Posted by: Dave | May 22, 2009

Jerusalem, Jerusalem!

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You can barely see it, but that is Jerusalem in the background.

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The Damascus Gate entering into the old city.

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The Western Wall, also once known as the Wailing Wall.  It is the last section of the original temple mount wall still standing.  To Jews around the world it is sacred and holy ground.  This is the place where practicing Jews insert prayers into the wall between cracks in the stones.  This wall was constructed by King Herod.  Do you know what happens when you  insert a prayer into the wall? Absolutely nothing.  It’s just a wall.  A very old one, and a very special one, but it is still just a wall.

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This is on top of the temple mount.  That is the Dome of the Rock behind us.  It is the original sight of the Jewish Temple that was destroyed by Titus in 70AD.  Christians believe it to be built on top of the rock where Abraham offered up Isaac as a sacrifice.  Muslims believe it is indeed built upon the very rock where Abraham offered up his son as a sacrifice, but it wasn’t Isaac, it was his half brother Ishmael.  This is the third most Holy sight to Muslims behind Mecca, and Medina. Notice that Barbara and I are not touching.  That is a big no no to Muslims.

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Holy Land Day 5 046These are the southern steps which led up to the temple.  There is no doubt that Jesus would have walked up these very steps! It could have been right here that Jesus told his disciples as they were admiring the temple that the time would come when the temple would be destroyed and not one stone would be left standing.

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And, these are some of those stones that were excavated  just a few years back.  They were left exactly as they were found. They were pushed from the temple mount by Roman soldiers in 70AD when all of Jerusalem was destroyed and burned just as Jesus had said would happen.

Holy Land Day 5 059Those are some big stones!

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One day we had to ride a Jerusalem taxi.

Holy Land Day 6 038This was once known as the Lion’s Gate. You can see the Lion’s to the left and right of the gate.Today it is known as Stephen’s gate. It was in this spot where Stephen was stoned to death.

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The sun setting over Jerusalem was a pretty spectacular sight.

This was definitely a trip of a lifetime!  We are forever grateful to Dotty and John for taking us.  Because I had trouble with the internet during our time in Jerusalem I wasn’t able to keep you updated.  But I have tons of pictures I plan to add in the next few days.

Posted by: Dave | May 18, 2009

Day Four, Five and Six

We are in Jerusalem, but I am having problems posting pictures.  We arrived on Saturday afternoon around 4 in the afternoon which meant it was still Shabat (Sabbath). here was very little traffic because Jews aren’t allowed to travel very far on that day. They are not allowed to push buttons on an elevator either.  Barbara and I found that out on an elevator in the hotel when we rode an elevator down from the ninth floor that stopped at every floor.  A young Jewish couple with two small children were chuckling under their breath at us as I punched the button on every floor. All other elevators would not have stopped, but we happened to have gotten on the Shabat elevator. Talking about modern day Phariseeism.

Before arriving we stopped in the wildreness where Jesus would have spent 40 days and 40 nights after he was baptized.  It was unbelievable.  I wish I could put the pictures on here.  One particular bedouin shepherd also took a keen interest in Barbara.

Today (Monday, 5/18) a man in Jerusalem offered me 200 camels for Barbara, another one offered me 250 camels.  I told them I had no way of getting them back.

We have been up on the Temple Mount, down the Via Dolo Rosa, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden Tomb, Mount of Olives, Golgotha, rode a camel, the Pools of Bethesda, Hezekiah’s Tunnel which was cut through solid rock, about 1/2 mile long, about 24 inches wide, and has about ten inches of water flowing through it. It was pretty amazing. We were also treated to lunch today in the middle of a Muslim’s shop in the Christian Quarter.  Shaaban is a friend of Stephen’s and he treated us like royalty right in the middle of his shop.  The food was delicious. I’ll keep trying to get some pictures up.

Hope everyone is doing well.  This has been the most incredible experience of our lives.  I have taken about 600 pictures so far and several videos.

See you soon.

