October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 9

DAY 9 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17:

Today was our last full day here in Greece. For the last time, we are thankful for the bright sun and temps in the mid-high 70s again.

Delphi Greece

The mountainous region of Delphi, Greece

We started the day early today, at 7 a.m. This is because we had a longer drive to one of the best -preserved classical archaeological sites in all of Greece – Delphi! As we left the hotel, we read from I Corinthians 9 (running towards the “prize”) and 2 Corinthians 10 (spiritual weapons), being reminded once again of the life and culture of Paul and the need to approach ministry armed with the power of God’s Spirit.

Delphi

Temple of Apollo - Delphi

The Temple of Apollo – Delphi, Greece

Driving to Delphi was very scenic. After leaving the Athens area, we entered into a more mountainous region of mainland Greece. We stopped once along the way for a snack and bathroom break (wow… great glaze donuts!!). The mountain range of Delphi is called Parnassos. It is a beautiful region of mainland Greece. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world. According to mythology, the divine oracle of Apollo was given nine times each year (on the 7th day of the spring summer, and fall months). It was also here beginning in 586 B.C. that athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the precursors to the modern Olympics.

Upon arriving in Delphi, the first thing we visited was the archaeological site. Here we saw many ruins waiting form the classical Greek Period (6th-5th centuries BC) to the Roman Period and time of Paul. Among the ruins we saw were the Treasury of Athena, the famous Temple of Apollo, the theater, and the stadium. It is one of the best preserved stadiums in all of Greece!

Stadium Delphi Greece

The well-preserved stadium at Delphi, Greece

Next, we visited the Delphi museum only a few minutes walk form the site. Here we saw some very impressive artifacts, including the inscription that mentions Gallio, Proconsul of Corinth. This helps verify that Paul was in Corinth around 51-52 AD. We also saw many statutes and temple reliefs.

After eating lunch at a traditional Greek restaurant in Arachova (a beautiful small town nearby built on the slopes of the mountain), we made our way back to Athens. We stopped at the Athens Airport first. Here we said goodbye to the six in the group who are extending their trip to Rome. There will be lots to see there! Rome was Paul’s final destination (Acts 27).

Gallio inscription - Delphi Greece

Inscription of “Gallio the proconsul.” He is mentioned in Acts 18:12)

For the rest of us, we drove back to our hotel for dinner and a free evening. Some in the group enjoyed walking around the streets of Athens on their own.

It was a great trip of walking in the footsteps of Paul and “connecting the dots” between the world and culture of the New Testament and the Scriptures!

DAY 10 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18: ATHENS, U.S.A.

We plan to transfer in the morning to Athens Airport for our return flight back to the States. We arrive home in the late afternoon/evening.

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 8

DAY 8 – MONDAY, OCTOBER 16:

Corinth - Apollo

The Temple of Apollo at Corinth

We arrived back in the port of Piraeus this morning. We sailed through the night from Santorini. The sun once again greeted us, with perfect temps in the 70s. We have been blessed with great weather!
We disembark the cruise and met Aliki, our new Greek guide. After loading the bus, we headed south to the Peloponnese region of Greece. Crossing the amazing (and deep) Corinthian Canal (that separates the Aegean and Ionian/Adriatic Seas), we continued the path of the Apostle Paul to the city of Corinth. The canal itself is 3.8 miles long, 290 feet tall in height, 85 feet wide, with the water depth around 26-27 feet deep.

Corinth

 

Acropolis Athens

The Acropolis in Athens (view from “Mar’s Hill” – Acts 17)

Corinth was a city visited by Paul on his second missionary journey. He would stay here 1.5 years. He met Aquilla and Priscilla here as well. Visiting the site, we saw the Agora, the Temple of Apollo (one of 14 temples here during Greek times. At least three were here during Paul’s day – the Temples of Apollo, Asclepius, and Poseidon), the bema where Paul preached from before Gallio (the Proconsul), the Roman street, and fountain. Most of the ruins here date to the time of Paul, allowing us to once again literally walk in his footsteps! We read from Acts 18 and 2 Corinthians 4. Paul remained faithful to the church established here. Paul wrote I and II Thessalonians from here as well as Romans. Before leaving, some of us saw Corinth’s theater. It is primarily not excavated. However, an inscription with the the name Eratus can been seen. He was mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:23.

