Yay! It’s my birthday! Such a cool place to spend it..
We got to visit an old Roman city of Beit She’an, and learned how to engage culture. Again, we discussed how Jesus & Paul did not fear culture. Paul came to this place and didn’t see the prostitution, sexual sin, and child sacrifice. He went into cities (including this one), preached the Gospel, discipled believers, planted churches, and transformed culture. He didn’t see barriers (these people will never repent and trust in & follow Jesus), but He saw Gospel opportunities (wow, look at all the people who need Jesus! And I can tell them!!). We should do the same!!
(Saul & Jonathan were decapitated here and hung on these walls.)
I may or may not have sang Frozen’s “Let it Go” with a 6 & 7 year old on this stage..
We went to Harod Spring/ Gideon’s Spring, the place where the story about Gideon took place.. It was here that Gideon chose his best soldiers to fight the Midianites, according to the way they drank from the stream.
Then on to Jericho! We visited the desert for a little while. Absolutely gorgeous.
I got a little birthday Popsicle 🙂
At the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized and the waters were parted. Here we talked about baptism and how it is a picture of grace: the freedom we have in Christ, and a picture of being united with Christ (His own death & resurrection). (Romans 6 & Gal. 2:20)
While in Jericho, we got to ride this cool go kart in the sky.. I think it’s called a cable car, but whatever.. It gave a beautiful view of Jericho! We took it up to the Mt. of Temptation (where Jesus was tempted). We went into a couple shops here, and I talked with some of the guys who worked there. My heart was sad for them because they told me they have never/ can never leave Jericho. They told me to be thankful that I live in America because “freedom is beautiful.” I will never forget my conversation with them.
Here we read Matthew 4:1-11 and talked about how even struggling is missional. This helped change how I look at struggling and helped me realize that it is to do a work in me to shape me to bring God more glory. Our usual reactions to struggling or hardships are, “how can I get out of this? When will this be over? Why me? angry at God, etc..” But instead, we should thank God for it, and ask Him what He is trying to show us, and ask Him how He is using this struggle to prepare us for something else.
The Lord revealed a lot of selfishness and pride in my heart today. The phrase “it’s not about you” was brought to mind often today.. Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow.. It’s all about Jesus, all of the time. Man, I need that reminder often.
Today we prayed specifically for Egypt; please join us!