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Flag of Palestinian Territory  ,
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just a short clip which will be updated later tonight as I am feeling a little tired finally. We had an amazing day of discovery where we visited many sites in featured in the Bible and Biblical Children's songs - Beit-She'an - the large city that was inhabited heavily during the Roman times but was initially built on the hill in the foreground. Why did the city move down the hill - well simply put the Catapult was invented as the new seige weapon, the chariot was out, so the cities did not need to build high anymore and needed to expand for the population requirements. What is interesting to note is the intricate building designs, carvings, mosaics and the outstanding engineering of the baths (heating/cooling systems) and the water acqueduct under the streets. We have to remember that the parts that are open for us to see were actually covered by rooves and floors. A lot of the city was covered by rooves to reflect heat from the sun. They were truly ingenious people. The City in its current condition embodied the Roman architecture like that of Ceasarea along the coast. It had many tile mosiac flloors with marble pillars that would have supported a large red roof to shelter the people from the heat! There was a large theatre for entertainment, the first one to be ever be able to be fully enclosed with sheets (permitting dawn/dusk/evening scenes) as well as many shops located along the main corridor or Cardo. Although it was majestic in its day it was positioned at a strategic point within the valley and fell to many other ruling non-Christian cultures until its full destruction in 749 BC. The position of the pillars clearly show the massive forces of the earthquake and its destruction!
Nothing is to big for God to remove if God is not in it!
The next was a tour of route 65 - down along the valley - typcially the Jews and most travellers did not travel this route - this is mainly a new age route for motorized transports (ie: military importance). Most everyone travelled on the high grounds for fear of being attacked by the people of the sea (Egyptians with chariots)  along the coastal plain and to avoid the extreme heat and attacks from the Desert people (Beodowin). All the main cities were located along the upper high ground and we see obvious reasons which include safety and the fact that the rain shadow was located on the backside of this valley. This was one of the main factors that can be seen in some of the pictures. We travelled for about 1.5 hours through the desert with a good view of some of the rubble and odd shapes on the hilltops (Nimrod's Castle- Kalat Numrud of the Mamelukes) from the Crusades and on! Primarily Shepard shelters and goat fodder now, compared to the once very impressive and imposing fortresses. Again nothing is too big for God!
We travelled to Jericho, the oldest continually inhabited city in the world unitl the Judeans conquered it as it is mentioned in the Bible songs and scripture. What surprised me was how small it actually was encompassing about 10 acres of space. So we can visualize them walking around a small encampment by Roman standards. What was also very interesting was the sad tale of a man named Ahab who would only listen to his wife Jezzabel, and in the process of rebuilding Jericho lost four of his sons as told by prophesy! Why you ask, his vane nature to prove that he was better than God and should be feared himself. What a cost for one man's pride, we need to only look at our own lives to see what this has cost ourselves, myself included. I feel that as men we suffer from this affliction too often, Ahab disease where we are to proud to admit defeat, too proud to ask for forgiveness, too proud to repent and what happens. Our walls go up, build a bigger fortress that no one can come into, well look at what has happened to these other places without God! History repeats and unfortunately this is too true!

Next we are headed through the border crossing into what I would have considered the Valley of death on his way to the Holy City of Jerusalem. It is a desert - sand mountains and just a place of desperation that many people live in (hard living) which is occupied by the Beodowin who own the Desert transports (camels). It is not!  But looking upon this one has to acknowledge that even here God provides Oasis' to nourish us, even in the most bleakest and unforgiving climates He put places even in the most deserted areas that will fulfill our needs. Just for some good comedy though, upon are arrival I saw this man on top of the hill with his donkey. Very Biblical and ancient until I saw him talking on a cellular on it! Well within a short time of walking to the best view point we saw a lovely camel with the typical tirad of buskers trying to make a living off tourism scrambling up the hill. How can you blame them at all seeing that they have to sieze every opportunity to make a living, considering where they live. Just a little pushy though! 
Onto the bus and an uphill climb to Jerusalem, the Spiritual Capital of the World. The saying that out of the World's Beauty God gave Jerusalem 9 portions out of 10, out of the World's wealth, 9 portions out of 10 and out of the World's suffering 9 portions out of 10. This seems true on many accounts.
Our walls can protect our families from outside intruders, attacks from Satan and from developing a God like attitude to serving others in Love! Let us also pray for Israel in its need for more Christians, more peace and a better tolerance to all of the pre-existing groups!

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