ecclesiastes is one of three books written by the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon. He was gifted by God with great wisdom. By reading this book we have the rare opportunity to, sort of, “sit” under his teaching and learn, first hand, from his Godly wisdom.

Solomon examines the question, “Is life worth living? I think we all have asked this question sometime in our lives. In the beginning of the book, Solomon gave 4 arguments as to why life was not worth living. It was vanity. Life, under the sun (physical life without God in the picture) is monotonous, there is vanity in wisdom, wealth is futile, and death is certain for everyone and all living creatures. Then he reviewed these same arguments, putting God into the picture and found that life is worth living, after all: Instead of a monotonous life, it was adventurous, filled with unexpected challenges, occurring each in their own time and purpose. It was a gift from God and being able to enjoy it was also a gift. Even though man’s wisdom could not explain everything, it was better to follow God’s wisdom than to practice the folly of men, because He has everything in His control. Wealth could also have a purpose for the good of others and could be enjoyed to God’s glory. And, knowing that death is certain for all should motivate us to live life to the fullest and make the most of each day we have.

Solomon’s final conclusion at the end of the book is key to living life to the fullest. He admonishes us to fear God and follow His commandments.

When you bring in the good news of the gospel, life becomes even more meaningful, and it is worth living. If you know Jesus Christ as your savior, you can be satisfied, no matter what circumstances come your way, because “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” 1 John 5:12

God has given us His wisdom, His Word, to follow in our daily walk with Him. This earth is not our home, but we have an eternal home in heaven where all the labor we have done on earth is not in vain in the Lord. (I Cor.15:57-58) We need not fear death because Jesus Christ has conquered death (Rev. 1:17-18). And because He lives, we know that we shall live with Him.

Photograph: Janis sitting at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.
Thoughts taken from the book: "Be Satisfied" by Warren W. Wiersbe
and Dr. Peter Colon's (my husband) class lectures on Ecclesiastes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Proverbs – God’s Wisdom Book

Proverbs 1:7- “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

While driving, I obey the rules very well, but when I know there is someone in authority, like a policeman, watching me, I tend make an extra effort to stay way within the speed limit. It’s the same feeling, but much more when speaking about the fear of the Lord. Just knowing that God is there; that He is the creator, is ever watchful and we will someday have to answer to Him for our lives, should cause us to respect Him for who He is and want to please Him. By studying His word, we can learn how. The Book of Proverbs gives us a good basis to follow.

Proverbs is a Godly wisdom book. We are to use it as a guidepost for our lives. It helps us to follow a wise way to live the Christian life and be a testimony of God’s work in us. It also helps us to make wise choices in our moral life, our relationships and with our responsibilities. The proverbs in this book are not to be used as incantations for selfish gain, but rather as principles for skillful living so that in due course, it will be well with us. It gives us God’s wisdom to maneuver through life’s difficulties and challenges that are ever present.

It isn’t important enough to have knowledge and a good education, it’s more important to have the wisdom to be able to use that education. Computers have an abundance of information but only us humans have the ability to have the wisdom to use that information for good.

Eph 5:15-17 says, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” As a follower of Christ we are to walk soberly, knowing that God is there. Proverbs helps us to know how to do that.

A “must read” book to understand the book of Proverbs is: “Be Skillful,

Tapping God’s Guidebook to Fulfillment”, by Warren W. Wiersbe

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stepping Out Into the Unknown

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you .When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;..." Isaiah 43:2-3a

We took our little granddaughter to the beach for the first time a couple months ago. Her mom dressed her in a cute pink poka dot swimsuit and covered her head to toe in sunscreen and topped her off with a pretty white hat. She loved it! The water was perfect for a baby- it was calm and at low tide. When she got close, she went straight in to check it out. I tried to imagine what she might have felt as she looked out at the large unending ocean in front of her with brand new eyes. Unknown. Ever moving. Scary. Yet, pretty. Unaware of the dangers, she took that step of faith and found it to be refreshing! She sat down and splashed, picked up sand and threw it back in. What fun! But, we were close behind, watching her every move and ready to step in to help her if she needed it.

As we venture into unknown territories: a new job, moving to new places, graduation, college, decisions on many different things. If you have a relationship with the Lord Jesus and He is your heavenly Father, remember that He is always with you– ready to listen and answer your prayers and help you along. You are not alone. Therefore, sit down, splash, have fun and keep trusting!

