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Travel: The Judean Wilderness

Travel: The Judean Wilderness

The desert is clean physically & spiritually because the sun shines in every place and bakes it sinless. Nothing can hide from its righteouRead More...


The High To Keep You Satisfied

The High To Keep You Satisfied

This is an archived Sky Blue post originally published in May 2014. Not every difficulty is a storm: sometimes life is a drought. We do not aRead More...


Home Sounds: Chris Stapleton

Home Sounds: Chris Stapleton

I first became a fan of Chris Stapleton's voice during my bluegrass kick. He was the front man for The SteelDrivers at that time, and that voRead More...


Ears to Hear: How Does the Gospel Speak to Racism?

Ears to Hear: How Does the Gospel Speak to Racism?

Will Rogers once said: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” We all have drums we like to beat. But never doubt the capacity of the human hearRead More...

Entries Tagged as 'Israel'

Travel: The Judean Wilderness

Posted on: Saturday, April 1, 2017

Israel desert

The desert is clean physically & spiritually because the sun shines in every place and bakes it sinless. Nothing can hide from its righteous eyes.

After a week in various wet cities where the rain matted down globs of wet trash on the sidewalk, to be strewn in goopy crumbs by people’s feet, I was thankful to be in such a hot and holy place.

I love the austerity of the cliffs, so severe and immutable they do not look real, they look like paintings of themselves.

The sand is washed out and the sky is blanched around the sun’s broad halo, only turning blue right before disappearing behind the sand cliffs to the west and the sloping mountains of Jordan to the east.

Between them, the Dead Sea catches the sun and shimmers dolphin blue, spitting intricate, lace-like sand deposits on the shore and then loping back in a gentle, glutted tide of weighted water.

That sun changes everything. It makes some hard and others humble. It bleaches your bones and your soul. In the leaves of Eden, Adam and Eve believed they could hide from the eyes of God. In the desert there is no hiding, which inevitably brings mans’ mind to God. That’s why the desert is full of temples.

Judean wilderness

Judean desert

Masada in Israel

Israel desert


Chalk cliffs in Israel

Ruins of Masada

View from Masada

Israel desert

Masada in Israel

Israel's wilderness

Driving in the Israeli desert

There are a lot of posts on this blog about traveling in Israel. Click here for more.


National Coffee Day

Posted on: Friday, September 30, 2011

Before leaving IBEX last year, each of us was asked to make a page for the team yearbook.  In an attempt to be unique and to have some guiding factor in choosing from the thousands of pictures clogging my hard drive, I made a page about coffee.

In honor of National Coffee Day yesterday (which, incidentally, fell in my birth month–which I find most appropriate) here it is.  The coffees of IBEX.  (You can click it to see the text.)

I’d write an ode to my sweet caffeinated life-stream, but then I would probably want some, and seeing as I have already had a pot today, that would not fall under the category of moderation, or wisdom.

Enjoy the last day of September.  Fall is here, friends.  I typed an exclamation point after that sentence, but then deleted it, because I actually have mixed feelings about fall.  I love summertime and sunshine, through and through.  But ah well.  Seasons come and seasons go.  Summer will come back around.

And let’s be honest.  Fall is the best time for coffee.

Man of Sorrows

Posted on: Saturday, April 23, 2011

Isaiah 53:

3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Man of sorrows, what a name
for the Son of God who came, ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah, what a Savior.

Photo: tilework in Ecce Homo, Jerusalem.


Posted on: Saturday, April 23, 2011

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem — likely location of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

“So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.” John 19:16-18

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