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77 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Neve Ilan

    November 12, 2017 in Israel

    Good morning from Israel! Quite the whirlwind of travel and planes and luggage and people. The details there aren't all that exciting except to say that it was long, but not overly stressful.

    However, the thought that came to me this morning is that whether or not we're ready, because "Here we go!" All the preparation that we have been putting this is now at the point of testing. Did we remember the razor? Did we leave enough cat food? What about the name tag? Did we remember the blasted name tag!?!?

    Now we get to really see if we're ready.

    Carol (my wife for those that don't know us) sent me a powerful devotional this morning from Living Proof Ministries.

    "I’ve thought over and over in the last five years," it said. “We’re unprepared for what has befallen us. Our discipleship, generally speaking, is not matching the demand of our violent, unstable days. We who follow Jesus were timed for this exact era on earth. God thought we were capable of serving it or He would not have planted us in this bloody soil at this moment in history. He’s a strategist. We leaders and teachers and mentors and communicators can either embrace what has been entrusted to us or answer for it when we see Him."

    The author goes on to talk about the lost call of discipleship in the church today. Like that gritty discipleship of old where you walked on hard paths and you made life altering decisions for the cause of Jesus Christ. That type of discipleship that was not needing to be coerced, entertained or played to. It was a sold out commitment to a cause and to a revolution. It was a cause that would call for suffering and rejoicing... simultaneously! It was the type of discipleship that equipped one to suffer persecution and gave cause for joy.

    Are we ready?

    I hope the call of Jesus Christ to perseverance, sacrifice, strength, love, faith and defiant joy in these times of chaos will be heeded by the church. I want to be like Paul described Epaphras who was “always struggling” on behalf of those he served, that they might “stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” (Col.4:12)

    Your prayers are appreciated for our own readiness... as we face day one in Israel and as we, as followers of Jesus Christ face whatever it is He has for us.

    More to come.
    Read more

  • Day5

    Choose Life or Choose Death

    November 13, 2017 in Israel

    It's a good place to begin. Any trip that starts in a garden seems like it'll be a good trip. Our first stop here in Israel was a Biblical Garden in the hill country of Judah called Yad Hashmona. I took a bunch of photos there, only to discover that I had forgotten to put my memory card back into my camera. I want to go back and recapture them, but those photos are gone now.

    But even with that little mishap, a garden is still a good place to start a journey. Adam and Eve started in a garden. Theirs was a garden with a choice. They were going to choose to obey God or not. One way would lead to life and the other way would lead to death. "I have set before you life and death," God would tell them. "So choose life." (Deut 30:19).

    We ended last night with a dark drive down 3000 feet to find ourselves on the shore of the Dead Sea. This is the lowest place on earth. It actually feels like you're closer to the center of the Earth here. It's dry, the air is heavy and hot. This sea is dead and you can tell.

    One of the reasons this Dead Sea is a dead sea is because it has no outlet. The Sea of Galilee to the north teems with life as the Jordan river flows in and then right back out. It brings nutrients and life in and the Sea of Galilee responds by letting nutrients and life right back out.

    But that same Jordan river only flows into the Dead Sea. Nothing flows out of it. So the water sits.

    All that potential for life sits and stagnates.

    "I have set before you life and death,"

    My devotional this morning reads, "Whether in Eden or Canaan or California, our decision remains the same. The land where we live - be it lush or desolate - is the stage on which we act out God's glory. Regardless of our location or influences, God gives us a choice each day from which tree to eat."

    Paul writes to the Romans in Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

    As we walk through our days today, may we see every opportunity to overflow with hope and to bring life.

    Because if hope and life get stuck in us and never flow back out, it rots.
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  • Day4


    November 12, 2017 in Israel

    We had lunch here and it gave us an awesome vantage point of the Elah Valley where the battle of 1 Samuel 17 played out. David wasn't expecting to become a hero that day, but God had other plans for this normal outing. David and Israel found out that day how powerful God was. Yet again, we read another Bible story that starts out being about a person and ends up being way more about the God he serves.

    The other photo is just a picture of our sunset tonight...
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  • Day8


    November 16, 2017 in Israel

    Wonderful layered stories of the miracles of Jesus here in Capernaum. The centurion's servant, the bleeding woman, the calling of Matthew. All examples of outcasts and unloved being brought into the light of Jesus Christ.

    As we stood in the ruins of an ancient synagogue (likely a synagogue Jesus was in as he taught in this region), I thought it would be a good place for some portraits of our group. As Gentiles, every one of us was an outcast and a sinner who would be brought into the Kingdom only by the grace and love of Jesus.Read more

  • Day6

    Negev, Israel

    November 14, 2017 in Israel

    We spent our time in the desert in the south of Israel, the Negev. The Negev is vast and hot and barren and the thing that kept occurring to us is, "Why here?" Why did God bring the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) here to this rough place?

