Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Life Stinks...And Then You Die by Bob Hostetler

If you've lived very long you know life is not all fun and games. Life can be good, but it can also be full of heartbreak.

Hostetler believes the book of Ecclesiastes can change your life. You know, that book in the Bible we all shy away from – the book that is unrelentingly realistic and asks hard questions.

He goes through the book, chapter by chapter and finds advice for life. Here are a few of his observations: Live life with brutal honesty. Trust God with your honest feelings. Don't pursue pleasure and prosperity. Don't lose yourself in your work. Please God. Don't let injustice overwhelm you. Don't let popularity deceive you. Money can't buy happiness. You don't know everything. Live life with the end in mind.

Hostetler gleans practical wisdom from Ecclesiastes. For example, regarding knowledge and wisdom, he suggests:
Seek God wholeheartedly
Ask God for wisdom
Follow godly counsel
Study to acquire wisdom
Hang out with wise people

I really like his humor. Here is one of his chapter titles: Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates: It Can Be Sweet, But It Can Make You Sick, Too.

Hostetler concludes each chapter with a prayer to help apply and internalize the chapter content. There is also an extensive, twenty page, Group Study Guide at the back of the book. This would be a great book for personal or group study.

While this book would be useful for any age, I think career age people would benefit from it the most. Hostetler uses lots of examples from television programs and movies I've never seen. Young people may go to more movies and watch more television than I.

I have to admit, I have avoided reading and studying Ecclesiastes. I've always considered it perplexing. Now I see it offers a new perspective and a plan for living life well, despite all that's wrong with the world and us.

Bob Hostetler is a writer, editor, and speaker from southwestern Ohio. He has written thirty-two books and has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award. He is a co-founder of Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford.

Leafwood Publishers, 240 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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