Posted by: Dave | May 15, 2009

Day Three

We had another great day.  We started out in Hazor; one of three cities burned by Joshua around 1405 BC, as mentioned in Joshua 11.  You could see evidence of fire in the dig. The man in the picture is Dr. Stephen Bramer, Professor of Biblical Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary who came with us.  He gives my kind of tour.  When there is a sign that says do not enter, he enters.  The roads we have been down were not designed for 9 passenger vans. It has been amazing so far.Holy Land Day 3 002

We then went to Ceaserea Phillipi which is where Peter made his great confession (Matthew 16).  It was a place of pagan idol worship.  It was where Jesus said that he would build his church upon the rock of Peter’s great confession, as opposed to the rock that you see in the background.  I have seen pictures of this place before but they do not do it justice, as these will not.  The big opening in the rock was known as the “gate of hell”.  Seeing this place adds a whole new perspective to Matthew 16.

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Holy Land Day 3 028Ceaserea Philippi is also the location of one of three springs which forms the headwaters of the Jordan River.

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The picture below is thought to be the main gate into the ancient city of Dan. This dates back to Abraham and he could have very well walked through this gate when he went to Dan to rescue his nephew Lot with the help of 318 men. Read Genesis 14. The dig is covered by a canopy to keep the weather from destroying it.

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Dan is also one of the headwaters for the Jordan.  The third is the Senir.  We didn’t get to that one.

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Then we went up a got within about 100 yards of Lebanon, about a quarter mile from Syria, and about a quarter mile from Jordan.  All three are enemies of Israel.  It is interesting driving down a road on which their are signs warning of mine fields on each side of the road.

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This was a jeep full of Israeli soldiers armed to the teeth turning around in front of us.  It is nothing to see soldiers all over the place with their AK-47’s.  We have seen several groups of school children.  By law they are required to have two armed guards with them at all time.  Imagine taking your class on a field trip and having men with AK-47’s go with you.

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Tomorrow we start heading for Jerusalem!  I don’t know what the internet situation will be, but hopefully I will be able to post.

This has been the most incredible trip Barbara and I have ever taken.  Stephen gave a good illustration.: You can read the bible and get a good understanding of the scriptures, but until you see these places in person, it is like reading the bible in black and white.  Once you have been here, all of a sudden it is like reading them in color.  The stories and the places just jump off of the pages and become more real.

Never would I have imagined a trip like this.  We have been truly blessed!


Posted by: Dave | May 14, 2009

Day Two

Sunrise over the Sea of Galilee.

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Barbara and me on the Sea of Galilee.

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This is the house where we will stay through Friday night.

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We went to Capernaum.  The Catholic Church says this is the real Capernaum.  The Greek Orthodox have a different opinion.  They say it is about a mile away.  Wherever it was, it is where Jesus lived early on in his ministry.

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This is supposedly Peter’s house where Jesus would have healed his mother-in-law. Pretty neat to think that Jesus might have walked right through that doorway.

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What was the inside of a 4th century synagogue in Capernaum built on the foundation of a synagogue where Jesus could have taught.

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The flowers here are beautiful.  This is going into Capernaum.

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I led a devotion along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  Of course I had to do it on Jesus calling Peter and Andrew, and James and John, to follow him as they were tending to their fishing business.  It was an incredible experience to be able to do that.

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This is thought to be the place where Jesus gave the beatitudes.  It is like a natural amphitheater and tests have been done to show that a person standing along the shore in a certain spot could have his voice heard all the way up the side of the mountain.

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By the end of the day we had been sailing on the Sea of Galilee, we had visited Capernaum, the Catholic one and the Greek Orthodox one, we went to Tiberius, Bethsaida, Chorazim, The Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus gave his sermon on the mount. We also went to the Primacy of Peter where is is believed the disciples met Jesus after the resurrection and he cooked breakfast for them on the shore of Galilee.  There is a church built there that contains what the Catholic church says is the actual rock Jesus cooked on.  I think I was able to scrape some petrified scarnbled eggs off of it….but there was no sign of bacon;)  By the end of the day, it felt good to put our feet in the water.

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Having a ball. More coming.

We will arrive in Jerusalem Saturday night. Can’t wait!

Posted by: Dave | May 13, 2009

Shalom, Y’all!

