22 Inspiring Photos of Ancient Tabgha, Where Jesus Performed Miracles

Look closely to see the olives!

After Nazareth, and before Capernaum, we headed over to Tabgha, to see where Jesus called his first disciples and later performed the miracle of feeding the multitudes with the one basket of bread and fish.

22 Inspiring Photos of Ancient Tabgha, Israel Where Jesus Performed Miracles

If only these bushes would fit in my suitcase…

22 Inspiring Photos of Tabgha: Where Jesus divided the loaves, healed the leper, and preached the sermon on the Mount

Tabgha

This sign below provides a nice overview of what happened here:

I love the historical value here! They had these sites marked from as far back as the days of Jesus, and the mosaics I will show you today were created around 480 AD!!! Y’all! Wow! That’s so long ago!

History and the Bible

People often want to compare Christianity with science, which is baffling because Christianity is not science. Those are two different fields. I mean, yes, I believe God created the world because I look at creation, and I don’t think amazing things like life on earth just happen on their own. I guess in that way it’s related to science.

However, the actual study of the Bible and what happened in it isn’t a scientific topic. That’s history, it’s a historical account, and there is so much evidence to back up the existence of Jesus that whether or not he lived is not even debatable.

In fact, when you consider the humongous cloud of witnesses around the time that the Old and the New Testaments were written, it is nothing but strengthening to your faith.

Now whether or not Jesus was the son of God, that’s a matter of faith, so we could debate that,  but whether or not he walked among us, that’s well documented history.

For more on that topic, see this post.

I regret not stopping longer to soak in just how much happened in this place! That’s the thing about touring. It’s always a hustle to stay with the group, and having lost my group one time already (back in Jerusalem), I wasn’t in a hurry to lose them again.

an olive tree

The list of things that happened here is astounding. Holy ground.

This was our last day in Israel. I didn’t want to leave!!!

Below the altar is the rock where Jesus divided the loaves.

site of the miracle of the loaves and fish–Look at the mosaics in front of the rock. You see the fish? These were created in 480 AD!!

 

I don’t recall if that front right part of the tile that is colored differently was damaged or if that was a mosaic map. I think it’s a map.

As you can see, only portions of this amazing floor survived the test of time.

Some of it has been repaired and restored over the years, but you would not believe how much of this is ORIGINAL!

My mouth hung wide open when he was telling us about this!

From the letters and the types of birds, archaeologists determined that Egyptians created them.

Do you know what this is!!??? Squeeeeaaaaal!!!

That is the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus walked on the water, where Jesus taught from a boat, where the disciples fished!

On my next Israel post, next week, I’ll show you more of the Sea of Galilee and we’ll go into Capernaum. It was our favorite part of the whole trip. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Here are a few more photos, and a few quotes from the famous Sermon on the Mount, preached near Tabgha.

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

 

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.         Matthew 5:1-11

 

It really was the trip of a lifetime! For more Israel photos/stories, see below! To read the rest of the Sermon on the Mount, go here.

Jerusalem: Mount of Olives

Jaffa

Tel Aviv

Nazareth

 

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Jerusalem in Pictures: Mount of Olives & the Upper Room

Jerusalem Part 1

This was a tour we took from our hotel in Tel Aviv. I have so much to show you that I’m breaking Jerusalem up into 2 separate articles. This one will take us to the Mount of Olives and inside the gates to the Upper Room, where Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples.

Jerusalem in Pictures: the Mount of Olives &This the Upper Room

View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. You can see the giant gold-topped Mosque, right? That’s where the temple once stood.

Psalm 122:3-5 

Jerusalem—built as a city
    that is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up,
    the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for[a] Israel,
    to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
There thrones for judgment were set,
    the thrones of the house of David.

THIS is the Mount of Olives, also referred to as Mount Olivet.

There was so much I didn’t get to see, because Jerusalem is huge, and you cannot see it all in one day.

Thankfully, our tour’s very first stop was on the Mount of Olives.

I stepped out of our little bus and breathed in the holy air. Wow! The Mount of Olives! Wow! This is where Jesus hung out! This is where he came to pray. I think this was his quiet, sanity place.

