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Israel Archives - Pointes of View

JESUS AND KELLY AT THE GATES OF HADES

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In the “region of Caesarea Philippi” Jesus asked his Jewish disciples “Who do men say that I am?” What happened next turned their world upside down. Why Here? Why Now? North Pointe’s Israel team visited Caesarea Philippi in February 2017. The ancient city stood in a once lush area near the foot of Mount Hermon. Now, its a unexceptional locale visited primarily by tourists. Caesarea Philippi was like a red-light district in the Jewish world and the devout would have avoided any contact with the despicable acts committed there. It was a city of people eagerly knocking on the doors of hell. Our Jewish guide questioned, “Why would Jesus – a good Jew – bring his Jewish disciples to the…

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ITS A SIGN

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I like watching for signs when I travel. Not the directional or apocalyptic kind – the ironic kind. The beauties above adorned a hillside in Galilee, Israel. Keeping The Door Closed At All Times Some signs are a fuzzy kind of funny. I saw the one below at Pearson International in Toronto. A manager wanted to insure that shoes or anything else did not collect on their watch. The open door where this sign was posted revealed shoes all over the floor. This one was on the side of a boat we sailed in on the Sea of Galilee. Savvy store owners capitalizing on the value of humor in marketing. Are you a reflection of what you eat? Some signs…

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ISRAEL TODAY: A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL

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Eleven days in Israel and Jordan are more than enough to rock your perceptions of the Middle East. Thirty-two of us traveled halfway around the globe to be reminded that it’s a small world after all. On February 8th our team bid a fond farewell to -30C Canadian weather. Sixteen hours and eleven thousand km’s later we were embraced by the 17C shalom of Tel Aviv, Israel. (Scroll to the bottom to see updated photos of the trip.) Milk, Honey and Rocks The landscape was the first to rock our perceptions. Literally. Israel is in a desert. Rocks and sand are everywhere. Even the green pastures surrounding the Sea of Galilee are littered with stones and rocks. Sheep and goats…

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15 UNFORGETTABLE PICS FROM THE HOLY LAND

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Imagine going back in time to a place that has been unchanged for over 2,000 years. That’s what’s in store in Petra, Jordan and underground in the city of Jerusalem. Take a tour through fifteen photos that capture a myriad of memories. Camel selfies! O, the friends you’ll make. Unforgettable travel arrangements. Take a second look in Bethlehem. No need to look for camel fare. The ride is included. A 2,300 year old gender neutral washroom. The sign says it all. At the Top of the World near Petra, Jordan. Scrumptious and calorie free. Some frankincense with your Pepsi? For Canadians, there’s no escaping the snow…even in Jordan. The good shepherd and his flock. The view from Masada where 960…

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9 REASONS ISRAEL SHOULD COME OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST

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Israel is where east meets west; where the ancient collides with the modern. Jerusalem is the city of Gold, just 3,000 years young and a melting pot of culture. Is a trip to the Holy Land resting gentle on your mind if not on your Bucket list? Here’s 9 reasons to take take Israel off of your bucket list… 1. Go this year. I was six decades into my life before I visited Israel.  Don’t wait that long. The very existence of Israel is reason enough to experience it. Its very survival is testament to its uniqueness. 2. Jerusalem is the center of the world. The city hosts the most sacred site of the world’s three major religions – Mount Moriah. It…

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15 THINGS I DISCOVERED IN 2015

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When you’re done learning, you’re done. 2015 was a year of firsts – first grandson; first trip to Israel, Germany, France; first Caribbean cruise; first book published. It was a year of learning and discovery. 15 Things I Discovered In 2015 In random order of importance: 1. If you leave the window of your hotel room open overnight in Tiberias, Israel don’t be surprised if you wake up to find pigeons roosting on your lampshade in the morning. 2. Grandkids are God’s gift of family that can be returned to the manufacturers after every use. 3. Spider Mable is the greatest superhero in Edmonton. 4. Israel is a miracle. Jerusalem is unforgettable. Pilgrimage should be experienced by every believer. Walking…

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Middle East Conflict: The Root

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Beshir Kamel lost two brothers who were amongst the twenty-one Christians executed by ISIS terrorists in February 2015. Everyone involved in this horrific event, both the victims and the perpetrators, were of Arab origins. When it comes to the Middle East we presume to know the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” Aren’t all Middle East conflicts the result of an Old Testament prophecy related to the descendants of Ishmael? Aren’t Ishmael’s descendants said to be against everyone? Aren’t the sworn enemies of Israel all Arabs? A recent trip to Israel influenced me to re-examine a number of my conceptions regarding Arab people. APPALLING ATROCITIES AND A REMARKABLE RESPONSE A clearer understanding of the Biblical story of Ishmael, from whom…

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THE MIDDLE EAST: ITS COMPLICATED

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The Middle East is a political and spiritual magnet. The region may occupy a small percentage of the world’s square footage but it entails a large percentage of world influence. ISIS, Iran, Iraq, Israel, terrorism, nuclear possibilities and complex religious and political realities are a consternation. Who are the good guys? You’re Stephane Dion – Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs – how do you advise the Canadian government on Middle Eastern policy? Do you know Canadian policy on Israel? How should a Christian pray about the Middle East? Canadians in Israel In February 2015, just five days before our Canadian tour group arrived in northern Israel, Hezbollah anti-tank rockets killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven others in the Golan…

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IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MOSHE

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When was the last time you had to pinch yourself so you wouldn’t miss the moment you were living? For me it was feeling the sea breeze on my face and the wooden deck of the boat beneath my feet as we silently glided across the surface of a sea called, “Galilee.” PINCH. Could this have been the very place that 2000 years ago, Jesus, awakened by his anxious disciples, spoke calm to a furious storm? Were the hills on the horizon the long ago home of the Gaderene who was possessed by a legion of demons? Might it have been at this spot that Jesus appeared, walking on the water on a moon lit night, and invited Peter to become…

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NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM

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In January 2014, I sat in Row B at IMAX for a one-of-a-kind, 3D immersion into parts of Jerusalem and the Holy Land that most tourists and pilgrims never see. I was hooked. Over the past three decades I’ve always declined invitations to lead a tour to Israel. Not that I don’t revere “the Holy Land” but I never felt compelled to travel there. Now, Jerusalem had become irresistible. Within a week of viewing the film we booked a tour to Israel and Jordan with International Tours. We’re going back again in March 2019 and you could join us. 10 Irresistible Things About Israel and Jerusalem 1. Jerusalem, not Toronto, is the center of the Universe. Jerusalem lies close to…

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