I always find it amazing that 3 out of every 4 visitors to my blog are brand new. The same was true last year. Most new readers come as a result of a Google search. Here’s why that’s significant.
People are searching for what these posts talk about:
- Relief from guilt and freedom from sin’s entrapments.
- Practical connection of the Bible and its lands to life.
- Getting the most out of a Holy Land tour.
Of the hundreds of posts on my blog, these are the top 10 for 2013. Let’s start with number 10 and work down to number 1.
It’s pretty rare to find a devotional book written about the Holy Land.
In fact, one of the reasons I wrote two of my books was to help fill the void in application of Holy Land study.
True, there are other books that do this. It’s just that so many of them waffle between inaccurate and superficial.
Charles Dyer offers us a refreshing alternative.
As I read Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus, I felt like I was on tour in Israel with a great Bible teacher. The book takes 30 events in the life of Jesus and gives you a geographical and devotional tour of the places where they occurred.
Bethlehem, the Temple Mount, the Judean Wilderness, the Sea of Galilee are only a few places Dr. Dyer leads us on this virtual tour through key places in the life and ministry of Jesus. “Watch your step as you get down from the bus,” it reads in one place.
I felt like I could easily take the book in hand and stand at the very places in the Holy Land. The book could serve as a pocket guide devotional.
If you’re looking for a unique devotional on a part of the Bible most people miss, Thirty Days in the Land with Jesus is a journey worth taking.
I read the Kindle edition, but you can also pick up the softcover edition.
P.S. Charles Dyer has written two other books about the Holy Land also worth having in your library (I have them both):
Question: What place in the life of Jesus would you most like to see? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
God told the Hebrews when to observe the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. At first, to be honest, the command seems random.
The feasts were to occur at the appointed time of Abib, or Aviv (Exodus 23:15)—a Hebrew word that refers to the time in spring when the grain begins to ripen. The first Passover occurred on the fifteenth day of Nisan, which became the first month of the Jewish calendar.
This timing occurred for good reason.
The Lord gave His people a plain explanation why the celebration should coincide with spring:
For [then] you came out of Egypt. —Exodus 23:15
God linked the Passover celebration with their redemption.
But why the springtime? There was a problem with the calendar that had to get fixed. Its fix offers a lasting lesson.
Even for Christians.
In my previous post, I offered some suggestions for how to prepare for a Holy Land Tour.
After all, you’re investing a lot of money and significant time for this journey. It makes sense to prepare yourself beforehand so that you get the most from your experience in Israel.
But after you arrive in Israel, there are a number of ways you can ensure you get the most from your Holy Land tour.
The following 8 tips include both practical and spiritual ways to maximize your experience every single day you’re there.
You’ve finally decided to take a spiritual journey to the Holy Land—to the land of the Bible. I can promise you, you won’t come home from Israel the same!
But there’s something else you need to know.
(Photo: the aqueduct at Caesarea)
You already realize you are investing a lot of money this trip, and you want to make the most of your time. But you will get twice as much out of your Holy Land tour if you’ll also invest some time preparing for it.
Here are some ways that will help you maximize your trip—by preparing mentally, practically, physically, and spiritually.
If you regularly read my blog, it’s likely you share my interest in the Holy Land.
Where biblical events took place are more than throwaway mentions in the pages of Scripture. Often, they have significant bearing on God’s participation in the lives of His people.
Unfortunately, because we’re unfamiliar with geography we often miss these nuggets. I have found a lot of help in several Holy Land blogs that open up the Bible’s lands to my understanding.
I want to share with you 5 of my favorite Holy Land blogs and provide you an easy way to follow them.
Sometimes fear keeps us from enjoying what God has promised. We want so badly to have faith in what the Lord says.
But fear of what we see seems more compelling than mere words.
Gideon longed to believe God. But the enemy army before him was enormous.
It was almost as large as the fears we face today.
Whenever I visit the ancient Cardo street in Jerusalem, I like to look at the replica of the Medeba Map mosaic.
It depicts the Holy Land as it looked in AD 580 and shows Jerusalem sectioned by crossroads. The divisions paved the way for the four quarters of today.
(Photo: Replica of the Medeba Map mosaic, showing the Cardo street. The Greek letters read: “Holy City of Jerusalem”)
The annual celebration of Jerusalem Day, or Yom Yerushalayim, reminds me of the T-shirt my grandmother bought me when she went to Jerusalem in 1987. I think I still have the shirt. (Some of us men keep clothes way too long.)
Printed in English, Hebrew and Arabic, the shirt celebrated “The 20th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem.” But can we really call the city unified?
I’ll be honest. I have never recovered from my travels to the Holy Land.
As many times as I’ve been to Israel, every trip impacts me. There’s a reason.
(Photo: Our tour group on the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem)
After Cathy and I took our first tour to the Holy Land, the truth hit home harder than it ever had: my faith is rooted in events that occurred in real places.
My experience isn’t unique. The following video shows people whose lives have changed as a result of a tour to the Holy Land.
After I bought my 1897 edition of The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, I opened its dingy, yellow pages and discovered I couldn’t turn some of them.
The London publisher London had made an error.
The Bible has unwrapped treasures waiting for you.
The book was printed on large sheets which were then cut and bound into the book. But some of the edges never got trimmed. I had to cut each pair of pages myself. At first this was a real hassle.
But then it hit me . . . I am the first person ever to read these pages!
The book sat on the shelf of some library or study for over a century—untouched! All its benefits . . . hidden. Nobody read them. Each time I cut a page seemed like cutting the ribbon on an unwrapped present. The rich descriptions George Adam Smith has written are the next best thing to pictures.
I bought a used book no one had used.
An Awkward Question
Then a question popped in my head: How long would it take me to notice if pages of my Bible were stuck together? The Bible is a book of treasures, often unwrapped, because we simply don’t realize its tremendous value to our lives.
I want to share with you 4 steps that can help you unwrap the Bible’s treasures.