Abram’s Gate

“Now when Abram heard that his brother (his nephew Lot) was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. Genesis 14:14 NKJV

Sorting through pictures along our travel route in the Upper Galilee area this past January,

One of our stops was at Tel Dan where the oldest known Gate in the world is located; over 4000 years old.  The “Gate” is where the people met to conduct business. (Kinda like your local restaurant or feed store in a small town. Lol)

Thinking on Abram’s Gate, I was surprised by the changes made to the site. So I thought I would share the progression of the site made from my first trip in 2011 to 2018.

February 2011

These would have been the same high walls seen by the men Moses sent to “spy out the land” Numbers 13:2 NKJV

These stone wall are TALL! No wonder the 10 spies said,

“…we were like grasshoppers in our own sight…” Numbers 13:33 NKJV

Pictures captured in 2011 by a small pocket size Nikon CoolPix worn on a lanyard around my neck. Nice little camera and it takes great pictures.

March 2014

Just think, Abraham would have walked and seen this same mountain.


Pictures captured in 2014 by a step up to a Nikon Coolpix P510.

I love this red camera! With all the zooming in and out all day, it ate up at 2 plus batteries keeping it charged daily! (Took over 3000 pictures on this trip) Very easy to use and light for travel. 

January 2018 Journey

2018 pictures captured from the bus. Time didn’t allow for us to walk up. As most of our pilgrims had already walked the path over the past years, a stop to view from the bus worked.  These were taken through the window on the bus with a 50 to 200 mm.

Pictures captured in 2018 by “Yes, I can’t believe I’m going to carry this camera all the way to Israel and back” Nikon D5300 DSLR with several extra lens. Crazy, I know! Love my traveling buddy D5300. Faithful, stood up to changing lens on a hard trip and in cold, wet weather travel. Captured over 3000 plus images.

Hope you enjoy the journey over the years.

Blessings,

Denise

Expanding Sights

“Who could have imagined

We’d climb to the sky?

Opening up our vision,

And

Expanding our sights.”

 

“Therefore I will remember

You from the land of the Jordan,

And from the heights of Hermon…”

Psalm 42:6

 

Poem by denisebalog©2018

Photograph by denisebalog©2018 – Mount Hermon, Israel

 

Retracing the View

“To venture up to

Mountains heights.

Breathe the air of

Snow and light.

To walk where others

Have shared the view,

Joshua,

David,

And

Peter too.

 

Truth of days and

Time gone by.

Retracing steps

He was sure to climb.

Up unto where

Hills meet sky;

The

Transformation of

Jesus Christ.”

 

 

View of Mount Herman from Hazor.

“Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor…

Then he burned Hazor with fire.” Joshua 11:10-11 NKJV

 


“Therefore, I will remember you from

The land of Jordan, and from the

Heights of Hermon.”

A Psalm of David – Psalm 42:6 NKJV

 

“Now after six days

Jesus took Peter, James and John his brother, and

Led them up on a high mountain by themselves and

He was transfigured before them.

His face shone like the sun, and

His cloths became as white as the light.”

Matthew 17:1-2 NKJV

 

Poem by denisebalog©2018

Photos captured by denisebalog©2018 at Hazor, in the Upper Galilee region of Israel.

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

 

Whose House – Capernaum Part Four

There is no clear path pointing to whose house Jesus visited when He entered Capernaum. During His life here on earth, “according to the pattern” (Acts 7:44), I believe there can be only one.

Synagogue in Capernaum

“And He said to them, ‘Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house.” (Luke 2:49 ESV)

Pilgrim traveler writing in his journal while resting in the Capernaum Synagogue

“Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.” (Mark 1:21 NKJV)

Photo captured in February 2011

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014©

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.

____________________________________________

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]

 

 

Pressing In To Know the Neighbors – Capernaum Part One

WordPress has been like a neighborhood to me. As I wondered what Jesus would think about my spending time here in this place of sharing and checking in on others, He opened my thoughts to Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee, the place where Jesus began His ministry.

And what about Jesus? Over the next few days, I would like to share some of my journal notes and travel photographs of this place called Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee in Israel.

“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee…after this He went down to Capernaum, with His mother and His brothers and His disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.” John 2:1-12 ESV

 

Cana Wedding – Jars displayed in Church located on the site of Jesus first miracle.
Stone ritual water vessel displayed in Cana. This is similar to what would have been used during Jesus time.
My first glimpse of the Sea of Galilee from the bus leaving Cana to proceed to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee – 2014

Walking With the Dove – Capernaum Part Two – next…

Photos captured by denisebalog 2011 – 2014©

Dust on His Feet

In the  Valley of the Shadow
In the Valley of the Shadow

“He drank the cup,

I could not drink.

He walked the road,

Dust on His feet.

"I will not be afraid...
“I will not be afraid…

He washed me clean,

White,

Brand new.

Opening the door,

To spend time with

You.”

