Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Morning—Welcome to -1°F

It was -1°F when I stepped outside my cabin door at 7:30 am. Kind of took my breath away! I know I should be experienced in this type of cold after living in Canada but Texas has a way of making one "soft" in the area of cold weather.
I taught from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm with 53 students in class. They seem like a great bunch of young people, eager to learn. After lunch I took a 50 minute walk down the plowed road leading up into the school/camp area. I usually walk up in the mountains but the trails are a little too deep for me this year. As I walked along the road I saw the tracks of numerous animals (esp. deer) all over the snow-covered meadows and forest trails. Last year two mountain lions were shot on the school property (one is hung now in the dining room!) and a third close by. One of the mountain lions had killed one of the dogs living on the property so they felt they had to get rid of them. Just yesterday a staff member saw another set of tracks so I'll probably stick to walking on the road these days. In Dallas all I would have to be afraid of is a drive-by shooting or something similar.
The students are learning how to share their faith in a class tonight and soon I'll meet them down at the Hob Nob (coffee shop with a wood burning stove in the new gym building). Pray for our time together.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Week in Montana

Each October I make my annual pilgrimage up to Montana for a week. I spend this week teaching approximately 60 young people who are attending Montana Wilderness School of the Bible ( My goal is to "cover" the Pentateuch over the next five morning with these young people who are investing a year of their life (mostly right out of high school) to learn the Bible and how to live Christianly in this world. I've been coming here since 2004 and it has become for me not only an opportunity to reconnect and teach young people but also a spiritual retreat in a wonderful part of God's creation.
I arrived here around 4 pm today (after a flight from Dallas to Minn/St.Paul, another flight to Great Falls, MT, and then an hour and a half drive west to the edge of the Rocky Mountains. We drove to the end of the road, right where the Lewis and Clark National Forest begins, and right where the school/camp is located.
There is about a foot of snow on the ground (see picture on the left taken outside the door of my cabin), the clouds are hanging over the peaks of the mountains, the smell of a wood fire is in the air, everything is silent, and the presence of our Glorious God is everywhere if you chose to recognize it.
Dinner will be in the dining hall (see the picture above right) in an hour. The students are returning this evening from a long weekend and I am looking forward to meeting them all for the first time.
I am enjoying the warm weather in Texas but a long icicle hanging from the roof of the cabin is still a thing of beauty. I'll probably break one off to eat it tonight (I'm on weight watchers and whenever I find something I can eat that is 0 points, I'm trying it!).
Pray for my ministry here to these young people.

Friday, October 2, 2009

After 56 years

Yesterday I turned 56 years of age. I don't feel that old. But my hair is no longer dark brown and my beard is almost completely gray. I know I'm not a teenager but I still feel I have good energy and a desire to serve the Lord with all that I am. After 56 years I wish I knew a little more, was more holy, communicated better, and trusted the Lord more in the routines of life. But I am not once I once was and I hope to keep growing.
This past year I preached over 30 times (my home church and 7 others), taught 10 courses at DTS (280 lectures), spoke at 2 weekend retreats and at a family camp (Northern Pines), led and taught on 2 Israel Tours, traveled to Jordan to teach at JETS and speak at churches, did an "academic" river tour down the Grand Canyon, had a great vacation with my wife in British Columbia as we visited Sarah and John, saw my daughter Charity (and husband Justin) face melanoma cancer, rejoiced with Joshua as he got engaged to Haleight (wedding this coming May), saw Jeff Denton come to be our lead pastor at Waterbrook, took on a new position as Department Chair of Bible Exposition, postponed my sabbatical from next year to the following year, and enjoyed life.
I'm still in love with my wife Sharon after 34 years, I am enjoyed my adult children and their spouses (still waiting for grandkids, hint), glad my mother and father, brothers and sisters are still healthy and following the Lord and I still enjoy ministry at DTS and when I get a chance to travel I love to preach (last week Joshua and I did a sermon-duet at Bayside (
Sometimes I think I get a little too busy but I do want to make my life count while I'm here on earth these few short years. This November I will celebrate 20 years of my kidney transplant (thanks Eleanor for the gift) and so I am perhaps conscious more than most that our days are numbered and we are responsible to the Lord to use each day for his glory. I take time to watch TV, read, eat, meet with people, etc. My wife helps keep my feet on the ground and and my life practical.
This coming year, besides my regular duties at DTS and Waterbrook, I am planning to help lead the IFL Swindoll tour to Israel (, to teach at Word of Life in Hungary (and possibly also in Romania), to teach in Hong Kong, preach at Crier Creek Family Camp, to teach at Montana Wilderness School of the Bible, perform the wedding of Joshua and Haleigh, go to Ontario to celebrate my parents 60th, and lose some weight. I'll report, Lord willing, next year on how my 56th year went!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bramer's book in Korean

