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Showing posts from May 12, 2015

Jordan River: Baptism II

Jordan River: Baptism II ‎“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water. And, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him” (Matthew 3:16). Wild animals such as panthers, lions and wild boar used to roam among the reeds, willows, poplars and tamarisks that grew on the banks of the Jordan. As the vegetation became more sparse the wild animals disappeared, but the tradition of baptism in the Jordan waters has been preserved since the water was sanctified first by the prophets and then by John the Baptist, who chose this as a place for solitude and baptism.


‎The Phrygian city Hierapolis—today still a resort for treating psoriasis—was famous for its hot springs that were used for bathing and healing. A Christian community settled here early on.  ‎Col 4:13

Jerusalem: St. James Cathedral - Sacristy

Jerusalem: St. James Cathedral - Sacristy
‎Jerusalem. The entrance to the Sacristy in the Cathedral of St. James. About ten thousand ceramic tiles with geometric designs in cobalt blue were brought here in the 18th century from Kutahay in Turkey. They decorate the Cathedral where three stones brought from the River Jordan, Mount Sinai and Mount Tabor are kept.

Summary of Romans 12:9-10

Summary of Romans 12:9-10 12:9–10. Paul began these specific exhortations with the key ingredient for success: Love must be sincere. This is God’s love, which has been ministered to believers by the Holy Spirit (5:5) and must be ministered by them to others in the Holy Spirit’s power. “Sincere” translates anypokritos (lit., “without hypocrisy”), also used of love (2 Cor. 6:6; 1 Peter 1:22), of faith (1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 1:5), and of wisdom (James 3:17).   V 2, p 489  This first command is followed by a pair of related basic commands—Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Many Bible students consider these two clauses as explanatory of the sincerity of love, translating the verse, “Let love be unfeigned, abhorring the evil and cleaving to the good.” Hating various forms of sin is frequently mentioned in Scripture (Pss. 97:10; 119:104, 128, 163; Prov. 8:13; 13:5; 28:16; Heb. 1:9; Rev. 2:6). Turning from evil is to accompany adhering to the good (cf. 1 Peter 3:11). Divine love is to b…

Tomb of Absalom

Tomb of Absalom
‎In the Valley of the Kedron, in a deep and narrow glen, among other picturesque sepulchral mounds, stands the Tomb (or Pillar) of Absalom. It is a cube hewn out of the solid rock. Each side measures twenty-two feet. The west front is the best preserved. Over the columns is the Doric frieze, and over this an Egyptian cornice. The total height above the present surface of the ground is fifty-four feet. “The style of architecture shows at once that this can not be the pillar Absalom had reared for himself during his lifetime in the King’s Dale.” It is difficult to determine the exact date of the monument. The name of Absalom was not attached to it before the twelfth century. The strange mingling of Egyptian and Greek styles would not be inconsistent with the age of the Herods. The heaps of stone around it bear testimony to the habit of the Jews, who cast stones at the monument as they pass, to show their hatred of the very name of Absalom. A wayward man was Absalom, wit…

David's fame

David's fame As Goliath moves in to silence his brash opponent, David slings one of the stones with unerring accuracy. It strikes the Philistine on the forehead, perhaps killing him instantly (v. 49). David then removes Goliath’s sword from the scabbard and cuts off his head. Stunned by this turn of events, the Philistines flee back to their coastal cities with the Israelites in hot pursuit. As David had predicted in verse 46, many of the Philistines are killed along the way. David puts Goliath’s weapons in his own tent and later dedicates the sword to the Lord, taking it to the tabernacle (21:9) as a way of acknowledging that God gave him the victory. According to verse 54, David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem. This may refer to a later time after David conquered Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:1–9) or it may mean that a number of Israelites already lived in Jerusalem. Since Jerusalem was a major city, it would have been a logical place to display a trophy of victory. Saul’s questions abo…

Free from Indwelling Sin

Free from Indwelling Sin 1Supplied                                     There is Inference                                    therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, awho 1do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2Reason                                            For bthe law of cthe Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from dthe law of sin and death. [1]

aGal. 5:16 1 NU omits the rest of v. 1. bRom. 6:18, 22 c [1 Cor. 15:45] dRom. 7:24, 25 [1]The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.


vision, the sight of things normally hidden from human eyes. Visions, dreams, and heavenly journeys are closely related phenomena through which secrets are thought to be revealed. These media of revelation are especially characteristic of apocalyptic literature. Visions can be distinguished from theophanies and epiphanies of angels or of Jesus. In theophanies and epiphanies the emphasis is on the appearance or presence of a heavenly being and often on the message conveyed by that being. In visions the emphasis is on an object, a scene, or a sequence of events that is enacted.
Accounts of visions have certain typical formal features. They are usually in the first person: the visionary describes his or her experience. The setting is often given near the beginning: the date, place, and time at which the vision occurred. Then follows the content of the vision, usually introduced by the words ‘I saw.’ Sometimes the account concludes with remarks about how the visionary reacted to th…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 12
  I know how to abound Phil. 4:12
It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the refining-pot of prosperity. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand; yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” When we have much of God’s providential mercies it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace; satisfied with earth, we are content to do without Heaven. Rest assured, it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry, so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.”


Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Connect the Testaments

May 12: The Bible in the Developed World
Ruth 1:1–2:23; 1 Timothy 1:1–11; Psalm 73:1–10

In our developed world, we don’t consider famines very often. If there were a famine in our lands, we could navigate through it because of our importing infrastructure. This isn’t the case for the developing world: famines mean walking miles to find food and water, and often dying or suffering terrible violence just to stay alive. (Currently there are two major famines in Africa bringing these desperate situations to life.) When I used to read about famines in the Bible, I thought of hunger, but I didn’t necessarily think of pain and persecution. Now that I’m more aware of what’s happening in the world, stories of famine in the Bible are very vivid for me.
Consider Naomi, whose husband died during a famine, and the pain she must have felt over that loss and the loss of her two sons (Ruth 1:1–7). She was left with her daughters-in-law. As widows, they were completely desolate. Women were considered a…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, May 12     Go To Evening Reading

         “And will manifest myself to him.”
         — John 14:21
The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of himself to his people. Even if Scripture did not declare this, there are many of the children of God who could testify the truth of it from their own experience. They have had manifestations of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in a peculiar manner, such as no mere reading or hearing could afford. In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of his person; yea, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well nigh on the threshold of it—for when Jesus manifests himself to his people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun. Especial manifestations of Christ exercise a hol…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

May 12th
Make a habit of having no habits

For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful. 2 Peter 1:8 (R.V.).
When we begin to form a habit we are conscious of it. There are times when we are conscious of becoming virtuous and patient and godly, but it is only a stage; if we stop there we shall get the strut of the spiritual prig. The right thing to do with habits is to lose them in the life of the Lord, until every habit is so practised that there is no conscious habit at all. Our spiritual life continually resolves into introspection because there are some qualities we have not added as yet. Ultimately the relationship is to be a completely simple one.
Your god may be your little Christian habit, the habit of prayer at stated times, or the habit of Bible reading. Watch how your Father will upset those times if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes—‘I can’t do that just now, I am praying; it is my hour with God.’ …