Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blog 4 Around the Galilee

Remember, please forgive me for syntax errors. 

Hello everyone!  As I type this, I want you to know we are all TIRED…unbelievably tired. (maybe I’m not as tired as that sounds…I slept really well!) but we are tired but happy. 

It was simply beautiful morning. I cannot put into words what it is like waking up looking over the Sea of Galilee. I was awake before the sun broke over the top of the Golan Mountains. I could get used to this. (Look who was walking under my balcony at sun rise :O)  This is Chad Amherim from Towson, MD.  We are so GLAD he is with us once again. ) --------->
The scene and the setting here at Tiberias on the “blue” Galilee is nothing less than breath taking.

Today was a full day, but then again, they all are. We spent our day around and even on the Sea of Galilee, Lake Gennesaret, Sea of Tiberias, or the Lake Chinnereth (harp shaped). No, we did not see Jesus walking on the waves as the disciples did, but we did feel His presence in an undeniable way!

Our first stop was Mt. Arbel. This has become one of my favorite places to visit. The short walk up the path to the top of this mountain is well worth the effort. From atop Mt. Arbel we were greeted with a marvelous panoramic view of upper Galilee. We were able to see most of the Galilee itself as well as Tiberias, Mt. of Beatitudes, Migdal, and ever the top of Mt. Herman. It was simply a breathtaking view.
After visiting Mt. Arbel, we drove to Yardenit, where we baptized several pilgrims. Baptisms came early today. In fact, Yardenit (the place where we baptize in Jordan) was our first stop. To me, all baptisms are wonderful, but I must admit that baptizing in the Jordan has been one of the highlights of my life. Not far from where we baptized, the Jordan flows South-ward out of the Galilee. Maybe, just maybe (if they purchased a DVD), you will be able to see your loved one’s baptism as it was captured on video. It would make a great souvenir.

From Yardenit, we began our journey around the Galilee. Near the traditional site where Jesus gave His sermon on the mount is a place called Tabgah. Tabgah means the “place of seven springs.” There were probably more than seven springs there, but it is called Tabgha nonetheless. Did you ever wonder where the five thousand go for something to drink in order to wash down all those bites of bread and fish? Was it water from the Galilee or from the springs of Tabgha? You decide, but I tell you the Bible is a marvelous book! Don’t you agree? I know you do.

We also visited the place Jesus chose to make His earthly headquarters, Carpernaum. From the first time I visited this place in 1985, the changes here are somewhat amazing. In 1985 Capernaum was an active archeological dig and they were in the process of uncovering some of the item we viewed today.

At Capernaum (our guide Mauri calls it Kefar Nahum like the prophet Nahum…who lived in the North of Israel) we spent some time in the remains of an ancient synagogue. It has been discovered this synagogue was built on the very foundation the synagogue Jesus stood in and performed the miracle on the man with the withered hand as we have taught the truths that He taught. Remember what Jesus said about having a mill stone tired around your neck? Well, we saw a millstone. Actually, we saw more than one today. And as we did, it became all too apparent why Jesus said what He did. As He often did in His teachings, He simply used what was available to Him so He could easily and undeniably illustrate the truth He wanted to be conveyed. Truly Jesus was the master teacher.

By the way, at all the places we have visited and all those we are yet to visit, we read from the Bible. It is amazing how the Scriptures we have read a multitude of times take on a new life this way. I tell you the truth, all of us here will never read the Bible in the same way as we did before we came.

Oh yeah, we also stopped at a place known as Peter’s Primacy. This place allows us to put our feet in the Galilee. It is the traditional place for the events recorded in the Gospel of John 21. Have you ever wondered what Jesus and Peter talked about while the other disciples were bringing their full boats to the shore? We will never know, but we do know that whatever the conversation was about, it satisfied Peter for we see him doing what he could to get the fish on shore.
After a blessed and full day, we arrived back at Ron Beach Hotel ready for dinner and rest.  By the way, here is our guide, Mauri.

Keep praying for us! Everyone sends love and prayers.

Until tomorrow the good Lord willing,

PS One more thing…does it concern anyone that some of our folks went to the diamond factory here in Tiberias? :O)