Ascension Day Gives Us a Reason to Look Up

Our purpose in life finds its answer in Jesus' final words.

Honestly, if Ascension Day didn’t appear on our calendars 40 days after Easter, we’d likely never think about it. Sure, we know Jesus’ ascension had good reasons. But hey, we’re still stuck on earth.

Ascension Day Gives Us a Reason to Look Up

(Photo by Photodune)

In fact, have you ever wondered why we don’t we just ascend to heaven after we believe in Jesus?

The answer, of course, is that God’s goal for us is more than to believe in His Son. Jesus’ final words remind us of that.

Ascension Day offers a few good reminders.

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Caesarea—A Place for Entertainment, Evangelism, and Education

People had money to burn in Caesarea.

As one of the largest seaports on the eastern Mediterranean—and located along the International highway—Caesarea enjoyed a constant flow of people and commerce.

Caesarea—A Place for Entertainment, Evangelism, and Education

(Photo: The theater in Caesarea)

The bustling seaport featured all the usual touches of Roman culture—including a vast entertainment industry for the masses that frequented the city.

This hub of transportation became the means by which people received more than a good show.

They received good news.

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A Land Without Absolute Truth

I read an article that surveyed what adults rank as the most important thing they learned from their father. A few mentioned skills, like how to change a tire, or drive a car, or play sports. Saving money ranked even higher.

(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)

But the highest category adults ranked? Their father taught them to tell the truth.

That’s great. But these days, what is truth?

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Avoiding Spiritual Roadkill

I commute to work in the dark hours of the morning. Navigating the twisting country roads on my way to the highway, my headlights are the only illumination. But I always have to watch out for critters that get frightened by my lights. I see lots of roadkill. (Unlike some, I don’t pray over them.)

(Photo: www.flickr.com/photos/proimos, via Creative Commons)

More than once I have slowed to a stop for deer to scramble over adjacent fences, or a family of raccoons to cross single file, or numerous rabbits, skunks, squirrels, cats, and dogs. (I never slow down for snakes.) One morning, a buck with a multi-pointed rack just stood still and stared me down as I inched by. No movement. No fear. Amazing.

And then there are possums. Oh, dear.

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I’m Headed to Israel!

In just a few days, I’ll take my seventh trip to Israel.

After going again and again so many times, I have to be honest . . . it never gets old.

Why? Because seeing the places where biblical events occurred helps me understand the words of Scripture like little else can. Frankly, I have spent hundreds of hours studying the original languages of the Bible, but nothing has broadened my understanding of the Word of God more than studying and experiencing the places where Scripture occurred.

For many who will join us on our tour with Insight for Living, this tour will be their first to Israel. What a treasure awaits them!

My request of you? Please pray for us. Specifically, for:

  • Good health and adequate rest
  • Safe travel . . . alert bus drivers . . . agreeable Israeli guides
  • Excellent weather
  • Opportunities to share Christ with those who may not know Him
  • God’s grace for Chuck Swindoll as well as for those of us who will be teaching at various sites. (I’ll be serving as the Bible teacher on Bus 4—the “Green Bus.” Our busses all have color names in addition to numbers.)

In addition to following the daily posts on my blog, you can also subscribe to Insight for Living’s Video Blog. There you will see video from each day’s touring . . . as well as candid interviews and photos of folks taking the journey with us.

Shalom . . . and thank you for praying! 

Israel Filming Trip Report


I just returned from a wonderful—but fast!—few days of filming in Israel. Thank you very much for your prayers! They really made a difference, because God answered so many of them! For the most part, we had good health and adequate rest, safe travel and an alert driver, no technical glitches with cameras, microphones, etc., excellent weather—no high winds or rain, good access to the locations where we need to film, quick minds and ability to remember our scripts, creativity, openness to God’s leading and redirecting, and finally, opportunities to share with others.

The opportunity to share came unexpectedly. We had just filmed a segment at the City of David and we were about leave. A man with an Irish accept approached me and asked, “What are you filming?” He introduced himself as a journalist and raised his handheld video camera for my answer. What an opportunity! I answered that we were in the City of David to film where David looked on Bathsheba and sinned, and later David wrote Psalm 51 where he asked for forgiveness through a sacrifice. That ultimate sacrifice came through Jesus who died for our sins and promised that whoever believes on Him would have forgiveness. He filmed the whole thing!

Other than the privilege of sharing, the greatest experience was seeing Israel in spring—SO green and beautiful!

Thank you again for your prayers and for your part in what God will do in the production of the video we shot—and the lives that God will change as a result.
_____________

Prayer in Evangelism – My Interview on Campus Crusade

Listen as I discuss the subject of prayer in evangelism on Campus Crusade for Christ’s radio program, Lighthouse Report.

Lighthouse Report

Listen here:

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From Lighthouse Report:

A good salesperson knows that you never presuppose a customer’s response. Now relate that to witnessing. Do you presuppose someone’s response to the Gospel? Never, ever, doubt what God can do in an unbeliever’s life. Wayne Stiles addresses this on today’s Lighthouse Report.

Want to find the station where Lighthouse Report broadcasts in your area? Go here.

The Ever-Ready Message [Podcast]

1 Peter 3:13-22

If Christ is set apart as absolute Lord of our hearts, then we should be ready at any moment to give a reason for the hope of heaven. And once that reason is given, our good conscience and behavior—regardless of our suffering—should match the message we share. Christ exemplified this behavior of readiness amidst unjust suffering—even going so far as to proclaim, after His death, a message of victory to the damned.

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He Loves Me Not [Podcast]

1 Peter 3:1-6

Just as all believers are to submit to proper authority—even when it’s unjust—so that principle extends to the home. Peter offers practical advice to wives of unbelieving husbands, as to how excellent behavior can also be a tool through which God works on a husband’s heart.  Peter also gives comfort to the weary woman who struggles with a husband who doesn’t love her.

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