About 6 years ago I coauthored a commentary on Genesis with Dr. Kenn Gangel (who recently passed away) in the Holman Old Testament Commentary series edited by Max Anders ( Yesterday I received a copy of a book in Korean with the translated English title "Main Idea." Apparently (since I am struggling to read Korean!) it is the Korean translation of the commentary I coauthored. It does has my name on it (in English: click on the photo to the right and you can get a larger view of the front cover) and I'll get one of my Korean students at DTS to take a look at it and assure me that the translation doesn't have me writing heresy! I (By the way, the dedication of this book was to my daughter Sarah who proofread it and made great suggestions on it to me. Her name is still on the dedication page of the Korean translation!) I'll post the back cover and dedication page at the bottom of this post. I have a sabbatical coming up in two years (I was asked to postpone it from 2010-2011 so I could have two years in my new position as Chair of the Bible Exposition Department) and this encourages me to continue to think about writing something during that time that would be of help to pastors and other believers in the local church. I'm thinking right now of something from the OT prophets since they are not used much and many struggle to understand them even in their devotional reading. Any ideas from those of you who know me or have heard me preach or teach? (A really good suggestion could get you mentioned in the forward of the book!)

Friday, August 28, 2009

My son is engaged!

My son (and my wife's son too) Joshua got engaged tonight to Haleigh Garnett! Sharon and I are very pleased. We think the wedding may be next June/July (?) but we'll have to wait a few weeks until all sorts of people are consulted.
Joshua asked Haleigh "the question" down on one knee on the shores of a Texas lake. She said something like, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh . . . I would love to!" (I assume this answer can be taken as an expressive "yes")
The two of them came back to our house, where unknown to Haleigh, a group of their friends and her parents (both sets) and grandparents had gathered with us to celebrate with ice-cream cake and some sparkling grape juice for a toast. Lots of hugs, a few tears of joy, and lots of laughter.
I am so thankful to God for the godly young woman who will be marrying my son. Haleigh started her relationship with the Lord about four years ago shortly after Joshua met her at an AA meeting. She asked Sharon to disciple her and for almost a year they met in our kitchen every Monday night to learn how to study the Bible and get to know the Lord. At Haleigh's request and with the backing of our home church, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship, Sharon had the great privilege of baptizing her a couple of years ago. Haleigh is going to graduate this next summer from Criswell College where Joshua too will graduate at the same time. I believe God has something special in mind for these two. What a privilege to have had a part in their lives. Tonight I am rejoicing in God's goodness and mercy toward my son, my future daughter-in-law, and also to Sharon and myself.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

34th Wedding Anniversary

August 22nd was the day of our wedding, 34 years ago. I was so excited that this year I would not be away at the DTS faculty workshop (which often occurs on our anniversary), and that it would be on a weekend (during the week we both have responsibilities of the starting of our schools), BUT then Sharon announced (rather sheepishly I think) that she had a women's ministry planning retreat for the ladies of DTS! So I got up had breakfast with my good friend Stan Johnson, shopped at Home Depot (no, not for Sharon!), fixed a broken light fixture, went to a jewellery store to get repaired Sharon's wedding ring which had (some years ago) lost a small diamond, bought some flowers, bought some special items for an at-home anniversary dinner (I only do stuff that can be cooked on the gas grill), and had everything ready for Sharon when she arrived home at about 8 pm. You might think I should be cheered for doing these things but those who know us well know that I have many, many such labors of love still to be performed to come anywhere close to showing Sharon the love she has shown me during these good years together.
I'm looking forward to many more years together with the love of my life.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home from Jordan

