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Caring for the Community

Teaching Letter

Do Our Actions Matter to God?

Living in Israel has given me the opportunity to be exposed to different ways of thinking. The relationship between faith and works (or grace and works) is one area where Jews and Christians seem to think differently. Our Orthodox Jewish friend, Moshe Kempinski, has expressed to us on more than one occasion the uncomfortable conversations

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Israel—Miracle Nation

The study of biblical prophecy has been my daily bread. My father was an evangelist who specialized in the area of Israel and Bible prophecy. Every night of the week, my  sister and I were in a church somewhere hearing our father expound on world events in the light of Bible prophecy. He would often

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An Ancient Call to a New Generation

I was four years old the first time my feet walked across the polished hardwood floor of an evangelical Christian Sunday school classroom. From that point on, my life was cultivated in an environment where the ancient text, the Bible, was foundational. Because of that upbringing, I committed hundreds, possibly thousands of verses to memory.

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Ezra, Unsung Hero of the Faith

For most Christians, a list of the greatest men of the Tanakh [Gen.–Mal.] would include the likes of Moses the Lawgiver, David the King, Abraham the Father of both Jews and Christians, and the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. Some might even include Nehemiah, cupbearer to the king of Babylon and rebuilder of the walls of

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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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