A young reporter approached an old man on his 100th birthday. "Happy birthday, kind Sir! Can I bother you to answer one question? In all your years, of what are you most proud?" he asked.
If you keep a grain of wheat in your pocket, it will look exactly the same ten years from now. But place it in the right environment — some good ground, enough water — it will sprout into a living sheaf of grain!
Junk mail — those annoying letters that fill your mail box. Along with the junk comes the delightful bills, and renewal notices. Of course the junk, we can just throw away, the bills, unfortunately can't be ignored, but the renewal notices, those we're thankful to see. Without them, we'd likely forget that we need to renew our licenses, our credit cards, membership cards, whatever else.
When a Michigan man entered the hospital for tests one day, he never would have guessed what the doctors would find. A routine chest x-ray revealed that the man’s heart was on the wrong side of his chest! Because of a rare reversed-organ condition, his heart was in the wrong place. This is a strange story indeed, although I think some of us suffer from this condition in a spiritual way.
Last night began Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar year. Some of you may know that a lot of bad things have happened to the Jewish people on this date, the first of which was when the spies returned with an evil report of Canaan, the Promised Land, recounted in Numbers 13 and 14.
There is a long standing tradition of cleaning one's house in the springtime – hence the term "spring cleaning". One source for this tradition is certainly the Jewish Passover (Pesach). Each spring as the holiday approaches observant householders in Israel…
An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. His contractor was sorry to see such a good employee go, and asked him if he would build just one last house as a personal favor. The carpenter agreed but his heart was not in it. He resorted to bad workmanship and using cheap materials.
Charles William Eliot, former president of Harvard University, had a birthmark on his face that bothered him greatly. As a young man, he was told that surgeons could do nothing to remove it. Someone described that moment as "the dark hour of his soul." Eliot's mother gave him this helpful advice: "My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of that hardship…But it is possible for you, with God's help, to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face."
The Book of Daniel prophesied in this passage, that the Messiah will come and be cut off, and then the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary (the temple) will be destroyed. The city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army led by Titus in 70 AD.
A life without a goal is like the captain of a ship without a map and a compass. His ship will just drift aimlessly from day to day hoping to arrive somewhere. The apostle Paul set for himself a goal! He pressed forward in search for his goal — he pressed toward the mark of the high calling in Messiah! He had a clear direction of where he was going and he was focused on the Lord! How much more should we!
I'm not sure how much I enjoy the freezing weather here as we're traveling across the United States, but I certainly can't wait till Spring comes! On the Hebrew calendar Nisan is the month that transitions from winter to Spring.
While Chanukah is not a Biblical feast, it is an important one. Chanukah commemorates the story of small group of men with much courage — enough courage to defeat even the greatest of the world’s empires.
Chanukah, a time of celebration and rededication, began last night here in the Land and for Jewish people all over the globe. Those of us who are grafted in through the atoning work of Messiah, we who know God, have an opportunity to see the deeper significance in the Jewish holidays and are not only welcome but encouraged to celebrate as well!
According to ancient Jewish legend, one day Abraham was shown his father, Terah's room of many idols. Young Abraham, thinking that perhaps he could discover intimacy with them, made some desirable delicacies and placed them before the idols. When nothing happened, he realized that these idols were nothing more than clay — they could do nothing for him or anyone else for that matter. So he proceeded to destroy all the idols, except for one.
David is called a “man after God’s own heart.” Considering that he lusted after his neighbor's wife, committed adultery with her, and had her husband murdered, the Lord's description of him is remarkable. How could a man who was convicted a murderer and an adulterer also be called one after God’s own heart?
From Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur there are ten days. The Lord gave these days to Israel to prepare for His judgment. They became known as the Yamim Noraim – the "Days of Awe". It has been long believed that during these days one's final destiny was sealed concerning the Book of Life, God's eternal Book of Judgment. Thus every year the Jewish people have observed these days with great reverence and repentance so to be right with God and with men.
Why is it that some believers seem to go much deeper in their walk with God than others? I believe it has to do with a desire to pursue God and not to stop until they feel His very presence in their lives. These believers decide not to settle for anything less than a growing, vibrant relationship with God, and God honors that desire for those who seek it.
The central fact of the gospel message is the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), declared in Psalm 2, the begotten Son of God. In 1952, Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in Cave 4 called the "Messianic Apocalypse". The Messiah's ministry of resurrection is reiterated in these ancient documents with an obvious reference to Isaiah 61:1-3. The scroll identifies someone who "… will heal the wounded, and revive the dead …
When the prophet Jonah entered Nineveh, he gave a message of hopelessness — in 40 days your city will be destroyed! He did not say, Nineveh will be destroyed "unless", but emphatically prophesied destruction to the people of the city — seeming to say their situation was hopeless.
From the moment we were conceived we began aging, growing older by the day. We may slow down the physical aging process by exercising, eating right and other natural techniques – but we cannot ultimately stop it. This mortal flesh, our outer man, is "wasting away" and moving toward decay as we await the immortal bodies promised us in the Resurrection.