    Someone said, "No wonder everyone grumbled and complained."

    It dawned on me yet again that (no new epiphany here) that we really shouldn't be too quick to judge anyone else for their lack of ability to maintain a strong faithfulness to God. You and I struggle with the same thing daily.

    Oh, and camel riding is NOT for the faint of heart. :)
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  • Day6

    The Dead Sea

    November 14, 2017 in Israel

    Our hotel in Ein Bokek is on the southern part of the Dead Sea. I mentioned yesterday part of the reason this sea is dead, but there is more to the modern story of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is a dying sea (figure that one out!). It is facing a modern ecological crisis. Water levels are dropping faster than ever before as the modern Israeli uses a 1000 times more water than an Israelite in Jesus' time. Water use (daily use, crops, irrigation), drought and evaporation are becoming so significant that the dead sea is disappearing and the modern state of Israel is scrambling to find a solution.

    In the mean time, minerals for mud masks and tourism remain at an all time high.
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  • Day6

    Bedouin Culture

    November 14, 2017 in Israel

    Besides the riding of the camels, we were treated to a cup of hot sweet tea and coffee by a man in the Bedouin community. The Bedouin used to be a nomadic people, but have since largely settled into modern political states. Just like many cultures before them, their way of life is slowly giving way to the pressures of the modern times.

    We were reminded of the importance of "desert hospitality" and how in our modern culture, this is disappearing (don't talk to strangers, lock your doors, etc.). The Bedouin who live in this hard land, depend on the hospitality of others, and there seems to be a sense of community, even among strangers, that should resonate with every Christian who witnesses it.Read more

  • Day8

    Sea of Galilee

    November 16, 2017 in Israel

    The boat ride on the Sea of Galilee is an Israel classic, but Ronen (our tour guide) brought it up a notch. We won't get into all the details here, but I'll just say the boat-ride turned dance party as we celebrated the land (and water) where Jesus walked.

    May your day give you some reason to do a little jig step (if not a full blown dance party)!

  • Day4

    Bet Shemesh

    November 12, 2017 in Israel

    The site of Samson's powerfully anointed, yet whacked out, life. Philistine territory in one direction and Israelite territory in another. One of the neat things about this site was visiting a 2500 year old cistern (dating back to the Babylonian invasion) (see photos).

    Then we read from Jeremiah 2:12-13. It brought whole new meaning to the living water that is offered by God to the stale and stagnant cistern water that the people of Israel had settled for. Standing in a cistern as you read that passage will change the way you understand it forever.Read more

  • Day6


    November 14, 2017 in Israel

    I won't go into the whole tragic story of Masada here (you can google it), but suffice it to say that this place has a weight that goes beyond the story of a Jewish revolt. It is a place of inspiration for heart, mind and soul. One look over the edge of the cliff to the Dead Sea below and you're filled with a sense of the vastness of this place. Some brave souls opted for the hike up the "Snake Path" and were given the sense of the impenetrability of the fortress. Some of us walked through the chambers that Herod built, but rarely used, and were struck with the lavishness of the accommodations. All of us saw the balls of stone hurled by the Romans and were struck by the weight of importance of this placeRead more

You might also know this place by the following names:

State of Israel, Israel, እስራኤል, Israhēl, إسرائيل, İzrail, Ізраіль, Израел, Isirayeli, ইসরায়েল, ཨི་ཛ྄་རེལ།, Izrael, Їздраил҄ь, ཨིཛ་རཱེལ, Israel nutome, Ισραήλ, Israelo, Iisrael, اسراییل, Israa'iila, Isireli, Ísrael, Israël, Iosrael, ઇઝરાઇલ, Izira'ila, ישראל, इजराइल, Izrayèl, Իզրաել, Israele, イスラエル国, ისრაელი, Israeli, អ៊ីស្រាអែល, ಇಸ್ರೇಲ್, 이스라엘, ئیسرائیل, Ysrael, Medinat Yisrael, Yisirayeri, Isirayelɛ, ອິສລະເອວ, Izraelis, Isirayele, Izraēla, Israely, ഇസ്രായേല്‍, इस्त्राइल, Iżrael, အစ္စရေး, Isuraeli, इज्रायल, Israèl, ଇସ୍ରାଏଲ୍, Израиль, اسرايل, Isiraheli, Israëli, ඊශ්‍රායලය, Izuraeri, Israaʼiil, Izraeli, இசுரேல், ఇస్రాయేల్, ประเทศอิสราเอล, ʻIsileli, İsrail, ئىسرائىلىيە, Ізраїль, اسرائیل, Isroil, Israel (Do Thái), Orílẹ́ède Iserẹli, 以色列, i-Israel

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