One Day You Will Stand Before God

August 31, 2012

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(Teacher: Rick Warren)

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. —Romans 14:12

“Many people spend their lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth. They want to be remembered when they’re gone. Yet, what ultimately matters most will not be what others say about your life but what God says.

What people fail to realize is that all achievements are eventually surpassed, records are broken, reputations fade, and tributes are forgotten. In college, James Dobson’s goal was to become the school’s tennis champion. He felt proud when his trophy was prominently placed in the school’s trophy cabinet. Years later, someone mailed him that trophy. They had found it in a trashcan when the school was remodeled. Mr. Dobson said, “Given enough time, all your trophies will be trashed by someone else!”

Living to create an earthly legacy is a short-sighted goal. A wiser use of time is to build an eternal legacy. You weren’t put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity.”

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A Reason For Secrecy

August 31, 2012

20120830-223246.jpg“Visit of Nicodemus to Christ”
John La Farge 1880

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not wih him.” John 3:1-2

(article from NIV Student Bible)

This meeting took place at night, in secret. Nicodemus was a ruling member of the Pharisees, a group that violently opposed Jesus. He likely risked danger by meeting with Jesus. Two other references to Nicodemus indicate that Jesus must have had a strong effect on him. He stood up for Jesus at the Jewish ruling council (John 7:50) and helped prepare Jesus’ body for burial (John 19:39).

Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-42) probably had some of the same tension, although it occured in daylight. Conversations between a Jew and a Samaritan, let alone between a religious teacher and an adulterer, were taboo.


History Of The Holy Land-The Persian Period

August 30, 2012

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Papyrus Legal Document from Wadi el-Daliyeh
(image credit: cnes.cla.umn.edu)

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(article from the Archaeological Study Bible)

The Persian Period
The land was fairly desolate during the exile, with all but the poorest Jews scattered across the Near East from Egypt to Babylonia. Other peoples began to migrate into the land. Edomites, perhaps impelled by Arabs exerting pressure from the south, moved north. The Samaritans, a people of partly Israelite and partly pagan origin, soon emerged. In 539 B. C. Cyrus II of Persia conquered Babylon, and by 500 B.C. all of the Near East was in Persian hands. Jews began to return to the land, but the situation was discouraging and little progress was made until Ezra and Nehemiah arrived during the fifth century to rebuild Jerusalem and reestablish the temple.

Archaeologically, this has been a somewhat dark period, but there have been some important finds. For example, papyri from Samaria containing legal documents dating to approximately 375-335 B.C. have been discovered at Wadi el-Daliyeh in the central hill country of Israel. Numerous locations in the land have yielded evidence of Persian-era occupation levels, but, beyond the use of Persian royal names for dating purposes, little direct evidence of Persian influence has been found.

(Next:The Greek and Hasmonean Periods)


August 29, 2012

Either—Or…

mybroom

I give myself between 450 to 500 words to write a post, that’s not always enough words to make plain every aspect of the subject matter, but today I want to leave readers with absolute certainty about what I hold to be true.

A few days ago someone made this comment to me; “for Christ’s sake, why don’t you stop playing around and tell people they are sinners?”, or words to that effect.

The answer is simply because; we are not sinners!!!  this blog aims at renewing the minds of believers, (that’s not to say that if an unbeliever stumbles upon my blog I don’t want them to read it ~ but they cannot yet have their mind renewed because the Spirit of God has not yet made His home in them, and so they need to face up to their need for a saviour first); ~ but they are…

View original post 333 more words


History Of The Holy Land-Israelite Culture

August 29, 2012

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Four-Room House
Better known as an Israelite pillared building, this typical structure has been found around the country throughout the Iron Age (1200-600 BC).

Subdivided by pillars into smaller rooms, these houses were often built against the city wall, with the house’s back wall forming a portion of the city’s casemate wall.
(photo from BiblePlaces.com)

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(article from the Archaeological Study Bible)

The Holy Land, at times variously named Canaan, Israel, the Levant or Palestine, has changed hands many times and has often been the center of conflict. The archaeology of Palestine is complex, in that it reflects all eras of the region’s long history.

