My Holy Land Experience, Part 7 Finale

Finally, the last day of the tour – I want to apologize about this last day as it took me more than 3-4 weeks to compose. Not only for the simple reason that I had to catch up on work upon my return but it was more of contemplating about the entire trip and translating it into words. By the end of this short exposition, I will write a little bit about what is going on in my heart and mind. I would say that the Promised Land is truly a must see and if you can set aside the time and money for it, by all means do so. Let’s begin…

For the last day, we started out on the top of the Mount Of Olives making our way down to the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus wept and the disciples slept. That very idea is so true up until this very day, sometimes the things that move our Father in heaven happen to be the things we care the least about. The Christian life is truly a life of continuous alignment and yielding to the Father’s will until that faithful day will come where we will stand and look Jesus in the eye.

A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives.

A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives.

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My Holy Land Experience, Part 6

Today was special, we followed some of the steps of Jesus during the crucifixion. Tomorrow we will continue on that path but today we had a front row seat of Jesus’ death on the cross. It was truly a precious time for me, touching the very stone where Jesus was beaten and flogged. Walking the very road that my Lord walked; the very street where his blood was spilled. It was precious!

I remember your finished work on the cross for us Lord. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith! Thank you for your grace! Not only present grace but future grace as well.

To the City of David.

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My Holy Land Experience, Part 5.

A map of Scythopolis made from bronze.

Well, today was another historical tour. We stopped at an old city named Beit She’an. It was amazing to see so much of an extremely old city still in great shape. This was truly a treat. Ancient Beit She’an is one of the most impressive Roman and Byzantine sites in Israel. Continue reading

My Holy Land Experience, Part 4.

Today was awesome! So far this has been for me the highlight of my trip, unless of course the Lord tops it again tomorrow. Every day is sweeter as the day goes by! Without further delays, let me get on with it.

Early this morning this was the view from our hotel, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee from the Hotel.

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My Holy Land Experience, Part 3.

Well today, was not as full because of a delay at the border of Israel. Tomorrow will be more exciting as we visit more “Jesus” sites! For today we visited Jericho, Nazareth and Cana in Galilee. Tomorrow will be loaded, trust me. So please keep posted!

Well as I mentioned, were delayed at the border of Israel due to tight security. I almost got pulled out of the line because of the way I look! Anyway, as you can see in the photo below, my seat of choice was at the back of the bus and this is a shot of our tour bus. Pretty neat, huh! That’s Pastor Ron to my left with an open map of Jerusalem.

Pastor Ron with a map of Jerusalem.

The next couple of photos you will see what archaeologists believe to be the ruins of Jericho. You can see traces of what would have been the famous walls in some areas, but you would need to take a closer look to see that the walls were made with three thick layers. I couldn’t get near enough to get a clear shot, but this one in particular is a shot of where they say Jericho’s watchtower was located. They believe that a most of the city has yet to be uncovered. Continue reading

My Holy Land Experience, Part 2.

Hey guys, day two is here! So this morning we left the hotel at around 7:30AM, the drive was to be three hours, one way. We were scheduled to visit Petra, Jordan for the day. To be exact, that is Al Khazneh or The Treasury at Petra located in Ma’an Governorate, Jordan. This site is not mentioned in the Bible, in any case, today was more for history.

For those unfamiliar, you can visit Wikipedia for information on Petra.

Our beloved Senior Pastor Albert Clavo, exiting the hotel.

After the three hour drive we walked and waited a bit at a guest-house until the entire team was ready to go again. Some of the group decided to take a horse-drawn carriage for the four kilometer journey, but I, of course, chose to walk. I wanted to savor every moment of the journey! Continue reading

My Holy Land Experience, Part 1.

The group and I have finally arrived! Here are the highlights of the highlights because when arrived today, we went straight to the tour, haha! I’ve been awake for more than 24 hours!

Abu Dhabi Airport waiting area.

This was where we waited to connect to Amman, Jordan which was our entry point to the Holy Land. By the way, the flight we took out of Manila via Etihad Airways was superb with an excellent entertainment system. All the movies (even the latest) were available and each passenger had full control of what they could watch. I watched “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Total Recall”! Hehe. Continue reading

Daddy, do it again!

Habakkuk 3:2 | Lord, I have heard of your fame;  I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.  Repeat them in our day,  in our time make them known…

Watching my baby girl who is 1 & 10 months has placed such wisdom in my life. I learn more from her than she actually learns from me. So far it has been an exciting journey seeing her grow up. In the car she would just blurt out words like, “mountains!”, or “cow!”, or “airplane!” as her eyes would see and identify those things around her. On her own she would get excited and start calling our attention so we could also glance her way and identify the same things she sees. One time yesterday while I was driving, we had crossed a bridge that was above us from the freeway and men were working on repairing the bridge, she got so excited because it seemed like those men were flying as they stood on the edges of the bridge to fix it. Right after we passed them she immediately exclaimed, “again!” as if I could make the same scenario happen again on the next bridge. I immediately pointed to something else  in the hope of getting her mind off the bridge work and she said the word again. She saw the mountains and the airplane and with her hopeful voice saying “daddy, again!” Somehow in her little brilliant mind she saw me as someone who can re-create all the things she just saw and make it happen again and again. The men on the bridge, the mountains, the airplane in the sky or the moon and stars, it didn’t matter to her if it was something tiny that I could hold in my hands or something so far away in the sky – “My daddy can make it all happen again and point them out to me.”

Hope that comes from the Lord is a hope that is anchored in faith and guaranteed by relationship. Hope causes us to keep waiting, it causes us to stay strong and believe for something better, it brings us to a place of peace knowing that something better is just around the corner. Hope does not filter out the negativity around, in fact it sees it and acknowledges its presence;  hope takes all that negativity and pushes forward in strength. The prophet Habakkuk saw a coming storm on the horizon (they were in imminent danger of an invasion), he wrote words of hope in a season of turbulence. He cried to the Lord saying, “Repeat them in our day and renew your great and mighty works in our time!” What a prayer of faith. Though everything I am seeing around me is opposite of the hope I have inside I will continue to cry out to you asking you to repeat and renew the great things you’ve done in the past. Like Abraham, against all hope He hoped and believed… (Romans 4:18). He cried out to the Lord this way because as the verse says, he has heard of the Lord’s fame and he stands in awe of the Lord’s marvelous deeds – he believes that the Lord can make it happen again and again and again. He can do what He did in the past because He never changes, his power does not diminish! The bible says “I am the Lord and I change not!” (Malachi 3:6); He is the same, yesterday, today and forever! (Hebrews 13:8). Like my little girl, we should see our Father as a big father who holds all things together (Colossians 1:17); He does have the power to do it again for us, for His glory.

What situation are you in right now? Have you ever felt that feeling that you’ve gone too far and crossed a line that you can never ever come back? Have you been passionate for the Lord before and someway somehow you’ve lost all that fire for the Lord? What is weighing you down? God can do it again in your life! He can cause that fire to burn again! He can grant you the strength to overcome that sin and that failure! He can do it again and again and again! Oh God do it again in my life, do it again in our lives!

Are you waiting for something? Perhaps a lifetime partner, wait in hope. Because those who wait upon the Lord will find new strength. (Isaiah 40:31)

-Pastor Brian Kairuz, Youth Pastor | Lighthouse Christian Community