Saturday, June 21, 2008

How Hot?????

Last night after seeing Dave and Alyssa, I drove home around 8:30m and I passed one of those clock / thermometer things on the 78 and it said that it was 86 degress at 8:45 last night!!!!!

THAT'S how hot it was out here in Escondido!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mt. Carmel, Megiddo and Nof Ginosar

So after we left Ceasera we started heading up to the Northern Golan Heights and our next stop was lunch at this hole in the wall place where you only had 2 choices, felafel's which is like a deep fried chickpea paste that is rolled into little balls or a schnitzel (I know I probably spelt it like a German word) which is a fried chicken breaded chicken breast and both of these were served inside a pita pocket type bread. There was a salad bar there where you could put all sorts of veggies in your pita as well (but like I was going to put anything like that in my pita, lol).

The restaurant

My schnitzel

Coke anyone?

Or how about a Sprite?

Ahhhh the sharing of the bathrooms :)

Yep a tomb along side the road

After getting our tummies full we started making the climb up to Mt. Carmel. In the Old Testament this mountain was where the prophet Ezekiel battled the prophets of Baal in a showdown between the false god Baal and the Big Man Upstairs! Needless to say our God is a Mighty God and showed them who was boss (Ezekiel 38 & 39). Now in the New Testament in Revelations, the Valley of Armageddon is where the huge battle will take place. It will be filled with blood (Rev. . The pictures are small and there is no way that they can do any justice to standing up there and to know how big the Valley really is.

Part of the Valley of Armageddon

In the distance is Nazareth

After leaving Mt. Carmel we drove down past Nazareth. It is quite a small town and is now mainly Arab. Its funny to think that the people who loved around Nazareth said that nothing good could every come out of there. But look at how many people make a journey there just to see where 1 person was from? We also passed Cana, the town where Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding, where he turned water into wine (John 2: 1-11)

Our next stop was the fortress of Megiddo. This was a major fortress in the time of Solomon because it was along two of the main highways. Israel is such an important place geographically. It was the only way during biblical days to get from Europe to Africa. Megiddo was along the main trading route and so who ever controlled Megiddo, controlled the trades! This was mainly a pagan fortress and Solomon built it for one of hie wives who practiced pagan rituals. It was interesting to see what still stood of the fortress. The entryway walls were still there and we even saw a manger. I had no idea that the mangers were completely stone! You know we have been brought up to think that baby Jesus was put into a wooden manger surrounded by a nice think pile of straw - WRONG!! this thing is hand carved out of stone and the stables are nothing like we have now or that are even depicted in the stories. The stables are on the outskirts of town and are very small. And of course all stone. It just makes me feel so humbled to know that He can into this world of sin into that type of place just to save me and everyone else. A very humble King!

The guard post (the black line shows what they found and what was reconstructed).

Mt. Carmel in the distance

A manger

Some stables

We then headed down to the Sea of Galilee. It is beautiful there. There are some big towns like Tiberius around the Sea, but the majority of them are kibbutz's. These are like communes where everything is every ones. They all have things that they are known for. Some tourism, some sell produce while others sell products like Epilady and in the Dead Sea, Ahava products. The kibbutz we stayed at, Nof Ginosar worked with some Messianic Jews (Jews who believe in Christ as well as keep the Jewish traditions. They are also known as "Complete Jews") and the Jesus Boat attraction. It was a cute little hotel where we stayed and honestly, I would not mind just going back there and staying again. The rooms were always clean and if you needed something they brought it to you ASAP. Better service there than I think at some high end hotels!
After we got in and settled down we grabbed some dinner and then headed out to the jetty as a group to talk about things that we had seen and done so far. It was so quite and cool out, it felt like home. We stayed there for about an hour and then some of us came back to the hotel (I was getting eaten alive by bugs!) We were told the next day we would be going to see the Jesus Boat as well as take a boat out onto the Sea of Galilee. We were also going to Capernaeum, the town where Jesus spent most of His time and there Harry and Linda would renew their vows (awwww). And to finish up the day, we were heading to the Jordan River to get baptised, or as a friend calls it, DUNKED!!!!!

Tiberius at night from the jetty

Saturday, June 7, 2008

What was left out....

Well after I just posted the previous blog, I realized that there were part missing *tear.

What is missing is:
When we were in Ceasera, we saw the influence of the Crusader period. As we walked deeper into the city we came upon a Mosque and the tower which they would call people to prayer.

The stone work was incredible! To know that all of these stones were laid here by hand and let alone cut and chiseled out of huge rocks by hand is amazing. The evidence of the religious battles that happened here still stand. You start out in the old city with the theater, then as you come in closer to the harbor, you see the Muslim influence then you turn a corner and there is a Gothic style castle with the double gate and the 90 degree entrances.

The double gated entrances were imperative as while the invaders would be trying to break down the door, the people who lived inside the walls would pour feces, decaying animals and other wonderful things onto the people below (yummy!)

WATCH OUT BELOW!!!!!! To the right is the entrance, the left is the first wall.

Once you would step inside the gates there is a 90 degree entrance. What I found incredible was that you could see which way the entrance to the city was by looking at the corners of the walls. Over time with the people rushing in and the carts all turning one direction, the corner of the wall has wore down smooth. So above the middle section and below the middle it is still a perfect corner, but in the middle it is rounded.

As we left, I saw a sign that I just needed to take a picture of:

I mean come on, how often do I see my name, let alone in another country (well OK this was my first time out of the country) and spelt that way :)
OK so that is what was cut out of my other post. Next one will be the Mt. of Beatitudes, the Valley of Armageddon, Megiddo and our home for a few days, Nof Ginosar.