God

  • painting of Jesus with a lion, on beautiful colorful background with hint of space feeling, lion profile portrait
    The Day Of Zeal (Monday) The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

    The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

The Day Of Zeal (Monday)

It’s Monday, just three short days until Jesus’s crucifixion. What happened on this day in the life of Christ, and what can we learn from it? According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the cheers and excitement of the entire city on Palm Sunday. The following day, upon his return, he visited the Temple area. This was a place that was suppose to be dedicated to God. A place that was suppose to be holy, pure, and a shining example of what the Kingdom of God is like. Instead, it had become full of worldly, deceitful, greedy, and power hungry people. Jesus was not impressed Matthew 21:12–13 (HCSB) —12Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!” Jesus is zealous for his people and his church. After causing a real commotion in the temple, Matthew records that “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.”  The children in the temple area praised Jesus  shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” causing the chief priests and scribes to become more indignant. And when the time came, Jesus returned to the town of Bethany (about a two-mile walk over the Mount of Olives).  He most likely spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. So what can we learn from this day in the life of Christ? We see […]

  • Retro or Vintage Style Vote or Voting Campaign Election Pin Button or Badge.  Use this pin on infographics, blog headers, flyers, or web pages.  Or print it out and create a real pin or badge!
    I Voted Today I Voted Today

    I Voted Today

I Voted Today

I voted today. Normally I don’t endorse or explain my vote but I feel our country is facing a very difficult future and now more than ever we need the right leadership. I voted for Senator Ted Cruz and would ask that you consider supporting him as well. Why did I vote for Ted Cruz? Well not because I think he is perfect or will solve all of our problems. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He alone is perfect, but Jesus was not a choice. None of the choices are perfect, and they never will be because they are humans. I voted for Ted Cruz because I believe he loves Jesus, loves his family, loves his country, and loves humanity. He is principled, dedicated, not easily enticed, and willing to stand, and stand alone if necessary. He has tremendous leadership ability and I believe he more than any other presidential candidate can unite our country. I know many are saying that Trump is going to be the nominee and we better get use to it. They are voting for Trump simply because they don’t want to be on the losing team. However keep in mind this is a primary. You should vote for your first pick, the person you think will be the best overall pick, not who you think will be the final pick. I could not vote for Trump because every time I think of him this passage comes to mind. Matthew 7:15–18 (NET) —15“Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves.16You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they?17In the same […]

  • Save The Date Rings And Gay Paper
    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

    Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

Christian Myths about Gay Marriage

For the first time in the history of the United States of America, two persons of the same sex can now legally obtain a marriage license in all fifty states. The reaction to this ruling from the Supreme Court has been extreme and divisive on both sides of the argument. Some are overjoyed, many are sympathetically supportive, and others are outraged. Personally, my heart is heavy. Primarily because there are so many false narratives being advanced by people who claim to be disciples of Christ. Because I know the attacks are going to come let me start by saying a few things that I sincerely believe to be true. While I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and as such, I share the biblical view on homosexuality, I am not aggressively attacking those who have chosen this lifestyle. I do love you, pray for you, and deeply desire to hear you, know you, eat with you, and understand you. Furthermore, I would like to ask for forgiveness from those of you who have been shamed, slandered, slurred, and humiliated by my brothers and sisters of the faith. Finally, if my comments below and in subsequent posts share this unholy  spirit in your mind or heart I humbly ask that you would contact me so I can seek forgiveness from you as well. My goal in these posts is simply to present what I consider truth on this issue based on my current understanding of culture, church, and ultimately scripture. Christian Myths about Gay Marriage             Over the past few days, I have been monitoring the news, web, and social media closely. One of the most astonishing revelations for me has been the lack of biblical […]

  • Gift box / present or christmas gift hand close up. Decorative g
    Neglecting The Gift Neglecting The Gift

