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Israel Trip 2016 - Day 8

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Day 8 – Jerusalem – Up, Down, East and West, above and below we see the City.

Day 8 and we finally have what Israelites pray for daily - more rain. At 8:00 we headed for the Pool of Shiloam at the lower end of the City of David at the output of Hezekiah’s Water Tunnel. Here the Christ made the blind man see as he washed the mud from his eyes at this still flowing spring. We were reminded that blindness in life can permeate our spiritual journey –may we have the eyes to see and avoid the darkness.

From the bottom, we made our way through heavy traffic to the top of King David’s City Palace. Here we could see the Old Testament story in 3D of David and Bathsheba. In the Holy Land the scriptures come to a new realization.

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Israel Trip 2016 - Day 7

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Day 7 - The Palm Sunday Road, Garden of Gethsemane, Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Shepherds Field.

After a great night of cool breezes and some of our group taking walks around the city area in the heart of Jerusalem, we left the Dan Hotel at 8:15 a.m. and headed to the top of the Mount of Olives for the start of our 8th day. There we read about our Lord Jesus as he made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem the week of his Passion. We walked this same route which brought us to the Garden of Gethsemane. There we visited the Church of the Nations and witnessed an active service with Communion. In this church is the rock upon which Jesus stood as he prayed, "not my will, but thy will be done".

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Israel Trip 2016 - Day 6

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Day 6 - 2/20 – Saturday: Masada, Ein-gedi, Qumran, Dead Sea and Wadi Qelt

It was another warm and sunny day today (70s) here in the Dead Sea area. The morning began at Masada, a fortress/palace built by Herod the Great. We rode the cable car for 80 souls up. We saw the Roman ramp, the western palace, the bath house, captain quarters and storerooms, and heard the challenging story of the siege of this place with the 967 faithful Jews holding out to the end. Psalm 18:1-2 comes to mind as we realize that God is our rock and our fortress.

About 15 minutes north is Ein-gedi. Here we read from 1 Samuel 23 and 24. This is where David hid from Saul in the cave and cut off a piece of his cloak to prove that He could have killed him. But David promised that Saul’s life was at the mercy of the will of the Lord and not him. We continued here by walking back to a water fall of this Oasis in the desert and enjoyed the uniqueness of this area and a wonderful devotion by Daryl.

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Israel Trip 2016 - Day 5

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Day 5 – Mt. of Beatitudes, Magdala, Mt. Arbel and the Mount of Olives

We departed the hotel and made our first stop of the morning at the Mt. of Beatitudes on the North West shore of the Galilee. We drove around the church to the banana plantation and found our way to the fields just below the church built at this site of Jesus preaching this most famous message. We read the passages from Matthew 5, 6 and 7 remembering how different the message that Christ delivered was from their expectations. They were seeking a change in the political circumstances, Jesus was talking about changing their hearts. We considered what it means to follow the principles of God’s kingdom and that we are its emissaries in the world today.Many of us enjoyed a nice 30 minute hike downhill for a change to the Tabgha site where Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves of bread.

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