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Note: Picture is an oil painting of my granddaughter that I painted for my Daughter's Birthday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some Things Need To Be Remembered-Lest We Forget

That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever. Joshua 4:6-7

On a long trip through Georgia, we stopped just south of Macon to visit Robbins Air Force Base Museum of Aviation. It was founded by one of the original members of the Flying Tigers of 1941, Robert Scott. He later wrote a book, "God is My Co-Pilot".

(Peter's favorite group- The Flying Tigers!)

As we walked through and viewed all the different cool planes and displays, Peter and his Dad were excitedly talking up history, like there was no tomorrow. They would make great guides! If they lived closer, they’d definitely be volunteers at the place!

(One of the displays - WWII Pilots getting their flight schedules)

(The Douglas C-124 GlobemasterII - Can you find me in the picture above?)

Peter’s dad, at age 18, was an Air Force crew member on a Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, during the Korean War. This was a huge military air transporter! The sight of it brought up many memories for him.
As we stood in front of this massive plane, Dad shared what his job was and then mentioned, for the first time, that much of the cargo was the remains of the fallen soldiers from the conflict. It was a sobering thought.

Because we took the time to visit, I gained a greater sense of pride, respect and adoration for my father-in-law, my country and the men and women who serve, then and now, in the armed forces. That’s what memorials are for. Without them, we would soon forget.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Special Menu - Passover’s Three Original Elements

“Then they shall eat the flesh (lamb) on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” Exodus 12:8

Did you ever have folks over for dinner and couldn’t decide what to prepare for them? Well, at the first Passover, God told the Israelites to prepare a special meal that would not only nourish them, but will also save the first-born in the home. It was the last meal they would eat as slaves in Egypt. On the plate, that evening, were 3 specific things. Each item had a historical, prophetic and Messianic picture. Did the picture become clear during the life and passion of Jesus in the 1st Century?


Historically: This was a sacrifice each family had to make. The first-born in each house was under the judgment of death. The lamb’s life was substituted for the first-born. The blood of the lamb had to be splashed on the 2 doorposts and on the upper mantle of the door. When the angel of death saw the blood, he passed over the house and left the first-born unharmed. Any home that did not have this sacrifice resulted in death for the first born of that house.

Prophetically: This gave a picture of what the Messiah would be…”A SACRIFICE LAMB” (Isaiah 53:6)

Messianically: It was the role of the priests to select the lambs to be offered to God. A Priest by the name of Johanann Ben Zechariah (John the Baptizer) said, as he saw Jesus coming to him to be baptized, ”…Behold! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)


Historically: The people were redeemed from Egypt by the swift hand of God. They had to be ready to leave quickly. They didn’t have time for the bread dough to rise. Furthermore, leaven is a picture of the effects of sin in the Bible.

Prophetically: It is a picture of what Messiah would be like… “A SINLESS LAMB.”

Messianically: It was also the role of the priests to inspect all the lambs for sacrifice. The Chief Priests challenged Jesus’ Authority; the Pharisees & the Herodians questioned his Allegiance, the Sadducees tested his Doctrine and an expert in religious law questioned his Devotion (Matthew 21 & 22). Little did they realize, that in their pursuit to have Jesus incriminate himself, they actually inspected THE LAMB and … found no fault in him.


Historically: Life under Egyptian slavery was very bitter, with much suffering and very harsh treatment.

Prophetically: This is a picture of what the Messiah would become… “A SUFFERING LAMB.”

Messianically: It was the role of the priests and the people to slaughter their lambs.

Jesus was crucified at 9 am. While on the cross, at 12 noon, he hears the shofar blown, signaling the start to slaughter the lambs at the Temple. He also hears the people and the priests sing Psalms 113 through 118. At 3 pm the last line of the Psalms was song, “for his mercy endureth forever.” (Psalm 118:29) Jesus cries out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) and dies. He is quickly buried in the tomb. Three days later, He is resurrected!

This special menu has a much deeper significance when it’s seasoned with the Life of Christ. The picture becomes focused. It fits together! Jesus was the sinless, sacrificial, suffering Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. We all have sinned and are under the judgment of death. The sacrifice has been made for you. Have you accepted Jesus to be YOUR “LAMB”?

Note: I used a portion from a handout sheet called, “Passover in the upper room with Yeshua” by Peter Colon for the main points.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Children's Book- Seth and the Mystery of the Passover Lamb

Just in time for Passover and Resurrection Sunday Season!

