Category Archives: Isreal
We are hosting a one day event: What We’ve Learned, on Monday, August 5th – 9am-3pm.
This is a great opportunity see our new facility, hear our story, ask questions, hang out with new and old friends. We are offering some topics and want you to pick the ones we cover. (see options below) We will have a lot of fun, and hopefully you will walk away with some new ideas.
This is free and only offered to a limited amount of folks. Please register if you know that you are able to attend and pick 3 of the topics offered. We will present the 3 most voted on topics at this event.
Beyond the Budget – How, Why, and When we make financial decisions about staff, facilities, outreach, ministries.
Weekend Worship – Our philosophy and process on designing the weekend worship service on a week by week basis and yearly basis.
Spirit Led vs Well Planned – Our journey as a “Spirit filled” church with solid goals and thought-out plan. How it has been challenging and how it works.
Theological Journey – What constitutes a non-negotiable doctrine? Our journey through changes.
Marketing – Our philosophy and method behind getting our message out those inside and outside of our congregation.
Small Groups – Our history of Small Groups over the last 10 years. Where we are now and where we want to go.
Setting Goals and Taking Risks – Our path of challenge, risk, failure and reward. How we make a decision on change. (adding or subtracting: weekend services, facilities, staff, ministries, tech, etc).
PSM Culture – What makes us unique and how we rest in our differences. (preaching style, music, skin color, attitude, leadership model, etc)
Church Location: 1650 Lime Kiln Road, San Marcos, TX 78666
Church Phone: 512-392-4357
Church Website: http://www.psmchurch.com
It’s been 4 months since our trip to Israel, but our team got together tonight and we made this video that summarizes the once in a lifetime trip.
Technically, we have another day tomorrow, but I am going to retire from posting. I hope that everyone has enjoyed the posts, and I recommend coming to Israel to get more than just a taste of this glory. We are planning on another trip next year. If my wife is reading this, please do not get mad. I am not saying that I will personally go, but our church will put a group together. Maybe Erica can lead the trip!
So, today, we toured the old city of David. Most people know that Jerusalem is the ‘city of David’, however he was the first to make it a Jewish town. Therefore, when David was living there, it was a simple, small village type of town and not the grand city that it later was in Jesus’ time. They have dug up some amazing finds in this area of Jerusalem. We saw the base of King Solomon’s palace. We walked through old Caininite tunnels and discovered the 3000 year old city streets. For almost 30 years, they have been excavating this area and just 2 months ago they opened an ancient Roman road far below the current streets. You can walk up this tunnel on the actual stones that Jesus walked.
At the base of the hill lies the pool of Siloam. It is make famous by Jesus when he spat in the mud and made an eyeball for the blindman. He then told the blindman to go and wash in the pool of Siloam for his complete healing. Jesus said that the man was blind to reveal God’s glory. It was extremely emotional for us because we had Mason in our group (who has been completely blind in one eye and 80% blind in the other since birth) We read the story from the Bible and we had Mason pray over our whole group. Of course, He splashed the water on his face and we all believe with him that God will continue to be his strength and healing.
I have to say that it is amazing to see Mason’s courage and strength through this entire trip. He is the most positive and uplifting person you will ever meet. We have been by his side in extremely difficult surroundings. Occasionally, we have to read signs for him and we will explain the landscape or specific feature of a building. Most of the time, he absorbs the environment by himself through his limited sight, nose, hands, ears, and feet. Wow, we are so thankful that he has accompanied us.
We went to the southern steps of the temple and I was able to preach at the actual spot where Jesus taught his disciples. So cool!
After lunch, we headed to some Old Testament sights in the country. We visited Elah valley where David killed Goliath. We all collected stones and read the story straight from scripture.
Then we traveled to another very important valley where many things happened. Please forgive me, it is late and I don’t remember the name but here are the things that happened there:
- Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still and it did.
- God sent huge boulder size hailstones from heaven to destroy the Philistines. These have been discovered!
- The Philistines sent the ark of the Covenant back to the Israelites through this valley because it was literally giving them tumors.
- Samson was born in this area and defeated Philistines here.
- Basically, it wasn’t a good place to be a Philistine!
Love ya’ll! Can’t wait to be back in Texas with my lovely wife and family. It was so cool today, I got Erica on Facetime and she actually listened to the tour guide and watched the scenery from the bus. Technology is so amazing.
To all the PSM folks, I’ll see you Sunday. I’ll be preaching, so pray for my rest and brain! ha!
Today, we started off with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The weather was incredible. Cool and crisp. We loaded a large wooden boat and cast off for a 45min tour around the water. We learned of the storms and position of Jesus walking on water. We had a demonstration of casting a net. (it was not very authentic. In fact, Will and I have the same cast net for salt water fishing in Texas. However, the whole experience was awesome. To soak in the sights and be on the famous lake that I have read about all my life. From the middle of the lake, you can see Mt Hermon where most people believe the Transfiguration happened. It is the only snow covered peak in the Golan Heights. Beautiful.
From there, we went just about 5 miles down the Jordan River and we baptized two people in our group. We put on swimming clothes and then purchased a gown to go over our clothing. The water was ice cold. The rest of the group sang Amazing Grace acapella as we went into the water. After the baptism, we had a very emotional and powerful time of prayer and singing on the shore of the Jordan. We will never forget this moment. There was actually a white bird that flew across. However, it was not a dove. It was more like a sea gull.
We left this portion of the Jordan and traveled south to the spring of Gideon where the army of 300 men defeated the enemy of the Jews. This is a powerful story in the Bible where God reduces the number of people in the army in order to show his power. In the same general area is where Saul was defeated and ended his own life. We visited an ancient city that was discovered 50 years ago. This city is thought to be about 3000 years old. It is called Bet She’an.
From there we traveled about 1 hour south to Jericho. They claim it is the oldest existing city in the World. (over 8000 years old). This is the place where the walls came tumbling down. We saw ruins of civilizations dating back to this period. This is also where Elisha made the spring water sweet by throwing a bowl of salt in the water. Also, Zacheous sat in the sycamore tree when Jesus entered the town. They believe the mountain just outside the city is where the devil tempted Jesus in the desert. The stories go on and on. I rode a camel here!
To see all the posts from Israel, click here.
The second half of the day, we headed to the far north border of Israel (the Golan Heights). In fact, we were in Syrian territory for part of the day.
First of all, let me say that there are absolutely no security concerns. We have seen one person with a gun (soldier). He was eating at a fast food place today. It is completely peaceful in every area we have visited.
Check out this foot washing station outside the bathroom. This was at a national park.
Here is the triangle border where Lebanon, Syria and Israel all meet in the far north. We visited Caeserea Philippi (there are two Caesereas). The yellow sign warns people to not cross border because of land mines.
At this location is where Jesus conversed with Peter about the gates of hell not prevailing against the faith in Jesus. (paraphrase) in Matthew 16. The black hole is the ‘gate of hell’ where people sacrificed their kids to the Pan God. This was a powerful tool that Jesus used to show the disciples that not even the most horrible events in this present world could affect your salvation and power of God.
Here are my new friends!
This pic below is a shirt we found. True!
Pic below is the cliff were the pigs (possessed by demons) plunged into the sea.
Here I am on FaceTime with Erica. I was pointing the computer at the window so see could see the scenery. The bus we are on has wifi!!
To see all the posts from Israel, click here.