We made it.  The flight was great!  Flying to Israel in a recliner is the way to go!  John and Dotty believe in doing things first class and that was how we flew.  I have never had a newspaper delivered to my seat, but this time we did.

We arrived in Tel Aviv around 5:30PM time, Tuesday, 10:30AM your time.

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Spent the night in Ceasarea and saw the aqueducts built by King Herod before Jesus was born.  They brought water from Mt. Carmel to Ceasarea on the coast of the Mediterranean.

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Then we saw the remains of his temple.

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We then went Mt. Carmel. (1 Kings 18)

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We passed this tomb along the road to Mt. Carmel that road construction workers discovered several years ago.  I had to do my best Lazarus impersonation. My kids call me Chevy Chase.

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Then went to Nazareth.  They were waiting for the Pope to arrive later in the day. There was a big sign saying “Welcome to Nazareth Pope Benedict, Where it all began.

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Security was high. Notice the AK-47 in the soldier’s hand.

Holy Land Day 1 061This picture is taken from the balcony of the private home of Cindy and Gary Bayer where we will be staying Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.  That it the Sea of Galilee!  Awesome view, huh?  We’re going for a boat ride there tomorrow.

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More Later. It’s bedtime!

Posted by: Dave | May 10, 2009

It’s A Wonderful Life

Holy Land Guidebook 004Sometimes I think that Barbara and I have the most boring, uneventful life, and then all of a sudden we have a month like the one that started 2 weeks ago when  I received a call from Christopher asking to marry our daughter Cydne, and then see it all become a reality when they got married this past Wednesday in Napa Valley California.  Then when they return to North Carolina we watch Cydne graduate from ECU with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitative Counseling and hear her name called out as Cydne Adams Reeves for the very first time, and I am suddenly struck with the reality that our life isn’t so boring after all.

And the month isn’t finished!  Tomorrow, Barbara and I leave for a 10 day trip to the Holy Land courtesy of Barbara’s sister Dotty, and her husband John.  They both went last year and when they got back they told us we had to go.  Well, this year they have invited us to go as their guests!   Their son Parker, who is a student at Dallas Theological Seminary will also be going, along with Dr. Stephen Bramer, Professor of Bible Exposition at DTS.  We are going to have our own personal guided tour by a man who has been going to Israel for years and teaches there from time to time.  To say that we are excited is an understatement!

Today in church, as I was about to give the benediction, Georgia Pilkington stepped in and had the whole church come down front to surround Barbara and me, and to lay their hands on us to pray for protection while we are gone.  I love those people!

I hope to be able to keep you updated on our whereabouts while we are there.  Stay posted.

One thing that makes me a little nervous is that one of the hotels where we will be staying says that they serve Bar-B-Q.  For some reason that scares me!  Bar-B-Q in Israel is something that I never thought I would put together.  That should be interesting.  I will let Barbara try it first!

We leave RDU tomorrow (5/11) at 6:50 PM, then ATL at 10:30PM and arrive in Tel Aviv at 5:25 PM Tuesday, Tel Aviv time.

Posted by: Dave | May 7, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Reeves



I love this picture of Christopher.  I think he loves my daughter!

dsc_0094Beautiful place for a wedding!


dsc_0099-aThis picture can make a dad cry.  I think she loves her husband!

Congratulations, Christopher and Cydne!  We love you!

Posted by: Dave | May 6, 2009

Today she gets a new name!


As Cydne was packing to go to the airport last Friday, I found myself humming this song.

At 4:00pm PST Cydne will become Mrs. Cydne Adams Reeves, wife of Mr. Christopher Reeves. They will be exchanging Christian vows at the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley California. It is the day in which Christopher becomes the man for whom Barbara and I have been praying for over the last 10,161 days. From the time they were born, Barbara and I have been praying for our kids future spouses.  Today, Christopher becomes that man for Cydne and we couldn’t be happier for the two of them. Welcome to the family Christopher. We love you!


Now. Let’s talk about grandchildren….

