Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday in JERUSALEM!!!

What an incredible day. We are still flying high - hours afterwards!

We went up on the Mount of Olives this afternoon - along with several thousand other people to celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into the City of Jerusalem two thousand years ago. You can read all about it in Matthew 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:29-38 and John 12:12-15.

It was pretty amazing to stand on that same hillside with thousands of people waving Palm branches today and be reminded of that day two thousand years ago when Jesus came riding into the city on a donkey. I have often wondered if the people in the crowd really had a clue about what was going on and what was about to happen. I think Bill Hybels answers that question in a very concise way. Bill tells us that "... everyone who lined the streets had a different reason for waving those palms.

"Some were political activists; they'd heard Jesus had supernatural power, and they wanted Him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule.

"Others had loved ones who were sick or dying. They waved branches, hoping for physical healing.

"Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do,

"While others were genuine followers who wished jesus would establish Himself as an earthly King."

Then Bill tells us something that I have always believed. "Jesus was the only one in the parade who knew why He was going to Jerusalem - to die. He had a mission, while everyone else had an agenda."

I wish it would have been possible that you could have joined us on our journey down the Mount of Olives to the Old City of Jerusalem today. The next best thing is to wade through the following pictures!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Visitors in Israel

And once again we have had visitors in Israel.  Twenty Two years ago we brought our four children to Israel and are having the privilege of hosting two of them and their families here at our home away from home.  How precious to have your children (Tracy this time), and their families (Dean and Torrey) here for a week!  We have had a wonderful time.  I'm sure it will take them a month to recover from this trip.

Their adventure began OK with a safe flight over from Houston on British Air.  However, in typical Melton fashion (this year) they arrived without luggage.  We lost one bag when we came over in February, our grand children (Jeffrey and Kristin) lost two bags when they came over later in February, and the Townsends lost all three of their bags last week.  We are waiting to see how many bags Laurie and Amanda lose when they come at the end of April!  One, two, three ... sounds fair that they should lose 4.  That will be a neat trick since they are only bringing two!  We shall see.  FYI all bags arrived the next day!!!

The Townsends did the usual Melton Israel Tour on Speed!  We went to Galilee and spent the night (we had an extra day off while they were here), visited the Galilee sites, came back to Jerusalem through Nazareth, Mt Carmel and Caesarea.  We then went to the Dead Sea and Masada with them, celebrated Torrey's birthday and Judy and I worked the rest of the time they were here.  Judy did take them into the Old City and up onto the Mount of Olives.  They did some things on their own and had a personal guide for one day in the Old City. 

British Air went on strike which stranded them in London for two days but they "should" be on their way home tonight.  We absolutely had a wonderful time with them.  Sharing our land with family and loved ones is one of our favorite things to do.

As you can see from the pictures - fun was had by one and all!!
Boat on the Sea of Galilee - we did not go on it.
 On Mt. Carmel
 On the Beach at Caesarea
On Masada
Feet in the Dead Sea

Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting Dressed Up for Easter Sunday ... In This Place

This past week I have been reminded so much of my mother.  She always made sure that we had new clothes to wear on Easter Sunday morning.  Here, in this place - The Garden Tomb, I have watched as the Garden is getting dressed up for Easter Sunday Morning as well.  Everyday there are new flowers blooming in the Garden.  It is almost as though the Garden itself is aware that we are getting ready to worship the Risen Christ and it is getting ready too!

We are looking forward to that day of worship and wish that our family and friends could join us for that awesome time of celebration and worship.  At least you can join us here in enjoying the flowers of this place as we prepare to worship Him, the King of Kings, in this place!

What a great place to wait for the return of our Lord
as we celebrate His Resurrection.