Greetings once again! It is hard to imagine all the prep, organizing and work that goes into a trip such as this and then for it to be over seemingly so soon. But may its impact be forever present in our lives! As I’ve said many times before, it’s not enough to simply walk where Jesus walked, or even talk perhaps where He one time talked. The greatest need for all of us is to truly live as He lived and be all that He wants us to be! Remember the entire reason for Him coming to earth was to redeem fallen man from the clutches of sin that He might present us without spot and holy.
As I look over the 50 members of our tour group my heart is overwhelmed to think that if we could come home spiritually charged, and rejuvenated in our Christian walk, what a huge difference we could make around us. If we would purpose not to soon forget where we’ve been, what we saw, and what we’ve felt, maybe, just maybe, we could encourage and strengthen another who may be discouraged in their Christian faith.
Last night as I was down at the Lebanon G.M. Church to speak at their annual Ministry Team Banquet, I spoke with an individual who travelled to the Holy Land several years ago. He said, “I am amazed at how often when I read the scripture my mind reflects on an image from my trip, it just brings so much into perspective.” And yes, I recall making almost the same statement following my first trip to Israel years ago. I’ve told my children, “You will find times when you are reading the Bible that all of the sudden you will have a real image that comes before your mind as a result of the trip.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the many times that our guide shared historical accounts outside of scripture and they clearly testified to or reaffirmed the scripture. And yet, if there was never any outside evidence that supports the Word of God, we still believe it for our faith is evidence enough! I love the little chorus we sometimes sing, “God said, I believe it, and that settles it for me.”
Dear hearts, let’s be mindful to be completely surrendered to Jesus Christ. We indeed have a story to tell to the nations, and more than likely very little time left to tell it. “OH, may all who come behind us find us faithful!” Just remember, you keep Him first and foremost and He’ll do the same for you! “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.”
Blessings on you and yours!
I’m thinking we were all plum worn out! But what a great group to travel with!
Good evening! We are all at the airport and waiting to board. Big group, but all is well.
It will be another all-nighter tonight after a full day of traveling around Israel. We started by heading towards Bethlehem and making our first stop at the Shepherds Fields. Remember the account of the angels appearing to them?
Then it was on to Bethlehem for a visit to the Church of the Nativity. After our visit there, we went to a beautiful gift shop where the manager gave me a very nice carving from olive wood that was valued at upwards of $1000.00! I never expected that at all. He also took a couple of us into his office to show us a picture of Mike Pence and himself. From my observation the Israeli folk love President Trump!
After our “shopping” was over, we stopped at a little restaurant for a quick bite. It was very good indeed!
Next, we headed to a museum in Jerusalem to view a large model of Old Jerusalem as well as some of the findings regarding the Dead Sea scrolls.
Our final place to tour was the battlefield between the Philistines and Saul’s army. Here, we did a “Sight and Sound” re-enactment! Thanks Austin, Allen, and Blake, you guys are great!
Before leaving for the airport we had a fine supper together at a very nice restaurant in downtown Joppa. Great food, outstanding fellowship!
Thanks so much for all who prayed for us during this trip. May God richly bless you and yours!
And I remain
Greetings one last time from Israel! We start home tomorrow evening and are scheduled to get home Wednesday evening. Thanks in advance for your prayers.
It hardly seems possible that this trip is almost over, but it has been overwhelmingly wonderful. Each day the Bible has unfolded before our very eyes! Yes, it’s been a very busy time, but no doubt very rewarding to say the least.
We stayed in Jerusalem today for visits to the Rabbinic Tunnel, the Western Wall Tunnel, the Pools of Bethesda, the House of Caiphas, the Via Dolorosa Walk, the Holy Sepulcher, and the Garden Tomb, where we had communion together. It was a very special time for me.
After dinner we went back to Old Jerusalem for some shopping and a Sound and Light show of David.
We have breakfast at 6:30, we load the bus at 7:30, and then we go to Bethlehem in the morning. After one more full day of touring we will head to Tel Aviv for our flight to JFK via Istanbul.
We’ve learned so much on this trip and look forward to another one, if God allows. So many people have contacted us from back home to get it planned right away so they can be among the next group. I think we need to tour New Columbia, Milton, West Milton, Lewisburg, Danville, Mifflinburg and Bloomsburg first! ;-)
Perhaps I can post at the airport before departure.
Yours for Him,
What a wonderful Lord’s Day! We started out with a drive to the Mt. of Olives where we sent a greeting back home from all the group to be shared Sunday morning at New Columbia GMC.
The “Palm Sunday Walk” was absolutely wonderful. We walked the path that Jesus walked some 2000 years ago knowing what was about to take place. We stopped at the Garden of Gethsemane for a devotional by Steve Cassidy. He challenged our hearts to “go further in the Garden.” Thanks Steve, God really used you.
There were many others from outside our group who were “picking up the fragments” as they walked by us. We had a ladies quartet sing, “Who is He in Yonder stall?”
Next, we went by the Eastern Gate and walked past the Temple Wall steps
Then, we proceeded to the Upper Room. The Presence of the Lord settled down here as we sang. Then Bro. King prayed.
We entered through the Zion Gate for a long walk through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.
The little streets were crowded, and the shop keepers were eager to sell us their goods. Over and over we explained that this was our Sabbath and we would not be buying today. Once they understood what we were saying they ceased with their sales pitches.
Some think we are old school, but I say what a privilege to keep a day of the week for the Lord’s Day! Carefulness in living many years ago was well respected; now they think we’ve lost our minds if we mention it. ;-)
I’ll stop for now, but there’s more to come...
Here is a view of Hotel David where we stayed at the Dead Sea.
Today was another beautiful day here in the Holy Land. We started out with a tram ride to the top of Masada. It was so neat to visit the sight again and see how much more has been done to uncover and preserve it. You probably remember that this was Herod’s fortress.
We went on to Ein Gedi where we hiked to both the lower and upper falls. Somewhere in these mountains is where David hid from Saul and his 3000 men. I just can’t imagine them not finding him and then David catching King Saul sleeping and cutting off a piece of his garment. Sometimes I see the accounts in the Bible as an expression of God’s humor. I actually grin at some of the happenings at times.
I'm sure glad God created humor; I utilize it myself from time to time. ;-)
Next we traveled a little piece down the road to Qumran, the place where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. The story of their discovery is so fascinating!
Before heading to Jerusalem, we had one more stop, Jericho (what some refer to as the world’s oldest city). Although I’m not yet convinced myself... we’ve got a few old buildings in New Columbia, PA that are more or less rubble. :-
Now we are in Jerusalem. We stopped and overlooked the city for some scripture reading and singing before heading back to the Hotel.
Wow! What a day we had today. God is so good! We know He is watching over us.