5th century Church discovered in Turkey has paintings of Jesus


Couldn’t find any good Google Streetmap of Nevşehir. The national park sections aren’t mapped, and the nearby city looks cloudy and a bit dull.

I’ve just booked to go to Keysuri in central Turkey.   I’ve been meaning to go to Cappadocia national park for the last year or so.

Today after I’ve bought my tickets, I was amazed to see this!

Historic church discovered in Turkey’s Nevşehir ‘could change history of Orthodoxy’

(source is a secular Turkish news site)

 

Talitha Kumi, popular street in Jerusalem shows Jesus’ command resurrecting dead child

In the four years I volunteered in Israel, I’ve been down this street several times a week.   Its King George Street at the top of the famous Ben Yehuda Street precinct.

I’ve always wondered what this monument by the bus stop actually is, but never properly looked it up.

This year I’ve been learning the gospels, the book of Mark.   Now I know where this phrase “Talitha Kumi” comes from.

Mark 5 : 35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”

36 Overhearing[c] what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.

After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

talitaטליתא קומ / Talitha Koum is Aramaic, where as טליתא קומי / Talitha Kumi is Hebrew, which mean arise.

I’d love to know who built this wall with a clock and what was its purpose.   Its not that common to see phrases by Jesus himself to be actually at the sides of streets in Jerusalem.

 

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Theological Version

chickenThis is really funny, seen on Facebook;

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? (Theological Version)

Rick Warren: The chicken was purpose driven.

Pelagius: Because the chicken was able to.

John Piper: God decreed the event to maximize his glory. OR . . . it was an act of Christian hedonism. The chicken realized that his greatest joy would only be found on the other side.

Irenaeus: The glory of God is the chicken fully alive.

C.S. Lewis: If a chicken finds itself with a desire that nothing on this side can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that it was created for the other side.

Billy Graham: The chicken was surrendering all.

Pluralist: The chicken took one of many equally valid roads.

Universalist: All chickens cross the road.

Martin Luther: The chicken was fleeing the Antichrist who had stolen the Gospel with his papist lies.

Tim LaHaye: The chicken didn’t want to be left behind.

James White: I reject chicken centered eisegesis.

John Wesley: The chicken’s heart was strangely warmed.

Rob Bell: The chicken. Crossed the road. To get. Cool glasses.

Joel Osteen: The chicken crossed the road to maximize his personal fulfillment so they he could be all that God created him to be.

Roger Olson: The chicken recognizes no clear evangelical boundries.

Driscoll: A [bleeping] chicken crossed the road to go get a beer.

Gary Demar: The chicken was fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. That’s it.

Jim Wallis: The chicken is an organizer for Occupy Barnyard.

Emergent: For this chicken, its not the destination that’s important. Its the journey itself.

N.T. Wright: This act of the chicken, which would be unthinkable in British barnyards, reeks of that American individualism that is destructive to community.

Al Mohler: When a chicken begins to think theologically, he has no other alternative but to come over to the Calvinist side of the road.

Michael Horton: The chicken was forsaking the kingdom of this world to live solely in the Kingdom of Christ.

John Frame: The chicken had an existential need to change its situation according to a new norm.

T.F. Torrance: The inner logic of the incarnation proved an irresistible draw to the other side of the road.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: He was abandoning cheap grace for the costly discipleship of risking the dangers of crossing the road.

Karl Barth: The crossing of the road, like all true theology, was done for profoundly Christological reasons. Because Christ came as the judge to be judged, all chickens cross the road in the end.

Paul Tillich: Because he sensed that the other side of the road represented the ground of all being.

New Ager: Because he saw the light beckoning him forward.

Fundamentalist: Because his pastor told him so.

Elevation Church: Because Pastor Furtick told him to get in the line on the other side for a spontaneous baptism.

Israeli soldier who was fighting ISIS in Iraq/Syria finds Yeshua

ilsoldierThis is a truly wonderful story.

