Have you ever discovered something significant that has been right under your proverbial nose all the time? Well, I did yesterday. And more on that in minute. But first…
Things are warming up a little over here and activities are increasing as well. Yesterday they had the Jerusalem Marathon, which also included other shorter races (1/2 marathon, 10k and 5k); my next door neighbor ran in one of the shorter races, but I haven’t been able to catch up with him yet to see how he did.
I did go up to the Haas Promenade to watch a little of it, and watching the runners I must confess that I wish I still had knees that would allow me to run in races like this; but while I was out I did see a Jewish man who could not walk without great difficulty. It was a reminder to me that so often we need to see the glass half-full, rather than half-empty, and to be thankful for what we can do, rather than complain about what we cannot do. Anyway, here’s a great story from CBN’s Chris Mitchell on the Marathon’s events. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Hk00n1Hl0
Bike Ride, photos and a surprising discovery in “my backyard.”
OK, now about that proverbial nose thing. Yesterday afternoon on Shabbat, I decided to take a break from study and get out of the house. So I rode my bicycle up my street to the Haas Promenade area. Just down the street across from the UN center is a hill that I have noticed but have not ventured up, but I have been curious about, so I checked it out. When I got to the top I was shocked: the view was breathtaking. I had no idea that from nearly right behind my apartment was a view of the Dead Sea—about 12 miles away—along with the Judean Desert and the Herodian Fortress. In fact, the entire 360 panorama includes the Temple Mount, Jordan, and the New City of Jerusalem as well. So I took a series of photos and ‘stitched’ them together. You can seen the here: https://pcinisrael.org/media/#jp-carousel-489
We never know what is just beyond the ridge or around the corner, just waiting to be found, “as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor.2:9). Our G-d has good things in store for us, so let us keep seeking—what you’re looking for may just be over the next hill.
While I was up on the hilltop another cyclist came along—he was even older than me! Randolf*, from Germany, is volunteering and helping elderly people in one of the local Arab villages. We had an interesting conversation— though he was kind, he hinted that he felt the Palestinian people were getting the short end of the stick. Though born and baptized Roman Catholic, he does not claim any faith affiliation; but he agreed that the command to love one another is really the answer to the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma—of course, HOW we find that love to give away is another story. Suffice to say we need new hearts (cf. Ezek. 36:26).
From there I rode to the other side of Armon HaNatziv—the Jerusalem suburb I live in—to a small community called Ramat Rachel (“Rachel’s Heights”) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramat_Rachel . Ramat Rachel has an interesting history going back to possibly the first Temple period (before 586 BC) during the days of Jeremiah the prophet. Today there is a kibbutz and resort center by the same name adjacent to the original site, and you can see Bethlehem from there.
On the ride back I was crossing a bridge over Asher Viner Road where they have placed two large, flat steel lions, which is the symbol of Jerusalem; as I rode by I caught a glimpse of the sunset and thought I would get a picture of it. Pretty cool shot—even looks like a Star of David shining through if you use your imagination a little.
From there I continued and rode past the US Consulate General, where they have a big US flag flying—I don’t remember seeing that before, and I must say it stirs a little longing for home to see a big US flag like that…so, I stopped and got a few more pictures. BTW, this is where the interim US Embassy is going to be moved to while the more permanent US Embassy is under construction.
Also, one of the things I do at CFI is produce the daily, encouraging scripture memes for our Twitter and FaceBook pages; be sure to check out and “Like” our stuff. https://www.facebook.com/CFIJerusalem/
Please pray—it makes a difference!
These are very interesting times to be alive, especially in Jerusalem. Time is moving quickly and Israel’s 70th birthday will be here in a little more than a month. So please be in prayer for Israel, our President and other leaders, as well as Jimmy Morales, the President of Guatemala, who has courageously stepped up to the plate and committed himself and his small country to recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Psalm 147:2 says, “The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel” (KJV); the Contemporary English Version reads thusly, “The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem and brings the people of Israel back home again.” One of the things we at CFI do is to supply free clothing to many of the olim (new immigrants) who ‘make aliyah’ to come home to Israel to live. Four times a year we receive a tractor-trailer load of clothing from US and UK, to distribute to our new Jewish friends: here are a couple of shots of the CFI team.
It is awesome to be here at the ‘Center of the Universe’ to see this happening—Jerusalem is literally being built up, before our eyes, from ancient ruins restored to modern projects rising up to 20 stories, it is happening. Of course, the Adversary is not going to take this lying down, as they say, he is full of “great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time” (Rev. 12:12), and we can see the spiritual battle behind the scenes influencing what is happening in the natural. At times you can almost feel the spiritual tension and pressure of religious spirits, so pray for me and us at CFI, that the work can go forward.
Shalom from Jerusalem,