I’m in my first Beth Moore Bible study, and I’m loving it. But this isn’t about what a great teacher Beth Moore is… except that in one of her homework lessons from “Living Beyond Yourself” I noticed something that has had me thinking ever since. She brought our attention to the passage in Zechariah 14 which tells of the last days when Jesus will return. Verse 4 says, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”
I’ve never really noticed that verse before, that I can recall. What made it jump out to me recently was because of my visit to Israel in September. Something that fascinated me was the fissure in the bedrock that runs from the Church of the Holy Sceptre to the Temple Mount. Ok, stick with me a minute while I explain. The place that is mostly closely held traditionally as where Jesus was crucified and buried is where the Holy Sceptre stands. When Jesus was on the cross and gave up his life, Matthew 27:51 tells us that “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split”. In other words, there was an earthquake. Archeologists have found that there is a large fissure in the bedrock of the city that runs from the Holy Sceptre directly to the Temple Mount, where the Temple stood. This fissure runs from west to east. (more…)
The following is taken from an essay by Mark Twain, which I read online here. I found it interesting and wanted to share it.
If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.
His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. (more…)
Growing up in the church, you hear over and over again that you have a Heavenly Father. We are sons and daughters of the King. We are told that we are part of God’s family since Jesus paid the way. While all this is true and important to know, somehow we miss the deep connection in the Western culture.
Part of this disconnect I think happens because many of the pictures we see of Jesus while growing up are of a very handsome western European-featured man. Obviously at some point as a child I recognized that Jesus was Jewish, but I’m not sure my mind translated the mental image right away. Maybe when all you have to look at is pictures of a European Jesus, you just have a hard time picturing Him another way. But there’s another problem with these old images – the Bible tells us that Jesus wasn’t handsome. Isaiah 53:2b says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (And we know this passage is about Jesus because the passage goes on to say how he was pierced for our iniquities.) What I find interesting about this is that while in Israel last September, I didn’t see a single not-handsome Jewish man (or woman, for that matter). They are a beautiful people! Which kind of makes me wonder if Jesus’ homeliness made Him stand out bit…. (more…)
The commercial world calls it Valentine’s Day. Those of us without someone to spend it with call it Single’s Awareness Day. Just the mention of this day used to bring out a long-time bitterness. In grade school we all exchanged Valentine’s cards in class, but only because we were forced to give one to everyone. But the looks in people’s eyes as they placed their pink, red, and white cards into certain classmate’s hastily constructed Valentine’s Bags definitely spoke volumes that they were not happy about the arrangement. I think that is where I started dreading the day. As I went through middle school and high school, the pressure changed to have a ‘date’ to spend the day with and go to the school dance with only increased the anxiety of the holiday.
I struggle to even put into words what the last three years has been to me. While I rejoice that my dad is no longer suffering with the painful effects that Crohn’s disease can cause, that also means that I don’t get to see him until we are reunited in Heaven. But this one thing I know is true: God is ever faithful to His children.
Since the band Mercy Me sings it so well, I will let them speak for my heart: (more…)
Tomorrow is my birthday.
Birthdays are a bitter-sweet thing for me. They weren’t always, but they always will be.
A day of celebration was quickly turned to tragedy on my 27th birthday. I got news that my dad had a massive stroke. He was already very unhealthy from Crohn’s disease, and his body could not fight back. Two days later, he went to be with the Lord. And I miss him. (more…)