Hey! You’re not allowed to do that!

If you’re like me, then even after you hagah (roar like a hungry lion and then devour) the scriptures, they’re still bouncing around in your head. After I posted the shorter version of this post I called my friend Bryan Nix and we shot ideas back and forth and in the process came up with some very cool links in these two passages and I wanted to share them.

The blog post that follows is almost all of the text of part 1, but much more in-depth.

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You Are The Lord Who Sees Me

Every year in July I go to a church camp called Haskell Singing School.  In a nutshell, Singing School is a praise camp.  We sing all week long and learn about music, especially from an a cappella standpoint.  If you are curious about this place, I wrote this post a while back.  Each year I write a song, and this year (as well as last year) I collaborated with my good friends Bryan Nix and Robert Nix.  After I wrote the lyrics, I told Bryan that I wanted a contemporary-sounding feel, like what you would hear on the radio today.  The following is what we came up with, and I’m really happy with it.  Disclaimer: this was done entirely without the use of professional equipment. The credits for the following song are as follows:

  • Lyrics: James Prather
  • Melody: Bryan Nix
  • Original a cappella arrangement: Robert Nix
  • Instrumental Arrangement: Bryan Nix
  • Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals: Bryan Nix.
  • Percussion: Eduardo Diaz.
  • Acapella version: Robert Nix (all parts).

Listen to the song: My Eyes Are Forever On The Lord (instrumental) or My Eyes are Forever on the Lord (acapella).

This song is entirely rooted in scripture, so bonus points to anyone who can figure out where it’s from (there are at least 3 different places).  What do you think?

Peace,

James

Hagaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

My recent posts have all been about finding where else in the text a story comes from because the Bible builds upon itself and finding where the writer is pulling from brings powerful new insight to the passage you were originally reading. Each of these posts have also been curiously placed in the “Hagah” category but up until now I have not actually explained what “Hagah” means. To explain that I have asked a friend of mine, Rob Touchstone, to be a guest blogger here on Think Hebrew.

Join us as we discover what it means to “Hagah”!

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Paul’s Journey to Rome

Every time you read a Bible story, ask yourself: where else in the text can this story be found?  And also ask: how does knowing where this text is coming from help in my understanding of it?  The Bible frequently plays upon and expands upon itself.  Why is this relevant?  A substantial portion of the entire New Testament is written in this manner.  Time after time, Jesus uses the Tanakh (Old Testament) as a foundation for what he teaches and the stories he tells.

Join me today as we look at an interesting story in the New Testament which expands upon at least three other stories in the Bible!  Is this a story about Paul having a hard time getting from one place to another?  Or is there something deeper going on?

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New Bible Class Podcasts!

I have just finished a new series at church titled “Jesus and his Jewish Parables”.

There are a total of 6 lessons in this series. The parables covered are:

I hope these lessons can bless you as much as they blessed me while doing the research and then teaching them.

Peace to you,

James

The Good Shepherd

If you are a first time reader of my blog or if you have read every article I’ve ever written, there is a very important concept to understand about the Bible that I continue to reiterate: the text plays and expands on the text.  Over and over again we see this happening.   When you see a story in the text, ask first: where else in the text is this coming from?  Let’s look at an example, in Jesus’ brilliant exposition in Luke 15.

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This is My Story

On Monday, June 7, 2010, I took the biggest step yet in a journey that many of you know very little about – I turned in my two weeks notice.  My family and my church family have known about this for quite some time, but I have had to keep it shielded from the rest of the world before I was ready.  Now I’m ready to share.  In short, I’ve discovered what it is I’m truly passionate about and I feel called to go into ministry.  I’ve been accepted to the ACU Master of Divinity program and I’m moving out there to go to school full time.  For the full story as to what caused this to happen, I’ve reproduced a slightly redacted version of the admissions essay which I wrote in September of 2009.  My redactions have been for the sake of transitioning the piece from a “timely” admissions essay to a “timeless” blog post.  The admissions essay should give you some idea of why I’m doing this and what’s driving it.  After the essay I’ve added in the saga of my life over the last 9 months and how God has worked in amazing ways, teaching me a many things in the process.

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Ray VanderLaan Seminar This Weekend!

Gull Lake Retreat Center

This weekend I will be heading out on a road trip to Gull Lake, Michigan where I will spend Friday evening through Monday afternoon sitting at the feet of Ray VanderLaan.  According to the schedule there are 18 hours of class time!  I am pumped up and ready to meet the man that set me on fire for God like never before.  It was Ray’s teachings that turned my heart back to God in late 2005 when I heard a recording of him from the now widely circulated Focus on the Family all-day teaching event he did.

One thing I am greatly excited about is finally seeing his pictures.  It’s so hard to listen to an audio recording and imagine what he’s pointing at when he says “look at this”.  I’ve been told by others that go to these conferences that the pictures are truly amazing.

I am ready to soak it all up and come back to Dallas reinvigorated and loaded with new teaching material.  Please pray for our safe travels.  Dallas to Gull Lake is a 17 hour drive.

Peace to you,

James

Does God Care About Me?

I found this quote in the Mishnah last year while I was doing my class The Jewish Context of the Bible while preparing for my lesson on Akiva. After my class that week I wrote a post about two of his sayings, and then filed this third one away for another day.  After my recent post, In the Image of God, it reminded me of Akiva’s saying here so I decided at last to write it out.

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Jesus and his Jewish Parables

I have started a new series at Prestoncrest titled “Jesus and his Jewish Parables”.  Podcasts of the lessons are on my Audio Lessons page.  As of the date of this post there are 2 lessons up already: “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector” and “The Good Samaritan”.

If anyone has any questions over what I’ve taught, feel free to use this post as a place to ask.

Peace to you,

James