Yesterday I started on a 24 hour journey from Amman, Jordan to New York, to Salt Lake City and finally to Vancouver B.C. I was supposed to meet my wife Sharon in Salt Lake City but her plane was late from Dallas. They wouldn't let me switch because I was on an "international baggage match itinerary" and Sharon made it to the gate while I was on the plane still waiting but they wouldn't let her board! She made it late last night and so we are together again for which I am very thankful.
My last few days in Jordan were great as I traveled to Petra, Wadi Rum (see pic), Lot's Cave (see pic), Dead Sea (see pic) and back to Amman and then to the airport. I met some bedouin friends in Petra who I have known over the years of visiting (and got two invitations for meals in the bedouin village). I will have some more pictures next week when I get my computer fixed (I'm using my wife's computer now).
Right now I am sitting in John and Sarah's apartment looking out over the city of Vancouver with the mountains in the background. It is green, snow on the mountains, cool — the exact opposite of what I have been experiencing the last few weeks in Jordan. But I have come home with a renewed love for the Body of Christ in the Arab world and an appreciate for all that we have here in North America, so much of what I take for granted until I am reminded of what some people in other parts of the world have or don't have. I hope to go back soon to encourage, teach, help again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Computer Problem

My trusty Mac computer which is 3 years old is giving me problems (actually it won't start now!) I'm sure if I was back at DTS someone from the IT department would fix the problem files etc. and have me back working. However, I am in Jordan. I am posting this blog from another computer but I wanted to let you know that I might not be able to blog for a while. I'll see if the computer people here at JETS can help me in the morning but they use the "other" kind of computer (my apologies to all you PC people but I know you are gloating over my Mac problem!)
Praise God that this problem didn't occur until Wednesday afternoon and I completed Micah today. Tomorrow I plan to use as a summary class and challenge. Then the students will write their final exam. After class Steven Anderson and I will head down for a couple days at Petra before flying home. Actually I will be flying to Vancouver to visit my daughter Sarah and her husband John. I have never visited them since they got married and I have never been to Vancouver BC.They just returned from their ministry in Morocco. I'm sure we will have stories to compare. My flight will go from Amman to New York, to Salt Lake City (we I will meet up with my wife Sharon who I have really missed) and then on to Vancouver. This is a vacation week for Sharon and me (thanks Pastor Jeff for "encouraging/insisting" that I make plans to vacation this summer and that it be with my wife!). I love to teach and preach and minister but I do need a little down time too.
Thanks to each one of you who have taken an interest in my time here in Jordan. Especially thanks to the members of Waterbrook who paid my way here through the missions program at WBF. When we says "Waterbrook Bible Fellowship exists to glorify God by making and growing disciples in Wylie and beyond" that "beyond" included Jordan for the last two weeks because of your generousity! Part of you has been here and I have sensed many of your prayers.
I hope to have Ramzi, the computer geek here at JETS take a look at my computer in the morning. Check back to see if I am back online.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Touching the Jordan River

A number great day in class although I'm beginning to get a little tired and I think the students are too! I finished Isaiah today and tomorrow is Micah. For lunch, which we normally have here at the school, we had lamb stew over rice with a drink of Pepsi. The drink is always the same, the rice is always the same but the meat and vegetables can vary. It's always good.
After lunch I took Steven down to the Baptismal Site on the Jordan River. This is the site that early Christian churches commemorate as the place where John baptized Jesus. (Nearby is a hill which commemorates the translation of Elijah to heaven in a chariot of fire.) Today of course the river is perhaps only 5 % of what it used to be when all the water from Mt. Hermon came through the Sea of Galilee and down to here. In additional there used to be major rivers like the Yarmuk and Jabbok and the springs of Jericho whose waters flowed down to here. Now all this water is used for drinking and irrigation. So the "mighty Jordan" is no longer what it once was where Joshua had to cross it during flood stage. Nevertheless to reach down and touch the river, to see some "thickets" along the river like are spoken of in the Scriptures is still a memorable experience. I know you're thinking that the river doesn't look to clear, neither did Naaman the Syrian but he still choose to dip himself in it (2 Kings 5) to be cleansed. I would have gone in except for a few reasons: I don't have leprosy, I've already been baptized, the Jordanian guard was watching, the trees on the other side belong to Israel and so I didn't want to be shot! Other than that I would have gone in.
The approximately 20 miles back up to Amman is almost 16 miles climbing up to sea level (the Dead Sea is over 1300 feet below sea level) and then up to 2,500 feet above sea level until you reach the Medeba Plateau and the road to the ancient Roman Decapolis City of Amman.
I mentioned on Sunday's post I would get a picture of me preaching and Hany translating so here it is!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jordanian Family

