Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Science recognizes 'Noah's flood' but calls it 'the great dying'! Read this.

Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees. Scientists see what they call a 'great dying' of a massive amount of animals (both land and aquatic), plant life (both land and aquatic) in a fossilized state.

No one knows how they got there. No one knows why land and sea creatures and land and sea plants got buried together in a massive graveyard. No one knows why some creatures survived the 'great dying' and others did not. No one knows why it hasn't happened again. No one knows why it happened the first time.

Read the AOL article here|hp-desktop|dl1|sec3_lnk3|191577&a_dgi=aolshare_email

The reality is that for something to become fossilized it takes a very specific set of parameters (quick burial, permanent sealing of the organism, mineral 'swap out' of organic material, etc.). In other words, something does not just 'die' and become a fossil. Though fossilization does not take a long time with the right circumstances, very few fossils are being made today. Why? Because it usually takes extraordinary circumstances to make a fossil. This is not to mention how land and sea creatures (as in 'millions') could be buried in the same place which is unheard of given the earth's current reality. This finding mirrors the 'Cambrian Explosion' fossil sites as well.

An excellent article on this fossilization phenomena is described here

Even the idea that volcanos or a huge meteor could have created a death scenario for the atmostphere of the earth to bring about death all over the earth does not explain fossilization. It just means there would have been a lot of carcasses to lay around and rot.

But the bible says in Genesis 7 that the fountains of the deep were opened which caused upheaval of the subterranian plates not only causing flooding but the quick burial of land and sea creatures together.

Read the tragic account of the earth's darkest days here.

Yet again, modern scientific findings support the biblical story that has been around for 4000 years.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Science disproves evolution.

Check this out.

I found it oddly hilarious that scientific research has definitively concluded that a fully-matured chicken must have come first because in order to form the egg shell from which a chicken must develop, it first needs a protien only found in a hen's (female chicken) ovary. The only other option was...just a random egg sitting on the ground waiting to hatch to bring about 'chickendom'?

I also found the expression at the end of the Brian Williams video oddly hilarious as well when he reiterates that the scientists have not figured out where the first chicken came from. Although couched in humor, it shows how people are resistant to accept the plain testimony of Genesis where the uncreated God created all things 'up and running' with full grown adults capable of procreating.

Here is the article.
Strange how science proves the premise of scripture.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Israel day 10 (click on any picture below for HD)

An old olive tree in the garden of Gethsemane (which means 'oil press') which is the place where Jesus spent His last night before He died. It was in this garden that He prayed if there might be another way for God's wrath to be satisfied than to be poured out on Him for the sin of the world. There was not. His Father sent Him to die out of this garden once He was arrested after being betrayed by Judas in Luke 22:39-54.

I am standing next to a first century example of the tomb Jesus was buried in after being tortured and killed on a cross. It was in here that Jesus spent three days (died on Friday, dead over the day of rest--Sabbath, then rose on the morning of Sunday, which is why most Christians get together for worship on that day) as told in Luke 24. Once He arose He went to tell His disciples who were so scared they were hiding lest they be crucified as well.

The front of the modern-day Mount of Olives (Gethsemane). There are thousands of above-ground tombs scattered all over the mountain. Mostly, these are people who believe they will be the first to resurrect when the Messiah appears. We know this as Jesus who will return to the Mount from which He left after leaving for heaven as recounted in Acts 1. I like the fervent belief.

The Lion's Gate (you can see the lions facing each other on each side of the door). This gate dates from the 1500's being built by the conquorer Suleiman. Once you enter, the Temple mount is directly to your left. It has no real biblical significance, I just thought the gate was cool!

This ends my tour of Israel. I will be posting more pictures when I get back to the States as well as keeping everyone updated on the over 40 videos we shot in the land from which many of these pictures were from the locations. You will be amazed to see these places all shot on location in high def!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Israel day 9

Our group at the stairs leading to the original entrance to the Temple on the south side. We are reading the Psalms of Ascent where Jewish pilgrims coming to worship on three festival days throughout the year would read Psalms 120-134 one at a time as they were on each step. These 15 steps of ascent would prepare the worshiper to enter God's presence and keep the person from rushing into God's presence unprepared.

