Holy Land Journey 2011 Day 11

Day Eleven: Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Really? The bus breaks down by 8:45.  Yes.  In front of the Mountain of God Mall (no joke) We shared the Aroma of Christ at the Aroma (Israeli Starbucks) and we were on our way…without the Lost Sheep... Suzanne, Madeline, and Sharon (as was their custom).  
The Canterbury contingent heads down into the valley (Elah) into Real Life. We were in the Wild, Wild West. Yikes.  
Beth Shemesh: The Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant to Joshua. God struck down the people who looked at the Ark. We wonder… why bad things happen to good people (scary dreams and terminal cancer). Is it ok to wrestle? God says yes! And Jacob was the first God wrestler.
Tel Azekah: The site of David and Goliath. The Philistines assembled on the far hill and Pretty Boy David was on our hill. When people went ripping on God it was a bad thing (1 Samuel 17:26). TAKE HOME:  Come off the hill and fight in the valley and only know that God is with you. For his glory and not your own!  Amen and amen.  
Intermission: The Stones went to collect 3 small stones for David’s slingshot from the riverbed. They came back to the bus with a basket of stones and everyone in the back of the bus got stoned : )  
Lunch with Jeff Stoned: Sammy Schwarma speaks (puppet show) Roger the Nectarine claims it is good to be grafted Warren goes to Shekel Valley (Nissan Brothers) to spend his last shekels We have a Baklava revolt (for dessert : )
Yasser Harry Fat shows up on the bus.  Ha.  
The Herodian Palace:  He had massive digs. Herod the Great’s summer home, kind of an Israeli equivalent to a house on Lake Martin except with an auditorium, 1st century synagogue, and a predefined burial place.  He had a lot of Kay sized tunnels and he used a lot of poor Jews to construct his compound.  
The Church of the Nativity:
The grotto reading from Luke 2 (OMG) along with the group singing of Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem, the cave reading of Matthew 2 with the Magi. Jerome’s study where he and his benefactors (Brian and the Glasscocks) translate the Bible from Hebrew to Latin.  
The Apostolic Church of Bethlehem:  SECRET CHURCH
Khader Khouri fled from the Golan Heights to Bethlehem (like Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt) to start a church. He was anointed by God, but he was chased by Saul (just like King David). God asked him just to PRAISE HIM. Don’t look at the war and poverty, God says look at me! Khader says ALL PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE.
My Lord, my God, we pray for peace.
Lisa Donnell
View Like Masada, the Herodian is tremendous and its fortress is perched high above the floor of the valley. The large square
View The interior courtyard of the Herodian
View From the top of the Herodian, the Dead Sea is visible some 20+ miles to the west
View The Herodian offered luxury accomodations to Herod and government officials that he wanted to entertain out of Jerusalem
View A view of the courtyard from the Roman baths at the Herodian
View The group gathers in a first century synagogue that is part of the Herodian complex
View The group reads from the book of Amos in the synagogue at the Herodian
View Manger Square in Bethlehem
View The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
View The Church has multiple doorways...this image shows an arch from the Crusader period, and a smaller door from the Ottoma
View Beth Shemesh was the Biblical home of Sampson, and ....
View Lisa was very excited today
View The interior of the Church of the Nativity. The subterranean floors are from the fourth century
View The altar at the Church of the Nativity. The elaborate hanging are characteristic of Greek Orthodox churches
View The grotto where Jesus was born lies beneath the altar of the church. The steps down to the birthplace are steep and our
View The traditional birthplace of Jesus at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
View The spot where tradition holds the manger was located
View The Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity
View Beneath the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity, a view of the bedrock that makes up the cave where Jesus was born
View Our group leaves Manger Square in Bethlehem
View Our last stop of the day was with a Palestinian Christian pastor, who had moved from Gaza to Beth Sahour to preach the g
View ...was the location where the Philistines returned the Ark of the Covenant to the Israelites
View Brian teaches at Tel Azekah
View Tel Azekah and the Elah Valley is the location of the faceoff between David and Goliath
View The group hears the story of the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines
View The plain where David killed Goliath
View Lester and Jane at Tel Azekah
View We traveled next to the Herodian, the tremendous complex built by Herod the Great south of Jerusalem
View First stop of the day was at Beth Shemesh