Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mike explains what going on in the church

As we walked into the church where some believe to be where Jesus was laid after he was taken off the cross, it was kind of a shock to see how people responded to the location. I don't know if it has hit me yet that we are in Israel.. nope probably not yet.. but I was still amazed to see this. Check it out. One of the guys here put it so well... we would see people weep over the rock and then stand up with a complete different attitude and then walk away. He related it to how we sometimes worship or attend church and walk away right after with a complete different heart. It made me think of the things in my life that I still do as 'religion' where my eyes could shift off Jesus to go to a work or a heartless praise out of routine.

First full day

Yesterday we woke up and went to some Arabic restaurant to grab breakfast and then met up with Ernest to go to the church of Cepulchre, the oldest standing church and walked around looking at one of the three places people think Jesus was taken before being put on the cross and then laid after taken off the cross. After we went to go meet a few of Ernest's friends from the shops and they treated us to coffee and tea. One of the shops the man, Zach, had coins that he showed us that Judas Iscariot used to betray Jesus from Matthew 26:14-16 (costing $1,200) and then also mites that the Bible talks about when Jesus saw a poor widow put two mites into the offering box from Matthew 21:1-4. Zach actually gave us each a mite to have!! :) Then we were on our way to more sight-seeing to the Shuk where there is an open market, and a down town area where people all go to hang out. It was still the Sabbath for the Jews as we were walking around so the streets were pretty dead. The weirdest thing to me was as we walked we read Psalm 120-134 over Jerusalem and asked one of the Jews when they would have read these Hallel Psalms and they didn't know. I guess I had imagined that the Jewish people would know the scriptures front to back and was shocked to find out later from Ernest that most don't and those that do don't study the books of Moses but read commentaries of commentaries. I still am doing a lot of people watching and trying to learn how women interact and what to do and not do while I'm here!

CCBC Israel!!

We're here!! I have so much to catch you all up on!! After getting off the flight from SF to Philly, our group met up to go through security and get onto our flight to Tel Aviv. It was a 10 and 1/2 hour flight and so cool to hear the Hebrew people use the word 'Abba' to get their father's attention. This is the intimacy Jesus introduced us to have with our heavenly Father (Mark 14:36)! When I was waiting in SF airport, I was people watching dad and their kids and trying to imagine myself in those terms with the God.. it was such a blessing that the next plane followed with the visual picture of what that looks like hearing those words of endearment. That was just the flight! Then we got to Tel Aviv where Ernest, the missionary here who will be teaching our first class, picked us up and took us pack to the hotel to meet up with the rest of our crew and then over to his house for dinner to meet his family. Such a crazy day and all of us were a little jet-lagged and thrown off for sleep... 3 days later and we still are! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Family Photo!

It has probably been 5 years since we had our last family photo taken.. but so cool that Justin moved out to San Jose this last Thanksgiving and we are all in one state! He is now working in San Francisco and my dad is one busy bee as well! Even though I am only in San Jose for 2 weeks this time before leaving again for 3 months, it has been a blessing seeing my two guys and hang out with them!

New Song book!

Last night I got to meet up in San Jose with the Peru team from WestGate church who just got back to the states last week! It was such a blessing to see them and hear their stories about the rest of their time. Lizzy and Sean, a married couple on the team, surprised me with a new song book to bring with me to Israel! I felt so blessed, and the funny thing is, I was planning on going home that night to make a new one just before they beat me to it!! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bible College Video!

In one week I will be leaving for my 4th semester in Israel!! What whaaat! I have to admit though, that my friends have been the ones getting me pumped or this as they share their excitement for me. The Bible College in Murrieta (where I attended last semester) has already began, and wow I have been missing it, but as I went on the website this morning to check out the Israel campus I have started getting excited as well! Let the countdown begin!!

I hope this works, but I wanted to share with you guys just a small idea of my experience these last few years in going to Bible College. I will attach a link that has a short 4ish minute video!! I hope you are encouraged!