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August 2007 Archives

August 2, 2007

Israel, PS...

Well, it's been a week since we've returned home. Pictures have been added to the daily entries, and a link to all the photos from each day is now posted. I'll be adding comments and descriptions to the photos in the albums this weekend.

There's some things that made our tour easy and enjoyable...
Cell Phone Rentals: Talk 'n Save
Our Tour Company: Sar El Tours
Our Favorite Falafel: French Hill Falafel

Here's some of my favorite pictures:

This 4 mile aqueduct supplied fresh water to Ceasarea. Each arch is 1/4" shorter than the one before so gravity could do the work.

The Galilean Hillside

From the Mount of Beatitudes looking towards the mouth of the Jordan River as it enters Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).

Heart Stones

Cut stones that originally served as a foundation for a Byzantine era chapel at Tabgha (Peter's Primacy).

The Jordan River

The Judas Tree.

Perched upon the top of the tell at Bet She'an, this tree was used as the place where Judas hung himself in the movie version of Jesus Christ Superstar.

The Eastern Gate

This photo was taken from the top of the Mount of Olives. I was amazed by the detail produced using my camera's digital zoom.

Olive Tree.

This 2000 year-old olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemane has grown a new, strong limb after having it grafted in.

The Old City

This is three photos stitched together to show the amazing scaled model of the Old City of Jerusalem as it would have been during Jesus' lifetime, as seen from the perspective of the Mount of Olives. Note the massive scale by looking at the people around the model.

Jerusalem Sunset
Looking from our hotel room over West Jerusalem

Even these pictures can't communicate what an amazing trip this was for Jayme and I. It's hard to express how this trip has changed us. All we know is that God's people, and God's land has captured our hearts.

August 15, 2007

Job Description

2 Kings 3:11-12 (NIV)
But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there no prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of the LORD through him?"
An officer of the king of Israel answered, "Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah."
Jehoshaphat said, "The word of the LORD is with him." So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

There are phrases in the scripture that paint such a beautiful picture. I often overlook them because they're often subtle and get lost in the larger story. This is one of them. When the officer was asked to explain who Elisha was to the king of Judah (because Elisha was a prophet to the northern kingdom), he says, "He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah." Simply put, he said that Elisha was Elijah's personal servant. More than that, this phrase describes the intimate relationship Elisha had with Elijah and the selfless way he served him.

I wonder how I would be described as an under-shepherd. Would people describe me as "the guy who is always wanting attention" or "the platform grabber." Am I seen as out to build my own kingdom, or working to serve the interests of the man whom God has assigned me to support? I wonder sometimes if my heart and my actions and my words reflect the humility Elisha had. For it was that humility that one day released his authority.

"He used to pour water water on the hands of Elijah." On their last night together, Jesus knelt before the disciples and pored water on their feet. He said, "I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." I've never quite known how to describe what I do at C-stone...but I now know what my primary responsibility should be: to pour water.

Lord, let my reputation be that of a servant.

August 19, 2007

Catalina Adventure

Yesterday, a friend friend from church, Jon Vallejo, took me for an amazing adventure. He rode his 2 JetSkis from Long Beach to Two Harbors at Catalina Island. 30 miles across the open ocean...IT WAS INCREDIBLE! The watercraft were so fast - we made it in about an hour each way. Let me tell you, 30 MPH across the open water swells and chop is flying! At times we could even get up to 45-50 MPH. The day couldn't have been better with a sunny forecast, air temps in the 80s and water temps in the low 70s. We left at about 8:15 AM and Catalina was covered by marine layer. So we set the GPS and headed out. Saw a couple of seals on our way over. We pulled in at Two Harbors about 9:30 and we were ready for some breakfast.

After a great omlette brunch, we headed back out for the return journey. We were hoping to see some dolphins. About 10 miles out from Catalina we found a small pod of about seven that we chased for about 15 min. That was cool, watching them speed along right beside us. About 12 miles from Long Beach, Jon was about 20 yards in front of me when we saw something come out of the water. I raced to catch up and asked him if that was what I thought. Before he could answer, it emerged again, this time about 50 ft. from where we were idling. A California grey whale had come up for a breath. Once again our jaws just dropped. We pulled the camera up and started looking for it again. This time, it came up just about 10-15 feet from us - and this is the photo. The wake you see in the foreground is from Jon's JetSki. It came up about 5-6 more times, each of which we tried to snap a picture with our little disposable, waterproof camera. Finally, after being out of sight for about 2-3 minutes, it emerged again, this time about 50 yards away. It came up for a breath and dove down, giving us a wave goodbye with it's fluke. Jon and I sat in the middle of the ocean awestruck for about 10 min. Early that morning at home Jon had prayed that God would make this a special day...Boy, did He ever!

We raced the rest of the way into the harbor, then cruised by the Spruce Goose and the Queen Mary. By the time we got back to the launch we were so tired yet pumped from an amazing day. I'm sure my body will be paying the next few days for the beating it took, but this was a day I'll never forget!

August 21, 2007

Bedroom Secrets

2 Kings 6:8-12 (NIV)
8 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, "I will set up my camp in such and such a place."
9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: "Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there." 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.
11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, "Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?"
12 "None of us, my lord the king," said one of his officers, "but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom."

It's one thing to know that God knows our thoughts, hears what we say. It an entirely different issue to think He'd repeat it. In this case, God revealed the battle plans of the Aramites to Israel through Elisha. But what if God revealed the plans of my heart to those I was plotting against? I don't think I have any ill will directed towards anyone or any situation. I can say that there are times that I have not guarded my heart and allowed vain imaginations to shape what I think about individual people and situations. What if those things ever got out? What if God went public with my plans for self-promotion?

I know the tack I've taken isn't the best exposition of this scripture. Still, I feel the Holy Spirit checking me...Are there things I give myself permission to say (feel...think...) in private that if made public would expose my self-serving pride, or can I keep those things in check and bring them under authority? I want to live with integrity; being the same in private as I am in public. When it comes to my plans I don't what to have any bedroom secrets.

Lord, my the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to you (Psalm 19:14). Let every thought be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)

About August 2007

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in August 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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