ALL the Israel Posts PLUS Our Best 10 Israel Photos

Trip to israel

Going to Israel this year was the most exciting thing that ever happened to me. Yes, I know it’s a big statement to make. I like to make my statements GRANDE!!!

Other than my wedding day and the births of my children, this was the BEST!!!!!

I wrote, and wrote, and wrote about it, but I have yet to put all of that information into one source, so that’s what we are doing today. Below you will find links to every single one of my articles about Israel.

By the way, Alan went back over there again a few weeks ago. I could NOT wait to see his pictures because he travelled to a few places I had not, but alas, the man took almost zero pictures.

Don’t boo him, though, y’all.

Between the time he left, and the week he got back, literally EVERYTHING broke at our » Read more

Israel Trip Photoblog: The Jordan River


Israel Trip Photoblog: The Jordan River

Sea of Galilee

 

Before we dive in to see the Jordan River, I found a few more beautiful photos of the Sea of Galilee on Alan’s camera!! I’m including those here because these showed the lake better than the ones I took!

Panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee

Jet ski riders, Sea of Galilee

After leaving the Sea of Galilee, it was finally time for lunch. Let me tell ya, I was STARVING. It was a good thing because lunch was fish caught in the Sea of Galilee, locally known at “St. Peter’s fish”.

And it looked like this……

 

The struggle was real. I’d never eaten fish prepared this way before.

One thing that was exciting about eating out in Israel is that the restaurants bring you several salads while you wait for your food. These aren’t salads like our little side salads. These are mixtures of different vegetables, dips, tuna salad, hummus with pita bread, all sorts of things! The “salad” phase of the meal was actually my favorite.

“Do any of you speak English?”

Our tour group was over 1/2 Americans and UK people and a little less than 1/2 French. That’s because our tour guide spoke French, English, Arabic, and Hebrew. Impressive, eh?

The English-speaking half all filled up a table before we could get to it at lunch, which left us at the French table. Alan asked if anyone spoke English. They did not.

We all attempted to communicate through our broken Spanish and English, as Alan and I have no French words whatsoever. It was futile. Mostly they talked, and we ate.

 

Our tour group, gathering to tour the Jordan River

The Bible verses describing the baptism of Jesus were written out in many different languages.

Technically, this isn’t the exact spot where Jesus was baptized, but that particular site is not solidly in Israeli territory anymore, so we do our best.

The Jordan River is not clean and beautiful like the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret). In fact I was hesitant to even put my feet in. 

 

Alan put his feet in too.

The water was FULL of GINORMOUS fish. You could see them coming close to you and swimming around. There were also plenty of ducks. I guess it’s too dirty to drink but not too dirty for wildlife to survive in. Extremely green though–it was that green, if not more so, in person. *gag*

The ducks seem unbothered.

Was it a spiritual experience?

It was. You could look down river and see other people in white robes being baptized. That was a blessing to see, and you could picture where you were standing as holy ground. Plus, there’s always that sense of, “Wow, we are in the land of the Bible. This is where Jesus walked. The Israelites fought hard for this land, over and over again they fought for it. Still they are fighting for it.

I felt a deep sympathy here for the Israelite people. I want them to have their land in peace and see the temple be rebuilt.

Their land is beautiful, and the air is dry (except in Tel Aviv where the Mediterranean Sea did bring out my frizz). I loved being in Israel, where the patriarchs walked and where the Jews returned, full of hope.

Our Jordan River tour was our last tour day.

We knew we were flying out at 10pm that night, so that made this day extra special. Alan and I hung on to it as long as we could, soaking up our surreal visit to the Holy Land.

I still cannot believe we got to do this!! It was strange to leave my children for 10 straight days and travel so extremely far from them, but to experience this it was worth it. Besides, I knew they were in excellent hands.

Thank you to all 4 grandparents for making this possible!!!

“It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

[Deuteronomy 9:5]

 

“… you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.”                            [Joshua 1:11]

For a map to better understand the location and for more information about the Jordan River, click here to visit the National Geographic website article and Map.

 

Alan and I bought most of our souvenirs that last day at the Jordan River gift shop. Then we headed home…..a 10 or 11 hour flight across the Atlantic. By the way, it’s about impossible to sleep on an airplane. We saw some interesting things on that flight, but I’ll save that story for the round up post.

