Today we left the Dead Sea and headed north towards Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee.First stop- Qumran. Where they found the Dead Sea scrolls. ----- DSC 0003 ----- DSC 0005 ----- DSC 0012 ----- DSC 0014 ----- DSC 0015 ----- DSC 0016 ----- DSC 0020 ----- DSC 0036 ----- DSC 0042 ----- DSC 0054 ----- DSC 0056 ----- DSC 0093 ----- DSC 0099 ----- DSC 0108 ----- Next stop- Qasr-El Yahud. This is the baptism spot on the Jordan River just north of the Dead Sea. ----- DSC 0111 ----- DSC 0112 ----- DSC 0115 ----- We continued our journey north through the West Bank to Beir She'an- the ancient Roman City of the Decapolis and one of the largest archaeological sites in Israel. ----- DSC 0122 ----- DSC 0123 ----- DSC 0126 ----- DSC 0128 ----- DSC 0130 ----- DSC 0135 ----- DSC 0139 ----- DSC 0149 ----- DSC 0151 ----- DSC 0152 ----- DSC 0155 ----- DSC 0158 ----- DSC 0163 ----- DSC 0166 ----- DSC 0168 ----- DSC 0169 ----- After a shopping stop at the Galilee Experience we walked to our hotel for the next three nights. Tomorrow we'll tour the Galilee area. Stay tuned...

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When things do not go as planned today, please do not panic. 02/01/14 - color palette Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Genesis 1:14-19. "So the evening and the morning were the fourth day." Sometimes we forget that it takes both "evening and morning" to make a complete day. Sometimes we forget that "all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28). Sometimes we forget that "the Lord gives and takes away" (Job chapters 1 and 2). As we begin a new work week, let's not be surprised by what unfolds today.  In order for today to be a complete day, there has to be both light and dark, good and bad, success and failure, pleasure and pain, crosses and crowns. As much as we want everything to be "picture perfect," even a picture has different colored pixels. Embrace the variety that will fill this day. Don't be surprised at the different colors the Master Painter will be using to paint your day. Even though it's Monday, it will still be a masterpiece. Photo courtesy of romanlily.

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Today is Throwback Thursday! Click here to rejoin the conversation that we began 5 years ago. gambling for kids: lure of the tickets Photo courtesy of woodleywonderworks.

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Ignorance is not bliss. P1090698 Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Isaiah 5:13. The prophet Isaiah tells us that ignorance leads people into bondage. How true. Ignorance of a future spouse leads you into a horrible marriage. Ignorance of credit cards leads you into financial ruin. Ignorance of nutrition leads you into poor health. Ignorance of Yeshua leads you into spiritual bondage. And the examples could go on. Thankfully, there's hope for those who are in captivity. Yeshua sets captives free. Photo courtesy of ezioman.

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What are you worried about today? 'Reminder', United States, Alaska, Naknek, Bering Sea, Bristol Bay Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Luke 5:1-11. Sometimes people compartmentalize God's compassion.  Some believe God cares about "this" but not "that."  Some believe God cares about the "sacred" but not the "secular." In our text, Yeshua cares about the crowd and He cares about Simon. Yeshua cares about preaching and He cares about fishing. Yeshua cares about spiritual needs and He cares about physical needs. No area of life is outside the care of Yeshua. "Cast all your care (anxieties, worries, concerns, stress-inducers, etc.) upon Him because He cares for you."  (See 1 Peter 5:7.) Let's cast all our worries into the net of Yeshua.  Haven't we kept them long enough? Photo courtesy of Chris Ford.

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Today is Throwback Thursday! Complaint Jar Click here to rekindle the conversation we began 5 years ago. Photo courtesy of John.    

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Are you glad today? Birthday shoot Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Psalm 32:11. When I was a little kid, I can remember not getting my way a lot of times.  During those times, I would say, "I'm mad!" My Dad would always respond the same way, "You can get glad in same pants you got mad in!" My father was trying to teach me a very valuable lesson: gladness is not the result of getting everything you want.  You can miss out on a few things but not miss out on gladness. The Psalmist is telling us to "be glad in the Lord." Today, if you are anything like me, there are things in your life that are not producing gladness. Sickness doesn't make us glad. Lack doesn't make us glad. Heart ache doesn't make us glad. Loss doesn't make us glad. Kidney stones don't make us glad. But regardless of those things, we can be glad in the Lord. This psalm begins with something that should make us extremely glad: the forgiveness of sins.  Because of the finished work of salvation completed by Yeshua, our sins have been forgiven. Being forgiven is a great source of gladness. Today when things do not go as planned, don't get mad, get glad in the Lord. Photo courtesy of Travis Swan.

