Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I went up to SNU to sign up for classes this past weekend and did not get the answers I needed regarding my degree plan. I was so discouraged because I like knowing what I have to do, and I really don't want to be paying for unnecessary classes.
I was stressed out and looking at 2 other colleges that I might transfer to after a year to see if classes will tranfer...
I felt so lost and I had no idea what I was doing...then I came across this.

Be encouraged! God has it under control so don't be afraid!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thinking about the future...

Since returning from Israel, I have been reading and hearing a lot about Jesus' return.
Our last Teen CBS lesson was about not being asleep, but being alert and ready for Jesus' return.
Then, at Midweek (our youth service on Wednesday nights), we've been discussing Spritual warfare and how Satan is in a constant battle with Jesus for our souls.
We've been talking about how important prayer and reading Scripture is, to fend off the attacks of Satan.
All Christians have to put on the armor of God and that includes starting the day asking for His help.
Another thing that has accounted for the focus of Jesus' return is Easter.  You see, Easter is focused on Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection; but it also gives the promise of His return.
This focus on His return has made me think a lot about Heaven.
We all do it, we think
 "Oh, yeah....Heaven is out there and if I believe in God, I will go there when I die."
But, when's the last time that you really stopped to this: Heaven is not like going on vacation to somewhere you've never gone before.  Heaven will be our new home.  We've gotten so comfortable here on Earth that we forget that this world (and it's familiarties) will be GONE, they're temporary.
We will go to Heaven, where no eye had seen, except Jesus.
Even those who are dead are not in Heaven yet.  The Bible says that when Jesus comes back, the dead (in Christ-Christians) will rise and see Him first.  I honestly have no idea what is happening to dead Christian's souls right now, but they're not in Heaven just yet.
I cannot wait to join the angels in Heaven and get away from the drama of this world, but I worry.
We all worry a little about what will happen. We've all worried about death.
I know my faith is in Jesus and that I'm going to Heaven, but it's just a small fear.
A feat like you get when you move to a new town, you don't know what to expect.
Just think for a minute.
This whole life will be gone, everything that you've worked for on earth, all of your money, GONE.
That's a weird thought because this world is all we've ever known.
But, that awesome thing is, we don't have to worry!
Jesus granted salvation to those who believe in Him and we will live for eternity with Him.
Eternity. That is forever.

Today, I am thankful for the promise of Heaven.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Israel: Day 1

Hey Emily!  This was where we went after we got off the plane!
 It was a VERY nice hotel!

The hotel overlooked the Mediterranean Sea. This is the view from our room.
SO cool!

My roomie, Emily was SO excited to see apples.
We walked into our room, she saw the apples and ate one right then :)

Feet Picture!!!
 We were walking on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea

The very first night we had Italian food!

This was breakfast at the Dan Tel Aviv...
They always had fresh squeezed orange and grapefruit juice.
That croissant on the left side of my plate is filled with mashed potatoes.

We went to a Lutheran church service, it was Sunday.
The pipe organ was SO pretty and sounded SO awesome!

This is Joppa-overlooking Tel Aviv.

The rocks out here would not have changed since Jonah was here!
Jonah left from Joppa to go to Tarshish, even though God told him to go to Nineveh.
The cedar wood for Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem would've come to this port, as well.

This House of Simon the Tanner is also in Joppa.
This is where God gave Peter a vision regarding clean and unclean food.(Acts 10)

This was our bus!
(from the front left)
Matt, Emily, John, Dylan, Reed and everyone else that isn't looking...

This was at Caesarea Maritima. It's primarily known for housing King Herod's Palace.
Paul was also imprisoned here for 2 years.
Now, whenever I read Acts, I can imagine Paul looking out over the sea writing it.
This amphitheatre was HUGE.
The little arches at the top are called vomitoriums in Latin.
It literally means "to vomit" people in.
Lovely, hm?
This was our bus!!

These are remains of King Herod's Palace

This is an arena that chariot races were held in.
 The boys decided they needed to be horses and chariots.
Kelton is on Malachi's back, Reed is on Matt's back.
Matt had ankle surgery 9 weeks ago, but he made it all the way around!
(He may have fallen right before he got to the end)
These arches are part of an aqueduct system that provided water for Caesarea Maritima.
It's crazy how we think people back then weren't that smart...
Obviously there were if they could get water to their city through this!

Day 2 will be coming shortly!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Israel: Day 2

Day 2!! This is when we really started touring ALL day! The first day, we leisurely went to church, then spent some time at Joppa and Caesarea Maritima and went back to the hotel.  No one was really wiped out after that day, but the exhaustion was starting to set in after this day!
We stayed at the Scots Hotel in Tiberias,
overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
This is part of the breakfast buffet.
There are salads and cheeses at breakfast!

This is the AMAZING machine that gave us fresh squeezed orange juice every morning!

Baked Cheesecake for breakfast!
I know I took a lot of pictures of food,
but how can I not with a Mom like this?

This is the Church of the Annunciation
It's believed this is where Mary's childhood house was.
Also, where Gabriel told Mary she would have Jesus.

What is believed to be Mary's childhood house surrounded by
The Church of the Annunciation

Inside the church of the Annunciation,
Many countries sent their interpretation of what Mary
 looked like at the time of the Immaculate Conception.
This is the U.S.A's, flashy, of course...

