Yes, There’s Still Room for You on My Holy Land Tour This Fall

I’ve had a number of people tell me they’ve heard my tour to the Holy Land this fall is full. If you’ve wondered if there’s still room for you, I have good news.

On the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount.

(Explaining the Second Coming of Jesus on On the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount)

We still have space on our tour, but I urge you to reserve your place today. Why? Because this is no ordinary tour to Israel.

This will be an exclusive, one-bus tour devoted entirely to following the life of Jesus . . . from His birth in Bethlehem . . . to His ministry in Galilee . . . to His death and resurrection in Jerusalem . . . and His ascension from the Mount of Olives.

Todd Bolen“Wayne Stiles has a unique gift for bringing the biblical world into our own. Some teachers are history gurus, but they can’t translate their research into how it affects us today. Wayne is superb at doing this in his books, on his blog, and at the sites. He is passionate, accurate, and faithful.

I’d encourage you to take the opportunity while you can.”

—Dr. Todd Bolen

Learn the life of Jesus by walking where He walked.

On this tour, I will help you understand the life of our Lord as we connect the Bible and its lands to your life every time we stop—and all along the way.

How Gethsemane Helps Stretch Our Prayers Past Our Pain

My prayers don’t go far enough. Maybe your prayers need some stretching too. Often our prayers begin and end with asking God to change the way things are around us.

How Gethsemane Helps Stretch Our Prayers Past Our Pain

(Photo: Mosaic of Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Our prayers have a familiar pattern:

  • “Provide enough money this month”
  • “Protect us as we travel”
  • “Heal my friend from pain”
  • —etc.

These are fine prayers, and all legitimate, but incomplete. They just don’t go far enough.

Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane helps us stretch our prayers past our pain.

When You Still Aren’t Being Used to Your Full Potential

God’s design for a tree includes winter as much as summer. In fact, the dormant season remains essential for a tree’s growth. In a way, we are very similar to a tree.

Dormant Tree

(Photo: By zause01. Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

God has gifted each Christian for a purpose. But like a tree, our gifts have seasons—and sometimes certain gifts may lie dormant for a time—untapped.

In my last post, I offered 3 perspectives to consider when you aren’t being used to your full potential. Here they are:

  1. Remember who your gifts are for—the church, not you.
  2. Seek fulfillment in faithfulness rather than in the exercise of your gifts.
  3. Refuse to get your identify from your gifts. See yourself as God’s servant.

In this post, we’ll add 3 more to the list—including one truth that has set me free when it seems my potential is untapped.

When You Aren’t Being Used to Your Full Potential

You are gifted. God has made you unique and given you a number of natural abilities and spiritual gifts “for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). There’s just one problem.

When You Are not Used to Your Full Potential

(Photo by Photodune)

You feel you have much more to offer than your situation allows you to contribute. Am I right?

Honestly, I think most of us—all of us—find ourselves not utilized as much as we could be. In fact, the Bible shows 3 reasons your full potential isn’t being tapped.

(And why that’s a good thing.)

What Eavesdropping at Starbucks Taught Me

While waiting to have lunch with a friend last week in Franklin, TN, I sat at the local Starbucks to do some work. At 9:30 in the morning, the place was packed.

What Eavesdropping at Starbucks Taught Me

(Photo: Starbucks in Franklin, Tennessee)

The busy coffee shop had a small footprint, so I sat at the only available place —a wide table by the door. Usually I work at Starbucks with my earbuds plugged in, but I forgot them. So I heard every conversation at the table.

In the two hours I sat there, I overheard 6 different conversations.

I’m glad I did.

Tell Me What Books Have Helped You Most

If you’re like me, you love to read good books. There’s the Bible, of course. But there are many other books God has used to help us. In fact, books have taught us some of life’s best lessons.

Tell Me What Books Have Helped You Most

(Photo by Photodune)

Take 60 seconds and click here to tell me what five (5) books have helped you most (other than the Bible).

  • You could include good books that have helped you personally, professionally, or spiritually.
  • Try to keep your list to five books or less.

In an upcoming post, I’ll summarize your lists (and include my own list of five good books) in order to form a “Must-Read” recommended reading list.

Okay, go!

Question: What five good books have helped you most (other than the Bible)? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Ash Wednesday—Applied Every Day

If you’re unfamiliar with it, Ash Wednesday seems an odd tradition. Ashes of burned crosses from the previous year’s Palm Sunday are rubbed on the forehead in the shape of a cross.

Ash Wednesday . . . Every Day

(Photo: By Oxh973, Jennifer Balaska. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

So what’s the point of wearing ashes on Ash Wednesday? The cinder residue is reminiscent of the biblical act of repenting “in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). (Speaking of ashes, the holiday also represents “National No Smoking Day” in Ireland.)

Many Christians have no connection with Ash Wednesday’s tradition.

But we all have need of what it represents. Every day.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself in Making the Right Decision

How many times have we made what we thought was the best decision—but it turned out to be the worst? Lessons learned from such blunders we remember and regret all of our lives.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself in Making the Right Decision

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

We make knee-jerk decisions that we think will benefit us financially, or relationally, or vocationally, or physically.

But what about spiritually? Lot failed to ask that question, and he lived with the regret.

But we don’t have to be like that if we’ll ask ourselves 3 questions.

Why it Seems Like the Wheels are Coming Off

As we look around at our world, it’s easy to feel like the wheels are coming off. Morality is optional. Truth is relative. Disease runs rampant. And God stands by and allows it all.

God's World—Why it Seems Like the Wheels are Coming Off

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Critics of Christianity point to the problems in the world as proof of God’s absence or apathy. On the other hand, some Christians get in the game and point to God’s judgment as the reason for terrorism, Isis, and hurricanes.

The problem is, we want God’s acts of judgment to stop at property lines (usually ours). We prefer clear delineations, just as God made in the plagues on the land of Egypt in the book of Exodus.

But it doesn’t work that way. Those plagues are a picture of God’s plan for tomorrow.

How to Cope When the Will of God is Hard

Sometimes it seems the Lord leads us into a life that can’t possibly be His will. What started with such promise has become such a challenge. It’s tough to know what to do next.

How to Cope When the Will of God is Hard

(Photo by Photodune)

What do you do when the life God has promised you looks nothing like the life God has given you?

God had promised a son to Sarai and her husband, Abram. And yet at the same time, God prevented conception. This is the will of God? Go figure.

What God said is a lesson we need to hear.