On the way back to Corinth, we re-crossed the Corinthian Canal but not before seeing the area of Cenchreae (Acts 18). This was the small harbor from which Paul sailed back to Asia (Israel). We had lunch here at a traditional Greek restaurant. We saw a number of boats enter the canal here.

Athens

Parthenon - Athens

The Parthenon on top of the Acropolis – Athens

Driving back to Athens, we arrived at the well-known Acropolis. Walking to the top, we saw the Propylea (the “gateway” leading up to the Parthenon and lined with many statues), the Erechtheum (the most important shrine, where Athena, Posedion and Erechtos were honored), and the largest of them all, the Parthenon. This building was built in ten years (between 447-438 BC). It involved 4,000 workers, supervised by Phidias. It took another 5-6 years for decorations to be completed. Thus, it was finished in 432 BC. It was 17 pillars on the long side with 8 on the ends. A 40 foot high statute made of one ton of gold of Athena stood inside.

Just below the Acropolis is the Rock of Areopagus or “Mar’s Hill.” This was were Paul shared the Gospel with the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. We read from Acts 17 here, celebrating not only Paul’s boldness, but also those who became believers that day (e.g. Dionysius, Damaris, and a ‘number of others’).

Parthenon at sunset

Parthenon at sunset

Leaving this area, we drove to our hotel. On the way, we passed by the Parliamentary building, the Arch of Hardian, and the Temple of Zeus. Three in the group got dropped off at the base of Mt. Lycabetus for an optional hike to the top of this mountain that overlooks the entire city of Athens. The sunset over Athens was fantastic!

After check-in at the hotel, we enjoyed dinner before retiring for the night. Tomorrow is our last full day here in Greece.

DAY 9 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17: DELPHI, ATHENS

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 7

DAY 7 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15:

Knosses Crete

The place of Minos at Knosses, Crete

Today was our last full day on the cruise ship. Arriving during the night to the island of Crete (at Heraklion), we disembarked for a tour of Knosses shortly after 7:30 this morning. This island of mountains (the highest one being over 8,000 feet) is connected once again to the missionary work of Paul, for he left Titus here to do ministry (Titus 1:5, he appointed church leaders here). The day would be another sunny one, with highs in the 70s.

Knosses

Santorini

The Island of Santorini

These ruins actually date back to around 4,000 BC when the great empire flourished on this island. This means that even during the days of people such as Abraham and Moses, this island civilization was thriving. Here at Knosses we saw the massive Minoan ruins. The Minoans (led by King Minos) were a people-group who lived here from about 2,000 BC (e.g. about the time of Abraham) to 1,450 BC (e.g. or about the time of the Exodus from Egypt). In about 1,450 BC and after an earthquake to the area (including Santorini), the Myceneans (from the Peloponnese region in southern Greece near Corinth) replaced the Minoans unto about 1,100 BC (e.g. the time of the end of the period of the Judges). Among the ruins we saw the palace, the “queen’s apartment,” and the throne room.
Following seeing the ruins of Knossos, we visited the city square of Heraklion for some walking and shopping.

We came back to the ship about noon for lunch.

Santorini

Santorini

The view from the top of Santorini

After boarding back on to the ship for lunch, we sailed to one of the most breathtaking islands of Greece –Santorini! Before arriving, we enjoyed a brief time of worship and Communion on the ship. Upon arriving, we took tender boats to get to the shoreline. The primary part of the town of Santorini is located on top of the mountain. To ascend, some took the cable car to the top, while others walked up the “donkey path.” The view from the top was amazing! The combination of the white buildings, the blue roofs, and the panoramic view of this ancient volcano (now underwater) makes this island a favorite destination of many! We enjoyed exploring the shops and the continual picturesque views of there port below. The sunset was marvelous!

Sunset Santorini

Sunset at Santorini

We returned to the ship once again for dinner. Tonight while we sleep we sailed back to Piraeus, the port of Athens.

DAY 8 – MONDAY, OCTOBER 16: PIREAUS, CORINTH, ATHENS

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 6

DAY 6 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14: KUSADASI, PATMOS

Today after breakfast, we disembarked at the Turkish port city of Kusadasi. It would be another spectacular weather day, with full sun and highs once again in the 70s. This would be a day of reflecting upon the ministry of not only Paul (in Ephesus) but also John (on Patmos).