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Today we toured the Old City of Jerusalem.----- Our first stop of the day was the Mt. of Olives viewpoint. ----- DSC 0004 ----- DSC 0010 ----- DSC 0018 ----- DSC 0020 ----- DSC 0028 ----- DSC 0058 ----- DSC 0068 ----- We then walked down the Mt. of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. ----- DSC 0072 ----- DSC 0073 ----- DSC 0082 ----- DSC 0084 ----- DSC 0090 ----- DSC 0094 ----- DSC 0104 ----- DSC 0114 ----- Our next stop was the Davidson Center Archaeological Park and the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount. ----- DSC 0122 ----- DSC 0130 ----- DSC 0134 ----- DSC 0148 ----- DSC 0151 ----- DSC 0154 ----- DSC 0156 ----- DSC 0160 ----- DSC 0162 ----- DSC 0173 ----- DSC 0180 ----- After falafel lunch in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, we were off to explore the city. We stopped in a couple spots in the Jewish Quarter and then walked through the Muslim Quarter for a brief visit at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher before we followed the Way of the Cross (in reverse) to the Pools of Bethesda. ----- DSC 0184 ----- DSC 0186 ----- DSC 0194 ----- DSC 0195 ----- DSC 0202 ----- DSC 0204 ----- DSC 0211 ----- DSC 0221 ----- DSC 0224 ----- DSC 0232 ----- DSC 0237 ----- DSC 0238 ----- DSC 0242 ----- DSC 0244 ----- DSC 0250 ----- DSC 0266 ----- DSC 0270 ----- DSC 0274 ----- DSC 0286 ----- We exited the city through the Lion Gate and jumped on the bus for a short trip back to the Dung Gate so we could visit the Western Wall and the Western Wall Tunnel. Our last two stops of the day. ----- DSC 0300 ----- DSC 0305 ----- DSC 0308 ----- DSC 0315 ----- DSC 0320 ----- DSC 0326 ----- DSC 0341 ----- DSC 0345 ----- DSC 0351 ----- DSC 0353 ----- DSC 0356 ----- DSC 0362 ----- DSC 0372 ----- DSC 0376 ----- DSC 0382 ----- DSC 0388 ----- DSC 0391 ----- We had another great day. Tomorrow we'll visit sites in the new city including the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem. Stay tuned...

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Do you finish what you start? Half Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Numbers 7:1-3. "Moses... finished setting up the tabernacle..." It might just be a personal pet peeve, but it bothers me when things are not finished. Have you ever picked up your lunch from a fast food drive through and not received all of your order? Have you ever been grocery shopping and upon putting your groceries away you discover that some of your items were not placed in your bags? Have you ever had a mechanic not completely tighten something? Many people do not finish what they start. Thankfully, Yeshua is not one of them.  He is the "Author and Finisher" of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:1-2.) What Yeshua starts, He finishes. Paul encourages us by telling us that the good works that Yeshua begins in us, He will complete. (See Philippians 1:5-6.) Three cheers for Moses!  He started the Tabernacle project and he completely finished setting it up. May you and I be found to be finishers today. Photo courtesy of Daniele Marlenek.    

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Are you a morning person? sunrise Today's pastoral care devotional scripture is Exodus 34:1-2. As we begin a new work week, let's consider that there is something that some people dislike more than Mondays: early mornings. As Moses was being instructed on what he needed to do to get a second copy of the Ten Commandments, God told him, "Be ready in the morning." God did not say, "Get up in the morning." Many people are "up" in the morning, but not "ready." These are the folks who come dragging in ten minutes late and their first stop is at the coffee pot. Most people think I am a morning person.  I'm not.  I just believe in being ready for whenever my work shift begins. Being ready in the morning, or whenever, begins long before the morning.  Being ready means getting the appropriate amount of sleep so that you can give 100% when your shift begins. Yeshua rose early in the morning.  He was always ready.  Let's follow His example. Photo courtesy of Paul van de Velde.

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