Tracy, Barrett and I scouting out a shooting location on the wall built by the conquorer Sulemain to protect the city in the 1500's. We were trying to get a good spot to shoot the Hinnom valley that Jesus used as an illustration of hell in Matthew 10:28 as it had the city dump in it which was full of non-stop burning fires and worms that continually lived and bred in it.

Chris, Barrett and Tracy down in Hezekiah's Tunnel which he carved out of solid rock for over 1700 feet to bring water into the city from the Gihon spring as described in 2 Kings 2:20. It is one of the marvels of ancient engineering. In parts it is only 5 feet tall and about 2 feet wide so claustrophobics do not apply! The water on the day we went was about 12-18 inches deep.

Barrett, Tracy, me and Chris at the end of the tunnel near the pool of Siloam which is where Jesus told the blind man to wash his eyes in John 9.

This is a picture of the southeast corner of the Temple mount where Jesus was tempted to jump by satan during His 40 days of temptation from Matthew 4. This was a temptation because thousands of people would have been walking up the stairs just to the left of this picture so Jesus could have landed without injury or death in front of everyone proving that He was the Messiah. Jesus does not give in to prematurely presenting Himself as the Messiah nor being challenged to pridefully use His divine powers to 'show off'. The drop is over 100 feet.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Israel day 8

An empty former muslim mosque outside of Jerusalem that remembers the burial of the prophet Samuel. Now it sits on Crusader ruins and has nothing to do with Jesus or biblical history I just wanted to take an artsy photo...

A school of young orthodox Jewish boys on a school outing. They wear their hair that way based on an understanding of Leviticus 19:27.

This is a 1:50 scale model of Herod's Temple that stood in Jesus' day. Notice how it dominates Jerusalem's skyline. Inside the Temple would be the Holy of Holies where the ark of the covenant stood on the rock where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac. It is all gone today as the Roman General Titus demolished it in 70 AD and it has never been rebuilt as Jesus prophesied 40 years earlier in Mark 13:2.

I am standing in front of the valley and hills that surround Bethlehem from Luke 2. These are the same local hills where the shepherds would have been grazing their flocks when the angels announced that Jesus, the savior of the world, was born in the city of David. The shepherds walked into Bethlehem and found Jesus lying in a feeding trough for animals and they saw with their own eyes God come in the flesh.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Israel day 7!

Me standing along the shores of the Jordan river where Jesus was baptized by John the baptist in John 1. That water is cold!
Myself standing on the shores of Galilee as the sun was coming up over the sea. This would have been similar to when Jesus walked and talked with His disciples during the early morning hours.

Myself, Chris, Barrett and Tracy standing on the front of a ship as it takes us across the sea of Galilee. This would have been the way fishermen went out to sea to catch fish and the same lake that Jesus walked on water to meet them during the storm in John 6.

Chris and Tracy by a pool of water from the head of the Jordan river up north in Dan (which is the northern most part of Israel). Here in Dan a temple shrine was built for the northern Kingdom during the split kingdoms of Israel and God punished the tribes that went to it in 1 Kings 12.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Israel day 6

Climbing along the ridge of Mount Arbel that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. Down below in the valley is the passage way from northern Galilee to Jerusalem which Abraham would have taken when he was called by God to leave Ur and go to the land of Canaan which would someday become Israel. This is also one of the ways Jesus would have made His way from Galilee down to the southern parts of Israel. That little valley has seen some great men roll through it!

Once we made it to the top here is myself standing at the peak of Mt. Arbel. Down below is the Sea of Galilee. Off in the distance over my right shoulder up in the fog is Capernaum where Jesus lived and had His ministry headquarters. Mt. Arbel is thought by many to be the mountain where Jesus went to to spend the night in prayer as it is only a few miles from Capernaum. It is also possibly the mountain where, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul refers to the risen Jesus showing Himself alive to 500 brothers at once up in Galilee. Mt. Arbel has a large flat spot which I am facing on the other side of the camera.