Ephesus

Ephesus

The “Celsus Library” at Ephesus

We loaded on our bus and drove directly to one of the most impressive archaeological site in Turkey – Ephesus! Our local guide who showed us this massive ancient city was “Oz.” Arriving at this city where Paul would spend about three years, we saw so many impressive ruins. These included the Agora, the Library of Celsus, statutes of Nike and other gods, a public lutrine, and the theater. In the theater we read from Acts 19, a story that took place right where we sat.

Ephesus theater

The theater at Ephesus (Acts 19)

We also enjoyed a time of worship in the theater as well. On our way back to Kusadasi, we stopped at a Turkish carpet shop and store. It was very interesting to see how silk is spun and how carpets are made. In Kusadasi, we enjoyed some free time to explore, shop, or connect to the internet. The Turkish people are very kind and hospitable.

Patmos

Patmos

The Island of Patmos

We boarded back on to the ship shortly after noon and enjoyed lunch on board as we began to sail again. Sailing west, we arrived on the island of Patmos. This is where John received his vision to write the Book of Revelation. Although there is not much to see here (other than the traditional “Grotto” and cave where John was bound, the beauty of the island was remarkable. We also visited St. John’s Monastery. Located further up on the hill, the view was spectacular from here! Upon returning, we once again enjoyed dinner together on our own before retiring for the night.

DAY 7 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15: HERAKLION, CRETE / SANTORINI

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 5

DAY 5 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13:

Athens at sunrise

Athens at sunrise from Mt. Lycabetus

This morning we enjoyed a later start. The sunrise here in the classic city of Athens really is something to see (a few pictures are included from Mt. Lycabetus looking down to the city and the Acropolis/Parthenon as the sun came up)! The day was once again filled with magnificent sun and warm temps in the 70s.
We all enjoyed another great Greek breakfast before loading the bus for a 9:45 start. As we departed from Piraeus, the primary the port of Athens, we read from 2 Timothy 3 and Paul’s encouraging words to this fellow servant of Christ and young missionary companion.

Piraeus

Piraeus

The Greek port of Piraeus

Arriving at Piraeus, Tasos (our Expedition & Tours agent) accompanied us through the usual cruise ship procedures. He will be our escort for the next three days on board the Olympus cruise-line boat. After boarding, we all found our rooms, went through the life-jacket check and orientation meeting before enjoying lunch. There are about 1,400 on board the ship.

Mykonos

Windmills at Myconos

The windmills of Myconos, a Greek island

Leaving the port, we “sailed” towards the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos. Upon arriving there around 6 p.m., we disembarked and enjoyed a walking tour of the “island of windmills.” We just barely caught the sunset. Spectacular!  We also enjoyed exploring on our own and some shopping. By the water’s edge, many stopped in one of the many cafes for a bite to eat and/or coffee, taking in the culture and beauty.

We all boarded back onto the ship between 8:30-9:30 for dinner. It is amazing to think that Paul sailed these same waters. As we retired for the night, the ship kept course through the night and early morning hours towards Kusadasi on the western coastline of Turkey. We arrive their tomorrow morning prior to breakfast.

DAY 6 – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14: KUSADASI, PATMOS

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 4

DAY 4 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12:

Meteora Greece

Meteora, Greece

This morning we left our hotel in Thessaloniki shortly after 7:30. Our ultimate destination would be Athens. It was another beautiful and sunny day, with highs in the mid 70s once again. We have been blessed with gorgeous weather so far!

Driving South

Driving south on the main highway, our morning devotion was from Philippians 4 (”Rejoice in the Lord always…”) and Acts 16 (about the church at Berea established by Paul on his second missionary journey). The scenery of mainland Greece is actually quite mountainous. On our way to Meteora, we passed by Mt. Olympus, Greece’s highest mountain (with a peak of about 9,500 feet).

Meteora

Meteora

St. Stephen’s Monastery at Meteora, Greece

By late morning, we arrived at Meteora, the location of unique Greek Orthodox monasteries that go back to the 14th century AD. These monasteries, originally built as simple wooden shelters, are perched high on the summits of rock peaks about 1,000 feet high. We went into the St. Stephen’s monastery. Fontini shared with us about the detailed religious reliefs inside the chapel here. The view from the top outside courtyard was spectacular! After we boarded back on to the bus, we also enjoyed a few other views of the other five active monasteries in this area.

Kalambaka & Thermopolae

Following an enjoyable lunch at a local restaurant in Kalambaka (tasting some of the traditional Greek dishes) and some free time to roam the streets on our own, we continued our drive south. Again, the scenery was quite impressive. Along the way, we enjoy a brief stop at Thermopylae, the location where the “300 Spartans” (led by King Leonidas) battled the ancient Persians. The battle took place in 480 BC.

