Exploring Israel’s Timna Park

Earlier this year I visited Israel’s Timna Park for the first time in years. Most visitors to Israel never see the southern part of the country since most of the biblical record occurred farther north.

Exploring Israel's Timna Park

(Photo: “Solomon’s Pillars” at Timna Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

So I thought I’d share a few photos, video, and maps to give you a taste of this seldom-seen site in southern Israel.

Between the copper mines, the formations called “Solomon’s Pillars,” and a replica of the Tabernacle, there’s plenty to see.

Let’s take a look.

Make Your Mark: Getting Right What Samson Got Wrong

Make Your Mark: Getting Right What Samson Got Wrong [Book Review] (FaithWords, 2014)

In Make Your Mark: Getting Right What Samson Got Wrong, Brad Gray walks us through the life of the strong man who lived a life of weakness and failure. But it’s more than a cautionary tale.

The book employs a surprising blend of history, geography, archaeology, linguistics, and culture—what most folks might consider dull and dry—and explains how Samson’s struggles often mirror our own.

  • Learning from the pride and lust and unforgiveness (and faith) of this weak judge allows us to get right what Samson got wrong.
  • I enjoyed learning about how the author of the book of Judges used the theme of Samson eyes as an example of what “everyone in those days” did—what was right in their own eyes.

Brad Gray combines many personal illustrations along with his explanation of Samson’s life to produce a potentially life changing resource for all of us who have failed (that’s all of us). Samson’s presence in Hebrews 11 reveals that God can still use us—even when we fail Him.

God doesn’t want our failures to remain failures. He wants our failures to become investments in learning to get things right. He want us to learn from our mistakes and to keep moving forward. —Brad Gray

Make Your Mark: Getting Right What Samson Got Wrong has pulled Samson from the Sunday School flannel graphs and revealed him as the flesh-and-blood Hebrew he was. Human, frail, desperate, alone, failing—and yet, believing.

Just like us.

You’ll enjoy the book. You can grab it here.

Living Your Insignificant Life with Your Big God

In moments of honesty, it’s easy to see our lives as, well—insignificant. What we do often seems to matter very, very little. Whether it’s pushing papers or changing diapers, it can seem pretty pointless.

Living Your Insignificant Life with Your Big God

(Photo by Photodune)

We often can fall for the thinking that because what we do seems small, or behind-the-scenes, or insignificant, or unequal with our abilities or qualifications, that what we do matters little.

After all, if we foul up, no big deal. The world still turns. Nobody notices. Few seem to care.

Except God.

If your faith doesn’t correspond with reality, it isn’t real.

This compelling fact is supported in this video by SourceFlix.com. It is well worth watching as it compares the Bible and the Book of Mormon with regard to Jerusalem’s archaeology.

Faith must correspond with history. Think about it:

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Ein Bokek and Ein Feshkha—Oases of Grace in a Surprising Place

Life at the Dead Sea sounds like an oxymoron. After all, nothing but microbes can survive in the brine. But beside the sea, several springs give life and beauty to an otherwise barren place.

Ein Bokek and Ein Feshkha—Oases of Grace in a Surprising Place

(Photo: The Dead Sea north of Ein Bokek. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

If you want to find where history took place, just look for the waterholes.

The most famous spring on the Dead Sea’s western shore is Ein Gedi. But two other springs offer life to the barren area—as well as beautiful places to see.

All give testimony to God’s grace in surprising place.

God’s Goals for Your Life Begin Here

Sometimes the dreams and goals you have for life are good goals—even godly goals—but just not God’s goals. Your expectations of life are just that—yours. God has His own set of plans, and He isn’t telling.

God's Goals for Your Life Begin Here

(Photo by Photodune)

God may lead you initially one direction simply to take you another.

  • He may give you a vision as a single, or for a family, or for a ministry only so that He can sanctify you by his grace in experiencing a slammed door.
  • Slammed doors do more than bend your nose; they keep your heart pliable, sensitive, and available to God’s leading.

Not only does He keep secret the difficult valleys you’ll experience (and many of the mountaintops), but also the tremendous lessons you’ll glean no other way. Lessons you didn’t know you needed to learn. Lessons you’ll thank Him for one day.

Very often, we fail to recognize God using us significantly because we define God “using us” in terms of what we consider significant: results.

Start Looking at What You Want to See

We’ve all experienced it, haven’t we? We buy a car and suddenly, we see our car’s model everywhere on the road. We notice what we have on our mind. This is true in all of life.

Start Looking at What You Want to See

(Photo by Photodune)

On a recent trip to Israel, one man on our bus mentioned he saw beehives everywhere. Really? Beehives? I had never noticed. He was a beekeeper. We see what we’re thinking about.

  • As a woodworker, I notice furniture everywhere I go—whether it’s made well or not.
  • My daughter always notices a person’s shoes first.
  • A girl-crazy guy walks in a room and in five seconds has the most beautiful girl pegged.

What you focus on will be what you see. It’s how God made us—regardless of how we use that ability. What do you see in these key areas of your life?

  • Your job
  • Your spouse
  • Your children
  • Your parents
  • Your church
  • Your life in general

Be honest. When you think about each of these areas, are your initial thoughts positive or negative?

What do you see?

This great video by SourceFlix.com flies over 9 key sites the Bible mentions, giving a high-def birds-eye view of these significant places and their excavations.

I have listed below the sites this video shows, along with links to my posts about these places.

It’s amazing how the good folks at SourceFlix.com continue to release quality videos that enhance our understanding of the biblical world. Hats off to them!

Question: What site would you like to fly over? You can leave a comment by clicking here.