Today was the start of our last week here teaching at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary. I taught today from Isaiah 7-35. Another good day and the student who lost her father was back in class just to sit and listen. Pray for Faten who was close to her father.
After class we were invited by Sana'a to come to her home for lunch where her husband, Majed who is fighting bone cancer, and her 10 year old son Samuel met us. She usually takes two different buses to get to JETS and home which takes her about 1 1/2 hours each way. We were able to drive her home (30 minutes) and we took along my good friend Hany to interpret for us. It was obvious that she had been up early this morning (she had to catch the bus at 6:30 am!) preparing a wonderful meal of chicken/rice/vegetables, different vegetables/rice, more vegetables cut up as well as a creamy cucumber and tomato salad and bread and watermelon for dessert! Before this, of course, we had had a small cup of Turkish coffee which every traditional home has ready at all times for guests. After this great big lunch, another cup of coffee and then tea. The tea was made with sage, mint, and another plant (?) from the hills. This Jordanian couple (she is actually from Syria) lives in a small village of 2,000 out in the hills close to the edge of the Medeba Plateau where it drops off into the Dead Sea. The first floor of their home which they have just lived in for 4 months is converted into a small church (see picture of the church that can seat 12-15), Sunday school room, and a room suitable for Arab hospitality. There are two churches in this village, a Catholic and an Orthodox. Sana'a and her husband have been given a vision from the Lord to plant an evangelical church here. Right now they have Bible studies with different groups of people. Most people facing cancer for a second time would withdraw from many responsibilities but this couple is building, painting, teaching, studying, and praying for God to do a work in them and in the village. What a humbling and joyful afternoon we had in their home (I didn't forget what a young boy might like so I brought him a box of candy I had packed from Texas!)
We then walked down the street to a neighbor's home to see a huge cave that is under their home and the street and has been used for centuries or millenniums as a place to live and keep animals. Once we had seen the cave we were "requested" to stay for coffee and tea (the picture is of the village and the fields this man owns)! It is hard to refuse a Jordanians request without offending so two cups of Turkish coffee and three cups of tea later with conversations translated with this older man, his mother and two sisters, as well as a prayer, we were on our way back to Medaba.
In Medaba we stop at my friend Fadi's new coffee shop "Coffee to Go" (Fadi is a friend from the times I have been on bus tours here in Jordan, Recently he resigned from Vision Tours to start his own business). He serves coffee, ice cream, sandwiches and breakfast of waffles etc. I gave him a bottle of Canadian maple syrup I had brought from Canada so he should have sweet, Canadian-tasting waffles tomorrow for breakfast!
Finally I took Steven to St. Georges church in Medaba (which is mentioned in the OT: Num 21:30; 1 Chrn 19:7; Isa 15:2) where the oldest map of the Middle East survives as a mosaic on the floor of what was a Byzantine Church.
Our "afternoon" ended at 7:30 pm when we arrived back in Amman for a good Hardees meal. What a great day of seeing and hearing real Jordanians in their homes and enjoying wonderful Jordanian hospitality which is quite unlike anything I've experienced elsewhere.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday in Amman, Jordan

Today is a "regular" work day here in Jordan. However JETS doesn't have classes and some Christian churches still have services and so I was asked to preach at two of them (If I had time and energy I could be preaching almost every night of the week).
This morning we drove down into the heart of Amman and I preached at a primarily Iraqi church. The worship leader/preacher, Behnam, is a student in my class. A group of five Americans from the East Coast were also there to sing a song and give a brief word of testimony as they ended two weeks working at the church. By the way, every church that we have visited somehow has a computer with a powerpoint projector to use and they often sing the same choruses as we do, just in Arabic of course.
After a rest and some study this evening I preached at what used to be a primarily Iraqi church but now has probably four or five different nationalities in it. Iraqi churches are beginning to dwindle as more and more of them get visas through the UN to immigrate to North America due to the persecution that could well await them if they were to return to Iraq. Praise God there is outreach going on and others are now coming.
The church this evening is pastored by my young Egyptian friend Hany. [By the way someone has given $1000 dollars to Hany to help him out. He was speachless when I gave him the 700JD's and then began to praise God with a number of Amens and Hallelujahs! Later he asked me if he could share half of it with his sister who is getting married. He had promised her to help with her wedding but told me he had nothing to give so he had just been praying for God to help him. I told him the money was his from the Lord through someone who just wanted to bless him.] Hany translated for me this evening and then we were requested to go back to his apartment with about 10 others from the church for special Arabic desserts (which are wonderful with cheese and something sweet???). Steven took some pictures of me preaching with the translator beside me but I have gotten them yet, perhaps I'll post some tomorrow.
I enjoy the challenge of driving here. The roads are in good repair but take a look at the road outside the church tonight! It would be easy to drop off and it is about 10 feet down.
Now back at the guest house at 9:30 pm preparing for tomorrow's 4 1/4 hours of teaching with two breaks (8:15 am - 1:00 pm). I find it hard to hear myself for that long so I wonder how the students do it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