Athens

Parthenon

The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens

About 7. p.m. we finally made our arrival into Athens. We checked into the hotel and enjoyed dinner together. Following dinner a few ventured out on an optional walk to Constitution Square & Greece’s Parliamentary building to see the changing of the guards. Also, from the rooftop of our hotel we could see the Acropolis (& Parthenon) all lit up in the distance!

DAY 5 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13: START OUR 3-NIGHT MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE (WITH A VISIT TO THE ISLAND OF MYKONOS)

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Day 3

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11:

Philippi agora

The ruins of Philippi. 

This morning was our first full day here in Greece. Following a great breakfast, we departed the hotel shortly after 8 am. The day’s weather would be spectacular, with lots of sun and highs in the mid 70s.
Leaving the hotel, we read from Acts 17:1-9 about Paul’s experience here in Thessalonica (today it is called Thessaloniki). Driving north and then east a little over 100 miles, we followed the ancient Via Egnatia road. We passed by Amphipolis to see the famous funerary.

Lydia of Thyatira

We finally arrived at a river (the Zygakti River) outside of Philippi. Our first stop was here at the traditional place where Paul encountered Lydia of Thyatira. We visited a modern Greek Orthodox Church that celebrates Lydia’s conversion to Christ. Close by we enjoyed a time of reading (Acts 16:13-15) and singing along this small river.

Philippi

prison of Paul and Silas

The prison of Paul and Silas at Philippi (Acts 16)

Only a few minute’s drive is the archaeological site of Philippi. We first entered this ancient at the city theater. In Paul’s day, the theater could have held 2,000-3,000 people. Walking further through the ruins, we also the “traditional” prison of Paul and Silas. We read from Acts 16:19-40 about the “midnight” praise service and the salvation of the jailor. The other ruins we saw included the Agora (market place), a Late Roman/Byzantine church, mosaics, and even the remains of a public latrine. Before leaving the site, we enjoyed lunch here at the site.

Kavala

Kavala - Neopolis

Kavala (Neopolis of the Bible). Paul sailed into this port city (Acts 16:11)

About 10 miles away is the port city of Kavala (ancient Neopolis, Acts 16:11). This is the port that Paul used when sailing west into Macedonia from Troas in Asia Minor. We enjoyed walking to the church that displays Paul’s Macedonian vision that brought him here. We also saw the ancient aqueduct that was used to bring fresh water into the city.

Thessaloniki

From here we drove back to Thessaloniki to visit the White Tower (15th century AD), one of the landmarks located on the shoreline. We also stopped again at the Agora (the marketplace during the time of Paul) and the Arch of Galerius (better known as Kamara, 3rd-4th century AD).

We returned to our hotel for dinner, followed by a brief gathering time. It was a great first day here in Greece! Everyone in the group arrived also.

DAY 4 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12: METEORA, ATHENS

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October 2017 Greece Tour – Days 1 & 2

DAYS 1-2 – MONDAY-TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11-12

Greek coastline

Flying over the coastline of Greece between Athens and Thessalonica

Our day of departure finally arrived!  Gathering at the Philadelphia Airport, we boarded our flight to Athens. Landing in Greece’s capital around 8:45, we met Tasos from our travel agent. He escorted us to our connecting flight to Thessaloniki. After a couple hours of waiting, we boarded this flight and headed north.

Arrival in Athens

After this short and scenic flight across portions of the Aegean Sea and the beautiful coastline of Greece, we met our guide (Lotini) and driver (Yonas) at the Thessaloniki airport. On the way to our hotel we made a brief stop at the Citadel. While enjoying the panoramic view, we read from I Thessalonians 1, celebrating this early church’s faithfulness to the Gospel. We even came across a couple taking wedding pictures. We also made a stop at the Church of St. Demitrios Church (a Greek Orthodox Church that dates back to the 4th century AD). Close by was the Forum dating back to the Apostle Paul’s day. Paul visited this city on his second missionary journey (Acts 16).

Agora of Thessalonica

The agora (market place) of ancient Thessalonica

Checking into out hotel at about 5, we freshened up for dinner at 6:30. We are excited to be here in Greece. We also look forward to the entire group being together (six in the group unfortunately missed the Philadelphia-Athens flight and will be coming tonight/tomorrow.). We pray for their safe arrival.

