Monday, February 22, 2010

the temple

An Israeli archaeologist said Monday that ancient fortifications recently excavated in Jerusalem date back 3,000 years to the time of King Solomon and support the biblical narrative about the era.

If the age of the wall is correct, the finding would be an indication that Jerusalem was home to a strong central government that had the resources and manpower needed to build massive fortifications in the 10th century B.C.

That's a key point of dispute among scholars, because it would match the Bible's account that the Hebrew kings David and Solomon ruled from Jerusalem around that time.

Speaking to reporters at the site Monday, Eliat Mazar, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, called her find "the most significant construction we have from the First Temple days in Israel."

Based on the age of the fortifications and their location, it was the temple built by Solomon, David's son, and the one mentioned in the Book of Kings.

The fortifications, including a monumental gatehouse and a 77-yard long section of an ancient wall, are located just outside the present-day walls of Jerusalem's Old City, next to the holy compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount. According to the Old Testament, it was Solomon who built the first Jewish Temple on the site. That temple was destroyed by Babylonians, rebuilt and renovated by King Herod 2,000 years ago and then destroyed again by Roman legions in 70 A.D. The compound now houses two Islamic buildings, the golden-capped Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the word is living and active...

"When a minister reads out of the Bible, I'm sure at least nine times out of ten the people who happen to be listening hear not what is really being said but only what they expect to hear read. And I think that what most people expect to hear read from the Bible is an edifying story, an uplifting thought, a moral lesson—something elevating, obvious, and boring. So that is exactly what very often they do hear. Only that is too bad because if you really listen…there is no telling what you might hear." - Frederick Buechner

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

remember you are dust ...

remember you are dust ... repent and believe the gospel!

ash wednesday

Ash Wednesday, in the Western Christian calendar, is the first day of Lent, forty days before Easter.
The day derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of congregants as a sign of repentance. The ashes used are typically gathered after burning the the palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday. The ashes are mixed with the olive oil or water. This paste is used by the minister who makes the sign of the cross, first upon his or her own forehead and then on those of congregants. The minister administering ashes recites the words: "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return".

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.  - Genesis 3:19

Repent, and hear the good news.  - Mark 1:15

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a prayer for lent

Oh Lord and Master of my life -
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors, and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

- St. Ephraim the Syrian

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Jesus took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." (He did not know what he was saying.) While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying,
"This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."  (Luke 9)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

luther prayer

Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.

I am weak in faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, so my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether.
O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.
I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

know jesus, know god ... no jesus, no god

"He who wants to know God, love God, worship God, and serve God should learn to know Christ, love Christ, worship Christ, and serve Christ. To know, love, worship, or serve God without Christ is impossible."  - Martin Luther

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

roman "swiss army" knife

The world's first "swiss army knife" has been uncovered - made hundreds of years before its modern counterpart.

An intricately designed Roman knife, which dates back to 200AD, is made from silver with an iron blade. It features a spoon, a fork, as well as a spike, spatula and small tooth-pick.

The knife was excavated from the Mediterranean area. The unique item is among dozens of artifacts exhibited in a newly refurbished Greek and Roman antiquities gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England.

Monday, February 1, 2010

now they're going after mother theresa...

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is upset with the U.S. Postal Service for issuing a stamp honoring Mother Teresa, well known for her work with the sick and the poor in India. Can they be serious?
How far will this atheist group go to stop a stamp? As far as trying to stamp out a woman who lived among the poor and sick to bring them a little bit of comfort and hope? It gets worse -

"The Freedom from Religion Foundation is urging its supporters to boycott the stamp — and also to engage in a letter-writing campaign to spread the word about what it calls the “darker side” of Mother Teresa."

Unreal. They must be really desperate if they have to go after someone like Mother Teresa.