Mid-Trip Reflection on Israel

I remember the first Paint by Numbers set that I received. For those of you that have never seen this type of craft, I placed an example below. It is a canvas with different sections labeled with numbers. Each number corresponds to a color and when you finish, it reveals a picture. When looking at the canvas, you could tell it was a picture of a deer (I do not know what this canvas is), but there were areas less clear because they lacked colored that provided distinction. A vague image was visible but so many details alluded the eye.

I love Scripture – reading and studying. I spend a lot of time digging in God’s Word, looking for the lines and colors that complete the big picture. I love the Old Testament. In many ways it is like the canvas that came in that painting kit; it provides structure and direction. There are things that you see vaguely, but they are not clear. The New Testament is like the color added to the canvas. Through the presentation of the Gospel and the things you read, color is added and the picture becomes clear.

You need both. Without the Old Testament, there are so many ideas that can be formulated, but not have the intricate structure and design that God intended. You also need the New Testament, the part that colors the picture and reveals God’s design in a clearer manner.

Over the past four days, I have seen the lines of the Old Testament and the colors of the New Testament become more precise and more vibrant. It is an experience that is illuminating years of study in a way that I never realized. As we walk through the places mentioned in Scripture, the intricate details of God’s Word and the nuances of its cultural illustrations have made my heart accelerate and mind connect dots that I didn’t realize were related.

In all the excitement and intrigue, my heart has also been broken. As our guide shares the number of believers and unbelievers in each city and area, I realize the vast amount of people that have the entire kit in front of them but do not recognize the miraculous picture of the Gospel that lies in before of them.

My immediate desire is to invest and begin building relationships to share the Gospel and encourage the small churches in this region. It creates a burning desire to pray for these people and their salvation. I have received a burden for these people.

Israel, Palestine, and the surrounding areas are beautiful and they are filled with precious lives created in the image of God. As the vibrant, distinct lines of the Old Testament sharpen and the colors of the New Testament gain vibrancy, I mourn for a people saturated by an image they do not recognize.

I look forward to the last half of the trip that begins this morning. I will continue to learn as we walk through this land, but I will also continue to pray for the people that do not see the beatiful canvas that is before their eyes.

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Posted by on March 3, 2019 in Israel 2019, Just a Thought


4th Day in Israel

We left the region of Galilee this morning, after having a sunrise service on the Sea of Galilee. It was a long drive to Jerusalem with stops at several places along the way. As we approached Jerusalem, it was clear why they called part of the land “the wilderness.” We will stay in Jerusalem for the remainder of our trip. Here are a few pictures from our stops today.

Best She’an was one of our first stops. It was destroyed in an earth quake. In 1 Samuel 31:8-13, Saul’s body was hung on it’s gate after he was killed.
This is the traditional site where Jesus was baptized. The level of the Jordan River is high right now because of the rain. The normal limits of the river are between the reeds in the picture above.
The Valley of the Shadow of Death is now the location of a monastery. You can see the road that runs at the foot of the buildings, along the side of the Jordan River. On this route to Jerusalem, thieves would hide and rob those who passed. This path was the setting of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
In Jericho, this Sycamore tree stands in remembrance of Zaccheaus. (Now you can sing the song!)
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Posted by on March 3, 2019 in Israel 2019


3rd Day in Israel

It seems as though we walked miles today. The weather was not as pleasant as yesterday; it was cold, cloudy, and wet. However, the sites were worth the trek. Here are a few pictures from today.

This is the High Place at Dan. It was established by Jeroboam. In the midst of the metal frame is where the sacrifices were offered. Up the steps and to the right, the platform was the location of their “Holy of Holies.” (1 Kings 12:28-29)
After a long trek, we made it to Abraham’s Gate. It is where Abraham pursued the enemy to rescue his nephew, Lot. (Gen. 14:14)
This is a picture of Caesarea Philippi. If you look in the back, you will see a cave where sacrifices were offered to the god, Pan. This is also the location of Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-28; Mark 8:27-29).
This structure is called Nimrod’s Fortress. It was built in the 12th century by crusaders. Behind the peak of the fortress, you will see the clouds rolling in. I made it to the peak, but not before i was engulfed by the clouds.
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Posted by on March 2, 2019 in Israel 2019


2nd Day in Israel

The hardest part of these posts is choosing which pictures to select. Needless to say, there are many more pictures than what I am able to post on the blog. I have only completed two days in Israel, but even if it ended today these 48 hours have been the trip of a lifetime!

The sunrise over the Sea of Galilee
This is a boat that was found from the 1st century. This boat was the type in which Jesus and his disciples traveled.
Boats like this one take people out on the Sea of Galilee. It was an amazing ride! The imagination is overwhelmed in picturing the events that took place here.
David and I riding on a boat on the Sea of Galilee.
This dish is called St. Peter’s Fish. It was delicious! Yes, looks might be deceiving.
A visit to the town where Jesus carried out a large portion of his ministry.
Under this church is the remains of Peter’s house in Capernaum.

There are so many more pictures and things that could be shared. The rich history and the Scripture that accompanies the locations is an enormous amount if information to process.

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Posted by on March 1, 2019 in Israel 2019


1st Day in Israel

It is Thursday, about 7:15 pm here in Israel. We arrived in Tel Aviv at 7:30 this morning and immediately began our first day of touring.

Here is the coast of the Mediterranean Sea at Joppa. The place where Jonah got on a boat to sail to Tarshish.

These are ruins of Caesarea Martima. Paul was imprisoned here before he was taken to Rome.
This is a statue of Elijah at the top of Mt. Carmel.
The Megiddo water tunnel undertaken in the days of Ahab.
This rainbow was seen from Mt. Precipice. In Luke 4:16-30, this is supposedly the place the angry mob tried to throw Jesus off the Mountain.

It’s been a long few days of travel and full day of sites. Lord willing, tomorrow will be a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

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Posted by on February 28, 2019 in Israel 2019