Sunday, May 19, 2013

holy land tour, day three : around the galilee


Mt. Arbel

My pictures of this view over the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding region don’t do it justice, sadly. Vistas like this are such a challenge to capture accurately, especially on a hazy day like today. But it was incredible…just take my word for it. And it was a great hike up! I’ve missed hiking since I moved to flat Florida.

Mt. ArbelMt. Arbel2Mt. Arbel3Mt. Arbel4Mt. Arbel5Mt. Arbel6

Capernaum—The “home away from home” of Jesus.

What an amazing site this was. The remains of a couple of houses (including one that is likely Peter’s mother-in-law’s house in Mark 1:29ff) are nestled between the seashore and the ruins of the synagogue. It’s incredible to me that the synagogue I stood in today was a place in which Jesus taught; that the sea which I sat beside to pray was the same one that Jesus quieted with His voice in the storm. Jesus was raised in Nazareth, but He spent enough time in Capernaum that it was known as His hometown (Matthew 4:13), and it blows me away that today, I stood in the place where the God of the universe chose to live. In fact—I’m spending the next ten days in His chosen land. Wow.


Another thing that I find incredible? My homeland of the Columbia Gorge is apparently the second promised land. Not that I’m surprised—it is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen—but honestly, I didn’t expect the similarity to Israel to be quite so dramatic. Take a look at this:


The first picture was taken from a speedboat on the Columbia River near the John Day Dam. The second picture was taken from the Mount of the Beatitudes looking across the Sea of Galilee at the Golan Heights. Isn’t that crazy?!

Chorazim—a restored Telmudic village that would have been a few centuries later than the time of Jesus, but still essentially the same. This is the kind of place where middle-class citizens like James and John, the sons of Zebedee, would have lived with their families—single-room stone houses with no privacy whatsoever. Not sure I would have handled that so well.


My favorite part of the day…

Today, I was baptized in the Sea of Galilee by my pastor and teacher at GCBI, Pastor Randy. It was a decision that I debated quite a bit beforehand (just ask my roommate), because I wanted to be certain that I wasn’t merely getting baptized because I had an interesting venue. I have been baptized before, at a Christian camp when I was fifteen, but I know that I made that decision under pressure and around people who were only in my life for that week. They wouldn’t be there to keep me accountable in the future. So after a lot of prayer, it seemed fitting to be baptized again here—this time by my own accord and in front of people who have been with me for the most significant year of growth in relationship with Christ that I’ve ever had. I just wish my family could have been there!



  1. Great baptismal pictures :) and the comparison of the Gorge...that was awesome


  2. Agree with Sam ... the comparison with the Gorge is absolutely incredible.

    Congratulations so many times on your baptism! I wish I could have been there. That is so amazing.

  3. Very cool, Hallie! Thanks for letting me see so much from far away.



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