Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Israel Day 4 – Drowned in fierce emotions

This day is packed with visits to the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum and the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached His famous ‘Sermon of the Mount’. As I walk through the extraordinary places where Jesus performed His miracles, I yearn and search, with a substantial, voracious thirst, for His touch.

The greatest event of all is being baptized in the Jordan River! This is not just another baptism. As I am submerged into the cool water, the heaviness of the world loosens and my worldly dreams, one by one are discharged into the cleansing stream. The ultimate peace of God and the overwhelming emotion of gratitude envelop me as I hug my roommate, Sheryl. The sweetness of God’s mercy spreads in my heart and stomach.

That night, on Mount Carmel, Kim Clement hosts a sunset concert. This is the place where God answered by fire as Elijah stood against the false prophets of Baal. Kim’s prophetic worship wins over the spiritual battle against the false gods – a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Israel Day 3 – Painter of Time

We wait in line as we watch a tower of Christians in front of us talk with breathless enthusiasm about The Call. This event is unforgettable – Messianic Jews praying for the Fire of the Holy Spirit to reign over Israel, Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians praying together on stage, blessing each other, the Messianic Jews ask for forgiveness from God for not believing in Jesus! God is the Master Painter of time, space and miracles.

A heavy burden spreads over me when the subject of abortion is dramatically announced by a Christian man name Jaeson Ma. Almost 27 years prior, his mother was about to take his life when she found out she was pregnant. Her boyfriend at the time did not want the baby and called it an accident. By the grace of God, a Christian doctor persuaded her to keep the child. Now, that child, Jaeson Ma, is an instrument for Christ, bringing thousands of souls to Christ with his story. There are 2 million abortions out of 7.5 million people in Israel. The enemy is trying his best to keep God’s people down. The Call is fighting along side God to pull down the gates of hell, leaving us with an attack of optimism –that life can be truly beautiful without all the spiritual warfare.

We sit and worship God from morning until night, waiting for the Holy Spirit to permeate patiently around us and within us.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Israel Day 2 – Clumsy meets Charmed

Some visit Israel to tour the history, to tantalize their intellect, but I find that the true appeal lies in its pure beauty – God’s beauty. Our souls long to revel in all things beautiful, historical and provocative. Jerusalem is an environment of faith, a magical moment of suspended belief. Here, we find an opportunity to apply it, to make a difference.

Walking the Via Dolorosa is a reminder of God’s beauty. His heart is so full of love for us that He willingly took the cross to carry our burdens, our sin, our hatred so that we may live. As I walk through every checkpoint, I cannot help but realize that every breath I take is a stolen breath, every day is a stolen day, every taste.... then at the end where we see the place He was crucified, I am reminded that Jesus died on the cross because He wanted to. He gave up His life because He wanted to. He bought me with His blood because His love is so deep and so wide that He was willing to be humiliated, stripped of His flesh, endured the excruciating pain as they nailed Him on the cross, bled and hung for dead so that I, Miss Clumsy, may be made Charmed.
The exact spot where the soldiers during Jesus' time gambled for His belongings.

I took my shoes off to touch the ground Jesus once walked.

The stone was where they prepared Jesus for the crucifixcion.

The rock in the glass case is told to be where the Cross stood.

The candles were burnt around the tomb where they said Jesus was buried.

Israel Day 1 – Kissed by God

There may be no place more heavily blessed with tales than Israel. The Bible stories and places are inextricable that traveling through Jerusalem by foot, taxi or bus as we weaved through road between terraced hills, left us as if in a dazed walk into the Bible as we explore the Holy city. This city of buried history comes alive in yellowish-pink stone along with the overwhelming peace of God and the deep sense that He is risen. To travel is to cross time as well as space. This trip is to enter the Bible stories, traverse time and land on a page that will mark a moment in history for transformation.

Standing on top of the Mount of Olives, I drink in the beautiful scenery, the excitement and the Bible in 3-dimension. Almost 1,800 Christians gather at the tip, over looking the old city of Jerusalem – worshipping God. There are over 33 Nations gathered by GodTV to bless this Holy Land.

My journey starts here in the land of my Father. I will make the laborious climbs and search between every corner to find an understanding suddenly spread out before me, as if kissed by God. My God is an awesome God!

~ 3.4 shekels to every dollar
~ 7.3 million people in Israel, half of the population in New York City
~ A Sabbath day journey is equivalent to ¾ of a mile
~ A ride on a camel will cost two dollars to get on and five dollars of get off
~ Jerusalem must be built out of stone. They use limestone from the Mount of Judea

The view of Old Jerusalem from the Mountain of Olives. The gold dome is the Muslum temple on the other side of the East Wall.

1,800 Christians gathering for worship.

The $7 camel ride. (really, it's only $2)