Rephidim—How to Win the Battle You Face Today

You wake up to it each morning. It follows you as you go through your day. It’s waiting for you in every room and conversation. Your battle cleverly disguises itself in many forms.

Rephidim—How to Win the Battle You Face Today

(Photo by Photodune)

Your battle appears as a person, or as money, or as a tense situation at the office.

But the reality is that the battle you face each day has another source. The fight that God’s people faced at Rephidim proved that point.

The battle is spiritual—and there’s only one way to win.

Bethel—Finding the Only Gateway to God’s House

There has always been only one way to God—even in the Old Testament. That way is by grace through faith in the object of God’s choosing. Bethel gives us a peek at that way.

Bethel—Finding the Only Gateway to God's House

(Photo: Modern Beitin, ancient Bethel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

In his flight to Haran, Jacob spent the night at Bethel, where years earlier his grandfather Abraham had heard God promise that he would receive all the land as far as he could see. There, Jacob dreamed of a stairway to heaven, and the Lord repeated to him the promises that Abraham received.

Shaken, Jacob awoke and cried:

How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. —Gen. 28:17

Jacob named the site Bethel—“house of God.” The dream gave more than a vision of God’s house.

It offered a foreshadowing of how to get there.

I look forward to teaching for 4 sessions at the Music Ministry Bible Study for the Stonebriar Community Church choir and orchestra. I’ll be teaching on “Waiting on God.”

Date: January 11, 2015—February 1, 2015
Time: (Jan. 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1) 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Event: Music Ministry Bible Study of Stonebriar Community Church
Topic: Waiting on God
Sponsor: Music Ministry Bible Study Fellowship
Venue: Stonebriar Community Church
Location: 4801 Legendary Drive
Frisco, TX 75034
Public: Private

Take a Peek at My Book’s Final Cover

Last month I asked you to tell me which cover you liked better for my upcoming book, Waiting on God. The majority preferred the cover below, and Baker Books agreed. So this is it!

Waiting on God cover 3D

Thanks so much for your help!

Also, I’m happy to announce I sent the completed manuscript to my editor on Wednesday. Hurrah! Now the process of editing and layout begins in order to have the book ready for its release in August 2015.

Please take a moment to ask God to bless the whole process and for Him to be glorified in the lives of all who read the book. Thank you!

(By the way, I’ll be teaching on “Waiting on God with Joseph” at our Sunday School class soon. Please join us!)

So tell me: Do you like the cover? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

What the Kosher Laws Can Teach Us Today

Before I went to the Holy Land, the kosher laws of Leviticus seemed mere words on a page. For example, Exodus 34:26 says not to boil a goat in its mother’s milk. When have you last applied that?

What the Kosher Laws Can Teach Us Today

(Photo: Baby goats in Israel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The verse has been misunderstood to mean people shouldn’t eat meat and milk during the same meal. Yet, even if that meaning was true, the truth isn’t timeless. Abraham himself had no qualms in serving both together—even to God (take a peek at Gen. 18:8)!

Although all of the Bible’s commands for dietary laws aren’t represented in modern Israel, the fact that any are observed serves as a powerful illustration of what God first intended the diet code to accomplish.

Even in the Garden of Eden, with the first dietary law given to eat from any tree except one (Gen. 2:16-17), God’s command centered around one question.

Would they obey?

But food also had another purpose.

How to Deal with Difficult People Who Refuse to Change

Several years ago I found myself at odds with someone. This individual had spoken severely to our daughter, and I confronted this person with the truth—but in anger, and I failed to speak truth in love.

How to Deal with Difficult People Who Refuse to Change

(Photo by Photodune)

Later, I tried to get together and talk it through. I knew I needed to ask for forgiveness for how I said what I said. But those in authority asked me to leave it alone until later. Although I tried to comply at first, I felt miserable keeping quiet. I came to realize I needed to ask forgiveness, no matter what.

The only way I felt I could honor both the Lord and those in authority came by writing a letter and asking for forgiveness. I never heard back from the individual, nor did I expect to or need to. But I needed to do my part. I needed to reach out.

But it was tough.

Why You Shouldn’t Recommend a Book You Haven’t Read

I once led a church small group where I had fallen behind in preparation. To buy some time, I asked each participant to purchase a certain book, read the first chapter, and we would discuss it. Big mistake.

Why You Shouldn’t Recommend a Book You Haven’t Read

(Photo by Photodune)

We sailed through the first part of the chapter until we slammed into a wall. A theological wall. This well-known author took potshots at a theological position we held as a church.

What was my mistake? I hadn’t read the book before.

Here’s what happened.

See on Google Maps the Sites of My Upcoming Holy Land Tour

While Google Maps does a good job with directions to the Grand Canyon, it also works in the Holy Land where Jesus walked. I have plotted the sites of my upcoming tour of through Jesus’ life.

See on Google Maps the Sites of My Upcoming Holy Land Tour

The map shows the locations of all the sites we’ll explore on our upcoming tour to the Holy Land in October of 2015.

Just click on any site—either in the list or on the map itself—and up pops a window with a picture and an explanation of the itinerary.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE MAP!

I hope you’ll check out all the info about the tour and plan to join us!

Question: Have you been to Israel? How did it affect you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I’m excited to teach at the Marathon Adult Fellowship at Stonebriar Community Church on the subject of “Waiting on God with Joseph.” Cathy and I attend this class each Sunday and enjoy the fellowship and the teaching of Dr. Stanley Toussaint.

Join us if you can!

Date: November 9, 2014
Time: 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Event: Marathon Adult Fellowship at Stonebriar Community Church
Topic: Waiting on God with Joseph
Sponsor: Marathon Adult Fellowship
Venue: Stonebriar Community Church
469.252.5200
Location: 4801 Legendary Drive
Frisco, TX 75034
USA

You can listen to the teaching here after the date.

How Do We Know What Books Go in Our Old Testament?

How do we know what books of the Old Testament were truly inspired? Although we might take it for granted, the contents of the Old Testament canon have been debated for a long time.

How Do We Know What Books Go in Our Old Testament?

(Photo: By Naval History & Heritage Command from Washington, DC, USA. CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The term canon is from a Greek word that means a “rule or “standard,” and it came to represent truth revealed in Scripture.1 For different Christians in different churches, however, the canon represented different books.

  • Some people held that the canon extended to encompass all the books read in the church for edification, which would include what is known as the Apocrypha and sometimes even the Pseudepigrapha (a collection of anonymous, apocalyptic writings).
  • Others held that the canon represented simply the Jewish Bible, which corresponds to the Protestant Bible of today.2
  • In 1546, when the Council of Trent made a formal statement that all who did not accept selected Apocryphal writings should be condemned, Protestants responded with an equally resolute voice.

This disagreement continues. However, it is an issue that needs resolution, for as the theologian Roger Beckwith aptly states, “With no canon there is no Bible.”3

So, how do we know what books go in our Old Testament?