Biblical Gardens Tour

The hotel I’m staying at, Hotel Hashomeron, has a special treasure – they have built a biblical garden telling stories from the Bible from Abraham to the Exodus. Why do they do this? Because they want people who visit to learn and know, and be witnesses of the Bible where ever they go. The owners and the manager are pretty amazing, and I’ll tell you a little of their story after the pictures. It was an amazing time. The tour was at night, so please forgive the quality of the photos.

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And here was a brief moment in time, a sweet time of worship:

So let me tell you the tale of Manacheim and Tova, the couple who own the hotel. They wanted to open a place, and their friends said to do one in Jerusalem, or Tel Aviv, or the Galilee, but they said they wanted to build it in Samaria, in the settlement of Ariel. It was the only hotel in the Samaria area, and at the time, not a real conducive place to be. There was a lot of terrorist activity, and there wasn’t a bunch of people taking scenic tours of the area. not far (maybe about 50 yards away) was a gas station where the IDF went to tank up and switch shifts. One day in 2002, there was a young man wandering around with no seeming purpose, looking into the bus that was supposed to be carrying the soldiers. He went up the hill to the hotel and came in. Tova, the wife, was in the reception area and asked this young man how she could help him. There was a tour group there, but they were out. The young man said that he forgot his mobile – they call it by the company name, “peloton”, but he said, “beleton,” and Tova realized he was Arab, he turned away, and she saw the bulkiness around his waist and realized he was a suicide bomber. She told her receptionist to call the police, and tried to keep him there. In the meantime, at the gas station, someone told some returning soldiers about the odd behavior of the young man, and they went sprinting up the hill. The suicide bomber, saw them approaching, and since his mission was to kills soldiers – well, he detonated. Tova, was blown back, and caught shrapnel on her face, and the soldiers were hurt but not dead. The spiral staircase was totally destroyed, but the only loss of life was the suicide bomber.

They rebuilt, and continued their plans for the biblical garden.

Several months later, Manacheim was at the gas station, and there was a contingency of IDF soldiers getting off their Shabbat leave. There was a man walking around, and Manacheim recognized that he was a suicide bomber. He made the choice to put himself at risk and attacked the man and bring him to the ground so that a host of soldiers may not die. He had successfully brought him down and shot him, and a soldier had come over and shot the bomber again, which detonated the bomb. That blast killed three soldiers, wounded 19 others, in addition to Manacheim. He broke both his hands and his feet and lost hearing in one side. He has 26 bolts in his body holding himself together, and he serves cheerfully, as the owner, as the groundskeeper and bellhop of the hotel. He is one of 4 civilians to receive the silver award of honor.

And still they build up their biblical gardens. They have contributors, both of time and money, from all over the world to help them build it. They study the bible and come as close as they can. Their next project is the priestly garments; with all the gold, he said it will cost about $6,000. What an amazing legacy that they not only leave, but that they encourage others to learn and spread to their world also.

What an introduction to the land!

Simplifying and Catching up

Because I don’t have enough going on in my life… I’m compiling different blogs from the last several years into this one so that I have everything in one place. I am slowly importing posts as well as updating my Israel journey, so if you are subscribed, you may get a hodgepodge of notification. I apologize, I don’t know how to fix that. Feel free to peruse or not, at your own leisure!

Many Nations, One People

I have a few pictures, but being at a conference, there isn’t going to be much for the next several days. I also managed to lose my data cord for my camera somewhere between Austin and Israel, so I’m going to have to rectify that soon.  But here is one of my favorites below that I took on my phone:

Heart for the nation and for the nations

Heart for the nation and for the nations

The facilitator at our table gave one of these to each of us, carved from the wood from the Israeli olive tree. It was a symbol of how we are sharing our heart with one another, as well as our heart for Israel, the people and the land. It was something that touched my heart, for sure.

 

 

The conference here has 15 nations represented: Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, Belgium, Holland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, England, Israel, Jordan, South Africa, USA, and Canada. These are people who have a heart for the people of Israel and a desire to dig deeper and see what that looks like on a global scale, as well as in their own country. I love the interaction here, and I love the fact that it feels like family. There have been some great teaching, wonderful scripture study, and abandoned worship! And this is only day two! I am certainly blessed by being here, and I look forward to sharing more of the journey as I go 🙂

Israel Adventures

I suck at pictures, but I will try for you guys. My roommate (shout out to Montrae!) gave me a point-and-click, and I will endeavour to use it as much as possible and post as often as I can. At the moment, the only place I can get real good internet service is in the lobby of the hotel, but we’ll see what we can do.

So, I am here for a conference in my capacity of working with Redeemed Israel Ministries, and meeting up with other folk who have a passion for the Bible, for Christ, and for Israel. The conference begins tonight, and continues through the 31st, then I will be joining a 10 day Connect to Israel tour (when I will certainly have more pictures). I am excited about being here, exploring the Land, meeting different people, and taking you all on yet another adventure with me. And so let the fun times begin!

A view of Eshel HaShomeron, the hotel were I am for the next 5 days.

A view of Eshel HaShomeron, the hotel were I am for the next 5 days.

Obedience – even when we cannot see the end

I heard this story a long time ago, and it is a very good reminder of a great many things. I could list them, but you’re smart – you can figure it out.

There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Messiah appeared to him.

The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture – placing thoughts in the man’s mind, such as “Why kill yourself over this?, you’re never going to move it!” or “Boy, you’ve been at it a long time and you haven’t even scratched the surface!” etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn’t moving the massive stone.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. “Why kill myself?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.

“Lord,” he said, “I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”


To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done.”

We give up because we don’t see the results we’ve expected, or we finish our task and believe we’ve failed because our expectations were different the end results. Our focus has turned from what the task was to what the result of what we done was. A small, but very important difference.

Can we just continue to follow and/or do what the Lord has asked us to do, even in the midst of our confusion, disappointment, and even heartbreak?