ISRAELITE CULTURE
Although the Israelites appear to have invaded Canaan around 1400 B.C., they left almost no archaeological footprint until about 1200 B.C. During Iron I (usually dated c. 1200-1000 B.C.) the nation of Israel began to take shape. Examples of what appears to be Israelite material culture, such as the “four room house” and “collar-rim” pottery, appear in the archaeology of this time. Hundreds of villages in central Canaan dated to this period may be regarded as Israelite. The Philistines first appeared in Canaan at this time as part of the migration of the “Sea Peoples,” and examples of their material culture (such as a distinctive bichrome pottery that is comparable to a type of Mycenaean Greek pottery) began to appear.

Inasmuch as the Biblical record indicates that Israel was in the land and contending with various other enemies long before the Philistines became a threat, the argument that the Philistines and Israelites emerged in Canaan at about the same time is erroneous. Indeed, the presence of “Israel” on the Merneptah Stele (c. 1210 B.C.) strongly suggests that Israel was well established in the land prior to 1200 B.C., the beginning of the Iron I Age.

During the Judges period the Israelites were held together by their common covenant with God, but constant pressure from outside enemies led them to seek protection in stronger political unity (1 Sa 8:19-20). Saul was Israel’s first king, but the nation reached its cultural and political apex under David and Solomon (tenth century B.C.), when Israel dominated the entire Levant. Important physical remains from the united monarchy have been excavated at Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer, where triple-gated city entryways and casement walls illustrate the fortification work described in 1Kings 9:15.

Israelite supremacy was weakened by the division of the kingdom between Rehoboam and Jeroboam I (1 Ki 12) and shattered by the raid of the Egyptian Shishak (1 Ki 14:25-26). Indeed, Shishak’s attack seems to have been little more than a slash-and-burn campaign aimed at reducing Israel’s power vis-a-vis Egypt. The fortunes of Samaria (the northern kingdom of Israel) vacillated during the next two centuries. Samaria was sometimes powerful, under kings such as Hazael of Damascus. Samaria finally succumbed to Assyria around 720 B.C., and Judah, a relatively minor state, hung on until it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 B.C.

(Next: The Persian Period)


This Is The Day

August 28, 2012

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 117:24

Thank You God, for this day, the beginning of another year to praise You and be thankful! Happy Birthday to me.

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Children Are Naturals

August 27, 2012

Children delivering food to an outreach ministry pantry.
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(photo credit: benedictinewomen.org)

Children Are Naturals

(excerpt from “Conspiracy Of Kindness: A Refreshing New Approach To Sharing The Love Of Jesus With Others”” by Steve Sjogren)

“There must be more to life than having everything!”—Maurice Sendak

Most families are under increasing time pressures. In spite of the hectic pace of life, my wife and I make it a priority to take our children out to do service projects twice a monh. We believe that they would be receiving an incomplete spiritual education if they only read Bible stories and spent time in Sunday School. Our children need to learn that getting outside the four walls of the church to interact with the lost and the poor is a normal part of the Christian life.

We take our children along on church buses which have been especially designed for ministry to the poor. We had the seats removed and replaced with racks for food and clothing so that each bus is capable of hauling one hundred fifty bags of groceries and enough clothes to outfit a small army. Once we load up, we drive to various parts of town where we can find a concentration of folks in need. Since the poor often lack transportation to reach sources of help, we remedy this by going to them! Once we arrive, we turn on some contemporary Christian music and begin to invite the neighborhood out for free food and clothes.

The church of today needs a new perspective on the role of children in ministering to the needs of others. They are capable of being used powerfully. The boy Samuel proved that he could hear God’s call, accurately discern God’s will, and even prophesy regarding the future. Too often children have been seen only as the future church, when in reality they are a vital part of the church today, whatever their age. Unless we can give these little ones a more important role in outreach we will miss the opportunity of having some of our best evangelists touch the world. For their own sake, our children need to grow up in a home built not on a theory of Christianity but on the ongoing expression of God’s love and grace to others.