A Pilgrims Journey – Part II

“Oh, the glory of what’s in store;

Crayola’s many colors

Beyond the open door.

The green of Galilee’s hillsides.

The orange of the sun.

 

The stillness of the water.

The brown of En Gedi’s run.

 

The aqua of salt shores,

Dead Sea 

Masada’s red cliffs to soar.

The midnight of the City.

Mount Scopes and its view

Open the eyes of wonder,

Beholding only You!

 

October 18th…three months and counting before the group and I begin our 2018 pilgrimage! Looking forward to what lies ahead.

 

Poem by denisebalog©2016

Photos captured by denisebalog@2011 & 2014 – Israel

Pilgrim’s Journey – I

“There’s joy in pilgrims meeting.

Gathering everyone.

Traveling roads together

In laughter and in fun.

 

Each heart is set on Zion,

Her beauty a delight.

Keep focused on You Lord,

Throughout the travel flight.

Talking with each other.

Taking time to pray.

Safety in our numbers

No not one to stray.”

 

Familiar faces;

Hearts drawing near,

Reaching close to You.

A new smile mixed with tear.”

 

“Happy are the people

Whose strength is in You,

Whose hearts are set on

Pilgrimage.

As they pass through the

Valley of Baca (tears)

They make it a source

Of springwater;

Even the autumn rains

Will cover it with blessings.

They go from

Strength to strength;

Each appear before God

In Zion.”

Psalm 84:5-7 HCSB

 

Poem by denisebalog©2016

Photos captured 2014 

As you can tell, my heart is set on Zion! 

“Next year in Jerusalem!” 2018

Grace, Grace to it!

“I couldn’t bring myself to do it;

Although the pieces were all in place.

Then I remembered what He spoke to me,

Not by “might or power”,

But by His Holy Grace!”

 

“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:

‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’

Says the LORD of Hosts.

‘Who are you, O great mountain?

Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!

And he shall bring forth the capstone

With shouts of Grace, Grace to it!”’”

Zechariah 4:6-7 (NKJV)

 

Cap stone.

 

View of a mountain top from the area of where the headwaters of the Jordan form in northern Galilee.

Cap stone photo captured in the remnants of what was once the town of Chorazin.

 

Poem by denisebalog©2017

Photos captured by denisebalog©2014 Israel

Wisdom Calls – The Season of College

College Freshman Day!
Convocation Assembly
Yep, that’s my boy in the red going down to sign the “Commit to Complete Pledge” for finishing what he begins in College.

We’ve been busy embracing this new season of college in our son’s life.

With “Wisdom” on our minds, I would like to re-post a poem from a 2015 trip to the Reading Room in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. This trip to Reading Room was one of the most valuable investments we made into our son’s life. Wisdomfar more precious than jewels. 

Wisdom Calls

“The Reading Room,

the Reading Room,

the reason that we came.

To walk the halls,

to hear the call,

Her “Wisdom” calls your name.

 

The Reading Room,

the Reading Room,

Her magnificence Great Hall.

To read the books,

to have a look,

and never be the same.

 

She’s wood and oak,

where words and prose,

and history grows

each volume they contain.

 

The oak line desks

only one could guess,

who sat in these before.

No photos here,

She’s far too dear,

and there’s clearance at the door.

 

She’s beautiful,

restful,

color that’s unchanged.

To walk the Hall,

Hear “Wisdom” call,

And never be the same.”

 

“Does not wisdom call?

Does not understanding raise her voice?

…for wisdom is better than jewels,

And all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 8:1-11 (ESV)

Photo of Great Hall taken from observation area in the Library of Congress

Poem by denisebalog©

 

 

Thunder Changes Direction – Capernaum Part Nine

What of James and John, the sons of Zebedee?

 

Jesus passed by their work place and their course of life, and names changed forever.

The Sons of Thunder, James the older and first to die for Jesus name in Jerusalem.

And John, forever to be known as the “one whom Jesus loved”.  Follower, disciple, and writer of the Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation.

 

John’s is the English spelling for the Hebrew name “Johanan” which means “Jehovah is gracious”; hence, John represents “Grace”.

Grace represents the numeral five (5):

the fifth time Noah’s name is mentioned, it says “But Noah found grace…;”

the fifth time Ruth’s name is mentioned, “…in whose sight I may find favor or (grace);”

the fifth time David’s name is mentioned when we meet him in 1 Samuel 16, “…let David stand before me, for he has found favor (grace) in my sight.”

The Beloved John wrote five (5) books in the Bible;

Yes, John the disciple whom Jesus loved showered us with His Grace.

 

 

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014©

Entranceway of Change – Capernaum Part Eight

 

A person could take a boat to reach the entranceway of Capernaum.

Stepping off the vessel, Levi the Tax Collector would be waiting at his table to ensure you stopped to pay the Sea tax before entering the busy village.

 

Jesus passing by, called Levi as he was busy counting shekels and making change.

As Jesus passed by, He invited the unpopular tax collector to “follow Him”.

Jesus proceeded to Levi’s house to fellowship and eat a meal with the despised tax collector and his friends.

Times haven’t changed at all.

When Jesus “passes by” and one sits down and breaks bread with Jesus, not only are do our names change, but our lives are transformed.

Capernaum “changed” the day Jesus passed by Levi.

Levi’s name change to Matthew, and he went from

handling coins of loose change

to the one who handles

the most precious Word of God.

He was transformed into a follower of Jesus Christ, and

the writer of the

Gospel of treasures of gold – The Book of Matthew.

