Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Empty Tomb

Remember in this post {here} when I shared about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre... and how there is another location that claims to be "Golgatha" and the site of the empty tomb.  This is it.  Now whether or not this is the location of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, I do not know, but this is where I was able to visualize walking through the garden with the women, peering into the tomb and finding it empty.  The guides at this site were respectful and the garden, peaceful.  Quite the opposite in comparison to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the guides made known that a written prayer left in the tomb would quietly be removed because a prayer in this location is not any more effective... and bouquets of flowers or other tokens of respect should not be left, because we are NOT mourning the dead.  While sitting here, singing in worship with our group, I was overwhelmed at the impact of Christ's resurrection and how He conquered the grave. 

I do not want to cloud this post with ramblings or emotions, but instead Scripture.  So, in some way, your heart will be comforted with the hope of eternal life... convicted by the truth of the resurrection... and overwhelmed with thankfulness for the Risen Lord.  

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
Luke 23:50-56
Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 
Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. 
But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Matthew 27:62-66
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first."
 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. 
"Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 
So they went and made the tomb secure by putting 
a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Luke 24:1-8
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 
He is not here; he has risen! 
Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words.
                                       John 11:25-26  

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; 

he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 

and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.  

Do you believe this?

1 Peter 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—
kept in heaven for you.
Acts 4:33
With great power the apostles continued to testify 
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, 
and much grace was upon them all

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a perfect match

Sara, one of our Israel tour guides and owner of Jerusalem Tours, and her husband need our prayers.  Her husband, David, is having a kidney transplant on September 3rd.
Would you please join me in praying for David, Sara, their family and the amazing stranger donating his kidney to David.  Read more of this beautiful, selfless story below:

(read another post about Sara's mom {here})

A Kidney Transplant Made For Hollywood.
Movie Executive Will Risk His Life For A Complete Stranger He Met On The Internet.
Site Endorsed by Various Health Officials, Ethicists and Doctors across the Country
Canton- MA, News Release – (August 19, 2010) Nineteen people die everyday in the United States sometimes waiting 7-12 years for a kidney transplant; on the government's national organ transplant waiting list for an organ transplant that may never come; a new patient’s name is added to this list every 13 minutes. David Chay, a 60 year old Jewish, immigrant from Israel and owner of Jerusalem Tours International, from Columbus, Ohio knew these figures. He has been on that waiting list for a number of years and he prayed he would not be part of that statistic.  David and his wife Sara’s three sons ages 28, 26 and 18 unfortunately were not compatible matches for him.  David turned to the Internet web site to greatly increase his chances of getting a kidney.
David’s wife Sara put David’s profile on looking for an altruistic living organ donor that would match him. Within a few weeks she found a perfect match; David’s hero - Tom Cavanaugh – an Irish (by decent) Catholic movie executive from Los Angeles, California. has become the most successful nonprofit organization improving those odds by finding living altruistic organ donors for patients needing organ transplants.  Patients on are now contacted by a willing organ donor on an average within 7 days of signing up on, and on receive their organ transplant in only a few months.
What did an Irish Catholic American from California have in common with a Jewish immigrant from Israel who now lived in Ohio? Nothing, except that they were both great people and as Sara said with tears in her eyes “God wants us to know we are all his children; no matter what our religion is. God sent us Tom our angel to be a perfect biological match to save my husband’s life.  Tom is now like our son.”
Last week, Tom kiddingly asked Sara if she minded that David would be having a non-kosher organ implanted in him, and she joked that she would have it quickly converted before the transplant.
Now because of a complete stranger David met through he will be receiving his lifesaving kidney transplant on Friday September 3, 2010, at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus Ohio.
Tom Cavanaugh, a 48 year old, Senior Vice President, at Twentieth Century Fox Music, also knew of the terrible odds that people waiting for organ transplants faced, and he knew that he could beat those odds and help save someone’s life by donating one of his kidneys to them through
Tom saw a need and was willing to risk his life to save another. Tom said “At first, my mother was concerned.” Her concern was not about donating to a stranger (she was completely supportive of that); her concern was that she saw how long it took his father to recover when he did the surgery in 1994, and she didn't want to see him go through that agony.  But Tom was able to allay her fears by explaining how the surgery is less intrusive and much safer for the donor than it was 15 years ago.
Tom’s mother’s concern also turned to pride when he told her he was donating to save the life of a man in tribute to Tom’s own father. He told her he was blessed to witness his father (at age 72) donate one of his kidneys to his younger brother (age 68). “My dad has since passed, but my uncle is living a happy active life, and I get great comfort from knowing that part of my father is still very much alive.”

