Luke 9:51-56--When the days were coming to a close for Him to be taken up, He determinedto journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead of Him, and on the way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make preparations for Him. But they did not welcome Him, because He determined to journey to Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village.
When President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel with plans to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv he set off a firestorm of controversy around the world. In 1947 the United Nations drew up a plan that envisaged Jerusalem as an “international city.” The United Nation’s partition plan drawn up in 1947 envisaged Jerusalem as a separate "international city." But since 1967, following the Six Day War, Israel has sovereignly controlled the city. About 850,000 people live in Jerusalem with a concentration of 61% Jewish and 37% Arab. Roughly 200,000 of the Jewish population is ultra-Orthodox Jews with the rest divided generally between religious Zionist and secular Jews. For the Arab population, 96% is Muslim; the other 4% is Christian.
Lamentations 3:37—Who is there who speaks and it happens, unless the Lord has ordained it?
Dr. Sebastian Gorka gave a fascinating presentation to a gathering of Army Reserve command teams in Alexandria, Virginia. His speech was entitled, “Understanding the Rise of ISIS and the Role of Religion in the Commander’s Area of Responsibility (AOR).” In the last 200 years, 460 wars were fought with 80% of them classified as unconventional. Dr. Gorka shared this fact to establish that we are badly mistaken if we think that conventional armies arrayed to do battle are the norm. Then he went on to explain why ISIS is so dangerous.
There is growing hysteria over the activities of extremist Muslims and the accelerated advance of Islam throughout the world. Christians, Jews and Secularists discuss strategies as to how to contain those who are bent on converting the world by force to their beliefs and the application of Sharia law. Muslims who insist on forcefully disseminating their ideology are labeled as the enemy. As news outlets report the growing war with these practitioners often my mind is filled with critical thoughts about Muslims and I so quickly cheer when they are defeated or destroyed. But God’s Word rebukes me.
I have a confession to make. Until my 2013 trip to Israel with Bridges for Peace, I questioned why God chose Canaan as the Promised Land. Many lands are far more beautiful and blessed with more abundant resources. Israel is hilly and with its arid conditions prone to drought. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the earth and is completely lifeless. While it may be a land of milk and honey what makes it so special?
There is a marvelous tool called StrengthsFinder 2.0. I purchased the book and with the enclosed code answered questions on a website that then listed my top five strengths. I have used this tool with several organizations and with my own family. The beauty of Strengthsfinder is that it reveals what people are good at doing/being. By discovering people’s strengths I am better able to position them where they are best utilized and most satisfied. This is fantastic for team building and for raising morale in any organization where leaders and workers previously focused on weaknesses to their own detriment.
Nigeria is a nation of over 146 million people—the largest populated country in Africa. It comprises more than 250 ethnic groups of which the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, and Tiv 2.5%.* In mass Nigeria is over twice the size of California. The nation is located on the Gulf of Guinea and shares borders with the countries of Benin, Cameroun, Chad and Niger. Our team ministered in the city of Jos which literally means Jesus Our Savior! Jos is part of the Plateau State (Nigeria has 36 states) which sits in the middle of the country.
George Barna is a seasoned pollster and director of the Barna Group. His group’s survey results in 2006 reveal some disturbing trends. Listed below are three of the twelve most significant findings this year.