Why is it so hard in the moment to dare to choose what is essential over what is nonessential? One simple answer is we are unclear about what is essential.
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!
Some call it coincidence. Some call it Providence. But according to tradition, both the First and Second Temples (in 586 BC and AD 70) were destroyed on the same date in history. That begins this evening.
Tisha B’Av marks the 9th day of the month of Av—the fifth Jewish month. During the exile, the Jews instituted a fast to commemorate the Temple’s destruction. After they returned to Jerusalem, they asked God a question about Tisha B’Av:
Shall I weep in the fifth month and abstain, as I have done these many years? —Zechariah 7:3
Their question made sense.
They had observed the fast in exile, but should they continue to fast on Tisha B’Av now that they were building the Second Temple? God’s answer to their question reaches beyond them to the heart of why we do what we do.
One question gets to the heart of our heart.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted my second survey of my blog readers. Honestly, I felt a little nervous about it. Sort of like standing still and offering someone a free punch on my arm.
(Photo by Rayi Christian W via oomph.com)
But because my readership has doubled in the last year, I decided to get your opinion. I believe that it ultimately benefits you, as it helps me improve my writing and my blog.
As promised, I’d like to share the results.
Ancient tombs lay open many places in Israel. With their original inhabitants decomposed, stolen, or relocated, these unoccupied sepulchers offer insights into history.
I’ve written several other posts about tombs in Israel, most notably:
There are more, to be sure. But I’d like to share several more tombs you can see in Israel, as well as their significance.
Most of these you can actually walk in—and thankfully, also walk out.
The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.
I smiled when I heard about a mother who taught her son the difference between the words conscious and conscience. After her explanation, she asked him if he understood the difference.
“Yeah,” he answered. “Conscious is when you’re aware of something, and conscience is when you wish you weren’t.”
That’s better than Jiminy Cricket’s catchy tune that reminded Pinocchio: “Always let your conscience be your guide.” Sounds great, but unfortunately, it’s sloppy theology.
God never intended your conscience as your guide.
It has another purpose.
I’m Writing a New Book, and I’d Like Your Opinion
I’m excited to say my new book releases next year, published by Baker Publishing Group!
The book will look at the life of Joseph, particularly how his life models a person who learned how to wait on God.
(Photo: by Graig Garner)
In the brainstorm session with Baker to finalize a title, three titles made the final cut.
I would love to know which one you like best. Just click below to tell me.
I’ll let you know what the final title will be. Thanks!
Jeremiah used many illustrations which came from the land around him. One of my favorites comes from Ein Parath. The Lord commanded Jeremiah to buy a garment and bury it in the cracks of Parath.
Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks. —Jeremiah 13:4 NIV
Unfortunately, many modern translations render the Hebrew term, prt, in this verse as the “Euphrates River.” That would have required Jeremiah a 700-mile journey (twice) to perform a visual lesson Judah would never see.
There’s a better translation in context that offered a lesson to the Hebrews at a place that was closer to home.
And the lesson hits us close to home as well—reminding us why we should cling to God.
An interest in my stepdad’s guitar at age 15 sparked an interest God has used to guide my life. I’m sure God works in a similar way with you. In fact, I know He does.
(Photo: By Pisethinfo. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
More than 30 years ago, I started playing songs on the guitar by John Denver, Jim Croce, Don Francisco, Gordon Lightfoot, and Dan Fogelberg.
I was hooked. I lived and breathed with the instrument. In a few years, I had written more than 100 of my own songs. It seemed this is what God wanted me to do with my life. I decided to pursue the dream of becoming a Christian artist.
- I majored in music (classical guitar) from North Texas State University (now UNT).
- I attended Dallas Theological Seminary so that I could learn to write theologically sound songs.
- I had an influential person with connections in Nashville who promised to introduce me to the right people.
I was ready. Cue the lights. Then God uplugged my guitar.
Playing guitar for all these years has taught me more than music. It has taught me these 3 lessons.