Since 2014, what consistently is the third most terrorized country in the world? To find your answer you would want to look up the Global Terrorism Index (GTI). This is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD). This data is collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) led by the University of Maryland. As late as 2017, because of persistent Boko Haram and Fulani militant attacks, Nigeria ranks as the third-most terrorized nation. Only Iraq and Afghanistan rank higher in carnage.
Ezra 1:5—So the family leaders of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites—everyone God had motivated—prepared to go up and rebuild the LORD’s house in Jerusalem.
For seventy years the Jews lived in exile in Babylon and surrounding nations. Their severe unfaithfulness to God resulted in His fierce punishment which meant they were forcefully removed from their homes. But, in keeping with His promise communicated through multiple prophets, God opened a way through the Persian King Cyrus for the exiles to go home. As we read in the book of Ezra, those who were motivated by Godpacked up their belongings and moved back to their homeland to rebuild the Lord’s temple and settle.
One of the things I love about living in Colorado is the big sky. We couldn’t really see much of it from our house in Oregon because of the towering fir trees. Here at night our neighborhood is quite dark so we can clearly see the stars, glimmering constellations and occasionally a shooting star. I love standing in the cold air surrounded by silence while looking up at (and admiring) God’s handiwork.
Palmer Bailey, “the stars and rocks guy,” shares with us some fascinating information about starlight. By carefully examining stars we can learn some amazing things. Did you know that the color of a star is determined by its surface temperature? The hottest stars are almost blue, less hot are white and even cooler are those that are red. And while stars may look clustered closely together from our vantage, they may in fact be from entirely different galaxies.
Typically, on Saturday evenings, The Road Home, a fellowship less than a year old, meets in a school in Newberg, Oregon. Aside from our primary desire to worship the Lord we want to reach our surrounding community with the gospel and raise up disciple makers. Like most churches, we sing, share, pray and teach God’s Word. Currently we are working our way through Luke’s gospel.
You’ve no doubt heard someone say “All roads lead to God.” While the statement may be sincere and reflect a desire to be nonjudgmental, it reveals a great lack of judgment. To understand this one needs only to visit India where the prevailing religion is Hinduism and the overwhelming sensation is one of hopelessness. A country gifted with incredibly smart people remains mired in poverty, disease, and a resigned acceptance of chaos as normative.
When we think of crystals we usually think of beautiful clear objects. The process of crystallizing according to The American Heritage Dictionary means “to take on a definite, precise, and usually permanent form.”
Tigard, Oregon—HOME! Our Plymouth Voyager rolled up 8153 miles drinking over 341 gallons of gas as we traversed 25 states, Washington D.C. and parts of Canada. We weren’t able to visit everyone we hoped to see, we got sick and at times I think our three children reached the travel saturation point. But it can be a great thing to be stretched beyond our comfort zone. God was gracious to us and we experienced an unforgettable month visiting relatives and friends and learning more about our nation and its people.
Ephesians 5:8-10--For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light—for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth—discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.
Pastor John Repsold wrote in a newsletter, The Fourth Dimension, the true story of a cook on a work crew at Lewis and Clark Caverns in Montana. This man became tired of his job and decided to quit. But before leaving he determined to go deeper into the cave and break off stalactites to later sell to rock collectors. Late on a Friday afternoon he maneuvered away from his departing work detail. But the flame of his lantern blew out! To his horror he realized he had no matches. He would spend a weekend alone, trapped underground!
This is the time of year I love most—the fall. The air is crisp and invigorating. The leaves on my maple trees reveal the Creator’s paintbrush at work by their dazzling array of colors. The house in the morning is cold. The darkness outside combined with the comforter’s siren song make getting out of bed a challenge for the hardiest of souls.
There is a spur on the 11,239 ft. Mount Hood where a small rock shelter stands firm against the winds of time. Atop this small ridge is a spectacular view of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, hundreds of square miles of valleys, streams, lakes and hills carpeted with green forests. I love the high ground. There are few things in life more beautiful than standing in thin air to watch the sun rise in silent majesty over a glacier-covered volcano and all that surrounds it. It is not hard to understand why Oregon and Washington are called “God’s country”.
Revelation 4:11--Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.
There is a spur on the 11,239 ft. Mount Hood where a small rock shelter stands firm against the winds of time. Atop this small ridge is a spectacular view of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, hundreds of square miles of valleys, streams, lakes, and hills carpeted with green forests. I love the high ground. There are few things in life more beautiful than standing in thin air to watch the sun rise in silent majesty over a glacier-covered volcano and all that surrounds it. It is not hard to understand why Oregon and Washington are called “God’s country.”
Have you ever walked on ice? The Japanese have developed a nifty invention for dealing with slippery surfaces. They designed a small rubber sole that can be attached to the bottom of boots. On the rubber sole are two rows of steel teeth which bite the snow and ice when one walks. When I traveled without this device it was very difficult not to slip and slide. Once the grippers were stretched over my boot walking on frozen ground was easier.
In the marketplace of life it is a tempting thing to measure our spiritual worth by the applause of people. But an apple can look good on the outside and be rotten in the middle. A watermelon can be huge and yet be devoid of sweetness.
The chance of lighting a candle with a match outside on a fall day in Oregon is equivalent to riding a bicycle backwards. If the wind doesn’t blow out the flame there are plenty of raindrops to do the job! Those who are without Christ and live in their own strength are like such candles. Sure, they will give off light and fragrance, but for how long and to what effect and final outcome?
Matthew 2:9,10--After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure.
Ephesians 4:14,15--Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ.