I’m excited to serve as the conference speaker at Horn Creek Christian Camp this winter.

I’ll be teaching on the life of Joseph as it relates to “Waiting on God,” the title of my upcoming book. I would love for you to bring in the New Year with my family in beautiful Colorado!

See more info here.

“Learning to Wait on God with Joseph”
by Wayne Stiles

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I had the privilege to teach at the Marathon Fellowship class at Stonebriar Community Church this past Sunday.

The subject covers part of my new book, Waiting on God.

I hope the message encourages you.

Question: What has God taught you as you’ve waited on Him? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

See the Jezreel Valley from 4 Panoramic Places

Most visitors to Israel see the sprawling panorama of the Jezreel Valley only from atop the monastery of Muhraqa on Mount Carmel. This vantage remains one of the best, to be sure.

See the Jezreel Valley from 4 Panoramic Places

(Photo: Jezreel Valley from Mount Carmel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But there are a number of other views of the valley that also find their place in the Bible.

These high spots also offer a good view of life, and I’ll give a one-sentence application from each site.

A Conversation about Priorities I’ll Never Forget

I got my first suicide-threat phone call during my first year when I served as a pastor. I drove to the neighborhood and found the address in a row of massive homes with fine-trimmed lawns.

A Conversation about Priorities I'll Never Forget

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

I rang the doorbell and a woman with a severe look cracked the door and eyed me without saying a word.

I began the brief conversation. “Hello, uh, I received a call about . . .”

“He’s around back,” she interrupted. The door slammed. I made my way to the back of the mansion and saw one of the several garage doors open. Inside, I found a man sitting on an upside-down bucket.

His bloodshot eyes looked up at me.

How the Jordan River Reflects Your Spiritual Life

Have you noticed how often hymn writers use the Jordan River as a metaphor for transitions in the spiritual life? That may be because the Bible does the same.

How the Jordan River Reflects Your Spiritual Life

(Photo: Jordan River north of Sea of Galilee. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Jordan River usually flowed a hundred feet wide at the place across from Jericho where Israel crossed over into Canaan after the Exodus (Joshua 3:14–4:23). But because the Israelites crossed at flood stage, the river surged much wider and deeper.

  • When the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the Jordan, the water ceased its flow 16 miles upstream.
  • This left a stretch of dry land some 20 miles wide for the nation to cross en masse, perhaps several thousand abreast.

Joshua compared the miracle of the parting of the Jordan River with the miraculous parting of the Red Sea (Joshua 4:23). He linked the power of God that allowed them to enter Canaan with the power that freed them from Egypt.

This was a critical comparison. Why? The same grace that redeemed them from bondage led them home.

This also reflects our own spiritual lives.

Living Life in the Balance with God

To hear Moses describe the Promised Land, it sounded as if it offered vast natural resources—a land where food was plentiful and lacked for nothing (Deut. 8:9). Well, true and not true.

Living Life in the Balance with God

(Photo: Grapes left on vine after harvest in Israel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The land had streams, pools, springs, wheat, barley, grapevines, figs, pomegranates, olives, and honey. Sounds pretty nice. Sign me up.

But this good land existed in a delicate balance of nature—and God tipped the scales. The Hebrews would learn that God alone made the good land “good” in direct proportion to the gratitude, praise, and obedience of His people.

The same is true of our lives.

How to Find the Rest of Your Life

Last week I had an unusual experience. Cathy and I rented a car and drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for several days. We had no agenda but rest.

How to Find the Rest of Your Life

(The beautiful Biltmore estate in North Carolina.)

For an achiever like me, a vacation can feel like a waste of time. Usually my vacations mean time off from my regular work to do chores around the house or to do a writing project.

But last week was strange. I actually took a vacation to rest.

  • I turned off my work email and never opened it. (Yeah, the swelling number of emails showing in my Mail icon tempted me.)
  • I got a full night’s sleep every night.
  • I even found some roses to smell. (Real roses.)

But it was tough at times. Why do we struggle so much with rest?

I think it’s a spiritual issue.

Your Fear is a Spiritual Struggle

We fear what we think may happen in the world we see. But the world we don’t see is the source of our real fears. Our spiritual lives hold the solution to it.

Your Fear is a Spiritual Struggle

(Photo: By Alex Micheu Photography from VILLACH, Austria Uploaded by Sporti CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

That’s what happened with Jacob.

Returning to the land of Canaan forced Jacob to face a problem he had run from 20 years earlier—his deception of his brother Esau. As he approached the border of Canaan, angels of God came to meet him.

The presence of the angels gives us a critical reminder during our times of fear.

4 Views of Jerusalem Every Visitor Should See

I doubt you’ll meet a person who goes to Israel without seeing Jerusalem. It’s the most important city in history, and it offers so much to see. But often, it’s seen only from this view.

4 Views of Jerusalem Every Visitor Should See

(Photo: Jerusalem from the east. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

There are many great views of Jerusalem. Like looking at the various facets of a diamond, each direction offers a different perspective on the same city.

Here are 4 views of Jerusalem every visitor should see—from the north, south, east, and west.

Good news: 3 of the views are free.