Ramat Rahel stone manger with child

Thanks to Christmas cards and holiday movies, we usually think of Christ’s manger as a wooden crib with straw. But it wasn’t so.

Mangers were carved from stone, like the one above. Archaeologists have found mangers at a number of sites in Israel, such as Megiddo, Tekoa, and Ramat Rahel (above).

Tell me what you think: How did you picture the manger? To leave a comment, just click here.

Top 5 Gifts for Bible Lands Study

Most of us give Christmas gifts that are quickly forgotten. After the iPhone gets cracked, or the DVD gets watched, or the sweater gets snagged, they all end up at the landfill. This year, why not give a gift (or ask for one) that will last a lifetime?

Top 5 Gifts for Bible Lands and Bible Study

(Photo: by Carsten Tolkmit. Flickr. CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Bible Lands study tools make great gifts because they take your personal Bible study to the next level. What’s more, they don’t wear out.

Here are my top 5 recommendations this year for gifts you’ll enjoy giving (and receiving).

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Twas the Night AFTER Christmas Poem

I’ve decided that during the holiday season we should change the mall’s name to “maul.” I’ve never seen such mayhem—kids running, parents screaming, angry people in long lines—all to the music of “Joy to the World” in the background. Good grief!

Twas the Night AFTER Christmas

(Photo by Stephane Bidouze, via Vivozoom)

If you decide to head to the “maul” the night after Christmas, you’ll see more of the same chaos—a rush of returns in exchange for . . . even more . . . stuff.

So in honor of these days after Christmas, I’ve decided to try my hand at rewriting Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas classic.

Here she goes. (Ahem.)

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Following God’s Voice

“Following God’s Voice” —

Matthew 2:13-23 —

How do we know where God wants us to go? Where do we follow Him? Matthew records four God-given dreams Joseph had by which he led his young family. Each revelation required him to trust God’s ability to guide, provide, and protect. In these last days, as God has spoken to us through Jesus, we also should listen and be willing to follow wherever He leads us.

(c) 2008 Wayne Stiles

A Curse for Christmas [Podcast]

The last word of the English Old Testament is “curse.” What began with a blessing in Genesis ends with a curse in Malachi. But that isn’t the end.

Listen now:

Wayne Stiles Podcast

Before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes, God promised to send a messenger, an Elijah, who would turn the hearts of people to God.

When John the Baptist came, he pointed to Jesus Christ. The central question that ends Malachi’s book remains the question Jesus asked when He came: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

Malachi 4

Tell me what you think: What do you most look forward to in the coming of Christ? To leave a comment, just click here.