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Israel, Day 9

It's 7:30 PM on Wednesday, July 25th here in Israel. I'm where I started the day, on the patio overlooking the city. I'm still overwhelmed by this visit. Our guide, Doron, was AMAZING! He's been doing this for 35 years and although he's a secular Jew, he has an incredible grasp on the NT Combine that experience and knowledge and it makes him the best (at least that's what David Jeremiah,& Charles Swindoll have said, and, he was handpicked by Jack Hayford to be the guide for his Israel School of Pastoral Nurture tour which begins tomorrow). Even our driver David was outstanding.

Some of the culinary highlights that would have not gotten and props and easily forgotten are: the falafel up the street from the hotel at French Hill Falafel (it will be my "last supper" here), how bad the hummus was here at the Regency, and how creamy the Magnum dark chocolate covered vanilla ice cream bars were, a life saver on these scorching hot days. Believe it or not I couldn't find a bagel and cream cheese anywhere in Jerusalem.

This morning's commissioning service was awesome. I'm proud to have my service to our movement on the Board of Directors conclude with this wonderful convention. As always, Tommy Walker was amazing. The Holy Spirit really spoke to me through Glenn's message today, but that an entry for another time as it continues to get processed.

We leave for the airport at 1AM this morning to get to Tel-Aviv for our 5AM flight. There's supposed to be a strike of the transportation union, which would shut the airport down tomorrow at 6AM (the buses weren't running today). We're praying for a heavenly intervention. Now on with today final sites...

The Upper Room
This Crusader period room was built on the traditional site of the birthplace of the church in Jerusalem - the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. John 13-17 is one of 3 major discourses we have from Jesus, and it took place "in" this room. Later, the disciples returned here to "wait for the promise of the Father." As the did, the Holy Spirit was poured out. This was one of 5 sites (Mt Carmel, Mensa Christos, the Jordan River baptismal site, the Garden Tomb, and here) where I most sensed the presence of God.

David's Tomb
Near to the Upper Room is the traditional site of the tomb of King David. I forgot which early century it happened, but 2 Jews were found praying at this location and said it was the site of the tomb. A few Jews have always lived in Jerusalem, so the tradition passed down of important spiritual locations is fairly accurate.

Caiaphas' House (and St. Peter in Gallicantu)
This site is the possible location for Caiaphas' home and judicial quarters for the temple. The church commemorates Peter's denial of Christ which would have taken place in the courtyards. Excavations have revealed long set of steps which would have led down to the path from which you could go along the western wall to the priests' entrance to the TM.

There's also what looks to be a dungeon, with a hole in the ceiling to raise or lower prisoners in and out, and a place to administer punishments. It's said Jesus was beaten and held in this dungeon he night he was taken from the garden before he was taken to stand before Pilate. My friend Sam Rockwell gave a tender devotion in the dungeon from Psalm 88 about Jesus being alone. I began to think what a difficult time, having been alone in the garden and his friends not supporting him, on trial and Peter denying him, and on the cross separated from the Father...what a lonely night. Jesus knows what it is like to be all alone. He identifies with the lonliness I, we, feel at times. What a comfort.

Yad Vashem

We ended our time in Jerusalem at a spiritual site of another kind. The Holocaust Museum was moving. I looked at the names typed on the actual list prepared by Oskar Schindler. I saw Corrie Ten Boom's tree in the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations. Actually, it was an appropriately reverent ending to a life-changing trip.

It's time to pack and make one last trip to French Hill...I'll be processing more and making adjustments to the entries over the next few days, adding more links and giving special attention to some Google Maps of the areas I've visited. But as said by Jews all around the world at Passover, these words echo in the place that Israel now holds in my heart..."Next year in Jerusalem."

PS: To view all of our photos from today, CLICK HERE

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 25, 2007 9:29 AM.

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