Roof Repair in SE Turkey

June 20, 2013

In traveling in southeast Turkey, on the road from Van to Batman, we had the occasion to stop and visit with a family doing some roof repair on their house.

House located between Van and Batman. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

House located between Van and Batman. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Ferrell Jenkins is pointing to the layer of wood that runs across the entire course of the wall. This is functional: the area is prone to earthquakes, and the wood act as a sort of “shock absorber” to help stabilize the house in the event of tremors.

The folks here seemed pleased that we stopped by for a few minutes. I guess one could observe that kids don’t have to have a lot in order to be happy.

Turkish children posing for picture. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Turkish children posing for picture. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Dung-cakes were nearby to the side of the house. Such is commonly used as fuel for the fire.

Dungcakes. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Dung-cakes. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

There is no way to “plan” on moments like this during a trip to biblical lands. But such are among the interesting and pleasant memories.

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Kids at the Herodium

June 19, 2013

The Herodium was a fortress in sight of Bethlehem built by Herod the Great. It was also where he was buried. His tomb was discovered and excavated by Ehud Netzer, who met an untimely death resulting from a fall at the site.

Herodium, built by Herod. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Herodium, built by Herod. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Ferrell Jenkins & I had the opportunity to visit here in 2009. When we made a stop closer to the Herodium where we had a good view for photos, a group of kids approached us. We thought we had the site to ourselves when we stopped, but they seemed to spring up from nowhere.

Kids near Herodium. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Kids near Herodium. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

We have observed that most kids seem to like having their picture made, even when there is a language barrier.

I have a couple of previous posts on the Herodium here and here.

We are writing this from Houston, TX, where we are visiting with one of our sons and attending some of the lectures at Southside church of Christ at Pasadena. Today we heard Bob Owens, David Posey and Wilson Adams. This week’s theme: “We Would See Jesus.”


Like Trees Planted Along a Riverbank

June 12, 2013

Our previous couple of posts illustrated the barrenness of a life without God, a life where God has been displaced with idolatry. The Old Testament often set forth the principle that disobedience results in divine punishment, whereas blessings are upon the obedient. Jeremiah places these concepts back to back. The “shrub in the desert” is contrasted with “trees planted along a riverbank.

Trees growing along the banks of Jordan. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Trees growing along the banks of Jordan. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit (Jer. 17:7,8).

That is a wonderful word picture. A fruitful, blessed life, resulting from right relationship with the One from whom all blessings flow.

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A Shrub in the Desert (cont’d.)

June 10, 2013

We recently referenced Jeremiah 17:6-7, which refers to the consequences of a life which displaces God for idolatry, human wisdom (or anything else):

Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant.”

This passage reminded me of the bushes you can see along the Dead Sea area, a site that would certainly qualify as a land of salt without inhabitant.

Shrubs at Dead Sea. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Shrubs at Dead Sea. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

This is certainly a “land of salt” as you view this area where the Dead Sea has receded. On right of photo you can see some glimmer on the Sea. Also in this photo I captured a rainbow. (It’s not everyday you see a rainbow over the Dead Sea!)

Again, the point of the text is how barren and how fruitless is a life which is not attuned to God and the doing of His will!

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Like a Shrub in the Desert

June 5, 2013

The captivity prophet Jeremiah said, “The sin of Judah is written down with an iron stylus; With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart, And on the horns of their altars” (17:1), and went on to describe the idolatry that permeated the land. The result, as predicted by Moses, was to be under the curse of God (cf. Deut. 28:15-68).

Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the LORD. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant” (Jer. 17:6,7).

Many areas of biblical lands would illustrate the point in the text, of a bush or tree in a dry desert area. This photo was taken in the wilderness of Sinai.

Shrubs in the Desert of Sinai. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Shrubs in the Desert of Sinai. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Scene such as this would surely depict a barren and fruitless life.

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