DAY 3 – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11: THESSALONIKI, PHILIPPI, KAVALA

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The Meaning of Sukkot

Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles

Sukkot at western wall

Sukkot celebration at the Western Wall

The week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot (or the Feast of Tabernacles) is upon us! Coming just after Yom Kippur, the most solemn time in the Jewish calendar year, Succot is a time of joy and celebration. It just started just last night in Israel.

With permission, I am sharing an excellent article written by a Messianic ministry called One For IsraelThe article is called The Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles. What I appreciated about the article is the Christocentric connections the author makes between Succot and the life and ministry of Yeshua/Jesus.

Here is the article:

The Meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles

sukkot celebration

Sukkot celebration

The Feast of Sukkot is one of my favourites. All of God’s feasts are full of creativity and wonder; treasures and promises. But in Jewish literature, Sukkot is often simply called “THE feast”. The biggie – no other clarification needed. Three times a year, all of Israel were supposed to make the trek to Jerusalem for Passover and Shavuot in the Spring, and then Sukkot in the fall. Sukkot means “shelters”, “booths”, or “tabernacles”. This is a feast in which God instructs his people to set about making a temporary shelter or booth to camp out in for a week. As a kid I loved making dens, and Sukkot is a bit like that. But why in the world did God want us to make dens?

Why build a booth?

In his creative genius, seen not only in the natural world around us but also in the law that God himself dictated, we can see that God also knew how effective building a shelter would be to provoke thought. He knew that this activity would help remind people of the journey that they had taken with him through the wilderness. That time of desert wandering was where the nation was forged once and for all as a community of faith, following the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their tents were only temporary – they were traveling towards a more permanent home, where they could live with their God.

The rabbinic prescription for these dens has become quite intricate, but in essence, there must be at least three walls (made of wood or material, usually) and the roof must be made from natural materials like palm fronds, so that you can see the night sky through the gaps. These shelters are to remind the people of Israel about the time they journeyed through the wilderness in temporary shelters, picking up and moving on as necessary. For the week, people are supposed to eat in their sukka, and even sleep in them, if they’re feeling crazy! They are usually decorated with seasonal fruits and produce, and it’s a fun family activity to build a sukka and decorate it together. Nowadays, of course, you can buy ready-to-build sukkot, like tents or portable cabins, and decorations are in the shops all ready made to add the finishing touches.

A time for sharing and fellowship

It is traditional to invite guests each night of the week long feast, to share and enjoy the sukka together – to extend hospitality, friendship and stories. It is a time to celebrate the fruits of the harvest, and to rejoice, giving thanks for all God has given us, and give back to God in return. Deuteronomy 16:13-17 says:

succa or booth

The Succa or “booth”

 

“You shall keep the Feast of Booths for seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your wine press. You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. For seven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose:
at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths.
They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed.

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

The Lord outlines his instructions about this feast three times, in Leviticus 23, Numbers 29 and Deuteronomy 16. It is a time that he wants his people to recognise what they have by offering food from their harvest, and it is a time when he has commanded his people to REJOICE! God wants us to go through this process of remembering, gathering, thanking, giving, and rejoicing.

Can we be joyful on command?

Perhaps it seems strange to you to be commanded to rejoice, but the Bible does indeed command it many times. Can we just “switch on” this emotion? First of all, rejoicing is an act, rather than an emotion, but secondly, there are certainly things that we can do in order to position ourselves to be filled with joy.

Thankfulness

As we reflect upon all the good things in our lives, and count our blessings, we inevitably find we have much to rejoice about. I have a habit of writing a list of thanks every morning in a lined notepad, and make sure that I get to the bottom of the page before I stop! The notepads vary in size, but the discipline is a good one to get into. I have heard it said that recalling just 5 things that you’re grateful for each morning will have a signficant affect on your outlook. Another exercise is to go through the alphabet, one letter at a time, thinking of something to be grateful for beginning with each letter. You get the idea. Being thankful takes a bit of concerted effort at the beginning, but becomes more and more natural, the more we do it. And the more we maintain an attitude of gratitude, the more joyful we will inevitably become.

