3 Questions to Ask Yourself in Making the Right Decision

We need to remember that our spiritual life IS our life.

How many times have we made what we thought was the best decision—but it turned out to be the worst? Lessons learned from such blunders we remember and regret all of our lives.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself in Making the Right Decision

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

We make knee-jerk decisions that we think will benefit us financially, or relationally, or vocationally, or physically.

But what about spiritually? Lot failed to ask that question, and he lived with the regret.

But we don’t have to be like that if we’ll ask ourselves 3 questions.

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Ein Gedi—A Testimony to God’s Grace and Provision

Finding hope against a depressing backdrop of death and desperation.

Ancient travelers who made their way along the shores of the Dead Sea would no doubt shake their heads when they saw it. How could so much water stand in such a barren place—and none of it be drinkable?

Ein Gedi—A Testimony to God’s Grace and Provision

(Photo: The oasis of Ein Gedi beside the Dead Sea, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Before the obliteration of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Jordan Valley looked like the “garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13:10). But afterwards, even the many springs that bubbled beside the Dead Sea tasted too salty to swallow. The plentiful waters gave nothing in the way of sustenance.

They only offered a spiritual prompt of the need to take God seriously.

Against this depressing backdrop of death and desperation flows the Ein Gedi.

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Masada— A Place of Sanctuary, Suicide, and Inspiration

Israel's symbol of resolve still inspires us.

One visit to Masada is not enough. It’s no wonder. Masada looks as intimidating today as it did to those who stood at its base thousands of years ago. 

Masada— A place of Sanctuary, Suicide, and Inspiration

(Photo: The magnificent fortress of Masada. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Towering 1300 feet above the Dead Sea, this natural mesa looms tall across from the Lisan at the southern half of the Dead Sea.

Steep cliffs on all sides make the mountain look virtually impregnable.

And it was.

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Finding the Dead Sea Scrolls Isn’t Enough

The Qumran caves only take us so far.

Our guide pointed from the road to a rocky outcropping on one of the distant hills. “This hike is definitely optional,” he warned. “But it’s worth it.”

Qumran Cave 4 interior

(Photo: The interior of Cave 4 at Qumran. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

A few of us brave souls followed, and for the first time in my life, I wished I had four legs.

Our guide scurried over the rocks like a lizard and stopped ahead, halfway up the hill, near the fissure in the rocks to which he had pointed. He turned and stood, arms crossed, one leg over the other, and waited for us. Finally I arrived.

“This is it,” he beamed.

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How Biblical Geography and Botany Can Help Your Marriage

God reveals affirmation as key to a healthy relationship.

The Bible speaks often of marriage. After all, God began the human race with it. His first command to the man and woman, “Be fruitful and multiply,” required the physical union the Song of Songs extols.

The Rose of Sharon along Israel's coast

(Photo: The Rose of Sharon along Israel’s coast, by Gideon Pisanty [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In the Song of Songs, inspired discretion veils the couple’s erotic conversations behind beautiful metaphors. But the veiled metaphors do more than merely make the book readable for all ages. They offer a model of what all marriages need to do in order to remain strong.

God inspired metaphors of biblical geography and botany to highlight one of the most important aspects in any healthy marriage.

It’s something your marriage needs.

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The Dead Sea —One Day It Will Live Again

The evaporating sea offers a picture of God’s power to bring life from death.

Piles of driftwood, bleached white, surround the shoreline like bones from a life lived long-ago. It’s the lowest place on earth, the hottest spot in Israel, and nothing visible can live in its waters. The Dead Sea.

Sunrise over Dead Sea

(Photo: Sunrise over Dead Sea. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

With a name like the Dead Sea, this unusual site might lead you to expect a disappointing visit.

Rest assured—anyone who experiences the Dead Sea never forgets its wonder.

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Ein Bokek and Ein Feshkha—Oases of Grace in a Surprising Place

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.

Ein Bokek and Ein Feshkha—Oases of Grace in a Surprising Place

(Photo: The Dead Sea north of Ein Bokek. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

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.

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Great 360-Degree Images of 11 Israel Sites

On my recent trip to Israel, I used an app called 360 Panorama to take 360-degree images of biblical sites. I took more than 50 images, and generally, I think the app did well.

Great 360-Degree Images of 11 Israel Sites

(Photo: The Middle Bronze Gate at Tel Dan)

The app allows geotagging of images, and it notes both the location and direction of the image you take. But it isn’t perfect. Some of the geotagging is quirky, for example, it located Qumran in Jordan. Also getting a good “stitch” takes some practice.

In this post you can look around 11 key sites all over Israel. Next week, I’ll share some 360-degree images from Jerusalem.

Just click on the images and drag right or left to look around!

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Hurling the Sin We’ve Swallowed

I went to a movie with a friend, and he gorged on popcorn, cokes, and candy. As the movie was about to end, he leaned over and whispered: “I don’t feel good. I’ll wait for you in the back.” As I walked out, I saw him holding his stomach and twisting his face.

Hurling the sin we're swallowed

(Photo: Design Pics, via Vivozoom)

“You want me to drive?” I offered.

“No, no, I’ll be okay,” he said.

On the way home, he slammed on the brakes, opened his door, and hurled in the street.

“You sure you don’t want me to drive?” I asked again.

“No, no,” he said, breathing heavy. “I—I feel better now.”

We drove another hundred yards, and he slammed the brakes on again! (The seat belt began to hurt my shoulder.)

Later he told me after he got home he spent some time in the bathroom. I can imagine that point in his ordeal—as he leaned over the commode and begin to experience the candy and popcorn for the second time—that he asked himself: Why in the world did I ever eat this?! Talk about regret!

I can think of no better illustration of sin and temptation in our lives than this true story.

In fact, that’s what happened to a man named Lot.

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How to Avoid Personal Hypocrisy

Ever tried to tell if someone is authentic or phony? It isn’t easy. It gets even tougher when we look at ourselves.

Wearing a mask.

(Photo: Tyler Olson, via Vivozoom)

I remember seeing at Masada a one-inch painted black line running across the walls of the ruins. This line revealed the division between the original ruins below and the modern reconstruction built directly on top of it.

Unfortunately, we have no black line running down our lives and behaviors to reveal the division between the authentic and the phony. The line often seems easy to see in the lives of others, but discerning the hypocrite in ourselves?

That’s a challenge, even when we’re looking for it.

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