Jerusalem in Pictures: Mount of Olives & the Upper Room

Jerusalem in Pictures: Mount of Olives & the Upper Room

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[a]                                                       

Luke 22:39-44

Would you like to see the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed that blood-sweating prayer?

They built this Church of all Nations in the midst of it, which makes it much easier to locate.

Jerusalem in Pictures: Mount of Olives & the Upper Room

Church of the Nations, in the Garden of Gethsemane

Garden of Gethsemane

If you look in the very front of this picture, and also to the right of the church, you can see the olive trees and stones. This is the Garden of Gethsemane, located on the Mount of Olives. When I took this photo, I was just snapping. I had no idea what I was photographing, except I knew I wanted these beautiful churches. I went online and did my research to find the garden.

The oldest trees in the garden are much larger than the ones in the photo above. That’s only a sliver of it.

By the way, they built the church on THE ROCK they believe Jesus knelt on to pray.

According to this article, among many others, this site is proven to be the actual Garden of Gethsemane. These olive trees planted here are the oldest in the world. While most of them are not quite old enough to have been there when Jesus was, they were all carefully grown from the same tree, according to DNA research, to preserve a lineage of trees that was there when Jesus was.

Some sources report that there are 3,000 year-old trees in that grove that are not much more than stumps now, but still, pretty amazing.

I would have loved to have walked through that garden, but alas, it was not on the standard tour.

 

Mount of Olives

4In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east;and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

Zechariah 14:4

The Bible tells us that in the end times the Messiah, Jesus, will return on the Mount of Olives.

view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

Church of St. Mary Magdalene

Church of Dominos Flevit, built in memorial of Jesus weeping.

Jesus wept and lamented the future, “set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side . . . crush you to the ground . . . and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognise the time of your visitation from God.” (Luke 19:37-44)

Not 40 years later, the prophecy was fulfilled when the Romans burned the temple and destroyed Jerusalem.

Jesus wasn’t the only one to weep on the Mount of Olives.

David also went up the mountain weeping with his followers in 2 Samuel 15:30.

so much history here

Because the Bible says the Messiah will return via the Mount of Olives, many people want to be buried nearby for that day. This is a picture of the thousands of graves on the mountain, over 70,000 to be exact.

Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives

Some of my pictures are mysteries to me…It’s pretty though.

DaddyO did some research for me. It turns out this church is Church of Dormition.

 

outside wall of Jerusalem

I went into this whole thing expecting a moving, spiritual experience.

The thing was that there was an excellent tour guide to listen to, pictures to be taken, you are pouring sweat, and you have to stay with the group. Therefore, pausing for reflection or prayer? That didn’t happen much, I am sorry to tell you. We all piled back into our bus, made a stop by a souvenir shop, and then headed on over to Old Jerusalem.

 

a view of our touring group from the back of the huddle

Our group was a hodgepodge of folks from Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, and the States. Who knows where all we were from? Thankfully, everyone seemed to understand English.

This sign is for a school that trains students in the Torah.

Beautiful flowers abounded everywhere. That’s no small thing considering that when the great move back into Israel began, the land was desolate.

Normally, the standard tour includes a visit to the Holocaust museum. Unfortunately, we were there on Saturday, which is the holy day for Jews, so all Jewish establishments were closed, to include the museum.

We have been to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., which I am told is similar to this one, but I bet in Israel it’s even more powerful.

It was actually awesome to be in the Holy Land on the Sabbath day.

In Hebrew, it’s not “sabbath”, it’s “shabbat.”

It’s not just a nod to the law of Moses, either. They take this thing seriously. Everywhere you went, everyone would joyfully greet each other with, “Shabbat shalom!”

Shabbat is their day of rest, which is important, because they work hard the other 6 days of the week. On Shabbat, they are supposed to do no work at all, according to their tradition, not even to push a button.

Therefore, there was always one elevator in “shabbat mode”, which means that it automatically stops at all the floors.

Jerusalem wall with view of the bell tower on the Russian Monastery of Ascension in the background

We entered Jerusalem through the Zion gate. Our first stop was King David’s Tomb and the Upper Room, where Jesus and his disciples had the last supper.

And here’s the part that surprised us: the upper room is above David’s tomb.

