Monday, June 27, 2011

Tampa Florida

We returned to Florida a week early back in May. Judy has had Miniscus surgery on her right knee. Surgery was successful. However, additional work will need to be done after the first week in September. We were scheduled to return to Israel the first of September. We will not be returning to Israel. Needless to say, we are discouraged. However we are rejoicing because we will return January 6, 2012 - March 6th.

Israel and the Garden Tomb have become incredibly important parts of our lives. While we wait to return to Israel, we are teaching at our church, spending some quality time with our grand children and hope to sneak in a little travel time in the USA!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Samaritan Passover on Mt. Gerizim

I'll skip the appolgies for not updating... 

Judy's knee started giving her problems the middle of April.  We were walking through the Old City when, for no apparent reason, her right knee began to give her excruciating pain.  X-Ray was non conclusive.  Our Dr. friend at Idlewild advised her to go home for further testing and we will be doing so.  We leave Israel a week early (May 5th) for Tampa and have a Dr.'s appointmen scheduled for her as soon as we get home.  Sure looks like she is going to have to have surgery - not a pleasant thought.

Her injury has pretty much kept her confined to the Garden.  Unfortunately, she was unable to go with us to Mt. Gerizim in Samaria to witness the Samaritan Sacrifice on Passover, Palm Sunday - April 17th.

The Samaritans are descendents from a group brought from Babylon to Samaria during the Jewish exile to Babylon who inter-married with the remnant of the Jewish population that was left there by the Babylonians.  The Samaritans inhabited Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to this very day.

The Samaritans accepted the God of Israel as their God and their religion is based on the Torah only.  Samaritans claim that their worship (as opposed to the mainstream Judaism) is the true religion of the ancient Israelites, predating the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

The Samaritans were hated by the Jews in Jesus day.  Jesus went through Samaria and talked to "The Woman at the Well" who believed and brought many Samaritans to hear Jesus.  Jesus loved all - even the "enemies" of the Jews and came for all.  He set an incredible example for us to follow!

Today there are about 750 Samaritans left.  They still observe the Passover and sacrifice sheep on Mt. Gerizim.  Their Temples were destroyed in the first century BC and 6th century AD.

When Jesus gave the "Great commision" He mentioned that the gospel should be preached in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the uttermost ends of the world.

 From the top of Mt. Gerizim looking down to Shechem (modern day Nablus) in the valley below.
 Ruins of the First and Second Temples
of the Samaritans and a Byzantine Church
 View from the ruins on top of Mt Gerizim.
Notice the building on the slope to the left with the dome on top.
Next picture please...
 That building is not a church...
it is the home of the wealthiest man in Palestine!
Looks like a Roman Villa...
 Looking down into Shechem aka Nablus
and the home of Jacob's Well.
We visited Shechem 33 years ago and drank water from Jacob's well!
This Greek Othodox Church stands over that well today.
The High Priest in the White
Preparing to bless the sacrifice

Sunday, April 10, 2011

It is time to catch up...

Yes we are alive and well... I know, I know... I did promise to be more faithful about keeping up to date with posts... sorry but not too sorry because we have been incredibly busy!  Lots of people visiting the Garden and we have been run ragged... We are tired but a very good kind of tired!

We have been blessed with a significant increase in visitors to the Garden, including some old friends as well!  
Larry & I graduated from High School together 50 years ago!

Jonathan Falwell's Father, Jerry, was our Pastor 1977-1982
Dr. Erwin Lutzer and his wife
Sarah Palin
Sarah and her husband Todd
Dr. Woodrow Michael Kroll
Dr. Kroll's daughter, Tracy
Dr. Kroll's son, Tim
Dr. Kroll's daughter, Tina

And... for my "Bloomin' Friends!"
The Garden is getting dressed up for Easter!

 Jerusalem is always a fun place during holiday celebrations...
video

In the midst of a very busy season, we did have the opportunity to get away to Eilat for a few days to rest.  On the way down through the Negev, we stopped off at David Ben-Gurion's tomb.  Incredible views!!!


 Jews, when visiting the tomb of a loved one, instead
leaving flowers leave a "Stone of Remembrance."
A great idea, if you forgot to bring flowers, there 
are always stones around!
 Awesome view!
 Now, the view is perfect!
 There were a number of Ibex in the memorial park.
We drove on down to Eilat for a restful couple of days.  Our hotel was on the water with a balcony overlooking a lagoon that emptied into the Red Sea... We were two blocks from the sea and about a mile from the Oceanarium.  Fun visit and very restful... much needed!
 View from our hotel balcony looking East
 Looking North
 Sun rising over the mountains in Jordan
 Koi Pond at the Oceanarium
 Oceanarium



 New Pet for Carly!
 We found Nemo!
 A pet for Ben!
 A pet for Al?
 We found this guy swimming near the beach...
 We stopped off in Timnah Park on our way back to Jerusalem
 Incredible!

 Solomon mined Copper from here.
 Copper Ingots ready to be transported.
 There is a full size model of the Tabernacle in Timnah Park
 Fascinating


 The Holy of Holies is behind the stripped curtain.
 Altar
 Table of Shew Bread
 Altar of Incense
 High Priest
 Menorah
 Ark of the Covenant
Inside the Ark: Arron's Rod, Ten Commandments and Mannah