    Neglecting The Gift

Neglecting The Gift

1 Timothy 4:14 (NET) —14Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have…  The Greek word in this text for neglect is ἀμέλει  from the root ἀμελέω (ameleo). Most translations use the word “neglect” but the Greek denotes a “careless” neglect for the spiritual gift that Paul believed Timothy possessed.  Careless indeed are those who fail to utilize, develop, and maximize the potential for their spiritual gifts. One may elect to be careless with many things in life, but to choose careless neglect in regards to our spiritual gifting is tragic.  It is through our gifts that the church is built, sustained, and enriched. These spiritual gifts propel the message of the gospel into the world. Spiritual gifts have the unique potential to cultivate countless blessings in the lives of others. These gifts provide, promote, and produce, a Holy flood of God’s grace into the world. They comfort, heal, touch, and speak life. Therefore should we dare to be so careless with something so powerful and precious? Many today feel that their gift is to small, insignificant, or underdeveloped, to make a difference. They carelessly toss them aside into the bin of negligent. Others selfishly assume that these great gifts are for their benefit alone, failing to understand that these gifts from God are for His own body the church. He blesses His church through His people, with the various gifts they possess. What are yours? How are you using them? Have you carelessly neglected your spiritual gifts? Do not neglect the spiritual gift you have!      

  • Shepherds Cave
    Israel Day 12 May 29, 2014 Israel Day 12 May 29, 2014

    Israel Day 12 May 29, 2014

Israel Day 12 May 29, 2014

Today was a free day for our group so we all got to choose what we wanted to do. I decided to book a tour guide to take me around and show me some of the sites that were the most interesting. I was hoping some others in the group would join me and split the expenses but everyone else wanted to save the money for other things. I almost decided not to go but I am glad I stuck with my original plan. I have enjoyed everyday here in Israel. Each day has been full of its own surprises, frustrations, and enlightening moments. However, today was the most amazing day I have had. This was in large part due to my tour guide Esseam. We did not get to go to Bethlehem on any of our group excursions so that was very high on my list. This was the first place we went this morning. Bethlehem is in the West Bank so we had to pass through a checkpoint but they did not even stop our car. On the way out it was the same we just drove right through as the guards waved. I was surprised because I had only heard about how hard it was to get in and out of Bethlehem. Our first stop was Boaz and Naomi’s field, or the shepherds field. According to archeological evidence and local traditions this is the place that Boaz owned. There is also a cave on the site just behind the church that marks the spot the shepherds had their encounter with the angel that was a cave that has been confirmed to have been used by shepherds during the time period. It was […]

  • My Roommate Ray
    Day 11 May 28, 2014 Day 11 May 28, 2014

    Day 11 May 28, 2014

Day 11 May 28, 2014

Today was a massively wonderful and disappointing day all at the sometime. The sites and stories were the wonderful part along with some family stuff.  Today was my wedding anniversary. It’s the first one I have not been there to celebrate with my wife and it felt strange. I was blessed to be able to call home and talk to her this afternoon as she was waking up.  That really helped put the rest of the day in perspective and there was really nothing that could have ruined this day.  However the tour guide and bus were the disappointing part. They showed up late of course. We drove to Masada and after our tour it took almost an hour to get them to come and pick us up. That wasted time was really disappointing. Today was the last chance we had to see some of the sites so the late start and delay at Masada caused everything else to be cut short. Then on the way home there was something wrong with the bus and we drove about 10 mph for really long way. My roommate (Ray) and I finally got out and walked the last few miles to the hotel. Our day started at Masada. This is a huge desert fortress built on top of a large mountain overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built this place for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. This guy really was a master builder. I was so amazed at the thought that went into this fortress that was designed to be a place of refuge and last stand if needed. In this day there was really no easy way to […]

  • My roommate took some pictures of me praying at the wall. In case you are wondering you have to have a hat on to pray at the wall...
    Israel Day 10 May 27, 2014 Israel Day 10 May 27, 2014

    Israel Day 10 May 27, 2014

Israel Day 10 May 27, 2014

Today was the day we were scheduled to travel out to a few sites with a tour bus, however we learned early this morning that the bus was not able to meet us. So we spent the day wandering the streets of Jerusalem instead. It was a great day but a long one. For those considering coming to Israel be prepared to walk a lot. Here in Jerusalem you get the feeling that everything is uphill as well. Some in our group were really struggling today to keep up and we are all tired after a day in the old city. Our first stop took us just down a very step hill from our hotel to the Garden of Gethsemane or Mount of Olives where Jesus went to pray on the night he was betrayed. The Mt of Olives gained its name from its extensive olive groves which were renowned in antiquity (Zec 14:4; Mk 11:1). [1] There is good reason to believe this could be the exact place. From this garden you can see the Golden Gate which is sealed and said to only be opened at the return of Christ. You can also see where the Lions gate leads into the city. There are also two extremely large olive trees here. Tradition and science according to some say that at least one of these trees was here the night Jesus prayed. Olive trees are known to live for over 1,000 years in some cases so it is not impossible to think that Jesus would have prayed near or under one of these very trees. Of course there is a church built here and there is a rock exposed in the floor of the […]

