The Incredible Value of Solitude with God

Saint George's Monastery in the Judean Wilderness reminds us to get away with God.

In our lives busy with people, it’s tough to appreciate the value of solitude with God. But Saint George’s Monastery in the Wilderness of Judea gives us reason to pause and ponder the priority of time with God.

Saint George's Monastery—The Value of Solitude with God

(Photo: Saint George’s Monastery. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

As I scanned the monastery’s blue domes and white arches that dot the colorless canvas of the wilderness, I marveled at the time and ingenuity it would have taken to build and rebuild these structures.  

I found myself wondering, Why would ANYONE want to live way out there? A friend of mine wondered if the monks in the monastery thought the same thing about us.

Sometimes in our hurry, it does us good to contemplate the value of solitude.

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Jesus Wants 3 Kinds of Fruit in Your Life [Podcast]

Mark 11:1-26

Jesus is looking for fruit. No, not apples and oranges— but fruit in our lives. In fact, He wants to find 3 kinds of fruit in your life.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we see the Triumphal Entry of Jesus as He begins the Passion Week. As Christians, bearing fruit for God is essential. Thankfully, Jesus shows us how.

Each of these 3 kinds of fruit are related to each other, and the good news is, when Jesus looks in our lives, He brings His grace along.

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How You Walk on the Appian Way Each Day

Paul's walk into Rome mirrors our journey through life.

Often roads get built for one reason, but God uses them in our lives for another altogether. The Appian Way of Rome proved it so in the life of the Apostle Paul. I walked the road recently.

Wayne walks the Appian Way

(Photo: Walking the Appian Way)

The Roman official Appius Claudius took the initiative to build a road in 312 BC as a means of transporting troops and supplies to and from Rome. In time, the road took his name and helped secure a Roman victory in the Second Samnite War. The Appian Way proved a huge success and eventually extended 350 miles southeast to the port of Brindisi. It served as Rome’s primary highway for centuries.

The restoration of the ancient Appian Way today allows both locals and tourists a beautiful walk in the footsteps of history.

When I walked the road recently, I thought about Paul who traveled along the same path.

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What Do You Want From God? [Podcast]

Mark 10:32-52

If Jesus were to ask you what you’d like Him to do for you, how would you answer? What an opportunity! Jesus actually asked the question twice—and got two totally different responses.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we’ll learn which response Jesus applauded. What exactly should we should want from God?

It’s challenging—and so encouraging.

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How Your Physical Struggles Can Energize Your Spiritual Life

The One who set eternity in our hearts created in us a hunger that space and time cannot satisfy.

When we struggle with physical needs, we want one thing more than anything else. Relief. Physical struggles scream at us like a hungry child, and nothing feels as pressing as removing the distraction.

Why God Connects Your Physical Needs to Your Spiritual Life

(Photo: Sunset over the Judean Wilderness. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Scriptures are full of people who struggled with physical needs. In fact, the superscription of Psalm 63 notes how David prayed the psalm in the wilderness of Judah, either while fleeing from King Saul or, later, from David’s rebel son Absalom.

My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. —Psalm 63:1

The “dry and weary land” that David described also mirrored his own physical needs, and the lack of water around him served to surface an even deeper thirst. At the height of his emotional and physical distress, David sought refuge in his spiritual life.

He yearned for God.

Our physical needs are connected to our spiritual lives for that very reason.

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God’s Surprising Requirement for Eternal Life [Podcast]

Mark 10:13-31

Have you ever heard someone answer a question before they answer the question? Jesus was a Master at that. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus’ answer to that question may surprise you! It surprised His disciples.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we look at what the Bible says about the surprising requirement for eternal life. The requirement for eternal life sounds like bad news—one can’t earn it— until we realize that the bad news is meant to drive us to the good news that Jesus offers it to us for free— if we’ll just believe.

Have you done that? If you have questions about that, or you’re not certain, feel free to connect with me.

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Why You Should Absolutely Cling to God More

A simple illustration from Ein Parath urges us to keep close to the Lord today.

It isn’t easy to cling to God every day. We need help to do so. That’s why the Lord commanded Jeremiah to buy a garment and bury it in the cracks of a beautiful spring called Ein Parath.

Ein Parath—Here's Why You Should Cling to God

(Photo: Ein Parath. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Prophet Jeremiah used many illustrations which came from the land around him. The Lord’s command to bury a sash in the cracks of a spring is a great example:

Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks. —Jeremiah 13:4

Many modern translations render the Hebrew term, prt, in this verse as the “Euphrates River.” Unfortunately, that would have required Jeremiah a 700-mile journey (twice) to perform a visual lesson Judah would never see. There’s a better translation in context that offered a lesson to the Hebrews at a place much closer to home.

The lesson hits us close to home as well—reminding us why we should cling to God.

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For the past several years I’ve used CoSchedule to help market my blog posts. I’ll be honest. At first, I doubted the benefits of spending money each month to do what I could do myself. But I quickly realized that time is worth more than money when I was spending up to 30 minutes a day scheduling posts and re-posts on social media. As a busy blogger, I have little time for fussing with the back end of my blog. I prefer writing and putting marketing on autopilot.

So much so, I’ve also started this year sharing inspirational photos and quotes.

CoSchedule has helped me do that. Here’s how.

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What God Says about Marriage [Podcast]

Mark 10:1-12

If we ask 10 different people on the street (or in the church) God’s view on marriage, we’ll likely get 11 different answers. Thankfully, the Word of God gives us an anchor that keeps us from groping in a sea of opinions.

In this episode of Live the Bible, Jesus tells us what God says about marriage and divorce. Living with our eyes open means we guide our lives from the light of God’s Word before anything else. That’s true in every area of life.

Once we know what God’s Word says, the true challenge becomes following it.

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The Roman Forum and God’s Surprising Ways in Your Life

Paul’s experiences in Rome mirror the Lord's leading our dreams.

We have more to do in life than wake up, work hard, and come home only to rinse and repeat. Life amounts to more than a stack of paychecks and a few laughs. God wants so much more for us than that. The Roman Forum offers us a picture of this truth.

Basilica Julia, where Paul was condemned

(Photo: Basilica Julia in the Roman Forum. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Apostle Paul was about 50 years when he penned his letter to the Christians in Rome. In fact, Paul held quite a portfolio in his hands:

  • 3 missionary journeys under his belt
  • Many churches planted
  • 6 books of Scripture to his credit
  • Thousands of people impassioned for God

If Paul’s career had stopped right there, no one would have protested. Everyone would have given him a standing ovation. Some might even urge him to start slowing down. But nothing doing. Paul dreamed of doing much more!

But not even he could fathom that his dreams would turn out with him standing in the Roman Forum.

Our lives and our dreams are the same.

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