From the time I was a seedling, I wanted to be something worthwhile. Every day I stretched higher, farther, reaching for the sun to bathe my leaves in life giving photosynthesis.
My life in the forest ended when soldiers wearing helmets, red cloaks and armor cut me down.
I hoped the soldiers would form me into an honorable, useful item, like a fine chair, magnificent bed, or maybe a grand formal dining table. I would’ve even been satisfied to be a powerful support post in a house or mansion holding it all up.
Instead, their axes hacked me into a long, rough beam. Still, I hoped.
They loaded me in a wagon and hauled me to a city. There they cut off a smaller beam from my top, notched a side to fit over the beam, and secured my pieces with long spikes and rope.
Continue reading Cross Talk
This summer we went to Israel. During one of the days in Jerusalem, our guide took our group to some steps that were walled up at the top. He asked us to sit down and rest a minute, and since it was hot and we’d been walking a while, there were no objections.
He began explaining that we were sitting on steps built by Solomon, from the Old Testament, that led up to the outer wall of the original temple. Some of the steps had been replaced over time, but the original steps were easy to identify because the stone was smooth hewn.
We looked where we sat and it was on an original step built by Solomon! OK, it doesn’t matter who you are, that’s just cool! Really cool! Continue reading Live Long, and Prosper
We were in the Garden of Gethsemane in Israel. It’s at the bottom of the Mt. of Olives where Jesus went to pray with three of His disciples, and in a way, where His death really began. The stress was so overwhelming that Jesus experienced Hematidrosis, a medical condition where tremendous stress bursts tiny capillaries in the face and mixes with sweat, and thus, He sweat as it were great drops of blood.
Jesus already knew what was about to happen. After all, He was God, yet a man in flesh. He knew what He was about to do….and how it would feel. He knew the physical, emotional and spiritual battles He was about to face. Most of us can’t even look at our arm when we get a shot, but Jesus knew exactly how intense His pain would be down to the last beat of his heart. Continue reading Don’t Fall Asleep
It came alive! Seeing the Valley of Elah in Israel a couple of weeks ago, the place where David slew Goliath, it made sense! The valley was big, but not huge. Much of the rich, fertile soil had just been tilled. On one side is a long hill with a continuous ridge, and on the other side, the same.
Continue reading Let That Stone Fly!
A couple of weeks ago I set the alarm for 5:00 AM to see a 5:30 AM sunrise over the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It was late and dark when we checked in the night before, but the back of the hotel was right on the water. You just can’t miss a sunrise like that!
The first step out of the lobby was facing west and I was about to make a U-turn east. The very first thing, on the very first day, in my very first time in Israel hit me squarely in the chin with surprising force. It wasn’t the sunrise, or a holy site, seeing the people or experiencing something brand new. It was something simple. Something ordinary. Something remarkably familiar. Continue reading A Sparrow’s Song