JETS New Campus

Today I spent the morning in class with the students. One of the students, a Syrian named Sana'a who is married to a Jordanian, gave a great devotional on Isaiah 6. Steven Anderson presented the first lecture on the "Unity of Isaiah." and then I taught the next two lectures on Isaiah 1–6. This week each of the Master's level student needs to present a 5-10 minute devotional from Isaiah. We ended classes at 1:00 pm (Jordanians tend to eat lunch and dinner later than we do). After driving Hany home, to make sure I knew the way to his church for Sunday, Habil (acting academic dean here at JETS) took us out to the new campus that has been under construction for over two years.
There have been numerous delays in this great building project including unexpected taxes, a collapsed roof, costs for steel and concrete that tripled, etc. It is located in the hills outside Amman where you can see Mt. Nebo and the hills of Samaria in the distance. The campus contains a number of uncompleted buildings that are just waiting additional funding for completion. This new complex will be capable of training up to 500 Arabic speaking students as well as serving as a conference center for the 5 evangelical denominations in Jordan. In this picture (taken from the lower part of the property) you can see the prayer tower, to the left the academic building, to the right the administration building and library, and underneath these buildings are the cafeteria, chapel/gym etc. and in front of it all two Americans (Stephen and Steven) dreaming of someday teaching right here! The picture of the outdoor amphitheater is taken from on top of the prayer tower (Steven took this picture and many of the others I have put on this blog over the last few days with his good camera [thanks Steven]) shows the foundation of what will seat about 2,000 people. And in the future, if the Lord was to provide, there would be apartments for faculty and dormitories for students beyond the ampitheater. Just think of what God could do in such a complex! I believe it could certainly help to change the evangelical church in the Arab world and, Lord willing, even beyond.
The president of JETS, Dr. Imad Shehadah (a graduate of DTS) is in the states right now challenging God's people to give so at least the essential parts of this campus can be completed so students can be trained here this very next year (right now JETS occupies rented facilities). Would you pray with me that God would provide the needed funds? (the JETS website is: I am looking forward to completing my course this week but already thinking about when I could come back.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Northern Jordan

Today was Friday and no classes so we hit the road and traveled north. Well, first we started south-west down to the Jordan River valley near the bridge over to Israel. Close to the Jordan River we turned north and began to drive up through this fertile valley where Jordan grows vegetables and fruits. We drove right through the area the children of Israel would have camped before crossing the Jordan to Jericho. I'm sure the owners of this land are wealthy but it appears many of the people who live and work here and not too well off. All the way along the 50 miles or so were villages with road-front shops where you could purchase anything.
We stopped at Dayr 'Alla (the site where the extra-biblical Balaam inscription was found that is now in the Amman museum), saw the Jabbok where it comes down to the Jordan (close by is the ford of Adam mentioned in Scripture), and then stopped at Pella. Pella is one of the Decapolis cities and is the place where early writers said the Christians of Jerusalem fled before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. I got greeted by the "guardian" of Pellas with a "kiss" on both cheeks because I had had tea at his place two years ago and bought a few coins from him too! A glass on mint lemonade, some interesting conversation, a great overview of the site from the balcony of the resthouse (with places in Israel such as Bethshan, Mt. Gilboa and even the top of Mt. Tabor visible in the land across the Jordan) and then a hot walk around the actual site with Roman, and Iron age ruins and also one of the earliest Canaanite temples ever discovered.
Then up the Jordan until we reached the Yarmuk River which flows down from between the Golan Heights (Israel) and up the river Syria and the side of the river we were on which was Jordan. Along this stretch we probably went through about 6-8 army checkpoints.
A long winding climb up to the top of the mountains of Gilead and there is the Decapolis city of Gadara, whose region is mentioned in Matthew 8:28. Again, like Jerash, this city has two theaters, a long (2/3 of a mile?) Cardo paved, column-lined street, and many ruins in the midst of archaeological restoration. The interesting thing is that most of this city is not made out of the common white limestone but rather the black basalt (volcanic) rock found especially in the Golan region where there are a number of extinct volcanoes. In the distance is the Sea of Galilee where I sailed on a boat just one month ago!
Finally a late lunch at that great international restaurant "Popeyes Chicken!" in Irbid (another Decaplis city but no time for a visit to the Tel), (by the way Layth, the young 4 year old boy whose home we ate at knew all about Popeye, spinach etc. because he sees the cartoons on TV here!)
Then back along the highway to Amman with a quick side trip where we saw the great city of Jerash from the heights of the mountain NE of it.
Since our return around 4:30 pm I have spent 4 hours preparing for Monday's class (I think I'm prepared for tomorrow [Saturday] classes) because I know Sunday will be an interesting and busy day after preaching in two churches (more about that on Sunday night)! Now the local mosque is calling Muslims to pray over the loud system. A great reminder for me to pray to our God through Jesus who visited the Decapolis region in his ministry. I'm not sure if you have been counting but I think we have now visited 5 of the Decapolis cities since I have been here to Jordan (and Bethshan for #6 but that was a month ago!). Can you name them?
I enjoy getting comments about this blog so feel free to comment!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jonah, Jabbok, and Jerash

