Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Beauty of Israel

In the Old Testament we read that Israel was "the land of milk and honey."  God said it, Abraham believed it, the Jewish people lived it.  But when I tried to picture Israel in my mind what I saw was the desert, The Dead Sea, the mountains that are pure rock. I'm not sure why that's all that I saw but I do know that I was wrong.  Really, really wrong.  Israel is both lush and arid.  It is inviting and it is desolate.  But no matter which part I was in, it was beautiful.
 The flowers are amazing:

Sometimes they appear, just two or three, in the most unlikely places.  On the side of the highway, beside a sign pointing the way to Bethlehem, a few flowers peak out of the grass.  Cascading over a rock wall on a narrow street going into the Old City they remind me of that old saying, "bloom where you are planted."  In many places they weren't planted...they were happenstance.  A seed dropped by a bird perhaps.  But out of the dry ground they sprouted and they persevered.  Much like the people of that land.  

Some of the beauty is man made:

These pictures are unedited and my skills aren't understatement.  But you can see the amazing talent that has been given to this land over the centuries.  Even in the very poorest of villages the churches were beautiful and were filled with art that took my breath away.
Even the desolate parts are beautiful:

 But the real beauty lies in this:
Jesus came.  He was baptized in the Jordan River.

He died and He was laid in a tomb.

But He's not there in that tomb any more.


Pokey said...

Amen! definitely a life changing visit. Thank you, I've enjoyed your shares of this trip.

Marie Rayner said...

How wonderful that you were able to take this trip! I have always wanted to do so. It must be amazing to be able to walk on ground the Saviour walked on. xxoo

FabricFascination said...

So wonderful Marlene. I love hearing your account of the trip.

I've thought of the contrast between the way Israel was described and the way it is often pictured now too. Someday it will be fully restored to its original paradise beauty.

Marge said...

Thanks for sharing these photos. How blessed you are to have taken this trip. I would love to do so someday.

Blessings to you, Marlene.

Carol said...

Amazing what your pictures show, Marlene. I, too, picture in my head a gray/brown Israel. I don't even think of any flowers or trees! So thank you for correcting my misconceptions!

Carol (NJ)

Sparky said...


Julie Fukuda said...

You are getting this message because I love you and Madame Samm is a genius. Your blog trip is fantastic as well.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you posted these pictures. Unfortunately, these days when I think of Israel, pictures of bombed out cars come to mind. Thanks for the true story.
Arkansas Patti

nanny said...

Thanks so much for the link for help!!!!! I just read it and will follow her directions.....

Have a great day!

Grammy Staffy said...

What a wonderful trip. I so hope that I will be able to travel there as planned next January.

Thanks for the call today. I so enjoy talking to you today. Thank you for your insight and encouragement..... and thanks for the tip about deleting the cookies. I think my blogger is working right now.

Have a good trip to your mission. I will be praying for you. Hugs, Lura

Gmama Jane said...

Praise the Lord that tomb is empty and HE LIVES!!!! I've enjoyed your pictures so much!! I'm looking forward to more pictures of your latest adventure!
Love you