Musings from a promise-collector

Archive for October, 2010

Last day in Jerusalem – Israel, September 10

On the positive side, we had no schedule for the day – we were free to go wherever our hearts desired. But on the down side, it was our last day in Israel. I knew that I had to soak in ever last sight, sound, and smell that I could. Our little group of six decided the day before that we wanted to go back to the Garden Tomb to pray over each other. And conveniently enough, the Garden Tomb was just a few blocks away. About two blocks before we got to the Garden, we saw a familiar sight and just had to stop for a picture. (more…)

Spiritual Heritage

I had the honor of spending many years getting to know my great-grandparents on my dad’s side, before they went to be with their beloved Jesus. I might sound a little swayed in my opinion, but my great-grandparents were some of the most steadfast people I have ever known. To give you an example of their faithfulness, my great-grandpa had a little pin he was awarded for perfect Sunday School attendance… for 50 years straight! And he wore that pin very proudly. That’s some pretty serious dedication – they never missed church, no exceptions. But they weren’t just church-goers. They truly did love God and desired to serve him. I remember a little cabinet in their house that held some little gifts that were given to them by missionaries that they supported and hosted at their home. And I can’t help think about the Proverbs 31 woman when I think of my great-grandma. They were both amazing models of gentleness and strength. You couldn’t ask for better examples on how to live the Christian life! (more…)

Bethlehem – Israel, September 9

This was the day our little group of six ventured into Bethlehem, while the rest of our group was catching planes to go home. Bethlehem is less than 6 miles south of Jerusalem. However, Bethlehem is under Palestinian control so that means a boarder-crossing to enter the city. On any given day, this crossing can take hours. But because it was a holiday for both the Muslims and the Jews, we literally drove straight up to the gates and passed right on through. It was a Christmas miracle! …or something like that.

On our drive through Bethlehem, we passed signs for Boaz’s Field Restaurant, Ruth’s Restaurant, and a green and white “Star and Bucks” cafe.

Our first stop in Bethlehem was at the Church of the Nativity – the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. We visited the different sections of the church, designated for different denominations. We even got to go a back way down into the cave where the traditional site where Jesus was born. (more…)

Baby Angel Cookies

Being inspired by my friend Ashley Baker ( who got me into the blogging-world, I have decided to dedicate a section of my blog to sharing recipes that I enjoy. For my first installment, I will start with the easiest recipe I know: cake cookies – or what have been come to be called Baby Angel Cookies thanks to Ashley’s husband. (more…)

Fraggles and Freedom

The sun wasn’t even up yet. But I was wide awake with anticipation. I jumped out of bed and snuck downstairs, my feet quietly padding down the cool, wooden steps – avoiding the squeaky ones, of course. No, it wasn’t Christmas morning – and yes, I was at one point, a morning person (hard to believe, I know!).

My 7-year-old feet navigated me through the dark house. I sat down on the floor a few feet from the TV and clicked the power button while holding the volume button down, so not to wake my parents. I found myself bathed in the warm light of the flickering images. I would quietly watch my favorite shows waiting for my dad to get up and bring me a bowl of cereal.

For those of us who enjoyed a childhood in the 80’s, we grew up with such classics as The Muppets, The Smurfs, and Fraggle Rock. (Are you singing the theme songs yet?) And I was willing to get up before the sun to watch these shows. (more…)

Israel Museum, Holocaust Museum, & Garden Tomb – Israel, September 8

The Israel Museum is definitely a must-see for any visit to Jerusalem, and is where we started our day. The first thing you see when you walk into this out-door museum is a scale model of the city of Jerusalem from 2,000 years ago. I enjoyed seeing the scale of the Temple compared to everything else around it. Living in the city during that time, everyone would have had a view of the Temple. Can you imagine waking up everyday, looking out your window, and seeing the sun reflecting off the gold on the Temple? It must have been quite a sight!

The second picture is the view of David’s City south of the Temple, with the Temple walls in the background. David had quite a front-row seat to the throne of God. (more…)

Kayaking with katydids

This past Saturday I found myself so very thankful that I live in eastern Tennessee: I experienced kayaking for the first time. I met up with three new friends at Chilhowee Lake, just south of Knoxville. After going through the regulatory land-lessons of how to properly hold and use your paddle, we shoved off. I quickly learned that it takes a certain amount of finesse to glide gracefully through the water like my friend (and experienced kayaker) Deanna.  I would like to attribute my learning curve to the current I was fighting against in the lake, but I’m not sure I can entirely blame the water. Deanna did warn us that if you are right-handed you will find that you do pull to the right naturally, so you have to learn to compensate for that. I am right-handed, but I found myself being pulled to the left… which I gladly blame on the lake. I think I ended up covering twice the distance as everyone else in the first 20 minutes due to constantly correcting my mis-guided boat. (more…)

Stations of the Cross, Church of the Holy Scepter, Hezekaih’s Tunnel, & Ramparts – Israel, September 7

Our journey this day took us through the Stations of the Cross – the Via Dolorosa. We started in the Roman Quarters where the Roman soldiers lived in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. It was only discovered 100 years ago when a church was built on the site. The original floor level of the courtyard is now underground, and a roof-structure was built so that the church could be built over the site while preserving the Quarters. This is where Jesus was beaten and whipped. In one area of the stones, game boards were scratched in by the soldiers. Grace and I took off our sandals, to put our feet on the very stones where Jesus feet had been. (more…)

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