Friday, October 21, 2011

Challah, Samaria, and a night in Jerusalem!

All I can say is God blows my mind!  Once again so much has happened and I don't even know where to begin to explain all that has unfolded.  For the last week we have been celebrating Sukkot or Feast of Booths, which lasts for seven days.  It is a Jewish Festival that reminds Jews of their pilgrimage after they left Egypt.  The sukkot, tent, is a reminder of the fragile dwellings in which they dwelt in during the 40 years of wandering.  It is a time for unbridled joy as they reflect back on how God provided for  them and provides today.  Friday we made Challah before we had Shabbat.  As for the rest of the week I spent my time studying and doing homework. This last week we had our Second Temple Midterm, an LXX and MT comparison, and lots of homework due.  And then came today or more like tonight,  it was incredible and much needed.  First, after dinner we had a girls mug and muffin night.  All I can say is we are extremely blessed by the women here - Stephanie, Jael, Natalie, and Wendy.  They are incredible, so encouraging, and challenge us in many ways.  It was the perfect way to start an amazing night.  After that twenty-one of us headed to Jerusalem on a Sherut to celebrate the last day of Sukkot.  I don't even know how to describe what took place, but in short we ended up going to a Torah party.  The middle of the streets had men singing and dancing with unbridled joy around the Torah.  Later on some of the boys found an entrance to the Ramparts, which allows you to walk around the wall overlooking the valleys.  We walked along the Southern wall facing the City of David and the Mount of Olives.  It was a view I will never forget as the surrounding hills were lit up.  The ambience of the evening was a perfect setting for being on top of the wall and looking out over the City of David.  I couldn't help but be filled with excitement and joy.  I have the shivers just thinking about it and how incredible God is.  On a completely different note earlier in the day I was doing homework for Land and Bible and I read Luke 5:1-11, Jesus calls the first disciples.  In verse 10 Jesus says to Simon who was a fishermen.."Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."  When I read this all I could picture was the relationship of fishing and witnessing.  Fishing in a way is a good example of what witnessing is like.  Growing up I would go fishing.  Every fishermen knows you have to have a pole, bait, and fish to catch.  If I wanted to catch a fish I had to take the pole and the bait and cast the line.  I picture this as God is holding the pole, which is me, and the bait is his word.  It is not me that will lead others to Christ, but God.  God can use me though just as a fishermen uses a pole to catch the fish.  The bait is key.  What good is a pole without the bait.  To use the bait properly Christians must dive into God's word and learn the truth to share with others.  Don't be satisfied with just knowing enough to get by.  When you are fishing over time the bait falls off.  How strong are you rooted in God's word.   There are so many lost souls out there waiting to hear the truth.  Are you willing to allow God to use you?  When he calls do you only allow him to cast the line so far as long as you are comfortable?  Allow Him to cast the line where he pleases and as far as he please,  be grounded in his word, and the catch will not be a disappointment.  Don't be afraid...God is holding the pole, he is holding you, and he has giving his word to you as bait.  The question is are you resisting and using the bait to its fullest?  Something to think about.  James 4:14  "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."

Well it is 2:00am and I need to get some sleep.  Surprisingly I am not too tired right now mainly because I have much on my mind.  Today I have one class and then Saturday I am going to Galilee for a whole week and when I get back I get to see my Parents and The Browns, which I couldn't be more excited for!!!  I pray you all have a great week and challenged yourselves to grow closer to your Lord.

Some of these photos are from past weeks that I got from other friends cameras.   Anyway this  photo was in a cave at Beth Shemesh in the Sorek Valley. 

Kayla, Lydia, and I on Yom Kippur when the freeway was shut down.

On top of Gath looking out towards the Mediterranean Sea

Making Challah for Shabat!

Laurel, Kayla, and I and our butterfly

Our finished product :)  It was amazing 

Me, Mollie, and Kayla at Shabbat!  God has been so good in blessing me with these amazing girls.  

Psalm 127:3-5 "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!  He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Proverbs 31  "She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the SPINDLE."

Me and Natalie, one of the IBEX staff.  We are going to Switzerland and Barcelona together with Kayla for our travel studies break.  I can't wait!
I love Jerusalem! 
At Ben Yehuda street.  Behind us the Men are celebrating Sukkot by singing and dancing - Unbridled Joy
                                In the Jewish Quarters in Jerusalem.  We followed them to a Sukkot/Torah Party. 

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