One of the places I was looking forward to being the most--the synagogue at Capernaum. This was Jesus' home 'church' where He spent a lot of time and taught. I am standing where Jesus stood after He fed the 5000 men in John 6 and they followed Him to Capernaum. They wondered why He had left them on the shores of Galilee on the other side and how He had gotten there so fast. (they didn't realize He walked on water to get here so He took the 'short cut' across! lol) Jesus stood in this spot and told them to follow Him they had to 'eat' His flesh and 'drink' His blood. Although He was speaking figuratively, this was shocking enough to drive almost everyone away who didn't bother to hang around and become a true disciple to find out what Jesus was referring to. (His death on the cross and communion which remembers it) This was a very surreal moment for me as I realized I was preaching the exact passage that Jesus spoke from that very spot. Humbling to stand on the same ground as the Master communicator!!!

This is a 1st century fishing boat that they pulled out of the mud when Galilee was very low after a severe drought. You can see how having 12 grown men in this small boat would become a problem when the storm came down on them while they were on the Sea of Galilee and why Jesus had to come rescue them!

I am realxing on a rock in Tagba from John 21 where Jesus reinstated Peter after his dismal failures. I am contemplating the goodness of God for sinful fishermen like Peter who ate fish cooked by Jesus on the shore to my right. When Peter is asked about his love for Jesus he reponds positively without saying a wholehearted 'yes'. Jesus then goes on to ask him two more times to which Peter is hurt as Jesus asked him three times in a row. This passage makes the point that Jesus puts our devotion to Him to the test often and even when we fail he is ready to forgive and pick us up and move us on! Thank you for grace today Jesus!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Israel day 5

I am sitting in front of the ampitheater at Cesarea Maritima on the coast of the Mediterranian Sea. This impressive structure was built by Herod the Great around 20 BC to bring some Greek culture to Israel in hopes of attracting tourism and business to his area. Acts 12 records that around 34 AD Herod's grandson, Herod Antipas I was having disputes with surrounding people groups but they came to gather here to ask for peace. While this stadium was packed with over 4000 people he came out in his silver-stranded robes and as he spoke to the people the sun glistened off it so the people cried out 'these are the words of a god and not a man'. Because he did not give glory to God an angel struck him with intestinal worms and he died 4 days later.

I am standing in Herods' pool that he carved out of solid rock on the shores of the Mediterranian in front of his palace. He could literally walk out of his front door (where the picture was taken from) and recline down to his salt water pool. There were beautiful mosaic tiles at the entrance to the pool just like in many of our pools. His palace and the harbor he built here by using the first cement that could harden underwater was a marvel of the ancient world and still is to this day.

This is the view from Mount Carmel where Elijah famously called a battle to the death between himself as the lone prophet of Israel's God, Yahweh, and the 450 prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. The people of Isreal packed around this mountain to watch the death match to see who really was the living God. After the prophets of Baal could not get their god to respond to their cryings to set fire supernaturally to their altar for a whole day, Elijah prayed to God to send down fire and God sent fire from heaven and burned up the altar, the rocks that were there, the water and even the dirt around it. The people then turned to God and Elijah took the prophets of Baal and killed them all by the stream near the trees in the picture below.

Barrett and Tracy sitting on the top of Har Meggido. This is the outpost developed by Solomon to protect Jerusalem from invasion through the valley. It has amazing technology such as a huge underground tunnel for water during a seige. There were many horse stables here in a small example of the sin of Solomon to trust in horses rather than God as he was prohibitted from having many of them for war by God. Revelation 16 states that in the future the hill and the valley below will be the staging area for the nations of the world when they come to war against Jerusalem after the anti-christ has broken his promise of peace to Israel. At their darkest moment Jesus will descend and destroy all the men and women in this valley with the word of his mouth killing 200,000,000 in the largest bloodbath in history. This battle is famously called 'the battle of Armeggedon' which will happen at the end of days.

I am standing on one of the high cliffs just outside of Nazareth. This is where Jesus was chased to after speaking in the local synangoge about the fact that He was the Jewish Messiah prophesied about in Isaiah--but that God also loved Genitles as much as the Jews in Luke 4. This enraged the Nazarenes and they tried to throw Him off a cliff like this one but He supernaturally walked through the mob.