Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Last night, after being on the road for nearly four months, I finally got to sleep in my [...]
Two hunters came across a bear so big that they dropped their rifles and ran for cover. One man climbed a tree while the other hid in a nearby cave. The bear was in no hurry to eat, so he sat down between the tree and the cave to reflect upon his good fortune. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, the hunter in the cave came rushing out, almost ran into the waiting bear, hesitated, and then dashed back in again. The same thing happened a second time. When he emerged for the third time, his companion in the tree frantically called out, "Woody, are you crazy? Stay in the cave till he leaves!" "Can't," panted Woody, "there's another bear in there!"
When missionary Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends wrote him: "We would like to send other men to you. Have you found a good road into your area yet?" Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: "If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all."
Carl Armerding wrote a funny story in Moody Monthly, about his experience at the zoo. "As I stood there," he said, "an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom.
Throughout the history of the modern state of Israel, there have been accounts of angelic interventions protecting Israeli soldiers in the midst of intense warfare. One instance recounted by an Israeli military historian after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, describes an Israeli soldier in the Sinai taking captive an entire Egyptian column and leading them to where the Israeli troops were. The Egyptian commander was asked why he and his men gave themselves up to the lone Israeli soldier. He responded with surprise, "One soldier? There were thousands of them."
As some of you may know, a bomb exploded in a bus within blocks of our Jerusalem apartment when we first moved to Israel. That morning, my wife and I, along with our newborn baby, were heading to the city center to run a few errands when suddenly we heard the explosion. Within minutes, the sirens were screaming from every part of the city as officials quickly made their way to the scene. Later that month, the bus I was supposed to be on drove away as I watched it carry away the 50 or so people who would be critically injured and the 8 who would be dead seconds later, when that bus exploded before my very eyes. So, to put it mildly, we have seen firsthand how terrorism works and how it affects people.
Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian Jewish Believer and an amazing man of God, spent 14 years in communist prisons where he was tortured brutally for his faith, then lived to tell about it. In his book, The Oracles of God, he writes about acquiring inner peace and tells the following powerful story.
The world these days is full of bad news, with tensions growing in the Middle East, economies on the brink of collapse, and nature constantly adding to the chaos with one disaster after another. It's a time of trouble all right, and for us believers it may sometimes be hard to believe – but it never is as bad as it seems. Let me illustrate with a joke I like to share with my messages.
God has called each of us to something specific and He wants to plant us in a way that our roots can grow deep in Him and in that particular calling. He wants us to become solely dependent on His nourishment there, that we might grow to be strong, solid leaders with the capacity to serve and guide those around us who are in need where He's called us.
Abraham's rescue of Lot and his household from the four Mesopotamian Kings in the middle of the night was an act of holy chutzpah! Israel's first patriarch demonstrated great faith, courage, family loyalty, and military strategy during this successful rescue operation.
A farmer and his friend went duck hunting. Eventually, they got to talking about the things of God, as they always would. "You're always talking about these battles you have with the devil," the farmer's friend said to him. "It's so silly – I mean, I'm not even a Christian and I've never experienced anything like that."
Failure is never a pleasant feeling. It isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned to joy if we look at it the right way!
As we press in closer to the Lord and His calling on our lives, the enemy becomes more and more fierce, throwing all kinds of darts of fear and doubt our way. But as beloved children of God, we can trust the Lord to defend us! God has an invisible army all around, ready to protect us in our times of need. When the battle intensifies, when the enemy seems to be attacking from every side, when it seems all too great for our eyes, know that the Lord has placed His protection all around you! We may not see it — but we must walk by faith!
Some experts believe that acute stress can provoke changes in the heart that may lead to death. In one study, fifteen cases were identified in which people died after a physical assault, even though the injuries alone were not enough to kill them. Eleven of the fifteen showed a type of heart-cell death, similar to a reaction in experimental animals that feel helpless to anticipate or avoid danger.
In a documentary mini series called "Against All Odds" a remarkable story is told about an Israeli platoon who found themselves in the midst of a minefield along the Syrian border during the Yom Kippur War. When the platoon realized they were in a minefield they pulled out their bayonets and started to dig out mines and to disarm them…
During the building of the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay, construction fell badly behind schedule because several workers had accidentally fallen from the scaffolding to their deaths. Engineers and administrators could find no solution to the costly delays.
Last week, the United States experienced an earthquake — the most powerful earthquake to strike the East Coast in 67 years. For many, it was the first time they had ever experienced one. This reminded me of when we first moved to Israel, in 2003.
Historian Shelby Foote tells of a soldier who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War and was ordered to go to the rear. The fighting was fierce and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer. "Captain, give me a gun!" he shouted. "This fight ain't got any rear!"
In Israel, we often see goats and sheep roaming the countryside. Driving through rural Israel often involves suddenly stopping to allow a herd of sheep or goats to cross the road. But interestingly, I have never seen “sheep kill" on the side of the road in all the years that I’ve lived in Israel. It’s because sheep don’t roam without a shepherd!
As we continue our study of the Mighty Men of David, another quality is worth pointing out — they were not procrastinators. Notice that these men decided to cross the Jordan river when it was at flood stage! They didn't wait till the river receded, but rather, boldly crossed when it was the most dangerous!