Saturday, April 11, 2020

Israel Day 2

Today our adventure takes to the Mt. of Beatitudes where we discuss Matthew 5-7, also know as the Sermon on the Mount. It's beautiful. There is something special about hearing your pastor teach you the words of Jesus from the place Jesus shared the same words.

We spent time alone walking around this area to pray, ponder, and mediate on the teaching from Matthew. I marveled at the different groups and languages being spoken. I heard a group sing a familiar hymn in an unknown language. I walked around in wonderment of how G-d loves us, uses us, and choses us. My actions don't always match my heart and my heart doesn't always match my actions and despite my imperfections He invited to this place to be with Him in a way I never have. I wrote in my journal, I love the air here, it feels clean and spiritual.

Several of these lined the walk way with the words from Matthew 5. 

We went to the Restoration of Peter, also known as, the Table of the Lord at Lake Tiberias and discussed John 21. I love that I am thinking back to this story, the day before we celebrate the empty tomb. That means this occurred around this time in history. The story of Jesus appearing for the third time after His resurrection, to the disciples as they fished. I am quite sure Peter was still beating himself up for denying Jesus. Peter tended to be a person of reaction, not response. He tended to think he would never, but he did. He was passionate and dramatic. I get him. I have Peter tendencies.

But G-d. That is the reason we can have restoration. G-d is a G-d who restores.

Jesus didn't just appear, He served them breakfast. After making sure Peter's physical needs were met, Jesus wholly restores Peter. . And this, as a woman with Peter tendencies, blesses me so.
My stone of remembrance.

Capharnaum was our next location. This is where Jesus preached and lived with Peter. I was in awe as I thought Jesus you were here. While looking at the spot the house was, in my spirit I heard, "I still am". There are various things in scripture that occurred here, including the story of the paralyzed man being brought down through the roof by his friends. (Mark 2:1)



After our visit to Capharnaum we had lunch at Ali's Restaurant. THE BEST FRESH TAILAPIA EVER!!!!! And the best fresh dates.

Next, we took a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. We worshiped, laughed, and talked about Matthew 14:6-33. A beautiful reminder that when our eyes are on Jesus there is power and when our eyes are on the storm, we sink. Where we fix our gaze matters.

One of the many emotion churning moments on the boat was when Gidon and Trey raised the United States flag in unity and we sang the United States National Anthem on a sea, in Israel. It was an incredible moment.

I LOVED the boat. My notes read, I just can't get over this. This place. This land. This people. Jesus. Jesus loves me. On the sea,wow! I felt like His arms wrapped around me.

During one of our bus rides we discussed clich├ęs regarding coming to Israel. For example, it brings the Bible to 3D or  takes it from black and white to color. Theses phrases don't seem to do it justice. I remember thinking I would like to come up with something new, to attempt to give it justice. At some point on the trip, all I could come up with was, it is like completing a puzzle. You can see the puzzle form as you piece it together, but when you add those final few pieces the picture becomes complete, that is what it is like to walk in the Holy Land. Missing puzzle pieces are placed in their spots and the picture is even more clear. And this, this still does not give it justice.

Trey had asked me if I learned anything on this day. I shared about how my bible reading that morning was from Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 48:6b, "...Now.....I am announcing new things to you, secret things you have not known,", this is how I was feeling. Gratitude consumed me.

Our last stop before heading to the hotel was the Jordan River. The river the Israelites crossed. The river Jesus was baptized in. For some reason my journal says nothing about this, but I recall as I look at the pictures being moved. Again, despite my Peter like tendencies, despite my sin, I was baptized in the same river, because He knows my heart and He is a G-d of restoration.

While there I also enjoyed the most amazing fresh juice. Pomegranate and orange! It is the most amazing fresh juice that will ever hit my taste buds. And lets not forget the dates!!

In the evening we walked to a beach area behind our hotel, had dinner, and watched a ceremony on TV for Yom HaShoah, which is Holocaust Memorial Day.

This was set up for Holocaust Memorial Day. 

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