Musings from a promise-collector

Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

How To Survive Really Long Flights

I’ve flown quite a bit… most recently to India and Israel. Those are no short trips, either! Flying to India (from Tennessee) usually involves 4 airports, 3 flights, 10.5 time zones, and just under 30 hours of travel time from start to finish. Those trips make me really appreciate in-country flights!

From the traveling I’ve done, I’ve picked up some tips and tricks that help out on those overseas flights. Obviously, you will probably end up talking to someone sitting near you for a while, but you can only talk for so much of an 8+ hour flight. So here is what I do to keep my sanity on those lengthy flights:

1. Happy Snacks. Never underestimate the power of a little snack on a long trip. Sure, they feed you some on the planes, but the food doesn’t always smell good (or taste good!), or you’re stuck in an airport for 5 hours… or let’s face it, you can feel your blood sugar dropping and your mood right along with it. I find if I am starting to feel crabby for no reason whatsoever, a Happy Snack fixes that quickly. This is also great when you are in a foreign country and just need something familiar in your tummy. Some of my favorite things to take in my Happy Snack stash include:

  • Fruit Leathers
  • Trail Mix
  • Granola Bars
  • Licorice or some other type of candy

(Hint: Target has some really great fruit leathers and trail mix – lots of great flavors and variety. That’s where I go to get mine… like this bag of trail mix.)  (more…)

Less Than Two Weeks Until India… Can You Help?

Happy Wednesday! 

In less than two weeks, myself and two others (Theresa and Mike) will be heading to India. We will be traveling from July 23 until August 7. I can’t wait to see my precious girls again!

I’m still in need of some funding for the trip. I was further ahead in that area until I had to make an unexpected trip home to Illinois for my uncle’s funeral. Can you help?? Here is what I still need:

  • 4 gifts of $200
  • 3 gifts of $100
  • children’s multivitamins (more…)

Past and Future Earthquakes in Israel

I’m in my first Beth Moore Bible study, and I’m loving it. But this isn’t about what a great teacher Beth Moore is… except that in one of her homework lessons from “Living Beyond Yourself” I noticed something that has had me thinking ever since. She brought our attention to the passage in Zechariah 14 which tells of the last days when Jesus will return. Verse 4 says, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”

I’ve never really noticed that verse before, that I can recall. What made it jump out to me recently was because of my visit to Israel in September. Something that fascinated me was the fissure in the bedrock that runs from the Church of the Holy Sceptre to the Temple Mount. Ok, stick with me a minute while I explain. The place that is mostly closely held traditionally as where Jesus was crucified and buried is where the Holy Sceptre stands. When Jesus was on the cross and gave up his life, Matthew 27:51 tells us that “at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split”. In other words, there was an earthquake. Archeologists have found that there is a large fissure in the bedrock of the city that runs from the Holy Sceptre directly to the Temple Mount, where the Temple stood. This fissure runs from west to east. (more…)

All Things Are Mortal But the Jew: Mark Twain

The following is taken from an essay by Mark Twain, which I read online here. I found it interesting and wanted to share it.

If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. (more…)

Adopted by a Jewish Father

Growing up in the church, you hear over and over again that you have a Heavenly Father. We are sons and daughters of the King. We are told that we are part of God’s family since Jesus paid the way. While all this is true and important to know, somehow we miss the deep connection in the Western culture.

Part of this disconnect I think happens because many of the pictures we see of Jesus while growing up are of a very handsome western European-featured man. Obviously at some point as a child I recognized that Jesus was Jewish, but I’m not sure my mind translated the mental image right away. Maybe when all you have to look at is pictures of a European Jesus, you just have a hard time picturing Him another way. But there’s another problem with these old images – the Bible tells us that Jesus wasn’t handsome. Isaiah 53:2b says, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (And we know this passage is about Jesus because the passage goes on to say how he was pierced for our iniquities.) What I find interesting about this is that while in Israel last September, I didn’t see a single not-handsome Jewish man (or woman, for that matter). They are a beautiful people! Which kind of makes me wonder if Jesus’ homeliness made Him stand out bit…. (more…)

News from Israel – Ancient Sewage Line

Jill, my roommate from my trip to Israel, just shared a video from youtube with me. This video shows a new archeological discovery in Israel. Because of a sewage leak, the real Pool of Siloam was unearthed. Previously, experts thought the Pool was at the end of Hezekiah’s Tunnel, however they admittedly said that the strata wasn’t quite right and they knew there could be another Pool of Siloam nearby. Only months before we arrived in Israel, they discovered the real one and we got to visit it. This was a special treat because it wasn’t open to large groups yet, but we were in our smaller group of six for the afternoon with our own private guide… and he got us in. I wrote about that day here. (more…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

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…)

Mt of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, Bethesda – Israel, September 6

Our first day in Jerusalem, and what a busy day! We woke up early and a bus took us to the top of the Mount of Olives. From the top of the Mount, you can see most of the Old City, including the Temple Mount. The area used to be covered in olive trees, but is now used as a cemetery. Our guide, Neftali, told us that David, Absalom, and some of the prophets are buried at the bottom of the hill. Our journey took us down the hill, where were stopped at a church named after the place where Jesus wept over the city (Dominus Flevit). The church here is in the shape of a traditional Jewish tear jar. (more…)

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