My jaw dropped open when she told us that.

David’s tomb has rules. Men visit it on one side, women on the other, not together.

The Muslims liked the building, so they didn’t tear it down. They used it for a mosque instead.

Remember, Jerusalem has been sacked many times over the years, so these are not the same buildings as the ones standing during Bible times. You see these beautiful buildings? They were built by the Crusaders around 1099.

the windows to the upper room

 

People were leaning everywhere, praying, in groups and out loud. It was so noisy, I couldn’t carry a thought. Our tour guide couldn’t either, and she chased them all out.  Yep. It reminded me of Jesus chasing the money changers out of the temple, only she didn’t turn over any tables, and these people were only praying, though they were terribly noisy.

Our tour guide had a name that sounded like Molly. She was a former officer in the Israeli Army, and she was seriously awesome. Molly was sharp and quick, with an answer for any question about the Holy Land, past or present.

The excited crowd in the Upper Room

Alan in the Upper Room.

Me in the Upper Room

Notice my wardrobe.

If you are touring holy sites, be sure you have your knees and shoulders covered. It’s a matter of respect, but also rules. They will give you a shaw if your shoulders are uncovered, or a long skirt thing if you are showing too much leg.

In Jerusalem, the only place we went that was strict about it was the Wailing Wall. In Capernaum, only the monastery said anything to women with bare shoulders.

 

Our group in the upper room. Certain features in this room were added hundreds of years ago when the building was used as a mosque.

Upper Room

 

King David statue

These beautiful flowers seemed to be everywhere in Israel. I wanted to pack a few of these trees in my bag. Don’t worry. I settled for photos instead.

Building with the Upper Room. No, the original Bible-era building didn’t look like this. This is the Crusader created version.

The Zion Gate, with damage from war in 1948. This gate/wall was built in the 1500s.

War-worn Wall of Jerusalem

These are bullet holes in the gate from the war of 1948, between Israel and several Arab nations.

Our tour guide said that this is the truly ancient wall, from Solomon’s times. I got all giddy when she said that.

More ancient B.C. ruins

This was inside the Armenian quarter.

It was Shabbat, so the Jewish Quarter was silent, but you could tell that there are normally many shops open.

Also, this white tile is so prevalent because it is found in Israel. Therefore, they are able to build large cities with all matching buildings. It has a lovely effect.

See those columns? These are the ruins from an ancient Roman road through Jerusalem.

So exciting! We don’t have buildings in America that are that old! You can even arrange a tour, though don’t ask me how, to go through these tunnels that run under Jerusalem to see way more of the ancient ruins.

 

I wish I could remember what this is…

arches by David’s Tomb

The Upper Room

Zion Gate

Alan, in the Jewish Quarter, by the Roman road ruins

 

Hope you enjoyed the tour!! On the next post, we’ll see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Golgotha, and maybe even the Via Delorosa!

Shalom!




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The Thrifty and Sunburn Free Trip to Miramar Beach

The Thrifty, Sunburn-Free Trip to Miramar Beach Florida Destin area

 

Alan and I are always dreaming up fun things to do together as a family, and our efforts are often met with …….resistence.

One of these fellas actually lamented, “I don’t want to go to the beach. I just want to stay home and hang out at the house.”

Sigh. Well, perhaps we were hasty in taking a beach trip the very second that school let out, but that’s life. Children are still at the mercy of the parents’ summer schedules. We are at the mercy of their’s the rest of the year.

When I was a child, I would have never said, “I don’t want to go to the beach!” I don’t think I ever did go to the beach until I was around 13 years old, and it was something I was exceedingly grateful for.

That just goes to show that the more accustomed to wonderful things that a person is, the less we appreciate those wonderful things.

John David was not the beach-resistor. He couldn’t wait to go, but once he got there he was soon disenchanted and ready to head to the pool.

Have no fear. The moment the reluctant boy sat foot on the beach, he never complained again. In fact, Alan took all the other boys to the pool after an hour, while I stayed at the beach with Joshua until I began to worry about our sun protection.

Look closely to see a small boy in a yellow shirt, stealing a float from an older brother. He made the snatch, and he fled the scene. Joshua and I sat and laughed.

