Hey Church!

I wish we were all here together! This is … just … simply … AMAZING! But since we can’t do this together, I’m going to try to share some experiences & insights with you as I can. So, I hope you enjoy my first post.

Surprises: Part One

Looking across the Jordan River into Jordan

The Jordan River is much smaller than I imagined.  Maybe only twenty feet wide.

You can see across the Sea of Galilee easily. It’s only 13 miles long & about 6.5 miles at the widest point. I didn’t know I could see that far (especially with my eyesight).

There are hundreds & hundreds of Christian tourists here. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa has 300 people in the same hotel as us. There are as many as 4-5 groups in our hotel here in Tiberius.

The orthodox Jews take their sabbath seriously. There is a ‘sabbath elevator’ that is programmed to stop at every floor so they won’t have to violate the sabbath by pushing a button. As a matter of fact, one of my friends on our tour was asked by a Jewish lady to help her with something In her hotel room. When she got to the room, my friend figured out that there was something wrong with the thermostat. Her new Jewish friend explained, through her broken English, that the room was too hot. My friend showed her the buttons to change that. Then the Jewish lady explained that she knew that but she couldn’t push the buttons since it was the sabbath. My friend gladly pushed buttons for her!

It’s astonishing how much they are still finding here. We had the opportunity to see a floor mosaic that they only discovered last week at Herod’s palace in Ceasarea.

If you think God is done performing miracles, then you need to learn about how God has protected Israel time and time again from her larger more powerful neighbors!  Simply mind blowing! GOD IS NOT DONE WITH HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE!

Richard Nixon saved the Jewish nation in 1973 because his mother read him Bible stories as a child and told him to never pass up the opportunity to help the Jews. You gotta ask me to tell you this whole story!

We were given entrance to an Israeli artillery base where we met & talked with a dozen or more young Israeli soldiers. None of them were older than 21 — boys! They were just boys! One was from New Orleans and another from Edison, NJ. Our interpreter was from England. He said the Israeli soldiers couldn’t understand why these Americans would want to serve in the Israeli army. We took them gifts and shared with them that we were there because of the Messiah. They started up a tank, shot off a smoke screen and posed with us for photos (that we are not allowed to post). It was the highlight of my day! As me why!!

Snow covered fields

They have had an abundance of rain here. They even had snow in the higher elevations. Some roads have been closed & Jerusalem was practically closed down yesterday. Jane, our guide, said that this much rain is unheard of here. She said it was the lead story on the evening news where the news anchor was telling viewers where to find the best places to see the swollen rivers. Today the shoulders of the roads were packed with cars pulling over & stopped to get out and watch the water. Jane has explained how much of the region’s politics are tied up over water & who has the rights & access to it.

I’m sorry but the cliche, “you’ll never read your Bible the same after a visit to the Holy Land” is so true. I’ve learned so much in the short time I’ve been here.

Our tour bus has free wifi on it. How cool is that!