Friday, September 12, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
In the afternoon we visited the ruins of Caesarea Philippi. There the Bible continued to become so much more real and alive. The passage of scripture in Matthew 16 where Peter makes his confession of Christ’s identity now has an actual location and archaeological setting for me. The words on the page now have depth and color and texture. There are a lot of little bitty rocks there, there is one really big rock there, there is even a place called the Gates of Hades there. And I did not have to read about it, I have been there and have seen it with my own eyes.
Tomorrow we will be on and around the Sea of Galilee. We will see the Church of the Beatitudes on the sight where Jesus is thought to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Can’t wait to see it all. Can’t wait to get home. See you soon.
Friday, September 5, 2008
David and Celina
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Refreshed and Renewed
What a day Sunday (August 24) was! Celina and I and the kids want to express our deepest thanks for your displays of love. It was all overwhelming and humbling. It is enough that we get to serve Crossroads, the relationships and friendships that we have in this body and community are priceless. Your recognition and celebration of our anniversary was over the top. It has stirred in me a fresh vision and commitment to love people and preach the Word. I pray that even in your heart there is a renewed commitment to love God and others as Christ commanded. The necessary church is HERE! It is me and you serving the living God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, armed with the message of the risen Christ.
Feeling the Dirt
By the time you are reading this (August 31-September 9) Celina and I will be on the ground in the Holy Land of Israel. Today it is a nation wrought with territorial conflict, religious division, and terrorist violence. Once upon a time though it was the petri dish for a nomadic nation set apart by God to be the conveyors of blessing to the rest of the world. Over time and throughout a topsy-turvy relationship with God Israel has never been what it seems God intended them to be. However upon closer examination, though Israel’s history seems rather tragic, this nation is the reason why you and I have the opportunity to be God-lovers and Christ followers. For as Paul writes, “Did they (Israel) stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression (rebellion against God and rejection of Christ), salvation has come to the Gentiles (that’s me and you!) to make Israel envious.”(Romans 11:11) Though God’s purpose seems for now to exclude Israel we must not forget, “Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25b) Therefore, God still holds Israel in His heart and will include all those who will recognize Christ as SAVIOR and LORD! There will be a uniting one day of the true Israel and the Father much the same way the reunion of the faithful father and the prodigal son is described in Luke 15. The prophet Zephaniah puts it this way,
“Do not fear, O Zion(another name for Israel);
do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.