Photos and commentary from our Israel Trip

Friday, May 25, 2007

Photos and commentary from Israel

 Well we made it back safely, Praise God. I gave Jim the rest of the memory sticks from the camera and he has already sent out a few pictures from Israel to family and friends. Here are a few that caught his eye. I want you to know, except for the dome of the rock (where my Bible was confiscated and held at the entrance by the Muslims) and Petra (where we walked on very rough terrain), I have carried my Bible around Jerusalem, it is as traveled as I was. It is going to take a lot of time to process the trip to Israel, but I have been abundantly blessed by God, it truly was a pilgrimage.

I am eager to get to your sites, have already slept 7 hours and need more sleep to get my body back on target.

Here are a few pictures:


These are Israeli soldiers getting ready to be sworn in for their three year tour of duty. Boys have to serve three years, girls two. It actually felt safe to have them around as we walked through Israel. There was a big celebration going on at this site where the soldiers were waiting to be sworn in. We were near the temple walls (you can see them to the right of the truck), it was a world peace day. They had children singing and dancing and tons of people had gathered to celebrate.


Our second day was spent around the Sea of Galilee, and we rode out on a boat that looked like this one, singing hymns, dancing and seeing what the Sea of Galilee would have looked like in Jesus’ time. Pastor Don pointed out that it looks so much like our area’s reservoir. In fact on our drive home to the church from the airport, we took a glance at our reservoir and it does look like what we saw from this boat.


There were 12 of us who chose to be baptized on this trip, I am here with Pastor Don and Mrs. Moore just a few seconds before being baptized, I was sharing what I needed to with Pastor Don. I came out of the water so changed, sobbing with joy. God had given me the text of Haggai 2 the night before, I had been praying hard that this baptism would cleanse me from any strongholds that prevented me from doing His will completely. And what was contained in Haggai 2 seemed to follow me all through Jerusalem, and still impacts me. I was rather out of it after the baptism, the Holy Spirit was really cleansing me.


Pastor Don said that this site had changed so much since he was last here. This is the Garden of the Beatitudes, and Pastor Don said that he had previously been able to walk down the hillside and sit on the grass. The church has made nice paths, but the paths prevented us from wandering at will, we had gathered in this corner to hear a Bible study from Pastor Don. He pointed out that the last time he was here, he noticed the acoustics were so good that, when Jesus spoke to the multitude, they would have heard Him very well – Jesus picked the spots He used so that all could hear.


This is my friend Julie, she was getting ready to speak at the Garden Tomb, We took communion here and by far, our time spent here was the most important time for us as a group – for the tomb really is empty! We were so blessed and God showed up in a powerful way during our communion service. It seems that for us, as a group, the places that were most profound were the more natural sites, not built over by tons of edifices.


This is one of the stones found near the site of the Garden Tomb, it would have been rolled in front of a tomb entrance, in a channel that was carved out for it. I had my picture taken in front of it because I wanted you to see how big and heavy it was.

By the way you now see the Bible I use when I share my studies and next to the Bible is a small notebook held by my fingertips, I almost filled it up with notes from Israel that I will share over time.

These are just a few of the pictures, but I wanted to share what I could right away with you. I thought about you daily while I was in Israel, wanting you to see all possible. After some rest I will slowly start visiting you to see what has been going on in the ten days I have been gone.

Have a blessed night.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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