Be full of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit naturally produces the fruit of joy in our lives, and all the more so, when we are willing to let him fill us completely. God loves to give us his Spirit, and the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). In fact, we are commanded in Ephesians 5:18 to be full of the Holy Spirit. How do we do that? Yeshua’s answer in Luke 11 is simple: Ask! Yeshua assures us that the Father is eager and ready to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. However, when we are “full of ourselves”, we cannot be full of the Spirit. We must be willing to give the Spirit more space, control and authority in our lives. When we are full of sin, pride, fear and so on, our ego gets in the way, but we can come before God, confess our sins, receive his forgiveness, and invite him to take first place again by faith. Our prayer can be, “Less of me and more of you, Lord!”

Joy comes from obedience

It is said that if you are feeling grumpy, just the act of similing repeatedly can improve your mood. In a similar way, a rabbi’s advice to a man who was struggling to love his wife was to do the acts that he would do as if he did love her, and that in time, the feelings would inevitably follow. The famous Jewish sage, Rambam, said that if he had 1000 coins to give, he would rather give 1000 men one coin rather than 1000 coins to one man, because the repeated act of giving 1000 times would make him into a more generous man. Our actions can become habits, which can then influence our heart. In this same way, we can rejoice before God; thanking him, worshiping him and rejoicing even when we don’t feel like it, but if we continue to obey his command to rejoice, eventually our hearts will truly become filled with joy.

Fellowshipping with God

We have each come a long way, and been on an adventurous journey, like the Israelites. It’s a good time to reflect on God’s goodness and provision along the way, and to remember how he brought us through the difficult times, the deserts, in our lives. And the glorious thing about Sukkot is that it also points towards God’s desire to dwell with his people. His provision is not merely physical (although we have much to be grateful for on that account) but he has also not held back his only Son, just so that we can live together with him for eternity.

Sukkot celebrationWe can have fellowship with God because he came down to earth as a man, and tabernacled among us. He became flesh and blood, visible and touchable, God incarnate, living among his people on earth, and though his Spirit now lives, or tablernacles, in our lives if we will invite him in. Yeshua says; “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”  (Revelation 3:20) Here’s how Yeshua’s best friend put it:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes… that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:1-4)

And hundreds of years beforehand, Zechariah prophesied this very event:

“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell [tabernacle] in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people.
And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.” (Zech 2:10-11)

Sukkot also points prophetically towards Yeshua’s second coming, and the ultimate end of all things, when God will dwell among us, and we will live with him forever. What a reason to rejoice!

(Share with permission – October 4, 2017)

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“Footsteps of Paul” Greece Trip Set to Begin on October 9

Greece Trip to begin on October 9th

Parthenon on Acropolis

The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece

Israel is the location where most of the Bible took place. However, Israel is not the only “land of the Bible.” Greece and Turkey are too! In addition to leading numerous Israel trips each year, I am also privileged to lead what we call Footsteps of Paul trips to Greece and Turkey! In fact, our next Greece trip embarks next Monday, October 9th!

Greece is a wonderful place to visit

Meteora, Greece

The monasteries at Meteora, Greece

Greece is a wonderful place to see the New Testament portion of the Bible come alive! Visiting the many sites mentioned in the Book of Acts as well as in the Pauline Epistles (and even Revelation) brings to life the customs and culture of Paul’s world as he knew it!

Sites we will visit

The biblical sites we will visit on this trip will include Thessalonica, Philippi, Neopolis (modern Kavala), Berea, Athens, Corinth, Patmos (a Greek island) and Ephesus (actually in Turkey). We will also see Classical Greek sites such as Delphi. We’ll see the amazingly-beautiful monasteries of Meteora. They were built on the peaks of mountains. We’ll also see displays of the beauty of God’s creation as we sail the Aegean Sea for three days. Well stop at islands such as Myconos, Crete (great OT-dating ruins here) Patmos (where John wrote Revelation), and even the spectacular Santorini.

Retracing the Ministry of Paul

Ephesus

The theater in Ephesus, Turkey

Retracing the mission trips of Paul will be a focus on the trip. We’ll keep the Book of Acts handy for reference as we travel in and out of sites mentioned on Paul’s second and third missionary journeys. Much of what he would also write in the forms of epistles (or letters) to the early churches of Asia Minor will also come to life in the context of the ancient Greek and Roman culture. We will sit in ancient theaters, stand in ancient stadiums, walk on ancient streets, see dozens of stone pillars, and consider the role that temples played in the culture.

The trip runs from October 9-18. You can follow our day-to-day experiences HERE.

Corinth

Temple of Zeus, Corinth

We invite you to pray for us as we travel… for health, safety, and life-changing encounters as we open up the Bible and absorb its Truth!

To read more about Greece itself, go HERE.

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