Posted by: Dave | May 2, 2009

A Father’s Love

Last Sunday I preached on 1 John 3:1-7. The text says that God calls us his children. That can mean a lot of different things to different people.  Much of what it means is based on the relationship that we have with our own dads.  The passage says that while we may not look or act like children of God, we are his children…now. The day will come when we will be like him.

It reminded me of one of my favorite songs from High School which I quoted in the sermon.  It is about a boy growing up to be just like his dad, which in the boy’s case was not a good thing.

And while it may not be a good thing for some to grow up to be like their dads, it is a great thing that God’s children will grow up to be like Him.

Posted by: Dave | April 27, 2009


This past Saturday I’m  in class and my cell phone starts to vibrate sitting on the table.  I looked at the number and didn’t recognize it so I decide to let them leave a message.  They didn’t.  It must have been a wrong number. Ten minutes later, my phone vibrates again, and the same number shows up. Still no message is left.  So, now my curiosity is starting to kick in and I start imagining all the different things it could be:  Somebody has died.  An angry client is trying to get hold of me and is too mad to leave a message.  Publishers Clearinghouse is wanting to know where they can meet me to hand me my $10,000,000 check in person.

So I go online and start doing a reverse number lookup on the internet and all I get is a cell phone number in Raleigh and an arrow pointing to an address on a map: an address that I don’t know, along with a phone number I have never seen.  What is up with this?

Then the phone vibrates again, same number!  OK, Maybe Barbara is on the side of the road unconscious and a passerby finds my number on her cellphone and is trying to get in touch with me. All kinds of things are starting to run through my head and I’m starting to wonder how long until the next break?

Finally I can’t take it and I excuse myself from class and go outside and call this mysterious number.  I say ” Hi, this is Dave Adams. I have received three calls…”, and before I can finish I hear “Oh hey, Mr. Adams, this is Christopher (Cydne’s boyfriend) .  How you doin?

Now considering that he has never once called me on the phone before in the past 3 or 4 years, and now on a Saturday morning out of the clear blue he is calling with a sense of urgency as to inquire about my well being, I respond, “Not bad. How are you?” He said, “Not bad, just kind of hanging out.”  Now I’m thinking, “Well, thanks for that update, Christopher.  As I was sitting here in class learning about the Great Awakening of the 18th century, the thought crossed my mind, ‘I wonder what Christopher is up to.’  Now I can put my mind at ease knowing that you are hanging out.”

Detecting a little nervousness in his voice, he apologized for the timing of the call and got down to business.  He said, “I’m sorry for the terrible timing, and I would have much rather done this in person, but, I would like your blessing in asking for your daughter’s hand in marriage today.”  My response was, “TODAY?!  You want to marry her today?!”  He said, “No, no, no.  I want to ask her today!  I am waiting for the ring (a beautiful ruby, Cydne’s birthstone,  and diamond ring) to be delivered and I wanted to ask you first.”

Of course I said yes! They have been dating for 3 or 4 years, and we were rapidly approaching the ‘IT’S TIME TO FISH OR CUT BAIT’ talk with Christopher. We have grown to love him over the past several years and Barbara and I are thrilled to be gaining another son to go along with Ben and Josh.

Cydne is a little like her dad in thinking that things don’t always have to be done according to tradition. Neither Cydne or Christopher are into big productions in which they are in the limelight so they have chosen to have a small wedding with just the two of them and a preacher in NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA! And since time is a’wastin’, they’re getting married THE WEDNESDAY AFTER NEXT! MAY 6, SEIS de MAYO! The trip has been in the works for several months to celebrate the end of Cydne’s internship and completion of her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitative Counseling from ECU.  When they return on the 8th, Cydne will graduate on the 9th.  She will be picking up new initials that go before and after her name: MRS & CRC.

Sunday morning Barbara drove to Wilmington to help Cydne find a wedding dress, which they did. I went down after church, and we had dinner at Elijah’s on the waterfront to celebrate the occasion.

I told Christopher to take care of her, because she is one of my most precious possessions. He promised me that he would.  I told him if he didn’t, I’ve got his number, and I know where he lives!


We took several pictures, and in all of them Cydne’s left hand is strategically positioned. Is that a trait that girls are just born with, or what?


I Love you, Cyd.


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