This brave young woman fought the ISIS to defend the Kurdish people, and later found Jesus.  Lets pray protection on this lady and her family and that this story will be a source of curiosity by all people, Jewish, Arab, and anyone else!

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/articles/display_art.html?ID=17338

The original source from an magazine by Israeli believers has been deleted.   Probably as it contains information on her baptism and this can be used by hostile religious groups to intimidate believers.

U2’s ‘Christian’ Bono rips up a bible at an Innocence Experience gig

Was watching a concert I recorded off iPlayer during Christmas.   This gig was in Paris after a terrorist attack that happened during another artists’ event.

bono rips bible2

This cool celeb Christian kicks two books across the long stage, before reciting Psalms….

bono rips bible

I watched this footage 3 times over to see if I was believing what I saw.  Whilst he is doing this after the song, he is reading out Psalm 23, yelling the Comfort Me!!! several times over.

The song “raised by wolves” is about the conflict in Northern Ireland, specifically about one attack in 1974.  Does he blame Protestant/Catholicism differences for this?   Would Bono rip up a Koran knowing this probably might trigger him having to be Salman Rushdie’s new room mate?

I did some google searching to see if any other bloggers has noticed and commented on this.   It seems various U2 forums thought Bono was tearing up another work of literature.

I love U2’s music but never really thought their activism work really seemed that effective.  This saddened me and I stopped watching this show.   You can probably find this gig on Youtube if you can skip to the point roughly I’ve stopped it, if you find the end of Raised by Wolves song.

With all the ambiguity over the years of if this band of they know Jesus as their Lord and saviour, or just culturally Christian, or weak luke warm ‘progressive’ Christianity, after this, I can’t really take Bono seriously as a believer in Christ.

Interesting analysis of Bono on his faith from this link:
http://bereanresearch.org/does-u2s-bono-a-professing-christian-believe-the-bible/ 

Additional; just added this scripture which seems apt here
2 Timothy 3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Additional (2) – you can see for yourself at these concerts
26/5/2015 in Los Angeles 46 mins
19/9/2015 in Turin 46 min
25/9/2015 in Berlin (not so easier to see) 56 mins

Rabbinical authorities try and silence gospel message on Israeli TV

Walla HQ in Tel Aviv – pray for more courage for journalists & bosses there

Ultra orthodox Jewish Rabbinic authority groups try to silence the gospel from being talked about on secular Israeli television and media channel Walla.co.il

http://oneforisrael.org/blog/421-one-for-israel-s-statement-messianic-jews-on-walla-news

Maybe from trying to keep this information away from the general Israeli public, this will only cause people to be curious and cause what’s known in the media world as a Streissand effect

Please, don’t use this announcement to hate the Ultra Orthodox, as they are loved by the Lord but blinded by artificial religious structure.  For believers in Jesus/Yeshua we have non-earthly tools at our disposal to petition the Lord to get the gospel message to be unavoidable in Israel and everywhere else.  Pray!!

A Messianic Jewish Response to Christians Who Naysay Christmas

Really good article by Sandra Templinsky via FIRM web site http://firm.org.il/learn/a-messianic-jewish-response-to-christians-who-naysay-christmas/

For me, as well as spend time with family, I’ve used this Christmas to go out and fellowship with a non believing Jewish friend who is seeking answers about his spiritual life, see a non believing friend who works in computing (like me) who might visit a church for the first time, and encouraged fallen away Christian friends who are back in church on fire for Jesus again.

No other time of the year reinforces the message of our Messiah so strongly.   In a world where secularism is trying to mute the message of the gospel, this season still has value to remind the non believing world of the Saviour of the World!!!

I’m troubled by the number of people who decide go against this holiday, and I am not talking about Jewish people, more Christians who are confused which set of holidays are relevant for today.

Friends, you don’t have to celebrate Christmas but look at the HUGE value that this season has, aside from all its commericalised trimmings, from its core value as a wild guess at Jesus’s birthday, to celebrate the life of the Messiah!!   I have no desire to compromise any of God’s word, but don’t be a religious hipster who looks down at everyone else during this season, just look at how many people may be on their own at this time, and pop around and see them!