...for You are close beside me." Psalm 23 (NLT) Sunsetting over Judean Wilderness - looking towards Jerusaelm
…for You are close beside me.”
Psalm 23 (NLT)
Sunsetting over Judean Wilderness – looking towards Jerusaelm

 

“And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them…saying,

“…the Son of man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death…they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” Mark 10:32-34 (ESV)


Jesus and His followers would have surely passed through this valley as they made their way, “up to Jerusalem”.


 

 

 

Poem by denisebalog©

 

Petals of Grace – Travel Journey

“My heart overflows with a pleasing them;

I address my verses to the King;

My tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.”

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All around my yard,

Gliding freely, are

Petals from the pear trees.

White petals, as snow,

Decorating the drab brown leaves of

Winter now gone.

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Stirring, renewing the memory of bridesmaids

In the ancient town of Zippori, Israel.

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Zippori, a once thriving Roman town during the time of Jesus. Walking distance of a few miles from Nazareth, would have brought Joseph and Jesus to earn a living as craftsman working masonry and carpentry. The town is also said to be the home of Mary’s parents.

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Approaching the hillside to begin the climb, our tour guide was surprised to find the almond trees in bloom this early in February.

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“To see the first almond blossoms is a blessing.”

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“Therefore God, your God,

Has anointed you with oil of gladness…

Your robes are all fragrant with

Myrrh and aloes and cassia…”

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Soft pink petals floated freely in the spring air.

My traveling partners and I giggled with delight!

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“Daughters of kings are among your

Ladies of honor…”

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Pink petals decorated our hair, and

Cushioned our feet.

“In many-colored robes she is led to the King,

With her virgin companions following behind her…”

 

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And as if the blessing of the trip was not enough,

In the Father’s mercy and grace,

We had stepped into another

Time and season, as

Brides of Christ.

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“With joy and gladness they are led along

As they enter the palace of the King…”

1 - Day Sephorris 4466

Grace – underserved, unmerited

Favor of God.

 “(We) will cause your Name to be remember in all generations;

(We) will praise You forever and ever.”

Psalm 45 (ESV)

 Amen!


“Like the almond blossoms,

 We would be up “early”

“Little sleep”,

“First” on the bus

“To hasten”

To be on the “look out”

Of what He would say to me!”

DSCN0744


 

See today’s post, Prelude to “Petals of Grace” for the Hebrew definition and insights of the almond.


May you blessed richly in His Grace today!

denise

 

Look to see…

Looking out to see...
Looking out to see…

“I will take my stand at my watchpost

And station myself on the tower,

And look out to see what He will say to me…”

Habakkuk 2:1


One of the exciting things about travel, is the experiences of waiting to see.

View from Mt. Carmel 0231

Before leaving for Israel the first time, our travel guide assured us, we would each “see” or have a personal experience in the Holy Land.

Hearing those words, stirred the embers of my heart.

"And David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him...Then (discerning and beautiful) Abigail made hast...and she met them (David and his men) and said ...the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD your God." 1 Samuel 25:1-43
“And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him…Then (discerning and beautiful) Abigail made haste…and she met them (David and his men) and said …the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD your God.” 1 Samuel 25:1-43

Our God is an all-encompassing God, Who doesn’t have to bring us to one specific place or land to have a personal encounter or experience with Him.

That would be putting you under Law, or as the Apostle Paul said,you have fallen from Grace” Galatians 5:4

"And Elijah said...seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape." 1 Kings 18:40
“And Elijah said…seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” 1 Kings 18:40
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain..."James 5:17 (ESV)
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain…”James 5:17 (ESV)

And limiting His Omnipotent power and divine wonder of His Holy Grace.

“For through the Spirit, by faith…”Galatians 5:5 

Elisha too was on Mount Carmel.  "When the man of God saw her (the Shunammite Woman) coming..."2 Kings 4:25 ESV
Elisha too was on Mount Carmel.
“When the man of God saw her (the Shunammite Woman) coming…”2 Kings 4:25 ESV

 

As I begin this week of Spring break, nine days of abundant travel right here at home, in faith, to His Faithfulness, 

I am stationing myself on the watchtower to see, to hear what He will say to me.

I pray you too, will “rest” with me as He guides.

Delighting pen and heart,

as He shares the mysteries

and beauty of His precious Son,

Jesus.

Amen


Photos captured on Mount Carmel, Israel. 2011 & 2014 by denisebalog

 

 

Craziness Stops Here…

Still waters spring 3747

“Beside still waters,

A quiet,

Settled spot.

A place where

Activity ceases;

Craziness stops.”

 DSCN3756

“Come to Me,

all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,

and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

DSCN3755 (2)David's still waters - Dan, Isarel


Off to women’s retreat for refreshment and rest.

Blessings to my neighbors,

In our friendship,

I am truly blessed.

Denise


Photos captured in the northern region of Galilee;

where the headwaters of the Jordan River begin.

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Fresh rushing waters of Jordan - Tel Dan, Israel
Fresh rushing waters of Jordan – Tel Dan, Israel