3 Sites Where the Habits of Jesus Can Help You Crush Compromise

How to Follow the Lord’s routines at Nazareth, the Wilderness, and the Mount of Olives

Bad habits are hard to break. But here’s the good news: so are good habits. Once installed, a good routine serves as a powerful ally in your walk with God. Three habits of Jesus show us how.

3 Sites Where the Habits of Jesus Can Help You Crush Compromise

(Photo: Olive trees on the Mount of Olives. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Gospel of Luke highlights several places in the life of our Lord that give us a window into the habits of Jesus. His commitment to these habits revealed His character in moments of opposition, weariness, and even danger.

Three places. Three lessons. Three habits essential to your life.

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Rest is not something that the world gives us. It’s never been a gift. It’s never been something you do when you’ve finished everything else. If you want rest, you have to take it. You have to resist the lure of busyness, make time for rest, take it seriously, and protect it from a world that is intent on stealing it.

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less (Basic Books, 2016), Kindle Locations 179-181

Come see the Wonderful Lands of the Bible with Me this Fall!

A special tour to Israel and Jordan from October 18-29, 2018

No other place on earth can compare. The Holy Land is where God’s biblical story took place. You have to experience the lands of the Bible yourself to understand how life-transforming it truly is. Now you can. 

Come see the Lands of the Bible with Me this Fall

(Photo: The Sea of Galilee. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

This special tour of the lands of the Bible is designed to take you beyond the places most tours to Israel see. We’ll even experience the biblical sites of Jordan!

Perfect for someone returning to Israel to see brand new places—or for the first-timer who wants to experience the Holy Land in a unique and fulfilling way. This exclusive, one-bus tour promises a more personal, curated experience. We’ll explore sites that large groups just can’t see—sites that most tours sidestep.

You’ll see places like: 

  • Petra, Mount Nebo, and Machaerus in Jordan
  • Beersheba, the Negev, and the places of Israel’s wilderness wandering 
  • Sites around the Sea of Galilee, such as Gamla, Hippos, Chorazin, and Magdala
  • And then there’s Jerusalem! 

This tour is designed with you in mind. My goal is to transform the foreign places into familiar friends.

Petra—the Lost and Found City of Wonder

(Photo: The Treasury facade at Petra, Jordan)

Reserve Your Place Now

You will learn the Word of God right where it happened—with Bible in hand. After seeing where the biblical events occurred, you will never read your Bible the same way again!

I have put together a complete page to show you the wonderful itinerary this tour offers. 

Click to see all the details (including the early-bird special rate).

I would love to have you join me! 

4 Reasons You Should Try Listening to the Bible for a Change

Experience the Word of God in a brand new way.

Do you want God to speak to you audibly? That’s easy. Just read the Bible out loud. When was the last time you tried listening to the Bible instead of simply reading it? I recently listened to the whole Bible in a year. In years past, I had only read the Bible through. But listening was a different experience.

4 Reasons You Should Try Listening to the Bible for a Change

(Photo by Photodune)

It took longer to listen to it, of course, but the experience helped me connect with the Word of God in a way much closer to the way the original recipients interacted with Scripture.

The Bible tells us, for example:

At the end of every seven years . . . you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. —Deuteronomy 31:10–11

When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. —Colossians 4:16

Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture. —1 Timothy 4:13

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for reading the Bible. But the biblical authors originally wrote the Scriptures primarily to be heard—not read.

Here are 4 reasons why you should try listening to the Bible for a change.

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How to Follow God by Pondering Amazing Bird Migrations in Israel

Instinct can only take you so far in your relationship with God.

Every winter, God’s design works without flaw. Thousands of birds take wing and head south. But in our lives, unlike the bird migrations in Israel, the chilly winds don’t always cause us to head the right direction.

Grey heron in Israel

(Photo: Grey heron in Israel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Unlike birds, which instinctively know the way to go, we can wander away from God’s design for us. Birds have a lot to teach us about how to follow God.

Once learned, our relationship with God can take off.

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What Happens When God Shows Up in a Special Way

The presence of God now brings hope for the presence of God for eternity.

Do you remember the last time God showed up unannounced in your life? Even though the Lord is everywhere always, occasionally He’ll show up in a unique way. This happened to me just a few days ago.

What Happens When God Shows Up in a Special Way

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

I headed to the mall to pick up some last-minute gifts. The traffic crawled along in the wet winter weather. Stuck at a stoplight behind a line of cars, I remembered that a few years ago I had purchased some songs from Celine Dion’s Christmas album.

“Hey, Siri,” I said, “play Celine Dion.”

The familiar melody of my favorite Christmas carol began. With traffic going nowhere, I had a forced moment of complete solitude, and I listened to an angelic voice singing words that resonated with the core of my being.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.

Then it happened. 

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How to Find and Follow God’s Will This Year

Discerning God’s will is always found in God’s Word.

There is only one way you will know God’s will for you this year. Relatively speaking, that’s the easy part. But once you know it, then comes the tough assignment.

How to Find and Follow God's Will This Year

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

From the first verse of Scripture, God revealed how the Earth set the stage for the divine drama of history to take place (Gen. 1:1). From its formless, void beginning, the Lord fashioned the Earth with His intention in its details. From this ground, God made physical people spiritual beings in His image.

Finding and following God’s will was no different for Adam and Eve than it is for us.

We have the same problem they did.

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Christmas Shows God’s Amazing Providence in Your Life

Here's how you can know your chances are really God’s choices.

The first Christmas looked like a coincidence. From a human perspective, politics set the agenda: Caesar took a census of his people. End of story. But it wasn’t.

Christmas Shows the Power of God's Providence in Your Life

(Photo: Bethlehem Fields with Herod’s Herodium in background. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

From the divine viewpoint, God orchestrated ordinary events for extraordinary outcomes.

Think about this past year in your life. Many ordinary events occurred. Most of them you don’t remember. But God has been working. It isn’t just the Christmas story.

It’s your story too. God uses the power of providence in your life.

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Why You Should Give Books for Christmas

5 Reasons Your Best Gifts Include Good Books

You like to read. (After all, you read my blog.) That means you probably have read some great books over the years. One of the best gifts you can give someone is a book, and I’m convinced we should give books for Christmas. Here’s why.

Why You Should Give Books for Christmas

(Photo by Photodune)

Here are give reasons books make great gifts for Christmas. 

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4 Blessings from God that May Surprise You

God May Want to Give You More than Relief

Sometimes it seems no one understands what we’re going through. When people fail us, or forget us, or even betray us, we’re left alone in the ashes of a reality we never expected or wanted.

God May Want to Give You More than Relief

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

In those intense moments of loneliness, confusion, and pain, we ask God for one thing more than anything else. Relief from suffering.

But when relief is denied, we begin the difficult journey of resisting the notion that God is a cruel sovereign who toys with our lives. After all, He could stop it all in moment. After everything else but God gets stripped away from our lives, we begin realize that the Lord may want to give us something more—and much greater—than relief.

In those moments, God becomes more real to us than we ever would have known any other way.

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