Today in class we covered the book of Jonah. Steven Anderson, the Ph.D. student who is here with me, carefully presented material that answered common objections to the literal nature of this book. It seems to me that students here don't have problem with the supernatural and so are not bothered by many of the concerns of students in North America. I then spent about 2 1/2 hours going through the book almost verse-by-verse with application. The students really seemed to enjoy the classes.
After class one of our students Fares, who also works at JETS as the acting Dean of Students, took us for a good lunch at KFC! Just like at home but a little more limited in choice (Pepsi, Miranda Orange, or 7Up) and the smoking in restaurants can be like a reminder of days gone by in America!
This afternoon Chris, a wonderful British man who has lived in Jordan for almost 2 decades and who teaches a course in Geography of Jordan, gave us a great tour to Jerash (Gerasa in the Bible; see Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26). On the way we stopped at the Jabbok River where I got my picture taken with Chris. This is the river that Jacob crossed in Genesis 32 and where he wrestled with God. Today much of the water is used by the booming Jordanian population.
North of the Jabbok is one of the greatest Decapolis cities, today called Jerash. After entering through a monumental gate the city's main street called the Cardo (heart) must stretch for a mile. You walk past the Hippodrome, the South Gate, the Temple of Zeus, the South Theater, the Oval Plaza, the Macellum (meat market), the Nymphaeum (public water fountain), the Temple of Artemis, past lots of places still to be excavated, the West Bath House, the North Theater, and the North Gate. When you see many of these places you are reminded of the struggles the early Christians often had: should we go to the theater were many seats are dedicated to gods, are the house races and all that goes on a place for believers, do we eat the meat in the market since it has come from the temples, what should we think about the gods/statues in the niches at the major cross streets, how should we think about the inscriptions on the gate about the Roman Emperor being the lord, the autocrat, etc. etc.?
Now I am back in Amman, tired, a little hot, but thankful for this unique opportunity I have to teach the Bible and visit the land of the Bible at the same time. I am thankful for all the Lord's blessings today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Classea and Chapel

This day started by noticing a shepherd (he is located in the lower left center with a red head covering on) with his flock of goats outside the guest room window right next to a newly build apartment building. The old and new somehow still existing in a balance and in tension here in this culture and country. In fact this balance and tension is seen everywhere in Jordan with BMW's of the wealthy competing with the donkeys of the poor on the road. Men in robes and young men in blue jeans, ladies in long dark dresses and others in the fashions of modern American side-by-side. They are building the first skyscaper in Amman (actually twin buildings one of which just had the crane collapse up some forty stories!) not far from 2,000 year old ruins. What a place!
I taught Hosea today and had a great time doing so. I must admit that teaching with a translator, even one as good as Hanna, is tiring because it is somehow harder to relax. Maybe my age has something to do with it too but I still love to teach. After classes we attended chapel that was run by the student council here at JETS. A wonderful time of singing, praying and then a humorous skit with a good message. A good day topped off by a visit to Amman's Burger King restaurant! Tomorrow are classes on Jonah and then a visit to one of the Decapolis cities Jerash.