Titus 3 : 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

Romans 14 : 5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

New towns to be built in Israel’s desert

 

Sunset_in_the_Negev_Desert_near_Yeruham_Israel-635x357

I saw this article a month ago:-
Cabinet approves plan to build 5 new Negev towns.  Housing minister praises acceptance of proposal, invokes Zionist vision of settling the desert http://www.timesofisrael.com/cabinet-passes-plan-to-build-5-new-negev-towns/

I was reading Jeremiah 32 today;
Jeremiah 32 : 42 “This is what the Lord says: As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. 43 Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, ‘It is a desolate waste, without people or animals, for it has been given into the hands of the Babylonians.’ 44 Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.”

Here is the western Negev.   A big empty space!

The desert has a mere 8% of Israel’s population. With a highway containing Beer Sheva being the main desert city.   Sde Boker and Mitzpe Ramon (which I visited in 2013 before I left) being quite small.

Israel will be needing to fit a lot more people in the country with Jewish people needing to flee France and Belgium as issue of radical Islam spirals out of control.   Please pray that these whole new communities will built quickly and homes and jobs will provided for the incoming new immigrants.

Religious Jews wish to evaluate if Jesus is the Messiah of Israel

Read this article on Israel today this week on some announcements a group of Orthodox Jews are getting together re-evaluate if Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.

Original article here;
http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/28027/Default.aspx

This comes from a organisation called the Center for Jewish Christian Understanding and Cooperation.  This is a wonderful community centre and synagogue I visited in Efrat in Israel that welcomes Christian groups to chat with Jews.

More on their web site here http://cjcuc.com/site/

Please pray for those event.   There has been much hurt for hundreds of years from people calling themselves Christians towards Jews, with an open heart this may be trigger a revival for salvation for Jewish people all over Israel and beyond.

For those of us who are Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people, covering these people and community with prayer is a must at the point.

Does Star Wars The Force Awakens contain bible influences?

For some years people have seen analogies from Star Wars to the bible.

I’m sure its only a matter of time until some theology bloggers start analysing The Force awakens. I thought I would start the ball rolling. :)

  1. A friend of mine who lives in London, I’ll call him S. He is from a Jewish background and was in a prison in a Muslim country and after being in there for years and subject to horrendous abuse, had a real life encounter with Jesus and accepting him as his Lord and saviour, the Lord gave him instructions to get out of the jail past the guards and walk free.
  2. Brother Yun was arrested by security police numerous times and was thrown into prison three times for sharing the gospel in communist China……    ….Once, Brother Yun was paraded through the streets with a red cross tied behind him for half a day. When night fell, he was locked and left alone inside a large interrogation room. The wooden cross was taken off his back but his hands were still tied up. All of a sudden, the rope that was used to tie his hands snapped by itself. He immediately walked out of the interrogation room and walked through the courtyard in the midst of onlookers. Nobody stopped him or said anything to him. It was as if God had blinded their eyes and they did not even recognise who he was. 
  3. reyIn the new Star Wars VII – The Force Awakens, the newest generation Jedi, a young woman called Rey, is attached to a chair with shackles in a locked jail. Through using the ‘force’ she repeatedly asked the Stormtrooper guard to unlock her and let her free. After the third attempt the guard obeys her and she walks away.
  4. Acts 5 : 17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.” 21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
  5. Acts 16 : 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.  35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”  37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left.

All 5 of these stories isn’t by using lock picking or getting out through a ventilation duct.  Each one is escaping from a prison was only through faith.

#1 ‘S’ has not put his incredible testimony in print or on the web, only from when I listened to his tragic but ultimately heartwarming story.  I’m trying encourage him to write a book.

#2 Brother Yun is one of the most famous pioneering Christians in China (I really need to buy this soon) http://www.inspirationalchristians.org/biography/brother-yun/

#3 spoilers here  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars:_The_Force_Awakens

#4 Acts 5 : 17

#5 Acts 16 : 22