These were supposed to go in the previous post, but I’m a newbie and my WordPress app was foiling my efforts at adding them.
Tag Archives: Israel
We’re home! At least physically we are. Our internal clocks are somewhere over Greenland. We are doing our best to keep ourselves up for an hour or so more to get back to East Coast time as quickly as possible. But I think, at this point, we’ve been up for about…(mentally calculating)…41 hours, minus the 3-4 hours of fitful napping on the plane.
So sorry my posting kind of dropped off there at the end but here are a few photos to wrap up.
Last days in Tel Aviv:
So today is the last day of the tour! Crazy! Isn’t that always how it feels at the end of something you’ve been anticipating? Like how did we get to the end? Anyway, it’s not really the end ’cause up next is a conference. Yay!
So most of my previous pics have just been of RP and I, but it has definitely been a tour with all 43 of us English-speaking ones. So today’s pics are imbued with a bit more of the tour flava.
So I want to say something about this last picture. This is RP and our second guide reading ministry portions as we were on the Hill of Megiddo overlooking the valley of Armageddon. These times were the highlight of the trip. Being able to be physically in these spots while reading about their spiritual significance was awesome. Not only that, but then we prayed. We prayed for the Lord to train us in this age to fight with Him so that we will be qualified to return with Him in the physical fight at the end of this age. Hallelujah!
I like Galilee so much better than Jerusalem. There is an atmosphere of peace here.
Boat ridin’ across the Sea of Galilee with Chinese, Spanish, and English-speaking saints, singing hymns of praise:
On from there to Capernaum. Here we visited the ruins of a synagogue which was built on top of the synagogue where Jesus declared that He is the bread of life:
From there to Mt. Hermon and the springs of Hermon:
From there we went to a kibbutz, El Rom, which is the highest kibbutz in the world located in the Golan Heights. Here I took a picture of a self-reflective fly:
And a pensive dog:
(Super pertinent, right?)
Actually here we learned a lot about the Yom Kippur war. A 19-day battle between Egypt & Syria vs. Israel. The battle of the Valley of Tears, just 1.5 miles from El Rom involved 800 Syrian tanks vs. 180 Israeli tanks and 28,000 troops vs. 3,000 troops. To sum up, not only did the Israelis hold their ground, they even advanced into enemy territory on both the Syrian & Egyptian fronts. This is really a miracle of God.
We visited the Valley of Tears and what struck me was the juxtaposition of the idyllic and war.
The valley is gorgeous.
There are snowy mountains in the distance, pastoral vineyards, and flocks of goats. But pockmarking the serene scene is barbed wire and signs that say Danger Mines!
Last day of the tour tomorrow!
And we’re off. Today we left the bustle of Jerusalem and headed towards the Sea of Galilee. Our first stop was a Biblical garden. All the plants grown in this reserve are from the Bible. Our guide was awesome, bringing in the significance from both the Old and New Testament. For example, he took us to this 1900 year old cistern:
In Israel there is a short, but flood-like rainy season on which all life depends. I didn’t get all exact details but basically the children of Israel would pray and sacrifice on the 8th day of the feast of harvest for the next year’s rain. It was on that “last” day that Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone thirsts let him come to Me.” John 7:37. That was the day everyone was praying for water. Everything the Lord did and all His timing was significant.
Then we stopped for lunch, where we found Wi-Fi. Woot! And here’s a photo shout out to my sisters:
Finally to Caesarea by the Sea (not to be confused with Caesarea Phillipi). Cool ocean breezes. Gorgeous Mediterranean seas. This harbor also came out of Herod’s megalomaniacal building schemes (remember he also built Masada and the Temple Mount).
I’ve become a tourist. Sneaker-with-capris-wearing, lanyard-toting, camera-around-the-neck-dangling tourist. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to be cooler, but these days are pretty long and comfort is of necessity.
Today was Jerusalem – day 2. This city breathes religion. I can see why the Lord had to leave Jerusalem to come out of the religious atmosphere.
First stop – The Temple mount and the Dome of the Rock:
Here we were on Mount Zion where we prayed for the reality of the Body of Christ!
Second stop – The Garden Tomb:
There is no way to know for sure where the Lord was crucified and buried but there is compelling evidence that this may be the place.
Next up – the Temple Institute:
Here they have prepared
Finally – an The Davidson center/ archeological park:
So I haven’t talked that much about the geography and archeology of the temple mount but it’s really quite amazing. For the most part you’re just going to have to come to Israel to really understand it. (Pause). So I just spent a long time talking to RP and I still don’t really get it all, but the main crazy thing I didn’t realize was that King Herod (the same one who killed all the Jewish firstborn) also built this massive platform for the temple to sit on. That’s the Temple Mount. He basically razed part of Mt. Zion on one side of the temple, and filled in dirt on the other side of the temple in order to build a level piazza surrounding the temple. Then in order to keep it all together he walled it all in with this massive wall, like 100 feet tall with a cornerstone that weighed as much as 2 cargo planes!! Anyway over the centuries, people came and built their homes right up against that wall so that most of it got buried under construction. So now there are only some small exposed areas of the wall (I.e. the Western or wailing wall). And since the Jews can’t go up to the temple mount, because the Muslims have control of the site, they instead come to this section of the wall since it is the closest they can get to the site of the Holy of Holies. Crazy, huh?
So that last pic is of Robert standing in an excavated area near the southwestern corner which used to be a shop. Paul may have stood right there and bought a lamb for sacrifice!
Words can never describe the impression a museum of the holocaust can make. It’s horrific. My first reaction is the impulse to dedicate my life to the eradication of genocide. But the Lord touched me that the only thing that will eradicate genocide is His return. We need to love the Lord and be filled with Him to be one with Him so that He can gain the Bride to match Him. This will end genocide.
Today I am tired.
But just soaking in what I can.
There has been a lot of fellowship from the saints in Israel, emphasizing our need to not exalt the physical realm, but to appreciate the reality – Christ!
Today in the garden of Gethsemane
RP and I were enjoying the significance of the word Gethsemane – olive press. The Lord, through His human living, was compounded with every necessary human experience. Every experience He needed to have as a human being was put into Him in those 33½ years. Then in Gethsemane He began to be pressed (just like an olive is pressed to produce olive oil). What flowed out was the very essence of all that human experience compounded into the life-giving Spirit. Imagine if you put olives along with spices into a press, what would be produced would be an olive oil infused with all the elements of all those spices. So that the Spirit who enters into us enables us to live the life that the Lord lived. This is how we live the Christian life, by enjoying the wonderful, all-inclusive, compounded, life-giving Spirit. Hallelujah!
So much fun!
So I don’t have too many pictures because the sea is like 50% saline (no bueno para la camera), but it was so much fun. So basically it’s impossible to drown. In fact it’s hard to even get your head down underwater.
After the sea we coated ourselves in sulphuric mud, purported to make you look 10 years younger. Not sure it was that effective, but at least we felt like 10-year olds 🙂