Israel Study Tour with BEMA Discipleship

July 24 - August 11, 2016

Led by Marty Solomon
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Trip Blog Posts

Text, community, discipleship, and wrestling

posted on Wednesday August 10 2016 at 10:29 pm UTC

Today was a good day, but it was also a sad day. It is back to reality tomorrow as we hop on long plane rides back to the lives we put on pause 17 days ago. We tied everything up in a day of church history. We spent time in an underground city where Christians hid from Roman persecution in Cappadocia,...

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Pisidian Antioch and Lystra

posted on Wednesday August 10 2016 at 12:54 am UTC

Today we had lots of bus travel, but the two sites we stopped at were definitely worth it. We were in the region of the Galatians, and we stopped in Pisidian Antioch and in the unexcavated land of Lystra. In Pisidian Antioch, we discussed how Paul was passionate about going to Rome, but also swore...

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Hierapolis, Colossae, and Laodicea

posted on Tuesday August 09 2016 at 12:41 am UTC

Hello! Here at the Richmond Thermal Spa, Marty has given us an exercise in truly experiencing luxuries that many would consider a stretch out of their Christian comfort zone. Fantastic meals, bath houses, pools, and service that models the true Kingdom of God. I'm continually in awe of the kindness we've...

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You are ALREADY loved

posted on Sunday August 07 2016 at 5:55 pm UTC

We ventured out to the city of Sardis this morning where we learned about a people who were obsessed with death. Out of the hundred thousand people who lived here, many people worshiped the god Kibula. But we discovered there was something much bigger going on here. Throughout the city we found subtle...

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Using the Text in culture

posted on Sunday August 07 2016 at 5:35 am UTC

Hello everyone, Tori here. Mr. Brent asked me to write the post for today, so here I am. And here you are. Today I think it'd be safe to say we all got our minds blown... again. Marty became a character who guided us on a tour through the Ascelepion temple, and what the process of getting hospital...

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Order or chaos?

posted on Friday August 05 2016 at 6:30 pm UTC

Today's lesson started with the gate at Ephesus. If God is standing at your gate, what culture does He see? Order or chaos? Like the stone we saw yesterday. Did God see the menorah defacing the cross, or the cross defacing the menorah? I believe God saw order. Two cultures living in harmony. We...

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Live in the tension

posted on Friday August 05 2016 at 12:36 am UTC

Today we fully engaged wrestling with what we think we know and what culture tells us. That started with the 1 am departure from our Jerusalem hotel. Today we say goodbye to Israel and hello to Turkey. We are at the second part of our journey and looking forward to what God has for us here. Now that...

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The Mount of Olives

posted on Thursday August 04 2016 at 12:29 am UTC

Today was our 9th day on the ground in Israel, and we started it with a short bus ride to the Mount of Olives where Marty led us in our morning devotional with a view of the old city of Jerusalem behind us. From there we walked down the street where Jesus would have made the "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem...

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Opportunities waiting to be seized

posted on Tuesday August 02 2016 at 6:13 pm UTC

Today we left the Galilee and spent the day in and around Jerusalem. Our first stop was at the temple mount where Marty taught about Pentecost and the birth of the church. We visited the ruins of a 13,000-square-foot house that could have been the house of Caiaphas where the “informal Sanhedrin”...

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Sifting through the hidden layers of life

posted on Monday August 01 2016 at 11:36 pm UTC

Today we were introduced and challenged by the world of hellenism. What kind of story are we telling with our lives? Above the ruins of Bet She'an, we circled around the four pillars of Hellenism: media, education, athletics, and healthcare. None of these four elements are sinful, but what amount of...

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I could tell you...

posted on Sunday July 31 2016 at 9:48 pm UTC

I could tell you how today we went to Gamla to learn about the zeal of the zealots. With their zeal they became some of the most feared men and women in all the empire, and they lived on a small chunk of dirt in the Galilee. That's impressive. I could tell you about the god pan, but trust me, you...

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Walking the Path

posted on Sunday July 31 2016 at 12:59 am UTC

In spite of the shorter distances walked today compared to the last few days, it may have been the day with the most struggling. Today was all about grappling with Jesus's teaching, what he truly meant to teach, and how we respond to his lessons (or, frequently, how we try to avoid responding)....

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Passion and Love

posted on Saturday July 30 2016 at 12:33 am UTC

Today we hiked to the top of Mt. Carmel, the place where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal. His passion and zeal for following God was his driving force and something we should strive for. But in the end, no Israelites returned to God because of him. As he sits dismayed over the people's stubbornness,...

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City Gates and Lowlands

posted on Thursday July 28 2016 at 8:25 pm UTC

Today started with breakfast at our hotel just outside of Jerusalem. There was a wide variety of food, from pesto covered pasta to waffles. Our first stop was at Tel Gezer. We walked among ancient ruins and learned about city gates. In ancient cities, the gate was where the poor and needy went to...

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Unwavering commitment

posted on Wednesday July 27 2016 at 7:40 pm UTC

Today our group did much better in the heat. We were able to start the day hiking up to Masada, where our guide, Yehuda, led us through and taught all kinds of history on this incredible palace that Herod had built two thousand years ago. After a quick stop for lunch, we moved on to Qumran and...

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Dead and Living Water

posted on Tuesday July 26 2016 at 7:41 pm UTC

We spent the day learning the lessons of the desert the Israelites learned after leaving Egypt, such as the concepts of enough, walking the path and following in the steps of the rabbi. As people adjusted to the heat, some stayed at the hotel in the afternoon while the rest of us visited the...

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Preparing for Israel

posted on Thursday July 21 2016 at 9:30 pm UTC

Our trip to Israel and Turkey will be here before you know it! Once we're on the ground, we'll post periodic updates and photos. Check back often or get update notifications using the subscribe options on this page. We'll be sharing our travel experiences online with you, our friends and family,...

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