I Have Prayed for You

When I took a survey of my blog readers in 2014, the results of that survey were very telling of who you are. For example, I learned that most subscribers signed up for one of two reasons.

I Have Prayed for You

(Photo: By Aleksi Tappura. Courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Most of you subscribed for the convenience of getting my posts automatically sent to you. Others sign up for my free e-book I give to all who subscribe.

But you also received something else when you subscribed.

I prayed for you.

Still Searching for the Garden of Eden?

Trying to find the location of the Garden of Eden has given Bible students and scholars an unending quest. The Bible describes Eden as “in the east” and in proximity to a river that became four rivers.

Searching for the Garden of Eden

(Photo: Euphrates River. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Only two of the four rivers we know the locations of today (Gen. 2:8, 10-14). The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowed through biblical Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

But just because the location of the garden remains indefinite, it doesn’t mean we can put it anywhere we want. The best and most honest scholars put a question mark in the atlas beside the location of the Garden of Eden.

Searching for the Garden of Eden doesn’t end with its location. Many people live their lives on a quest for the delights of Eden—for an ideal life.

Here’s why that quest is just as futile as finding its location.

The Secret to Getting What You Want Out of Life

Wouldn’t it be nice if road signs told us more than simply which way to turn? Just once I’d love to see a sign that reads: “THIS ISN’T THE ROAD TO GETTING WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE.”

The Secret to Getting What You Want Out of Life

(Photo: By Simon Waelti. Courtesy of Unsplash.com)

If we had such a sign—and we believed it true—we’d immediately stop and turn around.

The Word of God gives us that sign. It tells us the results of a certain path. But it also gives us other directions.

It tells you the secret to getting what you want out of life.

Why the Wisdom of Solomon Isn’t Enough for You

Everybody likes to be an exception to the rule. No exceptions. This paradox seems especially true for individuals who are exceptional. Like Solomon. (And like you and me.)

Why the Wisdom of Solomon Isn't Enough for You

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“I have given you a wise and discerning heart,” God told Solomon, “so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12). Talk about exceptional!

And yet Solomon became the exception to the wisdom of Solomon. How?

It started with two small compromises that we can avoid.

The Value of Using Maps in Your Bible Study

Last weekend my family visited the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas to see its exhibit of old Holy Land maps. I enjoyed seeing original maps that dated from the 1500s.

The Value of Using Maps in Bible Study

(Photo: Seeing Holy Land Maps exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art, Dallas)

It’s amazing how accurate the maps were in spite of the fact that cartographers in the 16th-century had no satellite images to work from. Seeing these maps made me grateful all over again for the tremendous value maps offer us in our study of the Bible.

Do you use maps when you read your Bible? Here’s why you should.

When God Gives You Want You’ve Begged For

Sometimes the only thing worse than God refusing to give us what we want occurs when He gives us want we want. Many years ago, our young daughter had only one thing on her mind.

When God Gives You Want You've Begged For

(Photo by Photodune)

She knew we planned an Easter egg hunt, and she asked if she could eat lots of candy on Easter. We told her no, but she kept after us, day after day. Easter came and she continued to plead. So we decided to let her learn by experience what she refused to learn by instruction. We let her eat as many little chocolate eggs as she wanted.

That night was pitiful.

“Oooooh, mommy, my tummy hurts!” She had learned by experience what she refused to learn by instruction. My toddler’s lesson gets repeated in the life of most of us adults.

But it doesn’t have to.

Can We Trust the Bible—Especially Our Modern Versions?

It’s one thing to believe the Bible represents the Word of God when the biblical authors originally wrote it. It’s something else to say the copies we have today represent Scripture. After all, the originals no longer exist.

Can We Trust Our Modern Bibles?

(Photo by Photodune)

What’s more, what texts we do have reflect many centuries of copying—and many scribal variants. So how can we trust the Bible? How can we have confidence in the reliability our modern Bibles?

Here’s why we can trust our Bibles.

Kadesh Barnea—How to Follow (and Not Get Ahead of) God’s Will

Which seems worse: refusing to follow God though He promises success, or stubbornly pressing forward without Him? Sometimes it’s tough to tell the difference.

Kadesh Barnea—How to Follow and Not Get Ahead of God’s Will

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God’s people swung on both extremes of this pendulum in the course of one day.

What their experience teaches us can guide us as we anticipate the future God has for us.

Finding and Following God’s Will This Year

There is only one way you will know God’s will for you this year. Relatively speaking, that’s the easy part. But once you know it, then comes the tough assignment: choosing to walk in it.

Finding and Following God's Will This Year

(Photo: by Luca Zanon. Courtesy of Unsplash.com)

From the first verse of Scripture, God revealed how the Earth set the stage for the divine drama of history to take place (Gen. 1:1). From its formless, void beginning, the Lord fashioned the Earth with His intention in its details. From this ground, God made physical people spiritual beings in His image.

Finding and following God’s will was no different for Adam and Eve than it is for us.

We have the same problem they did.

My Top 10 Posts of 2014

I’m always surprised at the most popular posts on my blog each year. Both in 2012 and in 2013 I listed the Top 10 posts. But 2014 surprised me.

My Top 10 Posts of 2014

(Photo by Photodune)

The popular posts range from the practical “how-to” to the rich, devotional emphasis the lands of the Bible offer us.

Here are the Top 10 posts from 2014. And just for grins, I’ll also include the Top 5 posts of all time.

Is there another one you would include?