Weird title, I know. Since we have been back from Israel, my eyes just cannot seem to soak up quick enough all the gorgeous fall colors everywhere!! My kids have grown weary of hearing me say, “Ooooh, look at that beautiful tree” or “Do you see all the beautiful colors??!!?? Look!!!” Ruby has told me several times, “Mo-om, our eyes are open. We see them.” And Mack, just yesterday when I told him it was so cold in the house that I was never coming out from under my blanket, said, “But who will drive us around to places and tell us to look at the trees?” Hahaha!! Made me laugh.
But, seriously, LOOK!!
I absolutely love fall. Gorgeous colors and beautiful reminders that God is an amazing Creator…creative beyond what our human minds can comprehend and yet orderly. Seasons are amazing.
This tree above is in our front yard. It turns a little later than many others on our street. It’s nice to watch it change. This tree was tiny, tiny when we moved in here 11 years ago.
Now, about the new bed. Mack has his own room with a double bed and a cool trucks/cars comforter. He likes his room until bed time. Every night for MANY years he has gone to bed mad. He wants to sleep in his sisters’ room. They each have their own twin bed with matching duvets. Very girly and cute. Mack has often laid on a pallet on the floor of their room. He has recently decided he would rather sleep in the TWIN bed with one of the girls. I usually don’t care if he sleeps with them. I’m glad they like to be together. I remember sleeping with my sister and making memories. But we had kind of been making him sleep in his bed on school nights. However, every night he would say, “I don’t wanna sleep by myself!!!!” We would tell him that he has a great bed and would sleep better in his own bed. He would then say, “This is not fair. Molly has Ruby and you have dad, but I don’t have anyone.”
And he had a point.
He would even add, …plus I’m the baby, and I’m the one all by myself.”
We would find him like this:
Everyone is happy, happy, happy! They crack me up. I’m very thankful they get to spend so much time together all day and even at night. I know one day these sweet sleepovers will be old news. I’m going to roll with it for now!
We went bright and early to The Garden Tomb. We saw Skull Hill. We listened to the guide explain the location of Calvary and the empty tomb.
We had a special time of reflecting on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus! And many shared a word of testimony and praise to God.
We went to Bethlehem. It was here that Ruth came at the beginning of barley harvest, married Boaz and became the grandmother of King David. Bethlehem was the home of Jesse and his son, David who would be King of Israel. This is where Joseph came with Mary and where Jesus was born. This was where the shepherds heard the Angels proclaim the birth of the Messiah. And here is where Herod ordered that all male children 2 years and under were to be killed. We went to the Church of the Nativity in Manger Square.
Bethlehem is surrounded by tall walls because it is a Palestinian area.
Then it was time to pack up and fly home! So sad!! Shalom, Jerusalem!
I feel I’ve done a terrible job explaining our trip! There’s just soooo much. But at least for now I have pictures posted. If you ever get a chance to go to Israel, GO!!!
Today we started in The City of David. We saw the ancient ruins of David’s house.
We walked through part of Hezekiah’s tunnel to get to the Western Wall.
Here we walked on a 1st century road!
Then, we made our way to the steps leading up to the gates that would take pilgrims closer to the Temple. I was so glad that I got to see and walk upon these steps. These aren’t THE 15 steps that led up to the actual Temple…we didn’t go to the Temple Mount…Muslims have a shrine there today…not a site worth seeing in my opinion. But the steps reminded me of all my ladies from summer Bible Study. We took a journey and paralleled our lives with those pilgrims that would make the trek up to Jerusalem. It’s a truth etched in my heart and mind forever….Set Your Heart on Pilgrimage!!
NOW, Bless the Lord, all you servants of The Lord, who serve by night in the house of The Lord!
Lift up your hands in sanctuary and bless the Lord.
May The Lord bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth.
Then on to the Wailing Wall.
We went to the pool of Bethesda (house of mercy). It has been partly excavated and is about 60 feet below the present ground level.
We walked through town and ended at the House of Caiaphas, the high priest. This day was full of much reflection…(Mt. 26:57-63)
We went back to our rooms that night, knowing tomorrow we had a full morning and then would be saying goodbye to Israel. Though I was ready to see the kids by then, I would definitely be leaving a part of my heart in this special place!
MASADA, DEAD SEA SCROLLS and The DEAD SEA! This was a full day. I enjoyed learning more about Masada…you should google it and read about what happened there if you don’t know. Very interesting!
Masada is located in the wilderness of Judea about 2 and a half miles from the western shore of The Dead Sea and about 15 miles north of Sodom. It was the location of one of three of Herod’s fortress cities and later it became the place where Jewish zealots went to escape Roman persecution. You will have to read about it to find out what happened to the 960 Jews!
On our way….
Inside the building and on the cable car to the top!