Seth and the Mystery of the Passover Lamb is a cute children's book that weaves together the Feast of Passover and Christianity, showing how the two are intended to fit together in God's perfect plan. As a Jewish Christian, 11 year old Seth never really understood his Jewish roots until a trip to Florida where he participates in a Passover Seder with his grandparents. Join Seth and his cousins Ruthie and Dave as they end up in the middle of a crazy mix-up that finally solves the mystery of the real Passover Lamb, Jesus the Messiah.
Written by Bonnie Rosenthal Pearson, a Jewish believer who along with her husband, Dan, work in Jewish ministries. She has written for magazines and is a speaker, musician and dramatist available to minister to both adults and children.
Illustrated by, yours truly - Janis Lee Colon

I had fun doing the illustrations/sketches for some of the fun scenes in this book. Some kids in my neighborhood helped me by coming over and posing for me.
We should have the book soon in early March! And you can buy it from me, on my Book Store page!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I've Got Shoes!

Some boots I found on a porch in North Florida!

Just after this last Christmas, my husband- sort of in jest, asked me, “So what did you get for Christmas?” I replied, “I got shoes!” Just then, I was reminded of an old song that I haven’t thought about in over 34 years! It took me a while to recall all of it. It was an old southern spiritual called, “Gonna Shout All Over God’s Heaven”. We used to sing it a lot at our weekly youth group, called “Ranch”. One of the verses goes like this…

"I’ve got shoes, you’ve got shoes

All of God’s children got shoes!

When I get to Heaven goin’ to put on my shoes

Goin’ to walk all over God’s Heaven - Heaven!"

I was so excited about remembering this song, that I decided to do a little study on shoes (sandals) in the Bible. There were many references. These are my favorite pairs.

Dirty Shoes -Take off your shoes, when meeting with God: God appeared to Moses through a Burning Bush in the desert and said to him,
“…Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

As we walk along outside, our shoes are getting real dirty, picking up all sorts of dirt, germs and grime. So it is with our lives as we are exposed to the world, through the media, books and people, our minds are picking up all kinds of negative things. When we meet with God at Church or in our devotions, we should first, “take off our shoes” – confess our sins and come clean in our spirit in order to hear and receive what He has for us.

Durable Sandals! -
“And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet.” Deuteronomy 29:5

God took care of the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the desert! Their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out!
Are your circumstances looking pretty bad? Remember that the Lord promises to take of us.

Confirmation Sandal – Boaz negotiated with the next of kin for Ruth’s inheritance and marriage:
-“Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel. Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, 'Buy it for yourself.' So he took off his sandal.” Ruth 4:7-8

Sandals, back in Old Testament times, were probably one of a kind, a personal, treasured possession, not mass produced like today. The simple act of giving your sandal to another in front of witnesses settled and confirmed an agreement between the two people. The owner of the shoe went home half bare foot and would remember the agreement every time he wanted to wear the shoes – but couldn’t because one was missing! Wouldn’t that be nice to have today? Don’t have to go through all the “red tape” and hire lawyers!

Untouchable Sandals – John the Baptist said of Jesus,
“…’I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.’” Luke 3:16

Why was John the Baptist, or anyone else not worthy? Because, it was the Sandal of the Son of God!

Love Shoes: a gift-
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.” Luke 15:23

The protocol son lost all of his inheritance and came back to his father with nothing – naked. The father loved him so much that right away, took him in, clothed him and gave him shoes. This is a great picture of God’s love for us!

Gospel Shoes -part of the Armor of the Lord:
“… shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” Ephesians 6:15
The Roman soldier was in Paul’s mind when he wrote about the Christian armor that we should wear everyday. The soldier’s sandal had hob nails on the soles to give them more traction and stability to walk on rough terrain. They left prints in the dirt wherever they were at. We should be taking the gospel of peace out into the world and leave an imprint of God’s love and mercy to all who it touches.

Heavenly Shoes: The Bible doesn’t say if we will have shoes in heaven, but it does describe what kind of streets will be there…

“The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.” Revelation 21:21

Heaven will have streets of pure gold. Although shoes like my granddaughters’, pictured above, would be really cool, I would like to think that our shoes up there would be pure white – like comfortable cushy slippers – Because, after all, we will be HOME!