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“Then He went out again by the sea…

As He passed by, He saw Levi…sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.” Mark 2:13-14 (NKJV)

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014©

The Woman on the Street – Part Seven of Capernaum by the Sea “2”

“But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him.

Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years,

Who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and

Could not be healed by any,

Came from behind and

Touched the border of His garment.”

Luke 8:43-44 (NKJV)

The “blue” was from the cerulean mussel, the rare color was used to dye the tassels. This prayer shawl is an example only of what the “woman” would have been reaching to touch on Jesus’s hem.

“You number my wanderings;

Put my tears into Your bottle;

Are they not in Your book?”

Psalm 56:8 NKJV

 

I love how Jesus was right within her reach.

What an encouragement to know,

He meets us right where we are;

Often not in our four walled houses,

But in the midst of our wanderings.

“Are they not in Your Book?” Psalm 56:8 NKJV

Having Heard – The Woman on the Street – Capernaum Part Seven “1

It has taken me two weeks to mull over the story of the Woman on the Street of Capernaum. I hope you don’t mind joining me  for a day or two as we watching her miracle unfold.

Would the woman with the “issue of blood” having heard about Jesus, used her last coins to go by boat to Capernaum?

Located on the other side of the Lake from Capernaum, is the City of Tiberias, a major Roman town known for its warm springs used for healing. Did she hear about Jesus there? Could she have used the last of her coins to pay the entrance tax to look for the Man in Capernaum?

Could someone have told her whose house He was staying, or did she just follow the crowds while she walked the streets of Capernaum.

 

“When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.” Mark 5:27 (NKJV)

Jesus would have worn something similar to this as His prayer shawl. The tassels is also known as the “wing” as in Malachi 4:2 “healing in its wings.”

Breaking the Law, she pressed in to touch the hem of His garment, Jesus turning spoke the words she longed to hear…

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014©

Come Speedily – Capernaum Part Six

Capernaum by the Sea

“…and He was by the sea.

And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name.

And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet and begged Him earnestly, saying,

“My little daughter lies at the point of death.

 Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.”

So Jesus went with him.” (Mark 5:21-24 NKJV)

 

Jairus name means – “God enlightens”.

Enlighten – to glitter, to illuminate, cause to shine.

Is it safe to say?

When Jesus visited Jairus house, raising his twelve year old daughter from death, Jairus and his household were enlighten, illuminated, shining and glittering in the brilliance and Light of the Son!

 

“Stir up my heart,

Illuminate the view.

Jairus on his knees,

Lord,

I’ve pleaded there too!

“Come speedily! Save my son! For without Your intervention, his life is surely done!”

Jairus must have cried these very words to You.

Thank You Jesus for Your Grace,

“For behold, (You) make all things new!” (Rev. 21:5)

 

Poem by denisebalog©

The Door of Healing – Capernaum Part Five

Healing came through The Door when Jesus entered Peter’s house.

View of the Synagogue from Peter’s house.

After leaving the synagogue on Sabbath, Jesus’ path took Him right to Peter’s mother-in-law in her time of need. Jesus reached out His hand, “and lifted her up”, and “immediately the fever left her.”(Mark 1:31)

Excavated walls of Peter’s house.
Church with a “clear” floor for viewing built above the walls of Peter’s house.

Peter’s house is located within a short walking distance of the synagogue.

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014© in Capernaum

 

From Darkness to Light – Capernaum Part Three

In the Valley of the Doves…

 “For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.” Isaiah 9:5 ESV

Herod in his zeal to capture and destroy the zealous Jews living in the “craggy mountains”, went to great “length” to “make use of a contrivance that was subject to the utmost hazard, for he let down the most hardy of his men in chests, and set them at the mouths of the dens.”  Thereby the soldiers would shoot arrows with fire into the caves or use hooks to pull the people out.

Josephus Flavius who wrote with “The unique perspective and unparalleled historical content” [1] retells the story of an old man and his family, rather than becoming slaves to the Romans “preferred death”.

The father, standing at the entrance way of the cave, would have each of his seven children step up to the opening. He would slay them, then throw their dead bodies to the bottom of the valley. After slaying his wife in this manner, the old man threw himself to his death upon the dead bodies of his wife and children.

 

I can’t help but wonder, on their way to Capernaum as Jesus led His traveling companions on the well-worn path through the valley, He knowing what was to come, became quiet as He thought on these “neighbors” of the future.

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land deep in darkness, on them has light shined.” Isaiah 9:2 ESV

Jesus

Isaiah prophetic words fulfilled.

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Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014© Mount Arbel

The First Jewish Revolt (A.D. 66-70)

[1] Flavius, Josephus. The Complete Works, translated by William Whiston. Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. 1998 (print) [Introduction, and Chapter 16 1.16.4, page 681]

 

 

Walking With the Dove – Capernaum Part Two

Jesus and His family would have walked through the Valley of the Doves, passing by the craggy, mountain cliff sides of Mount Arbel on their way to Capernaum. This was the common route from Nazareth to the Sea.

I imagine going to Capernaum was as when we go to the seashore or the lake with our families for holiday. Or possibly His new disciples were excited to have their own families meet Jesus and His family. Young John was the only one to write of this journey in the Gospel of John. Whatever the reason, there must have been great joy as they walked from the overflowing wedding experience to the anticipation of the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Little did the disciples neighbors in Capernaum know, Jesus coming to their town was about to fulfill Scripture and changed its course in history forever.

“…but in the latter time He has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.” Isaiah 9:1 ESV

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011©