The evangelist began, “Okay folks, tonight I want you to tell the Holy Spirit something! I want you to say, ‘Yeeessss!’” (pronounced with three syllables).
But instead of translating the passionate “Yeeessss!” the interpreter flatly translated, “Da.” And when the evangelist hollered, “Now, give God a hand!” the interpreter translated the words literally—and the audience stared at one another in confusion. (“Give Him what?”)
The words were translated, sure, but their meaning failed to connect.
Jesus, on the other hand, was a perfect translator. Here’s how.
The songs play it. The movies portray it. Even our church services have their part to play. “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Yeah, well what if it isn’t? For many people, holidays bring up painful memories.
Sore spots from childhood or the loss of loved ones hit hard during this sentimental season. While many people celebrate the joys of Christmastime, others suffer lonely holidays.
During one of the most desperate times of King David’s life, the anointed future king of Israel found himself running from two separate enemies—hardly a time to celebrate. With the Philistines to the west and King Saul to the east, a distressed David sought refuge in the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1–2).
David felt very alone.
His situation offers encouragement to us during lonely holidays.
Gold jewelry set with opals and diamonds sat alongside bowls, oil lamps and other imitation artifacts. Olivewood statues filled the interior of the large establishment, coloring the whole room light brown.
Name any biblical character or animal, and there was an olivewood statue for you! Favorites included:
Samson pushing the pillars.
David slaying Goliath.
And, of course, Nativity scenes of every shape, size and price—from a few bucks to a few thousand.
And the tourists fell upon the plunder.
One wooden figurine caught my eye, a bust of Elvis Presley, and I had to grin. Elvis in Israel? I called over the owner, a proprietor who can smell a tour bus a mile away, and asked him my question.
He corrected me and told me who it really was.
If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.
In a section of the book where he lists his regrets, he wrote:
I would do many things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more. —Billy Graham
When I was young in the ministry, I resisted furthering my training. After all, I already had a ministry position. So why would I pursue more education and training? I’m done, I thought. Better to get busy making a difference.
Then one verse in the Bible hit me square between the eyes.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the LORD surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.
—Psalm 125:2 NKJV
This video by my friend, Dr. Charlie Dyer, affirms what I have experienced many times. Traveling to Israel is safe.
I know, I know . . . I watch the news as well. But think about it: if all we knew about America came from what we learned on the news, we would have a very distorted perspective.
Think of a large city near you. For me, it’s Dallas. There are parts of Dallas I don’t go to. And yet, I travel to Dallas often, just as I have thousands of times. I’ve even lived there! Going is no problem if you know where to go—and where not to go.
I have known and worked with Israel tour operators for more than 12 years. They have as their top priority your comfort and safety throughout your journey. Believe me, it is in the best interest of the travel company that you are safe! And you will be.
I have traveled to Israel 9 times in the last 14 years, and I have never felt unsafe. Not once.