Blogs from Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel, Middle East

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Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem April 13th 2014

We were scheduled for a tour of the tunnel under the Western Wall at 11. We went down to the Wall early and both Jack and I left notes praying for the same things. A little later we watching a group of police escort a young man shackled at his hands and feet shouting “Allah Akbar” through the plaza. We thought it was an isolated agitator. This was our second tour of the tunnel. Since we had done this 20 years ago, the tunnel had been substantially extended. Seeing the stones of the second temple is very moving. Along the way you pass two huge stones, the larger of which is 45 feet long and weighs as much as 2 fully loaded 747s. It is a mystery how they were ever put in place. On our ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 30th 2014

Today started out at the church built at over St Joachim & Anne’s house, the birth place of the Blessed mother. A lovely church renowned for its acoustics, if you are a singer, and every group that came in there sang. I took a video of one group that I’ll include when I compile all this at home. From that beautiful spot we walked over to the spot where Pontius Pilot’s palace was. The spot where Jesus was condemned, scourged, crowned with thorns and lead to his execution. Doing this the 4th Sunday in Lent was really heart rending. The stations ended on Calvary in the church of the Holy Sepulcher where we were twice before. The cruelty, violence and humiliation of those events were brought to my heart in a real and terrifying way. Good ... read more
The cave in which the Blessed Mother may have been born
Mary & Her Mother
The place where Jesus was Condemned & whipped

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 28th 2014

Shabot Shalom or Sabbath peace. As the sun sets here in Jerusalem on this Friday evening and the Jews clear the streets to begin their Sabbath observance, here are some pictures from our day at the Church of the nativity, the church of the visitation, and the Shepherd's field. High lights from today were kissing the star on the floor where Christ was born, preaching in the church of the nativity, and praying the Magnificat with Msgr Foynes in the church where Mary first said those words. Many many tears today... read more
Spot where Christ was Born
Statue of The blessed mother
Entrance to Shepherd's field

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 28th 2014

Today began with an encounter with one of the hotel staff in the elevator. She asked if I was American, I said yes, I asked her if she was from here. He said yes, I was born in Jerusalem, I asked her if she liked it here. She said, “I LOVE Jerusalem! We have Jesus here!” What an amazing witness from someone who had no way of telling if I was Jewish, Muslim or something else. We made our way into Palestine through the wall the Israelis built after the 1999 intifada. We went to the Church of the nativity, the main part of which is nearly falling down from neglect. I was able to kiss the star on the floor where Christ was born. We then went into the Catholic Church which shares a wall ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 27th 2014

Today was like trying to get a sip of water from the bottom of Niagara Falls. I woke up to read morning prayer and the first psalm prayer spoke of Jesus weeping over the coming destruction of the city of Jerusalem, a few hours later I stood on the spot where that happened. We met at 5:30 this morning and took a short walk to the church of the Holy Sepulcher and celebrated mass in the tomb where Jesus was laid after the crucifixion and rose Sunday morning. If you sent me a prayer it was on the shelf where they laid Christ as we celebrated mass, along with a picture of my children and my beautiful bride’s first (now broken) wedding ring. Words can’t even begin to describe the emotions of being in the very ... read more

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Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 26th 2014

Well I have learned something important today, 6,600 miles is a REALLY long way. We arrived in Televiv this afternoon and got checked into the Gloria hotel just inside the Jaffa gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. While in line at passport control I met some great people; a really nice young couple from Munich who vacationed in Clw last year, a college student from Australia, and a young family from Russia. Tomorrow morning we begin with Mass in Christ's tomb at 6:00 AM. It is overwhelming just to think about. Today's photos are just quickies taken with my iPhone. More & better to come... read more
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For all your Old City falafel needs
Inside Jaffa Gate

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 16th 2014

I am getting ready for what I assume will be a once in a life time trip to the land where Christ Jesus lived, died, rose & ascended. My goal will be to post some thoughts & pictures every evening starting 3/25 or 26.... read more

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem February 18th 2014

After breakfast we drove east and south the to lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. On the way we stopped in the Judan hills at sea level where most of us rode a camel. I felt sorry for the camel when I got on. He was obviously used to small Arabs. The camel master asked me “How many kilo do you weigh?” We then drove into the wilderness area associated with John the Baptist via the Oasis of Ein Gedi to Masada. At this great mountain fort were the Jews fought the Romans, we took the cable car up to the summit where we visited the excavations and heard the story about the Zealots and how they choose suicide over slavery in the war against the Romans. It was a beautiful vista looking over to ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem February 17th 2014

Thank you for praying for me today. I could not have withstood the physical challenges of today's study tour without your prayers. We literally walked the entire Old City of Jerusalem. Imagine at 1.5 square mile of land with 37,000 residents and thousands of visitors. Up hill, down hill, up steps, down steps. People everywhere and this is not the busiest time of the year. We started our day with a visit to the Western Wall through the Dung Gate and walked up to the Temple Mount to see the Dome of the Rock, the Moslum mosque which Christian can not enter. We were allowed to be on the grounds there and near another mosque that is nearby. From the Temple Mount one can look over to the Town of Bethany where Jesus started his Palm ... read more
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