Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Stepping UP! (2013)

a previous post from another blog which is being deleted. Too precious of memories from a wonderful journey to the Holy Land to lose :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stepping Up!

A word picture that has stuck with us since we have "ascended into Jerusalem" is our call to "Step Up", meaning to grow deeper in our walk with The Lord. One way is by learning more of Him and His Holy land this trip and we are inundated with such amazing things! As eluded to in an earlier post, we as a group had the opportunity to go through Beth Moore's "Stepping Up" study in preparation for this tour to Israel. 

First thing this morning was our trek to the Temple Mount, where at the present time is the location of the Muslim's "Dome on the Rock". It was surreal knowing that the Temple of The Lord God once stood there. We know that one day, it will stand there again. Walking by the East Gate, the reminder in the Book of Zachariah came to mind which prophesied that Jesus Christ the Messiah will once again enter the Temple Mount and set up His reign on this earth for 1000 years before the end of this age. Seeing muslim women gathered in circles talking about their faith as their was a sight most of us have not seen until this point. I couldn't help but wonder what they were talking about. What questions did they have? What concerns do they have as we are in this age where all eyes seem to be on Israel. I believe deep down inside all people, long for the same thing: to be loved, accepted and secure and significant... I pray they come to know the Jesus as I know Him:) I found it amusing when one of the women stepped out of her circle to take photos of us (as we did of them). We left that area with heavy but hopeful hearts and we trust in the Word of God to have the final say for all mankind.

Next stop, we walked to the "City of David" and toured Hezekiah's Tunnels which are 2700 years old! Knowing we'd visit the Southern Steps for our Stepping Up Devotional and photo opp with our long skirts, that was quite the task going through the tunnels hiking them up through narrow and damp passageways! Eventually, this led us to the newly excavated find of the original site for the "Pool of Siloam" as found in John 9:1-10 where Jesus healed the blind man! Alice read from that passage of scripture as we sat on the steps envisioning the scene. Incredible! That same man who discovered this new pool (as confirmed in 2007 and has proven to be the original site)... just happened to be in the next tunnels we ascended to while trecking up towards the Southern Wall! His name is Eli Shukron, who is fast becoming a famous archeologist here in Israel because of the miraculous sites proving the Bible's authenticity. Our tour guide was ecstatic as it was not by "Chance" that we met him and he gave us a private tour of other unopened sites with a deeper explanation of what we were just standing on as it has just recently been open to the public. It was absolutely astounding meeting this man as he is in the thrust of changing history through his finds! It truly brings the Bible to life that cannot be described.

Finally, we arrived out of the tunnel walking 300-400 meters underground uphill to the Temple Mount from the Pool of Siloam. We viewed the Western wall from the outermost corner and then arrived at our focused destination: The Southern Steps. Again, we read from Psalm 122 as a group while walking up the steps as a reminder of the Pilgrims who too sojourned to this very same place two to three thousand years ago. We had a very special time at this place. God is using teachers like Beth Moore to bring others deeper into God's word. Amazing to find out that our tour guide's daughter was the one who modelled for the front cover of Beth's Stepping up Study workbook as he has been Beth's tour guide as well. Arie is one special person and we have LOVED his guidance, leadership and wisdom shared with us all!

To end the day, we visited Israel's Holocaust History Museum which brought us all to sobering tears mourning the annihilation of 6 million jews during WW 2. The museum is named Yad Vasham which means " a memorial and a name" (Isaiah 56:5). May we never forget this sad reality and may we continue to pray for the peace of Israel and for the restoration of all throughout the nations. One of the quotes that we read on the first exhibit was: "A country is not defined by what it does but by what it tolerates...." I pray that we as a nation of Canada (or the USA) or any of the countries we represent... are ones that stand for the truth and seeks to Honour God through our actions, words and prayers.

A day we will never forget. A day that was filled with "God moments". A day of mini miracles of grace:)
- post by Jodi Kozan

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