Monday, August 31, 2009

Our visit to Nazareth ... “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Well, … yes.

Today was a good day, a long day, but a good day. We are tired and will be giving into sleep soon to prepare to set sail tomorrow on the Sea of Galilee in a traditional first century fishing boat.

Today we visited what tradition believes was the childhood home of Jesus. We also visited Sepphoris, an ancient Roman city, possibly the second largest city in the Israel of Jesus day, and yet never mentioned in our scriptures. It is located within an hour's walk of Nazareth, and is quite likely a place where Joseph and his son Jesus worked as day laborers.

The truth be known, in the village of Nazareth with a population of only 300 to 400 in the first century, work would have been scarce. Today the city is home to nearly 75,000, a large percentage, possibly as high as 47%, who are Christian.

Our pictures here include our visit to “Nazareth Village” a recreation of first century Nazareth. Shalom!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sea of Galilee & the Primacy of Peter

Today we began with worship on the Mount of Beatitudes, then traveled to the Chapel of the Primacy of Peter. Here our pilgrims we able to experience the traditional site where Jesus and his Disciples may have frequently gathered.

We have many stories in our scriptures that refer to such gatherings and while no one can be certain of any location "historically" this site has much to recommend it. Good fishing, secluded and yet near to a possible location for the Sermon on the Mound and to Capernaum where we are told Jesus spent much of his time here in Galilee.

Our group is good, appropriately moved and feeling blessed and privileged. They are truly beginning to enter into retreat time and we hope are being renewed and refreshed. Much sharing continues throughout this very diverse group. To those at home, we are all well fed, well housed and well cared for here at ANSMI MOUNT BEATITUDES. Shalom.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Well .... here's my first post from Israel. It took me a little longer then I thought it would to make this first one. This may have something to do with the fact we ended up with different accommodations than we had planned.

Pictured here is ANSMI MOUNT BEATITUDES that overlooks the Sea of Galilee. If you go to this link you will see we are being forced to "rough it!"

It's a beautiful place as the website will attest. Today is Sunday here and we will be going to worship soon. I encourage you all to also follow the other blogs listed here on the right hand side. Each has its own unique perspective.

That's it for now, more to come. Enjoy ... Shalom

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Pilgrims

Thursday afternoon, these few, these happy and eager few will wing off to holy pilgrimage. We are all most grateful for everyone who has made this trip possible.

Thank You!!

For fourteen days will walk the roads, hills & streets where so many have walked before. We will walk through the towns, the villages and the holy places that have changed so many who have walked there before. Our search?

To find the peace of Christ and to learn more faithfully how to ......

"Love Mercy, Do Justice, and to Walk Humbly with our God"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mobile sharing

To share as we move of course is not a new concept. It can be as simple as walking and talking. But to share across thousands of miles is a "horse of a different color."

I've not had much experience with this, but soon I will be testing the limits and difficulties of such sharing. My wife and I are leading a group of 20 pastors on a spiritual renewal pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The expense for these pastors is covered completely by a grant from the Cousins Foundation of Atlanta, Georgia. The goal is; to refresh, renew and rejuvenate mid-career clergy for the work of God.

The task I've taken on is how to lead the group, communicate effectively with those back home who wish to follow their journey and not become completely burned out in the process. I too hope to return refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated.

Therefore, I'm searching for the simplest tools and techniques to communicate digitally from a great distance. Any thoughts from anyone?