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.
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.
Whatever decision or challenge or crossroads you face in your life, simply ask yourself, “What is essential?” Eliminate everything else.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.