3 Ways to Follow Along on My Upcoming Israel Tour

Insight for Living Ministries Israel Tour Begins in a Few Days

I hope you’ll follow along on my upcoming Israel tour with Insight for Living Ministries. I will serve as the Bible teacher on one of the buses, helping connect the Bible and its lands to life.

3 Ways to Follow Along on My Upcoming Israel Tour

(Photo: Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate and Dome of the Rock. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

After going to Israel so many times through the years, I have to be honest . . . it never gets old.

There are several easy ways for you to stay connected and follow the tour “virtually”!

Take your pick.

Click to continue reading »

How an Awesome Creation Can Help with Your Struggles

Apply what you see to what you don't see.

The awesomeness of creation exists as more than beauty for us to observe. In spite of the chaos in our culture, the world screams order in its origin. It also speaks peace to us in our moments of struggle.

Apply the Wisdom of Creation to Your Struggles

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Our world’s predictable seasons and trustworthy laws of nature reveal wisdom in its design. The wisdom of creation we see is explained in the Bible we read. Wisdom played such an integral role in creation that the author of Proverbs 8 personifies it as a person present with God:

Before the hills I was brought forth . . . When He established the heavens, I was there . . . When He marked out the foundations of the earth; then I was beside Him, as a master workman. —Proverbs 8:25–33

God’s wisdom displayed in the wonders we see also proves His wisdom in all areas of life.

Including the painful ones.

Click to continue reading »

5 Lasting Lessons from the Lands of the Bible

How God teaches His people to walk by faith.

Biblical geography offers more for us than the maps in the back of our Bibles might imply. I recently shared a talk on how valuable the lands of the Bible can be to our understanding and application of Scripture.

5 Lasting Lessons from the Lands of the Bible

(Photo: Sea of Galilee. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

This land served as God’s testing ground of faith. It was here, in this land where both personal and national existence were threatened, that Israel’s leaders and people were called upon to learn the true meaning of security and well-being, of trust in the Lord their God. —James M. Monson

If I could boil down the essence of how God used the lands of the Bible to shape the lives of the people of the Bible, this message would come close.

Click to listen as I share these 5 lasting lessons from the lands of the Bible.

Click to continue reading »

God’s Commandments—His Rules Have Reasons

You can learn today what the tribes learned too late.

The names may not sound like much. Names like Beth Shean, Taanach, Megiddo and Gezer. These were cities whose residents the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim failed to drive away. So what?

God’s Commandments—His Rules Have Reasons

(Photo: Megiddo sat in a strategic spot. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Why not let the inhabitants live in this region since they wanted it so badly? The Lord knew why. The failure of the tribes to drive out the inhabitants defied God’s commandments to resist the culture. Instead, God’s people tolerated the culture . . . and then embraced it.

Their example urges us to evaluate God’s commandments in our own lives.

His rules have reasons. (And they are good ones.)

Click to continue reading »

The good folks at SourceFlix.com have created a simple video explaining the history of the Temple Mount. If you’d like a quick summary of this significant place in the Bible and history, you owe it to yourself to watch this video. It is well done.

If you’d like more on the Temple Mount, check out this post.

I’m excited to teach a new course on “Blogging for Ministry” this fall at Dallas Theological Seminary.

This course will introduce the nuts and bolts of blogging as an effective ministry tool. The students will learn to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, choose a niche audience, maintain a writing schedule, apply creativity to repurposing content, write for search engine optimization (SEO), set up and grow an email list, learn tips and tools to maximize productivity, utilize Web Analytics, and implement an effective blogging strategy. The course will also discuss the balance of promotion, monetization, and motives in the context of a blogging ministry.

Date: August 30, 2016—December 13, 2016
Time: Tuesdays, 7:45 AM - 10:20 AM
Event: Blogging for Ministry Course
Venue: Dallas Theological Seminary
Location: 3909 Swiss Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

You will need to be a student at Dallas Theological Seminary to register for this class.

What to Do When Unscrupulous Opportunists Cut You Off

And the one question we should ask ourselves when we get sideswiped.

Last week a pickup almost ran me off the highway. The driver sped past until his truck bed paralleled my hood. Then with no pause, he lurched into my lane! I’ll call him Mr. Chevy.

What to Do When Unscrupulous Opportunists Cut You Off

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

No blinker. No wave. No kidding. Just here I come to squash the little Prius! Mr. Chevy came close to doing it.

If fact, if I hadn’t slammed my brakes, the monster truck would have sideswiped me at 65 M.P.H. and sent me careening off a bridge like Evel Knievel vaulting over Snake River.

Okay, sure, rather than call Mr. Chevy a “narcissist” (that’s one way to paraphrase what I screamed—a mere ten minutes after my quiet time), I guess I should have given him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he may have been racing to the hospital or the grocery store or something.

It’s one thing to deal with unscrupulous drivers on the highway. They surprise us yet seldom shock us. But dealing with this behavior from someone on our own team, where we all should look out for the benefit of others, can do more than anger us.

It should force us to ask ourselves a question.

Click to continue reading »

Change happens only in the presence of compassion. No matter how self-involved or demanding a person is, compassion can make a difference — in fact, no lasting change will occur without it. If you’re trying to help, you will need to be “for” that person — for their welfare, for their success, and for their growth and transformation. We all need the grace of knowing someone is on our team.

Who You Should Compare Yourself To

A lesson at Tabgha frees you to follow Jesus as yourself.

Someone else’s stuff always seems better. Even their struggles seem better. Have you noticed? The temptation to compare yourself with somebody is hard to sidestep in the Christian life.

Who You Should Compare Yourself To

(Photo: Tabgha statue of Jesus and Peter. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

When Peter first met Jesus, the fisherman followed the Master out of a motive for glory and a prime seat in the kingdom of God. Peter wanted to be the “greatest” in comparison to others.

But after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, a single conversation along the shores of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha changed Peter’s whole frame of reference.

That conversation can also help you not compare yourself with the lives of others.

It can free you to follow Jesus as an individual.

Click to continue reading »