Israel Study Tour with The Forge, Pine Cove

Mar 12-24, 2016

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The Straight Walk

Shalom! Or at least of the time that I’m writing this, Shabbat Shalom! We have had an awesome day visiting a few sites and enjoying a little extra sleep from the Sabbath. God is continuing to do big things in the lives of those here and continues to reveal what he wants each of us to know.

Rewind just a little bit: Sabbath started last night, so we enjoyed a Sabbath dinner together as family and had a blast singing together, everything from “Let it Go” to “Hey Jude”. After getting a little extra rest, we started our drive north towards Banias or, as we more often know it from Scriptures, Caesarea Philippi. We walked along the Jordan River through the beautiful forest all the way to one of the three sources of the river at the base of Mount Hermon. After that, we made our way to Dan. Again, we traveled through a beautiful, lush forest, a far cry from the desert we were in a few days ago, to the ancient ruins of the city. There we had a powerful story of the tribe of Dan and their mistakes.

Caesarea Philippi

This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

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The Danites made plenty of mistakes, but hopefully we all can learn from them. They did what was right in their own eyes. They moved when they wanted to and worshiped what they wanted to. It didn’t start with flat-out idolatry; it started with a few steps off course that brought them to the completely wrong place. One degree off from your destination can land you in somewhere where you were never meant to be. We are prone to wander, so we often need course correction from our community of faith. Through our community, we can stay in line with the Gospel and keep walking the orthopodeo, the straight walk.

Tel Dan

On the northern frontier of the kingdom, Dan was particularly well fortified. This gatehouse was built in the ninth century BCE, probably by Ahab, and is part of a series of gateways discovered.

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The Lord has even more in store for us tomorrow. It is crazy to think that we still have even more days in God’s land. Thank you for all your continued prayers! Please continue to pray that our eyes our open to what God wants us to see and that we seek to do life the way He intended it!

By Austin Griffin

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As a follower of Jesus Christ, I have to put aside my pride, choosing to reject my old way of life to be able to submit to and follow my Rabbi as I find hope in Living Water. [Matthew 16:21-26] #forgeisrael

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You can't see it but there is a rushing waterfall to our right. #forgeisrael #isthisrael

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Today was another great adventure through the land of Israel! #ForgeIsrael #4G16

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Man. Today. My heart can't handle today. We went to Capernaum (in a synagogue that was built on top of the foundation of the synagogue that Jesus taught in), Qatzrin (more to come on this site), Bethsaida (one of the most frequent cities mentioned in the Bible), the Jordan River, and ended the day hanging out at the Sea of Galilee (which is pictured) and celebrating Shabbat. Qatzrin was an amazing site and the part that struck me the most was not a Biblical site at all. We had an opportunity to sit inside a house modeled after what a house would have looked like during the first century and talked about Mark 12, when 4 friends brought their paralytic friend, lowering him through the roof, to be healed by Jesus. While reading through these scriptures and talking it out, it hit me like a ton of bricks on how community is meant to be lived out. So often I am worried about being a burden to others that I choose to walk through difficult times by myself. I don't like asking for help because I don't like being an inconvenience to those around me. I wept as we sat in the house imaging the faithfulness of his friends to bring him to the Healer and how important our community today is in doing the same. A community IS important, burdens are NOT meant to be carried alone. When our faith is lacking, the faith of our friends do more for us than we know to bring us to Jesus. The community is meant to carry one another's burdens but I so often choose to carry them myself, which is both prideful and damaging. This moment in the house was so eye-opening and heart tugging as I see how much I struggle with relying on my community. Man. This day, guys. This day. I don't want to forget what I learned this day. #forgeisrael #isthisrael

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