Browsing Tag


Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging Deep in Israel–Next Stop: Magdala


I’ve been postponing giving the details and plans for our November ’22 trip to Israel because of the strict Covid requirements for travelers as they enter the country of Israel. I’d like to postpone for just a few more days, as rumor has it (and it is just rumor, right now) that the vaccination requirements may be lifted in the very near future. I want to ask you to pray that, as decisions are made about November, His providence will be on every plan and purpose. I will let you know as soon as possible. I’m committed to going this year IF the vaccine/quarantine restrictions are lifted. If it seems that the virus restrictions will impose on our time there, we will immediately plan our trip for sometime in mid to late 2023. We will give details about the deposits of those who have already paid being refunded or re-applied at the time of our final announcement.

The flooring Mosaic at the synagogue of Magdala

For today, I want to think about the synagogue that we saw in 2019 in the city of Magdala. I remember being amazed at the blessing of our DD trip being in the year 2019, just six years after the excavation of the synagogue of Magdala was completed. So many people I love have paid dearly to travel to Israel in past decades and they could not even visit several of the places to which we were privileged to go. God’s secrets of Biblical authenticity have been “buried treasures” hidden beneath the surface of the dust from which he made man, the dust He can cleave to swallow those who show Him contempt (Numbers 16), the dust in which the Son of God scribbled (John 8) and under which His body was temporarily placed. Buried beneath the surface of His dust, mere men can dig still today and unearth entire villages that have not been seen for hundreds of years. It’s still happening in Israel today! Faith is strengthened by the moving of God’s dust.

The excavation occurred only 8-12 years ago. The Migdal synagogue in Magdala is the oldest synagogue in the Galilee region, dating all the way back to the Second Temple Period. (The second temple was constructed during the days of Zechariah, Haggai and Malachi and was the temple in and around which Jesus and the apostles taught and worked many wonders.)  Of course, the synagogue in Magdala was operative in the days of the Messiah and likely was visited by Mary Magdalene, as it was located in her hometown.

Did Jesus visit the synagogue at Magdala? Did he walk on the flooring pictured above?  It seems likely to me, since Magdala was located on the path that Christ likely took between his hometown of Nazareth and the area of Capernaum, in which he did most of his teaching and performed many miracles.

Perhaps Jesus saw the amazing Magdala stone which has the seven-branched candlestick (Exodus 25:31-37) carved clearly on its face–the oldest drawing of the Menorah outside of Jerusalem. I would be surprised if He did not see it.  Sitting there in Magdala and looking down on the synagogue that stood well before and throughout the days of our Lord, I could not help but be moved by the “largeness” of our God who continues to shout from Israel the authenticity of the work of His Spirit.






Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Peg Me Here…

Lately I’ve heard a couple of new nomenclatures for those of us who are searching the Scriptures daily and are attempting to apply their principles to the decisions of our personal moral lives. Apparently, that makes us members of “the extreme right subculture of the church.” 

And it makes us serious textual Christians, rather than mere social Christians. 

I mean if I should think that Matthew 5:18 paired with I Timothy 2:9,10 places any responsibility on women to personally enforce, in their own lives, some real standards of modest dress, I’m a part of the subculture. I am more than a social Christian. If I think about and quote verses when engaging in conversation about marriage and divorce, then I’m not what the world views as a “regular Christian.” If I believe that the implications of Philippians 4:8 would have a bearing on what I choose to view on my television or computer, I’ve crossed a line into radicalism. And it’s particularly egregious radicalism if I should ever attempt, in keeping with Titus 2:3-5, to teach another woman any particulars of discretion or chastity or keeping at home. As one man said to me a few days ago “But Cindy, you don’t need to examine passages. Most people don’t get that. Most people are social Christians and they don’t ‘get’ looking at words in the Bible.” 

If looking at the text and trying to figure out how it applies to the very real crossroads to which I come daily in this arduous walk toward heaven is the extreme right subculture of the church (and I do not believe that’s always the belief in our congregations), may I suggest that the church has been absorbed into the larger culture—the world (Romans 12:1,2..see, there I go…trying to apply a text).

I know I shouldn’t be shocked when I’m described as the extreme right in a subculture. But, Biblically, there are two choices that determine all subsequent ones. The choices are succinctly outlined at the bottom of Matthew 7. It’s two regular men who are builders. One builds on the sand and one on the rock. The rock foundation has been claimed by those who hear the sayings of Jesus and do them. The “do them” part means something. If it doesn’t mean that the rock-builder takes seriously the words of Scripture and tries to apply them in situations (when the wind blows and the rains come), then I do not know what it means. Without application, Scripture is rendered meaningless. 

Thanks, but I do not want to be a social Christian. I don’t want to be placed in a category of people who are along on the Christianity journey for the rewarding sense of belonging to a culture. I’ll take the subculture of people who believe Scripture’s Words are inspired, purposeful and directional in everyday situations. The Holy Spirit has worked for thousands of years to accomplish what you and I can open today and read with ease. I’m treasuring His work in every scenario.  The application of the reading is not as easy. It flies in the face of our world of relativism and non-judgmental tolerance of sin. 

Put me down in the subculture column.