  • Caesarea Maritima amphitheater from the top
    Israel Day 9 May 26, 2014 Israel Day 9 May 26, 2014

    Israel Day 9 May 26, 2014

Israel Day 9 May 26, 2014

Today was another overwhelming day for me. This morning I stood on the stones where Paul made his appeal in Acts 25 before eventually being sent to Rome where he was later executed. Tonight I lay down to sleep on top of the Mount of Olives near the spot my Savior spent his final hours in prayer before his passion began. Each day of our journey here has presented me with different views, challenged me in different ways, and brought about a variety of emotions. Words are not able to express these things but I hope my detailed journal will help me share how wonderful this trip has been, and keep these memories fresh in my own mind long after I return. So here is a play by play of today. We started the day by leaving Nazareth and driving to “Caesarea (“city of Caesar”). This is a coastal city of Palestine that served as capital of the Roman province (Acts 8:40). Built by Herod the Great, it is located 37 km. (23 mi.) from the foot of Mount Carmel; also called Caesarea Maritima.”[1] This city was built between 22-10 B.C.E. and is believed to be about 8,000 acres though not all of it has been uncovered. This city “became the administrative center of the country throughout the period of Roman occupation. Three Roman governors of Palestine lived here: Felix (Acts 24), Festus (Acts 25:1, 4, 6, 13), and Pontius Pilate, who visited Jerusalem on special occasions (as in John 19). Archaeologists found Pilate’s name carved in stone in the theater at Caesarea.”[2] This city also sits right on the Mediterranean Sea so it was a major seaport as well. There were not any good […]

  • Cookies and Cream Gelato on the Sabbath!
    Day 8 May 25, 2014 Day 8 May 25, 2014

    Day 8 May 25, 2014

Day 8 May 25, 2014

Today was the Sabbath so we worshiped and rested. It was great. The day started off at the Baptist church down the road. The worship was great and the sermon was good. I did not understand most of the songs but really enjoyed the spirit that filled that place. We were given little boxes that transmitted a translated version of the sermon but the battery on mine ran out only a few minutes into the Pastors message. I followed along on the power point and in my bible. The pastor was talking about Faith and mostly the faith of Abraham. He had some good points from what I could make out. After church we went back to NETS for lunch. We had sandwiches and it was great. It is strange how a common food like a sandwich can taste so good after you have been without it for a week. There was a sweet time of fellowship, then a long period of using the Wi-Fi up at NETS to call home and send some emails. Then we all slowly made our way back to the hotel taking in the scenery of Nazareth one last time from atop the hill. Everyone did there own thing this afternoon. I spent sometime in prayer, then started reading a book. Tonight we ate here at the hotel and then, headed down the street looking for some Gelato. We finally found a place that was open and everyone sat outside in the cool breeze visiting and laughing. I am amazed that just a few days ago I did not know these people at all and tonight we are true friends. This has been a great trip in so many ways […]

  • Standing on the edge of the precipice
    Israel Day 6 2014 Israel Day 6 2014

    Israel Day 6 2014

Israel Day 6 2014

Today was another amazing, and full day in Israel. We started out this morning with the usual routine of breakfast and then departed our hotel for Mount Precipice. This is likely the place that the events recorded in Luke 4:29–30  took place. The scripture says…29They got up, forced him out of the town, and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.30But he passed through the crowd and went on his way. [1] Standing up on this high spot really brings the situation into perspective. The hill gradually climbs to the precipice where you are surrounded on three sides by a steep and large drop. Being pushed or thrown from here would mean certain death. Seeing these kinds of places really brings the bible to life. While thinking about what happened here on the precipice and considering the scripture was great, the view is really what makes this place worth visiting. From here you can see so much biblical history. Off to my right I saw Mount Tabor. I wrote about some of the things that happened here on Tabor in the journal entry for day 2 when we first arrived in Nazareth. This is a very important biblical site and one that I never realized was so close to the home town of Jesus. Some new information I learned today about Tabor is that at the foot of the city is the city of Debareh where Deborah lived.  She was, an Israelite judge, and played a major role in the war against the Canaanites (Jgs 4:6, 12; 5:1, 12).[2] It all happened in the valley below. Then looking straight […]

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