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Posts Tagged ‘Tel Megiddo’

Praying for Peace on top of Tel Megiddo, overlooking the Jezreel valley

Praying for Peace on top of Tel Megiddo, overlooking the Jezreel valley

How has your day gone? Exactly as expected? Have concerns blown your day of course?  Read on, God wants to blow His breath upon you today.

We started the day with a great hotel breakfast, Ramallah style (no waffles) and coffee. Michael Kakish met us early, and our team loaded up in the rain, a bit bummed that the weather was graying out a touring day.  (I must to say, our hosts are wonderful. I really appreciate Michael Kakish taking time to tour us around for a couple of days.) However, the winds don’t always blow foul weather. So after storms all the drive north to Caesarea, the rain ceased followed by powerful, but cooling wind gusts, and welcome rays of sunshine. Winds change.

The amazing thing about Caesarea is it started as a deserted beach, but Herod the Great wanted to demonstrate his engineering prowess and show off to the Roman Empire. So, he built a man-made deep-water port that would rival harbors of today. For four hundred years, the massive walls stood, but eventually they crumbled to the forces of wind and water. Today, ruins have been excavated and rebuilt to show the wonder of the site. It was an amazing city by the sea, but it’s still ruins today. It didn’t last. Nothing made by man will. Things Change.

Caleb on the 2000 year old ruins of the Caesarea Philippi seawall

Caleb on the 2000 year old ruins of the Caesarea seawall

Panoramic view of Caesarea Philippi on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea

Panoramic view of Caesarea on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea

Next, we went to Mt. Carmel, where Elijah faced down 450 priests of the idol Baal (see 1Kings 18:16-39) to prove who’s deity was real. The real purpose was to turn the minds and hearts of the people back to God. Interestingly the crowd offers no response when Elijah calls the to faith in God (v. 21), but before the day was over, things changed. The Baal priests spent the day in worthless effort, but as probably know, God sent fire from the sky to consume Elijah’s sacrifice and the multitudes gathered to witness fell on their faces and proclaimed, “The Lord-He is God!” Attitudes change.

Caleb with some Druse schoolchildren on top of Mt. Carmel

Caleb with some Druse schoolchildren on top of Mt. Carmel

A short drive took us to Tel Megiddo, the site of a fortified presence, guarding the Jezreel valley from about 6,000 BC to the reign of Ahab. With a commanding view of the strategic trading route below, whoever owned Megiddo would control great power and wealth. At its highest level Megiddo had palaces and stables and an ingenious underground water system. Yet, it was too valuable to stay in anyone’s hands forever. The fort was overrun and rebuilt 25 times, during its five millennia of use. Ownership changes.

Across the Jezreel Valley to the North is Nazareth. Beautifully nestled in a mountain, the city bustles with activity today and is home to a cooperative community of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. The Church of the Annunciation (the main holy site) is a multi-century architectural wonder. Underneath the modern church building is a tiny Byzantine era chapel built over what is believed to be Mary’s home where she was visited by the angel Gabriel and told of her special role in God’s salvation plan (Luke 1:26-38). Mary, full of grace, accepted with humble joy the calling of God on her life to be the mother of the Savior of the world. Not what she expected as awoke that day as a betrothed virgin, I’m sure. Life changes.

Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth

Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth

After a shawarma sandwich supper, it was time to head to our hotel. Because it’s the busy tourist season, Michael had to take a risk and get us lodging in a “Guest House”, called Betharram Center.  On the way here, he apologized for not knowing much about it. He said, “it’s not a hotel. I’m sure it isn’t even one star. I hope its okay.”  We all didn’t care, so we kind of expected a garage apartment with mattresses on the floor. Believe me, it would’ve worked for this exhausted troupe. After a lot of searching we found it. Michael was right, it is no hotel, but there aren’t enough stars in the AAA rating system for it. It’s a part of an old monastery compound and the rooms are wonderful. Humble, clean, comfortable…and wonderful. The chapel affords a time of prayer, and the lobby has wifi (that’s why you’re reading this.) I’ve learned today that definitions change. “Guest House” now means “worshipful rest area” to me.  Expectations Change.

Shawarma, the subway sandwich of the Holy Land

Shawarma, the subway sandwich of the Holy Land

I don’t know what may have been going on when you started reading this blog, but I hope you know that whatever your circumstance today, whatever your expectation, whatever your crisis, whatever your conflict, whatever your plan, God can blow a wind of change across you for the better. Let his Wind blow across your day, your life, your hopes. God, who has a love for you that will never change, will change you and your day for the better.

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