Photos and commentary from Israel

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A few more photos from Israel

Jim has processed a few more photos, hope you enjoy.


The streets in Israel gave us many moments for prayer, drivers drove CRAZY and our bus made turns that were hair-raising, but Johnny, our driver managed to get us safely from spot to spot..





The above is the view from Mt. Precipice

One of the profound places we visited was Mt. Precipice mentioned in Luke 4:16-29, So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.

Pastor Don pointed out that the Scriptures read in the temple were read at a set time so, when Jesus stood to read these scriptures, He knew what they contained, and it was a set time for Him to read these. Isaiah spoke these words 700 years before the time Jesus read the words in the Temple, and the Levites listening would have known this passage was specific to the promised Messiah. But, because they knew Jesus’s earthly background, they could not get past him being a carpenter’s son (or so they thought), and Mary’s pregnancy. This is the hill over the valley Jezreel, and when they heard Jesus’ words, they wanted to cast Him off the cliff. They could not believe anything good could come out of Nazareth.

Jesus was the light of the Gentiles, and he had the respect of the people. He came from a region that was multicultural, speaking Aramaic and Hebrew, and his speech was easily identified. Sort of like those in the north can identify the speech of a southerner.

What happened is the Levites, Scribes, and Pharisees excluded Jesus because He did not have a pedigree of their liking – He did not fit the picture of what they thought the Messiah would be, so they rejected Him. That is a warning for the church today, regarding pedigrees and expectations of what qualifies a person for leadership. We often do not step forward because we think our pasts disqualify us for leadership, but we are new creations In Christ. Jesus was disqualified by the people in the Temple when He proclaimed that the prophecy was fulfilled this day. They did not think He had good enough parents, no way was He the Messiah they thought. So they wanted to kill Him, to get rid of what they thought was an unworthy person to be the Messiah, but a miracle occurred. They had intent to kill, and Jesus just walked through the crowd, he didn’t speak, threaten or do anything, He just walked through the crowd and around the people. This is what happened in Jerusalem when they decided to kill Him at the wrong time. It is important to realize the devil cannot snatch you out of life until your appointed time, until you have served where God wants you to serve and have done what God wanted you to do. God gave us the 91st Psalm to remind us of His protection.

Pastor Don then pointed out that we matter to God, we are important to God, we matter to God just like Jesus mattered to God.

Then Pastor Don said the VICTORY OF THE SAINT IS KNOWING THAT IT IS NOT YOU, BUT GOD. Don’t listen when the devil tries to tell you we have met our Waterloo, God has our backs.

Our victory does not depend on us, it depends on whose we are.

Pastor Don had us sit for a bit and meditate on God’s plan for our lives and what we need to do to begin to achieve this plan, walking through the obstacles.

If you look at the above picture of Mt. Precipice I noticed how the fields looked like a giant patchwork quilt – and each piece was necessary to the whole. We are all part of the whole plan of God, and each of us has our ministry. It drew me to Haggai 2 where it is mentioned that we are not to compare temples – we each have our own particular ministry, our own plan. I was praying God would let me continue to do His work, unimpeded by my fleshly desires. I prayed that pride would not cause me to stumble. I spent 40 years hating God and avoiding God, and I want to make the most of the time left. There are still too many times when I let my personal desires, needs, and wants interfere when I should be more open and receptive to what others need.

I took this photo of many members of our group (not all) on Mt. Precipice.



Hoping your night is blessed.



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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