Monday, July 13, 2009
Well I am off to China on Friday. I am very excited to be going to teach at an English camp for 2 weeks. I have never gone on a over-seas 'mission' trip before. I hope to learn a lot about China, the people and their way of life. Should be fun!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
This is a statue of Elijah killing one of the prophets of Ba'al. When I came to Mt. Carmel I was reminded of how powerful this event truly is. It is about a man who was the only prophet of Yahweh left in the land of Israel. He challenged all the prophets of Ba'al to a contest of sorts in order to show once and for all that Yahweh was the one, true and only God.
Both Elijah and the prophets of Ba'al had to sacrifice a bull on the alter and call out to their God. Whomever's God answered the prayer by consuming the sacrifice with fire from heaven would demonstrate whose God was the real God. As you may know, the prophets of Ba'al cried out to him all day long and got nothing. Elijah, on the other hand, cried out to God once and He answered not only by consuming the sacrifice but the entire alter and water that was thrown on it as well!
God had made His point. The LORD alone was the true and living God.
This caused me to think about our current day and age. We live in a time of plurality and relativism. There is no room for objective, absolute truth. This statue reminded me of Elijah's response to God's demonstration... He rounded up all 400 prophets of Ba'al and killed them.
We don't do that much today. I mean that figuratively more that physically of course. Today we are in a culture very tolerant of "other religions", "other ideas of truth", etc. We no longer take an active stand against these things. We simply say (to ourselves of course), "Well I respect your opinion but I have a different one and that's O.K. too." We may very well take a personal, private stand and believe what we know is true. But to willingly challenge these ideas and belief systems to a duel is not part of mainstream Christianity in the United States. There are a few brave souls but they are definitely not the everyday believer.
Maybe Elijah's approach is not the best method for demonstrating the truth of God's existence to our culture today. Still, I can not help but think that the spirit of what he did is exactly what we need in our culture today! Someone to draw a line in the sand and say, "Whose side are you on? No more riding the fence!"
But how do we translate that into our world? It is something I am thinking about.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
My wife and I will be headed to Israel for a 2 week visit. We will be leaving in a few weeks and I am looking forward to the trip. I have been challenged to keep a daily entry on my blog to act as a 'spiritual diary' of sorts. I have agreed to take up this challenge and hope you all will find it encouraging to your spirit.
Let me begin with a confession. I am looking forward to going but am not nearly as excited as some of my other friends who are going. I wonder if I should be more excited than I am about it. I think it will be a good trip and I am very thankful to be going. I have always hoped that I would be able to go visit the land I read about in Scripture. Now I get to do that!
I think the excitement will build the closer we get and the longer we are in Israel. I would appreciate your prayers. I would love for God to meet me in a special way there.