Take a Leap of Faith!

The African Impala (an African antelope) are amazing creatures that can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance greater than 30 feet. Yet Impalas can be kept in a zoo inside an enclosure with a simple 3 foot wall. Why? Impalas will not jump if they can't see where their feet will land. Do we have something in common with these antelopes? Able to take great leaps of faith, but refusing to do it unless we can see where we'll land?

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Hop on and take a ride through the country!

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 those long trips. He always seemed to look as fresh at the end of the ride as he did at the beginning.

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Give the Lord your best!

An ancient story is told of a King of Spain who was to visit a poor country village. Upon hearing of his plan to visit them, the people seemed excited to offer a great celebration that would show their adoration and love for their king. But the villagers didn't have much to offer.

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Enter into His place of worship!

President Franklin Roosevelt used to attend church in Washington. One day somebody phoned the church and asked, "Do you expect the President to be in church this Sunday?" The rector answered, "That I cannot promise. But we can expect God to be here, and we fancy that will be incentive enough for a reasonably large audience."

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Understand the Times!

Among the mighty men of David were those of the tribe of Issachar whose special gift was their understanding of the times, a gift of prophetic insight; and this was such a precious gift because included in their discernment was the ability to know how to apply it. In our time prophecy is everywhere. Yeshua (Jesus) warned us that there would be false prophets in the last days, especially approaching His second coming, and He said the prophecy would be so subtle and the false signs so powerful that even the elect might be deceived if that were possible; [Mt. 24:24] While it's clear to many of us that we're living in prophetic days, there are also millions who have no clue of the current times and seasons.

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Lights! Camera! Action!

The world loves the extraordinary, the spectacular. It relishes on the big, bright, grand and expensive. I remember when we traveled through Las Vegas years ago, to speak at a church in Carson City. Uyy! The lights, the size of everything -- crazy! But all I could think as we rolled down Sunset Strip was how sad it is that this is what the world finds extraordinary. The bigger, the brighter, the more expensive -- the more the world worships it.

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You're in the midst of the Days of Awe!

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.

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Heed the Sound of the Shofar!

Last night began the feast of Rosh Ha Shannah, or Yom Teruah -- the Feast of Trumpets. At the end of the summer the Hebrews are commanded to blow the shofar -- the ram’s horn, all day long. The sound of the shofar was a sound of alarm -- it told the people to get ready. It marked in the calendar that the summer harvest was over and the day of atonement was near and it was time to stand before God.

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Approach the Season for Repentance!

The Hebrew calendar month of Elul begins next Tuesday. Each day during the month of Elul, a shofar blast is sounded to announce the coming month of Tishrei – wherein the festival of Yom Teruah – the feast of trumpets-- takes place, calling for all people to repent. Elul, therefore, is identified as a month during which a serious emphasis is placed on personal self-examination and repentance, an end-of-the year opportunity to set our lives in order before Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashana), the days of Awe, and finally, Yom Kippur. Chronologically, Elul begins 40 days before Yom Kippur.

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Know Your Shepherd!

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!

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Do you ever feel like you're listening to a broken record?

While I was in the States, I read several stories about Ronald Reagan that made me appreciate him as a person and as a leader. But one amusing story really caught my attention and made me smile. When he was a young man, Reagan worked at a radio station and sometimes played records of sermons. His shift at the station was a one-man operation and so, on occasion, Ron would set the record playing and then sneak out for a cup of coffee. One day he got a call while he was at the coffee shop from the station's owner, ordering him back to the station, and then ... he received his termination notice. He'd returned to the station finding the record skipping at a particular point in the sermon...

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Rise Up!

A story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte. As he was busy conquering Europe in the 1800's during one of his military campaigns, Napoleon accidentally let the bridle of his horse slip while he was looking through some papers. The horse reared itself and the Emperor lost his balance. One corporal quickly leaped forward and caught the bridle just in the nick of time, bringing the horse under control and saving Napoleon from what might have been serious injury or even death. Napoleon saluted the corporal and said, "Thank you, Captain!" "Of what company, Sire?" asked the corporal. "Of my guards," replied Napoleon.

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Salvation is of the Lord!

Jonah now acknowledges that God put him where he is, and he accepts His discipline. "Sheol" is the "grave", the "pit" or the "abode of the dead". Did Jonah die, or was he only nearly dead from three days of fish stomach acid, and little or no air? The text doesn't say; only that if he didn't actually leave his body, he came as close as a man can get to it; three days worth. In this nebulous and miserable place Jonah cried out, probably from the deepest depths of his agonized soul...he cried out to the Lord.

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Outnumbered, Exhausted, but Still in Pursuit!

"Exhausted but still in pursuit..." Well, now we know why the angel of YHVH addressed Gideon the way he did. With his small three hundred man army he had just decimated the army of Midian -- but the victory wasn’t complete, and so the Jewish general and his small, exhausted, hungry, band were determined to cross the Jordan and take care of 15,000 additional Midanite enemies and their leaders, Zebah and Zalmunna.

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What are your expectations?

The Jewish leaders of His time rejected Yeshua (Jesus) when He first came. He didn't meet their expectations. They were expecting a Messiah who would bring relief from the Romans, restore the Kingdom of David, and usher in an era of tranquility throughout the world. It is probable that their intense jealousy of Yeshua blinded them to the numerous passages in the Tenach (OT) which describe Messiah as a suffering servant, since they were certainly aware of those passages.

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