Posted by: Dave | June 17, 2009

Caught Up!

The problem with going anywhere for 10 days is catching up on all the stuff that didn’t get done while you were gone.   Since getting back from Israel I have had to write six papers, three sermons, attend Annual Conference, and start a new class in Charlotte.  Finally, I have caught up and caught my breath.

Now where was I before I was interrupted?

“As for other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? II Kings 20:20

Holy Land Day 5 077Our fearless leader Dr. Stephen Bramer leading the way through Hezekiah’s tunnel.

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I held the middle.

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Parker and John brought up the rear.   Not a place to be if you have claustrophobia. It is 1777 feet long cut through solid stone!

Then he chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand approached the Philistine. As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead.  The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. I Samuel 17:40, 48-49

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The stream is all dried up now, but I brought back some stones.  I wonder what happened to the four stones that David didn’t use? Maybe, just maybe???

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This is Barbara and her bedouin friend.  We were greeted by about 7 of them as we arrived at the beginning of this path.  Stephen told us just to be polite and say “no thank you” when they tried to offer us things.  As we walked along this ledge with a 200-300 foot drop-off, I heard Barbara say “no thank you” about a hundred times.  She was in no place to be impolite to a bedouin shepherd!

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When we got to the end of the path, we saw St. George’s Monastery dating back around the 7th century (I think).  It was incredible!  This picture doesn’t do it justice.

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Dotty and Barbara at the Garden of Gethsemane.

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This is the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchure built around the sight where Catholics believe Jesus was crucified and buried.

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This is the stone on which they believe his body was prepared for burial.

As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.They came to a place called Gogotha (which means the Place of the Skull). Matthew 27:32-33

Holy Land Day 6 081Looks like a skull to me!  Dr. Bramer, believes the location inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchure is the more likely of the two places.  But, this sure looks like a skull to me.  Regardless, to have been at both locations was a moving experience.

Holy Land Day 6 077The Garden Tomb.  Jesus wasn’t there. It was empty!

So they took away the stone, Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always heard me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here that they might believe that you sent me“.  When he said this, Jeus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” The dead man came out, his hand and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. John 11:41-44

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Parker at the entrance to Lazarus’ tomb.

Holy Land Day 7 084John and me in Lazarus’ tomb.

Holy Land Day 7 086That’s me coming forth!  That would have been hard to do with your hands and feet all bound up!

Holy Land Day 6 007This is a good shot of the kinfolk at Jerusalem.

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Dr. Stephen Bramer was an incredible guide.

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We sang songs that he had written.

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Barbara picked his brain….many times. (That cave back there is where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found at Qumran)

Holy Land Day 1 059He gave us scriptural, historical, archealogical background on every place we went.  We have been spoiled rotten!

He is already back over there teaching at a seminary in Jordan.

Holy Land Miscellaneous 046Our trip ended with dinner and sunset on the Mediterranean Sea in Jaffa.  We still have to pinch ourselves to believe that we were actually there!

camel poster 003When Barbara got back to school, her friend and co-worker, Joy Edwards-Parker presented her with this poster from her classroom.  It says “We know that you are worth more than 200+ camels! We missed you!

Bobby Pilkington at our church did some research and found that 250 camels are worth $1,830,000. Hmm!



  1. Wow … what an amazing experience! I have a good feeling about those stones you brought back. St. George’s Monastery looks incredible in the picture – I can’t imagine how it must have looked in real life! That must have been incredibly moving to stand at the Garden of Gethsemane. And Golgatha TOTALLY looks like a skull! What an incredible blessing to have made that trip!

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