What a fun day we had! Not only did we enjoy the trip itself, but we made some great friends. This was a fun bunch! I’m so glad the Lord allowed our paths to cross!
More of Jerusalem tomorrow!
There are no words for how beautiful Jerusalem is! I am beyond grateful that I was able to visit this amazing place! I learned so much…information overload, for sure!
The Garden of Gethsemane was where we spent Sunday morning. Josh and I were able to pray together in the garden. Wow.
(John 18:1, Luje 22:39, Matthew 26:36-56, Matthew 26:47-56, John 18:1-13)
We stopped in an olive wood store and met some very kind people! They watch Pastor Johnny on satellite TV! Very cool.
We then stopped by The Israel Museum where we saw a model of Ancient Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple. This was an amazing model!!!!
What an amazing day!
We woke up and made our way to the Mount where Jesus preached the Beatitudes. It was beautiful!! (Matthew 5-7)
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Then, we headed for Tabgha, one of the six cities located along the northwestern shoreline. It’s two miles from Capernaum. (Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14)
And then to Capernaum! It is about 21/2 miles from where the Jordan River enters the Sea of Galiliee! This city became the center of Jesus’ ministry for the last 18-30 months of his life on earth. (Matthew 4:13-17, Matthew 18-23, 9:9-13, Matthew 8:5,14, Luke 4:31-33, Matthew 9:18-26, Matthew 9:20-22, John 4:46-54)
We made our way to Beth-Shean, inhabited as early as 3,000 BC. Today it is one of the largest archaeological excavation projects underway in Israel. (Judges 1:27, I Samuel 31:8-13)
We made our way that evening to Jerusalem! Over the summer I studied The Psalms of Ascent (Psalm 120-134) by Beth Moore with the ladies in Sunday School, so every time Yuval, our tour guide, said we were going UP to Jerusalem, I would elbow Josh. He was over it by the end of the trip, but just the reminder that we are all on a journey UP to the Promised Land!!! I was about to burst with excitement to go UP to Jerusalem. Our first sight of Jerusalem was at night in the rain, but it was still amazing!
Above is the Mount of Beatitudes again…my pictures are out of order. And though this isn’t overly thorough, I’m just glad I’m getting my pictures onto the blog! Day 5 is a coming!
This was one of my favorite mornings! I mean, The Sea of Galilee! It was beautiful. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times the story of Peter walking on water has been used in my personal walk with The Lord…the reminders to keep my eyes on Him and take that first step of faithful obedience.
80% of what you read in the gospels happened around the Sea of Galilee.
Pastor Johnny preached on Jesus being in your storm with you. Good stuff!
We saw “the Jesus Boat” at a museum…it dates back to the 1st century. We watched a video on how they found it and moved it out of the water.
Our guide then told us he was going to show us why Jesus brought The disciples to Caesarea-Philippi to ask them, “Who do you say that I Am?”
There’s a lot to the answer, but he explained that it was here that they would have been surrounded by the pagan shrines. We saw places cut into the mountain where they would have placed pagan idols.
We saw so much as we drove from place to place as well. I could hardly keep up!
Josh and many others in our group got baptized in The Jordan.
I think that was all we did that day. It was enough! And we settled back into our room overlooking the Sea!
Caesarea by the Sea…we saw what remains of Herod’s palace. To say he was a man who enjoyed the royal life would be an understatement.
This is the city where Peter came to share the gospel with the centurion, Cornelius. (Acts 10:24)
We saw the theatre where , in Acts 25:23, Paul was brought in before King Agrippa and Festus.
This is where we see the name “Pontius Pilate” on an archeological find. Many skeptics doubted he was real, but the rocks cry out with evidence!
Next stop was Mount Carmel.
We stood on Mount Carmel, where Elijah, in I Kings, defeated the prophets of Baal. He also prayed there for rain and it rained after a drought.
Miggedo was the next stop. King Solomon’s gate is still partly standing, along with many stables.
Nazareth was next…we stood on the cliff that most believe is where Jesus was taken to be thrown off (Luke 4).
Then, we made our way to Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee. We slept and got ready for another great day!
While there is no way we can possibly relay everything we saw and experienced over in Israel, I did want to try and record some of our favorite moments. It is the greatest place on earth, and I am so glad we had the opportunity to go on such an amazing trip at such an early age. All God’s grace in our lives!
So nice to finally land! We went to Joppa. This is where Jonah caught a boat headed to Tarsus.
This was the place where God gave a vision to Peter while he stayed with Simon the Tanner that showed that Gentiles and Jews can be brought together. Cornelius sent men to get Peter so that he could hear about Jesus from Peter. (Acts 10)
Tabitha (Dorcas) lived in Joppa, she died and then Peter raised her from the dead. (Acts 9)
We got a good night’s sleep in Tel-Aviv and woke up to a beautiful day, headed for Caesarea by the Sea.