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Reaching Out in Love to Widows and Orphans

Teaching Letter

The Western Wall: The Epicenter of the Jewish People

First time visitors to Jerusalem often make the same mistake I made about one of the most sacred sites in the city! On my first visit in 2010, I was surprised to learn that the most important “wall” in the Old City of Jerusalem was called something other than the “Wailing Wall.” Knowing that the

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Hall of Faithful Warriors

If Hebrews 11 can be called the biblical Hall of Faith, then a portion of that chapter could be subtitled the Hall of Faithful Warriors. Here we find a roster of Israel’s illustrious war heroes. But the writer faces a temporal dilemma as he seeks to present these men of renown: “And what more shall

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Israel’s Fight for Survival

Through the centuries, the Jewish people have endured persecution, danger, and death. They have experienced unparalleled pain as a nation throughout the long years of their dispersion. Hundreds of years of persecution culminated in the Holocaust as Hitler and the Nazis systematically attempted to annihilate the Jewish people. Six million Jews were murdered. Today the

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I was walking and praying in downtown Jerusalem when I felt the Lord urging me to write this Teaching Letter on “Return.” Join me as we consider what it means to return. In the Bible, the word that is most often translated “return” is “shuv.” It has many nuances and uses in Scripture, which we

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To Be a Friend of God

The word relationship holds a place of centrality in Christian teaching. For millennia, the Church believed that it was set apart from all other faith systems, including Judaism, by that concept. Christianity, the Church fathers determined, is not a religion of legalism or slavish commandment keeping and rote prayer; it is a religion of real

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God’s Walls of Protection

One morning during my devotional time with the Lord, I was reading in the book of Proverbs and a verse literally jumped off the page. I read, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls” (Prov. 25:28 ESV, emphasis added). The image shed a powerful light as I thought

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People of the Book

Recently, I was invited to speak with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin at the Bible Lands Museum on the topic of Bible illiteracy. The evening was titled, “Why the Best Selling Book of All Times is Seldom Read.” For more than an hour, we talked about the importance of reading the Bible. Jews and Christians are called

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The sight of a Japanese friend, standing at the stove cooking with long wooden chopsticks, brought back memories of my own Japanese grandmother. She would also stand at her big stove with chopsticks and deftly pluck tempura vegetables out of a pot of hot oil…like a chopstick ballet. She immigrated to Canada from Okinawa at

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A New Look at an Ancient Evil

We live in a day when scholars and political leaders the world over are re-examining anti-Semitism. Many believe it needs to be redefined, new parameters set, new lines drawn. In some cases, the outcome has been positive for the Jewish people, but for the most part, the message to the world is clear: anti-Semitism, though

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Psalm 90—Haunting or Hopeful?

Lord (Adonai), You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Such beautiful words from a lovely, yet also haunting psalm. It is a psalm that I have read countless times over the last 30 years and have always been intrigued by the fact that it is attributed to Moses. But even more, I have

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