 

View of New Jersey from the airplane window

 

I chuckled when I realized how tall Alan is in the airplane seats. Poor fella. He was practically resting his head on the ceiling.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Israel photos and stories.

I’m planning to do one last round-up of the trip to make it easier to reference all the different sites. For now, here are a few you may have missed:

The Mount of Olives: Jerusalem Part 1

Capernaum: The Jesus Synagogue that you can still see!

Tabgha Photoblog: Place of Miracles and the Sermon on the Mount

 

Israel Trip: Photoblog of the Sea of Galilee/Lake Kinneret


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This lake, of heavy historic significance, is known by many names. Israelis I spoke with in Tel Aviv referred to it as Yam Kinneret. In the Bible, it is also called the Lake of Gennesaret, the Sea of Galilee, or the Sea of Tiberias. There are many names for it, but just one body of water.

Looking over the ruins of ancient Capernaum to the Sea of Galilee

Israel Photo Tour: Sea of Galilee/ Lake Kinneret/ Sea of Tiberias

The Basics

The Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. (I know. It’s probably smaller than you thought!)

This is where Jesus walked on the water!!!

This region around the Sea of Galilee is referenced constantly throughout the gospels because this was the primary stomping grounds of Jesus and his disciples. The area around this lake was called Galilee, and ALL of the disciples were from this region, except one.

Want to guess which one?

Judas Iscariot. Yep. As in Judas the ultimate betrayer.

 

It is a beautiful, well-tended shore, the perfect spot for tourists like us to take photos.

The lake is breathtakingly beautiful and had a nice breeze coming off of it. Alan and I stood by it in awe. We watched two jet skis zipping by, and I felt happy to see that this body of water is still a relevant place where people can come and enjoy and remember.

 

Want to see a couple of places where this place is mentioned in the Bible?

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,a the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.     Luke 5:1-3

I stood there on the shore, trying to picture where those boats might have sat while Jesus taught.

I’ve always loved how the Bible says that people were crowding around him to hear what he had to say. People flocked to Jesus because of his compassion, mercy, knowledge, and authority, as well as his miracles. They were drawn to him because he was w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l.

 

I pictured this being a spot where they would park their boats and go through their catch of the day when they were fishing.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,10and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

Luke 5: 4-11

 

The Bible was written while these people were still alive and could agree and disagree with each other’s accounts. I just love that. This is history.

Fishers of Men

Why were they fishing for men, you can’t help think…fishing for men. Salesmen fish for men. Ugh. They fish so hard. Door to door they fish. Go away, salesmen, I don’t want your vacuum cleaner, your cable service, or wait….yes, I do want your lawn fertilization service. Lawns are very important here….Ha!!

But Jesus wasn’t selling anything. He wasn’t gaining off the backs of anyone. If he needed to make money, he could work his stone carving (carpentry) business.

This wasn’t about money.

They were fishing for people to help, and not just spiritually. They went from town to town healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and then they would give them hope of salvation. Who can listen to hope for your soul when your physical needs aren’t met?

We need to be more like Jesus, fishing for people to help.

That’s so hard for me. I know it sounds terrible, but I just don’t want to deal with people most of the time. I want to take care of my own family and my house and let the world handle its own problems. Who has time to get involved in the lives of others??? There’s always so much to do! I don’t even want to answer my phone.

But that’s not the life we’re called to.

Your family comes before the rest, yes. If we don’t take care of our own, that’s neglect. We need to be fishers of men too, though, fishing for people to help.

Everywhere we go, we should be fulfilling our calling to love and help others, fishing for men, in whichever way God has given you to do that.

 

Israel Photo Tour: Sea of Galilee/ Lake Kinneret/ Sea of Tiberias

Alan and me in front of the Sea of Galilee in Capernaum, close to St. Peter’s house

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Israel trip series. Jordan River is next!

Want to see what you may have missed? Here are a few other Israel articles with tons of photos:

Tel Aviv: Shopping

Jerusalem: The Via Dolorosa

Joppa–Home of Simon the Tanner and the port used by Jonah

 

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