Maggie, Emily and Me trying to get a picture :)

This was Nazareth Village!
 They've set up a museum, of sorts.
They've brought to life many parables and
have preserved parts of what
 Jesus' life would have been like.
For example, above
is what a carpenter's shop would have looked like.

Olive trees that they harvest every year!

A shepherd and his sheep and goats behind him
"Yallah!" :)

A tomb, not quite what Jesus' was like,
but this one is actually in a setting that we imagine.
Even the Garden Tomb
(where many believed that Jesus died),
is commercialized a bit.
The surroundings here make it easier to
imagine what the tomb would've looked like back then.

Oh, this is Amer, our tour guide for Nazareth Village
 ("My name is half of America, that's my claim to fame"),
but that's not the purpose of the picture.
He's standing in the wine press that was found here
 and is most likely the source of the parable in Matt. 21:33
This was my favorite part of Nazareth Village.
It depicts the parable of the Sower! (Matthew 13)
You can see some plants sprouting up
through cracks on the path,
and also thriving plants in the good soil.
Read the passage and you will "get" it.

This is an olive press!
Nazareth Village still uses this when they harvest their olives.
Usually a donkey or ox would push the press,
but the boys had to prove they could do it ;)

Ah! This is Tel Meggido (In Hebrew, it's Har Meggido)
Translated into English- Armageddon(Revelation 16:16)
Armageddon is the final battle will take place
(in the valley in the next picture...)
What's significant about the place in the picture above,
is that 17 different civilizations
have built on top of each other here.
A "tel" is a place that had a city built, then was conquered
and the conquerors built on top of that city.
This cycle continued at least 17 times in this place!

I kept thinking "It looks so peaceful now!)

This is looking out from Mt Carmel.(1 Kings 18:16-45)
This is where Elijah challenged Baal's followers
 to sacrifice to Baal.
They tried and tried, but nothing happened.
Elijah poured 4 jars of water on his altar,
 and God still sent fire down from Heaven.
We worshipped up here and all just felt God's power.
You can't be at a place like that and not be moved
by how powerful our God is!

That night, we went and sat on the wall
that surrounds the courtyardof the Scots.
It's quite a ways up, and I was quite scared I would fall.
It overlooked the Sea of Galilee.
We could barely make out the Sea,
because it was so dark, but we all knew it was there.
For over an hour, we sat there praising God.
People were walking on the road underneath us and stopped
and listened- we even got an "Amen!"

Matt had SO many songs memorized!

This is overlooking the Sea of Galilee the next morning.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Israel: Day 3

This is what I woke up to! The Sea of Galilee. It was beautiful!

We were headed to sail on the Sea of Galilee,
so I read passages that related to it.
Sorry, It still gets me. :)

The Sea has gone down quite a bit over the last 10 years.
Those boats used to be in water.

The Jesus Boat we sailed on!
That's really what they're called.
They're similar to what they found from Jesus' time
 (keep scrolling for that pic)

Reading about the Sea of Galilee

It was hazy, but it almost helped me understand more.
Think about Matthew 22, and Jesus walking on this water.
Peter thought Jesus was a ghost, look through the haze and imagine.
We learned the Hava Nagila dance on the Sea of Galilee.
Matt, Hannah and Reed needed to freestyle afterwards :)

This is the Jesus Boat!
 They uncovered it under a bunch of mud in the 1980s.
It's held together with those bars, but it's still pieced together.

This is the Church of the Beatitudes
on, none other than the
Mount of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5)

Morgan and Me :)

These hills surround the Church of the Beatitudes.
They're untouched and it's easier to imagine
Jesus teaching on one of these hills
than the church.

This is Capernaum (as it's known in the English Bible)
It's most popular for being the home of
Peter's Mother-in-Law (and Peter).
It's been proven this is where Peter lived
 because there is a house with altars.
No home from that era has been found
like this one.
The Synagogue at Capernaum
 They went into Capernaum;
and immediately on the Sabbath
He entered the synagogue and began to teach.
Mark 1:21

Foundations of houses at Capernaum

St Peter's Fish (Tilapia)
I'm not a fish person, so I didn't even try it,
But poor Malachi didn't realize
it would come out like this.
He couldn't eat very much of it.


This was the day Matt and Reed laughed like little girls ;)
This is the Church of St Peter's Primacy.
 One of my favorite places
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (Agape-the love God has for mankind) Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I (agape)love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (Phileo-friendship) Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you (Phileo)love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you (Phileo)love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I (Phileo) love You.” Jesus said to him, Tend My sheep.
-John 21:13-17

Our resident Pastor (chaperone), Mr Bill explained that Peter knew that He could never love Jesus like Jesus loved him and it saddened him. I'd never thought about it in the terms of these Greek words.
These rocks were on the shore of the Sea of Galilee at
the Church of St Peter's Primacy.

Let's end the day with this picture.
Kelton here comes and knocks on my and Emily's door
after we'd gone to bed.
He said that he had cut his leg on a metal sign
outside in the courtyard,and he wanted peroxide.
I told him I didn't have any, but I did have acne pads.
So, he rubbed an acne pad all over his leg.
Apparently it burned quite a bit.
It was partially the fact that it was after 1AM, and
partially that he was shrieking as he was cleaning it,
but Emily and I thought it was SO funny.
Oh, Kelton...