To be fair, it wasn’t stealing exactly. We share the floats. He decided it was his turn. Caleb, who was using it as a basketball net, but was pausing to fetch his ball, didn’t notice until JD was safely on the opposite side of the pool.

I was extra careful about sunscreen this year, and it paid off. I brought 0 sun-burned people home from the beach. Hallelujah! 5/6 of us are as fair as fair can be. This was an accomplishment.

My strategy was simple.

  1. Try to keep everyone indoors between 11am and 4pm.
  2. Re-apply every 1.5 hours.
  3. Wear a cover-up as much as possible.
  4. I wore a seriously ugly hat, and so did Alan.
  5. Put swim shirts on the kids.

Egypt wasn’t built in a day, so we settled for the Sphinx and a pyramid.

WWII airplanes flew over in honor of Memorial Day.

Our other big objective this year was to spend as little money as possible on the vacation.

I think that’s always been a goal for Alan, but in the past I secretly didn’t care. This year I cared just as much as Alan.

Our strategy for this was also simple.

  1. Our condo was free. Alan’s grandparents let us stay at their place, and that’s why our family has gotten to go to the beach so frequently over the years. (Gigantic thank you to Alan’s grands!!!)
  2. Only eat out once, and that will be a lunch.
  3. Buy enough groceries to have plenty of snacks and easy to assemble meals so that no one will even ask to eat out. Success!
  4. The condo has a pool. The beach is right across the street, so there is no need to pay for any other activities.
  5. Rent a Redbox movie instead of going to the theatre. (Remember, we have to hide from the sun for several hours/day.)

Joshua and Daniel were all about the net fishing. They caught quite a few tiny fish and crabs.

 

Would you like our meal ideas that made this possible? It was so simple it’s almost embarrassing to list them.

Breakfast

cereal, eggs, and Pop-tarts

Since they are normally not allowed Pop-tarts, this is a humongous treat. I was curious if pop-tarts were any better than donuts, so I looked it up……They aren’t better, just different.

By the way: 1 Krispy Kreme glazed donut = 22g carbohydrates and 11g fat

1 Blueberry Pop Tart = 38 g carbohydrates and 5g fat

Cocoa Pebbles cereal =  25g carbohydrates and 1g fat

Eggs                    = 0.6 g carbs and 5 g fat

……Sooooo that’s why we don’t normally do pop-tarts. One of my boys gets crazy hyper from all that sugar. At least with the cereal, they get the protein from the milk to help my conscience. There’s no way I’m COOKING 3 times/day. Breakfast has to be easy.

Eggs are the clear winner, but not all of us can eat the eggs. I have a son with an egg allergy. Sad, right?

This one is allergic to nothing, and he likes his eggs dyed green and served with sausage.

Lunches and Dinners

Micro-wavable hamburgers. We are sort of fanatical about these because they are delicious, they are real, and they are brain dead easy to make quickly.

We also served egg sandwiches, peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt, and hot dogs while we there. It was only a 3 night vacation.

Next year maybe we’ll do a no-eating out at all policy because that would have saved us another $90, believe it or not. $90 was how much we spent on the groceries for the whole weekend, and yet that’s what it costs to take our family to a restaurant, other than fast food.

“I don’t want to swim with the seals and the sea lions.” I reassured them the gulf is much too hot for the seals and the sea lions. Swim away. “Are there sharks?” Well…

And by the way, it was a free of incident beach year too! There were no ER visit, no jelly fish stings, no rain days, and no sunburn. Ah, yeah. We fall more in love with Destin every year.

Caleb earned these green sunglasses as a reading prize.

our dare-devil. He will go out as far as you let him.

I’m 1/2 daredevil like Caleb.

I used to swim to the sand bar, and I CANNOT go to the beach without getting drenched from head to toe. It’s not possible. I don’t know how you do it. Moana was right. It DOES call you.

…..but I’m now 1/2 skiddish. I’ve been stung by jellyfish a few times, and y’all, that HURTS. Plus, I see fish and shadows, and I start to panic. Ah, if only I could have stayed young and dumb.

 

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

 I hope your summer is off to swimming start as well! God bless!

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