Sara wrote David’s profile on
:  My name is Sara and I am desperately looking for a kidney for my husband David.
David, who is a mechanical engineer by profession, was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. His condition is very serious and he must have a kidney transplant soon. We have 3 sons, ages 28, 26 and 18. Unfortunately no one in our family is a compatible match for him. David and I look forward to watching our children grow into young gentlemen and someday get married. We want to spend time with our family and enjoy the company of our future grandkids. I have worked as a Social Worker for nearly all of my adult life, helping others in need and providing them with guidance, help and hope in whatever situation they may encounter. Over the last 15 years David and I have dedicated our lives to helping people make a religious pilgrimage to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the surrounding areas.
I find it hard to ask for help for my family, especially with something on as great a scale as this. However we are in a very desperate situation. David is not getting better and I fear for his future health. I cannot imagine being in this world without the love of my life. Both my husband and I would love to volunteer and help others in whatever capacity we can, but in order to do so I need to make David healthy again. This is my plea for help. I am looking for a Good Samaritan to donate a kidney and Bless David with a new and healthy life. Please give my beloved husband the gift of life. Thank you so much for your consideration, you are all angels. God Bless. 
Within minutes after Tom signed up on Tom read David’s profile and he quickly decided he would see if he was a match to David.
Tom wrote on his profile
: Hi. I'm a 47 year-old male who would like to donate a kidney to someone who needs it. I'm a non-smoker, non-drinker, non-drugger, and I'm in excellent health and physical condition.
I would like to help someone in dire need, as I was blessed to witness my father (at age 72) donate one of his kidneys to his younger brother (age 68). My dad has since passed, but my uncle is living a happy active life, and I get great comfort from knowing that part of my father is still very much alive.
My only requirement is that my kidney be removed laproscopically, as I have limited vacation time from work and would not be able to take the time off required for recovery from the traditional surgery. 
Through the miracle of the Internet the two complete strangers met on and after testing Tom found out that he was a match for David, and on September 3, 2010 Tom will save David’s life by donating his kidney to him.
This will be the 131st transplant surgery from a patient and altruistic donor that found each other on

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sadie's Dorm Room!

Today is Sadie's first day of college at Lipscomb!  Here are some pictures she sent me of her cheery dorm room... I wish I could have been there to help her move in, but I can't wait to visit.  Love you Sadie!
(yellow polka dot comforter, yellow lamp, black/white striped boxes, and lime green rug= IKEA
green lamp from Walmart and tons of other cute decorations from graduation gifts and her old room)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shopping on the Streets

I loved these sweet little canaries outside of a beautiful jewelry shop in Jerusalem.
I also loved this pool at our hotel, too bad they were cleaning it the whole time we were there!
Outside of our beautiful hotel, we met a friendly street vendor with some great prices on jewelry, purses and pretty much anything he could stuff into his little car.  The picture below shows our first purchases, but as my sister Sadie continued to spread the word, people from the hotel spilled out into the street and started buying more and more.  The guy, Rami, fell in love with Sadie, even offered my mom 100 camels for her :) and said he would give her free purses, scarves, and jewelry if she brought people outside to shop.  Well Sadie talked and more people showed up...

Just as the sidewalk party started to grow, my dad announced the start of our final group meeting inside the hotel.  Obviously, we couldn't miss the meeting, but there was still lots of shopping to do, so Sadie promised her new friend that we would all be back.  After a great meeting and beautiful time of sharing and testimony...
 ... Sadie rounded everyone up and we all headed back outside where a few more of Rami's family members had brought more inventory...

Needless to say, Sadie was the best bargain shopper of the trip
and the talk of the Israeli street vendors.

Frozen Blueberry Lemonade

This recipe is from Real Simple Magazine July 2010. Great drink for these hot August afternoons!
I cut the recipe in half so it serves 2 and changed a few other things:

Frozen Blueberry Lemonade:
In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of ice, 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, juice from 1 lemon, 5 mint leaves, and 2 spoonfuls of confectioner's sugar (or a little more).  Puree until smooth.  Garnish with more mint sprigs.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Psalm 33:22

May your unfailing love rest upon us
O Lord
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:22

Wax, KY lake trip

We made a final trip for the summer down to the lake.  
13 wonderful friends+yummy snacks+boat+hot weather=dream lake trip
Now, we are back home and I'm in an early week class... all day... all week...
Not too hard. It's Children's Literature, but still a long day :)
Hope to have some more Israel posts soon.