Many of you know that we've been in Israel a little over ten years now. I am still trying to adjust to the spiritual atmosphere, culture and language. Those few things, in and of themselves, are enough to become overwhelmed. But if that's not enough, we are pioneering a new ministry here, trusting totally in God for His provision, trying to raise two young children in a way that is pleasing to Him and all the while, going through our own personal trials.
There is an old Persian fable of a hen, a mouse, and a rabbit who lived together in a little house in the woods. They shared all the work and lived in harmony. The chicken found the firewood, the mouse brought the water from a nearby brook, and the rabbit cooked the meals. Each did his work faithfully and contentedly.
Charles Swindoll wrote about these men who bring in animals from Africa for American zoos. They say that one of the hardest animals to catch there is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it's simple. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years.
In today's society fast food is making billions. It's slogans are "have it your way" and "have it hot and and have it now". How easy it is for us to fall into this "fast food mentality". It has almost become who we are. But in God's kingdom there's no fast food. We can't always have it our way and now. When we are caught up in this fast food mentality, we lose the true meaning of patience. True patience is the ability to wait on the Lord through trials without complaining and worrying; it is to be tested and persevere through trial.
"Blessed are the peacemakers"…when the term "peacemaker" is used the initial thought is of someone who keeps the peace between two opposing parties. A "peacemaker" solves dilemmas often without the force of violence, although the threat of violence is sometimes present and to be used if necessary.
One day a passerby saw a homeless man on the roadside. He stopped for a moment to hand him some loose change and casually said "God bless you, my friend".
Solomon wrote, "a merry heart has a continual feast!" But why does it seem like so many of us are not feasting? How do we maintain a merry heart?
An ancient legend tells of a king who walked into his garden one day to find almost everything withered and dying. After speaking to an oak near the gate, the king learned that he was troubled because he was not tall and beautiful like the pine. The pine overheard their conversation and added that she, too, was upset, for she could not bear delicious fruit like the pear tree. The pear tree heard his name and began to complain that he did not have the lovely odor of the spruce. And so it went throughout the entire garden.
In her book, Let Me Be a Woman, Elizabeth Elliot records the story of a friend who had great difficulty accepting the looks God had given her. While everyone this girl knew had grown beautiful golden hair, hers was black. And while they were all still growing, she had stopped. She grew to be only about four feet ten inches tall.
June might also be called "marriage" month, and my wife and I have several weddings to attend this month. In Israel, couples are married beneath a "huppah", which is a beautiful canopy under which the ceremony takes place. The word "huppah" means "covering" but also, a "chamber" or "marriage room". So the canopy is a reminder that the marriage chamber is the most important room in the house for a husband and wife because it's the most intimate room. The huppah emphasizes marital intimacy and reminds us that even if we have the most luxurious mansion in the world, neglecting the place of intimacy spells deep trouble for our marriage.
Yeshua (Jesus) is the Prince of Peace (Sar Shalom, in Hebrew). You may have already known that the word "shalom" means peace. But actually, it has several meanings in the Hebrew. Shalom means peace, completeness, prosperity, safety, contentment, health, blessing, and rest — and not only that. Shalom is the common word for hello and goodbye.
Roger Babson, a famous statistician was having lunch with the President of Argentina, "Mr. Babson," the President said, "I have been wondering why it is that South America, with all its natural advantages, mines of iron, copper, coal and silver, rivers and great waterfalls is so far behind North America?" Babson replied, "Well, Mr. President, what do you think is the reason?" He answered, "..South America was founded by the Spanish who came in search of gold. North America was founded by the Pilgrims who went there in search of God."
Ever gotten one of those really bad paper cuts? I heard someone complaining about one just recently – and I got to thinking about all the stuff we gripe about without even realizing it. Our jobs and our relationships, our parents, our children, our churches, our homes, our appearances.
Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) started last week, and it's customary to say to everyone this week — Chag Sameach, which literally means joyous festival! As we mentioned, the feast of Sukkot commemorates the time in which God led the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years, providing them with every need on a daily basis — shelter, food, water and clothing. You may know that a during Sukkot, a portion of Ecclesiastes is read in the synagogues. Interestingly enough, it speaks of the vanity of materialism.
1 Corinthians 15:57-58 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for […]
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. A new driver for an interstate trucking company was having a difficult time. He found the long cross-country trips extremely tiring. The older driver who traveled with him, however, seemed to thrive on […]
Psalms 27:4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. Three men were marooned on a desert island. As the days […]