Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jericho, Qumran, Baptisms in the Jordan, More...

Pomegranates in Bloom

Cave where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in Qumran

Craig and Janice sitting on the King's Seat inside the gate where the elders would gather

The ancient Gates of Bet Sheva, later to become Dan, where Abraham would have come to rescue Lot. Only 4000 years old.

Headwaters of the Jordan River in Dan.  This eventually flows down to the Sea of Galilee and then further down to the Dead Sea.  Looks likes North Georgia here!  --- Except for the blueish water.
Baptizing in the Jordan River

We are Having a Great Time in the Holy Land!

Lunch at The Temptation Restaurant in Jericho
The Old Walls of Jericho -- 4000 years old -- Remember Joshua!
The Beaches with the Old City of Jericho in the Background
Swimming at Sachna Springs near Mt. Gilboa

Sachna Springs -- Great place for a shoulder massage standing under this water fall!
Cave in Qumran where most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  Significant for Christians in that Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9 were included in the find demonstrating not only the accuracy of the texts which have been copied over the years, but also that Christians didn't insert these prophetic texts into the Old Testament.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Who Do Men Say That I am?

Near Caesarea Philipi Jesus asked his disciples who were the people saying that he was?  Today, we visited Dan and the headwaters of the Jordan River -- seemed like we were in north Georgia!  The water springs up from a rock coming out from under Mount Hermon.  Nearby is the remnants of the old city of Caesarea Philipi which was the center of worship for the god, Pan.  Part of the ruins has a cave which they thought led to the underworld -- the gates of Hades.  Thus, when Jesus spoke in this place asking the disciples about who He was, in his response to Peter, He told Peter that the gates of Hades would not stand against the Church.  Interesting place for Him to make this comment!

This afternoon we travelled up on the Golan Heights.  Quite a view.  Not only does the Golan overlook northern Israel and the Sea of Galilee, you can see Lebanon and Syria -- both quite close!

I am thoroughly enjoying the teachings of our guide.  Learning so much about many Hebrew insights into particular passages.

Note:  I can't get Blogger to load any of my pictures from this location.  Check out the Anglican Diocese of the South or Allison Beach Facebook pages for pics.  Blessings and Shalom!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More From the Holy Land

Internet service is not allowing pics to be loaded from the place we are staying. :(  Will share some when able!

It was a wonderful but exhausting day as we traveled through parts of the Galilee.  We visited the Mount of Beatitudes, a beautiful church commemorating the place where Jesus spoke the Sermon on the Mount.  We hiked down an old path (hundreds of years old) to the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha, the place commemorating the breakfast Jesus shared with Peter and the disciples in John 21.

After spending some time at the shore, we went to the town of Capernaum -- not far from Tabgha and also on the Sea of Galilee.  Capernaum was the ministry head-quarters of Jesus and also the home of Peter.

After lunch eating at a  St. Peter Fish restaurant, we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee from Capernaum to where we are staying.  So much learning today!!  The land speaks so much to the message of the Gospel.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Caesarea, Mount Carmel, and Nazareth

WE started this a.m. on the Mediterranean Sea.  I began the day with an early morning walk by the Sea and having my Time Alone with God overlooking the Sea.

Caesarea, the incredible sea port created by King Herod, was fascinating as always and the beauty of the place in spite of the ruins, was refreshing.  The place of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Gentiles after hearing Peter's Gospel message, Caesarea became a place of exporting the Gospel of Jesus to the ends of the Roman empire.  We stood in the ruins of Herod's coastal palace here Paul would have been interviewed by Festus and Agrippa.

Tamarisk Tree in Caesarea

Mount Carmel is the site of Elijah's famous encounter with the prophets of Baal.  The home of a Carmelite monastery, the roof-top view of the plains of Megiddo (Armageddon) allows you to see for miles and miles.

Lunch today was at a restaurant run by a Druze family consisted of Snitchel and Falafel and wonderful salads -- we thought of you today Jeanie Drake!

We spent the afternoon in Nazareth starting with the precipice which was likely the place where the people of Jesus' hometown tried to throw him off the cliff.  This was followed by a visit to the Church of the Annunciation, built over the remains of Mary's home and probably the boyhood home of Jesus.

Inside the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth

Much to reflect on and think about after the wonderful insights from our guide.  More pics later. Internet very slow tonight in trying to download pics.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hello Israel!!

We left the Atlanta airport last night and flew to Newark.  From Newark we flew 10 hours to Tel Aviv and our Pilgrimage officially begins for 18 of us!!  Staying the night in Netanya and heading north tomorrow -- Caesarea, Mount Carmel, the Via Maris,  and Nazareth are the highlight!!

Waiting in the Atlanta Airport

Preparing for the big flight

The Mediterranean Sea from our Hotel

Sunset over the Mediterranean from Netanyah

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fear of the Holy Spirit

From Catherine Marshall:  The startling truth is that He will come to us and fill us only to the degree that we are willing to be filled.  He insists upon being a welcome guest in our hearts and beings, never a trespasser or an interloper or a squatter. In fact, we can, whenever we choose, turn this sympathetic, courteous Guest from the door of our heart.  We can also grieve Him with wrong attitudes that He simply withdraws.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

On Difficulties...

When I look back in my life, I clearly see how God has changed me.  I've been broken, shattered, beaten, smashed, pruned, and chiseled on, and I didn't like the feeling of brokenness any more than you do.  But I can tell you this -- I thank God for what he's done.  Every chisel blow, every hammer blow, every cut of the knife, every slice into my innermost being, every tear, every pain, every hurt, every disappointment, every disillusionment,  every moment of dispair has been worth it all just to know in my heart that God has my all.  --- Charles Stanley