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Trip to Israel – Caesarea Philippi

March 6, 2012

Since I mentioned Caesarea Philippi in my sermon on Sunday and in my blog post yesterday, I thought I would post pictures from this amazing site. Home of the Temple of Pan, it is located at the base of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights. It consists of a very large rocky mountain/hillside with a cave built into it that exposes a large spring. The spring flowed strongly for many years and the people could not tell exactly how deep the spring is. As a result, they called the spring the Gates of Hades/Hell. The spring now flows out from beneath the cave. It was a pretty amazing place to visit!

Matthew 16:13-20
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ 17And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ 20Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.




Trip to Israel – Tel Hazor

March 5, 2012

I think Chris and I have finally come down from the high we got while one our trip to the Holy Land. It was an amazing trip – one that will forever change how I read the Bible, teach, and preach. Just yesterday when I was reading the text before I started preaching, the mention of Caesarea Philippi brought back so many vivid images and stories of being in that place.

To help tell a little bit about our trip, I’ll be posting about different places we went. Considering we took almost 1000 pictures between the two of us, I’ll try to pick out the best ones so as not to bore you too terribly much 😉

First, a trip to Tel Hazor. This archaeological site is located outside Tiberius near the Sea of Galilee. The first picture you will see is of the Solomonic Gate dating back to the 10th Century BCE.

The next picture shows part of the city that was destroyed by fire when Hazor fell as described in Joshua 11:10-13 — “Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and struck its king down with the sword. Before that time Hazor was the head of all those kingdoms. 11And they put to the sword all who were in it, utterly destroying them; there was no one left who breathed, and he burned Hazor with fire. 12And all the towns of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took, and struck them with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13But Israel burned none of the towns that stood on mounds except Hazor, which Joshua did burn.”  You can see the burned areas where the stone is dark and black.

The last picture is of an ancient olive press found in one of the courtyards.

Consider this just a little intro into what is to come – and it gets way better! 🙂




Reading Through the Psalms – Week 4

February 23, 2012

Sorry I’m a day late in posting these!  I was hoping to be able to write them up last night before crashing but jet lag set in too quickly and I had to submit to sleep 🙂  We had an amazing trip, though, so be on the lookout for a post soon all about it!  Here is the list of readings for week 4.  Honestly, I am a little behind, but I hope to catch up or at least not take more than an extra few days to complete the readings.  I hope you are doing well and hearing the voice of God through the words of the psalmist!

Day 22: 108-112
Day 23: 113-117
Day 24: 118-119
Day 25: 120-125
Day 26: 126-130
Day 27: 131-136
Day 28: 137-140


Reading Through the Psalms – Week 3

February 13, 2012

Well, I am getting ready to head to Israel (ahhhh!), and since I’m not sure what our internet opportunities will be like, so I thought I would go ahead and post the readings for this next week.  I hope you have been able to follow along with the readings thus far.  And, if you’re a little behind, no stress – just keep reading!  The psalms continue to speak into our lives in amazing ways as we find ourselves crying out to God in the midst of darkness, rejoicing with our Lord in times of celebration, and simply thanking God for being God.  Blessings as we continue this journey!

Day 15: 73-77
Day 16: 78-82
Day 17: 83-87
Day 18: 88-92
Day 19: 93-97
Day 20: 98-102
Day 21: 103-107

Turbo Kick Training

February 12, 2012

Yesterday I had the great privilege of attending a Turbo Kick training in Columbus, GA.  This is the last training on my list, and I am so excited to have completed it!  Two of the ladies from the classes at church were able to come with me, and we had a blast.   Thank you, Holly and Teri!!!  It was so nice to spend some time with them outside of the class and learn more about them.  And, it was nice to not be the one kicking their butts, haha.  We had the beautiful Meredith Campbell to do that!  She was our presenter and rocked it out.  Judging by how sore I am today, she whipped us good!

Hopefully we will begin offering TK classes in March at the church, so be on the lookout for more information about the day and time.  In the meantime, check out a preview of Turbo Kick on youtube – click here!

Get ready, Fayetteville, Turbo is coming for you!!!

Reading Through the Psalms – Week 2

February 8, 2012

I am loving this first week of Psalm readings and look forward to continuing through the month.  Every time I read through the Psalms, I am struck by the rawness of the language.  The psalmist cries out with the truths of his heart – his struggles, his pains, his difficulty in experiencing the presence of God are expressed without restraint.  I love that!  The words seem to transcend time as if they could have been written yesterday rather than years and years ago.

Here are the readings for the coming week:

Day 8 – Psalms 36-41
Day 9 – Psalms 42-46
Day 10 – Psalms 47-51
Day 11 – Psalms 52-56
Day 12 – Psalms 57-61
Day 13 – Psalm 62-67
Day 14 – Psalms 68-72

Happy reading!

Reading Through the Psalms – Week 1

February 1, 2012

One of my goals for the Month of Love Challenge is to read through the book of Psalms.  In all honesty, I tried to start a “Read through the Bible in a year” program last fall and made it a little over a month.  After missing a day or two, I felt so behind that I didn’t think I could catch back up.  So, February is the perfect month to begin again and why not begin with the Psalms!  I have a great app on my ipad that has set me up to read the Psalms in 31 days.  So, it will take me a couple days into March but still worth it.  If you’re interested in joining, I’m going to post the readings for each week on the blog every Wednesday night.  I’ll also post any reflections or responses I have, and I would love to hear from you as well.  Feel free to post in the comments section as you read along.

Day 1 – Psalms 1-5
Day 2 – Psalms 6-10
Day 3 – Psalms 11-16
Day 4 – Psalms 17-20
Day 5 – Psalms 21-25
Day 6 – Psalms 26-30
Day 7 – Psalms 31-35

Happy reading!