Shabbat Shalom!

I had an amazing day in Jerusalem. My day started at Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus went to pray just before he was arrested, and less than 24 hours before he was crucified. I sat with my daughter and prayed and meditated on the Son of God suffering so that I could know Him and live in His blessing.

2 hours later I was caught up in a sea of people, headed to their prayers. Fathers holding the hands of their beautiful young daughters as they walked along, headed to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the Temple Mount, to participate in Friday afternoon prayers, the most significant worship time of the week for the Muslim world.

4 hours after that, I sat with a friend and his family, including his two beautiful daughters, and celebrated Kiddush and Shabbat dinner, beginning this Jewish worship day.

Three fathers of daughters, three worship experiences. Why must there be so much hate for others in these three cultures?

I do not purport to believe that all of us serve the same God, or all of our religions will achieve the same result. But my God says that I am to love all of these men, and their daughters, and to show them the love of Christ. After that, it’s up to them how they respond, but I’m to love them anyway. I will continue to do so, with the help of God who dwells within me, even if they don’t love me back.

Have a blessed Sabbath, wherever you are.

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Boker Tov!

Wow–10 days since I posted. Lame excuses include spending essentially 2 days in travel mode from Alaska to Chicago to Istanbul to Tel Aviv to Tiberias. Then, 2 more days traveling around the Galilee area, pretty much on the go from 5 am to about 9 pm, when I pass out. But, we’re having an awesome time.

Among other sites visited today, we spent some time at Ein Herod, otherwise known as “Gideon’s Spring”. Here, God whittled down Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 300, prior to leading them to attack the Midianites, whose camels outnumbered the sands of the seashore. The full story’s in Judges 7. It’s a pretty cool story with tons of application for all of us. Here’s a few nuances that really struck me today:

1) “Worry is meditating on the lies Satan is telling you.” Wish I could claim that one as my own, but my friend who shared it today got it from someone else. But there’s a lot of truth there.

2) God prepares each of us for a purpose, and even when the circumstances we face seem pre-disposed to cause us to fail, if we seek him and his purpose, we will prevail, as long as we’re obedient.

3) Even when we’re doing what God calls us to do, we can screw things up. God guarantees Gideon victory, and shows him a sign to confirm it. Then, Gideon tries to claim some of the glory by telling his men to shout “For the Lord and for Gideon” as they attack the Midianite camp. My first reaction is “REALLY??? God’s giving you a victory over a vastly superior force, with 300 of your own troops carrying trumpets and lamps, and YOU WANT CREDIT???” Then I look at my own life, and realize how much glory I’ve claimed, without even mentioning God.

Today, and with his help to tame my pride, EVERY day from here out, HE gets all the glory!